Daily Archives: June 28, 2011

SOE All Access – What Does $19.99 a Month Get You?

As noted over at Massively, SOE has now put in writing what they announced at E3, a new version of the all-games-for-one-price plan, Station Access, priced at $19.99 a month down from $29.99 a month.

The plan, renamed to SOE All Access, is up on on the SOE web site.

And it has some nice new features, including a price break for subscribing in longer time increments, something previously denied Station Access subscribers.

There is even a spiffy new chart, and I love charts.

All Your SOE Subscription Options

You will note that Star Wars Galaxies is not listed.  That was expected.  You can still play, but it is in wind-down mode and won’t be accepting new subscribers soon.

And the chart itself is a bit odd in my opinion. They put free to play games in their own box, which I understand, but that does create a visual gulf between them and the All Access Pass.  And it is my experience that anything that can cause confusion will cause confusion and somebody is going to walk away from that chart convinced that All Access does not give them Gold access to EverQuest II Extended or member access to Free Realms.

At least they have removed the goofy Station Access Savings Calculator from the site.  Now they just need to make the URL redirect some place useful…

Addendum: Extra character slots are not part of SOE All Access.

If you are a current Station Access subscriber you get to keep you extra character slots as long as you remain subscriber, but anybody taking up All Access will no longer get this benefit.  Station Access used to give subscribers 2 extra EverQuest, 4 extra Vanguard, and 5 extra EverQuest II character slots.  Those will now have to be purchased with Station Cash.

Picking on Mr. Garriott

I used to feel a bit bad for Richard Garriott.

I used to think that perhaps the press was emphasizing the whole “Richard Garriott in space!” angle a bit too much.

Every story about the guy in the last five years or so has featured a picture of him in a space suite, regardless of the topic actually being discussed.  It often seemed a bit of a distraction, or an unnecessary implied comment on the man.

The headlines might as well read something like, “Crazy Space Guy is going to make Facebook Games!” or “Garriott to sue NCSoft once he Returns to Planet Earth!”

But then I started to follow him on Twitter.

And, aside from a Twitter feed that is a bit of a yawn fest (nice run there on Sunday, 4.52 miles in an hour is better than I could do these days), he does seem to emphasize the whole space thing quite a bit.

His Twitter pages lists his activities in this order:

  • Space Explorer
  • Game Developer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Philanthropist
  • Visionary
  • Explorer

And, of course, for his avatar, and the background picture of his Twitter page, he has a picture of himself in a space suit.

So every message from him has him in a space suit.

Congratulations Mr. Garriott.  May you and your bride find happiness.

Meanwhile, we’ll all be working out a joke involving you, your wedding night, and a space suit.

Or maybe that is just me.

Maybe the “crazy space guy” angle of things and the “ground control to Maj. Tom” subtexts are all just a product of my own imagination. Maybe it is me projecting these thoughts, and it is not some wry commentary at all when I see a story about his plan to make a poker game on Facebook and it includes the inevitable picture of him ready for outer space.

Am I alone in this?

Anyway, carry on with the space suit pictures.  It seems that this is something important to the man.

And To Cap It Off, My Sentry Drones Barely Go *PEW* *PEW* At All

To quote Wizardling, quoting EVE Radio, Incarna has something for everyone to get mad about.

Seriously, I am dismayed about Incarna.

First, the great big advance, full size avatars given a space of their own in which to play, turns out to be a few steps below Barbie’s Dream Quarters and suitable only for showing off crap from the much maligned Noble Store… and only to yourself, because nobody else can see your $68 monocle or $25 high heeled boots.

And you cannot go back to the old station view… it is gone for good.  So you are left staring at a generic station door graphic.  Only when you’re used to having a great big 3D rendered visual cue as to what ship you are currently jacked into, this seems a thin substitute.

No Jim Morrison, this door

Sure, the new agent finder is good.  But they went and simplified the agent classifications.  So, on the last day of Incursions I was parked in the center of a cluster of level IV agents who mostly gave me combat assignments, but would sometimes hand out a delivery mission.  Then Incarna came along and I find myself in the midst of a pack of level IV distribution agents who appear to give nothing but delivery missions.

Local Losers

Not cool guys.  Not cool at all.

And all my stuff is in the middle of this cluster and moving all of it to some place else will be a pain.

Fine… but at least I had the security blanket of sentry drones blazing away to cling to.  CCP said as much in the Incarna 1.0 patch notes.

Sentry drones such as Garde, Curator and Warden were missing their firing animations. Thanks to the new turret system we can now witness their destructive power.

Witness their destructive power!  Now that was something I wanted!

I did not even have the Sentry Drone skill on my main character.  I had trained that up with my alt.  So I bought the skill, trained it up, flew half a dozen jumps to get a mission from a level IV security agent, and then  flew off to see my sentry drones shine.

Only shine turned out to be operative word.  Destructive power my ass.

PEW... or spew?

If you look at the picture above you will see a green glow in the middle of the drone.  That is the firing animation.  All of it.  That is all the destructive power there was to witness.  Not a big change from a non-firing drone, really.

Stock sentry drone picture

Really CCP?  Was that worth the effort?  My wife has a solar powered butterfly light in the back yard which glows more fiercely  than that.  Other drones are probably laughing at these guys even now.  They were better off with no animation.  They could at least pretend they were just chillin’ in the back of the class.  But now… now they have to explain that no, they did not just ooze glowing green slime all over themselves, thank you very much.

Oh the shame of it all!  It was better to be boring!

Ah well.  I guess the beam weapons were fun to watch.  We still have that.

Kitchen sink inbound!

I have it all going on in the shot above.  Inbound beams.  Outbound shots.  A tractor beam.  A salvager beam.  There is even a missile headed in on the my Domi.

But I have yet to see anything that looked as cool or as detailed as the turret animations shown on the Incarna client launch screens.

Bait, meet switch.  Switch, this is bait.

Oh CCP, look at what you have wrought!