Daily Archives: January 22, 2015

Quote of the Day – Hard Earned Station Cash

Lawyers to get $2.75M for SOE/PSN/Qriocity Class Action Suit for 2011 Security Breach — We’ll Get 450SC

Feldon, Headline over at EQ2 Wire

Set the Wayback Machine for May 2011, back when EverQuest still needed its own subscription, I was still active on the Fippy Darkpaw time locked progression server, the instance group was flailing about in New Halas, free to play in Norrath was the exclusive domain of something called EverQuest II Extended, triple Station Cash sales were all the rage, and we had just killed Osama Bin Laden while dodging the rapture yet again.

It was also the time of the great Sony hack… erm… the FIRST great Sony hacking when the PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment were brought down.

PSNDownIt was a time of confusion, inconvenience, and unironic usage of the word “soon” by Sony employees.  I had just purchased a PlayStation 3 and I had just invested my game focus in EverQuest and EverQuest II, so it was kind of a disruption to have SOE go down for nearly two weeks… and through two full weekends.

But Sony tried to make it up to us.  On the PlayStation side of things there were free games handed out, while SOE had a whole Make Good Plan that included a 30 day free extension of all subscriptions, that triple Station Cash sale linked above, special goodies and events in individual games, and an extra 500 Station Cash for Station Access subscribers.  And Sony offered everybody a free subscription to a service to protect people from identity theft.

They tried to mollify us, but it was apparently not enough!

Lawyers were called in… by somebody… they seem to file class action lawsuits first, then go looking for a class to represent second… and a suit was filed.

And now, nearly four years later, I might end up with as much as 450 additional Station Cash.  It could be less if too many people sign up for the settlement… and you have to sign up… because there is a cap on Station Cash payments of four million dollars, which works out to 400 million in Station Cash.  So, by my calculation, if more than 888,889 people sign up, I could be out some Station Cash.

I wonder how many people had active SOE accounts back in that time frame in 2011?

You can also file for up to $2,500 in compensation for costs incurred by any identity theft that was a result of the hacking, with a cap of one million dollars on total payouts.

Finally, there is an interesting proviso that allows for a cash out of your Station Cash if, due to the “Intrusions” you did not sign in afterwards and created no additional accounts.

When you submit a claim for this benefit, your existing SOE accounts will be locked so that any wallet balances can be calculated. If your claim is approved, your wallet balance will be extinguished and your existing accounts will be closed.

If you are never coming back, I suppose that is an option.

And the lawyers in all of this are asking for $2.75 million for their trouble.

If you want your 450 Station Cash, you can find the details over at EQ2 Wire or in the email that will eventually find its way to you from Sony.

Note to Bhagpuss: Americans only. No Station Cash for you!  Says so in the official Commonly Asked Questions page for the suit.

Heroes of the Storm – Another Unreleased Game Selling Access?

It is mildly interesting… and somewhat amusing to me at least… that in the midst of a lot of navel gazing about selling early access to online games caused by the state of H1Z1 and its entry into the field (along with the long, long Landmark early access experience) that Blizzard should choose this week to pop onto the stage and offer an early access package of their own.

I’m not sure Blizzard as a company was even aware of H1Z1, much less the minor stir it caused, though I am sure the devs in the company were.

Anyway, if you play any Blizzard games you probably know by now, via email or the big ad on the front of the Battle.net launcher, that Heroes of the Storm, having finally settled on a name, has a Founder’s Pack available for $40.

Heroes of the Storm is very purple

Heroes of the Storm is very purple

When viewed from the right angle, it is more of the same, selling early access to a game that will eventually be free to play.  We have seen this deal in a lot of games over the last few years.  It just so happens that at this very moment there is considerable ill will against selling early access, at least in our small corner of the web, due to SOE’s ideas on how far along a game should be before it starts demanding money in order to play.

Of course, if we are angry about people selling unfinished games, then Heroes of the Storm probably shouldn’t worry us too much.  People blogging about it describe a game that sounds pretty much ready to go, even by Blizzard standards.  That makes it almost the antithesis of the state of H1Z1 (or Landmark a year back) charging for early access.

In fact, the only criticism I have seen of Heroes of the Storm as a game… as opposed to the business model… has been that it is a dumbed down version of the MOBA genre.  Basically, the same criticism that got leveled at Hearthstone by fans of collectible cards games, as though, here in 2015, we hadn’t quite figured out what Blizzard’s standard play was.  They go for a different audience, people not in the hard core, which is probably why Hearthstone is the only CCG on Raptr’s most played list for December.

Three Blizzard titles on this list

Three Blizzard titles on this list

Of course, unlike CCGs, that list is dominated by Blizzard’s MOBA competition.  It will be interesting to see where Heroes of the Storm sits on that list, if it makes it to that list, six months after is launches.

As for the Founder’s Pack itself, it looks like very standard fare for the launch of a free to play game.  You get some heroes, some skins, a bit of the in-game currency, and a special item that will mark you as a founder.  Here it is a mount.  In World of Tanks a couple years back, it was a special edition tank.  The only difference is that they Heroes of the Storm beta isn’t open yet, and may never be, so if you want in before launch you need to pony up $40 for the Founder’s Pack for one last item, beta access.

I can wait.

But I am not big on the MOBA genre in any case.  It has the same problem that the RTS genre does for me, in that every battle becomes a repeat of the last.  My issue, not the genres, so it was unlikely I would be buying the Founder’s Pack in any case.

I did think about it though, when I saw it included a mount, on the off chance that it might also be a mount in World of Warcraft.  We all have our price.  But the mount is just in HotS.  And with that I stopped even toying with the idea of the Founder’s Pack.

I will likely still give it a try.  And I am still holding out hope for a mount of some sort.  That is, after all, how Blizzard got me to download and play Hearthstone.