Friday Bullet Points for the End of September

Another one of those round up posts to quickly cover some things I thought about working up posts around, but which never quite materialized.

CCP Closes the Gate

CCP announced that as of Wednesday the EVE Gate portal on the EVE Online site has been shut down.

You shall not log in!

The EVE Gate, for those who do not know… which is probably most people reading this… was a portal that allowed players to log in and access their in-game email and calendar.  It should not be confused with the in-game EVE Gate of lore, which is how humans first arrived in New Eden.

I’m not sure how big of a deal this really is.  I think I used it twice over the years.  I don’t get much in-game email really, as my corp, alliance, and coalition have other preferred communications methods.

Riverini returned to EN24 to write a post about the demise of EVE Gate.  As CCP notes, you can use their phone app or, if you want, you can use a third party app like Neocom.  I find the latter is much more useful overall, though it won’t let you send mail.

CCP is NOT Turning Japanese

Earlier this year CCP announced that they were cancelling their deal with Nexon for Japanese localization.  NEXON was a mixed bag for EVE in Japan, so CCP decided to carry on with a single Japanese speaking employee.  Sad for the Japanese community, but at least CCP was trying to carry on with support.

I want to hear Falcon read this in Vegas

However, things have taken a further turn as CCP has asked a lone Japanese speaking ISD member to stop translating patch notes and posting them to the forums.  The person in question was doing this on their own time, but CCP felt it was confusing as it was not officially sanctioned and there was some disagreement over the translations as converting EVE Online lore and mechanics from English to Japanese is problematic at the best of times.  The tale of this, with some translation examples, is in a Reddit thread.

Free Brittania!

Ultima Online has been celebrating its 20th anniversary this month, which I haven’t covered at all since I never played it.  I think Lord British and I parted ways at about Ultima V.

Welcome indeed

The game is still alive and rolling and trying to keep pace with the changes in the industry under Broadsword’s stewardship.  Over at Massively OP it was mentioned that, along those lines, Broadsword was looking into some sort of “free” option.  As the FAQ on the UO site indicates, free will mean giving up some options that I am sure any serious player would not want to do without.  The option is called the “Endless Journey” as is supposed to arrive in Spring 2018.

Expansions Coming to Norrath, But Not for Free

Both the EverQuest and EverQuest II sites have made it clear that we’ll be seeing the usual yearly expansions again for 2017.

For EverQuest it will be the Rings of Scale, while EverQuest II will be going old school again with the Planes of Prophecy.

We don’t know much beyond the names yet, but the usual warm up events have been kicking off and last year’s expansions are now 50% off for those late to the party.

One of the usual aspects of this phase is the addition of some past expansion to the free to play access level of the game.  Usually you can buy the latest and the previous expansion and everything before that is open for everybody.  But no longer.  As Massively OP reported (a pity Feldon isn’t around for this, he’d have done a nice full story on this), when asked when the soon to be in third place Terrors of Thalumbra expansion might be made free, the official response was:

We will not be adding anything further to the F2P line-up.

Harsh words, but perhaps the flip side of something Daybreak has said before.  The Planet Side 2 team opined in the past that there is a point of diminishing returns when piling on things for subscribers.  Now we’re seeing EverQuest II declining to remove something from the paid column.

I have not seen word as to whether the EverQuest expansion The Broken Mirror will face a similar path in not moving to the free zone, but I expect that will also be the case.

And that is it for items on my list.  I’m sure I will hate myself a year from now when I try to put these into my “One Year Ago” summary.

3 thoughts on “Friday Bullet Points for the End of September

  1. flosch

    Hmm… now I wonder whether that means that it will become available as part of the subscription, or whether even then you’d have to buy the expansion? I think by now, I’m too removed from the game to care, and maybe subscribers already have access to it, which would make my question seem stupid…

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  2. Bhagpuss

    With Smed out of the picture DBG are clearly returning to something close to a full subscription model. There’s a bit of buy-to-play in there too, since you get to go on using most of the content of any expansion you buy even if you stop subscribing – or you can indeed buy xpacks and decline to subscribe at all, which I doubt many do. The obvious intent, however, is that most players will subscribe and from the open channel conversations I follow in-game it seems almost everyone does.

    Everything DBG does these days seems aimed at tightening profitability. Presumably the days of making money from ultra-casual interest in MMOs of such advanced age are deemed to be over. I think Smed had a good run with F2P when he crowbarred it in against heavy resistance from the existing playerbase but reverting to a policy of milking the faithful seems to be a recognition that the F2P ship has long since sailed as far as the existing EQ portfolio goes.

    EQ2 players seem deeply suspicious of DBG still and highly critical of almost every move they make, but then they were always like that with SOE too. I do think the last xpack and ToT had some misteps but the current excellent Days of Summer catch-up has been very well received as have the dev statements about the new xpack being alt-friendly and having few if any pre-reqs. It looks as though, like ANet, DBG have decided to take some of the negative criticism on board when planning for the future.

    Whether it will be enough to hold a critical mass of players for profitability remains to be seen. I still feel confident EQ will see its 20th anniversary but beyond that, who knows?

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  3. zaphod6502

    I fired up Planetside 2 last night for a social romp with my clanmates. I had not played the game since it moved from SOE. It still played ok but the rampant “in your face” reminders to subscribe were constantly popping up and very annoying.

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