Well, small in terms my point of view. More like things I wanted to mention, but which didn’t quite justify a full blog post.
Five Years of Star Trek Online
I got an email from… whoever it is that runs STO these days… that the five year anniversary was upon us.
I like that they zero-padded the number. It shows a determination to get to ten years.
Five years is bitter sweet, as this was perhaps the second-to-last MMO I was very excited about before launch, but which I ended up putting down very quickly. I have been reading about Werit’s return to the game, and have been tempted myself. But I always want to play every game that launches or that announces an expansion or that says “pink fuzzy bunny” five times fast.
That I have a lifetime subscription also weighs a bit on me, though I am not sure how I would go about even finding my account again, much less getting it all squared away with whatever operational entity now runs the game. (Werit’s troubles in that regard serve as a warning.)
So rather than get into that tangle and stretch myself even more thinly… I have five freakin’ garrisons to maintain dammit… I will just note the anniversary and wish the game well. Five years is not nothing in this field.
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta
One of the comments I heard a number of times after Blizzard announced the Heroes of the Storm Founder’s Pack was that nobody was ever going to be invited to the closed beta again. If you wanted in, you were going to have to pay the $40 toll.
And, while I am mildly interested in seeing what Blizzard has done with the MOBA thing for mopes like me (and even more so after Ben Kuchera’ article at Polygon), there was no way I was going to pay to get in.
So color me surprised to find myself invited to the closed beta.
And, while people get grumpy about the whole Blizzard launcher thing, and I personally got a bit shirty on that past push by Blizzard to combine all of our accounts into a single Battle.net account, the combination of the two meant that actually getting the game on my machine was a snap. I went to the “already there” button for Heroes of the Storm on the Battle.net launcher where I found the “Buy the damn Founder’s Pack!” button had been replaced with an “Install” button. 4GB later, I was all set.
I have yet to launch the game, but it is there to try out… once I finish working on my garrisons.
Owning Dragon Age: Inquisition for about a Day
Last weekend my daughter and I were out shopping for a birthday present for my wife. Once we had completed that, we headed straight to GameStop to look at all the things they had for sale… mostly because my daughter had received a $50 gift card for the store at Christmas.
The GameStop experience… it is a thing. We wandered around a somewhat cramped little store while a very enthusiastic employee shadowed us, asking if we were looking for anything in particular and handing us print outs of games on sale. We were happy when somebody else walked in and such attention was halved.
Platform wise, we were only really interested in PlayStation 3 or Nintendos 3DS games, though we did take a moment to look at the sad little display of used Wii games in the corner.
Eventually my daughter’s eyes landed on a used copy of Dragon Age: Inquisition for the PlayStation 3.
She showed it to me and I said, “Well, I don’t like BioWare games (or at least any BioWare game since Baldur’s Gate), but this is YOUR money, so it is up to you.” And then we had a long discussion about the merits of BioWare, which at least established our nerd cred in the room, during which she said she had read some good things about it on the WoW forums and wanted to give it a try. Again, her money.
So she ended up getting a used copy of Dragon Age: Inquisition and a new copy of Diablo III – Ultimate Evil Edition (which includes the base game plus the expansion, all for only $20, so hurrah for arriving late to the party) both for the PS3. The checkout process was the usual amount of “Our club, corporate policy requires I spend five minutes telling you about it no matter how often you ask me to stop, so let’s just get through this together, just say “no” whenever I make eye contact, because this is my job and I’d like to keep it for now” before I was allowed to pay and walk out of the store.
Once home, my daughter spent about two hours playing DA:I and then asked if we could return it. She didn’t like it. The text was really tough to read on screen, even for her young eyes, and it really felt like a game that needed to be played on the PC to her.
Fortunately, GameStop’s policy is that you can return used games for a full refund, no questions asked, so long as you keep your receipt and do it within three days. Or five days. I forget. But we did it the next day.
And, to GameStop’s credit, they took the game back and even credited my AMEX rather than giving me store credit or another gift card. I did have to quickly affirm that I had heard the full club spiel in the last 48 hours before the clerk felt safe in skipping the hard sell on that front.
He did ask, after we had the refund, why we brought it back, and we related the whole text and complexity thing. He said that there had been a number of complaints about text legibility on the PS3 and figured that BioWare had botched something when porting the game back from the PlayStation 4.
And so we owned Dragon Age: Inquisition for less than 24 hours and now she has a credit at the Bank of Dad. We are going to give Diablo III on the PS3 a shot this weekend.
I did have a fourth item for this post, but it actually grew into a full blog post as I wrote it… so I guess I was wrong up at the top. That will show up at a future date.