Tag Archives: EON Magazine

End of an EON – Another Gaming Magazine Bites the Dust

The CCP Dev Blog reports that EON, the official EVE Online magazine, will be no more.

Another victim of the digital age.

Tier 3 Battlecruiser Issue

Tier 3 Battlecruiser Issue

Editor in Chief Richie “Zapatero” Shoemaker wrote, in part:

Issue #030 of EON magazine, which we released as a digital publication in January, is going to be the last issue ever. In spite of continued efforts to reverse a trend of dwindling interest in our little publication, there just weren’t enough copies flying off the shelves. We can debate the whys and wherefores until the end of time, but the simple truth is that after eight years of going where no magazine has been before, the adventure has come to an end. All good things, and all that…

30 issues, sent out at about four issues a year, isn’t a huge legacy to leave behind.  I have nearly half of the total output of the publication, having subscribed on and off over the last few years.

I actually resubscribed last year at about the time they were separating the sales of EON from the EVE Online store in order to give MMM, the publisher, more flexibility in doing sales and promotions.  The subscription was half price to celebrate the change.

Half Off Sale

Half Off Sale

A little less that a year ago, EON announced that they were finally going to issue a digital version of the magazine, no doubt in hope of goosing sales some.

Now, however, the time has come.  Another gaming magazine calls it quits.  I seem to have a collection of dead magazines around the house, including the official World of Warcraft Magazine, which died after five issues, a couple of false starts from SOE attempting to create a print magazine, EQuinox and some other one I forget the name of at the moment, Massive Magazine, which made it to two issues, and probably a few more.

So making it to 30 issues around something of a niche game seems to be doing pretty well, especially when compared to other similar ventures.

You can argue about whether the content was good or timely or reflected enough of the community and whether it was worthwhile for an EVE Online player to subscribe.  Was there anything there that you couldn’t get online quicker and for free?

But I will say this.  The magazine always looked damn good.  It was a glossy, bound on heavy paper, attractively laid out physical manifestation of the game that you could hand to a non-player and say, “Oh, here is that game I was talking about.”

EON, you looked marvelous!

And the old issues, which are probably more valuable as an archival history of the game at this point, will continue to look good even as the magazine passes, as Zapatero wrote in his closing:

In years to come, may you pull an issue from the shelf, blow away the cobwebs and remember what EVE was once like. Until then, fly safe.

Zapatero

Editor, EON (ret.)

Meanwhile, the EON Store is having an “Everything Must Go!” sale between now and March 31st.  You can get the whole EON Magazine collection for $50 plus shipping.  So act now if you want to have a shiny reminder in you old age of what EVE Online once was.

I will have to see how many issues of the magazine I am missing.  And I’ll keep watching their blog, just to see if there are any last updates.

Items from the Mail Bag – Rainy March Edition

It is that time again!  Time to sort through my mail archives to see what has come my way in the last month that wasn’t worth a post by ought to get a mention, whether for real or comedic value.

Path of Exile Open Beta

In a very timely email, the folks making the Diablo-esque online game Path of Exile, a game about which I have written, have announced that this coming weekend, March 30 through April 1, beta access will be thrown open to everyone.  There is, of course, a FAQ posted with details.

Path of Exile – It is raining there too!

So if you are totally jonesing for a Diablo fix and cannot wait for May 15th to roll around, this might be an opportunity to get some click-action RPG time in.

Badass vs. Robot vs. Roger Ebert

Trexx Robotnyk wanted to let me know about the “truly unique, precious art” that is encompassed by Badass vs. Robot.

I think we call that art style “primitive”

I am not even sure where to go with this, so I’ll just quote the message in full.

A one-man operation. Destined to reshape the world order. Badass vs Robot has been temporarily unleashed to fund future development (episodes 1-3, about 1-5 playing hours, available in a week or so). In its brightest moments, small glimpses here and there, this robotic art project from Sweden sort of reminds me of mass effect 3/starwars/whatever but with heavier guitars and a cheaper price tag. Anyway, if you wanna join the fans around the globe and make this amazing space action robot saga turn into an uncontrollable behemoth on rockets, please buy a copy (you set the price). Note that this is a separate work-in-progress tech/devel funding/sneak peek release with awesome music, learn more at the homepage. And to those that hate this project solely cause it’s a difficult to grasp kinda space-art exhibition (e.g. nude politicians and a laser themed forced sterilization scene), are encouraged to share it with all of their friends. Please note that I’m not looking for investors, truly unique, precious art like this must be completely independent at all costs.

So there you have it.  Nude politicians, the laser themed forced sterilization scene, and Roger Ebert need not apply.

Blacklight: Retribution Open Beta

Back to the open beta scene, Blacklight: Retribution went into open beta… well, a month ago.  But I got the note AFTER I did last month’s mail bag.  See, timing is everything.  B:R is an online first person shooter game, a niche that seems to be growing into very non-niche like proportions.  Anyway, if you are interested, their web site is here.

EON Magazine Joins the Digital Age

Naturally, as soon as I subscribe to the physical magazine again, the folks at MMM finally deliver on their digital aspirations.

A digital edition at last!

For those interested, you can find more details on this at the EON Magazine site.  There is currently a special offer to get people interested.

Unbiased Reviews, For Specific Values of “Unbiased”

Leslie, a business development intern at FindTheBest, wanted to let me know that their site now has video game reviews as part of their engine that… I guess… allows you to find the best.  Per the email:

It allows users to filter by price, console, ESRB rating, and more. All of the information is completely unbiased and certified from sources such as Gamespot, Metacritic, and IGN.

Claiming a lack of bias on their part, I suppose, could be correct.  But when GameSpot, the site where no advertiser gets a bad review (or we’ll fire the reviewer!) is part of your sample, bias is clearly part of the equation.  Garbage in, garbage out as they say.  Anyway, I asked on that and actually got a response.

In the smart ratings algorithm, expert reviews only account for a small portion of a balanced rating system which takes into account things like number of copies sold, other metacritic ratings, as well as others. After doing considerable research we will take this feedback into account and discount GameSpots rating moving forward.

While I appreciate the attempt to quantify things, selling the most units is not always an indication of quality.  The literary works of L. Ron Hubbard and William Shatner spring to mind.  Still, it is nice to see somebody out there trying something new.

Oh, and the highest rated MMORPG on their list; the Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria expansion.  Take that for what it is worth.

Digital Kids Conference – You Need to Know!

Those in charge of the 6th Annual Digital Kids Conference, which despite its name is focused on child safety in the digital world and not the creation of electronic children (which presumably would come with an “off” button, every parents dream on occasion) seem very concerned that I be made aware of the agenda and specific events pertaining to the conference.  Hence the six email in two days things.

Consider me brought up to date, especially on the mobile app safety front.

The unsubscribe link, it does nothing!

Mistborn: Birthright – Not Wheel of Time

Brandon Sanderson, perhaps best known as the writer to pick up and (I desperately hope) finish Robert Jordan’s epically drawn out Wheel of Time saga, is having some of his own work made into a video game. (The Wheel of Time series was also supposed to be made into an MMO. What happened with that?)

Called Mistborn: Birthright, it will take place 100 years before the Mistborn series of books.  A quote from the author:

“As an avid gamer, I’m extremely excited by this opportunity,” said Sanderson. “The chance to write the story for a Mistborn game while working with a team of talented developers is, quite literally, living a dream.”

The game is scheduled to come out in the Fall of 2013.  Such information that there is available is on the game’s web site.

Half Off EON Magazine and More

In one of those happy accidents, yesterday I went looking at the EVE Online store to see how much a subscription to EON, the official EVE Online magazine was.

Over at the EVE Online site it was still listed, but unlike most other things in the store, there was no way to actually buy it.  You could not put the subscription, or anything else related to MMM Publishing, into your shopping cart.

This being the modern age of communication, I poked the EON Magazine team via Twitter.

I got a quick but coy response about there being changes in the works and that I might figure it out if  I went to the magazine’s blog site.

From there… and this was before the latest post announcing it… I was able to find the new EON Store.

And a big sale.  Everything was… and remains for the moment… half price!

Half Off Sale

Well, that sealed the deal for me.  I like the magazine and it is certainly longest running magazine dedicated solely to a single MMO.  Blizzard let World of Warcraft Magazine fold up shop after five issues, and don’t get me started on SOE’s hot and cold… mostly cold… approach to magazines.

I did have a bit of trouble with the checkout and payment.  Yesterday it was taking a long while… call it nearly five minutes… for payment processing to show up at the end of the order.  Fortunately I took some time to harangue them on Twitter again and by the time I was done, the payment interface had loaded.

There is still no EON Digital yet, but at least we are still able to get the physical magazine, and there is something very pleasing about EVE Online pictures printed on glossy paper that you can carry about.

Here is hoping that the order actually went through.  I got receipts from MMM and the payment processor, but my order number was in the low 2 digit range, so I was clearly an early user of the system, and we know what that can be like.

Next on my list, where can I get null sec sovereignty maps printed on a T-shirt?

Are We Going to See Another Issue of the World of Warcraft Magazine?

The Official World of Warcraft Magazine shipped its first issue just about 15 months ago.  It was tagged as the Winter 2009 issue.

Vol. 1, Issue 1, Winter 2009

The magazine itself was billed as a quarterly publication, a term which has a very specific meaning in the world of magazines.  But for most of us it just means that if you subscribe for a year, you should get four issues of that magazine.  This is reinforced by the subscription options you are shown when you order the magazine. (Or when you resubscribe like I did… sucker than I am apparently.)

To this date, Future US, the publisher of the Official World of Warcraft Magazine, has only produced three issues.

They are talking about a fourth issue.  Images and previews of it are displayed on the official web site of the official magazine.

Previews for the Elusive 4th Issue

But on the customer service page, and elsewhere on the site, they list the third issue as the current one, which seems to indicate that the fourth issue may not be coming any time soon.  Email I’ve sent to their customer service on the subject (wwccustserv@cdsfulfillment.com) have gone unanswered.

And to compound that, the big items for this issue appear to be a behind the scenes look at BlizzCon… something that happened nearly 6 months ago now… and an interview segment with the team that does the cinematic elements for Blizz… a team that had its own very interesting session at BlizzCon, so I hope the magazine can come up with something new.

Of course, I was worried about content for the magazine after issue three came out, as past issues were built up heavily around what Cataclysm would bring.  Cataclysm is here now, so they will have to find something else about which to write.

We may have to give EVE Online its due in another category.  It might be the only MMO that can effectively sustain its own magazine.

It probably helps that EVE does two major updates a year, so there is always something new.

The World of Warcraft Magazine

So, yes, I subscribed to the World of Warcraft Magazine.  The first issue showed up this past weekend.

Vol. 1, Issue 1, Winter 2009

After all, I’ve subscribed to several print magazines that covered the MMO market in general (most of which have folded), as well as the EVE Online magazine EON, and even the EverQuest II magazine EQuinox.

And, in the end, I have let all these subscriptions lapse.

The general MMO magazines, some of which didn’t last as long as my subscription, all suffered from the same problem:  I’d effectively read most of their content on the web 4-8 weeks ahead of receiving them in the mail.  The death of print media in a nutshell.  And the remaining content, items unique to the magazine, were not worth the price of the subscription.

EON, the EVE Online magazine, is probably the best MMO magazine around.  It looks good and is chock full of information you probably haven’t read at six gaming sites already.  Plus they have cool posters.  The problem for me was that the magazine tended to be aimed at people way more into the game than I have ever been.  A lot of the content got flagged “nothing to do with me really” as I went through it each quarter.

And then there was EQuinox. EQuinox looked very nice.  It was done by MMM Publishing, the same people who do EON.  But it was very thin.  Too thin to be worth nearly $20 a copy after you added in tax and shipping.  I do not think I was alone in that assessment, since I believe it only ran a two issues in the end.

So what can the Official World of Warcraft Magazine offer up in a space where others have failed?

In general, the magazine looks good.  It is well produced, though perhaps not as glossy as EON.

It has some heft at 144 pages.  The official site says 148 pages, but to get there you have to count the cover, inside and out, none of which has any real content and which are not numbered.

My last copy of EON weighed in at 80 pages while that first issue of EQuinox was a very light feeling 66 pages, so it compared quite favorably there.

And then there is the content.  Topics covered in this first issue are:

  • Things to look forward to in Cataclysm
  • A feature about Mike Morhaime and the history of Blizzard
  • Companion Pets
  • Overview and background of Ice Crown Citadel
  • Different methods guilds use to distribute loot from raids
  • Isle of Conquest battleground guide
  • Achievements
  • A guide to line of sight and how to maintain it in various conditions
  • Heroic Prints poster guide
  • Guide to inscription (which has the same graphic as Syp has in his blog header)
  • Guide to the Argent Tournament/Trial of the Crusader area
  • Guide to addons for healers
  • WoW Five Year Anniversary overview – includes a nice time line
  • Arathi Basin battleground guide
  • Overview of the return of Onyxia
  • Overview of the WOW trading card game
  • Fan art gallery
  • Some one page guides to things like keeping threat when tanking and when to swap weapons in combat
  • An attempt at humor on the last page

Over all, the first issue was pretty good.  It felt like it contained a lot of information.

Then I realized that there were no ads in the magazine at all.  No pages bought by WoW guilds, fan sites, news sites, vendors, nor any of the other stuff that you expect to find in such a magazine… stuff that generally finances the magazine… were anywhere to be seen.

Of course, seen from another angle, the magazine is nothing but a giant advertisement for World of Warcraft.  But then you cannot buy it off a news stand, you have to know about it and subscribe, so if it is nothing but an ad, it is directed at people who already bought the product.

And it did deliver value.

A lot of the magazine was devote to guides that contained reasonable, practical advice.  Nothing you couldn’t search the web and build on your own, but it is nicely presented in a single location.  For me, the battleground guides were quite nice, since I tend to spend most of my time lost in battlegrounds trying to figure out what I should be doing.

While the information about Cataclysm was nothing really new if you read all the info coming out of BlizzCon, it was well put together with screen shots of new UI pieces and the like.

The articles about Blizzard and World of Warcraft in general delivered a lot of good information.  I liked the list of features that they added over time that you now just take for granted, like the ability to turn off scrolling quest text.  The game went almost a year before they got that added in.

So, all in all, a strong first outing for the World of Warcraft magazine, at least relative to comparable magazines.  You can go browse through some of it online on the official site, linked way back in the first sentence.

Now the real question:  Can they follow up with an equally good second issue come Spring?  Pulling together a first issue is one thing.  Getting into the cycle of putting out an issue every quarter is something else altogether.

We’ll see in the spring I guess.