WTF is Daybreak doing?

I really have no idea what Daybreak is doing. Let me rephrase that; I think Daybreak has no idea what Daybreak is doing. At every turn they are showing how NOT to behave as a video game company.

Announce you’re working on Everquest’s sequel, launch a tangent EverQuest project that fails to live up to its promises and even become a game, then pretend EverQuest Next doesn’t exist.

Announce you’re building the spiritual successor to SWG, launch it as a zombie survival game, couple weeks later turn that game into a King of the Hill/Battle Royale wanna-be (abandoning the survival side), then a year later announce you’re splitting it into two games…

H1Z1: Just Survive is a persistent, open-world zombie survival game.

H1Z1: King of the Kill is a high-intensity last-man-standing shooter.

So you launch a game that has two modes. You abandon one mode, chase the other for a year, then try and resell both separately later. Huh. On top of that you drive urgency to sell more of the existing copy before it’s too late and you have to buy both separately.

And if there wasn’t already an epic mountain of reasons why you should distrust “early-access” gaming, both of these titles are being launched as “early-access.”

Get out of here.

Final Fantasy X “To Zanarkand” on Piano

My wife has arranged another video game song! You guys requested “To Zanarkand” from FFX, and she happily put my EverQuest requests aside. Grumble…. Nevertheless, “To Zanarkand” is a really pretty song. Such a calming, almost haunting melody. I’m honestly not very familiar with FFX, but listening to the song and looking at pictures I can surmise that Zanarkand felt like a once great city, and now lies in ruins.

Definitely visit her Musical Bri Youtube Channel and subscribe/like/etc. You’ll make her day.

If you have more requests let her know! She’s actually reading your comments. I’m expecting my EverQuest next (no pun intended for those paying attention)…

In somewhat (loosely) relataed news, I have started playing Final Fantasy Explorers. Initial impressions are very favorable, and I can tell you now I’m already liking it more than the Monster Hunter series. Much more my pace and style.

Darkfall New Dawn Officially Licensed

Darkfall New Dawn

You may recall that I mentioned there was a Darkfall revival project underway, but at the time they hadn’t yet achieved a license agreement with Aventurine. Apparently things are moving far better than most people would have anticipated, and the team at Ub3rgames will soon have a fully licensed playable version of Darkfall New Dawn available to the public for testing breaking.

Here’s where I ultimately struggle with these Darkfall revivals: They are still Darkfall. Can Ub3rgames do enough to fix such a flawed game? I think they stand the best chance of any given their direction and what I’ve seen in terms of community. But can the game change enough?

Let’s look again at what they are focusing on.

  • The lack of positive player interactions. Or making the game more than a deathmatch arena.
  • The power gap and player progression. Or making sure new players get a chance in this harsh world while making the game fun for PvE inclined players.
  • The lack of daily activities. Or providing more repeatable and engaging content for players to come online every day and have a meaningful play session.
  • An assembling of secondary technical or incomplete systems related flaws.

Issues have been classified as “primary flaws” and “secondary flaws” on their website. I sorta chuckle looking at the secondary flaws, as they were easily some of the biggest issues I took with the game…

  • Alignment System – This was so broken it wasn’t even playable. This is pretty much the cause of a big part of the negative player interactions.
  • Localized Resources and Banking – To me, this isn’t secondary. This is crucial to the entire game’s economy.
  • Player Holding Value – There has to be a purpose.

My view on sandbox games has changed quite a bit this past year. I’ve even made the statement, and I agree with myself still 100%, that the best and arguably only way to build a successful MMORPG sandbox is to go the isometric UO route. The scope required to pull it off simply hasn’t been successfully executed otherwise.

I’m eagerly waiting to get my hands on the game to see how they pull it off.

Albion Online Private Islands

A couple of you requested that I post a video showing off the private islands in Albion Online. Well here you go!

I think I goofed this part in the video so read on. You can purchase a private island once you have enough silver or gold. You can buy a private island fairly cheap once you have the silver, but it also requires that at the time of purchase you be a premium member. To become a premium member, or get premium status, you pay either gold, silver, or real money. Don’t bother paying silver — it’s ridiculous. Pay gold or $15/month.

Once you have premium status, you can buy the island. As of writing this post, you are NOT required to maintain premium status to keep your island. You just need it at the time of purchase.

Once you have your island you can continue paying gold or silver to upgrade. Upgrading adds more lots for building on the island.

Albion Online Private Island Farming

Depending on what you want to gear your economy or interests toward, you can put anything from crafting buildings to farms to houses on those lots. I’ve gone for an economy build of sorts with farm land, a stables, and a saddler. I want to raise livestock then sell them as mounts — or something.

So what’s the benefit of a private island you ask? Couple of things.

  • Guaranteed space of my own. In the real — open — world, space is somewhat limited. Although the world IS huge, it’s like UO. It’s still finite.
  • Guaranteed safety. I do not have to worry about being ganked. Again, think stepping outside your house in UO when there are gankers about.

What’s the downside? Mainly resources. The real, open world out there has the resources you need. Your private island has T1 resources. It’s more of a place to play farmville safely. I’m a fan.

I’ll develop this character’s island a bit more and showcase it for you in video. I’ll even show a bit of the process I go through to collect resources.

Any questions about Albion Online, housing, islands, crafting, etc? I’m happy to answer. Despite the game not launching (or coming close) until later this year, I am starting to pick it back up and play more. Sorta one of those moth of a flame things for me… it’s beta, but it’s fun.

Want to jump in and play during closed beta? Visit the official site to purchase a founders pack.

Wrapping up January

I want to do a bit of a catch-up post to end January. Is this year really already down by an entire month? Crazy. I have had a really wild past two weeks in terms of everything I have going on. Some of you have left comments with the sentiment that when you focus on your professional lives with the same intensity as you normally would gaming, then you can see some incredible results. I can wholeheartedly agree with and say that I have seen the same outcome myself. Busy is good, but it means sometimes not getting as many posts up as I would like. I’ll figure out a balance.

Personally, I’ve not only improved the work at my day job, but also in my own personal side gig as well as my wife’s music business. I’m doing marketing consulting work on the side for small businesses. I enjoy being able to help companies realize their potential when they actively, and intelligently, properly identify and work toward accomplishing their marketing goals. As for my wife, I’ve done a bit of ‘marketing’ for her as well and she’s grown from having a little website bringing in a little bit of money to a thriving music business where her schedule is packed and she’s thriving — it’s incredibly satisfying to see that happen for her so quickly.

Gaming Lately

My gaming scene has been a little bit weird of late. I finished up all of the Disney Infinity 3.0 games, and I’m finishing up a few games in my backlog. A big part of my play time lately has been invested in Diablo 3’s newest season, but the initial surge is dwindling (thanks to deflating RNG hating me). EQ is still my big obsession. My Cleric is level 18, and I think I like playing him more than my Necromancer! Maybe it’s that I enjoy getting groups.

What I’m Playing Next

I have a few big games coming on my list that I will be writing about and making some videos to show off.

  • Final Fantasy Explorers on 3DS – It’s like an action RPG meets MMO meets Monster Hunter.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii U – Big RPG that I haven’t dived into, but it’s next on my list.
  • Just Cause 3 – This will be a nice evening go-to game to blow stuff up.

The MMO ‘Drought’ 

It continues… really, there’s nothing out right now except for EverQuest that comes even close to satisfying a TRUE MMORPG experience.  Albion Online is doing a nice job, but still in closed beta until the end of the year. I did promise Werit I would take a video of the private islands — sorry, I haven’t forgotten! I have the video and I’ll upload it for you tonight.