Podcast: Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn Beta

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I’ve played several hours of the Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn beta and I’ve got some stuff to say.

Music intro – “Field 3 (Gridania)” – Sounds of Eorza: Final Fantasy 14 Official Soundtrack, courtesy of YouTube user Christian Semmler

Direct download (right-click “save as …”)

Stream: [audio https://archive.org/download/FinalFantasy14BetaFINALMP3/FinalFantasy14BetaFINALMP3.mp3]

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Funcom CEO Resigns

A day before the launch of Funcom’s massively multiplayer online role-playing game The Secret World, Trond Arne Aas resigns from his role as chief executive officer.

Aas remains with the Swedish developer, responsible for Anarchy Online and Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, as strategic advisor to the board of directors, as well as chief strategy officer.

“The Company’s financial position is strong and the foundation of the Company’s long-term product and technology strategy is in place,” Aas said. “It feels like a very natural point in time for me to make the transition to a new and freer role in the company, but I will remain committed to the Company both as a major shareholder and as an employee.”

Aas will be working with the recently announced MMO based on the LEGO Minifigure franchise.

The company’s Chief Operating Officer Ole Schreiner will replace Aas as CEO.

The Secret World launches tomorrow on PC.

Source: Funcom

Two thoughts on Star Wars: The Old Republic

I’m conflicted.

 

I don’t have a very fair reason why Star Wars: The Old Republic ceases to entertain me. Really, it’s almost selfish, even pathetic. It’s new, interesting, smooth, but insufficient. To say it’s insufficient is unfair, the game is the closest representation of what I want. It’s so close though, that I can easily find where it’s so far. The small steps not taken, I perceive as the giant steps skipped out on. But it’s not a half-empty glass, it’s well put together; it’s just not for me.

It is required to compare The Old Republic to World of Warcraft. Other than their source material, they are in direct competition. Blizzard built the foundation for all other MMOs, The Old Republic is no exception. It’s not BioWare’s fault for their category placement, they were late to the party, I’ll give them that. BioWare didn’t utilize the free ideas, they didn’t capitalize completely on what makes World of Warcraft so sticky, so addicting. It’s not a single thing, it’s a lot of small things, some big things, but mostly the things that Blizzard’s audience has taken for granted. One of these things being the dungeon finder tool. BioWare screwed up on that one, big time. Typing into general chat isn’t fun, hitting a button and jumping straight into a scenario with a few other people is. Yeah, standing around for 15 minutes may not be all that bad, but again, it’s the small things that count.

The Old Republic suffers from it’s genre. To be an MMO a lot of requirements must be met if you want to be like World of Warcraft, in other words: successful. The Old Republic chose the wrong destination. BioWare has the talent to bring something all new to the MMO space, instead they went with the safest route possible, even with all that money flow. I can’t say I expected a drastic change to the formula while watching the loading screen for the first time. I had hope that maybe in the beginning, before the game was a file on a computer, that someone would bring it up. That person might exist, they might have been convinced otherwise. I’d thank him for trying if I could.

Not only is Star Wars not my favorite fiction to explore, MMO is not something I want to play again. Somebody needs to change it. Everything plays to the most powerful thing in the market. Try something different. I’m certain the room exists to develop something we haven’t seen before. In the mean time, I’ll sit back and watch, I’ll remain quiet and separate, waiting for that lure to drift by again.