Guild Wars 2 beta takes 1 million sign-ups

Guild Wars 2.

I was more than a little mad at myself when I realized I missed the Guild Wars 2 signup window. ArenaNet had only made it available for 48 hours and, though I knew about it well in advance, I neglected to get myself into the pool. I feel a bit better about things now. I just found out that more than one million players signed up for the beta over those two days. That’s 4,000 interested players every minute. That’s a lot of people.

Granted, beta sign-ups are free, so its a bit dubious to compare the numbers to something like, oh, SWTOR. Still, I can’t help but wonder what would bring about that kind of feeding frenzy. I’ve dipped into various SWTOR communities here and there over the past couple months and found a lot of discontented players. Players are already bored with the game, a situation I find totally unsurprising given the careful cloning process that spawned that familiar beast.

If anything, I think we can definitely say that gamers are on the prowl for the next big game, and they have yet to find it. A million PC gamers rallying around anything in 48 hours is a big deal. The fact that they’re looking at the one MMO that really promises to do things differently tells me that players are bored, tired of the MMOs they’ve been playing for the last decade. I’m right there with them. I’m ready to be plucked from the clutches of weeknight boredom and shown a compelling game experience. I certainly hope ArenaNet can deliver.


Guild Wars 2 beta signups open for another 24 hours

Damn you ArenaNet. Why must you suck back in to the Guild Wars 2 news circuit? Why must you entice me to watch your manifesto again? Why am I yelling “yes!” after every point you make. Stop making me care about this game. At least I can’t be disappointed if I don’t care.

I do care, though, and you should too. Beta signups just opened for Guild Wars 2. You can bet this thing won’t be out until late Q3, early Q4, so there will probably be other chances. All the same, it doesn’t cost anything to sign up – you just have to submit your system specs.


SWTOR Early Access is well underway


It’s now Day Two of Early Access for SWTOR, giving the players who pre-ordered a copy of the game an early look at the world of The Old Republic as an MMO. I placed my pre-order the first day it was available, and though I cancelled that order after my beta experience, I still have access to the game (note: always pre-order early – you can always cancel it).

So far my impressions remain essentially what they were with the beta. It seems to me that the game was designed as a single-player experience, surrounded by the conventions of modern MMOs. The best thing about the game remains the IP on which it was based, but I was never one to find a world overrun by Jedi and Sith all that exciting. I prefer my lightsabers few and far between, not one-in-each-hand.

That’s not to say there aren’t good things. I think the Crew Skills system is pretty cool – a little bland at my level but I’m willing to bet it will improve as I level up.

There are a lot of people who love the game, and I’m sure some of you are among that group. What are your experiences so far? Are you playing with a group of friends or just running solo? What’s your favorite part of the game to this point?


The Old Republic beta is now officially closed


BioWare has officially closed testing on Star Wars: The Old Republic in order to prepare for launch. Over the next few days the official forums will be coming down and re-opening with new features for players to enjoy. If you follow game news in any way, you know the coming months are going to be filled with in-game recreations of classic Star Wars moments and more Wookie sounds than anyone should rightfully be made to endure.

For my part, I cancelled my pre-order a week or so back. I was unsure if I would be playing the game, but I had pre-ordered for early access just in case. After playing the beta several weekends ago I had my decision. The game just isn’t for me. It’s too much of a current generation MMO without enough new life to get my heart pumping. Sorry, BioWare, you missed the mark with me.

What about you guys? Are you headed to galaxies far, far away at the end of the month?


Champions Online goes free-to-play: now with crippling client download!

Champions F2P

I had almost forgotten about the Champions Online F2P launch today. My MMO fire has all but died out in the wake of my Minecraft discovery and the joys of playing jungle Nasus in League of Legends. I was browsing the Minecraft subreddit, though, and found a post that reminded me of the release. I jumped on Steam to sign up for the new service and download the client.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem possible to download the client from Steam. All you get is an executable file that then downloads the necessary files. I pulled the executable from the official website and started my download. Minutes later, my internet connection was all but crippled, but I was only pulling files from Cryptic at 16 kB/s. Yes, 16.

I’ll probably queue the client to download overnight, but that doesn’t make my day one experience any better. The free-to-play model is based on the idea that your user experience is good enough that people will want to pay for more content. So far, I’m not feeling great about Champions.


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