Well, I made it through! Well done me. (I’ve been listening to Graham Norton in the mornings on the way to work, and “Well done you” is my new favourite phrase. It’s a very British, somewhat camp phrase.) This is the last day of working through lunch, my stomach eating itself, feeling as though I’m walking around with a big whip to beat people with. “Work harder! Work faster! I want that code!”
Yesterday on the way home I passed a banner advertising “Summer Fairy Camp! Learn to be a Fairy!” and all I could think was, I would love to go to Fairy Camp. When I was six I would have moved heaven and earth to go to fairy camp, and even now the thought makes me smile.
Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer released, and due to servers being down, etc., I haven’t had a chance to play yet. I honestly was gobsmacked by the fact that there is no new starting area. There is a new race, but you still have to face Tortage for the first 20 levels. Perhaps I hadn’t read the articles closely enough, but I was totally certain that there was going to be a new starting area. I’ve seen Tortage so many times that I would almost prefer to stick a pencil in my eye rather than do it again.
A Demonologist in Conan can set things on fire. They roll around and scream and try to beat the flames out, finally subsiding into a pile of charcoal. It’s very satisfying when you come home from a day of wanting to set people on fire at work. And in my head I can hear this weird Beavis and Butthead “Fire! Fire! Fire!” refrain. Yeah, that’s pretty bizarre, I admit.
My Tempest of Set is level 44, and I am totally and completely lost on her. I was doing some gathering in Poitain, and the mobs that appear when you mine killed me twice. Twice. I logged out.
Although I haven’t been doing much gaming recently, I have gone back to Runes of Magic and had an enjoyable time. I started a priest/knight, and enjoyed her enough to actually buy a horse for her. Part of the reason why I bought the horse was to stick two fingers up at Allods Online*. I have no problem with paying for vanity items in a well-planned cash shop. The horse was worth it, both to make travel a bit faster but also to support a well-made game that didn’t rip me off. Well done, Frogster! (See how that works?)
Well, back to my last day of hell.
*Another UK thing. One finger, US. Two fingers, like a backwards peace sign, UK.
Yesterday I had what is in retrospect quite an amusing conversation with P. I was saying that it felt strange for an entire summer (and part of the fall, if Cataclysm isn’t going to be out until November) to stretch out with absolutely no new MMOs to play. I said that if I had a game even somewhat close to release, I would release it now and take advantage of a summer with virtually no competition for gamers hungry for new lands to explore.
And this morning, as I have my coffee and go through the news, I see this on Massively: Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer has been Dated. I start to read the article with little excitement, expecting a 2011 release, and I see that the release date is a couple of weeks away, May 11th in fact.
This was a shock. Not that I’ve been following AoC news especially, but I am a fan on Facebook, I do read a lot of the MMO blogs, and I’ve seen nothing. I looked on the main site – nothing. (Admittedly, this was the EU site, and GOA will always carry the brunt of my undying hatred for being incompetent jerks – maybe the US one was updated). Nothing on Facebook. Nothing that I could find on Twitter.
It is amazing that a company like this could so badly screw up 1) a launch of an expansion, and 2) social media and branding. Seriously…social media has been around for a long time, it’s not a new thing at this point. Why am I seeing no mention of this in official social media channels?
Part of my job involves building social media marketing strategies for our clients, as well as handling branding and content in the various channels that they are using. It’s interesting and challenging to handle well, but the basic stuff isn’t brain surgery. How can you just not bother to do it at all?
And why is this important? Because of customers like me. Although I thought the original game had some serious flaws and gaps, which were why I eventually let my subscription lapse, I’d been really excited about the previews and screenshots of the expansion that I’d seen on various MMO blogs. I added myself as a fan on Facebook specifically for news and updates. I WANT to buy the expansion…why wouldn’t you try to whip me into a fever of excitement much sooner than this? (Ok, “fever of excitement” may be a bit over-dramatic considering that AoC was actually a bit meh. But you know what I mean.)
Bad Funcom, very bad. Go sit in the corner and think about what you have done.