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Archive for December, 2008

Route off, route on

December 12, 2008 Comments off

Today’s network access at home did not start out so good. After about 15 minutes the connection was lost. It turned out that the router had broken down and was completely dead. It was a fairly new one also, only 2 months old.

Since the evening was still early I packed up the router, dug out the receipt and headed over to the MediaMarkt store where I bought it. I did not have too much hope of a quick resolve, but the service personnel was very nice to deal with and within a few minutes I had a paper which I could exchange for cash or use to buy something else. So I picked up a new router (and a slightly different model) and set it up at home.
The installation wizard for the router is annoyingly slow and got confused with my network adapter set-up, so I skipped it. Not really needed anyway and configuring the router was quick and easy through the admin web page and the home network was back in business again.

The whole thing took less than 2 hours from breakdown to everything up and running again, probably shorter if I would not have bothered with the installation wizard in the first place…

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Is Spellborn released in my area?

December 7, 2008 7 comments

Go back in time about 3 weeks – around that time I thought The Chronicles of Spellborn would be released in 11 countries at November 27th-28th according to the tcos.com web site.

Go back in time about 1 1/2 week – around that time I thought The Chronicles of Spellborn would be released in 3 countries on November 27th and 8 countries on December 5th. The change was due to a slip-up from publisher Mindscape who could not get the game boxes out in time.

Present time: Spellborn was released in Germany on November 27th and in 4 countries (France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Netherlands) on December 5th, according to the tcos web site.

There is no mention of the remaining 4 countries for December 5th date; Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. At first I thought, maybe someone slipped up and forgot to mention them since there were no announcements of any delays. And they only mentioned Germany as the country the game was released in the week before, which would be another mistake.

I registered at the eu-players.tcos.com web site and selected to subscribe to the game. Everything works fine up to the point of payment, which on gave a response of “not authorized”. Trying multiple credit cards and different time intervals (1, 3, 6 months) and different browsers all gave the same result.

I could still start my game client (since open beta), get it patched up and play the free2play setting, so I have played a few levels. But actually being able to pay for the game has not been possible.

So maybe the omission of a few countries in the announcement was not a mistake. I try some Swedish web sites that sell games and come up empty-handed, save for one site. I.e. only one of the web sites actually produced some result when searching for Spellborn- and that site listed the game release date as 2nd quarter 2009…

I try to go to the web sites for the alleged publisher Mindscape and search there and also come up empty-handed – no hits at all for Spellborn.

Some games have issues with big launches where the software may be buggy and unstable, or the servers cannot handle the initial load of players.

In this case the game actually seems to work pretty well and at least for the universe I selected to play in, there was no big chunk of players in the starter area. Instead the problems seem to be to actually let people play and pay. And how many of the people in the starter area have paid or will pay for the game?

Hopefully there will be some announcement or correction about the state of our countries up here in Northern Europe and that they may accept my money at some point. But right now it seems I will have to pass on this game for a while.

The transient peristent worlds

December 5, 2008 Comments off

The recently announced shutdown of Tabula Rasa has triggered a lot of emotions and responses among MMO players, ranging from quite upset to more neutral – but hardly anyone consider it a happy and positive event.

This illustrates quite well that the persistent worlds that many consider MMOs to be can also be viewed as a bit transient. While an offline game is available to a player as long as that person has it stored on some accessible media and the equipment to run it, the online games are effectively gone as soon as the operator decides to cease running the game.

I do not think we can have the same expectancy of an online game being around as an offline game you may buy in a store.
It is more like the the availbility of a favourite local movie theater or a store. If the store/movie theater is not making enough money or the owners decides that they want to focus their business in other areas or some other reason they may close down.

Which may of course upset at least parts of the local community; it has been “their” store/movie theater – people have met and have had good and bad experiences and it is part of their memories and lives. Then suddenly that may be taken away.

I think the emotions involved here are quite similar when it comes to online games. And the reasons for something clsoing down may be as diverse as many real life scenarios as well, since in most cases it is a matter of a business. But it is not always perceived as such by the people who use or visit the business.

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