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Initial (very initial)
impressions of Final Fantasy XIV
and thoughts on account proliferation (or why we don't need three
accounts to play one game) in today's Loading...
your PlayerScore? World of
Warcraft players, find out at playerscore.com.
Loading... more fun that a
barrel of Murlocs!
I set aside about four hours yesterday afternoon to install and play Final Fantasy XIV
Surely, thought I, four hours would be enough to make a fresh start
and share my initial impressions with you in today's newsletter.
Instead I spent a good three and a half hours installing and setting up
the game and about a half hour actually playing. Well, 'playing' is a
little generous. Of that half hour, about 10 minutes was spent in
character creation mostly wondering about classes (primary classes)
like the fisher and botanist and the sheer volume of obscure,
irrevocable decisions I was making, 18 minutes was spent waiting for or
watching cutscenes, and I spent the remaining two minutes actually
So let me sum up my thoughts on the game thus far, and feel free to
impugn my observations since I was only truly in-game for, as I said,
two minutes of the four hours allocated: 1) poorly seeded torrent
patchers are the most sinister example of MMO devolution to-date, 2)
the world is pretty, the characters are cute, 3) in addition to
creating the sort of cute characters and pretty worlds that would have
Walt Disney giggling in his grave, Square Enix also excels at
cockblocking players at every turn during the account setup process, 4)
gender ambivalence is at an all time high - could I get some man
clothes that aren't skin tight or show belly? 5) I must be playing the
game through a side view mirror, because all the monsters are several
times bigger in the cutscenes than they actually appear.
I don't want this to be another blog post about the pain in the ass
that is Square Enix billing. It's been done before, and particularly
well in FFXIV's
case in Karen's Loading...
last week. Buying virtual currency to just pay for a subscription and
paying per alt is strange, but what we're hearing about clickandbuy is
scary if it's true (in the interest of full disclosure, the clickandbuy
that you're free to cancel subscriptions at any time but that you must
observe "the periods of notice specified by the vendor." If any period
of notice is specified by Square Enix, I can't find this information on
the website, ergo, scary. And, after all, this isn't SquareEnix's first
go-round with allegations
of deceptive billing practices.
Instead, I'm more out of sorts that I had to create multiple accounts
with multiple passwords to play one game. Final Fantasy XIV
requires a Square Enix account (which you already have if you played Final Fantasy XI
a "service account" to set up the game, and a payment account (the clickandbuy.com
step, dodge it with PayPal at your peril). I could have written this
off as just Square Enix's usual lunacy had I not spent a good chunk of
the weekend trying to wrest control of my Guild Wars
NCSoft requires a master account to set up billing, then per-game
accounts for each of the games. The simple solution is to pick a
usernames and strong password, then keep that the same for all accounts
though a single developer or publisher. That doesn't work. None of the
usernames can match (and Guild Wars
tacks on an @ncsoft to usernames too), consequently I make a bad habit
of forgetting my login info for NCSoft games. Plus, NCSoft logins pry a
bit. Logging into my Guild Wars
account, for example, requires me to remember the name of one of my
characters. That's probably fine for diehard fans of the game, but my
experience was pretty short and not very memorable, and worse: GW
characters have surnames. After a lengthy call to customer service, Eh
Thec sits idle on the server, guarding my path to future Guild Wars
enjoyment. Then to have to turn around and do the same thing with City of Heroes
- it's enough to drive you insane.
I fully understand and appreciate the desire to keep my game account
and payment info secure, but for all the talk of account security, the
authenticators and secret questions and other hoops to jump through, I
feel more hassled than safe. With no dongles and half the
passwords required, my online bank account seems far safer than the
majority of my game accounts. I find it easier to go back to games
under the SOE and Turbine umbrella, and remembering login info plays a
major part in that. SOE's Station Launcher is a very elegant solution
that I wish NCSoft in particular would adopt. When SOE ties in
authenticators, as much as I hate traveling with them and fear the
inevitable battery failure (a smartphone version, perhaps?), this might
be the perfect solution.
Are you feeling password overprotected too? Does adding yet another
password to the mix really make your account more secure? Are
authenticators, provided they're free or low cost and easy to tote, the
solution? Discuss in the Loading...
and happy October!
Epic Thread of the Day
From our WoW
Raiding & PvP Discussion
Raiding & Gearscore
let's say you're a World of Warcraft player and you've reached a time
in your character's life where he's ready to raid, only...whoops! Your
almighty Gearscore isn't high enough. It's like that old conundrum
where you can't get the job you want without experience, but you can't
get experience because you can't get the job you wan. What to do?
Our WoW community is talking
Quotes from the Epic Thread
certainly will give PlayerScore a try!
and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer
6 new Ten Ton Hammer
features today! 111 Ten Ton
Hammer features in September! 1066 in 2010!
Fantasy XIV Review at Ten Ton Hammer
celebration of the official launch of Final Fantasy XIV, Ten Ton Hammer
guest writer, Ralsu, reviews the game in its entirety. Can FFXIV hold
up to other new titles? How does the game play for new players and
Final Fantasy veterans alike? And, most importantly, is the game worth
- Introduction to the Mastery System
is a stat that has a different meaning for each of the 30 available
World of Warcraft class specializations. In general, mastery is a stat
that will massively increase the potency of a defining aspect of your
chosen specialization and serve to significantly differentiate each
Luthor Revealed in New DC Universe Online Artwork and Screenshots
Online Entertainment has revealed the latest character in
upcoming MMOG, DC Universe Online. The latest reveal showcases that
criminal mastermind, Lex Luthor. Armed with his power suit, Luthor is
known for his overwhelming desire to kill Superman and, you guessed it,
take over the world. SOE has released a new batch of art and
screenshots of the criminal genius in action and you can check them all
Fantasy XIV Video Showcases World Conflict
Fantasy XIV recently launched, bringing magic wielders and furries to
fans everywhere. With the game's official launch, Square Enix has also
released the opening movie CG video that offers a look at some of the
story and conflict found in the FFXIV world. The video runtime is about
seven and a half minutes, so grab a snack and enjoy a look at some of
the excellent cinematics of FFXIV.
Ten Things You Need To Know About FFXIV
Fantasy XIV is not a typical MMOG. It’s filled with unique
and new ways of doing things that may throw you off your game.
Understanding the different facets of the game takes time to discover,
and may surprise you along the way. To lessen the shock of these
discoveries, and smooth out some of the speed bumps on your road to
enjoying this rich title, I’ve assembled my list of the Top
You Need To Know About FFXIV.
Ton Hammer's Beginner's Guide for LotRO - General Gameplay
has to start somewhere, and it's no different in The Lord of the Rings
Online than it is anywhere else. Players who are new to the game may
feel a bit overwhelmed or confused with the unfamiliar setings and
controls, and some of the game-specific language. There are a lot of
new things to learn, whether you are Free-to-play or a new VIP
subscriber. So here's your General Gameplay Beginner's Manual to help
smooth things out and allow you to get the most out of the game.
- Introduction to the Mastery System
- Final Fantasy XIV
Review at Ten Ton Hammer
Rogue Talent Guide for Patch 4.0.1
- Marvel Super Hero Squad
Online - A Heroes &
- Ten Ton
Hammer's Beginner's Guide for LotRO
- General Gameplay
Gear and Comparing Scores in World of
to Norrath! An Interview with EverQuest
Introduction to Weapons in Guild Wars 2
the Emperor! Gods and Heroes
- An Interview with Heatwave Interactive
Ton Hammer's All-New Minstrel Class Guide for Lord of the Rings Online
for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!
- Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer