I too am having difficulty. I downloaded the device they use to apparently take your DXDIAG specs (Why they couldn't just allow me to upload my own DXDIAG.txt, I don't know) and it picked up my specs "reasonably" well, then when I click "next" it tells me that the specs couldn't be uploaded because of a "network issue", and basically forces me to close the application. Several times, several PCs, same issue. Unless it requires some utterly arcane ports that need to be fully open manually on my router, I don't understand the issue. I'm glad to see others are having the problem as well, in a way.
Does anyone know a contact email we can send our grievances to, that the GW2 team will actually be able to read? I'm afraid sending it to generic NCSoft addresses or whatnot will mean our mail will sit in a queue and receive an unfortunate form letter.
Edit - Rereading, I realize I cut off the middle paragraph in editing. I'll summarize quickly - while I realize that this contest allows email log-in and I am happy for that, to be best of my knowledge Facebook/social network stuff is required for additional chances, so I am just worried that, like HBO's Game of Thrones contest (wrote a lot of detail about that one), TTH could be going towards requiring Facebook in the future, or it being the "only real chance" to win. Thanks again - I know that the staff here is very aware of user experience, so I just wanted to comment "early" in the game.
This is a great contest (Hope this is a Digital Deluxe edition!), but I have to ask, as a longterm reader and Premium member, that TenTonHammer not follow the irritating-though-now-popular protocol of requiring a Facebook or Twitter account to enter a contest, participate in feedback, play a game etc...
Over the past few years, I've seen the change from "Please enter your email address" to "Sign in an like us on Facebook, Google+ etc...", in what I assume has to do with marketing dollars. After all, email addresses can be "spam boxes" with fake names, but using your "real" Facebook account (which is often necessary for contests which link entries to number of friends somehow) means much more to advertisers. Unfortunately, its a HUGE hit against privacy.
Social networks, especially Facebook, have been implicated in many privacy violations and instances of encouraging users to share everything about their real life so the data can be mined, cataloged, and sold to everyone from "targeted advertisers" to insurance companies and governments! Those of us who attempt to completely separate our real-life identity from our many online pseudonyms are increasingly finding content segregated behind social-networking walls and other proprietary lockdowns; this has become worrysome and annoying.
I'm certainly behind account-bound mounts and account-bound pets for that matter, but I feel at this moment we need to concentrate our energy on the latter to divert Blizzard from a dangerous direction. You may or may not have known that they just released the Guardian Cub pet on the Pet Shoppe - now, I wouldn't exactly be happy with another $10 account-bound Pet Shoppe pet where none of its income went to charity (I subscribe to the whole - I pay a subscription and want access to ALL in game content. There's a reason I don't play typical Korean-grinder Item Shoppe MMOs that usually would cost more than $10-15 a month to get the same experience as a subscription MMO), but it wouldn't be horribly bothersome.
However, Blizzard has taken a step the other direction and made this Pet Shoppe $10 a SINGLE USE pet for a SINGLE Character. What's more, is it can be traded in game. This is basically Blizzard either giving tacit consent or more likely wanting their own share of the graymarket gold-and-item seller market. There is now an item in game that represents exactly $10 of real money, free to trade by Blizzard's own hand! Thus, economies that use it as a proxy for trading real-money for in-game items or gold will spring up by design. I've already seen one go for a few thousand gold in game, at rates similar to the Trade Channel foreign spammers offering "X thousand gold for X dollars". Combine this with the upcoming Diablo 3 Real Money Auction House, where anyone can opt to sell an in-game item for real money instead of in-game money (with Blizzard taking a nice cut of every transaction, I am sure) and its easy to see that Activision has been pressuring Blizzard for increased "monitization", at the cost of player experience.
It is absolutely imperative that we reject these schemes and show them they will LOSE money, lest we'll see more and more items that work this way, in WoW and other MMOs as others copycat. I'd love to see mounts become account-wide, but it seems that in the name of monetization Activision is pushing Blizzard to make things more time consuming and expensive for players, regardless of of the landmark success and profits of World of Warcraft.
Over the past few year we've seen a lot of "monetization" in the market become normative. We've seen PC games that launched for $40-50 now launch at $60 simply because publishers thought "Players just think games cost this much since they pay $60 for consoles". We've seen DLC expand to the point that $15 for 3 maps is common, and its impossible to get all the in-game content for your $50-60 game without paying for special editions, buying from exclusive stores etc. We've seen developers and publishers like Zynga's moderate success with "casual" gamers giving in excess of $20 a month on "Free2Play" games that are little more than skinner-box design mixed with pyramid schemes.
We absolutely NEED to push back, especially as there's a part of the market who responds to anything, nomatter how egregious with "if you don't like it don't buy it, but shut up its their game", empowering these money grabs. I've "not bought it" for years now and seen many of the games I would like to buy getting less content, more expensive, with more obvious money-grabs that wouldn't have been tolerated even a decade ago.
We're not going to see account-wide mounts until we can convince them to divert from their current path by showing them we just won't take it when a MMO asks for $10 more for an in-game item, despite our monthly subscription, and then has the gall to attach that companion pet to a single character alone AND allow the first legit real world money > game currency trade proxy into a game who's economy is harmed by these very transactions.
At a time when many WoW players are feeling disenfranchised with their game's continued expense of server transfers, this is a great move for Rift. In WoW, moving a single character can cost between $20-50, depending on options selected along the way (Like race/gender change - options which Rift is looking into providing as well in the near future). By this point in the game, many players who would have a reason to move their WoW characters to other servers, likely have more than one high-level character they would like to take to their new home. I've not seen it uncommon for a player to spend $300 to totally "pick up and go" with their level 70+ characters.
Though the community understands there is some expense in setting up hardware to enable transfers as such, the excessive cost is a sticking point and another notch in the belt of those that make the argument that Activision is attempting excessive monitization policies with respect to Blizzard's long-standing virtual world. Though most of the MMO community is fast to write off a newcomer as a "flavor of the month" due to prior failings, Rift has proven resilient. By taking WoW's own formula of "Take what came before and polish until it glows", Trion has created a MMO that's perhaps not revolutionary, but evolutionary - just the thing for those who cut their MMO teeth on WoW and are looking for something new.
While Rift is thriving and growing their subscriber base, Trion must be relatively confident in their staying power. Between the Summer sale on Rift game keys, the "Ascend a Friend" system, and these free transfers this is certainly a shot across Blizzard's bow, enticing their players to something new. Blizz seems aware and/or concerned enough, as they've enabled a new "Level to 20, Free Trial Forever" setup. Hopefully for the playerbase, Activision will loosen their death grip on the finances enough to provide an answer to Trion's free weekly transfers in the form of cheaper or free transfers in World of Warcraft as well.
Only time will tell, but I think it is safe to say that the naysayers who believed Trion and Rift would simply evaporate like water spilled onto desert sand have proven wrong. Especially since the Activision takeover, I feel it has been detrimental to WoW to have been the only quality MMO in its archetype. Though nobody suggests that Rift is going to keep the same subscriber base as WoW, having a competent competitor is good for both games to keep anyone's management from getting too greedy or complacent. During the EverQuest days before the MMO Boom, watching rising titles like Dark Age of Camelot and Shadowbane (A game truly ahead of its time. With today's technology, an "enhanced" remake could be bloody amazing) spark innovation in their competitors was beneficial. Nomatter what game you play at the moment, its good for the market to see Rift thrive!
If you enjoy quality Fantasy MMORPG and would like to give Rift a try, please don't hesitate to send me a PM! I'd be happy to get you set up!
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