Star Trek Online launches, Warcraft posters, and Age of Conan

In one of those supremely rare acts of beautiful universal confluence, today, February 2nd, the launch date for Star Trek Online, is also my birthday. This means of course, that I have had no qualms in getting myself a Collectors Edition box from Amazon (with the liberated Borg Bridge Officer) and a Digital Deluxe Edition from Steam, the latter of which caused endless problems, but I’ll get into that later. What really sucks though, was waking up this morning with the mother of all head colds. *sniff*

If, like me, you pre-ordered Star Trek Online and took part in the open beta, you might have been somewhat horrified at the start of the um, headstart, when Steam decided to delete the 10GB client and then begin re-downloading the entire thing. Needless to say the STO player base was not amused. We don’t know whose fault this was, but folks flooded the Steam and Cryptic forums and rained abuse down on the technical support staff (which is, oh so helpful). Thankfully, a dude (or dudette!) on the official forums found this workaround, if you’re running Vista or Windows 7, and you have Windows set to create periodic restore points, which it does by default, this could help you avoid having to re-download everything.

I wish we could get some sold sales figures for STO, I’m really curious about how the game is performing, as Cryptic have let the community know, at least twice, once at the start of open beta, and then at the end of headstart, that they really had no idea so many people were going to be logging on to play. I’m not suggesting the game will do WoW numbers (or anything close to it) but it would be nice to have another surprise MMO success on the level of say, Eve Online. While STO hasn’t had the smoothest of starts, you can’t fault Cryptic for trying to make the game the best it can be, and what they’ve got planned in the immediate future sounds great.

My recent love/hate relationship with Star Trek Online has meant I’ve had little or no time for Mass Effect 2, but I’ve been able to rack up the aoc gold, which has surprised me a bit since I figured I’d be all MMO’d out. I have to admit now I’m severely tempted to hop onto WoW for a bit, but I shall stay strong and keep to playing just two MMO’s and Dragon Age at the same time.

Speaking of World of Warcraft, they keep doing really, really cool things with custom characters. First there was that deal where you could have your WoW characters made into statuettes, and now there’s this Warcraft Poster Character Contest. You have to wonder why other MMO’s don’t offer stuff like this more often (probably because they’re not as big as WoW) I mean I’d really love to have my STO Science Officer turned into a statuette. Also, I like typing statuette.

Can you believe Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is three years old!? I’m still kind of in a state of shock, I mean I remember logging on a week after launch (I was one of the poor saps who bought the game at launch) and thinking, “man, this is really rough, I can’t see this lasting a year”. And yet, look where we are now. I guess it just goes to show how much expertise SOE have when comes to operating an MMO with low overheads, and no, I’m not dissing them, it really was meant as a compliment, seriously, not many publishers have even been able to handle multiple concurrent MMO’s.

While we’re on the subject of oooooooooooold MMO’s, remember City of Heroes? The game that made Cryptic? Well if you’re still playing it, you’ll be pleased to know that the free character transfer program has been extended for another month. I wonder whether they’ve seen such demand they decided to increase the time period, or if they haven’t bee particularly impressed and want to give more time for folks to make the move. Either way, free is good, right?

Got a juicy “letter from the game director” for the month of January, this time Funcom’s Craig Morrison covers the coming 1.06 update for Age of Conan, letting us know its arrival is near, I believe it’s already on the test servers and should be going live relatively soon. There’s also some talk about the guild renown system and hinting about Rise of the Godslayer, have a look. Me? I’ve been too busy playing to care about what’s coming, I continue to marvel at just how brilliantly Funcom have turned things around, it’s a shame there aren’t more folks on the servers though. I guess it really just goes to show that a bad first impression can really kill an MMO.

Anyway, I’m off to go medicate myself with some Benadryl and possibly ibuprofen while I wait for the latest Star Trek Online patch to finish downloading.


Staaaaaaaaaar Trek!

Shaft Johnson, reporting for duty.

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