Monday, May 27, 2013

Waiting on an MMO? More Reasons to worry about Always Online

I am writing this while waiting to get into my server for Star Wars the Old Republic, an MMO game which recently went through a F2P transition and also consolidated the number of servers they have. I've never been much of an MMO player but I gave this game a try and this month became a Subscriber, paying $15 per month (well not technically as I got a prepaid card) I've always been averse to trying a MMO. I thought it was somewhat ridiculous to pay every month to play a game which fundamentally does not change. I did play Battleground World War 2 online for a bit but apart from that this is my first dable in the MMO world. I have to say it's not a solid impression to be waiting for a service you pay for every month in order to just be able to play the game. It's great if the servers are chalked full of gamers but frankly if your a paying subscriber the least EA could do is make sure there is enough server capacity for spikes in playing activity. I don't have to wait to play a SP game on my PC or PS3, I've never had to wait for another game that has online services. I think this is fair to say another example of why many people are concerned about adopting always online systems, because even if you can guarantee you're always online there is no way to guarantee the provider is. Furthermore what happens when that company decides to no longer support their games or goes out of business? Well then your left with a game you paid for and no way to play. In the future there will be no retro consoles (if consoles survive that long) because 20 years after a console comes out there will no longer be servers supporting the games and thus keeping a system that no longer is supported will be pointless and the games will be pointless. You'll still see NES's and clones running 20-30 years down the line as antiques and collectibles, you wont see a PS4 or XboxOne running if they adopt the always online route, that is unless somehow there is some kind of agreement or requirement built in that would remove the always online requirement once the console reaches a certain age, but that would likely have to be built into the system now and I find it unlikely such a thing would occur, after all, once you're in an always online environment it will be just one more way that Sony and Microsoft can force you into upgrading what ever is next, by taking away what you currently have.

Well, I'm finally done waiting, I guess I'll end this post since I can finally get online, after waiting an annoying 5-7 minutes to be able to play a game that I not only purchased but I'm still paying for every month.

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