Archive for June, 2006


Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

I gave it a try. I used my free days before I had to commit to a billing cycle and I looked at the game I’d been waiting for over the last seven months.

Dark and Light is not the paradigm-shiftingly brilliant tour de force of MMORPGs that the devs promised … and nor is it the buggy pile of empty nothingness that Settlers of Ganareth threatened. There is the nucleus of a very special game there. Whether it turns out to be special, or the prediction of one unkind forumgoer – who claimed that the whole thing was an elaborate scam to get money from former Star Wars Galaxies players – is shown to be true, I cannot say for now. I will return and assess the game in a few months.

To those still playing … have fun!

Postcard from Noob Island

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

Summoning my faithfull dragon Ruffles, I took to the skies to investigate what I assume was the northwest corner of Ganareth. I say assume since – as discussed in today’s editorial – I wasn’t able to zoom the map out and see where I was.

I didn’t see much more than mountains and sea – though what pretty mountains and sea they were – but I did pass a barge setting out for a peninsula to the southeast. Its route was then marked on my map; an indication, perhaps, of how exploration will work.

Although I didn’t journey far before getting kicked out of the game, what I saw was stunningly beautiful.


Friday, June 2nd, 2006

I successfully used the /inheritance command to zap myself to level 12 (powerleveller!) and allocated some skill points, claiming my Pioneer dragon and selecting the Hunter class.

Still not sure about whether to take Ranger or not. Archer looks good on paper but sacrifices the creature handling aspect. Decision postponed!

The wait is over

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

Despite last-minute delays the game did launch on the date advertised, ie two days ago. I almost didn’t take advantage of the early access for Pioneers, as the recent stress test didn’t convince me that the game was ready and I was reluctant to start the clock ticking on my two free months without being reasonably confident that I would want to stick around once I had to pay a subscription. It would be a shame to pre-purchase (not just pre-order, mind) a game seven months in advance and then end up not playing it because of an unimpressive launch.

Luckily Pioneers do in fact get to use their early access and play for a few days before committing to a recurring billing. It is at that point that they would start using their two free months. With that in mind I decided there would be no harm in checking out the game after all.

Initial impressions were pleasantly surprising. The stress test client was a big step up from Settlers of Ganareth in the graphics department, while still chugging along a bit at times. The release client shows a big improvement. Framerate is good and the world is very pretty indeed. The UI has also had a lick of paint and looks much better than SoG did.

Sadly some old bugs remain. Configuring graphics and sound settings is still a non-starter and remapping keys is hardly worth attempting. Keys can still be mapped to several actions simultaneously, which is not in itself a bad thing but soon creates problems when trying to unmap them doesn’t work. Furthermore I found I couldn’t zoom the map at all, as this functionality is bound to the mouse wheel (my mouse has none) and cannot be remapped.

Despite this the world retains that “wow it’s huge” feel that SoG always promised and exploring it should be fun. I wonder if I can find my stele before the official release on June 5th.