ESO, Saga and musicians

Hey everyone, I thought I’d write a quick post today about something that’s been on my mind the last week or so: Elder Scrolls Online, or more specifically how I WISH I COULD PLAY IT BUT I CAN’T.

Allow me to elaborate. I like a good Elder Scrolls game as much as the next fantasy RPGer, and with all the hype about this one ‘breaking the mould’ and being ‘revolutionary’ and all that PR crap that is spouted every time a major re-hash comes out, I was really looking forward to it. I have many friends and family members who were also looking forward to it, because now we could finally play an ES game as a group. So great – it was going to be awesome. But now it’s out, I’m sad to learn that one thing that is not ‘revolutionary’ about it is the payment model. Oh, so I have to buy the game and then pay a monthly fee? That’s just… I’m just kind of astonished, I can honestly say I didn’t expect this.

Maybe that was silly of me, but I just thought they wouldn’t think I’d stand for that, and so they wouldn’t even try. But apparently they do think I’ll stand for it, and they’re wrong. And the other five people I knew who were planning on getting it won’t stand for it either. And they’re all as sad as I am about it.

We really want to play your game, Bethesda. But how about a variety of payment options, if you simply must charge us after we’ve already bought the game? Which, by the way, is a business practice that St. Thomas Aquinas recognised as dodgy only about eight hundred years ago. He called it “double use” – buying something and then paying to use it – and it was sinful back then, and it’s not nice to expect people to do it now. I accept that’s the way it’s done with these products, but I’m not happy about it. If you’re going to charge a subscription fee then the game itself should be free at least.

Anyway, by “a variety of payment options” I mean that I’m not a single person with regular hours to burn. The main gaming demographic in Australia averages in their 30s! These people have families, jobs, and responsibilities, and paying a monthly fee for something they may or may not have time to use in any given month is not going to seem a good idea to them. So they won’t do it. I won’t do it. If I could instead pay a micro-fee, say $1.99, every time I logged in, I totally would. But I can’t.

OK so I sound like a broken record here: companies are always trying to push us, we have to fight for what we want as consumers, blah blah blah. I’ll stop now.

On a more upbeat note, my brother in law Bones (or at least we would be brothers-in-law if either of us were married to the sisters we’re er… attached to) is in a band, and they’re doing really well. They just played Coachella and are heading to Glastonbury soon, and this morning I watched them play on the Jimmy Fallon show. So yeah. I suddenly realised, out of all the people I know who have ever been in a band (which is a lot), these guys are actually kind of famous. Which makes me feel warm and fuzzy and also like I am cool by association. Anyway good on you brother.  Check it out: they’re called Courtney Barnett and the Courtney Barnettes. He’s the Barnette with the bass.

Oh, and in even more news, I just read Bernard Cornwell’s excellent The Last Kingdom, and watched a whole season of Vikings in one day, and now I find myself investigating the miniatures skirmish game Saga.  Preserve my wallet O wise Odin!

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10 thoughts on “ESO, Saga and musicians

  1. The Warlock says:

    Damnit James, I was totally gonna pay that sub. It’s a great game, albeit typical of MMO’s. Fucking farmers. Running in and stealing my ore! >:C Visually, it’s sweet and I kinda wish I had guild buddies T_T ah well. Conflicted emotions! My gripe about the game besides the occasional jerk is that there’s only two megaservers US and EU.

    You do have a point though. $59 for the game, then $15 a month after >.> It was what killed my playing of SW the Old Republic- only played during the hols so it was a months fee, then canceling the sub…
    I’d rather pay $15 for 30 logins. That’d keep $$ rolling in whilst not having the days click over unused. Gonna cancel my sub and wait til my 30 free days are up. Whereas I can $55 (assuming retail) of GeeDubs and get a box-o’ dudes who’ll last 20k years at least.

    • beat ronin says:

      Hey Warlock, don’t cancel because of what I said 😮 not unless you want to anyway. I was just presenting reasons why I won’t play it. But yeah, it’s a bit rich. I can kind of see this sort of payment model working on people with no other demands on their free time, but I think it’s a bit of an old-fashioned way to do it and people won’t stand for it much longer.

      $15 for 30 logins would be sweet. I would totally do that, and so would most of the people I know who were looking forward to it.

  2. The Warlock says:

    Some of that doesn’t read like good English, but I’m tired so eh. *handwavium*

  3. Thuloid says:

    Yeah, I’ve got a friend who keeps trying to talk me into this one. I played in the Beta, thought it was interesting but hardly revolutionary. Enjoyed it some, but not to the tune of $60 + $15/mo. I just won’t play it enough for it to be worth that.

    • beat ronin says:

      Hi Thuloid. Yeah, it’s just not worth it, is it? Especially since a lot of people already pay for cable TV or whatever and monthly internet charges, and you can’t play ESO and get the most out of your other entertainment subs at the same time. Sub fees make it seem like they want it to be only for dedicated MMO players who will do nothing else until the next big MMO comes out, and that seems to me to be a pretty tiny market, and shrinking. Where’s the harm in a choice of models that are inclusive, rather than tacitly exluding everyone but the hardcore MMOers?

  4. The Warlock says:

    James I think I will cancel the sub as I’m just not going to use it all that often to justify the cost. Why pay for unused time, eh? Plus exams are in 5 weeks so there’s that. ESO would be better if it had a free-to-play option as well as a sub. Anyway, I think the company is trying to cash in on the popularity of the scrolls franchise as people are paying the fees, hell even the $119 imperial pack (you get a virtual horsey to ride upon) >.>

    Each to their own, although in saying that I’ve probably spent more on Counter Strike with case unlocks… T_T

  5. beat ronin says:

    Ha ha, normally the only DLC I buy is cosmetic. I bought a bunch of alternate outfits for Street Fighter because Chun Li looks better in a tracksuit. And Fei Long in his fighting undies looks downrigt terrifying. Oh and I did buy the Mechromancer for Borderlands 2. But I think that’s pretty much it.

    $119? Surely you get more than a horse…

  6. The Warlock says:

    Yeah, you get a horse (18k gold in-game) the ability to be ANY race in ANY alliance (even imperial- they’re locked unless you get this pack -_-) and other stuff

    and the game and possibly free game time beyond the first month, I dunno- haven’t checked it out

  7. Smoke88 says:

    I saw Courtney Barnett when she did a support for Billy Bragg’s Melbourne gig about a month ago. Awesome stage presence and chock full of humour. Unfortunately the band was not there but sellah. They sound great on the radio

    • beat ronin says:

      Hey Smoke88, yeah she’s a funny one. I’ve only met Courtney once or twice. Last time I saw her we were at a pub in Melbourne (can’t remember which one, I’m from Canberra), and she drew us a humorous map to help us walk back to my sister-in-law’s place. It took us three hours, though I don’t think that was Courtney’s fault 😉

      She’s very warm and friendly. Come to think of it, that’s a major common denominator among people I’ve met who are high profile in their field. You don’t need to be friendly to be successful or good, but I reckon you need it to be famous.

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