So you may have noticed that my posting has slowed down here a little bit. That’s because I’ve joined Br3ntbr0 over at I’m Talkin’ Games! or ITG!
I’m excited to join a multi-author blog. Some of my favorite blogs (I’m looking at you, KTR) are multi-author and I’m hoping that some day we can get the quality and consistency they get. We’ve got a couple of newer bloggers to the circle I usually run in, along with old friends Oakstout and JoBildo contributing.
I’m going to keep this blog open, because I know that there are going to be things I want to say here. Please set your readers and feeds to http://imtalkingames.com as well. I’d love to see you all over there too. We’ve got some exciting things planned there. I’ll let you head over there and see for yourself.
So it’s baseball playoff time, and I’m enjoying a game on TV when I get an email. It’s from SOE. They want to make sure that I know they are closing about half of their SWG servers. Yeah, OK, I know that. And they want me to know a couple other things. To quote;
In accordance with the server closure date, the Free Character Transfer service has been extended through October 15. 2009. Between September 15, 2009 and October 15, 2009 at 4:59 PM PT all characters on the affected servers are eligible for a one way, one time Free Character Transfer* to any of the remaining thirteen (13) Star Wars Galaxies servers.
Cool! Free character transfers! That’s always good, especially when the server you are on may be one of the soon-to-be-obsolete variety. Duh. But there is more;
After October 15, 2009 at 5:00 PM PT, any characters and their associated items and structures remaining on the identified servers being closed will no longer be accessible on your Star Wars Galaxies or Station Access account.
Ouch. OK, no longer accessible? You mean deleted, right?
But wait! There’s more! And this is the really good part!
To access the Free Character Transfer Service, you must login to Star Wars Galaxies with the character you would like to transfer. You will be notified that your character qualifies for the free character transfer service opportunity when you login. Eligible characters may also enter “/freects” to begin the transfer process. Only one character may be transferred at a time. Please read and respond carefully to each question and answer entry you type. All Character Transfers are considered final and cannot be reversed.
This means that there is no way to transfer your characters if you are currently unsubscribed. I say currently because the nature of MMO subscriptions is that people come and go, then come back again. Tarkheena and I have resubbed to SWG three separate times.
It always starts like this. Hot New Game that everyone wants to play. Lots of people buy the box. First month is getting to know the game. It sure is pretty/authentic/fun. All your friends are playing it. You might have broken down and bought it yourself. It’s a lot like EQ/WOW/Lineage and you wonder if it’s different enough to make you want to play. You unsubscribe from your All Time Favorite game. You say some hurtful things about it as you leave.
Now it’s a month or two later and you are starting to notice your Hot New Game has a few warts. It’s still the Shiny though, and you try to ignore them.
Then it starts.
First, it’s a couple of blog posts or a tweet. Um, it’s not as cool as we though. A couple of people defect and go back to their All Time Favorite. ATF takes them back because it always does, and in a month or three their account goes inactive and they try not to think about it any more.
Then there is a small swelling of people saying that the emperor has no clothes. They are pointing out legitimate concerns with the game. Some of these people are the ones who should love the game, it’s purported target audience. Yet they begin to second-guess the game and where it’s going. This is where Aion is right now. Some of the people whose opinion I respect that should be the target audience are starting to slough off the game’s subscription roles.