Friday, January 23, 2015

The great black bullion rush of '15

The Secret World's servers are very laggy this weekend, which is odd since the sad mishmash of adventure gaming and MMO reputation grinding is not exactly breaking subscriber records. Nevertheless, it's a full house tonight. Many players like myself have been drawn in by the promise of double "black bullion" gains for the weekend. Said bullion is TSW's version of the endless end-game timesink common to WoW-clones, the faction grind. It's what's meant to keep the leet-kiddies busy and engaged and paying subscription costs. It's where the time investment per arbitrary unit of gameplay achievement skyrockets.

It's where most of us stop playing. You can expect Funcom to spin this as a rousing success. Servers were packed this weekend, bringing more players together than... hell, who can even remember? The black bullion farming initiative was a marvelous triumph!

Riiight. Whenever anything goes on sale for half price, you have to remember the price was likely more than tripled to begin with. That temporarily halving the grindfest has packed servers more successfully than even the release of new content says little to nothing about the event itself but speaks volumes as to what is keeping players out of TSW to begin with. That idiotic mindless repetition normally entitled "end-game content" is keeping a handful of desperate obsessive-compulsives busy, it's true. However, the notion of repeating the same three five-man instances several hundred times before you can move on to the endier-than-endgame content is also what has kept many more of your customers away. It is not a way of engaging players, but an impediment to doing so.

A gold rush only proves that gold is hoarded too jealously to begin with. See all those customers who logged in this weekend, Funcom? Those are all the customers you don't actually have, because you insist on treating them like mindless gold-farmers. We'll be gone again by the end of the month. See you next patch.

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