A few quick notes before the weekend.
The biggest news on the MMO scene is, of course, that Lord of the Rings Online is now “free-to-play.” People of all station are arguing over whether it actually is free-to-play because – now make sure your sitting down if you are reading this on a mobile device – eventually Turbine will want players spend money if they want to continue playing through the content by at the minimum buying content packs. Shocking, I know. I, myself, thought Turbine was becoming a gamer charity organization.
My two-bit review of the pricing so far is: the cost of content and vanity items seems pretty fair, while the cost of luxury buff items, especially temporary ones, seems a bit high. I spent roughly $2-3 buying a skill that now lets my Captain warp to Rivendell once an hour. It would’ve cost me about a $1 to buy a one-time-use warp to Rivendell. Like any vast cash shop with everything from housing items to hour-long buffs, it has its ups and downs. If you intend on trying this game out, head to Landroval if you can, where all the cool kids are.
Another small thing is that Guild Wars 2 beta scams are becoming pretty prevalent. Some scam sites are even advertising in Google, and they look pretty professional with solid URLs and ArenaNet art assets. I have an eye half-cocked at ArenaNet for not having something more definitive on their site about a beta. They have an answer to the question of a beta in their FAQ, but with the huge amount of attention they garnered in the past few months, I think a beta placeholder page is now warranted. Anyway, nothing less than either an ArenaNet blog announcement or guildwars2.com site update is going to pass as official for a beta announcement. So beware, ye Guild Wars 2 fans.