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Hello fellow PC gamers and welcome to the first of a weekly feature from the PC department’s resident Limey. Each week I will be ranting about a couple of topics in the gaming world, giving my opinions on the news and games of the week, or just what’s been running through my mind. If you agree or disagree with any of my opinions then why not post a comment below and start a discussion.
Now one of the biggest things happening in my life this week has been StarCraft II, it has pretty much swallowed all of my spare time and my girlfriend now refers to herself as a 'StarCraft Widow'. Surprisingly then, I won’t be talking about the game in this feature. The main reason being there will be an article next week with all of our views on the game put together, so you will see my thoughts there.
The first topic I will be talking about does have a tedious link to StarCraft II though, and that topic is Collectors Editions. Unfortunately for myself and my wallet I’m a bit of a magpie and if I see something shiny, ill want it. So with StarCraft II out it took every ounce of willpower not to buy the Collector’s Edition, with all its beautiful, beautiful extras. Every day I found myself walking past a shop with a big 'STARCRAFT II COLLECTORS EDITION'' advert in the window and I had to keep giving myself reasons not to just walk in there and hand over my bill money to pre-order it. Eventually though when I walked past I had to ask myself 'why do you want this?' and the only answer I could come up with was 'just because I do'
My question is then, are Collectors/Special/Limited Editions really worth the extra money? Is it really worth spending three times as much for a game that comes with a few extras you probably won’t take out the box after you have had a look at them? For example I was really excited about Warhammer: Age of Reckoning. I watched all of the updates and read all the news and I really liked how the game was turning out. In my excitement I acquired the Special Edition box set, mainly so I could play the game early. Being in Europe we had a HUGE fiasco trying to play the game on the day it was supposed to go live, the servers that dealt with the request couldn't handle the amount of people trying to log in. So the early play never happened. As for the extras I flicked through the comic and the art book once, and I have never used the modal as I don't play Warhammer. So for £60 I really only got the game, which I only played for about a month. Ouch.
Personally I wouldn't go near a Collector’s Edition any more. Yes it has cool stuff that only someone with a Collector’s Edition will have, but its cool stuff that only someone with a Collector’s Edition will have that they never use. I’m not saying I won’t ever be tempted because I most certainly will, but at least ill have a bit more logic to help me resist.
My second topic this week is Valve's apology to 12,000 Modern Warfare players who couldn't play due to anti-cheat software wrongly banning them. Not only did Valve give an official apology to all affected but also gave them a free digital download of Left for Dead 2, nice. I really appreciate Valves willingness to put their hands up, say sorry and give reparations to those affected.
I think it’s a real problem in today’s gaming industry where, if anything goes wrong, the customers are simply ignored. Too often does a server go down and its hours before any statement is made, and then there are very little updates posted on what is going on. When the server finally comes online there is no apology or anything else. Now I don't expect a free game every time something goes wrong, I appreciate these things happen, but is it too much to ask for regular updates, even if it’s just a quick message on a forum? This brings me back to Warhammer: Age of Reckoning. As mentioned above there was a problem with registering to play the game. It was hours before people found out what was wrong and then hours before another update. I think an the amount of angry gamers would decrease if people knew what was going on when a problem arises, it’s the uncertainty that makes people really mad, not the error. Many companies could learn a lot from Valves honesty and how much they value their customers.
Well I hope you have enjoyed the first week of 'Gaming from Across the Pond', as said feel free to comment about any of the topics mentioned and I’ll see you next week.