Sunday, November 4, 2007

Version Update 9.0: The Emotional Roller-coaster

Everyone get your tickets and line up you are about to be subjected to the thrill ride of the year and we like to call it......

Version Update 9.0.

Ladies and Gentlemen before we start our ascent on this emotional roller coaster please take your seats and lock yourselves in and take a look at some previews of things to come.
Preview I
Preview II
The "OOOOOs and AHHHHHs" abound. Of course there are some mutterings of dislike and uneasiness but its too late now we are all locked in and nearing the drop.

Everybody raise your hands and scream!!!!!! its October 9th and the Version Update 9.0 is finally applied.

"Ahhhhhh! weeeee! O-my! Get me off this crazy ride! More decay! more armor parts! systems are revamped! avatar creation skewed! Ohhhh no whats next?!"

I guess that is how a great deal of us felt after the VU9.0 was released. The "previews" had most of us looking forward to what implementations the MindArk development team envisioned. Unfortunately the added decay and search for a new armor part left many feeling out of sorts with the new VU and it overshadowed any new design and graphics changes implemented by the MindArk Development team. It also brought to life a black hole in the way MindArk communicates with participants. Its always been an issue with long term players that MindArk just quite doesn't get there with communication and this VU solidified that issue whether you were a veteran of Project Entropia/Entropia Universe or brand spanking new. I think most of us just want and open dialogue with MindArk and some reasoning behind implementations whether they be good or bad. Simply dropping huge changes with little or no reason and no open dialogue is costing MindArk customers. Entropia Universe is growing and as it grows and the participants adapt to the changes I think the MindArk needs to take a look at their "Adapt or Die" approach and learn from it or some other MMO RCE developer will.

Ahhhhh now back to the ride "weeeeeeeeeee ahhhhhhh!"

Needless to say the search for new foot guards kept the majority of people with now incomplete armors sets busy looking for compatible armor parts. The added decay to equip clothing and armor which was of great contention and "the straw that broke the camel's back" for many a player was revised by MindArk and lessened but not totally done away with. Many reasons were given as to why these changes needed to be in place but somehow "a little to late" kept popping into my head when I saw MindArk trying to quell the community uproar.

"Whoosh!" around a turn we go mini updates are flying left and right, people are disenchanted and vowing to never come back, MindArk Support is trying to calm the crowd..................then suddenly a strange note appears, then a statue, the a black pulsating orb and the ride slows a bit.

Its an bird, its a plane, or is it just an interactive advertisement like the one I just saw on CSI: New York featuring a Second Life mystery? Ahhhh.......... the Egg and the emotional roller coaster continues.

Evolution of an Avatar in armor pre VU9.0/post VU9.0/after the mini updates:

Without all the other implementations, looking at the previews and my avatar in armor after the VU9.0, I have to say I am pleased with the results except I can't wear my sunglasses under my helmet anymore. I like the armor updates and I think as time goes by and the other graphics improve Entropia Universe will finally evolve in to a much cleaner looking and hopefully smoother running MMO. Its hard to say what the new CryEngine will do to the Entropia Universe when its implemented but hopefully MindArk will finally realize having an open and honest dialogue with the community who supports their jobs will be paramount from now on or we will all be in store for another emotional roller coaster when VU9.1 rolls around.

I can't say I am totally happy about all the changes implemented in VU9.0 but there have been many Version Updates in the past where I had the same concerns and I am still here plugging away trying to make the best of it. I just hope my concerns and those of the community are not falling on deaf ears that would be a shame since I think Entropia Universe has the potential to become an awesome MMO so long as MindArk doesn't overlook those who stuck by them through thick and thin.

Whoosh! now back to the ride where will it take us? Its anybodies guess.

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