Glitch Unlaunch, New Skills, and Search Terms Bring all the Glitchen to my Blog (and damn right, they’re not better than yours)

I’m going to start with that last bit first.  Seems not a day goes by that I don’t find my blog getting hits for search terms like “glitch spice plants” or “most gas plants in Glitch.”  I could give a basic answer to the first of these questions and list all the regions they appear in.  There is no answer to the second, at least, there is no permanent answer — whatever area has the most gas plants will likely vary as Glitchen poison gas to plant something else and vice versa.

But I can give a couple of quick resources (and teach a Glitch to fish) right up front on this blog for anyone else coming by looking for that info.  First is the Glitch Strategy Wiki, which should answer most basic questions players might have.  The second of these is the Glitch Resource Database which updates once an hour to give the locations of every possible resource someone might be looking for in-game.  Keep in mind though, a lot of trees can be poisoned in an hour, so don’t blame the database if the tree you seek out isn’t there.  Blame game mechanics which allow the world to be manipulated and changed, unlike those other games.  And really, that’s a good thing, so while you’re blaming the game  mechanics be sure to smile.  Between these two sites, if you can’t find an answer,  join the Glitch Strategy group in game and post your question to its forum or ask in chat.  The wiki actually evolved out of that in-game group, so there should be some helpful people around.

With that bit of charity out of the way, let’s talk about Unlaunching.  If you’re not aware, Glitch decided, two months after launch, to go back to beta.  Anyone who paid any money for anything at any point can get a full refund.  And from reports, they will get it more rapidly than I’ve ever received any credit to any account from any company.  Ever.  Among my circle within the game—some of whom are also MMO vets, some of whom are not, some of whom I couldn’t tell you if they are or not—no one really cares.  Absolutely nothing has changed about our day to day gaming.

Far from being angry or losing trust in the company, most of us are incredibly happy and gained trust in the company.  Tiny Speck claims they have chosen to go back to beta because the plans for changes in housing had led to discussions of changes to what were considered fundamentals of game play at launch. They want to give players more control over the shape of the world, so they need to rework some really basic assumptions, right down to how we level up.  So as far as many of us are concerned, this choice is just win all around.  We get massive changes that give us more power over our surroundings, we get some sort of beta item (again for the original beta testers) to be able to say “I was there,” and if by any chance we might have felt we didn’t like where these changes would bring the game, we can have every last cent of our money back.

Contrast that, oh let’s just pick a game randomly out of a hat and . . . oh never mind, we’ll go with Final Fantasy XIV.  That game may as well be in beta and has actually started requiring subs to play.  It launched in an unplayable state, but rather than offering refunds, Square-Enix just let them keep playing for free while attempting to fix the game up in spurts and fits.  I’m not much of a Final Fantasy fan and had absolutely no interest in that launch, but I imagine if I had I would have been pretty pissed.  If instead, they had decided to own up to the mistake of launching too soon and resume calling the game a beta, allowing all who purchased to receive refunds and stay on to test, I wouldn’t have had an issue.

I find it impossible to look on the Unlaunch as anything other than an incredibly positive sign about the priorities of Tiny Speck, and many, even those who do not play the game, agree with me.  I find it just as impossible to imagine looking at this as a fiasco: no one who made any purchases in the game has to eat that loss if they do not want to.  And no one is entitled to play free games anyway — and in this case, no one is even taking away your right to play the game while it is back in beta.  There’s just nothing here that could possibly upset anyone unless that person has an over-inflated sense of entitlement. Six months, a year, three decades from now, they could decide to go back to alpha for all I care, and as long as they handle it exactly as they handled this decision, I still won’t take issue.  Other game developers please take note.

To wrap this up, the new skills in the game are actually the culprits that have kept me from blogging my opinion on the Unlaunch.  They did a wonderful job of taking the unloved, little-used herb growing skills and turning them into the flavor of the month commodity.  Right now, the market cost of these items is just all over the place, but I’m sure things will begin to steady out as tincturing and potion-making lose trendiness or are replaced by a release of yet more new skills.  And new skills will be coming with the content updates that sent us back to beta.  We’ve been told soon ™, which we’ve been told might mean by the end of the year.  I’m not expecting them until early next year, so I won’t be holding my breath.  But then, I also didn’t expect to log in to new skills last week, so there’s that.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a game, and in a position within that game, to be among the first players experimenting with new content.  That wiki up top?  Yeah, it has all the new content now, but last week through this weekend it was next to useless for me.  I got a chance to be among the first players experimenting with door potions, opening one from a highly populated street (Cebarkul) to the mining spot where I met most of my in game friends to begin with (it’s a secret to everybody).  Gave everyone a little thrill, until a few well-known Glitch popped in and said they were checking out the portal door to report back to Global chat, so before the riff raff could show I quickly popped on to the other side of the map in the Ancestral Lands and moved the door out there, far far away from us.

Considering that the portal doors are not unique to the user of the potion, and there can only be two doors in the game at any time (which we also had to discover by experimenting), I might never have that kind of control over a portal again.  And that was FUN!  Absolutely exciting, what-could-possibly-happen-next exploration kind of fun that no game has given me in nearly a decade.

Rock on Tiny Speck, rock on.


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