Over the last few days I have felt run down, and I am grasping at straws to figure out exactly why. There seems to be something going around the office, but so far I am not really showing any signs of whatever it is other than simply being exhausted. Last night I largely struggled with a Migraine that kept me in a pseudo hibernation state, but this morning as I sit down to the keyboard and attempt to drink my coffee I am just feeling generally lousy. One of my co-workers has been out for three days with something, so I am hoping I am not coming down with whatever that was. Last night was the night of restless gaming. I attempted to log in and be present in Final Fantasy XIV but only wound up AFKing outside the guild hall. It made me appreciate just how much I love our free company house. It really is in just about the perfect location that seems to be close to just about everything in The Mists neighborhood. The only problem is… it is small. We have talked for a bit about potentially trying to pool our resources and getting a bigger house, but the problem there is we would have to move and likely out of our neighborhood.
One of the things that I like the most about where we are situated is that we actually know a large chunk of the neighbors surrounding us. While it has not been nearly as busy since the launch of Heavensward as everyone has fallen into this pre 3.1 lull… it is still nice feeling like you are part of something larger. While idling in FFXIV I attempted to play some Destiny and managed to complete a few bounties. However my aim was constantly wonky, and I knew I should not be attempting anything serious. As the night wore on the headache got worse and ultimately I ended up retiring to bed for awhile… the finally ending up on the Sofa. I hate those days where you have the will to play something… but cannot struggle through the “bad feels” in order to actually make any headway.
NDAs are Back
I am using Trove as the screenshot for this little section because it was one of the first “who needs an NDA” alpha games that I can remember playing. Everything about that game process was so out in the open that development discussions were openly happening on Reddit. For a period of time it seemed like every new game coming down the pipe was sans NDA so that folks could stream it freely and generate buzz. I was shocked when I managed to get into the Warlords of Draenor friends and family alpha for example… and was told that I could talk about it freely. The problem being… this open transparency bit more than a few games in the ass. Development is a messy time and as things are changing… you end up with features in “partially finished” states that look like a finished product to the gamer. The big problem with open and “pay to join” Alphas is that they no longer feel like testing. Instead you have simply released a broken game.
As a result lately I’ve noticed a significant number of games bringing back the NDA. Hell some of them seem to be almost unwilling to let the NDA go, as they have been in fairly prolific testing for a couple of years. As of right now I am in a handful of NDA bound alpha processes, and each of them seems to be trying to return to the era when Alphas were actually that. The problem with this is, I am finding myself far less interested in playing something that I can’t actually talk about on my blog. So generally speaking I install the Alpha client and play every now and then, but I am not actually playing enough to be a proper tester. I feel bad for this because I have always been the type to bug note the hell out of things as I see them. While I think it is probably a good thing for Alpha processes to regain some of their previous closed nature, I also feel far less invested in a game until it is actually hatched and ready for public consumption. So many things over the last years have blurred the lines between finished product and testing, and the current era of incessant and constant “early access” games just makes me leery to invest too much of myself in a game until I know that it is nearing its finished state.