Monday, September 21, 2015

The Future looks a lot like crowds and long lines

Last Sunday was my first attendance at a college fair since I was a high school senior, close to 30 years ago.*

To say it was chaos was likely an insult to chaos' dignity.

Take this college fair and double it in size
(due to the size of the convention center) and you've got the idea.
I saw buses from school districts about 60 miles (96 km) away parked outside.

While the oldest mini-Red and I were dodging crowds that surrounded the popular schools that she had no interest in**, I couldn't help but notice the number of booths devoted to universities and schools that specialized in graphics, media, and gaming.

My first thought on seeing those booths was that they're going to be not having a lot of students interested in them, particularly given the number of students who were interested in engineering, medical, or business degrees. However, every time we passed one of their booths by there were always two or three families there, talking to the representatives.

Perhaps there's room for graphics and media schools alongside the more traditional art schools after all.


Speaking of room for things, I've been spending the past few days checking this particular game out:

Yes, the exact same name I used for my first Gunslinger in SWTOR.
Makes it easier to remember, you know.

Yes, Wildstar still has the same storyline as I remembered it.

Yes, Wildstar still has the classic "women in refrigerators" trope on the Exiles side as motivation for a major NPC.

That said, I'm more curious about Wildstar now that we are rapidly approaching the end of the month and the F2P release.

I think they've got some work to do as far as working the bugs out (given that I've had a crash or two when playing via the PTR), but I think they'll be ready come release time.

The story is still (relatively) appealing to me, and I think I can swallow the heavy dose of Texas-influenced Hollywood Western on the Exiles side without it getting too annoying. The things that had me scratching my head in my previous exposure to Wildstar haven't changed, but because I'd not have to pay a subscription for the privilege of being mildly inconvenienced I'm much more interested in the game now.

Does that make me one of the "I won't play it if it isn't for free!!!" crowd? Not really, because I would subscribe --and presently do-- to games that I really do enjoy. However, I don't want to plunk down money without knowing that I'm really going to enjoy the game. There were enough reservations about Wildstar that made me reluctant to pull that trigger and subscribe, and I'm fine with that assessment. Now that it's F2P, I'm revisiting the game under a different set of criteria with a lower bar, and I've found that the game does merit an extended revisit.

Maybe I still won't subscribe, but I'll be more likely to consider it now that I can immerse myself more into Wildstar without worrying about whether the game was worth subscribing for.

*I said "CLOSE TO", not "exactly". NOTE THAT. (And no, I don't know why I used all caps there.)

**Some universities, such as Bowling Green State University, University of Cincinnati, and others made a deliberate attempt to spread their prospective crowds out by renting multiple booth spaces. But others --and I'm looking at you, Ohio State, Alabama, and Rose Hulman Institute of Technology-- did not follow suit, causing huge knots to form in the crowd.

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