Pre-orders & Alphas

Just but a few minutes ago, I was witness to a really annoying bug in Kerbal Space Program. You know, that really advanced game that only the nerdiest of nerds play? I have given the bug the title “Latched onto the Space-Time Continuum”.

What happened was I had a probe going to Eve so that I could do some research on its moon, Gilly. On the way there, I went to capture a type-A asteroid that just so happened to interfere with Kerbin’s sphere of influence about halfway to Eve. I managed to capture the asteroid in a somewhat desirable orbit. I thereafter attempt proceeding with the mission. Last time I did this very thing, my Eve probe vanished and I had to restart the game because it was just a black screen. This time, the probe didn’t really cease to exist, but rather got stuck in the space-time continuum itself after attempting time-warp. I am absolutely positive it had something to do with the asteroid I had relocated.

This had me thinking about something: “why the hell do people pre-order games? Furthermore, why do they buy half done, broken alphas?” Here’s my theory: it’s because people fall for the “sign up for alpha now and influence the game’s development” bullshit they always come up with. I think the best-known game following this newly founded “tradition” is DayZ. Frankly, I can’t see the potential in that game. From what I’ve seen of it, it’s broken, dull, boring and repetitive. I would much rather play a game that actually challenges me and that simultaneously requires a bit of knowledge of not only the genre, but also knowledge about more “professional” things. I you want to be a master at Kerbal Space Program, for instance, you would be better off knowing some orbital mechanics. I didn’t, but I have certainly learned a bit about it since I started playing it. I taught myself the game by watching Jefmajor’s first playlist of it.

Another thing that puts my train of gotta-get-this-game-ASAP to a grinding halt is the fact that many of the alphas, and even pre-alphas, are ridiculously overpriced. Every time I hear the word “alpha”, I think of Minecraft and Planetary Annihilation. I think Minecraft did a good job handling the alpha-stage, but Planetary Annihilation was absolutely terrible! For fuck’s sake, it was at 90 dollars at one point! 90 DOLLARS! Are you kidding me? I could buy nine smaller indie titles all better than this crap at that price! Even if you are genuinely interested in the game and find it interesting, is there really a reason for the game to be so expensive? 90 dollars is 50 percent more than the average AAA title price. To be honest, I recall them having an argument as to why it was priced like this, but I really don’t remember why. I’m not looking it up, because when I see the game’s current price, €27,99 or $36,17, I have a hard time taking anyone arguing that this price tag was fair seriously.

As for pre-orders: don’t pre-order. Please do NOT fucking pre-order. It is the dumbest thing you can do. I have fallen for it once, and that was when I bought Wildstar a few days before the three-day early start pre-orderers got began. I do not regret buying it at all, because I did have a good time once I actually got into the game. The game was well worth MY money, but it probably won’t be for everybody. If you are scarce of money, wait for a sale or even just reviews – reviews that came out after the embargo date has passed, mind you. I say this because people tend to act before they think and try to get their hands on whatever is popular. An example is Grand Theft Auto V. Everybody and their mother got that game by way of pre-ordering. I didn’t. I will wait for the game to become available on PC, and I will wait for it further to get a lower price tag than it would otherwise have had, had I pre-ordered it or purchased it on day one.

That was my itsy-bitsy rant about pre-ordering and alphas. Well, I suppose Kerbal Space Program is part of the rant. Had it not been the gateway to this post I simply would not have mentioned it. In short: don’t buy something until it’s confirmed to be a finished product and be sure to watch numerous reviews of the game you are considering buying before actually buying it. It sounds obvious, but people like being retarded, apparently, and proceed with buying a sixty-dollar game without even doing an ounce of research beforehand.