Out of all the game apps out there (Champions, Fallen Earth, EQ2, just to name a few) I think Blizzard has the best grasp on their version. It runs smoother then any of the other apps I’ve tried, and they’re updating it to incorporate new features. Always the nomadic gamer that I am, I decided to re-activate my WoW account for a bit. I’ve never had an issue with the game but I tend to only play any game for 1-3 months and then switch (and switch back). The latest feature to World of Warcraft Remote is guild chat. Right now the feature is free for anyone who has the remote app (you currently don’t have to pay to access your characters, but only to make broker transactions and claim in-game coin etc) eventually it will be added to the $2.99/m price tag that includes the remote auction house. I’ve been pretty impressed with upcoming patches that are going to make looking for a guild easier – and I applaud Blizzard for giving more incentives to group with people from your own server (guild groups) and to entice players to get to know one another and find a good ‘home’ to run dungeons and raids with. I think the fact that their app is easy to use and (gasp) works is a huge deal. I love that you can not only see everyone online, but anyone who is connected through the app (note the green chat icon) as well as whispers. When you’re browsing other app screens a little pop up message will flash at the bottom letting you know that guild chat has updated – even if it’s just with someone new logging in. It gives me one more reason to want to be a part of a group of players – although at the moment finding a group of people in WoW that I can actually stomach for more then one day is a little difficult. I’m hoping that the latest round of updates to the LFGuild window will help this.
I don’t find the price tag all that bad. $2.99 USD on top of my monthly fee so for less then $20 a month I’m getting hours of entertainment. Plus who doesn’t like checking their characters out and broker transactions on the go! Again another reason why I don’t mind paying the $2.99 when a lot of other game apps are free is that it runs as it should. Sure, there have been outages, it happens with anything online these days (PSN anyone?) but for the most part my characters, their sales, and the armory has always been accessible to me. Plus I really love browsing for upgrades and planning what I want to work on obtaining next. There’s also a neat little area for upcoming news, and I just find it a pleasure to use.
I really think more games need to be taking a look at creating these hooks to keep people playing / interested in their games. Not only that but be sure you can release a well developed and clean product. The EQ2 app for comparison was so incredibly filled with bugs and lag that after the first month of using it I stopped. Their servers are often unavailable, and the interface (specifically for receiving and sending tells) is not very intuitive. It also had a record of every single character I had ever created in EQ2 rather then my updated character population list, which made selecting who I wanted to chat on difficult.
Now WoW just needs to add crafting via this remote app. Of course there’s something to be said for still being required to log IN to game for some things *grins*.
Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!