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Reader Comments (25)

Posted: Jan 14th 2010 6:29AM (Unverified) said

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Never cared for the playonline viewer. It was more harmful than it was helpful in the long run.

Posted: Jan 14th 2010 6:59AM (Unverified) said

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The launcher was developed with the Playstation 2 in mind. Think of it as a alpha build for XBOX LIVE or Playstation Home. It was an online hub for consoles. It carried over to the PC so those players could interact with the console players.

Bash it all you want but it was a very forward thinking move by SE, If it were able to generate outside interest in the idea from the likes of Sony, we would have been downloading game demos, music and videos through that portal. But the idea didn't stick. We now use similar hubs all the time, but we have a different portal for each activity. iTunes for our music, Steam for our digital purchases, PSN for our ps3 downloads, LIVE for xbox.

It's funny really how a PC MMO gamer complains. A standard MMO launcher works like this:
1) user name & pasword
2) update game data / Launch screen
3) Game launch / character select
4) play game

if you need to change account info:
1) launch your web browser
2) navigate to game home page
3) enter user name and password
4) change info

Play Online worked very much the same way:
1) user name and password
2) navigate to FFXI launch screen
3) launch FFXI
4) character select
5) play game

Account info
1) user name pass word
2) navigate to account screen
3) enter ID
4) change info

only difference with POL besides 1 extra step to play your game is the POL was all inclusive for your game no need for outside programs to make / edit an account.


Posted: Jan 14th 2010 10:10AM (Unverified) said

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As many people have said POL was both ahead of it's time and an unfulfilled dream. It was supposed to be used for multiple games (EQ for PS2 being one of them) and was to be the portal to use them. You could log out of one game and immediately go into another game without having to launch a different game. This is the way it still operates for several games in Japan (we just never got them so we only associate it with FFXI).

Today it appears clunky and old. And that is true because it is. The problem is that FFXI accounts are associated with your POL ID so you can't just dump the system without screwing with the accounts. As well as FFXI has stood the test of time, POL has become neglected in the NA market because it just doesn't do much at all.

And as for the unmoderated chat rooms in POL... you know there is unmoderated chat IN ALL MMO'S RIGHT? PFA making a mountain out of a molehill yet again. :/

Posted: Jan 14th 2010 11:45AM markt50 said

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Wow, thank God it's going. I personally hated it with a passion. I remember purchasing FFXI for the PC, and then sat there wondering why I had to practically install another OS ontop of the one I already had, just to play a game. I never even managed to get into the game and gave up before ever getting to play FFXI, I just dumped the disks in the bin in disgust.

Years later I did get the game on 360 and managed to eventually put up with POL, but it was still a disgusting concept imho.

I will not shed a tear, infact I hope they drag the POL servers out into the street, set fire to them, crush them with a tank and then bury the remains in an unmarked location so we never have to remember the dreadful thing again.

Posted: Jan 14th 2010 12:41PM (Unverified) said

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Ahh I may be mistaken then, I only play Everquest 2 and it lets me play that from the .exe. Unless there's been a patch since I last played it, then it needs the launcher to download it.

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