Grr. 2 gig install executable, which expands its bulk over $TEMP and then throws up 1.9 gig of data into the install directory. Total disk space required: 6 gig, in my case across 3 drives. Stupid Sony. And don’t get me started on the 2 gig file that extracts 1.9 gig of installation data, whichever fuckwit decided to bundle DirectX with it needs their heads examined, If I didn’t already have it I could download it myself, it’s not as if the trial doesn’t require the Internet or anything.

14:15 – Have signed into station.com with my ancient EverQuest id, Sony++. Less pleased to discover CD Key registration is sent over HTTP in the clear. Even less pleased to note that I have to spend the next half hour downloading patches. What the fuck? I’ve spent 12 hours downloading this bloody file. This is why I liked the Guild Wars mechanism, you download a 2mb file which auto updates everything, no more tedious bulk-download followed by update-of-all-bulked-files.

14:24 – Okay, reading story arc stuff. It appears that decisions in the game actually matter to the plot, which is quite nice.

16:12 – If you ever get that far. The tutorial is nice, guiding you though the concepts of the interface as you discover all your possessions have been – handily – blown up when people thought you were a terrorist. Second part of the tutorial takes place on a planet (I was on Tatooine – blah – but I just double-clicked the transport device, there may be other options) with an advanced version of the Ultima Online crafting tutorial, which it appears to work roughly the same way as. It’s a lot less flaky than the UO one – you’re given a droid who guides you though the various stages of crafting things. The droid’s pathfinding is pessimal, it frequently is on the opposite side of the world to you, but the instructions are fine.

Having collected enough metal to make a Chemical Finder, I had to find a trainer to train my surveying skill a bit. Trainers are marked on the map, but with their name and title (‘trainer’), which is almost totally useless, since you can’t tell which trainer is the one for your profession. But I digress.

At this point, you see, I logged out. This is because my trainer happened to be in the middle of Mos Eisley, and a more wretched hive of lag and dropped framerates I never hope to again encounter. I’m running this on a Radeon 9700, 1.7g Athlon, 256mb memory, I should not be getting a frame every two seconds, it means going into crowded areas – such as Mos Eisley – is avoided as far as is possible since it’ll take you half an hour to wade though the treacle. I’m aware that this is not exactly nethack, but even with the graphics options turned right down it’s nigh unplayable unless you move the view to top-down so you can’t see anything outside of a 2m radius of your avatar. Either this is an effect of lag – in which case it’s a stunningly bad one, since I can’t move the mouse pointer – or this is just silly. Since the game takes five minutes to shut down, I’m rooting for the latter. Either my other memory stick starts working really soon, or this trial is going to be really sucky.