Tuesday, November 8, 2011

F2P Assault on the Hard Drive

Yesterday, I posted a full run-down of five separate free to play games that are currently installed on my computer: LOTRO, DDO, EQ2X, Runes of Magic, and now DCUO.

In addition to these, I have clients for WoW (annual pass subscription), EQ2 Live (yes, this requires a separate full client install) and Rift (the latter two of which I do not want to uninstall because I want to be able to patch up quickly for free retrial weekends).

The net result of all these clients, all of which I could potentially use on short notice, is that my hard drive is 77% full and climbing rapidly.  Already gone from the hard drives of this and my previous machines are various games that I'm not actively playing, including Age of Conan (tried sometime last year pre-F2P, did not feel any particular desire to return), City of Heroes (tried back in 2007 or so), FFXI, Guild Wars, Torchlight, Warhammer, Free Realms, Vanguard, and Star Wars Galaxies (soon to be a moot point).  This does not include betas or test server clients (none of which I currently have.) 

In addition to all of the above, my post and the following comments identified half a dozen high quality F2P or formerly paid games that I have never played in any form, including: Champions Online, soon Star Trek Online, Fallen Earth, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Allods, and Wizard 101.  (Honorable mention to the soon to be closed Lego Universe.)  I'm sure there are plenty I've missed in that number, feel free to post shout-outs in the comments. 

A year or two back, I remember someone mentioning on a podcast that they had installed an MMO to an external hard drive and thinking that this was a weird call.  Now I'm vaguely considering whether I should add an external drive (perhaps SSD?) to my Christmas list, as hard drive capacity is about to become a limiting factor in my ability to try additional games.

Is anyone else's hard drive buckling under all the MMO clients, now that it is increasingly both possible and desirable to have so many at your disposal?  Any suggestions on creative or high quality external storage solutions? 


  1. I have some MMOs that I haven't played for a while on my external drive. I wouldn't try to run them from there, though, if I had the urge to play, I would copy them back to my main hard drive and then patch & run.

  2. I used to run CoH and WoW off of my external hard drive all the time. I never had any problems with it, and would probably suggest it for some of the titles you don't play very often.

  3. Thanks for updating that last post witht he LOTRO info - it's something I'll probably give a try to, though I'm somewhat reluctant to get into another MMO. But hey, as a tourist, it's not a bad thing to check out.

    I run with two 320GB drives in my machine, as well as a 2 TB media drive, which I'm slowly building full of TV shows, movies, etc, in addition to backing up a few select things off the other two drives, such as pictures, music, documents. I've started installing most of my games to my second (non-system) 320GB, just because it is so nice to be able to have things on there to come back to as I please. Plus, then I still always have the option of wiping my system drive, in case of a virus, a OS upgrade, whatever.

  4. How much storage (in MB or GB) are the games taking up, approximately?

  5. It's one of the "rules" of life... No matter how much storage you have, you always fill it up - this applies to hard drives, cupboards or even houses!

    Bu the way, due to the flooding in Thailand and various other places, there are severe shortages of HDDs at the moment and prices have gone up a lot... If you can you might want to wait before you buy one...

  6. Just as a sidenote: The harddisk market just went up in flames when Western Digital (one of the largest HDD manufacturers in the world) drastically cut back on their production.
    Prices are through the roof (disks I bought three months ago for 66€ each are now up to 220€ each), so it may not be the best time to get new storage space (even though SSD drives seem to be unaffected for now).

  7. @Indy: MB? What MMO's are you playing? :)

    WoW alone is 27.5 GB.
    The two Turbine games are 20.5 GB.
    ROM is 9.45 GB.
    Rift is 9.54 GB.
    The two EQ2 installs are about 28 GB GB.
    DCUO is 17 GB.
    Approx Total: 112 GB

    I don't keep a bunch of media on this machine, which is why I thought I'd be alright with a smaller hard drive, I just wasn't anticipating the frequency with which I would be adding 10 GB game clients.

    It's not a pressing issue except to the extent that I was thinking of trying one or more of the games on my yet-to-play-list this year. However, add in D3 and a second WoW install for the Pandaria beta and suddenly I will be running

  8. I use the long download times as an excuse not to play MMOs again and pay subscription fees. I just think "well, it'll take 12 hours to download and update the client, and I have the itch now..."

    It works surprisingly well, except that WoW's cata launcher circumvents it by allowing you to play while it downloads most of the game. It takes about a half hour on my connection to get to the "available" level of WoW's install.

  9. Games (not only MMO's) I currently have installed:

    EQ2 Live
    Clone Wars Adventures
    Free Realms
    And as of last night: SWTOR beta client for a weekend event.

    I've uninstalled Allods and Perpetuum and never installed WoW or Guild Wars on this PC.

    I also have quite a few tv shows on my HDD, but I delete them after I've watched them. All told I'm about 50% full on my 500 MB drive. I'm actually planning to go through and delete the ones I simply don't play at all, like Vanguard and SWG, but just haven't ever done it yet.

  10. Well, it'd sound more impressive in the thousands of MB... I'm playing LOTRO, I recently canceled my WoW sub (game still on the drive), I have RoM but don't do much with it. I have played DDO in the past, and might re-download it sometime -- I had to buy a new computer not long ago and reinstall everything from scratch. On the plus side, it's got a 1TB drive and right now I've only got about 100GB on it.

  11. I have MMOs all over both my internal and my external drives and have done for years now. I can't say I've ever noticed any difference in performance between playing from one or the other.

    I've recently taken to keeping individual MMOs on USB stick drives. It's really handy and you can get all but the really huge ones on 16gb stick. They play perfectly as far as I can tell and I only have USB 2.0.

    Once I've downloaded an MMO I hardly ever delete it. Far too many times I decide six months or a year later to try it again and it's a lot easier just to repatch than to start again from scratch.

  12. If you're going to get a HDD, you want to do it as fast as possible unless you can wait until next summer or later... I just got a 2TB drive for ~$70... that same drive is $200 less than a month later because of the floods in Thailand.


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