Friday, November 8, 2013

World of Warcraft gets another expansion, the Alliance gets another ass beating...


So the synopsis is...Garrosh escapes after the end of Mists of Pandaria, then goes back in time to Outland before it blows up, and unites all the Orc tribes under his leadership, and provides them with technology he brought with him from the future.

Yes, you read that right. No, this isn't some lame fan fiction (I don't blame you for thinking that, but I must haven't been observing Blizzard very well). This is the actual new expansion for World of Warcraft.

Why was I expecting anything else...was I even expecting anything else?

So, I have a blog, and people use their blogs for bitching, so, let's bitch...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

So I haven't even launched Batman: Arkham Origins yet and it's already faulty...

So you may or may not have noticed this blog has been inactive for a while, I've been meaning to resuscitate it for a while, and while I originally had other plans for doing that, this seems as good a way as any...

But, yes, Batman: Arkham Origins.

I bought it, at as some people still do, at ye olde brick and mortar retailer, since, unlike some people out there, I don't have unlimited bandwidth, so I prefer having the installer discs (Which also installs faster to boot). I started the 16.2 gig installation from the disc...and it only installed half the game before 'completing' and leaving Steam to download the remaining half.

Now it's pretty normal for the retail disc not to install absolutely everything, usually there will be some files the game has to get off Steam, mostly files updated since the disc was stamped I would suspect...but in my experience, this never comes to more than a gig, two tops.

We're talking about a 7GB patch for a game released scantly a fortnight ago. Even if they did put out a massive content patch in that time, that's huge.

I delete the local content, I try again, same result. First disc installs 6 gigs, second installed 3 gigs. Third barely installed 1 gig. And then for extra kicks, when the Steam download takes over, it drops the total back down to 9.5 gigs. That's three DVDs, THREE. Uno, dos, tres. And you can't even get a full game off, since I now have to wait hours for Steam to chew through my bandwidth finishing the rest, it gives me the time to come here and rant about it...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The publisher is dead! Long live the developers!

So, as of today, THQ is no more. It's disheartening to see a publisher go under in a age where EA and Activision are basically locked in war with one another to see who can vacuum more money out of it's customers.

But personally, my concern at this moment is over the future of one studio formerly under the THQ banner, Relic Entertainment...and thus far, things actually look kinda hopeful.

Relic was bought by SEGA, who are also the publishers for Creative Assembly, the studio behind the Total War franchise, and who also themselves entertained into a licensing agreement with Games Workshop (The possibilities). Hopefully the transition is a smooth one, and people get to keep their jobs over there, from the work being put out by the studio, they deserve them.

Company of Heroes 2 is probably my most anticipated game of the year so far, and with any luck, things will keep rolling along towards release as if nothing really happened.

One does have to wonder though how well both the Company of Heroes and Dawn of War franchises will fair under SEGA. SEGA already owns the Total War franchise, one of the other few respectable RTS game series left out there (Command & Conquer is dead to me...). I can't help be get a slight feeling of monopoly from this.

The RTS genre itself, also just seems to be waning.

Then again...when I checked out THQ on Steam not long ago, their catalog was bloated with arguably overpriced DLC. Perhaps a key in their downfall? Hopefully SEGA will be wiser.

THQ is dead. Long live the developers.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Joe Biden to 'concrete' connection between virtual games and real violence.

 So, I decided to go browsing gaming news sites, including Gamasutra, and came across this...

 Opinion: Meeting with Biden is a mistake for the game industry


Kris Graft brings up several points, both about the violence debate, and the games industry itself, that I've thought about myself, and would like to do my own write up of sometime, and I commend him for speaking up about them.

As to the matter itself...I'm going to take a hard line stance on it.
This is a not a time for concessions. There will be time to discuss the nuances of how video games depict violence once video gaming is not being vilified.

Also, I figured I would address this to Joe Biden, too. Although, in all likelihood, he will never read this, and furthermore, I'm not an American citizen, so why would he even give a shit?

Anyway, my initial thoughts on this, spurred perhaps by reading about the Southington game burning, is this...

We need to stop educating people that video games cause violence, we need to start educate people that just because people play video games does not make them violent.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

War Z shambles towards your wallet, cont.

Originally, I had wanted to just make a single post about War Z, but I ended up typing away, until I reached a point I said to myself "Sssshhhhhheeeeeeiiiittt...I should probably make this two posts".

Or, you know...use a jump break, that would have been a good idea, too.

Anyway, last post I basically recounted my experience of the War Z fiasco, basically up to just before it went viral (hue hue hue), now, after the break, I'm going to move onto what I think of what happened after.

Friday, December 21, 2012

On the online shooter "Ceasefire"

Sandy Hook has been like other similar events 'doing the rounds', as it were, on the internet. I came across something while browsing about, about an 'online shooter ceasefire', called for by founder and president of GamerFitNation, Antward Pearman.

And I just have a few problems with this. If this is supposed to be about gamers showing solidarity with the 26 victims and their families, I ask...why single out online shooters?

Antward Pearman is claiming that this isn't some sort of blame game. But in my opinion, whether Pearman likes it or not, he is still insinuating an association between one and the other.

And as other have also thought, it's entirely possible that this will just be seen as an admission of guilt or culpability on video gamings part for the shootings.

And secondly, it proliferates a belief I've noticed, that video gamers have no individual capital, other than video games.
Ergo, gamers know no other way to show solidarity, except through playing, or in this case, not playing, video games.

War Z shambles towards your wallet, in more ways than one

Well, as if 2012 hadn't produced enough video gaming controversies already, just under 2 weeks out from the new year, it's managed to squeeze out one more.

You know, until a few days ago, I didn't even know the names Sergey Titov and Dean "Rocket" Hall. But that all changed when War Z appeared on Steams new release list.

(Every gaming site out there has covered this already, I'm basically just telling this from my point of view, and offering my own thoughts on it.)

So, there I was, looking at this shiny new release on Steam, a zombie survival horror game, and I love me some zombies. The idea of a zombie game set in an persistent open world was awesome.
I'd heard about this type of game being out there (The mod for Arma II, Day Z) through word of mouth, at first a little confused if this was that game I'd heard about or something completely different. And if it was a different game altogether...which is better? That aside, I still had some questions about the game I wanted to answer before I put money down on it.
Part of that word of mouth about Day Z I'd heard also brought up the point about player killing and griefing. So I decided to go looking for player testimonies to feel things out.

And right away, things started getting suss...

The Steam forums for the game were dripping with bile, and it was at this moment a warning light came on. Yes, the internet is full of screaming flamers, but this many? Even if they were just being unjustly upset about the game, or as some people called out "Day Z fanboys", people don't normally turn out in angry mobs like this every day, without some provocation.

So I went to the War Z forums, to see if the same vitriol existed there too. I didn't see anything stand out in the day to day posting, the usual questions you'd get people asking for an online game and that.
But I found my way to an FAQ thread, at which point a second warning light came on.

It said it was 'unofficial', but the poster kept saying 'Our'. Either he was very affectionately attached to the game, was somehow involved in the project, or else, was directly quoting the devs.
But the real eyebrow raisers come when it starts talking about War Z in relationship to it's development time and the timing of it's release compared to Day Z.
"The War Z has been in preparation for a very long time involving us at Hammerpoint tossing around ideas regarding the concept of an zombie MMORPG. But undoubtedly, the success of Day Z was an immense sign to us that an post-apocalyptic zombie MMORPG was the right way to go."
It was starting to sound a bit like spin. And yeah, English is not their native language (Nothing sinister implied there, just, you know, matter of fact).

I carried on, looking at Youtube this time, finding a few videos discussing the game. They, too, called bullshit on the claim the game had been in development for more than a year, citing the fact the game appears to be mostly a copy paste of another Hammerpoint title, War Inc.

It was basically by this stage that things weren't adding up about the games story.

So now, if I could digress for a moment, and I say digress because I have no idea if this is a representation of the developer, or a very fanboyish playerbase. But either way it rubbed me the wrong way and I'm calling it out. There is another quote on this page that caught my eye.

I moved further down the page to an interesting question, one I was wanting answered, being "Why should I play this instead of Day Z?"

I would quote it, but it's a wall of text, which would then sit amidst the existing wall of text I've typed here already.

That said, nowhere in this wall of text was the actual virtues, or pro and cons, of the two respective games presented. Instead, the whole thing is effectively, in my opinion, a mud slinging exercise aimed at Day Z. It just came off as, so...petty. 
How petty? I know Activation and EA were at each others throats over the MW3/BF3 rivalry, but, damn...I don't recall them ever doing something like that to each other, although I could be wrong.

Again, it was supposedly unofficial, and personally, I couldn't believe a developer would have any involvement in an FAQ like that anyway. But again, the integrity of this games developers had been called into question, and this FAQ carried a rather officious tone.
Granted, with recent revelations about Hammerpoint, and how it was running the community (ie, Police State), it's entirely possible they just edited this guys posts to have it say whatever the fuck they wanted.

Anyway, soon after it was all but confirmed the developers had been lying about the game.

The question then, is if they've lied about that much, have they lied about anything else?

Just about everything else, it seems...