Shinji Comments

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  • Setting Sun?

  • Shinji 18/09/2010

    @Caspar_Esq.: That's a common fallacy - "disinterested" has actually been used to mean "not interested" for longer than it's been used as a legal term to mean "non-partisan". While it does have the unique meaning of "non-partisan", which is not shared by "uninterested", it can also be used interchangeably with "uninterested" to denote a lack of interest. Reply 0
  • Shinji 18/09/2010

    That's not what I was suggesting. I was saying, rather, that he's one of the very small group of developers whose names are known and associated with their games even by gamers who aren't particularly hardcore or ardent readers of magazines/websites. Reply +6
  • No Euro Kinect voice rec until spring

  • Shinji 01/09/2010

    I like to imagine that "British English" will require us all to do a passable impersonation of the Queen in order to make our DVDs skip a scene. Reply +21
  • Final Fantasy XIV Online

  • Shinji 01/09/2010

    abigsmurf - I agree, but I'm also conscious that the fairly meagre series of betas we've had here aren't necessarily representative of their beta efforts overall. My understanding is that there has been a LOT more testing in Japan then there has overseas - which makes sense, since the development team will ideally want to be getting most of their beta feedback first-hand rather than through a translator, and working in the same time zone as their players doesn't hurt either.

    As a result, although I'm a bit unsettled about the state of the game at launch, I'm not prepared to put TOO much weight on the content of the European beta at this point in time.
    Reply +1
  • Shinji 01/09/2010

    abigsmurf - it's very apparent from the state of the closed beta that it is NOT representative of a finished product. There was tons of missing content and constant fiddling with various different tech aspects of it. It felt like a stress test rather than the kind of "marketing beta" we're all used to - as I said in the piece, I don't think Square Enix got the memo about betas being marketing tools rather than technical testbeds.

    The jury's out on whether that actually means they've got a polished game we just didn't get to see, or whether it means the game's going to be buggy and incomplete at launch. On the down side, it's worth remembering that FFXI was very incomplete when it launched - we just never got to see that because it took a year for the game to be translated into English, and by that point it was much more polished... :/
    Reply +4
  • Political Milestone

  • Shinji 29/08/2010

    Regarding my characterisation of the cheap shots at gaming as coming from right-wing, conservative quarters - I don't think that's an unfair statement. The press which attacks gaming is almost always the right-wing press, and the politicians who jump on the bandwagon are without fail small-c conservatives, whether they sit on the Labour or Conservative side of the house. (I'm sure that my previous columns which have touched upon politics have made it fairly clear that Labour's brand of authoritarianism did not sit well with me one bit - I'm certainly not about to make cheap attacks on the Tories over this issue while Keith Vaz and his ilk continue to sit in the Commons...) Reply +5
  • Google's Got Game

  • Shinji 14/08/2010

    I think you're misreading the quote on the first page. Schmidt never said that they didn't want to build a Facebook competitor - he said there was no point in replicating something that already exists. In the same way, Google would probably argue that it didn't "replicate" services like Altavista, Hotmail or Streetmap - but it certainly built competitors to them, and ultimately blew them out of the water. Whether they can do the same to Facebook is an entirely different question, of course - the folks at Twitter aren't losing much sleep over Buzz, after all.

    I also think it's a bit short-sighted to assume that just because a company isn't going to go into core gaming, that company can't be a giant of the industry. Personally I'd be amazed if revenues from web-based, social, casual games didn't overtake those of the traditional console industry within the coming decade.
    Reply +4
  • Game of Life

  • Shinji 08/08/2010

    For those asking - the site I was using is, and it works best if you've got one of those cheap little Wacom tablets, as it also tests you on writing (which is largely why I find it more useful than other sites, although there are plenty of good ones). It does both Chinese and Japanese, fwiw. Reply +2
  • First glimpse of Shogun 2: TW gameplay

  • Shinji 30/07/2010

    I wrote EG's preview for Shogun 2 just before E3 this year and this looks exactly like the stuff I saw running in realtime back then. The individual battles between troops were this detailed; that was one of the most stunning things about it, that you could zoom into a massive battlefield and see perfectly choreographed soldiers between individual pairs of soldiers. There's no fakery in this trailer, that I can see. Reply +6
  • APB

  • Shinji 02/07/2010

    Nothing silly about that. This mode has been around since forever and works perfectly in a lot of games.

    It's rather silly in this context. Actually, I've just been having a conversation on Twitter about that point in the review - what I was getting at is the fact that rather than an arbitrary timer, most games with C&H objectives use a point system. RTW's decision to use a timer is odd and frustrating, because while it makes the last 20 seconds frantic, it means that the preceding 4 or 5 minutes are dull and pointless, since there's no benefit to actually attacking the objective in that time.

    There was a better solution available to the designers, which other games have used for around 15 years (and probably before that, too), so it's frankly baffling that they used this system instead. Combined with the poor combat and heavy bias towards camping, it pretty much ruins this type of mission.
    Reply +16
  • Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer

  • Shinji 29/06/2010

    I don't think they've released player numbers recently. There are only a handful of EU servers remaining, though, since they merged a lot of them into one another a while ago - as a result the population of the servers is fairly healthy, even though the overall player numbers are probably small. Reply 0
  • Shinji 29/06/2010

    As wardeana says, the game does change after Tortage, but it's no longer the jarring transition it used to be - the new Gateway to Khitai zone is much higher quality and a much better continuation of the narrative than the old Level 20+ zones were, and those old zones have also been seriously overhauled in the past couple of years, so the quest progression and storytelling is much more consistent.

    As for PvP servers - I can definitely see how they wouldn't be to many people's taste. I'd strongly advise anyone starting out in the game to roll PvE; you can still play the objective based PvP games and get involved in large-scale PvP in the endgame, but you won't spend your entire time in the game being stabbed in the eyes by 14 year old boys with anger management issues.
    Reply +2
  • No Relief

  • Shinji 29/06/2010

    "The industry is doing fine and making money, therefore doesn't need tax breaks" was the tone I got from the article.

    That's.... Yep, that's pretty much the precise opposite of what the article actually says!
    Reply +1
  • Shogun 2: Total War

  • Shinji 14/06/2010

    Cursive - yes, it sounded very much like that's the case. They talked about wanting to enhance the game's characters, both the player character and the various generals, heroes and agents around them, and it sounded like building a dynamic storyline as you play is something they're really keen on. There wasn't a lot of detail about how they're going to accomplish that, but it's certainly one of their goals at this stage. Reply 0
  • Shinji 11/06/2010

    Maybe they also thought that shields were a mark of a lack of courage!

    This was pretty much the case, especially with the samurai class (as distinct from the peasant warriors). Similarly when muskets were introduced from Europe, they were seen as cowardly and dishonourable - at least until Oda Nobunaga, the first of the three great unifiers, started hammering his enemies with them.

    The developers made a brief reference to the possibility of an Honour system in the game which will make the choice of whether to use muskets or not (and various other "dishonourable" tactics, presumably) quite a tricky one for players, but wouldn't elaborate any further at this stage, sadly!
    Reply 0
  • Shinji 11/06/2010

    None yet, sadly - we're hoping they'll release some at E3. In the meanwhile you'll just have to read all the descriptive bits and use your imagination ;) Reply +2
  • Gaming the Vote

  • Shinji 08/05/2010

    Just to play devil's advocate, if they've been so successful for so long without it, could they not continue to bring in success now in its continued absence?

    This is a fairly commonly asked question, but the answer is fairly straightforward. What has changed isn't development in the UK - it's the landscape elsewhere, where other governments are deliberately trying to entice the game development industry to set up shop. Canada is a great example, but there are plenty of other places where game developers benefit through the tax system - many of which offer incentives far more generous than the industry is asking the UK government to provide.

    The net result is that if you're a publisher, you're more likely to contract a developer in Canada to do your work than a UK developer, as they'll be cheaper. If you're a developer, the chances are that you'll start thinking about relocating abroad as soon as you're big enough to do so. Right now, most of the UK development scene is holding on to its ties with this country, but as the financial reasons pile up, that's going to be an increasingly tough thing to justify.

    All they're asking for is a level playing field, in effect. Given a level playing field - hell, even given a slight incline to play against - UK developers will continue to punch far, far above their weight. Right now, however, they're kicking the ball up a steep hill compared to competitors in Canada, France and so on, which seems pretty unfair when other UK creative industries (which are often far less well regarded around the world) DO receive support from the Government.
    Reply +3
  • PS3 is "most connected" US console

  • Shinji 14/04/2010

    Enjoying people claiming that a sample size of a couple of thousand is "meaningless", and then proceeding to illustrate how the research is definitely wrong by showing that THEY do things differently - a sample size of, er, one :) Reply +14
  • Better Than Halo: The Making of Halo 2

  • Shinji 11/04/2010

    I do find the EG excuse about the 8/10 a bit well hmmm horse shit.

    It's not an "excuse". That implies that there's anything to excuse. The fact that you may have loved a certain game to bits doesn't automatically entitle it to 10/10 from everyone else in the world!
    Reply +6
  • Shinji 11/04/2010

    I can't be the only person who started taking notice of Eurogamer's reviews when Halo got that 8/10, and I don't get why you've started to apologise about it of late.

    I should be clear - I'm not apologising for it, and even if I wanted to (which I don't), I wouldn't be in a position to do so, since I didn't write the original review.

    I was simply observing that I think EG had a more tempered view of Halo than other publications, because EG was largely made up of people from PC gaming backgrounds, not console gamers. As a console game, Halo was groundbreaking, but there's no denying that it owed a great deal to existing PC games - which, I guess, many console gamers had never had a chance to experience at that point. Hence why EG simply didn't rate it as highly as others did, because we were looking at the game in quite a different context.
    Reply +3
  • Parallax Dreams

  • Shinji 27/03/2010

    Also, @link'sdad - "It's only this generation that Nintendo havent been at the cutting edge." True for home consoles, certainly, but the company has NEVER used cutting edge tech in its handhelds, with the arguable exception of the ill-fated Virtual Boy... And it's also worth noting that ending its focus on cutting edge tech in the home console market has been accompanied by massive sales and profits. I can't see them dropping that approach any time soon. Reply +3
  • Shinji 27/03/2010

    It can't be done "perfectly well" on the DSi. The DSiWare game which people have been talking about is an extremely clever tech demo but it's little more than that - it doesn't work well in low light situations, can't handle rapid motions, loses tracking fairly easily and also seems to be taxing the DS' processor quite a lot in the process, which seriously restricts the types of games which could use the tech. Reply +4
  • 150,000's a Crowd

  • Shinji 21/02/2010

    No, I'm not. The early success of platforms like the PS1, PS2 and DS was driven by a small number of core titles which were embraced by early adopters, of course - but what propelled them past the 50 and then 100 million unit mark was the massive library of software they offered, ensuring that there was enough diversity to keep almost any consumer happy. Even the best-selling core games on those platforms sold to less than one in six owners, which shows you just how diversified the audience was - lots and lots of PS2s sold to people who never played a Grand Theft Auto, Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid or Final Fantasy game.

    In a sense you're correct because without that core success in the early year or two of the console's life, it would never have attracted the developers who created those niche market titles - but it's a feedback process. Core success attracted those developers and publishers; their games drove the console's sales in new markets that didn't care about driving, shooting or being a psychotic, spiky-haired world-saver. Without that diversity of software, I'm doubtful that any console would have topped 50 million units sold.
    Reply 0
  • Shinji 20/02/2010

    I also dont want a gaming console that has 150,000 possible games, I want one with a few good ones.

    Who decides which ones are the "good" ones? You? Me? The Pope? Your argument - like the RIM boss' - is naive. It assumes that there's a fairly generic, easily understood profile of what an average user wants to do with their phone / computer / console, but the reality is very different. It's important to get key things right - core franchises or functionality which work well for a wide group of people - but equally important to offer niche products for niche markets, because unless you can appeal to a huge range of niche markets, you don't have a mass-market platform.

    Console makers know this, too. That's why platforms like PS2 were so successful - because they had so much software aimed at such a wide range of consumers. You and I may have looked at a lot of that software and thought it was junk filling up the shelves; for other consumers, it was exactly the reason why they'd bought their console, and Sony knew that those people's money was just as valuable as yours and mine.

    Once you start thinking that an arbiter of taste or function can actually exist in a market with such a diverse group of consumers, you've lost the plot entirely. I bet I could look at your game collection and point at a dozen games which I don't think should have been made, because they're pointless wastes of time. I bet you could look at mine and think the same. Only by having a wide selection of software can both of us actually be happy.
    Reply +1
  • Game Changer?

  • Shinji 30/01/2010

    I have absolutely no desire to pronounce judgement on a device which every other idiot on the Internet is busy pronouncing judgement on - and frankly, we haven't seen enough detail just yet anyway. From a game development perspective, I think it's more useful to ask what difference the iPad will make if it IS successful, rather than just being another voice on the 'net pointlessly chiming in an uneducated opinion as to whether it WILL be successful.

    For what it's worth, though, I'd say that the majority of the really negative noise around this device is coming from the mouths of people a long way outside its target market. It's an appliance, not a computer in the traditional sense, and the people complaining about multitasking etc. are mostly people who want a traditional computer, not an appliance. I'm personally not sold on the iPad yet (although it's made me hold off on buying a Kindle, for now), but I think it's a fascinating platform - whether it succeeds or fails (either of which is entirely possible, contrary to what Men On The Internet seem to think) is going to have a very big influence on how mainstream computing evolves in the coming years.
    Reply +1
  • Shinji 30/01/2010

    @Gastrian - That comment was aimed specifically at games which have new, iPad-optimised versions. I'm aware (as I assumed the audience would be) that the device can play existing iPhone games perfectly happily. What I'm not sure about, and I don't think has been clarified, is what the business model will be for a small developer who makes a brand new, higher definition, all-singing-all-dancing version of its iPhone game for the iPad, and then (quite reasonably) wants to charge customers some kind of upgrade fee for the new version.

    If there's no upgrade model in place (right now this doesn't exist on the App Store, some fiddling with the in-app purchasing system notwithstanding), then that's going to seriously discourage existing developers from putting a lot of time into upgrading their games for iPad, since they'll effectively be doing the work for free. Perhaps Apple have thought of this, but as the debacle surrounding the release of Tweetie 2 showed rather clearly, the inflexibility of the App Store model can be a ball and chain for small developers at times.
    Reply -1
  • Making it Special

  • Shinji 16/01/2010

    I'm not talking about risk-taking businesses, I'm talking about businesses which spread themselves thinly across the entire industry, doing a clutch of second-tier "me-too" titles and failing to actually excel at anything. There have been tons of those businesses, both in developing and in publishing (how many publishers have survived off middle of the road clones of successful games? How many developers' raison d'etre has been delivering entirely unexciting work for hire games?), and all of them are being squeezed by the transition. Contrary to the article you seem to have read, that's not risk-taking, it's quite the opposite - if anything, the whole thrust of the article is that if you AREN'T willing to take a risk by finding one area of expertise and focusing on it, then you're probably for the high jump.

    Your mate's story sounds brilliant though, we should talk.
    Reply +7
  • Recession or Transition?

  • Shinji 11/01/2010

    bad09 - Sorry mate, but you're ranting without being in full possession of the facts here. The problems DaemonSpawn are highlighting are very real, and while some of his legal arguments aren't entirely accurate (to the best of my knowledge there's nothing to stop Valve unlocking their own DRM while leaving any DRM the publishers themselves have chosen to apply in place, for example), the practical question regarding a DD company going down and taking your games with them is very real.

    A lot of digital content, games included, relies on the existence of a server which authorises that content to be played. When that server goes down, so does your ability to play the content - and Steam's offline mode is only a stopgap solution for that.

    This isn't just a vague "in theory". There have already been cases where users have lost access to content they purchased legitimately because the companies providing it chose to pull the service - and these weren't two-bit little companies that went bust at the drop of a hat. ESPN subscribers in the USA who had bought videos of sports matches woke up one day to discover that none of them played any more, because ESPN had decided the service was unprofitable and pulled it - they hadn't rented those videos, they had bought them, like a DVD, and the video files themselves were sitting on their hard drives, but the authentication server had been turned off. Microsoft pulled a similar stunt a while back with an unsuccessful music service.

    This is a real problem and it's one that needs a more comprehensive and detailed solution than a vague promise from Valve to "do no evil". I'm a big fan of the potential of digital distribution, but consumers who buy things digitally deserve a guarantee that they own those things just as comprehensively as if they had bought them in a shop, and that they cannot be removed at the whim of a company or due to a bankruptcy. I own a lot of games and DVDs from companies that have since gone bust - I'd be more than little bit upset if they'd disappeared from my shelves when that happened...
    Reply 0
  • Shinji 09/01/2010

    "dammit i thought you had died"

    Still kicking - sorry to disappoint! Happy New Year to you, my strange, obsessive little friend :)
    Reply +3
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising

  • Shinji 02/12/2009

    Jeff Lydell kept referring to them as "The Chaos", so I assumed that was the accepted term - I'm by no means enough of a 40k expert to start second guessing the game's producer... Reply +4
  • Shinji 01/12/2009

    Good point. In my defence, while I wrote the line about respecting the language, the "begging the question" bit was inserted by a cheeky sub-editor. I shall ask Tom to make sure that the scoundrel is whipped. :) Reply 0
  • ScamVille

  • Shinji 28/11/2009

    That's an interesting piece of analysis on a company that says it'll turn over $200m in the coming year.

    Or rather, a company which, having announced that it expected to turn over $200 to $250 million, is now actually going to lose somewhere between 20 and 70 per cent of that revenue - and that's assuming the whole affair doesn't hit the mainstream press and cause serious reputation damage.

    Zynga can do it because they're a private company. They'll survive. If a publicly listed company had made this kind of screw-up, they'd have been crucified - you'd be looking at top-level resignations. So yes, it's an object lesson for existing games industry companies in how not to approach these new markets - assuming that you want to keep your job at the end of the day.
    Reply +4
  • Stark Contrasts

  • Shinji 15/11/2009

    Firstly, what is all this stuff about upstream and downstream? Everything else makes sense, but this is unknown to me. Industry jargon for 'casual' vs. 'hardcore'?

    You can think of it in terms of "committed" and "less committed" gamers, I guess. Casual and Hardcore aren't terribly useful labels in themselves - most hardcore game players actually also play plenty of casual games, and there are lots of people who mostly only play casual games but are deeply committed to the hobby. Meanwhile there are quite a lot of people playing hardcore games who actually aren't very deeply involved with gaming, don't spend much and are hard to covert over to buying other products - a lot of WOW players fall into that category, as do lots of sports game players.

    Rather than dividing consumers up by what kind of games they like to play, which is mostly playground stuff to be honest ("ugh, casual gamers, ruining our hobby, blah blah"), it's much more useful to divide people according to how devoted they are to the pastime - so someone who plays a lot of Wii games and iPhone games is, in this sense, more "upstream" than someone who plays WoW or FIFA but doesn't engage with other things the games industry has to offer. Downstream gamers would probably bail out of gaming if their finances got tight, whereas the upstream guys would sacrifice other pastimes in order to continue affording games.

    I'm not sure who coined the terms originally, to be honest, but I like them a lot better than "casual" and "hardcore", which usually seem to be used as perjoratives rather than as useful ways to describe consumer groups, and which ignore the massive variety of different tastes gamers often have.
    Reply +1
  • Save your Scorn

  • Shinji 07/11/2009

    Unfortunately there is a confusion between "low brow cheap shlock" and "mainstream" in the mind of the articles author.

    On the contrary - I know exactly what "mainstream" means, in that it suggests a platform which has software that appeals to a broad range of niche markets, from teenage boys and young men through middle-aged women, retirees and everyone else in between.

    You, on the other hand, are doing exactly the same thing that most gamers online seem to do - assuming that "mainstream" means "not only do I like it, but all my mates of the same age and gender as me do as well, so it MUST be mainstream!".
    Reply +7
  • Disorderly Queue

  • Shinji 10/10/2009

    I confess that I didn't know that Champions was operating on a different model. It's a game that's largely slipped under my radar, since superhero spandex has never appealed to me - I'll have to check it out and see how it works.

    Eve and Guild Wars were ignored in the article simply because they operate vastly different gameplay models which accommodate their server models. Neither of them is really a traditional MMO - in essence, Eve is more of a sprawling sandbox game, Guild Wars a much smaller-scale multiplayer combat game. They're both fantastic (I had to uninstall Eve recently because it threatened to destroy my social life) but they're beyond the scope of this article, which needed to be a 1200-word comment piece rather than a 3000 word essay :)
    Reply +1
  • Untethered Melodies

  • Shinji 19/09/2009

    I think a "My First Guitar Hero" style untethered game is definitely on the cards, although they'll have to think long and hard about whether it would dilute the brand to have what would probably be a pretty low-quality product like that on the market.

    What's not, realistically, on the cards is the idea of Activision putting console-strength chips into a plastic guitar and building a whole online gameplay and retail service to support it. That's what plenty of people have read into his statement, and - for now at least - it's madness.
    Reply +2
  • End of the Land Grab

  • Shinji 22/08/2009

    That's false. The 70 per cent reduction in PS3 manufacturing costs is because of the Slim.

    You have absolutely no evidence to back that up, and I'd point out that the statements made regarding the 70 per cent drop in manufacture costs were made some weeks before the existence of the Slim was confirmed. There's no chance in hell that the statement referred to the new hardware - on which some cost savings will have been made, certainly, but which also utilises many new components which don't yet benefit from Sony's legendary ability to save money on bulk manufacture.

    Once Sony started to turn a profit on its hardware, it had to redesign and cut the price, wiping out that profit. That's how this business works, and it's exactly the strategy which has been described to me (in rather resigned tones) by senior Sony executives over the years. It's only later on, when the competition wanes and the prices remain stable (as with the PS2 now) that profits can be realised on hardware for any length of time.
    Reply +4
  • Shinji 22/08/2009

    I was under the impression MS had been making money for quite some time with the 360 and that it was only Sony bleeding out on the financial field.

    It's not hard to make quarter to quarter operating profits when you've written off billions of dollars of future costs in a few massive, loss-making quarters at the start of the machine's lifespan. It makes for great PR every three months, but it doesn't fool either Microsoft's big corporate investors or, more importantly, the company's own financial team.

    There's no chance of the "plug being pulled" on the Xbox, as you put it, and the article suggests nothing of the sort. However, the reality is that the system's financial room to manoeuvre is no longer as wide as it used to be. The 360 is expected, if not to return a lifetime profit, then at the very least to continue posting those operating profits on a quarter to quarter basis - an internal expectation (Microsoft is a very internally aggressive and political firm) more than an external, market-led one. That expectation naturally limits how aggressive Microsoft can be with land-grab pricecuts or major exclusivity deals, in much the same way that Sony's much more obvious financial problems do.
    Reply +1
  • StarCraft II to allow paid-for mods

  • Shinji 22/08/2009

    RTS games do get some fairly significant overhauls - both in terms of maps that become very popular on the multiplayer scene, and full mods. The DOTA mod for Warcraft III is even more popular than the original game itself in some parts of the world, for example.

    (I'll also be interested to see how flexible Starcraft II is in terms of mods - when you zoom down to unit level, it's easily good looking enough for third-person gameplay to work. If the game allows mods to seriously mix things up, you could find some really interesting mods coming through...)
    Reply 0
  • Flash in the pan

  • Shinji 01/08/2009

    @Bloodkult - There's no doubt that the netbook market has picked up in the past 12 months, not least because of the amount of promotion behind it - but it's still only a fraction of the size of the laptop market, and I think it's very telling that Intel this week was bemoaning the fact that its Atom chips aren't meeting order expectations compared to more traditional laptop CPUs.

    I maintain that it's a flash in the pan, but for that to be the case, you do need a flash - and the figures you quoted are just that, I believe. The initial excitement which drove those sales is already being replaced by disillusionment with just how poor the user experience on netbooks actually is.
    Reply +4
  • Funcom's Craig Morrison

  • Shinji 09/07/2009

    While we differ on the instancing, I do agree with you about the transport between zones - it's restrictive and makes the game feel much less open than its competitors. That said, I don't see it as a game-breaker - not compared to some of the genuine game-breakers that have been fixed in the past 12 months. Yes, I can't walk from zone to zone - but what actually happens in those zones is a hell of a lot more enjoyable, consistent and well-crafted than it was previously.

    I'm not saying you should stop complaining - far from it! You and Gaol are the Statler and Waldorf of every AoC comment thread on the site - the sheer level of bitterness is pure gold! The threads wouldn't be the same without your double act :)
    Reply +2
  • Shinji 09/07/2009

    No accounting for personal preference, iok? While the way AoC does it could be massively improved upon, I prefer the idea of having bigger server populations and instanced world zones to having loads of smaller servers that are walled off from each other, like WoW and almost every other MMOG does. Neither is an ideal solution, but that's a technological constraint.

    Then again, I guess if you're going to spend 12 months moaning bitterly about having a bad experience in a game, you probably aren't the type to account for personal preference :)
    Reply +4
  • Shinji 09/07/2009

    DFawkes - You do actually get that, to a degree. Once you're in the town, when you talk to the barman, you can switch between Day and Night - during the day, you're in an MMOG zone, with everyone else running around levelling up around you. At night, it switches into single-player mode to do the story quests.

    The singleplayer stuff is what disappears after level 20, once you strike out into the rest of the gameworld.
    Reply 0
  • AOC reactivation drive begins

  • Shinji 08/07/2009

    Svpamm1 - They totally changed the stats system in the last update, so items are now much more important and the stats make more sense. You can actually notice the difference when you equip a better bit of armour or a higher level weapon now.

    Some of the players are moaning that it makes the game more like WoW and takes some of the skill out of it, but it seems a lot more fun to me - there's a proper sense of progression when you get a new piece of gear to equip.
    Reply +2
  • Nintendo games dominating in 2009

  • Shinji 06/07/2009

    HiredMan - Ah, okay. I haven't seen hardware figures for the six months to June, only for the 12 months to June. It does seem plausible, given the 360 price cuts and the high installed base of the Wii - although if they are outselling on hardware, Microsoft must be pretty gutted that their software sales are so weak by comparison. Reply +4
  • Shinji 06/07/2009

    Dizzy - I'm not sure how you're getting that out of the figures. In the past 12 months, the Wii has sold 2.3m units, the 360 has sold 1.7m. It's not as big a margin as it has been at other times, but Wii is still out in front. Reply +6
  • Build for hardcore first, says Blizzard

  • Shinji 01/07/2009

    That's almost exactly the same argument that Pardo was making, Rack. He was talking about creating tight, clear gameplay systems with huge depth from the outset, and polishing them and getting them right before adding on the extra fripperies and design-candy that boosts the experience for players who are less concerned about depth. Reply +1
  • No LAN support for StarCraft II

  • Shinji 30/06/2009

    I don't see anything in Pardo's statement which suggests that you won't be able to play the game over a LAN - it's just that it's not going to have a specific LAN play option. Instead you'll set up your LAN games over, but still play them locally. The main benefit being that you can track your LAN game stats along with your online game stats.

    This isn't actually that dissimilar from just quite a lot of other games in recent years, which just treat LAN games in the same way as online games.
    Reply 0
  • StarCraft II

  • Shinji 30/06/2009

    The "no LAN" thing is a bit of a misleading story. I've seen no suggestion that it won't work on a LAN (I was playing perfectly happily on a LAN for this hands-on, in fact), it's just that there won't be a LAN-specific mode. LAN games will be set up on, just like online games.

    If anything that's an improvement since it means you'll be able to track the stats of your LAN games on your account.

    It would probably help if Blizzard actually clarified this, I've seen a huge number of complaints in the past few days about something that really isn't going to be an issue at all.
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  • Shinji 29/06/2009

    Anyone who complained about there being no innovation in Starcraft (or Warcraft III) clearly hasn't played many other RTS games. Both of them radically changed a lot of the fundamental things about the genre, both in their single-player and multiplayer modes. SC2 multiplayer looks like one of the most conservative things they've done in years, but it's not hard to see why, and it works really well as a result. Reply 0