a8a Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Oculus suspends Rift sales in China after "extreme" reselling

  • a8a 04/07/2014

    @Dano1 It *is* awesome, but its also notably not yet finished, and the only real support it has in games is that which has been hacked in as proof of concept. Native VR games wont be ready for release for some time anyway.

    What's awesome about it is the potential you can see in it, as a developer. For a consumer, looking for a finished product, you are likely to find only an underwhelming experience that is difficult to setup and mostly unsupported in games at this time.
    Reply 0
  • Editor's blog: I am sexist

  • a8a 19/06/2014

    Mostly I tend to just shake my head and mutter "gamers" under my breath rather than get involved with the kind of toxic specimens that crawl out of these comments threads, but I just want to add my full support to Eurogamer and credit to Tom for writing this article, if only to add weight to the hope that there is a silent majority (or at least not insignificant demographic) who support this point of view, and that there is a need to have this discussion.

    That sentence was a bit long and tortured. But hey, Im not a journalist.
    Reply +3
  • Spies, lies and Eve Online

  • a8a 05/05/2014

    For anyone who has recently started, or is considering trying it:

    The most common mistake people make is to plan out their skills for months and years, and while "waiting" for them, they do missions or mining. If missions and mining is what you want to do, then go for it - but the real meat of Eve is in the sandbox, and the best time to do it is right away. Seriously.

    There are several advantages to starting your PvP life immediately:

    1) The more skill points you have, the more your clone costs. In your first few weeks, your clone is entirely free, and dying costs nothing except the ship that you are in. Which is also worth a pittance, and which most PvP-oriented alliances will provide for free or reimburse for you anyway.

    2) You learn the right skills. Not skillpoint skills, but the things you will actually need to know for PvPing. PvE and PvP are practically entirely different games, and the skillset for the most part is non-transferable. Dont pick up bad habits by shooting red crosses for too long.

    3) Not only can you be useful in the first day (a tackle frigate will only take a couple of hours to train), but in many ways its actually more fun to fly the little stuff! Zipping around in your 2 million ISK frigate trying to hold down ships worth hundreds of millions of ISK so your buddies can pulverize them can be way more satisfying than just pulling the trigger.

    So if you're starting to find the game boring or grindy, or youre just waiting to build up a few skills before you join the sandbox, remember that lowsec and nullsec are not the "endgame". They are available to everybody, from day one. Lots of corps and alliances in lowsec and nullsec are recruiting all the time.
    Reply +1
  • Check out this brilliant virtual version of 17th Century London

  • a8a 24/10/2013

    I always thought the best step to take after Assassin's Creed 2 was 1650-1700 London, like in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle.

    I would play the shit out of that.
    Reply 0
  • Final Fantasy 14 digital sales resume as server problems ease

  • a8a 17/09/2013

    For those who are waiting for FFXIV to go free to play - don't hold your breath. It's not a decision SE is likely to make in the near future. For reference, FFXI is still subscription after 10 years. Reply +12
  • Sony offers refunds as Final Fantasy 14 launch catastrophe worsens

  • a8a 05/09/2013

    @wyp100 It's a bit of a poorly named news article though, in the interest of sensationalism.

    "launch catastrophe worsens" is hardly accurate for the day after a patch mitigating the problems has been released. I guess "situation improves slightly" isn't as good a narrative though.

    Not that it was really a "launch catastrophe" in the first place, mind. I'm not an apologist here; there were some problems, which are common (but still not acceptable) for MMO launches. I have been playing regularly all week and hit login issues once or twice, and it was noticeably better yesterday after the patch. The game is solidly good and the servers are stable once you get in - I don't really think that amounts to a launch catastrophe. For reference, see the 1.0 launch for a true catastrophe.
    Reply +7
  • The Xbox One controller retails for $60 in the US

  • a8a 02/08/2013

    It'll cost 44.99 in the UK, or 79.99 with a Play and Charge kit.

    I'm guessing this should read 59.99, inline with the article subtitle. Even for dollar to pound conversions, 35 for a Play and Charge kit would be a bit harsh! :)
    Reply 0
  • A million registrations for Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn beta

  • a8a 02/07/2013

    @baktiarniloy1
    "Honestly, Final Fantasy has been going downhill for a long time. I just don't see it fit in as an MMO."

    I guess you didnt play 11 then.

    The style of Final Fantasy as MMO (when done right) is different for sure, but it hits the same chords. For all its flaws, 11 was a masterpiece in places. How they married the traditional Final Fantasy themes of heavy story and strong character development with MMO staples of mute avatars and persistent worlds was particularly strong.

    More recently, there is a tendency to view MMOs as a genre that could be roughly described as "games like WoW". When I tried games like Rift I found myself thinking "I've already played this game. Do I really want to play it again?". If what you mean by it "doesnt fit" as an MMO is that its not a WoW-clone, then as much as I like WoW, I'm all for a change.
    Reply +4
  • Todd Hollenshead and his hair leave id Software after 17 years

  • a8a 27/06/2013

    @jamyskis

    Agreed. They have something of a history of this too. There are some... err... "strong personalities" there.
    Reply +3
  • Star Trek: The Video Game review

  • a8a 26/04/2013

    According to the scoring policy:

    "6/10 - Above average"

    Can you give any examples of which shooters class as "average" in this case? Because this sounds hilariously bad.
    Reply +5
  • PlayStation 4 Press Conference Live Report

  • a8a 20/02/2013

    Bolloks, I read 11am for some reason. Which would be silly, as it would mean 6am in New York. Reply +4
  • a8a 20/02/2013

    Gentlemen, start your engines. Reply 0
  • UK chart: Aliens: Colonial Marines enjoys biggest launch of 2013

  • a8a 18/02/2013

    I've been trying to buy Ni no Kuni for two weeks at Game (I havent tried elsewhere as Im trying to use up a gift card). Despite a prominent display of boxes with no indication of anything off, there has consistently been zero stock.

    I'm not sure whose fault it is along the supply chain, but it doesn't surprise me that it has dropped down the chart - it seems that even people who WANT to buy it cant!
    Reply +17
  • Valve's noted hardware team member Jeri Ellsworth "fired"

  • a8a 13/02/2013

    @freethinker101

    It's a lot easier in the US than it is in the UK (and Europe in general, as I understand it). It's build into American law that you can fire people for pretty much any reason or no reason at all. The only exceptions are for illegal reasons (eg due to race), or in fixed term contract work.
    Reply +5
  • Silicon Knights' cancelled games laid bare

  • a8a 12/12/2012

    It was a rushed license game that SK made to try and survive
    That's not quite the story I heard. It seems more like SK were given plenty of time to make the game, but instead tried to game the publisher into giving them more time while diverting resources into a prototype for ED2. When Activision refused to budge on the deadlines, and instead made sure that SK wouldn't be able to distance themselves from the project, SK went into panic mode, but it was already too late.

    While the decline of the company is a long and reasonably well documented process, I think the demise of the company can be more closely linked with the fact that they tried to get away with stealing UE3 engine code rather than the quality of their games.
    Reply +5
  • The cult of TotalBiscuit

  • a8a 14/11/2012

    @Doomspoon
    That might be a fair comment, with regard to TB - I had Yahtzee more in mind when I made the points in the second paragraph. Obviously, it wont work in all cases as a blanket generalisation, I have just noticed something of popularity surge for cynical and negative coverage with a layer of sarcastic humour on top since the advent of ZP, TB being a prime example. Not all the traits are necessarily transferable.
    Reply +1
  • a8a 14/11/2012

    He's certainly charismatic, but I find his arrogance to be impossible to work around. He speaks from a position of such righteous egotism that it taints even the opinions I agree with.

    Comparisons to Yahtzee are certainly warranted in terms of style, and while I enjoy ZP as light entertainment, it bugs me generally that the popular approach to covering games (among amateur writers, at least) recently is to basically hate on more or less everything and whine about everything made after 1998. I like games, and I'm optimistic about the future of gaming; there are some trends I don't like, and I'm certainly not blind to a bad game, but ultimately I feel like if I didn't enjoy games, I wouldn't play them (or make them). Yahtzee and co often just sound like they would prefer to be doing something else, and it does little to instil enthusiasm.
    Reply +5
  • StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm release date revealed by Battle.net

  • a8a 13/11/2012

    Just checked my battle net account - looks like the price for regular HotS upgrading from an existing WoL is 32.99 Reply +4
  • Silicon Knights ordered to recall and destroy all unsold copies of Too Human, X-Men Destiny, more

  • a8a 09/11/2012

    As far as I can tell, the basis of SK's suit against Epic was that they didn't get enough support for UE3, thereby forcing them to spend additional time and money creating their own bespoke engine, and nullifying their contract with Epic and the requirement to pay a percentage of the profit for use of the engine. What seems to have actually happened is that SK thought they had found a way to cut Epic out of the profits by lisencing the engine, gaining full access to the source, creating their own version, and then worming their way out of the contract. Obviously this fell apart in court, and would logically conclude with SK owing Epic a large lump sum, as well as disallowing the sale of what was essentially stolen code (hence the recall).

    It's more related to the production of XMD, and the practices of SK around that time, but this is an interesting article based off 8 former SK employees' accounts. Sorry for the Kotaku link!
    Reply +14
  • Was Gabe Newell right to declare Windows 8 a catastrophe?

  • a8a 08/11/2012

    The indie devs are fooling themselves if they think that certification and support from MS will always be so forthcoming. They are in on the ground floor now - as noted, there are very few apps, and MS has a vested interest in getting their app store well populated, as well as creating some good word of mouth in the industry space. If the store is as successful as they want it to be, however, it will be either just as busy as android and iOS app stores, blowing that visibility advantage out of the water, or heavily curated, making it difficult to get anything released. For evidence of how that messes things up for developers, check out any of the horror stories of trying to get stuff certified by Microsoft for release on XBox Live. Reply +1
  • World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria review

  • a8a 03/10/2012

    I have to say I disagree with the review on a number of points.

    The so-called "Christmas tree" questing structure - where a single quest unleashes an avalanche of new objectives, which in turn trickle into further progress opportunities - is gone. [...] For anyone arriving in this new land directly from the free-flowing adventures of previous expansions, it's a frustrating experience
    This paragraph comes across like the reviewer has completely forgotten the necessary linearity of Cataclysm's questing zones. The heavy use of phasing meant that they could not branch out as much, and had to follow a single line from beginning to end of the zone. The Jade Forest quest line is pretty linear, but by the time you have reached Valley of the Four Winds and Kun Lai Summit, there is much greater freedom to branch off in a different direction.

    Partly it's a consequence of removing flying skills prior to level 90. [...] the resumption of flying at level 90 also brings it to life. This is a continent designed to be viewed from above
    I hold a completely contrary view on this. Not that Pandaria from above isn't awesome - it is - but withholding flying until level 90 serves several very important pusposes. Firstly, it reduces some of the triviality associated with Cataclysm's questing. Flying in Cataclysm reduced many of the quests to no more than 30 seconds of "going to place marked on map and clicking on gear". Alongside this, spending so much time above the treetops gives you very little appreciation of the attention to detail on the landscapes, and makes you think of locations more in terms of map position than the actual geography. Going through the zones the old-fashioned way in Pandaria made me take the whole process a lot slower, and gave me a greater appreciation for the craftsmanship that went into creating this continent.

    As for the "Great Wall of Pandaria", there is no way you can appreciate this from the air as much as you can from the ground. From the air, it is simply a fence - not even an obstacle, really, and not so much "great" as just "there". From the ground on either side, or running along the top from tower to tower, you get a true impression of its size.

    Finally, the convenience and joy of flying is a great reward to aspire to at level 90. It is difficult for a game like WoW to keep adding more and more game-changing abilities, and they need goals for people to shoot for - casuals as well as hardcore players. This is the most basic of "Congratulations! You've hit max level!" goals.

    It does provide pause for thought, but in exchanging one necessary evil for another, Blizzard has not solved the problem of tangible ownership of your character.
    Actually, this one I more or less agree with (in the sense that removing a lot of talent choices makes you feel like you have less input into your character), but I wanted to add a couple of points and counter the guy above who was arguing against the new talent system.

    The new talent system initially feels a lot more superficial than the old one, with less choices to make. Having played with it for a while now though, I have a slightly different opinion. The major option that has been removed in the new system is the ability to make a bad character. You are still free to be a bad player, but there are no pitfalls and bad choices in the talents anymore. Under the old system, after spec (and with a couple of very rare exceptions), that was the only really meaningful choice you could make. You could have the right talents, or you could have the wrong talents. Even after they stripped the system down in Cataclysm, there were still only a few truly optional points after you chose the right build, and they were only optional because they were so inconsequential. The new system, while offering you a lot less ways to make a distinct spec, gives you only meaningful choices - none of which will make you a bad character.

    In summary: the old system appeared to have depth, but was ultimately superficial, as there was only one "right" choice. The new system appears superficial, but ultimately has more actual choice, as none of the choices you do have are mandatory. And yes, to restore some of the role-playing "individuality", we need another system altogether.

    In spite of its successes, though, Pandaria doesn't quite feel like the finished product
    I have no idea where this comes from, it feels like the most polished expansion to date imo. Unless you are comparing it to the wealth of content after a full cycle of patches, that is - in which case it absolutely isn't the finished product, by design!

    and it still clings doggedly to questing crutches that the likes of Guild Wars 2 have begun, gleefully, to kick away.
    I agree with this in part. I quite enjoyed the Guild Wars 2 approach - and I noted that WoW has at least taken the step of making quest target enemies untaggable, similarly to GW2. I think it will continue to evolve, and I welcome that. One major criticism I have of the GW2 system, though, is it leaves basically no space for the kind of over-arching storylines that wow does. The world must necessarily remain static in order to accommodate the free-wandering that GW2 is built to allow. This is why although I enjoyed GW2, I have so far not become invested in it to any great degree - I just don't feel like I'm a part of it, any more than I would feel a part of a theme park attraction. Fun and fleeting.

    The true impact of that now-archaic questing experience, so fractured on the long road to level 90, won't likely be apparent until players take a second character through the journey.
    Here I begin to understand your comments about lack of questing experience - you appear to be referring not to the quests in a specific zone, but the fact that there was an additional starter quest zone in Cata which made a nice change when levelling an alt. This was the only time it really made any difference, however, because it did not really provide extra content the first time through - you CHOSE Hyjal or Vashj'ir, and... that was it. You did one, and not the other. Inside the zones themselves, the questlines were a lot more linear.

    A couple of points before I go:

    With regard to those who think of the Pandas as juvenile or somehow less compelling - I simply cannot understand this, except to assume that it comes from an ironically childish desire for things to be more "mature" and "edgy". We are, after all, talking about a game with an established cartoony style, which already hosts an array of anthropomorphised races including but not limited to cow-men, wolf-men, dog-men, fish-men, bird-men, walrus-men and rat-men.

    Personally, I have found the expansion to be a breath of fresh air, and I am thoroughly enjoying it (which probably comes as no surprise). I would like to assert that I am not a Blizzard fanboy by any means, but when an 8-year old game can still grab my interest (I have a very on-off relationship with WoW) I can't help but be impressed.
    Reply +11
  • Breaking television borders: Microsoft's wacky idea to project scenes on living room walls

  • a8a 12/09/2012

    For an innovative 360 degree gaming experience, we need a name that reflects the giant leap forward we are making here... like "XBox 360"...

    ...goddammit!
    Reply +1
  • Skyrim: Hearthfire Review

  • a8a 05/09/2012

    @Widge
    In fairness, I wouldn't give up hope just yet. Shivering Isles was announced 10 months and released 12 months after Oblivion. We're only now approaching the 10 month mark for Skyrim. Due to the nature of lengthening development cycles, more supported platforms, and ongoing issues with maintaining the vanilla version, I would expect Skyrim expansions to come a bit slower than Oblivion. Even so, Dawnguard saw release at a roughly similar time in Skyrim's life as when Oblivion saw Knights of the Nine. Morrowind, too, followed the pattern; Tribunal was released about 6 months and Bloodmoon just over a year after vanilla. I would be surprised if there wasn't a more ambitious expansion with new maps on the horizon for Skyrim; it's just how Bethesda work with The Elder Scrolls.

    Of course, I might just be misinterpreting you - maybe you just mean that some people will be picking up Hearthfire expecting an epic storyline and expanded gameplay, in which case more fool them. On Oblivion Bethesda released multiple mini-DLCs of this nature, providing nothing more than player housing. As long as it costs what its worth, and players know what theyre buying into, I can put up with some less than stellar changes. If you have the PC version, there is pretty much unlimited free content from mods anyway, and unlike Oblivion, you don't even need a doctorate in modding to make them work!
    Reply +8
  • Hitman Absolution level changed due to negative nun trailer reaction

  • a8a 17/08/2012

    @_tangent

    With regard to the motivation - I totally agree. I don't think the connotations were thought through to any great degree, and I'm quite certain that the only real aim for the trailer was that it should look cool (with a possible side order of resembling some of the more stylish action movies). I think they were going for something action-packed, exciting, and sexy, and created something more controversial largely by mistake.

    As for social responsibility, I don't believe that, generally speaking, there is (or should be) any obligation for developers to temper their games in such a way. I find this case to be an exception because of the nature of the issue, however. GTA is basically fantasy, and fantasy it will stay. It is extraordinarily unlikely that playing GTA will cause you to pursue a career in crime. Sexualized violence against women, however, is a very real societal problem which happens on a daily basis. It doesn't require you to make a life choice. All it takes is enough barely perceptible influences on your daily life, gradually creating a belief that the deviant urge is ok. Most domestic abusers would not consider themselves in those terms. And small as it may be, I think that if you knowingly create something which could add a little bit of confirmation bias to someone on the edge, you are having a negative impact on society.

    Even with all that, though, I am definitely more in the "That's a bit distasteful..." camp rather than "Ban this sick filth!". What really gets me is the number of people who can't see any negative connotations at all, and just see it as a PC problem, or worse, get the point that is being made and still think that its fine.

    Edit: I should also add that tasteless as I find it, I will defend the right to create such a trailer to the end. Whatever unwanted effect it may have on society pales to nothing in comparison with the chilling effect of censoring artistic output.
    Reply 0
  • a8a 17/08/2012

    @_tangent

    You make some good points. Perhaps sexual violence was the wrong term for me to use - sexualized violence is a more appropriate term. On that point, the only thing I'd like to respond to is:
    It is entirely legitimate in any media to investigate this relationship.
    I don't disagree with you on this, and perhaps I wouldn't find it so distasteful in a serious drama exploring these themes. In this case, however, we're talking about a 3 minute trailer for a game about killing people. The message doesn't get much more intricate and nuanced than "SEX=GOOD VIOLENCE=GOOD SEX+VIOLENCE=GREAT".
    Reply +1
  • a8a 17/08/2012

    A lot of people in this thread would do well to realize that there is more to visual media than textual descriptions of what happened. To describe the trailer as "Agent 47 dispatches a band of female assassins disguised as nuns" is accurate, but not even close to the whole story.

    What I found distasteful had nothing to do with the fact that they were women, the fact that they were disguised as nuns nor the fact that they were killed violently. As has already been stated, the main problem was simply that the way the trailer was constructed combined the sexual fetishization with the violent fetishization in the same shots. The strong overtone was one of sexual violence. The lack of context made the whole thing worse, but the primary culprit was the cinematography.

    As for people arguing that it should be ok in games because its ok in books and movies, again, this is about the execution (no pun intended), not the content. For me, this kind of scene would be just as nauseating in a movie. As for books, a passage from a book containing this scene would not read like my above description.
    Reply -2
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti Review

  • a8a 17/08/2012

    It might be worth noting that the price of the GTX 670 (according to the link in the article) has actually gone up in the past couple of days. On Amazon it was 279.35 on August 14th and is now 298.49. Naturally, it's probably just a short term change (perhaps in response to the more expensive than expected 660Ti) and the price will continue to fall generally, but for those looking to buy immediately, it might be relevant that the difference in price is not currently 30 but 50.

    Also, maybe its just me, but I am also swayed by the line:
    "It's a markedly quieter card than the reference GTX 670 too, which continues to create a faint, high-pitched whirr the moment any kind of gameplay begins."
    I think even the 660Ti is surplus to my requirements (Im currently still on a GTX 285!), so this seems like an important point for me.
    Reply 0
  • Loving the Crunch

  • a8a 30/07/2012

    I work in the games industry. Sometimes crunch happens. It's not a good thing, and it should not be painted to be a good thing. It is a project management error - and if its not, if its built into the time estimates, then its a whole extra level of Bad. However, it does sometimes happen, because this is the real world and things dont always go according to plan. Personally, I'm fine with crunching to meet a deadline occassionally. The key for me is that it is not a regular occurrence, it does not stem from silly estimates, and it does not happen just to add pet features.

    Truth is, instituionalised crunch not only burns out your employees, but it produces bad code. Its great that your employees are excited about their project now, but that cannot last over a long period of time. It is not a trait of a balanced person to want to spend their entire life working. And its hardly surprising that the code they write when exhausted and rushing to meet deadlines will not be good code. In my experience, working later than 9 at night (assuming a 9am start) becomes actively COUNTER-productive. You will write bad code, you will come across problems that you bang your head against for hours, and you will generally just make problems that you will have to fix when you are fresh in the morning. The unicycle you shoe-horned into the game at the last minute? This should be avoided at all costs.

    Finally, in an industry where it is only too common to force long stints of crunch by merciless corporate overlords, the last thing we need is a developer coming along saying "actually, we love crunch!" I know you make the provisos of being invested in what you do and not doing it for a huge uncaring company, but to be honest that is exactly the attitude that these companies feed off. When your work force is only too happy to spend a few months of late nights to make sure their game is the best it can be, then it becomes easy to facilitate and encourage that behaviour. And that, my friend, is exploitation.
    Reply +7
  • Final Fantasy Versus 13 canned - report

  • a8a 20/07/2012

    @Lemming81
    You know that by "resources" they mean staff right? Seems like a kind of ridiculous statement to say that having the same people working on a different project makes the projects themselves "completely interchangeable".

    Edit: Beaten to it by darkmorgado.
    Reply +7
  • Molydeux one of the reasons Molyneux left Microsoft

  • a8a 09/07/2012

    I like Molyneux, and I think he's right about Molydeux. Not that the pit-baby game should be made necessarily, but I think it's good for the industry to have some of the more out there ideas explored at least.

    For such a young creative industry we focus far too much on sequels and copycats.
    Reply 0
  • Sega sacrificing Euro/Oz operations to focus on four core IPs

  • a8a 28/06/2012

    Ironic that they are shutting down operations in Europe and Australia to focus on their four key brands - two of which are developed in the south of England. Not that having European developers necessitates a European office for the publisher, but it can't hurt.

    I would have thought that the audience for both those brands would also be predominantly European, but thats not based on fact or anything (although for Football Manager, at least, I would be surprised if it were otherwise).
    Reply +2
  • FF11 is the most profitable Final Fantasy ever

  • a8a 25/06/2012

    11 is the game I have quit and returned to most (I've come back to it about 5-6 times since 2004). Most recently I rejoined because I was interested to see the changes that Abyssea had brought, and quit 3 months later because I realised I was being sucked back into the incredibly time-consuming grind, despite having seen most of the new content. The top level grind is eye-wateringly arduous, and I had to quit when I realised it was even having an effect on my work. That is both the best and worst point about FFXI - it is effortlessly addictive, and horrifically time consuming.

    ...That said, I'll probably give the new xpac a try.
    Reply +2
  • Diablo 3 servers "at full capacity" following midnight launch

  • a8a 15/05/2012

    Couldn't they at least have had a queue system like WoW?

    Actually, no :)

    WoW used the queue system for when the realm servers were at capacity. The login server would hold them in the queue after login to ensure a smooth experience for those in game.

    The problem here is with the login server itself - there is just no response from the server because its essentially being DDOSed by players. There is no previous server to hold you in a queue.
    Reply +5
  • a8a 15/05/2012

    Always nice to see a comments thread drowned in vitriol and bile.

    Honestly, this is to be expected. It WAS expected. Those of you moaning about how Blizzard did nothing to accommodate the initial demand should cop on and realise what youre asking for - that they should have piled on additional infrastructure just to accommodate the first few high demand hours. That's just bad business sense. If the servers are consistently overloaded after a few days, then I will agree that more should have been done, but you can't realistically base your server infrastructure on a once-per-game peak.

    As for the necessity of it being online; well, I have more sympathy on that count, although I still think there were solid reasons behind it. Offline games will have cheats eventually. Save files can be modified. That tide can't be held back. The only way to 'ensure' (and even at that, there will undoubtedly be exploits found) no cheating is to have it tethered to online. This is important for running a decent economy for the auction house. It is essential for the Real Money Auction House. My own feeling on the topic is that the RMAH is not such a good idea, and that they could have offered a Pure Single Player mode with no online requirement, no ability to play with others (except perhaps with other Pure Single Player characters on LAN) and no auction house. However, based on the high level decisions made, you can't fault the logic of online tethering.
    Reply -1
  • EA blames Star Wars: The Old Republic subscribers fall on casuals leaving game

  • a8a 09/05/2012

    I played the game casually because it didnt really pull me in and excite me enough to dedicate more time to it. Then I stopped playing for pretty much the same reason. So this may be true for me, but it doesn't make it any better. Reply +1
  • Hirai outlines "One Sony" vision, confirms 10,000 lay-offs

  • a8a 12/04/2012

    Those slides are pretty dreadful.

    One Sony.
    One Management.

    I was half expecting the next slide to read "One fuhrer."
    Reply -3
  • Obsidian Fallout New Vegas deal with Bethesda meant bonus payment only with 85+ Metacritic

  • a8a 15/03/2012

    It's rough, and I don't think that metacritic is a particularly good way to go... but on the other hand, there isnt really a better way to objectively make a call on quality.

    To paraphrase Airplane: They knew what they were getting into when they signed the deal. I say: let 'em burn.
    Reply +2
  • Blizzard legally opposes Valve's Dota trademark application

  • a8a 10/02/2012

    DOTA creator IceFrog
    is incorrect, and the source of a large part of the contention.
    Reply 0
  • Final Fantasy 10 HD remake for Vita and PS3 is a remaster

  • a8a 06/02/2012

    I loved FFX - probably second after VII for offline titles (FFXI easily has the majority of my playtime, but rating MMOs isnt as easily done). I'd be interested to see a remaster, although some additional content wouldnt hurt, as long as they dont change the essence of the game.

    @Triggerhappytel - I have to disagree on two counts. Firstly, FFX was absolutely very linear. As was FFXIII. The other three titles in the main series, however, have been much less linear than earlier games. In terms of loss of interest over time, I agree with you, although I would put the decline a bit later (and earlier games weren't immune either - FFVIII was a low point for me). My point is just that the loss of world map did not lead directly to linearity.

    Secondly, with regards the style, FFX wasn't so much sci-fi - it was a deliberate attempt to broaden the narrow cliche of knights and armor fantasy. This had already been started with VII and VIII, and in FFX the particular intention was to introduce south-east Asian artistic stylings into the mix. That's basically a nit-pick though ;p
    Reply +5
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic - The End of an Era?

  • a8a 15/12/2011

    @darkmorgado

    I hope you're trolling, because the alternative is depressing for our species.
    Reply +6
  • Discounted Final Fantasy 14 Online billing starts January 2012

  • a8a 06/12/2011

    Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I hope they can turn it around. I was a big fan of FFXI, and thoroughly disappointed with FFXIV - but if 2.0 has some actual gameplay (and less broken input), then I'll give it another go. Reply +5
  • Any Final Fantasy 7 remake "might delete things, add elements"

  • a8a 28/11/2011

    I wouldn't mind some changes, as long as they stuck to a few basic rules:

    1) Keep the feel of the game the same. Square have got a bit ultra-serious since FF7, but diversions like Cloud's cross-dressing adventures and Don Corneo were essential parts of the fun. The ability to switch effortlessly between light-hearted high jinks and heart-wrenching exposition was one of the things that made it great.

    2) If in doubt, add elements to the game but don't take them away. More materia, more uber-bosses, more content generally - I'd love to get stuck into all that. Maybe even another super-secret playable character or two. Adding stuff isn't likely to annoy the fanbase, mostly just taking away.

    3) Exception to 2: please don't fill a FF7 remake with crap that references the extended universe built around it 10 years later. It's not that extended universes are bad, its just that the FF7 one in particular (and Crisis Core even more particularly) is full of retcons that makes the original story worse, if you choose to view it through the lens of having seen the surrounding material. Very similar to how the Star Wars prequels change the essence of the original movies. (This personal bugbear stems from the fact that if you take Crisis Core's story at face value, there were very important characters all over FF7s world, closely linked with everything going on, who just hid behind the curtains every time Cloud came around the corner - and were never mentioned by anyone!)

    4) Can you let Tetsuya Nomura direct it please?
    Reply +1
  • Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection patch "around" 6th Dec

  • a8a 23/11/2011

    "Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection"

    The missed two 'c's there.
    Reply +1
  • Richard Garriott lambasts 2011 Ultima Online

  • a8a 11/11/2011

    @metalangel

    Pretty much exactly what sethsez said. I would only add that however much you admire the man, and liked his work, the truth is that his modesty in this piece only extended far enough that he only suggested that he was an essential ingredient in the ultimate RPG. I would also make a note of the fact that even when he was making successful games, he inserted himself as an unkillable NPC. That kind of narcissism makes Russell Brand look like Gandhi.
    Reply +1
  • a8a 10/11/2011

    "It is clear to me that I, Richard Garriott, am an essential ingredient of at least the Ultimate Ultima, if not more broadly the Ultimate RPG."

    Yes, these are the musings of a completely balanced individual, and not at all indicative of an egomaniac.
    Reply +11
  • WOW talent trees to be scrapped, redone

  • a8a 25/10/2011

    @Kami

    With regard to rogue-hating: I'm an enhance shaman. 'Nuff said ;)

    Nerve Strike and Combat Readiness - either way, for PvE they are both talents for when things go wrong (and most of the time Vanish will be the better option anyway!). My thinking is that in PvE, DPS is king. Anything that damages your DPS is sacrificed to the God of Min/Maxing. In that sense, activating Nerve Strike costs DPS, where Combat Readiness does not. Assuming you're fighting a Raid Boss, the Kidney Shot will also be useless. Ultimately the value you are measuring is instant 50% reduced damage for 6 seconds, or built up 50% reduced damage for 20 seconds. Nerve Strike will give you some faster respite, and if you have a boss on you for 20 seconds, youre probably dead anyway - but the loss of DPS from wasting a finishing move is what most rogues will see.

    Similarly with regard to poisons, what PvE rogues will see is that they lose Instant Poison on their main hand in return for something that's the healers job anyway. (Note that as a guild and raid leader, I absolutely don't subscribe to this philosophy, but its how people will think.) Changing poison functionality might make it a little better, but the main hurdle is the DPS loss.

    Granted, you could argue that this makes them either 1) largely inconsequential to PvE or 2) no choice at all, although especially with regard to Leeching Poison, I think it balances out its natural tendency towards overpowered. That said, I agree that the rogue talents dont seem quite as good to me as some of the others I've seen (although I look forward to having Shadowstep on my Assassination rogue!). I suspect that the major motivation was to share some of Subtlety's toys around, and thereby allow them to buff Subtlety damage to a par with the other specs. The Shaman specs excited me, though - there are a couple of talents in there which will fundamentally change how I play.

    I do agree that we won't know for sure until beta and beyond though, so I suggest we adjourn until then ;)
    Reply 0
  • a8a 24/10/2011

    @Kami

    I respectfully disagree. Some of the talents are situational, some of them purely personal preference. Some may need some balance tweaks still - although thats hardly unusual. My reading of these talents from a PVE min/maxing perspective is that for most of these talents, there are at least two reasonable choices. Moreover, none of them are essential talents, but all are useful.

    The only tier that provides a clear DPS increase is the 6th tier, and I honestly think it would be hard to call between Killing Spree and Vendetta until we see them in action. As for the other choices you illustrate, I think that in the case of Leeching Poison and Paralytic Poison you've overlooked that you would need to replace your usual poisons for them, making them decent in PvP, but situational in PvE. (Also, don't forget that DR on PP would have an adverse affect on your more controlled, on demand stuns.) First tier, Shadow Focus and Subterfuge both provide a clear DPS boost... although even Vanishing on CD, this will amount to a tiny proportion of DPS in PvE; theyre burst talents for PvP. I accept that min/maxers will probably skip Nightstalker though. I think you've got it totally wrong on Nerve Strike though. For a start, its not a PvE talent at all (as you wont be using Cheap or Kidney Shot in PvE). For PvE Combat Readiness is much more useful, and Deadly Throw has more utility for PvP and PvE.
    Reply 0
  • World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Preview

  • a8a 25/10/2011

    There are a few talents which people will still min/max, and there will always be a few people who say "This is the best way, and anyone who says different is wrong", but I don't think there will be any more cookie-cutter builds, for a couple of reasons.

    Firstly, most of the talents wont add any DPS at all. If you look at any theorycrafting forum, like Elitist Jerks, you'll see several unresolved discussions about certain talents. Talents so minor as to be largely insignificant, I'll grant, but the fact is that when you cant measure a direct DPS advantage (or EH, HPS, HPM etc), opinions diverge on the value of a talent. This is because at a basic level, people tend to play the game quite differently. In many ways, this has been the unspoken truth behind cookie-cutter builds - player skill often eclipses an "incorrect" build, and lack of skill can make some theoretically better talents perform worse than the "wrong" talents. Removing talents that directly affect DPS will make it much more difficult to directly quantify their value, which should hopefully promote players choosing skills that complement the way they play.

    Secondly, the talent builds will be easily changed, similar to dual-spec switching or swapping out glyphs now. A lot of the talents are situational, which means that depending on the circumstance, we can all expect to be choosing some of our talents based on what we feel is best for the current set of circumstances. This also allows for more experimentation, which can only be a good thing.

    To a degree, the Cataclysm model worked for talent builds. It provided, in the vast majority of cases, some flexibility in the build, in the shape of the last few talent points going "wherever you like". The problem with it was that the last few talent points could go anywhere because they ultimately made no difference, or so little difference it couldnt be reasonably quantified. In the new model, by cutting off the alternative points for selection once you make a choice, the choices can be made much stronger, and by reducing the overall number of choices, they can afford to be made to fundamentally affect how your character plays. Since each talent point only needs to be balanced against two other points, they should be relatively easy tune correctly, resulting in genuine and significant choices, the like of which has only very rarely ever been seen in WoW.
    Reply 0
  • Blizzard aims for more accessible DOTA

  • a8a 23/10/2011

    @Pinky_Floyd



    Defense of the Ancients
    Reply +1
  • a8a 22/10/2011

    @GrizzleBoy



    If there's one thing that DOTA genuinely needs its more accessibility. Every version of the game that I've played is poorly documented, loaded with terminology and has a learning curve like the cliffs of Dover. Having invested the time in the game, I am now quite comfortable with all that, and I do enjoy the gameplay, but the barrier to entry is just so high that recommending it to friends plays out like an apology.



    In addition, the playerbase dont tend to make it easier. Thats a problem which is much harder to solve in design (although not, I believe, insurmountable). Obviously this is because of the team-based and incredibly esoteric nature of the strategy, but it is an essential problem to solve.



    The term "accessible" is not a pejorative. They are not talking about Farmville here, this is a game which could use a little help on that front.
    Reply +13