UK - Leamington Spa
Last Active
Favorite Role
  • Star Wars Battlefront II or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and the Love the Loot Box - Michael Bitt

    This article is a good summary of what's wrong with people's mentality today.

    Games used to be creative experiences with a price tag on them. A team of people would come together and create something fun. Sometimes a publisher would try to cut corners and shift the vision, but in the end, you'd have an experience for a set price nevertheless.

    Movies are still like that. You pay a set price and get a set experience. Some box sets have bonus content, but the core experience is always there - whether it's a DVD, BluRay, TV or going to the movies. People wouldn't tolerate this excessive micro-transaction bullshit there, why do we tolerate it in games?

    When I go watch the new Star Wars movie, they don't pause the movie at the first big battle and say "We will play this battle 50 times. But you could pay $1.99 for a chance to go on with the story". If that was the case, people would walk out the cinema. They would not be writing editorials saying "I like these new movie lootboxes, before, I'd have to wait 2 hours to see the ending. Now there's a 0.01% chance I'll get to it right away! And if I'm unlucky, I can always watch the battle 50 times. Win win right there."

    These days, games are clearly money milking machines first, experiences second. Battlefront 2 is a prime example of this - the core design is literally about buying loot boxes, with a game play moulded around it.
    pantaroNycteliosIselinStjerneoddlaseritAlomarNildenmrputtsXodicSiugand 4 others.
  • DRM in games and angry pirates

    I think it's important to distinguish two types of DRM.

    1. Offline DRM - where you need to "activate" a game, but then can play without any server communication.
    2. Always Online DRM - where your game needs contact with the DRM server.

    In the case of offline DRM, I agree with the OP argument completely. Activating a game once is no hassle what-so-ever.

    In the case of online DRM, it may be a much greyer area. Let's say the game is not generating any new revenue in 3 years time. The developer may simply pull the plug on the DRM server and you'll never be able to play again.

    MMORPG closure is a sad event for all fans - quite frankly, it always sucks. This is something single player games did not have to worry about. Once you bought a game, you could always play it. That is, until the recent emergence of these "online" single player games. A poorly coded DRM adds this unnecessary caveat to single player games.

    Poor online DRMs may also cause disconnections mid-game, inability to play on launch due to heavy traffic and may lead to platform locking games. I recall several game launches, where legal owners of games could not play due to DRM, while pirates were happily enjoying the game with the DRM removed.

    That said, I'm not sure how many players actually realise these flaws with online DRM. From what I've read on Steam forums, many are simply throwing words around, without really caring about the flaws of DRM at all. Gamers, especially those on Steam forums, are quick to find a scapegoat and beat it to death.
  • Will Amazon Game Studios Reveal an MMO on September 29th? - News

    Forgrimm said:
    Will Amazon Prime members get in-game benefits? ;)
    Expedited cash shop deliveries.
  • Why the outrage...I'll cover everything.

    The market definitely has "evolved". There is no question about it.

    When I was growing up, 20 years ago, most people didn't own a computer and didn't know how to use one. Internet was a luxury that noone had - it was something similar to VR today. Only people passionate about technology had it, because there was no consensus that it will actually be useful. So who do you think the target audience was for MMOs back then? It was a person who is a bit of an outlier in the community, someone who has a PC and internet. These people were often old school sci-fi and fantasy fans. They didn't care something isn't easy to use - they wouldn't have a PC with internet if they did. That was the target audience for MMOs, because there was no other audience out there. 3 people out of 20 in my class had a PC.

    Fast forward to my high school, 10 years ago. 29 people out of 30 in my class had a PC. Out of those, maybe 10 used it for gaming. The one person who didn't have a computer had to go to the school's library every afternoon to do their homework, which needed internet. Today, I am at university. Everyone has a laptop. Compared to my high school, gaming isn't a 30% of people thing. Everyone understands it on some level.

    I still have this thing in my mind where I think you should never mention gaming to others, as it is marginal entertainment. It's simply not true anymore. I was moving houses last year and a girl was helping me move the boxes, she had a car and I didn't. She wasn't nerdy at all, studying a business major, really into management. When she was carrying my console games, she was genuinely interested in them, saying she plays games every now and then herself. That was a big eye opener for me, as I realised the gaming market has changed substantially.

    In terms of MMOs, they reflect this change. They still class as MMOs - if a mass of players share the same virtual space, it's generally called a MMO. They do appeal to different audiences today though! Some games still go after the niche market of tech enthusiasts who want deep non-trivial systems. EVE Online is a great example of this - this is just a guess, but I'd say majority of EVE players are similar to the MMO player 20 years ago. But you also have other MMOs, those that try to capture other player bases. Games like WoW are still MMOs, but they go for the mainstream fantasy fan. This means making the systems easier to understand - after all, the majority of people aren't tech fanatics and won't have the patience to invest days or weeks into understanding one system a game has to offer.

    I'd say a veteran player today has two options. Either accept the market has grown, leave people enjoy their entertainment and find a place for yourself, in this big pie, that you enjoy. There is a huge variety of games today. Saying no MMO has anything to offer is probably not true.
    The alternative is to be bitter about the change, trying to build a stone wall around your idea of what a MMO should and shouldn't be. I personally think this is exhausting and not fun, so I'll do the former.
  • Jobs Posted for Unannounced First-Person Project - News

    Murloc VR
  • No Importing Characters / Accounts from 'Original' to Steam - Black Desert Online -

    Alverant said:

    Not that I play BDO due to pvp, but I'm curious as to why? Aren't characters tied to an account? Why not just log into your account when you boot up the game?

    Steam takes a cut from all purchases. This likely applies to microtransactions as well. Around 30% for smaller studios, a little less for large products. I assume the developers want to keep old players paying through their own website, with no steam cut at all.
  • #10MillionStories Campaign Celebrates 10 Million Unique Players - Elder Scrolls Online -

    And here I was, hoping they're giving 10 million away for logging in.
    You can't count on anything these days anymore.
  • Does Star Citizen REALLY exist?

    There is no game. It's all pre-rendered. Whenever you press a key, the so called game just plays the right movie in the background. A lot like Dragon's Lair really.
    Think about it, why else would you need a 100GB client? It's there to store all the video data.
  • Fortnite is a Game You Want to Try - Not So MMO -

    Renoaku said:
    I was thinking of buying the $150 version is it fun like I can't tell much from the game-play so far or is it very generic?
    The matches are usually for groups of 4. You generally spend the first half of the match (10 minutes) exploring the map, trying to either harvest resources, find treasures or complete smaller missions (e.g. protect a survivor NPC, build a tower based on a design, or eliminate a small group of monsters). Each map then has a "main" objective. Once people feel like they explored enough, they naturally decide to gravitate towards the main objective, which they then complete together. This often revolves around protecting a location from an invasion of zombie waves (both by building defenses and by fighting with your weapons).

    After the match, you get rewards based on your performance. This is in addition to anything you found while exploring. Broadly speaking, there are four kinds of loot you find: schematics (that let you craft items), items (weapons, traps, resources to craft other items), heroes (that you can play as), survivors (that you "slot" into your equipment to give you passive buffs). You also get experience, which you use to unlock progression with - such as the ability to use stronger weapons, to have more survivors slotted, or active skills (e.g. airstrike).

    Each match takes around 20 minutes. They are semi-random: you select a map and the main objective, but the location of the objective changes, as do the side objectives and their locations. As far as I can tell (only having played for 4 days), it's a lot less boring than other games of this kind. This is probably due to the fact that exploration is encouraged, so you realistically only spend less than 25% of the time on the main objective (hence it not getting boring fast, even if you repeat it multiple times in a row).

    The game does have a unique flair to it - the systems are ones you've seen in other games, but it doesn't feel recycled. You have hints of Diablo (collecting loot of different qualities), Minecraft (harvesting resources around the map), tower defense (building stuff around the main objective) and a polished third person shooter. It's a lot of fun to me, as I love those games. I enjoy loot driven progression, as well as the art style.

    Things it doesn't have: Focus on long-term builds (whatever you build generally disappears shortly after), a strong linear narrative (it has a story, but the beef of the game focuses on replaying semi-random maps), massively multiplayer elements (everything is built around groups of 4). One could also argue it's somewhat pay to win - you can buy loot boxes with gear. But there is no PvP or direct competition really, so I couldn't care less (you still get good items just by playing).

    I also bought the $150 version, as I wanted to give the game to two of my friends. The legendary character you get is nice, but not mandatory. Unlike most other games, going for the lowest tier pack won't make it any less fun in my opinion. The game progression is balanced around the lowest tier pack - you are not really forced to spend anything, even indirectly.
  • EA Changes Its Tune on Loot System for Star Wars Battlefront 2 - News

    The changes alleviate some of the day one problems. Still, this doesn't change the fact that it's a loot box progression driven game.

    What these changes do is not remove the need to spend, but make the need for spending more consistent - your Boba Fett invulnerability isn't a random drop anymore, it's a result of crafting resources (that come from loot boxes). In the previous iteration, you could get lucky and get good cards straight up. Now, everyone will need to spend roughly the same amount.

    It is my guess that the in-game loot box awards won't be enough to get you the crafting resources you need. If that was the case, you could remove the crafting material from loot boxes altogether. They obviously don't plan on doing that - you will reach a plateau where getting materials is unfeasible by in-game means.

    The cynic in me also looks at their quote "Epic Star Cards, the highest tier of Star Cards available at launch, have been removed from Crates." I can see a world where 2 months from now, a new hero comes out (free for everyone as they promised), but accompanied by "launch packs" of various tiers. If you don't buy these, you will need to play hundreds of matches to get the Star Cards for that hero. If you want your hero to be powerful instantly, you'll be able to buy these limited-time packs that will have that hero's epic card guaranteed. (This is just speculation, but it's the exact thing they do in their mobile games).