Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Mechwarrior Online announces anniversary rewards program

So in the middle of the public relations shit storm that PGI currently find themselves in, they continue to try and patch things up with their most vocal dissenters, those being the Mechwarrior Online players.  Obviously if you have been playing or at least following the history of MWO then you will be aware of the issues surrounding the game and it's lack of features the most important of which is the community warfare features.  Now PGI's Russ Bullock is claiming that at the two and half year mark the game will have this mythological feature and that they haven't been dragging their feet the entire time so basically "shut the fuck up fans of our game".  Now I won't be going into the details of why that particular claim is complete bullshit since many others before me have posted the multiple links to times when Community warfare has been 'just around the corner' the most notable of that being the "community warfare will be out three months after closed beta ends" statement that constantly comes round to bite them in the ass.

While Transverse continues it's Hindenburg level of disaster with a terribly lacklustre crowd funding campaign, PGI have attempted to their partial credit to actually respond to their own forums.  Russ himself created a post on the Mechwarrior website to announce the anniversary program which gives numerous free items to players who have been loyal customers in the past.  Basically the meat of the rewards will give eligible players a new variant of the Atlas with a unique paint job and geometry.  The rebirth of fan favourite Centurion the AH version that can carry a single AC/20 like the hero 'mech Yen Lo Wang.  They will also be giving us a unique version of the Star League 100 ton assault, the King Crab.  The final part of the program will award customers who buy the new clan pack and who also bought the Masakari pack the Vulture of Mad Dog with all of it's variants as a bonus 'mech.

It all sounds great and looking at the eligibility terms I qualify for all of them so in theory I should be really happy.  I am happy about the King Crab but only because that 'mech is fucking amazing but the reality is that this is a pretty shallow attempt at getting back into the good books with MWO players so they stop bashing Transverse.  It's a step on the right path though and if they continue to change things for the better we could end seeing a version of MWO that people can be really happy about where we can at least know that the developers actually give a shit about what we want as a community rather than just arbitrarily creating game changes that screw everything up at once like ghost heat did. 

The entire post can be read here http://mwomercs.com/forums/topic/171263-1-year-customer-appreciation-program/ enjoy the cupcake =p

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Transverse and Mechwarrior

So the recent news from PGI or piranha games about their new sci-fi MMO Transverse hasn't exactly gone over well with gamers.  The title was announced earlier this week as a crowd funded title that will focus on a massive world entirely populated by players and a minimum of NPC's.  The idea being that every mechanic, bartender, corporate suit and more are all themselves players who each make up the web of the Transverse universe.  It's ambitious and in my opinion a pipe dream that will never pan out, but honestly that is the least of PGI's problems.

PGI are the developers of Mechwarrior Online, a pretty good if not flawed game I have played for more than two years now.  It's development has been sketchy at best and features are somewhat slow to materialise which has created a community who love the IP, the potential of the title and it's mechanics but they do not love the people in charge of the development.  Numerous design decisions from the staff at PGI have created numerous gaffs that will likely never be forgotten by the community.  As it stands the game is about two years overdue for one of it's most important features, that being Community Warfare.  This mode is basically what we have now in titles like World of Tanks or Planetside 2, with player factions fighting for the NPC nations in a never ending war for dominance of the Inner Sphere.  It all sounds great but it has yet to appear after originally being slated for release three months after open beta launched, which was in 2012.

Looks a little too similar to Star Citizens Connie pictured below
Now the Transverse has been announced many Mechwarrior players are upset that a new title is being made and no doubt funded partially by them while MWO sits unfinished.  Transverse is currently looking for funding for stage one of it's project asking for around $500,000 to "take off" as the site puts it.  Apparently this stage will allow players to fly ships.....yeah honestly.  As of writing here the site currently sits at 86 backers who have cumulatively put in $7,230 of the half a million required, with 26 days remaining.  At that rate they will struggle to reach $100,000 by the end of the campaign.  It doesn't help that the ships look, to put it bluntly, shit.  Members of the Star Citizen community almost immediately recognised some of the designs as being very close to some of CIG's designs, namely the Cutlass and Constellation.  The backlash has been so bad that Transverse has actually united the fanboy factions of EVE, Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen to basically take the piss out of Transverse.  Fans of the game are being labelled as "Trannies" which although funny, I think is inappropriate given the fact it's a slur for people currently going through gender reassignment or have a preferred sense of style.

The Constellation by CIG
If all that wasn't bad enough the head of the community relations Niko Snow broke the rules of Reddit by advertising the game throughout the site while also banning anyone who was negative about PGI, MWO or Transverse.  This activity resulted in the entirety of PGI being banned from Reddit and now they are currently trying to get their bans lifted while blaming the infamous online group GOONS for the entire thing on Reddit. 

So overall PGI have a bad week PR wise and they haven't exactly healed any wounds caused with the MWO players.  I personally feel that as a developer they have been lucky to make a game based on a much beloved license and without it they would have closed shop a long time ago.  That said I do like Mechwarrior Online and would encourage anyone with a passing interest in games to check it out, it's fun and looks great but it does have it's issues and lack of features.  Now apparently we will have the much vaunted community warfare within the next ninety days.  Whether this transpires or not isn't the issue, the real issue is what happens when Transverse goes tits up?  The potential domino effect here is worrying and could end up being the beginning of the end for MWO.

I understand developers have to make games to keep making money and MWO does make money.  Every time they run a sale it makes cash.  Every time they announce new 'mech packs they make money and generally I think they do a decent job with the hero chassis 'mechs because I see them quite regularly.  Transverse however was the wrong game to announce.  We already have three big space exploration titles on the horizon in the form of Elite Dangerous which is being helmed by the father of space exploration gaming in the form of David Braben.  Star Citizen is being helmed by Chris Roberts who's resume for games design is impressive and his work speaks for itself.  Then there is no man's sky which is doing some truly unique things with modern gaming technology and programming.  Transverse is helmed by Bryan Ekman who has no real clout behind him and their idea is far from original.  I don't wish failure upon them for this project obviously, it would be nice to see them succeed like any developer but they don't do themselves any favours and I can't help but see the the Transverse becoming vapourware in the near future.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Russ Bullock just doesn't get Battletech

So this is going to be lengthy one because I am a little pissed with the developers of Mechwarrior Online right now.  I enjoy the game, I love the Battletech universe and really want this game to succeed but the way they are going about working this entire system of "balance" is stupid.  Below in italics is Russ Bullock and his most recent post regarding "Clan balance" (Ignore the hyperlinks, I just copy and pasted this wholesale)

Hello MechWarrior’s,
In light of the upcoming clan weapon changes today...

This is a long awaited update on PGI's latest feelings and plans as it pertains to Clan balance. I expect it to be a very lengthy post so please bear with me as we work through the entire logic of our balance decisions and plans.

First off, let's all go back to the initial clan announcement and postings of how the technology would work. We were very clear from the very start that we were determined to not make the same mistake of past MechWarrior games in establishing the Clan mech’s as the "end game". In other words we weren't making a second game but that these Clan mech’s needed to fit and exist within MWO. We let players know how the engines, armor and Omni pods would work as well as a general description of how the weapons would play. This was going to create a unique feel to the clans but hopefully very balanced with IS mech’s.

Now that things have settled in we can see that, yes, we have fulfilled the requirements of how the technology will work as well as attaining that unique feel. However we can also see that the balance between IS and Clans is further apart than we had estimated. So the question has been, how do we plan to address this?

We have come to the conclusion that, for the foreseeable future, this is NOT a viable option for MWO, here are some of the reasons why:

  • UI redesign of the pre-game, scoreboard and end of round screen.
  • New rules for tie breakers surrounding the uneven team sizes
  • Significant re-factoring of the match maker to develop team sizes that don’t match.
  • 'Mech chassis tonnage balancing will no longer work.
  • Elo will no longer work with 10 vs 12 team calculations.
These elements alone (not including other edge cases) represent at least several additional weeks, if not months, into refactoring and testing time before they would be ready for deployment. That is time that will directly impact the development and delivery of CW modules 2+.

So you can't just make a module of community warfare that is just the houses of the Inner Sphere fighting each other like the 4th Succession war until that work is completed?  I mean players would be happy to have something at this point even without clan 'mechs being in the warfare module, it's been over 2 years for clan tags, I think we have proven to be a somewhat patient lot.  It doesn't have to impact development time because you don't have to do it RIGHT THIS SECOND GUYS.  But as you can see this is just a cop out excuse so they can work on their new title alongside MWO. 

But perhaps more importantly than that, if we went down this path the overall message to the community is basically “Yes your IS mech’s are weaker, but if you put lots of them together you might win”. This is not what we communicated to the MWO community as to our plans for the Clan mech’s and how they would balance within MWO.

Oh shit really!?!?! Clan equipment is better than Inner Sphere?!!?! Let me check the original books..........HOLY FUCKING SHIT THE CLANS ARE WAY BETTER!  Seriously this is what is supposed to happen Russ when the clans attack.  It would be a pretty lame invasion story if a force from beyond the Periphery attacked that only had equipment on par with the Inner Sphere.  Seriously the entire point about the invasion is that the great houses have basically blown the shit out of each other for so long that their tech is very close to falling back into a dark age because of all the damage they have wrought upon each other.

The clans are the opposite.  The descendants of those who fled the warring states and created a much harsher but more stable society that emphasised skill, breeding, genetics and technology above all else.  They had no lord to answer to and fought each to better themselves.  So their return to the Inner Sphere is for them a holy crusade to liberate the Inner Sphere from the corruption of their old ways.  The whole point in their addition to Battletech was to create an enemy that players could not only be afraid to face but also provide a decent challenge too.

So what if players who run Inner Sphere 'mechs have to outnumber the clans, it's thematically correct that is what happened in Battletech.  I do not want a situation where a 45 ton Inner Sphere medium can go toe to toe with a 45 ton Clan medium.  That is why we have 10v12 in the tabletop, that is why clans run stars and house units run lances.  It's Battletech for fuck's sake.  The word balance and clans should never be used together in the same sentence.

Balancing Plan

At this point we cannot make the statement that we have a picture perfect solution to IS vs Clan balance, but we do have a solid plan of attack. First off just knowing that we are going to exist within a 12v12 environment is one of the major decisions we were waiting to make, and now that it has been decided, we can chip away at the problem.

The first step is to release this latest round of Clan weapon changes this week. We HOPE this is the last Clan weapon nerfs we will have to implement. Not because we feel like this will be enough, (in fact we know that it will not) but in an effort to keep the unique feeling of the clan mech’s strong we will look to other areas to bridge the rest of the gap. Such as the following POTENTIAL changes:

  • Clan Heat and Movement penalties if a Right or Left torso is destroyed.
  • Small increase in IS Mech heat efficiency.
  • Complete IS mech Quirk pass to give more uniqueness and ability when used within their respective roles.
  • Increase in IS and Clan mech armor and internal structure if time to death decreases too much.
So basically your super advanced clan battlemech gets slower when their super advanced XL engine loses a torso.  This isn't really correct but whatever, they already fucked the customisation up when they allowed IS 'mech to completely refit their engines but capped the clans with the stock engine.

The second point makes Inner Sphere 'mech even more heat efficient than they already are.  Given the pretty borked system using things like ghost heat this change is retarded.  People still maintain that the ghost heat system was a terrible change that didn't fix anything but created more headaches for players.  There are plenty of good alternates to this system but PGI don't give a fuck at this point.

Now the quirks I actually agree with here since the original Technical readout's gave every 'mech plenty of quirks about their design that could be easily translated into the game.  The few they have done have made some 'mechs more viable than ever.

The final point is one of the worst.  Making everything even more survivable will make players more flippant about tactics since they know they can take dual Gauss to the face and still have armour.  The game already has double armour and internal values so making them bigger doesn't make sense.  If we still had the tabletop values, people would use this thing called tactics, where light 'mech players wouldn't  just run off at the beginning of a match and ignore their team, assaults would be terrifying weapons on the field and not just slow moving missile fodder.

Our plan is to begin this plan of attack on the balance of the game this weekend with the implementation of the latest Clan weapon changes and then continue on with the other items systematically over the course of the next couple of months. With this command chair post shared with the public future updates on this subject should be possible much more frequently to discuss our progress.
In closing I still like MWO, it's the best battletech game out there for those of us who still love the setting and it's myriad of characters and events.  But this move toward a more e-sports style of play will only attract assholes who know nothing of the product and don't care.   It's a shame but at the moment I do feel ever so slightly like agreeing with those people who say the game isn't for us, the fans, but for the pro gamer who only cares about his KDR and W/L ratio.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

State of the blog September 2014

I know things have been a bit slow here on the Critical Rocket blog page over the last few weeks.  Honestly the videos have been taking a lot of my time up alongside Marvel heroes which is a lot of fun to play these days.  But rest assured there is new content coming to the blog site it depends on when Fantasy Flight games releases new X-Wing models and new games come out for me to review.

On both of those points I do know of two items that will be coming later this month.  First is the Rebel Aces expansion for X-Wing which brings the re-paints of the A-Wing and B-Wing to the game with their own pilots, cards and I believe a scenario to run with these new ships.  Obviously this release is now somewhat over shadowed by the upcoming YT-2400 and VT-49 Decimator that will be of far more interest to players out there but these new ships will be two new guides for the X-Wing page here on the blog with their own uniquely coloured silhouettes to represent them on the page.

The other item that will be coming later this month is the release of Middle Earth Shadows of Mordor, a title that will no doubt have Tolkein fans doing cartwheels with rage due to it's Apocryphal content.  That aside the game looks like a fun open world slash-em up with some groovy looking effects and gory violence to bring to the Orc hordes of Sauron himself, hell we even get to lock blades with the evil ruler himself so that's a good thing.  This will be the second PS4 I will have made for the PS4 and I might even attempt a Twitch video of myself playing the game and discussing what I like about it through the console and upload to youtube at a later date.  Who knows it's a crap shoot for me at the moment with regards to twitch.

I am also pondering some kind of archive for Marvel Heroes.  I put a lot of time into the game these days and it seems like I could at least list something as a resource for people who are interested but would like to know more about the game before downloading such a large program to their systems.  I could review it but my policy on reviewing MMO type games is that a score is pointless since the game can change drastically over the course of a year or less depending on customer feedback.  This works in both directions which is the reason I have never reviewed Mechwarrior Online because it can be shit one month and awesome the next dependant on the additions or changes the dev team make.

Wrestling related posts will become a little more common with the drama surrounding TNA and it's search for a new home on American Television sets these days and the World Wrestling Federations (Yeah I said WWF fuck you McMahon family) poor storytelling and general lack of interest in their product overall.  So before this becomes an ad hoc Analysed post by myself I shall leave it there for today.  Thanks for reading and please remember to check out the youtube channel for my videos there by using this simple link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMpEn1nKT6E_gt75GDK9IJA

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Mechwarrior Online Video update

So the videos have been coming along nicely.  I seem to have been more successful with my MWO videos than I have with the review videos.  I currently as of typing site on 26 subscribers to my channel, all of which I can assume have subscribed purely for the 'mech stompy action I record.  While I continue to reach the assault category for the vids, I have realised that once I record and upload footage for the venerable Atlas, I will be somewhat stuck for new 'mechs to upload.

Now granted I am a little while off that stage yet since I will only be uploading the heavy 'mechs this week and next with the first one being the Dragon.  The assault 'mechs seem a way off and will no doubt take me into October before I finish all of them.  So I have decided on a few other Mechwarrior Online video ideas when new 'mechs are few and far between.

First off I will be creating either one long, or several short videos about the games User Interface.  Many a player has been stumped by this admittedly unintuitive screen and I feel maybe a video showing what every button does will be a big help for anyone getting started.  I will cover the mechlab, upgrades, store, faction and play buttons along with examining how to modify 'mechs and what each module does.

Another idea is a series of map walk videos using the training grounds feature to show areas of regular combat, neat tricks using the terrain and other little tactical nuggets I have mined over the years of play.  My final idea would be a series about the weapons of MWO but not in a stat way but more of a opinion piece each weapon and how best they work in the game from my point of view. 

Obviously as time goes on I will add more 'mechs to the list as they are released since we are likely to see a new clan battlemech added this month or next along with other Inner Sphere designs such as the Mauler and King Crab.  A new map in known as Industrial will be making it's debut this month also so at least there will be a new map to stomp around.

Anyway thanks for reading, folks and have a good week where ever you may be.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

X-Wing mission control beta

Fantasy Flight Games keep on rolling with the announcements these days. The latest is the addition of a web based scenario designer for players of X-Wing.  This is awesome for me because I can now basically create my own missions and link them there.  I will also add my existing ones to this new system. 

So go check it out if you haven't already at this link.  http://tools.fantasyflightgames.com/xwing/
Bear in mind though that this is a beta so if it's anything like gaming there is a small chance when they launch it fully they will wipe existing data.  Anyway folks have a good weekend and as Wayne and Garth would say "GAME ON"

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Corruption in gaming journalism and other rants

If you have been keeping an ear to the ground recently in gaming circles you may have heard about the ongoing saga regarding one Zoe Quinn, a female indie game developer who made a game called depression quest on steam.  It's free to play but honestly who the fuck wants to play a game with that name?  That aside the interesting thing about this Zoe Quinn situation is the corruption allegations surrounding numerous journalists around the Internet.  The allegations basically say that she fucked a bunch of guys who at one time or another wrote for sites like Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Kotaku, Neogaf and more in an effort to promote her game via glowing reviews from her fuck buddies.  She essentially has a trump card that says if you try to face her down she can draw upon these people to attack you online.  Since none of these men want their careers ruined by having her reveal this information she has a high level of protection from the gaming journalist sector.

It's weird to think of corruption in something like game development and journalism, I mean it's a medium that every child grew up with in the last 20+ years and is largely viewed by the older generation as being a waste of time and mind numbing and gamers in general these days are a mixed lot who are capable of amazing acts of altruism and charity, along with titanic sized amounts of selfishness.  It's hard to imagine the journalists out there who write about games, interview developers and engage with their communities could be corrupt.  It's not all writers of course, not every one is some kind of stooge for the gaming developers and publishers of the world who take money to write glowing reviews and promote titles regardless of the products failings.

Accusations are thrown out regularly by players of corruption through popular websites like IGN, Gamespot, Gametrailers, Eurogamer and many, many more.  I couldn't help but feel this way when the original Battlefield 4 launched last year and was filled with game breaking bugs, crash issues, glitches and more through every facet of that title.  However if you were to read the reviews of the game at launch you would never think this was the case, in fact you would be led to believe the title is near perfect with the score the websites gave the game.  Now was it a case that every single writer for all of those popular websites just got lucky and never encountered an issue during their review time?  Or did they perhaps gloss over certain issues because EA gave incentives for a positive review score.  Take into account that Battlefield 4's competition Call of Duty Ghosts was given a much more balanced review treatment and that game was fine by comparison to Battlefield 4.

In fact we know that websites like Gametrailers will take "bribes" by looking at past product placement.  Seeing popular Gametrailers personality Geoff Keighly surrounded by Mountain Dew and Dorito's packaging is pretty much confirmation that these major gaming websites are more than willing to sell out for some revenue.  It pretty much compromises the integrity of people like Geoff due to his acceptance of the deal made and his unflinching disregard of peoples criticism for it.  These kinds of deals are regular and it's hard not to think that people are being manipulated to give a game a good score because of this. 

At one time you had a safe haven from the corporate shilling and bullshit in the form of youtube.  A site that allowed people who didn't work in the industry to play games and give honest feedback and reviews of their own.  Angry Joe is someone I would highly recommend you check out since his reviews are not only entertaining but he has the level of integrity many of us would like to see in professional gaming journalism today.  But even this bastion has since been eroded with the corporate entities now approaching these people and offering them money and other items to do the same thing as the big sites.  This isn't to say all of them do this, Angry Joe is one example with another being TotalBiscuit, another reviewer who has openly talked about the Youtube situation, admitting that yes he has promoted games in the past after being contacted by publishers.  The difference is that he will make it known that on those video's he has been asked to do it and if you watch it then keep that in mind.

I don't begrudge these youtube personalities from accepting the fame and money from these deals.  For a lot of these people it was life changing.  They don't work a regular job, stay at home, play games, make videos and get invited to big events by the publishers.  It's a very tempting offer to say the least.  I don't know if I would personally be able to keep my head above it all if I had that kind of attention on the likes of youtube.  I produce videos for a few games and they lack the same level of quality and production but if I were to be approached hypothetically I could see the difficulty of the decision.  Accepting is easy money for me and my family but I risk compromising what I started with my channel.  So for the youtube people it's a personal choice and how you view them after that is based on your own view of their situation.

Professional journalists however are paid by a company to write material for a specific field of media and if they allow themselves to be compromised through things such as sex in the Zoe Quinn sense, corporate promotion or flat out bribery then they don't have the right to call themselves gamers let alone journalists.  I expect the people who write about games to impartial, to be fair and give a balanced judgement to us the consumer.  A review is only an opinion of a single individual obviously, but these opinions count for much more than that when you see how many people online actually believe what they read.  I hope that these people do not have a hand in muddying my favourite hobby and that anyone who reads this just remember that games journalists are people who are just as prone to stupid decisions as you and I.  Don't take everything they say at face value and use your own best judgement when purchasing games.  I like to think my reviews are more balanced and not influenced by money from a publisher like EA or Ubisoft but it doesn't make my opinion infallible just a little clearer, like Angry Joe and TotalBiscuit and the millions of other independent gamers who give a game a score.

To people like Zoe Quinn, fuck you.  To those "journalists" who fucked her and now live in fear of her spilling the beans, fuck you to.  You people are more of an issue with gaming than anything Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo could ever do to the industry.  You drag us all down with your actions and for that you should be punished.  And for anyone who thinks I am targeting a female gamer/developer because of gender you are blind to what's going on and need to read up on the actions of the few who are slowly eroding our hobby with their lies about the industry being anti-feminist and sexist.  Gaming is not gender specific and yes it could do with a few changes to the old gaming stereotypes but I have never for one second felt that women are victimised in games and I have played a lot over the last 25 years from the ZX Spectrum onward.  If you want to swallow the bullshit and believe the industry has some kind of agenda against women, then you're fucked in the head.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The age of entitlement

Entitled is a word I have seen used more and more in the gaming world recently.  Years ago you would never have heard anyone refer to another person on a forum or in game as being such but these days it's become a catch all term for a type of person online.  And what kind of person is that?  Well it's a person who acts in such a way that their opinion, their demands and their threats better be taken seriously by the developers or else.

We all know about the cases of players who take to things like twitter to threaten death and punishment on certain developers and their families for making even the most minor changes to a games function or features.  These people are in my opinion scum and should be removed from the Internet permanently.  But they only represent a small faction of the entitled front online today.  You only need look into the free to play market to see how regularly players attack the moderators, developers and even publishers for perceived slights against them.  These sleights can be anything from X feature being pushed back a week to patch changes making the game play a little different from before.  It's a shocking state of affairs when you see entire boards light up with sometimes very violent arguments between grown adults over the apparent value they give themselves regarding a free to play game.

An example can be taken from the Mechwarrior Online boards.  A more common practice today for free to play developers is to gather early sales by offering players something special for their pre-launch system.  Mechwarrior in this case opened the "founders" initiative which essentially offered three packs to players who were interested in buying in early to the game.  $30 got you the lowest pack which offered some basic in game currency, premium time and early access to the late stage beta.  A $60 pack offered the same but with the customers choice of battlemech from a pool of four.  The top tier pack known as the legendary pack asked players for $120 and granted them everything from the previous packs along with all four 'mechs at launch.  So the developer (PGI) gave players of all financial levels something to get them started If they wanted to.  These packs however where not required for players to get into the beta and nor did the "founders 'mechs" grant any special bonuses to those people who bought the second and third tier packs.

To put this into perspective.  The founders program was not a kickstarter and was never necessary for the developer or publisher to launch the game.  It was the first of a new way of bringing in early income and gauging interest from customers.  The extra cash no doubt helped of course but it wasn't key to Mechwarrior Online launching as a product.  However the entitled people on the forums would tell you otherwise or at least claim they were solely responsible for the game ever being launched.  Their demands ranged from the laughable to the absurd from free battlemechs, special items nearly every month, free premium time, early access to new features and more.  The key element here is that as founders they already got some of these bonuses with the likes of bonus premium time, unique 'mechs and early beta access but this wasn't enough. 

Fortunately this attitude has since dwindled and now players demand regular attention for their minor issues with the game.  If a weapon kills them too often "IT'S TOO OP", if their favourite weapon gets patched or altered "GAME IS DEAD NOW, CANNOT PLAY" it's never a balanced approach or even a logical one at times.  Mechwarrior Online isn't exempt from this kind of attitude either as the current record breaking crowd funded title Star Citizen has it's share of weird entitled ass hats.

Star Citizen from the outside looks like a dream game for sci-fi fans.  It's entirely crowd funded, is headed up by Chris Roberts an industry veteran with many sci-fi titles under his belt, has numerous talented developers from across the gaming spectrum and even has Hollywood design talent involved for ship design and sound.  The community as whole is generally well behaved and friendly but there is sometimes a sad occurrence of entitlement from a small minority there.  The most current example is the situation with a vessel known in game as the Constellation.  It's a large ship that will act as the worlds YT-1300 or Millennium Falcon and as such is highly desirable for players who fancy being the smuggler, explorer or average trader.  Roberts Space Industries (the developer) revealed three new variants of the Constellation, each with their own quirks that make them desirable for different reasons.

There is a luxury version which coincidentally is the most expensive, another one is a standard explorer and a third version is the bog standard variant which is also the cheapest.  Now these new variants where popular and some highly sought after as some of these are limited in number.  The stats where published and a minor typo caused a furore on the forums with players demanding they give them the item listed which wasn't actually on the ship.  Another issue came from the luxury version which has a very flash looking internal finish to fit with the luxury philosophy of the ship.  Some players however want the internals to look like the cheapest version because.....they want it.  It's become a lightning rod for arguing over something which is essentially minor.  It's the inside of the ship and they demand it be changed because they don't want it to look that way, even though that is what you paid for.  This is the kind of entitlement we see today in gaming.

I have a theory that isn't exactly 100% but it might be on the right track.  A new generation gamers has since hit adulthood and these people have been weaned on the milk of social media and a means of making their feelings known to all people at any time.  So when they feel upset or don't like a change that is made they become irate and post on forums and message boards elsewhere to demand things be the way they want them and when people of the older generation see them whining, they tell them to clam down or to simply shut the fuck up.  This enrages the entitled people who are used to an online environment where their friends tell them they are right all the time and they become extremely negative.  Everyone is to blame and everyone needs to listen to them and them alone.  Their anger goes into hilarious rants that threaten everything from legal action to boycotts to threats of violence. 

The thing is that these companies are just that, companies.  They exist to make a product that you buy and you choose to give them money to continue producing more content.  If the money stops then they stop and the game goes away.  Developers do not owe us as customers anything with regards to purchases.  It's their decision to change how the games works when they feel and we as players have a voice to disagree with these decisions and create a dialogue, but becoming a whining child does not change a thing.  The entitled crowd don't seem to understand that games are made for mass markets and huge audiences and not an experience for them and them alone.  It's odd and it's a sad thing that these people are sometimes the most vocal on any forum or in game these days.  If they had their way, games would be made via committee and not teams with a clear idea of their end goals for the product.

My personal message to these people is this.  Shut the fuck up whining, think before you speak and when you do speak, try to take into account the community as whole and not just your deluded self.  Forums are not your personal stage to perform a one man drama production and finally, it's a fucking game not your life.  If something pisses you off go play something else or leave entirely.  The only time you can genuinely berate a developer is when they release a game so broken it affects everyone playing and not just you.  Battlefield 4 is an example of this.

Thanks for reading, have a good weekend.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The crushing of John Cena - Summerslam 2014

Summerslam was interesting.

I was aware of the outcome of the main event prior to watching in so much that Brock Lesnar would win the title.  What I didn't expect was just how convincingly they decided to do it.  Brock literally squashed Cena with near two dozen suplexes that left Cena in a crumpled heap on the mat.  Sure the last son of Krypton did get a few bits and pieces of offence in but overall he was squashed big time.

He got beat down so badly he is now stuck with this expression
Presumable this is to make Brock the companies mega heel and top opponent for the new generation of top tier WWE stars.  It's not like they are hurting for fresh blood with the likes of Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins running as popular characters on their own alongside the likes of the Wyatt's (although Rowan and Harper may not count as young but they are fresh) Cesaro, Swagger, Rusev, Bo Dallas and more.  I would like to think that the systematic destruction of Cena at Summerslam is the beginning of the new age of WWE with these newer faces at the top, but as with all things WWE, they have one good idea and around 50 bad ones.

I welcome the Cena domination by Brock, it was such a fun match to watch and actually told a story.  It is genuinely one of those historic moments that people will remember for years to come.  Does this mean the end of John Cena?  Hell no, he will be back within a six month time frame and probably get the belt once again.  Maybe not from Brock but whoever has the belt will drop it to him when he returns.  For the foreseeable future Cena like Orton will be with us for probably another decade off and on.  I just hope they aren't going to be the faces of the business for that remaining decade what with the current issues both financially and creatively the WWE are suffering.  It's clear now that fans don't just want a single man on the top every month and sometimes, just sometimes it's worth indulging the fans with something they want to see.  It worked at Summerslam and if they are smart they will keep listening.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

X-Wing Wave 6 announced

I was kind of surprised with the relative lack of models announced for Wave 5 of X-Wing.  Only two ships was kind of odd considering the usual four ships for previous waves.  Wave 5 is still worth investing in purely for the YT-2400 and VT-49 Decimator and no doubt these ships will be fine additions to any players collection.

Wave 6 however more than makes up for wave 5's lack of content.  Dubbed the scum and villainy expansion, this new wave adds a third faction to X-Wing known as "scum" and odd name in my opinion.  Now in some of my guides for and custom scenario's I have listed some ships as potential pirate, mercenary or system patrol craft and now we have them with unique colour schemes.  The ships in wave 6 are numerous and awesome at the same time.  So below are the new ships and variations in Wave 6.

First up is the scum expansion which is pretty substantive.  It has three models which are existing releases now re-coloured to fit the third faction.  We have two Z-95 Headhunters painted in the colours of the infamous Black Sun organisation.  The other model is the reliable Y-Wing painted in the new factions colours.  The remaining items are new cards and pilots for these vessels along with extra pilot cards for famous characters such as Boba Fett.  This expansion will be a great expansion.

To further expand on these new pilots and re-colours we also get some new firepower in the form of the Starviper attack platform, originally built by Mandalmotors for Prince Xizor during his attempted power play against Darth vader, this fighter looks cool and is very powerful.  Multiples of this fighter can be deployed when Mandalmotors took control over the production after Xizor's downfall. 

Next is the M3-A Interceptor which is also built by MandalMotors.  It's cheap, efficient and extremely agile.  This fighter will likely be the scum factions mainstay fighter alongside the Z-95.  The fighter originally turned up in the now dead Star wars Galaxies MMO as a starter ship for newer players.

The final addition is the bounty hunter vessel flown by the ruthlessly efficient IG-88.  The IG-2000 is a powerful vessel built for a droid and thus is tougher, more manoeuvrable and can deliver a high damage output.  This ship will probably be remembered by fans from the novels and comics created after the original trilogy featuring the odd looking droid as it worked to capture it's prey.