Monday, 23 November 2015

No Sympathy for the Devil

In recent days we could see how Kotaku laments them being blacklisted by some of the bigger names in game development. And when you read their post, no matter how hard they try they don't fool anyone. If they ever were in game journalism business, they are not for some time now. These days their main function is agitprop.

Now, let us analyse their cries and determine if they have any weight behind them, or are they as usually just another empty sack of bad air that Kotaku is famously known for.

Being Blacklisted

Surprise, surprise! Being sent copies of games in advance to review them is not your right but instead a privilege. You get this privilege by being an established game reviewer. It is entirely on the good will of the game studio to send you an early copy of their game. What is more, they always send it with the expectation that this will not come bite them back in the ass. This only works as long as the two parties involved are being honest with each other.

If the "journalist" abuses this trust he can rightfully expect to be blacklisted. Why should the developers keep playing ball with you, when you continually abuse their relationship? Leaving you on your own is the only rational solution here. You have proven yourself to be unworthy of their attention, and thus established to be a bad investment because you care more about your own profits than healthy relations between the developers and the journalists.

Kotaku is correct in their assumption that they serve their audience and not the game companies. Good on them. But that means they are incompatible with the interests of the game companies, and as such should not even bother complaining about it. It's like a hyena crying foul when antelope decides to run instead of waiting for hyena to kill it.

Moral of the story: If you want it, earn it. And to be honest, Kotaku can afford buying their own games. I would even encourage it, so that they stop complaining about everything but how salty the prices for half-finished games really are. But let's not get distracted here.

You Reap What You Sow

I will freely admit I have no love for Kotaku. In my honest opinion they are garbage not worth iota of my attention. And to be honest, it feels like a poetic justice that the developers have decided to leave them on their own. If anything, it sends a strong message. You might be a force in this industry, but you are nothing if you decide to make an enemy both of public and the industry at the same time.

Kotaku spent years sowing discord, inserting their politics into their posts, and trying to alienate its readership. Not to even mention that their train of logical thought is taking some of the most impossible turns just to hammer some random point that has nothing to do with whatever they are writing about anyway. This was common for them, and I am sure it still is. But to each their own as they say, and if people enjoy it, who am I to stop them.

Ethics in Game Journalism

Ah yes, we finally arrive here. Kotaku is here playing victim when in fact they are the wolf wearing sheep's clothing. If you decide to be a beacon of integrity, you would know you have forsaken in that very moment any kind of goodwill you might have had with the game developers. If you had the integrity, or have been ethical you would not have cried for not receiving free copies of a game from the game's PR and marketing department. If you were all about ethics you would not care about the profits, and would instead focus on what really matters. But I'm afraid that any regular reader of Kotaku will misinterpret that because they expect for the world to adapt to their view of reality and not the other way around.

Honestly, Kotaku should look at this as a blessing, not a curse. They have been given an unique opportunity to show the world how much the very beacon of ethics in game journalism they are. And instead they decided to squander it by crying foul when there is none in the first place. Just the logical consequence of their own actions.

Talk about throwing pearls before swine...

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Decline of Subscribers and the New Hope

There I was, smiling, I am sure I was not cackling when I saw how the subscription numbers of World of Warcraft plummeted in the last six months. Nobody could really expect almost 50% fall to a little over 5 millions. Well, maybe some did, but on my part it was mostly just wishful thinking, that such steep fall would make them fix everything they were doing wrong for some time now. Mostly since Cataclysm. Isn't that just the right ominous name to call an expansion? To explain, in football I used to root for FC Bayern. I'm still their fan, but ever since Guardiola became their manager, and started changing everything that was good and well in Bayern and implementing his own vision I am rooting for Bayern to lose. To kick Guardiola, and then return that what they used to be. Same feeling with World of Warcraft.

But alas, while I will cheer for Bayern again in time, I don't believe I am ever returning to the planes of Azeroth. I missed my train, the next expansion will probably be out in a year, and by no means will I buy Warlords of Draenor. That expansion is just the very embodiment of what is wrong with World of Warcraft today. Buying that hack of a game is not an option, not for me at least. The rest can do or did as they want or did want, but I am not buying.

That said, I am a bit enthusiastic about the next WoW expansion, Legion. We're back on our Azeroth, not the the AU monstrosity. There will be playable Demon Hunters, for now as it seems exclusive only to Night and Blood Elves. Which from the lore point of view makes all the sense. I am sure people will complain. I mean, Druids were meant to be male only class, and priests only female class among Night Elves but that never ended that way, did it?

But yes, good times. Illidan is back, Gul'dan is scheming, Burning Legion is invading, there seems to be more Vrykul and some new elves on the new continent, and Glaives!, and you are in charge of your class order. Which if you are Paladin, like I was, is epic. Surely it will be approximation of this for all other classes as well. But I think they are taking it too far with giving Ashbringer to everyone. Sure, I'd be thrilled to have it, but that is supposed to be the one of a kind weapon with no equal. And now every Retribution Paladin in existence will prance around with it on his back. It cheapens it.

Did I miss something? Well they might increase the price of the expansion because reasons. Surely there will be more new content than in Warlords of Draenor? Right? That surely means raising the price of the game is justified.

Now, does anyone know when Wildstar is going F2P? And can we get Kael'thas back? Like really back?

Sunday, 24 May 2015

No Flying, No Game

Give them a hand, and expect to lose an arm.

I could start this post with I told you so, but where would be the point. My stance on Blizzard and their number of weird, and in my opinion wrong calls of late is well known, so I don't think it bears repeating. The only good thing that we got out of Warlords of Draenor were the new models. For the rest I cannot judge because I did not buy the expansion. One of the primary reasons being not knowing if we would be able to fly or not.

To some, this might appear as trivial, to me it is essential. When Blizzard says they don't want us to skip content, I am thinking of how annoying it is to kill a bunch of mobs that you don't need. They are just annoyance, I don't even perceive them as a challenge or obstacle. They are just there to waste my precious time. With flying I can circumvent them and be on my way, doing something that actually excites me. Without flying I am back to square one. Imagine saving Kull day after day without flying. A bloody nightmare. Flying made that daily quest bearable and maybe even exciting for a bit. Even if Kull really was incorrigible jackass.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Hugos 2015, Sad Puppies, and "Controversy"

For those that do not know, and are at this point too afraid to ask there is an award on Worldcon dedicated to the very best works published in Science fiction and fantasy literature. As it happens a group of people was not happy with the atmosphere, and the nominations. This group of people dubbed themselves Sad Puppies. First started by Larry Correia two years ago, and now organised by Brad R. Torgersen. Simply put it is a list of works the two of them and their fans found interesting and worth notice. In order to vote you need to buy at least a supporting ticket for Worldcon which costs 40$. After that, you can first nominate the works you like for the award, and later on vote for the works that ended nominated in order to win this "prestigious" award.

The very prestige of Hugo awards is one of the disputes surrounding this year's "controversy". Simply put, some people don't like when "outsiders" organise among themselves and get the things they like nominated instead of what the "real fans of Sci-fi" deem worthy. It is like these people never ever saw a popularity contest. It is either their ignorance or their hypocrisy. I'll go with ignorance because you know, benefit of a doubt.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Advent of a New Era

A week or so ago, probably a bit more since I take my sweet time these days there were some announcements made. These announcements had two things in common. They were about the game engines, and they were about future of free game engines. I am talking about the announcements regarding Source 2, Unreal 4, and Unity 5.
If this was a poker I'd be waiting for a 3, 6, or an ace at this point for a straight.

As I do not really know a lot about the game engines I cannot say much about the technical side of things. What I can say though that in this case free means a lot of good things for the gaming in general. We have all probably played more than just a couple of games made in these three engines or their direct predecessors. And just from our own experience we can say that the technical side of these engines is in general nothing you can complain about.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Who's Charlie?

It has been almost a month since two lunatics decided the best way to defend their God was to shoot a bunch of innocent people for drawing bad cartoons. I cannot say I felt much of anything when I first heard about the shooting in Paris. Just another shooting I thought, what is so special about this one? Before the terrorists decided to attack those cartoonists, I did not even know for Charlie Hebdo.

But the more I read, the more I hated it. I am a firm believer in the Freedom of Speech, in fact this is one of those things where I will never accept any kind of compromise. In my honest opinion, you can say out loud whatever you want and nobody should harm you for it. Even hate speech. In my mind, the state can take care of those spreading hate speech on its own, and thus ensure that an individual's rights are not trampled under mongering of a few.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Delay of the Mandate

It has been awhile since I wrote something. I would like to say that I have a convenient excuse at the ready, but I think it does not really matter. It was holidays, and what is more I was lazy. And the last thing that has crossed my mind in these days was to drag my ass to the chair and force myself until I write something. That said, this is as good time as any to get back to writing, and today's topic is recent announcement my Perihelion Interactive that The Mandate will be released about a year later than it was originally intended.

As someone who originally supported The Mandate campaign on Kickstarter I am really not thrilled about this announcement. I was looking forward to exploring, ok let us be honest, conquering the galaxy in 2015. As it seems, I will have to wait one more year at bare minimum before I get the game I payed for in my hands. Let this be a lesson to all of you who fund a project on kickstarter on any other crowdfunding site. And let this be a lesson to all you who preorder as well.

Review: Legionnaire (Galaxy's Edge Book 1)

When Nick Cole, and Jason Anspach started their endeavour of making "Making Star Wars Great Again", over at Galactic Outlaws . I...