Posted tagged ‘Blizzard’

Pity Party at Bloodline Champion’s House!

January 13, 2011

Manifest Pixel. It’s weird to think that I’ve had this blog running for almost a year. My previous best was three days on a Warhammer Online blog I made to run with my wife. By the time we finished creating a layout, uploading it, getting a domain name etc, we got tired of the game.

On a personal note, after having just left the Navy a little more than a year ago, and a current college student and married man, I don’t have a lot of time to find and make new friends. I still talk, rarely, to some of my Navy friends over Steam and Raptr, but for the most part my poor wife has to deal with my angry rantings on video games, or my geeking out over a new expansion announcement. To be fair, she is an avid gamer and doesn’t have a problem with it, but still.

Manifest Pixel has allowed me to rant, scream, role play and just talk about all kinds of gaming stuff. It’s really given me a great outlet and I love it. Does that mean it’s all good? Not exactly.

The truth is that running this blog can actually cause a lot of stress. Am I putting up enough stories? What should I blog about today? Why did I only have 3 visitors this week? That kind of thing. In truth it can be a little disheartening for me, especially when I am left out of “top blogger” lists. Does it really matter? Not a lick. Heck, this is a pretty new blog and I’m not the best writer in the blogosphere, but still, do I feel like I’m not doing well enough when I don’t make these lists? Yeah, ridiculous as that is.

Most recently it was The Pink Pigtail Inn’s community generated list that sent me into a spiral of self hate and flagellation. Do I think her list is actually pretty accurate and good? Yes, I think, like the Massively list before it, that it’s a pretty accurate representation of the gaming Blogosphere. That doesn’t mean I don’t kick myself for not being good enough for it.

What does all this mean? Not a damn thing really. It has made me update the blog a little more, so I guess that’s a good thing. But enough of this pity party stuff, let’s get on with today’s news!

bc_artwork_03

Bloodline Champions – Let’s PVP

Bloodline Champions is finally out of beta with it’s official launch today! I played for a bit in beta, but never as much as I wanted to. For those that don’t know, the game plays less like DOTA and more like WoW’s arenas. You pick on of several “classes”, and it pairs you with two other people. You must cooperate with your team to destroy the enemy in two of three matches.

I’m pretty excited about this, and I’m downloading the launch client as we speak. This is a free to play game, and they are using a cash shop, but I don’t know what they are selling yet. I’ll keep you all updated once I get in game, and there’ll be more this weekend.

WoWisHard

WoW is…hard again?

I remember less than two months ago. People all over the blogosphere, and on every WoW related forum, were bashing the game for being far too easy. To a degree they were right, but I still think that was more because of the amount of mods people use to cheat the system, such as Deadly Boss Mods. Still, Blizzard listened and they tuned Cataclysm heroics to be harder. Not as hard as some Burning Crusade heroics, but unlike in Burning Crusade they don’t require you to play the dungeon a ton of times before you can buy the guy to unlock Heroics. This leads to people having NO idea what they are supposed to do in groups.

What did all this lead to? It led to the blogosphere and WoW related forums exploding with complaints of difficulty. What does this tell me? Gamers have no idea what they want. Often they scream for the good old days of EverQuest and Ultima Online. Oh how those games were SO much better than todays games. Bullshit. If that was true they’d still be playing those games. The truth is that most people want what they knew. If someone came into the MMO scene with World of Warcraft, they are ALWAYS going to crave that new WoW player experience. For those of us brought up on Ultima Online we will always crave those glory days.

The truth of the matter though is a lot like it is with cartoons. You might talk about how cartoons were much better when you were a kid, but if you go back and watch them, most cartoons from when we were kids are near unwatchable now.

What was Blizzards response to all this QQing? Nothing less than this epic post. It has been nice having a World of Warcraft blog run by the developers, and Ghostcrawler makes some great points with this blog, addressing the complaining on the forums and around the net. What do you think about all this? Leave me a comment.

Advertisements

Cataclysm Ring the Death Knell of Brick and Mortar

November 7, 2010

deaths
First of all I want to apologize for not posting much, NaNoWriMo, school and work have pretty much devastated my free time. Now that we have that out of the way let’s get to the meat of this post.

I’ve been reading around the blogosphere constantly about what it means that Cataclysm is offering a digital download on the day of release. Previously Blizzard has delayed the digital purchase of World of Warcraft expansions due to anger by traditional brick and mortar stores wanting a piece of the Blizzard pie. Not that they are offering it day of people are crying the death knell of Brick and Mortar stores, but I’ve got a secret for you: Cataclysm is NOT the death knell of brick and mortar game stores.

How can I possibly think that? Let’s look at the simple facts. One of the biggest games retailers as far as brick and mortar goes is GameStop. Have you been into a GameStop recently? You’d be lucky to find even a new PC release and in some cases they don’t even have a PC section! Brick and Mortar stores care more for console games and they have for several years now, ever since the real death knell of Brick and Mortar (as far as PC games is concerned) released, Steam.

Other than the traditional want for a box that many of the older gamers have, there is no reason to buy a physical copy instead of a digital in most cases. In fact in some cases it’s better to buy digital, such as Steam integration or in game bonuses. I can spend an hour going to the store and buying a physical copy, or an hour downloading it without moving. If PC games still came with large cloth maps and huge game manuals then sure I would reconsider running to the store, but as it is I live in an apartment and I don’t have enough room for the boxes I have now, let alone in the future.

Another reason Steam is taking over PC game sales is their sales. You almost never see a PC game on sale in a traditional brick and mortar store, however Steam constantly has very VERY cheap deals on PC games.

In short: Cataclysm going digital will hurt the sales traditional stores were hoping for regarding the next WoW expansion, but overall will have very little effect, as PC games aren’t a big concern for most stores. What brick and mortar needs to really worry about now is handhelds coming out using digital distribution and things like being able to buy Xbox 360 games on XBox Live. The next generation of consoles may be the complete death of traditional stores, as all but Nintendo will probably be digital only, as being able to charge 30% of a games sale price for the right to sell it on their store (like Apple is doing) is far too tempting to pass up. Plus this will eliminate the aftermarket for used games.

Piracy is Killing PC Gaming! Abandon Ship!

August 14, 2010

happilydyingsince1985

The biggest excuse most people and developers are using for abandoning the PC is piracy. They claim that piracy is destroying their profits and running entire companies out of business. I am here to tell you that this is 100% true.

Take Modern Warfare 2, one of the biggest releases in recent years. According to Kotaku Modern Warfare 2 sold 6 MILLION copies on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in it’s first month. The PC helped contribute to that, selling 170,000 copies in one month. Not surprising that it’s so low, as most people I knew with a PC AND a console inexplicably decided to go with the not as good console controls. The point however is that the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 sold 170,000 copies on the PC AFTER it announced that it would not have dedicated servers, and would cost more than the average $40 PC gamers are used to.

Now imagine just how many PC sales there would have been if it had been a PC exclusive. Not quite 6 million in it’s first month surely, but assuredly enough to stay in business. If RPG developers can make a polished 80+ hour game and make a profit with a quarter of those sales, then I think Infinity Ward would have been fine selling  170,000 copies of their five hour long single player game, and six or so maps.

But that was a year ago now, and of course piracy has gotten worse. It’s getting close to PC gaming just dying, and as proof I give you Blizzards Starcraft II. It only sold 1 million copies in its first day according to PCWorld. Let’s be clear, in one day Starcraft II sold 1 MILLION COPIES. That is at $60 a copy on the PC. Even if Starcraft II stopped selling ANY copies after one day they’ve probably made a nice profit. Of course they didn’t, and Blizzard believes it will reach 7 million by the end of their fiscal year, gaining $350 million in sales.

These two are gaming powerhouses of course and I’m sure people will point that out. They might even point out that smaller indie developers have a hard time selling enough copies to stay in business. Of course, that is how gaming has ALWAYS been. Sure, there are indie games out there that are worth $10 or $15, but it’s hard to track them down. It’s much easier on a console, such as Xbox Live Arcade. Of course, this is solved by making the PC MORE like a console, which is exactly what Steam does.

Steam makes it harder to pirate but not impossible by any means, it is a condensed store where indie developers can get exposure just like a console, and it allows games to add achievements and a community. Another thing that might help the PC industry is OnLive. OnLive seriously is a console with a PC interface when you think about it, and I think the industry might be better off forcing OnLive down our throats. It would kill the traditional view of PC gaming because OnLive would keep their hardware all the same until they did a mass upgrade, just like consoles. Is that what I want? I’m fine with it. I’ve played several hours of OnLive gaming and it’s been a very pleasant experience. It’s not like I’m rich so I can’t upgrade my graphics card to a $400 card every other month, so OnLive controlling the PC gaming market would make me pretty happy. Besides, we don’t need to concentrate on better graphics at this point, they are already pretty amazing. It might be time to work on selling PC gamers “Logic Cards” and program game AI to be smarter than a brain injured drunken bear.

In short: Make good games and people will buy them. Will far more people pirate them? Yes. Would those people have bought the game anyway? No. You can’t say “We have an 80% piracy rate” and not be misleading. Out of those 80%, perhaps only 2% would have actually bought the game in the first place. In truth the industry has no idea how much piracy is truly effecting sales, and they need to stop throwing around numbers that even they don’t understand.

Forum Fail – Blizzard and the People

July 11, 2010

forumtroll1

Blizzard recently announced, and then retracted, their decision to make RealID (I.E. showing your real, full name for your account, to everyone) part of the forums. There were over 2000 posts about how horrible this was and how it would ruin peoples gaming experience. My opinion is slightly different than most.

You see, I am completely for RealID on the forums, and everywhere on the internet really. We all know that the reason the WoW forums and almost the entire internet is trollish and useless is because of anonymity. You give people the ability to do and say whatever they want without any consequences or even potential consequences and they will, 99% of the time, do terrible things.

I know why people are crying out against it, and there are three reasons.

1) They like to troll. This is probably in the majority. Sure they are posting on their level 80 mains about privacy, but it’s their level 1  trolling that is compelling them to do it.

2) Right to Privacy. This one is complete trash. If you are on your own web page, then sure you have a reasonable right to privacy. If you are on a public forum, just like being in a public place, you have given up your reasonable right to privacy.

3) The Danger. People have been railing against this because if people know your real name they will hunt you down and kill you. This is utterly retarded. Plenty of people know my real full name. Most of the people I work with, most of the people I go to school with, dozens of ex-friends and ex-girlfriends, half of the people my parents know, etc. I’m not worried about any of them tracking me down and killing me, and many of them live in or around the town I am in, not halfway around the world. You know WHY I’m not worried about them trying to kill me? A few simple reasons really.

1) Murder is a crime and most people do not want to go to jail.

2) It is a lot of effort to go through and if they are that insane AND dedicated they will soon rule the world.

3) I am a nice guy. I don’t call people asstards for no apparent reason and, while at parties, I don’t jump into conversations and just call everyone douches, throw my drink at people and then run around naked.

Having my real name on the internet, or on the WoW forums, does not exponentially increase my chances of dying. Might someone die because of it? Only in the since that people die because SOMEONE built a road that he was walking on when someone mugged and killed him.

I do however understand peoples complaints that it wasn’t always a requirement, and that to require it now is wrong, since many people are addicted at this point and would keep playing even if they didn’t like the rule. I just hope that they make this mandatory for their next MMO, and for ALL MMOs in the future. I was to see [CharacterName][RealLifeName] says “….” in chat from now on. Make people deal with the things they say and do.

An Ignorant Opinion on Greed

May 21, 2010

I understand why many AAA MMO developers need to make more money. We’ve been paying $14.99 or about that since Ultima Online and the development cost of video games has gone up drastically since then, especially top tier MMOs. I know that in order to make back the money they put into the game developers are going to need to either raise the price of a subscription (suicide for any new game, and most likely for most established games unless World of Warcraft does it first), or find alternate ways of making money ON TOP of the subscription model.

What I do have a problem with is companies fleecing their players for no real reason other than the fact that they can. An angry fire was sparked inside of me when I read about EverQuest II’s new Cash Store mount, the Prowler. This mount is priced at, you guessed it, $25! $10 MORE than a monthly subscription. That means that the developers feel that this mount is worth almost double the content that I would experience in a month of gametime.

I know some people are going to already be angry and thinking “Blizzard did it first!” and fear not, I am COMPLETELY DISGUSTED by what Blizzard did. Let’s do a little math problem.

World of Warcraft (Last I heard) has 11 Million subscribers worldwide.

Blizzard Entertainment has (according to Wikipedia) 4,600 employees.

A monthly subscription to World of Warcraft costs $14.99

This math may not be entirely accurate, but it’s going to be good enough for this purpose.

$14.99 times 11 Million subscribers equals 164,890,000! A MONTH!

Let us assume that Blizzard Entertainment pays ALL of it’s employees $100,000 a year. This is almost certainly NOT the case, but let’s pretend.

A full year of salary for their entire staff would be $460,000,000. In three months they make $494,670,000. In four months they make over the entire cost of all of their employees being paid $100,000 a year, which I am CERTAIN is NOT the case.

Over a one year period, JUST off of World of Warcraft subscriptions, Blizzard Entertainment makes $1,978,680,000. This does not count the actual SALES of World of Warcraft or it’s expansion packs, or of any other Blizzard game.

The Celestial Steed made Blizzard Entertainment more than $3.5 MILLION dollars! In about a MONTH! In order to justify JUST the subscription cost alone, not to mention making people pay for a mount, a $25 mount, Cataclysm better come with three times the landmass of current WoW, contain next generation graphics, AI and gameplay, and have it’s next three years of content already made and ready to be given as patches at regular intervals.

Otherwise they’re just duping idiots into giving up their money, and I’m pretty sure being a conman is illegal. Let alone an entire company of them. Of course I blame the entire thing on Activision and their CEO Bobby “I want to kill fun” Kotick.

Capcom Versus ???

April 25, 2010

I found myself watching the trailer for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 again today. There was just something off about it and I couldn’t figure out what it was. At first I thought it was the pairings, but honestly that’s about as good as it’s going to get, pairing wise. Kind of hard to mess that up really, just throw some popular Marvel and Capcom characters in at random and done.

Then I realized what the problem was. It’s Marvel vs. Capcom. Sure, I LOVED Marvel vs. Capcom 2 like most people who played it. I spent a lot of money on arcade time in the form of quarters, tons and tons of quarters. I started wondering what other pairings their might be, company wise, out there for Capcom. The first thing I had to do was head to Wikipedia and see what had been made already.

The List:

Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000

Capcom vs. SNK 2

Ok, two fighting game companies (for the most part) squaring off.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes

Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes

Comic Books vs. Street Fighter. Awesome, but there’s really no plausible story here.

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars

Yes, Ultimate All Stars if you are from Japan. If you are from America you might know a few of the Tatsunoko, if you’re old enough. Still, that’s fine.

X-Men vs. Street Fighter

Not a vs. Capcom, but really Street Fighter is the heart of the vs. Capcom games anyway, on the Capcom side at least.

Those are the major ones, with a few here or there being remakes for other consoles and having new titles.

The problem I see with this is that, as far as American appeal, they’re pulling from two sources: Marvel and SNK. SNK really doesn’t mean much anymore, at least in the states. Can you recall the last SNK game? The Marvel pairing is still working, or at least we can assume until the game releases, but shouldn’t they try to broaden their horizons a little bit more?

That’s when I realized what I wanted. My god it was so simple and yet most people have probably never thought of it. By GOD! It would make so much money they would have to stop production on all automobiles worldwide JUST to produce enough copies of the game.

SFvBlizzard

Capcom vs. Blizzard

Oh that’s right, the company that makes some of the best fighting games in existence teaming with the company that makes some of the best games in existence. Here’s the lineup for my trailer.

Arthas vs. M. Bison

Ryu vs. Illidan

Sarah Kerrigan vs. Chun-Li

Diablo vs. Dante (Devil May Cry)

Jim Raynor vs. Chris Redfield

Archon (Starcraft) vs. Vega

Thrall vs. Zangief

Morrigan (Darkstalkers) vs. Sylvanas Windrunner

Mekgineer Thermaplugg vs. Mega Man

Just….just imagine the money that would make. I tried but I gave up, every time I attempted to think of the number blood squirted from my nose.

What do you think of the idea? Leave a comment.

Raptr Forum Signature

Not interested in StarCraft 2?

March 8, 2010

Screenshot02

That’s not entirely accurate, but it does convey some of my feelings towards SC2. Let’s get one thing straight right away, I LOVED StarCraft. I spent dozens of hours on that game and I enjoyed every bit of it. All of that in the single player campaign.

That is exactly how I will enjoy StarCraft 2 as well, single player. Almost everyone is really excited for the multiplayer, but I’ve never been a fan of multiplayer unless it was an MMO or the occasional FPS.

So why am I not that interested in StarCraft 2 if I LOVED the first game? Do I doubt Blizzard? Not at all. The StarCraft cash shop has me a LITTLE concerned, but nothing too serious. No the truth is that I have heard the game is StarCraft with better graphics and a new story. That sounds awesome to a lot of people, but I am horrified that it IS like StarCraft.

The industry has come a long way since StarCraft released. Games like Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II have released, forever changing my view of the RTS. Gone was the tedious base building (that admittedly some people love. Some people ALSO love spread sheets.) and gone was the hour and a half of gameplay that saw no combat as you built up your base.

In those games you kept moving, and that is something that StarCraft 2 has apparently not done. I just don’t think that I can go back to the build+bake style of RTS.

Speaking of Dawn of War II the expansion launches in four days, March 11th 2010! Chaos Rising!