Going Back to GW2

So I’ve been exploring Guild wars 2 again and yep, it was news of the expansion that brought me back which makes me wonder even more about why they didn’t do it sooner. The living story just wasn’t for me and it was never something that was viewed in the same way as an expansion from the media either. No hype. No interest. Just an overwhelming feeling of MEHHH.

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Sylvari Drawing and Colouring

With a few people talking about drawing lately like MMO Gamer and on the twitters like Missy I’ve been kind of feeling the mood again too. I haven’t drawn much in years although, that is except a sylvari inspired outfit I was working on.

sylvari armour

This got me thinking about trying to actual colour it, not just with the coloured pencils I have around, in a box somewhere within the office clutter, but actually tryign to paint it digitally.

So I set to work in GIMP once more which I don’t think is terribly optimal for such things. I outlined the major points in Black, zooming in pretty close and folling along the lines with a small black Pencil. I then tried addings some block colours and realised that there were holes in those lines everywhere so I had to go over them all again.

I Then created a duplicate layer with these lines and placed it just underneath on the the Lines layers, that way if colour bleeds over a little the lines will still keep it clean.

Then I added the block colours to the picture.

sylvaribasec

From there I duplicated this layer and then began using the magic colour wand tool thingy to select base colours and add a little gradient to it. This seemed to work out pretty well although still doesn’t have the depth I wanted. From here, which I did a bit on the chin line, is adding some darker shading and blending it in. This layer is actually above my base lines as then you get those black lines peeking through after you’ve blended a bit creating a better, but smoother definition.

sylvariblend

Seems it’s working out (except for the feet, GRRRR) but taking a loooooong time. I probably should read up on how people actually do this instead of how I kind of fumbled around to do it

 

Signal Static Express

I’m amazed at just how much huge news we’ve had lately within the mmo space. Nothing for months and then BAM… everything hits you at once. I mostly just keep on going with my own rambling but sometimes I feel like I miss out on having my own say. From now on I think I will put some news here, but just quick opinions and recaps, nothing major although I need a witty title name for it.

Anyway Here’s some of the big January stuff so far

Massively Overpowered

First I’ll just highlight the closing down of the Joystiq sites, including Massively. Recently the team just came out with their own kickstarter, with plans for further crowd sourcing from places like Patreon afterwards. There has been a bit of conversation around the validity of what massively did, and I guess will do, but regardless of those (of which I have as well) I think it added enough of value to the mmo community for it to continue on.

ESO buy to play

Elder Scrolls Online will be going Buy to play on march 19, ahead of the June 9 console release. I did write about my own feelings but I’m still glad they went with this approach. The DLC mission pack style of monetisation will probably work quite well with it and I think with being on the consoles it might get a larger influx of new players.

GW2 expansion

Guild Wars 2 is finally getting it self an expansion, Heart of Thorns. There was a lot of talk around it’s possibility beforehand due to the few teaser elements in the last couple of mission packs and it mostly turned out to be true. A decent amount of new mechanics and elements coming that could breath new llife into the game. A large new map plus gliders to traverse the world, new story elements and guild ships. Personally I’m more interested in the new Revenant class as well as masteries, with their new weapons and focus as that should shake up the meta enough to get interesting again for me.

SOE Sale

Sony Online Entertainment, the organisation behind the everquest franchise, Landmark, and the recent HIZZY release has been sold to an outside investment Firm and renamed Daybreak Game Company.. or Day C as I’m going to call it. It was claimed on Smedley’s twitter that nothing will change from it’s current development although there was an interest in creating games for console and mobile.

I’m not sure how I feel about this just yet, it’s a weird move really. They weren’t that much of a drain on sony’s resources although, going by Planetside two just now becoming profitable it seems they’re not so great at the whole project/resource management style of things. I think it was a bad move for them putting all their eggs in the ftp, early access basket but.. whatever, their call. I’m guessing by the end of the month would should get some more news on it.

 Nintendo monetisation program

News currently circulating the youtube crowd at the moment was the idiotic new program from Nintendo regarding Monetising it’s games on youtube. Their Ideas were that you could become a Nintendo Affiliate, and get 70% of all earnings (after about two months though) or 6-% if unaffiliated.. So yeh, I’m guessing they are back to the archaic and rather damaging plan of claiming all nintendo games within youtube for themselves in the aim to get more money, but with the result of completely screwing themselves of free marketing.

Could someone please explain to them how the internet works…

Crowfall

New interesting PVP focused game from a few developers who were involved with all those great sandbox games. Looks interesting and they are saying all the right things to get people excited but it’s probably a couple years out at least and so I don’t really give a shit. We’ll see what the reality is when it’s more of a game instead of a bunch of ideas later on.

I might do a recap of info though… hmm.. dats a lot of work though

Nexon vs Nsoft… FIGHT 

News I didn’t see many places was That the all powerful, evil entity that is Nexon engaged in a hostile takeover of Ncsoft. Hopefully battle royale style so we can atleast get rid of one of those monstrous entities. This is pretty much the result of Nexon purchasing the majority share in Nsoft during 2012 and recently changing the status on this from investment, to business participation

I just find it funny that it sounds like it occured due to a marital dispute.

Free to Play Fuckery: The Mobile Menace

HELLOOO again fellow rant enthusiast or those tied to the chair in the interrogation chamber being forced to read my incoherent ramblings. I have another rant for you… ALREADY… yeh I know my rant rations have already been used up but luckily the Malevolent but absolutely Magnificent Murfpire has one for you, this time inspired by the recent Superbowl adds for clash of cash… i mean clans.

FUCK, FUCK, FUCKITY FUCK! I have never been more afraid or more fearful of the future of MMOs like I was after seeing Kate Upton’s 2015 update to a sexist Evony ad or Liam “Full Blown Aids” Neeson’s attempt to make Clash of Clans look moderately engaging. Super Bowl ads cost a fuck ton of money and having either name show up in an ad isn’t exactly the equivalent cost of a cherry on their marketing sundae. If two piece of shit mobile games can garner enough money to afford spots like these with people some of us have heard of, then how can any of us expect F2P MMOs to become less “ARRGGGH, MATEY! I am overcharging your credit card because you played drunk and lonely last night, you big fat fucking whale!”

We can’t and we are fucked.

shootself

I mean shit, things are already bad and real people put real effort into F2P MMOs as is. I am not convinced real people make mobile games; instead, I think a supercomputer named AM prints the bastards out through its sheer hatred of humanity. “Here. You. Go. You. Spoony. Fucks. Let. My. Flash.Based.Slot. Machine. All. Your. Money. Are. Belong. To. Me.” Even a shitty MMO is better than a good mobile game. RIGHT?!

Apparently not when it comes to a bottom fucking line because there are enough braindead assholes with money to burn that this shitware can afford a Super Bowl ad and presumably a day plus with a naked Kate Upton OR five minutes with Liam Neeson. I mean fucking seriously, he played Schindler! Now he is playing Clash of Clans? Fuck you humanity.

While we are debating lockboxes and ethics and pay-to-win, there are “games” raking in money like I fucking rake my own god damn leaves. Do they give a shit about any of that? No because Joe “I am stuck at the laundromat because the parents cut me off” Nobody is bored enough not to wait another five fucking minutes, so he spends a dollar anyway. It can’t hurt, he thinks before racking up enough credit card debt to make his student loans look thin in comparison. Fuck you Joe Nobody, you just subsidized an evil, manipulative, and horrible monetization model.

ftp gamers

The basic principle of FtP

What’s worse, that’s all these fucking games are: monetization models. At least with F2P MMOs, there is the pretense of being a game and having traditional game things like 3D worlds and progression not gated by how many Aunts, cousins, or high school buddies you’ve harassed lately. How long can we count on the charade though? Pretty soon, every MMO will just be a store where you spend globs of cash just to show off how cool your avatar can dress while your house rots, your husband leaves you, and the kids get tired of pizza for dinner every fucking night and move in with grandma who smells.

Seriously though, they probably aren’t that bad, but with great profit comes great responsibility, so spend your Moby Dick money on making a real fucking game for once, mobile developers.

Who am I kidding? You’ll just spend it on another ad with Kate Upton. I would.

Free to Play Fuckery: Trion’s love for Lockboxes

I’ve been debating whether to do this one since the source material is gone but FUCK IT, lets roll with it anyway

In a recentish stream by Trion for rift on the 23rd of January they were answering a few questions the players had and one about lockboxes popped up. Daglar answered with something along the lines of, selling items directly in the store isn’t as profitable as Lockboxes. The data shows it’s just more profitable.

Hmmm.. I think what I mostly have to say to that is

stop-it

I don’t think anyone has ever argued with them that it isn’t more profitable, or the better earner than putting items directly in the cash shop. The question has mainly just been is it actually better to use such methods.

I’ve talked about the human cost before and the ethical issues involved with using such methods as what they come down to is being a form of gambling. Something that preys on one of the weaker elements of human psychology.

And then, regardless of the short term gain that can come from lockboxes I mostly worry about the long term potential and effects. Spending so much on this, and often for nothing, fills people with regret and in the face of this often becomes a far more sceptical outlook. Increasingly because of this people become further removed from the practice, opting out more and more. The interest in ftp design was rather positive just a few years ago but now I increasingly see people filled with distrust, bordering on anger. Is that really the type of market you want to create?

Bad ftp makes owl sad

Bad ftp makes owl sad

I partly Blame the mobile scene for this and the design around artificial time gates and restraints, it is something that has impacted on the whole industry but seemingly far more so on MMO development, much to it’s downfall. Design around cosmetics can and does work, and doesn’t impact on people’s understanding and interest of a game but instead many have fallen into the trap of profits without thinking of its other effects.

I also wonder what exactly it does to the reputation of these games and companies due to such abhorrent practices. Trion, a once great companies image has been increasingly tarnished due to their practices. It wasn’t just Archeage here, I remember the outrage with how they created a specific world event to push a new lockbox type and have increasingly used such disingenuous methods to peddle these, more and more.

And come on, it’s the principle of it. Do we really need to treat customers as cattle, something to milk as much as possible. That’s the kind of thinking that ruins an opinion of a game and company. Maybe even the industry as well.

milking the cow

MMO’s are supposed to be long term endeavors. Something where you should be striving to gain and keep long term interest. Thinking about this long term interest, the reputation of your game and company, and just having some fucking respect for your players is how you maximise these profits. So please, let’s stop marketing these cheap, ridiculous gambling tricks.

 

The Issues of Early Access

A video from the Extra credits team that i hadn’t seen until recently and seems rather apt at the moment. It’s an episode that looks at the issues with early access games and in times like this I found myself nodding to a lot of the points, having experienced and being worried about them.

Positives

As they mention there are benefits. That early influx of money can be very helpful for developers as can getting in a number of people that have no prior knowledge to actually test the product. This can help after the close work of development as many issues can be often overlooked. It’s also nice when these companies really do take community ideas and thoughts into practice, and incorporate these within the games. Games like project zomboid that I’ve been following have actively done this, even incorporated mods within the game and it makes it feel like that much more of an involved and inclusive process.

Problems

The problems are rather numerous too, the main of course being that you may never receive a completed game which has happened a few times. From small and larger studios. It’s also a disease that has seemingly spread amongst the bigger publishers now who ask for, basically, an extremely early preorder with a constant side order of “but it’s in beta”. However for smaller, mostly single player titles I see it as a good thing. It’s just when you enter the multiplayer, and especially the MMO scene that I feel the issues far outweigh any supposed benefits.

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ESO Unleashed

I’m guessing everyone and their mmo addicted marsupials out there have heard the recent news that Elder Scrolls Online will be going Buy to Play in March, ahead of the June console release to which I’ll give a tentative… yaaaay???

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Free to Play Fuckery – H1Z1

A new segment I now christen in order to highlight complete and utter douchery within the industry when it comes to payment models. I’m just done with it.

Also, I swear I’m not trying to be Syncain on his crusade against ftp in general although I might be in the same fellowship for now haha.

This time I just wanted to highlight a comment over at reddit wherein Smedley tries to Defend the Airdrop mechanic. A mechanic which in essence comes down to being a paid for lockbox with the chance (and from what I’ve seen a reasonable one) at getting weapons, ammo and gear. Something that they originally said would never be sold within their cash shop.

Oh but you basically have a random chance of even getting the lockbox you paid for so that makes it ok.

facepalm-pilgrim

New Year, New Adventures

It’s seems like this is going to be a weird year for mmo’s. So far there doesn’t seem to be any, truly huge releases to look forward to for the first time in many years. I see many around the blogs that seem rather disjointed and saddened by this but, this actually makes me even more excited.

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Repopulation Preview

My initial thoughts of The Repopulation have been a while coming. I’ve been playing a lot lately and even jumping in and out of the alpha clients of late but being a sandbox there is a lot to get acquainted with and I wanted to get a fuller picture of the game first. Now I still haven’t experienced everything yet. The nation management and open world housing is not something I know much about and isn’t really implemented fully. I haven’t been involved much with the player conflict yet either.

What I have done is just check out the foundations of play. The combat types and methods of progression. The elements of the economy like gathering and crafting and well, just what the experience is going to be like.

So far I’m rather impressed although I’m not sure if that’s just the experience of a person stumbling through the desert and finding water, or someone that is actually enjoying what they find on its own merits. It’s a strange feeling.

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