Important Stuff!

Monday, February 23, 2015

[ESports] Streaming went and got complicated

Earlier today Kotaku ran a piece on an issue emerging in the streaming world. In short, Faker, a professional LoL player, has signed a deal with streaming service Azubu to only stream his games using their service. However, another user, StarLordLucian, is using a Riot-approved mod to stream Faker's games on Twitch using League's built-in spectator mode. Thus Twitch users get the full benefit of the stream, sans the player's image and commentary.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Interpreting player feedback is an art

I was reading Wilhelm's post about Torchlight 2 being too late for the Mac market. Wilhelm points out that three spiritual successors to Diablo 2, Torchlight 2, Path of Exile, and Diablo 3 were released roughly around the same time. Yet of the three Torchlight 2, despite its developer carrying over a lot of good will after the cult success of Torchlight, more or less flopped into obscurity. The problem was that while Diablo 3 and Path of Exile correctly identified portions of the Diablo 2 formula people liked and disliked, Torchlight 2 didn't, and thus couldn't hold players.

Friday, January 23, 2015

[WoW] Reputations gone wrong

WoW has had a mixed history with faction reputations, and each expansion has tried to shake things up. Burning Crusade brought us gated grinds with daily quests. Wrath brought us tabards to wear in dungeons. Cataclysm combined the two. Mists drastically changed things by adding dailies, removing tabards, giving rep for a dungeon run per day, and eventually the faction Insignias. Personally I liked the variety approach, the problem is they had to set caps on most of them to avoid people grinding out reputations in a single day due to each giving a relatively big burst. Then we got Warlords where Blizzard transitioned most of the reputations into straight-up grinds with the occasional burst from a follower mission.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

[Heroes of the Storm] Free to spend $40

Today Blizzard announced the Heroes of the Storm Founder's Pack, finally granting eager fans a means to get into the Heroes of the Storm beta if they weren't lucky enough in the lottery, a popular streamer, press, or the friend of a Blizz employee.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Phantasms of Commercialization

Edit: The post has been edited to clarify my point and remove confusing statements.

So while I was ranting about a quote from Jim Sterling's video about Evolve's DLC the insightful Talarian asked:
Sadly the question requires more than 140 characters to answer so I delayed for time and scrambled over here to hash something out. The question makes a good point, it's difficult to say when something was cut because the developer ran out of time because theoretically the developer would throw everything in if time and money weren't a factor and when it was a feature that was simply planned to be added later.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

[WoW] Veteran rewards controversy

Today I read on MMO-Champion that apparently Blizzard has decided to send "Veteran Rewards" to eligible World of Warcraft accounts that are ten years old. I've been playing since a few days after release so theoretically my account qualifies, but as I did not receive an email I am assuming that one has to have subscribed for the entire duration which rules me out. Naturally this created controversy. On one side we have the people who think it's a great idea and I'd imagine the "People eligible" and "People for it" circles on the Venn diagram of this opinion have a lot of overlap, but not necessarily. On the other side are players unhappy with this decision, and I'd imagine that side has a disproportionate amount of overlap with "Ineligible players."

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

[Dragon Age Inquisition] Origins gave me a character, Inquisition gave me a husk

One of the key differences I've encountered when playing Dragon Age Inquisition was the feeling that my character was just a stand-in for myself rather than me stepping into the shoes of some figure in Thedas. In Dragon Age: Origins the player experienced a brief tutorial/backstory event, determined by their race/class, that explained how your character ended up in the Gray Wardens. The experience primed me on how my character might view the world.