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Thursday, September 26, 2013

[WoW] I won't go back, I won't go back...

So I read the other day about some of the new features in WoW 5.4; namely the "Proving Grounds" which are a living incarnation of ideas I saw discussed on the forums back in the days of Wrath, as a means of training newer players. Interesting as they sound, I find I keep reminding myself "I won't go back". That got me thinking, games like WoW are constantly trying to win players like myself back, which is not helped by us adopting a stern (perhaps even unreasonable, if the game were to be in fact fun) determination not to why do we do it?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

[Warframe] Interesting Pricing Models

Most F2P games create their own purchased currency, in Warframe it's "platinum," to help obfuscate to the purchaser exactly how much they are spending at any given time. Three weeks after buying X platinum for Y dollars, my mind likely won't analyze the purchase of something in a game as "I am paying the equivalent of $10 for a one-time use camouflage pattern..." No, instead to me it's "I just spent 50 spacebucks on tiger stripes for my armor!" Though this might have some questionable ethics, it does work...alas, in Warframe, I find it almost amusing, because at a glance, their prices are ridiculous (and not in the "Crazy Al's Used Cars, our prices are insanely low!" sort of way).

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Craving a card game

So being the drug-dealers they are, Wizards of the Coast handed out free 30-card Magic: The Gathering ("MtG") decks at PAX as part of the "Swag bag" everyone could pick up on the way in. Being a former pokemon player and someone who is obsessed with collecting things like that, I took one...and through some trading and such, got 2 others (with the 4th on the way). Alas I did not seem to find a Green deck but I digress. Going through them has stirred within my feelings I've not felt since high school and a desire to get into some sort of CCG again. Admittedly a drug habit would be cheaper, but I'm sticking to the realm of "legal in most states" for now.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

[Diablo 3] Blizzard tries to unring the bell

Blizzard announced today that it intends to close the Diablo 3 auction house on March 18, 2014. They claim it is because the auction house undermines the basic premise of the game ("Kill stuff, get cool loot.") and I think they have the right of it; the auction house had the benefit of facilitating trades, but with Diablo's crazed scaling, the AH's generally poor interface, and nothing to really guide prices, it did more harm than good.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Design, Cosplay, Agency, and "Strong female characters"

"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way." - Jessica Rabbit

Not long ago in my post about heavier characters I mentioned that characters are created; they inherently lack agency because an artist or writer decides what they do. I was sitting in on a panel regarding women in gaming, and one of the topics which came up was about how "Cosplay is not consent." I agree with the statement, and I really liked a point made during the panel; that there is a difference between an artist creating a scantily clad character, and a cosplayer choosing to dress up as them. It got me thinking about "strong female characters" in games, and how adding "strong" to their description seems to excuse strange (read: skimpy) clothing choices.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

WoW 5.4 Garrosh Cinematic, "You still don't matter" Edition

So while I have not played WoW at all throughout Pandaria, I have occasionally spotted a headline or two on reddit. Today was one of those days, announcing the release of the new cinematic for when the players defeat Garrosh Hellscream. I'm not going to pretend to be good at analyzing the voice-acting work (which felt wooden but that is not out of place for WoW), but the part that got a genuine laugh out of me was the resolution.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Learning and evolving, or "Weight in games, Part 2"

Like most of us, I often unknowingly delude myself with the belief that I am the "reasonable person" (ask a lawyer about it) and that my opinions and points are sound, rational, and otherwise the objective truth. Well occasionally thought and a bit of a push from others can remind us that we aren't, and that sometimes we need to adjust our view. Milady's comment on my "Depictions of Weight in Gaming" post was among those, so I wanted to take a moment to clarify and adjust my position, which in the original post I muddled.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Post-PAX Regrets

You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.- Harvey Dent, "The Dark Knight" (2008)

Trigger Warning

While this quote tends to get far too much mileage online, I find it does contain an unfortunate truth about life. Reading about the recent fallout when Penny-Arcade Co-founder Mike Krahulik announced in the last day of PAX that pulling the infamous "Dickwolves" mechandise from their online store was one of his biggest regrets.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

100th Post!

It's taken me a long time to get here; over a year and a half. I am not exactly the fastest poster in the West, but it's been an enjoyable journey through many different games and I've learned a great deal in the process. In the next hundred posts I hope to expand a bit more, write some guides, and be a bit more aggressive in putting myself out there (such as starting a twitter account, a thing I never thought I'd do)!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Warframe first impressions, or, "I'm a ninja, I do what I want."

Not often am I able to describe a game as: "You play as a robot ninja from the past and you use various swords and guns to fight armies of clones, robots, cultists, and aliens." I think the last time I could give a summary like that was 1998. I'd installed the game on Steam some time ago but wasn't initially grabbed; it wasn't until the past PAX, when I watched some gameplay at the nVidia booth that I decided to take it up again.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

PAX Prime: Season of the MOBA

As I commented in my post yesterday and observed again at Day 3 of PAX, this next year is going to be the year of the MOBA. Riot Games had a huge showing, with a tournament running alongside the convention. Meanwhile, I counted at least four new MOBAs being promoted, not counting SMITE which had a small presence with Twitch.TV and DOTA2 which was not in attendance (I was surprised to see no sign of Valve).

PAX Prime, who phoned in what?

A strange series of events lead to me getting a ticket to Saturday and Sunday of PAX prime this year; the last time I visited PAX, Valve was demo-ing some game called Left 4 it's been quite some time. That said, while some of the panels I visited were interesting (more on them in another post) I found I had mixed feelings about the games being shown off.