Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 11, 2015

The passion of the Heroes of the Storm players

Pictured above: Someone tatooed Murky, a HOTS character, onto the appendage. It’s master skin Murky too!

I’m not putting up much posts because all I do is play Heroes of the Storm.

Heroes of the Storm at night.

Heroes of the Storm at the morning.

When not playing, I watch other people play Heroes of the Storm like Chu8 and Grubby.

It’s difficult to predict a game’s success within a heavily competed area. However, anecdotal evidence, this game is creating passionate users.  I meet people on the street who have played it and love it. By passionately loving it, I mean they are buying starter packs and playing the game every chance they can get. These are NOT MOBA players.

I haven’t had this much fun since Warcraft 2.

The short game times means you can play and not have the game destroy your life (like WoW). If you like any Blizzard game, then I think you will love Heroes. Even if you don’t, it is definitely worth a try. I think Blizzard has been developing this game for 5 years (!). Now it is suddenly coming out. I see Heroes of the Storm, as of today, like Vanilla WoW when it released. I think this game has a very long and fruitful history ahead of it.

Now excuse me while I play more Heroes of the Storm…

This is what it feels like to play Heroes. Love the Command and Conquer music at 45:00.

This game is hot. Remember the first issue of Nintendo Power where they previewed Mega Man 2 and Howard Phillips kept saying, “This game is hot!!!”. This game is about on that same level.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 9, 2015

Music returns! Launch to hyperspace!

Due to popular request, the music section is back. People like an occasional tune thrown their way.

Here is a remix of Star Control 2’s hyperspace. Oh… so good!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 9, 2015

Email: Gabe Newell saves the day! Again!

Master Malstrom,
Valve has removed the paid mod feature and Gabe Newell is positioning himself as the savior who swooped in and saved the day after his well-meaning but naive devotees, I mean employees, made some silly but perfectly understandable mistakes.
Sounds similar to how Valve handled backpeddling on removing Hatred from greenlight. But then I’m probably just a cynical arsehole.
*Caster engaged.*
*Hunam entity ‘Malstrom Blog News’ interrupted*
*Caster interrupted by the ‘hunam’ entity known as ‘Malstrom’*
My goodness! Even the Umbah blobbies are excited with Gabe Newell. Perhaps it is because the two have much in common.






Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 9, 2015

Email: I played Splatoon

Nintendo had that demo thing for one hour (talk about limited).  Splatoon is OK.  I didn’t feel any magic.  This isn’t Mario Kart or Super Mario Bros.  It can probably be fun with a team though.  I hated the controls.  That massive controller does nothing but piss me off.  Does Nintendo still think it’s going to “make” us “understand” the supposed brilliance of that monstrosity?  Anyway, I’m with you.  This game is going to be a dud probably.  I expect nothing spectacular in the sales department.  It absolutely cannot expand the genre or gamers like Brain Age or Wii Sports.

It is such a shame. Nintendo could really use a successful shooter franchise. When Iwata once said, “At NCL, we do not know how to make shooter games,” he was really telling the truth. What is so amazing to me is that shooters design are not hard to understand. After all, Japan understands the shmup. Perhaps it is the 3d arena that is mystifying to them. I do not know.


Readers, let us look at this story. I’ll wait over here until you are done.

There are some false assumptions being made here. The number one is that…

1) Video games are always played by men.

2) Video games are played in isolation.

This simply isn’t true. Women make up much of the video game population. Most video games are also multiplayer which means they are not being played in isolation.

The ‘prized psychologist’ also talks about men falling behind in education and all. But the assumption is…

3) Education is a quality of life progress and intelligence.

No, it isn’t. Women may be swelling the education statistics, but yet we keep hearing that we need more women in STEM fields or IT fields. Maybe men don’t want to major in dolphins and unicorns.

4) The men are unhappy.

Are they unhappy? Men, are you unhappy with playing video games? They don’t seem unhappy to me. The happiest I see men is when they do play their video games (or watch and play sports).

5) Men watching porn is bad.

Is it? If this is, as the psychologist says, ‘new and unprecedented’, how can there be a rush to conclusion on whether it is ‘good’ or ‘bad’? The age old question as to why men would watch porn instead of go out and date women is easily solved by looking at Western women. The Western women are fat, have no desire to make any man happy, thrive on making men around them unhappy, have short hair, have tattoos, and are unfeminine. If men were surrounded by slim, desirable women, and they choose to watch porn instead, this would be a problem. But if they are surrounded by she-hags, a sort of monster incarnation, how else are such men to remain sane?

6) The problem is only with men.

How are women free from all responsibility? Women have a huge influence on men. If men want to watch video games and porn, is this due to influence of women? If the influence is bad, then the retreat makes sense.

I’m becoming concerned lately that video games are being stereotyped as an only male venue played in isolation. Even the hardcore male gamers, who live their lives in video games, use video games as means to a social life. Meaning, they play games to meet new people, to hang out with other guys, and to have conversations with other guys. I think the biggest lie is that video games is a social isolation. It is just the opposite.

Now TV on the other hand….

Your last email on Cammie Dunaway was interesting.  Do you think that Nintendo became gung-ho on that sort of worldview *or* that they unwittingly let someone in who inflicted their worldview on NoA and has caused unknown damage to the company?  To the point that NCL no longer trusts NoA to run itself?

I don’t have any data to say anything.

What we do know is that SJWs are trying to take over gaming today. My question is, “What if they tried to take over gaming yesterday?”

Cammie Dunaway complaining about misogyny as a reaction to her experience in gaming is hilarious. The video game industry is not like any other entertainment business. It is VERY DIFFICULT  business. ESPECIALLY console gaming. No one, not Microsoft, not Sony, not even Micahel Pachter, will disagree with the notion that console gaming is a difficult business. It can be very profitable, but it can be extremely unprofitable too.

People like Cammie Dunaway, who appears to be a Social Justice Warrior, was brought in at the height of the biggest console success story ever in history. The Wii was not just selling well. It was completely sold out in the United States for years. If you, the beautiful reader, were made an executive, wouldn’t you want to be brought in with a product that was always sold out? I mean, you couldn’t lose could you?

Imagine a sports team that had an endless winning streak. Someone says, “We want that X type of person to succeed. Let us bring that X person in, and they will be associated with the team’s success.”

To this day, I have no idea why NOA got rid of its older, more experienced staff such as George Harrison.

Above: Remember him? He brought sales charts to the conferences. I loved it! What a nice guy!

I can see getting rid of people due to failures. However, NOA was not a failure for Nintendo during the N64 and Gamecube eras. In fact, NOA was the shining example of success in those time periods. N64 and Gamecube sold the vast majority of its sales in North America. So did the Wii too.

After spending… what… a decade?…. with the N64 and Gamecube, these guys get swept aside at the peak of success and Social Justice Warriors get put in place like Cammie Dunaway. They also twisted the ‘growing the gaming market’ marketing message to be ‘endless diversity… like more women…’. Women have always been a huge part of console gaming since PONG. The marketing was being more political. It was not that the Wii game was selling big or to non-gamers… it was that the Wii game was selling to more diversity.What the hell does that mean?

There is a story here that we do not know. What was going on with NOA?

What we DO know is that sales tanked rapidly. What we DO know is that Dunaway and others like her were fired (no one uses that term, but it is the correct one). What we DO know is that Iwata is now president of NOA which is very strange. Iwata is a busy guy. He wouldn’t be president of NOA unless there is a reason for him to be there.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 3, 2015

Email: Hearthstone is fun

The last time I took a chance on a Blizzard game AND had fun was with Warcraft 3. I’ve never been big on Starcraft. Diablo and WoW are the type of games I would get a bit addicted to but wouldn’t be able to play enough of.

Hearthstone? It kicks ass. I’m used to Yugioh, Pokemon tcg and Magic. It does away with a lot of the fluff of yugi, adds grit and depth that Pokemon will never have and it has the game client that Magic could only dream of.

I very rarely play games on my phone, that’s the job of my 3ds when I’m not at home! I wish that I had of played more Blizzard games to completion, I’d know who more of these people and worlds are. I guess that I finally understand how non-Nintendo fans feel about Smash Bros.

If Heroes of the Storm gets a mobile version (or windows tablets with gaming chops get cheaper) I’ll try it. It looks like fun and it seems to be repelling the types of League of Legends players that I don’t care for.


Heroes of the Storm will never have a tablet version… unless it is for some other game mode not yet made. The game is too fast paced.

Hearthstone seems too much of a money pit to me, but then again I never liked Magic the Card Game. I liked the idea of it, but the randomness nature of card play and constant ‘new expansion packs’ puts me off.



Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 3, 2015

Email: Do you think Mario Maker will sell Wii Us?

I’m honestly looking forward to this way more than the new Zelda or anything else on Wii U’s horizon:

Giant Koopas! Giant Goombas! Enemies from Mario 3 (Bob-Ombs)!  Looks fun.


Of course, it won’t.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 3, 2015

GameTrailers becomes a believer in Heroes of the Storm

The video is legit. There is definitely a passionate customer base within Heroes. The more you play it, the more you like it.

“We thought it would be like… da casual… but it is actually fun… really fun…” Derp, derp, derp. This is why I hate the hardcore mentality. They’re always on the losing side of gaming history. Always!

Anyway, the comparisons of HOTS to a MOBA makes no sense. There is no such thing as a MOBA. It is just a term Riot made up to legitimize LoL to make it appear not a blatant DOTA clone.

The issue is the arrogance of amateur modders. Much has been made of Aeon of Strife (I remember playing it back in the day), but NO ONE PLAYED IT. The reason why is that Starcraft did not overshoot its audience. Why would someone want to play Aeon of Strife in that time period? Also, Starcraft engine wasn’t hero focused. I have been a modder for many many years, and I am familiar with the modder arrogance. Every modder thinks they are brilliant, yet they cannot overcome the game engine they are modding. This is why they are modders and not professional game developers.

The secret sauce for DOTA’s design has nothing to do with Icefrog, other modders, or the Warcraft community. The secret sauce of DOTA was Blizzard. The difference between Aeon of Strife and DOTA really showcases this. It was Blizzard, not the Warcraft community, who made the concept of items, heroes leveling up, and the hero art and personalities. It was Blizzard, not the Warcraft community, that created the RPG/RTS that was Warcraft 3. If the Warcraft community was in charge, they would have made Warcraft 3 be a supercharged version of Warcraft 2. I know. I was there.

The DOTA hardcore players have built up an imaginary narrative of ‘history’ and ‘what DOTA is’… Heroes of the Storm is like it is coming from an alternate dimension. They have no idea how to digest it. Every MOBA has to use items. Every MOBA has to have the X,Y,Z things… right?

The reason why the mindset of ‘hardcore vs casual’ exists is because the hardcore create a Tower of Babel type narrative of history and ‘how proper gaming is’. Yet, none of it is rooted in actual history or truth. This site became famous for detailing Nintendo’s Wii success.. before that success occurred. All you had to do was look at the Atari 2600’s dominance… or the NES’s dominance. It was back in the time when game consoles focused more on market growth than on market competition. This is why the Wii did what it did. Yet, if you were a hardcore gamer, the Atari 2600 and NES were from the Land Before Time and were successful only for ‘hardcore’ games like Bezerk, not Space Invaders, for Metroid, not Super Mario Brothers. So when the success occurs, they do not have the historical tools to digest it. Therefore, they put it in a void called ‘casual’ where they do not have to compute or understand its success. “It’s those filthy casuals!” Is it? Command and Conquer and Warcraft were ‘filthy strategy casuals’ to the ‘hardcore turn based war games’ enthusiasts. World of Warcraft was ‘filthy casuals’ compared to Everquest (who was ‘filthy casuals’ to Ultima Online and they were ‘filthy casuals’ to the classic Ultima games and so on and so forth).

What I find most interesting about Heroes of the Storm is the Blizzard factor. Blizzard supports their games practically forever. You can still play Diablo 2 on Battlenet for example. You can still play Starcraft 1 on Battlenet too. Look at WoW. That MMORPG is over 10 years old, and it is still going. I asked a Blizzard developer how long it will go. “As long as it can…” hahahaha

I think Heroes of the Storm will be going on beyond 10 years. Will it have a gazillion heroes and many maps by then? Maybe. But I think they will make new types of game modes around the team based gameplay. Arena mode is on the way. A dungeon crawling mode will one day make it.

DOTA has made stars on many people involved with it except one…. Blizzard itself. What if Blizzard didn’t support Warcraft 3 as long as it did? What if Blizzard never made the map editor? What if Blizzard didn’t put in all those extra art assets in the game that DOTA used?

As a modder for decades, I know my place. It is the game company that creates and defines the engine. I might do some neat tricks in it, and I might even get hired as an entry developer for that company. However, I am small cheese. To say that I made something original using their game and their engine is incredibly arrogant. No one used to think this way. Quake modders didn’t think that id were idiots, and John Carmack should bow to their genius. So what happened to make modders think they are brilliant geniuses? What was the variable in our gaming history that changed this?

The Valve Corporation.

It is the Valve Corporation who takes these modders, whispers sweet nothings in their ears that they are ‘oh so brilliant’ and ‘genius’, while Valve Corporation takes their “game” and sells it for themselves. However, none of this matters. All that matters is that the company ‘sells hats’ and their desks have wheels that go ’round and round’… all… day… long…

Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 28, 2015

Why Fenix hasn’t been added to Heroes of the Storm yet

It is because he comes back in Legacy of the Void. With a name like ‘Fenix’ (phoenix), it would be easy for him to come back… somehow. Once his character is established in Legacy of the Void, then, and only then, will he emerge in HOTS. Putting him out there now would be a huge LOTV spoiler.

I imagine the same is true with Artanis and the other heroes. Artanis will likely be given away for free if you pre-order LOTV.

One thing that many people, erroneously, do is to divide Heroes of the Storm through Warcraft/Starcraft/Diablo/Other themes. World of Warcraft is NOT warcraft. It is WoW. Warcraft is this…

If you’ve noticed, Blizzard is not putting in WoW heroes so much as Warcraft heroes. Look at Jaina. She is exactly like the Warcraft 3 version of Jaina. Uther is Warcraft 3 and plays no part in WoW. Kael-thas and Illidan are Warcraft 3 heroes. Muradin is totally Warcraft 3 (even though they retconned him back into WoW). Sylvanas using poison arrows is totally Warcraft 3 from when she poisoned Arthas.

I think a better predictor of future heroes will be to look at Warcraft 3’s roster instead of World of Warcraft. I expect to see the Blademaster, Pit Lord, and Sea Witch soon.

One very interesting thing about HOTS is how Blizzard is prioritizing Warcraft 3’s universe over WoW’s universe. Tell me, what type of WoW heroes are in the game? Rehgar? Maybe Falstad and Stiches? I’ll give you Lili.

But only one true hero is from World of Warcraft.

Murlocs were never a thing until WoW, But we had Pandas in Warcraft 3. The dirty secret about WoW is that all the cool WoW content came from Warcraft 3. It’s no mistake that every “Warcraft” hero either has a strong tie to Warcraft 3’s heroes or actually is a Warcraft 3 hero.

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