Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 27, 2015

Email: Iwata dislikes the “Free to play” model

I’m sure you’d like this article.
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Free to play really is a misnomer because it’s not free.  When you start out, you can play free for a while but eventually you hit a pay wall where you either have to wait for lives or whatever to reload or pay to continue.  Now not all games do this horribly.  Nintendo themselves rolled out two free to play games on the 3DS: Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball which I haven’t played and Pokémon Shuffle which is really just Candy Crush with Pokémon faces.  I’ve played the latter and basically you get five lives and when they’re out you can either buy more on the eshop or just wait a day for them to refill.  I expect these two games to show up as their first mobile games.
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But I don’t like how a lot of companies have abused the Free to Play model.  Some of the greatest offenders are the ones you see advertised a lot.  EA abused the name of Dungeon Keeper to try to cash in on some nostalgia to make an awful game designed to take everyone’s money and Square Enix abused fans love of the old sprite based Final Fantasy with All the Bravest.
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This describes Final Fantasy All the Bravest for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCgloIoELwM
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But of course the worst one is Clash of Clans.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQbcnIqjdOQ
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I downloaded Clash of Clans out of curiosity and deleted after a couple days. No way in hell I was spending money on it and I didn’t feel like sitting around waiting for stuff to refill or making the mistake of not logging on for too long and having all my troops die and I kept thinking “how is this popular?  Sure it’s free but surely people realize this is a scam and delete it?”  Then I saw a recent South Park episode that  had a good idea that the makers of the free to play games use the same strategy as casinos in that they use a lot of flashing lights and such and make it just fun enough to hook people in and that small amount gets addicted and throws money away. That and making money off kids whose parents forgot to lock out in app purchases.
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Maybe if Nintendo does start making mobile games with the same quality they made stuff like Wii Sports, it will take revenue away from Supercell and the like.

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The more I look at this, I think it is wrong to blame the software companies for the casino based pricing.

The real problem is the hardware companies such as Apple and Samsung. Both of them get their money from the hardware. They have NO INTEREST in making software expensive just as Microsoft had no interest in making hardware expensive. Microsoft convinced so many companies that computers should be as cheap as possible. All the computer companies bankrupted themselves by competing at the bottom. Now everything has flipped around with software companies bankrupting themselves by competing at the bottom.

The reason for the casino model, for in app purchases, is entirely due to the expectation that software be free. Who made this expectation? The hardware companies such as Apple and Samsung.

You know what Nintendo is saying? They are saying, “Fuck you. You should pay for software too. There is no free lunch.”

Iwata is right to avoid the phrase ‘free to play’ because it gives the expectation that the game is free, that the game is freeware.

So many problems of gaming business are solvable in gaming history. For example, the Wii came from looking at the Atari 2600 and NES which analysts, not enthusiasts, ignored which is why they missed the boom.

Has gaming always been paid for like a box in a retail store? The answer is a flat out NO!

This is from the wikipedia of Akalabeth:

When the game reached version D&D28b later that year (where “28b” refers to the revision), he demoed the game – now renamed to Akalabeth – for his boss at a Clear Lake City, Texas-area ComputerLand, who suggested he sell the game in the store. Garriott consented and spent $200 to package and sell the game for $20 inside Ziploc bags, with photocopied instructions and a cover drawn by his mother. It warned “BEWARE FOOLISH MORTAL, YOU TRESPASS IN AKALABETH, WORLD OF DOOM!!”, and claimed to offer “10 different Hi-Res Monsters combined with perfect perspective and infinite dungeon levels”. California Pacific Computer Company received a copy, and contacted Garriott to publish the game. Garriott flew to California with his parents and agreed to receive $5 for each copy sold. The retail price of the California Pacific version, with cover artwork by Denis Loubet, was $35; Garriot claims that the game sold 30,000 copies, with him receiving $150,000, and that Akalabeth had the best return on investment, with later games “all downhill from there”. The company suggested that for marketing purposes “Lord British” be credited as the author, and organized a contest for Softalk readers to figure out his true identity.

This is just one example out of many to show how PC games were sold. They were sold in a zip-loc bag.

I am actually currently in Clear Lake City, Texas, right in the area of the Space Center, writing to you this post. This is one reason why I chose that example.

Gaming looked to other industries for inspiration such as board games and music albums.

I remember some games being packaged like record disks. You had a huge square which opened up and the floppy disks were inside.

I don’t want to focus on the packaging though. The reason why games were sold at stores was because of distribution. However, disk systems meant games could be easily copied. This brought about copyprotection schemes.

But copying was used to some game companies’ advantage.

Ahh, Scorched Earth. It is the MOTHER OF ALL GAMES. “How do you know that, Malstrom?” It said so in the title screen:

Scorched Earth is a WORLD OF TANKS (does this sound familiar?). The game was ‘free’. You could pay to get a better tank. The point is that everything new has precedent before.

In the 1990s, there was FREEWARE which was software or games that were free or SHAREWARE which were games that were free but you paid money for more episodes and levels.

Doom, one of the most genre defining games ever, was FREE TO PLAY because it was SHAREWARE.

Epic was also making FREE TO PLAY games because the games were shareware. Jazz Jackrabbit, Jill of the Jungle, and Epic Pinball were shareware games. Above is Epic Pinball’s menu because the music is so damn awesome.

Here is the origin of how shareware and freeware for PCs came about in the first place. Interesting read.

One of the reasons why it says shareware became so popular is because of CLUBS. Clubs meaning like computer clubs where the nerds would meet at the library. With shareware, they could all use that software and play together.

DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR? DOES THIS SOUND LIKE THE CYBER CAFE PHENOMENON IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD?

Evil id! Evil Epic! How dare they! They ought to be flayed alive!

“What now, Malstrom, is the problem?”

They only gave me one episode for free. They refuse to give me the rest of the game for free. Outrage! Outrage!

The only people who acted like this were eight year old kids. No one thought they were getting ‘screwed’ because only part of the game was free.

I don’t think these ‘Free to play’ companies are trying to do something sneaky. Due to the hardware market forces, this is the only way they can make a sustainable business.

Iwata’s ‘free to start’ comments coincide perfectly with shareware.

Did shareware destroy gaming?

Did id destroy gaming?

Did Epic destroy gaming?

No.

I think gaming is going to be OK. Free to play is not a new phenomenon, it is AN EXTREMELY OLD ONE. It is putting games in boxes and placing them on a store shelf which has less precedence.

 

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 27, 2015

App software creators make no money

This is related to Nintendo because of Iwata’s comments about digital prices on software and why Nintendo wants to keep software prices up. Many think Nintendo is EEEEVIL for doing this. But we need to ask a good and important question: why did digital prices drop in the first place?

Take a look:

After years of operating under these conditions, consumers today perceive software to be worth effectively nothing. According to an anonymous developer, “if you’re trying to sell to the mass market for more than $2.99, you might as well charge $1M.”

Recent revelations show that the situation has gotten so bad that today there are only approximately 3000 apps profitable enough to support a median income of $50k for their developer. It is also important to note that not all apps are built by one developer, many work as a team. So it follows that there are many fewer than 3000 developers sustainably doing independent development.

It should also be added that the income is not stable. Even if you were successful, this $50K income only lasts a little while.

According to reporting, “1.6 percent of developers earn more than the other 98.4 percent combined. And the bottom 47 percent of engineers earn less than $100 per month.” Yet somehow, independent app development has often been described as a ‘gold rush’ despite it being quietly understood by developers, even as early as 2009, that this was hardly the case.

This is the reality of the mobile market. Stupid investors think there exists ‘fortunes’ to be made if only Nintendo or someone else made mobile games. But many people bought into this and now their games make nothing.

But is the drop of digital prices to next to nothing the result of market forces? Yes and no. It is not the result of the software market forces but the hardware market forces. And the biggest market force in hardware is Apple.

According to an anonymous source: “Apple optimizes for one-hit wonders. Nail it in 1.0, get featured, then throw it away and build a new app.”

In the words of analyst Ben Thompson of Stratechery, Apple has ‘commoditized their complements':

Apple makes money on hardware. It’s in their interest that said hardware be sold for as much of a premium as the market will bear. However, it’s equally in their interest that the complements to that hardware are sold as cheaply as possible, and are preferably free.

Apple is a hardware company, not a software company. Apple is even giving away their own software such as Notes. People may think, “Wow! Apple is so wonderful! They are giving us free software!” But Apple does this so it can charge a premium profit on their hardware.

This is a reversal of the 1990s. A home PC had shit hardware where you paid for the software of Windows and other programs (while the quality of Windows may be suspect, the quality of 1990s PC gaming is not. In the 2010s, a mobile PC (smartphone/tablet) is quality hardware (since it is small, mobile, and integrated) with shit software (free apps).

This is why Nintendo views mobile gaming more as an ‘IP awareness’ program than as a profit making program. Make no mistake, Nintendo wants their mobile games to be profitable. However, Nintendo wants EVERYTHING they do to be profitable. This is how you make a sustainable company.

Nintendo’s business model has the bulk profit come from the software. The hardware is somewhat profitable or even cost at all. The software is where they make their money. They want you to buy the hardware and then buy all their games.

Interestingly, Malstrom wants to be able to buy their hardware and a desire to buy all their games. Nintendo and Malstrom want the same thing, yet it is amazing how at odds we get. They do not want to make software I want to buy (or you, the beautiful reader).

Looking back, I believe the Wii with the Wii Sports and Wii Fit were all actually geared to turn people not into ‘gamers’ but into ‘gamecube-esque gamers’. Nintendo wasn’t trying to spread gaming but specifically train new consumers to play the games they want to make (which would always be 3d Mario, Aonuma Zelda, and so on).

I believe the reason why everyone looks the other way about paying so much for hardware while expecting software to be free is because the hardware has a physical presence while software does not. I do not want to pay for something I cannot hold or touch. People pay for a tactile experience. There is a reason why there are so many unboxing videos.

Here is an interesting thought. What if Nintendo put out a $1000 console where all its games on it are ‘free’ or extremely cheap? Would it sell? In this current market environment, it just might.

I prefer cheap hardware and expensive software. My favorite bundle is the game console, two controllers, light gun, and Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt. Even to this day, I will pay $50 for cartridge games. Much of the reason why is because they are probably still in the cartridge. There is nothing like actually having that tactile experience. You can’t get it as much with discs and cannot get it all with digital downloads.

The 1990s to 2010s showed that the market changes its mind. Today, it may think paying premium for hardware and expecting software to be pennies is the norm. Tomorrow, it could be very different. Changing your company around to this market mood is not advisable.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 27, 2015

Brightwing reminds me of every CEO I’ve met

Listen to Brightwing. Just listen!

Brightwing is all nice, sweet, and then RIPS YOUR HEAD OFF. This is how every business leader talks. They are ‘so nice’ and ‘so sweet’ but then they bite.

All Brightwing needs to say now is “Please understand…”

Brightwing also reminds me of women who petition me for marriage. “I LIKE HAPPY THINGS LIKE BUTTERFLIES AND NATURE.” *rips man’s head off*

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 27, 2015

Email: On MagicTG

Since you keep referencing it in relation to Hearthstone, there’s a bit on my mind in relation to the Magic the Gathering game, especially since it also relates to the social justice wacko and Gamergate topics you keep referencing as of late.

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As a Magic player myself, I do consider the game to be a lot of fun, though I can certainly understand how it’s not for everyone. Curiously enough, while you mention you don’t like the randomness, one of my favorite formats of the game thrives in large part on an additional element of randomness – it’s a format known as Commander, where in contrast to a 60-card deck where the idea is usually to have as much consistency as possible, it uses a 100-card deck where most the cards are one-ofs, meaning that things are a lot more unpredictable, which in turn allows use of cards that might not normally see but have much more fun effects attached to them.
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But that’s beside the point (apologies for that). The point here is that for anyone who hasn’t gotten into the game yet, I’d be hard pressed to want to try to convince them since I’ve got a bad feeling that the Social Justice Wackos have successfully gotten their claws into the minds of the people making it and are in the process of slowly driving it off the same cliff that they’ve driven other products and industries off of. It’s especially of concern since it’s been made a point that while they have a regular turn out of new product, they also work two years in advance.
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Point 1: The debate that erupted over the art in a card called “Triumph of Ferocity“, where Wizards of the Coast (who make Magic) eventually gave in and “admitted” that the art was bad and apologized to the people upset about it, in spite of initial arguments about context, including failure of people to complain about the counterpart card “Triumph of Cruelty” which shows the exact same two people but with their situations reversed.
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Point 2: The increase as of late of how much the most public faces of the game keep talking about how they want to be as inclusionary and diverse as possible in a way that sounds dangerously and suspiciously close to the way you hear Social Justice Wackos and the fields they’ve already infiltrated talk about the subject.
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Point 3: One of the most recent sets saw a card featuring a character they openly publicized as being a transsextual just about everywhere except the actual card itself, a character they then went on to promote as such in supplemental materials, including a story on the official website that had the characters ‘identity’ (in the way Social Justice Wackos think of ‘identity’) as a central issue. And then they proceeded to pat themselves on the back about it in a “look! Here’s a character we’ve included for diversity because it’s an important issue we think we need to address. Aren’t we great for addressing diversity as an important issue? We’re so glad so many of you have said how much you love what we’ve done” way that reeks of the kind of political posturing that’s infested so many other entertainment industries.
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And given that, again, the company works anywhere from a year to two years out on future products, it’s very likely that more of this stuff will show up in the future and that the so-called ‘Social Justice’ infestation is only likely to increase.
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Which is a shame, because in a lot of way the game does a lot of things right that you keep talking about as missing in video games these days, especially in the world building. You want world building, Magic has an entire multiverse that is regularly expanding, including regular visits to new words – previously one per year, now moving to two per world, with the occasional return visits to fan favorites. They’ve gotten really good at it too, where even cards that aren’t all that playable can still be great simply because of a fun or brilliant combination of art, flavor text, and what the card is meant to represent.
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I figure that if I’m not just being paranoid, and wizards either doesn’t realize what’s happening or ignores the warning signs, the game isn’t going to last nearly as long as they currently believe it will.

 

There is a reason why Blizzard’s Hearthstone completely blew away Magic the Gathering (Hearthstone has 20 million users since last September. 20 million!)

The biggest reason not to invest money in games like TGC or even LoL or Heroes or Hearthstone is that these companies and products change. They will start to deliberately do stuff you do not like and shove it in your face. Miyamoto cannot do that to me since consoles are segmented by generations. He can push 3d gaming all he wants, but Malstrom will not buy his console.

Speaking of both those companies (Nintendo and Blizzard), they both had two very different ideas about the future of gaming. Blizzard invests heavily in Internet gaming. Blizzard’s prior experience on RTS balancing and maintenance enabled Blizzard to take over the MMORPG. But running WoW for all this time is now enabling Blizzard to take over Free-to-Play genres one after another. First, Hearthstone with its card trading game. Overwatch will knock out Team Fortress 2 (if what I’m hearing is accurate from the ‘Friends and Family’ testing of Overwatch at the moment), and Heroes of the Storm will likely take over the MOBA scene provided the MOBA scene continues to grow (the new growth will go to Heroes and not to LoL or DOTA 2).

Nintendo, meanwhile, has spent the past couple decades on….

…wait for it…

…3d gaming!

Now Nintendo finds itself in a crisis because Miyamoto doesn’t know shit about the future of gaming. THERE I SAID IT! He has been leading Nintendo down the wrong road for the long term. Nintendo’s internet services are awful compared to the competition. As for its 3d gaming ‘offerings’, no one cares. No one gives a damn about the 3DS or the Wii U. Iwata once said that Super Mario in 3d World was going to sell Wii Us a gazillion. It never happened because 3d Marios NEVER sell consoles EVER (except the N64 in the US). “But if we make it for the eighth time, then everyone will buy it!” NOPE! Someone needs to put Miyamoto in a straight jacket because the guy has gone looney tunes about 3d.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 27, 2015

Email: Mario bros u has a giant world

I keep reading on your blog how only 3 d Mario gets the giant world. While replaying Mario Bros u today I came across Giant Jungle.

One stage? Meh.

The point is that Miyamoto (since he is THE GUY in charge of the Mario games) is deliberately putting what we want in the 3d Mario games while the 2d Mario games are nothing more than an experiment (NSMB Wii’s 4 player co-op mode), launch game (NSMB U), or an exercise for level design for the Nintendo staff (NSMB 2, NSMB U).

When asked why Peach wasn’t in 4 player NSMB Wii, Miyamoto said the Wii couldn’t do ‘dress physics’. The real reason was because he only wanted Super Mario in 3d World to have Peach while NSMB U still use the same toads.

Mario Galaxy 2 had Giant World. NSMB Wii (or even DS) did not.

Sure, NSMB 2 had the raccoon tail but only AFTER Super Mario 3d Land heavily featured the Tanooki suit in everything in could. Sure NSMB U might have a giant land type level, but it is so far late that it is insulting at this point. There is nothing NEW in the NSMB game. Anything that is put in that we do want is only deliberately done after the 3d version gets such a feature. So if there is another 2d Mario game, it might get peach only then. But any new creatures and any cool stuff will be reserved only for the 3d Mario game. This is the way how it is.

The reason why sales are down is because…

A) 3DS and Wii U are very hostile to those who like 2d Mario and not 3d Mario. Those who like both aren’t going to care. People attracted to 2d Mario are not going to buy game consoles based around 3d outputs.

B) NSMB games are crappy games. I said it! CRAPPY.

Why the fuck should I give a crap about NSMB? I don’t even know why Nintendo made these games. I’ve never seen such a miserable display of crap.

The music is shit.

The artwork is shit.

The power-ups are boring.

There is absolutely nothing memorable about these games. They are nothing but retreads which we have seen before. Crap. Crap. Crap.

But if you go through the original Mario series, and why it holds appeal today, is that the games were extremely memorable and very differentiated from one another.

This is an extremely memorable game. It plays its own unique way. It introduced us to Bowser and all the rest of the enemies.

Above: Memorable music!

This is another extremely memorable game. All its enemies are completely NEW and DIFFERENT. You get to play as different characters. Even the game mechanics are very different. I don’t care if it is Doki Doki Panic, the point is that it is memorable and different.

Above: Memorable music!

This game is incredible. Airships, the Koopa Kids, the ‘worlds’, the maps, the new enemies, on and on, the great music.

Above: Memorable music!

I do not like this game as much as others do, but it is still incredible. It introduced Yoshi. It has new enemies. What is not to like about it? What is not to love about it?

Above: Memorable Music!

Really Above: None of the music are the starring songs or such. There is so much goodness in the music. Yet, is there anything interesting in the NSMB music? NO.

What do the NSMB games offer that is memorable or cool? I still have no desire to ever, EVER play through NSMB Wii again. Why is that? And why do I want to replay these early games again and again, but I have ZERO interest in NSMB?

NSMB is how EA would make Super Mario Brothers games. It is soulless and pure crap. Why on Earth would I want to play it? Can anyone tell me? Anyone?

The co-op was fun the first time around, but now it is annoying and not fun. Also, the co-op was nothing new. Capcom did co-op with Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers on the NES. Bubble Bobble did co-op right. But NSMB? Why are my characters bouncing off each other? Who fucking is responsible for that decision? I don’t find it fun to play in co-op at all.

Nintendo isn’t interested in making a quality 2d Mario game. Look at how they did the so-called ‘Link to the Past’ sequel. They butchered it! The game is so ridiculously easy that it is a joke. Awful! Completely wrong!

The upcoming Mario Maker is so Nintendo never has to make an actual 2d Mario game again. I wish they would give us 3d Mario Maker so people can make their sequels to Mario 64 instead of watching Miyamoto screw up the 3d Mario game sequels.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 27, 2015

Email: What is motivating the White Knights?

Hey Malstrom,

since you like writing about women occasionally I wonder if you could write about certain types of men this time. I mean the White Knights, or Betas, or whatever you want to call them. In particular, what could possibly motivate a man to become like that.

Take a look at the women who have been in GamerGate’s spotlight and see their Patreon page. Sure, some of those numbers is circle-donating among each other, but that alone can never account for such a high sum. We are talking about more than 4,000$ per month in free money.

It’s one thing to go on the internet with a nickname and pretend to support someone to just piss people off, that’s trolling. But here we have people putting their real names and real money behind it. I don’t get it, what could possibly motivate a person to do such a thing? They can’t be seriously expecting to get into the women’s pants? I guess in real life they might think it works, but this is the internet. Is there something I’m missing? Is it like a substitute religion? A lot of these fedora SJWs are atheists for some reason (look up Atheism+ if you want to see some insanity).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I’m a super macho alpha guy myself who’s drowning in pussy, but I still have my dignity. And quite frankly, the women that attract these White Knights really don’t look like they would be worth such degradation in the first place. What is going on here?

There’s two types. There are those types of guys who call prostitutes to watch movies with them because they want some sort of companionship. These type of guys always have a ton of ‘female friends’.  The other type is due to the sunk costs fallacy. When people are invested in something, anything, they will keep telling themselves that it is wonderful, that they are wonderful, and that what is going on is right. The more heavily invested they are in it, the more hard they are in them thinking it is ‘right’.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 27, 2015

GoG will be unbundling games

Finally! Here is a list of the games.

If I wanted to play Master of Orion 1 (I always do!), I would have to install both MOO 1 and 2. Now, they both get their own ‘boxes’ so to say. My Wing Commander and Ultima games are going to explode my ‘bookshelf’. Either way, I want to see the gorgeous box art. Gotta have it.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 26, 2015

Email: which channels/streams to watch for heroes of the storm

Hi Master Malstrom,

What youtube channels or streams would you recommend for Heroes of the Storm for a combination of skill and fun? You mentioned Chu8 and Grubby, anyone else? I’ve been watching Force and MFPallytime.

I tried to find Force and MFPallytime, but I didn’t see them. Oh well. I don’t watch streams much. I do so for only the following reasons:

1) As a break in between matches.

2) To see how the game is supposed to be played.

Number 2 is very important because there is so much stupid in the Quick League. We need a new definition of smart and stupid. Smart or skilled does not mean what numbers you get but more on actually doing things together as a team. Imagine when people are doing their own thing, obviously a tank can do more alone than, say, a support.

I just came from a game where it was 20 minutes of flaming back and forth between different team members. At one point, the team was four levels ahead. At the end, the two stopped arguing and decided to do one last push. We all joined together and then won the game… despite them having taken down all our towers/keeps/forts and us having taken down almost nothing and being outleveled.

I have Grubby on in the background. He is getting trashed in Quick League. Then he goes solo-queue in Hero League (Rank 1) and then wins a 6 minute game in Haunted Mines. Obviously, this tells me the game is extremely team dependent more so than even mechanical skills.

Chu8’s style is more of my own. He just goes in and goes crazy. I’ve seen him go Lili and get top hero damage multiple times. Lately, he is so busy talking to viewers that he forgets to pick his hero and gets stuck with random… then he goes on and wins game after game after game in a row. I do like seeing him get wrecked when he plays a squishy hero especially at the beginning of the game.

I have every hero at level 5 or above except for five or six (the vikings, sylvanas, abathur, and such). Right now I am playing Tyrande. My absolute favorite hero has been Jaina for whatever reason. Right now, those two will be played because they got ‘buffed’, but they weren’t bad already. I also like Azmodan, ETC, and Kerrigan.

I’m playing a ton now because Blizzard gave everyone a stim pack. Might as well take advantage of it!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 24, 2015

Miyamoto and his sick, sick obsession with 3d

Let us read the Time interview with Iwata together, reader. Did you notice it?

“I think you’re probably familiar with the tales of how, in the late stages of development, Mr. Miyamoto always upends the tea table,” said Iwata. “So a similar thing happened this time. The hardware developers had designed a piece of hardware that they felt was at the final stage of prototyping, and they were bringing it to us for approval to begin moving forward with plans for manufacturing. But Mr. Miyamoto had seen that super-stable 3D just one week before, and he asked “Why aren’t we putting that in this system? If we don’t put this in it, there’s no point in making the system.”

Iwata says he was personally asked many times by his internal engineers, “Are we really going to do this?”

Is this not more clear evidence that Miyamoto has a sick, sick obsession with 3D? Apparently, the point of the New 3DS is to make 3d ‘more accessible’. Clearly, people didn’t buy the 3DS because the 3D simply wasn’t accessible enough. This is what goes on in Miyamoto’s mind.

I know now what the NX is all about. It is about advancing 3d gaming in some form. Has there EVER been a Nintendo console that didn’t try to advance 3d gaming in some form? Some are obvious like N64 and Gamecube. Some aren’t as obvious such as the Super Nintendo’s Mode 7 or the Wii with its ‘3D input’.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 24, 2015

Email: Heroes of the Storm

Note: this email did some odd things with the formatting on this page. I’ve tried to eliminate most of it. Much of the blame goes to WordPress itself.

I too have Heroes of the Storm! I saw an email to buy a Founder’s Pack, and bought into the game. I had been on the fence about the purchase but was overwhelmingly satisfied, especially when I received four beta keys, and now have a full team. I played 6 hours of HotS with my friends and cousins, and was probably one of the funnest experiences I’ve ever had.
Some background on me as a player:

I played DotA All-Stars as early as ver. 5.84b around 2004-5. You’re right; I liked the game since it was easier than the base game. In order to get through the story of Reign of Chaos and Frozen Throne, I had to use cheats.

In 2008, I was given a Beta Key for Heroes of Newerth, I played this almost exclusively until 2012. I associate that time with some of the lowest points of my life, in the same way as you’ve said about your time in WoW.

A couple years ago, my team split into different games. For some reason we played Strife for about a year. S2 games made it to “be casual” while HoN would “appease the Hardcore audiences.” Every good idea they had was littered with bad ones, and the game is a hideous attempt to cash in on LoL. It has been an abysmal failure, the only cool thing was me and my team were among the top players. I didn’t really like the game, but it was where my friends were. That’s how these games work.

Heroes of the Storm has been jaw-dropping. I hadn’t really enjoyed many Bllizard games recently, and I felt like I was back at home, back to the Warcraft III days. I agree with you about what you just said: this game is the other branch, going one way while LoL, HoN, and DOTA 2 go the other. Pretty much everything I didn’t like in those game is fixed here. The music is magnificent. There’s nothing quite like staging a massive comeback, fending off your opponents team push as this music kicks in:

The only thing I would really want in HotS from the other games is a Map without an overpowering objective. Objectives dominate the game, which can make it harder to execute pushes on your terms. I’d love a map without that, making team choices more varied, but realistically I know it won’t happen for one very good reason: The objectives massively improve the game as a spectator sport, and with helping to learn the game faster. Without an objective spawning at 2 minutes, the game would just be people soaking in their lanes for the first 10 levels, with one or two ganks. The constant spawning of objectives gives the game more structure. It’s that certain something that the MOBAs have been missing. DOTA 2 recently had a 200 minute long game: . That’s what happens without grave golems, without tower ammo, and without blackheart blasting forts away. I’ve played 60+ minute games. They are tense and can be very exciting, but more often are just drawn out forgone conclusions.

Heroes of the Storm is definitely filled with some pre-WoW Warcraft goodness. I can’t say for WCII, never player, but for WCIII definitely. I was also pleased, however, that they have Tassadar in it. Hearing him refer to you as Executor makes me forgot all the mediocrity of SCII.

I would definitely recommend playing this in a team. You can coordinate better, and you often know what they’re going to be doing. Hopefully Blizzard sends you beta keys like they did for me.

When I get a little burnt out from HotS, I switch to Diablo III. I had bought Reaper of Souls recently. You didn’t really talk on it much. I felt the part 5 writing was much better, not so much in being an epic quest, but in being less annoying, and feeding plenty of world building through journals and the minor characters. Makes me interested in the next sequel for sure.

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My experience has been that Heroes is determined by victors of team fights, not doing objectives. Objectives seem to be the determining point when the team battles keep ending in stalemates, or it is too even. Obviously, this varies on the map.
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I haven’t played Diablo 3 in a long while. I am currently re-downloading it on the computer. After facing some crappy players in Heroes, I think a visit to Sanctuary might do me some good. Strangely enough, some of the Diablo 3 mechanics are similar to Heroes. In many ways, Heroes feels like a combination of Diablo 3 and MOBA.
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I know Blizzard has plans for clans and other ways to get friends and teams together in Heroes. Really, the idea isn’t so much to get teammates but to make friends who also play the game. Bnet 2.0 really… isn’t the best environment for this.
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Question: Why was it easier to make communities back in the 1990s with Kali and Bnet 1.0 than with Bnet 2.0 and all this other ‘social media’?
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My answer is that men use social status as making friends. If you notice, you will see people who are friends only within their own social status. The President of the United States would rather be friends with Castro than with the man on the street. Benjamin franklin was friends with other famous authors and scientists before friends with the average man. If you notice with the top players, they are friends only with other top players. Famous shout casters tend to be friends with one another.
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One huge, huge difference in gaming then and now is the unified profile. You’d just meat someone online, be like “Hey, let us play a game together!” Then you go out and play. It is as innocent as children playing. Today, it is “You must be at Rank # for me to even consider talking to you.” There is a ton of E-Peen out there. Before, I would go and get more E-Peen then them and see how they responded. Then, I would be worthy to be considered to have a ‘conversation’ with them.
Hardcore gamers are E-peeners. There are so many level bars in Heroes. You have a bar for your profile, a bar for each hero (34!?), a bar for Hero league, and an upcoming bar for Team League. Nay, probably be three bars for Team League. You have bars all over the place.
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This is where I think so much of the toxicity of Heroes comes in is because these players focus so much on the E-peen, got so many bars filled up, that while their profile says ‘experienced player’, their games are not going the way for an experienced player. Those 1000 games in co-op don’t really help when the person goes to Quick League.The use of social status in video games is creating toxicity. It turns the video game into a validation tool. It also makes the video game very unhealthy. Former WoW players will say how playing the game was filling a void in their life for their lack of achievement.
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Heroes of the Storm is like diet yogurt next to non-diet yogurts like DOTA 2 and LoL. Diet yogurt has as much sugar as in a candy bar (look at the back of the label next time you are in a grocery store, and you will see). People eat the diet yogurt, and they think they are ‘healthy’, but they keep getting obese. The ‘diet’ of Heroes is the smaller game session time. The ‘sugar’ of Heroes is the social status of these gazillion experience bars all over the place. I wonder why the options menu doesn’t have an experience bar as well? Perhaps that bar can fill up as I keep changing settings.
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You know what this blog post needs? An experience bar!
.
.
There you go, reader. You are currently level 48 with 57% of the bar filled. You need to re-read this blog post again and again until it fills up. You don’t want the other readers to have a higher level than you, do you? Of course not!
.You see, readers, I have learned from the Modern Game Industry. I am going to put XP bars all over the place now. In fact, I should place them in my home too. I should place an XP bar on the toaster.
.

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My toaster is leveling up! Is YOUR toaster leveling up? I doubt it. You probably just have a level 1 toaster. You’re such a noob. But I have a level two toaster! Since the toaster is an extension of myself, connected to a single profile of Malstrom, that means my self-worth is defined by the toaster.
.
“LOL Malstrom! People don’t define themselves by an electrical box!”Wanna bet? I’m sure if such a toaster was made, the hardcore would be popping toast all day to level up their toaster. It’s madness.
My experience has been that Heroes is determined by victors of team fights, not doing objectives. Objectives seem to be the determining point when the team battles keep ending in stalemates, or it is too even. Obviously, this varies on the map.
I haven’t played Diablo 3 in a long while. I am currently re-downloading it on the computer. After facing some crappy players in Heroes, I think a visit to Sanctuary might do me some good. Strangely enough, some of the Diablo 3 mechanics are similar to Heroes. In many ways, Heroes feels like a combination of Diablo 3 and MOBA.
.
I know Blizzard has plans for clans and other ways to get friends and teams together in Heroes. Really, the idea isn’t so much to get teammates but to make friends who also play the game. Bnet 2.0 really… isn’t the best environment for this.
.
Question: Why was it easier to make communities back in the 1990s with Kali and Bnet 1.0 than with Bnet 2.0 and all this other ‘social media’?
.
My answer is that men use social status as making friends. If you notice, you will see people who are friends only within their own social status. The President of the United States would rather be friends with Castro than with the man on the street. Benjamin franklin was friends with other famous authors and scientists before friends with the average man. If you notice with the top players, they are friends only with other top players. Famous shout casters tend to be friends with one another.
.
One huge, huge difference in gaming then and now is the unified profile. You’d just meat someone online, be like “Hey, let us play a game together!” Then you go out and play. It is as innocent as children playing. Today, it is “You must be at Rank # for me to even consider talking to you.” There is a ton of E-Peen out there. Before, I would go and get more E-Peen then them and see how they responded. Then, I would be worthy to be considered to have a ‘conversation’ with them.
Hardcore gamers are E-peeners. There are so many level bars in Heroes. You have a bar for your profile, a bar for each hero (34!?), a bar for Hero league, and an upcoming bar for Team League. Nay, probably be three bars for Team League. You have bars all over the place.
.
This is where I think so much of the toxicity of Heroes comes in is because these players focus so much on the E-peen, got so many bars filled up, that while their profile says ‘experienced player’, their games are not going the way for an experienced player. Those 1000 games in co-op don’t really help when the person goes to Quick League.
.
The use of social status in video games is creating toxicity. It turns the video game into a validation tool. It also makes the video game very unhealthy. Former WoW players will say how playing the game was filling a void in their life for their lack of achievement.
.
Heroes of the Storm is like diet yogurt next to non-diet yogurts like DOTA 2 and LoL. Diet yogurt has as much sugar as in a candy bar (look at the back of the label next time you are in a grocery store, and you will see). People eat the diet yogurt, and they think they are ‘healthy’, but they keep getting obese. The ‘diet’ of Heroes is the smaller game session time. The ‘sugar’ of Heroes is the social status of these gazillion experience bars all over the place. I wonder why the options menu doesn’t have an experience bar as well? Perhaps that bar can fill up as I keep changing settings.
.
You know what this blog post needs? An experience bar!
.
.
There you go, reader. You are currently level 48 with 57% of the bar filled. You need to re-read this blog post again and again until it fills up. You don’t want the other readers to have a higher level than you, do you? Of course not!
.
You see, readers, I have learned from the Modern Game Industry. I am going to put XP bars all over the place now. In fact, I should place them in my home too. I should place an XP bar on the toaster.
.
.
My toaster is leveling up! Is YOUR toaster leveling up? I doubt it. You probably just have a level 1 toaster. You’re such a noob. But I have a level two toaster! Since the toaster is an extension of myself, connected to a single profile of Malstrom, that means my self-worth is defined by the toaster.
“LOL Malstrom! People don’t define themselves by an electrical box!”
.
Wanna bet? I’m sure if such a toaster was made, the hardcore would be popping toast all day to level up their toaster. It’s madness.

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