Wednesday, May 30, 2007

EVE, CCP, and Players

This is what happens when a developer lets their players take over a game. It is also a case study for why official forums are a bad idea. In the end though, it is just another day in EVE Online.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Currently Playing.... Nothing?

I haven't touched a video game in nearly two weeks. We have just gotten our first puppy (a Doberman) and she is quite the handful. On top of that I have started my packed summer semester of classes.

So, my gaming time has been owned. But I really haven't been compelled to play anything recently. I thought World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade was in my future, but I just don't think so any longer. I want to play something new.

So, here I sit, eagerly awaiting the release dates for Pirates of the Burning Seas, Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, and several other games I can't think of right now. I may have to take another hiatus from MMORPGs and refresh myself on a good RTS, FPS, or RPG.

Aside from Dreamblade, a collectible miniatures game, I don't see much gaming anytime soon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

No More Battlefield 2 Patches

From DigitalBattle:
According to ex-DICE employees, there are no more patches planned for the bug-filled multiplayer shooter Battlefield 2. The former DICE members, who now formed their own studio, said via a forum release that patch 1.4 (released last November)was the last BF2 patch, and that all forces at DICE are focused on Battlefield 2142, which is, unfortunately, just as bug filled as its predecessor.

EA and DICE hasn’t mentioned anything about a patch ever since the last one, over six months ago. And they will probably never reveal that no further patches are planned, since that’ll take away the last hope BF2 players have. Since there most likely won’t be an announcement, this will technically remain a rumor forever, just as BF2 will technically remain a bug filled game.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Starcraft 2 Must Be Perfect

Blizzard's big announcement was not the shocker everyone had anticipated. It was simply Starcraft 2, as predicted just about everywhere. Starcraft 2 will be an RTS; not an MMO.

I will start this out by saying I was wrong. I didn't make any big prediction posts. Everyone else took care of the predictions just fine, but I did open my mouth in a few places and bet against the odds on favorites. Knowing Blizzard and their un-innovative history, Starcraft 2 or Diablo 3 were very probable. Blizzard does not step outside of familiarity. Factor in that this event was held in Korea and you could of easily bet money on Starcraft 2.

So, I was wrong, and the streets of Korea did not erupt into a fiery cataclysmic pool of rioters. However, I don't really believe any of the hardcore Korean Starcraft fauthful are won over by this announcement. To please them, and the majority of Starcraft faithful, Starcraft 2 will need to be perfect. Perfect is not something that exists in the gaming market, and Starcraft 2 won't be the first.

Don't get me wrong. Starcraft 2 will sell well and knowing Blizzard's approach to game design, Starcraft 2 will be a solid, polished, and complete game. However, it will not be a giant leap in RTS gaming. There is already so much that Starcraft 2 has to deliver, that there is literally no wiggle room. Blizzard has to get it right, or face a very, very angry Starcraft community.

On the other hand, World of Warcraft wasn't a giant leap forward for MMORPGs, but it is now the king of the MMO jungle. Can this happen with Starcraft 2? With the same "easy to learn, hard to master" approach, it could be possible. Sadly, Starcraft 2 comes with strikes against it.

First, it is in a Sci-fi setting. Sci-fi has never been as popular as swords and sorcery fantasy.

Secondly, the original Starcraft is still extremely popular. How many of the current diehards will be willing to move to the new game? How many gaming leagues and professional Starcraft players will be willing to move? How will the fans of these leagues feel about the new game?

Finally, the original Starcraft developers are no longer with the company. Blizzard has a great group of developers, but how good are they compared to the fathers of Starcraft? Starcraft has existed for a long time, and benefited from tons of updates, in order to become the game it is today. Starcraft 2 has to come out of the box nearly perfect or we'll just be back playing the original.

In conclusion, Starcraft 2 must be perfect. Good luck Blizzard, you'll need it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Told You So

The axe has fallen according to F13.
"The axe finally fell. It was only a matter of time, I suppose. And while many of you may try to spin this to make SOE look bad, apparently this wasn't really their doing. You see, SOE doesn't own Sigil. It doesn't own Sigil now and they won't own them tomorrow. But they do own Vanguard. What fate awaits that game? I don't know. Don't particularly care either."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Red Hat Enterprise Linux: Stage 1 Complete

I have finished my first semester in the Red Hat Academy for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It was the most demanding class I've taken in my degree program thus far. I was a Linux newb before entering the fray and while I still feel like a newb; I have learned some valuable essentials about Linux. I came out with a 100.28% average for the semester. I am extremely proud of myself, and it makes all the extra hours of work well worth it.

No rest for the weary. I have signed up for the summer semester and the next Linux course: Linux System Administration.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Brad "Spin" McQuaid

As mentioned, Brad McQuaid has posted an in-depth update regarding the state of Sigil and Vanguard. I don't recommend suffering through the exhaustively long read; unless you actually plan to play Vanguard in the future, which I don't believe anyone actually plans to do.

Brad spends several long paragraphs explaining what everyone already knew. Sigil missed the boat; by a long shot. Their graphics engine was far too intensive. Their marketing was nothing more than Brad's vision and a constant argument that Vanguard was not another Everquest. Unfortunately, Vanguard's core community was full of Everquest purists and its gameplay was nothing more than Everquest whack-a-mole.

Brad is in complete spin mode now. He is obviously taking lessons from SOE! As of late, some people have been applauding Brad for his honesty. I wonder what these people think now? Brad can't simply say; "We've failed and there is no way out financially other than dumping Vanguard." He has to sit around and blame development issues and the 600 lb gorilla in the room. Brad's honesty was nothing more than regurgitated drivel of facts we already knew. Facts that most developers figured out years ago.

If Brad was truly an honest developer, and not another spin doctor, the following would have been answered:
Does this mean an acquisition? I can't say at this point.

Does this mean more or less people at Sigil? I can't say at this point.

Does this mean management changes at Sigil? I can't say at this point.
So, I ask all you fuzzy lumpkins, who actually believed Brad's "honesty", to spin this one for him. Why can't he just come out and tell us what the future holds for Sigil and Vanguard? If Brad can be so candid about Vanguard's failings; then why can't he simply let everyone know what the future holds?

The truth will hurt those that believe honesty actually exists in the world of business.