Best MMO of the year. 3 euros for 30 days of game time. Team based PvP shooter (well, I think).

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Follow-up on Warhammer Online

I was thinking: go on and make the PvE game harder in the initial levels like you said, now that the game is losing players and that the servers are almost completely empty. Especially the low level zones, I’d guess.

On Q23 I was reading this comment, likely from someone who played recently:

On the PQs, I think it’s still a brilliant concept. No, you can’t make it THAT challenging – these aren’t coordinated groups. But it does foster some grouping and player interaction. I still think those are the best part of WAR. The challenge is that they’re abandoned now. I’m not sure how you overcome that…but on release I LOVED the PQs.

The kind of problem we pointed out at release. Public quests are a broken design concept if you don’t implement a scaling/adapting dynamic.

But then go on and put the nails on the coffin, it is surely better than the slow agony.

Warhammer failed and is sinking not because of technical competency, lack of resources or lack of support from EA. It failed because of very bad game design all around.

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Warhammer failed because PvE was too easy and too soloable

On Q23 today I noticed a necro thread about Warhammer (you know, that game we used to talk about a year ago). I went looking why it was resurrected and the reason is that all Mythic’s services went offline. Including all Warhammer and DAoC servers.

It’s quite a big fuckup (since I think it’s been already a few hours, if not the whole day), so I went checking the forum to see if there was the kind of rage I’d expect. Not so much. It’s quite calm. Maybe because there are only an handful of players left, and even those who are left aren’t particularly caring either.

While looking at this I noticed a link to a gamasutra article that boasted this title: GDC Austin: Mythic’s Hickman Shares Warhammer Online’s Biggest Mistakes

I’m curious, let’s see these biggest mistakes (the three major ones are reported). Let’s see if, one year later and one Jacobs less, they got some clue.

Here’s their three biggest mistakes they think they made on Warhammer:

1- The PvE game is too easy in the initial levels.
2- Since the game is too easy and too soloable, people don’t socialize.
3- Farming gold and grinding is not important. But it brings together the community.

The article is also filled with brilliance and awesome insight, like:

“The era of boxed products is ending.”
“Digital distribution is absolutely profitable”
“if your game is flawed and you have to make massive rebuilds, that’s risky.”

If you don’t believe me, here the actual quotes about those three major mistakes:

1- “Warhammer, in PVE, in the beginning, is too easy.”
2- “You can do so many things solo, that friendship, at least in the beginning levels, is not necessary, and it’s super dangerous for your games.”
3- “what it caused us to do was build a game where economy is not important enough. Economy brings people together.”

It’s also quite funny because when they asked him if these issues were the same reported by players during beta he said, obviously not:
“I’m not sure how many of our players would say it’s too easy; it’s not something they think about. There are a lot of things they point at and say are the problems, but [actually] it’s that.”

Players wouldn’t say that PvE being too easy is the game’s major flaw (maybe because players aren’t as clueless as himself), but it’s that. No really. It’s that.

Now after my crusade against Mark Jacobs you’d expect that I find the current Mythic at least slightly improved (since he left, if you remember). I’m not. Mythic with Jacobs had at least some drive. Mythic without Jacobs seems just as clueless, and even lost all drive.

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Awesome Kamen Rider Kiva HD


I found a huge batch (22Gb, for 48 episodes) of Kamen Rider Kiva. It’s in HD, the only KR in HD along the latest Decade and W/Double. Kiva is maybe the most badass among all KR series.

This batch is RAW, meaning that there are no subs (yet). If you want subs you’ll have to stick to the lower resolution TN release. I hope they either release softsubs or make an HD release. It’s worth it.

I also discovered (if I’m not mistaken) that the guy who wrote 90% of the episodes of every Kamen Rider series is the father of Takehiko Inoue, creator of Slam Dunk and Vagabond. One impressive lineage. Kiva is all his making.

HD RAW batchTN subbed releases

How could the kid in you not thoroughly adore this? I sure do.

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Nobuta wo Produce

I started watching doramas (japanese TV dramas) I stumbled into this masterpiece: Nobuta wo Produce (torrent)

P.S.: There’s a slightly (mostly unseeded) better version H264 with translations that are maybe better. torrent
P.P.S.: Yes, definitely better translation.

One thing I noticed is that episodes of japanese dramas that last 1/1.5 hours are divided into two or three parts, and every part has its own narrative thread and conclusion. So if someone starts watching halfway through he still can follow what goes on (this works on TV). Then all the threads in the whole episode are interconnected together to reward those who followed for beginning to end. It’s a rather clever design :)

I watched the first episode of this drama, then watched it again a month later. It’s awesome. Just a typical school drama like every other anime you may have seen (here live), with one new girl in the school getting bullied, and the smart, beautiful and charismatic guy coming to rescue her. But in spite of a trite plot and humor that just won’t work for a western audience (pathetic), this is absolutely fantastic. It has a great direction, great soundtrack and it’s actually filled with good, natural acting. There’s still a lot of the typical acting excess style of japanese shows, but at the end the characters grow on you and feel authentic. The story is a pleasure to follow and they are able to tell with it something that isn’t so shallow as the concept would suggest. The typical idol protagonist just works here, especially when he’s together with his crazy friend.

I’m actually quite impressed by this show. It shows emotion in a good, uncompromised way and it’s amazingly produced. Great cast all around too.

The first episode is slightly more than an hour long and self contained enough to be enjoyed on its own. Whole series is 10 episodes.

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Moving on. Twitter.

Once again I don’t know where the blog will go or if it will survive. In any case I’m MrSkimpole on Twitter. I’ll keep that much more up to date and will comment more than books (but no, nothing about my private life).

Now I understand why something so stupid is so popular: it rewards lack of commitment .

The blog was passively building again pressure on me and I felt constrained.

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