Can’t have nice things

I won’t even mention what it is about, since we’re clearly dealing with incompetence and I’m utterly pissed.

This is a JRPG game that was announced for release on Steam for “Winter 2013”. Then winter passed, so it was announced for “Spring 2014”. Then spring passed.

Actual quotes, June 5:

We’re still hoping to have it released BEFORE summer if possible, but failing that, I’m almost certain we’ll get it out before fall, so summer is a safe bet.

Safe bet.

A couple of hours later, he checks the calendar:

Oh, crap… I forgot how close summer was!

…You’re right, I’m thinking this isn’t going to make spring after all…

He forgot summer was close.

This being the first title, because they also announced the MUCH BIGGER sequel. For Summer 2014. Yeah.

Go fuck yourself, fan translations are 300% more competent than this shit.

This fucked industry

From a developer post on Reddit, about the Assassin’s Creed fuck-up:

However, most teams on AAA don’t want to give up quality for anything. Why? Because that means lower Metacritic scores for one thing…a thing that most studio bonuses are inextricably intertwined with. Busted your ass for 2 years on a project and it’s expected to bring in a 90 Metacritic so you can get your 20% IC bonus? Wait, you only got an 88% because some jackass kid who gets paid in pagecounts and free games decided you did a half-assed job on the animations for the female character compared to the male and the side-quests weren’t involved enough (because your team threw those out to work on the female characters)…no bonus for you, sucker!


Wake up. The responsibility or the blame aren’t for the “jackass kid” who wrote a review. The responsibility is on your idiotic management who decided you get paid on the basis of Metacritic.

Get your priorities fixed. Responsibility usually goes upstream. Same direction where the money goes.

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Don’t put stones on the rails of the Hype Train

I so hate when I see this happening. Erikson once told me that I’m disruptive of online communities, and get so much aggressive backlash, because it’s like everyone makes an effort to go with the flow, while I’m like on a bridge and dropping stones into the river.

Right now, at the E3, it’s the time of the Hype Train. You want to be part of the community and considered to be one of its members? Are you a gamer? Then let’s build ANTICIPATION. And together we’ll share excitement for all these wonderful, unimaginable great games that are coming. It means this is a POSITIVE moment, when you are asked to put down and forget your criticism and critical thinking. Just watch the advertisement and be part of it.

But nope, you want to spoil it and remind what’s at the end of this railroad. It is not the time.

It’s dumb talking about this when it’s all already done. It’s SMART talking about this when it is actually happening, instead of being surprised after the fact.

Dark Souls 2 bullshit started well before the year it was released. If all these potential players don’t learn ANYTHING from what already happened and are ready to swallow it all again, then this is exactly the problem. YOU are the problem, not the developers. The developers simply exploit what they find. They find a gullible, naive audience? They exploit it, since they will believe everything that they are being told.

When the game is one month from release all the rants and complains result to absolutely nothing. You suck it up and shut up.

But if you start to complain about this when it’s actually happening, and call developers out to STOP THIS SHIT, then maybe they’ll understand it doesn’t work, and that it actually hurts the business to promise something the final product will not match.

But nope. Keep blindly worshiping your developer gods, so they’ll keep cheating you.

The Division: E3 2014, the year of delays, sequels and vaporware

I’ve called out Eve-Online for bullshit and vaporware for years. These days you can see the result of chasing after bullshit, with CCP firing hundreds of people. Why? Because instead of sticking to what they knew (an online space simulator) they started wasting money on all sort of idiotic sidetracks: characters walking in stations, first person shooters, brand new MMORPGs without a vision.

But in 2014 vaporware is now the absolute norm, considered perfectly normal if only slightly subtler and used to fool the players. After having seen almost all conferences my conclusion is that this E3 celebrated a new standard of total shamelessness: around 90% of the games shown, that offered “gameplay”, are absolutely vaporware in the form that what you’ll actually get on the system being publicized will look NOTHING like what was shown during those videos. And this doesn’t simply includes graphic downgrades, but also fake animations and scripted AI scenes.

Instead of making great games, the budget nowadays goes first and foremost into presentation. I can’t even imagine how many dollars and man hours have been wasted on CG trailers and game presentations that will never be featured in the final game.

The ad is the game. You open the box, and you find nothing like what you saw in the ad.

It was a show of scripted scenes, including fake “player” voiceovers. And The Division should absolutely win a prize for being the one game in the whole show to have put EVERYTHING together in one gameplay video that is probably MORE fake than the maximum shamelessness up to this day: Killzone 2.

Either players start a riot against this trend of fake advertizing, or this is only the very beginning.

(TotalBisquit, one of the few worthy critics left, seems to agree.)

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Wildstar, what’s wrong

It’s not about what’s wrong with Wildstar, it’s Wildstar being wrong in itself.

I recently got FFXIV because I could get it for cheap at around $10, and that’s enough for me. I rather enjoy it. System-wise, Guild Wars 2 is superior, but it has none of the charm and personality, so in the end I enjoy FFXIV far more than I enjoyed GW2. I play FFXIV because there’s an interesting world, because it has content. Whereas GW2 has good systems, but feels like an empty, dull shell. So these two are the only two MMORPGs that I consider barely worth the attention at this time.

Then there’s Wildstar (TESO is also out of my zone of interest, because of what I perceive as a total lack of direction). I have zero interest in it because it makes the stuff I hate in GW2 even worse. The super-fluorescent, over the top, completely inconsistent style. The stuff put in the game for no real reason. It’s like the worst of Facebook games rolled into the ugliest, most monstrous package ever.

To better understand what I mean you can read Tom Chick’s impressions. What he writes there is PRECISELY the reason why I wouldn’t play Wildstar even if it was completely free. I hate its style, I hate its UI, I hate its game design. It’s not “personal” hate, it’s just wonderfully explanatory of everything I dislike in a MMO. Take Wildstar, turn it upside down, and you’d get what I consider a masterpiece.

It truly looks like a patchwork of systems without any coherence. Just an ugly monstrosity derived from this kind of game design without a direction or vision. It’s not a MMORPG, it’s an imitation of one.

Some selected quotes:

At this point, you’d think Wildstar is a collection of things other MMOs do, mostly World of Warcraft, done in pretty much the same way they do them, but without any sense of vision or identity, without any selling point, without anything to distract you from the inevitable burning question, much less provide an answer: “Why am I playing this instead of an MMO I’m already invested in?” It is a collection of MMO systems in search of a game. It is unconnected and uninspired stuff.

The text pops up on screen and the narrator says something supposedly funny, like, “Holy shit, you’re going to fuck up the bad guys now!”, except the words “shit” and “fuck” are bleeped out. It’s as if someone played Brutal Legend and liked the font.

“some people liked it, so they left it in there. That’s Wildstar.”

Stuff that’s stirred into a game because some people liked it. Not because it’s good, or clever, or well made, or part of a distinct vision or coherent design. But because someone liked it and a bunch of other people shrugged and decided to leave it in there. What a terrible way to make a game, particularly an ambitious one like a subscription-based MMO.

And it has a narrator. “Double kill!” the narrator hollers, “Triple kill!” I think he even says “Killtastic!” or some dumb thing if I keep going. Who is he? Why is he talking to me? Is this a gladiatorial MMO? A narrator is watching over my shoulder and commenting on my battles, on my achievements, on my leveling. Shouldn’t this be my adventure? Why is the idea that I’m entertaining spectators introduced into this game? Who puts a narrator in an MMO? Someone must have liked the narrator.

It’s the anti-world, anti-immersion, anti-simulation. Basically the entirety of the MMORPG genre when you squeezed out all the good aspects, and are left only with a skinner box with no soul and no art. The worst of fast food of gaming.

I’m glad it exists, because I can point to it and show everything that is wrong, so perfectly summarized in just one game.

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