Category Archives: opinion
The Keen and Graev Twitter account announces that there’s less than 23 hours to go before Skyrim unlocks on their Steam account.
My Steam account says there’s approximately 32-33 hours left before Skyrim unlocks.
Comparatively speaking, to get Skyrim potentially sooner than other folks, I confirmed with the local game shop about physical copies coming in. According to them, the physical copies would come in on 11/11/11 anyway by mid to late afternoon, which is approximately 24-26 hours from now. Add to that the fact that Skyrim pre-orders in my country get a nifty coffee mug that should be nothing like the FFXIV CE tumblers, and you have the makings of an excellent reason to buy physical, as long as you do your research.
To sum up,
1. Due to time zone issues, the Physical Copy of Skyrim will arrive earlier than the unlocking of the Steam version.
2. I save on bandwidth as I won’t be downloading the game.
3. Free Skyrim logo-emblazoned black coffee mug with my pre-order for the long-haul gaming session that’ll happen in the evening.
Advanced Happy Skyrim Day, my fellow gamers!
Despite the many merits of Minecraft, I dislike the current state it’s in because it’s too sandboxy for me. Without any clearly defined goals set for myself to push through, Minecraft’s effect wasn’t that strong on me. I ultimately get bored playing the game after less than 30 minutes.
That said, disliking the game doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what Minecraft’s effect on me was.
While it could be said that my first Indie game purchase was Torchlight (Torchlight is, in fact, the first game I ever purchased through Steam, and my second Steam-enabled game after The Last Remnant), Minecraft was what really brought independent game development to the forefront of my game-loving mind.
Minecraft’s popularity and media coverage made many gamers take notice of independent developers and their many offerings, whether it be a storekeeper’s RPG in the form of Recettear, a roguelike like Dungeons of Dredmor, or a FPSS (First Person Santiy Survival) thriller such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
Indies these days allow for exceptional gameplay experiences that do not necessarily require a high price to enjoy. Indeed, with Humble Indie Bundles and Royal Bundles available to the public these days, getting into the groove of loving low-cost, high quality gaming is proving to be a steadily popular choice among the discerning gamers out in PC and Xbox 360-land.
Even now, Minecraft is probably the biggest example of what indie gaming is, but since there’s no formal definition for what an indie game is, I doubt it actually holds the title of biggest indie game in a person’s heart.
That game probably goes to whatever awesome game is out at the moment. It’s a fickle way of thinking, perhaps, but it also means there’s a lot of love to go around. While The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Saint’s Row: The Third are going to be the AAA hits I look forward to playing in the near future, it’s the indie games that’ll keep me company when the money is tight and gaming urge is strong.
Who knows? Minecraft may even get randomized quests for fun before 2012. At least, I hope it gives me a reason to play it again. I could use a good excuse.
There’s a funny thing I’ve realized about EVE Online. I find that I’m not as obsessively playing it as I should to make ISK, and I’m perfectly okay with that.
I’m just letting my skills train, which I check through EVEMon. While that’s happening, I can focus on work, try a different game (like Battlefield 3), or get more sleep.
I honestly thought EVE would make me tense all the time, but I’ve come to realize that by choosing what I want to do, I have the right mix of freedom and restraint, which is a nice thing to have. I don’t have to keep up with anyone else except myself, and if I can find a corp that supports that kind of playstyle, then I should be enjoying my time in the game and out of it a lot more.
Stream of consciousness post stemming from a few days of play. I wanted to write more, but I’ve been unable to do so due to my ISP keeping me from accessing Games and Geekery, and only Games and Geekery.
My plans for being in New Eden did not involve being shot down by NPCs because of sustained radioactive damage from a bloody rock that I couldn’t maneuver away from quickly enough. But it happened, and so I must accept it.
My plans for being in New Eden involved Planetary Interaction, PVE Mission Running, and an attempt at getting the necessary skills up to pilot a Dominix in the future with drone capabilities. Sadly, Trial players can’t actually train all the skills necessary for PI, and so I must accept it.
I want this game to succeed for the very reason that makes it niche: it is a world where the interactions make the game richer and more varied, where the systems are complex, and where the questions you ask yourself are as important as the choices you make.
What I’ve realized is that this is a game where the metagame is as important, if not doubly so, as the actual game. It’s also one of the most complicated, intricate webs of learning I’ve ever become entangled in.
Folks who want to do well must invest money into subscriptions over a long-term period, or at least enough to make enough in-game money to purchase PLEX to continue a subscription. To make the most out of your experience, the social aspect of the game involves not only finding a good corp, but finding a good corp that shares your timezone and general core values as a player or human being.
Skills get trained over the course of minutes, hours, and potentially, days. Knowing what you want to do is paramount, but when you start out, everything seems viable, and the way you train yourself in the beginning can only be good for the long-term survivability of your pilot as it takes minutes to begin.
Beyond a certain point, you have to start making big decisions. Do I take the cheap ship out and make less money from an activity, or risk losing a more expensive ship for a greater gain? Do I train the shorter timed skill first, or the more important skill?
Perhaps the one thing that made me appreciate the game, even in this short term I’ve been playing, is that there are fundamental hidden questions in everything you do in EVE Online.
“Do you give in to baser instincts in the name of new experiences and ‘fun’?”
“Do you treat EVE as a game, as a test, or as a business?”
“Do you sacrifice your core values for virtual goods and does it affect you on a personal level?”
I like asking myself these questions, and I like that it makes me think philosophically. I do believe I would like to devote more time to exploring this game on a subscription basis. My only concern is finding a AUS/NZ corporation to join that fits my schedule, and figuring out if I get to keep my free 21 days if I subscribe immediately,
In any event, I guess I’ll be looking at virtual stars in addition to LOTRO and Skyrim for the time being.
Just so everyone knows and can keep track, Civrot Stillwater, my Warden on the Landroval server, is actually my third Warden. I have two wardens on the Elendilmir server that I have left alone and have completely burned out on due to my experiences with the Esteldin/North Downs area.
Civrot, however, is taking a different course of action by moving through Evendim and skipping most of North Downs other than to complete book quests once hitting the right levels. I can get there immediately through some fast travel skills, and am generally inclined to believe that this may be the time when I can really get into the game and enjoy the character.
Strangely enough, I have not purchased a house, even though I love housing. I’m saving the money to purchase tradeskill goods for alternate characters that can help the main in various ways, such as through making food or jewelry or shields.
This fresh perspective gives me hope that I can actually stick with LOTRO for a while, even though I want to play EQ2′s expansion and Skyrim eventually. Since I can go without subbing for a while, I don’t see many issues there. All I need is to unlock everything I need to do, and I should be set, and that feels liberating to the extent that I want to go and play more.
Have any of you ever felt this way about a new perspective? Let me know, alright?
I have written this piece with no particular logic in mind, so the thoughts here are mostly emotional responses to the games I’ve played. Apologies to anyone who feels slighted by any poor word choices I have made here.
In August, I played a total of four MMORPGs. There was Rift, Xsyon: Prelude, Everquest 2, and Final Fantasy XIV. Each MMO I picked during that month seemed to have one thing in common that wasn’t actually particularly common: they were all in a weird state of upheaval.
To my knowledge, my playtime with Rift was spent more on July during the Waves of Madness world event, a prelude to the arrival of patch 1.4 during the first week of August. When 1.4 came around though, I spent a few days and felt the change did nothing to keep me enthused: slightly revamped soul trees, PVP additions, and the addition of stuff for high leveled players to do, while definitely useful for keeping the 50s entertained, did nothing for me as a level 30+ player who wanted something he could own.
On a whim, I then bought and subbed to Xsyon for a month, hoping that then lure of terraforming and nearly limitless crafting would make me want to stay. This game is in a state of upheaval, even within its playerbase, because aside from crafting and killing four creature types (that’s what I was told) and dodgy PVP, the game was about barren of things to do as, well, a post-apocalyptic Lake Tahoe would probably be. Two days later, the unsubscribe button was promptly pushed.
I played Just Cause 2 for two weeks afterwards… that was a fun distraction. but a completely different thing to discuss.
Following some documented troubles with subbing to Everquest 2, I managed to get in a subscription and play before Game Update 61 became available. While the changes to the game as a result of the update did not greatly impact me (I even completed the Beastlord prelude quest that came with the update), it troubled me how everyone else felt bad because of how this game update was handled, prior to and during its introduction into the game. This was a state of upheaval that affected me because it hurt a playerbase that loved the game more dearly than I did, so I opted to temporarily try something else this past week so that the developers could remedy the situation accordingly.
To that end, I chose Final Fantasy XIV to occupy my time. So far, I am finding that not much has changed since I last played, but from my experience, what has changed has been important and it’s revitalized that love I’ve always had for the potential Final Fantasy XIV had to please people.
There are two things that have consistently gnawed at me during my time playing FFXIV. The first thing that tore at my imagination is the fatigue system of ability gain, and what it would be like to have that abolished: would it make me want to play more of the game, less of it, or the same amount as a result? The second issue that ate up my brain was the panic of playing a combat class: simply put, the system they had in place when I last played made me feel like a sitting duck because I was always waiting for Stamina to recharge to perform an action.
Patch 1.18 removed fatigue from the game’s leveling system, allowing casual players like myself to enjoy leveling up while not penalizing those who wanted to spend more time developing their characters further. It also ushered in the beginning of sweeping changes to the entirety of the battle system, beginning with the revamping or outright removal of specific skills and the abolition of the Stamina system, as well as adding something most MMOs take for granted these days: auto attack.
I see four upheavals at work here in these four games. There is an “upheaval” which is more of a small quake that did nothing but agitate the PVP playerbase and ruffle a few feathers (Rift). There is an “upheaval” that is more like terraforming, in that it is deliberate and slow to progress and, ultimately, rather like watching grass grow (Xsyon). There is an “upheaval” that wounds the playerbase severely because it came hastily, and with repeated, significant aftershocks as the world attempts to right itself (EQ2). Then there is the positive “upheaval,” in which certain foundations are taken down, and the ground is broken again to usher in a determined rebuilding and restructuring of faulty foundations (FFXIV).
The change happening in FFXIV is astounding, because the plans are being laid out in developer letters in a way that informs everyone of a concrete, long-term plan for rebuilding. I know other developers are open with their plans for a game, but for me, seeing someone literally explain how the foundations for a new “home” are being built, (specifically the plans for patch 1.19 that were written on August 15, and for 1.20 and 1.21 that were written a few hours ago today) with a projected timeline and explanations as to the reasoning behind specific actions, is a very positive way of introducing change to a community that has already suffered from the pain of a nearly a year’s worth of disappointment.
They’re revamping the battle, experience, and mob claiming system, adding new modes of transportation, introducing further tutorial quests, creating additional, unlockable job classes through questing, and making crafting more accessible and more fun (THANK GOD) to a wider range of players by simplifying certain crafting processes. They literally have a monthly plan that they are working hard to follow, and they have an excellent team that translates these producer letters so that they come out on the same day they’re made worldwide (at least, that’s the impression I’m getting). These guys have waaaaaay more discipline than I could ever imagine from myself.
The funny thing is, they know this upheaval and rebuilding is going to hurt. In a post made yesterday regarding the revamps coming to claiming and engaging enemies, producer Naoki Yoshida wrote (translated into English, obviously),
I want to make it clear now that I believe there is no way to settle this argument in a way that everybody will be 100% satisfied with.
In this one sentence, I feel the burden of being a producer, as this translation would imply that he concedes that the changes the current team is making will not please everyone and potentially please no one. He even goes on to explain what he thinks various portions of the playerbase are thinking:
This is an extreme example, but even for non-online, stand alone games, there are players who enjoy completing the game even if they use cheats to obtain all items or max out their levels. However, other players feel that this is a waste of time and that it defeats the purpose of buying the game. As such, this is a difficult issue to address.
In MMOs, there are players who would like help with leveling, because they want to play with other players as soon as possible. There are also players who would like to help new players level up, so that they can play with them. These players don’t want strong restrictions on power leveling, nor to be confined to parties with major level differences.
In contrast, there are players who believe that, “Players grow together with their characters,” “If other players are power leveling, leveling up becomes meaningless,” “Power leveling will become a necessary part of the game,” and “Power leveling will disrupt areas for proper party play.”
Even without considering RMT and people who level up other players’ characters for profit, this issue is the cause of a lot of friction. For online games, RMT and people who level up other players’ characters for profit will both certainly exist, so they must be considered. This is a good point of discussion, but opinions will vary based on perspective, so it is difficult to reach a definite conclusion.
He then explains their current battle plan for this particular system, acknowledging that not everyone will be pleased, but also explaining that the team is doing something for people with a particular mindset and explaining that mindset to everyone:
…as a current generation MMORPG we would like to do something about,
“new players who would like some help, because they want to play with their friends as soon as possible, as well as players who are willing to sacrifice their own time to help out new players get involved in the game quicker.”
To return to my metaphor, the upheaval is painful, but the reasoning behind the rebuillding process is there, and he hopes everyone will accept the mindset they have in order to make the game fun for more people.
To a gamer with my mindset, this certainly reads in a tone that I’d want every developer to adopt when they know they’re not going come into opposition from the fanbase (which is to say, “every developer out there”). As a result, I’m excited to see their development plan come to fruition, which is a lot more than I can say for the way EQ2′s most recent upheaval came to be seen.
Yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend who wanted to understand the nature of online game purchases a little bit better. While I understand the general processes in my head without much trouble, explaining online games and microtransactions to a non-gamer is actually rather difficult.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to leave a friend without the requisite knowledge, of course. To that end, I’ve created this primer of sorts on microtransactions, using some of my own terminologies, for the sort of person who doesn’t really play games.
When we refer to commerce in this day and age, we usually think of the exchange of money or credit for good and services. In games, there is also commerce on numerous levels, with each sort of transaction allowing for different goods and services to those playing the game.
There are two sorts of transactions one would typically think of when it comes to games: the purchase transaction and the in-game transaction.
In a purchase transaction, a consumer who wishes to play a game, either through ownership of the game or acquisition of a license to use the game software, pays a fee (in cash or credit, online or in the real world) before he can acquire the means necessary to play that game.
With in-game transactions, we refer to the transactions within a game that allow a user to acquire items, equipment and services specific to that game. This necessitates paying a fee comprised of that game’s particular currency in order to complete the transaction. Whether it comes in the form of in-game gold, gil, zenny, or megabucks, these are simply virtual goods that, under specific circumstances, are not actually traded for any form of real-world currency.
Examples of purchase transactions include the use of Philippine Pesos or US Dollars to purchase a game like Diablo II. Using the currency within Diablo II, namely gold, to purchase weapons, armor, and potions is an example of an in-game transaction.
So far, this is all easy to understand, but complexity arises when we realize that there are other ways by which companies can earn revenue from games. There are a variety of ways in which games in this Internet-connected reality we live in can foster additional revenue, and that is mostly done through a set of transactions that are commonly known as microtransactions.
Unlike purchase transactions or in-game transactions, the word “microtransactions” is a blanket terminology referring to the use of real-world currency (again, either through cash or credit, though usually credit) to acquire goods, services, or additional game content for a game one is already playing, The term is known a microtransaction due to the current trend for microtransactions to generally, though not always, cost less than the price one would pay to acquire the game or continue to gain access to it.
If you remember the example earlier about using in-game gold to purchase weapons and armor in Diablo II, you’d expect in-game gold to have no real-world value. The truth, however, as a result of games growing increasingly more connected to the internet is that currency, goods, and services within a game can have a real-world monetary value assigned to them that can also be affected by market forces.
Many types of microtransactions exist at present due to the nature of games in this day and age, but for non-gamers (and probably concerned parents who don’t know how microtransactions work), an introduction on some of the broad types of microtransactions would be in order.
First off, there are direct microtransactions. These microtransactions are basically an exchange of real-world currency for a specific good or service within a game, or for additional content that is either locked away as a result of the game’s code (thus meaning you’ve paid real money for a key to unlock the additional content) or added to a game after that game’s release.
Direct microtransactions is really a broad term I’m using to refer to a wide-range of potential microtransaction types, but it simplifies the process simply because this sort of microtransaction describes the means by which one acquires a specific good or service while (usually) supporting the developers of a game or an entity connected to the company that developed the game being played.
An online role-playing game like World of Warcraft allows for the purchase of in-game pets, flying mounts, or character renaming services for a fee: this is a direct microtransaction. Most games on mobile devices such as the iPad that do not require a purchase transaction (and are thus touted as being free to download and begin playing) use direct microtransactions to unlock the full game and all its capabilities. Some games on personal computers and consoles (such as the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3) which have purchase transactions also get additional game content delivered through the console or computer’s connection to the Internet after launch, and these require the use of one-time credit card transactions (which are direct microtransactions) to download and play.
There is a second type of microtransaction that is a little easier to define, but a bit more difficult to peg in terms of its overall legitimacy as a microtransaction. These are what I’d define as currency microtransactions.These types of microtransactions are microtransactions in which a player would use real-world money to purchase the currency required to create an in-game transaction. Now, while in-game currency is also a form of virtual good, I’ve set it aside as its own microtransaction type due to how this particular form of virtual good can be used legitimately by certain game developers and unethically by certain companies.
Let me give an example of a both currency microtransaction types. Legitimate currency microtransactions occur in a free iOS game called Tiny Tower. While the game itself is free, the game allows players to use the credit cards connected to their iTunes account to purchase an in-game currency known as Tower Bux, which can be used to speed up the construction of an amenity in-game.These legitimate currency microtransactions are the main means by which the developer gains revenue from their game, allowing them to continue developing more games.
Unethical (a loaded word, but I lack a better word to replace it with) currency microtransactions are commonplace in certain massively multiplayer online role-playing games such as, again, World of Warcraft. Certain companies employ people to acquire the virtual currency of a game like World of Warcraft in order to sell the currency to players for real-world money. In some cases, these companies will try and gain access into people’s game accounts to take virtual currency away from other players in order to sell it online. Very little of this real-world money goes back into funding the development of the game, and the experience of play is somewhat diminished by the encroachment of gold sellers into the virtual space.
Non-gamers, including those responsible for children who are gamers, would do well to reflect upon the implications of microtransactions on real-world wallets. Younger gamers who do not pay attention or who do not understand what microtransactions are can fall prey to unintended purchasing sprees, often on the parental dime.
One well-known report among gaming circles is the story of one Brendan Jordan, who racked up a 1000-pound bill on the console service known as Xbox Live. There was nothing illegal about the purchases, and while the mother of Jordan wants the game companies to bear some responsibility for the mess, it can be argued that game consoles have protections in place to prevent minors from accessing purchase-based microtransaction services.
In any event, non-gamers and parents should be more mindful of what games these days can and can’t do, and what capabilities the technologies of today allow. Ultimately, this will keep misunderstanding at a minimum and proper parenting at the ready.
If you’re reading this, it stands to reason that you’re interested in becoming a beta tester for a highly anticipated, upcoming game. Now, that’s all well and good, but there’s more to beta testing than simply playing, and this primer is here to assist you in understanding certain nuances that arise when it comes to becoming a true beta tester.
Dispelling Your Fantasy
There are many ways to look at a beta test invitation. Companies sometimes use it to drum up interest in their game. You can see it as a personal opportunity to see if a game is something you’ll want to play. You can use the chance at a beta as a sort of social bragging right in your gaming circles. You can, and I don’t consider this very nice, break NDA and report on your adventures and new information from the game.
Truth be told, while all but one of the above reasons are valid things to really interest you in beta testing a game, none of these are the root reason for engaging in a beta test. The primary purpose of a beta test is to summarily improve a game, product, or service by providing valuable feedback that can be used for further enhancements. One does this by repeatedly attempting to force the game to do something that programmers did not intend, reporting it, and hoping for the best.
Let us dispel the fantasy here and now: true beta testing isn’t as glamorous or glorious as some people think. Metaphorically speaking, you’re essentially asked, very nicely I might add, to go into someone’s place of business, break stuff, and then report to the shopkeepers or managers as to what can be done to prevent stuff from breaking and to improve the overall experience for everyone else. Preferably without anyone dying from tetanus.
If the prospect of willingly doing things repeatedly in an attempt to test how a game responds to your actions is something you think you want to do, then by all means, dig right in and become a beta tester. If the prospect of improving a world and acting demigod-like by impacting a game world is your thing, then be a beta tester. If you want to snoop around and point out inconsistencies in lore, spelling, or mathematical data, be a beta tester.
If you want a free game, be a beta tester anyway. You’ll be part of the stress test, and we can teach you how to be a beta tester if you keep reading.
Everyone can be a Champion of Improvement Online
When it comes to understanding people, it can be said that everyone has a a different variety of skills that they use to get through life. That said, everyone can be an effective beta tester by playing to their strengths and using it to improve the game.
For instance, let us take my own abilities. I’m a writer by trade, and not very mathematically savvy or technically inclined. I can participate in beta testing through regular play and repeatedly attempting to break the game, writing down, with some detail and exactness, the process by which I managed to perform anomalous actions that programmers can look into and fix. I can also point out potential grammatical inconsistencies or errors for review.
Those who are mathematically inclined may potentially be better at parsing numbers and ensuring that in-game effects, spells, and attacks actually work as intended. Technically savvy people who encounter issues can also serve the community by outlining certain failures that may occur due to having certain hardware configurations or generally, by allowing people to learn from them how to better report technical errors.
The point is, so long as you want to help, and you’re given a spot, there’s something you can do to assist in bringing further progress to a game, impacting the lives of gamers you may never meet. That’s a pretty nice incentive to find and point out a problem, don’t you think?
The Prime Purpose: To Battle For Improvements Within Reason
Now, the prime purpose of a beta tester is to be devoted to improving a game through action and reporting. This means that you are important for the further development of a game.
This does not, however, mean that you or your ideas are indispensable, all-important pieces of information that must be followed and given action to.
If, between a game-breaking bug and a spelling error that destroys the entire meaning of a sentence on part of the primary plotline of the story, a development team had to choose something to fix, for example, they would most likely fix the game-breaking bug first and then attend to the spelling error at a later date.
Informing a development team of a bug is good. Zealously pointing out that the issue you found must be remedied with all due haste is, while admirable, not exactly going to endear you to the devteam.
An Assortment of Advice
That said, there are many tips that can be given to lessen frustration and make beta testing a fulfilling, happy activity for everyone. Let’s talk about that, shall we?
1. Break Stuff and Report It
This is the primary tenet of beta testing, and can be summed up as such. Do everything in your power to find anomalies programmer did not expect from their game, and then give the important details that will allow them to remedy the issue. This is a beta test, so it’s almost impossible to not find something to report, unless you’ve done extensive testing prior to the beta.
2. Be Mature
Everyone is different, and not everyone shares the same skills, knowledge, personality, or temperament you have. As a rule of thumb, being mature and helpful is the way to go.
For instance, not everyone will read this primer and know what to do when they encounter a bug, so be patient and help people to make their experience of beta testing become a positive one that allows them to be an agent for positive change.
3. Follow Instructions
Normally, this’d be the first thing people would be asked to do. I, however, find that having an understanding of the basic ideas behind beta testing and human decency to trump the ability to read directions. That said… if you are asked to test something, test it. If directions are given by the developers to do something to improve or test a game mechanic, try doing it. You could be saving the company developing the game a lot of money by the simple act of jumping across the game world looking for hidden holes to hell.
4. Consider your fellow man.
Related to the second point above, it’d be a good idea if you did a thought experiment once and a while to see what the developers might be thinking as well. Imagine there are only 1000 beta testers, with 1000 individual different accounts of 60 potentially important issues, 120 important issues, 10 confirmed game breakers, and 475 misspelled words. You might feel the issue you found is important, but the dev team is essentially choosing the most important things to remedy first depending on their manpower and allotment of resources. You need to be patient and understanding if you want to be a good beta tester, let alone a wonderful human being.
5. Respect the Non-Disclosure Agreement.
It goes without saying that non-disclosure agreements keep games from losing followers even before they come out. An unauthorized beta impression may be cool for you, but can cost a company revenue and potentially get people fired even before a game goes live. A beta is a beta, and thus isn’t the finished product, and giving an unauthorized impression, positive or negative, is highly inconsiderate towards the people who have worked towards building the game you just played, as well as to the hard working beta testers you’ve gotten to interact with during your beta testing stint.
Being a beta tester is a highly rewarding activity that can create a sense of community and enhance a service or product you want to enjoy. By giving the beta testing process the respect and care it deserves, you can make the beta test a happier, more productive experience for your fellow tester, as well as for the developers.
Thanks to the folks from the forums of Prime: Battle For Dominus for giving me new insights into the beta testing process. I appreciate the input, and I hope you don’t mind my including your thoughts into this piece.
Most everyone in the MMO gaming and blogging community has probably heard of the acquisition of Cryptic studios by Perfect World. It was nice to know, thanks to Mr. Jennings of Broken Toys, that Cryptic was bought by Perfect World for almost double the base price that Atari paid for the company.
In reference to my previous post about my blogging habits and about how it’s okay to be wrong, assume we have at least two different viewpoints. On the one hand, we can have a viewpoint where the acquisition can be seen as a “complete mess”, made potentially worse by the fact that a predominantly F2P MMO developer bought the game company(inaccurate wording, but give me a break) for double the price. On the other hand, we have the the generally positive, cautiously optimistic viewpoint that this can be good in the short term for both companies (from a PR and development standpoint), but cannot be accurately predicted in the long-term.
I have no qualms with either viewpoint, and will generally leave my personal bias out of this discussion. Both sides have some good points and bad points, and though the research on the cautiously optimistic viewpoint is more pronounced, acknowledging the possibility of catastrophic failure on the part of Cryptic is something that should be considered and thought, since acknowledging a potential unsavory future for the company and the history of gaming leads us to try and steer clear of it.
With the naysayers in this case, I think the issue of relevance may be a factor in how their perception has come to see this situation. Some of them may have come from an earlier point in time in STO’s lifecycle, and thus have not experienced changes made to the game. Worse still, there’s no pertinent information in the above linked blog post to conclude that Cryptic games will “nosedive” after this acquisition.
As for the cautiously optimistic… well, for lack of a better way of putting it, you can’t be full-blown optimistic about this one, so a measured dose of skepticism may be needed given Cryptic’s track record. So long as people support Cryptic in the future though, and Perfect World can infuse the game with renewed vigor that adds onto the changes Cryptic has made to its games, then it should be good.
As for me, the best part of this is the possibility that curious members of the gaming community will try other Perfect World games, realize it isn’t as bad as it seems, and partake of Perfect World’s offerings outside of Cryptic games and the Torchlight MMO.
Better still, Perfect World now has two companies that have a deep knowledge of how to offer player-created content to the public. If Cryptic and Runic Games can be convinced to share resources and information with Perfect World, it would be an amazing bit of gaming to realize a F2P fantasy MMO with player-created content set in a completely original world. F2P MMOs would no longer be constrained by the stigma of grinding, but instead be connected to player-made content, and that would be awesome.
That said, I have to once again look up at the infinite vastness of space, consider the immeasurable number of possibilities, and say to myself, “Gee, I don’t know. I could be wrong.”
Of course, Being wrong never stopped a man from hoping though.
I’ve been looking for a way to discuss why I’m unlike most other bloggers. This is in the sense that I often write without taking sides on a particular issue, or in other cases write something simply to point out inconsistencies or other points of view that I can think of related to that particular topic.
Then my friend Bianca emailed me a link to this 18-minute video from TED Talks, which I think everyone should watch.
Go ahead and watch. This post will still be here when you come back.
Now it would probably seem appropriate now to make an assumption that I write without taking sides because I accept that there’s often more than one side to a story and that people can oftentimes have both categorically correct, reasonable points, or categorically wrong, unreasonable points in their rhetoric.
You would be correct in that assumption… 49% of the time. If you’re wondering about the other 51%, it’s a matter of the exact opposite idea.
Approximately 51% of the time, I write without taking sides because I do not wish to be wrong. By not taking sides and accepting that most things are relative or free to interpretation, I can write opinions without having an opinion and without getting objections to my ideas.
Of course, I could be wrong about the percentages: I do not stop to count which write-ups I’ve done have been made out of acceptance of opposing views or the fear of being wrong, but I can be sure of one thing: I am also uncertain of that uncertainty, as strange as that sounds.
It’s also highly possible that I write the way I do because I see both the fear of being wrong and the possibility of more than one side having merit, but cannot determine how much of the mix is there when I write. In fact, thinking about that possibility now, it seems to be the more likely bet.
That said, I’m writing this post to remind myself that it’s okay to take a side and to be wrong. I just have to accept my misconception, learn from it, and improve myself in the process.
The problem, I would suppose, is that not everyone is as open as regards being wrong. Without naming anyone, I do realize that some people are set in their ways. Still, there’s no reason to become enemies over differences in opinion, so long as everyone can learn to mellow out and talk diplomatically.
It’s alright to be wrong folks. Just saying.