Posts Tagged ‘item shop’

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I HATE INCONSISTENCY

November 9, 2009
dudewtf

Ummmm... what?

Hey everyone!  Sorry guys, I’ve been so busy with project for Massively and other sources that I just haven’t had time to blog!  I feel bad, because I have a couple things I really wanted to talk about, but I felt that this topic was the best thing I could vent on to get me back in the mood of talking again — Champions microtransactions.

But, I’m afraid that saying that line is surely a misnomer.  I’m not for or against the Champions Online C-Store at heart.   I don’t intend to buy anything out of the shop, even when they gave me 400 points to spend in it thanks to my GameStop pre-order package.  Likewise, I’m kinda happy it’s there, just in case I do need an emergency respec and I don’t feel like earning one or waiting for a free one to be handed out.

No, what I’m pissed about is the inconsistency of people regarding microtransactions.  Specifically: World of Warcraft versus Champions.

I alluded to my opinion briefly in my last Anti-Aliased, but I’m so fired up about this issue that I think it really deserves its own blog post.  I hate the fact that people let World of Warcraft get away with fucking murder while they go off and rail on Champions.

To give my case a visual illustration, I like to compare this to the South Park episode where Cartman tries to use “psychic powers” to catch a serial killer.  While he tries to help the police department, the South Park police keep missing the HORRIBLY CREEPY DUDE standing in the bikini and blood covered poncho at every crime scene.  They even sometimes stare at the real killer, only to brush him off while they persecute someone else because Cartman said they were the killer.

Warcraft has come out with 10 dollar pets.  10 FUCKING dollar pets.  Not one dollar, not two dollars, no 10 fucking dollars.  I don’t know any virtual pet you could possibly offer me that’s worth 10 dollars of my cash.  It’s a disgustingly high price point, yet people are sitting there and staring at these stupid pets saying, “You know, I really kinda want that.”  Warcraft’s allure and “OMGMMO” status are somehow blinding people from noticing how ungodly expensive this is when compared to…

Champions Online.  The same Champions Online that outraged people when they offered extra costumes at 3 dollars a set.  Or action figure vanity pets for 2 dollars.  Or, even worse, the favoribly priced $12.50 retcon.  No, somehow this game is trying to steal all of your hard earned cash so Cryptic can roll around with it in their pool of money.

No one seems to notice WoW sitting over there, happily peddling 20 dollar server transfers, 30 dollar faction changes, or these stupid 10 dollar pets on top of their 15 dollar a month subscription.  Everyone’s too busy being outraged over Cryptic asking people for 2 bucks on top of their subscription fees.  I even brought this up in Anti-Aliased, and people were blinded enough to tell me that “What WoW offered wasn’t the same as microtransactions.”

I’m sorry, you’re right.  IT COSTS MORE THAN “MICRO” IN WARCRAFT.

But these are the same people who denounce microtransaction item stores.  The same people who spew forth the notion that MTs ruin the quality of the game because developers are too busy putting their work into making MT items and not the game itself.

They don’t care (or notice) that Cryptic only offered five new costumes and a few icon sets versus the 5 events, new monsters, brand new powerset (Celestial powers), new PvP battleground, and new world PvP introduced in Blood Moon.  Not to mention the changes to the game’s weather and skybox to make the place look absolutely creepy.  Somehow, those 5 whole costumes detracted from Blood Moon’s content, even when Blood Moon offered way more than most holiday events.

Let me be clear — I don’t fight for Cryptic because I’m some rabid fangirl of Champions Online or because I’m getting “paid off” by them.  I fight for them because I think they’re getting the short end of the stick when it comes to public opinion.  I fight for them because I find the lengths people go to somehow denounce them insane, especially when World of Warcraft does the same damn thing Champions did, only 10 times worse, and everyone’s ok with it.

Do I sound like a broken record at this point?  Probably, but I keep saying this shit in different ways because if I don’t, some idiot is going to come in here and attempt to contradict me because I didn’t cover all my bases.  So let me be clear one last time.

HATE THE COMPANY THAT IS COMPLETELY RIPPING YOU OFF, NOT THE ONE THAT’S MILDLY RIPPING YOU OFF.  OR, BETTER YET, HATE THEM BOTH.  HAVE SOME DAMN CONSISTENCY, PLEASE.

*clears throat and walks off*

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Why I’m excited for Huxley

October 9, 2009
SHOOOOT HER!!!!! SHOOOOT HER!!!

SHOOOOT HER!!!!! SHOOOOT HER!!!

So I’d post this over on Massively, but it would be met with so much Hux-hate that it would probably burn in flames the second it was released on the website.  People are really bitter over Huxley, and I’m guessing it’s coming from the fact that the title has gone from a boxed release to a free-to-play game on ijji.com.  Everyone wanted this big Xbox 360 release (which is pretty much dead in the water at this point, unless they release it as a downloadable title, which would be awesome) and everyone wanted this big game that would kill Planetside.

Well, after getting my hands on Huxley, let me be the first to say that this game probably won’t be killing Planetside.  But let me also say the following: Who the hell cares?

People really need to stop playing rock, paper, scissors with their damn video games.  I’m sick and tired about hearing the phrase “WoW-Killer” or “Halo-Killer” or “Hello Kitty Online-Killer.”  I really am.  Games need to stand on their own merits, and not those assigned to them by another game in the genre.  If they didn’t and every game attempted to one up a prior game using the same systems, then we’d have a bunch of games that were veritable clones of one another.  And if you think I’m making that up, take a look at the MMO genre right now and tell me you don’t see 20 different types of World of Warcraft clones out there.  It’s silly to the point of being ludicrous, and we just keep pushing the developers into these corners by not giving credit to games that break the mold in the right ways.

Ok… that was a rant… sorry about that, but let’s get back to Huxley.  I was in the closed beta test — I can say that because there’s a tag on my forum handle on ijji.com that says “Huxley Beta Tester.”  What I can’t say, however, is anything about Huxley‘s gameplay beyond the information that’s already known.  So I’m going to be a little limited here, but I think I can still give everyone a good perspective.

Huxley is a lot like Unreal Tournament.  I mean, A LOT like Unreal Tournament.  This game cooks.  Everyone’s heard about the freeform deathmatching that you can do at any time in the game, and that mode is pretty much UT3 with your tricked out character.  The only difference is that Huxley characters have unique abilities that you can choose and level up while you play.  For example, Phantoms (the snipers) have stealth.  You could be shooting at the Phantom at one minute, and then bam, she’s gone for long enough to get around behind you and school you.

Then you get into the battlegrounds, which are like Battlefield style matches.  They’re large, they’re full of people, and they give you vehicles.  I can’t say much more about this mode because it’s not really out there, but I can say that I like it.

Then, finally, the mode I really can’t talk about is the questing.  What I can say is that the game provides quests from the city that require you to go out into areas all over the map and perform objectives.  You can do it alone or you can do it in a team.  I can’t say more than “it’s exactly what it sounds like” but I really enjoyed this mode too.  I could see this as being fun for a group of friends who want to hone their skills by fighting side by side.  It’s a great difference from having to go out and get blown up by other people.  Cooperative shooting is always a good plan, especially when it plays like a dungeon crawl.

Oh, and the game has an auction house, and item purchases in-game, and crafting, and weapon/armor modifications.  It’s a full item system with a crafting system.  Take that, other online FPS games.

What’s the best part about this game?  It’s the part that people hate — it’s free.  It looks nice, it plays nice, it’s not too grindy (but there are elements of grind, trust me), but it’s free.  Just to give you an idea how much that blew me away, let me tell you a story.

I threw a Rock Band party one night and just as everyone was arriving I was playing Huxley.  My first friend came in, looked at my monitor, and went, “Dude, what game is this?  Looks nice.”  I told him it was Huxley, and it was in beta.  He never heard of it, but he was shocked to see a FPS that played like an MMO.  He sat down and watched me play for a bit before my next friend came in.  Once again, another person who had never heard of Huxley who was now interested just by watching me play.  He too sat down, and eventually I offered them a chance to try the game out.

Before long, two more people showed up, walked into my room, asked what was being played, and then they sat down as well.  I now had 5 people stuffed into my tiny room, all watching Huxley.  Finally, after doing a couple deathmatches and giving everyone the chance to try the game, someone asked me, “So 15 bucks a month, right?”

It was then when I went, “Nah, it’s free.”  Everyone was like, “Oh sweet!  Good deal!  I have to grab this from GameStop when it comes out!”  Another friend went, “Yeah, I’ll pre-order this.”  Then I laughed and got to say, “Nah, you guys don’t understand.  This game is free-free.  Like free-to-play item shop free.”

It was then when everyone turned to me and said the following, “WHY WOULD WE NOT PLAY THIS?  HOLY CRAP?  WE’RE ALL GETTING TOGETHER AND WE’RE GOING TO OWN THIS GAME.  CRAZY STATIC PARTY TIME!”

And that’s how I got a static party for Huxley with the game not even being out.  That’s why I’m excited for Huxley.  As for you, you should be excited because it’s a solid free game.  It looks nice, it plays nice, and it will certainly be worth your time.  Why?  Because it’s free and running on the Unreal 3 engine, that’s why.