Video Game Tuesday: Setting Expectations

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about the importance of a very key factor when discussing future games or plans for content. It’s all about Setting Expectations!

Expectations?: So recently we’ve had two really good examples of how NOT to set fan expectations both prior to announcing something and afterwards. The Diablo Immortal Issue, and Final Fantasy XV’s cancellation of almost every future DLC and PC support.

Diablo Immortal: Let’s get this one out of the way first. Blizzard royally screwed up with the announcement of Diablo Immortal at the recent Blizzcon. I don’t think I remember them screwing up so bad, ever. There was the Real ID fiasco that occurred years ago, but that wasn’t as bad I think. They could and had plans to announce not only Diablo Immortal, but also Diablo 4 as well at the end of that announcement. Instead they just announced Immortal, which was a huge freaking mistake. First hardcore gamers in general, and PC gamers in particular, all hate the idea of Mobile games, add in the fact that Blizzard was teaming up with NetEase to make Diablo Immortal and the whole situation looked like a huge betrayal of the Diablo fanbase. One of the developers incredibly poor response during a particularly pointed question during a Q&A session later only exacerbated the issue. They should have gone with their first plan, as it was would have been much better. People would’ve been upset, and arguably rightly so in some views. Having multiple teams working on separate projects for Diablo could be seen as overly ambitious, and division of potential labor towards the quicker goal of completing Diablo 4, as well as the blatant cash grab that was the initial response to Diablo Immortal. I don’t agree with the direction of making a Diablo game for mobile, first it seems like it could easily be a poor clone, and while the demo available was apparently okay, that was a controlled demo that was made to showcase the best of the game. The rest of the game could easily be a huge disappointment, and the response from the people who played the demo doesn’t rule out that possibility. The Blizzard seal of quality has meaning, and if they handle this poorly they could end up repeating Bungie’s mistakes that cost them pretty much every shred of credibility with the gaming community.

Final Fantasy XV: The loss of Director Hajime Tabata seems to be the root issue of this issue, and frankly it’s a huge disappointment. I was really looking forward to playing the second wave of DLC, and because it was announced I hadn’t touched the first wave of DLC. Now I’m not sure I will for a good while. I’ll probably have fun with the Final Fantasy XIV crossover stuff, but I’m highly saddened that Square Enix is cutting back on the entire DLC plan they had for 2019 and beyond. Unlike many, I was looking forward to seeing a different ending that would’ve been included in the Noctis DLC, as while I really enjoyed most of the game and the story, the later portions of the story were incredibly depressing. Knowing that we lost this DLC is highly discouraging and a huge black mark on Square Enix’s record of making Final Fantasy games for me.

How can Developers handle expectation better?: Honestly, knowing their consumers better would prevent many of these issues in my opinion. Nintendo lost many hardcore gamers with their decision to cater to the casual market with the Wii, and they are still feeling the repercussions of that decision still. Granted that the Switch is a huge success, but they lost a lot of trust with the decision to pursue gimmicky controls with the DS and Wii. Others should take note of their mistakes and keep them in mind when they are planning announcements.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

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Video Game Tuesday: Strategy Games

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a look at some different types of games and the bigger differences between them and the common features. It’s all about Strategy Games!

Strategy Games?: There are two main types of games that come to mind when you talk strategy games at least to me. There is the RTS, or Real Time Strategy, and TBS, or Turn-Based Strategy. They are very different in how you play them, and while there are some common strategies between the two, how you go about them is completely different.

RTS?: So RTS games are games like Starcraft or Command and Conquer. These take place in real time with you giving orders and building armies and bases to destroy your opponents. Often the biggest skill that professionals in this kind of game look for is APM, or Actions Per Minute. Getting 100+ APM consistently is generally a good thing and means you may be cut out to try becoming a pro if you so desire. If you can’t do that you’re unlikely to be able to ever compete at a professional level. I think I remember getting 100+ apm for brief spurts of time in some games of Starcraft 2, but I never considered myself ever cut out for the pro scene. One because I dislike competing immensely, and two because even getting 100+ for those brief times is already rather incredible with my physical disability.

TBS?: Games like the Civilization series are a good example, these aren’t always as action or war oriented, and sometimes you can even play a game and win without ever getting into conflict once, at least with AI opponents.  I tend to prefer these sorts of games, although I’ve not played too many strategy games in general with more in the RTS category, although those are mainly for the custom game maps and types that you could create in games like Warcraft 3. Angel Arena is still one of my favorite custom game types, beating over any DotA clone easily.

So what are some similarities between the two?: Well in both games the key to success, at least to me, is to always increase your production capabilities. This means increasing the number of your base or cities as the game progresses to constantly produce units that you may need to fight off an opponent quickly. In RTS games this means quickly building your worker units and getting a steady supply of resources as your first steps. Once that happens you can start building up your fighting force while constructing your base. In TBS games this is still the case, but it’s more about buildings and land improvements at least in the Civ series.

In addition always upgrading your units with tech upgrades as much as possible is always a key to winning, if your units can launch more powerful attacks than your opponent, battles will quickly turn your way even if you have the same amount of troops in a battle.

What’s different?: Well in RTS games speed is always going to be a priority, can you attack your enemy before they get a defense going? If so you have a quick victory in sights and can probably clinch a fast win. In TBS games, it’s more about location and choke points. If you can block your enemy from getting resources or funnel them into one area you can easily defend your bases and prevent them from overwhelming you.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What are some of your favorite strategy games? What type are they? Leave a comment below!

 

Video Game Tuesday: Things I Expect to See in Destiny 2

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m making a list, and no I’m not checking it twice. It’s Things I Expect to See in Destiny 2!

What do you mean expect to see?: I mean things that would make a huge amount of sense to be added to the game in the very near future in order to make the game feel even more alive and vibrant.

#1 Grimoire: The big problem with Grimoire in Destiny 1 was the fact it wasn’t accessible in game. It shouldn’t be hard to include something like the Mass Effect 1 Codex in the game. It’d really help flesh out the world of Destiny. This should’ve been a feature in the first game, so there is absolutely no reason that it shouldn’t be in Destiny 2 already.

#2 Reworked Matchmaking in Patrol areas: This is also something that shouldn’t be an issue, but it still is. I can zone into a public zone on Titan and be completely alone. This shouldn’t be the case, especially with 1.3 million players. I want to see the max amount of people in a zone often instead of never. I’d rather be complaining about getting my kills stolen by assholes than be completely alone attempting to do a Heroic Public Event by myself and failing miserably. The crowds you see in the social spaces should be what you see in every Patrol.

#3 Sparrow Racing: This was actually one of the better PvP activities in Destiny 1, because it was so different from the rest of the game where you are shooting everything that twitches. The fact that it happened only twice in Destiny 1 is a true shame, and frankly I’d like to see Sparrow Racing become a weekly thing like the Trials of the Nine. Of course the fact that I consistently lapped everyone on the track might make me a bit biased, but frankly I enjoyed being able to relax by racing in Destiny 1.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Got something you want to see in Destiny 2? Leave it in the comments below!

Video Game Tuesday: Destiny 2 PC Beta Impressions

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about the recent PC Beta for a game that releases on consoles tomorrow. It’s my Destiny 2 PC Beta Impressions!

What changed from Console to PC?: Nothing really except for supers charging slightly faster it still felt like a stripped down and crappy version of the original Destiny a game I already despised after all the gunplay changes were made after the original launch. Not only that but on my not even a half year old computer the game wasn’t able to run on the preset Medium settings without significant slowdowns. I met all the specs so I’m not really impressed with Bungie on the PC Port. Sure those who have $2000+ sunk into their computer can run the game just fine, but those of us on a budget will do a hell of a lot better just getting the console versions. It could even be cheaper to just buy a standard PS4 and Destiny 2 to play the game and not experience all the hang ups I experienced on my PC. Even with messing with all the various settings to try and get the game to look as nice as possible and not have any issues I still had noticeable slowdown during intense firefights, which is something no one really wants to happen.

As for Gameplay changes, well I mentioned the supers charged faster, but many other things like the Hunter’s dodge, grenades, and melee abilities are all still on a way too long of a cooldown. Before I hear any whining about “There is gear for that” let me say that I am aware. However the gear we are wearing in the Beta should be that kind of gear, plus we start off at level 20 in the beta. Whether that is actually what we’ll start with at launch is a matter we’ll be seeing tomorrow.

Frankly I’m disgusted with Bungie, and if I hear that it’s another “Months” old build I’m going to call bullshit. Beta’s are meant to test the latest build, so I didn’t even buy that excuse during the Console beta. Gunplay changes that were supposed to occur in the PC port, like no recoil weren’t present in the Beta (Not that it’s really needed with a KB&M). It also felt really awkward to try and dodge enemies with a keyboard and mouse. Sure there is the precision in shooting you get from using a mouse, but Destiny has never really been about precision shots. They help, but it’s always been about dodging mechanics and frankly it’s a pain to do with a keyboard. I ended up having to hook up my PS4 controller just to get past the initial level.

The combination of slowdown due to whatever issue is on Bungie’s end and the imprecision of movement and ability usage with a keyboard just kept killing me. As a side note it was amusing to see that I wasn’t the only one to die repeatedly. Zavala died as well during his portion of the mission and his ghost respawned him shortly after mine did for me each time we died.

But all (insert other news site or streamer) said the game runs amazingly!: Yeah they did and they all got to experience it on the same systems. They got to experience it with a very, very high end computer build that was built by Bungie to specifically show off the game. That or they got to experience the game during this beta with their own very powerful computers. This PC Beta is the first time people with varying computer builds have actually touched the game. So while those people got to experience it on a system that can go over 100 frames per second consistently, the rest of us probably won’t unless we sink a ton of money into our computers.

Also remember that they and we weren’t allowed to touch any of the harder content, the stuff where you get dozens of enemies firing at you at the same time. So while the game might be easier to aim with on a computer, like I said Destiny has never really been about precision and has always been more about being able to kill enemies while being extremely mobile.

So again I’m really not impressed with the game, considering that I have a computer that is easily comparable to a PS4, I expect to be able to run the game on a similar level of graphics quality and expect the same smoothness I got during the console beta.

Overall: Unless you have a computer with thousands of dollars sunk into it, don’t bother with this crappy port. Even with such a computer though you’ll probably want to hook up a controller just so you can successfully dodge  enemy fire (which you will be doing a lot of in Destiny 2) if you are coming from consoles. Everything else I’ve already said about Destiny 2 still holds true, and with the game launching on consoles in a little over a week I’m not holding my breath expecting Bungie to actually pull off a decent enough comeback to warrant the year delay that got us Rise of Iron.

Video Game Tuesday: Launch Day Madness

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Hey all for this week’s Video Game Tuesday I’m going to cover a topic most of you will probably be familiar with after last week. It’s all about Launch Day Madness!

What’s Launch Day Madness?: Well it’s just a made up term I use when talking about a launch of a particular game and the breaking of various things that occur on that day.

Like what?: Well, for one and probably the one most people are familiar with after last week’s launch of Pokemon GO, the servers are down, or busy. The reason behind this is fairly obvious, too many people at one time. Even if some people get in just fine it’s more due to their own luck, or foresightedness at logging in early, rather than you just being unlucky. If a game can’t handle the massive amount of people logging in when brand new content launches than the IT team behind the game has severely miscalculated the anticipated user base, or it’s increased influx. That was the case with Pokemon GO for most people that I know, and myself personally. I still haven’t caught a single ‘Mon myself yet. The server went down before I could catch my first one.

What else?: Well it could also be the website used to register users can be down, another thing people are probably familiar with after last week’s launch of GO. Sane reasoning, although not to the same extent, probably only up to 80% of the user base if it’s a new game. It can also be that certain parts of the game don’t work, like Instances in World of Warcraft’s The Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King expansion launches.

Even if it’s not people having issue logging in, the servers might be unable to handle a certain amount of players in one area and that area’s server might go down. Like the Eastern Kingdoms going down during the Wrath launch.  Or it may cause server restarts causing people to quit the game and stop playing for up to a few hours.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! Do you have a favorite Launch Day Madness story? Share it below!

 

Video Game Tuesday: Game Manuals

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m taking a look at one of my favorite things about older games! It’s all about Game Manuals!

Game Manuals?: Well for those who didn’t grow up in the 90’s or earlier, we used to have actual manuals on how to play games ranging from 10-100 pages long. Most weren’t much more than 20 pages, but even those were still filled with useful information. But I really miss the bigger gaming manuals because they didn’t just explain how to start playing and controlling the game, but they included the lore of the game as well.

Really?: Yea really, in fact the entire backstory of Starcraft was all in the game manual, and to a lesser extent Warcraft III had it’s backstory in the game manual as well.

You’re kidding me: Nope, I’m totally serious, in fact of all the game manuals I’ve read, Starcraft’s game manual is probably my favorite, because it explains how the Terran, Zerg and Protoss got to the star systems they were in. It also gave unit information for most of the video game units explaining how they worked and why they existed. If you actually read the manual you’d learn about stuff like Firebats and Marines working in pairs to deal with all sorts of enemies, something not explicitly explained in the game.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! What were some of your favorite gaming manuals? Leave a comment below!

Video Game Tuesday: Gamescom Reactions

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering my shock at a couple news items from last week. It’s all about my Gamescom Reactions!

Big Shockers: We got a release window (sorta) for Final Fantasy XV and World of Warcraft: Legion was revealed.

Final Fantasy XV: Well according to one of the higher ups at Square Enix, Final Fantasy XV will be out before 2017, so it’ll probably release sometime in 2016, probably either in spring or fall. Finally, as this game’s been in development for ages. Naysayer’s can denounce recent Final Fantasies as not being true JRPGs, well I’d like to point you to the excellent JRPG series called Tales of. Maybe you’ve heard of it. I don’t mind them becoming more action based instead of turn based things. Leave turn based combat to Pokemon.

World of Warcraft Legion: Wow (pun totally intended) didn’t see that coming. Even more surprising was the fact that I heard nothing about this expansion prior to the announcement. Which is highly surprising considering the last 3 were all leaked in massive amounts of detail ahead of time.  Another Hero Class will be nice, and they aren’t opening it to all races leaving it just to the elves. Even better is that it’s the class of my favorite Warcraft 3 Hero unit, the Demon Hunter. Double Jumping? Metamorph into a Demon and use your wings to swoop down onto enemies? Hell yes, that sounds fun. Even better is the fact that Artifact weapons, think Relic Weapons from Final Fantasy XIV, will be coming. We get to use Doomhammer or Ashbringer? Reforging Frostmourne?. And finally we aren’t having an Orc heavy expansion in like 6 years.  Yea that sounds like lots of fun, but it needs to be releasing this fall if Blizzard doesn’t want an even greater loss in Subscriptions. From the pictures of the announcement’s presentation slideshow it’s possible. But this is Blizzard we are talking about, so don’t count on it. I’d totally jump back into WoW just to have some fun time with the Demon Hunter, a class I always wanted to be (I farmed for those freaking Warglaives forever). However as I don’t have a computer capable of running the game anymore I’ll have to live with not playing it.

Which will release first?: Honestly I’d not be surprised if they release within a month of each other, and if that is the case it’ll be in the fall of next year.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!