Archive for May, 2010

They Said Whaaaat: “Damnit Dad, Pass the Falafels” or “Hypocritical Concerns”

May 25, 2010 Leave a comment

From Kotaku’s Talk Amongst Yourselves:

Would it kill developers to put more language controls in games? I’ve got a 3 year old son; I’m not worried that he’s going to shoot up a school, but I am worried that he’s going to parrot any foul word he hears. I said “Dammit” in conversation with my wife last summer, and he still gets that word out on (hilarious) occasion. But if he picks up “fuck” or “cunt” from Read Dead Redemption, my wife would throw my 360 into the pond out back.

All I’m asking for is an option to bleep or blank nasty words in videogames. You still get the point of the cursing across. The only result is that you get to avoid awkward situations in mixed company.

In the absence of a rudimentary language filter, I’m afraid that given a similar choice in the future, I’m going to be picking up Super Mario Galaxy 2 instead of the next “M” rated game. Limiting my gameplay to when I’m home and my son is asleep means I’ll probably finish RDR sometime in August.

Sorry to sound like a grumpy old man. Just trying to get the kids off my lawn, metaphorically speaking.


Categories: They said whaaaat?

“Funny Of The Day: FML” or “Pirating Something That Was Available For Free FTL”

May 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Categories: Comic

“WoW: MMO Giant, Microtrasnaction Pioneer” or “$2 Auction House Whore”

May 24, 2010 1 comment

This doesn’t get said enough. Blizzard is one of the pioneers for micro-transactions in the MMO market. Realm Transfer, Race Change, Faction Change, Sex Change, Unique Mounts, Unique Pets (which, incredibly, can go out of stock, despite being digital), you name it, and World of Warcraft has it. Yet because of its persistent subscription-based model, no one really latches on to the fact that WoW is likely one of the biggest players in the micro-transaction market, and will continue to roll out ways for players to invest more of their real world doubloons into the ever-popular MMO behemoth.

The Auction House mobile smart phone application for the hardcore Ah enthusiast is another step in this never-ending chain designed to rob us of our hard-earned beer money. But it comes at the price of an additional $2 a month piggybacking onto your $15 monthly subscription. We can speculate in any number of ways about how successful this might or might not be, but let’s not forget how a shiny horse managed to to net millions for Blizzard in just a few hours. It cost $25.

The propensity for the WoW player-base to engage in all manner of frivolous spending always amazes me. A close friend, Itachi, warrior extraordinaire, paid Blizzard some hard-earned greenbacks to change his character into a female. When I asked him why he wasted that money, he said it was easier on the eyes than have to stay at the back end of a male human warrior all day. Your argument Bronte? Yeah i didn’t have any.

I think the AH module will not see the same level of success as past offers from Blizzard. First, there are only so few hardcore AH manipulators that they would want to have access to the AH functionality in all waking hours. Second, only a percent of those would have smart phones. Third, only a percent of those would have iPhones or iPads. Sure they have a web-version of the service in beta, but if you have access to the web, you likely have access to WoW in the first place.

I guess only time will tell!

Categories: World of Warcraft

“10 Questions About the Secret World” or “Funcom Keeps on Sharing!”

May 23, 2010 1 comment

The official forums for The Secret World have a new post from Funcom answer some of the questions asked by the community over the course of time. Ten questions in all were answered, but closer scrutiny reveals that some of them for repetitive in nature, so it’s really only 8 questions or so answered.

Here is a quick summary of what I thought were the most interesting sections. There is other information detaling how awesome the story is etc., but that is marketing lingo than anything else. You are really interested in the buttel points below:

  1. There may be mounts.
  2. Every in-game NPC is fully voice-acted.
  3. There will be in-game social events, but the exact nature is not confirmed yet.
  4. There will be arenas for PvP action. This information is brand new, and was revealed through these questions.
  5. You can create at least one character per account. You may be able to create more. Once you are part of a society, even thinking of joining another is treason. Your choice is for life.

Also: this is Part 1 of 3. So stay tuned as more information unfolds.

It’s still an informative read, so head on over to the forums for the thread, or just read the whole post copy-pasted below!

Q1: Will TSW provide an abundance of Social Events (like current ARGs but in game) and social locations to party/etc? (FaithLove)

Our hubs are social arenas where players can engage in non-combat activities. As for what, exactly, those ‘non-combat activities’ will be, we haven’t revealed yet, but we want to create a world that isn’t just about serving your secret society or slaying demons. We want to give players tools to do more than that, and we’ll probably talk more about this soon.

Q2: Will there be ‘mounts’, like horses, bikes, cars or dinosaurs? (Lorr)

We haven’t made any announcements yet – although dinosaur mounts would clearly be awesome. Anything is possible.

Q3: Can you make a Templar and Dragon and Illuminati character? (Shoval)

Your character can only belong to a single secret society – and switching societies isn’t possible. Whether you can create a new character in a different secret society on the same account or server is something we haven’t communicated yet.

Q4: Will it really be impossible to switch secret societies? (Annihilator27)

As above, your choice of secret society is for life. To even think of joining the enemy is treason.

Q5: When you make a game that’s very lore and story driven, it can be easy to fall into a linear structure, because you really want to be sure that the player knows the full story. How do you find a balance between telling a main story and at the same time, giving players the freedom to explore? (Kasama)

Players can jump in and out of the main storyline as they please. They don’t have to follow it. Exploration is both encouraged and, sometimes, required, since you may not yet be ready – or powerful enough – to continue on your journey. To uncover the entire story, every little piece of it, you really do have to explore the world and discover its secrets – that’s a key element to the game, and something we’ve created mechanics to support. In The Secret World, story IS gameplay.

Q6: In one of the first interviews, you mentioned that TSW would have extensive voice-overs, with at that time over 100 voice-actors. How is this coming along? Will the game have full voice-overs, or only the “main” quest lines like in Age of Conan? (Ardanwen)

All non-player characters will have full voice-overs, for all missions – not just the main story mission.

Q7: How will the character creator be like? (AlexanderFG)

It will be fun and flexible! I can’t really say more than that. Character creation is obviously very important, and we’ve tied some cool story elements to the process, making it part of your journey into the secret world.

Q8: Is there going to be any “battlegrounds” or arenas for PvP or is it all going to be open world? (Scooch)

We haven’t really talked about this yet, but what the hell: there will be arenas for PvP matches – in addition to the ongoing society battle for world domination.

Q9: The Secret World exists so far from the mundane world… how elaborate/visual will the magic in game be? How varied? (Azaris)

The Secret World isn’t very far from our everyday world at all; we just tend to look the other way. It’s the world down that dark alley, beyond the tall fence, through the door of the rundown house on the edge of town. It’s the world that we glimpse when we take a shortcut home one night and see shadows lurking off the beaten path.

It’s the world we see in the corner of our eye but are afraid to acknowledge because it would make us question everything we hold to be true. It’s the world behind the curtains, where puppet-masters pull strings, making governments, religions and corporations dance to their tunes. It’s our world, without the coat of white paint, and it’s right here, right now, if you only knew how to look.

There’s going to be tons of variety in terms of what kind of magic players can learn and how they can use it – both in terms of visuals and gameplay – and that also goes for the magic weapons players get to wield. But it’s still magic of our world, not a world of elves and dwarves and dragons (well, um, sort of), and it’ll feel as such.

There’s voodoo, illusionism, demonology – magics that belong in the darkest corners of Earth, not in some high fantasy world.

Q10: Would you say TSW is more of a story-driven MMO or an action-based MMO? (Ironfeet)

I’d say it’s a heavily story-driven MMORPG with tons of cool action! Obviously, the setting and the story are incredibly important to us. We’re putting a lot of work and attention into the universe, into the characters and the voice-overs and the lore, into all those game mechanics that are geared towards immersing the player in the storyline, making them feel part of something grand and ancient and secret, part of these age-old conspiracies and powerful secret societies. But you also spend a lot of your time fighting creatures of darkness – that’s what the story is about. It’s about the rising tide of evil, about these normal, average people being granted incredible powers, and about how they use those powers to battle darkness – in service of their cabals.


Categories: The Secret World

“Aaaaand We’re Back” or “Recovering From a Smoldering Laptop!”

May 23, 2010 Leave a comment

The laptop is most definitely fried and there is no way to salvage it. I am trying to save money for, uh, some stuff. (Marvelously vague, I know). So a new laptop is out of the question for now.

However, I can, in the meantime, continue posting from my work machine and home desktop when I find the time. If anyone feels like a donating a laptop in the meantime however… 😀

Categories: Bronte

“Laptop Woes” or “A New Dent in my Wallet”

May 16, 2010 Leave a comment

So my laptop is definitely cooked. It’s a Gateway machine that has served me well for over two years. The RAM is intact, the HDD is fine, even the motherboard is functional. However, the VGA chip on the motherboard is fried, and since this chip is physically integrated into the the motherboard, the only way to fix the laptop is ti replace the motherboard altogether.

Since this is a three-year old model, I can’t find a replacement motherboard anywhere, not even from the original manufacturer. So the only option I have at this point is to buy a new laptop. That will take a few days, so in the meantime, the frequency of posts here may… suffer a little.


Woe is me. Woe is my wallet.

Categories: Bronte

“Shanked Screenshots” or “Hints at the Story?”

May 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Betrayal. True love. Rage. These are the apparent themes in Klei Entertainment’s upcoming platformer Shank, that I am all too excited about. You can click on the gallery below to view the hi-res, I have also included their trailer that debuted a while back below the gallery. Enjoy!

Categories: Shank