More News: Jello is not a nail

More great blogging over at Lowered Expectations. Take a look over here.

The rebuttal over the whole “Rift is nor WoW…Rift is WoW…is the same as ever other game out here” debate rages on. Personally, I think that anyone on the side of hard and unfocused criticism of of Rift is off their rocker. Been around this BBQ for a while and I remember the arguments people had over “innovation”…and yup…Rift has most of the check marks from those debates. Yes, I think it is the “Jesus” game in that it “saves” you from WoW. No…there is no water to wine or curing of blindness, but Rift has enough difference to save you from the sameness of WoW. WoW is still a great game, but it’s not Rift….and Rift is not WoW…..and that seals the argument right there.

One piece that I’d like to hit on is “balance”. Specifically from this quote:

As for the Soul System, it was probably the key ingredient that I enjoyed the most while playing Rift. It is a step in the right direction for MMOs, and I am more than happy to applaud Trion for its creation. But at the end of the day, it has two things working against it. First of all, that many souls will prove to be horribly difficult to balance over time, especially for PvP. I’m not sure if Trion will ever be able to get the balance right.

…poppycock I say!!

OK…let’s do this.

I give you and your friend each a tool box. The contents of each tool box are exactly the same. In that tool box are the following items:
– a hammer
– jello
– nails
– wood
– marshmallows
– crazy glue
– chocolate
– gram crackers

The quest I give you and your friend is to build the most solid, structurally sound doghouse that you can make. You’re friend uses the wood, nails, hammer and crazy glue. The house they make is solid. I can’t kick it down. The dog loves it. You use the jello, marshmellows, chocolate and gram crackers. The house is easily knocked down. The house is also covered with ants and the dog is eating it and later throwing up all over the yard. How did this happen? You both had the same tools. You both had the same mission. The reason you failed at the mission is because you failed to use the tools given to you in an intelligent way. Yes…it’s because you’re stupid and your friend is smart.

Point is, you’re friend figured it out, and you didn’t. Rift is the same thing here. All players have the same set of tools. THE SAME SET OF TOOLS. When all players are given the same set of tools, then by definition there is balance within the toolbox…the wildcard is always the player. It’s you guys…not Rift….or WoW for that matter. Some have just figured out how to make a good dog house, and you haven’t.

All I’m saying is don’t go shouting “BALANCE!!! Dear God Balance!!” when you’re not smart enough to tell the difference between a smore and a doghouse.

D out.

Posted in Editorial by Darren. 11 Comments

It isn’t the game…it’s you

I got inspired by this post over at lowered expectations. Thank you sir, for stirring my blood a bit on a subject that has been bugging me for about a year now: gamers.

I’ll put this out there right now: Rift is the “Jesus” game you guys have been waiting for the last 5 years. All the talk, and the podcast discussions (…yes..I miss it…), the blog entries about “Innovation! DEAR GOD INNOVATION!!” is in Rift right now and for some reason, gamers are still not satisfied. Gamers are still looking for that perfect mistress that will never, ever come to them….and if she ever does, it will end up being like Weird Science all over again. It’s not the games that are the problem guys…it’s you. You, my dear gamers, are running around chasing tails and I’m here to tell you that it’s YOUR tail that you are chasing…not someone else’s.

In Trion, you have a HUGE mix of talent that has:

(a) Given you all the standard MMO stuff that you are use to: Maps. UI. Quest Journals. Quest Helpers. Character Paper Dolls. Skill Trees. Stats. Action Bars. Levels. etc…etc…etc.
(b) Given you something different to play with: Rifts, Souls, Invasions, Footholds.

This studio has been hugely available to the gaming community in many different formats that’s it’s getting hard for me to count. Tell me…how often has a Blizz dev been on a community podcast?

Yet still…ya consume and consume…theeeeeennnn ya bitch and bitch and bitch. Seriously. If you find yourself in this camp of gamers then I suggest that you’ve gotten soft. You’ve let yourself go to the point were you need to take up a more difficult genre and get your mojo back. Here…I’ll get ya started. You need to take a breath, look in the mirror and re-evaluate where you came from because I’m not recognizing the culture that is forming out there right now.

True. Rift has it’s flaws….and that is the nature of artistic software (…see what I did there…heh…), but it has all the ingredients that make a great game. A while back I said that this game is Trion’s to screw up. I may have to change this to say that this game will be huge loss for gamers if they don’t get off their ass and….like Lowered Expectations suggest…put some effort into actually caring about their hobby again.

D out.

Posted in Editorial by Darren. 15 Comments

SOE Fan Faire 2011

The plan is for me to attend this year in Vegas. All arrangements are made.

I’m really looking forward to it. So, if you want to hang out, let me know :)

…and yes, I will be blogging and maybe podcasting like a madman while there, so stay tuned.

D out.

Posted in Editorial by Darren. 9 Comments

Farmville LOLs

Just got this from Zynga…the non-gaming gaming company:

Dear Farmer,

We noticed you haven’t been on the farm in a while. We know life gets busy, and we’ve been busy too – hard at work making FarmVille a better place to play!

When you return, you’ll find FarmVille:
Faster – Now, accept all your gifts and requests in one place.
Fresher – Enjoy new quests, co–op farming and a green house where you can make new crops!
Easier – New vehicles, like the Hot Rod Combine, mean less waiting, more farming

FarmVille English Countryside – inherit a whole new farm to tend in the beautiful English countryside!

Dear Zynga,

You’re right, I have been busy…playing real games and yes, I know you’ve been busy; continually making the heroin-soaked-rat-pellet dispensers that you call games.

I will never return to Farmville, but I find it intriguing that you would use the words “Faster”, “Fresher” and “Easier” in association to any of your products.

Tell you what. When you actually start making games, maybe I’ll start playing them but for now you’re hardly a consideration for my valuable gaming time.


Posted in Editorial by Darren. 3 Comments

Wanna know what the problem is…?

…game developers are so busy chasing Angry Birds and KickYourAssVille that they sometimes forget to actually make games.

D out.

Posted in Editorial by Darren. 5 Comments