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Bang! Howdy Goes Beta

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the yeehaw dept.

36

GameSetWatch relates the launch of Bang! Howdy's Beta. The new game from the folks who made Puzzle Pirates even has a Beta blog. From the article: "The game ... is 'a hybrid between turn-based and real-time strategy gameplay, and is played in short fast-paced rounds', looks very neat indeed - and it's going to be 'play for free, pay for items' when it launches, just like a whole bunch of Korean titles like Kart Rider that have been super-successful. Also, damn, it's steampunk!"

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Generic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15401596)

G-N-A-A FP

Interesting (3, Interesting)

FirienFirien (857374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15401604)

Puzzle Pirates (http://puzzlepirates.com/ [puzzlepirates.com] ) has been a successful and fun project for Three Rings; it's targeted a lot of social gamers, avoiding the wailing speedmongers who powerplay on WoW and go around ganking. The lack of vast rewards for time-in-game disinterests those who want to be ahead of everyone else; by leveling the playing field to depend significantly on skill, they've made it a much more interesting game to play. The graphics are amusing; the cartooniness again pushes away powergamers. As a result of this the community as a whole is more social and interactive. They've filled a nice niche in the market, and made it work well. Hopefully Bang!Howdy will follow the same vein in a different style; if the developer/community interaction is as good as it has been for Puzzle Pirates, this should be a great game.

Powerlevellers, gankers, and those who believe that the best games request and require top-spec hardware need not apply. It won't interest you anyway, and it gets rid of you for the rest of us to enjoy better.

Re:Interesting (1)

Troglodyt (898143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15401639)

As the summary says, a lot of these asian mmogs let people buy in-game items instead. I like the kind of games where people put time rather than money into it to get more out of it.

out of curiousity (1)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 8 years ago | (#15401693)

What's your age? You in college?

Just out of school with no girlfriend?

Not meant to be a rip, but I've noticed most people who value "time put into MMO" are also those who's time is in great supply.

I've given up on MMOs because my time isn't, and normally I focus on one (1) RTS at a time, preferrably one that a game averages 20 minutes or so. (Rise of Legends is my current obsession)

I couldn't imagine what getting married would do to my time, and having kids. Just maintaining the gf is tough enough. But the trade-off, more time for gaming yet no girlfriend, isn't that appealing.

you're forgetting where you are (1)

TheAxeMaster (762000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15402111)

But the trade-off, more time for gaming yet no girlfriend, isn't that appealing.
 
This is slashdot, the trade off isn't exactly optional here ;)
 
The game itself is ok so far but it lacks the depth of puzzle pirates though. Not to say that is a bad thing, YPP in its current state can be a little overwhelming to some. But there is so much to do there that it makes it kind of fun, and you can spend as little or as much time in it as you want.

Re:you're forgetting where you are (1)

FirienFirien (857374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15402145)

lacks the depth of puzzle pirates

This game went into open beta yesterday... Puzzle Pirates has been gold for nearly 2.5 years. Are you surprised?

Re:you're forgetting where you are (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404449)

Puzzle Pirates has been gold for nearly 2.5 years.

Not only that, but they've been periodically adding to the game for most of that time. New puzzles, new elements to the in-game economy, changes to re-balance the gameplay, different business models (playing on a doubloon-based ocean is different from playing on a subscription-based ocean, simply by virtue of having to collect/buy doubloons), etc.

Well, here's me satisfying your curiosity (2, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#15402499)

Dunno about him, but I'm in my mid-30's, and, no, I'm not still in college, nor fresh out of it. So are my co-workers that play MMOs. Two even have kids. And, you know, they can still play a MMO and earn their levels and items the honest way.

"Time investment" is something you don't have to do in 16 hour bursts. Just because it takes, say, 200 hours to get to level 60 (just a number pulled out of the hat for example sake), it doesn't mean you're in a race to cross that 200 hours line in the least days. Some kid will do it in 12.5 days at 16 hours a day, but getting there in 200 days at an average of 1 hour per day is no shame either. You _can_ get the same number of hours out of the game, see the same content, and do the same quests either way. I.e., from the point of view of actually playing the game and not just willy-waving about the score, there's still the same number of game hours to play, and still the same quantity of content to enjoy. So what is the problem if that content lasts you for more days, at whatever number of minutes per day you can afford to spend there?

So basically, since that's where that discussion started, I still see no excuse for buying items and gold for real cash instead. I can understand the economics of why that trade forms, but it's still essentially cheating in a multiplayer game, I still despise those who do it. I couldn't care what someone does in their single player games, but cheating against other players is the mark of the low life.

Doubly so if they're insecure enough to pay real money to cheat. I mean, geesh, at least the idiots with wall-hacks and aim-bots in CS just downloaded one for free, but actually reaching for the credit card to buy an un-earned advantage against some kid... geesh, how insecure can one get.

BTW, don't take this as a personal attack or anything. You've already said you play RTS instead. I can certainly respect that. I'm talking about those who just use the "but I don't have as much time as a 13 year old!" just as a blanket excuse to cheat against those 13 year olds. That's what I find lame.

And I see no point in even trying a game any more, if even their own business model is selling game items to idiots for money. If from the start the "competition" (for those who view it that way) is just an excuse to sell advantages to some contestants, then what's the point of even competing? It certainly won't prove skill, knowledge, even time investment. It will just prove who's willing to blow more RL cash, and I certainly have no wish to take part in that kind of a self-destructive competition.

I already know, for example, that in a certain buggy web-based game someone blew over 20,000 USD on getting in-game advantages. Roll that sum around in your head a bit. Can I compete with that kind of a money-blower? Yes. Do I see any point in it? No. I can think of far better ways to use that money. And I certainly have better things to do with my time than being the non-paying fodder for paying gankers in that kind of a game, too.

Because that's what those games invariably degenerate into, if they didn't outright start that way. When your main income source are the idiots willing to pay real cash for a +20 Sword Of Ganking or for a Level 3 Mech in a Level 1 Battletech-like game, guess which group does the game catter to? When you have to make a choice between (A) losing a non-paying Random J Newbie that's been repeatedly ganked right in the newbie area and (B)losing Lord L33tN00bKi113r who's paying good cash for the special ammo to gank the newbies with, guess which of them the devs end up bending over backwards to keep?

Re:Well, here's me satisfying your curiosity (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15403380)

Not sure about the rest but I occassionally play a few hours of FlyFF, that uses the "free game, premium items" business model and the items sold in the store are usually either not available through normal means (and often merely cosmetic) or just some potent healing or temporary stat boost items. Sometimes they add hassles to the game (like a chance for items breaking when applying upgrade items on them) that have to be negated by buying an item from the store but the store won't allow you to purchase super gear or ingame money (though you can buy store items and sell them off for ingame money to other players).

So overall the game is playable without paying and I don't think you incurr major disadvantages in PVP against a paying user. If you spent more time than them you'll almost certainly mess them up badly, no matter how much money they spent.

Re:Well, here's me satisfying your curiosity (1)

vTalon (670255) | more than 8 years ago | (#15403959)

Because that's what those games invariably degenerate into, if they didn't outright start that way. When your main income source are the idiots willing to pay real cash for a +20 Sword Of Ganking or for a Level 3 Mech in a Level 1 Battletech-like game, guess which group does the game catter to?

The thing that you're missing about Puzzle Pirates is that the most of the really big, expensive items don't actually give you an in-game advantage. The custom portrait of your character hanging in your fancy house or the parrot riding on your pirate's shoulder may look cool, but they don't actually affect game play.

Those items that do affect game play are priced so that it is just about as easy for a kid to obtain them by investing a few after school afternoons as it is for an adult to obtain them by investing the fruits of a small portion of their work day. And this is further balanced by the fact that most of the expensive weapons are difficult to use -- it takes a fair chunk of play time before you are going to be skilled enough to be effective with them.

The beauty of Puzzle Pirates over other MMPORGs is that in-game rankings are ultimately related to actual puzzling skill. Your level does not depend on how big your weapons are, or how much time you've invested; it depends directly on how good you are at playing the game, and that makes Puzzle Pirates, to some of us, at least, much more satisfying to play.

Re:Well, here's me satisfying your curiosity (1)

Jackmn (895532) | more than 8 years ago | (#15405699)

but getting there in 200 days at an average of 1 hour per day is no shame either
Many of the end-game instances (all of the ones with decent equipment) in WoW require a minimum of 2-4 hours to complete. I'm not sure if this sort of thing is common in most MMORPGs.

Re:Well, here's me satisfying your curiosity (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408284)

Well, true, but that's why I was talking about getting to level 60, as opposed to "finishing" the game. The end-game grind in WoW is there more as a time-sink to prevent you from finishing the game, than anything else. Even if you have massive disposable time to sink into that, as far as I'm concerned, at that point the game is essentially over and the content is over. I have better things to do with my time than doing MC the 1000'th time.

That "content" is there just as an ellaborate scam. People have been educated that "winners never quit and quitters never win" and that they must 100% finish a game before their mom bought them the next one. And like any such notion, when you have a few million people educated that they _must_ be X (where X can be "patriot", "not a quitter", "real man", etc), you'll have someone using that to shaft them. Blizzard knows that a large percentage of the population _must_ "finish" the game (collect all equipment, kill Onyxia, etc) before they can cancel their subscription, so Blizzard knows how they can shaft those people into keeping paying long after the content is over and the game stopped being enjoyable.

So basically if someone doesn't have time for those, well, IMHO they haven't lost much. Whatever RL commitments or activities kept them from doing that, are probably more fun. Heck, watching paint dry is more fun.

At any rate, at that point, the _only_ use for that equipment is... so you can move on to even higher level instances to grind through repeatedly. I.e., if you can't make that kind of time investment for the first tier instances, then you don't have the time for the tier 2 or the new tier 3 raids either, so basically you haven't lost much. Buying equipment for RL cash at that point is pretty stupid if you don't have the time to actually _use_ that equipment.

Re:Well, here's me satisfying your curiosity (1)

Jackmn (895532) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412227)

At any rate, at that point, the _only_ use for that equipment is
Unfortunately it's also necessary to have a chance in PVP against decent players with high level gear.

Re:out of curiousity (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15403220)

I know this wasn't really what you were asking, but it seems though it would be material to satisfying any curiosity you might have about gamers of this type in general.

The age of long-term Y!PP players tends to start in the mid-20s and go up from there. Many (actually probably most) of the entrenched players have spouses and families. There are a lot of families who play together through all age ranges, from early teens well into the 60s.

Don't get me wrong, there are lots of pre-teen and early teen players. Some of them even stick around a while, but mostly the players of that age just don't have the attention span or social skills to hack it in what is a highly socially-connected game. Usually only those young players who are much more adaptable and tolerant of other social groups and situations find a long-term enjoyment of the game.

Re:Interesting (1)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15402352)

I like the kind of games where people put time rather than money into it to get more out of it.

In my opinion, both are real problems. I enjoy friendly competition and social interaction. Money certainly won't get me either of those. Time usually helps relationships, if you're spending it working on the relationehip, but time spent "leveling up" does not.

My picks for getting more out of gaming are for games to emphasize pitting players against other players of ballpark similar skill levels ( Bots and NPCs are too boring) and for games to make it easy to talk to the guy your competing against. Basically, make video games more like sandlot baseball or coworker basketball. Emphasizing time or money to level up takes unfair advantage of everybodies desire to be a big shot, and de-emphasizes what traditional gaming (not just video gaming) is all about; competing with folks you want to have fun with.

TW

Re:Interesting (1)

romit_icarus (613431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15401675)

I completely agree with the above. If this is like Puzzle Pirates, it will do well.

There is a huge audience of casual gamers (with a significant proportion of women) who are under-targeted. Puzzle Pirates is a masterpiece of a mmorpg simply because it expanded the genre. The fact is that while you're 'puzzling', you're not thinking about your character role or the world so it appeals to the 'less hardcore gamers'. In a way, the created world is merely a context for casual gaming...

"Bang! Howdy" Goes Beta (2, Insightful)

Mursk (928595) | more than 8 years ago | (#15401607)

You know, I had a tough time figuring out what that headline was supposed to mean...

Trivia (2, Interesting)

HunterZ (20035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15401732)

Ian McConville, the artist of the webcomic Mac Hall [machall.com] recently started working for Three Rings [threerings.net] , the company who made these games.

Is this related to Bang! the card game? (2, Interesting)

Digital_Quartz (75366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15401778)

Is this in any way related to "Bang!" the card game, from mayfair games?

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/3955 [boardgamegeek.com]

Re:Is this related to Bang! the card game? (1)

moorcito (529567) | more than 8 years ago | (#15401936)

I searched all over the www.banghowdy.com site, and could find no reference to Mayfair Games, but there sure are a lot of similarites between the two games. Both set in the Wild West, both use cards for special powers, even the way the name bang! is drawn is the same for both games. Bang! Howdy was definatly influenced by Bang! (the card game).

Re:Is this related to Bang! the card game? (1)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15403191)

Both set in the Wild West...

Ah, I didn't know this. (Because in the grand Slashdot tradition, I didn't RTFA.)

So they've got pirates and cowboys now? All that's left is ninjas, really.

Re:Is this related to Bang! the card game? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404264)

> So they've got pirates and cowboys now? All that's left is ninjas, really.

Particularly since the screenshots indicate that you get robots with your pirates.

Chris Mattern

Re:Is this related to Bang! the card game? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404283)

Dammit, I meant with your cowboys.

Chris Mattern

Re:Is this related to Bang! the card game? (1)

Unanimous Cowturd (891079) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412011)

I'm guessing the name might come from the 1960's Peter Sellers movie, 'The Party'. Sellers played a fish-out-of-water Indian actor at a Hollywood party. It was a line he gave when he met his cowboy movie idol "Wild Bill" Kelso.

Wow it must be popular (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15401954)

Wow, MindStalker was already taken. I almost NEVER have to fight for that name. Hmm that would be an interesting idea for MMO fight for popular names! :)

Re:Wow it must be popular (3, Interesting)

Green Light (32766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15402547)

I think they share names (user IDs) with Puzzle Pirates.

Shoot first... (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 8 years ago | (#15402156)

I suppose I should read the article before commenting on this game and its name

But given the name, I feel it appropriate to shoot first before introducing myself to the content.

Deja Vu All Over Again (3, Interesting)

BobBobBobBobBob (861762) | more than 8 years ago | (#15403490)

Unlike Puzzle Pirates, Bang! Howdy pits you against other players in little strategy puzzles (mostly, how can I kill them and get the gold nuggets or cattle before they kill me and get the gold or cattle). You can convert your gold nuggets to dollars (like the whatevers to dubloons in PP). You can also buy the "harder" currency with money.

For a "casual" player, PP was actually more friendly, since you could hop on a Navy vessel and just play one of the station puzzles (sailing, carpentry, bilging, navigation) without having to talk to anyone. After a while, they started making the land-based head-to-head puzzles free only on certain days. And to run a store or own a ship, you had to have a badge purchased with dubloons (the harder currency). It was easier to buy it for dollars than grind away to get enough of the light currency to buy dubloons at auction. The whole thing ended up being no fun.

In both games, you can buy new clothes with some of each type of currency. In PP, at least, clothing deteriorated, so if you didn't want to wear rags, you had to buy new clothing at intervals. Also, some colors were more expensive because of scarcer raw materials. The look of both games is cute, as ar the themes, but if you want a casual game, get Tetris or solitaire.

I would like the developers for making Bang! Howdy no fun right out of the gate, so I wasted almost no time with it.

Re:Deja Vu All Over Again (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404586)

On the other hand, Puzzle Pirates started out as a subscription-based game. They still have servers with a flat monthly fee where doubloons are irrelevant, though I understand the doubloon model has been working well for them.

It may be that Bang! Howdy, designed with "Big Shot Units" (I can't even type that with a straight face) from the ground up, will work out differently as far as the business model's impact on game play is concerned.

Re:Deja Vu All Over Again (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404588)

For a "casual" player, PP was actually more friendly, since you could hop on a Navy vessel and just play one of the station puzzles (sailing, carpentry, bilging, navigation) without having to talk to anyone. After a while, they started making the land-based head-to-head puzzles free only on certain days. And to run a store or own a ship, you had to have a badge purchased with dubloons (the harder currency). It was easier to buy it for dollars than grind away to get enough of the light currency to buy dubloons at auction. The whole thing ended up being no fun.
YPP! remains fun for the casual player - it's folks who think they should acess to the entire game without either grinding or paying who now find it no fun. (You also have the option of playing on a subscription ocean where, for a single payment a month, everything is available to you.)

Re:Deja Vu All Over Again (1)

BobBobBobBobBob (861762) | more than 8 years ago | (#15405582)

YPP! remains fun for the casual player - it's folks who think they should acess to the entire game without either grinding or paying who now find it no fun. (You also have the option of playing on a subscription ocean where, for a single payment a month, everything is available to you.)

But for $10 a month, it doesn't feel casual anymore. It's then a subscription and if I don't play "enough", I don't get my money's worth. But if PP works for you, in either flavor, then more power to you. Whatever floats your particular boat.

P.S. Yes, yes: Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates (YPP). We all get it.

Re:Deja Vu All Over Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15406144)

Agreed. That and the fact that is runs in *cough*Java*cough*, gag. Although one of the better pieces of software written in Java, it's still a pig relative to what it is (ie. it's an extremely simple game, graphics type thing that requires a huge JVM install and eats memory like no tomorrow).

Re:Deja Vu All Over Again (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407964)

For a "casual" player, PP was actually more friendly, since you could hop on a Navy vessel and just play one of the station puzzles (sailing, carpentry, bilging, navigation) without having to talk to anyone.

The "not talking to anyone" part is what makes things hard for players to advance. It's a social game, and those who engage in the social network find things vastly easier to accomplish. The game is designed to reward cooperative play and the Navy is not a part of cooperative play, thus the rewards for using the Navy are pitifully small.

Heavy system requirments and possible mem leak (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15405894)

MMOG final fantasy tactics at best. This game isn't for me.

Re:Heavy system requirments and possible mem leak (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 8 years ago | (#15409633)

Very similar to FFT. I played it for a while until it started slowing down and paging constantly (memory leak). Not a bad game I don't think. Fun for free in beta anywyas.

Tried It (1)

NBarnes (586109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411629)

It's a fairly light tactical RPG. The numbers are mostly hidden, probably to decrease the apparent complexity to it's 'casual' audience. Personally, I'm not convinced that a large latent demand for casual tactical wargames exists. It's fun, kinda, but I found it a touch confusing. Needs better documentation.
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