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App Store Developer Speaks Out On Game Piracy

Morlark Re:First pirate! (762 comments)

The problem with the data we have here is that we don't know if the game was actually any good. Maybe they all played it and decided it wasn't worth the money.

FTA, the author responding to a comment making a similar point to yourself:

No problems man. It's definitely something that we've considered. But these guys are playing it for hours at a time and dominating the high score list. It's not that they are playing it for 5 minutes and deleting it.

more than 4 years ago

Dragon Age: Origins To Get Paid DLC Expansion — On Launch Day

Morlark Re:Well, (241 comments)

Actually, that is not necessarily true. We can reasonably assume* that this DLC was created after the game was put into content-freeze for testing and QA. It was created after the game's production, but since DLC requires a lot less post-production fiddling, it's possible for them to publish both at the same time.

* and by that, I do of course mean "that's Bioware's story and they're sticking to it".

more than 4 years ago

SOE Also Making a New Star Wars MMOG?

Morlark Re:Since when is Bioware going hardcore? (49 comments)

Just in case anyone reads the original comment and thinks it's accurate, it's not. I'm not sure if the poster dislikes WoW and just likes to trash talk it, or if he's never played WoW and is speaking out of ignorance, but basically the comment couldn't be more wrong.

The term "hardcore" does not have anything to do with absurdly grindy loot rules, or anything of the sort. Hardcore refers to the game mechanics, and to how tightly tuned the boss encounters in the game are. A "hardcore" MMO is one that would require to min-max your character to get the most damage/healing/whatever out of it, to get the best gear available to you, and would give you very little margin for error during the boss fights. It is this last point which people usually point to as an example of player skill. I think it would be fairly self-evident that overcoming whatever challenge the boss encounter throws at you while not making any mistakes must surely require some manner of skill, no? At the end of the day, you're playing for the challenge. If there's little challenge to the boss fights, they're less fun.

Contrary to the assertions of the OP, the prestige associated with certain hard-to-get gear is not the fact that you have "be very lucky on the rolls", but in the challenge associated with the boss fights. In fact, as far as I can tell, the first five paragraphs of that post are literally flat-out lies. I have no idea how it's been modded +5 interesting, since it seems to be pretty much entirely a troll to me. Bosses in WoW have never dropped only one piece of loot, even at release, when the game was considerably more hardcore than it is now. As others have already pointed out, WoW was never as hardcore as some oldskool MMOs like Everquest, and it has been made considerably more friendly to casual players over time. New boss encounters have consistently been tuned to be easier, and are considerably more forgiving of mistakes. WoW has actually done an excellent job of catering to both the casual and hardcore crowds. There are still some boss fights that are quite challenging, and beyond that there are even optional hard-modes that give extra rewards.

As to the OP's claim of "[The hardcore crowd] get upset when normal people with jobs and responsibilties can get as far in the game as them. If everyone can achieve the same, then they are no longer special." This has never been true. And I'm speaking here as a non-hardcore player. It took me the better part of two years to get my character to level 60, for example. The argument has never been about "getting as far" or "achieving the same". In an ideal game, everybody with the skill to succeed would be able to make the same progress, see the same content, get the same loot, regardless of if they have a busy schedule and only have a few hours a week to put into the game. The complaint that was made comes about because the players themselves (and I mean pretty much all the players, not just "hardcore" players or whatever) use the level of gear as a measure of the players progress. The problem was that a few years back, it was possible to obtain the top quality gear without possessing any skill, and in fact without any input of effort in the slightest. If you need to group with some people to accomplish something in the game, it helps to know if they're competent, right? Well, there are few enough ways to tell this in a game like WoW. Previously, gear could be used as a sort of check for that. But if everyone is wearing top of the line gear, you might bring along someone on the assumption that they're competent, only to spend hours fruitlessly banging your head against a wall. Thankfully that situation was eventually remedied, and the complaints have been significantly quieter since.

The OP has gone to significant lengths to try to portray the hardcore crowd as nothing but whiny kids. In fact, some of the more hardcore players I've known have been adults in their late 20s and early 30s with lives and even kids of their own. These people have never said that "WoW has failed because it only attracts the kiddies". Why would kids complain about WoW attracting kids? Another lie by the OP, methinks. In fact, the hardcore players merely said that WoW was not the game that they wanted. It's a perfectly valid opinion. And it's undeniable that WoW has been courting the more casual players. Different games for different people. It's never about the loot or the in-game rewards. It's about the challenge of playing, and having fun. Some people like a game with a little challenge.

about 5 years ago

Fair Use Defense Dismissed In SONY V. Tenenbaum

Morlark Re:Before the arguments start? (517 comments)

Please read these posts within the appropriate context.

Every single one of those questions you asked either has an answer so obvious as to make the question meaningless, or is implicitly answered by the context of this discussion thread. If you're going to use Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a defence against the unauthorised distribution of copyrighted creative works, then I think you'll find it's you who is in for a judicial arse kicking.

more than 5 years ago

Ireland Criminalizes Blasphemy

Morlark Re:Obligatory (1376 comments)

So essentially what you're saying is that if a people or a country happens to have an opinion on what is normal or morally right that differs from what you believe or what your country touts as right, then ultimately you are always right, and they are always wrong?

Look, I personally don't agree with this law, but, from TFA, the Irish saw fit to include provisions against blasphemy in their constitution when they originally wrote it. It was their choice to do that, and it's not your place to say that they can't. This legislation is merely maintaining the status quo. If the Irish people really felt strongly enough about it to want to change it, well that's what elections are for.

more than 5 years ago

12% of E-mail Users Have Responded To Spam

Morlark Re:Non-electronic spam (268 comments)

Cold calling is not and has not ever been a legitimate marketing communication tool. So yeah, too bloody right they should never do it. You are quite correct in pointing out that it is no different from spam email.

Honestly, if anything cold calling is far worse than spam email. At least with email you can sort out spam filters and such, so that you never see the damned stuff. With cold calling, some faceless company is interrupting my work/free time/dinner/whatever and wasting my time so that they can pester me about some questionable product that I don't even need and would never buy. And I essentially have to get up to answer the phone in case it's a call from someone I actually want to hear from. It is nothing short of arrogant and rude of these companies to even dare to presume that they have any kind of right to my time or attention.

more than 5 years ago

Is Cataclysm the Next World of Warcraft Expansion?

Morlark Re:The next WoW Expansion... (259 comments)

Actually, even assuming that all of the Chinese players just stopped playing WoW, that still leaves Blizzard with in the region of 6 million subscribers. And why would they just stop playing? They've all moved over to the Taiwanese servers now, so the drop in subscriber numbers isn't nearly as large as people make it out to be.

more than 5 years ago

Facebook Sued Over Data Access

Morlark Really? (73 comments)

I sometimes wonder about the state of society that lawsuits like these should even come about in the first place. If people are dumb enough to give away their login credentials to some random website, what business is it of Facebook's? And if Facebook wants to shut the door on third parties, surely it's their service to do with as they wish?

more than 5 years ago

The Dilemma of Level vs. Skill In MMOs

Morlark Re:Um, that's why they are games, not sports (463 comments)

Honestly, I'm not sure I could even consider WoW to be a level-based game. Sure, your character has levels, and there is a levelling system there. But the game essentially doesn't even begin until after you hit the max level, and the levelling process is nothing but an extended tutorial. As you say, your entire character progression is gear-based, and since the level-based portion of the game is essentially trivial, I've always felt that WoW plays very much more like a gear-based game.

more than 5 years ago

Square Enix Facing Class Action Suit Over FFXI "Hidden Fees"

Morlark Re:From TFA: (76 comments)

Yeah, I was going to say something similar, but you've pretty much nailed it. FFXI may have some dumb policies, but they're up-front about it. Some of the complaints this lawsuit makes are just plain stupid though. What a waste of the court system's time.

more than 5 years ago

The Origins of Video Game Names

Morlark Re:Donkey (121 comments)

Yeah, I read that section and was left puzzled at how the author was making such authoritative-sounding statements about a language with which he is so obviously unfamiliar. And then later in the article he claims to be an English major... Uh, yeah, good luck with that.

more than 5 years ago

Montana City Requires Workers' Internet Accounts

Morlark Re:Passwords? (836 comments)

Ah, but it's perfectly safe. When you write your password out on the application form it comes out as ******!

more than 4 years ago

An Argument For Leaving DNS Control In US Hands

Morlark Mod summary down (607 comments)

Honestly, I'm not sure how the parent got modded flamebait, because I have to agree with that final point. The summary is entirely content-less, to the extent that *shock* I actually did have to RTFA, and all I can say is that I'm not impressed. Don't get me wrong, I can see where the article is coming from, but I do have to disagree with it. The arguments it presents are not particularly compelling, so if you're having a hard time arguing against it, all that tells me is that you're really not trying.

In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that the entire insight contained within the article can be summarised in a single sentence from its first paragraph: "America's special role in managing the Internet is good for America". That's it. I'm sure that reason is good enough for America, and I do have to admit that the Internet has been kinda ok under America's control so far, and for those reasons I don't expect the situation to change any time soon.

In spite of that though, the point I'm trying to make is that TFA did not make a give a single compelling reason for why America should have control of the internet. No, "because it does already" isn't a compelling argument. And contrary to what the summary (which, to reiterate, is utter crap) claims, TFA doesn't even mention international bodies. The article was trite and weak. The summary was not a summary by any meaningful definition of the term.

more than 5 years ago

New Irish Internet Tax?

Morlark Re:Ok I'll Bite... (242 comments)

I'm sure they do resent it. But if their tax-funded competitor is obliged to provide content that would not otherwise be shown at all (because it "doesn't get good ratings") and said content is high quality work that contributes to the cultural enrichment of the country, then I don't see why the commercial broadcasters' resentment is meaningful.

more than 5 years ago

Phony Wikipedia Entry Used By Worldwide Press

Morlark Re:Obligatory (391 comments)

Of course the said thing is, when it gets added back to the article, they'll just cite the mainstream newspapers that copied the phony quote. And then it'll become a part of the ever burgeoning body of Wikipedia's New Truth. Facts? Facts be damned, we don't need those in an encyclopedia.

more than 5 years ago

Interview for Mytheon

Morlark Re:Is NOT the first (32 comments)

Y'know, that's actually the first thing I picked up on when I read the summary. That quote is so enormously vague as to be meaningless. You're probably right that he said "high-end" meaning high budget, because, quite frankly, if you're interpreting "high-end" any other way, the claim becomes entirely laughable, instead of merely questionable. But at what point does your budget qualify you to be considered "high-end"? It's a totally meaningless quote.

The only MMORTS I've ever played (I don't consider the current generation of browser strategy games to be true RTSes) was Beyond Protocol, during its beta. The game had some really great concepts at its core, and was really great fun. Now, I have no idea what their budget was, but it was enough to give the game some decent 3D graphics, and that's enough to count as high-end in my book. Unfortunately, I'm guessing it wasn't enough of a budget to actually let them finish the game, because when it was released it was a most awfully unstable crashy piece of software. I never really gave the game a chance after that, but I do hope they've managed to fix that up, because the core gameplay was incredibly fun.

So, I don't believe that Mytheon is the first high-end MMORTS, by any meaningful definition of the term. And more than that, the presence of microtransactions makes me incredibly sceptical of the quality of gameplay. I have never once seen any competitive game in which microtransactions did not significantly detract from gameplay. The entire point of a competitive game is to, y'know, compete. If you're competing with your wallet instead of with the other players then there is no competition, and if there's no competition then there's no game. To quote some other poster from another microtransaction article a few days ago: "It's like bribing your DM to give your level 3 character a +5 sword." Why would you even play in that game? And that sentiment applies far more strongly in competitive games, as opposed to a collaborative game like D&D.

more than 5 years ago

World of Warcraft 3.1 Patch Brings Dual-Specs, New Raid

Morlark Re:Eh, I already quit (204 comments)

I think you're just getting a bit old. You and me both, actually, I know exactly what you mean, there are some days when I can't even be bothered to log on and do stuff. But saying that, when I look at the game, intellectually I can't deny that actually pretty much everything has become less and less of a chore, quite significantly so, in fact. And they keep making things even easier. I agree with everything else you said though. MMORPGs these days have precious little actual RP of any kind. They've started to make some headway on that, with the new phasing technology and whatnot, I suppose. Hopefully they'll include lots more stuff that does that in the future. And I'd love it if they found a way to make all the old content relevant again too, but they've repeatedly said that they have no intention of doing so, and I can kinda understand why. Certainly, I think that simply bumping up the loot tables of every old instance every time they released a new expansion would be an incredibly bad thing.

more than 5 years ago

Should Good Indie Games Be More Expensive?

Morlark Re:Evidence of the contrary (150 comments)

I absolutely agree. In fact, if you're going to point out indie games that are doing well at a higher than "normal" price point, I'd have to mention Illwinter's Dominions 3. You might say that it's something of a niche game, in that it'd probably only appeal to people who already like turn-based strategy games. But within that niche, I wouldn't hesitate to say that this is the single best game I have ever played. And it's going for $55 at the moment. The game is several years old now, and they've successfully maintained sales at that price point, because, quite simply, the game really is worth it.

Most other indie games, I would never consider paying that much for. Even the ones that are fun, if they don't have any depth of gameplay or replayability value then they're not going to be worth much more than $10, maybe $15. That's why all these publishers are aiming for that low price point - because it's a reasonable one for the quality of games they sell. The games that actually are high quality will sell for what they're worth.

more than 5 years ago

Game Developers On Gold Selling

Morlark Re:Why oppose it? (424 comments)

Oh sure, it's not a problem now, because Blizzard have rather cleverly moved all the important stuff onto non-purchasable alternative currencies. Back at 60 it was a lot worse though. It's actually an example of one of the many steps Blizzard have taken in their endless fight against the gold sellers. The fact that you don't complain about inflation these days shows just how successful it's been.

more than 5 years ago

Game Developers On Gold Selling

Morlark Re:Why oppose it? (424 comments)

Developers being cocks? Sorry, I actually facepalmed when I read that. I take it you've never played an MMO? Gold selling thrives in MMOs because, at the end of the day, there is one fundamental truth that applies both in and out of game: (some) people are stupid. Gold selling has a noticeable and significant negative effect on the game. Sometimes this means they've got their bots out keeping a given zone completely barren of mobs, so that any actual players who want to do anything in the zone are unable to do so. Sometimes it means that the gold sellers flood the auction house with the items they have farmed up, meaning that any legitimate player who wants to sell some items for a bit of gold can't do so because the going rate for those items is so low that they can't turn a profit. On the flip side, the people who have bought gold now have so much money that the market price for other (non-farmable) items goes through the roof, meaning that honest players can't afford the things they want. Gold selling absolutely ruins the in-game economy, which makes the game a lot less fun for everybody, and that means the developers lose subscribers. That is why.

In fact, in recent years, things have got even worse. As the developers get better at spotting the behaviour of the gold sellers' farming bots, the gold sellers change tactics. Instead of targeting the game, they target the players - through various trojans and keyloggers and whatnot, they compromise a players account, strip it bare of gold and items, and then sell the proceeds on to other players. Of course when the player discovers this, they immediately go crying to the devs demanding that their items and gold be restored. The dev company then has to spend god knows how much on employing extra customer support staff to deal the player's own lax account security. That is a direct cost to the dev company caused by gold sellers. The claim that the developers are being cocks by protecting the interests of both themselves and the players is laughably ignorant.

Allow me to finish up with a little personal anecdote. An acquaintance of mine in WoW once had his account compromised by gold-sellers. I don't know how, since he's usually a fairly tech-savvy person, but everyone slips up once in a while. The gold sellers stripped his character completely clean, took everything he had, and passed it on. When he finally got his account back, and was waiting for his items to be restored, you know what his first response was? He went straight to the gold sellers and bought some gold, to cover what he had lost. Yup, he went to the very people who had stolen his (imaginary) gold, and paid them real money to get it back. And he never once made the logical connection that the people who had taken his stuff were the same people he was dealing with. The average person really is that stupid.

It's only a minority that actually does buy gold, so you can't even claim that "players want it". But when the developers have to fight an uphill battle against both the gold sellers and that stupid minority, so that they can improve the game for those very same players, you do have to have a bit of respect for what they do.

more than 5 years ago


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