Lucas Gives Final F*** Off to Fans

By now you should have read that Lucasfilms was sold to Disney for around $4 Billion. About the same Marvel sold out for in 2009.

http://movies.msn.com/movies/article.aspx?news=771595

And with that purchase, Disney has immediately slated 3 new Star Wars movies in the next few years to follow the story after Episode VI. That’s no shocker. Disney buys Lucasfilms to make money. No shocker there. The big shocker, to me at least is that Disney will be able to release the first film, Star Wars Episode VII in less than 3 years. How? You may ask.

Because apparently the fat asshole that proclaimed no more Star Wars films would ever happen, just happened to be working for the past 4 years on new 3 movie saga in secret.

How can someone that brought us so much joy, continue to be the biggest devious liar that ever apparently lived? Who knows?

Lucas is like your one Uncle that gave you a cool toy at some point in your childhood. And as you age it becomes more and more apparent that this Uncle is a flagrant asshole each time you meet him during the holidays.

The nerd world awaits Disney’s move. Surely, looking at how much the previous films made with massive criticisms, Disney has a great deal of room to improve. The next 3 years of news will be interesting to say the least. Can Disney make us love Star Wars again, without us just fondly remembering the originals?

We can look at their history with Marvel so far and take a gander at the process we might be seeing.

Disney’s first Marvel Film was actually The Avengers. Which I think we can all say, was really entertaining. Disney does know how to make us laugh. And it wasn’t all Iron Man that made us happy either. It was as good as you could make that movie. Because, let’s face it, grouping a bunch of heroes together is usually cause for disaster. We can just watch the evolution of Batman films in the 90’s to prove it.

So +1 to Disney’s ability to improve what looked like a guaranteed train wreck into something memorable.

Disney’s next approach will be Iron Man 3 next year in 2013. Iron Man 1 was fantastic as far a comic hero movies go. But really, the movie was made due to Robert Downey, Jr. really just being able to play himself. Disney buying out Paramount’s rights to continue the Iron Man Saga they had first means Disney is ready to take the full helm.

Sadly, the first Thor wasn’t bad enough. Disney will be making Thor: The Dark World also in 2013. For which only I can’t imagine it could actually be worse than Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. But hey, Thor’s fully capable of being the worst hero ever.

Then it’s on to running more major characters in the ground half heartedly as the next project is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The first go was pretty anti-climatic. Here is hoping they turn that around.

None of the terrible X-Men recreations or redos in the next couple of years is Disney’s fault. The blame will go to 20th Century Fox. The first Wolverine wasn’t enough for the community to completely fall out of love with Hugh Jackman, they have to do again with The Wolverine in 2013.

Marvel apparently likes to confuse every ones girl friends. 3 Spider-mans and then Amazing Spiderman, left every poor deep hearted nerd to face palming as they each have to go into 15 minute explanations of why Mary Jane isn’t in the movie.

The rebirth of 2 Hulk origin stories didn’t bother anyone though. Not sure that 2 Wolverines will either.

If the whole dozen odd movies for the same super hero was getting old for you. Never fear, Disney thinks the same way. Be on the lookout in 2014 and 2015 for (NO FUCKING JOKE):

Guardians of the Galaxy

Doctor Strange

And … Ant Man.

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This Got Me Riled – TSW vs. EVE

Title is a bit misleading. I was over at Gamasutra.com last week and a headline just drew me and I read the article up and down:

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/179347/funcoms_vision_for_the_future_of_.php

For those of you that can’t be bothered to read the article, here is the jist:

It is an interview with Craig Morrison, who is the Creative Director in charge for Funcom. This is basically his thinking out loud of what went wrong with The Secret World and what direction they think they want to head. Throughout the article you will notice that Craig Morrison is obsessed with EVE Online. He’s quoting what’s right with EVE Online and how that needs to translate to TSW. From a broad stand point, this type of news should be amazing. Players should see ‘Big Title Developer wants to Bring EVE Elements to Game’. But no, you actually get to read the thought process of this man, and you get to find out, that while he keeps name dropping EVE Online, he doesn’t seem to grasp what the fuck the games about.

Apparently he read a couple of articles on EVE and went “Oh sure, I get it, we need to be like them. Because they are growing, and we are not. Now, what elements of EVE can I guess about, without actually having to be bothered to actually play the game.”

And this, this sets me off.

“And that’s exactly the key. You need to build an ecosystem. You need to build a collaborative set of systems which give the players the ability to tell their own stories alongside yours.”

First part is right. EVE is structurally sound because of an ecosystem. But that ecosystem is stable because of a negative style penalty system from ‘dying’. Players always need to buy their ability to play. And since all stuff is basically player made, you have a sound ecosystem. A Hack and Slash (as we EVE players refer to your games) can only have an economy in the beginning. Eventually you can’t lose you best set of gear, and it’s definitely not purchasable, so you can at best make your economy potion based. Unless of course you make your crafting system so easy a caveman could do it, then you have no chance of an ecosystem after one month.

The second part doesn’t even refer to EVE. You think EVE has a story and as a sandbox the player is making theirs happen within that. There is no story. There is a broad overview of major political ideals that are neat. But as for you user name <Jambalya Renyolds>, you have no story. What so freaking ever, you have none. And there is no interface story ever. Unless you think an overplayed mission agents description you have seen 1,000 times before is story, it’s not story based in the least. EVE’s PVE side is the most criticized completely repetitive un-immersive hunk of junk ever produced. But because the game isn’t focused on PVE, no one cares.

“And then the question is how do you do that? How do you bring it in so that your story can sit alongside the player’s? And then build the systems up that allow the players to express themselves and be part of the system. That’s the beauty of a game like EVE, is that the players are kind of this organic wheel in the middle of all the systems that the designers have made.”

There’s no fucking story in EVE! Stop using EVE as your basis for story or PVE. Yes, EVE works. But no one has a story.

“And that’s really where I’d love to see the genre go, is taking all the best bits. So you can have a quest-driven game, but it doesn’t have to be linear progression. I think games like The Secret World and Guild Wars 2, to an extent, were kind of pulling at the edges of that, to see if we can bring it back to being more virtual world-y rather than a single player game where there happens to be other people doing the same thing as you at the same time.”

You lost me when you brought GW2 in. GW2 did exactly the opposite of what you are saying. They took a step back from trying to give players a personal story and said “you all have the same exact single player story. Sure we have given some sight-seeing routes depending, but that changes nothing about the end story what so ever. But we eliminated side questing and bonus questing all together.”

You refer to a single player game where everyone is doing the same exact thing. This is in fact what GW2 is doing. You all are doing the same exact thing as a single player, but here, since you will be stumbling over each other, we won’t give negative results from hitting the same mob.

“And that’s the problem that a lot of these games face now. You build up progression and you get to the endgame and it’s only raiding, or it’s only PVP, which is completely different to what they’ve done to get there.”

You realize that is EVE’s model right. Just basically PVP. If you don’t think the PVE generated Incursions or Mining OPS aren’t raiding, you are crazy. The difference is, it was never end game. It is the game. But yes, its only PVP truly only PVP. Maybe the answer is PVP is a viable end game, if only we developers planned to make it more than something other than an afterthought.

“And EVE is really the only one that’s constantly done updates, but even then they’re like one or two a year. It’s like a big push — this is Inferno, and it comes out and then that’s it for the year, or nine months. Personally I much prefer to kind of maybe do something every month. I think every game goes through it right at the beginning — you’re kind of pushing out updates all the time when you launch. But I think actually having — you know, it’s not a new thing.”

This is how I know you don’t jack about EVE. EVE doesn’t release one or two expansions a year. They release 2 major expansions a year. TWO always. Other than the first year of release in 2003. These aren’t updates. These are expansions. In between these Expansions, which are free by the way, they do normal updates for balancing and some times features that just can’t wait. Neat idea right? Look what’s ready. Let’s release now. Trivial to EVE players. Extremely frustrating the rest of the MMO industry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expansions_of_Eve_Online
Linked just because the interviewed doesn’t seem to know shit about EVE. Stop guessing! When Wikipedia is a reference you are out of the know.

So it’s not just about updates, it’s about constant features and expansions that aren’t boxed. It’s about being plugged into your community and focusing on your project. You lose sight of that though, and your community will make you suffer. As CCP found out in Summer 2011 when an expansion wasn’t in line for new content and a leaked letter internally about greed is king went public. So while CCP and EVE are great examples. It also is an example of needy players that are king and are vocal about it.

I want to respect TSW. I really do. And I think saying ‘we wanted to start out small and grow’ is exactly what players really do want to hear. And from a broad stance, you looking at EVE and admiring it would normally earn you a thumbs up. The problem here is that you are referencing EVE, but don’t seem to understand the beast. You can’t say we are starting out small like EVE and we will grow, because in the end EVE has a plan to its players for the next few years. We know we have an expansion this December the 4th with 2 updates in between with major changes and additions. And then we know we have another round of that in 6 months after that. Oh … and then guess what in the next 6 months? That’s right some more.

Hell, CCP is releasing DUST 514 on the PS3 F2P with 5 years planned content updates at launch with 20 years of ideas to sustain.

http://news.mmosite.com/content/2012-10-14/dust_514_five_year_roadmap_and_live_for_another_20_years_plan.shtml

And saying that they plan to be able to sustain the game for 2 decades. A decade on a platform that may not eve exist in 2 years. Let alone 10.

Admire all you want, but your player base doesn’t even know what you have planned for November, let alone 2 years. If you truly want to admire EVE and CCP and want to start making it right, you need to feel the pulse of your community and commit to the content. Saying I want to be like that is not very hard.

Food for thought from the player’s point of view.

Free To Play in Retrospec

There is a great deal to admire when it comes to Free 2 Play MMOs. It’s being called the new standard. While big releases seem to move towards the model of Free to Play after launch, the latest release of Guild Wars 2, said to the community, building games to be Free to Play should now and should have always been the standard.

While the benefits are overwhelmingly obvious. The basic lack of losing $15 a month seems all too enticing. The overall effect doesn’t seem to be any different for me. Whether GW2 released as a subscription model or it released as a F2P does not change its position to me any differently. In the end, no matter which model they went with, they only ever would have been receiving $60 of my money. The box comes with a fee month in a subscription plan. And this game doesn’t have the content of a month in it. It doesn’t really have a week.

There in lies the advantage of always being a F2P model. We don’t get to call it a failure. When GW2 sold 2 Million copies it was a success and the story stopped there. Less than a week later GW2 sales fall to unexpected lows, as ArenaNet worked to sabotage their own sales. Their sales went down 84% in week two. But no one cares. Apparently that is not worth noting when deciding whether an MMO is a success. SWTOR sells 2.1M overnight and holds 1.7M extra in sales over the next 3 months. But we call it a flying failure for not holding our subscriptions for more than 3 months. GW2 sells 2M a couldn’t move another box to save their life, and on purpose as well, and it’s a flying success?

An 84% drop in revenue the very next week and it’s still a success? I don’t get the community. They are either truly mathematically illiterate or simple easy to please people. I don’t believe the latter to be true. EA’s expansion for Sims 3: Super Natural kicked GW2 sales in the face. That’s right. A bullshit expansion to a 5-year-old game kicked GW2 balls in numbers. You think EA is afraid of GW2? Not in the least.

So while the community, for some god forsaken reason, wants all other producers to see GW2 and hope that we never see subscriptions again, I very much doubt it. I would much rather companies see the value in actual game upkeep to the community.

I think the wrong lesson is being taught in the MMO world. There is this Subscription Versus F2P Model battle. And they are both wrong. The F2P model fails to deliver us sustained playability and customer support. It lacks the very intent of MMO, which is an ever evolving world. The Subscription model in essence works, it just hasn’t seen the fruition it intended. It wanted the subscription to uphold Customer Service, to pay for continued Monthly additions, to provide wide arrays of free content. And each game released with this intention. Only to find the running the game and producing were far in different scopes. It’s sad to see the companies that wanted to provide this, felled face first. The unforeseeable failure has left us with F2P as our only option?

It’s hard to tell what is on the horizon at the moment. But I hope for better things from the future. GW2 was not the answer, in many regards.

Star Wars, Hunger Games and Vegas

I spent an extended Week End in Vegas this last month and while separated from my loving and caring computer sex box, I resorted to using my Kindle to read some “nerd” books. I refer to Star Wars books in general as nerd books because they are exactly that. You have to be a very specific person to enjoy them. They are filled with jargon, loop holes, specific terminology and more over a finely tuned quota of revolving themes the reoccur in practically every instance.

This is basically how Star Wars novels go … 1 Male Hero (Jedi) has friends, insert emotionally filled beeping droid, insert another type of droid, insert bounty hunter/smuggler/mandolarian, insert mixed emotion Sith/Jedi/Force-Influenced Persona, tie in End of World Situation. You have yourself a Star Wars book. Pretty easy, but at least they are fun to read.

The Hunger for Actual Literacy

Instead of getting to indulge myself straight into a free downloadable series called the Lost Tribe of Sith, I am forced to, by my significant other, to read the Hunger Games. Insert unhappiness.

To its credit, the Hunger Games is a quick and easy read. When someone on Facebook says “Easy Read”, they are not lying. When they say ‘easy’ they don’t mean because of the story development, they mean literally easy. As in there is no word over 4 syllables. It is a book written with the vocabulary level for a 5th grader. It is an adolescent book and I took it as this when I started.

What get’s my panties in a bunch is the people that love it; my girlfriend, sadly, among them. They love this book, and I cannot figure out why. For those that haven’t seen the Movie or Read the book, here is the quickest angry synopsis you have a hard time finding currently on the internet:

The Earth undergoes a population and structure shattering event long enough ago that we might as well have taken place on an alien planet. When people say “Post-Apocalyptic” they are wrong. It is not. There was something that happened so devastating long ago that it forever changed society in whole, but we are not in a war-torn tribal struggle for existence in the aftermath of a Post-Apocalyptic world. We are probably millennia from the event that changed Earth and are now sitting in a Totalitarian State that may as well be on an alien world it’s so vastly different from all other themes. So, that’s my first disgust with the book; is its mislabeled genre.

The book follows a tom-boy girl that has as much description as everything else in the book, which is plain or vague. Basically, every character including every main character has a name, and that is about where it ends for the narration. If it wasn’t for the use of ‘her’ and ‘him’, we could almost insert whatever gender we felt like for each character. Which is also, one of my strongest distaste in fiction; lack of descriptions. About the only thing we really know about our protagonist, Katriss, is that she had very hairy legs. No joke. We don’t her hair color until book #2, but damned if we don’t know about here childishly hairy legs.

We are told that the world they live in is ruled by 1 grand city of marvel and it controls 12 poor districts that are each responsible for one resource needed by the Capital. By now, the obvious progression of the series should be more than apparent even to someone that jus read the first 3 chapters. Our characters arrive at such capital by train and our genius author decides to give us a glimpse into the glory of this city. In two paragraphs we are left with only that the yellows where the yellowist of yellows.

About the only thing that our author can describe is food. She can’t be bothered to give us a glimpse into what possibly her beloved new friend Rue may look like, but fuck if we don’t know how exactly long and plump the fully whole boar was at the second evening dinner. It’s to the point that only thing I really remember about the first ¼ of the book was how much the author must love food.

Besides the lack of literal descriptions of any characters, is the absolutely poor word choice of new ideas. The author suggests that even though society has fallen apart a rebuilt in a small empire, it has mastered genetic engineering along with other things, mostly highlights of hair styles. In many cases, the evil Capital invented whole new species of animals. Not one of which is named with an even respectable name. The death of some players due to the clever release of (hold your laughter) “Tracker Jackers” on the unsuspecting is completely loss in distress for the reader when the apparent comedy in naming conventions is constantly being stuff down their throat. Which leads me to “Mocking Jays” and the author’s complete lack of understanding metaphors. The author doesn’t let the reader figure out anything. If the artistic style of 5th grade level reading wasn’t enough to make you feel absolutely moronic, the author’s need to explain every single symbol in the book immediately will. If she took the time to actually describe it, then be damned, she takes the time to sock puppet the symbolism to you as well.

I almost didn’t finish the book because of the Werewolf debacle near the end. Apparently, the Capital rounds up the dead bodies of the fallen players and the author suggest, that they turn them into “Wolves walking on Hind Legs”. The way she illustrates this is by having our protagonist recognize the eyes and hair of the players that have died. The bitch can’t remember half their names, despite spending days with each on them on the train. But she can remember their eyes. I think I read in a single sentence in which she points this exact plot hole out, by saying something in terms of remembering the eyes and hair of the boy from District Two.

I almost threw my newly gifted Kindle against the wall, but instead I held on left with an overwhelming desire to punch fat girls. I don’t know why. It took hours for me to come back and finish the rest of the abomination known to many as a new literary work. I still don’t understand, how did this book get this far?

I finished the horrible story and forever deleted the saved book off my library. I had done my deed and conformed to my Lady’s wishes. I was less of a person for doing so. Perhaps this was her plan all along.

Legacy of the Sith and Revan

I wanted to catch up with where SWTOR theme had taken me. There were clearly a great deal of references in the game that I just was ignorant to completely understand. And now that I had completed my mind numbing chore, I could enjoy the blissful ease of poorly orchestrated tales of nothing. I downloaded for my trip the first 8 books of the Lost Tribe of Sith and Old Republic: Revan. Apparently there was more to Revan’s story and this book was supposed to shed that light.

The Lost Tribe of Sith Books are indeed a neat idea. But only because they are free. If I had to pay for them, I would be angry. They are each very short; basically, 2 to 3 chapters each. They follow a lost Sith colony that is separate from all others. You follow from the founding and then to different portions of their individual histories. Unable to leave the planet due to the lack of metals among the resources available, we get to follow the interactions of near primitive Sith culture as they restructure a new life of existence. They are clever and worth the 2 hours it will take you to read through them.

The Old Republic: Revan is another story. It is quite the book in length. And even in its length it has plenty of time jumps where we lose much of the detail in the prior timeline. I have to admit, it is an enjoyable read. This is very well orchestrated in the literal sense for the author to convey the physical displays of combat. Which I find intriguing; how does one describe fighting detail and have the reader understand the same sequence of maneuvers? I see almost every fine detail and to that point can almost see the movie action in my mind. That’s what draws me in. Otherwise, the book has plenty of lame moments. Such is what you will have when reading fiction.

Las Vegas

When not on a plane reading and judging fat women, I spent the weekend in Vegas. I made three determinations about the Sin City:

I wish there were no smoking areas. Like an entire resort. So hard to enjoy a long game of Black Jack with my traditional Black Jack drink, Jack Daniels, while having to endure smokers. Yes, many Casinos claim to be non-smoking, but the truth tends only to be for the Poker Rooms only. If you are in the pit, forget it.

I wish old people wouldn’t use sidewalks. A Vegas Block is approximately 5 New York blocks. It’s hard to make your show times when you get to traverse the streets at the average 19.2 miles-an-hour pace. Yeah, I actually calculated it. Vegas needs a monorail right down the strip.

I don’t understand why there were so many kids. Why?

Conclusion

I had fun. But only because of the group we were with. Had it been myself, one friend and Vegas, it probably would have required a string of numerous crimes to entertain myself.

But my new string of reading Star Wars novel has influenced me. I’m wanting to take a shot at small chapters or subsection novel writing. I want to make a blog that post a weekly subchapter release. See if I can write beyond the literary criticisms that have for so much of what should be simplistic reading.

Not sure I would want it associated with this blog. This is for negative rants. I’m not sure I want to two combined. At the same time, I believe I have to gain rights as a fan site as well.

Not sure what I want to do exactly. But I am willing to brainstorm these plotting ideas. Or at least take the time to research what it would take, a plan, and ponder the involvement in such work. Can I withstand my own opinions? I wonder.

Here’s to influences.

PIPA Obnoxiousness

Don’t read this post. I just want to point out my beef with every debate I see with the SOPA/PIPA debates and why I don’t respect opinions on opinions. If you can’t find it said in the bill, then stating what you think it means is called stating the false or flat out lying. I call it fear mungering. These parties are doing this:

They half skim read the bill. They see small tid bits they don’t fully agree with. They find a small link to how this bill can steam roll into allowing further bills that limit other regulations. They keep exajurating the proposal and future until they reach a ridiculous point and then turn to the public and go “This Bill will Limit Freedom of Speech”. And every fat redneck crawls out of the woodwork with a shotgun and screams, “Dun no body tell mah ow Imma mari mah sista”.

A problem is brought forth to the government. “Dear Mr. Government, we have copyright laws that protect my own intellectual property that you fully support on US soil. However, entities on the internet can blantently disregard these laws as many are internationally hosted or based. They recieve money through US companies operating in the US. This would be illegal if only this wasn’t the internet. It is your responsibility to protect the copyright laws and rights, no matter the terrain”.

This is the base of the problem. So, government attempts to put a law into place that would block financial firms from doing internet business with internationally illegal activities. Which they couldn’t do if it wasn’t the internet, just so you know. And what happens in the writing and debate of this law’s formation comes the most ridiculous statements. As if no body decided to read the bill.

Here’s my points for why I know the person talking about their greif with the bill has no idea what they are talking about:

  1. SOPA is dead. If you say SOPA/PIPA you are basically shouting, “I refuse to follow up to date information and care not for the changing atmosphere of life. Would any care to debate our involvement in the Serbian Conflict?”
  2. The lack of understanding that bills change all the time means either you refused to pay attention in DMCA (if that still exist) or that you never saw School House Rock.
  3. PIPA is not actually called PIPA, it’s called S. 968. You only give acronyms to actual regulations. Don’t give power to something that is simply a proposal in the House. Which most understand as “useless piece of paper that never goes anywhere”.
  4. PIPA has 8 Sections and Titled Exactly thus as:

(1) Title 
   Standard
(2) Definitions 
   Standard
(3) Enhancing Enforcement of Rogue Websites Operated and Registered Overseas 
   Pretty Fucking Specific Title; Reread as many times as you like to understand the purpose of the bill a little better
(4) Eliminating the Financial Incentive to Steal Intellectual Property
   Again, the title is not very ambiguous
(5) Voulentary Action Against Websites Stealing American Intellectual Property
   This one is the tricky one.
(6) Saving Clauses
   Basically disclosure to ensure that the bill is not opposing other in place clauses.
(7) Guidelines and Studies
   A basic list of reports and studies conducted to draw the bill’s need for action; basically what’s wrong and why.
(8) Prevention of Importation of Counterfeit Products and Infringing Devices
   Probably the most useless of the sections, as it just reiterates in place laws controlled by Customs and Homeland Security for preventing such physical items. This just reiterates the technological prevention.

Really only 3 sections matter when it comes to debating what the bill is trying to do and what it does give power to do; 3 through 5. Identifying illegal foreign websites, and the action process to stop US based firms from dealing with them; how the US will stop financial gain to these sites; and how this bill protects financial US companies that make an ethical decision to stop dealing with a probable violator (this one’s important).

Basically there is a problem with the internet. Despite being the wholesome place you go to prove arguments and find funny pictures, the internet traffics many horrible things. Among these are small offenders stealing copyrighted information and selling it. There’s quite a bit of illegal activity happening on the internet that we don’t even need to bring up here, but it’s very abundant to say the least. If you are blind from that, then no one knows what to do for you. Keep living a sheltered life.

 We can currently stop illegal sites on US and other coalition countries land because we can physically touch them. However, this doesn’t stop foreign activity where the governments could care less. The problem is, many illegal things are happening outside of our US jurisdiction, and we basically currently have no way of stopping our own citizens from paying these foreign sites from hosting this activity. Since we can’t stop or filter their sites, the only thing keeping these site’s alive is money (that’s also important. US recognition that you can’t stop the site). So how are they getting US money? PayPal and other like services with also small advertising money for banners have no ethics what so ever. PayPal doesn’t care who you are as most internet based financial don’t. The bill(s) purposed not to filter content, as so many are translating from it, but to identify illegal foreign sites and block monetary services and advertisers from trading with these identified sites. This is the problem and solution alone in the bill. Any other theory of what this law can lead to is your opinion. Otherwise, find in the bill. 

What is the difference between SOPA and PIPA? Other than SOPA is basically dead and I’m not sure why anyone is even using the acronym anymore. SOPA took heavy scrutiny for also wanting to limit search engines from allowing illegal sites to come up on their searches. This is an issue and instantly killed it. No debate on why it died. And as Google has proved time and time again, they do not alter searches based on content substance. They just sell higher spots on the search (… and jab). PIPA does not have this partition in the bill, so one would think that Google would back off. But, they are holding ground. Wikipedia is against it, because simply they take donations to stay alive and that would mean they would have to actually check content on their site and heaven forbid actually make sure users are not posting copyrighted items on their “free” site if the bill gets extended to US entities as well. Wikipedia already has this obligation as a US company, but suing a non-profit entity doesn’t show good face. Same goes for any other sharing site that takes PayPal or banner donations with user based uploads. So, with this bill, the likelihood of a site like Wikipedia being categorized as “Rogue Website Owned and Operated Overseas” is as likely as the state of Nevada being declared “A Terrorist Harboring Nation“. I see no difference.

Why are the big guys against the bill, seeing that it is only to limit financial firms from trading services for monetary gain to foreign offenders of copyright infringements? Why would they give a flying crap? Because of Section 5. This section is so poorly written that it would allow an agreement to be broken if they felt that were dealing with a infringing party. Basically Company A has a popular website. Company B likes them and wants to advertise banners on the website for money. A contract is made between the 2 that Company B will pay XX dollars for 1 year of advertising on Company A’s website. On month 3, Company A’s popularity falls and Company B sees that links from those banners are nonexistent, making the 9 months left a terrible investment. Potentially Company B can dubiously claim Company A’s website infringes on certain intellectual property and then breaks said monetary arrangement legally under this sanction without fear of lawsuit. Very large stretch, but if you are an internet entity, better to go against it and nip it in the bud. There is nothing in the law you see as protecting your property.

That is the major problem. Small times jumping on the backs of “Fuck Censorship, you Totalitarian State” are full of shit and apparently refuse to read bills, or maybe regulation language is hard for them to follow. Don’t know. I get that we shouldn’t be censoring funny pictures or whatever else you think the bill is going to stop. But, in reality I think if you read and realized it wasn’t a censor bill to regulate websites, rather to regulate paying services and advertising to sites hosting very illegal activity you might see the bill or a like one in the near future differently.  

Anyways, when I see “This bill will censor us” I say scruples. Nothing in the bill regulates your site, it regulates financial gain to said foreign entities. If you aren’t an illegal foreign website entity, then your stance is that this bill might not affect you now, but will pave the way for future regulations. That I may agree with. It’s quite a leap, but … I can’t argue with future fears. Just make sure you state it properly.

Oh, if you needed more proof. The Tea Party Opposes PIPA. That was all I need to see to go, “I need to read the bill, because quite frankly I’m not ever willing to agree with a Palin counterpart in almost any fashion”. So, if you haven’t actually read the bill, and you think taking other’s opinions as your own is a good idea because they presented in a really cool fashion, I really am very sad for you.

If you want to light up my comments with anything like the following, “You are wrong Mr. Meh, these bills will do the following … ” and you do not quote the exact paragraph or subsection in the bill, or at least its location, IE Section 3 (e)(3), I will either have to go find it for you or I will determine your comment stupid and edit it accordingly without your permission as I am allowed to do on WordPress. This blog doesn’t represent freedom of speech in its comments. Ex. “Mr Meh, this bill will limit creative internet ideas and actually shut down my website without due process”. Quote what process you are seeing in the bill or shut the fuck up. Simple as that. I can’t find it, so enlighten me what you are reading.

Bottom line, there is an apparent problem with foreign website stealing and selling directly or indirectly copyright material. If you don’t think that’s a problem then that’s your basis. We as the US can limit financial gain to these entities, I agree on that part. I am worried that the bill is ambiguous and not fully thought through on the solution. My concern is that now the public is becoming more and more aware of these bills. But instead of examining what’s wrong with the bills and the change, they just want them to disappear. Which means if we ever do get a bill that is actually worth a damn it will be out of favor without it even being read. If we are illiterate today, then it’s going to be that much harder in the next go. PIPA isn’t the answer, but it should have started the ball rolling. These actions are only going to stop further progress against international bypass of US laws.

And that’s all I have to say about a House Bill that will never see the light of day.

PVE and PVP Harmony is Impossible

I was reading an article over by Sprinks on SWTOR class design and ultimately she gets to a point in which she asks the question: (major paraphrase) with all the off specs and specialization, what’s the likelihood that I choose the best class for that function? And that I just don’t “… pick a warrior/ burglar and the paladin/loremaster outperforms me in every respect.

Now, I don’t normally interact with her blog, but I do get around to reading it as I read lots of other bloggers far outside my normal genre of MMOs and games. But it struck me immediately odd that this was even a question. As soon as I read it my response in my head was, “Of course.” Every game with classes (IE themepark fantasy) are going to be inherently imbalanced. That’s why all developers always spout the same post launch reflections and that is always about class balance. They always say it because it’s just guaranteed to be a problem.

And not by a little bit. By a lot. It’s just the plague of the game design. You start with the basics of your design which is MMO PvE. I need something to take a punch, a tank is born. Then I need something to heal that tank, and a healer is born. Then I need to something that can kill that monster, so the DPS was the next obvious choice. Simple enough. But then it’s going to, even in the simplest of concepts, turn ugly. Because there must be some sort of PVP/PVE balance Tanks and Healers are too strong for what they do. Our PVE needs to be challenging. So it moves in a direction that forces the Tank to be super hard-hitting to retain agro and our healers have too much healing to make sure they are on their toes healing. The result in PVP from the PVE checks are Tanks that hit too hard and then healers that are unkillable. It’s the same problem in every game. 

On top of that we need separation in our DPS. So comes the Ranged vs. Melee. In itself in PVE is bound for imbalance right there. Just the concept of a class being able to be full-time ranged is room for disaster. Because ultimately, the PVE will be designed to challenge the Melee by putting in DPS stops with AOEs, meaning the ranged have the full advantage by never having to stop DPSing. We then give the melee a much stronger single target hit to make up for all the stops and obstacles and by doing so we make a PVP nightmare by giving a class the ability to one/two shot someone. Now the ranged is jealous that they have cast times and so we give them tremendous AOE and Magic Power as an advantage. And so the AOE balance game will take place. It’s the same evolution in every post-launch game.

Now, we don’t stop there. We need mass variety. So then we invent at least 10 different versions of a healer and then multiple different versions of a tank. And then we make the DPS so complex we can’t even map what the hell most the classes do. So then the problem with diversity in this aspect is if your function is to do this one thing, IE, Tank and hold agro, Heal and keep it alive, DPS and kill it fast. If I only need to do one thing absolutely the best, then at some point, one of these multitude of ‘classes’ is going to have that aspect far better. This class is better, nerf it. This class is pointless, buff it. The circle of jealousy and regret evolves forever and ever and ever.

And it doesn’t just end there. You still have games on top of those moves, then going and making different versions of mirror classes on the opposing realm. So not only can you be potentially jealous of a team-mate, now you can be completely frustrated with something your side can never have. The problem with class balance isn’t that a developer can’t seem to do it right. It’s because it was impossible to do based off the design itself from the very start.

So what can we tell about SW:TOR advanced class system? The same thing we can tell about every game that has ever had classes. One class will be better at what it does; Everyone will notice during Beta; That class will be over played; That class will get nerfed; A new star will take the role of major complaints; And in months take a nerf. Atleast one class will be gimp for a major term of the game, it may never see a buff. Rinse and then repeat, until everybody at some point is unhappy from jealousy, being nerfed, or being ignored. As a developer in charge of balance, you just can’t win. Someone’s going to hate you. By the 2nd year of your game, a guaranteed everyone will hate you.

Our current themepark is an evolution of a PVE concept that has a major focus for One Boss to kill. As a result, we want tank, heal, dps. However, its impossible to have our PVP work that way. So, we have imbalance. Because the two worlds don’t work the same. Now if a game came along and said “I’ll make the PVE like PVP, and then we can all enjoy the Pizza,” that would be balance. However, it would be the worst PVE that anyone has ever played. PVE acting like players. Just a bunch of random NPCs running about /shout obscenities. What, would you encounter a boss that’s major attack was demoralization by nerd rage logging off so you couldn’t kill him? I can see it now, the ultimate boss; The Troll. As you enter his chamber he /emotes, “LOLUMAD bro?”

I don’t really have a suggestion on how balance this mess we seem to enjoy to complain about. The only real thing that I understand about playing a class is to find a way to enjoy it. If it’s too good you are just going to get nerfed to oblivion. If it’s too gimp, then you are bound for a buff. At some point you have to just enjoy what you play and make it your own. I have a lot of respect for those players that found something they liked and stuck through it, despite the disadvantage. They made it their own and wore the badge of honor, till they finally nerd raged and played another game.

So when SW:TOR hits I will roll and play something I think I can enjoy based off the synopsis I am given. Most likely a Jedi Consular, even despite the fact I hate what I see in the videos. I don’t think I’ve seen such static movements on a character since Mr. Grim from Twisted Metal. Don’t know what I am talking about?

If you are planning to play one like I am, prepare for the most graphically impressive left hand movements you have ever seen, ever. No, these aren’t strategically taken screens. Its’ literally because the Conuslar’s body pose never changes. Despite this, I will still play it. Even if they do made a healer class based on the Hutt race that was 100% more effective, I will still play what I want. But like every gamer, I’ll bitch the entire time. Such is what the developer deserves for making their game the way it is.

WAR Bloggers: A Wikipedia Story

I was having this argument last night. ‘Mr. Meh arguing, surely you jest?’ Yes, an argument about WAR and some history. For the purpose of not having to read too far into it, I went right to the Wikipedia.org and searched Warhammer Online. It only took a second, but as I scrolled down, I quickly forgot what I was arguing about, because I spent the next ten minutes hurled over laughing.

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