Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Rise of the Bots

Hey Guys, anyone over the age of 13 or with a half a brain can tell you what a bot is. Normally, you'd come across them on chat sites or porn sites. However, they have started to make their way towards both Xbox Live and PSN. If you want to see what inspired me to write about this, please read this post.
Image Provided by NeoGaf

Personally, I have experienced this myself through my Xbox messages. Literally, as soon I saw that stupid phrase saying they were "bored" and "found your name in __" I could tell it was a bot. I wish I had the message of this conversation I had, but I guess the account got deleted or something because I can't find the message.

If you come across one of these bots, please don't give them any kind of information. As a matter of fact, report them if you can. The user in the screenshot made the good choice of asking this account if he knew him/her. The response afterwards makes it obvious that it's a bot.

I'm guessing these bots are trying to get you to go to some cam girl shit. Why people pay for those I have no clue, but people are free to do with whatever they want.

I'm not completely sure because they send you a website that has cam in it. Regardless, they are going to ask you for a credit card to "verify" you are 18 or older. ANYONE with a basic understanding of how the internet works would know this is bullshit and a security risk! I guess they are trying to scam little kids because kids are stupid, but I doubt they are stupid enough to steal their mom's credit card to see some boobs.

The best that could be done is to report these bots or to just ignore them. I have no clue how Microsoft could implement a system that could prevent these accounts from being created, so I guess we'll have to deal with them for some time.

Stay safe on the internet, guys. Please don't give out your credit card information unless it's to a trusted source. If you want to see naked women, just know there are free HD videos on Pornhub.
Till Next Time!!

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Importance of Timing Game Releases

Hey Guys, this is a topic that I feel should be talked about more often because people often overlook the development time for a game and when developers feel is the right time to release games. I recently stumbled upon an interview on Polygon where Shannon Loftis, general manager for Microsoft Studios Publishing, stated, "I think we probably announced Crackdown too early"(Loftis).
Image Provided by DualShockers

Okay, Crackdown 3 was announced back in June 2014. Literally, over three years at this point. Now, it's being pushed back into "Spring 2018". I say that in quotes because we don't know when in the Spring and we don't know if there is going to be another delay.

The usual development time is about 2 or 3 years. With that in mind, you'd think that Crackdown 3 would be released sometime between 2016 and 2017. However, Crackdown 3 was in very early development when it was announced. Additionally, the Xbox One wasn't even out for a full year at this point and Microsoft was talking about cloud computing...in a multiplayer game.

Cloud computing really hasn't been done before in a multiplayer game let alone on a console that hasn't been on the market for very long, so announcing Crackdown 3 will be utilizing cloud computing technology that early in development is absurd.

At the same time, I guess Microsoft wanted to release more exclusives because the community's main criticism is the lack of Xbox exclusive games. Thus, having people hyped up for Crackdown 3 is needed to keep Xbox users coming back or to have a new audience. However, this could have been announced at either E3 2016 or E3 2017.

It's also a good thing that this isn't being pushed around the holiday season because there are already enough games coming out in Broketober.

At the end of the day, we don't even know if Crackdown 3 is going to be good. For all we know, this could be another disappointment and we'll be talking about how this game was in development for years and how Microsoft has been hyping this game up to be the definitive Xbox exclusive fans have been asking for. Is this game really going to take advantage of the Xbox One X's power? We don't know.

If Microsoft-or at least someone from Microsoft-admitted that Crackdown 3 was announced too early, then you know something is wrong. I guess we can be thankful that they don't want to rush the release. However, let this be a lesson that video games should pick a schedule and stick to it. Don't release a game too early that we need to wait for it to be finished or release a game too late to where it could lead to it being either disappointing or forgotten about.
Till Next Time!!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Xbox Live: Free Games of September 2017- A halfway decent month...

Hey Guys, I can't believe that August is almost over. I also can't wait until the cold weather starts coming as it's the perfect sign that Broketober is coming! Anyways, the next free batch of games for Xbox Live Gold members have been announced. Let's get down to it.

Image Provided by Major Nelson's Blog

I've never been a big fan of racing games, but Forza Horizon 3 caught my eye despite the fact that I've never played any of the Forza games. I hear the main difference between the Horizon and Motorsport series is that one is on a race track while the other is not. Although I'd prefer to go into the Horizon series, I'll try out Forza Motorsport 5 to see if I'll get into it. I want to make sure that racing games will catch my interest.

Never heard of Oxenfree. The gameplay style doesn't really capture my interest. I'm sorry, but I just don't like the look of the game.

Hydro Thunder Hurricane. Whoa. That's quite a mouthful. It looks like a typical racing game with boats. I know I said that I'll try Forza Motorsport 5, but at least it has loud engines and wheels. Additionally, I'd imagine the player count is low for the multiplayer aspect and I don't feel like racing AI.

I remember being in love with Battlefield 3 when it first came out. I played the game on console and haven't thought much about it. When it became backwards compatible, I got a chance to replay it. Little did I know that this game aged TERRIBLY. Oh my god, it looks awful on console. How were my eyes able to stand looking at this game on a console!? Please, if you've never played Battlefield 3 on console then don't start now.

That's everything from Xbox. Sorry that I haven't been posting much. I'm doing my best to write as much as possible.
Till Next Time!!

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Response to Tom Marks's Article, "Opinion: Why You Should Stop Focusing On Player Counts So Much"

Hey Guys, I stumbled upon this article a couple of days ago, but I never got a chance to get around to it. I guess now is a good time to talk about it because I think it's a great topic to talk about and it's an article that is pretty controversial. Let's get right into this!

A little backstory, the editor here, Tom Marks is focusing on the release of LawBreakers and how its upsetting him over the amount of players considering it a dead game. Here are some of his points that stick out to me and I'll give you my thoughts on each point.

  • The problem is that most of these people have likely never played the game, but thanks to sites like SteamCharts and the less reliable SteamSpy commenters everywhere can feel empowered to make wide generalizations about the health of any game based on “hard facts.”

*I can see where the author is coming from. Yeah, most people have never played the game because there wasn't a whole lot of promotion done for the game, so unsurprisingly most people haven't even heard of the game. However, SteamCharts is a good indicator as to which games are popular in the Steam community. The last time I checked I didn't even see LawBreakers in the Top Sellers list of Steam 

  • If there are enough people playing LawBreakers that you can quickly find a game every time you play (which, in my experience, there are) why does it matter to the people playing it what the size of the player base is?
*I really hate doing this, but I have no other choice. I love to illustrate my points. 
If you don't believe me, you can check out the stats on SteamCharts

The game can hold 10 players per lobby. Additionally, it's not taking into account the amount of players in certain servers, so it's going to take a while to find a match that has players. Must I also add the amount of players in a certain gamemode? What about the game trying to place other players in similar skill levels? I'm not sure if it does that, but either way it's going to take a while to find players.

"Why does it matter to the people playing it what the size of the player base is?" Well, if the player count is too low then how long until these remaining players get bored of the game and move on? 
  • "It’s frustrating to see as someone who genuinely enjoys the game, and I imagine downright demoralizing for the developers."
*Okay, this is a valid point. However, I take more sympathy for the developers because you can tell they poured their heart and soul into the game. Let alone the amount of time it took to program this game as well as coming up with the design of the game.

If you had people shit all over your piece of art-yes I consider video games a work of art-then you would be pissed off or even saddened. 

The players on the other hand can simply ignore other people on the internet and continue playing the game. Do you really think fans of Call of Duty care about the haters of the game? Obviously not because the series still sells like hot cakes. The developers can do it as well, but there are people who do give them constructive criticism over the game, so they have to look at the amount of players talking about their games.
  • "So my question to the doomsayers is this: Why do you care? Why does declaring a game dead before you even know what it’s like to play add anything of value to the conversation? You’re not the first to say it, you won’t be the last, and you are usually dead wrong."
*I'll tell you why I care. If I see that player counts are low on a game I may buy, then why would I buy a video game with barely anyone playing it? I don't even care if the game is good or not!

Remember Titanfall? Both games were great, but the first game suffered due to its lack of appeal. I remember the player count was high the first week, but it dipped off shortly after. Now, it's practically a ghost town as most people moved on to different games or Titanfall 2.

I would pull out some more of his statements, but I would keep repeating myself. I have nothing against the author. His heart was in the right place, but I just didn't agree with him. Furthermore, his final statement is counter intuitive to the existence of this article. Low player counts will always hurt a game because people will naturally move on to something more popular.

LawBreakers looks like a fun game, but if it stuck to being free-to-play and was released on more platforms then the population of the game would be much higher!

LawBreakers is dying. It's not a dead game...yet.
Till Next Time!!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Overwatch Toxicity 2

Hey Guys, I previously made a post about Overwatch toxicity. However, I focused more on players who criticized each other in the most disrespectful ways possible rather than providing constructive criticism. I didn't even think to mention something as equally important: Throwers.

I tend to play the game in solo queue because I don't have a flexible enough schedule to be grouping up with people. If you group up with people in a six stack, you are less likely to encounter throwers. Assuming that you are grouping up with people you can trust. Anyways, you are a lot more likely to encounter throwers when you solo queue compared to grouping up with five other people.

The amount of throwers I encounter on a daily basis is absolutely ridiculous. I normally play about two matches a day sometimes more if I'm feeling lucky. However, there is at least one thrower on my team or the other team. Usually some smurf account or regular person playing Hanzo, Widowmaker, attack Torb, attack Bastion, and attack Symmetra.

They are not bad characters, but the amount of people who pick them to throw makes it seem like they are bad! I have seen good attack Basions, Torbs, and Hanzos, but they are incredibly difficult to come by especially in Diamond.

You know that feeling someone is going to throw if they switch from a support or tank to Hanzo. It's practically a meme at this point, but there is no sign of slowing down.

Regardless, people should not be picking characters they are not good at or think they're good at. Otherwise, these players aren't going to do much for the team. It's especially aggravating if they refuse to either switch to a hero they are good at or to a healer. However, it keeps happening.

None of this compares to someone switching to a "throw" character if your team looks like they are about to lose. Seriously, do people not understand there is a thing called snowballing? If you don't know what I mean, snowballing refers to saving up your ultimates and timing them to get as many kills as possible. Additionally, there is always a chance of making a comeback, so what's the point of throwing?

You guys get my point. Throwing is one of the worst things you can do in a competitive match.

Yes, these players can be reported, but I play Overwatch on console. PC players can report toxic teammates, but console players can't do it just yet.

Additionally, what's going to stop them from creating a smurf account and throw games on purpose or to "practice" heroes they won't play on their main account, so they don't ruin their stats? Not saying there is anything wrong with smurf accounts, but there are players who go on a losing streak with them and decide to throw every game they get into afterwards.

We can agree that throwing is a problem. I honestly wish that there was a solution to solve this. However, it seems that no matter how harsh the punishments get throwing is always going to be a problem.
Till Next Time!!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Is there room for Gearbox's new game?

Hey Guys, just this morning I received an e-mail from Gearbox Software about testing a brand new game they are currently developing. I'm sure everyone who registered with Gearbox Software from playing Borderlands probably got the same e-mail. Anyways, I read the e-mail to see what it's about and asked myself one question: How will this gain a following?

Image Provided by Project 1v1

This might be irrelevant, but I laughed my ass off when Gearbox called this "top-secret". I literally found articles about it this morning. Yeah, it's not top-secret anymore now is it? Not that it would matter because I'm sure most people wouldn't care too much about it.

Gearbox describes the game as a, "competitive first-person shooter that combines the action of fast-paced 1v1 first-person combat with the metagame strategy of a collectible card game"(Gearbox).

While it may sound like a cool idea, this isn't very appealing. Card games are already becoming too crowded. Magic: The Gathering, Gwent, Heartstone, and even Valve is coming out with a card game. You get the idea. The only difference is that Gearbox is incorporating first person shooter elements with possibly a Titanfall-like card element.

Remember Battleborn? Yeah, that's going free-to-play soon or it's probably free-to-play already and I just don't know about it yet. The point is the game was not successful because Overwatch just blew it out of the water. The game was dead on arrival. With the over saturation of card games I can already see the same fate for Project 1v1. I don't want the game to fail, but I'm just being realistic because I know for one that I won't be touching this game.

I'm going to be brutally honest, we all want Borderlands 3 from Gearbox. They did confirm it's in development, but that's all we want! I hate to say something like this, but it has to be said because we've been waiting for 5 years to get Borderlands 3. Gearbox should be focused on Borderlands 3's development to make sure it delivers rather than trying to release these games in between that aren't going to perform.

At the end of the day, Gearbox is a company that provides software to its customers to make a profit. Who am I to judge them for their choices? However, it's still not going to stop me from just saying it how it is.
Till Next Time!!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Shadow of War Microtransactions: My Thoughts

Hey Guys, I am aware that microtransactions have been a problem for years. However, we're usually used to seeing them in multiplayer games until Ubisoft popularized using microtransactions in single player games. I have never once used microtransactions in single player games, but apparently people do it enough to the point where Ubisoft continues to implement them in their games. The only thing though is that this isn't Ubisoft.

Image Provided by PlayStation

The main question is: Will microtransactions ruin the Shadow of War experience? If the gameplay is similar to Shadow of Mordor, then the game itself should be good. You could tell that this new Nemesis system is meant to spice up the gameplay to be more "team-oriented" compared to the original game. It's kind of reminiscent of Clash Royal or Clash of Clans.

However, if these microtransactions provided unfair advantages to make the game a breeze then what would be the point of playing it?

According to Monolith, "An important aspect of the Nemesis System now comes in forging, customizing, and leading your own army of unique Orc followers against the fortresses of Mordor...There are different ways to do this, including dominating Orcs by exploring the vast open-world and encountering them as part of Orc society, or players can acquire Orcs and other items through the Market (in-game store)."(Monolith).

While orcs and other abilities can be achieved in-game, something tells me that the game will purposely be made to be a grindfest in order to influence people to go to the Market to speed up their progress. That would just defeat the purpose of the game! Grinding is a love or hate thing. I just hate grinding! I feel that it gets in the way of progression as most of time you are just doing unnecessarily repetitive actions for far too long.

What pisses me off the most is that these "other items" are probably going to be "achieved" through random loot boxes-yes there will be loot boxes. Oh my goodness, random loot boxes in multiplayer games are already a pain in the ass. Just look at Overwatch during events or Destiny as a whole.

Shadow of Mordor was unique in the sense that you were made to be overpowered, but every time you died your enemies would grow in power. Additionally, you can't always use the same strategy as each orc boss had different weaknesses or strengths. Sure, the story wasn't on the strong side, but the gameplay was action packed.

If these microtransactions literally let you pay to beat the game, then everything that Shadow of Mordor brought to the table will go down the drain. Let this be a warning that microtransactions should not be in single player games. However, I feel like this is just going to be an industry standard if people actually pay for this shit.
Till Next Time!!