SJW entryism at its finest. Your game is dead, guys. Just move on. There’s nothing to salvage here.
A write up about this in more detail on my other blog.
May 22, 2016
SJW entryism at its finest. Your game is dead, guys. Just move on. There’s nothing to salvage here.
A write up about this in more detail on my other blog.
May 20, 2016
Poor old ArcheAge. Since Black Desert opened its vast realms have been depopulated to an extent that pvpers wave at each other and have a chat before they get down to the business of trying to lop each others’ heads off. AA was having major problems long before BDO opened its doors, mainly to do with its terrible launch and equally horrible upgrade releases and mind-numbingly stupid community management. But at least there were some committed players that gritted their teeth and stayed for the long haul.
Those die-hard players can get pretty tetchy, however when they watch the game slowly dying before their eyes. They are apt to complain, to vent their frustrations in public in an attempt to see some improvement in their increasingly miserable gaming lives. And so what does the AA community management team do in these circumstances?
Why, they introduce a long list of rules under which all players must grovel.
Thanks for dropping by to participate in the myriad of conversations that happen here on the forums on a daily basis. The ArcheAge community is a safe, welcoming environment for everyone playing the game. We want to encourage all of you to post your many in-game experiences, discuss the latest news, ask questions to the staff, participate in our events, and perhaps meet new friends!
That said, before you jump into any of our many threads, we do have a few rules that all community members must abide by when participating in the community. These rules are in place so everyone may freely take part in our community and let their voices be heard. Please take the time to read the below rules in full, as not knowing them does not excuse you from breaking them!
Hmm. Lots of exclamation marks there! The key line that characterizes this as a pure SJW takeover is the line that I have bolded. Safe and welcoming means you may no longer voice disagreement with the new political mindset. Their ‘few rules’ run to a list that is 22 points long. Good luck not breaking one of them because you couldn’t remember it! But at the bottom of the list they have written this:
This list is not considered to be exhaustive, and moderators and community team members maintain the ability to discipline and ban accounts at their sole discretion. These rules may be modified or added to by the Community Team at any time, with or without prior announcement.
So there you go. Even if you play by their ‘few rules’ their moderators can ban you for no reason at all. But wait, there’s more.
Hand in hand with this announcement was AAs first ‘Letter from the Community Manager’. Her name is Seraphina “Celestrata” Brennan and she has been there for 9 months now! [I don’t know why she has a made-up game name when she could just use her actual first name as a pretend game handle.] She starts off her new announcement with this little snippet:
First, let’s talk about where we are at right now as a community. I want to be honest with everyone: We don’t have the best reputation as an open, welcoming player base.
I’m sure many of you read the articles that people write about our game and our community across the internet. From those many articles, the one point of feedback that personally hits me the hardest is when I see someone tell their friends that we are a toxic community that should be avoided.
How about that for a way to start your first community announcement? Slag off the whole community! At least, what’s left of it. There’s a whole lot of rambling where she says not much at all and then lots of exciting new features they’re going to introduce, and then at the bottom she slips in this little doozy:
On May 26th, all server-specific forums in the Worldgates section (except for the Public Test Server) will be closed and retired to an Archive forum. Those threads will be preserved so others may refer back to them, but the Archives will be closed to new posts. If there’s any information you wish to personally save from a thread, make sure to do it before May 26th!
For those not in the know, the individual server forums were the community hub of AA. When I played the game they were the only forum that I checked out. But with all those forum servers it’s kinda hard to police a 22 point long list of behavioral rules and regulations. What to do? Close them down and lump everyone in together! It will be inclusive!
The reaction to this, well, it hasn’t gone down too well. But this is what happens when you hit the panic button and let SJWs into the building to save you. They will save you by killing you. Better to have a completely pure and politically correct game that is dead and empty than risk having anyone who spreads that ‘toxicity’ and ‘hate speak’. This will be the final nail in the AA game coffin. I’m expecting a large influx in BDO as we speak.
May 13, 2016
Here are the enchantment stats for Black Desert Online for those needing them.
March 27, 2016
Cross-posted from my main blog but also relevant here.
Some of you may or may not be aware of a movement in the science fiction/fantasy writing world called, The Sad Puppies. Now in its 4th year, the puppies is an attempt to shine a light on the politicization of the Hugo Awards process. It has been very successful, particularly in stirring up a good old fashioned hornets nest of controversy. For the record, I stand firmly with the puppies, sad, rabid, or otherwise.
One of the contentions of the puppies is that fiction writing over the past 20 years or so has turned away from an emphasis on story-telling and character development to one of technique and correct political messaging. Style over substance if you will. It is no surprise that when you stop telling great stories in preference to lecturing your readership with the politically correct tropes of the day, that the readers tend to move on to other things.
I discovered a post titled Empathy and Responsibility in writing by one Alexander Freed. It is a startling article. I had to read it several times to really understand its meaning, (an indictment both of the message and the writer’s lack of ability). The article places the context of writing in that of the video game milieu, but in the worldview of the politically correct I am sure that this is applicable across all mediums.
The core message of the piece is this in my own words:
You may only write about a certain demographic if you are sure they will not be offended by your words or you are already part of that demographic.
An example quoted from the piece:
If you’re a man, are you prepared to justify to a woman the casting and portrayal of women in your story?
Try reading that a few times. What I take from this is the new-found awareness that I can only write a female character if I am sure that it won’t give offense to women anywhere. The giving or taking of offense is based on emotional reactions, better known as feelings. I have no control over the feelings of other people. Writing as a man it would be impossible to justify any portrayal of a woman based on this criteria. It seems that I am now forbidden to portray females in the written form without permission of the authorities.
If you’re not Hispanic, are you prepared to justify to a Hispanic person how you cast (or didn’t) Hispanic characters?
If you write about Hispanics you lose. If you don’t write about Hispanics you lose as well. Heads I win, tails you lose?
If you’ve never been in a gang, are you prepared to justify your crime story to a gang member?
Well, I tend not to hang around criminal elements and I doubt they spend much time reading.
If you’ve never been disabled, are you prepared to justify your handling of a paraplegic character?
I stubbed my toe once, does that count?
Based on these parameters I doubt whether Tolkien would have ever been allowed to write The Hobbit. I have no doubt that Freed is perfectly serious with his intentions. No matter how ridiculous the demands, the world of political correctness is a race to the bottom as its followers attempt to show their true virtue to the cause by constantly trying to outdo one another.
Freed has of course completely misrepresented why art is created in the first place. If you work from the basis of telling a story then what he has written seems mad. But if your basis is instead to use the medium to deliver the message of political correctness and social justice then what he writes makes perfect sense. In his world, the writer’s responsibility is to write correctly. The trap of course is that in a race to the bottom what was correct under their ever-changing guidelines will be bad-think mere months after its publication. Nobody is safe in a totalitarian world.
This is why the GamerGate movement began, as gamers were not prepared to put up with this level of insanity. It is telling that many other mediums did not stand up for their art in the face of this totalitarian movement.
Thus the Sad Puppies campaign is not just an attempt to make the Hugo awards more representative. It is an attempt to wrest control back from frauds and charlatans like Alexander Freed. And the more that the Sad Puppies make headway, the more that the gatekeepers will scream to high heaven.
March 24, 2016
Apparently Azuriel might play BDO in the future so he can fiddle with the auction house.
“… But even though I feel a strong twinge to jump into Black Desert to fiddle with the AH – Bhagpuss mentioned a particular weakness in the player-made furniture market that got my AH senses tingling – the seeming lack of “endgame” focus somehow dampens my enthusiasm …”
I don’t know how much fiddling he’s going to be doing though. Someone needs to tell him that every item listed has a set min and max price. All you can do is set it at or somewhere between the two ranges. Which somewhat constrains fiddling of any type.
March 13, 2016
From Rohan at Blessings of Kings:
The new hotness seems to be Black Desert Online. Normally I’d at least give it a try, but I’m not feeling inclined to. It reads a lot like Archeage, up to the whole PvP’ish endgame. I really would like to see someone do a comparison and say why BDO is better or worse than Archeage.
Ask and you shall receive. I played AA extensively and I’ve been in BDO since early release. First of all I don’t think it’s helpful to compare the two games as I don’t consider them to be alike at all. The only thing they have in common is that they both originated in Korea. BDO needs to be considered on its own merits and what it brings to the table as a fantasy MMO.
The World. The BDO world and landscape are aesthetically gorgeous. The look is of 14th century Italy and it feels very immersive. It is also in-depth. The map features graphs and stats on average groundwater, temperature, and humidity, as well as nodes and resources, and territorial boundaries. All of the nodes and feature areas are up for grabs to be controlled by guilds. This feature has not been unlocked yet as the developers want to give guilds time to get to an appropriate level. If a guild controls an area then they get more resources from it as compared to anyone else. Towns and cities in BDO have pleasing and interesting layouts that make sense. Also, because areas give resources through the node system there are no abandoned areas that players have moved on from due to leveling past them. The instanced housing system is not just for a player’s residence; you can use housing for storage, accommodation for your workers, as workshops and crafting stations, stables, shipyards, and more. As a result the world feels lived in and there is no set path for you to follow.
The Gameplay. There is no tab targeting in BDO. I play a ranger and I can tell you that if you go in wildly shooting you are going to pull a lot of mobs. Skills and abilities are complex but without being confusing. It takes some time to learn the key commands but once you have it down it feels intuitive. At this point I cannot comment on the balance between classes as I haven’t got to level cap and pvp yet. When you encounter a specific mob for the first time you won’t see its health bar decreasing as you kill it. You must unlock mob information by killing them at which point you will see their health bar as well as their special attacks. Once a mob is unlocked it will also give you better loot. It may take a number of mobs to unlock and when you do you will get a random letter starting from C, B, A, A+, and S. These go from least knowledge to top level. I only have got S a couple of times and I’ve been rewarded with some good loot whenever I killed those particular mobs. You gain 80% of your leveling experience from killing mobs.
Crafting. It’s extensive. There are also no restrictions on how many professions you can do. On top of that there is a server ranking system where you can see how advanced you are compared to other players. The developers want the vast majority of items in the world to be crafted by players. I’ve always liked crafting but I’m getting so drawn into this system that my leveling is beginning to suffer. You can hire workers that will gather resources for you from nodes you have discovered. They are animated and in game, and sometimes I will run past a worker struggling down the road with a load of potatoes with the name, ‘Noisy’s Worker’ over his head. Yeah man, you keep working! I have five workers at this point spread around two towns and all I need to feed them is beer which I craft with my cooking.
Guilds. Oh boy, this is in-depth. Guilds can be leveled and are done so by the guild members performing group tasks, up to 5 times a day. It might be collecting a number of resources, (which the players keep), or defending a town from attackers. Leveling the guild unlocks attribute advantages to guild members such as better defense points or accuracy. Guild members are contracted and paid a certain amount of silver per day based on their value to the guild. Guilds can declare war on one another but when guild control of nodes is released there will be strategically relevant reasons to do this. The second stage will be sieges.
NPCs. I’m really impressed with the depth and complexity of the npcs in game. There is an npc mini-game where you can unlock things like special quests, special items for sale if it’s a vendor, or knowledge. You do this by meeting and talking to other npcs that would be of interest to the one you’re talking with. You also have a personal black spirit guide who you can drag out at any time. This helps you with your character development in both fighting skills and crafting. There are other mini-games as well. The trade npc has a bartering mini-game and it also requires you to connect nodes to where you’re handing items in in order to get the best price possible.
Quests. You do quests to advance crafting, your energy points, (used for crafting), to get skill points, (level combat skills), and for contribution points, (unlock nodes and housing). There are story quests that unlock the history of the area that you’re in. Things like the common gathering quests are combined with whatever crafting skill they’re relevant to so they have some meaning. I like how escort quest npcs actually run fast behind you unlike the classic dawdlers of previous MMOs.
Summation. We’ve all played so many games that there can be a temptation to want to walk right in and get to a complete understanding right off the bat. Things that you don’t know aren’t seen as a source of discovery and learning but as a frustration that you don’t know what you’re doing. The majority of our guild aren’t at level cap yet for the simple reason that they are taking their time and enjoying learning about the game. I’ve been going for 2 weeks now and I’ve learned a lot but there’s still a lot to go. I was frustrated at the start; in fact a lot of us were. But this game rewards some effort and time taken to really get in and see what’s out there. I’m enjoying it immensely. I think that it is a real progression on MMO game development. It’s nothing like ArcheAge and for that I can be truly thankful.
March 9, 2016
Jewel at Healing the masses has a post up lamenting the cash shop in Black Desert. She really hates the cash shop with every fiber of her being. This was a surprise to me, as since playing the game from the very first day I’ve never even opened the cash shop. In fact, one of our guildies has done an extensive research into the cash shop to make sure there were no pay-to-win elements, (the debacle of Archeage hangs over us all). And he gave it a clean bill of health. Nothing to see here, no pay-to-win e-peen warriors strolling about waving their massive dicks-slash-swords in the air.
So like I said, I was a little surprised at her reaction. I mean, she wrote this:
I have to admit that I still think Black Desert Online is a terribly greedy game in terms of its cash shop offerings. Yes, the pay to win might be minimal but there are so many other systems that have been needlessly tied to the cash shop purchases in order to remove restrictions.
So she hates the cash shop but she also admits that it isn’t pay-to-win. Seems strange. But on reading further it all became clear. You see, Jewel is mad at the cash shop and the game designer because of her own poor choices and lack of self control.
I am a rather weak willed person though and even after the $50 pre purchase pack I’ve already dumped in $60 into the game and cash shop. Yes I am a horrible person and I hate myself too but in doing so it made me realise even more how utterly ridiculous this is. So much about it just seems designed to annoy enough to make money and while that might be a profitable approach because of idiots like me it doesn’t make me, and I assume others feel that happy about the game. It makes me angry again. Angry at the developers and publishers, and angry at the industry for bringing the genre into this state.
Let me repeat again – there is nothing in the cash shop that will get you an advantage in-game. She wasn’t forced to go to the cash shop and spend that money. But now she has buyer’s remorse and apparently it’s the game designer’s fault. How about that then?
What I ended up purchasing was incredibly minimal too. Enough that I’m wondering what help it even did considering I’m still noticing a lot of needless systems and restrictions that are more a marketing than a game play choice. I still don’t even feel like I’ve got half of a game, and with $60 extra spent its more like I’ve only unlocked a bare fraction of useability, of the quality of life functionality that should just be standard.
So while she’s happy that it’s not pay-to-win she’s unhappy that she personally didn’t unlock more useability. In other words, she wants it to be pay-to-win for her.
The first thing I bought was 2 extra pets. The one form the preorders wasn’t cutting it with picking up all the stuff and it really does take way to long to loot everything yourself. The pop-up box and confirmation I think are designed to be intentionally slow to annoy even more. And for fucks sake… WHY 3 pets are needed is absolutely beyond me. One pet should be easily enough to function as an area loot but no, greedy fuckers.
For those of you who don’t play the game, pets are actually a useful feature of the game as they run around and pick up your loot. Pretty nifty I thought. I have a falcon that flies around. I kill a lot of mobs but she keeps up just fine. And if you spend the time you can level up your pet as well. But Jewel needs three pets! Although why she does is beyond her. But it’s the game designers who are the greedy fuckers, not her who wants all these mad loots. Speaking of mad loots …
The other thing I bought early on was an inventory increase. Now I wasn’t the kind of person to skip every quest on my grind to 50 and completed quite a few of the ones giving a single inventory space but even then the amount you get to start is woefully inadequate. Once the pets started looting my bag filled up very quickly as each mob type has a number of junk loot things they drop that you might want to keep in order to return to certain npc’s for money.
So now she has three pets picking up her loots and her inventory space fills up! I mean, who wouldda thought it?? So now she has to purchase inventory space too! Even though every town and city in Black Desert has a free warehouse, which you can expand with storage housing, plus your cart, horse, and donkey can all store stuff. All it requires is a little bit of management but oh no, poor old Jewel doesn’t have time for that nonsense. She’s going to rush to the cash shop, purchase more inventory space and then complain about it!
Later on I put in for more inventory space and also an increase to the carry weight. I didn’t realise just how much the silver can weigh you down. I like that it is a mechanic but the way they have designed it to obviously need cash shop upgrades quickly into the game is unnecessary. Just pick a system and bloody stick with it. You want inventory spaces fine, you want weight… WHY not but don’t needlessly add them both just to double dip in the cash shop. And then there is that each city warehouse spaxe is incredibly minimal to start yet you need to upgrade each of them individual.
You get the feeling she’s just losing her nah-nah at this point. By the way, you can also store your silver in the city warehouses!
The only thing I actually felt good about buying was the wardrobe for my personal house. I don’t know why but it just looked like it made the room more compete so I picked it up with the spare pearls in my kitty.
They saw you coming a mile away, sweetheart.
The costume selection right now is rather pathetic as well. The tamer has like one main outfit to pick from and God damn that’s some ugly, impractical, and shitty design. It annoys me as well that there are so few cosmetic options in game to pick from and that you are forced into these expensive garments to look a little more different – not to mention just how stupid the dye system is right now as well. Cosmetics are a huge part of mmo game play, a big part of progression, personal goals, and just that sense only ownership and connection to ones characters and for that to mostly be stuck to that expensive cash shop shit is really… Really pathetic.
And they wonder why we didn’t want girls in games. Cosmetics are a huge part of MMO game play? What the fuck are you blabbering about? And this from the game that has the most outrageously adaptable character creation of any MMO out there.
I’ve gotten to the stage where I’m just thinking fuck em. 100 dollars is enough now and it should be enough to get a full game experience, to get an enjoyable, and cash shop annoyance free experience but no it just makes you feel worse inside. The more you spend the bigger an idiot you feel.
You’re not just feeling like an idiot, you’re looking like one too.
I really do hate this cash shop with every fibre of my being but honestly, am just so desperate for a decent mmo right now.
At this point my regular readers, (all 3.7 million of you), will be wondering why I’m taking her to task so much. Surely it would have been enough to just quote a couple of passages to get across the point that she’s dumb as two planks nailed together. But the thing is that this false whining of a non-existent cash shop issue really gets up my goat. Because there is no subscription model with Black Desert – you buy the game and that’s it. But they’ve managed to keep the cash shop non-pay-to-win which is an extraordinary outcome when you consider the countless MMO disasters based around the same model. These guys still need to make money. They still need to be able to run the servers and keep the game going.
Thankfully they have utter dimwits such as Jewel to keep it running for the rest of us. Now if only she’d have the good grace to just shut up about it.