Behind MARVEL HEROES “201X reasoning in naming conventions

I often tease miracle hero and now once renamed. In 2013 as a simple “miracle Hero” game launch, but the words “miracle Hero 2015″ in 2014, and in 2015 has ended, will once again be re-named the “miracle hero in 2016.” But it looks like there is a great number of methods and David Brevik time warp madness.

As in Gamasutra’s, Brevik acknowledged that for reasons for the change is due to the miracle of a hero less than stellar debut, he admits happen “before it is ready, it is frankly not very good.” This leads to Metacritic score of 58, which has never changed no matter how unlikely the game better.

His solution? Call the game something new, and to re-evaluate and re-examine it to improve its score. Miracle Hero 2015 campaign more in Metacritic glossy 81, and Breivik hope, miracle Hero 2016 “launch” will draw even more people.

“This is a pioneering work of our year, basically. And I think as we have to improve our game and watch things better metrics and measurement, our RETENTION will increase as well.”

I think this article is relatively Madden NFL game, every year rebranding themselves with a new number is a comparison of apples and oranges a bit, recent layoffs gazillion news is not good news. But overall, this is a tactic, it seems to have worked miracles hero 201something well.

Tribes: Ascend and eSports

It was kind of a surprise when Tribes: Ascend fans were told this week to expect new stuff for the game after it sat in maintenance mode for such a long time. Usually, that’s the kiss of death. And yet here we are, with the game facing a new lease on life. Will this be the new state of things? Is Global Agenda next on the list of games to be reanimated? Why is stuff so hard?
Obviously, we couldn’t figure all of this out based purely on speculation and possible Metalocalypse references. We asked a few questions about the future of Hi-Rez Studios and received answers from studio co-founder and COO Todd Harris. Read on to find out more about development plans for both tribes fans and the extended catalog of the studio as a whole.

Massively Overpowered: With the refocus of development budget and time on Tribes: Ascend, is there reason for Global Agenda fans to be hopeful as well?

Todd Harris: I love, love, love Global Agenda, but we have nothing to announce around Global Agenda at this time.

Does the team want to turn Tribes: Ascend into a more viable venue for e-sports competition like SMITE?

For now our Tribes: Ascend goals are modest and we simply want to get the game into a better state. We have a small team of developers who are really into Tribes. This team, headed by HiRezSean as Creative Director, has been green-lit to work closely with the community and implement changes and updates to the game.

One of the more major changes being contemplated is consolidating the current nine Tribes: Ascend classes into only three – a Light, Medium, and Heavy class more like classic Tribes 2. The changes and updates will be put on a Public Test Server so we can solicit feedback and take it from there.

They couldn’t afford the full shirt.

How has the heavy emphasis on the professional competitive side of SMITE changed its development, or was that the goal from the beginning?

With regard to competitive play SMITE definitely benefited from some lessons learned from Tribes: Ascend.

In Tribes: Ascend there were amazing players and fun core gameplay, but we had a weak spectator camera, no demo support, and some other “competitive/e-sports” core features were somewhat lacking in the game. All that has been improved within SMITE, which has helped the competitive side of SMITE grow such that now we have a million dollar SMITE World Championship.

Now Tribes gets to benefit as well since SMITE‘s financial success is what has allowed us to actually re-staff a Tribes: Ascend team.

Is there a risk that if Paladins is not as successful, it will face a similar fate to the one that seemed to befall Tribes in recent years, with the servers running but no real development?

The fool turned his patched and piebald head to watch Pylos climb the steep iron steps to the rookery. His bells rang with the motion. “Under the sea, the birds have scales for feathers,” he said, clang-a-langing. “I know, I know, oh, oh, oh.”

All game development is risky and success is never guaranteed with a new concept. But as a studio we’ve tried to learn and improve with every new project, and fortunately our trend is upward.

Our first game Global Agenda was a big money loser for us. Then Tribes: Ascend was break-even. SMITE is very profitable for us and growing faster than ever in terms of both players and revenue. So we have high hopes for Paladins as well, but ultimately the players and community will decide.

We’ll be taking Paladins to TwitchCon at the end of the September and would encourage everyone attending to come by and try it and give us your feedback first hand.

In the iOS and Android troops management

I know I am really, this discussion is very late, but in a warlord Delano for nearly a week, I wonder why the garrison management system has not yet been achieved on the iOS. The auction can be completely from the application Moshou Shijie, so we know that it is not too much to ask.
For some reason, I see a lot of people say they hate the garrison. I’m missing completely here what? Of course, if you want to use them, they had enough of them a lot of repair, but they are not mandatory once you in 100, to? I may be wrong there.
I like to know I can maintain my troops to earn tons of cash. I love each hub B.S. military orders in the daily task. I like to send my companion to the task, their level, I did not even get rewards from them. I love my ore mining, looking for wood, with my professional construction and so on.
“It’s me and Patches, Maester.” Guileless blue eyes blinked at him. Hers was not a pretty face, alas. The child had her lord father’s square jut of jaw and her mother’s unfortunate ears, along with a disfigurement all her own, the legacy of the bout of greyscale that had almost claimed her in the crib. Across half one cheek and well down her neck, her flesh was stiff and dead, the skin cracked and flaking, mottled black and grey and stony to the touch. “Pylos said we might see the white raven.”
Back to the topic, I think the interface for the application. Just login to the armory application or what, select the management task of sending your troops, the army. You can even see in your task and receive push notifications timer. For me, this will allow you to more easily manage the garrison, and can even reduce some don’t love.
Sadly, I guess it is a walk in the fortress. I think the “classroom hall” will be public, not private garrison characteristics. I think the characteristics of the troops in the army is very good for all of us, they like the carrot.
Other people really enjoy the resident and hope they will persist in the army?

BLOG UPDATE AND QUALITY OF LIFE IMPROVEMENTS FOR COMMENTERS

It only took me 2.5 years since the big wordpress move to finally get my blog into shape with jetpack, which now means I am logging on via the .com site again rather than .org and it’s all a little confusing. When it comes to upgrading systems that aren’t exactly broken, I am a horrible conservative but so far I am loving all the extra functionality (yay related posts)!

Since the somewhat frosty look of my old style got to me, I have also taken (yet) another opportunity to update my blog’s shiny layout and header. While I’m not 100% happy with the image yet, it feels a lot warmer and more well, adventuring vagabond to me. The free SUITS theme for wordpress is quite sexy, so I can definitely recommend that if you’re currently undergoing your own blogexistential crisis.

While tweaking stuff, I was made aware of a rather astounding number which is my blog’s total count of comments for all time: 4’589 to date. Naturally as my regular visitors will know, half of these belong to me because ever since day one, I’ve made it my mission to get back to 99.8% of all comments that I receive. That still makes this comment count incredibly awesome and I know that without all these engaging and fun encounters and debates over the years, I probably wouldn’t be blogging today. So now that I am fixing the blog up for reals, it’s time I also did something for my commenters and regular visitors!

A list of the new comment features installed:

You can now spellcheck and edit (yes!) your own comments for the duration of 10mins, as long as nobody has replied to your specific comment in the meantime.
You can now subscribe to follow-up comments or new posts per email and never miss replies again.
You now get to see a max. character count per comment, in order to keep the overall discussion within an agreeable frame for dialogue (3000 is still a lot honestly).
Frequent commenters get their own honorable VIP-badge, starting at rank 1 (20 posts) and going all the way up to 7! Yeah, this one is more of a goofy gimmick but I like it – even if it seems to depend on IP too.
For now, I will give these a go and wait for feedback. It’s all in a testing phase for me, so let me know if a particular feature doesn’t work or if you think it needs adjusting. And as always, thank you for your comment!

IN HEAVENSWARD, EVERYONE IS DRESSED FOR THE OCCASION

I hit level 58 tonight in A Realm Reborn and between catching my breath because of what’s happening in the main storyline and looking for aether currents everywhere, I need to give this expansion some serious props in terms of gear design – omigosh, it’s all so pretty!

Gear details have always been stunning in FFXIV (they’re all in 3D which helps a lot…) but adventurers starting out in early Eorzea had to put up with many a yellow burlap sack and baggy clothes in the past. Not so in the expansion: Heavensward is packed with armor sets from the get-go and they are all new and shiny and easy enough to acquire through questing or dungeons. I especially love the baroque and gothic vibes of some of my black mage’s gear and feel the class is properly treated for a change!

It’s rather remarkable how SE aren’t stingy on providing all this gear without demanding blood sacrifice. While good-looking and matching gear (weapons included) is hard to come by in many MMOs, it is impossible to underdress in Eorzea. And for my part, I find this very motivating.

DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE A GAME NOW?

I’ve been in the middle of an interesting twitter discussion lately, following up a comment I made after hearing about Choice:Texas (“a serious game about abortion”) via this article on Indiestatik –

The replies I received to my comment were intriguing on account of their diversity – from complete agreement to yet another discussion of what constitutes “game” in this day and age. That wasn’t really what I was going for though (even if it has a part in this discussion).

I’ll be honest and say I am completely weirded out by projects such as Choice:Texas and it has nothing to do with subject matter. I am all for making a wider audience aware of serious and seriously difficult but important societal, political or cultural issues, yes even testing new media and avenues of transportation. When it comes in combination with the game label however, I hesitate. This is not the first time either – I’ve had the exact same feelings on the recently published Depression Quest. Now, I’ve read several great reviews on this title and I’ve no reason to doubt any of them. For many personal reasons, one of which being my current employment in a mental care facility, I am a big supporter of getting the word out on illnesses such as depression, on educating a wider audience against common and harmful stigma. Heck, you cannot educate too much on such matters. Yet despite all of this, the title Depression Quest still fills me with cringe.

How do you make a “quest” out of something as crippling and insidious as clinical depression? How does the association with all of this being like a quest – that traditionally heroic undertaking with epic loot at the end – add anything to an otherwise important message? I get it: Depression Quest is an earnest attempt to take away some of the gloom off a heavy subject, in order to make it more accessible and encourage people to put themselves in the position of a person affected by depression. I just genuinely wonder why we need gameplay mechanics, tropes and quests to learn about or show interest in such topics? I wonder too, if the average person truly takes this seriously as usual gamer habits, such as looking for the correct answer or choosing the most efficient path, kick in (I assume that the main target audience of this title would be especially those who do not usually engage with it?). And if such isn’t possible here, is it still a game? Why does it need to be? Can we not learn about the world anymore in non-gamey fashion?

Choice:Texas takes my intuitive misgivings a step further. It is majorly bizarre to me how one can make a game out of “the severe restrictions placed on women’s health care access in Texas”. – Are you serious? That is a game now? You have just lost me completely.

Just to make it plain once more, I get all the intention behind this and the need for education. I just honestly don’t see how applying the game label to such a matter can help. There is an almost insurmountable bias or thematic association I have with the term game and I am happy to bet so have most people. Even if videogames can serve multiple purposes or be designed therefor, historically speaking games have been pastimes, activities done for distraction or entertainment. They are short-lived, limited in severity and therefore trivial to a certain point. And that lies at the heart of the problem for me personally: game is trivializing. I don’t feel it serves anybody to trivialize the issue of abortion laws in Texas to a point where it can be packaged into neat units of gameplay (*).

I don’t see how evoking associations with gaming (and questing, gathering points or beating the game from there) aren’t counter-productive in this case. One could even suspect the creators of Choice:Texas have already had similar doubts or why keep emphasizing how this is “a very serious game”? To clarify: I absolutely think you can create things like comics or even interactive clips / stories etc. on political subjects but why call them games?

Maybe I am completely off here and I’m sure those who think so, will kindly let me know. As I said, I appreciate all underlying intention but to me there is a bad aftertaste of desperate marketing thrown in the whole mix, all other misgivings aside. I think games are a wonderful medium, vast and creative, diverse and powerful, but all considered I still believe some things should be worth saying and hearing without having to make a game out of them. Guess I’m just old fashioned that way.

(*)This is where I take the opportunity to recommend the Black Mirror trilogy, especially season one, episode two: “15 Million Merits”.

HOLDING ON TO YOUR ESCAPISM

Hello, my name is Syl and I am a screenshot junkie. I admit, I have a weakness for shiny fairytale worlds. Sometimes, I wish I lived there.

There have been times in my life when I have. Half of my childhood (literally) was spent lying on my bed, listening to audio cassettes (fifty-two, for which I will always thank my late grandfather) full of international folklore, mythology and fairytales, while reading the colorfully illustrated booklets. All day long I watched Jack climb the beanstalk, Sindbad fly giant birds and Odysseus fool the cyclops with sheep skins. When George killed the dragon, I was there with him. The secret backdoor in my wardrobe has been wide open all my life. Escaping to fantasy land always came easily to me. It’s what has kept me sane. I don’t want to imagine my life without stories growing up.

There’s nothing wrong with escapism. The key points of consideration, though, are what you’re escaping from, and where you’re escaping to. [source]

When less informed people talk about game-related escapism (for that still seems to be less established than the literary form), they only ever focus on the escape; the negative distancing, the social estrangement. Hardly ever do they understand that when we do, when we need to, we escape to a better place – maybe to the only, currently right place in our life. That it’s only there where we find shelter, safety and peace of mind. For a little while. And that it may save us from something. That it gives us hope.

The objection to fairy stories is that they tell children there are dragons. But children have always known there are dragons. Fairy stories tell children that dragons can be killed. [source]

I will never apologize for my escapism. I don’t know where I’d be without it. I will never be ashamed of what’s kept me alive. Things could have gone badly – instead, I found universal meaning, truth and understanding that reaches beyond the struggles of our everyday lives.

We read to know we are not alone. [C.S. Lewis]

Moving on to the interactive stories of video games was the natural progression of my childhood thirst for fairy tales. Discovering JRPGs around age 10 was a revelation. Later, MMOs finally allowed us to enter the worlds we’ve been day-dreaming about in Lord of the Rings or the Forgotten Realms in full capacity, as ourselves.

The rest is history. I love this genre – I love it for its immersive otherworldly-ness, its places of order and beauty where, for a little while, I can rest in peace and recharge my batteries. In a way, this is self-medicating. Bhagpuss commented elsewhere that ‘the reason games are “fun” is because they allow us to forget for a small time that we are all going to die one day and probably sooner than we would like to think’ and that may be a part of it too, the older we get. I do not fall down the rabbit hole as deeply as I used to nowadays, yet there are still moments in my daily life when I feel completely drained and in almost physical need to switch off and just play games for a while. There have been times when I neglected this part of myself for real life demands and that didn’t go well. I need to keep in touch with my wardrobe; it restores my sanity like nothing else does.

I wish that more people understood this because so many of us deal with the world in similar fashion. In the words of my old philosophy teacher: “the greatest gift we can give our children is to give them stories”. So keep yours close (and check out my new screenshots gallery!) and a happy Monday to all you MMO escapists out there. Hold on to that escapism for as long as you need it.

No New Songs For Guitar Hero Live This Week, More To Come At E3

Oh no! We don’t have a Tracklist Tuesday reveal this week! What will we do?! Wait another week I suppose.

So today Activision has posted on their blog that they will not be revealing any songs this week. Instead, they have decided to have a bigger reveal next week at E3. They also announced that attendees will also be able to try out the game’s GH Live mode at the convention. The GH Live mode is where you face live-action crowds that react to your performance. The other mode that won’t be playable at E3, GH TV, plays music videos in the background instead of the traditional performances. GH TV also works like an actual television channel where songs are constantly being played and players can jump right in at any moment.

We already know dozens of songs, but “hundreds” are said to be available at the game’s launch. Until then, check this link here for last week’s song announcements as well as the links to the previous song reveals. With E3 only one week away, stay tuned for all the new songs and features to be announced!

 

The Need For Realism in Military MMOs

For the most part, when players log into their favorite mmo games, they’re looking for an escape from reality. Online games offer the promise of grand adventure, where a person can be a mighty warrior, a crafty rogue, or a powerful wizard. This ability to shed the mundane world and engage in a flight of fancy is a powerful lure. Personally, I’m not particularly agile or have six-pack abs in real life, but my online avatar can be. Yet there is an area of online gaming where realism is not only important, but that it is vital. That area is the world of military mmos. There has been some debate over how realistic a military mmo should be, but I think the answer is pretty obvious. Allow me to explain the need for realism in military mmos.

I come from a background of realism in strategy and military games. My father and I used to play board games released by Avalon Hill back in the 1980s. For those that do not know, Avalon Hill was the premier maker of games that catered to players that craved the most realism possible. We once played a game of melee combat that had a rule book of over eighty pages. That’s quite a bit for determining how two guys swinging swords at each other will pan out. Their military games were meticulously researched, and players would argue in magazines over whether the statistics of a particular tank were done correctly. Fast forward to the mmofps games we have today that focus on battlefield conflict. You’ll see the same arguments being made by players over the tanks, planes, and weapons found in the various military mmos.

My belief that military mmo realism is vital is shared by many others that play such games. One reason why this is so is that these games are not designed to just be an arcade game, but rather they’re designed to accurately simulate the conditions of the battlefields and the various forces that fight upon them. When you’re recreating World War II tank battles, you don’t have the Stuart light tank to be able to take out King Tiger tanks with ease. The Stuart tank was an extremely light tank that was outclassed and was eventually replaced while the King Tiger tank was a beast on the battlefield and was greatly feared. The front armor of the King Tiger was almost invulnerable, which necessitated flanking maneuvers and superior tactics to take them on. This realism needs to be imported into the online games so players can accurately use weapon systems within the game as they worked in the real world. Just look at the sheer number of vehicles in World of Tanks and their differing attributes. Some tanks were able to mount more powerful cannons whilst others were far more agile and quick. (The argument that World of Tanks favors Russian vehicles does not have a bearing on the general discussion of military mmo realism.) The same is true for other weapons, such as planes. The Japanese Zero was a good plane when WWII started, but it was soon outclassed by planes that were newly developed. Some planes were able to climb much higher than others without stalling or turn in a sharper radius, thus giving them an important advantage in aerial combat.

Realism in military mmos is incredibly important as warfare is measured in innovations between offense and defense. This is easily seen in tanks, but it is also applicable to other battlefield facets like planes and ships. Weapons would be developed to better destroy enemy tanks, and the opposing side would then work to create better armor and perhaps improve engines or maneuverability to overcome the newly developed weapons. This, of course, would lead to the other side then working to create even better weapons, and the cycle would continue until the end of the conflict.

This back and forth is vital in military mmo realism. Players seek to continually upgrade their weapons, armor, and support systems to become more effective. Armored Warfare just put out a developer diary just a few weeks ago where they discussed the use of different types of ammo in the game and their impact. This realism can also be seen in the vast number of upgrades that a player may have available for their vehicles or units. As wars progressed, innovations were made in every facet of weaponry, including engines, optics, communications, and more.

Lastly, realism in military mmos is necessary as most games try to recreate the battles and campaigns of previous wars. The most recent example is War Thunder that introduced their WW2 Chronicles that allows players to take part in the most iconic engagements of the war over a course of special events. Military gamers love to try their hand at historical conflicts to see if they could do better when calling the shots. Whether the player is taking on the role of a tank commander, leading Roman legions, or facing down Napoleon, having realistic conditions and units is paramount when recreating history and experimenting to see if it could be altered.

Can there be too much realism in military mmos? The answer to that question is yes. The thing to consider that whatever military game that you’re playing (mmo fps, strategy, or standard mmo), the game still has to be playable. It is possible for a game to become mired in too much realism that bogs down the game. A balance has to be struck between realism and playability, and there are a number of games that do so quite well. If you want to play a game set in WWII, ancient Greece, or the American Civil War, then ensuring the presence of military mmo realism in paramount to having a great game.

Dear Esther

Dear Esther is probably one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever played. I know it’s hard to categorize it as a game because lets face it, you don’t actually DO anything except wander around desolate locations playing through partial story snippets, but it is a game none the less, and one that I really enjoy. I listened to the dialog as I walked along exploring, wondering if I could get into the little nooks and crannies I found, wondering what the story was of the island, what the sadness was about, how I would have reacted. Feeling, in other words. Yes, this is a game that is all about feeling.

Everything from the graphics, to the music, oozes out a story that you get to piece together and think about.

You can check out some screenshots from the game I’ve posted on my Steam profile (under the username Stargrace) or if you follow me on G+ I’ve posted them there for people to view as well. There were moments during the dialog that I just stood still and listened and looked around me thinking because I found the situation profound. It’s incredibly rare that a video game has that sort of effect on the player, and I’m very glad I gave this one a try.

Of course, these types of games are not for everyone (just one of the perks of us all being different types of gamers) but if you’re looking to get away from combat and the constant wars that go on in video games I would highly suggest you give it a try.