It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with you, Sushians, to ask the age old question: what are you playing? We’re in-between bouts of big releases right now, so it’s a good time to take stock and see how your 2014 is shaping up.
Personally I’ve been playing plenty of Hearthstone: Heroes of WarCraft, Blizzard’s new online collectible card game (or CCG for the purpose of brevity). This is the first CCG I’ve gotten into in earnest and I’m starting to realize just how freaking bad I am at them. I’ve won one Ranked match in Hearthstone and other players regularly take me apart. I’m still learning the ropes though, so I’m confident I’ll at least get one other win soon.
Other than that I tried out a couple conversion mods for Sins of a Solar Empire. There’s the always classic Star Wars mod Sins of a Galactic Empire but I also tried out Dawn of the Reapers, a Mass Effect-themed one. Dawn of the Reapers is in very early alpha but the Reaper models are in there as well as most of the Council/Cerberus ships. I’m definitely looking forward to the end product on that one.
Grand Theft Auto Online launched 10 days ago and it only now seems to have reached a stable state, much to the dismay of people with amnesia. For the rest of us, we all knew it would be a disaster, as we have seen this movie many times before and starring companies who have far more experience and know-how with online games than Rockstar does. Hell, if Blizzard can’t get it right with Diablo III, what chance does anyone else have?
That being said, it is pretty messed up that we can’t expect to play something we bought for on the day it launches: from Simcity to Call of Duty, the first day and even week can be a symphony of frustration to any gamer who dares dip their toe into the online world. How does this make you feel? Do you get angry at this or have you come to a place of serene acceptance, as I have? Are these just the breaks or should companies go out of their way to compensate their customers, as Rockstar is doing now with the bribe, I mean, gift of $500,000 for GTA Online? Should they stagger allowing certain timezones access or would that make you angry knowing that people on the East Coast are already playing while you have to wait a few more hours? Speak now or forever hold your peace!
Sometimes you play a video game and manage to earn $10,000. Oh wait, I guess that never happens, unless you happen to be Diablo 3 player WishboneTheDog, who’s done just that since the release of the real money auction house to Blizzard’s newest dungeon crawler.
How did WishboneTheDog manage to do this? Why, by studying the economy of the game’s marketplace and treating it sort of like the stock market, apparently. Of course, that’s an oversimplification of a process I can’t even begin to comprehend (I’m bad at math), but we’ll just pretend like that’s all it was.
If you’re actually interested in hearing more about the specifics of how this player pulled off such a lucrative feat in one of the year’s biggest games, check out his Reddit AMA, where he details his process, his transactions and his thoughts on video game economies. It’s wild to hear that things like this are happening every day in the games we play — heck, even Valve hired themselves an economist to deal with Team Fortress 2.
What do you guys think about this? Cool? Too nerdy? What do you think about the potential for a video game economy that can actually support multiple players financially? Go!
Oh, Diablo 3, will you make it out of the strange lands of WTF-dom? Blizzard’s massively popular RPG may be a success with critics, but the design choices being made even after launch have left players more than a little outraged.
The new Diablo 3 patch 1.0.3 has changed many things for the game, but one of the new side-effects is that purchases of Diablo 3 through Battle.Net will take up to 72 hours to process. Yes, you read that right: copies of Diablo 3 bought online will restrict players to the Starter Edition of the game (limited at level 13 and Act One to the Skeleton King, no Auction House and no online play with owners of the full edition) until the transaction is processed.
Blizzard has tried to do some damage control saying that it will normally take less than 72 hours for the majority, but this turn of events is incredibly strange. It’s not made clear why exactly the purchasing process has to go down this way, but one thing is certain: people are not happy.
What do you guys think about this move? Most of us already have Diablo 3, but what about those of you who are holding out? Will this affect your purchase or is it not really a big deal? Is 72 hours too long a wait considering that you can get to the Skeleton King in a few hours?
The long-awaited day is here, Sushi-ans! After 12 long years, the wait for Blizzard’s epic hack-n-slash dungeon crawler is here, and Diablo fans all over the world can slay the minions of hell together. Diablo 3 is upon us, which means that some of us are sitting at work itching to play.
My plans is to get home tonight, purchase Diablo 3 and start all the pre-loading business as soon as possible. And who knows, maybe I’ll have a chance to hop in for some co-op with my brothers before bed. In terms of characters, I fully intend to roll a Monk. After my time with the beta, that class seems to be what I prefer over the others, and gave me the most satisfying skills/gameplay combination.
What about you guys? Who out there plans to pick up Diablo 3? What character are you going to roll? Go!
In a move that’s sure to incense Jay Mohr fans the world over, PC gaming giant Blizzard announced today that it will not be holding its annual celebration of its franchises down in Anaheim, California. The convention, which has not missed a year since 2006, is usually the platform Blizzard uses to announce its upcoming projects. With a next-gen MMO rumored to be waiting in the wings, many people had hoped that 2012 would be the year that we would first see “Titan”, but it appears that this isn’t going to be the case.
With a game from each of the company’s major properties hitting this year, Blizzard has said that they’re a little too busy to make BlizzCon 2012 a reality. While this certainly is disappointing, the prospect of seeing not only Diablo 3, but also StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm this year is more than enough to make up for it (there’s some Kung Fu Panda based WoW expansion too, I guess).
Blizzard will still be putting on the Battle.Net World Championship for StarCraft 2, which will take place in Asia closer to the end of the year, so we’re not even going to miss watching StarCraft pros beat the stuffing out of each other.
So what do you guys think of BlizzCon’s 2012 absence? Do you just want to see the games finally be released? Should Blizzard have held their convention, schedule be damned?
It’s hard to believe that anyone could try and out-do the mammoth MMO that is World of Warcraft, even Blizzard itself. But already Blizzard COO Paul Sams has been quoted, saying they are going to do just that with their new MMO codenamed “Titan”.
“I believe it’s the most ambitious thing we’ve ever attempted, and I feel like we have set our company up to succeed on that. We have some of our most talented and most experienced developers on that team. Many of the people that built World of Warcraft are full time on that other team.”
While this doesn’t spell the death of World of Warcraft it does lead to some questions as the highly experienced and talented staff that created the most successful MMO gears forwards on its new project. Sam’s also said that World of Warcraft still has an experienced staff watching over the game, just key members were moving on to the new project. The quote that really interests me is this next one… Continue reading Eclipsing the World (of Warcraft)
The Sundering has begun, people! One of the surest signs of the apocalypse, as foretold in the forbidden tome the Necronomicon, is the debut of a Blizzard title on home consoles. Long has the realm of this developer been the PC world, but according to a recent uncovering by Gamasutra, the winds of change are blowing.
While it’s safe to say that this is firmly in the rumor category, job postings by Blizzard point pretty strongly towards a console version of the upcoming hack-and-slash RPG Diablo 3. Normally these sorts of things are kind of ambiguous, but the phrase “prior experience in console game development” with an “extensive knowledge of Diablo” is kind of specific. Blizzard has never confirmed nor denied the possibility of Diablo 3 showing up on the Xbox 360 or the PS3, so keep that in mind when you pick up the torches and pitch forks on your way to California.
To editorialize a bit here, I’m sure that the fervent PC-playing masses are going to blow this thing out of proportion and claim that Diablo 3 will be “dumbed down” for the console players, but the more people who get to play Diablo, the better. I played the junk out of Diablo 2, and in this day and age, it’s more economically viable for people to have a console than an up-to-date gaming rig. I’m sure that the PC version of Diablo will be handled with due care by Blizzard. They know which side their bread is buttered on.
What do you guys think? Of all of Blizzard’s franchises, isn’t Diablo 3 the best suited for a console transition? If it came out on the Xbox 360 or PS3, would you get it? Doesn’t Gamasutra sound like a dirty word?
I know that World of Warcraft ain’t too popular around these here parts, but there’s no denying that once your subscriber numbers and gross monthly income surpasses most small nations, you’re definitely on to something. Blizzard’s MMORPG juggernaut has been gaining steam since it launched in 2004, and now, six years later, it shows no signs of slowing down. Blizzard just put the cinematic intro to the newest expansion, Cataclysm, up on the YouTube account, and good lord is it both gorgeous and terrifying:
The most amazing thing is that all of Blizzard’s incredible cinematics are done in house, not sourced out to a third-party studio like Blur (best known for The Old Republic trailers). While Blizz’s movies have been incredible in the past, this one seems to take them to a new plateau. I’ve never been more impressed by their videos, so kudos to them for continuing to raise the bar. We must have a few WoW players on the site, so can anyone share their thoughts on Cataclysm? Looking forward to the end of the world as you know it? The game launches December 7, 2010.
I’m not going to mince words on this one, because if you’ve been even remotely interested in PC gaming since the late 1990s then you’ve probably played StarCraft. Blizzard may have fed their other RTS series to the MMO meat-grinder, but, at least for now, StarCraft remains as the gold standard of old-school strategy games. On the other hand, it is 2010, and the strategy genre has seen some impressive leaps in the area of both gameplay and story-telling mostly thanks to Relic and their excellent Dawn of War and Company of Heroes series. Can the StarCraft formula still hold up, even all these years later? Continue reading Review: StarCraft 2
So, StarCraft 2 is finally out as of last week. You’ve been playing it, I’ve been playing it, and Eddy wishes he’s been playing it. Now that we’ve had a good amount of time to digest Blizzard’s long-in-the-making sci-fi RTS follow up, I thought I’d start a little topic where we could discuss our thoughts on the single and multiplayer portions and maybe start a little Battle.net group so you can wail on me as often as you like.
Starting with the single player, I have to say that the game is very, very solid in its design. Blizzard has been tweaking and polishing the balance on all of their games for a long time, and it really shows in the tightness of the units and how they counter-act against each other. While you do get access to a wider variety of troops in the single player game, they’ve all been assigned a specific role much like their multiplayer counter-parts. There are no “god-units” here, just one that might happen to do better in a given mission. While so far the designs of the missions themselves haven’t really stood out, I’ve been able to do fairly well and I haven’t become frustrated with impossible goals or cheap AI tactics.
Between missions, you can explore Jim Raynor’s battlecruiser The Hyperion. Along the way, you’ll stock the ship with various characters who will aid you in your quest or provide you with missions and upgrades. Exploring your ship is a cross between Mass Effect and an old-school point and click adventure game in that you can talk to or click on anyone and anything, but it’s all done without ever taking direct control of Jim. I liked this part of the game a lot as it added a lot of personality to characters we’re used to seeing from a top-down view. The ability to augment units with Protoss and Zerg tech is also a welcome addition because of how it changes the dynamic of the units. Again, it won’t make any one unit over-powered but the upgrades do give you a nice edge. Like I’ve mentioned before I’m finding the mission design a little samey, but it is improving the farther I get into the game. Once the story starts rolling, you get hooked pretty easily.
Now, I’m going to let you guys go to town on multiplayer, because StarCraft has always had a steep learning curve. I’m not exactly terrible at the game, but a competent player could wipe the floor with me easily. I’ve been doing a few comp stomps with a buddy, and those have been great fun in addition to letting me practice my build orders and hotkey commands. So what do you guys think of StarCraft 2?
Blizzard sure loves to slip little jokes into their games, and StarCraft 2 is no exception. I’m making my way through the campaign at the moment and I’ve already spotted a few, such as the Night Elf dancing in the cantina and the Metroid cameo. One of Blizzard’s other successful games, World of Warcraft (you may have heard of it) features a fun little command called /dance where you can make your in-game avatar do a few slick moves depending on your species. Looks like the company’s sci-fi RTS isn’t immune either. The marines are jacked up and good to go, and some user captured them doing their routine:
Pretty hilarious, and very in keeping with Blizzard’s sense of humor. Like I mentioned, I’m making my way through the single-player game and I’m finding it solid so far, even if the mission designs are a little vanilla. How about you guys? What’s your StarCraft experience like so far?
Today is the day we’ve been waiting for since what feels like forever; the day that Blizzard deigns to grace us with the most hotly anticipated Real-Time-Strategy game in recent memory, StarCraft 2. Well, to be accurate, the first part of the StarCraft 2 trilogy, the Terran-centric Wings of Liberty campaign. I won’t split hairs though, because this is a monumental occasion for gamers of all types. More than any other game I know, StarCraft has a fervent legion of followers; even self-professed “non-gamer” friends of mine have been looking forward to this. Now that the game is finally out, how many of you are playing, and how many of you are waiting patiently for your copy to download? In celebration, check out the beautiful Ghosts of the Past trailer:
So, what’s your first stop: campaign or multiplayer?
Anonymity on the internet is an important tool, even if it allows every single user on YouTube to type out the stupidest crap known to man without fear of repercussion. While we all get upset from time to time at the vitriol spouted from the internet, it’s mostly harmless and said by those who don’t really know better. However, most of us are rational people who can shrug off a random troll’s abuse. As with all segments of the population, there are those who can’t be responsible with information and use the internet as a vessel to play out their sadistic tendencies.
This is why protecting your identity is vital, because we live in an age of information where everything from your favorite band to your bank account can be accessed by someone with the inclination and the right know-how. Since we’re all pretty guarded against identity theft and stalking, Blizzard’s latest move has caused quite a furor on their forums. Just to bring you up to speed, the renown MMO/RTS developer has stated that, come StarCraft 2, forum posts will require users to submit their real name via the “RealID” system. Naturally, Blizzard’s users crawled out of the woodwork to protest this change, and some of the points they make are valid. Several female users expressed their concern for cyber stalking, and a lot of people voiced their opinion on the stigma associated with playing World of Warcraft and what would happen if their employers found out.
To placate the masses, Blizzard employee Bashiok decided to tell people his real name and within minutes all his personal information spilled onto the internet like tauntaun guts. While this act is mostly out of ire, it shows just what people are capable of with such little information. What do you guys think of this move by Blizzard? I’m sure it was put forward with the best of intentions but it seems to have backfired. Should you force users to give up their real names if they’re already paying you for your services?
Update: Looks like this idea got scrapped. Chalk up a win for for the forum goers. I guess Blizz should get some kudos for actually listening to fan feedback. Now, if we could only get LAN support.
I think if we tallied up the amount of “WTF” posts we’ve done on GamerSushi, I would imagine that StaCraft II would probably walk away with the proverbial crown of shame. Whether you’re paying for the game in three easy installments, or losing out on LAN gaming, Blizzard’s “it will get here eventually” game is building up a lot of strange press.
I think that this newest piece of SC2-related news might take the cake, though. If there’s one country in the world that loves themselves some StarCraft, it’s South Korea. Honestly, your country has to love a game for the developer to reveal the trailer for one of the most hotly anticipated titles in recent history there. StarCraft is a national pastime in Korea, but it looks like the sequel might not make it to that status.
The Korean Ratings Board has slapped the sci-fi RTS with an Adults-Only rating, citing violence, foul language and depiction of drug use as the reasons. Honestly, how violent is this game going to get? Typically, Real Time Strategy games are played from a top-down perspective, so I can’t image the gameplay being too over the top. Perhaps the game’s cut-scenes are to blame?
How do you guys feel about this? Is the anyone out there playing the Beta that might be able to comment on the violence issue?
If you didn’t know, the StarCraft II closed beta is officially live, with thousands of eager RTS gamers gobbling up the goodness in what is totally not a double entendre. While I was not a huge player of the first game, I know that we’ve got some die hard PC faithful among our ranks at GamerSushi, so I wanted to show you some of the footage that’s floating around these here InterWebs. So far, the game looks like a lot of fun to play, but that’s coming from somebody that doesn’t know a whole lot about the franchise. What do you guys think?
As we all know, the various species of the StarCraft universe will be getting their own complete campaign spread across three separate titles that will fully comprise StarCraft II. With the Terran campaign “Wings of Liberty” set for release sometime this year (hopefully), we all assumed that we’d have to wait until 2011 or later to play as the Protoss, but this may not be the case.
A Blizzard Community Team member confirmed on the official Battle.Net forums that the psychic aliens will get a small campaign separate from the Terran missions in StarCraft II. The Protoss portion of “Wings” is expected to be much shorter than the Terran sections and will only feature a small sampling of units and buildings, so it doesn’t exactly set one up for multiplayer. The main purpose of the mini-campaign is to break up the pacing and add a little variety to the single player offering.
What are your opinions on this new development in the seemingly never-ending stream of pre-release StarCraft news? It’s great that Blizzard continues to add new features to the game (even when they take essential ones out), but I’m of the opinion that StarCraft II needs to hit in 2010 or the sci-fi RTS will take a major hurting in the PR department. How do you guys feel, though? Is StarCraft II going to be worth the wait, and are you going to pick it up?
If you’re setting out to make a successful MMO, I imagine that there’s one undercurrent of thought running throughout the entire design phase: be like World of Warcraft. It seems like a sound plan, seeing as how that game pumps out more golden Ferraris than a Twilight movie release, but it may backfire on you sooner than you think.
According to Blizzard Lead Producer Shane Dabiri, more WoW clones are not what MMORPG fans want right now. While he says that Blizzard finds it flattering that so many companies want to emulate their success with World of Warcraft (imitation is the most sincere form of adulation, after all), trying to pull the same maneuvers may not lead to the big hit that most developers hope for.
He goes on to say that people who have invested a lot of time in Warcraft don’t want to do the same things in a different game. As a Warcraft player myself, I couldn’t agree more. Before I moved over to Blizzard’s digital demolisher I used to play Star Wars Galaxies, which, while it had its problems, was a fairly unique and engaging game. All that changed when the development team took a look at Warcraft and said “we need to do that!”
Soon after that all the hybrid classes were gone, the economy got thrown out the window and Jedi ran all over the place like a herd of ill-disciplined children. Star Wars Galaxies tried so hard to be World of Warcraft but fell so far short it was almost embarrassing. Game after game has bowed to the mighty MMO, but there are few titles on the horizon that may challenge the market by being different. The upcoming Star Wars MMO by BioWare is my current favorite to at least show some decent competition, but I can’t pretend that DC Online isn’t making a strong bid either.
What do you guys think? Has World of Warcraft ruined the MMO scene, or will future MMOs learn a lesson and try something new?
Well, this is a fine how-do-you-do. Looks like Blizzard’s plan to charge for custom maps is starting to make a bit more sense. This beast of a map editor was unveiled at BlizzCon, and is probably the most powerful editing tool ever released alongside a game.
Besides being able to make your vanilla strategy maps, the map editor demo given at the Starcraft 2 panel displayed its robust abilities by showing off an Action-RPG and a Galaga-type shooter. StarCraft: Ghost was even brought back to haunt the audience thanks to the fact that the main character’s model is included in the editor.
This is really exciting news in my opinion, but what do you guys think? Are you willing to pay money for some LittleBig StarCraft action, or do you think that maps made by the community should be doled out for free?
Blizzard, Blizzard. You seem so content to make it into the WTF parties these days. While lately I’ve been upset with the amount of whining and fussing that gamers tend to go on and on about, I can’t help but sympathize a little on this one.
As of right now, it seems that there is no planned LAN support for StarCraft II, the long-awaited sequel to one of the greatest RTS games of all freaking time. I find this to be a little curious, especially seeing as how nearly every LAN party I’ve ever seen or heard of has some folks ready to drop in on some StarCraft-ing action. To me, this reads like a calculated move to force users onto Battle.net, which reportedly might come with a fee this time around.
LAN support seems like a no-brainer to me, especially on a multiplayer game like this. Looks like you’ll have to alter the game just to play at a LAN party. Bad move, Blizzard. You continue to develop the perception that you like to throw your fans under your collective bus.