Draft Necromancy

Blog Therapy – Drafts Purge – Part 6

This series is when I get a bunch of draft posts left in the background and I feel compelled to clean them out. And by clean them out, I mean talk about what my point was when I was thinking of writing it, whether or not it’s worth continuing the thought (or not) and why, and the delete it, complete it, or leave it on the back-burner for a future date. So far in the series I have only parked one post to redo in the future and I actually want to adopt it as a pet project. But that is a post for another day.

 My other posts in this series are Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4  ,  Part 5 

Mad Money (12-9-2016)

I have a love / hate fascination with WoW tokens and this post was the beginnings of exploring that. Here is the snippet, which is kind of funny:

I continue to have an odd fascination with the WoW token. I understand true markets and how market forces work but continued to be confused and curious with The WoW token itself. I can’t understand what is driving the price changes. I even have a Token price tracker on my phone. Here is the history of the WoW Token by all time price.

You can see a slow climb from 20,000 gold to near highs of 60,000 currently. The dips are also particularly fascinating – prices rose steadily until Legion launch and then dropped to a new low

The funny part is the WoW token is currently at 130,000 gold(ish) down from a high of 241,000 earlier in the year.  The reason why I struggle with the token in general is that because it is not regulated, there is no impetus on Blizzard to bow to true market demand / forces. They can unilaterally set the price at whatever they want, and can just create supply from thin air as need be – so I am extremely sceptical of the validity of the price and how player choice and decision can impact that. Due to the fact they have monetary value, am I incorrect? Do they have to stick to a standards as set out by the Stock market in the USA? Is there a resource on this so I can take off my tin hat and see there is some legitimacy to it? Of course, due to the date and the prices I was talking about I am going to let this post plunge like the DOW and NASDAQ will do in 2019.

Stop Me if You Think (9-6-2017)

I had to add this one, for the irony of the post title. That was it. I think I was going to do a play on a Morrissey song, but there was no finish to the sentence, no text placeholders, nothing. And just reading that is probably a good test for me. Just stop me if you think. Period. Which means I should stop, right? Melancholy-ing destroying this post as I ponder my place in the Blogosphere 

Warframe – 20 Hour Impressions (10-17-2017)

I used to put a lot more text and base thoughts into my drafts to save for later and all I had included in this one was:

Codex is hidden behind scanning, of which I can’t figure out how to use on my PC – even when googling and checking out

I loved the idea of the Codex in the game but was having a really hard time sorting through  how to scan properly. Until I found the right article, and I ended up getting a gadget that I could load up 200 scans into it and it would Auto scan as I fought. The only downside to this was that sometimes I would kill things too fast before it could scan, and sometimes it would run out of scan-ability that I would have to reload at the end of the mission.  Warframe was a game I put a LOT of time into and loved a lot of things about it. Will be curious if Anthem can take it’s place for me. The learning curve was (is) steep and in pauses between other games I have played I did try to foray back – and hit a few roadblocks. Sad part is that I almost have completely forgot everything about what to do and where to go, and since that mountain is so hard to climb it is extremely challenging to even think about getting back into it. They just launched another expansion which makes me feel even further behind (I didn’t even GET to the last expansion planet). I still cheer for this title due to the happy balance of micro-transactions it has – its the darling of the industry for that right now. Killed, like my desire to reboot this game

Ostrich Burgers : Destiny 2 (10-25-2017)

Continuing my poor draft post design this was another little title that I think I know the idea behind the title, albeit completely misguided. And little text to support it.

The Destiny 2 PC Launch happened and the internet is breaking. Not because of how awesome the game is, but because apparently many people are getting banned, permanently, for “no apparent reason”.

This post was subsequently solved to the tune of not admitting what was doing it but I always wish that companies would call out the people who do lie on these. There have been some cases in the past where devs have done just that, and showing who is banned and why is a great step to be transparent with the community and to also build a support network around the company for when they do ban. Everyone likes bans, except the person being banned. And, I am one of those people what would err on the side of the ban being more likely to give a false positive (with a system to correct and identify quickly) than to have a system that is too lax and lets cheaters through the gates. Recently in a Battlefield 5 game there was a guy clearly using a wallhack glitch as he was 76-0 before people found out that he was shooting through walls in a very safe place. Destiny 2 is still the only game I want to play that I can’t due to how terrible the premise/story is that it is on principal now. Banning this post, and telling the world.

(no title) (10-28-2017)

I was still playing Warframe, and this was the text I had written:

Hattip to the Warframe Reddit:

Not sure if I need to say much else.

I still don’t. Meta-critic is broken as a place for people to review bomb. It’s too bad we don’t have a place to decide on whether or not to take a chance on a game… it’s the opposite of Flixster in many ways – which seems to work – as fun and blockbustery movies often get panned by the critics but fawned over by the public – and I always trust the user rating on those ones. For some reason gamers are unable to divorce a game from the social issues they may or may not feel is represented / not represented (blah blah blah). Judge a game by the game, enough already. I think I did a post about this already, so giving this post a 0/10 for it’s SJW stance.

Show and Tell : Limbo (12-05-2017)

One of the really fun things about Warframe is that your main character can control so many different kinds of Warframes that it is a very “alt-friendly” game. Since I was really enjoying the game I started doing a Show and Tell series about my favourite frames. Here is what I wrote about Limbo.

Limbo is the gentleman Warframe. It has to be true, because, well, a top hat! From my understanding he is also the only Warframe that has interchangeable hats as an option. You do need to look good while you kill, right? Limbo is a quest frame – you get him by completing a quest chain (but still need to build).  I had a very strange run with Limbo leveling him – I went from complete confusion, to mild frustration, to a degree of joy in sorting through his playstyle and abilities. He is definitely  Warframe that proves Digital Extremes is not afraid to try new and interesting things with their mechanics. Those mechanics, however, make gameplay a very intriguing option with overall frustration for non-grouped players – or players unfamiliar with the mechanics.

Here is his reveal video, to high level the concept before I go into greater depth.

The Rift mechanic is fun. Hitting a single key can remove myself from danger – but I am still visible. This means that when I am in the rift enemies see me, and try to attack me, but they can’t hurt me.  Limbo’s abilities push and pull friends and enemies into the rift (against their will) and that is where frustrating play can happen. Oh, you just unleashed your super damaging ability on the big bad boss? Sorry – I just banished them to the Rift so that damage is wasted. But here, let me put YOU into the rift with me and we can now 2v1 him since we can ignore all other enemies.

I didn’t finish the post, or the series, but I still really loved playing his interesting Rift mechanic when I was a player. I’ll let this one rest as is as well.

That cleans out any and all drafts I had from prior to 2018 – and as with my other posts on the subjects, it feels great to have it all cleaned up and can face 2019 with only 2018 drafts to fix. Which will come at a later date. Isn’t there some saying… cleanliness is next to bloginess? Something like that?

Pronouns

This post was originally started about 10 months ago – I found it deep in my “drafts” list (it is actually the oldest draft I have left). I sometimes resurrect these posts under my “Draft Necro” series because hey, not all posts deserve to rot away in draft folder hell. I typically preamble them in italics like this to explain why I started the post, and what happened. On this one, I read a developer interview and he used the word “I” so much I was pulling my hair out. That is what inspired the post! It sat in draft hell for so long because I couldn’t recall who I was reading about and lost the link to the article (normally I would email myself the link). So at the end of the day, I had a premise I wanted to share but no supporting material. In this final incantation of the post, I used myself getting a business award as the example, but it completely lost it’s video game slant. I really wanted to find that article because those who have read me for a long time know how I feel about “rockstar” developers and this smelled of that. Anyhow, the post ended up a lot weaker than I had wanted without the video game tie in so it sat… and sat. Now I am freeing it in all of it’s mediocrity!

I have a friend who is a consultant, and I recently saw him spoke at a convention. It was a smaller one, and a pretty “warm and cozy” environment. As he was talking about his past achievements to the group there was one word that kept coming up that I heard over and over, and it is the one word that sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me whenever a business person uses it. That word, is of course, “I”. Now, unless you are working in a true company of one and not enlisting the help of any individual or organization, then “I” is okay. But that is the only time it is okay. When he asked how his presentation came across I told him that he used “I” far too often and that leaders don’t use that word when talking about accomplishments. Business leaders only should use “I” when taking personal responsibility for an accountability or a mistake. It is also okay to use the word “I” when taking accountability for a mistake the team made that the leader was ultimately responsible for – that is also good leadership, showing that they will take the heat for a team member.

He understood and appreciated the sentiment. Nothing is more disappointing than hearing a business leader speak about his accomplishments when he has a team of 10s, 100s, or 1000s. Those people typically never use the better word, the truth, “we”.  “We” should be common tongue for people in business, things are never done on their own or in their own petri dish. It’s a big, interconnected world out there. They also tend to use the other “worse” word business people can use, “they”. I did my job, “they” didn’t do theirs. “I” and “they” are two words any aspiring entrepreneur should lose fast, or at least find the right and proper spaces to use.

The one problem  with all of this pronoun discussion is how genuine the leader is. Some corporate leaders are well trained and say “we” all the time, when deep down inside the honestly believe that the success of their 50 year old brand that has 10,000 employees is the decisions they personally make at breakfast. It is neat to try and read through the lines and see the egos behind companies and their successes. (Good to Great, by Jim Collins, talks a lot about “rockstar” CEOs and their effect on the companies they parachute into).  I was also curious if one could find patterns in people based on successes and outlooks. For example, before a launch, are the bigwigs saying “I, I, I” and during launch saying “we, we we,” and after things didn’t launch so smoothly say “they, they, they?” – I did a bunch of google fu and didn’t find that so was very happy. Either way, I spend a lot of team reading how people say things, not just what they say.

Moral of the post? Share the wins, be humble, be good to people. Everyone works hard – the “leader” always gets too much of the credit when things go well. This tends to be true in any type of group setting.

Star Citizen – SERIOUSLY

continuing my ‘intriguing’ web series of pulling old draft posts from the grave and completing them whether they are relevant or not (this one is! (I think)). This one I started in January – naught 6 months old!

39M in funding? (43.5 at the time of this draft necro..) That’s crazy. Nuts, even. I don’t spend a lot of time on Kickstarter and I have supported a total of two projects. One, Camelot Unchained, has less to do with the faith in Jacobs to be in charge (again) but more for nostalgia’s sake. DAOC was my game for many years. I honestly have some faith, but not a ton.

The second was supporting Tesh. I try to be a supportive community member and this one also had the added bonus of getting something cool for being supportive. To be truthful though, I probably wouldn’t have supported the tinker dice on the dice alone. That isn’t to put the project down one bit! I’m just saying for me, Tesh was the driving factor to support. If I loved cool dice that may have been the factor. Regardless – Star Citizen is a clear voice of the people on a game a lot of people have asked for for a long time.

I loved the Wing Commander series and also Privateer. While not related, I also very much enjoyed the X-Wing fighter series. So I definitely have a space ace kind of vibe going on here. This naturally had me do a lot of research on the upcoming title and I am intrigued  – DEFINITELY intrigued. But, like many kickstarters the stretch goals are starting to lose me. I have so much distrust in big name designers making their comeback.

sorry – couldn’t resist!

The constant fundraising is as well. I know you can never have enough money when developing games but just looking at their main web page with the contests, video shoots, etc. etc. it seems as though they are becoming a professional money-raising organization as much as a game design one. More game making, less fundraising, ok? The good news is that their stretch goals stop at 45,000,000 and we’ll see if they add more after that. The bad *feeling* to me is how much of the money they have already raised has been used to raise more money versus making the game? I’m not saying that isn’t smart, but perhaps they should run a new Kickstarter for the PR side of the game. (note:joking/sarcasm – I know promotion (often shameless) is a huge part of gaming. I also know that it is a necessary evil to help push the box sales. I think the mandate is already clear here though.)

Chances are that answer is zero money “wasted” on promotion, and since it is a self-published title that they are working on from a legendary game designer (Chris Roberts) this money is critical for the whole process. I have been pretty tough on Brad McQuaid in the past and every other former rockstar designer (Jacobs, Garriott) who tried to make triumphant returns on their name alone have failed pretty good. This is Mr. Roberts’ kick at the can and with the freedom he has from the rounds of fundraising he won’t have a publisher/external pressure/zombies to blame if he fails.

Of course, and with the other famous designers, I want him to succeed. I was an early Tabula Rasa tester and thought it had a chance to be a niche success – but Rockstar Game Designers don’t do niche! I beta tested Vanguard but saw the chinks early although I held hope. Bhagpuss still heralds the game as one of his faves. I made a now silly prediction that Warhammer Online would get and hold 1,000,000 subscribers based on the beta experience. I still think it would have hit that if they preserved what made the beta experience awesome, but that turned out to be impossible. The irony of that prior linked article about the 1,000,000 subs is talking about Copernicus and how perhaps Curt Shilling could be uninfluenced by the market and actually build a game for gamers.  Yet another example of a Rockstar Style CEO/Designer and a huge flop.

I need to stop predicting while I am ahead. Wait, I’ve never been ahead on my predictions. I just need to stop.

Chris Roberts is the face of the space gaming and exploration and while he has been gone from gaming for quite some time (for the most part) before Star Citizen, he is the last standing hero designer with a shot at a repeat. I am going to watch in quiet anticipation from the sidelines on this one.

Help us Obi-Chris-Wan-Roberts, you’re our only hope.