Tuesday, August 22, 2017

EA/DICE's Battlefront II Isn't Looking That Good

Recently, EA & DICE released this trailer for Star Wars Battlefront II. As with the others, this is very well done and did much to build up a hype train.

Some motherfuckers at EA and DICE need to go back to Business School, because they keep fucking up the fundamental rule of Expectations: If you cannot fulfill the expectations that you set, then your customers will take your failure for betrayal and desert you. Yesterday, at a press event at Gamescom, this failure of expectation again appeared.

Yeah, that's actual gameplay footage from the Gamescom event. You had several issues present, but theose that will wreck this if it's not fixed before launch are the following:

  • The fighters aren't fast enough. Go back and watch that trailer again. Go watch clips of the movies, or of Rebels and The Clone Wars (plenty on YouTube alone), where dogfighting happens. Do you not see that speed in action? Compare that to this gameplay footage, and you can see that they're slow and sluggish all around. I know why this is the case: the actual gameplay arena is too damn small to properly recreate the desired experience. They pussied out, again. Attack speed is way faster than what we see here, which is cruising speed at best. Don't tell me that this can't be done; it has been done, decades ago, with the X-Wing/TIE Fighter series. Someone's either cheaping out, or is too incompetent to do it properly.
  • The fighters' specs are WRONG. Bombers are NOT flying tanks, yet that's what we're seeing (especially the TIE Bomber), and some dumbfuck is going to go all "Muh Gameplay!" as the excuse. Motherfucker, that's not how bombers works, and your own source material directly contradicts this bullshit time and again. There's also way too much ordinance flying around; this should be far more about gunnery than missile trajectories, as it uses pre-Beyond Visual Range dogfighting as its inspiration. More Dakka, Less Itano Circus. Let's hope the Clone Wars stuff isn't so bad.
  • Not enough reason to group up. Dogfighting, even in Star Wars is a team sport, but the game doesn't reward this enough (or punish Leeroy Jenkins enough), so you get An Heroes flying around trying to win battles by themselves and then wonder why it ain't working. Especially for TIE pilots, this has to be pushed and pushed hard. This? This is lazy as fuck.
  • Objective focus is not strong enough. Flat-out, the matches need to be solely about getting your job done; all the readouts on individual efforts are not only distracting, they promote Leeroy bullshit over proper teamwork. Not only should you get no readout on your performance until the match is over, you should get no reward for anything that does not directly and immediately push the objective. This is a team effort; work as a team for the team's goal or get the fuck out. (This is also present for the ground-pounder side of the game.)

While this is a clear improvement over the 2015 game, it's still not fulfilling the expectations set by their own marketing, and if they don't fix that right now then the game will meet the same fate as the previous Battlefront: have a pop at its launch, and then crater once word of mouth gets out (especially via livestreams) that it's still a shallow and hollow experience by people who--contrary to marketing--don't know what they're doing and don't care enough to figure that out so they can do it right.

Barring a miracle, this is also getting a pass. Don't pre-order this game; wait for your trusted people to give you the good word before you spend those hard-earned sheckles, and if that never comes then give it the hard pass and punt it entirely.

And when you get the chance, you tell Lucasfilm, EA and everyone else whose corporate brands on this game that they failed to meet the expectations that they set. Until they either stop writing checks with their mouths that they're asses can't cash, or they adjust their hype so they set expectations that they actually can meet, No Money For You!

Monday, August 21, 2017

My Life in Fandom: Good Reads for Your Monday

It's Monday, and for those of you with a normal workweek, it's SuckDay. By now you should be well into the daily de-stress, so if you're not catching up on yesterday's Metro City Boys podcast you may be looking for good news. While I am thrilled that my submission for the PulpRev Sampler Anthology got accepted, that may not boost your morale. Likewise, while I enjoy Vox Day's Darkstreams, that's not everyone's cup of tea either. (By the way, A Throne of Bones is free on Kindle today only. Get on that.) So, here's something good to get your spirits up.

This week is Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. It's the biggest videogame event in Europe, and two of my streamer pals are going to be there as guests of Blizzard Entertainment (because they're World of Warcraft streamers). Blizzard already announced that they're adding Kel'Thuzad to Heroes of the Storm, Junktown is coming to Overwatch, and they've got regional finals to qualify for BlizzCon going on also. EA & DICE have more hype to spread about Star Wars Battlefront II, and SquareEnix just released the announcement for the PC version of Final Fantasy XV.

GenCon was last weekend. I wish I could say there was something truly astounding coming out, but I haven't seen anything yet. (That is not the same as "There is nothing." If you've got something, put it in the Comments below.) What I did see, however, is now on my Wish List for my birthday and Christmas: Fantasy Flight Games announced a 30th Anniversary edition of the original West End Games version of the Star Wars tabletop RPG.

Oh, and if you haven't read Daddy Warpig's post at Castallia's blog on How to Write Pulp, fix that now. Great read. Those who heed this advice will, in time, become the true successors to E.E. Smith, E.R Burroughs, R.E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Walter B. Gibson, and the other past masters of the Pulps.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

My Life as a Gamer: Tabletop Scratches for Mad Max Itches

In addition to Car Wars, tabletop gaming has other offering to get your Mad Max fix, but most of them are not in print anymore. (Which is sad, depending on your tastes.) I'll go over two that I know of, and I'll welcome others in the Comments.

Dark Future was Games Workshop's go at this genre, and like Steve Jackson's Car Wars they decided to up-gun the vehicles for the same of making it easier to design and play. This is a boardgame, and not a role-playing game at all, not even the bone thrown in Car Wars is present here. You're either one of the Outlaws or one of the Bounty Hunters after them. Being a Games Workshop game that wasn't one of the two main Warhammer games, it got some hype and then shelved Because Reasons.

If this sounds interesting, and you're willing to either hunt down used stuff or roll your own, hit up Future Highways and get started. Otherwise, you can wait for Auroch Digital's PC adaptation which they hope to have out this year so hit up the Steam Page.

Maybe you want something else? A proper RPG, perhaps?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Narrative Warfare: Disney Star Wars is a Train Wreck

Recently I posted about a YouTube channel by the name of "Midnight's Edge", as that channel covers the ongoing trainwreck that is the Star Trek franchise and the imminent failure of Star Trek: Discovery. If you haven't checked out that channel and watched their videos on the matter, please do so; the inside baseball alone makes it worthwhile.

Of course I wanted to find one for Star Wars, and--while by no means as informed on the business end as the Midnight's Edge crew--the people at World Class Bullshitters. They're a crude bunch at times, but they are on point. Watch, but not with young kids around.

What got my attention was this video by one of the crew therein talking about how the merchandise is still rotting on the shelves, especially Rey and Finn action figures.

Remember the source of George Lucas' wealth: getting merchandise rights from 20th Century Fox over Star Wars. He had no shame in turning every possible element of the film into something you could be in the store, and we who grew up with it remember that too well. Of course Disney would continue doing that, and--hear me out here--this is a smart idea.

The problem is that you have incompetent twats driven by ideology over data calling the shots. The reason this is not a bad idea is that you can track your merchandise sales to find indicators of what your audience is, what they like, and what they would rather punt down a shaft into the Death Star's reactor. Use that data to improve your product.

I can hear the MBAs going "Basic Bitch Business 101, duh." from here. Guys, Lucasfilm doesn't do this because it's run by cultist ideologues. You'd think the combination of (a) all that Rey merch rotting on the shelves, (b) massive fan hate for Rey, and (c) equally bad mockery of Rey would result in a top-down directive to change fucking course but that's not happening because Lucasfilm's head is a death cultist pushing Muh Feminism as an executive mandate.

In short, you have an irrational business plan being implemented and enforced by an irrational individual working off Muh Feels and not any objective data or other empirical information- other than how to deflect criticism of The Narrative. Comics, games, movies, TV- all the same bullshit, for the same reasons, producing the same results and getting the same reactions: Double-Down! This is textbook insanity, folks, driving by a textbook cult.

And that's why I can only hope that the crash is truly colossal and catastrophic, because nothing less will dislodge the death cult from the franchise so it can be taken up by sober-minded people who know how to run a global media corporation competently. (Yes, that means taking Lucas back on in an advisory capacity; don't force him back in the driver's seat--he's retired, so let him stay there--but listen to him when he talks about his own creation, dammit.)

In the meantime, I encourage everyone who has the skill and the will to do so to fork and replace Star Wars. It's long past time for Alt-Culture to become a thing.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Narrative Warfare: Pay No Attention to the Men Behind the Curtain

The Supreme Dark Lord threw out a great summary of the real axis of conflict in the world now, and did it in a Tweet:

He's not saying anything new. Alex Jones said it years ago, and he was not the first either. What's different now is that the social mood shifted, and--despite appearances--not to the Globalist's favor. This is something few understand, but Vox Day does- and so does the God-Emperor.

Remember that Voltaire quote, the one about knowing who rules over you by what you cannot say? There's a corollary, and it comes as measuring the weakness of a position by the vehemence leveled at those who challenge it. You don't see massive coordinated hits if the threat is not real and viable; that's not strength or confidence. That's fear and anxiety acting out as freak-outs. They're going to the big guns now, because they fear--rightly so--that if they don't annihilate us now then they won't be able to later.

What they don't know is that it's already too late for them. The de-platforming looks potent, but it's not; workarounds and other replacements already exist, already are in place, and already blunt the impact down to inconvenience levels of damage. That's why I said the other day that this will escalate next to SJWs in banking getting activated and deployed to cut off credit and deny access to financial services (including one's own personal accounts); this is a moment that they cannot let pass, so they are all-in with a hand that's weaker than they think it is.

What was true at the time of the Tower of Babel is true today, here and now: a one-world state is impossible, contrary to Natural Law, and doomed to fail no matter how it is attempted or who attempts it. The People's Republic China alone is sufficient to put down this folly, and that government is by no means on the side of the angels. That's before accounting for other countries who are capable of resisting (e.g. Japan).

No, what we are seeing here is an incompetent international body of death cultists freaking out and deploying their disposable cult army (covered by their minions in the media and government) to cover their asses before they get seized and dragged off to courts they don't control to be tried by officials they don't own under laws they did not write and condemned by judges they don't own for crimes they most certainly did commit and get displayed as examples for one and all what happens to traitors and quislings (since it did not take last time).

And once the lawsuits by the Alt-Tech Alliance members against Big Social get going (or, for some, just complaints to the Federal Trade Commission, or its foreign counterparts), that's the point where this rearguard action turns into a retreat to the banking sector (which will bring on more lawsuits and complaints) prior to it becoming a rout. At that point, the physical violence will escalate to home invasions, which will be so badly done that the FBI will immediately get involved and RICO prosecutions ensue.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Narrative Warfare: The Goal of Big Social's Censorship

Today's post comes from a Tweetstorm written by Daddy Warpig. I will not embed the entire thread, but I will quote it in its entirety. Rather, I will quote the first Tweet (so you can click through and read for yourself thereafter), and then blockquote the rest.

The Left wants the new social norm to be "Anyone who criticizes Leftwing violence is a Nazi, and they will be dealt with as such." It's blatant intimidation tactics. They intend that, if you criticize Antifa, BLM, or any other Leftwing violence, you will be punished.

They want you to think that Apple will turn off Apple Pay, YouTube will demonetize you, Cloudflare will drop you, and you will be fired. Not to mention the implicit threat of—and often actual manifestation of—violence.

"Cross us and we will destroy your life."

I'm not saying they can do this, or will do this.

But they want you to think they will.

Self censorship is most effective censorship.

But one thing they can and will do is this:

They will do their damndest to make you socially radioactive.

They will tar you as a Nazi.

They will smear you on social media, at your job, in the news media, to your friends, anywhere they can. It's ugly and vicious, and I don't see it going away anytime soon.

Welcome to the (for now) New Normal, courtesy America's Left.

In short, what this really is comes down to nagging harridans screeching like the harpies that they are. Do you want to know how you handle this problem? You stand up, take a deep breath, and proclaim I don't care! Then you backhand the harridans until they stop, one way or the other.

What they can't do, and they know they can't do, is exterminate their targets' online presence entirely. They know that the Alt-Tech Alliance exists, as they've constantly come at Gab to show that this is true, and they fear the potential for an unassailable parallel Internet infrastructure where their shaming attacks have no power. Why? This makes censorship useless.

Want to know why the Alt-Left escalated to domain seizures and working ICANN? Because that's the next level where they are able to strike with potency, and already there's a move to build a free speech registrar with DDOS protection services. Payment processors are already coming up and gaining purchase. That's why, as I said yesterday, this ends with Alt-Banking becoming a thing.

Anti-fragility is a real thing, and as more people targeted by the Alt-Left see that they can become so by siding against them in this manner, that's going to take the bite out of this censorship- and move the fight into the courts and legislatures while attacks in the streets escalate.

And once that happens, this becomes a fight we will win.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Narrative Warfare: We're Going To Need Alt-Banking

It's going to come down to the banks, and with it the international central banking system. As the Alt-Left continues to freak out and move to silence, de-platform, render homeless, etc. their targets the Alt-Tech Alliance will continue to outmanuever them by their creation of parallels that fork and replace the SJW-converged companies and institutions. This will freak the Alt-Left out further, and compel an escalation of their censorship schemes.

In time, this will move from the tech world to the financial world. The point of departure will be the success of payment processor replacements such as Hatreon and crowd-source alternatives such as Wesearcher and Counter-Fund. At that point, the Alt-Left will lean on the SJWs in the banking sector to cut off all banking service access entirely. The resistance here will escalate to the point where the central banks will sever access to the system, at which point the final nail will be place: the replacement of the global banking system in its entirety.

By that time, the digital balkanization that Vox Day speaks of here will have passed the Point of No Return. I expect that physical balkanization will be close to the same level of development, as that which cannot co-exist will not. Either one side exterminates the others, or they separate more-or-less peacefully into homogenous enclaves to resume peaceful existence with their own kind.

And when that happens, a decentralized alternative to the current global central banking system will not only exist, it will be utterly necessary and proper. If you know some based bankers, now's the time to get them into the Alt-Tech Alliance and get them on the task of setting that up and putting out based alternatives.