Geek Gab returns today. Daddy Warpig and Dorrinal will be on to talk E3 as well as The Magicians. Expect a Warpig Rant. Expect a lively live chat, as I will be there, and you want to be there too if you can. See you there and then.
Saturday, June 19, 2021
Friday, June 18, 2021
After months of nothing, World of Warcraft finally announces its next Retail game patch will go live on the 29th of this month.
This would not be worth me putting up a post if there wasn't some fuckery about, and there is. This announcement comes after a few weeks of top-tier influencers based in the global WOW scene being very visible and very friendly towards Final Fantasy XIV, chief among them being the Literal Neckbeard himself: Asmongold (he of the 50K average viewership, for a site and game that is lucky to get 1K+ for other channels).
Not only have they been talking positive about the game, and comparing it favorabily to WOW, they've been playing it--some subscribing--and enjoying it in public. The PR damage to WOW is palpalble, and so WOW did what WOW always does when a threat to their dominance is detected: RELEASE THE CONTENT (even if it's not ready, which it rarely is these days)!
They've been sitting on this for months. I don't want to hear the excuses; they've had remote working and asynchronus workflow operating for months now, so there is no excuse for this being ready, especially since the Public Test Realm was up for zone/quest and raid/dungeon testing (and attendent datamining). However, despite this, the content isn't ready and all of the past behaviorial tells reveal this: a panicked release date annoncement, a short time between announcement and release, and therefore sweet fuck-all warning for the leading players--the raiders--to finish up current affairs and refresh/restock/reorganize.
The patch will release with quests that don't work, bugs that force disconnections, a raid that isn't properly tuned, and a dungeon that isn't either. They will be wasting the rest of the summer glad-handing the customers they despise to fix paid content that had no business being released in anything but a finely-polished state that works out of the box- which is exacly how FF14 does things.
The WOW devs hate and despise their customers. The FF14 devs love and appreciate their customers. The results are apparent in their practices and product releases. This is why Blizzard gets no money from me, while 14 will when I exhaust the free trial. "Don't give money to people who hate you" isn't just about books, comics, and movies/TV; it's about all of it, as best as can be practiced. Proper stewardship recognizes proper stewardship.
Thursday, June 17, 2021
A new Sabaton History episode, covering the new Sabaton cover of "Defense of Moscow" by Radio Tapok (a Russian band that often covers Sabaton songs into Russian, good stuff).
Pär and Joakim talk about doing this in three short videos here, here, and here. This is a good fit for the band, and it allows them to return the favor that Radio Tapok did in spreading Sabaton's music into Russian and the wider Russophonic world, as none in Sabaton do speak Russian. Radio Tapok has performed with the band during Russian legs of their tours; they are legit.
While we all wait for Sabaton to return to North America, or release a new album, I can recommend Indy Neidel's work with Time Ghost in their coverage of the World Wars and the interval between them. I've posted about the World War Two channel previously; their Great War channel is just as good, etc., though with the caveat that they do adhere to the mainstream narrative- stuff like Stalin's War has yet to make itself felt.
Yes, it's unfortunate that this is now just infrequent specials, but they're still good- same as with the boys doing The Grand Tour. It is what it is.
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
E3 2021 is over.
E3 is over.
E3 is no longer fit for purpose.
Despite all that, E3 2022 is planned to return to Los Angelas as the in-person convention event that it was before the Wu Flu. For reasons that have nothing to with the Commie Coof, this needs to be shot down now, and the biggest reason as to why comes straight out of Japan: Nintendo Direct.
This is what actually needs to be done. You put together a title card, one trailer after the next complete with street dates and retail prices, and you slap on an outro card. All together, this should take no more than 30 minutes; Nintendo's goes longer due to adding things that don't need to be there, like people playing presenters and occassional dev bits, that pad things out. This is cheap, this is even easier than Nintendo's way of doing it, and Nintendo already shows that you can do this quarterly or so without breaking a sweat or straining the meager budget.
The momentum, believe it or not, is already going this way. Capcom's slowly adopting this format. XBox will follow, and once that happens the preference cascade kicks off and everyone will do it in a few years. The E3 hour-or-so showcase with all its useless bullshit is done; corporate beancounters, looking to cut costs, will see the superior efficiency of the Direct model and demand the leadership to push the format shift- and they will to get those sweet bonuses.
The resistance will come from the oversocialized and underskilled (i.e. Death Cultists), as they thrive in useless PR and Marketing positions; they are already openly converting E3 panel time to push their propaganda overtly, and they want that to continue. They do not yet realize that they do not have a monopoly of attention--that folks can just shut them off and watch something else--and when they finally realize it the mood will make Veruca Salt's tantrums look tame.
The Nintendo Direct model cuts all of that useless fat out, which means they are out of a job, and soon they'll realize this across the board. You will know the word is out when all the journos push coordinated hit-pieces on the practice with all the usual Death Cult word magic being cast at them like the desperate witches they are. There won't be enough spaces at the useless and collpasing journo scene to give them all sinecures, so watch as hilarity ensues.
Meanwhile, AAA in the West continues its collapse projectory as more and more totally-not-games keep getting pushed. It's spreading into AA and indie; a lot of total trash got air time this year, and the usual tells apply: soyface, dangerhair, pronouns, punchable smugness, lack of useful skills. It's not absolute yet, but it's really bad; the odds of a Western game being trash is over 2-in-3, while a Japanese game (aside from mobile trash; all mobile is trash) is no worse than 50-50.
And the Western studios wonder why their audience prefer Japanese games to what they offer most of the time, same as their counterparts in comics books and traditional book publishing.
The time has come. Put the pillow on them, then roll them out the door. We don't need them anymore. We need the Direct model.
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Today is the final day of E3 showcases. Nintendo's E3 Direct and Bandai Namco are what's going to be covered today. As with the other posts, this will be edited with my takes as things go down.
Monday, June 14, 2021
E3 ain't over yet, but given what's on the schedule I don't mind if you feel as if it is. Only one show matters today, and that's Capcom. Same as before, I'll edit this as I go so if you're here before or during come back after it's over.
Okay, here we go:
- Got a Direct-style approach. Okay.
- RE Village. They say they're good with the launch. Okay. Producer brought on to thank players. PVP move is free to buyers; goes live soon. DLC coming. This is fine.
- Monster Hunter Rise and Stories 2. Trial opens the 25th for S2. Crossover with Rise already announced. More stuff to do coming to Rise, and paid DLC cosmetics, on the 24th. This is fine.
- More Phoenix Wright coming late July. Looks like it delivers on the expectations of its audience, which is a win in my book. Not my thing, but that's fine.
- Oh no, esports. Do not care. Refilling my mug.
- That's it? That's all you got? No Dead Rising? No Dragon's Dogma? No other titles at all?
- Mercifully short.
You biffed it, Capcom. You brought nothing. You said nothing that wasn't said elsewhere, and your esport segment should have been cut entirely as irrelevant. D-Tier. Competent presentation, wholly without offense, but--aside from the Wright title--a big nothingburger and thus a waste of time. You could have cut this to five minutes and been done with it.
Capcom, I am disappointed in you. You failed.