Thursday, November 30, 2017

Narrative Warfare: Why Gaming Isn't (and Trumps) Narrative

Gaming is not about narrative.

This is something a lot of incompetents in gaming fail to comprehend, especially Fake Journalists working for Fake Media. They fail to comprehend this because they don't know where gaming comes from.

There is no need for narrative in gaming; all you need, at most, is context for taking action. The tropes of narrative do not apply, never applied, and never will apply. Their presence inevitably means that someone thinks that telling a story must occur; it doesn't, and excising a narrative from a game will not destroy the game- it always improves it.

A game is about a player, put in a situation, provided with limited resources, and given an objective. How he goes about that is his problem, which is the tell: gaming, ultimately, is about problem-solving. The differences arise from changes in situations, resources, and objectives. Tactical vs. Strategic, vs. Environment instead of vs. Player (older than you think), abstract vs. concrete, etc. are all expressions of how these variations manifest in the games we create and play- regardless of the medium.

This is also how and why optimization occurs; at some point, the whole of the game becomes a solved problem, at which point the lawful purpose (training) is achieved because you now have an objective rubric to use when assessing a trainee's progress in mastering the lessons offered by the game.

Just as with sport, games are peacetime entertainment meant to take the energies and impulses useful for war and channel them into something that maintains the acumen while preventing undesired destruction of that friendly environment. (Something that politics fails to achieve, being war by another name far more often than not.) Narrative has no place in this purpose.

That this insistence to the contrary persists shows a perversion of gaming to corrupt--even nefarious--ends, often by parties for whom gaming itself is a sore spot due to repeated failure. The insertion of narrative in commercial gaming in particular is suspect because of what is done in the name of narrative, leading to concepts such as "Gamification" that corrupt the gaming technology for purposes of social engineering in the service of supporting a political narrative: training populations, Skinner-style, to conform to an ideology.

And yes, that is what Gamification always leads to: indoctrination by hostile cults into self-destructive behaviors for the benefit of said cults and their backers. (You can tell by the projection evident by the attacks made on gaming; what they accuse gaming of is what they desire to use it for.)

And as we see, once those pushing for the inclusion of narrative begin doing so, they use narrative to justify their push and make more gains- until their warfare is defeated by superior acumen. Once you get gamers mad, they will find out how to beat you- and then do it, handedly, because narrative only works if you listen. Games work even if your deaf, dumb, and blind. Games are Reals Over Feels, and Narrative is the opposite (however true it is), and Reality Trumps Fantasy every single time.

And the end of this insistence--something even retarded children learn not to do--on including an alien element where it does not belong is coming, once those losers who go with it to cover for their failures finally get run out or run over and are gone for good.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

It's Here! The First Infinity War Trailer

The beginning of the end for the MCU has arrived.

And I fully expect every actor who looks too old for the dance to have their character very permanently killed off. This two-parter, like its comicbook predecessor, is going to be an apocalyptic bloodbath.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Narrative Warfare: A Media Rant

The media is about narrative.

This is fine when you're talking about entertainment, because the point of fiction is to entertain the audience. They want a story, so you tell them a story, and if you know what you're doing you deliver the story that the audience wants as the audience wants that story told. (Note: I exclude gaming here, for reasons I will explain--again--later this week.)

This is fraud when you're talking about non-fiction. The purpose of non-fiction is to inform the audience. They want facts that they can rely upon as verified to be true. They want those facts as they relate to a specific topic, be it as everyday as the quality of a new tabletop or videogame, or as important as the policy implications of a Federal regulation proposal. This is not the time to tell a story, in whole or in part; dealing in narrative is not only unethical, unprofessional, and immoral, it crosses over into Theft By Deception (i.e. fraud) because you actively and willfully choose to advance your agenda at the expense of the public good.

The problem, however, is not that the problem is pervasive. The problem is that it is institutional, and has been since some psychopath first appreciated the power of mythology to control what people believe, and therefore what people can and will act upon.

The purpose of religion, and thus mythology, is so a nation can explain itself to itself across generations and thus maintain not only a distinct identity (and its perspective) but also be able to usefully function in the world by providing a framework for action both great and small. A true religion squares with reality while simplfying it for the majority while allowing--even guiding--growth towards a maturity of culture that permits full engagement with that complexity, much as a good father simplfies for his children until they are ready to handle the fullness of life's complexity.

The perversion of religion comes when the narratives necessarily formed as part of that simplification get converged for the benefit of the psychopath and his allies at the expense of the people as a whole, turning the institution of religion away from its lawful role as a tool to serve and benefit a nation and towards the perpetuation of the perverts' power over them. Since then, we've had an ongoing issue with psychopaths and their successors corrupting religion to use as a fulcrum of leverage to gain and keep power over others, and reformers seeking to cleanse religion of that filth.

Then came mass media, and now those same sorts see a new--secular--avenue to the same ends as religion. Control over information is control over thought, so it is no surprise that as mass media matured technologically and as a business they sought to pervert it also for their ends. Starting with the first World War, the modern Public Relations field emerged as the fulfillment of that promise and the Narrative Warfare we deal with daily began in earnest.

But, as I said above, the media is about narrative. That's ALL of it. The reality shows push narratives; they aren't real, they aren't sincere, and the competitions are routinely fixed. The sports shows and leagues push narratives, and I'm unsure if the seasons are fixed or not. Yes, ALL such sports. Yes, even in your country. The news isn't news; under the law, it's entertainment, and as such has no obligation to do anything but avoid defamation (in practice, against those able to bring suit successfully)- it need not inform at all. We don't just have Fake News. We have Fake Media.

Fake in that it does not perform its lawful purpose, but rather is converged to serve the ends of the psychopaths and followers thereof instead. As with any such situation, the media institutions now serve themselves first and only- the people be damned. As far as they are concerned, the people are only good for fodder anyways, so treating them as cattle is only befitting. Herd them and use them until it's time to cull them.

And, as lurid as conspiracy is, this is not conspiracy. This is Groupthink.

You have a class that thinks and believes alike. It's a cult in all but name, and cults--defacto and dejure--are nothing more than religions writ small. Religions--true and false alike--run off mythologies that make the world simple enough for the adherents to function within it to useful ends. The media is in the hands of a cult, a massive cult, that hates its audience and seeks their annihilation.

Well, at least it is so in the West. The East? I cannot say, but I doubt that they're any better overall.

Fortunately, for now, we are in a position where burning the media to ashes and dust only to replace them with new alternatives that actually fulfill the necessary functions is viable and already happening. It is my hope that remembering how this went wrong before will prevent it from happening again. Kill the cultists before they seize control and you never need worry about your media (or your religion) losing its way.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Mouse Star Looms Over Planet EA

Yesterday, I said that if The Last Jedi opens below expectations then EA should expect to be used by Disney as the scapegoat. Today, the World Class Bullshitters have this to add to the wider Star Wars discussion. EA execs on suicide watch.

Yes, the Mouse expected the sequel to do better than the first film in their trilogy. They ignored the declining regard for the first tilm over the nearly two years since The Force Awakens. Right now, those executives at EA are as Krennic in Rogue One just before the Death Star vaped him and the archival facility he stood atop of off the face of the planet.

(Anyone whining about spoilers gets spammed.)

Or better, Bob Iger sending over his right-hand man to deliver the bad news to EA's brass in person.

This is what happens when you fuck with the Mouse. You get made into examples for others. By this time next year, expect the relationship between Disney, Lucasfilm, and EA to be significantly--if not radically--different. The Mob is kinder to fuckups.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

EA's Lootbox Fiasco Will Reach Far Beyond Itself

The lootbox issue with Electronic Arts will have consequences that go far beyond that company. Not only will all videogames be affected, all gaming will be affected. The various governments across the world looting to place regulations or bans on lootboxes by proclaiming them to be a form of slot-machine gambling (which they are), directly affects other genres of game whose business model rests on this concept.

The Collectable Card Game (e.g. Magic: The Gathering) genre is going to get nailed, maybe even destroyed, by these pending government decrees. A booster pack of random cards is the basis for the entire business model, and power is directly tied to card rarity, making the game Pay To Win as well as slot-based gambling; some games ameliorate this by a secondary mechanism that allows players to recycle duplicates into desired cards but that's usually confined to virtual CCGs (e.g. Hearthstone). Tabletop CCGs will get destroyed, and a few see the writing on the wall; they're shifting to a different model that removes the gambling.

Not that I lament the loss of lootboxes and everything like them. They're a goddamn cancer and I will be glad to see them gone.

The game industry, across all media, will have to retreat and retrench once the bans go through and the uniformed men with guns standby for order to shoot the shit out of non-compliant parties. Since most people don't want to die by being ripped apart via rifle fire, especially craven greedy cowards like EA's executives, we can confidently expect a global shift in business practice back to (for videogames) more like the PS2 era (and for tabletop, before CCGs), and we can expect it because that will be easier than wasting time and resources fighting it in court or lobbying against it in legislatures.

Especially as word spreads of how Disney called up EA and read them the Riot Act over this matter. The Mouse will take EA's heads if The Last Jedi opens below expectations, using them as the scapegoat without mercy or hesitation. No matter what, EA's going to hit a regime change presently; it's not down to a matter of scope and scale. The fallout from this fiasco will, overall, be a positive change as all the Pay To Win fake games get neutered or destroyed regardless of genre and the fake gamers who play the toll to fast-track to Real Ultimate POWAH! go with them. That's good for everyone but the fakers, and they can go fuck themselves with rusted shovels covered in shit and burrs.

The reactions as this rolls out will be telling. Take note of those crying for the loss of ways to avoid Gittin' Gud as the sole path to victory, as well as those who cannot release a solid, complete game at launch to save their worthless lives. Note them, and shun them like they're leper zombies with alien embryos in their chests waiting to burst forth. This is good news to we who hate bitchwork in gaming, as lootboxes were just the latest iteration of it; kill it--all of it- with nuclear fire.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Game Design: Bitchwork Isn't Gameplay

This episode of All-Craft, a World of Warcraft podcast, talks about Project 60 and Classic servers. The reason I'm putting it here is to talk about game design using a well-known game as an easy example, so don't panic if you're not into MMOs or WOW in particular.

The take-away points is that the MMORPG medium works best when it incentivizes the formation and participation in a community, but the medium over the decades had issues figuring out what that is. Each MMO, and each iteration of each MMO, changes where that point is and often with undesired effects that impact gameplay.

The challenge now is that the MMORPG player base is not high school and college students. They are adults with responsibilities that demand a lot of their time. The result is that things that are tedious, but not challenging, became business liabilities and the only sane solution is to identify and exterminate bitchwork in MMOs.

The bitchwork has to go, and the gameplay challenges have to be entirely based on player skill- the mastery of one's character and the ability to execute solutions properly. This means removing things like buff spells and items as relevant things required to be part of community-driven group content. (Seriously; it's not in tabletop.)

If MMOs were truly faithful adaptations of proper tabletop play, I wouldn't complain about the logistics of consumables. They're not, so it's not an interesting element of gameplay; MMOs are Tactical, not Strategic, so anything logistical isn't fun at that level- it's tedious bitchwork that only ads a barrier to entry that has no right to be there. The gameplay is in solving the tactical puzzle of the encounter, not in managing the strategic puzzle of defeating the opposition forces at that strategic location in order to advance the campaign towards its successful conclusion.

You can see similar bitchwork bothers in other game forms. Look, it's this simple: take a critical eye to your gameplay paradigm, put a cleaver in your hand, and hack off everything that distracts from it. No one likes bitchwork, no one appreciates bitchwork, and no one values bitchwork. Cut that cancer from your games early, and stay vigilant that it doesn't come back.

Friday, November 24, 2017

We Are Not the Mall to the World

Fuck this shillfest non-holiday for a game of soldiers.

I despise the commercialization of holidays. A time meant for family and community increasingly atomizes both by yoking commerce to things where commerce does not apply. The utterly appalling behavior of people clamoring into retail stores to rush for cheap goods never fails to disappoint me, and that's why I often ensure that I go nowhere and do nothing on this day of the year. I've seen this degenerate behavior go on long enough that I now see why people clamor for government regulation of the event; this is madness, and it will only get worse until it is made to stop.

The United States is not the world's shopping mall. Few understand this, especially many "Americans". We are a nation unto ourselves, with a separate and distinct culture, and failure to honor it is part of the present problem. If it will not be honored by voluntary assent, then it shall be by force of arms via the State. Again, few understand this. Pick your own damn cotton.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

There's Love Songs, and There's Nuns Singing Love Songs.

It's Thanksgiving Day in the United States today. As I write this post, dinner's making its way from preparation to table, and I shall be thankful for a well-cooked meal at home with family. There's plenty to be thankful fore this year, much of it stemming from the shockwave caused by the Ascension of the God-Emperor last year, but not all of it. One such thing? I am thankful for Italian nuns singing Alicia Keys better than Alicia does.

I neither know nor care how well that woman did on Italy's version of The Voice after this performance. She won a prize far greater than the show could possibly award her just by making that blind audition happen. That's a thing I'm thankful for, and I hope she goes on to make joyful noises in service to God and the Church for decades after this.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

STEM or GTFO: Academia is a Cult Outside the STEM Fields

What you're about to see below is Sargon of Akkad covering the insanity in Canada's universities, as addressed by Jordan Peterson and then relating the implementation of this cultist mental abuse of students who dare dissent against Zir Leaders' Satanic Writ.

As every account of academic cultism reveals, this comes out of the Humanities fields. Specifically, the various (X) Studies fields, from which this ideological disease spreads like a cancer. That what we're witnessing here is nothing more than the Cultural Revolution Redux--Struggle Sessions and all--shows the Marxist roots of the SJW Cult ideology and therefore its mentality. As an honest historian, I cannot go along with the incessant revisionism (often without the slightest attempt to present independently-verifiable evidence) that this cult--and it is a cult--demands on pain of death.

These wanna-be Necromongers, these soy-saturarated secular Jihadis, have so damaged American, Canadian, and British universities (etc.; see South Africa for a painful example) that outside of the hardest of STEM fields they are no longer fit for purpose and should be destroyed. Yes, including the medical and law schools. (Especially the law schools.) Burn them to ash, then salt the ruins. It's that far gone.

(We can, and will, replace them with alternatives that actually fulfill their lawful purpose; Mentor-Student networks predate universities, and are the bedrock of that system, so guess where we start rebuilding. Apprenticeships once included law and medicine; these too need to be revived, and inevitably will as the converged institutions reveal their incompetence in their graduates.)

Therefore, do not send your children to university unless they must to attain a STEM degree, and furthermore you must maintain your vigilance over them during their time on campus lest the cult try to zombify your precious ones into being drones for their Satanic cause. Until the universities are purged, it's "STEM or GTFO"- and I say this as a Humanities academic who quit that life because it got so bad.

Each and every one of these SJW academics lie, cheat, and defraud for the explicit purpose of advancing their political cult. (See the gaslighting going on in the video.) That is fraud by definition. Committing fraud for the purpose of advancing a political agenda that directly undermines the State or the Nation it serves is sedition. Citizens--bound by a legal obligation of loyalty--who commit sedition are guilty of treason. Treason cannot be tolerated. The State is within its rights to suppress the SJW Cult, and if the State refuses to do so then the Nation is within its rights to do it itself. As non-cultists seize power the State shall do so with increasing degrees of effectiveness. The helicopters are coming for them; the rides are now inevitable.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Justice League: Scratch Redbox- Watch Something Else!

With the bad news about Justice League coming out over the weekend (taking in only $94M when it needed twice that to have a shot at breaking even, and needing to hit $1B domestic to be profitable), you know it's going to mean bad reactions from all of the trustworthy folks. Midnight's Edge had their say the other day. Today it's time for the World Class Bullshitters.

In short, their take is that this clusterfuck production resulted in a flawed film- but one where, like the Star Wars Prequels, you can see the good movie buried beneath the crap. This is a spoiler-filled review of the film, with plenty of ranty bits that give Daddy Warpig a run for his money. If you want to know why and how this film fell into the ditch and never got out, here you go.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Narrative Warfare: Media Literacy, Historical Revisionism, & How To Spot It

History Channel US had a program called "MysteryQuest", a spinoff of "MonsterQuest", which went into popular mysteries and the most popular theories about them. One of them was about Adolf Hitler, and the idea that he did not die in the bunker in 1945. This is the episode that covered said topic, and revealed a big find that hasn't been spread in the popular media in the US until the series that this episode inspired aired: Hunting Hitler.

The thing about film and television in particular is that it is a medium where someone other than you determines every element of what you see and hear. The good practice in documentary filmmaking (which this series, and the Hitler spinoff, claim to be) is exactly the opposite of proper academic work: the conclusion is determined first, and then the narrative framed to support the conclusion. Why? Because film and television, as with comics and novels, are media of narrative--storytelling--and not media of academic inquiry.

In itself, this is dangerous, but you have to work around it. The way this happens in an ethical production is that you don't put a narrative together until you have all of the information regarding your question of inquiry. Then your production, as you would with a proper academic paper, presents your findings- including your sources, properly cited and documented; the film narratives the story of the process, not the story of the subject of inquiry, which is what a proper ethical documentary does.

Mass-media works like this always get me looking at them with my arms crossed. Even if I find the claims credible, I want to look at their sources for myself, because I don't like getting fooled more than anyone else. This is why media literacy matters. You need it to tell when you're getting taken for a ruse cruise, same as why you learn how to deal with slick-talking hucksters in person.

I've had my issues with History's many documentary programs, treating some (e.g. Ancient Aliens) more like soft SF than non-fiction, but the big issue I have is the danger of historical revisionism being passed off this way when it's not true. Certainty of the past is a necessary element of a healthy culture; it's the foundation upon which the present rests and the future is built. I'm not one to want it uprooted lightly, but there are times when it must be done, and that's when new information comes to light that takes a myth and turn it into a lie.

The end of Adolph Hitler's life is one such myth-defining narrative, and it would be a major upheaval to find and verify information that he did not die in 1945 in the bunker in Berlin. (For you younger folks, it's as if you discover that Osama bin Laden didn't die when or where he's said to've died because that event is a myth-defining event for a generation. That's a world-upending revelation, especially if it turns out that the entire thing was a deliberate fraud.) Change the myth, change the culture, and from that you then change the the politics because what drives the politics is no longer the same. Revisionism is a big deal.

So, when you watch shows like these, you need to think that you're being told a story- not presented with facts. Unless and until you can read or handle those sources yourself, you must maintain a certain degree of doubt. This includes other media appearances; this is from an Infowars broadcast last month, which is meant to promote Season 3 of Hunting Hitler.

The revisionism isn't just about Hitler's death. It's also revising the narrative explaining the shift from World War 2 to the Cold War, and other myth-narratives explaining things to the culture and the nation. Learning how to read this stuff is vital to keeping control over yourself and your life these days. Few understand this. Narrative Warfare is real!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Metro City Boys: The Best Videogame Podcast You're Not Catching

The Metro City Boys had another great show this week. Talking about the new Final Fantasy XV expansion, EA getting yelled at by Disney over the microtransactions in DICE's Star Wars Battlefront II, Star Wars games you wish we had (a Clone Wars musou game, for example), and Digital Animal Companions. Come get your goof, gang! (And if you like what you hear, subscribe and follow their Twitch channel.) Sundays, roughly 6:30 pm Central Time. Be there and get your goof on.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Justice League: Wait For Redbox

A handful of people who's opinions I trust on films have seen Justice League and now offer their takes on it. Geek Gab was the most recent, done two hours or so ago by the time I make this post.

Then comes the Midnight's Edge crew, with their review and a follow-up on why cinematic universes by people other than Marvel usually fail. (Hint: They do it wrong, all wrong.)

I am paying attention. This is far more than most in film, television, comics, or novels are bothering to do as they routinely fail to get the points put forth in the second Midnight's Edge video. The fact that Hollywood shot-callers routinely get this wrong shows how incompetent they are, which makes more and more sense as more and more scandals regarding their predation upon the vulnerable (and the corrupt culture of degeneracy they foster) becomes too obvious to ignore. (If this is why you're in the business, then you don't care about making good product; you just want to keep the gravy train running, so you might as well be a SJW since you're that bad.)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Get Your Gundam Here! (And Real Talk on Piracy)

It's been a less than happy week in the United States (and several other places), so here's some free & legal Gundam playlists from the GundamInfo channel at YouTube.

I'd like to offer some Macross playlists, but the folks running the Macross franchise haven't been talking to the Gundam people so they don't know how brilliant having an official channel is at cutting out piracy while simultaneously pushing both the hard media as well as the related merchandise. (Or Harmony Gold keeps fucking them in the ass, but that's nothing that couldn't get solved if they were so inclined.)

The only problem is the folks running the channel and its associated site only offer playlists for a time. The Zeta Gundam list is gone, which is a shame as once an official convenience is removed a unofficial one will arise to satisfy that demand. As the Gundam franchise is an international juggernaut, that will happen sooner than later- YouTube anti-piracy measures be damned.

Licensing and paywalls won't work either. No sooner does a Netflix series go live than I can find it on Putlocker or Solarmovie in its entirety with nothing lost. That rather undercuts the appeal of such businesses, and furthermore (for commercial TV series) there are no ads wasting my time; not only is nothing lost, value gets added by the pirates in terms of convenience.

This is where I'm going with the "throw in the towel" approach; you can't beat them and still make a profit purely by showing off the goods. You got to approach your streaming/VOD business as you would running a movie theater: you make your profits on the addons (in this case, the merchandise) and your show becomes a vehicle for the merch. You think this is alien or unworkable? See that Gundam franchise? All about pushing the merch! They do that and still provide high-quality escapist entertainment to an audience that, while its core remains in Japan, is still a global one and they are not slowing down.

Artificial scarcity in online audio and video does not work!. Scarcity in anything purely digital doesn't work; it may take a while, but all that shit gets cracked sooner or later so it's worthless to bother trying. Add your value where scarcity actually means something- Meatspace. That means merchandise, live events, and other things that take advantage of limited space, resources, etc. but tie into the show or film. (Yes, I just found a justification for the convention circuit.)

As for you one-eyed shitlords, keep seeding the torrents. You're forcing Big Media to adapt to you, so keep at it as we all benefit from compelling them to be easier to use and more convenient than what you lot offer.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Time of the Great Forking Has Come

It's becoming increasingly clear that anyone wanting a popular culture that isn't filled with suck and sewage will have to Fork and Replace the SJW-converged institutions, and then seal the doors so those same disease vectors can't poz the replacements. There is not a damn thing to save in mainstream film, television, comics, or novels. The AAA studios are increasingly pushing gambling as a revenue generator at the expense of gameplay, designer reputation, brand strength, even studio existence itself- time to Fork & Replace that also.

All of this is necessary and proper, but it still runs into the great cockblock: financing. Beyond making alternatives to Patreon and other crowdfunding platforms, we have the issue of the banking system itself. SJWs are there in the banks, the credit card companies, and the government agencies meant to regulate them; they can, and have, violated their fundamental mission by blocking a disfavored outlet or individual access to credit or currency. I need not tell you what sort of threat that power presents, which is why I've called for #AltBanking for a while now.

For the Great Forking to succeed, all aspects of commerce must be forked and replaced. The banks are the last of these converged institutions to fork, and making that happen requires more than a bunch of tech-savvy dissidents forming a start-up. The ISPs need to be forked. The payment processors need to be forked. The global central banking system needs to be destroyed in nuclear fire, then replaced with real money in hard coin (for physical commerce) and crypto-currencies no government controls (for virtual commerce).

Otherwise, all of the forks are vulnerable to getting nuked by SJWs in banking by shutting off access to the stuff that makes all of this possible, and if you think that won't start escalating in frequency and severity you don't know SJWs or their masters. Nail this, however, and all they have left is to just kill you and take your stuff- something they will have to do themselves, as more and more would-be pawns dip out as they see what's (not) in it for them. Fork & Replace ALL THE THINGS! Civilization requires it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Electronic Arts Turned a Star Wars Wargame Into a Slot Machine

I could make a shitshow joke here, but Electronic Arts going to Reddit to do Ask Me Anything about Star Wars Battlefront II is sufficient to itself. Here's a summary of the dumpster fire:

Let me do a second-level summary:

  • The devs didn't address shit.
  • The game is set up as a virtual slot machine, using Skinner box techniques, deliberately.
  • Frequency of lootbox acquisition and use determines player performance, not skill. This is Pay To Win.
  • Showing players what opponents have deliberately incentivizes lootbox purchases, contrasting with the deliberately tedious grind that is the default state of play. Gear alone matters, and getting that rubbed in your face incentivizes purchases.
  • Forced artificial limits on acquisition compels players to stretch out their play sessions, making it impossible to just play to unlock everything in a healthy and responsible manner, further incentivizing lootbox acquisition.
  • Lootbox contents are random, further compelling purchases by making a lot of drops utter garbage.

That is gambling. Various gaming commissions are starting to notice this, and they are not happy. When the gambling businesses see someone muscle in on their turf, they get mean and fast. First they'll come hat-in-hand to demand their cut, and EA will be stupid so they will refuse. Then come attack lawyers, outraged media people, and their pet politicians making problems for them in the press, the courts, and in legislatures. This shitshow is just starting to jump off.

If it's not put down soon, then first Lucasfilm and then Disney proper will be forced to deal with EA. The Mouse doesn't like it when someone tarnishes the brand like that, so if it gets that far then more than a few heads will roll. The folks making the fallguys take the blame will be lucky if they only get fired and shoved out of the business for a few years. Big Entertainment is big business, and big business does not like fuckups making messes of easy things- and yes, turning Battlefront into a franchise like Call of Duty is simple from their perspective- and they are right to think so.

Call in the cleaners. This mess is already too big and bad to be left to amateurs.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Journalism: You Need Not Be an Expert, But Familiarity IS Required

Remember when journalists bothered to have passing familiarity with their subject matter? Pepperidge Farms remembers. So does the crew at World Class Bullshitters, who came upon this dumpster fire of an article that wouldn't get a passing grade in a high school writing class.

This is, as one should expect from a mainstream culture rag, a shillfest written by someone who has no concept of what writing is- nevermind journalism or ethics, writing. Nevermind familiarity with the material you're writing about. How about familiarity with basic writing skills, since you're trying to pay bills by doing that? If you can't manage that, then you should not be let near any professional writing environment, because you are incompetent and cannot do what is required of you.

Burn it all to ash. There's no saving this shitshow that is "journalism". Just burn it all to ash and be done with it.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Real Talk on the Official Classic World of Warcraft Servers

Over a week ago, Blizzard announced that they are doing official Vanilla servers for World of Warcraft.

I'm saying this here, in this post, and that's all I'm going to say on the blog about it until there's solid information about how the developers--who are a wholly separate team from the Live servers--are going to approach the topic. That said, I already forsee commercial realities intruding on the purity spiral dreams of the Vanilla private server users itching to come out of the shadows.

  • You're going to get full Battlenet integration. There is no way all those new features announced at BlizzCon won't be in Classic.
  • They are foolish to not use the new characters models, new character animations, and as many new zone layouts as they can. Some they can't for obvious reasons (this is all pre-Cataclysm), but if they can use the Live version then they will.
  • They won't make you pay a separate subscription fee. They want it to be used, so it will--at most--be a separate client. The worst to expect is that, like the Starcraft remaster, it's a one-and-done addon to your account. Why? To justify the investment.
  • The mechanics will be a bug-fixed form of Patch 1.12.1. The aesthetics will be as close to Live as they can get. So, in effect, Vanilla Remastered is what to expect.
  • It will never be as popular as Live, but it will justify its existence and be the safety value for Live when Live has a content drought; this is, in effect, the biggest retention mechanic for subscriptions that the company has yet to attempt. Classic will go up and down in participation inversely to Live servers having relevant content to do. So long as overall sub rates are acceptable, this is fine.
  • If this succeeds, expect a follow-on for The Burning Crusade. Classic should go live in 2019, when Battle For Azeroth hits its first big lull, and if it succeeds then the TBC follow-up will be two years later.
  • Expect a lot of the bitchwork of the Classic era to get nerfed or gutted. People want the challenge, not the tedious bullshit.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

There's "Git Gud" and There's "Learn To Walk".

The common man will not do bitchwork if he does not have to. Not at work, and certainly not for fun. The common response is to make them do it.

This is the difference between Git Gud and Bitchwork: Git Gud directly addresses the challenge put before the man in pursuit of some objective. Bitchwork is tedious bullshit that's ancillary at best to that activity. Practicing your rotation on a target dummy is Git Gud, because it directly addresses the pursuit of better gear from tougher bosses. Knowing the lore? Bitchwork.

The problem is that, for a lot of players, they regard knowing how to play their character, how to run the dungeon, etc. as bitchwork and thus cause preventable problems for other players. Why? Because playing the game doesn't force them to acquire and master that knowledge to get what they want (the loot, and with it the power) from the game. I am not alone in my frustration. Mike, the man behind Preach Gaming, has gone on about this before:

Sure, he's talking within the context of World of Warcraft, but I see the same thing happening with other games every day. People who can't bothered to put in the time to learn what the mechanics are, how they work, and therefore how to exploit that knowledge to improve gameplay are legion and they are the lameass legion that makes multi-player gaming into the shitshow it so often becomes online. (Note: World of Warcraft removed the Proving Grounds requirement in Legion, which is why the dungeon queues are so full of suck and fail.)

What these people don't appreciate is that their ignorance, willful more often than not, adversely affects other players. Skilled players, often also possessing the maturity that comes with mastery, know something that isn't said often enough in gaming: Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

This is hardly limited to my MMORPG of choice. I see this routinely exhibited when I watch single-player games on Twitch; the masters (Hello, Oliver!) Git Gud by learning the knowledge required to maximize performance, making each playthrough smoother and thus allowing ever-improving results to come forth. The suck players expect to blaze through it blindly, brute-forcing things as hard and fast as they can, and get mad when it (like real life) doesn't work that way. Call them on it, and they get indignant. This is just as it is in real life; if you try to run before you can walk, you're just going to fall on your face and make things worse.

Not that there ain't a lot of bitchwork, but a lot of people don't have the competency to know what is bitchwork and what isn't; it's Dunning-Kruger in action, and once you see it you won't ever unsee it in any context. Learn To Walk. Then you can Git Gud.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: A War Story on the Edge of Nihilistic Excess

What you're looking at is Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky. This is the movie-length recut compilation of the first four episodes of Thunderbolt, introducing our protagonist and deuteragonist as well as the thoroughly insane environment that was The One Year War and its immediate aftermath. This comes from the Gundam Official YouTube channel, and there is an English dubbed version if you prefer.

The benefit of using a fictional war is that you sidestep all political sensitivities that a real one puts on the table, allowing a storyteller to show an audience what war is really like. The problem is when the creator slips past the boundaries of good taste and narrative discipline to wallow in excess that pollutes the point of the creation (which is, first and foremost, to entertain- no matter the audience). Thunderbolt is not a Superversive story, and it echoes the worst of "Kill 'Em All" Tomino's past exercises in nihilism, but I don't think it goes over that line. Up to it? Sure, more than once, but past? Not yet. It wants to hammer home how tragic this war is for everyone, from those driven psychotically mad to those forced to live with the loss of more than just limbs and everyone in between. Pure Good vs. Evil, as is common for a Gundam series, this is not.

This ain't Unicorn, but neither is it like the downer parts of Zeta Gundam. There is more of this series, but there is no compliation movie of Episodes 5-8 yet, and this film is being made available only until December 8th via the channel so catch it while you can. I guarantee that it's better than watching an NFL game, so make time for it this Sunday.

Friday, November 10, 2017

On the Anniversary of the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

My home state of Minnesota has some beautiful places, and its share of tragic incidents. This Tweet covers both.

Yes, the same incident that prompted a famous Gordon Lightfooot song.

History isn't all battles and big men doing big things. Every day, in every place, there's things going on due to people living their lives. The culmination of those doings can add up to major events that impact lives well beyond the immediate happening, and the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald is one such event.

The changes that occurred with that ship's loss are not obvious to many, as they were neither the families of the slain nor working in any of the business directly tied to the ship's work, so all of the regulatory changes and procedural changes are lost on them- but not the effect of safer delivery of taconite ore to steel mills for smelting into steel bars for manufacturers to shape into cars, planes, computer cases, etc. that common people use every day.

History is not just shit that gets you well-paid on Jeopardy. Knowing what went down before, how, and why (including the consequences affecting your life here and now) is fundamental to building and sustaining Civilization; it's how you get on the shoulders of those giants that you need to do the things that make you a giant in turn. The deliberate falsification of history is nothing less than an attack on Civilization by stealing the roots of one's culture by deception. This is fraud. It should be punished accordingly as the high crime that it is.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Inhumans: Bellweather for the MCU's Decline & Fall

About a month ago, the folks at Midnight's Edge and the After Dark channels got together to talk about the Inhumans series on ABC.

No, things did not get better since. The TV side of the MCU has always been the weaker side, and a lot of us called this series being the first outright failure for the franchise. That prognosis has not changed, and the reason is clear: shit storytelling by incompetent management still smarting over the loss of an internal turf war.

Where I depart from a lot of folks naysaying this series is that I think it, like Agents of SHIELD will enjoy some protection from cancellation as it seeks to carve out a similar niche to the aforementioned series as a TV property intended to be the ongoing franchise engagement between the films' major events and the Netflix shows limited-series melodramas.

The big difference is that this series has ties to Cosmic Marvel that SHIELD lacks, and if this series is intended to survive Infinity War it could replace SHIELD as the primary retention device for the franchise. (Because it sure as hell isn't the comics.) SHIELD approaches the usual end of useful lifespan for a dramatic series, so this may be an option; cast, crew, etc. may want to move on before it's too late (and they should, all of them).

And Cosmic Marvel will take on far more importance in the next few years, with Infinity War being the point where massive talent turnover (and thus narrative turnover) occurs. Films succeeding that film are part of the Cosmic end more often than not, and those post-IW films already show signs of ramping up the poz heretofore kept to deniable levels. (Yes, the shit in the comics is coming to the films; Captain Marvel is the Shtit Test for this, as they are using SJW Cpatain Marvel as the chassis for the film.)

Inhumans is the bellweather. Shit storytelling, bad management, misused talent, and other tells of SJW crapfests are already present here. Expect them to get worse, appearing more and more on screen instead of cringefest PR stunts gone wrong, as time goes by, until cancellation is compelled by higher authories who actually care about profitability and other core duties of corporate management. (Shareholder lawsuits will happen within a decade over this, as we are talking about a legal requirement.)

We're being warned. Time to exit the franchise before its collapse hits in earnest; I recommend staying no later than Infinity War, and withdrawing from the non-film ends sooner. Instead, support clean alternatives such as #AltHero.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Year of Winning

One year ago today, the God-Emperor achieved his Ascension. The enemies of Mankind quaked with fear and knew terror thereafter.

It's been a glorious year of winning, and I am not tired at all.

From my perspective, the Ascension of the God-Emperor did more than get leftist retards to REEEE loud and hard. It broke a hole in the wall of cultural domination, and through that opening a lot of us revolting against that poz broke through to establish beachheads against an invisible empire of evil.

The rise of the Dragon Awards. The fall of the Hugos. The ongoing collapse of Marvel in particular and mainstream US comics in general, versus the outstanding support for #AltHero. The ongoing success of Appendix N, and its influence in both gaming and literature. The PulpRev Sampler's publication following the launch of PulpRev itself, and the rise of Superversive as well as Castalia House's blogs. Successful launches for Brian Niemeier, Jon Mollison, John del Arroz, Vox Day, and many more- all of which continually demonstrating the truth of the claims made against the SJWs in SF/F literature. The lukewarm reception of the new Star Wars films and others so converged exposing weaknesses in Hollywood- weaknesses that (likelly) played into the outbreak of scandals.

And those sweet Antifa tears.

The revolt against the politicization of escapist entertainment media continues, as Nintendo fights against its own subsidiaries to clean out the poz afflicting its Western releases that inhibit their otherwise-successful Switch launch. The wholly unprecedented release of Super Robot Wars V on PS4 and PS Vita to the West (via Singapore) brought in a new audience that never saw such a game before, and renewed its existing fanbase (and the contributing properties) in the process.

And none of us are tired of winning. Sure, setbacks happen, but overall this year's been fantastic for we who support the God-Emperor and look forward to more of the same over the next seven years. As the poz becomes impossible to ignore, expect our success to only grow while pursue a policy of Fork & Replace upon the diseased dullards afflicting our culture worldwide. If you think this year was great, wait until this time next year. It'll be HUGE!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Disney Angling to Dominate Pop Culture Is Not Good

The folks at World Class Bullshitters have something to say about the news regarding Disney seeking to buy Fox properties that include key Marvel properties such as the X-Men and the Fantastic Four.

There is no good to be had from monopolies. There are only times when the alternative is worse, and that merely makes the monopoly an evil to be tolerated so long as it remains the lesser evil with no practical alternative. As soon as such arises, the tolerance must end and the monopoly annihilated with the fist of an angry God. It leads to stupid things like this, on the mild end, and gets worse from there. (e.g. Muh Rey Sue)

For more information, we can turn to the Midnight's Edge crew who devoted a video to the matter.

As one would expect, both channels are getting hit with the demonetization issues afflicting a lot of other channels. Throw them some scratch if you can spare it; they do good work.

We know that Disney isn't Walt's company and hasn't been for decades now. It's converged, pozzed, and maybe even now an active infection vector. Under the guise of being "advertiser" and "family" friendly, they will spread the disease good and hard into every part of the global culture regardless of the consequences. It will do to its subsidiaries as EA does to studios: buy, hollow, trash.

The key will be its assumption of a dominant distribution position, which they are already testing with its demands on theaters regarding The Last Jedi, paired with its PR media dominance via its ownership of key "news" media properties. The use of manufactured demand to create manufactured consent is intended to cement its position as the Leviathan of global culture, fighting only with Eastern (Chinese and Japanese, really) counterparts.

#AltCulture and #AltBanking is now necessary, folks. Otherwise it's like trying to stay healthy while all around you are virulently infectious.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Changing of the Guard at Castalia House

Jeffro Johnson stepped down as Editor of the Castalia House blog. You can read all about this decision at that very blog here.

I am grateful to Jeffro for all that he's done to raise the profiles of many of us who are allies and friends in this grand quest to Make SF/F & Gaming Great Again. Every time he mentioned one of my posts, at any of the blogs I post at, in the Sensor Sweep posts he did to curate and collect the past week's best stuff in the blogosphere I couldn't help but to smile. His doing that directly contributed to the rise of traffic and readership I now enjoy, and for that I am thankful.

I remember when he asked me to write a guest post on King Arthur Pendragon for the Castalia House blog, and I still regard it as a high point in my blogging time this year.

If there is one thing I want Jeffro's successor to carry on, it's the weekly Sensor Sweeps. We who get mentioned appreciate the signal boost of attention that comes to us, and Castalia House benefits in turn by the attention we give to them. This is a mutually beneficial relationship, and the network of bloggers that arises from this curation will serve to foster the revival of a culture of fun centered on what is true.

As for you, Jeffro. Good luck, good hunting, and may God smile on you and yours hereafter. You did great as the editor, and built the blog into a force to be reckoned with. That's a deed that no one can take away from you, and I know you can apply what you learned going forward. I look forward to seeing your byline on more works like Appendix N in the future.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Pile of Links For All Things WOW: Battle For Azeroth out of BlizzCon 2017

For your convenience, I'm putting pertinent links and videos regarding the upcoming battle For Azeroth expansion for World of Warcraft here. Most of these will be links instead of embeds for reasons that will be obvious below. I won't be writing a lot about this new expansion (other than as a lead to my actual topic) until more information gets into the wild, so if you're not into the game and worry I'm suddenly going to be All WOW All The Time, don't sweat it.

WOWHead is the place to hit for all things World of Warcraft. If you care, go there and bookmark that site. That said, the promised links.

I may have missed some good video links, and there's a few panels that are not yet out of the Virtual Ticket ghetto (the Boss Design panel was a good one), so I'll append this list later when those become available. As for other info not in a video: Antorus (the final Legion raid) opens on the 28th of this month.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

For All of Videogames' Flash & Cash, Tabletop Still Does It First & Best

I know that the WOW devs don't read this blog, so I'm not going to claim credit for inspiring this, but I am pleased to see that some things I created years ago for my tabletop RPG campaign are being implemented in World of Warcraft.

Battle For Azeroth introduces Allied Races. The idea is simple: these are nations sympathetic to your faction, but not yet members of it, a fact you change once you complete a race-specific quest chain. Once that race formally joins your faction, your account gains the option to play as that race going forward (starting at Level 20 instead of Level 1, and spawning at your faction's capital city).

For my New Model Colony campaign, this is how players can unlock additional race and class options. The differences are (a) it's unlocked for all players, (b) only I know what's out there to recruit right now (players have to actually find it; this is a form of treasure), and (c) the relationship must be maintained to maintain access. I devised this idea many years ago, and I have no doubt that others did it before me.

As I write this post, I have the panel on Boss Encounter design going on. This is Mech Pilot thinking from start to finish, with a side of Storygame wanking, but given the difference in medium that's tolerable (the wanking) and necessary (the boss design being focused on mechanical operation). However, there is an undercurrent going on about context; they don't design with a white room in mind, but rather account for (a) what the environment of the encounter is and (b) what the boss's objective is in opposing the PCs.

That last bit is straight from the old days of D&D, as seen with The Alt-Right DM's posts about his ongoing campaign. Tabletop RPGs think in terms of context first and foremost; who wants what, and what are they willing to do to get it? Because of the human GM, all of the ambiguity that videogames handle poorly can be handled with aplomb at the table. That panel discussion? Sorted in a coffee break by one dude with a scratch pad, or handled on the fly during play.

Tabletop still does things that videogames have issues implementing, did it first, and does it best. Until computing capacity and acumen surmounts those differences in medium, and then makes it dead-simple to use at home, the heart and soul of the RPG as a form of game will remain in its medium of founding: the tabletop. Go grab some pals, some dice, and go adventuring- it's the cheapest and lowest-tech form of gaming you can do, and the rewards are fantastic for the work required.

Friday, November 3, 2017

BlizzCon 2017: Of Course There's a New Expansion

BlizzCon 2017 began today. Being primarily a World of Warcraft player, I expected a new expansion announcement and I was not disappointed. For nuts and bolts and pictures galore, I refer you to WOWHead and its many posts made about as fast as the word got said in various panels this afternoon. (Have your adblocks up.) So I will just talk about the notable stuff mentioned today. HERE BE SPOILERS!

Battle For Azeroth is the title. The expansion goes over a Total World War between the Alliance and the Horde. The Horde loses the Undercity to an Alliance military invasion of Lordaeron that razes to the ground, while the Alliance loses Teldrassil to a Horde military assault that burns the failed World Tress to ash. Both losing fronts are pushed by to their rumps, which forms the first of the Warfront battle lines in this expansion.

The war quickly escalates, requiring not only a global search for resources (and the territory it requires), but also the need for new allies to rally to the banner and join the fight. These are Allied Races, and each side gains three at launch; more are going to be added down the road. The Horde gain the Highmountain Tauren and Nightborne Elves of the Broken Isles as well as the Zandalari Trolls of Zandalar. The Alliance gain the Lightforged Draenei and Void Elves that appeared during the Argus campaign against the Burning Legion, and the Dark Iron Dwarves are fully rehabilitated into the Alliance.

As the presence of the Zandalari implies, the search for allies brings heretofore unseen lands into the game. The Horde begin their expansion in Zandalar, having to aid the trolls there against their enemies to secure the allegience thereof. The Alliance goes to Kul Tiras and must do likewise to return that nation to the fold. Using both states' powerful navies, they scour the seas for strategic locations to secure or plunder.

These are the Island Expeditions, three-man Scenarios where Role is irrelevant. Three PVE difficulties and one PVP option. Meant to farm the new Artifact Power (Azurite, the crystallized blood of the World Soul Azeroth), which is used to empower the one new Artifact we gain (Heart of Azeroth, given at the start by Speaker Magni Bronzebeard on Azeroth's behalf) to make up for those we lose going out of Legion. We slowly gain powerup options on the armor pieces we gain (which are NEVER random in what options they offer).

Those Warfronts? They are 20-man PVE Scenarios, modeled on the play experience of Warcraft 1 & 2- you start at a Town Hall and have to build out a tech tree in order to build up an army and get into their base to kill their mans and gank their general. The first one in the Eastern Kingdoms is Stromgarde in the Arathi Highlands and the map is an all-new HD remake of the live zone map. None for Kalimdor announced yet, but we can expect it to be near the Exodar and Darkshire.

Yes, the level cap got raised 120. No, leveling won't be the chore it is now; a lot of tech rolled out specifically for Legion, as many expected, is going to be applied to the rest of the game: level scaling, zone-agnosticism (level where you like), World Quests and Emissaries, and so on. Dungeons get this too. This will be nice, because once you unlock an Allied Race via its specific quest chain (an account-wide unlock) your new man starts at Level 20 and can go wherever to adventure. If you get that man to 110, you unlock (account-wide) a unique appearance set called "Heritage Armor" and it is NOT locked to armor types.

And that's what's documented.

Undocumented, but seen in the demo available on the floor: a massive stat squish (back to Wrath levels), a massive Item Level squish (ditto), the return of castable buffs (Mark of the Wild, we missed you.), and graphics that mean you ought to upgrade your PC if you want a decent framerate. Potato people, start banking for a new PC now.

And that's about all I have to say for now. Tomorrow I'll get more information (I hope), and I will talk about the other games and features that I think will seriously change the Blizzard end of videogaming (Hint: Overwatch's voice chat will come to Heroes, WOW, and the Blizzard App making outside VOIP apps irrelevant and unnecessary because Overwatch's chat is GOOD!)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

BlizzCon 2017 Is This Weekend

BlizzCon 2017 starts tomorrow afternoon and officially ends late Saturday night, with Muse closing out the show. I have a Virtual Ticket again, so I'm going to watch as much live as I can and then make use of the instant-VOD access to catch what I missed live.

Given the regularity of my posts talking World of Warcraft in particular, this should surprise no one. I've cleared my schedule just so I can do this, and my only regret is not being there in person to meet in realspace many of the folks I talk with online about Blizzard stuff.

Yes, you can expect me to recap the important info out of BlizzCon this weekend here. When I can find good videos recapping that then I will post that video here.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

IP Owners, Reconsider Your IP Protection Policies Regarding Fans

Yesterday I posted Razorfist's recreation of a lost episode of The Shadow radio show. In the video, he mentions that he's gotten nastygrams from the IP owner, Conde Nast. The now-infamous Axanar incident shows another IP-related fiasco that, while legal, was neither good optics nor good Public Relations. This isn't new; it's common enough that several such stories a year come up in fan communities online.

The problem is clear: the actions taken, while legal, have long-term consequences that damage the brand. Why? Because the actions attack the core audience of the brand, those who are often most enthusiastic and often (for brand with multi-generational appeal) are the cohort recruited to professional ranks to replace retiring original professionals and keep the brand a relevant concern.

In short, a different approach to such events needs to be taken that reflects a long-term perspective: Cut them in.

The smart thing to do when high-quality fan productions arise is not to shut them down. It's to give them an honorable offer that they can't refuse: authentication. In the case of Axanar, the smart move would've been to give the fan production access to Paramount's distribution network in return for a strict non-profit policy and non-canonical status. In short, an "Elseworlds" status; IP owners are wise to do something like this going forward. Curate the high-production fan works, see which ones will play ball, and sanction them by distributing them. Take away the financial risk to the fans, and keep the proceeds for distributing their work in return for giving them a pass- and an option to buy the work outright under Work For Hire terms.

If Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy had a clue, she'd push this as official policy right now- and not just for Star Wars. Hold a fan film contest at Celebration, reality-show style, and let the winner get that Too Good To Refuse offer using the festival as easy A/B testing. To sweaten the deal, using this as a means for discovering new talent for official productions in all media would make this the desired route for fans wishing to go pro- a route Lucasfilm could easily an readily control thereafter, and thus one that other studios could copy once it proves effective.

Yes, IP owners are right to protect their property. That's not disputed. What is disputed is the methods, as they are deleterious to the health of their property in the long-term. Star Wars, Star Trek, and many other popular properties suffer from incompetent or malevolent management. Others, such as The Shadow, suffers from such management as well as neglect- and yet have the same stupid-level of punitive enforcement done in the name of protection. For dormant properties, going after high-end fan productions is doubly stupid because they're marketing your property for you FOR FREE!

Embrace the fan productions that actually do right by the IP and its brand. Give them legal protection, and assume the proceeds for any sales going forward in return (because you have that right), and if that works then begin assimilating them into the franchise as they've proven capable stewards of it. That's how you satisfy legal issues with the more reasonable fans; with the unreasonable, go ahead and nuke them in court- no one will look askance at clear bad actors preying upon others.