Poor Communications Kill – Preventing misunderstandings

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One of the key reasons for games companies to talk to their players is to communicate expectations. Talking about upcoming features can perk up the player-base and get them excited about things to come. Over-promising or telling them about features and then not delivering them can result in disappointment.

This is not the dance studio I was expecting

This is not the dance studio I was expecting

Do you think that you’re a pathological liar? -(link)
I am going to be kind on the studios and assume that they don’t deliberately over-promise. That is a discussion for another day. My focus for today is on another matter. I will also assume that they are always telling the truth then an expected feature is not released and they state that it was always intended for a later patch. Of course, if that is the case, then they need to work a lot on their communication skills and management of player expectations. Continue reading

Twitter, it is a bit rubbish is it not?

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I’ve had a post lined up for months but never been able to put it exactly into words. I am still working on it, but needed to relieve myself of some quotes I picked up but needed to drop before the post became a thesis.

Twitter isn’t very good at expressing a point or discussing ideas.

It is incredibly easy to say the wrong thing or express yourself badly.

Putting your teams on Twitter with no training, you might as well just hand them a loaded gun. The ability to say whatever we want when we want to say it is extraordinarily dangerous.

— Tony Jones of Daybreak (via PCGamer.com) March 3, 2015

But ultimately if it is used well…

[WoW] What were they randomly thinking?

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edit — They changed the profession vendors so that everyone now gets the same vendor each day. There is still a 1/25ish chance of getting the correct vendor turn up at your garrison, but the vendors are the same across the whole server it should be a lot easier to find someone with a vendor if you have the correct day.

One in 25(ish). What were they thinking?

dice Continue reading

So you hate leveling, but have a problem with leveling speed buffs?

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Do you know what really wipes my raid? People who moaning about boosts to XP gains making leveling being too quick. (This post is brought to you by someone moaning about SW:TOR having a double XP event for subscribers). This is supposed to help other people and you have a problem with it. Let’s see how we can sort out your issues. Continue reading

Minor WoW Irritations – Logging the Sargerei Lumber

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Garrisons are nice. Sometimes we want to make our garrisons grow. To do that we need resources and one of the best sources of resources comes from cutting down trees and getting them processed at the lumberyard.

A Tree

This is a tree

Socrethar’s Rise in Shadowmoon Valley is a fantastic area for gathering resources especially lumber. Medium and larger trees are plentiful and there is minimal competition due to the high density of L100 and elite mobs. The garrison campaign quest includes the assembly of a Sargerei disguise allow you to pass amoung the otherwise hostile mobs unmolested. The disguise is a great asset when it comes to chopping down trees without interruption.

Unfortunately this bountiful harvest doesn’t last. The quest has to be completed if progress is to be made on the garrison campaign, and upon hand-in the disguise is lost. Part of your reward is a new disguise, but this is purely cosmetic and doesn’t cause the mobs to ignore you. Quest completion removes unfettered access to the best lumber gathering area in the game. It is an unfortunate example of the game punishing you if you want progress.

These academics studied female gamers to find out why they play. Their conclusions will astonish you.

“We have been avid gamers all our lives,” top researchers told us, “but we couldn’t understand why women would also be interested in online entertainment. We knew women like sowing, knitting, cook and cleaning, but games have a complexity far beyond the female brain to comprehend.”

What followed next was 3 months of intensive gaming sessions and an 5 minute interview with the research graduates 5-year-old sister. The conclusion will astonish you.

The lead academic had this to say.
“Yeah, it turns out that girls also like rainbows and unicorns. We figure that like the internet because they think it is run on magic and sparkles. So yeah, girls like games because they are thick.”

“Besides, no one with any brains would play that stupid game any more” interjected his colleague. It’s been ruined now that SoE has changed to Daybreak Game Company. Everything is pay to win. How can we show our superior skill and brainpower against that?”

Minor WoW Irritations – Show, don’t Tell

The Mists of Pandaria expansion could be said to have ended on a soar note. Yes, we saved the day, but we plunged a new land into into war, destroyed the landscape, elmost eliminated a race, wiped out an entire neutral faction, fowled the water supply of the farms that supply most of the content with food and turned a stunning valley a zone of eternal sorrows

Nuked Vale of Eternal Sorrows(image stolen from WowHead)

But don’t worry though, an eternity isn’t very long on Azeroth!

There is a party in Pandaria but you are not invited.

There is a party in Pandaria but you are not invited.

DON’T TELL ME IT’S ALL BEEN FIXED, SHOW ME!!! Would it be too hard to have a scenario with all my Panarian friends holding a party in an instance based on a slightly modified version of the unscarred vale.
The storyline was tough, troubling and traumatic. We reach the end, see what a mess we’ve made of everything then suddenly get told, “Don’t worry, everything got fixed.” We don’t get to see the feel-good stuff. We only get the misery leading up to it. For us there is no final pay-off, only a poorly added one-liner which invalidates all the suffering that occurred in MoP.

Always online enhanced – Persistent worlds without boundaries

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I wrote a long winded then more concise pair of post about how always online play-mode impacts game depth by limiting the freedom of players to do crazy things such as fiddling with how the game works or even experimenting with different types of gameplay. It was a fairly negative post, which wasn’t my original intent so here is a catch-up with some comments on how persistent worlds could retain some of the features of an offline single-player without losing the key advantages that they get from being online. Continue reading

Elite: Boring – Impact of always online covered by a single picture

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While looking at a post on depth vs complexity in raiding I was struck by one of the screenshots.
What is depth? (screenshot of video originally taken from Extra Credits)

If I’d have seen this a few weeks ago it would have made my moan about always online having a negative impact some areas of gameplay in on Elite: Dangerous.

Always online = Reduction in meaningful choices = Less depth.

That would have been a much simpler and shorter post to make.

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