So I am taking a virtual worlds class this semester and I was really excited about it. Last semester I talked to the prof about the class and she said that people could choose any MMO they wanted to play, but they must play one. Well, now she has decided that you must play either Secondlife or WoW. I’m not interested in Second Life as I’ve given up the days of IRC chat long ago and have no interest in cyber prostitution, so that basically sticks me into WoW. yay, the excitement is just bleeding off me.

On the bright side, she is only requiring that people play 1-3 hours a week, which should mean if I play just that, I will be sick of it somewhere half way into the semester. Maybe I can just deal with it past that and make it through the semester. I think it’ll be a fun class otherwise.

One thing I do find odd about both this class and the other game centric class that I am taking is the lack of potential game developers in them. Making games is becoming more and more sought after jobs. When you are in a university that has no real program, you really need to take whatever classes that are available that actually deal with games. And thus far, in three classes from this department, I haven’t seen anyone with similar interests as I. This makes me wonder where the student devs are going because I know there is in fact a student group in UW-Madison.

Nintendo’s Wii Strategy

I’ve talked about the Wii quite a bit in previous posts, but yesterday I listened to the AllGames Interactive podcast where Scot Rubin was whining about the lack of online play on the Wii. And that got me thinking about the Wii’s strategy. Nintendo learned alot on how to market their product with the DS. They took a technically inferior product and beat the competition with innovation. And they didn’t do it just by having the innovation, they did several very clever things.

Continue reading “Nintendo’s Wii Strategy”

How Microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot

When Microsoft launched the idea of Vista. They named it as a way to bring games back to the PC. Not a bad idea for them at all, as games are what generally drive the PC market. If not for games, there would be very little reason for anyone to upgrade their OS from Windows 95. And do you really think Office has changed that drastically in the last 10 years to warrant an upgrade on its own either? No. What does warrant an upgrade is bigger and better games which require faster and faster computers, which require an OS that can handle the speed and compliment it. Continue reading “How Microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot”

Random Stuff

Well this week’s Hep C injection didn’t go anywhere near as disasterous as last week’s. This week the injection site didn’t bruise at all, compared with last week’s gameboy size bruise, I’m quite pleased. I didn’t have hot or cold flashes, I felt a little achey but no where near as bad as last week. And I was still a little drowsy and didn’t feel like goin out much. I think taking the medication a couple hours earlier in the night helped a lot, I think I’m going to bring it back another hour especially with school coming up. My hope is that the very worst of it will be gone by the time class starts, I doubt that’ll happen but anything I can do to help is worth my while.

I went to target last night to get some stuff and while I was there I decided to check out Wii stuff. Still no controllers or nunchuckus, but they still had ample supply of games. While I was lookin in the area I decided to go over to the PS3 section because I had heard that PS3 were beginning to be readily available. Sure enough, Target had 2 of the expensive, and 1 of the cheaper PS3s on display (who knows if there were more in the back, it didn’t seem like their shelf could hold much more than that). I can’t imagine Sony thinking the PS3 has been a success. They have sold almost a quarter of what Wii has sold in less time. Meanwhile, people are still waiting in line for the Wii and the PS3 is gathering dust on the shelf. If this continues, Sony is going to have to enter into a price war and start slashing the price of the console like there is no tomorrow. This will become even more dire if rumors are true and Microsoft puts out a 120GB version of the 360 at the same price the premium currently sits at as the main advantage the PS3 has had thus far is that it has a bigger hard drive, which this will totally nullify.

Sony is in trouble.

And honestly I don’t even think Microsoft is in a great place looking at continuing crappy numbers in Japan. In a little more than a year Microsoft has sold more than 10 million units, which is great for them, however I’d be shocked if they sold much more than 1 million in Japan which is dismal. After just 2 and a half months, Nintendo has almost sold 4 million units, and gaining fast. Nintendo’s only limitation is getting the units out and they are putting them out faster than Sony or Microsoft could do combined. If Nintendo continues to have these strong sales, Nintendo should easily eclipse Microsoft as console leader by the end of the year. This is especially true when you consider the software that Nintendo is likely to put out this year. I expect Super Smash Bros., Brain Training, Mario, and Metroid. These franchises I think are really going to push the numbers of Nintendo quite a bit, they are 4 of Nintendo’s strongest franchises, their 5th already being out on the Wii with Zelda, and their 6th never has worked on a console. Although I totally expect the Pokemon fighting game for Pearl/Diamond this year as well. (I’ve heard that it is the best version to date of the fighting game but that game hasn’t traditionally done will in the US, even when the Pokemon franchise was at its height.)

Vanguard: The Unplayable

I don’t know much about Vanguard. I know they got a few good ideas to make the game more realistic and have different types of play other than just combat, like diplomacy. But I’ve heard so many good things about it that I decided to give it a shot. After a day and a half of downloading I finally got it installed and went in.

First of all, I’d like to say that the variety of races is fairly impressive. There are a bunch of them. That being said, none of them are overly impressive. They have the extremely generic human (in 3 varieties), elf (in three varieities, not unlike what you can find in EQ), half-elf, orc (no half-orc?), dwarf, gnome, halfling, etc. that you come to expect in the fantasy genre because apparantly only Tolkien had the ability to create races out of the blue. Then you have some more interesting choices like Goblin I think is kind of a nice change of pace, and a creature that is common yet rarely used as a player race. But then they get into their original which are completely lame, this can be seen best in Dog Boy. The game truly resembles a freak show at a fair, and to be honest, I think that those things aren’t popular for a reason.

Classes as well are uninspired. There is nothing new here. Although I think it is interesting that they split between skill-based forĀ  tradeskills and class-based for combat and then went on to say in their FAQ that the reason they went class based for combat was to not confuse new players. As if having *2* different systems is less confusing!

The game itself is unplayable for me so this is about where my mini-review ends. When I first started playing the ping time was 1000-1500, and since then it has gone down to below 200, so it is now respectable there. However, the FPS has been at a constant 8 since I first installed, and it hasn’t gotten the least bit better. I do have a fairly old system, but it isn’t that ancient, maybe 2 to 3 years old. It just can’t handle this game. I can play EQ2 fine, and from the screenshots Vanguard really doesn’t look much better than screenshots for EQ2. It is to the point that I don’t really know why the reqs are so high. Some say it is because it is a seemless world, but that just shows to me that they are developers who don’t know how to deal with a game’s movement from one area to the next, because it shouldn’t be that much of an issue.

I’d also like to mention that the UI of the game is aweful. They ripped the UI straight from WoW, down to the retarded chat scroll. I don’t understand this because LotR does nearly the same thing (but a little different) and to be honest WoW’s UI was aweful. Why in the world would anyone copy this? Just because WoW has a million subscriber’s (I don’t buy the 8 million at all), doesn’t mean that every feature of WoW is good… because it’s not. In fact most features of WoW are bad, they did have some good features but UI certainly wasn’t one of them. Copycat syndrome with bad features is not something that should be done!

Best Buy

I was walking through Best Buy the other day and it occured to me that half the store was full of CDs and there were only like 1 or 2 people in the CD section. Meanwhile the movie and game isles was a mere quarter of the size (if that) and each of those had 6-10 people in them. So I was left wondering, just what is going on with Best Buy?

It used to be that they would get people into the store with low CD prices and a good selection, now most people think the selection is better on iTunes and they think the price is cheaper too so it is no wonder there are few people buying CDs anymore. The people who actually buy CDs are relegated to the role of the record owner of not too long ago, they are specialists, either looking for the feel of the olden days or too old themselves to know any better.

Meanwhile the movie section is overflowing with movies that are far over my 6’3″ head. And the game industry is panicing because it keeps growing and there seems to be less and less floor space to put all these games in. If Best Buy had half a brain, and it seems they don’t, they would cut the CD section in half, put the music in the same type of tall bin that movies are currently in, and expand the movie and game section accordingly. I personally would like to see games move up to the front of the store where the CDs currently are and then have the movies fill in where the Games used to be, therefore expanding both section. Both sections are just far too cramped right now, with people and with product, it is a shame Best Buy doesn’t notice these things.