Thursday, March 4, 2010

Random Shots: Too Many Things

  • This has certainly been a weird week for video games. How weird, you might ask? Well....

  • The biggest and most insane news has the removal of the studio heads for Infinity Ward (perpetrators of the Call of Duty franchise) and the subsequent extention of the franchise to additional studios. It all puts Bobby Kotick's recent keynote at DICE in a different light. I have no love for the first-person shooter genre, but I do care about art and passion being thrown overboard for the sake of business. (Assuming the IW guys weren't just being jerks. It's still interesting news either way.)

  • On a much more positive note, something awesome happened in Portal. A mysterious update appeared in Steam on Monday that references updating radio transmission frequencies. I was completely confused because radios don't play just about any part in the game. At least they didn't before. There are now 26 radios in the game that, when carried to an appropriate place in the levels, broadcast strange information. Some are Morse code, some are SSTV images. My favorite is a code that translates to "BEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEP". Translating again gets you "LOL". There's also a BBS that was found in the images that has data from a backup code of GLaDOS. Version 3.11, evidently, which makes people speculate that we'll get an announcement on March 11. Those Valve guys are crazy. It's nice to see something positive coming out of gaming recently.

  • Monday saw Microsoft finally triumph over Sony as every original Playstation 3 on the planet closed up shop for 24 hours. (That was a joke, fanboys.) For all the hard work that goes into our games, it amuses me to no end that something as simple as the internal clock can bring our technology to its knees.

  • The long awaited re-pricing for the Allods Online cash shop has finally arrived. The poster item for microtransaction excesses, the twenty dollar backpack, has been reduced to six dollars. Keen reports that this is still three times the Russian rate, but this looks like a reasonable price for the market. It would be enough to get me back in the game if Kirith Kodachi hadn't convinced me to try out EVE Online again.

  • And because Cryptic just doesn't know what they're doing, Star Trek Online offered 60 days additional play time if you bought the game last weekend. That's right, just for people who didn't preorder or buy collector's editions on day one. The community did its thing and Cryptic did its thing, so the offer is no more. I'm starting to wonder if they like poking the bee hive.

  • And that's it for now. Honestly, that's enough for one week and it's only Thursday morning. You developers need to take it easy.


  1. I'm still waiting to see if Allod's falls on it's face at 22 when I hit my first PvP zone before I'm going to consider buying anything.

    And, man, Cryptic ...what is up with them? They seem to be doing some bizarre experiment to see if bad CR alone can destroy a reasonably solid MMO.

  2. @ Yeebo - I'm counting on you for guidance with Allods, Yeebo. I appreciate you being our test case. I suppose that how soon I return to the game has to do with how my month in EVE turns out.

  3. While Cryptic is perfectly capable of putting their foot in it, I think this was instigated by Atari. You gotta wonder how badly Cryptic wishes they hadn't been bought.

  4. Oh yeah, and I'm waiting on Yeebo to hit the mid-to-late game too before I sink any time into Allods beyond what I played in closed beta. No pressure, man! :)

  5. So that nasty death debuff happens in PvP as well eh?

    So you really decided to give EVE another go? All I can say is awesome! I am really glad I gave the game a chance because I am loving it. Right now I am doing the epic missions, but after I am going to put more effort into joining a Corp. where the meat of the game is I hear.

  6. @ Blue Kae - Yeah, Cryptic has set some of the blame at the feet of Atari. And what with the recent Activision mess, it's easy for me to believe the publisher has their hands deep in the cookie jar.

    @ Jayedub - I'm hoping to get a post up about my return to EVE soon. At least as soon as I get farther in the tutorial. :) You can find me as Ashlyn Lanfier in game.

  7. @Anjin

    Excellent, look forward to reading about it!