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  • Hank Chinaski
  • Member Since Jan 5th, 2009

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Behind the scenes with Guild Wars 2 cinematics and demo {Massively}

Aug 18th 2010 4:27PM I really hope this game will be as fun as it sounds. If they have great short story development mixed in with diverse design in the environments, I can definitely see a new gaming addiction happening.

Thanks for the update, and keep em coming, GW2!

15 Minutes of Fame: Psychologist and games researcher John Hopson {WoW}

Jul 28th 2010 11:02AM Most of us that have played WoW as a raider know of someone who claims to have "lost" their kid, or boyfriend, or spouse to the game. Both this article and the Cracked one speak well to the mind tricks involved in rewarding players of games, but avoid talking about the creepy ways real life fails as a game.

Tobold's recent Real Life review pretty much nails most of it.

But even he fails to tackle the biggest issues head on. Power disparities between the highest-ranked players and like 95% of the rest of the player population. Also the exchange of crafting and inventing gameplay for more degrading "service-based" roleplaying.

So, when recently asked by a dad what he could do about his son's addiction, I had a rather caustic response, "Well, maybe you should be asking how to make real life better than a video game."

It's a matter of context. If you are a crafter/inventor type character, but find yourself constantly wtfpwnd by hedge fund managers making millions while destroying the economy in which your skills would otherwise flourish, Real Life suddenly looks a lot less fun. So you can either choose to opt out and eject yourself from the game, or just be lazy and sardonic while Rome burns.

This behavior is, unfortunately, hardwired into human nature and neurobiology, as history has repeatedly proven. Hopefully, biotechnology will offer up some new pleasure centers of the brain in the next century, so maybe we will have an opportunity to be free of megalomaniacs addicted to being "richer" than the rest of us. In the meantime, I'm sure we can print enough dollar bills to pollinate all the crops after the bees are gone.

Seriously, if you have to ask why your kid is addicted to something, you fail at parenting.

New devblog reveals only 54 developers working on EVE Online {Massively}

Jul 18th 2010 7:15AM Fact is, there are plenty of MMOs where you are walking in pixel-land. And if I wanted to stand outside the bank emoting and trying on different outfits, then I would be playing those games.

The reason we play EVE is because of internet spaceships. So please, fix the bugs. CCP is so healthy financially because we like the game design. We like fleet battles. Whatever you have to do to load-balance the nodes, frakking do it.

I'm an old-time Homeworld fan. Remember Relic back in the day when that came out? That was PvE design. If EVE wants to bring in new players, give us some of that. Clean up the interface. Make DED complexes easier to find. Put in scripted events, music, some unique game mechanics. I'll bet Relic didn't have 50 devs.

Ever hear of Gardner Dozois? Since 1985, he's been putting annual collections of the best sci-fi short story writers. I'll bet he and his friends can design some missions to bend your head.

Dust is cool. But EVE Gate? C'mon... and SgtBaker nailed it "World of Twilight". Don't get me wrong, I loved the Vampire Masquerade games, but I get enough of that these days between True Blood and the Underworld movies.

I just like being in out in the black. MOAR SPACE PEW PEW!

Massively's exclusive SWTOR interview: Starships, PvP, and crafting! {Massively}

Jun 21st 2010 1:16PM Maybe it's just me being a cranky ol' bastard, but I just think a ground-combat fantasy-WoW-style MMO is pointless for SciFi. I like EVE because you can actually imagine a future where starships duke it out using technology similar to what's described in EVE. The only thing missing are singularity cannons that fire micro-blackholes into enemy stations and cause them to implode and go nova.

When I first saw EVE, I thought, "Cool. Homeworld MMO." And for the most part, I haven't been disappointed, but Homeworld had far better PvE mission design, including the scripted in-game cutscenes, killer voiceover, music, etc.

I guess this means Star Wars was interesting and cool 30 years ago, and as a kid I loved them. But after reading a lot of great SciFi writers the last few years, there is a point where you really leave the old genre stereotypes behind. Just to touch on a few key elements that SWTOR will have to ignore...

1. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson - little flying bots designed specifically to assassinate a target with a particular phenotype or DNA match. Imagine a swarm of a couple hundred quadrotors the size of your thumbnail with your choice of laser scalpels, poison, viral, or microbomblet loads. Or cover them with tritanium barbs that shoot out and skin the target alive. Kind of hard to live without skin.

2. Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo - Have your gunship lock on to your laser target designator. Deploy 10 kiloton munitions to target. Boss gone. If you need to save the surrounding furniture for the new tenants, use a ionized neutron pulse with no blast wave.

3. Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan - If you die and load into a clone, why not just resleeve into someone else's clone. Bribe the supervisor at the clone bank to do the switch. Or redesign your spare clones to be completely unrecognizable. Or just for fun, clone into a different species now and then just to get some tentacle time in.

4. Vehicles - As in, why the frak would I be walking anywhere? If we are going out hunting bantha, then just strap a harpoon cannon onto the front of our speeder tank to make it all the more sporting. Or better yet, just strafe 'em in an A-Wing or a VTOL equivalent.

I liked KOTOR seven years ago, and Mass Effect was much the same vein, but all these games are basically just cowboys and indians westerns. Same goes for Warhammer 40K, and probably Dust 514, etc... tactically, the options for SciFi just are so much broader than running around shooting things. But maybe something about our brains just likes shooting things.


The Daily Grind: When did giving a MMO a second chance win you over? {Massively}

May 7th 2010 6:10PM Walked away from EVE in frustration, but about 6 months later I found other games just not providing the challenge... got back in and spent a couple weeks reading crazykinux's blog pack to find an EVE corp that was a good fit. The learning curve is ridiculous, but it's the only proper spaceship MMO, and I love how everyone is on one cluster. You get a reputation, it stays with you. No server hopping.

And the adrenaline rush of the PvP is insane. We're rolling small gangs of 12-15 cruisers tracking down pirate players in lowsec on the weekends. Good times!

Avatar movie producer interested in Avatar MMO {Massively}

Apr 28th 2010 7:46PM 1. Google image "avatar pocahontas". District-9 was a way better flick and they made it for 1/10th the budget.

2. The floating mountains and glowing mushrooms in Avatar were stolen right out of WoW's Burning Crusade for chrissake.

3. Frak Avatar. If they really have giant piles of money to burn on game development, please give it to Darkfall.

Star Wars: The Old Republic drops a surprise video documentary {Massively}

Apr 25th 2010 12:17PM Full disclosure: I love Bioware and have played all their games. That said, this is gonna be some tough love.

1. Not just lightsabers, all graphics look cartoony and cheesy. Dirty it up a bit, let's see some shadows, mud on boots, more realistic clothing. Maybe some bloom/HDR on blaster bolts and sabers. If someone has an old computer, give em the option to tone down the graphics, but at least have the option.

2. Everything looks like humans. I want freaky aliens damnit, think the first time you saw Mos Eisley Cantina circa 1977. C'mon we aren't limited to actors with facepaint here, it's a video game.

3. Spaceships. Somewhere between EvE online, Freespace 2, Homeworld, and Black Prophecy. Hell, maybe hire the Black Prophecy team to do the space engine, but without spaceships this is fail. It's friggin' STAR WARS for chrissake.

4. Outside the scope of the video, but you want to talk about heroics and bossfights, then elaborate a little bit more on the design of those encounters. Show me a group of rebels taking over a pirate outpost, or imperial sith wiping out a village of insurgents, or ....

5. Uh, vehicles? AT-AT walkers, speederbikes, hovercars, alien mounts, etc?

Much love, Bioware, please keep the eye candy coming. Millions of nerds await release. Situation normal. Had a slight weapons malfunction, but everything's perfectly alright now.

The Daily Grind: What's your favorite in-game experience? {Massively}

Jan 20th 2010 12:18PM Vanilla WoW, first time we got 40 people attuned to Molten Core and dressed up in blues from 5-mans. Raid leader is organizing the groups and buffs, then someone leeroys the two giant core hounds, which quickly proceed to wipe the raid. Everyone runs out of the instance right into an incoming alliance raid. Ouch. Good times.

And first time seeing Ragnaros coming up out of the swirling lava. All you were thinking was "we are gonna get our *sses kicked...!"

Confessions of a gold scammer and identity thief {Massively}

Jan 19th 2010 2:33PM Hundreds of dollars for doing nothing? Sounds like Wall Street bankers who get million dollar bonuses, while they sold off our economy over the last 30 years. It's easy to bash on a small-time kid who ripped off $20K, but try going to the Hamptons and asking the owners of multi-million dollar homes how they make an honest living.

The playing field in RL is so tilted it's ridiculous. So to quote Richard Morgan, "There are some arenas so corrupt, the only clean acts possible are nihilistic."

Pandemic Legion crowned EVE Alliance Tournament VII champs {Massively}

Sep 21st 2009 2:19PM The Eve PvP tournament this year was absolutely amazing. Widescreen SD and HD real-time streamed video. Awesome play by all teams, really shows off how fun Eve is. Great job CCP for taking gaming to the next level for large-scale thinking mans PvP. Undock and we will take yo shiz! >=)

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Less qq moar pew pew!