Jay Wilson on the Diablo 3 Auction House

Regarding this article and this statement:

…that only a small percentage of players would use it and that the price of items would limit how many were listed and sold.

I do appreciate the admission of fault, no matter how late but, what? How could you not have expected absolutely everyone to use the auction house, especially when everyone has been bitching about it from day 1? Low hanging fruit theory states that players will more likely than not, take the path of least resistance to upgrade gear. In Diablo 3’s case, that is the auction house, as it is the easiest if not the only way (good luck with actual drops) of obtaining high level upgrades.

I mean, this game is so centered around the gearing treadmill that just about everything that you do is influenced by how well equipped you are. D3 almost forces you to use it.

HearthStone, WoW, & BioShock Infinite

HearthStone: Hah Blizzard the Gathering; My prediction was right on the money. I was expecting either a CCG or a mobile game since Blizzard, if i recall correctly, either outright stated or implied that the new title would be relatively minor. I was hoping that it would be a crossover between all of the major Blizzard franchises instead of just Warcraft, but it is what it is. All jokes and unreasonably butthurt comments aide, HeathStone is certainly new and actually looks fun in my opinion, but that is coming from someone who likes card games and the like. I guess popular speculation states that Blizzard is likely testing out the F2P model with HearthStone.

WoW: After about 8 years and change, I ended up canceling my WoW subscription last week. Panda time was fun, as was playing with most of the old crew again but I just haven’t really had/felt the need, interest, or time to login to the game enough to warrant $15 a month. Quit permanently? No, of course not. Come next expansion pack, I am sure that I will be back for a few months. But honestly? I think I am mostly done with all MMOs until something significantly different is released. The genre as a whole just feels really outdated.

BioShock Infinite: It’s funny how the games I haven’t been giving much thought to are the ones I end up buying and visa versa. Popular positive internet opinions drove me to impulse buy BioShock last night. I have also heard that it is a very spoiler sensitive game, so I wanted to buy it before I end up spoiling it for myself on Reddit.

More on SimCity

Hmmm, I wrote this bit earlier:

Is there even anything noteworthy coming out in the near future?

On second thought, it’s actually been a fairly release heavy quarter so far. I know that Crysis 3 came out at the end of February and aside from SimCity and the new Sims 3 expansion, I had totally forgotten about Heart of the Swarm among other things. I think I sill have an $18 credit on my Battle.net account from selling some crap-ass item on the D3 RMAH. That credit if present, will likely be applied to the expansion at some point. As far as everything else, we will have to see as time and money permits.

Just to continue beating the dead horse: I am uncomfortable with SimCity’s multiplayer focus which to be honest adds very little to the game in my opinion. It is nice being able to build on the same region with your friends, but interaction between players is pretty minimal. When you are forced to start removing features to allow customers to play a singleplayer game (with marginal success at that) you should probably a few items to reevaluate. But that said, I did purchase SimCity with full knowledge that it had always on DRM, so as long as the servers work, whatever.

Overall the gameplay itself is incredibly intriguing and addictive, though the AI can use some work to say the least. The crap-ass traffic AI and what not are really the only serious points of contention that I have with Simcity, which in theory should have been corrected with the most recent update. The traffic issues were bad to the extent that they make the game almost unplayable past a certain point. I mean, absolutely everything boils down to traffic at some level: Trade deliveries, fire/police services, happiness, and so forth. I do really like being able to create a working supply chain within and between cities though. If I recall correctly, this particular gameplay element is new to SimCity.

SimCity Impressions

Against my better judgement (always on DRM), I purchased SimCity off of Origin. It is to say the least, kind of sad that I never really expected to be able to play this game on launch because of the expected massive server fail, particularly for a title that is and always has been a single player game as a whole. As a general rule of thumb, I try not to pass judgement on an MMO based off of launch performance but Sim City? Isn’t this supposed to be the game that we play when the Internet is down?

I will try to evaluate this title as a new game or more accurately, a series reboot rather than a true sequel to Sim City 4 because from for everything that I have heard it really is most definitely not a true successor to Sim City 4, and if that is what you are expecting, disappointment will be had. But that said, aside from a fairly slow initial download (“processing large files”), I was able to connect to the west coast US servers without any queuing, play as well as resume my saved games without any problems for the entire evening.

The smaller city sizes do feel fairly restrictive. Within one evening’s worth of play, I was able to build across the entire map. The trick now, will be to grow via optimization in place of map expansion. Despite the DRM hoopla and what not, SimCity is an extremely engrossing and fun game to play.

Edit: Not so much luck tonight! It took us about a half hour to successfully create and then join a game together after many failed attempts at relogging into our Origin accounts, readding each other etc. We were actually able to play for about an hour and a half until we got booted again. Poop.

FTL: Faster Than Light

I keep meaning to post about this game. Even though I purchased FTL some time ago and have since set it down for the most part, it’s one of the more fun titles that I have played in recent memory. I’ve actually known about it for quite some time; It was a Kickstarter if I recall correctly. In addition to a huge chunk of my Steam friends constantly playing FTL, I am pretty sure that I read or heard about it on most of the gaming sites, podcasts, and streams that I follow. And yet, I still managed to blow this game off completely until it went on sale a month or two (or three) ago.


FTL is a rogue-ish resource management strategy game set in space. You are tasked with delivering a critical message to the Federation fleet, which will take you across 8 sectors. Each sector contains a number of star systems to jump to; All the while the nefarious rebels are nipping at your heels. Ignore the fact that graphically, FTL looks like it probably belongs on phone or something, that really is not important. While it isn’t exactly the prettiest plate on the shelf, it’s one of those games that is hard to put down. Game content is largely based on randomization. What each sector contains, what you get from each encounter and what each store has in supply is pretty much up to the RNG.

FTL is hard proof that losing can be fun and it better be because you will lose quite a bit in this title. It’s well worth picking up and probably one of the best deals in terms of play time per dollar.