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Tagged with “mass effect” (4)

  1. Diecast #219: Andromeda, Dark Souls, Spec Ops - Twenty Sided

    BlueBlazeSpear says:

    Monday Jul 23, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    My biggest problem with the characters of Mass Effect: Andromeda is that they’re completely unnecessary to the story. Remove any of them and replace them with some nameless peon and the game isn’t really affected all that much. Even Jaal could’ve been replaced by a nondescript Angaran. What’s weird is that the characters are supposed to be the face of this whole new world and they don’t even meet the minimum requirement of fleshing out the world. Compare what we learn of Andromeda’s world-state from these characters over the course of the entire game versus what we can learn about of ME1’s world state right at the beginning of the game in walking the deck from Joker to the comm room.

    Their jobs barely seem to even line up with the goals and tasks of the Andromeda Initiative. We take on Vetra because she’s a smuggler, but as far as I can tell, we never use her smuggling skills. PeeBee is all about the Remnant tech and all that comes of that is a secondary drone and a “core collection” quest that doesn’t lead anywhere. Drack… I guess we have the mutual goal of wanting to kick ass? The more I played, the more I got the feeling that the Milky Way was just purging its losers and it was proven true by having the Initiative immediately implode upon arrival. I liked that Alec Ryder seemed competent and he wasn’t always cracking wise like everyone else, but then spoiler he dies off screen and his child – for whom he died – doesn’t seem particularly broken up about it.

    There were tons of possibilities here too. Jaal could’ve been our window into this new and exotic life that we’re only just now discovering. But instead, his people are pretty much like us and their problems look a lot like ours and we have to believe that they’re hyper-emotional because they keep telling us they are without ever showing it. They suffer from what in fantasy writing is called “the elf problem.” Because in that case, if the elves are just humans with pointy ears, then why make them elves at all other than because they’re all sizzle and no bacon? And it’s a pretty big deal that there was a mutiny on the Nexus and a sizeable portion of the people were thrown off the station. We had characters that could’ve exemplified both sides of that conflict, but it feels like it’s barely touched upon, despite it being a defining moment. Often, I found myself wondering “Why are these characters even here?” and I never came up with a compelling answer.

    The Andromeda menu system was such a mess. It was impressive the number of clicks it took just to do the simplest of things. The “research and development” of weapons and armors was an unintuitive slog that I still don’t think I fully understand. And I never used the profile “favorites” because it was just cumbersome enough to not be useful. It was amazing how deeply buried even the most basic information always seemed to be.

    My first attempt at the game was me trying to be a tech-based sniper and I quickly learned how un-viable and not-fun it was and I quickly abandoned it. Maybe it becomes more viable as you unlock skills? I just know that in the few places that I used it, I virtually never had a good scoped shot and I did all of my firing from the hip and did most of my damage via powers. To me, that’s what can make the action in the game fun – finding the right powers that feel fun and satisfying and getting to a point where you can spam them pretty regularly.

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  2. Diecast #128: Activision, N7 Day Trailer, Tomb Raider Release - Twenty Sided

    squiddlefits says:

    November 9, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Warning: Wall of text incoming. On the subject of King:

    1. Candy Crush alone has a daily revenue of $915.000 . It is losing audience but that is happening at a very slow pace. King has other mobile IPs that rake in 50-100.000 a day. So in pure revenue this is big.

    2. King has something that Activision lacks and is much more valuable: a massive female market. Think about it: this is a massive audience of female gamers that you can target ads for.

    3. The mobile games market is very volatile, it is incredibly difficult to get your game to become popular and stay popular. It is far more valuable to surf on the triple-whammy name-recognition of King/Candy Crush/Activision to leapfrog new products through the initial slog to establish a market.

    4. King probably has a large library of research on how to get people to send you lots of money. That R&D alone is probably worth the 6 billion. Activision can use this to finetune their existing free to play/ingame purchase market and “enhance” new free to play games. What would a King-made MOBA look like?

    Additionally, 3.6 billion of this deal was made in cash. Meaning this was 3.6 billion activision had lying around and had to find a purpose for. Now, you can do other things with this money but none of them are as risk-free as the King-purchase:

    1. You can set up new studios. Problem: a new studio requires a lot of micro-management

    and support, moreover: quality programmers and designers are in a finite supply. If you want to set up new studios there is a high chance of failure, the costs are large, the rate of return (compared to the mobile market) is low, and the support/management requirements mean that you split the focus of your organisation – which is also a finite resource.

    1. You can buy an existing IP. Problem: how will you make money off of it? After you buy Marvel or Star wars or whatever you need to sink in more of your own money to actually build the games. Also you have no guarantee that you can increase your income from this IP (compared to the previous holder of said IP). You can churn out x2/x3/x4 times as many games, but odds are you won’t increase your audience by x2/x3/x4 consumers. So that would be a waste of resources.

    TL;DR: this purchase is disappointing because we don’t value Candy Crush and scoff at the amount of money spent on something we don’t care about. But this might just be the least-risky investment Kotick et al could think of in the short term, that also allows activision to expand in new directions.

    Additionally, Activision is a publicly traded company and boards of directors are rarely risk-seeking individuals. Funding indie devs and interesting new design concepts is many things, but risk-free it is not. IF they spent this money on indies and they didn’t create a decent rate of return on those – the retaliation from shareholders would be … unpleasant.

    edit: here’s a good breakdown of King revenue from may 2015: . Candy Crush was +- 40% of their revenue, the sign of a flagship property but hardy a one-trick pony company. Quarterly revenue averages out to about 500 million – or +- 2 billion per year. If Activision-owned King can stay steady at that rate for 3 years they have their investment back, ignoring additional revenue from ads promoting other activision products.

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  3. Diecast #71: BioWare, Twitch, Sims 4 - Twenty Sided

    Direct download (MP3)Direct download (ogg Vorbis)Podcast RSS feed.Hosts: Chris, Josh, Shamus.Show notes:1:00 Casey Hudson departs BioWare.In retrospect, a bit of this comes off as gossipy. Sorry about that. Be sure to read the announcement and remember anything that’s not said in that announcement is conjecture on our part.This discussion leads to the first mailbag of the week:Dear Diecast,With the recent re-opening of the Mass Effect Wounds at Twenty Sided and three recent tweets by Shamus, it seems appropriate to ask this question:Why is it that after all this time and an Extended Cut DLC that ‘explained everything’, the very mention of Mass Effect 3, a game that was released in March 2012, STILL has the ability to drive people nuts?

    Plenty of other games suffer from bad writing in one form or another – why is it that this one rubs people so raw to this day?

    Is there another game you can think of that even comes close?Cheers, RTBonesI answered this in part on the show, but I’m going to answer it more fully in tomorrow’s column.25:00 Twitch TV has rolled out a dumb broken ContentID system.Like I said the other day:38:30 Sims 4 is missing a lot of features.It didn’t sound like a big deal to me at first, but it all sounds kind of shocking when you actually read the list. It’s even more worrisome when you remember what happened to SimCity. Is EA going to ruin two major Maxis titles with their meddling? I’m perversely anxious to find out.51:00 MAILTIME!Dear Diecast,Spoiler Warning has Reginald Cuftbert as a recurring character in every new game. Do any members of the cast have their own special character that makes a return in the various games that you play?KanaHere is the Errant Signal episode we were talking about in this segment:Link (YouTube)Tagged:bioware, mass effect, sims, Twitch

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  4. Diecast #55: Mailbag! - Twenty Sided

    Perhaps to counter-balance the packed cast of last week, we’ve got a skeleton crew this week. As a result, no Spoiler Warning. But! Double Diecast. Here’s the first one…Direct download (MP3)Direct download (ogg Vorbis)Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, and Shamus.Show notes:3:00 How do you feel about the use of radiant quests in Skyrim? Where do you see the potential of randomly generated quests for other games or in the future?P.S.: I don’t like Skyrim’s radiant quests but I think the system has a lot of potential.Cheers!13:00Dear Diecast,The Unreal Engine 4 launched recently, with a very interesting pricing model. A flat monthly subscription fee and 5% off the top is an amazing direction to go in compared to their previous pricing models and removes the barrier to entry for indie developers. Do you think we’ll see a huge surge of indies using the engine? Are you tempted to try it out yourself? I know I am.-NekoFor reference, these are the Necco Wafers we were talking about when we were supposed to be answering the question. My column that will actually answer this question properly should go up on Tuesday.18:00Dear Diecast,What do you think of the recent announcement that the in-development World of Darkness MMO has been canceled?

    Is this a tragic loss, or have they just avoided a situation like Elder Scrolls Online where an MMO launches and fails to meet expectations from the fans?Dave B.28:00Dear Strongbad,What is your least favorite game in Spoiler Warning?With crap, Rutskarn44:00 Romance characters in games.We end with Rutskarn beginning a tale of his very first D&D game. That story will lead off our next Diecast. See you later this week. Tagged:diecast, mailbag, mass effect, necco wafers, neverwinter nights, skyrim, unreal, witcher

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