I don't especially care about new characters (at least not these particular ones), but it's cool they're adding them. What I am excited for is more courses, because that's what helps keep the game feeling fresh for a longer time. More vehicles could be cool too if they're actually new types and not just straight palette-swaps of existing ones with the same stats.
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Thanks for taking the time to write this, it was an interesting read. Personally I've largely given up on energy-based games because they don't really bring me enough entertainment and they don't fit into my lifestyle well enough to be a good time-filler either.
On the other hand, I think Mass Effect 3 was one of the most well designed examples of micro-transactions in a full retail game, where the random crate system allowed you to unlock things over time. Crates could be bought with the earned gold at a fast enough rate to feel like you were constantly unlocking things (one round on Gold would get you about enough for the Spectre pack) but the randomness kept it exciting.
In addition, they ensured you wouldn't receive items in crates that you already had, which meant like you were constantly making forward progression. I never felt a need to spend money and consistently felt that I was advancing my gear and unlocks with every mission. At the same time, for someone with plenty of money but not much time on their hands and less interest in the unlock progression versus playing the game itself, there was the option there to spend some money to get things faster if they so chose.
Hmm, this is an odd one. The thing that gets me most is the takedown of VODs, I went back and watched a bunch of Crispy's old Dota 2 streams from the beginning during the run-up to TI4 and with this new implementation I wouldn't have been able to do that because they'd be gone by now.
The music issue is more difficult - I've always been wary of streamers playing music in the background because that seems awfully edge-case legally (in fact I recall a few big streamers a couple of years back, not long after the Twitch branding came into effect, being asked not to play copyrighted music on their streams). But VODs getting muted because of game music or sounds is ridiculous. I understand it might be difficult for an automated system to tell what is what, but if the system isn't working properly then implementing it is bound to cause upset. Thankfully the EVO 2014 vods appear to be fine (whether they escaped the automation or whether they were manually excluded is another question), because I'm still watching through those when I get a chance.
One thing which I've talked a lot about wanting to see is a partnership between Twitch and a music service or two (the likes of Spotify and Pandora come to mind) which allow a broadcaster to pay extra for a "streaming account" that they can legally use in the background while playing games. I'm sure the cost would only really work for the larger channels, but at least it'd clear up that legal grey area somewhat.
Thanks for the article, Patrick. There have been a few dismissive comments but I'm not sure they read through the article because it's clearly well thought-out and well researched, even if it's on a slightly unusual topic. I think "games" like this are certainly worth taking a passing glance at, if nothing more, for the perspective of the rest of the games industry.
I played The Sims Social for a short while when I got my first smartphone, because it was the only Sims game available on the Android marketplace at the time. It works in much the same way, where you are just using energy to fill up your meters. The problem is that it never felt as deep and interactive as the regular games as a result. EA has since put their paid-for, complete and microtransaction-free, mobile version of The Sims 3 back on sale, and I picked that up and had a much better time with it (although it's still an inferior version of the game compared to the PC editions).
I also would say, as somewhat of an aside, that I bear no ill will against Kim Kardashian and the way she "played the celebrity game". I have no personal interest in her lifestyle or that sort area of pop culture in general, nor would I have any interest in becoming a big celebrity myself (contrary to your implication here), but good on her for finding a bizarre way to success.
As someone that was a bit too young at the time to get into the original, I'm really looking forward to getting a chance to play through this myself. I've seen a few videos of the original game, but this presents a perfect opportunity to actually play it in a fashion that doesn't feel almost 20 years out of date at this point.
@pimblycharles: Jeff Green was on the podcast not too long ago as well as Brad Muir to replace GB's Jeff and Brad. I think it was one of the first one's Vinny hosted.
[EDIT] Found it: http://www.giantbomb.com/podcasts/giant-bombcast-11-12-2013/1600-671/
Definitely a highly-recommended episode in my book. Some incredible moments. Both those guys were great fill-ins, I used to love Jeff Green on 1UP Yours way back, and Brad Muir never fails to bring a :D to my face.
Thanks for the Divinity story, Patrick. Made me chuckle. And I'll definitely have to check a few of these articles out over the course of this week so thanks for sharing as always.