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2018-01-21T00:44:32.276Z
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It’s time for another DCEU movie! Or as we say in this house, “Is there anything else playing? Nothing? Well… alright then.”

I did recently read an article somewhere though that changed my perspective on the DCEU just a bit, despite being sort of obvious and something-I-knew-but-never-really-thought-too-much-about-before. The gist of the article pointed out that DC has to contend with a lot of pre-conceived notions that Marvel doesn’t deal with on their side, on account of there already having been so many interpretations of these characters.

For example, who’s Iron Man? Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man. Period.

Who’s Batman? Adam West, Michael Keaton, Christian Bale, Kevin Conroy, etc.

And it makes sense that all of those preconceived notions create a bit of an uphill battle for DC in a way, because we all have our favorites among those performances and it can make it harder when things are done differently (or poorly).

It’s not totally an excuse for the movies DC has been making with their cinematic universe, mind you. Even if Heath Ledger had never given us his amazing joker, Jared Leto’s… thing was still a bad fucking idea.

Like I said, though, it did give me a little perspective on the entire “Why can’t DC get this right despite having some of the most popular characters on the planet?” question.

I know, I know. Another Battlefront-related comic. But EA is just the gift that keeps on giving.

They were forced into full back-peddle mode after their meager attempt to justify their math became the most downvoted comment ever.

Note: Because today’s comic is regarding the 75% reduction to hero credit costs, I just know someone is going to spout off in the comments about EA also reducing the credits awarded by the campaign by the same amount. And while at face value that looks like another juicy morsel to shred EA over (pretending to make things better while not actually changing anything), I’d like to point out this:

The campaign previously awarded 20k credits. Iden Versio, the campaign’s protagonist (most of the time, anyway), previously cost 20k credits to unlock for multiplayer. Now that they’ve reduced her purchase price to 5k, they similarly scaled the campaign rewards to match. The point being, they clearly intended for completing the campaign to reward enough credits to unlock that character (or a third of another character), and that is still the case. Since credits rewarded from versus matches haven’t been scaled down, the heroes are still 75% more attainable.

The reason I point this out is that there is plenty to criticize EA on without creating outrage just for the sake of being outraged. All that does is create noise that dilutes focus on the actual problems.

Hah, remember that time last week when EA announced a bunch of loot box changes and we thought maybe they’d be a little less garbage? That was a fun few minutes.

Oh sure, Blizzard. It starts innocently enough. You let him into one game, what’s the harm? Two games, eh, it’s a novelty. But then it gets out of hand. Before long…

You cannot escape…

The Hanzo’ing.

(PS: His HotS kit didn’t really wow me, but I haven’t played in 4-5 months so I’m not familiar with the current meta. His trait sounds neat, though.)


By the way, I’d planned to have pre-orders open until Tues/Wednesday for this poster, but we’re fast approaching the ceiling for how many I wanted to print/ship. So I may close orders early.

Update: All gone!

Pre-order Here.

But no, I’m just being cynical. I’m sure EA would never do anything like that, right?

RIGHT?!

They have changed a bunch of stuff regarding the Battlefront 2 loot chests. Here are the bullet points if you don’t want to click (in even more bullet-pointy form than the article I just linked to).

  • You can’t get the best stuff from crates anymore. You have to craft it.
  • In order to craft it, you need to level up to a certain rank.
  • You can unlock stuff for a class by playing as that class

The loot chests are still there, though, and I understand there are a lot of people that will settle for nothing short of their complete and utter removal from gaming as we know it. But, barring that, these changes do, on the surface, seem to remove some of the most grievous and immediate pay-to-win concerns.

They’ve made it so the best stuff is achieved by playing the game, and nobody can drop a boat load of cash on Day 1 and own all of the most epic Star Cards. I’m not going to try and defend the continued existence of the loot crates right now, but at least these changes are something.

Of course, I am not naive enough to believe that it will last, or that EA has had any sort of change of heart regarding microtransactions.


Update: We have a new limited poster up for grabs. Orders end next week.

Holy shit, that Last of Us 2 trailer, huh? I mean, I’m not one to balk at violence in my media, but that was a lot of brutality in a very short amount of time. It felt just a bit gratuitous for a trailer. I wouldn’t doubt for a second that in game, in context, it’s par for the course (after all the first game didn’t exactly skimp on the gore), but for a teaser… I dunno.

Anyway, my wife and I broke down and watched This Is Us a couple of weeks ago, after constantly hearing about it from friends, and seeing the crying memes online and all that stuff over the past year (the memes were legit, by the way. Tears were shed).

So I guess it was floating around towards the top of my mind where it collided with The Last Of Us, and there you have it.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins is the deepest, most sprawling, visually gorgeous, technologically advanced repackaging of the same old shit we’ve gotten yet.

I don’t necessarily mean that as a dig… or a compliment. Actually, I’m not really sure how I feel about it yet. On the one hand, it’s an Assassin’s Creed game, so you pretty much know what you’re getting at this point. Nobody buying an AC game in 2017 is surprised by what’s under the hood.

At the same time, this one again feels like they almost made some big changes. The setting is amazing; I have no complaints about playing a game in ancient Egypt. The game looks fantastic. They cut way back on the present-day/animus stuff, which I always thought was a drag. And the combat? They sort of kind of made it better.

But it still feels like it falls short of any of a half-dozen third-person slashers I can think of off the top of my head (Souls, Nioh, etc). It’s better than what we had in previous AC games, yet still not as good as some other games are doing it.

Despite the many improvements (and there are many improvements, credit where credit is due), a few hours in when the gloss wears off, it really started to feel a lot like every AC game I played before. There wasn’t much I hadn’t already done in earlier AC games. Stealth all felt the same, enemy AI felt roughly the same which made the fights feel the same...

I love video games. I will always love video games. I don’t see ever not playing video games.

But if I’m being honest, over the last few years, I have found myself gravitating more and more to tabletop games as a preferred gaming experience.

Not all the time, obviously. The logistics prevent it from being an impromptu activity I can just “do” for an hour or so at the end of a long day. With busy schedules, you can’t always gather people easily.

And it helps that we’re in the midst of a board game renaissance I suppose, but there’s something… simpler, about tabletop gaming. I don’t mean they’re shallow from a complexity standpoint; trust me, we’re a far cry from the days of Monopoly.

In light of all the video game industry stuff we’ve been discussing, though, tabletop gaming just feels more straightforward, and that’s refreshing. And don’t get me wrong, some of the stuff we see in video game business takes place in board gaming too; after all, booster packs for games like Magic are pretty much the original “loot boxes.” Make no mistake, board game companies want your money just as much as anyone else.

And some games end up getting expansions you can choose to purchase to extend your game experience, and “patches” exist in board gaming in the form of FAQ’s and Erratas, but by and large it more consistently feels like when you buy a game, you’re buying the whole game. Like, that’s it.

Maybe the tactile portion of...

“It was not really a conscious decision, it’s just what happened.”

That’s a quote from Rockstar’s Imran Sarwar when asked if it was hard to make the decision not to create single-player DLC, and instead focus on GTA Online.

I’m sorry, but at some point someone had to have made a conscious decision, right? I mean, game developers don’t just go into work and wander around the office aimlessly until stuff ‘just happens,’ right?

Somewhere along the line, they realized what they had with GTAO, that the Shark Cards were bringing in half a billion dollars, and decided that was more lucrative than a few single player DLCs.

It is a conscious decision, and it’s the kind of decision happening all across the industry lately.

I don’t see companies going where the money is as inherently bad; after all, making money is literally the purpose of companies. That is their prime directive (though I think we can all agree that there is a spectrum of sleaziness these companies can fall on in the pursuit of that goal).

Unfortunately, where the money is right now is online. The hard truth of it is, the limited profits of linear, single player titles are quickly being outpaced by rising development and maintenance costs on these AAA games. Which unfortunately means we’re now seeing big single-player titles that are three years into development suddenly “pivoted” towards more easily monetized platforms.

I know that it’s really easy to imagine the only reason loot boxes and DLC exist are because a...