Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bad Gamestop, down boy

I'm generally not a fan of yahoo news, but this morning I was checking my email and I always scroll through their newest articles because they're pretty good at getting stuff up quick, especially breaking news.  Now it's not that I dislike Yahoo, it's just that they have a lot of writers that don't fact check which is a wonderful practice that I would love to pick up some day(not really).  Anyway, their gaming blog put up this article about the new game Deus Ex:Human Revolution and how GameSpot is a bunch of *expletives*.

They've been taking out coupons from the game that is part of it's packaging because it allows you to give your friend a free copy of the game when purchasing a physical copy for PC.  This is a GREAT thing for the gamer, and a phenomenal marketing tactic for the developers...if they hadn't released this message to appease their game distributor overlords...

Gamestop has always had shady practices with heir overpriced used games and giving you significantly less than fair market value for your trade ins. I would've thought the gaming industry would be fed up by now with their reselling games and not getting a piece of the pie, especially a year or two ago when games like Mass Effect2 said it would start charging for an online code linked to your XBL account due to people playing through the single player and selling it back to stores like gamestop who would likely be making 100% profits on any used game, if not more.  Truly a great business practice, not so much for people developing the game, but your uninformed consumer gets the same game at a cheaper rate and the store selling it makes massive profits, win win lose.  2 out of 3 aint bad now is it.

Why should we care?  ~at this point you can bow out, this is the TLDR section, but you should read up there^^.

Well, you should care because if the game developers make less money thats less people they can hire, which is less games and less enveloping stories, and less quality details they can develop.  Overall the games will die off and become Modern Warfare 15...extra modern.  Is that what we want?  As legitimate gamers that want more than just the same gameplay rehashed 20 times, I would say no.  For the general public, Modern Warfare 9001 may be just fine because they don't realize they're getting the same game re skinned that required a fraction of the cost in both man hours and development costs, yet they're still paying the same 60 bucks over and over again.

Lets be honest here, anyone who played Call of Duty 4 probably enjoyed it just as much as Modern Warfare 2 or Black ops.  I enjoyed it more, you want to know why?  I'll tell you why...because it was NEW.  Brand new.  Sure it was call of duty sure it was another war game, but the gameplay was fast paced, exciting, new cool toys we hadn't seen before.  That's what gaming is about.  Getting your fanbase involved and enjoying the game they're playing not because you're skilled enough at neuroscience to reprogram them into playing the same game over and over for 5-10 years (hi blizz) but because you're innovative, because you can keep redeveloping a connection with the player. 

And I'm not hating on blizzard or Infinity ward, I love their games.  I really wish they could make strides in their story or gameplay departments though.  Black Ops story seem disjunction and confusing, and still relatively short.  For 60 dollars If i'm a single player person, I would much rather buy a game with a story that's going to give me 20-30+ hours of playtime.  People were beating black ops in what, 5-6 hours? And that's my problem, it's a reskinned multi-player game...That STILL releases DLC.  If they were including all that DLC in every new incarnation of the game sure, but we probably wouldn't hear about it and I'd find something relative but slightly less contradictory to complain about.

Caution:WoW Nerd Speak below

On the MMO side of things(my forte if you will, Isn't "forte" a cool word?  It's like YO DAWG IM DRANKIN MAH FOWTAH but with a classy appeal.)Blizzard releases their expansion packs with a vast amount of content.  That's great for the people who actually enjoy story. I know, I'm contradicting myself here, but I'm trying to make a point(even if I don't know what it is yet.)

I played through their most recent expansion Cataclysm, got to max lvl in about a week and started raiding in greens.  Content was not hard at max lvl, it WAS hard while lvling and I loved that feeling again for the first time in a long while, maybe even since vanilla.  I went back again when they released patch 4.2 and in mostly purples I wasn't allowed into a raid because my ILVL was too low, mind you I had lvled up on a new server to get a fresh perspective and I'll admit, blizzards reworking of the old world content was impressive, not that many people who are veterans of the game are going to experience it.  So there I was with no old friends or connections and I was playing super casual trying to replicate the experience blizzard was building for, when I did get into a raid people were wearing an amalgamation of blues, greens, and purples.  Ok i thought, we did this in greens/blues before they nerfed everything 20% lets see what happens.  When you can't make it past the first 2 bosses in BWD your group is bad and should go back to running heroics.

This is the most disconcerting and confusing thing for me.  How can the same thing be both so hard and so easy at the same time.  While I had known all along blizzard had designed one game for 2 player bases I had never truly played with the "other side" in anything more than a 5man.  It's not that they're bad people, I have friends that I've made in trade chat and on the AH that are part of this other group, but the fact that we can label these two groups is horrible.  And transcending the barrier, at least for me on a new server was nerve racking.  I didn't have time to invest hours upon hours waiting for a DPS slot in a ZA/ZG que. Not that that would even have gotten me close to the ILVL to get into firelands, that would require a whole other set of patience dealing with my new friends wiping on magmaw for 3 hours to get a sweet pair of cloth pants i can't use. 

I could give a whole slew of "fixes" and "changes" but they would all be completely opinion based and hold very little validation without numbers to back them up, but I wouldn't say it's Blizzard killing their game, I think it's the player base they've invited into it. 


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