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Monday, April 24, 2006

Things Annoy Me





This post is not EQII related so if you only read this blog for EQII commentary, skip today's post.

Annoyance 1: According to
this survey, the average game player is 30 years old. So why does the media still treat us like children? G4TV, for example, thinks that providing actual information and reviews about games and technology is not compelling viewing. Rather, they feel they need to "spice things up" with beautiful women who plainly read off cue cards, bad comedy sketches about monkey feces and tired internet memes.

Here's what I think of G4TV's lineup:

Cheat: Worst concept for a show ever. Let's say you're having trouble killing a boss in Shadow of the Colossus. Do you:

A. Hop on the internet and find a detailed walkthrough of exactly what you're trying to do in under five seconds or

B. Wait for Cheat to come on, hope that episode covers the game you're playing and then hope when they cover it they mention the portion you're stuck on.

Idiocy. The vast majority of the time you've either already played the games they're covering, making the cheats useless, or else you haven't played the games they're covering, making everything a spoiler. Kill it.

Braniac: Complete knock-off of MythBusters that's not one-tenth as good. Kill.

Fastlane: Was horrible when it was new - why would it be good it repeats? Kill.

Electric Playground: Send Tommy Tallarico off to go make music and sound effects for games and leave the on-screen work to people who aren't insanely annoying. Otherwise passable.

Cinematech: Fine.

Icons: The best show on G4TV. So what do they do?
Retool it to appeal to "younger men." G4TV, I hate you so much it hurts.

Training Camp: Watching people who like to play video games try to play sports! What a great concept! Kill it.

Arena: Cheesily produced in a WWF style. Could do without it but willing to listen if people like it.

Action Blast: Never watched it.

X-Play: Game reviews are a great idea. But can we see one single review without a skit involving monkeys or zombies? Can we get game commentary without unfunny, heavy-handed shtick?

Banzai: I like this show.

Attack of the Show: This show has degenerated from marginally watchable to a complete tragedy. It's just not funny and it needs to go.

Anime Unleashed: Fine, I guess.

Star Trek & Star Trek TNG: Filler.

I'd really like to see a half-hour serious news segment on technology and gaming. I would like to see a show about independent game finds and cool websites (actually useful websites - not cats wearing Viking helmets or whatever). I'd like to see Icons retain a serious format and maybe even expand to another documentary show about scientists or technology pioneers. I'd like to see actual game reviews and previews.

I might sound like I don't have a sense of humor but I love comedy. However, when I want to watch comedy I'll go to an improv show or watch TV shows that are actually humorous. When I want to see game reviews and news I just want to see game reviews and news. I have to think that there's some market for a more mature presentation of gaming and technology.

Annoyance 2: People stating that their game is going to conquer WoW. Stop. There are no games on the horizon that are going to come to close to WoW's subscription numbers. It will happen someday, but not someday soon.

The latest are
these statements by Codemaster's VP about Lord of the Rings Online. Let's be serious for a second. This is a Turbine game. And I'm sorry to beat up on Turbine because they didn't make the statements, but let's take a look at their track record:

Asheron's Call: Whether you want to call it a failure or not is up to you, but you sure can't call it a success. It was a game marred by major problems.

Asheron's Call 2: Again, whatever you may think of the game itself, it's cancelled. And let's face it, that's not a good thing.

DDO: I didn't like DDO at all, but I understand why some people do. I did like a few elements of the gameplay. I think if you don't mind forced grouping, if you have a decent group to play with, if you don't mind repeating content and if you can deal with nothing to do at max level, it might be okay. But it's not going to set the world on fire. And it's not what you hoped for from such an amazing IP. It's not really relevant but they did
cut people who left the company out of the credits, which is a cheese move.

You might not agree with some of my characterizations, but I don't think anyone can argue that those games represent a stellar track record. LOTRO might be an awesome game and I truly hope it is because I plan to check it out. But in this case you have to produce before you start talking WoW. And that goes for all game companies.

Hmm...I have more things that annoy me but I'll have to continue them another time.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know nothing about G4TV, but enjoyed reading your post anyway.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Bandito said...

I <3 cats wearing viking helmets.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Whitehawk said...

to paraphrase the MTV pitch from so long ago....I WANT MY TECH TV!

12:14 PM  
Anonymous KittenKiller said...

Great post.

Don't know anything about G4 because I have not cable. I do have a computer that takes up all my time however.

As for WoW killer comments: I COMPLETELY AGREE!

I cannot begin to tell you how hard it was for me to pick up World of Warcraft when it came out. In fact, I didn't pick it up until March of 2005 because as much as I trust Blizzard's content and coding, could they REALLY make a stellar MMORPG? I was playing EQ2 at the time and felt I would have to live with what they had created. I have heard that EQ2 is a different game now, but back to the point.

I finally broke down and picked the game up. I didn't want to even. I just continued to get bombarded by people telling me what a great game it was and how easy it was to pick up and play. Rest experience? Very cool. Can do a quest in a short time to get experience? Very cool. When I installed it and started it up, I knew I was going to be playing it for some time. The intro into the game world was rich, detailed, and the Stormwind music was blasting over my speakers. That was emotionally moving.

There will be no WoW killer for a very long time. Blizzard took everything that we knew good in a MMO and put it in their game... and made it better. If Blizzard wants to keep their top spot, they are going to have to do a lot of work to keep up with other companies that have them in their sights. (Why they don't have "cinematic via in game engine" type narrations for major quests and victories blows my mind. If they can do that for the opening of the game, why not carry that over to each instance or major battle. It is possible. I want a GOOD STORY!) I'm pulling for Blizzard. Hell, I'll pull for any company that can top them because that would only raise the bar and my fun factor even higher.

Annoyance:

Someone who is a friend of a friend who is annoying as hell but you feel that you have to invite them to the guild because your friend knows them. Even worse: When that annoying friend leaves the game (rejoice!!) and then returns. Sucks being a guild leader sometimes.

KK

1:54 PM  
Blogger Twodragons said...

I used to have G4TV on the corner TV, on mute in my office. I'd un-mute when something interesting came on.

It didn't take long to get either real annoyed or real bored with their shows, and it is no longer the channel of choice.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Weary Paladin said...

G4TV could have been something nice...but instead it's something I find extremely painful to watch. That's why I don't watch it

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Lifaen aka Brownies said...

Forgot Areana!

4:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aggro, when are you gonna give WoW a try? You have great insights but you're not seeing the whole picture.

Just GIVE it a TRY! And make some interesting comparison articles. I think it would be a huge hit to read!

Sheesh! It's a free download.

Oh and Kittenkiller is right on the money! Couldn't agree more. I'll only add that EQ2 is definitely a different game then EQ1 is. It wasn't the "sequel" they advertised. But umm.. Warcraft is. HAHA!

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read that LOTRO is coinciding with the release of Vanguard and The Burning Crusade expansion for WoW. Interesting, eh?

But you're right, Aggro. We're talking Turbine here. No word out yet on what designers/devs they picked up or kept from AC1 or AC2, so that's gonna be a big factor as well.

5:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really miss when it was TechTv. now the show s--ks now.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Teh Chunt said...

Yes, G4 is pretty awful. Bonsai was originally on Fox, so that's why it doesn't suck.

Yeah, it's pretty disapointing. I watch it while home for holidays, and it gets worse and worse. I remember they had some game developers on once, and that was cool. But having people train with the Cowboys because they're good madden players? Uh, no. Unfunny skits with 10 seconds of reviews? Nope. I do like the show where the teams play each other, though they could do more with it, and leave out a lot of lameness. Would be great to see them do EQ2 PvP :)

And as for WoW: I love the Blizzard company. Starcraft is one of my favorite games, ever. Diablo and Diablo 2 were great games for their time, built on the Gauntlet model and made it better. Warcraft is a classic. And I can't wait for Ghost to come out. That said, I think WoW is pretty bad.

When my EQ2 account was down for a lil while (couldn't find a gamecard, didn't feel like using my credit card), I had a friend let me check out his wow account. I started a Orc hunter on the pvp server, after looking into classes a little. I liked the idea of feeding pets to get them to like you. The character editor is INCREDIBLY WEAK. There's 4 (now 5) races per side, 8 or 9 classes, and abvout 4 faces to choose from. I was appalled by the lack of options, since my baby, EQ2, gives you hundreds. So I make an Orc that looks like 30% of the other orcs in the game world, with my only sense of individuality coming from my name (Chunt, of course).

I get into the world, and the defalut interface is garbage. Awkward, not well thougt out. Maybe they took this straight from EQ1, too. I tried a free demo of EQ1 a while ago for nostalgia, and was blown away by how weak the interface is compared to EQ2. WoW reminds me of that. I was very annoyed at not being able to examine things, of things having no description and no obvious use, and of having no real tuorial, just being thrown in. I couldn't figure out how to craft at all, and it was hard to tell what anything did. My skills were mostly buffs, and a attack skill on a long timer. In EQ2,if I cast a spell while another is firing, It is Queued up. In WoW, it gives me a warning message. Combat was incredibly easy. The only times I died in my 2 hours of playing were to other players. The players on my side kept spamming me with duel invites (but no group invites), and opposing faction players 20 levels above me would randomly oneshot me. There's no heroic opportunity type system in WoW, so every fight feels the same. When I did get a group, it made the bad groups I get into on Nagafen look good. Everybody did their own thing, someone finished a quest,and the group disbanded.

I know the game has 50 million subscriptions, yadda yadda, but I found it a torture to play. I liked the graphics, and thought the zone designs were inventive. I liked the large world feel, and some of the concepts are really good, like feeding your pet. EQ2 should steal that and bring in Beastmasters. Quests were very easy to do, and almost everything was soloable. But the immaturity of the players, the terrible mechanics, and the lack of things I come to expect from an MMo were too much for me. I ended up playing Homm3 until I found a gamecard.

Now, some may say "oh, you only played to L10. The game gets soooo much better!" or "there are great UIs you can download!" Well, I don't think a great game should only be playable with a 3rd party UI. I've used the EQ2 ui my whole time, liked it, never had problems. And if the game doesn't keep me interested past L10, it's not my fault. I'm sure playing EQ2 first colored my opinion, and many who come to WoW never playing an MMO, like a huge part of their audience, will accept it's flaws in stride and ignorance, just like I loved EQ1 when it came out. But I can't go from playing a deep, complicated, everchanging world like EQ2 to WoW, which seems like Junoir's 1st MMO. I may give it another chance, when EQ2 goes down for server maintenance or whatever, but I doubt it. I don't want to cut into my EQ2 time.

And annoyances? Bad pickup groups...

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, we have a classic EQ2 demented fanboy here.

Keep up your delusions of EQ2 being in anyway superior to Blizzard's offering, WoW.

EQ2 is a bug infested, horribly limited , graphically molested game. EQ2 has invisible walls that stop you leaving the tiny little area considered a 'zone'.

Did I mention zone loading times? Hello 1999!

Overall, EQ2 is a broken game. Any idiot who still plays it deserves to have SOE stealing from them.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nerds that have no life and talk solely about video games and how much TV they watch annoys me.
Kill them.

3:03 AM  

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