Over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, there’s a video posted in which it is explained in detail why PC gamers should be given the option to alter their games, and why modding makes everything better.
Just when I thought I couldn’t despise Activision-Blizzard any more than I already do, they come up with something like this:
Diablo 3 will sport a couple of in-game auction houses to sell items from player to player. One will be run entirely with in-game gold (very similar to the current WoW Auction House), and one will let players sell and buy items with actual money.
…Yes, Diablo 3 players will be able to spend real money on in-game items, but rather than a traditional item store, Blizzard plans to create a system wherein players sell items to each other — the eBay of Sanctuary, if you will. Players will be able to put items up for sale in each of the game’s various regions around the world (with a different real-world currency for each), and other players will be able to spend real money to buy them, with the real-world money going back to the original item owners.
Blizzard will take fixed fees (as yet unrevealed, though they’ll be “nominal”) out of the sale price both when an auction goes up for sale and when it is actually sold. And when an item is sold, players will either be able to keep earned money in a Battle.net account for spending on Blizzard products and services, or cash out entirely, with another, percentage-based fee through a not-yet-announced third-party payment provider.
Sales of items in MMORPGs and other online games have been going on since the days of Ultima Online, so it’s not as though Blizzard is offering anything new and novel here (they never offer anything new and novel anyway). Instead, they are simply moving something which other MMORPGs frown upon and/or forbid in their Terms of Service inside the game.
Why? Blizzard’s “on paper” reasoning is that moving the transactions into Diablo 3 instead of allowing them to happen on third-party sites will increase the security of the process for players. Personally, I think it has more to do with the fact that they charge three “nominal” fees per item sold. Methinks Bobby Kotick has decided that it’s not enough to have pillows stuffed with Benjamins; he wants a money-stuffed duvet as well.
Bonus: Diablo 3 features always-online DRM; you can’t play it without an Internet connection.
All that said, it does look like a sweet game.
…and the first gameplay trailer for it has arrived since then.
Just for reference, this is the game being built (in Poland, I think) by newly-formed studio Flying Wild Hog (which, in turn, is comprised of industry veterans who worked on such games as Bulletstorm, Sniper, and The Witcher 2).
…Ars Technica presents a handy guide on how to ruin the PC port of your game in five quick steps!
This is the happiest day on the Internet. I declare it to be so!
Gamasutra examines the writing process that went in to BioWare’s Dragon Age 2 and looks at how its team wanted to focus on telling a darker, edgier story. Which, frankly, is a trend in fantasy writing that I (for one) think needs to be curbed right now.
Epic Games president Mike Capps doesn’t think it’s all that, and doesn’t expect the F2P model will become an industry standard any time soon.
Sorry I don’t seem able to shut up about this game.
Nothing to do with Spartans or sex, though; a trojan (in this context) is an asteroid that shares an orbit with a planet, at a stable point either in front or behind said planet. A few planets in the Solar System are known to have trojans, and now it appears that Earth does as well.
It’s true (to a large degree, at any rate) that a professional with a crappy camera can usually take a better picture than a n00b with the most awesome camera and lens on the market. A lot of that comes down to just knowing the finer points of composition and how to control the shot and the subject(s).
Equally, though: the pro who is handed a crappy camera can spend a few minutes messing around with said camera and probably figure out what settings to enable (or disable) in order to get the best image possible. The n00b with the awesome camera, by comparison, probably has no clue what half the damn buttons and dials do in the first place, and wouldn’t know the first thing about e.g. why changing the aperture setting can make the difference between a moderately-sharp image and a razor-sharp image.
Don’t be the n00b; learn how to use your camera! Learn what its strengths and weaknesses are, learn what you can do to eke a bit of extra performance out of it. Even your smartphone can take a striking image if you know a thing or two about its tiny little camera.
Tonight’s post brought to you by