Tag Archives: crypto

Solasta Multiplayer, Diablo Immortal, E3 2022

As usual, it’s been a while since I posted. Mainly I wanted to call out the Solasta multiplayer patch and the pseudo-E3 events happening this week.

Crypto has crashed massively, but since I got in a bit earlier than most, I’m doing fine. I’ve bought a bit more BTC, ETH, and ALGO, but I am prepared to see a lower low at this point.

I was surprised that the launch of crypto.com and Super Bowl ads marked the top in crypto. I honestly thought those events would raise the low water mark (baseline price support) much higher.

Evidently there were big players ready to sell the news. Russian players may be a factor in liquidation. Companies are also having to sell more and more assets to pay their employees with assets that are worth less. In any case, on with the games.

Solasta: Crown of the Magister

My brother and I have really been enjoying the Solasta multiplayer, which dropped a few weeks ago along with the Lost Valley content update, which also brings a new campaign. The multiplayer is smooth, and discussing tactics with your partner is fun.

We haven’t encountered many bugs, except for a multiplying Tome of Wisdom, which gave my cleric godlike wisdom. The gameplay is great. I agree with the consensus that the plot, characters, and dialogue writing are unfortunately not so great, although there are exceptions.

You can talk your way past plot points instead of having big battles, which is a nice feature. This involves antagonist NPC’s that are reasonable, and not pure evil who attack on sight. This is good writing. This also means you don’t get the magic tome of infinite wisdom though. So.

On the other hand, why are we risking our lives repeatedly and traveling all over the darned kingdom to find a half dozen gems to stick in this random unknown crown? ‘Why not! Go for it!’ agrees the council of supposedly important but forgettable people who I don’t care about.

Solasta seems destined to not stand among the best mainly because of writing shortfalls (imho), unless they continue to improve and release these mega-updates. Maybe we could also recommend a Solasta 2.

Lost Ark

The highlight of this spring’s gaming was Lost Ark. The game came out of nowhere for me, and I enjoyed playing up until level 50ish.

At that point, the weight of the over-complicated mobile and cash shop drains and currencies stacked up to become an annoying, unenjoyable environment to play in. I was happy as a Mokoko when I finally got into my ship. Except wait – what’s this?

The health of my ship is constantly draining off while I sail around. Really. The personal stronghold was also really big in this game, and it’s my least favorite form of gameplay. My bags also filled up with so much currency junk that the mess actually caused me to log out and not come back. I got tired of cleaning up my bags.

I could go on a while about the pros and cons of Lost Ark. Suffice it to say that, while early on I recommended Lost Ark to friends, now I wouldn’t.

I pulled the wool over my own eyes looking at the bewildering array of currencies and tokens in this game.

Diablo Immortal

Really, Blizzard? After years of playing Hearthstone, the final straw was the Battle Pass and revamped rewards update in fall of 2020. Diablo Immortal features a multiple tier battle pass, plus a premium subscription service like an MMO.

(To be clear, this is a phone game, but they put it on PC also by popular request.)

Cosmetic and emote rewards are character-locked, which is a typical Blizzard move to make you spend more. And “One-time cash offers will unlock as you progress through the game.” Sounds like an annoying story experience.

There are plenty of positives. It’s a great, fun, multiplayer coop game for PC. They didn’t have to put it on PC in the first place, and originally had no plans to do so.

All classes have both genders. There are no male-only locks. Blizzard is a leader in gender equality and we shouldn’t just take this for granted, even in 2022. Also, there appears to be no premium pay-to-unlock classes up front like in some games. Classes are supposedly well-balanced and equally fun.

For a full ghoulish 40-minute discussion of this dopamine vendor shopping mall, you can watch Bellular’s review, “Blizzard’s New Game Will Completely DESTROY Their Reputation” on Youtube. Or his excellent new video on predatory F2P psychology.

800% Extra Value.” It’s just absurd. It’s not a real treasure chest overflowing with gold in the image above, but it might be comedy gold. This game is unplayable.

Ironically, a lot of people will eat up these forgettable, disposable cash shop pixels, then go on social media and attack crypto for being a scam, a scheme, nothing but empty air. Hilarious.

E3 2022

I cluelessly googled E3 last week, forgetting about the whole Covid thing, and it’s cancelled, again. But again, the game companies we love are stepping up to have an unofficial promotional period. Uh, I believe that does not include Blizzard or EA.

Microsoft & Bethesda are showing up.

Apparently we’re hoping to see some solid gameplay videos of Starfield. I’m also interested in Redfall. I have to say, after visiting the Redfall website, Bethesda seems to be making an unusually good effort to create well-written, interesting characters out of their four main playable characters. That’s a good sign.

Capping off everything, PC Gamer will have another big showcase stream this year. It will be on Sunday, June 12 at 10am Pacific. It will include less well-known reveals and developer chats, etc. For a full list of events, check out the PC Gamer writeup.

I’m still interested in seeing Saint’s Row and Vampire Bloodlines 2 release soon. That’s it for now, good luck and have fun!

MassivelyOP Becomes Massively Fascist: Why You Should Like, Not Hate Crypto

Today I commented in support of crypto in an article on MassivelyOP.com. My comment was deleted, and I now seem to be blocked from further participating in the one-sided hate and tomato-slinging.

I commented that the hate for NFT’s and crypto is not logical since blockchain is just another way to implement microtransactions, which are widely accepted.

Sure it’s a bit more complicated, but that’s what it boils down to.

I was dismayed a few years ago when Blizzard implemented the Hearthstone season pass, which made me 100% quit the game. I haven’t played since. Blizzard was pushing the cost of Hearthstone even higher, not lower for an aging game! No one seemed to care. And people today have even more microtransaction fight fatigue.

But now – since Ubisoft is exploring the boogie men of ‘crypto’ and ‘NFTs’ in their microtransaction programs, people are suddenly going batshit crazy!

The MOP article first heaps abuse on Ubisoft, framing the company in the worst light as a sordid reminder to the reader, before reaching a simple punchline. Nicolas Pouard, a VP at Ubisoft’s innovations lab, says (to summarize) he believes that gamers are clueless and a bit deluded about crypto.

(He is sugar-coating that the public is hysterical and ignorant.)

Puard is right, but this mob of Puritanical villagers are certain they know more than a gaming executive with a team of expert researchers. They agree with Hillary Clinton (who chimed in last year-ish) that crypto is a thing of the devil that needs to be stopped.

The public has been misled by negative press that has come as a consequence of both profit-seeking opportunists and scam artists, as well as fearmongering public figures, who have more nefarious agendas than legitimate crypto supporters such as Jack Dorsey and Anthony Scaramucci.

Guys and gamers. Blockchains are just software platforms. Software. This software runs “digitally distributed, decentralized, public ledgers that exist across a network.”

These ledgers track unique tokens, and can do quite a lot of things quickly, securely, and most importantly without reliance on the overlords that currently control our computerized ecosystems, such as Microsoft, Google, Visa, big banks, hedge funds, government entities, etc.

Your ownership of a token represents a stake in the network. Instead of Microsoft extracting all the fees for using their proprietary ecosystems, you get a share of the power and profits instead, in exchange for your collaboration and participation.

It is probably less misleading to call a crypto a “token” rather than a “currency”. I’m not sure which is more accurate since I’m far from a blockchain scholar, but it seems most clear to think of secure, fast distributed ledgers.

Maybe a lot of misperception comes from people trying to think of crypto in the same terms as fiat currencies. Blockchains can do a lot of things on their distributed, secure ledgers, but that isn’t the point of this blog post.

The important point is that it’s logical to think that blockchains could be useful to facilitate transactions in video game ecosystems. That’s a foundational premise of the Metaverse. I’m skeptical about making the Metaverse work, but I’m certain about the usefulness of blockchain.

When the internet was invented, did we see lots of memes making jokes about the useless pseudo-religion of the internet, warning people about the potential for ‘internet scams’? I’m sure there were plenty of scams.

It also seems logical that big banks, governments, and very powerful people would want to stop crypto by claiming it’s a scam and a fraud. Some of these naysayers are telling you it’s a scam, while at the same time investing in crypto secretly, like Jamie Dimon at Chase Bank. Many other companies, like Visa, are preparing to make the transition to a crypto economy so they won’t be left behind.

“Oh, no! You can’t fool us” cries a horde of gamers. “Cryptos are an even worse scam than microtransactions!” Unfortunately, crypto haters are falling right into the trap of being persuaded to hate what’s good for them.

Look at the Chinese government, which banned all cryptos just last year, but the PRC is looking to introduce an official government cryptocurrency. Russia may soon be taking the same steps.

Note that these are the world’s largest authoritarian governments. They don’t want crypto because it empowers the people and removes them from full control. They want full control.

The U.S. government has been extremely late and lazy to police the ‘cryptoverse’. Now they can hold up the chaos and fallout of the scams and hype disasters (aided by their own inaction), as proof that we need serious regulation.

Of course, the government will be there to protect us and to create a safe, secure, and legal government crypto. Wait. If crypto is so bad, why is it OK if governments and government banks are running it?

This is not the world you want, but it seems to the world we are heading towards. In my metaphor above of superstitious villagers vs. crypto, this is like letting the church scare you into positioning itself as your only safe and legal gatekeeper to all that is holy. Because demons.

Before my post on MassivelyOP was deleted, someone pushed back. They said it was inaccurate to say gamers had accepted microtransactions. They had ‘swallowed’ them (my words), but not accepted them. This is a very good point. It’s likely that gamers need targets to express their rage (i.e. Bobby Kotick). The negative perception of blockchain and NFT’s offered a good target.

I might not be 100% informed on some of these issues, and there may be a few inaccuracies. But believe me I share the suppressed rage at video games turning into a blood-sucking shopping mall. I’m just saying it’s wrong and ignorant to shoot the messenger in this case.