November 28, 2014

Can’t use till after Christmas.

It whispers sweet nothings while I play

It whispers sweet nothings while I play


Not playing Total War: Rome 2, Farcry 4, FFXIV, and Endless Legends right now because I want to play them without a single hitch maxed out. Luckily The Settlers II – 10th Anniversary edition isn’t a demanding game, and a great reminder of what gaming was ‘back in the day’ (it gets brutally hard, but that’s a post for another day).

Burnout is a myth

November 25, 2014

When WoW was declining due to one crappy expansion after another featuring accessibility-inspired dumbing down, some people tried to write this off as not being about the content, but just due to ‘burnout’. They would have you believe that after 1, 2, or 4 years, people were just getting burned out on WoW and that’s why sub numbers were declining. The counter point the entire time was EVE, but now you can toss WoW itself into the mix.

Related is this recent info about Payday 2. The highest activity in the game, which is now more than a year old, just occurred this October. Perhaps FPS gamers are just immune to burnout? Or maybe its because the content that is constantly added to Payday 2 is fantastic. Deathwish difficulty raised the bar and gave even the most experienced players a real challenge (or for most people, an unreachable/impossible tier, which sounds vaguely familiar to something else…), the mix of paid DLC and free updates have been solid and steady, and the game today doesn’t just have more ‘stuff’, but it has more stuff that fits and actually expanded all of the original content, rather than replace it (now where have I heard about that approach working long-term…).

LoL (4 years+, peak numbers), CoC (2 years+, top grossing app today (oddly Hearthstone didn’t show up in the top 150 for either downloads or revenue, wonder why)), DoTA2 (crazy growth this year), etc etc etc. I think you get the point.

If a game is great and keeping being great, while giving you more of that greatness, you don’t get burned out. If a game stagnates, or especially if it gets worse (hi Trion), people leave because of that, not burnout.

CoC: Supreme Cream! vs Kakakoko Team 11/23/2014

November 25, 2014

(Stats and writeup provided by Delpez)

Supreme Cream! vs Kakakoko Team

Supreme Cream!


Average TH Level






Total Attacks Used



Total 3 Star Attacks



Total 3 Star %



3 Stars Against Same Level



3 Star % Against Same Level



3 Stars Against Lower Level



3 Star % Against Lower Level



TH4,5&6 3 Stars



TH4,5&6 3 Star %



TH7 3 Stars



TH7 3 Stars %



TH7 3 Stars (same level)



TH7 3 Stars % (same level)



TH8 3 Stars



TH8 3 Star %



TH8 3 Stars (same level)



TH8 3 Star % (same level)



TH8 Ave Stars / Attack (same level)



TH9&10 3 Stars



TH9&10 3 Star %



TH9&10 3 Stars (same level)



TH9&10 2 Star % (same level)



TH9&10 Ave Stars / Attack (same level)



When you open the war screen you’ll see the following:

Supreme Cream!

Kakakoko Team

Attacks Won



Attacks Used



That’s right, not only did we manage fourteen zero stars across all TH levels, our opponents easily bested us in number of attacks won. The reason I show this is to once again emphasize the importance of 3-stars. Unless you’re fighting against the top bases, a one or two star victory just does not mean that much; wars are won and lost on 3-stars. It’s no coincidence that our victory margin and the number of 3-stars margin is exactly the same.

Having said all that, this was a fantastic war. It’s hard to believe that such a simple system could provide such tension. It also illustrates how the game allows players with vastly different levels of participation to play together. People with other interests or little time can log in, do their war attacks and collect the loot at the end. Others are literally logged in for the duration of the war, following each battle and planning their own attacks in minute detail. Both these groups can contribute equally, although I would argue that the latter gets a whole additional level of entertainment.

As for the war stats, the numbers are slightly deceiving. With two hours to go we were actually behind by four stars, and the 3-star percentages were too close to call. We then embarked on an incredible run of ten 3-star attacks that sealed the victory. Exciting stuff! By town hall level we only did two TH6 attacks, and both failed because CC troops were not dealt with. The TH7’s from both clans did very well against each other, but our TH8’s beat theirs convincingly as far as 3-stars were concerned. We edged the top bases as well, which proved to be quite important in a close war such as this.

Some general comments and points for discussion:

With lower level giant attacks, it’s imperative to deal with clan castle troops first. No matter how good the rest of the attack is, it will fail if the CC troops are not pulled and killed before giants are deployed.

Mass dragon attacks are the best way to smash same level bases at TH7 and most of TH8. So getting access to dragons and levelling them should be a high priority for all TH7&8’s. At high TH8 and above other tactics become viable, although barcher is most certainly NOT one of them!

Our superior TH8 stats were influenced to a large degree by 19 attacks our opponents launched against four bases (Nickio, JHO, Livercat and Draconis). Of those the first three bases were definitely anti-dragon, while Draconis’ base also had elements of anti-dragon. This contributed significantly to their low 3-star percentage against our TH8 bases (42%). For reference, during the wars we lost our opponents consistently scored above 50% against our TH8’s. I know it’s not as glamorous, but this war was won on solid defence as much as good attacks. Just remember that good players can still 3-star an anti-dragon base, but their margin for error is smaller.

As far as spells and clan troops go for dragon attacks, we had success with various combinations. Some bases are definitely more susceptible to certain tactics, but I’d like to point out that 3 x Lightning seems to be the real thing at TH8 (see Jonneh’s attacks). It might not work on all bases, but keep it in mind if the opponent has an air defence or two that can be taken out relatively easily by the dragons (Lightning the other AD). However, I’m not sure how well it will work if all the AD’s are deep within the base.

Someone make this: Necromunda

November 24, 2014

So when Mordheim was announced/posted on Steam, I mentioned how I’ve been mulling over the idea of a Necromunda game. Much like the PvE sandbox posts (though far shorter), here goes.

All of the game rules, setting, and characters would come directly from Necromunda itself. None of this ‘inspired by’ stuff, just straight up copy/paste like Bloodbowl. The beauty of this is you are taking something that is not only already established, but well balanced and proven to be fun, and just bringing it out of the basement and into the modern age by taking advantage of things like computers and the internet.

The gameplay would feel like a slightly more tactical version of something like XCOM, with games ;asting about an hour. Turn-based, visual indicators for things like cover or hit percentage, and then let the game handle all of the dice rolls and rules.

Outside of playing a scenario, the game would be an online lobby where you could make changes to your gang, review the current status of your base, territories, and equipment, and do other lobby stuff like chat and see if your friends are online.

Game options would include free form mode (no permanence or carryover, just pick what you want and go at it), practice (use your current gang, but not have the result count or XP carry over), and campaign mode, where you would face off against others in your ‘city’, gain XP, and basically play the long-term game that is Necromunda. These campaigns could be public or private, just like Bloodbowl handles them.

The business model would be the LoL F2P model, as that continues to be the absolute best version of F2P by a mile. The core game (say 5 gangs) would be free. Additional gangs could be purchased for either real money or currency you earn by playing (note that this isn’t the currency you would use to buy gear and new gang members). New gangs would be released every two months or so. Additionally, real money only options would include skins for weapons, characters, and base fluff. You could also sell new fluff animation and sound packs.

I would not expect this to be a AAA mega-seller given that it’s both turn-based and rather deep/difficult, but given the business model I think it could be a steady revenue generator thanks to a dedicated, loyal core. If it was pulled off and supported well, it has solid growth potential. Plus given the current game engines that exist, the development cost wouldn’t be anything crazy either. You wouldn’t need cutting-edge graphics, just something similar to XCOM or even Bloodbowl; so long as what is on screen does a good job of representing what is happening, that’s all that matters.

Fairly simple, using an old IP I don’t think GamesWorkshop even remembers anymore, that could provide some fun niche gaming. Someone please make this, thanks.


Edit: Just did a quick search and I’ve posted something very similar here before, in 2011.

EVE: 10/10

November 22, 2014

Great new video by CCP, kinda adding on to the recent Rooks and Kings video. Both are great due to the player voice recordings. Basically video form of the sandbox peaks I’ve talked about in the past. I also like towards the middle-end the part with the miner, explaining why that rock worth 120m was special for him. Nice little bit most EVE players can relate to.


Edit: This ‘blog entry’ is a perfect example of why it’s not smart to wake up and post right away. Get it together self…

Raph on WoW, WoW players on WoW

November 21, 2014

Solid read all around right here.

In basically all respects Raph is right, especially at the end with “World of Warcraft effectively made MMOs perfect, and in the process, it killed them.” It’s sad to imagine what the genre could have been had WoW not happened. Sure, budgets overall would have been smaller, but bigger budgets gave us SW:TOR, so it’s not like we would be losing anything of value with that. WAR probably would have been more like DAoC, LotRO might have been less by-the-numbers, and all those countless dev hours spent creating the endless WoW-clones that we got might have resulted in a least a few worthwhile titles. It’s not like WoW being successful prevent a ton of others to fail, and I’d rather they fail trying to do something different than just trying to be WoW.

That aside, I am infinity amused right now by WoW players saying how much fun the latest expansion is thanks to things like housing (garrisons), an ‘old school’ feel to the zones and dungeons, and having to actually travel across a zone rather than just fly from point A to point B. WoW got way too cute even for itself during the WotLK/Cata/MoP down years, and the stagnation and ultimate loss of almost 40% of the playerbase reflected that. If, and its a very big if, this latest expansion reverses things for WoW, it will at least be a small victory for the genre. Vanilla WoW certainly wasn’t as ‘MMO’ as UO, but at least back then it was something far closer than what WoW has been since WotLK. Baby steps are better than nothing at this point, right?


Mordheim is coming!

November 21, 2014

I am interested in this.

Two immediate thoughts; one is that I love the grid-less turn-based system. Assuming its pulled off correctly it should fit Mordheim perfectly. Two, the game looks slow as hell based on the videos, which I’m 100% ok with. At a time where games need to be over in 5 minutes, it will be nice to have something that takes a little longer (assuming of course the extra time results in depth, not just animation watching).

Still sad that we don’t have a Necromunda game though. I need to write up how I’d make that game, business model and all, as I’ve had it planned out for some time and in my head the whole thing remains brilliant.


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