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Op Ed

The Houston Chronicle - Racism in video games? The new norm? Thanks GamePolitics.
One of the games that comes to mind is "Left 4 Dead 2." Though the game isn't out yet, it's already causing an uproar. Set in New Orleans, players will have to fight their way through hordes of zombies - with several of them who appear to be African-Americans. When I saw the first trailer for the game, all I could think about was Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath. Setting the game in a city that was scene of dead, bloated bodies floating by so soon afterward was a bad call, IMHO. The city has had enough to deal with -- Valve, you should have spared them, even if it's just a video game.

Sessler's Soapbox - Indie Games Are Important.
The Sess wanted to explain why he thinks games coming from independent developers are so important for the industry and gamers alike. If you bring more creative voices to the table, everyone else has to match their game and be just as innovative, creative and interesting as the other guy. So press play and find out what Adam has to say on the subject.

IncGamers - WoW is Killing Itself.
Essentially, the problem is that WoW has gone off the track. The game gained popularity because it appealed to normal gamers, willing to devote a few hours a day running dungeons and completing quests in a game they really enjoyed. However, WoW has evolved. The game is now catering to a small minority of so-called 'hardcore' players - according to one developers' research, these make up less than 5% of the overall population. The WoW developers have repeatedly discussed the fact that the hardcore players experience is the best, most challenging content in the game; have more skills than 'casual' players, and therefore receive the best rewards. Even normal, average players now accept these ideas as fact.

IncGamers - WoW Is Not Killing Itself.
In Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard really went to town and introduced 10 man raids alongside 25 man ones. When this announcement was made at the WWI in Paris last year the cheer from the crowd was deafening. Bleeding edge guilds certainly weren't happy with losing their exclusive access to the hardest encounters in WoW, but this change meant the majority of level cap players would finally get the chance to see end game content.

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15. Re: Op Ed Jul 16, 2009, 14:48 eunichron
 
I'd guess you're a hardcore player, right? Because that sort of player is the only sort that seems to believe that just because you can complete a raid dungeon after running it every week for a month or two that it's too easy.
I was. I was "hardcore" until about 2 months ago. The guild I was in was a top 50 US guild to clear Sunwell Plateau, we cleared Naxx less than a week after WotLK's release, we had most of the achievements done (including 3 drake Sartharion) within a month of WotLK's release.

We cleared Ulduar in the first week of 3.1's release (13/14 bosses). Before I quit raiding 2 months ago we had a few hard modes down, but most of them were impossible, or just severely overtuned, at the time.

But I quit for the same reasons you're saying that casual players are becoming disenfranchised with the game. There's nothing to do outside of raiding, and that was Blizzard's design with WotLK. People complained that less than 1% of players ever got to see 40man Kel'thuzad, only 1-2% got to see Kil'jaeden before the big 3.0 nerf. Blizzard changed the game to FORCE players into raiding. They did this by de-emphasizing max level dungeons and heroics, and by making normal raids and 10man raids (not hard modes) easier... so that the casual player can log on for 2 hours and join a Naxx pug. Or the more casual raiding guilds (not individual casual players) aren't smashing their heads against X boss for months on end. They didn't do this just because they want the game to be raiding and only raiding, they did it because that's what the casual players were complaining about in the previous expansion; that they didn't get to see this content before new content was released.

The game -is- more casual friendly because the raids are easier, not just the raids but all of the content, that was the whole point of Wrath's design. Easier content for more players. That's what casual players were asking for. But now it's coming back to bite them in the ass, because even the casual players that only play a few hours every week are running out of things to do in those few hours. While the hardcore raiders are being bored to death by easy raids and hard modes that they can clear in a night or two.

This comment was edited on Jul 16, 2009, 14:50.
 
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