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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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12. Re: Op Ed Jul 16, 2009, 13:40 PropheT
 
Would be nice if the people writing these OpEds actually knew what they were talking about. Anyone who has played WotLK knows Blizzard stopped catering to hardcore players a long time ago. In fact one of the primary focuses of WotLK was to cater to the non-hardcore, so that even the casual players that don't have the time to raid 24/7 can experience all of the games content.

Just no.

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. A casual player is not going to see the end of Ulduar; they aren't even going to see all of Naxxramas or Malygos unless they have more hardcore people to run them through it.

Casual players don't schedule out four hour stints to sit and run through an instance. They don't plan their week around playing a video game like you need to in order to be a successful raider, even in the "more casual" Wrath expansion. The game is so raid based that you have to schedule long periods to game, or at the very least a few hours of time on multiple days of the week.

And it's not just raiding, because you need to do that in order to get gear to compete at a level where you'll get decent rewards in the PvP aspects of the game as well.

The game -isn't- more casual friendly just because the raids are easier than they were in previous expansions. There's less to do in Wrath if you're not a raider than there ever has been leading up to this point in WoW, and it's starting to show.
 
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