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User information for Cliff Hicks

Real Name Cliff Hicks   
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Nickname Devinoch
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Description Product Manager - Zattikka Games.
Former Producer/Lead Designer - Fierce Wombat Games.
Former Associate Producer - Kabam.
Former Customer Service Manager - GameSpot.
Former Community Manager for The Sims, SimCity and SimGolf.
Former Community Manager
Homepage None given.
Signed On Aug 21, 2002, 17:08
Total Comments 70 (Suspect)
User ID 13926
User comment history
< Newer [ 1 2 3 4 ] Older >

News Comments > Return of the Shadow of the Eternals
4. Re: Return of the Shadow of the Eternals Nov 1, 2014, 15:23 Devinoch
> "(It's) a combination of things gamers have wanted to see for a long time."

Is it some combination of things that don't involve Denis Dyack? Because I think that's what people want.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
3. Re: Out of the Blue Oct 16, 2014, 13:18 Devinoch
I've had good luck using a Fitbit One for the last year and change, and it's been beneficial for tracking steps, which encouraged me to exercise on a treadmill and keep in motion. I've had better luck with it than phone apps, although it's best used in tandem with something like MyFitnessPal where you can track calorie intake, if weight loss is your eventual goal.  
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News Comments > Titan Falls: Blizzard Cancels Unannounced MMOG
35. Re: Titan Falls: Blizzard Cancels Unannounced MMOG Sep 23, 2014, 18:39 Devinoch
Beamer wrote on Sep 23, 2014, 15:10:
Hearthstone was a low risk project like from an indie studio. It's like what I suspect Fortnite started as - a chance for a major studio to do something completely different rather than being stuck in a rut of repetitive titles with giant sales expectations. It gives the devs the opportunity to try something new.

We applaud indies for doing this, we should applaud AAA studios, too. Blizzard isn't in danger of being all small games, but it's nice to take a break from huge, capital-intensive AAA titles and put something out that's fun to make and fun to play where new ideas are tried.

This. This this this, a hundred times THIS. Know how you stop losing all the good talent from games studios? Let them build experimental stuff THEY want to play every now and then. Sure, keep the regular steady income titles going, and set some people into doing things you know will generate more than you spend to make, but put together speculative/skunkworks teams to build experimental shit that no one knows if it will succeed. I'm glad Blizzard canned Titan. They were trying to make a next-gen MMO they found fun. They couldn't, or at least they couldn't build anything better than what they'd built in WoW. So build something new, something no one's built yet.

We need to encourage AAA studios to do things that are creatively out there, experimental, so that we see more creativity from the big studios again. Keep in mind, GTA didn't really take off as a big hit until 3. We need to start mining blue sky again - the land is all used up...
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News Comments > EA Taps Starbucks Vet as CMO
31. Re: EA's Taps Starbucks Vet as CMO Sep 3, 2014, 19:30 Devinoch
Oh, my bad. Thank you.

Polite, intelligent analysis in a comments thread? God help us, what have we come to?

EA's made some bad moves and they've made some good moves. I think at this point we as gamers should be cheering efforts to course correct with good moves just as much as we lambast the bad ones. In doing so, we offer positive reinforcement and teach good behavior rather than instilling a "well, everyone hates everything we ever do, so fuck'em" attitude that many jaded people in the gaming industry are starting to get (myself included)...

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News Comments > EA Class Action Suit Plans
12. Re: EA Class Action Suit Plans Feb 1, 2014, 20:34 Devinoch
Quboid wrote on Feb 1, 2014, 20:13:
Panickd wrote on Feb 1, 2014, 19:57:
I am not sure what EA did in the wrong here from a stockholder perspective. They made a title and got it to the shelves in time for the holidays and it sold really well despite the roll out glitches which EA went to work fixing as soon as they could. What else could they do? Delaying the roll out would have screwed their earnings in a very important quarter which, so far as any shareholders should be concerned, would've been worse. Why were there no shareholder lawsuits over the SimCity launch which was botched just as badly if not worse?

This is just some bottom feeding law firm looking for some go away money.

Note: IANAL and this is just my understanding. Also, this is what I think is being alleged, I'm not saying this is what happened. Please don't sue me.

The shareholder's perspective is that EA knew that BF4 was flawed before it was released. Therefore, by telling investors before the launch that they were about to release this mega awesome new game, they intentionally mislead investors to push their share price up. Investors who then lost out when the problems became apparent and their value was hit.

I think that's the crux, EA allegedly knew it was flawed ahead of time and didn't warn people accordingly. If people in EA were selling their shares before the launch at the inflated price, this lawsuit is the least of their worries: I think that's insider trading as well.

SimCity was a screw-up, but I guess officially no one knew that was going to happen. You can't sue because your company accidentally messed up. Of course everyone saw that coming but I assume EA can claim that they didn't and that they believed they had prepared enough.

All software is released "flawed" and anyone who says otherwise is selling something. (Or trying to win a frivolous lawsuit.)
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News Comments > The Division Not Coming This Year?
10. Re: The Division Not Coming This Year? Jan 8, 2014, 03:15 Devinoch
DangerDog wrote on Jan 8, 2014, 02:17:
One step closer to vaporware. It did look too good to be true, at the very least I expected it to be cut way back from open world to smaller levels with some sort of lame hub connecting it all together.

Nah, expect it to be out May 2015, mirroring Watch Dogs announcement/release schedule. Ubisoft's taken a page from Blizzard's old playbook - wow them early, follow up next year, release just before the third year you'd be showing it.
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News Comments > Dota 2 Access Opened to All
14. Re: Dota 2 Access Opened to All Dec 17, 2013, 19:49 Devinoch
Creston wrote on Dec 17, 2013, 13:12:
Alright, I guess I'll give it another try.

Give me a holler, if you want, Creston. (Search for Devinoch - I think I'm the only one out there still.) I've actually been enjoying walking people through some of the odds and ends of Dota2, trying to get more people to enjoy it. They have a pretty good coaching tool, and the tutorials are probably a TON better now then when you tried it, but even still, having someone to sort of give you the overview in a game (which was how I got into it - a friend of mine sort of walked me through my first game) helps a ton.

There's still dick players, but I find I report the ones I see, and I get a message pretty regularly telling me action's been taken against them and I have another report. And, to be honest, it's still way better than FPS game communities these days... yikes. Talk about a genre I'm probably done playing multiplayer with EVER. Too toxic.
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News Comments > Unannounced Blizzard Game Revealed
33. Re: Unannounced Blizzard Game Revealed Dec 10, 2013, 18:06 Devinoch
Red wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 15:21:
Thank you for that lengthy and detailed reply. I really appreciate you taking the time. I'm not in the beta, but I did have a strong curiosity about the game, and you seem to know what you're talking about.

No problem. I've worked mostly in the video games industry for the last dozen or so years, and like offering these kinds of critiques. For what it's worth, I think there's definitely potential in Hearthstone (and being that it's free, you get what you pay for), I just think they have a ways to go before they get there. It's still beta, though, so hopefully they're doing their due diligence with the massive amounts of data they're collecting...
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News Comments > Unannounced Blizzard Game Revealed
31. Re: Unannounced Blizzard Game Revealed Dec 10, 2013, 15:14 Devinoch
Red wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 14:53:
Devinoch wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 14:46:
Hearthstone has potential, but...
Isn't arena mode supposed to address the balance concern? At least in the sense that your deck is equal relative to others' decks because everyone is playing from a random pool instead of a pay-to-win collection?

Arena mode has its own special collection of problems. The way the system works is you're picking one of three random cards to add to your deck. The first problem is that the normal "2 of any card to a deck" rule doesn't apply, letting players get 3-4 of some incredibly powerful class cards. The second problem is that many of the cards are designed to be combined with others, and on their own, they aren't very good, so many times you'll be going "man, I wish I had taken that other card four picks ago" when you're drafting. The third and final problem is that I'm fairly certain that Arena players are getting put up against any player looking for a game (although I don't know this for certain), meaning you'll end up playing against preconstructed decks now and again.

Also, keep in mind, you're also stuck with picking one of three randomly selected hero classes at the beginning of an arena run. And the classes are NOT well balanced right now. The class abilities are disproportionate to a fault - the Mage's ability is better than everyone else's, the majority of them have an immediate impact on the game, with Paladin's being the least useful and Shaman's right in at second least useful (because Shamans summon things at random!). This is also pretty true for card pools - things like Flamestrike are a Mage COMMON, as is Fireball meaning they're pretty much guaranteed to see a heavy amount of removal during a draft, where, say, a Priest may only see some of their targeted removal at the same time as a great creature, because they're rare cards.

And, like any thing when you're drafting from a pool, some pools are way better than others. Sometimes I'll end up getting a draft pool with 8 rares and a legendary, most times I'll end up with a pool of 5 rares, and in many cases, the worst possible rares. Also, when you're drafting in, say, Magic, you have 8 people, and a pack has more than 8 cards, so when you take your first card, you know you're going to see another card from that same pack, and can plan a bit around that. It also contributes to knowing what you're going to get in packs two and three, because the information you give to your drafting neighbors is relevant. Here, all drafting is done in a vacuum.

Balancing eight different classes and a "neutral" pool is a pain in the ass, and I don't envy them the job, but right now, it's pretty radically clear that some classes are way better than others.

I'd love to see their data, because right now, I'd wager the three top classes are, in order, Mage, Priest, Hunter, and the bottom three classes are, in order, Rogue, Paladin, Shaman.

Shamans rely on getting better than average results on random cards, as well as not overcommitting (Overload is a mechanic that double punishes for mistakes...), Paladins have the least relevant class ability and very limited removal, and Rogues, well, Rogues apparently used to be awesome and then got nerfed to the ground because they were out of control, but I wasn't in the beta at that point. Compare that to Mages, who can trigger their own enrage characters immediately, pick off smaller creatures, whittle away at larger creatures, or repeatedly just wipe the opponent's board.

When I pick Mage from the arena pool, I usually win 4 to 9 games. When I see a choice between Rogue, Shaman and Paladin, I sigh and prepare to go 0-3, regardless of how well I put a deck together. The basic class commons for Mages, Priests and Hunters are just significantly better than the class commons for other classes.
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News Comments > Unannounced Blizzard Game Revealed
29. Re: Unannounced Blizzard Game Revealed Dec 10, 2013, 14:46 Devinoch
jdreyer wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 12:32:
Pigeon wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 10:56:
Its a blizzard version of angry birds, with a pet collecting mini-game.

Supposedly, their collectible card game Hearthstone is pretty good. I could see a Blizzard version of angry birds being pretty awesome.

Hearthstone has potential, but is currently plagued by a number of pretty serious balancing concerns (the number of classes they have is going to do that - Magic has to build around 5 colors to balance, but Hearthstone has 8 exclusive pools that don't overlap, which is kind of a mess), and a giant imbalance towards rarity power (i.e. if your deck isn't built with mostly rares/epics/legendaries, you're going to get steamrolled). Games also tend to devolve very quickly, and you're stuck playing for another 3-5 minutes waiting for the person who's obviously going to win to win, as come back mechanics are limited, and only in specific class pools. (Compare, say, Mage's Flamestrike - 7 for 4 damage to all enemies - to, say, any other classes more conditional, less powerful AOE.)

There's a lot of things I like about Hearthstone, but I don't like Hearthstone. Not right now. They just put out a new patch. It fixed a couple of the concerns in terms of gameplay balance, but I'm fairly certain they're balancing around "well, if you have all the cards, then everything is balanced..." which, like I was telling my friend, is like saying if all basketball teams were made up exclusively of Michael Jordan, then everything's fine. So simply make all your players MJ, right? Except it doesn't work that way. Classes need to be at least semi-balanced across a wide swath of card pools, rarities and deck builds. Instead, Mages basically steamroll everything in their path, and the deck who plays 4 rares by turn 5 almost always wins.

It's F2P, so I'll keep eyes on it, but right now? Be prepared to be angry a lot.
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News Comments > Blizzard All-Stars Now Heroes of the Storm
3. Re: Blizzard All-Stars Now Heroes of the Storm Oct 17, 2013, 22:38 Devinoch
New name, same Blizzard time-frame/details. "When it's done"/"when we're ready."

Actually, I expect they'll show something at BlizzCon. They kind of have to. Otherwise it's gonna be rather quiet...
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News Comments > Watch Dogs Delayed to Spring 2014
44. Re: Watch Dogs Delayed to Spring 2014 Oct 16, 2013, 15:28 Devinoch
This strikes me mostly as a "put more content" in, last minute push. I suspect they may have been looking at it and went "Well, the game takes about 30 hours to complete and is 95% polished. We can make it 98% more polished, and add in another 10 hours of content if we move to April. Let's do that." And you know what? That's fine - it's a new IP. Get your new IPs rocksolid and awesome. We'll wait.  
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News Comments > Godus Early Access
4. Re: Godus Early Access Sep 15, 2013, 14:32 Devinoch
ASeven wrote on Sep 15, 2013, 12:29:
Axis wrote on Sep 15, 2013, 11:17:
Couldn't disagree more eR, game is shaping up to be damn fine for only 40% completion.

There's issues that need ironed out, the land building feels off sometimes (till you get used to the double clicking), the clickfest of follower bubbles gets annoying, etc. they need a sandbox mode as well so we can test the bigger stuff sooner.

But the basic premise is certainly the type of games Pete M fans expect.

Have to agree here. The game right now has a fuckton of potential. However Totalbiscuit's review is also spot on, this is too much Carpal Tunnel the game, if they remove much of the clicking this has the potential to become the full spiritual Populous sequel we were promised and then some.

Right now however, and this is my biggest criticism against the game, there's way too much clicking to do anything.

Have enjoyed my time with the beta thusfar, but agreed, there is too much clicking, and the terraforming still needs a bit of fine tuning. (It's possible to reduce the clicking with settlements, but so far they don't feel like they reach far enough OR they cost too much to have multiples of.) There's a lot of great potential, though, so for a beta, it's promising.
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News Comments > Blizzard TMs "The Dark Below"?
13. Re: Blizzard TMs Aug 13, 2013, 19:03 Devinoch
Diablo x-pack seems most likely. Keep in mind, with Blizzard's scheduling, announcing it now means you'll play it in 18-24 month time from date of announcement. (Average x-pack turnaround time for them.)  
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News Comments > Police Quest-Inspired Kickstarter Cancelled
7. Re: Police Quest-Inspired Kickstarter Cancelled Aug 6, 2013, 18:43 Devinoch
Kickstarter is a beast for videogames right now. There was $3.5 million successfully raised for videogames in June and $1.9 million successfully raised for videogames in July. (Full disclosure: I'm running a Kickstarter right now.)

Seems like a lot of trust is gone, which is fair, but that's making it harder and harder to develop independent games. Pit and the pendulum, friends, rock and a hard place....
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News Comments > Morning Consolidation
13. Re: Morning Consolidation Aug 5, 2013, 18:20 Devinoch
Take what you can get, man. And yeah, they clearly want more people buying games on their network, because the adoption rate has been terrible thusfar...

I have a Kickstarter going right now for Goblin Grand Prix - a game inspired by RoboRally for iOS. Take a look and throw us a few bucks if you like the idea. Support indie studios.
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News Comments > Shadowrun Returns Delayed to Next Month
7. Re: Shadowrun Returns Delayed to Next Month Jun 18, 2013, 12:45 Devinoch
Blaster wrote on Jun 18, 2013, 12:37:
Also, the devs appear to be immature douche holes.

Pot, kettle; kettle, pot.
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News Comments > Dota 2 This Summer
23. Re: Dota 2 This Summer Jun 17, 2013, 19:21 Devinoch
Redmask wrote on Jun 17, 2013, 17:37:
Xero wrote on Jun 17, 2013, 15:33:
Yeah but you get all those interactions in the RTS of Warcraft 3, BUT you have to deal with microing your "expendable" units as well while you keep your base in production at the same time. Watching the elite players do all this while keeping a direct control on their hero (or 3 at a time for that matter), was mind boggling skill.

Controlling 1 hero and not having to worry about much else aside from your team work which in multi-player games in WC3 it was the same, just seems like a simplified version of Wc3.

It sounds like you just want to look down on people for something they happen to enjoy more than you and I'm a bit disheartened that so many others here are ready to oblige you in doing so.

Oh good, it's not just me.
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News Comments > Dota 2 This Summer
7. Re: Dota 2 This Summer Jun 17, 2013, 12:23 Devinoch
NKD wrote on Jun 17, 2013, 10:18:
I'll never understand what people see in this genre. I've given it a chance, I really have, but my god I can't help but absolutely despise it. And I don't have words for that feeling when I log on to Steam to see if anyone wants to play something and its just a big long list of people playing bottom-tier Dota 2 games thinking that someday they'll be good.

We don't all have to like the same things, ya know. I've never understood the appeal of sports games - that doesn't mean all sports games are awful.
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News Comments > Morning Consolidation
67. Re: Morning Consolidation Jun 11, 2013, 13:49 Devinoch
SpectralMeat wrote on Jun 11, 2013, 13:44:
FU wrote on Jun 11, 2013, 13:41:
DG wrote on Jun 11, 2013, 13:29:
So much love for Sony just because all they did is start charging for multiplayer?

Is that even confirmed that you will need PSN+ for multiplayer?
Could it be that it is only for used games maybe?
For some reason I thought they said last night you will not need to pay subscription fee for MP games.

Multiplayer is only available on PS4 to PS+ subscribers. Every news source is confirming that,
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