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User information for S Westberg

Real Name S Westberg   
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Nickname Flatline
Email Concealed by request
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Homepage http://
Signed On Feb 15, 2007, 19:09
Total Comments 2116 (Senior)
User ID 34131
 
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News Comments > SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall
22. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Apr 9, 2013, 12:33 Flatline
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 09:23:
It just occurred to me I have been accepting game sales numbers "as is" without much thought about it.

I agree selling 5 million copies of a game is doing well. But why? Why don't games sell more? I mean when a game sells 5 million copies, what percentage of gamers is that? It has to be small, right? I mean, single digits small. Why aren't there games selling 10s of millions? The "AAA titles" get shipped in 4-6 languages... shouldn't there be more sales?

Well... Each platform has sold about 70 million consoles over it's entire lifetime. PCs are a more nebulous market so I won't deal with those at the moment.

So yeah, 3 million units shipped seems tiny. But that's out of the gate/first month/first sale at 60 bucks a pop. When all is said and done, I wouldn't be surprised if TR pushes closer to 10 million units. It'll take a couple years and several price drops, but in a world of used games, game sales, and the knowledge that prices *will* drop, the number of 60 dollar purchases is limited and really a niche.
 
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News Comments > Batman: Arkham Origins Revealed
1. Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Revealed Apr 9, 2013, 12:24 Flatline
 
Looks like this is where Batman jumps the shark.

I can't blame Rocksteady though. They made the best Batman game of all time, followed it up by blowing it out of the water, and now they probably want to do something else.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
24. Re: More Big Picture Details Apr 9, 2013, 12:20 Flatline
 
nin wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 12:18:
(aside from it being an utterly badass moment).

Wish that part had lasted longer...was disappointed it was over so quickly. I even ran upstairs to see if the vending machine would work...


So did I
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
22. Re: More Big Picture Details Apr 9, 2013, 12:13 Flatline
 
Okay I'm finally going to post one of my many thoughts on Bioshock Infinite. I'll spoiler the thing because it's so recent.

My idea revolves around two things. First, Elizabeth flat out says her ability to shift worlds is sort of a wish fulfillment. Second, Ken Levine in an interview said that nothing in the game is put in there to be "cute".

So. One of the complaints about the game is how two dimensional the secondary characters turn out, especially the Vox Populi and their leader, and how cartoony the leader turns out to be.

But let's think for a minute. The game starts out in what I'll call the Prime reality, and according to my count, you go through at least three "one way" shifts, so that you're actually on a 4th version, minimum, of "reality" by the time you finish the game. You meet the leader of the Vox Populi on the airship, which has been turned into a hospital, and up to that point, you've not heard anything on the voice logs to suggest that she's as evil as she turns out to be. But when you have Elizabeth around, you bitch and complain and say that Daisy is just like Comstock, and basically paint a bleak picture of her. At first, Elizabeth disagrees, and compares the rising to Les Miserables. And indeed, after the first world shift, it *looks* like Les Mis. Because this world jumping *is* wish fulfillment. It's way too coincidental that you jump from one reality to an alternate, and you just *happen* to land in the world where your goals have already been achieved. That entire section of the game where you are going after weapons for the Vox, all you're actually doing is jumping to a second, then third, then fourth derivative world. I actually said to myself "you know, you're not *actually* achieving anything" after the final jump. I didn't expect Daisy to deliver the airship to me, because I hadn't delivered the weapons to her, I just went to a world where she already *had* them. But that doesn't occur to Booker or Elizabeth.

The world gets progressively bleaker every time you jump, and why? Because you're both subjecting Elizabeth to witness horrors, and you're poisoning her mind. You're evangelizing to her in your own cynical world view, prohphesizing that Daisy will become just another Comstock, and lo, she does.

Not only that, but as Elizabeth comes to rely on you and trust you more and more, your position in the world elevates, until you're literally a martyr when you're done world-hopping. Which is even more ironic because at the other end of the spectrum you're also Commstock, a prophet, evangelist, and wannabe martyr.

And while I'm musing about Bioshock, there's a meta-commentary about games to be made by leaping back to Rapture (aside from it being an utterly badass moment). Elizabeth is kind of Ken's 4th-wall breaking voice here. If it's Bioshock, there's always a tower, there's always a city, there's always a man with a flawed vision. That *is* Bioshock. There's also always tonics and plasmids. Another criticism is that Tonics are never "placed" into the world. They just exist there. And I suspect that's intentional on the designer's part. It's an anachronism, sort of like the music (It may have even bled over from Rapture). But it's also a necessary part of the Bioshock universe because it's elemental to the universe.


This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2013, 12:20.
 
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News Comments > America's Army Beta Signups
7. Re: America's Army Beta Signups Apr 8, 2013, 22:51 Flatline
 
pacbowl wrote on Apr 8, 2013, 21:13:
I was heavily into this game several years ago and had probably logged over a thousand hours on Pimpline and Hospital. They kept tweaking and tweaking the engine until it was nearly impossible to hit anything even when prone. That's when I dropped it.

In a war environment, that's probably pretty realistic. In Afghanistan you're looking at like 250,000 bullets fired per casualty inflicted.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
47. Re: Op Ed Apr 7, 2013, 03:01 Flatline
 
PropheT wrote on Apr 6, 2013, 22:22:
The reason I never get behind any of this, uh, crap is because it's so all-inclusive. Game shows bare breasts? Misogynist. Game has male lead characters, no female lead? Sexist. Rinse, repeat, for absolutely anything writer can find to support that argument.

It's generalist bullshit dismissing the entire medium as anti-female because there are some prominent examples you can pick out in a primarily male-driven hobby. A lot of it is going to be made for men, because the audience is primarily men. That doesn't mean it's anti-woman, or even sexist, any more than movie theaters are anti-male because they have Sex and the City 1 and 2 and Meg Ryan movies and whatever. Some stuff is made for you, some is made for me. Why don't we see more third person shooters made with the sensibilities of girl gamers in mind? Because men playing them make up enough of the market that there's not much of a choice come funding time.

Point is, you can have your cake and eat it too. If there's enough of a demand for the kind of games that we want to classify as girl games, then they'll get made, sell well, and the market for them will increase and flourish. And if they do, fantastic...but that doesn't mean games that aren't like that need to disappear for it to happen.

Sometimes nobody listens because they aren't aware of the objections, but sometimes they just aren't listening because what you're saying is stupid.

Wait, why do we have to have "girl games" and "guy games"? How about games that don't portray women as sexual fetishes, hyperbolic stereotypes, or victims? Surely teaching boys not to treat women as only being worthy of wank fodder can't be seen as a bad thing.

And as far as the industry being "male driven", at one point that was true, but women make up around half of gamers out there. And interestingly enough, they aren't looking to play My Little Pony- really little kids and college frat boys play MLP. The idea that women *need* "girl games" is in and of itself sexist and bigoted. Separate but equal was a shameful argument when it was about race, it's shameful here too.

Here. Come read this blog:

http://fatuglyorslutty.com/

And see what kind of behavior implicit tolerance breeds.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
46. Re: Op Ed Apr 7, 2013, 02:52 Flatline
 
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Apr 7, 2013, 02:46:
Quboid wrote on Apr 6, 2013, 20:29:
It's not the biggest problem in the world, but does that mean we should ignore it? Should we ignore everything except whatever is the biggest problem?

Didn't say that. But it strikes me as a very first world problem compared to what I see on a daily basis. And if I worked with poor people from the third world, rather than foster kids from the San Francisco Bay Area? Well, the cup of rage would runneth over the next time I meet some educated, well-to-do, white or Asian woman who feels a great injustice has been done to her because she is statistically more likely to make marginally less money than her male coworkers.

Is it an injustice? Sure. Should we right injustice where ever possible? Of course. But is it comparable to being 11 years old and having a dad who sells your food stamps so he can buy drugs for himself and his girlfriend? No, absolutely not, and anyone who suggests that it is needs to wake the fuck up.

The inequality and gender bias against women is HARDLY a "first world problem". It manifests in different ways depending on the culture. Here in the US, it manifests in a payroll prejudice, and slut shaming if you're raped (I'll go ahead and point to Stubenville to show you what I mean). In some countries, you're put to death if you're the victim of the rape because you've slut shamed your family so bad by being raped.

It's still the same bigoted point of view that fuels each.

"Try not to be a bigot" isn't exactly something that needs prioritization. It's one of those skills that *should* come around the same time you learn to wipe your ass.
 
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News Comments > Warframe Registers 1M Players
15. Re: Warframe Registers 1M Players Apr 6, 2013, 20:29 Flatline
 
Moog wrote on Apr 6, 2013, 06:23
uite enjoy it - fun co-op gameplay - but their micotransaction prices are *way* too high to ever consider dropping any money on it.

Will play my default frame with my default weapons until I get bored with it, then delete the installation. [/quote:


Exactly. Tribes Ascend hit this sweet spot where for like 20 bucks I could unlock most of the base content in the game (the player classes). I could unlock my favorite play style for a few bucks and go from there.

Warframe is kind of fun, but I'm not about to spend 30-50 bucks on a PC class that lets me play the game slightly different. Or 10 dollars on a bow.
 
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News Comments > Evening Consolidation
2. Re: Evening Consolidation Apr 5, 2013, 22:32 Flatline
 
I was a pretty loyal xbox fan this past generation, but in between console generations I have zero loyalty. If Microsoft decides to fuck up the new xbox, then I'll be happy to jump ship and look at PS4, which Sony finally seems to be "getting it" after the amazing hubris with the PS3.  
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News Comments > Warframe Registers 1M Players
4. Re: Warframe Registers 1M Players Apr 5, 2013, 22:30 Flatline
 
PHJF wrote on Apr 5, 2013, 22:18:
Anyone give it a shot?

I did. It was pretty bad.

Eh it's standard 3rd person shooter with severe grind imposed on it.

Which is normally "pretty bad, move on", but the up shot is that it takes like 15 minutes to complete an entire mission. And having the game be that discreet fucking rocks.

Game reminds me mildly of sven co-op though, with lots of rooms that basically have different themes chained together to create a level. You'll see lots of familiar rooms really quickly, and the radar points you int he proper direction relentlessly. Exploring has limited value as there aren't that many pick-ups in each map (but that makes them more worth while oddly enough).

Mods have an interesting fusion/upgrade system that is totally off-balanced by how expensive everything is. Apparently end game isn't much of anything and you're severely overpowered.

I wish it were easier to at least unlock new warframes. They're the real cash money sink (along with weapons, but I can live with that), and to unlock one otherwise you have to grind a blueprint, grind resources, and then grind money to assemble the new warframe, then wait some amount of time. I can't tell you how long because apparently the loot I need to grind to unlock my first warframe is about 2/3 of the way through the game.

I know the basic frame won't keep me interested that long, and I have no intention of spending money on this. It's a fun passtime but that's it.
 
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News Comments > BlizzCon 2013 Ticket Sales This Month
32. Re: BlizzCon 2013 Ticket Sales This Month Apr 4, 2013, 19:50 Flatline
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 18:52:
Agreed, D3 was much more of a fail than SC2. SC2 was probably what most people wanted, which was really SC1.5 -- and that's what they got. SC2 wasn't terrible, I did buy it. But it just didn't manage to grab me like the original did. Plus, despite playing WoW for 6 years, I find myself in the "I want my single player games to be offline" crowd. It was "okay", a minor stumble. D3 however was a clear fail, even prior to launch. I didn't even consider buying it.

SC2 took 10 years to put out. An *expansion pack* (and please, when 90% of the functions of the game are identical and you get new maps/story mode, that's an expansion) took 3 years to put out. The human story was forgettable- Rebel against Mensk, get some psychic tuner thing, get Kerrigan, roll credits. Oh, and cameo of the chick from StarCraft: Ghost that we'll never, ever get to see, and from Zeratuul.

It just... wasn't A-list level. Which is understandable, because the A-list devs are on Titan supposedly.
 
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News Comments > Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy Source Code Released
42. Re: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy Source Code Released Apr 4, 2013, 17:58 Flatline
 
yuastnav wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 10:33:
Xero wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 10:18:
Why hasn't there been a new Jedi SOMETHING game in a while? Outcast and Academy were AWESOME games. Too many good times in multiplayer duel deathmatch. It was awesome fighting or even spectating those matches.
[...]

I can agree with the "fighting" part, however watching most of these matches was dreadful because at a higher skill level the fights consisted of the opponents circling each other and going backwards and forwards the whole time. Then they would swing their swords and hope that they managed to land a hit and that would go and on and on and on...

Still, a Jedi Knight 3 would be phenomenal, although it would lose a lot of its charm because it wouldn't use the Quake 3 engine anymore.
I think LucasArts decided that they'd rather release The Force Unleashed, which looked interesting back when I first saw it on Giga Games in... 2004? 2005?
Anyway, the game itself was dreadful, just awful and not fun in any way. There were also too many quick time events.
But that's probably why there will be no new Jedi Knight. It seems that they just abandoned a series in favour of something that is similar but ultimately less interesting.

The Force Unleashed would have been decent if the saber wasn't a fucking whiffle bat after the first couple levels. I mean, it shouldn't take 37 hits to kill a stormtrooper, even if he is a big badass mini-boss. After I realized that the lightsabers were useless, I just dumped all my points into force push and lightning and ran around zapping everyone, and it turned boring.

Whoever thought "let's make a game where you're actually a badass jedi" and then said "I know, let's make your lightsaber fucking useless" needs to be beaten severely.

And yes, the power level is way off from the rest of the films and the characters are boring and uninteresting and you know how the goddamn game is going to end since you *can't* kill the emperor or vader and you can't join them, since this is "canon" prequel shit. But it had promise as a good action fighting game, they just fucked it up.
 
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News Comments > BlizzCon 2013 Ticket Sales This Month
26. Re: BlizzCon 2013 Ticket Sales This Month Apr 4, 2013, 17:47 Flatline
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 17:43:
The guild dying is a big thing to get past. It is a very social game and I played it mostly with the same people for the last 3 years. Playing again and having to build up a new group is something I don't think I could muster the effort for. Plus, none of my RL friends are playing it any longer.

I look forward to finding out what Titan is. I feel Blizzard is on a bit of a tumble currently with SC2 and D3. So, I'll be cautious whatever Titan is, but I want it to be great.

Titan might be decent, as they've concentrated their A-list talent into it. SC2 and D3 are both B-list teams making A-list games.
 
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News Comments > LucasArts Closed
16. Re: LucasArts Closed Apr 3, 2013, 15:15 Flatline
 
jacobvandy wrote on Apr 3, 2013, 15:11:
And nothing of value was lost.

You guys clamor for those IPs, and they're still there. So you can keep right on ahead with that. In fact, as someone already mentioned, this could open up doors like, a new Double Fine-developed Monkey Island, etc.

It's the end of an era. I remember playing Blazeball on my commodore 64, made by Lucasarts.

Yeah, today LA doesn't mean much (the last really good game they came out with was Republic Commando), but for like 25 years it meant something.
 
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News Comments > Thief 4 Trailer
2. Re: Thief 4 Trailer Apr 1, 2013, 20:34 Flatline
 
Yeah. WTF? You've ditched just about everything else about Thief.

Plus, another completely pre-rendered CG trailer. Yawn.
 
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News Comments > Evening Legal Briefs
1. Re: Evening Legal Briefs Mar 29, 2013, 21:58 Flatline
 
Congress would love to, but deconstructing the DMCA to see what parts are broken and possibly what could be done to fix them turns out to be a violation of the DMCA.  
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News Comments > Tomb Raider Sets Sales Record
7. Re: Tomb Raider Sets Sales Record Mar 29, 2013, 21:57 Flatline
 
ASeven wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 20:56:
3.4 million and it didn't meet sales targets. This industry cannot survive with these numbers anymore.

I'd say that's a problem with Square-Enix more than with the industry. SE is hemorrhaging money and can't keep it up. They probably predicted 5 million units pushed in the first week. Maybe more. Which is absurdly unrealistic.
 
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News Comments > SimCity 2.0 Plans
29. Re: SimCity 2.0 Plans Mar 29, 2013, 19:17 Flatline
 
Dev wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 01:20:
Thats probably why they restricted the city size so much, so that their underlying foundational simulation issues wouldn't show up as bad. Plus even with everything like that, only 10% of the city is actually "simulated" lol.

And, then after they shipped it and patched it up, in 6 months or so of making money, they can release a bigger city DLC once they fix enough bugs that a bigger size works passably.

I could see something like that happening. Dunno if its planned in that way, or just plain incompetent, but I could see it.

I actually wonder if the starving of cities for labor or whatever is partially to do with the numbers fudging. You know, like they do something stupid like calculate how many jobs are needed in the city based on the fudged population number and not the actual agent number. So you have 200,000 (fudged) population, and the sim engine goes "okay, we need 180,000 workers to fill all the jobs", even though there's only 20,000 agents in the city. It allocates as many agents as it can and starts screaming that you need more workers.

It sounds like the kind of stupid fucking thing that would be done on a game that's this badly handled.
 
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News Comments > Jay Wilson: Auction Houses "Really Hurt" Diablo III
86. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 17:29 Flatline
 
AngelicPenguin wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 17:27:
Flatline wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 17:12:
And really, assuming that there are a million unique logins a day, and they sold 12 million units, we're probably talking about around a 10-15% player redemption. That's not a lot really.

Ya I have no idea what Blizzard expected, gamers expected, etc. I will say if someone told me 10% of a game's population are playing it regularly a year after it came out, I'd think that was pretty successful, especially when that 10% is a million users. But I have no idea really on something like this.

Call of Duty: Elite has around 10 million users for a relative benchmark.
 
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News Comments > Jay Wilson: Auction Houses "Really Hurt" Diablo III
82. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 17:12 Flatline
 
AngelicPenguin wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 17:04:
Dev wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 16:09:
AngelicPenguin wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 15:38:
I think that shows very clearly what is shouted about on game forums doesn't translate into reality at all.
I don't think thats what it shows. I think it shows that they could have done far far more sales if they had a little more sense about how they made the game.

More than 12 million sold?

All I was saying is that, while the game seems despised on gaming forums, there are plenty of gamers out there playing it, so I'm assuming they find it fun.

We don't really have the data needed to see if D3 was successful the way D2 was successful. We need to look at player retention 3-4 years from now (or ideally, 3-4 years after the inevitable expansion pack, which at the rate Blizzard is going at, should see the light of day around 2017).

And really, assuming that there are a million unique logins a day, and they sold 12 million units, we're probably talking about around a 10-15% player redemption. That's not a lot really.
 
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2116 Comments. 106 pages. Viewing page 28.
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