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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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Signed On Feb 15, 2007, 19:09
Total Comments 2418 (Senior)
User ID 34131
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News Comments > OZombie Kickstarter Cancelled
10. Re: OZombie Kickstarter Cancelled Jul 15, 2013, 18:36 Flatline
Prez wrote on Jul 15, 2013, 18:08:
Agreed - zombies are old hat and people in general are tired of "It's a zombie game - with a TWIST!". It has to be something from a well established franchise or something REALLY special to catch on at this point.

Case in point- The Walking Dead, while not spectacular as an adventure game, succeeded by having really, really great writing and telling a good story. I burned out on the TV show and never read the comic book, but the game was great.
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
9. Re: Morning Legal Briefs Jul 15, 2013, 18:24 Flatline
BS lawsuit from an avowed nutjob.  
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News Comments > Op Ed
9. Re: Op Ed Jul 15, 2013, 18:17 Flatline
Cutter wrote on Jul 15, 2013, 15:45:
Like most everyone else I would have ZERO interest in backing a company if all the extra money just mean they were going to go out and do hookers and blow with it.

Profit? Why the fuck should a company have the audacity to make a PROFIT off of the product they're selling? How fucking insulting can you get?

Double Fine's issues stem from there not being a development plan/stretch goal ladder already in place. In other words, nobody knew how much each bit they were adding was going to end up costing. If you look at Torment, they had calculated out how much money was required to do each step. Is it going to stay in budget? Hard to tell really, but with Double Fine they said "give us money and we'll make something old school and awesome!" then went with the money they had and created a game design. Which is the old way of doing gaming budget. In crowd-sourcing there's no chance to go back to the publisher and ask for more money- that's it. Budgets have to be spot on. Feature creep is your enemy.

It'll be interesting to see if other folks make the same mistake DF did. Shadowrun already went over-budget for example, but not enough to put Hairbrained into dire straights.
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News Comments > OZombie Kickstarter Cancelled
8. Re: OZombie Kickstarter Cancelled Jul 15, 2013, 18:01 Flatline
First, zombies have been done to death (pardon the pun) in video games. They've jumped the shark. I can't even begin to see anything appealing about Oz & Zombies. It gets an eyeroll whenever I think about it.

Second, how do I say this... Alice... it's time has passed. The goth movement is dated and isn't the same as it was. The goth/punk dark twisted fairyland hit at just the right time. Now it's dated. The only "dark/twisted child's fairy tale" I wouldn't mind exploring *might* be Neverland/Peter Pan. The themes at play there with the Lost Boys could actually make for an interesting narrative, reinforcing those ideas instead of... sigh... zombies.
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News Comments > Global Agenda 2 and Tribes Ascend 2 Take Precedence Over Tribes Ascend Patch
8. Re: Global Agenda 2 and Tribes Ascend 2 Take Precedence Over Tribes Ascend Patch Jul 12, 2013, 15:07 Flatline
I quit playing about six months ago but played the hell out of the game during it's beta and early launch. There were some tasty times to be sure.

However the hosted server model sucked and there was no mod support, so I never got to relive Renegades in all it's beautiful, beautiful glory (and to a lesser extent Shifter)
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News Comments > What is Payday 2? Trailer Explains
7. Re: What is Payday 2? Trailer Explains Jul 10, 2013, 16:33 Flatline
DangerDog wrote on Jul 10, 2013, 16:01:
What game engine are they using? co-op is fun but why not have some pvp cops vs robbers action?

Because that's basically team deathmatch with skins?

Or if you throw in objectives, Counterstrike?

This is closer to Left 4 Dead.

@Verno: I don't know what kind of spawning system would have pleased you. Yeah there was infinite spawns with periods of heavy spawning, which could be reduced by taking out security cameras on some maps, but the spawn points were pretty logical and not as bad as many AAA games.

If there were finite spawns the game would have been WAY too easy.
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News Comments > Star Citizen Economy Trailer
29. Re: Star Citizen Economy Trailer Jul 8, 2013, 01:47 Flatline
s1mon75 wrote on Jul 8, 2013, 00:26:
Doesnt Eve already have this? But they have infinite resources, eg on server restarts asteroids that were mined out the day before are respawned.

For an economy to work such as one they have described you need finite resources (like in the real world). But no MMO to date has even attempted finite resources.

Ill be watching this one with earnest

Demand is the other half of supply & demand. If demand outstrips supply, you see a price spike. Resources come in at a finite level. Even if there's unlimited resources in each resource node, there is a very finite speed that you can put resources into the economy: It takes time to mine/gather and that time can't be sped up. That effectively acts like a finite resource. Any scarcity bottleneck will suffice to make a pseudo-economy tick. Limited resources is the most basic because that's the one we're taught to think of in school.

Plus, it's easy to put resource drains/taxes/syphons/diversions into an artificial economy. Look at most MMOs: They have all kinds of outlets to keep gold in check. It may look like a closed economy, but money comes off of mobs & from NPC vendors initially, and eventually goes back to "the system" to be destroyed through auction taxes, cost of crafting, vending, etc...

What I don't like is that there's theoretically some NPC out there counting the number of missiles shot in a dogfight and deciding that the price of those missiles needs to go up because X number of them were shot off. That kind of perfect economy information leads to extremely unusual artifacts in your economic model that end up leaving logic and experience behind. You can see an example in today's stock market. It's far more volatile than it was 20 years ago because we have clusters of computers with perfect, less-than-a-thousandth-of-a-second knowledge of the stock market updating thousands of times per second all trying to second guess each other and make transactions where each trade nets you a few cents, but then make millions of those trades in seconds. When the programming isn't spot on and certain characteristics emerge in the market, every computer freaks, and the stock market plunges 300 points in 10 seconds.

In other words, perfect knowledge market AI makes human gaming of the economy/market less and less useful. And if the ratio of AI agents to humans really is 9 to 1 like was mentioned earlier, the end result is going to be that no human endeavor is going to matter or have any lasting impact in the market.
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News Comments > Star Citizen Economy Trailer
28. Re: Star Citizen Economy Trailer Jul 8, 2013, 01:37 Flatline
ItBurn wrote on Jul 7, 2013, 23:28:
I'm not sure he can accomplish a perfectly balanced fully dynamic economy, but I'm sure he can accomplish some of it. Also, stop with the negativity. When was the last time a game ATTEMPTED to do something cool design-wise. Nowadays designers are useless, it's just clones of copies. How many of our favorite classic games had high goals that were never fully reached, but allowed these games to become great. Applaud the guy. Don't pay if you don't want to, no one is forcing you. I'm reminded of Garriot saying that all designers suck and I think that that's what he meant. Not that I'm excited about his next game, but still, he did design great stuff. Chris Roberts on the other hand has a better track record.

I backed this back during kickstarter. I *want* it to succeed. Desperately.

But there's a difference between promising the earth, moon, and stars and delivering the same. I've been burned enough, and know enough technically, that the sales pitch has to match the reality of business and technology. And right now the pitch isn't matching up very well.

I'm also fucking sick of every new piece of news coming with an "give us moar money!" button next to it. As I said before, I feel like a chump for *only* putting 60 or 80 or whatever it was towards this game back during kickstarter, when now that money could go towards a ship geared specifically towards the style of gameplay I might prefer to play.

It's a bullshit sucker punch and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Not that there's anything I can do about it at this point.

I'm trying to stay grounded because I know if I let myself get excited and hyped there will come a moment when he says "you need 8 high-end servers to run a player-owned shard" or "private servers are off the table" or "single player is being cut down to 5 missions. Think of them as an offline tutorial really" or "microtransactions for everyone!!!" type of deal, I'm going to be REALLY pissed.
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News Comments > Star Citizen Economy Trailer
20. Re: Star Citizen Economy Trailer Jul 7, 2013, 21:59 Flatline
Scheherazade wrote on Jul 7, 2013, 20:14:
Dev wrote on Jul 7, 2013, 14:50:
How many of these "last chance now really mean it now" sales have they had at this point? lol

There is a core set of ships you can buy any time.

They had 'limited' ships for sale a few times.
They are limited in the sense that you can only buy them during special promotion times - not any time.
Sometimes only during certain phases/periods of the Kickstarter fund.
Sometimes only during 24 hour live streams.

There were 2 ships that were quantity limited : Scythe and Idris.

They did fudge the Idris by releasing a Patrol/Police version later (also in limited quantity).
Effectively, they made a 2nd Idris batch, and changed it up a little so they could hand-wave the old quantity limit.


And that's all on top of the kickstarter packages the schmucks went for.

I'm going to question if a "perfect information" economy is going to work very well or is even feasible. It certainly isn't going to be feasible on a user-run server to keep track of twenty or thirty billion assets in real time all being moved by thousands of AI entities. And that all is based on an economic theory that I'm not sure is going to work. It almost seems like the universe "great unseen hand" has an omniscient eye and can see when people are hoarding and change the economic balance accordingly. But that's not how economics works. Perception, and especially flawed perception, is a big part of economics.

Anyway, I don't see some schmoe hosting this complicated of a server at home. Five bucks says that the private servers are either going to be completely nerfed or are going to be dropped entirely. And that's If and Only If they make good on all the online component stuff.

Something big has to give here. There's too much being promised.
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News Comments > Op Ed
13. Re: Op Ed Jul 4, 2013, 18:11 Flatline
Cutter wrote on Jul 4, 2013, 13:09:
And don't forget Shadowrun has been delayed twice now and they're out of money which is why it's finally being shipped.

Yeah, the first delay was when KS shattered their goal in 24 hours and they like quintupled the size of the game. They said even before the end of the KS that the schedule was going to have to change.

The second delay was a whopping month. Probably to implement VR Matrix.

And they delayed the game for a month *after* they went through the KS money.
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News Comments > Saturday Consolidation
17. Re: Saturday Consolidation Jul 1, 2013, 01:54 Flatline
HorrorScope wrote on Jun 29, 2013, 14:30:
SpectralMeat wrote on Jun 29, 2013, 14:19:
It is kind of hard to find anything to complain about with Sony.

Yep they did pretty much what any video game hobbyist would have dreamed up. I guess we should say great job, but it also is master of the obvious stuff if you pay attention. For Sony this is a huge turn of events, where I made fun of them, now they get it, welcome.

I am hoping this means that this point forward everything will be backwards compatible. That there will be incremental upgrades instead of generational releases. Why not in two years put in a faster BPU/GPU, etc? No need to start anything over, these are closed PC's.

This is how Apple makes their billions, incremental HW improvements, just have to sell at a profit. They could make a $1000 version of the PS4 at release and enough would buy, not saying they should, but it's to my point.

Say the mass market is $400 and below. But in a year make a $750 dollar version PS4.1 that is just stronger, a year after that put the PS4.1 at $400 and introduce another stronger PS4.2 at $750. To say that doesn't work is to ignore what Apple has done.

This is a terri-bad idea that deserves to be shot behind the woodshed before it bites another animal or human and spreads the derp.

Instead of backwards compatibility you now have forwards compatibility issues. AAA dev decides to only publish for PS4.2 while everyone else is publishing PS4.1. If you don't have 700 dollars to spend every year or two you're fucked. Or even worse, you keep selling revisions but one sells *really* well and to maximize sales developers stick with that revision's system requirements and suddenly nobody is using all the new power and toys and sticking with the old revision and you have DirectX 9/Windows XP all over again, with dead hardware revision cycles.

No, 700 dollar yearly or every-two-year lifespans of hardware is a terrible idea. With iDevices, at least you can make phone calls, listen to music, etc... if your device is too old to make use of all the latest apps.
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News Comments > MechWarrior Online Preorders
3. Re: MechWarrior Online Preorders Jun 25, 2013, 22:08 Flatline
Wow they even manage to f*ck over the founders pack purchasers by giving better swag here.  
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News Comments > OZombie Kickstarter
8. Re: OZombie Kickstarter Jun 24, 2013, 23:32 Flatline

Christ... It's like "what can we combine with zombies to make money? I know! The Wizard of Oz!"
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News Comments > Star Citizen - Life Time Insurance Last Chance
98. Re: Star Citizen - Life Time Insurance Last Chance Jun 23, 2013, 21:47 Flatline
jimnms wrote on Jun 23, 2013, 15:42:
Since the game isn't based around PvP, I don't see how it can be called P2W. It's more like P2GaBS (Pay to Get a Better Start).

In a sandbox environment "winning" more or less means "getting to do what you want".

If it takes X number of hours of boredom mining asteroids and hauling inexpensive freight from point A to point B in order to make enough money to afford a ship that lets you play how you want, and then someone else who wants to play the way you want to play pulls out a credit card and skips those X hours, I'd say that's "pay to win". Or if it wasn't a transaction, and it was say... a code or a hack, it'd be cheating. So how about instead of pay to win it's pay to cheat?
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News Comments > Star Citizen - Life Time Insurance Last Chance
78. Re: Star Citizen - Life Time Insurance Last Chance Jun 23, 2013, 13:23 Flatline
1badmf wrote on Jun 23, 2013, 02:34:
Overon wrote on Jun 23, 2013, 01:51:
I have to agree with Flatline there is way too much speculation and blind trust in Roberts Space Industries.

see, that's the problem with all this griping. it's not 'blind' trust. it's chris roberts. if you don't know his history, you shouldn't be bothering with this. if you do, you should know that if anyone can do this right, it's him. i think he's earned our trust.

That's kind of the definition of blind trust. We have no hard data on the game or how it plays, only a bunch of PR buzz lines, some carefully edited footage, and a price list.

I've had enough darling developers screw the pooch at an epic level that past performance doesn't promise future results to me. And I'll go here... the same issues and questions that historically plagued Freelancer while Roberts was still lead are showing up here again.

And here's another thing- if what someone else in thread said is true and that they're only offering to sell all these ships until the Alpha, that's kind of f*cked up.

I mean, I'd like to assume they have the basic flight engine already done. It wouldn't be hard to offer test drive packages- dump the ship into an asteroid field with basic weaponry and let us fly around and see how things go "pew pew pew" and handle. Put a 10 minute timer on it for all I care. It'd justify the 250 dollar investment some of these ships are requiring. Slap "pre-alpha code, use at own risk" on it and let it go. It'd take 15 minutes per build I imagine to crank out a test drive, and give us a lot of hands on information.

And finally on the P2W thing, P2W doesn't necessarily mean that you pwn the world with your ship. If I have to schlep solar power energy cells from factory A to depot B for 30 hours in order to afford the most basic ship but could slap down a credit card and get a more advanced ship immediately in the play style I'd like, that's P2W. My time has value, and it's also short-cutting the intended game's path with money. Is it the worst example of P2W? Not really... but it is an example.
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News Comments > Star Citizen - Life Time Insurance Last Chance
53. Re: Star Citizen - Life Time Insurance Last Chance Jun 23, 2013, 00:44 Flatline
ItBurn wrote on Jun 23, 2013, 00:37:
And I thought I was a negative person... :p

Hey I want to be totally wrong. I miss space combat sims with a passion. I still replay Freespace 2 every few months because the genre is like crack to me.

Optimists see the glass is half full, pessimists see it half empty, engineers see the glass was designed twice as large as needed, and I see enough water to drown in.
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News Comments > Star Citizen - Life Time Insurance Last Chance
52. Re: Star Citizen - Life Time Insurance Last Chance Jun 23, 2013, 00:40 Flatline
CJ_Parker wrote on Jun 22, 2013, 22:35:
Flatline wrote on Jun 22, 2013, 22:18:
Now, after all these months of updates, I'm seeing I was kind of a sucker to be an early supporter (which is a laugh because the game isn't even out yet). Every update seems to be "here's another ship you can buy! Limited time offer!" or bucking to up your contribution.

It might help if you would actually read the updates. Here's what Chris Roberts said on the current 300i promo with some highlighting done by yours truly...
As always, we are doing these promotions as way to bring new people into the community – the Aurora promotion managed to bring in three times the amount of people to the game that were previously joining and almost 70% of the dollars raised came from new backers which was great! If you are an existing backer please pledge because you want to support the game’s development and our quest to make this the first fully community funded AAA game and not because additional ships are necessary for the experience. You will be able to acquire all of these craft and upgrades in the finished game using in-game credits.

Bullshit it's meant for new people joining the game: I get multiple email announcements every single time there's a chance for me to pay more money, often days before it hits the news circuit.

Here's a better translation:

We're telling you to only back this if you want to support the game, but seriously folks, opening up your wallet is going to give you a day-one advantage. It may take months or even years to earn some of these ships in-game, but for the low-low rate of whatever the cost is, you can cut to the front of the line.

I've heard this shit before from EVERY Freemium game I've ever played. I can count on one hand the freemium models that didn't feel like Pay2Win.

Your quote shows me absolutely nothing that doesn't disprove anything I said. If anything, it reinforces everything I've said. It's specifically designed to appeal to completion and collectors, of whom there are a *lot* in the gaming community. Every month or two you have a 10 or 20 dollar opportunity to expand your "collection" and get that yummy feeling of completeness, until you've dropped hundreds of dollars into a game that you don't have and actually know nothing substantial about.

Add in grace periods, limited time offers, and reunion tours- I mean extensions for the fans, and you engender all kinds of artificial want and desire for a product that really at this point isn't much of a product more than it's a pitch. In fact, it's been so long since development began and we haven't seen really *anything* substantial that I begin to worry.

It's probably the best crowd sourcing advertising campaign I've ever seen.

This comment was edited on Jun 23, 2013, 00:46.
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News Comments > Star Citizen - Life Time Insurance Last Chance
50. Re: Star Citizen - Life Time Insurance Last Chance Jun 23, 2013, 00:35 Flatline
ItBurn wrote on Jun 22, 2013, 23:32:
Jivaro wrote on Jun 22, 2013, 23:30:
Dev, they address all of that regarding subscriptions very clearly.

Direct quote from the site:

"To that end, we want to make clear that there will NEVER be a subscription needed to play Star Citizen. Once you have backed you should not have to spend extra money to play the game. Similarly, Star Citizen will never be ‘pay to win,’ so we are not going to offer a subscription plan that gives some users special equipment or additional money or any kind of edge in combat. We feel strongly that everything that affects gameplay can be earned in game via your actions."

But that brings up that Pay2Win topic and it is obvious to me that the developers are using a pretty loose interpretation of the term. They are saying that as long as everything in the store can be earned in the game, it isn't Pay2Win. I think most players would agree that if you can buy ships, regardless of whether they are able to be earned in game, that moves you over into the Pay2Win category. As I stated below, I couldn't give a shit less if someone wants to pay not to play the game. I do understand however that some people dislike that a developer would say it isn't Pay2Win and then sell anything other than cosmetic things in the store.

The thing is thought that in this game, player skill is more important than ship parts. Also, all ships are useful for different purposes. A smaller ship may be able to take down a bigger, costlier ship because it's faster and harder to hit.

You *think* that player skill will be far more important. You don't know yet. You're assuming based on zero factual data other than PR announcements. It's supurb advertising smoke, but it's still smoke until we get hard data like max speeds, turning rates in degrees per second or the equivalent, acceleration, hull/shield strength compared to weaponry, etc etc...

And even when we're given all that, it only matters if it's accurately implemented in the game.

So we're back to dishing money on pure advertising smoke and absolutely nothing substantial. Show me 10 minutes of in-game performance of a ship and you'll have more concrete data to work from.
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News Comments > Star Citizen - Life Time Insurance Last Chance
35. Re: Star Citizen - Life Time Insurance Last Chance Jun 22, 2013, 22:18 Flatline
I'm actually regretting ever kickstarting this project. At first it seemed like an information orgy of pledge levels and SWAG that you'd get, and I plunked down a middle of the road contribution.

But it turns out I made that investment really knowing nothing about what I was being sold.

Now, after all these months of updates, I'm seeing I was kind of a sucker to be an early supporter (which is a laugh because the game isn't even out yet). Every update seems to be "here's another ship you can buy! Limited time offer!" or bucking to up your contribution.

The problem I see now is that these are all blind purchases on pure hype and BS. We have no *real* idea what any of this translated into the game world actually means. Worse yet, it seems like the information overload without actually telling you anything seems to be intentional.

I hope I'm wrong. I would LOVE to be wrong and have a fantastic game to play. We'll see though. At the moment I'm feeling like a chump getting hit up for a few bucks over and over and over again.
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News Comments > Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition Legal Tangle
16. Re: Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition Legal Tangle Jun 20, 2013, 13:22 Flatline
Cutter wrote on Jun 20, 2013, 12:35:
Please, WOTC just go away. Sell the IP to someone who cares beyond whatever sheckels they can wring out of it.

Wizards and Mearls has to run D&D completely into the ground first with D&D:Next, aka 5th edition. Which looks like a travesty waiting to happen.
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2418 Comments. 121 pages. Viewing page 37.
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