Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What's gonna happen to Fallout 76?

If you take a little trip to Youtube and look up Fallout 76, you will find quite a mix of reviews and information. You'll see all the quick fixes to exploit the game for all sorts of silly gains. What I'm going to talk about today is the reviews and new rumors about the failings and possibly falling of the game. I've been researching the claims that I have found and I learned a few interesting things.

These are the talking points critics are using to herald the failure of the game:

It's already being sold half price.  Wait. Where? I checked Bethesda, Walmart, Target, Gamestop, Xbox (Microsoft) and all of them are selling the game for 59.99. That is exactly what I prepaid for the game back in July. It did go up by ten dollars for maybe a month and then back down, but that's all. Hardly "half price" by any stretch. Yet, critics continue to proclaim that the game has been reduced due to "failing sales", but no one links to any proof of this. Speaking of proof...

There's 'already' a lawsuit pending.  Word around the net is that a law firm is "investigating" Bethesda for "failing to refund consumers for unplayable games" and "deceptive trade practices". Yet, as this article from Techspot points out there is no evidence anywhere of said investigations of any kind. So what's going on? As I understand it, people have asked for refunds and supposedly anyone who downloaded the game is not eligible for refund, but that leaves out a great deal of crucial details. It's hard to tell what we are really looking at. When it comes to these refunds however, I think we have to look at what the consumer in question's definition of unplayable is. Did it crash your computer? Did it blatantly not work at all? Or was it just that you didn't like the color of the leaves? This may be unpopular opinion, but in my experience, our society is becoming such a bunch of fickle crybabies and equally fickle and picky haters that the slightest hint of something unlikable is worth condemning the soul of anything to Hell.  From what I've seen of some of these complainers, they knew there was going to be glitches and issues. They even named them but bought the game anyway.

But the glitches and bugs! Yes, there are glitches. Fallout 4 had them. Fallout 3 had them. Fallout New Vegas had them. Yet, these games managed to survive. Why is that? It isn't because "people who buy are stupid, durrrrr". When Fallout 4 came out it outsold certain porn outlets and even took sales away from those outlets. Fanboys who were porn addicts wanted more Fallout than porn. All the games had their issues. They had freezing issues. Yes, that means that they should have fixed it by now, but do you know how to fix it? Do you really understand what they are trying to do? Fallout 76 is a far cry from being WoW but it wasn't meant to be. And putting this game out is a major change in how Bethesda is doing business or making games. That's how companies grow. They take on new things. And stop comparing them to No Man's Sky that crashed before it could get off the runway. Not the same scenario.

But a server crashed! And what, that's never happened before or something? Yes, a group of players managed to launch 3 nukes at the same time and it crashed a server. I guess Bethesda forgot to consult their crystal ball on the possibility that multiple nukes could go off on the same server and missed the memo. This is a perfect example of unrealistic expectations of any gaming company trying to put out something like this. No one has tried to pull off anything with the classifications that Fallout 76 is carrying out (that I can think of, including WoW or No Man's Sky). WoW has had server crashes too, they happen, kind of like having a rainy day. There is no such thing as an infallible server that will never crash. So it's really stupid to expect that. If anything, Bethesda should have learned a few new things so they could work on making the game even better.

But there's no NPC's! Seriously. The company was 100% up front and forward on this. Everyone knew and yet for all of you who still bitch about this yet bought the game... I just can't. They were also 100% upfront about how this is NOT like any other Fallout game. How it is not meant to be Fallout 5. How they knew there were going to be issues that would have to be fixed because no developer could possibly predict every little thing that could happen. The same goes for PVP (player vs player). They didn't hide anything in anyway. Everyone who bothered to pay attention knew what the score was. You can't accept changes like NPC and PVP, buy the game, play the game, and then continue to bitch or expect your money back. That is stupid.

I have experienced a ton of glitches, all of which have been reported. None of which can be altered on world wide live game OVER NIGHT. Heck, likely not even in a month. Some will take over six months. I've had float drifting monsters, been kicked off servers,  and had game freezes. I even had to jump servers because I died and game said I couldn't respawn because I was overencumbered. Have I lamented to the sky and demanded my money back? Hell no. I still enjoy the game and none of those glitches prevent me from playing. They have not encompassed it so badly that I can't be a big boy and get past them. I realize that what Bethesda is trying to do is not only new for them, but impossible to completely avoid no matter how long you work on a game like this.

I'm starting to wonder if some of these claims aren't more of active corporate sabotage than actual misdeeds of Bethesda. I do think, if it goes down and 76 dies, I won't be blaming Bethesda for that loss of my 60 bucks, rather a new generation that can't cope with pitfalls of reality and have ridiculous expectations of everything around them.

This has been part of a new turn I'm taking for my blog. I will be engaging in more gaming and geek culture; sharing my thoughts and reviews in the goings on of it all. For those interested, I'm still a published author and board game designer. You can still find out more at the links in the upper right. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Farewell, Stan Lee

He called us 'True Believers'. He exclaimed 'Excelsior!' like a magic word. A word felt in the bones of all who heard it. He lived to entertain and brighten the world for everyone. He should be proclaimed the Saint of Comic books. That's Stan Lee.

I still remember my very first comic book. It was Amazing Spider-man 184 titled 'White Dragon, Red Death!'. I was so hooked! Yes, I'm old. I grew up on the Adam West Batman series and the 1970's Spider-man and Hulk television shows. I took them all in with wide eyed wonder and they kept me out of my parents' hair. They inspired my creativity for all my life beyond.

Stan lived an amazing life and never slowed down once. Even though his last few years were laced with torment, his fans could count on his appearance until he was 95 years old. I wanted to include a quote, but there are so so many that I grabbed this LINK to some of the most awesome things the man ever said. Read them.

He was a humanitarian. He believed in kindness, tolerance, acceptance, and most of all love for your fellow human being. He demonstrated that behavior in everything he did. And in reality, he is immortal. He can never truly be gone for his creations live on in his stead.

I remember when people got together to make sure my son could meet Stan Lee in New Orleans. He still has the autographed photo put away up in the closet. It's a saved memory he can have for the rest of his life. I have an autographed copy of Drawing Comics the Marvel Way. It will never be for sale.

I think, if we could all adopt those practices of Stan Lee's life, the world could be an amazing place. I know the world was better just for having him in it.