Friday, October 31, 2008

Forum Banning.

THE EA FORUM ISSUE.

GAMECYTE's TAKE:

http://www.gamecyte.com/rumor-quash-ea-will-not-ban-flagrant-forumites-from-playing-games

TGN TAKE:

http://www.totalgamingnetwork.com/main/showthread.php?t=179533

GamePolitics take:
http://www.gamepolitics.com/2008/10/30/report-bad-behavior-ea-forums-will-lock-you-out-game-you-bought

My take based on the 2142 situation is that the EATOS does apply, but because EA splits everything into a thousand separate steps, it seems unlikely that a player will be "cross" banned.

The forums themselves are a bit rough and tumble- wild west style. Most of the time, people go way over the top on them. Most people who spend a bit of time in the forums quickly realize that it is not always the "friendliest" of places. This appears be covered under rule 10 of the EA online TOS.

Unfortunately, the forums themselves are not well organized. For starters, in the 2142 forum, the search function does not work. The forum threads disappear after 90 days leaving no room for collective knowledge. Meanwhile, the "new" people are constantly tripping up against the "old" people in heated exchanges.

In any case, if EA begins to close player accounts based on forum postings, it may be the first step towards closing the forums as people will not want to risk participation. On the other hand, given the hostility that players can sometimes needlessly experience in the forums and the negative impressions they leave gamers, this whole thing might just be a "shot across the bow" to reel in some of the worst offenders.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Console overloads.

Players are currently trying to hunt for server rules and figure out which servers ban the console shield overload and which allow it. It's Easter in October. Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

BF:H

The latest version of PCGAMER indicates that BF:H is looking good, but that it will not have VOIP...hmmmm...odd...

Anyway, it looks like DICE is going to try to go for more player feedback in supporting its title. That will be interesting. I know not every idea I have had is a good one. Oh well, I think it will be fun anyway.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Reasons why 2142 still rules.

There are some very simple features in Battlefield 2142 that it may it an exceptional game for team play and enhance the overall playing environment.

Here are just a few to highlight:

The maps are well thought out and balanced. There were problems with some things like the APC wall glitching on Fall of Berlin, but these problems have been solved. Most of the maps are pretty well balanced and both teams have even odds. Once in a while, if a server goes infantry only, it does throw play balance off a bit. But in vanilla modes, the maps are great.

Reviving. A lot of FPS games do not allow for reviving. Reviving really adds a lot of positive dimensions to the game. It keeps play flowing. It encourages squads to stick together. Accidents happen, and sometimes you tk someone, a freak car accident and so forth. Reviving can undo the damage and restore some good will between players.

Tagging. Not a feature in 2142 and for good reason. Most tags are fairly tasteless. A few stock tags can be fun. Unfortunately, the disadvantages of tagging outweigh the advantages and no tagging is probably the right call.

Vehicles and large maps. When straying from 2142, the first thing one notices in most other games is an absence of vehicles and closet sized maps. Initially, the closets feel okay, but you quickly miss vehicle combat and large open spaces. BF2142 has a nice sandbox that keeps you coming back.

Accurate weapons and hit boxes. Some games have no cross hairs and no hit boxes. That just leads to unnecessary pain in trying to get the job done. Also, the recoil in some games is ridiculously complicated.

Squad and commander modes. The commander mode is by far and away the oddest attempt at adding to online play. Still it works and makes things very interesting.

Easy to distinguish opponents. Believe it or not, some games make it hard to tell friend from foe. While this may add to the "realism" it does not generally heighten gaming experiences. People end up getting all upset at accidental tks. In 2142, players can readily distinguish from friend or foe, avoiding many unnecessary tks.

That's it for now. Sure there's more to enjoy, but just wanted to say a few things about 2142.

Gaming Value.

Half Life 2 went on sale for $4.99 this weekend. The title was admittedly a bit old, but $4.99 is an incredible value. Tons of mods for the thing too. Unbelievable. I often feel a good old title is much better than a technically superior weaker title. Some of the new titles have lots of flash, but aren't very playable or good. Seems like there are really good values out there.

Of course, Battlefield 2142 is only $10. Not sure which title will be first free franchise Battlefield game, BFH or 2142. Definitely an exceptional value and in these times people need value for their entertainment dollar.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pilum rule still causing problems.

I had to send a follow up letter to DICE regarding the titan shields issue. At first, I should just say that I think DICE's decision to leave it up to the individual servers is the right decision. There was indication in the original Prima guides that consoles 1 and 2 extended shields up to corridors 3 and 4. It implies that you must destroy the consoles, but does not say how. Moreover, the book itself, while helpful is not necessarily controlling because some of the information is dated.

More to the point, the current ruling allows servers to decide for themselves whether or not to allow this tactic. This seems to give the greatest amount of freedom and control to players and administrators. Anyone who wants to play this way, can find servers that allow it, anyone who does not want to play this way can find servers that prohibit it. It allows people the freedom to play as they want to.

Unfortunately, there have been allegations about the veracity of the emails I produced. I took a screenshot of the emails and posted them online. Apparently, this is still not enough for some people. That is too bad, but I do not want this to be about me so I sent the following email to Dice asking them to make an official posting. I feel bad to bother them about this again, but see no other recourse to trying to resolve this matter. Here's what I wrote:

I hate to bother you with this, but it seems that you probably need to make an official statement on your website regarding the use of pilums to overload the shields of consoles 1 & 2. Players are not going to take my word for it. I would recommend something like this:

"During a titan assault, the method of destroying consoles 1 and 2 by overloading the shields in corridors 3 and 4, e.g. with a pilum, is not a glitch. It is a tactic. Unless the tactic is specifically prohibited by an individual server, it is allowed. Individual servers may choose to prohibit the tactic. As with any prohibition, it must be stated clearly on the splash load screen and in game scroll to properly notify players of the rule."

Thanks

***

Now I'll have to wait for a reply.