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Items from the Mail Bag – Rainy March Edition March 28, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Mail Bag, Path of Exile.
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It is that time again!  Time to sort through my mail archives to see what has come my way in the last month that wasn’t worth a post by ought to get a mention, whether for real or comedic value.

Path of Exile Open Beta

In a very timely email, the folks making the Diablo-esque online game Path of Exile, a game about which I have written, have announced that this coming weekend, March 30 through April 1, beta access will be thrown open to everyone.  There is, of course, a FAQ posted with details.

Path of Exile – It is raining there too!

So if you are totally jonesing for a Diablo fix and cannot wait for May 15th to roll around, this might be an opportunity to get some click-action RPG time in.

Badass vs. Robot vs. Roger Ebert

Trexx Robotnyk wanted to let me know about the “truly unique, precious art” that is encompassed by Badass vs. Robot.

I think we call that art style “primitive”

I am not even sure where to go with this, so I’ll just quote the message in full.

A one-man operation. Destined to reshape the world order. Badass vs Robot has been temporarily unleashed to fund future development (episodes 1-3, about 1-5 playing hours, available in a week or so). In its brightest moments, small glimpses here and there, this robotic art project from Sweden sort of reminds me of mass effect 3/starwars/whatever but with heavier guitars and a cheaper price tag. Anyway, if you wanna join the fans around the globe and make this amazing space action robot saga turn into an uncontrollable behemoth on rockets, please buy a copy (you set the price). Note that this is a separate work-in-progress tech/devel funding/sneak peek release with awesome music, learn more at the homepage. And to those that hate this project solely cause it’s a difficult to grasp kinda space-art exhibition (e.g. nude politicians and a laser themed forced sterilization scene), are encouraged to share it with all of their friends. Please note that I’m not looking for investors, truly unique, precious art like this must be completely independent at all costs.

So there you have it.  Nude politicians, the laser themed forced sterilization scene, and Roger Ebert need not apply.

Blacklight: Retribution Open Beta

Back to the open beta scene, Blacklight: Retribution went into open beta… well, a month ago.  But I got the note AFTER I did last month’s mail bag.  See, timing is everything.  B:R is an online first person shooter game, a niche that seems to be growing into very non-niche like proportions.  Anyway, if you are interested, their web site is here.

EON Magazine Joins the Digital Age

Naturally, as soon as I subscribe to the physical magazine again, the folks at MMM finally deliver on their digital aspirations.

A digital edition at last!

For those interested, you can find more details on this at the EON Magazine site.  There is currently a special offer to get people interested.

Unbiased Reviews, For Specific Values of “Unbiased”

Leslie, a business development intern at FindTheBest, wanted to let me know that their site now has video game reviews as part of their engine that… I guess… allows you to find the best.  Per the email:

It allows users to filter by price, console, ESRB rating, and more. All of the information is completely unbiased and certified from sources such as Gamespot, Metacritic, and IGN.

Claiming a lack of bias on their part, I suppose, could be correct.  But when GameSpot, the site where no advertiser gets a bad review (or we’ll fire the reviewer!) is part of your sample, bias is clearly part of the equation.  Garbage in, garbage out as they say.  Anyway, I asked on that and actually got a response.

In the smart ratings algorithm, expert reviews only account for a small portion of a balanced rating system which takes into account things like number of copies sold, other metacritic ratings, as well as others. After doing considerable research we will take this feedback into account and discount GameSpots rating moving forward.

While I appreciate the attempt to quantify things, selling the most units is not always an indication of quality.  The literary works of L. Ron Hubbard and William Shatner spring to mind.  Still, it is nice to see somebody out there trying something new.

Oh, and the highest rated MMORPG on their list; the Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria expansion.  Take that for what it is worth.

Digital Kids Conference – You Need to Know!

Those in charge of the 6th Annual Digital Kids Conference, which despite its name is focused on child safety in the digital world and not the creation of electronic children (which presumably would come with an “off” button, every parents dream on occasion) seem very concerned that I be made aware of the agenda and specific events pertaining to the conference.  Hence the six email in two days things.

Consider me brought up to date, especially on the mobile app safety front.

The unsubscribe link, it does nothing!

Mistborn: Birthright – Not Wheel of Time

Brandon Sanderson, perhaps best known as the writer to pick up and (I desperately hope) finish Robert Jordan’s epically drawn out Wheel of Time saga, is having some of his own work made into a video game. (The Wheel of Time series was also supposed to be made into an MMO. What happened with that?)

Called Mistborn: Birthright, it will take place 100 years before the Mistborn series of books.  A quote from the author:

“As an avid gamer, I’m extremely excited by this opportunity,” said Sanderson. “The chance to write the story for a Mistborn game while working with a team of talented developers is, quite literally, living a dream.”

The game is scheduled to come out in the Fall of 2013.  Such information that there is available is on the game’s web site.

Comments»

1. Darraxus - March 28, 2012

I tried reading the first Mistborn because of his work in finishing the Wheel of Time, but just could not really get into it. The alchemy thing should make for an interesting game though. I am thinking an Assassin’s Creed type game.

2. Wilhelm Arcturus - March 28, 2012

I haven’t actually read any of his work. I am still waiting until the final Wheel of Time book has been published… current target January 2013, though I would be totally unsurprised if Tor Books felt the need to cut the final volume into two just to keep the WoT gravy train running… before I pick that series up again.

Of course, in delaying WoT, my choice was to then pick up the Game of Thrones series to fill the fantasy niche in my reading rotation, another “no end in sight” series. Clearly I need help in that regard.

No idea what the game will be like, except that it won’t be an MMO.

3. HarbingerZero - March 28, 2012

The unsubscribe link, it [confirms you are receiving their emails]!

If you like Jordan/Sanderson and Martin, I strongly recommend giving Erikson a spin. The Malazan Series is better about not losing plot threads and misplacing characters than Jordan and is, if anything, more brutal about killing people off than Martin.

4. pkudude99 - March 28, 2012

I’ll admit I did a bit of a little girl SQUEEE! at the thought of a Mistborn game. From the extremely little on the site, it appears players would be Mistings, not full Mistborn. Which makes sense since Mistborn are extremely rare. I wonder if they’d include Feruchemy as well? That could get interesting. . . . .

FWIW — Mistborn is a complete trilogy, so no problem with no end in sight there. Warbreaker is a single-volume. Elantris is a single volume. The Alloy of Law is set in the Mistborn world, but is ALSO a single-volume. The only “no end in sight” series he’s got is The Stormlight Archive which only has 1 book (Way of Kings) of a planned 10 written so far. So avoid that one (though it’s awesome enough that I’ve read the full book twice and long selections from it several times, and considering it’s something like 1200 pages. . . .yeah.), but don’t deny yourself the rest of his stuff.

5. Wilhelm Arcturus - March 28, 2012

I am completely disappointed by the lack of attention being given to Badass vs. Robot here in the comments. That was clearly the lynchpin to this whole post.

6. SynCaine - March 29, 2012

I would highly recommend the Mistborn trilogy. The ending is very much worth it, and I thought all three books were solid (the second is a bit slow in part, although nothing as slow as some WoT books)

Elantris I though was not nearly as good. It has a great concept, but did not fully deliver. That said I read it right after finishing Mistborn, so that might have been a factor.

Also Robot art best art.


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