Here it is, Friday the 13th, a date synonymous bad luck and a series of horror movies that, oddly enough, capped out at an even dozen. How could they not make a 13th one?
Fortunately my wife’s family embraces the number 13 as their lucky number, so that cancels things out… right? I’m still working from home today all the same.
Meanwhile, here are some items I feel like mentioning but which didn’t quite make the cut for a full post. If there aren’t 13 of them, well… that’s just bad luck.
They Are So Cute When They Are Young
Nintendo is starting the slow drip of information on the official site about the upcoming Pokemon Sun & Moon games, and so this week Nintendo gave us the date for the launch, November 18, 2016.
We also got a look at the starter Pokemon for the game.
They are Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio, filling the traditional grass, fire, and water starter roles. Starter Pokemon can be an emotional topic and people get quite invested in their choices. Currently Popplio seemed to be losing the popularity race on Twitter.
I traditionally go with the water Pokemon, so Popplio is likely going to be my choice regardless of what people say about him. Also he’s a seal, how is that not cute? Meanwhile, is Rowlet wearing a bra or what? Just asking!
Of course, Nintendo has a track record of turning cute into ugly with evolutions while punishing you by withholding key moves if you opt not to let your starter evolve. Can’t they stay young and cute forever? It is a complex issue.
Civilization Goes Cartoony
Firaxis announced the coming of Civilization VI, the next installment in the grand Civilization franchise…. and all anything people seemed to want to talk about was the new art style. We are so shallow.
Alright, alright, I hear you saying that other details were somewhat sparse, so what else were we going to talk about. I myself welcome a lighter look for the aging game series. Anything to cut down on the resource demands of a Civ game is probably good.
The game itself is set to ship on October 12, 2016 and will be the industry standard $59.99 for the basic version, and $79.99 for the deluxe edition which will include the obviously planned in advance DLC. It will probably be four more civilizations that they will end up throwing in with the first expansion in any case.
The question isn’t if I will buy Civ VI, but when. Given the screw jobs that have happened with Steam sales showing up just weeks after Civ releases or expansions go live, the fact that Civ games are inevitably resource hogging, bug filled, crashing messes at launch… they put in auto-save after every turn for a reason…, and the fact that their last release, Civilization: Beyond Earth was as dull as dishwater and an insult as a successor to Alpha Centauri, and I am thinking I might pass on a day one purchase. I’ll see what things look like at the Steam Holiday Sale… or maybe the next Steam Summer Sale.
WoW Legion to Beta
I don’t suppose the timing really matters all that much now. We already have a launch date, so the usual metrics around things like beta-to-launch calculations will be purely academic. So the important bit is that the WoW Legion beta is now live, having gone up last night.
I do not do beta any more, going so far as trying to avoid information about the release, as I find it spoils my enjoyment when a release goes live. I feel like I’ve already played it and my enthusiasm quickly wains.
Still, I look forward to hearing some general reactions to Blizzard’s plan for the expansion. And, of course, the big question is when will the 7.0 pre-expansion update drop? My bet is on August 9, 2016.
EverQuest II Prestige Servers
The Norrath dev team at Daybreak… we can call the EQ/EQII team that now, since there are no other Norrathian projects now… is looking into what other special sorts of servers players would like. And so there is a poll waiting in your mailbox in EverQuest II about prestige servers.
As with things in Azeroth, special servers at Daybreak have their proponents and detractors. Foes of the idea are annoyed that there is no “none of the above” option so they can directly express their displeasure at dev resources being used on projects they don’t care about. (As the poll notes, they can do so indirectly by not voting, since I am sure that Daybreak will notice if only a few people respond.)
I’m not sure I would play on either server option myself, though that is because I am still pottering around on the Stormhold nostalgia server. The thing is, the long poll for expansions is content creation, and these sorts of servers just use content that has already been created, so the hand wringing about delaying new stuff isn’t all that valid.
Not That Wild, No Longer a Star
The NCsoft Q1 2016 financials are out and, while things look good for the company as a whole, and most of its properties, WildStar is the noticeable exception.
After an initial boost in revenue with the free-to-play transition, sales have already slumped to below where they were when the game was subscription only. Of course, this shouldn’t have been a huge surprise given the moves NCsoft was making with Carbine back in March. This is more the confirmation of what many suspected.
Oculus Rift Retail Rage
So for a brief stretch of time last Friday you could go to a store or Amazon and buy an Oculus Rift unit. They sold out quickly and you can probably find more than a few re-listed for a well beyond their $599 list price on eBay. I see one on Amazon for $1,099. But if you were at the right place at the right time, you could have spent your weekend playing EVE Valkyrie.
But if you pre-ordered a unit back in January, you’re probably still waiting for it to show up.
And so there is a bit of righteous anger out there about the company snubbing the people willing to buy in early in favor of those who waited. I didn’t buy in either way, but I would have been pissed were I still waiting around for my pre-order to ship.
As Jerry Seinfeld might have put it, taking pre-orders isn’t the important part. Anybody can take pre-orders. It is the delivery that matters. Also, the comments on that linked video are hilarious AND on topic for this post.
CSM XI By the Numbers
I am sure others will dive into the details on this, but CCP just posted the Dev Blog with the details of the CSM XI election. Charts and explanations and raw data are all available there.
It is interesting to see how the two winning blocks stuck fairly well to their suggested ballots. You can see the top three Imperium candidates, Aryth, Innominate, and Xenuria, getting elected in rounds one, two, and three. Other tidbits include the fact that players from the US and UK cast half the votes, that most votes came in during the first two days of the election, and that the more recent your account, the more likely it seems you are to vote. Accounts created back in 2006, when I started, made up only 4% of the voting pool, while those from 2015, 2014, and 2013 represented 14%, 15%, and 16% of the vote respectively.
Episode 18 of the Asher Hour
Asher Elias, head of the Reavers and the
23rd 15th best fleet commander in The Imperium has a new podcast out after a long stretch of silence. This time around it is just Asher talking about the war, fleets, and what it is like on The Imperium side of the fight. Not party-line propaganda, but Asher is still enthusiastic and positive about what we can do in the war and where we may end up.
So that is what I had kicking around. Of course, now that I have all those items cleared out I am starting to wonder what I will write about next week.
Oh, wait, I have 57 unfinished items in my drafts folder. Maybe that isn’t such a big deal.