Tag Archives: Oculus

Oculus and the Facebook Account Requirement

And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like “Log in with your Facebook account!”

Somethin’ Stupid, lyrics slightly altered

I remember back when Facebook bought Oculus back in 2014 and the panic it tended to induce in people.  The quotes I gathered at the time indicated that some people did not like Facebook.  I am not sure why, given all they had done for gaming up to that point, like… um…

Oh yeah, social gaming, and that crash when the accurtate description of the average game on the service became “spammy piece of shit,” was still living large in our collective memories back then.  FarmVille!

Happy FarmVille Memories

But we don’t hate Facebook as much now… oh, right… yeah, Zuckerberg’s decision that money from people seeking to subvert democracy and spread false rumors spends just as well as money from any other product has not made him any more popular.

At least, however, he seemed to be content to leave Oculus and its VR headset business alone.  That was likely because the VR market has yet to meet early expectations.  CCP didn’t get out of the VR space because business there was booming.  So Oculus has been able to improve its hardware over time as they continued to sell units at a decent, if more modest, rate.  That latest model from them is better, smaller, cheaper, and no longer requires so many connections to your PC.  All of that is likely to make VR more viable in the market.

Things have been quiet enough that you might have even forgotten that Facebook bought Oculus… until this week.

This week it was announced that Oculus users would eventually have to migrate to using a Facebook account to log in.  The full announcement is here.  The crux of it is:

Starting in October 2020:

  • Everyone using an Oculus device for the first time will need to log in with a Facebook account.

  • If you are an existing user and already have an Oculus account, you will have the option to log in with Facebook and merge your Oculus and Facebook accounts.

  • If you are an existing user and choose not to merge your accounts, you can continue using your Oculus account for two years.

Starting In January 2023:

  • We will end support for Oculus accounts.

  • If you choose not to merge your accounts at that time, you can continue using your device, but full functionality will require a Facebook account.

  • We will take steps to allow you to keep using content you have purchased, though some games and apps may no longer work. This could be because they require a Facebook account or because a developer has chosen to no longer support the app or game you purchased.

They are billing this as an ease of use and improved experience, but a statement in that post seems a little more on point as to why they are going this route:

…when you log into Oculus using your Facebook account, Facebook will use information related to your use of VR and other Facebook products to provide and improve your experience. This information is also used to show you personalized content, including ads. For example, we might show you recommendations for Oculus Events you might like, ads about Facebook apps and technologies, or ads from developers for their VR apps.

You will be in the Facebook targeted advertisement ecosystem, which is where Facebook makes its money.  You get to be both customer and product.

Now, does this really change anything?  Theoretically, since Facebook owns Oculus, your account was a Facebook account already.  But I suspect that it wasn’t fully integrated into the Facebook authentication services.  Facebook, like Google and Apple, has made their authentication system available to other services.  And I actually us Google for a few things, as I have 2FA setup on my main Google account.

But would I use Facebook?  With the way that the company has shown itself to be over the last few years?  Maybe not.

I wouldn’t avoid getting an Oculus VR headset because of this, but I also wouldn’t put it on the list of things in favor of getting one either.

Other coverage:

Friday Bullet Points are Lucky Even Today

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.

Sun and Moon coming in November

Sun and Moon coming in November

We also got a look at the starter Pokemon for the game.

Which one will you choose?

Which one will you choose?

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.

The poll results

The poll results

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.

A first glimpse of Civ VI

A first glimpse of Civ VI

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.

Beta for those who care...

Beta for those who care…

Blizzard has the initial release notes along with a detailed intro into the features of the expansion.

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.

Just three options...

Just three options…

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.

Q1 2016 results

Q1 2016 results

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.

CSM11_logo

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.

Obligatory Shock About Oculus Rift Post

So yeah, yesterday after the markets closed, Facebook announced they were going to buy Oculus VR for $2 billion. Oculus VR is the company currently working on the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

And then a corner of the internet exploded.  I figured I ought to mark that moment in time so we can come back and revisit it later.

Sudden, and potentially rash statements were made.

A general revulsion with all things Facebook was expressed by some.

Basically, all the dislike of Facebook… and there is much to dislike about Facebook and it methods and its founder’s outlook… bubbled forth.  Answer this question: If Mark Zuckerberg asked you to strap this to your face…

Into the Rift

Into the Rift

…which movie would come to mind?  Aliens?  Clockwork Orange?  Lawnmower Man?

Would you envision fun things happening or bad things?  Or just boring things?

So we are currently in the shock phase of this announcement, which is making the whole “Disney buys Star Wars“thing look pretty tame, at least in our little corner of the internet.  After all, for a lot of people the Star Wars series was already ruined by episodes I-III, so what else could Disney do?  But a lot of people were pining some pretty big hopes on Oculus Rift being a step into the future of gaming.

And now Facebook has it.  Are we going to get Candy Crush Saga VR?  FarmVille 3D?  Are we going to get any sort of VR gaming experience at all out of this?  Zuckerberg isn’t exactly big on video games.  His past actions have been about extracting money from those games that choose to live in his domain.

Ars Technica already has a column up about what Facebook might do, which includes a lot of promises about what won’t happen… from the guy who no longer controls the company… so the brightest bit in that seems be the fact that Facebook bought Instagram and hasn’t destroyed it yet.  Maybe Zuckerberg will just leave them alone.

Then there is the Kickstarter aspect of the whole thing.  Oculus VR raised $2.4 million of its funding via a Kickstarter campaign… just before Disney bought Star Wars, to bring that back around.  People who gave money at that point forked it over for very specific reasons.  This was the way it was pitched:

…the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.

For video games.  That is what they said.  Will they keep saying that a few months after the acquisition?  And will it matter if more developers step away because of Facebook?

While Oculus VR likely has no legal/financial obligation to do anything but send out the promised T-Shirts and early units that people were entitled to for their pledges, do they have any sort of moral obligation after taking Facebook’s money when it seems likely that the vision sold will not end up being the vision pursued?

And, finally, there is the “Why sell to Facebook?” question.  Why would Oculus VR sell to a company that has so little interest in video games and so much invested in collecting and selling our data?  Were things just up for the highest bidder?  Were there too many strings attached to other offers? Did current investors force the move to cash out?

Because there had to be other offers.

Anyway, among other things, this puts the whole “CCP moving closer to Sony” thing in a new light.  Was the word already out that Oculus Rift might be moving away from video games?  Was CCP hedging its bets?  Is Sony’s Project Morpheus the new leader in that arena?

The Sony project was interesting when Oculus Rift was there as well, but alone it seems destined to become yet another proprietary piece of Sony hardware.  Sony VR will require you to purchase a PlayStation 4.  And that may keep Oculus Rift in play even with Facebook looming large over it.

As the dust settles after the big shock, people are starting to muse about what this really means.  I suspect we will be doing that for a while.

Of course, every such announcement has its bright side.

And then there is the humor aspect.

We shall see how this all develops.  If nothing else, I have a tickler now to check back on this in a year.

Flying Through the Oculus

Saturday night and it was time to face an instance that had already been described to us as annoying: The Oculus.

Through comments to previous posts, we had learned that we would flying on dragons for part of the instance, using the now familiar vehicle interface in WoW, and that the dragons would come in three flavors, DPS, Healing, and Tanking.

But dragons don’t enter into it quite yet.

First we had to get ourselves together and out to the instance.  Our group for the night was:

80 Priest – Skronk
80 Mage – Ula
80 Warlock – Bungholio
80 Warrior – Earlthecat
80 Paladin – Vikund

I will apologize in advance, but I have a 100+ post precedent of putting in our names and levels with each instance group entry, so I am going to keep doing it despite the fact that we’re all going to be level 80 for another year or so, at least when we are in WoW.

We headed out to Coldarra, which is out where we ran the Nexus back in April, grabbed the main quest for the instance, and headed in.

Well, somehow Bung missed the quest, and we didn’t noticed until it was too late, but four of us got it at least.

Inside there were some standard blue-ish dragonkin and whelps.  There was also an orb with the irresistible gear icon for “click me.”  Unable to restrain myself, I clicked on it, and it sent me back out of the instance.

Well, that wasn’t a completely useless bit of knowledge at least, knowing how to get out of the instance.

Once back and warmed up, we waded through the whelps and dragonkin until we reach a portal that sent us off to the first boss, Drakos the Interrogator.

Ready for Drakos

Ready for Drakos

The Drakos fight went smoothly.  He had a few tricks up his sleeve, but we managed to plow through him.

Slaying Drakos opens up the flying part of the instance.  You rescue three NPCs at the far end of his platform, each of which can offer up a dragon for you to ride.  As I said before, the dragons come in Tank (Ruby), Amber (DPS), and Emerald (Healing) flavors.

We all chose dragons that represented our usual roles.  You don’t have to do that, but we did.

The dragons also come with an on-board navigation system that you can use to tell you what you need to be doing at any given stage of the instance.  This is nice since flying around it wasn’t always obvious where we needed to head.  So we all gave our dragons a try.

Flying in the Oculus

Flying in the Oculus

We were tasked with slaying the next boss, Varos Cloudstrider.  But to do that we needed to bring down a shield surrounding him by slaying a set of NPCs scattered about the instance which were, in turn, guarded by dragons flying around all the platforms and such.

So we killed the minimum number of dragons we could, landed and fought the shield NPCs group by group, and finally had Varos unshielded.

We then headed to his platform and took the fight right to him.

Now for Varos

Now for Varos

Varos had different plans however and stuck it to us instead.  We wiped.

We weren’t ready to handle two of his special attacks.

The first was his “around the clock” lightning extravaganza, where he sends out some test beans across a section of his platform, which is the warning that the real shock is coming soon so you need to get out of the way.

The second was his summoning loose dragons over to help him fight.

Now the first attack we would deal with.  Getting out of the way is something simple to grasp.  And the second, well, it seemed to us that if we killed all the dragons flying around, that would no longer be an issue.

So Skronk used the soul stone and started ressing us.

I accidentally released my spirit after the fight.  I’m usually good about that, but this time I did a quick click before I went, “Doh!”  Still, no big deal, right?  There was no loot roll and I could still be ressed back into the instance.

Except that, if you release, you lose the essence object that lets you summon your dragon mount.

So there I was back up on Varos’ platform when we went to start the great dragon slaughter and I realize I had no dragon.

So the rest of the team went off to slay all hostile dragons in the instance while I stood around wondering what to do.  You cannot, of course, use your normal flying mount in the instance.  So I took a few screen shots hoping to get a banner worthy picture while I pondered.

Vikund and Varos Banner

Vikund and Varos Banner

Being an engineer, I have a parachute enchant on my cloak.  I decided to see if, with enough forward velocity, I could para-glide down to the right platform to go get a replacement essence.  I summoned my ground mount, aimed for the platform, and launched myself, deploying the parachute.

Too much velocity.  I went sailing past my target and to the invisible “you’re dead” plane in at the bottom of the instance.  Dead again, I released, ran back, got a replacement dragon essence, and joined the group for the last bit of dragon clearing.

Now I read after the fact that killing all the dragons is not supposed to help, that Varos is supposed to summon them out of nothing.  However, in our second fight, the dragons didn’t seem to bother us so perhaps he summons them to him from all over the instance.  Or maybe I just didn’t notice them.

Anyway, the second fight was a success.  The casters got fried towards the end trying to out run the lightning storm, but it was late enough in the fight that Varos was going down regardless.

Varos down, the quest continues

Varos down, the quest continues

With Varos down, the next stage opened up, which involved flying around in pursuit of Mage-Lord Urom until he finally settled down in the middle ring of the instance.  Then the fun began.

Urom is one of those fights where there is a right way to handle his attacks.  Our first run at him gave us a bit of an idea of what we would need to do to defeat him.  We had not quite figured out the right method for the second fight, but thanks to a combonation of luck, frost resistance, healing pots, health stones, bandages, paladin heals, and a timely lay hands, Earl and Vikund were still standing when Urom went down.

Urom dead, along with most of us

Urom dead, along with most of us

It was a near run thing with Earl down into 3 digit health numbers.  We probably learned enough from that fight to do it again without losing most of the party, but we probably won’t be back, so we’ll take our victory and move on.

So we came to the last fight, the big fight, the fight with Ley-Guardian Eregos.  We mounted our own dragons and flew out to take on

And it was pretty much a walk-over.  Really, it seemed way too easy.

We pretty much operated as we had done previously when mounted.  You get a new ability for the last fight, or at least the DPS mounts did.  We kicked off the fight, the tank tanked, the healer healed, the DPS damaged, and Eregos went down.  It looked neat.

Eregos fight

Eregos fight

Every so often whelps would spawn around him as part of the fight, but they seemed to get consumed as part of our general storm of damage, so that was that.

OccAchi
We had to fly around to find where Eregos landed for the final screen shot.  He ended hung up in the center platform area where Urom was wandering earlier.

Victory in the Oculus

Victory in the Oculus

We ran around afterward and found the chest that Eregos leaves behind.  The haul there included the Vestments of the Scholar

With the Oculus defeated, we are only left with three more five person instances in Northrend, the Culling of Stratholme, Utgarde Pinnacle, and the Trial of the Champion.