Tag Archives: Twitch

Introducing Your CSM17 Representatives

As has become standard practice, CCP did an hour long election reveal on Twitch yesterday to announce the winners of the CSM17 election.

CSM17 is approaching

For those who want to cut straight to the end results, here are the 10 candidates that made the cut for CSM17

The winners were:

The CSM17 Winners

Or, listed out in alphabetical order:

  1. Angry Mustache – Goonswarm Federation
  2. Arsia Elkin* – Electus Matari
  3. Brisc Rubal* – The Initiative
  4. Jinx De’Caire – Brave Collective
  5. Kazanir – Goonswarm Federation
  6. Kenneth Feld* – Pandemic Legion
  7. Luke Anninan – Fraternity
  8. Mark Resurrectus – TURBOFEED OR GLORY
  9. Pandoralica – The Initiative
  10. Storm Delay – Pandemic Horde

*CSM16 Incumbent

For those who want a more detailed play by play, but who don’t want to watch the whole one hour stream, here are a few of the highlights.

30,814 total votes were cast for CSM17, down from 38,086 cast in the CSM16 election, 36,120 cast in the CSM15 election, and 32,994 cast in the CSM14 election.

The top 15 countries based on votes cast were:

  1. United States – 9,923
  2. United Kingdom – 3,271
  3. Germany – 2,729
  4. China – 2,275
  5. Canada – 1,447
  6. Russia 1,038
  7. Australia – 1,001
  8. Japan – 859
  9. Netherlands – 744
  10. France – 632
  11. Sweden – 458
  12. Poland – 402
  13. Norway – 387
  14. Denmark – 327
  15. Austria – 299

There were 44 candidates in the running, down one from the originally announced list, as Kismeteer of Pandemic Horde was dropped or dropped out, I am not sure which.  That meant there would be 34 elimination rounds to get to ten winners.

The first round saw two candidates elected outright with the first place votes, Kazanir, who was at the top of the Imperium ballot and got 5,574 votes, and Luke Anninan who topped the Fraternity/PanFam ballot, who received 4,302 votes.

The ballot quota to win in the first round was 2,802 votes (down from the 3,463 quota for CSM16, the quota being based on the number of votes cast… 2,661 was incorrect on the stream, and not the only error there) and the votes received in excess of the quota were spilled over to candidates further down their respective ballots, which was enough to then elect Angry Mustache and Brisc Rubal, who were second and third on the Imperium ballot, as well as Kenneth Feld, who got the excess from Luke Anninan.

CSM17 Round One Elected and Eliminated

There is the power of the Imperium ballot.  Looking at the ballot listing from the data, it looks like 5,105 accounts votes the straight Imperium ballot, which was:

The Imperium Ballot

2,110 accounts voted what I am going to guess was the the PanFam or Fraternity ballot.

1,322 accounts voted for a ballot with Brisc Rubal at the top, which I am going to guess was The Initiative ballot.  They are part of the Imperium, but they do their own thing and we love them for it because they make everything more fun.

At the other end of the spectrum, looking again at the ballot data, almost 2,000 accounts voted for exactly one candidate.  500 alone voted for just Luke Anninan.  And if they did that, their votes did not spill over if they were in excess of quote or if their candidate was eliminated.  A lot of people also voted for just two or three candidates.  That is a way to waste the power of your vote… or withhold it from other candidates I guess, if that is your thing.

Anyway, at the other end of the spectrum from those elected in round one, Redline XIII was the first candidate eliminated, having received only 35 first choice ballots and not much spillover from other ballots.  I guess hosting the second most popular EVE Online stream isn’t as useful as it seems.

Meanwhile, Pandoralica, fourth on the Imperium ballot (and second on the ballot of The Initiative) , was way back in the pack.  But as time went on and candidates were eliminated, he slowly climbed up the ranks, staving off elimination and gaining ground on many of those ahead of him as spill over votes seemed to find him time and again.

It wasn’t until Round 30 when the next candidate met quota and was officially elected, an honor that went to Storm Delay.

The state of the votes at round 30

At that point the writing was pretty much on the wall, with the top 10, including Pando, holding on to their positions.  There was a brief run where the long serving Steve Ronuken managed to get just enough spill over votes to keep ahead of last place and elimination.  But, in the end, he did not make the cut.

The round by round eliminations were:

  1. “Redline XIII” with 38.683203 votes
  2. “Mifune SwordGod” with 39.738407 votes
  3. “Kane Carnifex” with 53.795442 votes
  4. “Sarin Blackfist” with 58.116851 votes
  5. “Winzentowitsch Madeveda” with 101.100772 votes
  6. “Furnok Dorn” with 101.532115 votes
  7. “TheSupremeMagus” with 116.053701 votes
  8. “Styxx” with 122.578174 votes
  9. “Scrapyard Attendant” with 131.585791 votes
  10. “Agondray” with 132.738948 votes
  11. “Trottel Elf” with 145.539800 votes
  12. “KaeL EaglesEye” with 150.616075 votes
  13. “Aliventi” with 154.500528 votes
  14. “Gideon Zendikar” with 156.192970 votes
  15. “Scott Renton” with 188.574689 votes
  16. “hyprviper1” with 192.365127 votes
  17. “White 0rchid” with 207.269248 votes
  18. “Cael Caderu” with 229.013897 votes
  19. “Nala Queen” with 256.183634 votes
  20. “Baldin Tarmain” with 281.266542 votes
  21. “Shui Jing Jing” with 325.858882 votes
  22. “keacte” with 421.369099 votes
  23. “Moce” with 443.263086 votes
  24. “Drake Iddon” with 452.269139 votes
  25. “DutchGunner” with 478.098265 votes
  26. “Benjamin Rushing” with 553.181102 votes
  27. “Kshal Aideron” with 670.013182 votes
  28. “Phantomite” with 740.696670 votes
  29. “Stitch Kaneland” with 913.987263 votes
  30. “Hy Wanto Destroyer” with 1139.782385 votes
  31. “Alasker” with 1236.195771 votes
  32. “Steve Ronuken” with 1277.302114 votes
  33. “Torvald Uruz” with 1447.666023 votes
  34. “Ithica Hawk” with 1874.264451 votes

That means that should somebody leave the council… either in disgrace or due to being hired by CCP, another recent hazard… Ithica Hawk will be next in line to join the CSM.

And how did I do on my guess as to who would make the cut?  I had made the following call:

  • Kazanir – Goonswarm Federation
  • Angry Mustache – Goonswarm Federation
  • Brisc Rubal – The Initiative.
  • Steven Ronuken – Fuzzwork Enterprises
  • Kenneth Feld – Pandemic Legion
  • Phantomite – Snuffed Out
  • Luke Anninan – Fraternity.
  • Pandemic Horde Ballot Slot 1 (or 2 if 1 is Kenneth Feld)
  • Torvald Uruz – Abyssal Lurkers
  • One of the wormhole candidates if they can get their act together

With the following as wildcards:

  • Pandoralica – Has a strong following outside of the Imperium
  • Redline XIII – Host of the second most popular EVE Online talk show
  • Arsia Elkin – 11th place last year, so why not 10th this year?

I guess I was completely wrong on Redline XIII.  I always think streamers are going to do better than they end up doing.  And alas, Steve Ronuken, he was not the independent juggernaut he once was I guess.  Nor were Torvald Uruz and Phantomite, though Torvald was the next to last to be eliminated.

But I got seven of the ten elected on my main guess, with Storm Delay being that Pandemic Horde placeholder and Mark Resurrectus being the wormhole placeholder candidate.  And two of my wildcards, Pandoralica and Arsia Elkin, made the cut.

So I named thirteen people or placeholders and nine are on the CSM.  The only one I missed mentioning was Jinx De’Caire.  And if I can pick nine winning names out of a pack of 44, I guess one conclusion might be that the election process is getting a bit predictable.

And so it goes.  All the information I have listed and more is available at the links below.

I’m not sure which Reddit thread to link.  They’re all pretty salty at the moment about 8 null candidates winning.  But null blocs vote.  The three ballots I mentioned earlier on added up to almost 28% of those who voted.  The first ballot in the data set without a null sec candidate at the top of it had 318 votes, and it was in the middle of a sea of ballots with a null sec candidate at the top.  Null sec is motivated to vote in a way other areas of the game are not, and non-null candidates running on a platform of nerfing null sec only motivate null sec even more so.

So it goes.

Related:

A New Kind of Blackout Comes and Goes for EVE Online

Since the update last week when CCP decided to put up the Prospector Pack on the web store, which sold players a fully, if badly, fit ship, skills to pilot it, some PLEX, and 30 days of Omega time, there has been quite a bit of push back on the company from various segments of the community.  Current and former members of the CSM put their signatures to an open letter to CCP asking them not sell packs like this.

Not player produced

Reactions to CCP selling the “wrong” thing have been a trigger in the past, and all the more so since the lesson of skill injectors demonstrated that statements from the company have a short expiration date.  If you don’t push back today, tomorrow the company will do something worse.

The backlash against CCP selling fully fitted ship packs has carried into the world of EVE Online streamers with a protest called The Blackout.

I saw some poor person on /r/eve excited because they thought Hilmar’s disastrous chaos era experiment was returning.  But this is something different.  It even has its own web page. (Since removed, archived version linked at the end of the post.)

A group of streamers has decided to put up a message on their streams to protest the sale of the Prospector Pack and the potential that CCP will offer more such packs in the future.  It is black screen with a simple message:

New Eden Post Blackout Stream

The idea is to get this message up and visible when people look at the EVE Online category on Twitch.  As I started writing this, 11 of the 34 active EVE Online streams were displaying this message, but only one of them was in the first row of results, New Eden Post.

I picked the image above for a reason.  New Eden Post is easily the most popular Twitch channel that is part of the protest.  NEP is also at the center of a minor controversy because of the protest.

When the protest started, CCP inadvertently broadcast the NEP stream on their own channel as part of their program of displaying partner streams when the CCP channel isn’t actively broadcasting.  It is a perk of being in the partnership program.  This bit of comedy, with CCP broadcasting the protest against itself, brought the protest to the attention of the company.  CCP determined that being a part of the protest would put a streamer in violation of the partnership program rules.

You cannot be a partner and be part of this protest.

This led to Redline XIII, who runs NEP, to leave the partnership program.  The departure has led to something of a “did he jump or was he pushed” argument, which seems like splitting hairs to me.  He left because he said that the protest was more important than being a partner.  However, it is also clear that if the protest continued, he would be kicked from the program anyway, so there was only one end result compatible with protesting, and it was CCP who made that determination.

Now, of course, not everybody is against the Prospector Pack. As there are people who will get mad at CCP no matter what they do, there are the usual suspects out there who will support CCP in any situation as well.  Several streams have come out in support of the pack and whatever else CCP wants to sell.

And in between the two camps there is the great uncaring mass of players who likely don’t know and probably don’t care either way.

Will the protest make any difference?

Maybe.

Since I started this post, CCP has announced that they are removing the Prospector Pack from the web store, though the announcement says that they are still working on some sort of pack system for new players that may use in-game produced assets.  But all of that is for fanfest.

The announcement was in the CSM open letter thread, so maybe it was strictly a reaction to that.  On the other hand, that thread got no response for more than a week, and since then the Twitch protest started.  So maybe the protest made a difference.  Maybe Redline XIII did not give up his partner program membership in vain.

Related:

Addendum – Responses to the end of the pack announcement:

Amazon, Twitch, and Lost Ark

I think we’re all pretty much in agreement that streaming in general, and Twitch in particular, are now pretty much accepted as part of the marketing plan for video games.  Streaming spreads the word about new titles, can revive or promote older releases, as happened with Among Us, and, except for the occasional greedy lunkhead, is generally seen as a good thing by the industry.

Video game streaming and Twitch are here to stay, at least until something better comes along.

Twitch is Twitch

In fact, the whole thing has turned around a bit, as I understand it, to where hours streamed is as much a success metric for some titles as things like press coverage and Metacritic scores.  People will go buy and play something that looks good on a stream.  As leaders, follows, or bellwethers, depending on how you view them, a major streamer like Asmongold playing your game, or in the case of World of Warcraft, leaving your game, has an impact.

Which brings me to the web of Amazon, everybody’s favorite online retailer, and how they are boosting Lost Ark on Twitch.

Amazon, of course, owns Twitch, and has since late 2014.  It has long since been integrated with Amazon Prime, their subscription service that gets you free shipping, their streaming service, games and bonuses on Prime Gaming, and other things I am probably forgetting.  Didn’t we get a free jar of asparagus water at Whole Foods at one point?

Since Lost Ark launched, you’ve also had an opportunity to score some free in-game goodies.  All you’ve had to do is watch some designated streamers on Twitch and you could have earned yourself a couple of pet packages, a paper hat, some battle items, and what looked to be a hoverboard.

Grab it when the time is up

Just four hours of viewing in a day gets you one of these fine items and, since I am always up for a freebie, I had Twitch up on one of the streamers showing Lost Ark with “drops enabled” for five days straight.  Claimed them all, I did.

My Lost Ark loot

Naturally, in my case “viewing” meant getting the channel up in a browser tab with the sound off and putting it in the background while I did other things.  I was out of the house playing Pokemon Go with my wife during the Johto event this past Saturday for one drop.

But that doesn’t matter.  As far as Amazon and Twitch were concerned, I was logged in and watching Lost Ark for 4+ hours for five days straight.  Me and thousands of others, if one looks at the channel numbers.

Checking in on progress

Not that any of this is particularly unusual.  Other titles, such as World of Tanks, Rocket League, Smite, Fortnite, and even Crowfall have similar events going on right now.  And other games let you earn channel points for watching them.  I redeemed a nice GalNet Dominix SKIN with channel points by watching the official CCP EVE Online channel.

But it does at least “feel” a little different when Amazon Prime Gaming is using Amazon’s Twitch to get streamers to focus on Amazon Games and their latest title.  I don’t think it is necessarily unethical in any way, but when the whole circle is Amazon you at least start going, “Hmmmm…”

And then there is the timing itself.  This past weekend, the second week out for Lost Ark, also happened to be the opening weekend for Elden Ring, that game of the many 10 out of 10 reviews.  The stated reason that Lost Ark had the event was that people missed it the first time out, so they were giving people a second chance.  And that could be true.  I missed out.  I didn’t even know it was a thing until the second chance came around.  But a suspicious mind will wonder still.

Elden Ring was popular on Twitch this weekend all the same.  Asmongold spent a good deal of time streaming that rather than Lost Ark, as an example.  But he has a huge dedicated following.  He will get 30K viewers no matter what he streams most days. (And, as an aside, I really want him to try EVE Online, just to have a streamer with more people watching him than are actually playing the game.)

Other streamers however, are not that influential.  I spent my time logged in and watching somebody with a couple thousand viewers who probably chose Lost Ark over Elden Ring or something else because a bunch of viewers, even AFK viewers, would boost their stats and their ad revenue, if they ran ads.  The possibility no doubt influenced what they chose to stream, which gets us back to the question about who is leading and who is following when it comes to what gets streamed.

Anyway, a post without a point really.  It just seemed worth noting.  And I got my silly items for the game.

The hover board and one of the pets

Meanwhile, I wonder if this past weekend will have an impact on my Twitch stats when that comes around with the new year.

My Time with Twitch in 2021

Yes, I have another post about another online thing that decided to tell me all about what I did in 2021.  This time it is Twitch, which sent me an infographic about what I spent my time watching.

tl;dr – I watched EVE Online related stuff.

I mean sure, the recap mentions a few other things in my top five.

Twitch categories I watched the most in 2021

But I am pretty sure most of that is a lie or because I walked away from a stream and it ended and the streamer I was watching sent traffic to another channel that was playing something else.  I cannot recall ever watching Phasmophobia or Final Fantasy XIV ever.

Just look at my top five channels.

The Top Five Channels

Imperium News in entirely EVE Online.

Mind1 is the DJ for Saturday Night Swarm in EVE Online.  I sometimes tune in to watch him at other times, but it is 99% EVE Online related when I do watch.

Rampage Incorporated is Merkelchen, Brisc Rubal, and Innominate roaming in EVE Online most of the time, though they do play other games and I am pretty sure I watched Merk playing WoW Shadowlands back in January when people were still playing that.

CCP is the studio with only one game, EVE Online.  I watch the dev broadcasts, a bit of the alliance tournament, and occasional Carneros when he does a chill stream.

And TheDoctorUK is… can you guess?  An EVE Online player.  We were corp mates back in TNT, before I defected to KarmaFleet.  He was streaming the Jita protests at one point and sometimes does the DJ thing for the Euro time zone edition of Saturday Night Swarm.  I am actually kind of surprised he came in ahead of ZehPando or New Eden Post, both also EVE Online streams, but I suspect I left

So, as with Reddit, I have been known to watch things other than EVE Online related shows and streams, it is pretty rare.

Here is my summary inforgraphic from Twitch.

What I did on Twitch in 2021

The top three channels changed a bit from last year’s summary, Rampage Inc took third place from CCP.  They also didn’t include the total hours watched, so I can’t tell you how much more of one than I watched than the other.  But I suspect that aspect of the summary last year probably raised some eyebrows when people found out how much time they spent with their top three channels.

Anyway, something else about 2021.

My Time on Twitch in 2020

I thought I might be done with “2020 in Review” by this point, but then Twitch threw an email at me with a summary of my time spent on their service.  Hey, I love that sort of thing, so I am going to post about that.  (Also, showing up on January 15th means it probably includes all of 2020 and doesn’t cut off at December 1st like some other year in review items I could mention.)

Twitch is Twitch

I was actually a bit surprised as I don’t stream or anything, but apparently being a Twitch user… and an Amazon Prime user I’m going to guess… was enough for them to want to collect some stats for me.

The first item they covered was which video categories I watch the most.

My Top 3

EVE Online being on top is no surprise.  I am not sure I watch anything else on Twitch.  Music, in second place, is pretty much related to EVE Online since I will listen to the Mind1 stream during Saturday Night Swarm, even if I am not logged into the game.

Assassin’s Creed II however… I have to think I left an EVE Online stream up in the background and it then swapped over to that, as I have no recollection of ever watching any Assassin’s Creed streams.

The channels I frequent

I had to consider that one for a moment because, while I probably watch INN more than any other channel, that seemed like a lot.  The Meta Show is the only thing I watch regularly there, and I watch maybe half of those tops.  But then I realized that in big fights I often have INN open in the background to listen to Brisc tell me what I am seeing on grid… or not… sometimes I have it on with the sound off if things are happening.  But there were a lot of hours of that as part of World War Bee, so it seems legit.

And then they gave me a little recap graphic.

My 2020 Twitch Recap

I don’t even know what channel points are, but I apparently earned about 25K of them.  Also, those are my most used emotes, which seems about right.  I support the side now and then in chat by throwing in some Imperium eagles, usually with Frank in the middle.

So it goes.  You can see what I do on Twitch for what it is worth.

Quote of the Day – Streamers Should Pay

Streamers worried about getting their content pulled because they used music they didn’t pay for should be more worried by the fact that they’re streaming games they didn’t pay for as well. It’s all gone as soon as publishers decide to enforce it.

-Alex Hutchinson, Creative Director for something owned by Google, on Twitter

This was sort of toss out of left field I wasn’t expecting.

This all started on Wednesday when Amazon’s Twitch streaming service delete a large number of saved video stream for DCMA takedown requests without notice or an option to appeal, followed by an email about how streamers should familiarize themselves with the DCMA process… which isn’t supposed to work like that.

Twitch is Twitch

That is a whole tempest in itself, and Ars Technica has a good summary.

So a lot of streamers were pretty upset about this.  And onto the hot coals of their ire, Mr. Hutchinson decided to pour is own oil of scorn.

This was followed by two more tweets:

Streamers worried about getting their content pulled because they used music they didn’t pay for should be more worried by the fact that they’re streaming games they didn’t pay for as well. It’s all gone as soon as publishers decide to enforce it.

The real truth is the streamers should be paying the developers and publishers of the games they stream. They should be buying a license like any real business and paying for the content they use.

Leaving aside the whole “kicking people when their down” aspect of this tweet, which is loathsome in itself, I can think of no quicker way to put an end to video game streaming that trying to extract a license tax from streamers.  A few streamers make some decent money, but most make little to nothing, and any fee would just put a stop to them.

And he seems to be pretty sure that game publishers can make this happen.  I’m not sure if the EULA and or ToS of every single video game is up to the task, but it is possible I suppose.  Shut it all down.  That is what he appears to want.

Remember, this comment is in a world where some game companies give popular streamers free copies of their games to play and often promote such streams.

And that isn’t the only problem with this sentiment.  It also appears to equate video games with forms of entertainment like music or movies, things that yield the same experience if you buy it yourself or listen/watch somebody play it online.  That seems to be a stretch for me.  Watching people play video games is a very different experience in my book than actually playing a video game.

Then there is the fact that, here in 2020, that horse appears to be well and truly out of the barn and gone.  If you can’t stream it, or have the saved recordings of those streams, what does that mean for YouTube?  We’re about fifteen years down the road on game videos on that front.

However, I think the most shocking thing about these statements is that they don’t really seem to be something others in the industry have been grumbling about.  “Streamers should be paying us!” isn’t something I’ve heard, and this is an industry that boils over now and then about used game sales, Steam sales, the cut apps stores (and Steam) take on sales, the cut physical retail stores take on sales, any barrier between them and publishing, too much competition due to lack of barriers to publishing, and the fact that people won’t spend their money on crappy 99 cent games rather than their morning latte.

Oh, and piracy.  Always piracy.  Literally a “make devs angry” thing for at least forty years, and one that has seen more money thrown at it for less benefit than anything I can think of.

But Mr. Hutchinson clearly sees this as piracy, so there is no doubt that fire in his belly on the topic, having been a game developer himself in the past.  And, as was pointed out over at MMO Fallout, he has had his own issues in the past. and might even be stretching the truth in his Twitter bio.

The funniest thing about today’s streaming drama is that everyone thinks Alex Hutchinson runs Google Stadia (because his Twitter bio says “Creative Director @ Google Stadia”). He’s actually a creative director at a Montreal game studio that was purchased by Google last December

[He has since updated his profile to reflect this.]

Anyway, being a creative director of some sort at Google’s means he likely isn’t in a position to do anything about this.  It looks like just so much hot air.  And I doubt there are many studios out there keen to press this issue and make enemies of streamers.  This is akin to the Mark Twain saying about not arguing with a man who buys ink by the barrel.  The videos are already blossoming on YouTube and elsewhere about this.  It may die down soon, but the embers will remain, ready to burst into flames it stoked.

I’m also pretty sure most game studios or publishers are smart enough give this idea a wide berth.  Even EA can’t be dumb enough to get on board with this idea.  And Google has made sure to carefully distance itself from the idea.  In a statement they said:

The recent tweets by Alex Hutchinson, creative director at the Montreal Studio of Stadia Games and Entertainment, do not reflect those of Stadia, YouTube or Google.

Google is not keen to burn bridges or throw away whatever small success they have managed to eke out with Stadia.

So, in the end, one person’s noxious opinion did not represent their company or the industry and probably would have largely ignored if their profile had not represented their position as a senior exec at Stadia and not somebody in a subsidiary far from Google HQ.  The status quo was maintained.

But, as we well know, the internet is a place where bad ideas find followers easily.  This might come up again.  Some other company exec, one with actual influence this time, could grab on tot his idea and run with it.  And if they do, I’ll buy some popcorn.  The drama will be excellent.

Others on this topic:

Free Final Fantasy XIV Maybe

I continue to maintain that few things in life are actually free, and this is no exception.

IF you are an Amazon Prime member and you have a Twitch account and you have linked your Twitch account to your Amazon account then, right now through May 4, you can get a free copy of the Final Fantasy XIV Starter Edition through Twitch.

Free for a while

It took me a bit to figure out where to claim this.  I saw it mentioned on Twitter and we know that Amazon and Twitch have a couple of methods for handing out free stuff.

As I have mentioned in the past, there is the Twitch Prime page where you can claim games to download via the Twitch client.  It is available there, but due to the way the page is sorted, it is down at the bottom of the list as opposed to up with the free games.

You can also find it via the main Twitch site in a browser.  It is in the Prime Loot menu, the little up at the top of the page.

Prime Loot

You cannot find it in the Twitch Client.  At least I could not find it in the Twitch Client.  It seems like the integration with the client is less than complete.

Claiming your copy seems simple enough.  You click a button to get a code for the game, the follow the link provided to the download page.

Having never played FFXIV, and feeling that was perhaps a bit of an omission on my part, I decided to grab a copy.  I wasn’t burning to play it RIGHT NOW, but could foresee a time in the spring or summer, before WoW Classic looms into view, where I might have the time and inclination to give it a try.  So I downloaded the installer to at least get it setup.

Unfortunately, that is about where my journey ceased.  When I run the installer I get the option to select my region and language:

That’s me!

And then I hit “accept” and the dialog goes away for a flash, only to return and ask me again… and again… and again… and off into the distance so far as my patience will sustain me.

I did the usual thing, ran it as Administrator, but that didn’t help.

The install page, which seemed a little behind the times, suggested that I run it in Windows Vista SP2 compatibility mode… let me remind you that Windows Vista came out in 2006, or a good seven years before FFXIV… but I gave that a shot.  I tried the various Windows 7 modes.  I turned off the virus protection.  I Googled around for some other options, but found mostly variations on the what I had been trying, none of them successful.

I did run across one thread that said if you were running on Windows 10, as I am, that you needed to install DirectX 9 manually first.  That seemed an unlikely solution, since DX9 was from the Windows XP era and we were now getting into things more than a decade before the game launched.

Thinking that there must be an updated installer somewhere, I went poking around for that as well.  I had no luck on the Square Enix site, where downloads were behind a $19.99 barrier.  Likewise, I figured there must be an installer that worked over on Steam.  But that too had a $19.99 tariff in the way.

So I set it aside.  Like I said, I wasn’t in a hurry to play it right away.  I copied the code off for later use.  I’ll poke around a bit more later.  But the option is there.  You can get a free copy, if you have met all the criteria and can get the installer to run.

Pillars of Eternity Free for Amazon Prime Members

I mentioned last month that Amazon had five free video games for Amazon Prime members.  All you had to do was link your Amazon Prime account to your Twitch account and you could select and download the games.

This month, to coincide with Prime Day and such, Amazon has a bunch of games available.  Each are available only for a couple of days, and the first on the list is the excellent Pillars of Eternity: Definitive Edition.

Pillars for Free

That game is only available through the end of the day tomorrow, July 4, 2018.  So if you’re reading this after that date, it’s gone.

To claim the game you need to have a Twitch account and have the Twitch Client installed.  The Twitch Client used to be the Curse Client until Amazon bought Curse and Twitch and combined them.  It still keeps your WoW addons up to date, but you can also watch Twitch on it… and download free games.

When you have that setup you can go to the Twitch Prime page, login to your Twitch account, link your Twitch account with your Amazon Prime account if you have not done that already, and then claim the games in which you are interested.

Once you have click claim on the web site the game will be available to download in the Twitch client.

Other games are available over the course of the month.

Twitch Prime free games for July 2018

Amazon is clearly trying to push Twitch into the arena of online game sales to compete with Steam, GoG, and whoever.  As Ars Technica points out, the Twitch interface is a long way from anything like Steam when it comes to information or utility.

Friday Bullet Points Gaze into the Future

Another Friday where I have a few items that I could probably force into full length posts, but I just don’t have the stamina to get there.  So I will pack them into one post.

Truth in Advertising?

There was a recent Star Citizen weekly update from RSI that seemed to unintentionally confirmed my suspicions.

It barely feels like it has been 25 years

The update itself was a lore item about some in-game entity celebrating its 50th anniversary, but the first glace at the top of the message made me wonder if they were admitting it was going to take 50 years to get where they plan to go.

Apple and OpenGL

One tidbit that came up at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference was the plan to deprecate OpenGL support with the Mojave release of the MacOS and in iOS 12.  This led to a panic about there being no more video games on the Mac.

I haven’t been to a WWDC since 1995…

OpenGL has been around for a long time and, among other things, its openess helped nVidia get in and dethrone 3dfx Interactive and their proprietary Glide API back in the day.  And deprecate doesn’t mean pulling it out wholesale.  It will still be there for a couple of years.  But if you find a problem or need an update, Apple isn’t going to help you.

Still, Apple will drop it eventually.  Past history says that will probably get announced in 2020 or so.  Apple would like you to use their Metal interface instead, and some companies have support for that on the way.  You can use Metal with World of Warcraft currently if your hardware and OS are current. (And probably should use it, as it fixes a crashing issue with WoW.)  But if you are a serious PC gamer you probably have a Windows partition on you Mac, if not a Windows machine already.

Blizzard and Diablo IV

It was noted that Blizzard had posted a job listing looking for a dungeon artist for an as yet unannounced Diablo project.  This led to a hysteria of complaints and the projection of personal feelings onto the idea.  Just Google “diablo iv” and look at the headlines. (And yes, I am going to call it Diablo IV at this point.)  Everything from “when are we going to get it?” to “Oh lord, no!” pops up.  So I figured I ought to note this as the week the controversy began.  We know nothing so far, but some people are already angry.

I for one welcome our new demonic overlords.

Despite the one-two punch of the auction house and the horrible itemization (the latter which I remain convinced was there to drive you to the auction house), Blizzard eventually got the game in order by killing the auction house and fixing itemization, making Diablo III a pretty decent game.  The “always online” bit is still annoying, but Blizz is hardly alone in demanding that.  And they have continued to tend the now six year old game, which is more than they ever did for Diablo II.  By any practical measure the game is a success and warrants a sequel. (It sold lots of copies on the PC and consoles.)

Hopefully Blizzard will run with what they have learned and stick with the roots of Diablo as the foundation for the next game rather than, say, making it a Battle Royale title or something.

Minecraft Subnautica

On a closer horizon, the Minecraft Java Edition 1.13 release, the Aquatic Update, looks to be slowly making its way to us.

Under the sea…

The update entered pre-release at the start of the week, whatever that means, so I think we should be getting the official release soon.  I have actually been avoiding our Minecraft server, knowing that I’ll want to go play when this hits.

Free Games for Amazon Prime Subscribers

In yet another benefit for Amazon Prime subscribers, you can now download any of five free games before the end of June.

Amazon Prime benefits

The games are Tumblestone, Treadnauts, Strafe, Banner Saga, and Banner Saga 2.  You need to have the Twitch client to download them (the Twitch client is what the old Curse client became when Amazon bought Curse… and Twitch) and you need to have linked your Twitch account to your Amazon account.  This sounds like a recurring deal, so there will likely be more games in the future as the Amazon Prime largess train continues on.

As an aside, the first version of this Amazon post I saw said it was six games.

Is it five or six?

However the image only shows five games and I didn’t click on the link until later, so I don’t know if there was a sixth game at one point, if a sixth game was planned but was removed and the word didn’t get out, or if it was always five games and somebody just messed up.  (h/t to Corr who first linked this to me and who had that second image handy.)

Pokemon Zygarde Download Event

Despite the impending end of Pokemon on the Nintendo 2DS/3DS, download events continue for the current core RPG titles.  During the month of June in the US you can go to your local GameStop for a download code for a shiny Zygarde.

Zygarde

This event is only for Pokemon Sun & Moon and Pokemon UltraSun & UltraMoon.  Instructions for claiming the legendary Pokemon are available at the Pokemon site.