Friday Five: I Told You So Edition

Cat Context is turning 2 years old on Sunday, and we want your questions for the show! Leave them in the comments, email, tweet — whatever feels right.

Today’s Friday Five topic is a little tongue in cheek: I’m looking back at some old posts that turned out to be pretty accurate in hindsight. A few of them got major pushback from commenters at the time (hello, WoW Insider readers!) but who was right in the long run? Aw yeah, it was me.

(Note: I am also very frequently wrong, but is that a compelling topic for a list? I think not, so let’s just never speak of those moments again.)

1. Subscription Games are Not Dead Yet – July 31, 2012

SWTOR had just announced their intention to go free-to-play, and the feeling in the MMO pundit community was that this change put the final nail in the coffin of non-WoW subscription games. Today, however, with FFXIV, TESO, and WildStar, subscription titles seem to be coming back in vogue.

2. The ICC Buff Can Bite Me – March 2, 2010

In retrospect I was being a bit of a hardass about the buff specifically, but I think my general point was made over time — raiding in WotLK hurt casualcore guilds. The brilliant Ulduar was pushed out too soon by the horrible Circle of the Crusader, and ICC nerfs were rushed out only to have a full boring calendar year to finish the place.

3. Swimming Against the Tide of Popular Opinion – June 13, 2012

This post could be subtitled, “Stop telling me I have to love Guild Wars 2″. As you may recall, at the time any less than positive post about GW2 would usually be hit by comments saying that maybe the author just didn’t enjoy games any more, man.

While GW2 has proven to be very successful, some of the design decisions that we were told would shape the genre, like repeating low-level public quests at max level, simply just didn’t take hold in the long run.

4. My 2013 Resolution: no more EA games – January 21, 2013

There has been a ton of great discussion on blogs lately about the fallacy of “voting with your wallet”, and the value of sticking with a game/publisher. Sometimes though we all just reach a limit, and my limit with EA was reached at the end of 2012.

I have been EA-free ever since, and I do not regret a thing. My personal boycott kept me out of buying into the disasterious launch of Sim City 2013, and made me feel marginally better about not contributing to the horrible Dungeon Keeper mobile remake. No EA in 2014!

5. Not Feelin’ the WildStar Character Options – February 19, 2013

Over a year ago I wrote a post about how how I was disappointed with the first look at WildStar’s character models. This was well before any beta weekends, but the official videos and screenshots so far showed just a series of inverted triangle dudes and hourglass ladies with no unique silhouettes. (This was before the announcement about Chua, but still.)

A bunch of GameDudes stopped by to tell me that I didn’t know what I was talking about. The post was even linked on Something Awful AND 4chan (terrifying things to see in your referrals log) where a few folks said I was obviously blind or maybe just Gaming While Feminist.

Of course as we know now the Carbine team just worked their butts off to get some character model options out before launch, because people really didn’t like the boring shapes and lack of options. Mmm-hmm.

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Did you think I was going to write a post without mentioning ArcheAge? Pffft. I made a video last night of the character creator, and here it is:

Cat Context 49: Ready Player One review, WildStar patches, ArcheAge alpha
Apr23

Cat Context 49: Ready Player One review, WildStar patches, ArcheAge alpha

cat context vertical Cat Context 49: Ready Player One review, WildStar patches, ArcheAge alpha

We want your questions for our second anniversary show on Sunday! Leave them in the comments, or call us, or tweet, or send a carrier pigeon!

This week Liore, Arolaide, and Ellyndrial get literary with a review of hit nerd culture novel Ready Player One Cat Context 49: Ready Player One review, WildStar patches, ArcheAge alpha!

The bestselling book takes place in a virtual world and was referenced all over the game playing internet when the news broke that Oculus VR was bought by Facebook… but is it any good? Elly shares his love of dystopian novels, Aro is baffled by fantasy car designs, and Liore is just a cranky host with an English degree (and a good pun).

In other news, WildStar just released a huge patch with big changes to the UI and the addition of character model options. We talk about our impressions of the relatively last-minute changes before the game’s launch and do a final gut check about preordering the game.

Also, Elly has a emo vampire in Bloodmasque! Aro tells a tale of Orangelady’s new brother in SWTOR! Liore makes happy noises about ArcheAge!

Like to watch? This podcast has a livestreamed video version:

If you enjoyed this podcast, please “Like” or “Favorite” it in your media consumption method of choice! It makes us feel nice.

* Bloodmasque on iTunes.
* Ready Player One on Amazon.
* Our video of the new female Exile models in WildStar.
* Free Music Archive page for our theme, in THE crowd by The Years

Warlords of Draenor Launch Date Speculation – Blizzcon 2014 Edition
Apr22

Warlords of Draenor Launch Date Speculation – Blizzcon 2014 Edition

Reminder: We want your questions for Cat Context’s Second Birthday on Sunday! Leave ‘em in the comments or on Twitter!

I was legitimately surprised to see the announcement today that there will be a Blizzcon this year. The convention for all things Blizzard will be on November 7-8 in the usual Anaheim location.

blizzcon 500x375 Warlords of Draenor Launch Date Speculation   Blizzcon 2014 Edition

Blizzcon is a lot of fun for fans, and a great place to meet your guildies. And while I don’t know for sure, it seems to me that the Blizzard folks also see Blizzcon as a great time, if a lot of work. I think that the event doesn’t make a lot of money, but is profitable with all the Virtual Tickets and things.

But what does this mean for Warlords of Draenor? Nothing good, I suspect.

It doesn’t make sense to launch the latest expansion of your huge franchise and then have a convention a week later. In fact, it doesn’t really make sense to hold Blizzcon AFTER Warlords of Draenor at all. While I’m sure people would still buy tickets even if Blizzard had nothing to announce at all, I’m also sure they’ll sell even more if they have something to promote.

Panels about a game that’s already been out for a month or so are not very compelling stuff. It’s far more interesting to have panels on a game that no one has seen yet, right?

I had previously guessed mid-October for WoD, but today’s Blizzcon announcement makes me think even I was being optimistic. In light of that I think US Thanksgiving is the most likely date. Hope you like Siege of Orgrimmar, y’all.

PS: Blizzcon tickets went up in price this year and look, I clearly like spending silly money because I usually get the $40 Virtual Ticket, but $200 for two days of a convention about one studio is totally bonkers.

Gliding Along in ArcheAge, Pacing Draenor Content, and a Special Podcast Request

Cat Context is turning TWO on this coming Sunday! I think that’s middle-aged in podcast years?

We want to do a special live show on Twitch on Sunday, April 27, at 6:30pm PST, but more importantly we want your questions! Ask us about the podcast, or about a game we did or did not enjoy. Ask me about editing the show, ask Arolaide why she gets angry about Final Fantasy 7, or ask Elly why he seems to keep playing games he hates.

You can tweet me, or email podcast@lioreblog.com, or leave a comment here, or leave a voicemail by clicking on that tab over there on the right. Include your blog/podcast/YouTube channel and we will totally mention it, too.

Thanks in advance for your questions, and for listening to us have a great time every two weeks. :)

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We briefly discuss this on the impending next episode of the podcast (coming on Wednesday), but has acceptance of the content drought changed your plans at all for the launch of Warlords of Draenor?

I pre-ordered the game, in large part to get my hands on an insta-paladin instantly, but more and more I feel like I’m not going to be playing WoW when the expansion launches. The current content drought has been really terrible for the folks who have been playing Pandaria since it arrived, whereas I still have a considerable amount of options as someone who just started playing at the end.

Assuming Blizzard’s development schedule doesn’t change, and honestly it never does, do I really want to set myself up for boredom? Right now I’m considering skipping the first year-ish of WoD and coming back when there are at least 3 or so patches of content to keep me occupied. (Alternatively I could just frequently unsub for short periods of time in-between, but that doesn’t really suit my nature and I’d probably forget to cancel my account anyway.)

Of course it doesn’t help WoD’s case that there are so many other amazing MMOs launching later this year…

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… amazing MMOs like ArcheAge, which, yes, I am still fangirling. (Fanladying?)

There are no flying mounts in the game (or flying taxis on the scale of WoW, for what it’s worth), but what ArcheAge does have is personal hang gliders. You can cross great distances with your glider, but it takes much more effort.

As with real world physics your glider will work better the higher your launching point is — you can’t just jump vertically off the ground and expect to sail through the air! Also like the real world, landing your glider is a little imprecise and requires (in my experience so far) banking around in a circle like how an plane lands.

Advanced gliders, which the players must craft, can look like giant butterfly wings, or have stealth, or even BOMBS. It’s a really great compromise for flying mounts, a gorgeous way to see some of the landscape, and fun to boot.

I made a short video last night of my first big gliding experience. Enjoy!

Friday Five: Best Video Game Movies

Movies based on video games are infamous for generally being terrible. Often there’s just not a whole lot in the source material to pin 2 hours of cinema on — Mortal Kombat, for example, is a game where people fight in small rooms a lot. Good story writing isn’t something that’s been emphasized in games in the past, but it’s essential in a movie.

Let’s see if we can find any good ones, hmm?

1) Resident Evil

The best of the bunch, in my opinion. The first Resident Evil movie acknowledged the original source material and expanded upon it in an enjoyable way. The rest of the series is hit-and-miss (no one should ever watch RE2) but this one is a legitimately good movie.

2. Silent Hill

Another one that worked with the original story but didn’t feel limited by it. I know this is two horror movies in a row, but for whatever reason Hollywood seems to have a better record of turning horror games into movies than action games.

3. Indie Game: the movie

Okay okay, not so much a movie based on a video game, but I’m still counting it! This documentary is even better now, years after it first came out, because we know even more of how everyone’s life went after their game launched. Jonathan Blow has yet to release another game after Braid, Edmund Mcmillen and company had the huge hit Binding of Isaac (PS: I want Mewgenics now!) and poor Phil Fish flipped out and quit.

4. Final Fantasy: Advent Children

Is this a great movie if you’re not already a Final Fantasy nerd? Probably not. But who cares?

5. Ummmmmmmmmm.

A fifth awesome movie based on a video game huh. Hmm. Well, there’s.. look, does Tron count?

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