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    1. Does the frequent addition of content to esport games delegitimize them?

      This questions ultimately rests on the supposition of what a game intends to be or what esport should be. This is partially why it probably won't spark too much discussion, but I'm interested in...

      This questions ultimately rests on the supposition of what a game intends to be or what esport should be. This is partially why it probably won't spark too much discussion, but I'm interested in your opinions nonetheless, especially when it comes to the current state of esports. It seems to me that when we are talking about rules in any kind of sport we want to change as little as we can over time. If the rules changes enough, you could argue that people have over time played what essentially is a different game. It becomes harder to compare achievements between players within the a timeline. Meta's and achievements will only really be comparable after games has stopped adding content such as new heroes or mechanics. With a lot of games there seems to be a major content patch, then long period of balancing and this cycle basically repeats itself. Another point is that by adding content and changing the meta you are preventing the current players from reaching their full potential, the older players from retaining their hard earned experience and discouraging new players by promising them a game they can never "beat". That is until the content stops coming in and in today's world that might mean that you are not able to play at all due to a lack of dedicated servers. Further the players that might once have stuck to it might already have left, leaving no opponents left to play against.

      This superficial take ultimately comes from someone who hasn't really played esports except a little bit of 1.6 counter strike and counter strike global offensive. It always struck me as odd that with MOBA's and especially with shooters such as overwatch and siege, that there seem to be no pushback on this. When I ask people that prefer this sort of drip-feed-service, what I usually hear is that it's something that is necessary to keep them engaged. Isn't there ultimately a trade-off here, between a sort of accessible fun and lack of constancy which prevents players from reaching their full potential?

      I immediately see the talking point of financial aspect of games. It seems to me however that Quake and counter strike largely went without major changes when compared to modern esports games. Are there any good broad rules we can use when designing esport games in order to avoid the issues mentioned here?

      In an ideal world, do you agree that we generally don't want kind of content and/or rule change that we see today?

      If there is a need to add content (such as heroes) to keep a game feeling "fresh". Is there an acknowledgement here that the core-gameplay isn't engaging enough? I think there is a case to be made here when it comes to MOBA's since knowledge (about enemy heroes abilities) plays a more central part when compared to more archaic shooters. Is this indicative of a an audience that is more interested in an entertaining service, rather than a (e)sport that seldom changes?

      When we look at games such as world of warcraft, which isn't an esport, yet there are achievements and historic events so to speak which became cheapened or not attainable until what was basically a restart of the timeline (story of the game). Is this not what we are risking with current service models in modern esports?

      15 votes
    2. Does anyone use a trackball mouse?

      I've been curious about making a switch for ergonomics and just lack of space on my desk. Do you recommend it for gaming? Any guidance on genres that do or don't work? I mostly play real time and...

      I've been curious about making a switch for ergonomics and just lack of space on my desk.

      • Do you recommend it for gaming? Any guidance on genres that do or don't work? I mostly play real time and turn based strategy games or point-and-click style games such as Diablo on my computer. I don't generally go in for twitchy FPSes, but I'd like the option.

      • Opinions on index vs. thumb?

      • How long was the adjustment period to get used to it?

      • Any recommendations on good ones to buy?

      • Are there any advantages I'm not thinking of besides just being better for my wrist?

      • Disadvantages besides, potentially, being less precise than a mouse?

      • Are there any tradeoffs with going wireless?

      9 votes
    3. Risk of Rain 2 thoughts and impressions

      Some of you may have heard that the bright minds behind Risk of Rain have made their next effort with the help of an added dimension. Risk of Rain 2 released on Early Access lately, to many...

      Some of you may have heard that the bright minds behind Risk of Rain have made their next effort with the help of an added dimension. Risk of Rain 2 released on Early Access lately, to many peoples' surprise and joy. I played a decent bit of the original, but never managed to get into it. Something about 2D scrollers like that puts me off hard, but I respected the hell out of the awesome art, fantastic music, and neat synergies/shenanigans throughout the game.

      Risk of Rain 2, so far, has been an absolute blast and I'm super happy for the devs. They received way more support than they initially expected upon launch, and the buy 1 get 1 gift key strategy did wonders for them. I've been steadily playing this game with friends and after the initial Diablo 2 loot stealing shenanigans, we've all managed to memorize items, learn builds, and work out what survivalists we like. This game is a killer time-killer; I've spent what I thought was 10 minutes in one match only to glance at the timer and read that 70 minutes have passed. This game almost feels like it's a finished product, and the devs aren't even done yet. I'm super psyched for all the new stuff we'll get to see and experiment with.

      I'm also curious as to what anyone else thinks. Has anyone played enough to share their opinions? Did anyone not enjoy their time with the game? Please share!

      13 votes
    4. Toxicity is a symptom, not a cause: to fix it, treat the discontent around the game, not the players reacting to it.

      Inspired by discussion here. Toxic players don't create toxic games. Toxic games create toxic players. About a year ago, I wrote up a comprehensive report on why Overwatch's community is such a...

      Inspired by discussion here.

      Toxic players don't create toxic games. Toxic games create toxic players.

      About a year ago, I wrote up a comprehensive report on why Overwatch's community is such a shitshow. Give it a read if you're at all interested in why game communities turn toxic, or if you're curious why Overwatch didn't stick longer as a phenomenon.

      (At this point, with Overwatch now past its prime and usurped by other games due in large part to reasons I described there, I'd like to also offer a nice fat 'I told you so' to actiblizz. I didn't want to stop playing...)

      The baseline question was this: Overwatch has great representation, an entertaining formula, and good messages. The game is super fun to play on the surface, and offers hundreds of hours of unique new experiences. So why is it so easily considered to have one of the most toxic competitive communities out there?

      There's no explanation or reason for why naturally toxic players would gravitate towards the title, stick around, and infect the rest of the community. Nothing about Overwatch would indicate that it was going to somehow filter out the worst of the worst and keep them for itself, and that's because - bumbudaaa! It didn't.

      Toxic players didn't infect Overwatch; Overwatch created toxic players.

      The same things can be said for basically any other huge competitive game on the market, with CS:GO, LoL, and DOTA2 being the easiest examples. Their communities are all total swamps.

      Despite this, there is virtually no game on the market which properly addresses the root cause of community-destroying toxicity: the game itself.

      I'd rather not repeat myself because that above link will do a better job of going in-depth and can be applied to a lot of games, but the baseline problem is this: games catch and ban bad apples, but do nothing to stop those bad apples from forming. Failing to realize that parts of an otherwise amazing experience are fundamentally frustrating, the focus and blame is put on the players for reacting (see above thread) in exactly the way the games are designed to make them.

      Chief among these issues? Games demand teamwork, cooperation and a community voice, but do nothing to facilitate them. Games that are designed to be fun casually will be frustrating competitively - and vice versa. Toxic communities will not form where every style of play is catered to, which is sometimes balance, but often a fundamental disconnect between what the game was built for, what's actually promised, and what the player's trying to get out of it.

      So, I'd rather send the discussion in the other direction, which is why I posted this here. Rather than blame the community, it's time to look for solutions from the actual people responsible.

      (To be clear: yes, there are assholes in the world, and yes, they play games. But the idea that the culture has only just now soured to a patch of racism and misogyny is laughable to anyone who grew up playing Xbox Live. It's been blown completely out of proportion by a fundamental discontent with games themselves, like further kindling on a fire, driven mostly by competitive culture.)

      18 votes
    5. I want the next Borderlands to be good... but it probably isn't going to be

      So the pre-announcement announcement for the next Borderlands game (which is probably not going to be Bord3rlands but something else) was posted today. It's pretty neato. But, as a HUGE fan of the...

      So the pre-announcement announcement for the next Borderlands game (which is probably not going to be Bord3rlands but something else) was posted today. It's pretty neato. But, as a HUGE fan of the first 2 games (Pre-Sequel was aight), to say that I'm pessimistic about the future of the franchise would be the understatement of the decade.

      The odds are so completely stacked against the next Borderlands game, that it will be a miracle if the game is anything less than a catastrophe.

      Every possible thing that could go wrong with the game, will go wrong, from the industry's standards to the developer and publisher of the title. I want to be wrong about this, but considering the circumstances surrounding it, I'm very comfortable expecting otherwise.

      Allow me to go down the list, here:

      • The Borderlands formula was built for loot boxes. You could even argue that it was the first AAA game to be designed AROUND them. The W/G/B/P/O rarity system that the game established has been used by every other similar system since. The entire game revolves around tiered loot, attained primarily through low-chance drop tables which the player has to grind through the game to find. The previous entries in the series made this formula fun for a bunch of reasons that are self-evident while playing, and by some miracle, Borderlands: TPS somehow came out before Overwatch showed the industry just how amazingly profitable it is to put unregulated gambling in a game made for minors.

      I expect that the next game won't JUST have monetized loot boxes, but because they'll likely nerf Borderlands 2's already comparatively abysmal drop rates to make them more appealing, the game will REVOLVE around monetized loot boxes. Different tiers, different prices, approximately 30% of which can be earned in game, but only if you grind your heart out, because the game is also going to be designed for that. Next point:

      • 2k Games, publisher of the previous three titles, is one of the only AAA publishers out there that hasn't yet successfully jumped onto the "games as services" bandwagon, and with the Borderlands formula basically being that of an MMO minus the enormous playerbase, plus decent shooting mechanics, you can expect it to follow in the footsteps of other such glorious recent titles as Anthem and Destiny 2.

      Not only will the game likely be released unfinished and with the standard array of season passes and roadmaps that plague the industry, but the game will likely sacrifice what made the first 2-1/2 compelling and enjoyable (them being first and primarily progression-based RPGs) to keep players playing, grinding, and waiting for the next DLC drop. I'm expecting that the game will not have a proper end or a new-game-plus mode, instead turning the formula on it's head and following the aforementioned "Live Services" in their footsteps to create a dull, grindy experience which will basically serve as a platform to sell the aforementioned loot boxes and whatever else will be included, which, speaking of...

      • like every other game produced by a company accountable to shareholders, you can expect aggressive monetization, stopping just short of pay-to-win gameplay, if it even does. 2k is one of the worst offenders for this, and at launch, I'm expecting a full, $60 game with a $25-$30 season pass that's ESSENTIAL to eventually get the finished product, and an array of loot boxes to further dig into your wallet. Not only that, but you can easily also expect other gameplay "enhancements", including:
      • Drop chance and quality boosters (to make up for piss-poor drop rates)
      • Experience and progression-circumvention boosters (to make up for the god-awful grind)
      • A full array of new cosmetic options (now removed from the base game entirely, available only by purchase)
      • 2-3 in-game currencies (and at least one premium currency on top of that, used to buy better loot)
      • A vast swath of DLC which is NOT included in the season pass, announced anywhere from a few weeks to a few months after launch (most of all of which will be disappointing or the absolute bare minimum, at best)
      • this is only barely touching on the gameplay and story itself, which is being developed and produced by Gearbox, a company who is at this point legendary for their inability to... function. From their CEO being one of the industry's most prominent jackasses to their... interesting... writing department their (apparently) sexist, rather uber-like office bro-culture, the most astonishing thing about the company is that it still exists - their last and only 3 major releases since Borderlands 2 in 2012 were Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and Battleborn. They're also known for such titles as Bulletstorm, the most recent Duke Nukem, and, hilariously, are front-and-center in the publishing clusterfuck that surrounded We Happy Few being awful.

      With their record, it's not just a surprise that they still exist, it's a surprise that the Borderlands franchise was ever produced successfully at all. Now, they're relying basically entirely on the next Borderlands launch in order to stay afloat - only one more nail in the coffin for the above points about monetization.

      To say the odds are stacked against this game is doing it a disservice. The idea that it might be DECENT, never mind as good as it's predecessors, is laughable.

      It saddens me to say it, too. I hold out hope that they'll pull a rabbit outta the hat on this and that the game will magically be one of the only examples of an uncompromising AAA game in the last 5 years. They somehow managed to produce the first few games in the franchise, and this one's been in development for a hellova lot longer.

      But I'm not holding my breath.

      10 votes
    6. Nintendo Direct 9.13.2018 - Recap

      Host: Shinya Takahashi 3DS Announcements: Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn - Available 2019 The 2010 Wii game comes to Nintendo 3DS. Includes all stages from the Wii version plus additional abilities, new...

      Host: Shinya Takahashi

      3DS Announcements:

      • Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn - Available 2019
        The 2010 Wii game comes to Nintendo 3DS. Includes all stages from the Wii version plus additional abilities, new Devilish Mode (a time attack mode), and new minigames

      • Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey - Available January 11, 2019
        Added Bowser Jr. story

      • Luigi's Mansion - Available October 12
        The original Luigi's Mansion is coming to the Nintendo 3DS with a new 2 player co-op mode. If both players ows the game one will play as a green blob version of Luigi. If only one own the game the second player will be able to use Download Play and challenge bosses.
        4 Amiibo are compatible with the game.

      • Yo-Kai Watch Blasters - Available now
        Free content coming later on Spetember 27. Adds Moon Rabbit Crew to the title screen, with bonuses for linking save datas, new missions, new areas, new Yo-Kai to befriend, and new boss.

      Switch Announcements

      • Luigi's Mansion 3 (working title) - 2019
        A new game in the Luigi's Mansion series

      • Splatoon 2 update, Ver.4

      • Mega Man 11 - Available October 2
        8 bosses.
        New double gear system, you can slow down time or powerup your attacks.
        The two Mega Men Amiibos are compatible.

      • Mario Tennis Aces update - Available September 19
        New characters: Birdo (all around), Shy Guy (Technical), Koopa Paratroopa (Technical) and Petey Piranha(Powerful). Can be acquired by playing online
        New updates coming until next June
        New mode: online only Co-op Challenge, available for limited periods of time. Will unlock in-game rewards such as new outfits, different color schemes and more.

      • Capcom Beat'em Up Bundle - Available September 18
        Includes Final Fight, The King of Dragons, Captain Commando, Knight of the Round, Warriors of Fate and two first-time console releases: Armored Warriors and Battle Circuit.
        4 player local and online co-op
        Pre-order available now

      • New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - Available January 11, 2019
        New characters: other than Mario, Luigi and Toad now you can play as Nabbit and Toadette.
        Nabbit doesn't take damage from enemies
        If Toadette powers up with a super crown she transforms into Peachette who can double jump, float slowly during free falls and get a boost back up when she falls into a pit.
        Includes New Super Luigi U. 164 courses between both games
        Single player Joy-Con, up to 4 player co-op.

      • Katamai Damacy Reroll - Available Winter 2018
        Gyro controls, Hd Rubles, Joy-Con controller sharing

      • Pokèmon Go Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee - Available November 16
        Secret tecniques replace HM moves. Only your Pikachu and your Eevee can use them. They can also learn certain powerful moves. Only them.
        In handheld mode you can use touch screen to pet your Pokèmon and change its hairstyle depending on how you've petted it.
        2 new bundle that will include a Nintendo Switch system with specially designed dock, Pikachu and Eevee style Joy-Cons, one digital copy of the game and the Pokèball Plus accessory.

      • Diablo 3: Eternal Collection - Available November 2
        All Dlcs are included. Up to 3 players local and online co-op.
        Nintendo Switch exclusive: Ganondorf's armor.
        All Amiibos figures are compatible

      • Super Mario Party - Available October 5
        New 4 player co-op mode River Survival
        You can connect two Nintendo Switch in the Toads Rec Room mode.
        Characters' specific dice block with alternate numbering.
        80 minigames.
        Single player modes: Challenge Road (play thtough a series of minigames and complete specific tasks)
        Online Mariothon minigame mode (challenge other players around the world with 80 minigames to choose from)

      • Town (Working Title) - Availabe 2019
        Game Freak presents a brand new RPG set in one single village. Looks like story will be a major part in this incoming game

      • Citis Skylines Nintendo Switch Edition - Available today
        Includes two DLCs: After Dark and Snowfall

      • Daemon Ex Machina - Available 2019*
        Mech Game.
        You can change weapons on the fly and you'll keep them for the whole game if you manage to return them to your base. Long range and melee weapons.
        You can exit your mech to explore the field on foot. You can make enhancements to you human character and your mecha abilities will be augmented as well
        Up to 4 player online co-op

      • Yoshi's Crafter World - Available Spring 2019
        New Yoshi game.
        Local Joy-Con Co-op

      • Asmodee Digital tabletop games
        NOT A BUNDLE
        Full adaptation of best-selling tabletop games made by Asmodee Digital. They are the following:

      • Carcassonne - Available December 2018
        3D maps, solo mode, 4 player local multiplayer mode. Game's famous expansions available as paid DLC

      • The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game - Available April 2019
        Play alone or alongside a second player.
        Story driven quests

      • Pandemic - Available March 2019*
        solo mode, 4 player local multiplayer mode
        Individually priced DLCs based on popular expansions.
        More is on the way: Catan and Munchkin

      • Sid Meier's Civilization VI - Available November 16
        4 player local multiplayer

      • Starlink: Battle for Atlas - Available October 16
        Exclusive missions for the Nintendo Switch with Star Fox, Peppy, Falco and Slippy from the Star Fox universe.

      • The World Ends with You Final Remix - Available October 12
        Square Enix RPG

      • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country - Available September 21
        Go back in time with this Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC
        Owner of the Season Pass can already download this new content

      • Warframe - Available November 20*
        Free to play co-op space ninja shooter game. Needs connections all time to play.

      • Just Dance 2019 - Available October 23*

      • Fifa 19 - Available September 28
        Available for pre-purchase tomorrow (9.14.2018)

      • Team Sonic Racing - Available this winter

      • NBA 2K19 - Available now

      • NBA 2K Playground 2 - Available this fall
        NBA arcade game

      • LEGO DC Super-Villains - Available october 16*

      • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicle Remaster Edition - Available 2019
        GCo-op action RPG, with new online multiplayer mode.
        New areas added in dungeons.

      • Final Fantasy XV Poket Edition HD - Available today

      • Worlds of Final Fantsy Maxima - Available November 6
        New feature added: Avatar Change. It allows yo to transform into legendary characters from across the series storied history.

      • Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy! - Available this winter
        2007's Final Fantasy Fable Chocoboc Dungeon returns
        You can now befriend all the monsters
        Joy-Con local co-op multiplayer

      • Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age - Available 2019
        Comes to a Nintendo system for the first time
        New Speed Mode

      • Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX and Final Fantasy X and X-2 HD Remaster - Coming to Nintendo Switch in 2019 separately

      • Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Available November 2
        Isabelle (Animal Crossing) joins the fight!
        Hardware Bundle that includes a Nintendo Switch system with specially designed dock, a pair of Joy-Cons with the Smash Bros Symbol on them and a digital copy of the game.

      • Animal Crossing - Nintendo Switch - 2019
        A new game in the Animal Crossing series

      • GameCube controller adapter and GameCube controller Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition - Available November 2 while supplies last

      Nintendo Switch Online membership

      Begins on September 18 with the following prices:
      1 month 3.99 USD;
      3 months 7.99USD;
      12 months 19.99 USD;
      12 month Family Membership up to 7 people 34.99USD.
      Includes 5 features:

      • Online play, a variety of games is supported
      • 20 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) games. You can find the complete list here. New title coming up. Includes local and online co-op.
      • Save Data Cloud
      • Smartphone App. Incluses: voice chat in certain games, additional infos in certain games (e.g. Splatoon 2)
      • Special Offers. No details, more to announce in the future.

      NES controllers for Switch - Available for pre-purchase starting September 18 on Nintendo.com
      59.99USD
      Nintendo Switch Online membership and Nintendo Account are required for the purchase.
      Left and right wireless controllers that you can use to play NES games with on the Switch. Recharge the same way as normal Joy-Cons.
      Contrllers do not include Joy-Con functionality.
      Orders are expeced to ship starting this December.

      17 votes
    7. What have you been playing, and what do you think of it?

      Hey ~ers, I'd like to keep a weekly discussion going on this topic (every Wednesday or so?). Let me know if this isn't something you want to see in the future, I always liked these, but maybe not...

      Hey ~ers, I'd like to keep a weekly discussion going on this topic (every Wednesday or so?). Let me know if this isn't something you want to see in the future, I always liked these, but maybe not everyone does? Last one got a lot of interesting posts, let's see how it goes this time!

      I've been playing Grim Dawn quite a bit lately. I've kickstarted it back in the day, but never got around to really playing it after the early access period. I was burned out on Diablo clones at the time: Torchlight 2, Victor Vran, Van Helsing, etc. I think the break did me good, as playing it fresh is quite enjoyable. There's a good variety of classes and builds, fun abilities, and tons of gear number crunching (playing thunder smashing shaman now). Just the way I like it! I'm hoping to snag one of the DLCs once I reach a high enough level and play with my friends on one of the unlocked hardcore difficulties.

      24 votes
    8. New game in the Diablo universe leaked through Blizzard job posting

      https://careers.blizzard.com/en-us/openings/oNiH7fwD archive.is mirror We're working on a new, unannounced Diablo project. Are you a skilled Dungeon Artist? Come work with us, and together we will...

      https://careers.blizzard.com/en-us/openings/oNiH7fwD archive.is mirror

      We're working on a new, unannounced Diablo project. Are you a skilled Dungeon Artist? Come work with us, and together we will build something exceptional.

      • Work directly with level design to build atmospheric dungeons with a focus on composition, detail and mood, while ensuring that the gameplay space is readable.
      • Work with Lead Environment Artist and the Art Director to ensure all environments are meeting the high-quality bar Blizzard is known for.
      • Experience working with a lead artist or art director in developing a unique and cohesive modeling and texturing style for environment assets

      Definitely looks like a whole new game in the pipeline. Any other dungeon crawler fans on ~tildes so far? I think I've got 300+ hours in Diablo 3 alone, let alone 1 and 2.

      What do you want in a new Diablo, what do you definitely not want?

      8 votes
    9. Friend finder thread

      I thought it might be a good idea to make a thread for people to find other people to game with. Remember to put what console you're playing on, or if you're PC, and what games you're looking to...

      I thought it might be a good idea to make a thread for people to find other people to game with. Remember to put what console you're playing on, or if you're PC, and what games you're looking to play! Best of luck to all!

      I work overnight so I usually play around 1 pm to 4 pm weekdays (I know, weird hours). Anyway my. Xbox gamertag is TreeBone. I have been playing a lot of fortnite lately but I also get into Halo 5, Overwatch, and on steam I've been playing Don't Starve Together. I'm up for anything though! Drop me a line.

      11 votes