Friday, November 20, 2009

Something New, Something Old

A long time ago, I transitioned from one game to the next.  It was a jump that took a while to adjust.  But this is due to how the two games differ.  Back then, playing BF2142 wasn't much of a big deal.  But it was still an interesting game since it was more focused on ground attacks and not so much on air superiority.  Although now, I do not know if I can say the same, having not played the game in so long, almost an eternity.

It's announced that a new patch for this old game was going to be made.  And it appears, due to a recent posting and goals set out by DICE/EA, that they are going to remove the DRM from the game and include the Northern Strike booster pack as a bonus.  This is a welcome news, despite that the game is so old.  Well, the removal of any DRM is always a welcome news no matter how old the game is.  DRM these days do nothing more than annoy the crap out of players.  I just prefer to play the game and that's it.  I don't want extra junk being injected into my computer just to make sure that I legally own a copy of the stupid game.  Some of the worst offenders are the ones that overrides a driver layer, while some others try to hinder you by limiting to how many optical drives you have or whether you're running a disc emulation software.

Yet as I look back at 2142 as a game, I found it that it has some nice things to go with it.  Yet at the same time I am really annoyed by it as well.  One of the biggest issue I have with the game happens to be the balance of how weapons are used.  Early on, when I had played, nearly everyone would be running around with the Voss unlock.  The comparative ratio between the Voss and Baur unlocks is so lopsided that it ain't funny.  Simply speaking, everyone and their grandmother were using the Voss unlock.  Very few people use the Baur.  And I am one of the handful of people who utilize the Baur as the primary gun of choice.  It has killing power and it is effective for long range suppression fire.  Yet by comparison, the Voss has similar stopping power, fires faster, and holds more rounds per clip.  It also has the most lopsided accuracy out of all the unlocks available.  But I continued on.  I use the Baur, not because it is potent but because it has a significantly higher learning curve than the Voss.  The Voss is such a weak (meaning: easy) weapon that it takes very little skill to really use it.  The Baur, on the other hand, requires more control and forces you to take your shots carefully.

Things could have changed since I have long left the game.  Who knows.  But I ain't going to get my hopes up with that yet.  I may still have a short tolerance for the game since it's based on the same bullet system that BF2 uses.  Meaning, the first shot will shoot straight but each subsequent shots will not.  I have long been accustomed to how Call of Duty shoots because your skill come from your reflexes and how well you can control the gun's recoil.  If BF2 and 2142 won't let me shoot straight each time I shoot using the gun's sights, what good is using it?

I don't know if I should bother installing the game again.  I do want to try getting some of the awards specific to Northern Strike.  But I don't know if I want to deal with the game's deficiencies.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Digging A Deeper Grave

You know how people say that one is digging their own grave? I guess you can say that this is one of those cases where it's like that. Granted, it's already been set when Infinity Ward when they said that there won't be any dedicated server. But nobody knew just how deep the grave hole would be until just recently.

Best Buy hosted a live-chat with the people from Infinity Ward. And with it, questions about the game will be asked directly and the IW staff would have a chance to answer them. Obviously the questions that were raised repeatedly were regarding dedicated servers. But nothing was said that they will ever consider it, implying that they have full confidence that their IWNET system will work without issue. Another question that was raised that factored in to the limitations to the IWNET system is the maximum number of players possible. It turned out to be 18, or 9 for each side. Also gone from the game is console access, which enables people to enter special commands to tweak certain settings so that they are able to better suit one's playing experience. Some games featured the ability to lean left and right, allowing you a chance to peek around the corner instead of dancing in and out of corners where you can get shot. That feature is no longer in Modern Warfare 2. The issue with ping, another shortcoming of the IWNET system, will see players connecting with ping of over 100ms at the very least. So the playability on other people's host machine will be akin to playing through a fast 56k modem of the old days.

Much of what was seen in other FPS games on the PC platform saw these as standard-fare features. There was no question to include them as they allow for all sorts of customizations for players to utilize. They can tweak the game so that it can suit their setup no matter how strange or odd it may seem compared to the general masses. Sure the console players may not use 'em. But that's probably where everything went wrong there. Having to cater to the lowest common denominator seems to be the clear-cut choice when it comes to develop today's AAA/franchise games. And because of that, the PC players are slowly being ousted from having a reliable, dependable, thriving, and tightly-knit community. I just do not see why the big developers of today would look down on PC gamers so much now since it was the PC gamers that put them where they're at today. The one game that started out on the PC has now evolved and turned into a game that is nothing more than a mere port of a console-centric game. Yet Infinity Ward claims that is not a port but a new version that now has "custom stuff like mouse control, text chat in game, and graphics settings." Sorry but these three items are standard features on all PC games in general.

I just cannot tell you how terrible it looks now. Never mind the dumb features that they put into the game. There are many ways to make the gaming experience a thousand times better than what's being known as of now. Yet this is perhaps the one method that has truly killed the game before it even hit the store shelves.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

$161mil + $180mil = World Series

I will not hold back on this one. But granted this is mostly an inevitable truth. Last night, the Yankees won the World Series. And with it, their immense spending has finally paid off. I won't lie to you. I don't like the Yankees. I more than despise and loathe them. I hate them for everything that they and the MLB stand for. They are 200x worse than Microsoft in terms of ethics.

I won't deny the fact that other teams such the Boston Red Sox (my home team) are any different. But I am happy for the fact that paying top dollars won't always net you the best. A recent example is Daisuke Matsuzaka, for which the money being spent isn't exactly giving expected returns. Still, this is all a gamble on chance for which players are expected to perform to the best of their abilities.

Why the hate? Why the utter distaste for Yankees and MLB in general? Simple: there is no salary cap for MLB. What does that mean in layman's term? Teams can spend as much as they want with no regards to how much other teams are spending. So one team could be spending $100 million overall compared to over $400 that Yankees are able to spend. If you factor in how players play the game and where they want to go, where is the one place where you're at least guaranteed that you'll get a lot of money regardless if you fall short or if you go on a hot streak? That's right. The New York Yankees. If you want money, that's where you go. There isn't any other place that can match the spending power the Yankees have. And it sickens me that they have that kind of spending power.

Why is a salary cap such an important thing? If you compare MLB to the NFL, you'll see the large difference in how each team spends their alloted salary money to manage how their players are paid. The NFL basically issues a league-wide salary cap for which all teams cannot spend over that set amount. And for each team, they must split that given amount amongst several players. Its effect makes it so that no team has larger spending power over another. One star player may get a good sizable piece of the salary pie. But the same can be similarly said for another star player on a different team.

Anyway, the Yankees has alloted $161 million to C.C. Sabathia over the course of 7 years and $180 million to Mark Teixeira over the course of 8 years. I ask anyone to tell me otherwise that another team can match that kind of offer. No team can come close. It's one thing to spend oodles of dollars on one player. But it's another to spend over $300 million on two.

Damn Yankees. I have always hated the Yankees. Each year it's another big spending spree and it never fails to see that it either pays off or it backfires on them. They didn't win the World Series. They bought it. They bought it for $341 million and it disgusts me. There's no hope for the MLB. Until they implement a salary cap, baseball is nothing but bullshit.