Steam Clean

Valve/Steam

Yesterday saw the announcement that Valve are adding pricing options to mods created by users, with the mod creator setting a price (or the option to leave it free!), and Valve taking a cut of the pie. It’s only on one game so far (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim), but if successful, it may get rolled out across Steam entirely.

This, on the face of it, is a good thing. Modders, who spend so much valuable time crafting mods for games, finally have a means of being able to support themselves through what they do! No longer do they have to get nothing, or get a small donation here and there. Now they can RAKE in the moolah!

Well, not really. The mod creator only takes a 25% piece of the pie. The remaining 75% is split between Valve and Bethesda. 25c from $1, £2.50 from a tenner. It’s really not a lot. The Apple Store, as mentioned by a number of websites, gives content creators at LEAST 70% of money made.

This isn’t the only problem. It may also bring back memories of the much-maligned horse armour DLC from the previous game in the series, Oblivion. Back then, Bethesda charged $2.50 of your real, hard-earned money for armour for a horse that had no practical benefit, and was barely seen anyway. I mean, how often did you ever ride a horse? We just fast travel everywhere!

Expect a LOT of the mods to be stuff in this vein. A crappy re-skin of existing armour in the game, or a weapon. A mod that turns the leather armour from brown to pink? $2 please!

There’s a “debut pack” full of premium items, costing £18.76/$28.68, and from what I can see, of the 17 mods in this pack, 10 of those are weapons and armour. Now, they may be visually different, they may be new models and fancy skins, but will EVERY weapon pack be like that? Will you end up paying money for a weapon pack, and get what amounts to the same sword in 50 different shades of grey?

One of the first paid-for mods has already had to be taken down, as it had ripped animations and possibly other assets from another mod. Is this the future? People selling stuff they’ve ripped off from another user? The guy whose mod was removed actually wanted to contact the original creator about using his work, but Valve itself forbade him, thanks to a non-disclosure agreement about the mere existence of the store. This is someone who is, effectively, well-meaning. A LOT of people won’t be, a lot of people will see nothing in ripping someone else off and trying to make a fast buck from it.

It’s gonna be a lot of work for Valve and/or Bethesda to actually police this thing.

I’m all for content creators having the option to make money off of what they create, whether it’s a whole game like Darkest Dungeon, or mods for existing games. I just fear that this will inspire less scrupulous folk to try and fleece money out of people by selling faulty addons and lifted scripts, terrible reskins and horse armour. I wonder if a 25% slice is even worth it to some people.

Paid for mods: Microtransaction Hell or modders’ Heaven?

Currently Playing: Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon

Okay, so all the guides I’m reading (hints and tips guides, not walkthrough guide) say “everyone’s expendable! Throw their lives away!” and you know what? I’m gonna try and keep people alive as much as I can. Raleigh my Vestal has saved my ass more times than I can count already, thanks to her targeted heals and party healing. She’s also good at not cracking under stress; rather than getting massive debuffs when at max stress, she’s ended up buffing herself to ridiculous amounts!

Dismas is my Highwayman and he’s also proved to be a very capable combatant. When he crits, he hits like a truck! His Bleeds are very useful too, when used in combination with Blights from my Plague Doctor, Strivelyn. He and Auber the Crusader round out my current primary team. Stuns, heals, debuffs galore!

darkest

Here’s Reynauld. He died fairly early on. RIP!

raleigh

Here’s Raleigh’s stat screen. The game’s really interesting in that abilities and quirks are randomised. They always get 4 combat abilities, in this case she has a melee attack if she gets pulled to the front, a ranged attack for when she doesn’t need to heal, and 2 healing abilities. One heals the whole party for a small amount, one heals a specific target for a bit more.

On the left, you see Quirks. Now, every character also gets a quirk or two, and will acquire more as you play the game. In Raleigh’s case, Eagle Eye gives her +3% crit chance with ranged abilties, and Hatred of Eldritch makes her damage Eldritch-type enemies more, and reduces her stress gains from them.

She also has red quirks, which are negatives. Bulimic means she heals 20% less when you make camp and eat food, and Ruminator reduces her stress healing by 10%.

Auber

 

While we’re here, let’s look at another character, Auber. He recently went into a dungeon, and unfortunately hit maximum stress and developed an affliction as a result, but let’s look at that in a minute.

He has 2 melee attacks. One is Smite, and it a basic “hit enemy, deal damage” ability. The other is Stunning Blow, and deals damage with a chance to stun an enemy! Very useful indeed. He also has a heal, which comes in handy in an emergency situation, and a third melee ability that has slightly lower accuracy, in favour of a higher critical strike chance.

His quirks? Steady reduces the stress he gains, Quickdraw boosts his speed by 4 in the first round of battle, and Bloodthirsty means he has a “fascination with injury, wounds, and torture,” meaning he forces himself to interact with torture devices and dead animals in dungeons.

As I mentioned, he has an affliction, and it’s called Masochistic. He occasionally damages himself in battle, ’cause he likes the pain, he moves himself to the front lines so enemies will hit him more, he even occasionally rejects healing, preferring to keep his wounds! He also builds up everyone ELSE’S stress by saying how he wished he was hurt instead of them, or about how much they love being hurt. This can cause a massive chain reaction where everyone then gets stressed, and comes down with an affliction.

When you hit maximum stress, it’s not always an affliction you come down with. Sometimes, your characters respond positively. Raleigh hit max stress twice so far, and ended up with Heroic Bonuses. Powerful buffed her damage by 15%, and came in very useful as she smashed enemies to bits with her mace! Another bonus was Vigorous, which boosted her speed by a massive +5, which meant she went first every turn, and could blast out some heals before bad things happened!

Anyway, enough blah-blah. I’ll talk about more things about this game in the future. For now? Better get onto playing!

WoW Token and Mortal Kombat X

#WoW

For those of us in the EU, the WoW Token finally goes live tomorrow. Costing 20 or £15 (in REAL money!), the base price will be set at a whopping 35,ooo gold, 5k higher than when it went live in North America.

Market price at the time of writing has it at about 25k over the ocean, but it peaked at about 31k shortly after it went live, then dropped to just over 20k 48 hours later. Current prices seem to fluctuate between 21k and 26k. Could we see the same happen in the EU? Well, we’ll find out soon enough, I guess.

My theory? We’ve all watched the price dip massively. Some people will buy the token straight away and throw it up for auction and get their 35k, then it’ll drop massively like the NA token did. Once it falls to an “acceptable” price, then people will buy in droves, driving the price back up but, like NA, never back to the lofty price it started at.

Basically, it’ll be exactly the same.

sun

#MKX

And here I come back to Mortal Kombat. Oh my goodness I am loving this game exponentially. Even after completing the AMAZING story mode (other fighting games should take a leaf out of Netherrealm Studios’ books. ArcSys’s too, with their BlazBlue story), there’s still plenty to do as a single player. It has something called Living Towers, which gives you 3 challenging series of fights to complete, usually with a modifier. There’s a tower that changes every hour, one that changes every 24 hours, and a third that changes once a week. Each tower gives some sort of modifier to the fight. The first hourly tower I did gave both characters the ability to regenerate health when they hit their opponent, with each progressive stage making the regeneration effect more powerful. Another had lighting strike the stage at random intervals, which seemed to help me more than hinder me, as it interrupted my opponent’s combos!

I haven’t been brave enough to step into the online yet, I think I need to practice more with Ermac, get some more combos down!

Or should that be… Kombos?

mkx-ermac-trailer-622

 

Oh Ermac, you wonderful bandaged bag of souls, you.

HUNGER

We’re all in a froth. 6.2 has been spat out onto the PTR and it brings lots of new content. Shipyards! Raids! Demons! More legendary rubbish with Khadgar and friends! Battle pets! Timewalker dungeons! Yadda yadda.

It feels like such a long time since we had any new content, but don’t forget that Blackrock Foundry only opened a few weeks ago. Mists of Pandaria seems to have inspired an impatience in people. We had chunks of content in a nice, managable pace, then 5.4 hit and we had nothing new until 6.0, about… 14 months later?

This massive gap between expansions seems to have made a lot of people hungrily consume new content in a huge rush. “IT’S BEEN SO LONG I MUST DO IT ALL NOW!” They blasted their way to 100, hammered the dungeons, did whatever content appealed to them until it was done, then… nothing. They complain there’s nothing to do, because they did it all so quickly and then don’t do anything else. Pet battles are “for casuals”, or there’s nothing they need from old raid bosses, or they don’t do PvP/PvE/LFR/whatever content they’re ignoring.

We HUNGER for 6.2.
We NEED 6.2.
IT COMES.

lunkick

6.2 PTR Warlock Patch Notes

I’m only gonna focus on the patch notes, rather than PTR changes, as the patch note information is more concrete, whereas undocumented changes are more fluid in nature.

Affliction sees buffs!

  • Corruption: Deals 12% more damage
  • Agony: Deals 12% more damage
  • Unstable Affliction: Deals 12% more damage

A nice damage boost! People who feel forced out of Affliction due to it being “inferior” to the other specs can now justify playing it again! Especially as Demonology takes a shattering nerf:

  • Shadow Bolt: Damage reduced by 25%
  • Mastery: Master Demonologist: decreased in effectiveness by 4%
  • Chaos Wave: Damage reduced by 25%
  • Doom: Damage reduced by 25%
  • Hand of Gul’dan: Damage reduced by 25%
  • Soul Fire: Damage reduced by 25%
  • Touch of Chaos: Damage reduced by 25%

OUCH. All of Demonology’s core abilities taking a bit of a hammering there. Naturally, this is only the first iteration of changes, but here’s hoping they change soonish!

But what about Destruction?

  • No.

Well, there’s still time. We do get a nice quality of life change though!

  • Dark Soul should now have its cooldown reset at the end of a raid encounter for all Warlock specializations.

Huzzah!

Mortal Kombat X

It’s amazing. AMAZING. Oh my goodness I’m loving it. And much to my surprise, I’m liking a character more than the amazing Kung Lao!

Ermac! Everyone’s favourite sentient soul prison! His variations are Mystic (with enhanced telekinesis), Master of Souls (gains a projectile and the ability to vanish completely from sight!) and Spectral (WITH THE POWER OF FLIGHT! Very mobile variant), with the latter being my favourite. I just like taking to the skies and flying around my boyfriend’s characters. Whoosh!

And with that, I disappear, much like Master of Souls Ermac.

DEAFENING

There is no news. The silence is, as the title may suggest, absolutely deafening. Because of this, I’ll have to blog about other things.

Yesterday, the boyfriend and I purchased a PS4, which we’ll collect today. The total cost was about £380 originally, which got us a black console with controller, a second controller for me (MAGMA RED!), and coming free with the console was The Order 1886 and Bloodborne. Because we bought it at Tesco, we then got 10% off ’cause of my staff discount, £160 off thanks to money we had saved in a piggy bank over 18 months (save your pennies, people!), a further £24 off thanks to money off vouchers, and £20 off due to a gift card I won at work for being fuckin’ amazing. This means we ended up only effectively spending £138! £69 each, which is pretty damn amazing.

lilloss

SPEAKING OF AMAZING! Here’s Lillorigga’s current transmog

 

We have no real interest in playing either of the 2 bundled games, so we’re planning on trading that in, along with our old PS3 and assorted games, and buying some shiny new PS4 games tomorrow, including…

MORTAL KOMBAT X!

Yes, yes, that’s out tomorrow and I am overwhelmingly excited for it! Not only that, but I purchased Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires on Saturday off Amazon, and it arrived yesterday! Apparently Amazon deliver things themselves now, rather than use the frankly shoddy Royal Mail service, so now they deliver on Sundays. Convenient.

I’ll maybe write up some opinions of these 2 games once I get the chance to play them, so watch out for that!

heart

I also purchased War for the Overworld recently. It’s the sequel to Dungeon Keeper 2 we all wanted but EA never gave us, made by fans of the DK series and Kickstarted by people who wanted to see this amazing series get the sequel it deserved. Again, I will play it more (and more and MORE AND MORE) and maybe do a write-up of it!

Maybe that’s what I’ll do in this slow time. Writing crappy reviews and junk. It’d certainly help my writing!

Token

The downfall of the game WoW Token is apparently available in the US as of today, allowing you to purchase a token for 30 days of game time and sell it in the auction house for a princely sum of gold. Initial gold price will be 30k, which seems… well. $20 netting you 30k. Naturally it’s possible for the price to rise. $20 getting you 50k would be nice, but… what if it went the other way? $20 gets you 5k, oops. Better luck next time.

I’m curious as to what the EU or UK price will be. Still at a 20? £20 or Euros?

I hope not. £20 is nearly $30. £13.50 would achieve parity but I doubt that’d happen.

Anyway, that’s a thing. I’m curious how far the price of the token falls in these first days and weeks. Or rises, I suppose.

IN OTHER NEWS: #WoW

swipe

Sunbuer hit level 100 the other day, and I sorted out a transmog for her! Well, apart from the staff. I’ll try and find something pretty at some point. I was thinking the Frostscythe of Ahune, but that’s a random drop from a seasonal boss, so I’ll have to cross my fingers I guess.

#FFXIV

piratey

Ikralla Adnap hit level 20 in Rogue! Time to go do the class quest! As part of the main questline, I did my first 3 dungeons too! Sastasha, Tam-Tara Deepcroft, and Copperbell Mines. I tell you, dungeon queues are the same as WoW! 20 minutes as a DPS, but that’s where the similarities end. The people seem way more… well, nice. I announced I was a bit of a newbie to dungeons and FFXIV in general, and people were nice, and explained fights, how to use the Limit Break attack, and generally helped me through it! I even got 2 player commendations, whatever they are. I guess people like my stabbing.

It’s vastly different from Warcraft, where one time I announced I hadn’t done a dungeon before (Heroic Stonecore, way back when) and I got kicked from the group for it. Groups in WoW nowadays for some reason seem to flit from entirely silent, to outright hostile, with no middle ground and no deviation. On the contrary, people in FFXIV have been helpful, chatty, humourous.

Obviously your mileage may vary. I’ve no doubt that WoW has its saints and FFXIV its sinners, but thankfully I’ve not run into them yet.

Feelings

I have nothing to post about WoW today. There was something about a hotfix to heirloom item levels that I don’t particularly care about, and that’s it.

Instead, I’m going to talk about something else, because technically it affects me.

GAY MARRIAGE

Let me be perfectly honest here. It’s not an issue I feel terribly strongly about, because frankly I don’t want one. The Boyfriend and I are the “we don’t need paper to prove our love!” kinda people, but it’s also because weddings have a habit of getting very expensive, and we have things we’d rather spend our money on, like holidays and game consoles.

And Mortal Kombat X.

Anyway. I also don’t have a personal investment in gay adoption, purely because I severely dislike children and thus don’t want one.

However, just because I don’t wanna get gay married doesn’t mean I think other fellow homosexuals shouldn’t. The key thing here is people, whether straight or gay, getting married has no effect on me. It’s other people living their life. It doesn’t impact on my job, or ability to live with my boyfriend, or my religion (or lack of one). It doesn’t cause earthquakes, the sun still shines occasionally (Welsh weather isn’t fantastic, but it’s not my fault it rains so much), the Earth isn’t splitting open and swallowing Brighton, San Francisco, and other places referred to as “Gay Capital of Wherever”.

It doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t affect anyone else either apart from the 2 people marrying, yet still people stand against it.

People who oppose gay marriage tend to focus on 4 reasons in particular:

  • God doesn’t like it!
  • It devalues NORMAL marriage!
  • It threatens religious freedom!
  • What’s next? Marrying DOGS? TREES?

I’ll tell you what devalues “traditional” marriage. Britney Spears’ 55 hour marriage. Heck, anyone who gets divorced! People who marry just for a visa. People who get married and don’t have kids, ’cause that’s something else the religious types espouse, the concept that marriage is for procreation only. I doubt gay marriage is devaluing it any further than it already has been.

The whole “it offends God argument” is just silly. How on Earth do we know? He’s not making messages in the sky. The Bible wasn’t written by him, and as we all know it can be interpreted in hundreds of different ways.

The slippery slope argument is… it’s insane. Let’s mention the fact that paedophilia, bestiality etc is illegal and homosexuality is not, so the whole “it opens up all sorts of EVIL possibilities!” argument falls at the first hurdle. THE LAW.

Threatens religious freedom? The argument here is apparently religious officials will be forced to do ceremonies they disagree with or face legal proceedings. But the thing here is, the majority of places that allow gay marriage also have clauses that exempt religious officials from marrying same-sex couples if they object to it, if it contravenes their personal beliefs.. Surely this means that religious freedom isn’t threatened at all?

So basically, gay marriage doesn’t fucking affect you unless you’re getting one. Stop blaming us for the downfall of society and the end of the world because we have the audacity to want to get married one day.

I may not want to get married now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want the option in the future. Maybe I’ll feel differently. I want the decision in my hands, rather than in the hands of people I don’t even know.

IN OTHER NEWS

It’s April 1st. There’ll be a lot of bullshit on the internet today. Watch out.