Well, looks like DICE and EA underestimated their server load. This is on the official site:
“I can’t join” – We underestimated the number of people that wanted to join the Beta at once. We are also having some load balancing issues which is limiting the overall capacity. We are working full time on opening up more servers, please bare with us."
Let me preface this by saying that "The Deadliest Catch" is one of my favorite television
shows and in my opinion, it's one of the best shows on TV. So you can imagine how
disheartened I was to discover that they were making a game based on the show.
I tried to console myself and thought: "OK, this isn't nessecarily a bad thing. I wonder
who's making it."
Answer: Liquid Dragon Studios. Yes that Liquid Dragon Studios. The one that made the
amazing Word Krispies.
Well. Maybe Word Krispies is a fun game. Here's the description on the website: "Eat
your breakfast by combining floating cereal letters to make words. The longer the word the
higher the score. Don't let letters get too soggy or they will sink. Eat your way through each
box to get to the surprise toy at the bottom. "
Ok, I bet it will have some nifty graphics and physics. I bet it will be fun to sail around on
the nice big ocean. After all, there isn't much to focus on except the boats and the ocean...
So after playing the Beta for a few hours, I think I can form some opinions on it.
- Plays a lot like the other Battlefields. But I guess that is to be expected. And I'm not
entirely sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.
- Sniping is quite difficult. Maybe I'm just used to Call of Duty 4, but it seems like your
bullets don't travel as fast as they should. There's often a second or two delay when
sniping. Not sure if it's first day lag, or if the physics are just off. I guess I'll find out.
- It can be really intense. 4 tanks firing at each other, while someone launches artillery,
and people come flying at you in Humvee's. I never got into the other Battlefield on 360, so
maybe this isn't new. But wow is it fun.
- The destructible environments are insane. Just about every building can be almost
completely destroyed. Along with every fence, tree, etc. Nothing beats driving through a
wall with a tank and killing two people on the other team.
- Maybe it was just the early crowd, but I only heard a handful of people speaking through
my games. Hope that changes.
- Graphically, it's nice. Nothing special, but the destructible environments look really cool.
- The servers are still very jumpy. Took me 10 tries to get into my first game. But once I
was there, I stayed in the same lobby for all of my games so it wasn't too much of a
I don't remember agreeing to an NDA, so hopefully no one at Activision kills me.
At 22, I'm starting to feel too old for the industry that I have loved and been a part of for
so long. The sad part is, it isn't the companies that actually make the games that are
making me feel old.
My fellow gamers are.
I owned an XBOX 360 from March of '06 until November '06 (which I sold because 1. I was
poor and 2. I didn't play it very much), played G.R.A.W. online avidly and never really
noticed throngs of annoying, spiteful "tweens" that I would come to encounter after I
purchased a new 360 along with Halo 3 last September. For what was probably the
first month or so I played the game I never really encountered kids who routinely
screamed into their mics, constantly get in your way, or stay by the sniper rifle/rocket
spawns but never actually kill anyone with the weapons they were so keen on getting.
And that is what drove me away from the game. I grew tired of constantly playing with
other gamers that were, well, pricks. Granted I was a pretty big prick when I was a
teenager, but when I played Phantasy Star Online, I wasn't an asshole. I enjoyed
playing with other people. If I wanted to annoy someone, I would annoy my brothers. If I
wanted to be an asshole, I would make fun of my classmates like a normal kid.
Currently, I'm experiencing this sort of alienation with Call of Duty 4. Its rise to the
top of the XBOX Live Charts has brought with it the large number of youths that plagued
my Halo 3 experience. Don't get me wrong, I love COD4. It's amazing. The graphics
are stunning and nothing beats being the last one alive in a game of Hardcore Search and
Destroy, when it's all up to you to defuse the bomb.
Let me go ahead and be honest here and say that I have team-killed in the hardcore game
modes of COD4. I think we all have. But it's usually accidental or because my friends are
fucking around. But I only kill my friends. Does that make me better than you? Probably.
But that's not the point. I have respect for my fellow gamer. A respect that seems to be
missing in today's younger generation of gamers. Getting hit with a rocket at the start of
the match by some 14 year old with some reference to Master Chief or Marijuana in their
gamertag and that apparently thinks it's OK to be racist if you're doing it over the internet
not only angers me because it ruins my game experience, but also saddens me that these
kids have no regard for their fellow gamer, something that used to make the gaming scene
Maybe my romanticized view of what the gaming community should be is a little out there
and maybe the problem is a lot smaller than I'm making it out to be.
I was wholeheartedly excited to get my Battlefield: Bad Company beta key. Until I
noticed, while gingerly scrolling through the available weapons, that some were not
immediately available for use in game. Ok, I thought, you must have to earn them. Not a
new concept. But I quickly realized that they weren't actually available through the tried-
and-true method of earning them as you level progress/discover them/etc.
You actually have to pay for weapons that should otherwise have been included.
Now I understand EA has completely whored themselves with in-game advertising and their
now infamous method of just throwing as much money as they at people (see: the NFL,
Peter Moore, GTA fan websites, soon to be Take-Two Interactive, etc.), but to make a
customer who has already paid $60+ for your game buy "extra" weapons, is just... well...
Other companies have long provided extra content via download. But these are usually
expansions, extra character skins/costumes/uniforms, or even a "patch" to unlock aspects
of the games you usually have to earn. One cannot ignore how selling extra weapons
(either through XBL/PSN or by buying the "Gold Edition" of the game) will affect the balance
of the game. Just today EA tried to clarify this and explain that balance would not be
effected, it would just offer players more "options" when playing the game.
I consider myself a pretty avid FPS player. I loved Goldeneye, got hooked on LAN
games of Halo 2, and am obsessed with Call of Duty 4. And in every one of those
games, the weapon selection affected balance. Giving others access to new guns by means
of selling them to players is not only unethical because they're selling something that
should be included in the game, but also ignorant. This company is obviously oblivious
(how's that for alliteration) to how the gaming world views a folly like this.
But I guess when you're already a pimp, you don't care how potential Johns view you. You
just hope they get desperate and spend the money on your whores.
[NOTE: I realize this has been beaten to death already, but it was the first topic I figured I
would write about.]