Wednesday 27 January 2016

Battlefleet Gothic Returns - as a RTS? (plus PC gaming related ranting included as free DLC)

I normally don't do "retweet" style posts but this looks pretty cool.

You can customise crew, captain, weaponry, sub-systems - surviving ships gain experience, promotions and upgrades.  SOLD!

 Giant flying cathederals in space are back, baby! 
Even at $40 the entire game will still be cheaper than a single battleship miniature...
 More details here. It seems they're retained the core BFG gameplay.

Space battles - with a campaign system? Shut up and take my money!*

(*Well, after they get it out of Early Access - bloody hell why doesn't anyone release actual complete, tested games anymore?  Silly question I guess - why would you when the world is full of idiots who will pay full price for an incomplete game AND pay for the privilege of being an alpha-test guinea pig. It's as stupid as the "pre-order" thing - give someone your money 6 months in advance for a game which may or may not be good.  Why?  Perhaps they will give you some "exclusive" digital gee-gaw in return for your $70 interest free loan? Perhaps you get to access the official servers 6 hours early? Wowza! Sometimes not even that - people obviously feel compelled to loan money to multi-million dollar companies)

I really like space RTS, but apart from Homeworld most tend to be 4X, which means (a) complex tech tree to memorize and (b) only brief fun sandwiched between the boring "build up" phase where it takes 2 hours to research a rudimentary frigate and the tedious "manage an empire so large it feels more like filing tax returns."  A campaign focussed on the pew-pew gets my vote!

*If you know about how DLC works you may find the comic below amusing.  DLC = downloadable content for a PC or videogame i.e. you pay $$$ for extra maps, missions, characters and weapons in a game.  Often it is stuff that is developed with the main game but actually removed from the game before release so they can sell it to you later.   Lately gaming devs have been selling a "season pass" a $50 collection of DLC that has yet to be released - yet another "interest free loan" for suckers enthusiasts.  Heck, with $80 for a base game and a $50 season pass it makes the old subscription-based pricing look attractive. At least then they had an incentive to make the game work and keep it updated as you could simply unsubscribe....  Now they get your money upfront, and screw you if you don't like the game, content or patches - they have your money and are going to repeat the process on a new game (or rather concept - they sell a trailer/concept rather than a game) in 12 months time.....

Sadly, this isn't really a joke.  This (slightly paraphrased) is appears on gaming forums all the time whenever someone complains about "exclusive" DLC....


  1. That's pretty much my view on Most DLC content. And yes the game looks awesome.

  2. Damn, the art in those comics alone makes me laugh. There's a lot of artistic genius going on in that sloppy looking drawing.

    Full confession: I pre-order games for my kids at Christmas. Ain't no way I'm spending sixty bucks on a game for the kid, but Santa will pay that price and stick the receipt in a box under the tree. It's a weird thing - here's a present you get in two months.

    Fuller Confession: That wasn't a full confession - I save those for my long suffering priest.

  3. Based on your thoughts on Early Access and Pre-orde, would you care to discuss Kickstarter and similar sites? :)

    1. I think there is already a rant somewhere, but my current irritation is how Kickstarter has morphed from a way for a guy with dreams to make his project a reality, to merely a pre-order system for already established companies.

      I.e. do Mantic and Warlord NEED a Kickstarter for their projects? No. (Unless they are really inept businesses which I doubt as they seem to have the smarter ex-GW employees)

      It's win-win for them - they get to gauge interest and get an interest-free loan.

      If you wanted to make your own unique game, and Kickstarter is the way to get start-up funds to make it, fine. But for me to lend money for free to a multimillion dollar company to make another 40K clone? Meh.

      Also I think Kickstarter has "jumped the shark" and the boom is over. Jaded backers are now likely to miss or ignore genuinely worthy projects.

      Sites where you support something without expectation of reward (Patreon?) is fine, but Kickstarter blurs the line between "supporting a project" "interest free loan" and "con artists" and some stuff which are overdue since 2013...*

      Also, I think Kickstarters should keep their stretch goals reasonable i.e. they start out making a (which they probably had a very clear design plan for), but then rashly promise to make w,x,y and z because they get over-excited by the support, then fail to deliver on time/etc.

      I can't wait til the backers who backed the creation of a new element gallium get their pledges (LEGO bricks of gallium). (FYI: gallium has been on the periodic table since the 1800s and melts on a hot day)

      *For a few fun Kickstarter faceplants, a quick google:

      I'm very cautious with Kickstarter. Isn't it a stat somewhere that a majority of new businesses fail in the first few years? Also, quite a few times I've bought and reviewed a product before the backers have them....

    2. Wow. Challenge accepted! I obviously could make a post out of that, and it's probably very relevant to wargamers who tend to be avid Kickstarters.

      I might do a bit more research into Kickstarter over the weekend...

    3. I have heard from my local small-business advisors that 95% fail in the first 5 years, 4% scrape by barely staying open, and 1% actually make enough money to grow. Running a successful start-up business is the exception and not the rule.

    4. So expecting a lot from a Kickstarter is optomistic at best.

      The Kickstarters you can trust (i.e. large, proven, successful companies) are the ones who shouldn't be needing it anyway.

      ....."In fact, Kickstarter backers are exchanging something for nothing except a pledge that they will, at some estimated date in the future or very possibly after, receive what they paid for – something which very often will not even exist when one commits one's money. This isn't investment. It's not even purchasing. It's whatever comes before early adopter on the continuum of high-risk ways to rid oneself of cash. (When Crowdfunding backfires)"