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I was worried earlier this week when I "accidentally" completed it. Seemed way too short, and if it was true then it meant I apparently missed a hell of a lot of things.

But apparently this is just how the game rolls. It likes to flash the end credits now and then. With each playthrough the story continues, either by revisiting the same events from a different character's perspective, or continuing from where the last one left off.

First story mode was with 2B. Second story redid the same events but from the perspective of 9S, the tracer that helps 2B. So you had "endings" A and B by the time you finished them. And if you did what I did, you'd also have ending "G" which was kinda funny if silly. Currently going through stories C and D concurrently it seems. After a bit of start up with 2B the characters you control are A2 or 9S. Apparently you do one at a time. I chose A2 first since it's a new character. I have to say 9S's hacking skillz end up sorely missed at times.

The game seems to be an Action Adventure RPG with bullet hell sequences... Mash one part dragon's dogma with one part final fantasy and one part gradius for good measure. You can probably add a bit of Zelda in there if you consider the pods annoying talkative helper fairies.

I will NOT be buying the DLC for the game however. I've found some locked doors leading to something thus far unused. Complete with helpful bots standing guard declaring nothing at all is behind the locked doors! I better not find out those are in-game advertisements for the DLC as I think there were some levels included with that. It'd definitely drag down the overall score I give this thing, if I ever officially try to write up a real review.
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Starting in on something to hopefully clear out the insane backlog on my video game collection. :P Game Night~

That translates to me just sitting down and actually focusing on a game in my collection even if I had been ignoring it all week.

This week I'm starting in on Nier:Automata on the PS4. I've already returned from the desert mission as of now so we'll see how things go. I'm probably going to stick with this game til I complete it. Not sure if the game warrants all the praise it's been receiving from the internet but it's still early and it's been enjoyable so far. Especially now that I'm starting to remember the controls. I will not be bothering with the DLC however. Low content for the high price tag imo.

Also, yes this is Game Night #2. First one was last weekend when I started and got through Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity. I finished going through the game with Remillia on Sunday, but completed Sakuya's path during the week. Both paths are identical - it's mostly just the conversations that change a bit depending on which character you decide to play and of course the moves/skills that each character has. I was actually expecting it to be harder to play the game with Sakuya but except for one thing it was about the same.

At some point this weekend I may sit down and try to write up a pitiful quality review of the games I focus on with my Game Night sessions. Trying to decide how best to grade a game based on my personal tastes. This would undoubtedly cause negative points deducted for DLC or buggy releases. Either way if I DO get a review written up, I'll be sure to post it here.

Persona 5

Apr. 22nd, 2017 05:23 pm
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So I mentioned in comments on Kane's journal that I would be boycotting Persona 5 over their anti-streamer stance. I'm pretty sure 100% of the blame for the restrictions can be rested solely on the shoulders of the original Japanese devs/publishers mind you (Atlas apparently doesn't do this for any of their other games to date iirc.) but that's besides the point.

I was wondering how ironclad my decision was, as it's not like I have any plans on doing any streaming of the game. I've seen the game in stores already and didn't have the urge to buy it.

Then yesterday as I was going around I saw a more attractive physical edition copy. One of those metallic cases that some games end up receiving. I'm generally pretty weak with resisting them unless they cost twice as much (Final Fantasy XV) or are for a series I have -absolutely- no interest in (Most FPSers - that being said I DID buy Doom 3 on the original xbox purely because of the case. ;)

I had the money to buy Persona 5. The case was making me consider it. It all came down to what I felt about Atlus being dicks to the fans. (Sorry, but sticking your nose into a lost cause with the streaming guidelines/threats is very dickish.)

And so I still don't own Persona 5.

Let me state indisputably: The streaming limitations Atlas put forth has cost them an early, full price (79.99 in my case) sale.

I own just about every other game in the Persona series in one form or another, despite only really playing Persona 3 through completely. There's no reason for anyone to say "Oh you'd never have gotten this anyway!"

Will Atlus ever notice this? No, of course not. But with any boycotting decision I put on myself, the point is that *I* notice it. And I notice I have 80 dollars + tax to spend on other things. And I will get along just fine without experiencing the game.

IF I ever pick up Persona 5, it will probably be a digital only copy that's been in a flash sale for 10 dollars. Or a used physical copy that's under 20. I may not change my mind on this at this point even if Atlus does a 180 on their guidelines. But due to this, I may never buy another Atlus game unless I see them explicitly state that they won't be going after streamers/reviewers/etc that don't follow a strict set of rules.

Thanks Atlus.
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Ok this is my first entry on dreamwidth proper. Everything before was just imported from livejournal. We'll see if I'm more active or not with actual postings later.
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Last week I found out, like most people I guess, that HMV was shutting down across Canada. Out of money and all that. Sadly, this is a store I've been putting money in almost every week as I was buying up anime dvd/bluray combos, and random movies etc. So I'm kinda saddened by the news. After they're gone about the only source of anime dvds I'm going to have access to will be online places like Amazon.

I've been planning on ordering from Amazon anyway for a while for some older shows, so I guess this is going to jump start a monthly order kinda thing.

Anyway, with the liquidation of HMV underway it's time to circle it as we wait to bite. <_< I've already picked up 4 anime series that I was thinking on and off about getting but kept putting off. Can't really put it off anymore after all! A lot of the CDs are already gone since they're at 20% off. (DVDs/Blurays are at 10%) I'll probably dig around there more tomorrow to see what else there is to have. Not expecting much out of the cds, for what's left, but I'll take a look through the movies, tv shows, etc as well.
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I find that when people are trying to justify highly increased prices on goods or services, they'll often bring in inflation to prove "Oh no, it's not more expensive than it use to be, it's actually a LOT cheaper!"

They do this by "adjusting for inflation" the costs of related goods and services from decades ago. For example, when the PS3 launched at it's 800 dollar price tag, some claimed it wasn't that big of a deal since if you took the price of an Atari 2600 (about 200 dollars at launch) and "Adjusted for inflation" then it too cost about 800 dollars at launch, and it sold like hotcakes!

This brilliant editor at PC Gamer is making the same tired old mistake over here where he's asking the question of how much should we be paying for games. I think.

I say I think because I stopped reading after he made that inflated error in the first paragraph, which set off this rant.

The reason this is such a stupid thing to invoke is that the people who do so are only ever invoking one side of inflation and using that to justify their claims. They ALWAYS forget to invoke the other side, and the reason they do so is because they'd look like idiots.

What they fail to do is adjust the SALARIES of the typical person back in the day as well, to see how our own salaries hold up by comparison.

For instance, the people buying that Atari 2600 back in the day were making about 20k-30k per year. You know, probably similar to what people would be making today.

But if you adjust the salaries of those 1970's gamers for inflation, it'd be about 80k-120k.

If -I- were making 80-120k per year, I can assure you I'd probably be willing to spend more on games as well - as I'd be able to afford it. But I don't. And if you adjusted my current salary back to the 1970's equivalent, I'm sure I wouldn't have been willing to (or capable of) buy an Atari 2600 at launch either.
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Here, have a sampling of some of the vocaloid music I've purchased on Bandcamp. You can see my entire collection over here. Music bought from bandcamp are normal mp3s, none of the drm crap some places try to force on you. Which of course is probably the main reason I like to support artists on this platform.

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I've officially stepped up to the current generation.

Xbox line is dead to me as I've said many times before, so the only viable option was the PS4.

I may or may not attempt to obtain a Wii U, but from the looks of it I'll need to find one second hand. They're drying up all over the place. We'll see how that goes later this month. I may just give up on the Wii U - if I do it'll be the first Nintendo Console I'll have passed on completely.

The Switch isn't likely going to fair much better with me, but I'll leave final impressions for that after they're out and we see what kinds of games hit it.

Anyway, for the PS4. Yeah, ended up picking up a Slim model this week since the Uncharted bundle is 50 dollars off. Honestly I would have preferred to get a Pro system, but the price difference between the two models is about 200 bucks, give or take. I'll probably get one next year or so, but the Slim will tide me over until then.

However I'm doing something new this time. (Trying to do anyway!)

I'm going to try to make sure I actually play anything I buy. Rather than buy something (Admittedly on a sale normally) and then never touch it. This is actually going to mean less money for Sony overall. :P But I'm fine with that.

Currently I have Mighty No. 9, Touhou Rondo Bullet, and the Uncharted game that came with the bundle. So we'll keep it at that going forward. Maximum of 3 games "open". If the game can be completed, it'll have to be completed sufficiently to be considered "closed". If it's one that can just be played endlessly I'll just have to play it enough to feel like I got my money's worth (while obtained a certain level of skill at it, where applicable!)

For Mighty No. 9, it's pretty obvious I just need to complete it. For the Touhou game, I guess I'll have to complete all story modes. Already have Reimu's path done. Marisa is next. Uncharted isn't really my type of game, but I'll attempt completing it all the same. Might actually end up liking it, who knows.

Reason I plunked down the cash though is because I found out that the next Project Diva game will be released (digitally only) on the PS4 on January 10th. Yeah, boycott of sega and all that. They already caused me to pass on the Project Mirai game on the 3DS, and I've avoided any and all DLC purchases on Project Diva X on the Vita (not going to touch that game on the PS4) as well as I can confirm I've picked up - then put down - at least 3 Sega games in between them. IE: Games I was going to purchase - until I saw who published/developed it. So yeah, they're losing cash, not that they notice it.

I played this upcoming project diva game already last summer though, so I know I want it. While most of it's rehash of the previous games, they're done in HD and higher quality modules. Someone had brought in their PS4 to the Animaritime convention during the summer - where they have a japanese account set up and games purchased from the japanese store. That's how I got a chance to play it.

I'm not going to say 100% that I won't buy any DLC for that game. The thing is I'll have to buy a 50 dollar card and 20 dollar card (or 3 20 dollar cards.. that's more work though.) in order to buy Project Diva Future Tone/Colorful Tone. It's a bundle of 2 games. Juuuust over 50 dollars. How convenient. I'll see what they decide to have as DLC - I might use the excess on some of it, or I'll hold on it until the next purchase, which will probably be Touhou Scarlet Curiousity. Another fanmade touhou game on the ps4 - an rpg by the looks of it.


Sep. 18th, 2016 11:05 pm
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Not much to complain about this month it seems. :D

Probably because I've been ignoring most of the crap going on online with games. Such as Digital Homicide being kicked off Steam for abuse of Steam gamers (Trying to sue 100 or so for millions over negative comments/reviews.) or how No Man's Sky is hilariously unfinished despite being sold at AAA prices.

I finished off watching The Arrow season 3. and Flash season 2. The tie-in episode of Arrow/Flash in the Flash takes place after Arrow Season 3 so I ended up spoiled a little bit. Tis fine though.

Still trying to get motivated into working on the Atari 7800 again. So many changes required to Graze right now that it ends up causing apathy to creep in. And nothing gets done at as a result. ^^

Ah well, such is life.

The Arrow

Sep. 2nd, 2016 07:25 am
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On a related note from earlier regarding the Flash, The Arrow is also awesome. I picked up seasons 1-3 from Wal-mart a few weeks back (about 20-25 dollars each). Currently about half way through season 2.

Binge-watching side effects are awesome. I'm apparently quite an awesome archer in my dreams lately. @_@
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If you've been waiting for some Sierra classics to hit steam, might want to take a look.

There aren't too many on the list that interest me personally - I don't even recognize them - but I'm thinking I'll at least be wishlisting the Police Quest collection. I had the second installment back in the day and only got probably half way or so through it. Having 1-4 would be nice.
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See what I did there with the subject? Eh? eh?

Yeah, seems that No Man's Sky has been so utterly disappointing to a lot of people now that they've learned/confirmed that most of the promised features of the game are not actually in the game. Steam has been giving refunds even past the usual 2 hour gametime cut off. Amazon is apparently doing refunds. Supposedly Sony themselves are even doing some refunds on the PS4 despite their usual Absolutely No Refunds policy.

And do this, former "strategic content director" for Sony decided to be a twit on twitter and stick his foot in his mouth, claiming that anyone who racks up 50 hours of gametime and gets a refund is a thief. He did a little backpeddling on twitter as well as he tries to look like less of a dick, but it fails overall.

Here's two things to consider. No Man's Sky is a space game with a LOT of space. It's easy to go past 2 hours without scratching the surface. (of more than one planet!) So within 2 hours, it's pretty easy to just assume the things you haven't seen yet, that are suppose to be in the game, simply weren't on that particular planet. Normally 50 hours would be enough to complete a game 10 times over these days. 9_9 But with a space exploration game filled with a lot of empty space, it takes time to realize you've been lied to. In many cases I wouldn't doubt the only reason people are finding out now that there's not even a worthwhile ending to the game is because others got to the center of the galaxy first and posted youtube videos about the disappointing non-ending. (You're just whipped away from it as credits roll. WTF did you even bother going through the trouble of getting there?)

However, this is only part of the issue I have with the statement by the guy. The other thing is that the gametime counter on Steam is ANYTHING but infallible. It's showing how long a game was supposedly running. NOT how long the game was being played.

Here's a REAL LIFE example for myself. And consider that I can EASILY see this being the case with a lot of No Man Sky players given how buggy and crash-happy the game was until 3-4 bug patches were released.

One of the visual novels I have on steam claims I have over 50 hours of gametime in on it. It takes only 3 hours to auto-play through that from start to finish. There are no choices. It's literally a visual -novel-. I've gone through it several times, since the voice acting is well done, but I most certainly haven't been playing it anywhere near 50 hours.

Where does the 50 hours come from then? There was one time when the game crashed on me. No pro. I've had steam games crash on me before, so I just went on about my business and did something else. Later that weekend I felt the urge to go back to it but the game failed to start. Why? It claimed it was already running. I found that odd, particularly since there was absolutely no window open or visible. So after a few attempts to open the game failed, I checked task manager - and low and behold, the game was listed. I terminated the lingering process there then tried it again. The game launched!

However, that little process was ticking up the time spent playing the game, incorrectly, for the last 40 hours. I can easily see that happening to No Man's Sky players. The game -was- crashing a lot after all. On PC and console.
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I've had Plus membership on the PS3 (well, all of Sony's platforms, given it's shared nature, but primarily used via PS3) for years. Many years. I'd have to admit I spent far more money buying games digitally than I ever planned. I was going to spend about 40 bucks to "customize" the PS3 as it were the same way I did to the 360.

On the 360, I spent 40 bucks. And that's it. Didn't have even the slightest urge to go over it.

On the PS3, I admit I did go over. By several (several) hundred dollars. I'd like to say I got my money's worth since virtually everything I bought was bought on a drastic sale. There's also a load of free rentals. I call them rentals because you can only play them while you retain the Plus membership.

And that ran out for me. Over 6 weeks ago.

Pretty drastic change for me isn't it? To someone who would check the store every single week for deals, even if there was nothing I particularly wanted. To... apparently someone who barely turns the PS3 on, let alone check the online shop.

What exactly caused this change? I think I can safely thank Sega and Sony from last year's bumbled DLC rollout for Project Diva F 2nd.

So looking back over the last year, has my boycott been all talk or did it have teeth? Thus far, it most certainly had teeth. I completely passed over Project Diva Mirai on the 3ds, which under normal circumstances would have been a Day 1 purchase even without having a console/handheld to play it on. (Only recently picked up a 3ds.) There was another potential game purchase I was going to pick up a month ago. I was half way to bringing it to the cash when I noticed Sega's logo on the front. I sighed and put the game back. Pretty sure I haven't bought any Sega game since starting the boycott either - although if it was a cheap second hand title I potentially would have not cared. Even then I don't think I've aquired any new Sega games.

And... I'm not missing it. I have to admit there's a potential chance that I'll pick up the PS4 Project Diva game depending on how it's done - assuming it's released in NA. (I played the japanese version at the anime convention.) But that'll naturally assume I'll buy a PS4. Right now it'll depend on the VR situation on the PS4 later on.

One thing I can safely say however, is that I won't be buying any Plus membership again (actually not 100% true.) on the PS3 or PS4. And I'm pretty sure I'll be able to keep a handle on any digital purchases this time around.

Regarding the above bracketed comment, I -might- purchase one last 3 month prepaid Plus card for the PS3. Mainly to clear up one question that's been nagging me for years that I've never been able to get a straight answer for. If my Plus lapsed but I renewed it later, would the Free games from before the lapse become playable again. I could never bring myself to let it lapse to test this out. But since I apparently don't give a fuck about it anymore (as shown by it taking me 6 weeks to even realize it had lapsed - pronounced more so since the Plus membership would cause my PS3 to wake up every morning between 4-6am to do updates/backups if I had played it the day before.) I might as well test it out and get some closure on the subject.

So um. Fuck you Sega. :)

We'll see if I say the same thing to Sony after we see the final costs/situation with their VR setup when it's released. Giving it a 50/50 chance I'll be saying the same, as I have absolutely no love for the new look of their PS4 Slim model. They better hope their Scorpio model or whatever it's called will be worth it's price tag.
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Essentially for those trying to avoid Windows 10 and all the backported spyware/nagware/etc that Microsoft keeps trying to inflict on Win7/8 owners, your Update checking will become much easier very soon!

Starting in October, Updates for those two systems will be the same as Windows 10 - essentially nothing more than a cumulative update. All or nothing.

And that's going to mean if you want any security update at all, you're going to have to accept all the phone home spyware, the forced advertising, and likely nagware for upgrades to Windows 10. And if Windows 10 really ends up as a paid upgrade, it'll probably take the form of forced advertising with a link to where you can purchase the update. I'll place a bet that the popup will show when you start the computer, whenever the screensaver is on, and stay in the task bar down in the corner at all times. Maybe even popping up to helpfully jog your memory at least once a day.

But the more immediate point however is that starting October, you'll have to choose. No security updates, or Microsoft breathing down your neck.

Might want to take this time to start looking into the various Linux distributions. As a helpful reminder I'll point out that many Linux distributions can be run directly from the installer - and the installer can be trivially placed on a usb thumb drive. Just plug the drive into a usb port, restart the computer and make sure it'll try to boot from a usb drive from the bios settings.

Booting from a usb drive like that takes a couple of minutes - it has to detect all your hardware after all, and a usb drive tends to be slower than an internal harddrive. Case in point, when I was fiddling around with Ubuntu on the usb drive, it'd take a minute or two to boot. After it was on the harddrive proper, it'd boot in 10 seconds or less.

If you find an installation that's suitable for you, you can generally just install to the harddrive directly from that. Often times they'll have an icon on the desktop to start it. While Ubuntu is one of the easier distributions to get going (complete with their built in "web shop" (which has both free and paid software.) it'd be important to remember that they're probably the most Windows 10-like distribution as well. Pretty sure they do the same send-searches-back-to-base mentality. At the very least they don't really have a start menu.

I think most people tend to recommend Debian and Fedora.

The Flash

Aug. 14th, 2016 12:21 pm
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The Flash is awesome. That is all. Also, be careful of potential side effects caused by 14hr binge watching sessions. At least I'm getting my money's worth with that dvd set from walmart. (Now to go potentially enjoy those side effects - which will likely be some awesome dreams.)


Aug. 7th, 2016 09:32 pm
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So I was watching Angry Joe's impressions of the first chapter of Telltale's Batman story/game/quicktimeevent. I pretty much agree with his assessment, although personally I'm not interested in it anyway. Essentially Gameplay low scores, Story high scores. That's kind of what you expect out of Telltale anyway, and by now it's the story that their fans are buying the games for in the first place. So that's all cool.

He does bring up one point near the end however, regarding the season pass thing they do. Full cash up front, while releasing the game chapter by chapter. What it comes back to is this, why do people still give Telltale a pass on releasing the games piece-meal like this after they've been in the industry this long and in theory should be doing fairly well for themselves by now.

As a company starting up, I could certainly understand the episodic nature of their releases. You gotta get material out there ASAP to start bringing in money ASAP. You're new, you're likely a bit strapped for cash flow. But instead of developing into a more proper release schedule - releasing the full story on day one, they simply opted into getting you to PAY for all the episodes on day one instead. To the point where they nag you at the end of the chapter to buy the season pass. (As seen in Joe's video.)

At this stage of the game they SHOULD be capable of releasing the full story on day 1. They've gotten to the point where they're now losing, or drastically delaying money from fans who are no longer putting up with the episode release and wait (Quite intelligently imo) for the full story to be available.

Their season passes could be, as Joe points out, essentially additional chapters after the story - kind of like what they ended up doing with Minecraft Story Mode - although that opens up a new can of worms as well. For instance, if the main story isn't satisfying, people will start looking at the season pass as ripped out content. (Like most DLC appears to be these days, especially for game franchises that have been around since before DLC became a Thing. (Disgaea, I'm lookin' at you.) (Hell, I'm lookin' at you too Ar Tonelico))

At any rate, I don't a reason for them to refuse to release the full game at launch now. They're already charging full price with the season pass at launch of the first chapter. Why not just stop pretending the season pass isn't a preorder. Let them preorder it at that same price tag, then make everyone wait an extra month or two. Don't worry, they'll keep waiting for it. And they won't have that excuse of "Oh I'll wait until the full thing is out." to buy it at launch - although the excuse of waiting for it to be on sale will still be valid. But that's what those people are already doing anyway.

I haven't played any Telltale games. Not entirely sure why, as I rather like story driven games, even if they're hitting on 100 tropes/second. Although episodic game release has been on my shitlist since the first day I saw it. If you have a successfully released and finished episodic game and feel offended by my shitlisting you with the rest you can thank the multiple examples we've had for the last decade of story driven games not making it to the end due to poor sales. (Even this before DLC was a Thing.) (Legacy of Kain in particular, I'm lookin' at you.)

That being said, I can easily understand this "wall" Joe references in the whole episodic release setup. You get into the game, it starts to get good then BAM! Gotta stop and wait 2-4 weeks or whatever before you can see more. (We won't even talk about the Kings Quest thing will we Kane. ^_^) After doing that a few times, I can easily see people losing entire interest in the story which is probably why Telltale tries to push the Season Pass as hard as they do. Get all the money up front, then it doesn't matter (to them) if 50% of the people who were into it for the first chapter or two even bother to download the remaining chapters.

Yerg. Turned this into a much bigger rant than I originally expected.
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So they decided to make a few changes to Windows 10 for the anniversary update. It's like they're using their datamining to find things people do the most with Windows 10, then take it away from the Home and Pro users.

In a nutshell:
Cortana can no longer be turned off.

The ability to turn off various Policies has been removed with a note it's "only for Enterprise and Education editions". Policies such as the Microsoft Consumer Experience (Probably so they can start advertising stuff in here later on), Show Windows Tips (Probably to start suggesting you buy stuff to do what you need to do), Do not display the lock screen (You know, where ads are currently shown iirc), and Disable all apps from the Windows Store.

The policy manager thing as a whole is yanked from Home users as well - they figured that out last week when they found Cortana could no longer be turned off and the button to conveniently turn it off that was in the start menu had disappeared. Now, I believe you CAN turn Cortana off still, at least for now, but it's just no longer easy to do. They took the button away, policy manager is gone for the bulk of users as well, but you can still do it the old risk-bricking-your-system editing the registry.
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So what's this? Apparently another reason to make sure you wait until an episodic game is completed before you buy it - even a season pass.

Basically the 1-5 wrapped up at the end of chapter 4. Then started in on the new adventure. The remaining 3, the ones not included in the original season pass, have their own "Adventure pass" set at 15 dollars. Or 5 dollars per episode. And in order to buy the adventure pass you must have at least one of the other chapters already.

Ha ha.

Jul. 12th, 2016 01:23 pm
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Now that they've got millions of PC owners switched to Windows 10, I guess we have our first bit of evidence that they are indeed considering "windows as a service" billing options. We'll see how long it takes them to roll it out to the PC owners that accepted (or were tricked into) the "free" OS upgrade.
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So, the first Steam Summer Sale with Valve's new sale format has concluded and it's being reported that it's a "Smashing Success". Essentially games bought were up and revenue was up. But I think whether or not it's a success depends on who you were.

For instance "According to Galyonkin, though, about 36.8 million copies of games were sold during the 2016 Summer Sale, compared to 33 million sold in 2015."

So about 3.8 million more games were purchased in this sale compared to the last. There -are- margins of errors since games that sold less than 5000 copies, etc were not included and whatnot. Of course this is true for both sales.

I will point out however, from my own personal browsing, most of the games that dared to go above 70-75% discount tended to be games from small indie devs, games that were out for ages already, or games with bad reps. That wasn't the case in the 2015 sale that had flash sales and daily deals that routinely jumped into the 80-95% discounts.

Anyway, back to the comparison. So it looks like about an extra 3.8 million games were sold during the 2016 sale compared to the older format. This sounds good, until you consider that over this year Steam has seen an increase of about 45 million new users that were eligible to purchase games.

During a sale a single user will usually buy more (often much more) than a single game. For my part, I spent 20 dollars in total since there were some bundles of niche games and the like that were on sale. That's 20 dollars more than I spent on other steam sales since this new format began. (Compared to how I use to spend between 60-120 during a sale when flash sales and daily deals were a thing.)

So what I take from this is that while a few more games were sold, overall FEWER people are actually buying games.

Why is this a smashing success however? Because total revenue was up 40%. Up to 223.2 million compared to $160 million in 2015 when they had 45 million less users. Fewer games sold, more profit. Hell yeah, definitely a success to the devs and Valve!

But not so much a success for gamers. But who cares about those. This is why you'll often see people on Steam and forums complaining about how much the summer sale sucked. Because for gamers, it did. As others will frequently comment "Why do people make such a big deal about the Steam sale now? You can get those kinds of deals ALL YEAR ROUND." And it's true.

These changes came into effect pretty much right after the ability to refund/return games on Steam. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what Steam wanted to avoid - people buying a game during the normal sale, then returning it only to rebuy it when that game came up in a flash sale or daily deal.

When they saw that scenario happening, they had to make a choice. They could do what they did above - simply not give out any better deals during a sale, thereby axing off the time limited sales that everyone were really looking out for and wanted (And thus spent overall more money on).

Or they could have instituted a new rule on their game refund policy, whereby a user would be unable to repurchase a title for 2 weeks after demanding a refund. That would allow the sale to pass by in it's entirety so people wouldn't be scrounging for the cheapest possible price. Either they'll buy the game at it's normal price or they'll wait for a flash sale that made it an instant purchase. If people bought a game and didn't like it, then that's certainly understandable. That's why I don't recommend a 15 day wait period before they can return it. But the odds of the game becoming enjoyable within a 2 week period is extremely unlikely. Especially if no update was done on the game. (I'd argue that the 2 week period could be cancelled prematurely if a dev DOES do an update however.) If they're just trying to bicker about the price then they shouldn't have bought it in the first place. And in this scenario, they'll do just that - until the final day. Like they've done in the previous years.

Choice B, that they didn't take, wouldn't have done much to change things. People would still have the same purchasing habits of either buying things on the first day, or waiting as long as possible, the last day, to purchase things if it didn't show up in a flash/daily deal. I'd argue that with the infusion of an extra 45 million users the Steam sale would have seen even higher revenues compared to the 223.2 million. (Consider myself as one example. I'm sure I would have spent far more than 20 bucks during the sale if it had it's flash sales and daily deals. I would have also been keeping a much closer eye on the sale overall.)

However Choice A, which they did take, meant less work on their part, and higher revenue per game sold on their part. So it was a no brainer. And so long as the overall revenue went up they're going to pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

Doing some math, I wouldn't have considered the sale a success myself unless the games/gamer sales maintained the same or increased, and/or the total revenue/gamer remained the same or increased. (Rather than hoping the extra cash/game would be enough to offset the loss of interest in the platform from gamers noted by the fewer purchases per person.)

So, I'd expect them not to be happy unless they had at least sold a total of 44.4 million games in total - to account for the extra 45 MILLION gamers this year compared to last.

Alternatively, I'd expect them to have pulled in at least $215.3 million in overall reven- egads, looks like they did! Which goes to show you how much more money they leeched from each gamer. They just -BARELY- outdid themselves compared to last year after accounting for the extra 45 million users. To me that would still count as more of a breaking-even or even a failure if you want to consider inflation into the issue.

On a side note, I was a bit sore since I couldn't even sell the sale cards I had dups of on the market place due to their new account protection racket requiring a cellphone. I don't have a cellphone. As a result I'd have to wait 2 weeks before my card sales would be shown on the marketplace for others to buy. Problem is, the sale would have been over by then - and those very cards would have disappeared before potential buyers would even see them. Yeah, fuck you steam. :D I went and converted all the cards I collected by spam-clicking through the queues most days into gems. Overall, didn't give a shit.

Want to know what I would like to know? I'd be interested in seeing how GOG did with it's summer sales between 2015 and 2016. Did a few searches for it, but came back without any results. I did notice that their sale looked more interesting overall. I think the main thing holding me back from buying much on GOG is that I can't buy GOG gift cards (Locally at least - unsure if they're even an option though) to add money to my account there, which is the ONLY reason Steam gets any purchases out of me at all.

Want to know the only other thing I noticed about the Steam sales since the format was changed? I mean other than the absence of amazing sales. (As noted, the kinds of deals you find on there now are things a person can find all year round from third party key sellers, etc) What I noticed is that for the first day or three of the sale, Steam is utterly unusable. Everyone knows there's no reason to wait for a good deal now, so everyone goes there on the first day to make their purchases. As a result... LAAAAAAAAAG. That's something I never noticed ever being an issue in the old format - because people will wait for a daily deal. They buy their big 10gig+ game, then start downloading from Steam. 50 million people doing that. What could possibly go wrong. :P

So in summary:
1. More money per game.
2. Less interesting sale overall.(Seriously. They have to bribe you with cards to check your queue.)
3. Insane lag making the store unsearchable, unreliable, and often accidentally logging you out (or thinking you're logged out because they somehow can't verify you.)

I think I'll do a bit of research to see if I can find me some GOG gift cards. Certainly looks like I missed out by not checking up on their sale (due to not having any gift cards, didn't really check it out much.)

September 2017

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