What I'm Playing: Looney Tunes World of Mayhem

Yes, yet another iPhone/Android gachapon game, this time based on our beloved Saturday morning cartoon time with The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show. I have unkind thoughts about this genre of game, but you know, if you make one with some character I will play it to level cap, and sometimes pay for a pack later in the first week, just to get over the initial resource hump. That they're all the same except some combat gameplay tells you a lot about what kind of industrial wage-slaves make these things, though.

The classic music is there, though there's a lot of bridging music on loop. The cutscenes are fully-voiced, the rest of the game has little or no dialogue. Sadly, no audio sliders; you either have all sound on, or all sound off.

The art's classic WB style rendered in 3D; I'd prefer to have cel-shading outlines, sometimes it's a little muddy around the edges, and WB is supposed to be sharp and flat.

You're fighting cloned armies of toons created by Marvin the Martian, with your own cloned army of toons. The reatomizer sounds like The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.

Most of the game is turn-based combat with a handful of skills for each character, and the heavy ones have a cooldown of 2 or more turns; Bugs can push out a package full of dynamite, or burrow up behind someone and give 'em what for with a Louisville slugger, but then has to settle for a standard attack for a while.

So far this has been pretty good; there's tactics in characters who synergize with each other, or hate each other, so for instance my current team there is the starter Bugs Bunny as DPS mainly for the dynamite AOE attack, Hunter Yosemite Sam as my targeted DPS, starter Fishercat Sylvester Jr as healer/super-fast attacker, and Scout Sylvester as ninja (he hides after his big attack, so can't be targeted) and ally bonus with Fishercat. I just got Scout Leader Granny, who gives an Attack Up bonus to all Scout characters, so I could switch out Bugs for her, but I really don't need two heals. They give you a Scout Foghorn as a tank, but I play games in fast attack, not slow and tanky.

There are "PVP" missions to steal treasure chests from other players, guarded by a few of their toons. So far I've always won these and never had my chests stolen, but we'll see if it eventually turns on me when the cash-shop whales start mugging everyone.

And there's a World area, where you build & upgrade houses for toons, and send them on retrieval missions. I don't see that you get any other decorations or creative building options, it's very primitive, but maybe that'll be added.

Looney Tunes Mayhem-04

At Level 7, you unlock Alliances, and I created a Mastodon/Fediverse alliance, called "Mastodon".

New Doom WAD "Sigil" From John Romero

Oh, holy shit yes. If you're cheap, the free download will be fine.

Just replayed E1M4b, and it's a little too intense for this early in my day; also I hate super-dark mazes, it's not fun squinting at the screen. E1M8b was a great open-area shootemup. Dunno how hard Sigil's gonna be but I'm up. Just let me get some coffee first.

Poke Mon Questions

I'm as amused by Ryan Reynolds, middle-aged comedy/action hero, as any other unfrozen caveman would be, but this "Poke Mon Detective Pikachu" thing leaves me with many questions. The big ones are:

  • Why is it "Poke Mon" instead of "Poke Man"? Are they not men? Are they Devo? I seriously saw that second "o" as an "a" for decades, and the accent marker is clearly delimiting two words.
  • What's a "Pikachu"? Is that a species or the individual? Where are the packs or herds of these things? Final Fantasy has moogles with families and lifecycles.
  • Why is it now a talking animal in a deerstalker cap instead of a dumb fighting cock?

Seriously. I know very little about this whole genre. So here I will enumerate what I know about the poke mons:

  • Infants in the '90s had poke mons which were cock-fighting games and the yellow one is their… leader? I know it makes some sort of noise, and the trailer suggests it's "pica pica". The trailer also suggests it's able to electrocute someone? That's weird, right? Does it grab a frayed extension cord, or is it a fuzzy electric eel, or what?
  • It was a videogame first, a Dragon Quest ripoff; I never played it or saw more than a screenshot. Then a card game, a Magic the Gathering ripoff; I know these only from the booster pack wrappers left behind by prepubescent crack junkies, never seen a card. Then some badly-animated… I want to say Chinese or Vietnamese? cartoons, didn't look like even the cheapest Japanese anime; I've seen maybe 2 minutes of this and it was incomprehensible squealing and Hanna-Barbera-quality slideshow "animation". Then movies, a quick duck search shows there's 20 of these movies!!! That's fucking bizarre, I've never heard of them; admittedly, I haven't watched broadcast/cable TV since 1999 and I block all advertising online, so how could I, but you'd think someone would have said to me, "Did you know there are twenty fucking poke mon movies?!"
  • I know about the trap balls from parody references and Poke Mon Go (which I tried for a couple weeks but I live many km from any dots on their map). It's weird that a tiny ball holds a whole fighting cock in it. How does it breathe and eat (and other science facts) in there?
  • There's an enemy team named Rocket, with a hot pink/redhead chick (who I've seen in some parody porn), which automatically to me means they should be the heroes, and the team with the kid who owns the yellow one should be the villains.
  • I'm totally skeeved out by people doing even pretend cock-fighting or dog-fighting for fun. Taking a dumb animal and making it hurt another dumb animal for entertainment is unacceptable. You can kill (humanely, which ironically means not how we treat other Humans) and eat or process an animal for leather or other parts, fine; or make intelligent beings fight each other in an arena; but anyone doing it to animals is wrong.

What I'm Playing: MyArcade Data East Gamer V

Shopping, I went past the cheap videogames aisle, and saw the MyArcade handhelds and retro consoles were out, and marked down (Xmas season starts in November!). So I grabbed the $17 8-bit Bad Dudes one; there are vastly better ones, with 16-bit or better consoles, but those cost real money.

It's kind of fat, rounded bottom, takes 4 AAA batteries. Screen is bright, but has a very limited angle, seems cut off on the right side in some games that would've used overscan on a CRT, even the main menu loses a few right pixels. When there's a lot of sprites, it flickers, which would've been fine on a CRT with ghosting, but looks bad on an LCD. Sound is loud but tinny and mono in the speaker, just one step up from "beep", but really quite nice multi-channel chiptune on the headphones (yay, 3.5mm jack!). The D-pad and buttons are stiff and maybe not super-responsive, I think once it loosens up a little it'll be pretty good controls. The way to look at it is, this would be unobtainably good for any price in the '80s or '90s, infinitely better than a Nintendo GameBoy Color or Atari Lynx, even if it's a cheesy toy for pocket money today.

The games are all NES or SNES ports and retro-clones. A few are recognizably Data East, others are ridiculous ripoffs and some original games. I don't know where they get these, but they're kind of amazing, if a little trashy. My Scheme Jump & Bump project is about me making these kind of trash games for modern computers.

I easily got to the first boss in Bad Dudes, and then died horribly three times against him. Played some of the other random games, and they mostly work fine. The lack of instructions is killing me, though. Several games make no sense but seem to have more game going on; I can't get keys to drop from mobs in Enchanter, so I can't move on. So I need to do some research.

Here's all the games. If you see something interesting, let me know in comments, otherwise I might be semi-randomly wandering these.

BlizzCon 2018 Summarized by Someone Who Plays Very Few Blizzard Games Anymore

I watched the opening ceremony which will only be up for a few more days, because promotional material should be hidden behind a paywall according to Acti-Blizzard-Vison.

  • Former CEO Michael Morhaime starts, introduces new CEO J. Allen Brack, former World of Warcraft exec producer, who's presided over some of the worst WoW expansions and the massive decline of WoW's subscribers (it's still huge, just less huge than 4-8 years ago).
  • Starcraft: Still dominated by South Korea. So now Google "Deep Mind" is trying to make AIs capable of playing against them. In the grim post-apocalyptic wasteland after the Rise of the Machines, only South Korea will be able to defend humanity from Google "capture" bots. Good luck. But seriously, why is this 20-year-old RTS still relevant?!
  • Heroes of the Storm: Inexplicably still running. Still charging you per character, in the most offensive monetization scam in the games industry. New character intro CGI cartoon is maybe the dumbest and most self-important thing I've ever seen. She's from the NEXUS, woo-ooo.
  • World of Warcraft: New exec producer seems like a doofus, may just be stage inexperience. New Battle for Azeroth "content" seems like more of the same crap: Wreck old zones, add some battlegrounds.
  • World of Warcraft Classic: Demo out today (as was known). Release date announced: Summer 2019! Much sooner than I expected, I figured Fall/Winter 2019, maybe into 2020 given Blizzard Time. Any WoW subscription gives Classic access, no extra fee.
  • Overwatch: Never watched. There's a long post-apocalyptic pseudo-Western CGI cartoon which isn't bad, though it has comically bad dialogue, but apparently you can't play most of those characters yet, because Acti-Blizzard-Vision needs to extract your money over the next year. Also: In what seems to be gameplay footage (but probably more CGI cartoons), they're fighting and automatically quip lines, but their mouths don't move. How pathetic is that, for a bjillion-dollar AAA title?
  • Warcraft 3 "Reforged": Demo at Blizzcon, release date "next year". I think I only played WC1, not 2 or 3, it's been forever and they weren't my thing, but I might try WC3.
  • Hearthstone: Meh. Least interesting Magic ripoff gets new cards.
  • Diablo: Mobile Diablo Immortal. Hilariously tacky lore summary, "Corrupted the Worldstone … turning Humans evil and violent"! Because Humans are so good and peaceful without evil magic stones, right guy? Lemme just check these facts: WAR. Oh.

    Mockery of the presentation aside, the mobile port looks fine and I like Diablo when I don't have to group. So… Can I play this solo? Or is it dependent on 3 other assholes none of whom know their role, and/or scream at you when you don't run your character the way they would?

    According to Diablo Immortal web site, the classes are Barbarian, Monk, Wizard, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Necromancer: No Witch Doctor! Well, I like Necros as well, but hmpf.
  • Finally, there were these cosplayers, with the greatest shoulderpads ever:

BlizzCon2018-cosplay

"I Apologize for the Delay"

Anytime I feel bad about my slowness of production, the inconveniences in my life blocking me from getting work done, I remember the MegaTokyo Visual Novel, which I paid $50 for in 2013, and of course Fred never shipped, he never finishes anything. I knew I was throwing my money away then, and the $299,184 he raised may as well have been set on fire for all that'll come of it.

Today, MT rant has a bit of a status update, first one in a year.

So in comparison, I'm a fucking machine cranking out the awesome. Where's my third of a million bucks?!

Dragalia Lost Tuesday Music

  • DAOKO: Performer of the music in Dragalia Lost.
  • Geazs fanart of Brunhilda/Mym

  • First-week revenue >$3M: Not great compared to established properties, but surprisingly good for an unknown title with little PR in NA. The epithet "Lost" is unfortunate, I don't know why Nintendo is so incapable of getting English-speakers to review their names before release.

  • Reddit thread on raid event: But still hasn't started yet, so you have a little time to level up; you'll want a water-elemental adventurer and dragon.

    Dragalia-raid-2018-10-02

  • The castle building minigame isn't a full city sim, but it lets you have some creativity. And unlike many, your production & bonuses aren't disabled while it's upgrading, you just can't collect coins until it's done.

    Dragalia-castle-2018-10-02

Dragalia Lost

A new gachapon game published by Nintendo.

Super, overly cutesy, somewhat like Legend of Zelda (original) with 3D models in a top-down, flat world and dungeons.

You explore dungeons and fight mobs by tapping, combat's fast and very casual. You can bond with dragons you've summoned and shapeshift into them; basically the adventurer/assistant model used in DanMachi.

There's a little comic book story, haven't had time to read it yet. The music is perky and varied, though it's a bit loud until you can get to the main menu and options about 10 minutes into the tutorial.

Cute enough to play a while; I'm still pining for TES:Blades. There's not any obvious equivalent to DanMachi's "Syr's Lunchbox", a cheap monthly subscription of goodies and currency, which I prefer to buying IAP currency directly.

Downloading a bit at a time is annoying. In More, Options, System, there's a Batch Download button at the bottom, to load everything.

Setting a "Helper" (the character you contribute to other players) is under Friends, Helper. Obscure UI. But you get 300 "Wyrmite" (the free gem currency) for doing it!

My player ID as Kamimark is 9320 9801 641, friend me.

World of Warcraft Classic

This is pretty exciting.

  • I started in original World of Warcraft as a Dwarf Hunter (IIRC, I made a Nelf Rogue first, but that did NOT work for me), determined quickly that I hated Alliance as a bunch of juvenile Nazi-wannabes and switched to the real heroes, The Horde!, played an Undead Mage, didn't progress as much as I'd like due to real life but had fun.
  • Burning Crusade was great, and rather stereotypically I started over with a Blood Elf Warlock (selama ashal'anore!) and maxed out, did some raiding, loved that version of the game. Outland is amazing, that's some of the best content WoW or any game ever made.
  • Lich King was OK but kind of same-y and grindy—why make Dalaran when Shattrath exists and is better? Why are there two indistinguishable forest zones and two indistinguishable undead zones?
  • Cataclysm wrecked everything in the world and in character; it did add some detail to areas that needed it, but it's not worth it.
  • Pandaria had a nice setting and the Monk was a fun class, with beer as a powerup drink!, but letting the Pandas choose their faction made no sense (Goblins in particular, and all the neutral-ish races in general, should've been able to choose, too!), and the higher-level content is trash.
  • Everything after is even worse. After 15 years, what we've learned is that Blizzard can't improve content, only make it worse; everyone good left after Classic and Burning Crusade, and institutionally they aren't able to hire best-of-breed writers or game designers. Restoring Classic is really the only option they have.

So, I've been following this WoW Classic thing a while, since in 2016 when the Nostalrius, RIP and Elysium private servers let me play classic "vanilla" World of Warcraft again; I was frustrated by bugs, and basically couldn't use airships or ships because they'd drop me halfway in an out-of-level zone or the ocean, but it was interesting to have a version of WoW that didn't suck. As previously, I played an Undead Mage; that or Warlock seems most likely when Classic goes live. I am what I am, which is an evil sorcerous corpse.

Crendor and ClassiCast have done excessively exhaustive dialogues of what they want from Classic, which is a super-conservative "No Changes!". I'm much more moderate about this. If they add achievements (added in Lich King), pet battles (added in Pandaria), barbershop (added in Lich King), and use new models (added in Warlords of Draenor), I'd be fine with that; those improve the game without changing any balance. Dungeon/Raid Finder wouldn't bother me, I likely wouldn't use them, since I loathe PUGs (pick-up groups, not tiny inbred dogs), but they're a boon to people in no guild or a small guild that can't organize those things. The actual gameplay should be like the last patch of Classic, or the last patch of Burning Crusade when/if they add that content.

I'd totally be up for getting a "Virtual Ticket" for Blizzcon just to try the demo, except it's $50! That's like, a case of beer and a bottle of whiskey, which is a far more entertaining weekend (please drink more responsibly than me). Minecon on Saturday is free; it's not a real convention anymore (I went to Minecon Vegas back when the audience was much more adult). How the fuck does Blizzard justify $50 for some videos?! So anyway guess I'll just watch Youtubes of the demo when they come out.