So, apparently, I am not dead?

Hello gentlemen.

So it has been ages since I last posted. Between work keep me busy and frankly, not having to much to talk about, I haven’t felt the need to post. Looking around news for today, I figure it was high time I made another attempt.

A few things are on the agenda for this post. Firstly, taking center stage, is the upcoming, sure-to-be masterpiece by one of my all time favorite gaming companies, Valve!




Left 4 Dead

There hasn’t been a game that I have been this excited about in a hot minute. I am excited about WAR and was excited about AoC (once upon a time), but WAR aside, Left 4 Dead has me fiending to crack some zombie skulls.

If you happen to have no idea what I am talking about, here is some info!



An upcoming multiplayer co-operative survival horror FPS game by Turtle Rock Studios which is, as of January 10, 2008, part of Valve Corporation.
The game has been built using Valve’s Source engine and will be available on PC and Xbox 360. Certain Affinity is responsible for the Xbox 360 version
of the game. Left 4 Dead puts four human playable or AI controlled survivors of an apocalyptic pandemic against hordes of the Infected. Regular Infected
are controlled by the game AI, while human players can control up to four mutated Boss Infected with special abilities. The goal of Left 4 Dead for the
Survivors is to help each other make it through a level to safety. Infected players must cooperate to stop them.
The expected release date for Left 4 Dead is Q3 in 2008. The game was first revealed in the Christmas 2006 publication of PC Gamer UK with a six-page
article describing a playthrough at Valve’s headquarters. The game was first playable at the Showdown 2007 LAN in San Jose and at QuakeCon 2007.
A teaser for the game can be viewed in The Orange Box. If the main menu is kept on long enough it switches to a trailer first of the different aspects of
The Orange Box, then a short teaser for Left 4 Dead is shown.


So needless to say, this is exciting. Interactive 28 Days Later? YES PLZ!! If you want even more info on this game, go here to the gaming community forum I belong to. 

Why such excitement for this game? To be honest, its made by VALVE!!. Personally, I consider valve one of the few gaming companies that make everything they touch, solid gold. Portal, Half-Life 2, Team Fortress and others are on their list of creations. They’re a wonderful company that clearly has a good bead on polish and fun factor. If they live up to their standard of quality with Left 4 Dead, its going to be epic. Hopefully, along with some of my guild mates and  interested gamers in between Keen’s blog and my own, we can get some good Survivors vs Zombie action!


Age of Conan is coming!

….oh i’m sorry. I fell asleep on that one. Nevermind.

(Trolling my own blog?)

 Warhammers Long Term Fate? 


 Ok. Firstly, I know it is silly to speculate about the long term fate of a game that has yet to even be released. Secondly, I am aware of all differences between the various MMOs and I know that one is not the other. Why not speculate though???

I read this article in the fantastic blog of The Green Skin.

The article caught my attention because it deals with a very important aspect of MMOs, which is future expansions and content. It hinges around a quote from Josh Drescher about WAR having a 5 years of content available upon release.


Regardless of all the technical mumbo jumbo, what I find interesting is that Josh mentions a level cap increase in the same sentence as “expansion.” This has me concerned because World of Warcraft follows the +10 level cap per expansion model, and it’s probably my least favorite feature of the game. It’s a horribly uninventive and totally lazy way to give people new content for the game. Oh, and it also has the unpleasant side effect of introducing “MUDflation.”

He goes on to talk about the term MUDflation and I believe he is absolutely spot on. MUDflation is when a MMO introduces an expansion that inflates it with new content but renders old content obsolete. This, naturally, really referes to WoW.

When The Burning Crusade was released, I was lucky enough to slip into the beta for it. Within 3 hours of playing in the beginning Outland area, I had replaced over half of my purple raid gear with green quest gear. I unsubscribed within the next day. All of my hard work, all of my raiding and all of the painstaking grinding it took to get close to the top of my little ant hill, has becoming totally useless  and I was back at square one with green junk again? No thanks.

I pray to Jeebus that WAR gets more inventive with their expansion content. When they release expansions, I can only hope that they have the foresight to recognize peoples anger over the WoW expansion model. TBC revealed WoW as the total treadmill grind fest it was. Before TBC, it was still a treadmill but very few people noticed! The horrible reality came bursting into the light with their expansion…and its just going to keep happening.

Why has this become a standard? Why release an expansion that a few new areas and just raises the level cap? It is lazy designing and a brilliant money trap. It resets all of the people that buy the expansions back to the beginning so they are then forced to spend even more time, climbing to the top.

The Greenskin poses this question:

Why must games focus more on vertical expansion rather than horizontal?

This is what game developers need to be asking themselves.

Any thoughts on solutions? Ideas on different ways to accomplish or construct a “good” expansion? What is required for an expansion to be successful?

Until next time…


~ by bartlebe on May 16, 2008.

4 Responses to “So, apparently, I am not dead?”

  1. Howdy, thanks for the feedback on my blog post! We seem to be on the same page here, and I think a lot of disgruntled WoW fans are with us. MUDflation is probably one of the leading causes of people looking for WoW alternatives…

    On another note, I haven’t been following the game scene beyond the scope of WAR lately so Left 4 Dead completely slipped under my radar. Having read your comments, it actually sounds exciting! I was never a big zombie fan but Resident Evil 4 made a believer out of me. If they can take the best parts of RE4 and make it multiplayer, I’ll buy this game. TF2 has been quite entertaining and I have a lot of faith in Valve.


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  3. Left 4 Dead will be awesome! Really looking forward to another Valve game… even though I’m still thoroughly enjoying TF2.

    AoC… well you know how I feel on that.

    WAR’s long term fate is looking very good right now. They’re planning ahead by designing the game from the ground up to accept content steadily over the next 5+ years. This means that the mechanics, formulas, math, etc are all built into the game to hopefully avoid mudflation and obsolete content. Given WAR’s RvR longevity I am not at all worried.

  4. Thanks for reminding me of this game! I remember seeing a spot about it on XPlay a while back and I was really geeked up about it.

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