News: Grind-Based Extortion

... Because apparently creating an original female character just made too much sense!
Shelob now looks like this!!

Give Middle-Earth a Wide Berth

If there is one industry where the potential for a slippery slope situation is always an absolute bloody certainty then it is definitely video gaming. It was not enough for greedy publishers to simply have DLC, and it was not enough for them to simply have in-app purchases and leave it at that – it was not even enough for them to have static loot crates, because randomised item loot crates give players less of what they want, and as such are much more profitable! It was not enough to have all this rubbish as strictly optional, as this cynical industry always has to push the bloody envelope! Publishers do something awful, and just as soon as the complaints die down they do something even worse!

And thus, in a week that began with the Battlefront 2 pay-to-win loot crate modifier scandal, we are now closing out the news cycle with the even more egregious Shadow of War pay-to-advance loot crate scandal! Warner Bros. Interactive want to sell loot crates in their $60 game, and so to achieve that goal they have decided to gate away the game’s ending behind twelve or so siege battles, which require that the player has access to a squad of legendary status orcs! At this point the player can spend a score of hours doing some of the most tedious grinding in gaming, else they can buy some randomised loot crates in the hope that they will contain the manpower required.

Not even much of a question, is it? For Gamespot to have mentioned how awful the grinding was in their review it must be pretty bad, and for a few dollars it can all be bypassed. The real problem here is that even if a player does spend that money, what they are buying is a reprieve from tedium. A player can spend the money, or a player can resign themselves to the grind – but in neither case are they getting engaging endgame content. The quality of the game has been sacrificed to the business model of the game. These are predatory practices, and they only get worse, never better. This is the slippery slope.

Hipster developers live in a remote isolated bubble, and it cannot burst soon enough!
Western gamers have more in common with Japanese devs than they do with these weird alien cucks.

SJWs Devour Their Own At GIC

This past week has seen the Game Industry Conference 2017 being held in Poland, and it has also seen a scenario that we are well familiar with – the SJWs eating one of their own. Over the course of the conference the Game Industry Conference Twitter account was signalling hard, as industry progressives are wont to do. In this instance the Twitter account was signalling a little too hard however, and the person doing the signalling did not take into the fact that female privilege does not work when an individual is manning a faceless corporate Twitter account.

When Eveline Wiznerowicz tweeted:

Women in games is about to start! Gamedev ladies, join us and meet the pretty side of #gamedev

A professional outrage peddler (who also worked on No Man’s Sky) immediately assumed that Eveline was in fact a Man, and that her tweet was intended to be patronising!

i hope whoever is tweeting here at least shuts the hell up and listens to them, that’s an incredibly sexist description

She was then followed up by the usual cast of shrieking nobodies who spared little thought to Evaline’s cache within the progressive stack before piling on:

Beauty has nothing to do with our *professional* accomplishments. It is Insulting to reduce part of their professional worth to their looks.

It’s also insulting that you think that men can’t be smart, intelligent, amazing, and pretty as well…

A group of male devs (in a professional context) are never mentioned as “handsome” or “pretty” no matter what term you use.

This situation then reached fever pitch until i7 was disarmed by the event organiser, who sacked the Woman responsible for making the ‘sexist’ tweet:

Dear All,

As the head of the Game Industry Conference (GIC) I am humbly asking you to accept my deepest apologies for what we all agree was unacceptable, disrespectful and sexist tweet and replies by our Twitter trainee. Her opinions are her own and are not representative of GIV or those of female developers, who attended the conference.

I feel responsible for the conduct of all members of our team and I will do my best to make sure that a similar incident never happens again. To start with, the person who posted the sexist tweet will no longer be a part of the GIC organizational team.

Please let me assure you that GIC is a respectful environment and we have zero tolerance for such remarks. I am sure that our guests can confirm that is truly the case. The inclusiveness programs that we have already put in place are also a testament to this. You can read more about them on our website.

We will continuously work on making GIC more inclusive. And not because of this incident, but rather because this has been our goal for many years.

With best regards,


You know a person has hit peak shitlib when they start getting their own guys fired for imagined infractions. One cannot help but imagine that there would have been no problem whatsoever if Eveline had made the offending tweet using her own avatar, which in all likelihood has blue hair and problem glasses. As soon as that same tweet was made by a gender-ambiguous corporate account however, its audience assumed it was male, and immediately ascribed to it the worst possible motives that could conceivably be supported by its content.

Perhaps those responsible for this episode should look to themselves for the reasons why there are so few women in tech.

It is bound to make a fortune though.
About 10p is all it’s worth tbh.

Game Caught Selling Free Beta Keys

It is not just the publishers who are able to cook up the creative means to shake loose any cash still left to their consumers, as retail chains are able to do pretty well in their own right. This week has seen the commencement of the Star Wars Battlefront II beta ahead of next month’s release of the game proper, and gamers took note of something a little sneaky taking place in the UK. UK retail chain Game managed to get their hands on a bunch of beta codes for Battlefront II which were meant to go to people who had pre-ordered the game, Game then turned around and started selling these beta codes for 10p a pop on their web site. Game has since apologised and claimed that this was all a big mistake.

For a short time this morning a Beta Code was shown on our website through a broken link today priced at 10p. This link has subsequently been fixed. We apologise for any confusion caused. Early access gained through the Beta Code is exclusively available for free for customers that pre-order the game, however we will honour the purchase for those customers that did buy the code only via the broken link.”

So a broken link which takes customers to the product page, allows the financial transaction to take place, and then delivers a working beta code to them! That is quite a broken link! In fact that broken link sounds so robust that one might even say that it was a fully functional link! Are these dipshits serious? These arseclowns must have a pretty low opinion of gamers to imagine that we would buy the complete nonsense they are peddling. When your company creates a fully functioning product page in order to sell a product which should actually be free, then one will have to do better than fantastic claims of broken links – that shit is just insulting. Game got caught with their fingers in the cookie jar, and now they look like proper liars–and incompetent ones, at that!


  1. There are far bigger issues with Shadow of War than it’s loot-crate nonsense, which is avoidable if you just ignore it (I haven’t found a reason to buy one yet).

    The bigger issues are its abysmal treatment of the source material (sexxxed-up Shelob is but one of their more minor sins) and the fact that it is game-breakingly easy to overpower yourself just exploring the first map (this was an issue in the first game as well). Because you can level up by killing enemy captains, unlocking towers (because this franchise hadn’t quite yet stolen everything from the Assassin’s Creed games yet), completing the little bs side-missions and quests, and finding all the secrets, it’s easy to unlock/master most of the combat powers fairly early on.

    I remember in Shadow of Mordor I had unlocked all of the non-story-gated abilities before I ever embarked much on the main quest, because the game is really dumb and frustrating in the early stages when you have no power. You can’t be stealthy, you can’t kill much of anyone or anything, and it’s easy to get dogpiled. So in the course of what I’d consider normal gameplay (opening up the map and completing side missions), it’s still possible to power-level yourself up. And when there are Epic captains on the field with shockingly low levels like 4-5, you can even get epic gear with very little effort.

    You could, I suppose, choose to limit your advancement and stick to the main story quest as much as possible to avoid this, in the same way you can avoid the loot crate nonsense by just never choosing that option from the menu, but the design is still frustratingly bad, because underneath its flaws, this is a game with decent stealth and action gameplay.

  2. @Lane: “sexxxed-up Shelob”


    “underneath its flaws, this is a game with decent stealth and action gameplay.”

    This is something I have been thinking about lately: is it more objectively terrible to make a bad game through and through, or to make a good game ruined by bad element(s)? In the former case, the amount of bad is greater; but in the latter case the frustration with the matter is greater because the good that exists is enough to convince more people to play and experience the bad, thereby ensuring that although there is less bad on offer, more people are exposed to it.

  3. I once wrote a Dying-Earth genre short story called “Cyriax the Cacophon” where I explored this very notion. In it, two wizards created a magical symphony to answer the philosophers question of whether the greater aesthetic sin was a nearly-perfect work marred by only a single wrong note, or rather a horrendous cacophony with no right notes. The question ends up unsolved, as I believe it is unsolvable, when the wizards determine that the game is rigged and turn on their host.

    Which is to say that the types of badness may be incommensurate. A good game hidden beneath flaws is bad because, despite the best intentions, some things did not land right. It stings because you can see what might have been. A bad game, say, Silicon Knight’s Too Human, which was bad from conception to execution, has no sting of missed expectations, but isn’t playable.

    Shadow of War is playable, though, and if you liked the first one, you’ll probably find something to enjoy in it. Hardcore fans of Tolkien’s legendarium are going to be rolling their eyes at the violence done to it, and I suspect fans of stealth games or the Assassin’s Creed series will moan about sloppy controls (and that’s saying something), but the combat is quite fun, and the Nemesis system inventive, if a bit easy to game. All in all, I’d give what I’ve played so far (most of Act I) a solid “meh” in terms of enthusiasm, much as the same thing I felt about Mass Effect: Andromeda or Rise of the Tomb Raider: good combat, some fun parts, but lackluster everything else.

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