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Everything posted by Hajile

  1. Born of Hope and Hunt For Gollum were based on Lord of the Rings, and the screen adaptation rights reside with Enterprises, who had licensed them to New Line. Moreover, both fan projects got a nod of support from Wingnut Films and Peter Jackson. While not official approval of the projects, I don't think either New Line or Enterprises would have done anything to piss off the man at the helm of one of their only lucrative ventures. Storm Over Gondolin was to be based on The Silmarillion, which is a Tolkien property that no part of has ever left the hands of the Estate.
  2. It seems there are lots of possibilities behind this announcement, and most are pretty bleak outlooks. I'm not sure how anyone can view this as a positive step. On another note - no annual expansion and quarterly updates free for subscribers? Doesn't that sound familiar to anyone? That was pretty much their release schedule before they moved to implement F2P. Perhaps they've concluded the same thing we knew all along - that the way they were doing things pre-Paiz and before their ill-advised F2P move was actually fine. If so, it's only taken them several years and the ruination of the game to get there. Only now I'm guessing they've had their budget slashed due to the failure of Helm's Deep and they're shutting the stable doors after the horses have bolted. Aww. Boo hoo.
  3. Hmm. So they have released an expansion less than a month ago, and they have already released a statement a year ahead of schedule ruling out a similar expansion in 2014. Turbine are many, many things, but pre-emptive is not one of them. They are hiding something.
  4. No idea. He might be more like his mum and stays out of the limelight.
  5. They looked different because Bard's children are not played by Peter Jackson's kids. His daughter cameos as a barmaid in the Prancing Pony though.
  6. It's earning more and more, yes, and projections are for that to continue to grow. But the money earned is not in line with the money being spent and invested, and budgets are also continuing to grow, in a way that's increasingly outstripping takings. When games that shift 5 million copies are considered disasters because they are failing to recoup their budgets, that tells you all you need to know about the way developers are spending money. This is one of the reasons why DLC and microtransactions are becoming so prevalent - publishers are desperately trying to recoup their losses but are not prepared to adopt the simplest solution, which is to just spend money more economically. Their takings imply that studios are regularly outputting Dark Knight-level blockbusters. That's an illusion. Their revenue versus their profit shows that mostly they're putting out Green Lanterns.
  7. I play plenty of games other than MMOs, and the two you specifically mentioned are shining examples of what is going wrong with the industry, particularly its so-called "AAA" arm. The former is a highly derivative, mediocre by-the-numbers exercise in spectacle that has been shamelessly cloned wholesale from one of the only significant new AAA franchises of this console generation. It had a budget so excessive that its enormous sales figures apparently didn't stop it failing to make its money back and being labelled a flop by its own developer and publisher. The latter is the driving into the ground of an overused franchise that still has not matched in quality its second instalment. It has become so tired and stale in such a short time that it's having to recycle as its principal feature a minor element of the previous entry in the series just to give it the illusion of innovation. It similarly flopped at retail, too. Neither of them are great games, and I'd consider it a real shame if they were considered as such by the gaming public, as it would demonstrate just how low our expectations have become. Neither of them take any risks or innovate in any way and I found both regressive experiences inferior to their predecessors. That they are flagship franchises that both bombed demonstrates that the market that they are chasing simply isn't big enough to support them. Major publishers like Square Enix and Capcom are struggling to make ends meet under the weight of their own budgets and rampantly out of control sales expectations, a situation that is being exacerbated by their own hubristic insistence that their way is the only way of making money. Whenever any business starts behaving like that the first evidence to look for is them battening down the hatches and externalising all blame. Which we have been seeing for the last few years. The second is when major publishers start dying on their arses. Which we are already starting to see. THQ was only the first and we will see more. I'll be ready with my 'I Told You So's when the next step begins and large conglomerate publishers like Microsoft, EA and WB games start downsizing by shutting down subsidiary developers, which I expect will begin within the next 12 months. As the little Mexican boy says at the end of The Terminator: Viene la tormenta.
  8. This is another example of why those studios will be imminently deceased - all current market research shows that the average gamer is in their late twenties to early thirties, and that almost half of them are female. Studios that cater exclusively to children and teenage boys are only tapping into a small section of the actual gaming market, so it's no surprise they're not getting a return on their investments. They are catering exclusively to a minority interest group within their market that has hardly any disposable income, and are ignoring all others. The smaller studios understand who plays games, what they want and what they are worth, and as a result are making their games more mature and less testosterone-fuelled. And what do you know, they're doing all right for themselves.
  9. Oh, there are, but they're never the major publishers or developers. The most interesting stuff only ever comes out of B and C list studios, because those are the studios who are adept at making games that cater to valuable and loyal target audiences on conservatively sized budgets. Their potential markets might be smaller than those of the A list studios who are ruled by money men who only ever chase the next big thing, but a potential market is more often than not a fairy tale, as Capcom and Square Enix are currently finding out to their cost. Smaller developers know they at least have a core market to tap. They make games for the customer and as a result they are almost always a superior experience. There might be the occasional AAA game that lucks into being extremely good, but they are few and far between. And because their spending isn't completely out of control, the smaller ones are the studios who are most likely to survive the imminent big gaming crash.
  10. Just watched Desolation of Smaug - the 2D, standard frame rate version for grown ups - liked it. Liked it rather more than AUJ. It wasn't perfect, but it covered all the relevant setpieces with gusto and elan. It has toned down the levity that hampered the first film, and while it's still not as gritty as the LOTR movies, the darker shift in this film is most welcome to me. However I can tell from the tone of this thread that some here are almost certainly not interested in what it does well, so I'll limit my post to addressing what isn't so successful. Beorn and Thranduil's roles were disappointingly brief, but from the curtness of their scenes I can already tell there will be much more of them in the extended editions. This will be welcome, but not something I'm happy about waiting another six months for. It seems to be par for the course now that the cinematic release of these films is nothing more than a glorified trailer for the superior extended edition, but when you're cutting down things like Lee Pace's intriguingly mercurial performance, you're selling short what could otherwise have been one of the most memorable performances of the entire film. I was quite worried about the number of embellishments I've read about. It seems that consensus is that the film moves further away from the source material than any of the films thus far, and I don't disagree. But I was surprisingly fine with most of them and there were only a couple that I wasn't wholly on board for. The first was the slightly muddled final action setpiece. Like the last action scene of AUJ, it smacked of being hastily assembled during pickup shooting after they split the film from two into three and needed some new cinematic punctuation to end the film on. That being said it was ably compensated for because it had Smaug in it. Cumberbatch is phenomenal. The only other major problem I had with the film was Tauriel, the girly elf whose only purpose is to have a superior moral compass than the male elves and for various blokes to swoon over her. Her insufferable knowitall-ness reminded me a lot of Clara, the Doctor's current sidekick, who is marginally more irritating. It's not the fault of the actress, who was fine, but the role was just a very poorly written Mary Sue. There surely must have been myriad ways the character could have been written without making her so unnecessary and incongruous. But most importantly for me, midway through this movie I think I actually had a revelation of sorts regarding Jackson's rendition of The Hobbit that made me understand it a little more and be a bit more accepting of it. From the very beginning it has been clear that the Hobbit movies were not really intended to be simple adaptations of the book. They are more like adaptations of the particular chapter of Middle-earth history in which the events of the Hobbit transpire. The unfortunate thing about it is that the film-makers simply don't have the rights to use a lot of the official concurrent material, so when they have embellished they have had to extrapolate rather than adapt, not through a lack of reverence for the source material but instead through mere pragmatic storytelling need. In that regard I've come to view Jackson's films as something separate from the source material. It's a concession that I admittedly have not extended to other adaptations like LOTRO, because LOTRO has never been hampered by rights issues and indeed did a similarly fine job in its early days before it screwed itself up through the incompetence and complacency of its creators. Jackson et al are crafting a secondary version of Middle-earth based on what material they have permission to use. A secondary version of a Tolkien's secondary world. A tertiary world, if you will. And in that regard, I think they're doing a good enough job. They are just about doing enough to please both my film buff side and my inner Tolkien enthusiast, so I can let a few niggles slide.
  11. You don't know what you're talking about. Do some less cursory research on economic history and theory before telling people they're fantasists who are making wrong assumptions.
  12. Congratulations on thoroughly misunderstanding everything I said.
  13. Rant incoming... Except it isn't. Capitalism is an economic system that was devised to enable anyone and everyone to produce and trade across competitive markets, the theory being that if the market is truly free and enterprise available to everyone, anyone has the capability to succeed and prosper at any and all levels provided there is a market for their output and they have the capital to support their venture. In turn, the level playing field between similar businesses would drive the quality of their products higher and higher as demand and competition increase, thus ensuring that the consumer gets the best products that can be produced and only those who produce the best products make the most money. What we see in western society today is in fact a bastardized parody of capitalism which has cherry-picked all of its corporate-beneficial measures and thrown out all of its market-beneficial ones. It focuses on abusing commercial systems to obtain strangleholds and monopolies, both of which run counter to the central tenets of the capitalist system. They focus on generating the maximum income with the minimum effort, which is similarly so. We also frequently see companies who are already too large throwing their financial muscle around in order to browbeat competition out of their market or swallow them whole, both of which are the absolute opposite of everything that capitalism stands for. Anyone who says "that's capitalism for you" doesn't understand what capitalism is or how it's supposed to work. They are making excuses for the pandemic of consumer apathy and corporate influence on political policy that has torn all of the power from the hands of the consumers and the merchants and handed it to a privileged oligarchy. An oligarchy who are now above reproach from taking us further down the same path because they have exclusive influence over those who govern further policy changes. Capitalism is not inherently a bad thing, It's just been molested and mutilated by sociopaths to the extent that we as consumers have become so used to the status quo it seems strange to consider capitalism as anything other than a consumer hating, predatory, aggressive, litigation-hungry vampire whose thirst can never be slaked, no matter how much it drinks of our blood.
  14. Corey Taylor is the lead singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour. Last Christmas he recorded this:
  15. Things like that grant fund actually make me a bit annoyed, as it's fundamentally misunderstanding the meaning of equal opportunities. It's supposed to be about levelling the playing field so everyone has the same opportunities. It's not about influencing our decision making, it's about enabling us to make whatever decision we choose. Equality of choice does not mean that people will all decide the same things in the same quantities. Quite the opposite, in fact. What this basically amounts to is someone looking at flavourless statistics with no context and concluding that not enough women are making the 'correct' decision and must be swayed with baubles and shinies. Which is just sexism from the other end of the table. Moreover it fails to address the question they should actually be focusing on, which is "why do fewer women than men want to go into engineering?" Presumably there is an answer, and as with everything it's most likely to be educational. If they worked on shifting the perception of engineering as a vocation to make it more universally appealing, they would receive more universal applicants. It's really that simple. But no. They decide instead to resort to bribery. It's redundantly and ineffectually throwing money down a hole for no purpose in a way that will yield no meaningful results. Which is particularly ironic considering we're still in the middle of a recession in which the poorest of us are being hit with cut after cut after cut by our government because they claim they 'can't afford to waste money.'
  16. It's okay. Not my cup of tea, but I can understand why some are going to get really into it. It's very arcadey and twitchy, and some of the dogfights get properly intense. They are fun, just not my kind of fun. It's still arena-based PVP, and I don't PVP so it's of limited interest to me. Doubly so as its completely devoid of story, and that's the main reason I play SWTOR. I can only hope that they have devised this as a means to buy them some time and keep the players busy while they work on the next lot of story content. I'm hoping a third faction is next on their agenda, although I realise that's most likely a pipe dream on my part. Oh, and people hating on this are, as ever, gonad-brained imbeciles of the highest order. There was someone slagging it off on the official forums because when in space battles he decelerated when he took his finger off the throttle. He was actually criticising a Star Wars game because it "didn't get the physics right." Of course it doesn't get the physics right. It's Star Wars. Perhaps I missed a meeting, but I'm not aware that anyone considers it a paragon of hard sci-fi.
  17. Says it all, doesn't it? If that doesn't convince you that Turbine just can't be arsed any more, I don't know what will.
  18. Been listening to the Dragonheart soundtrack this evening. It's a mediocre movie, but has what I think is the finest film soundtrack ever composed. A score that overshadows the film it accompanies by an extraordinary margin. Stirring and absolutely beautiful, it brings a manly tear to my eye every time I hear it. Every. Single. Time. http://youtu.be/GEzy8_67VmU Composed by Randy Edelman, one of the unsung legends of film scores, who never seems to be as well regarded as folk like John Williams, to whom he is infinitely superior. He also composed the score to Dragon - The Bruce Lee Story, which was similarly a masterpiece. If you have ever seen a film trailer you have heard its main theme: http://youtu.be/lMsPHgrlaNA Magnificent. As they say in internetland: The feels.
  19. If it was deliberate, it effectively makes Sapience's actions - an apparently successful attempt to attach Fredelas personally and solely to the controversy in order to deflect blame from Turbine and simultaneously smear him, while taking away his means to express his side of the story - slander. Or libel, whatever the term is for internet-based things. Food for thought.
  20. Love them. I'd never call myself a role player, but I primarily play games to take part in a story, and that includes MMOs. And sadly single static clickboxes with an 'accept' button just seem very, very old hat to me now, so they don't cut it any more. I'm all for cutscenes and voiceacting in my MMOs, even if (especially if) it slows down the rampant progression treadmill that pervades all games of this type. TSW, SWTOR and FFXIV all present their story to the player in different ways, even if they are rather linear. The quality of that story is more important to me than the level of linearity therein, and all three tell their stories incredibly well. Defiance is also quite good in this regard. MMOs that don't similarly excel at storytelling won't get much of a look in with me any more. I'm waiting to hear more details along those lines regarding TESO and Wildstar before I'll even entertain them as options.
  21. I wouldn't hold your breath. The only IC Turbine will be bothering to develop in the near future is Infinite Crisis.
  22. So, they don't care that people don't like it. They are pursing their own design goals regardless of customer satisfaction in them and will continue to ignore customer feedback unless it is in line with said design goals. At no point are they even prepared to entertain the thought that there is anything wrong with what they are doing, so everyone should stop taking about it, because THEY SAID SO. The only rational response from a customer at that point is: "No. I will not 'going forward shape all feedback about improving the trait trees.' I will instead find something else to do with my time, because of how unnecessary you consider my satisfaction to be. As you are so utterly disinterested in catering to my needs I will find something else to do with my time."
  23. +91% of practically nobody is not impressive Yes, it nearly doubled its logins for launch day, but that isn't remotely unusual for an MMO on day 1 of an expansion. It's more worthwhile to note that even with that spike it's still not even coming close to a fraction of the logins of its nearest competition. It's pants, it's pants, it's pants and nobody is playing it, doo dee doo.
  24. Why would they? I'm still in Coventry over there for my pre-Isengard comments
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