Morning people. Neurotic here, covering for Neoheresy whilst he’s off on a business trip (read: doing blow and picking up hookers). It’s the start of a new week, and who knows what it will bring. If it’s anything like last week, it should be a good one. Well, except for Runescape player Josh Peters, who on Monday was ‘Swatted’ whilst livestreaming in front of 60,000 people. If you don’t know what that is, you’re lucky. But if you do, then you’ll know that it’s when idiots telephone the police and report terrible criminal doings at the address of someone livestreaming a game etc. This brings a S.W.A.T. team (rahh, ‘murica!) crashing through the door and terrorising the unsuspecting household, all on a live Internet broadcast. In Peter’s case, it was his 10-year-old brother who answered the door and had multiple screaming policemen pointing guns at his head. I only hope that whoever did this is caught and given solid prison time at the very least. Peters returned after the incident to make an emotional plea to the gaming community to stop this childish, dangerous practise. Video below.
Tuesday brought a mixed bag of announcements. Happily, Elite Dangerous‘s 1.1 patch finally went live, bringing with it lots of improvements including “community goals” — building space stations and stuff together — and some nice graphical touches, such as city lights on the dark side of inhabited planets. Unhappily for ARPG fans and Bioware zealots, the studio announced that their online Action RPG Shadow Realms has been cancelled, due to there being too many other things to do, such as the new Mass Effect, post-launch work on Dragon Age: Inquisitions and the continued monthly fumblings with their MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Wednesday’s news was considerably brighter, with Blizzard announcing that the titular stars of their ooold (1992) Lost Vikings property would now be selectable heroes in their shiny new Heroes of The Storm MOBA/Not MOBA. Clouds were quick to gather though, as it was announced by Daybreak Game Company (formerly SOE) that more staff had been laid off, this time from their Austin and San Diego studios, following their recent sale by SONY to the investment company, Columbus Nova (try not to think of a small rusty car when you read that name). The clouds positively exploded with thunder and lightning when it was revealed that Director of Development Dave ‘But he IS EverQuest‘ Georgeson and beloved cosplaying Global CM Linda ‘Brasse’ Carlson were among those booted. It seems like an utterly incomprehensible move to most people, but let’s see how it plays out.
Thursday brought more shenanigans, as Riot slapped professional League of Legends team Meet Your Maker with a EUR 5,000 fine for threatening to bring legal action against one of their own players, with the implicit result that his mother could lose her house. Team manager Sebastian “Falli” Rotterdam was the friendly fellow behind the threat, to MYM player Marcin Wolski. The whole thing is a mire of fault and blame on both sides, so I’ll let PC Gamer give you the details on this little mess. Better news came in the form of a new deal between Warner Bros. Interactive and beloved online home of cheap gaming goodness, gog.com, which made several really good, and really not that old games available for DRM-free purchase from site. Newcomers include F.E.A.R. Platinum, both LEGO Harry Potters and indie darling Bastion.
Friday the 13th (ooh!) had good news for D&Ders and bad news for both Peter Molyneux and rockpapershotgun’s John Walker. Which do you want first? Oh okay, let’s do the bad stuff first then. John Walker, respected veteran gaming journalist, formerly of PC Gamer UK before leaving to help found RPS, conducted a telephone interview with Peter Molyneux, ostensibly about the current problems with his reinvention of the God game genre, Godus. In a candid forum post earlier in the week, 22cans developer Konrad Naszynski, had announced that he didn’t think Godus was going to turn out the way it had been pitched on Kickstarter. This opened 22 cans of exploding worms, culminating on Friday with the publication on RPS of said interview. Interestingly, the several-pages long comments thread on the article seems to be fairly evenly divided between those who think Molyneux is the spawn of Satan and deserves everything he got, and those who thought Walker went too far in torturing a gaming legend. You can probably imagine what I think, but what do you say? Hit the comments and let us know.
Oh, and the good news from Friday (and it really is good news) is that later this year, we’ll all be rolling new characters for a new Infinity Engine-style party-based Dungeons & Dragons RPG, brought to us by a bunch of clever people, including former Dragon Age: Origins and Neverwinter Nights devs. Sword Coast Legends uses the 5e rules, is (of course) set in the Forgotten Realms, and will feature a full single player campaign, as well as a multiplayer component for up to four players and one human Dungeon Master, leading the players through “custom made” adventures. Could this be ‘Neverwinter Nights 2015’? Click on over to the official website and see what you think…
Finally, Saturday saw a surprise announcement from Blizzard – doddering old grandpa WoW is set to get a further graphical overhaul with its Patch 6.1. As a bonus, you can read all about it on the newly-resurrected Massively Over-Powered. (Welcome back guys, you had us worried there for a while!)