Guest Lookouts continues, with Becky Dreistadt and Oliver Grigsby at the reins. Things are certainly looking bad for our heroes. I’m tense, even though I already know what happens! Apparently they’re doing a good job.
I’ve derived considerable enjoyment from previews of There Is Only War, the fancy name for Dawn of War II’s 1.4 update. The videos linked in the previous sentence are a more interesting way to familiarize yourself with the patch notes, but watching players bang away on each other in real-time strategy games is far more interesting than you might guess. Patch may be sufficient to describe the category of the update, but it doesn’t entirely contain the spirit, which is philosophically distinct from the game they offered at retail. I crave this kind of material, these grand systemic mea culpas, because they’re one of the few modes of communication from this industry that are actually quantifiable.
People look to Blizzard as the undisputed masters of balance, but to suggest that their products are delivered in this state is ahistorical. What separates Blizzard from other companies is that they never stop balancing. Their mechanical genius notwithstanding, they can also afford to do business this way. For game developers, that’s not exactly a universal trait.
I’ve amassed a substantial library here on my trip, though I’m consuming it at a dangerous rate. This is a credit to the caliber of this arsenal, which includes such delights as Cromartie High School (Vol. 1-3), Fordlandia, Arcane Power, The Language Instinct, and Wicked Plants - nourishing books, all. The urge to tip the trough and wallow is considerable.