Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hasbro Q2 2011 Earnings Call---Something Interesting in it This Time

From Seeking Alpha:

"And one of the key consumer insights that we are seeing as we do quantitative research is that face-to-face gaming are still something people really want and they seek out. And our Games business can absolutely grow. In fact, in the second quarter, our International games business grew. We've been working through the issues in our U.S. business, but overall, you will see more marriages of digital and analog. You'll see more new reinventions of our analog business and off-the-board games that will come into the future. So we think you can grow both."

No surprise there as to the first part---they probably spent 5 million bucks to research that though.  The rest of it gives credence to the speculation that 5e will be a combination electronic and face to face experience.  

Friday, July 22, 2011

One Man's Reaction to the Death of Eddard Stark

This guy has a lot of rants ahead of him, if he gets this worked up at Ed Stark's death...I can't say as I disagree with the guy.  I pretty much said the same thing when I read the books...I may have said it a bit differently, but definitely with the same feeling.  :)

Cornholio Returns!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm on Google + Now

Looks interesting.  Search for Joe theLawyer to find me.  Let's see how this thing works.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Real Reason T$R Crashed and Burned

Finally revealed.

Good god.

WTF was Wildspace anyhow?

Vanguard: The Spiritual Successor to the Original Everquest

MMO Salvation has arrived!

I posted a while back on the original Everquest, DDO, and made an analogy as to how EQ was like old school DnD, while DDO was like new school.  I lamented that there were no longer any sandboxey MMO's out there, nothing in the style of the original EQ.

Now there is.  Vanguard is an MMO which was designed in part by the original EQ designers.  It has the same exact feel.  Dying sux, you loose xp, you need to loot your corpse if you can, the whole world is one big instance, and you get your ass kicked all over the place.  It's not for pussies who want instant gratification, like WoW seems to cater to. 

Vanguard apparently sucked when it first came out 3 1/2 years ago.  They spent a lot of time fixing up things, and now it runs really well.  I became disenchanted with DDO at the high end game.  Endless grinding for gear is all the game is about, repeating the same boring quest over and over again in the dim hope that you might get the thing you wanted out of it so eventually in a year or so you can make that item you want.  Boring as shit. 

We'll see how Vanguard goes, as we get into it more.  But it seems that they are having a huge new influx of people.  I definitely don't see a lack of people to group with.  Check it out, its a good time.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

If 5e is More Old School, How Long Before Someone Retro-Clones It? Does WOTC Then Have to Sue All Clones?

That seems to be where Mearls is heading with 5e, with all his koombaya posts on how all editions are the same at their core.  It seems to be the most long-winded sales job/market research project of all time though.  What if, after all the blather, they actually put out an edition of D&D which is familiar to players of older editions?  Does it fall under the OGL?  In whole or in part?  How much I guess would depend on how many new terms they invent just for the sole purpose of making sure it doesn't fall under the OGL, like dailies, powers, healing surges, etc.

Let's say that for the most part, it does fall under the OGL.  How long before someone tries to clone it?

The bigger question, what would WOTC do?  Would they go after them?

I can't see how they wouldn't be forced to.

Executive who doesn't know what a d20 is:  "Hows sales of the new edition going after we sunk a million bucks into its development?"

Mearls: "Well, it was good the first couple days, we made $50,000, but then someone cloned it and is giving it away for nothing."

Executive:  "You're fired, you're whole team is fired--(oh, you have no team left?), and the remaining 2 people at the company who know what those funky dice are--- they're fired too--- and we're suing!"

Would they then be forced to go after the other clone publishers? 

Note:  I'm not saying they have good legal ground to stand on---but we all know that just the cost of defending a lawsuit would halt production of many clones and force a "I won't do it anymore, I promise, just drop the lawsuit" type of agreement.

So, the question is, are we better off letting WOTC go down the path of developing one wretched abomination of D&D after another, so they aren't forced to recognize what we are doing with clones?

Do we want them playing in our sandbox again?

Friday, July 8, 2011

There Needs to be a Skype Pick-up PnP D&D Game Hub

So I'm sitting here tonight, bored, nothing on TV, no movies to see, a rainy lazy night.  I don't want to login to any MMO-type games, and I've read myself to death already today.  What I want to do is join a pick-up D&D group---right now.  But I can't, because although somewhere I'm sure there's a Skype game going on, where they need and would welcome another player, I don't know about it. 

One of you business savvy computer type people ought to get on that project, right away.  You can have scheduled events that people sign up for, and also pickup groups that people list on the spur of the moment, and others can drop in on, if they're having a night like mine, and play a quick module.

Inspiration:  the DDO (Dungeons and Dragons Online) MMO.  You login, see quests listed for a certain level, see people already in the quest, and you click on it if you want to join.  Bingo, instant gaming.  Works sometimes, but as we all know, a D&D MMO just ain't the same as real PnP D&D.

WOTC 5E Conjecture by Davis Over at Troll Lord Games

Check it out...

Out of Work Adventurer's Resume

Goals:  To Attain Godhood...or failing that, To Crush My Enemies, See Them Driven Before Me, and Hear the Lamentations of Their Women

Work Experience:

  • CY 387-389:  Ran my own keep.  Duties included slaying wandering monsters in the surrounding area, defending against enemy encroachments on my territory and that of my leige, and ensuring high morale through bribing my henchment with magic items.  
                    Notable achievements:  Slaying the Red Dragon Thorax in 5 rounds.

  • CY 381-387:  Member Band of Psychotic Gentlemen, adventuring company.  Duties:  to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before, and then to kill everything I see and take all their shit.
                    Notable achievements:  Survived Zagyg's Castle down to level 13


  •  Prized student of Brimdar the Grim, noted warrior.

Skills:   None.  I'm Old School Damnit!

References:  None, regrettably  If they were worth knowing, I generally killed them and took their shit.

Paizo vs. WOTC: The Torrent Wars. Paizo Wins Again!

So I'm sitting here thinking that a measure of how popular a product is would be a measure of how many people would go to illegal lengths to acquire it.  In the RPG world, one measure would be torrent downloads of books. 

A quick search on Google produced two links which purported to have basically all that Paizo has produced, and all that WOTC has produced, in two separate downloadable packages.  I used links from the same torrent site, as well as made sure they were recently tracked/updated at the same time, in an attempt at making this an accurate comparison.  (I almost provided the links used, but didn't want to make it easy or seem to encourage illegal downloading.  This was purely a shit-stirring intellectual exercise).

The scoring system?  Basically look at how many leeches, meaning people who want the stuff, are online with a torrent client trying to download it.

The score:  Paizo 169, WOTC 13.  Meaning that only 13 people are trying to download all of WOTC's 4e stuff, as opposed to 169 trying to download all of Paizo's.

Paizo wins again!

Disclaimer:  I don't advise, advocate,condone,  or recommend that anyone actually go out and download this stuff.  Give your money to the people making it.  Buy it.  It's a tough economy, the designers and publishers need the cash.  Plus, it's illegal.  Plus, they are tracking it big-time now.  There is a strong likelihood that you will get caught and get your ass thrown in jail.  Plus, don't be an asshole.  Before the accusations start coming, for those of you not in the know on Torrents, its not illegal to do a search on Google to see what's available, as far as I know.  It would be illegal to download it.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

If 4e Went Out of Print, WTF Would You Buy on EBay to Play 4e Four Years From Now?

Think about it.  I'm looking to buy a Rules Cyclopedia, and cruising EBay, and it hit me.  If I want to buy 1st edition books now, the list of books needed is known and straight-forward.  Same with 2e and 3.x  2e has the players options thingy to deal witth, which isnt a big deal, and 3.0 and 3.5 are 97% the same.

When we're in the 6th edition days, when D&D is a boardgame with magic-type cards, and some 4e grognard tells his friends to buy 4e books off of ebay to play in his game, WTF does he tell them to buy?  The PHB is essentially useless as a book, due to like 500 pages of errata.  DDI is offline or updated to 6e, since they only support the latest edition, as we all know. And I still don't know where this whole Essentials line of products fits in to the scheme of thing.  The Rules Compendium?  The other books suggested by WOTC to buy?  WOTC's lack of willingness to number their latest editions by edition?  Their refusal to admit that there is a new edition at all with Essentials---or at least a half edition?  What the hell does a prospective player buy 4 years from now when WOTC is on 6e?

BTW, I don't thing WOTC has begun work on 5e yet---because they have not publicly denied it over and over again.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Paizo Outsells WOTC in RPG Books

When Lisa Stevens, Paizo owner and CEO, was asked "'re saying that it's your belief that the Pathfinder brand has a higher sales volume than the D&D brand"

Her response:

"At this time in history, that is what I have been told by people in the hobby distribution trade, the book trade, and other avenues that both games sell their products into. If you talk to the various retailers, it is a mixed bag, with one telling you one thing and another a different story. But when you talk to the folks who sell those retailers the product that they sell, then you get a clearer picture.

And I am just talking table-top RPG business. I am not talking about board games or card games or video games or whatnot. Just books and digital copies of those books for use in playing a table-top RPG.



Read it here, as well as the rest of the discussion.