Weekend Conglomoblog

Rumor: Google Buying Twitch?

Apparently Google might be buying Twitch for $1 billion.  Strange valuation in my opinion.  I think that’s 1/19th the valuation of Whatsapp (Facebook’s recent acquisition), but it’s already monetized way more and has an audience already locked in and engaged.  The growth potential for Twitch is also enormous as streaming becomes an even bigger medium for gaming.  Deep down I still can’t figure out if streaming will be a fad or the gateway to a whole new level of sharing and making the games we play interactive.  I thought Twitch would be worth more.

Google is being smart.  They’ll acquire their biggest competitors.  Lots and lots of Youtube gamers have gone to Twitch, and Google streaming is/was never going to take off.  Buying your competition is great for Google, but horrible for the users.  I’m really big on competition being great for the consumer.  Personally, I think Google has made some awful decisions in the past few years.  I hate what they’ve done to Youtube, and I was convinced Twitch chat couldn’t get worse.  I think their size will also hurt the streaming industry.

Hopefully this is just Twitch putting our feelers saying, “what would you give me…”

Diablo 3: Legen (wait for it) dary! 

I’ve played a lot of D3 this weekend.  I finally got my Mask of Jeram, and picked up some Zunis set.  I’m able to comfortably solo T3 which is a huge jump considering I was barely making it through T1 on Friday.

My issue with D3 is the same issue I’ve had with a lot of games lately: Repetition.  I can only repeat the same thing so many times before I need to do something else. I want my games to be more dynamic these days.  That said, when I finally get an item in Diablo 3 that I’ve been wanting it’s that same feeling of finally getting an item in a MMO: It’s awesome.


Looking forward to WildStar launching soon.  KGC is ready to go.  Should be a fun ride.  We’re recruiting so get on over to our forums and enlist today!

I keep hearing/reading that WildStar is going to be such a hardcore game not for the casual, console, [insert something with a core not hard enough] audience.  Yes, there are inaccessible 40-man raids.  You’re delusional if you think that WildStar is now or will ever be hardcore.  Even compared to Vanilla WoW (like WildStar often is) it’s ridiculously accessible and easy to level.  People were hitting 40+ in 3-4 days or less.

All it will take is a few exit surveys for NCSoft to step in and force accessibility.  “We’re losing subscribers because they can’t experience the content they want to play.”  It will never, ever, be more inaccessible than WoW.

  • If Youtube didn’t have the whole copyright debacle go on for alot of streamers I wouldn’t think much of them buying Twitch. But what happened and how it was all handled showed that Youtube has some issues. I’d hate to see Twitch get messed up as a result of all of this.

    Not gonna comment on D3 other than you hit the nail on the head with the repetition factor.

    And Wildstar……yeaaaaaa, I wrote that one off as soon as I entered the beta and realized it was literally WOW reskinned with a (in my opinion REALLY dumb) dodge the colored shapes mechanic. I mean seriously how unimmersive can you get than having colored shapes flying all over the ground all the time. Just no. Big N followed by bigger O! At least in WOW there are subtle tells when enemies are doing aoe spells or the environment is going to do damage to you. Example, small lava cracks on the ground appearing that are harmless followed a few seconds later with a real lava burst which does damage. How someone can think to themselves to replace the small lava crack tell with a random colored shape outlining the aoe spell is beyond me.

  • Not to argue that Wildstar won’t be pretty accessible for the non-hardcore (I think it will), but it won’t be because of NC Soft. Both ANet and Carbine are essentially independent companies these days, with NC Soft playing the role of investor (NC Soft bailed out of North America operations and devolved it all to those two studios, who are kind of on their own now) . Unless Carbine manage to lose a bunch of money very quickly, NC Soft won’t be bothering to look at day to day stuff like exit surveys.

    Also looking forward to essentially playing BC/Lich King Sci-Fi WoW for a bit. I’ve been jonesing for something like that for a while.

  • People always try and connect the free market with competition when it reality connection random at best.

  • I think the fact that I couldn’t summon up the interest to log into WildStar more than two or three times in OB, only made one character and only got to Level 10 tells me everything I need to know. It’s a well-made piece of entertainment that I might dabble with on and off but it lacks whatever that thing is that just GRABS me. By comparison, I played almost every available minute of all the beta weekends for Rift, GW2 and TSW, bought all three boxes and subscribed, at least for a while, to the two that required subs.

    Not sure what WS doesn’t have that those three did but it must be something important.

  • “All it will take is a few exit surveys for NCSoft to step in and force accessibility”

    You have no idea how many Exits they had in Aion because of no pve server and because of the grind problem along with the gold problem. I reached a point where I did not had money to learn new skills and repair my gear…and no I did not died a lot, we were playing in group and grinding for hours upon hours.

    Did anything changed? No. After years upon years (8 years I think?) they announced a feature (I think guest server? rookie server?) where you could level your character without pvp before you go back to your original server that would still be pvp…

    I don’t know if it is good or bad, but if there is one company that can take the reward of “we don’t hear you” or “shut up and play or quit”, this is NCSOFT.

  • Keen, do you mind sharing your Witch Doctor build? I love the WD but am struggling to come up with a build I really enjoy on the harder difficulty modes.

    Also totally agree about Wildstar. Inaccessible 40-man raids were never a good idea, and I doubt they’ll last. I think that the future of raiding is “flex modes” that Blizzard has introduced. Gotta give Blizzard some credit, the 10 year old game is the one actually doing the most innovation with traditional raiding.

  • @Fidjit: I’ll give you a link to my profile when I get home so you can see exactly what I’m using. I’m a pet build relying on Fetishes with a lot of poison damage/abilities mixed in.

    @Bhagpuss: I completely understand. I know the feeling all too well.

    @Shutter: It’s the losing money quickly that I think will cause someone, even if not NCSoft, to basically say, “Nuh uh, change it.”

  • Any thoughts on the changes to Landmark Beta wipes?

    I feel for all the people that were burned after spending endless hours in the game. However, at the same time I admittedly smirked a little when reading about all the hell it’s raised on the forum. Many of the people complaining about the changes were the same ones preaching, “It’s beta. Deal with it.”

    It brings up to points: 1) Public access alphas and betas are really soft launches. There are some exceptions but when people pay a full box price or more for access they want a certain level of polish and playability. MMOs might be the worse genre for these types of public betas given the frequency of wholesale changes and wipes. 2) Betas as a whole are bad experiences and usually can lead to burnout and a ruined launch experience. Couldn’t imagine starting a new character in WS for the 3rd, 4th or 5th time at launch. Then again, I can’t imagine starting a character for the 1st time 😉

  • @JJ Robinson: I am now scouring the interwebs to find what changes they made to Landmark beta wipes. What changes were made?

  • I wouldn’t equate the fact that just because you can reach max level fairly quickly WildStar isn’t “hardcore”. Its all a matter of perspective I suppose. But I feel that the speed of leveling has very little to do with gameplay difficulty.

    WildStar will be too “hardcore” because the combat is twitchy and highly mobile. The average MMO gamer will not succeed at it (the average mmo gamer, especially ones that would be their target market of old-school WoW players, are terrible at that kind of game play). There are several exceptional players of course, some will thrive and love it.

    Now I admit I havn’t checked up on WildStar’s raids and other end-game content recently. But if its anything like what I remember from earlier previews they are going to have some serious end-game difficulty balancing problems ahead of them. Whether or not carbine see that as something to worry about? I don’t know. But I predict that there will only be a small handful of 40 man guilds worth a damn (clearing content quickly and actually competitive on leaderboards. There will probably be less then five good raiding guilds in the NA, maybe only two. (Incoming massive, massive talent vacuum thanks to the large raid size requirements and the win-now progression raiding mentality brought on by WoW raiding, possibly exasperated pending server structure/transfer limits.)

    And as for that last sentence of the post, the very existence of 40 man raids already makes the game more inaccessible then WoW (which is not saying much tbh).

    Carbine seems like to me to be trying to carve themselves out a nice little hardcore raiding niche. The housing and other stuff all look great, but who knows if that will be enough to appease the casual gamer. Especially with such a short leveling game.

  • @Keen I am not entirely sure what was changed, just read Bhagpuss’ story on Landmark from this weekend. Must be some pretty large updates/changes coming with the wipe because SOE should have seen the fury coming associated with this.

  • I’m not so sure that Wildstar group content will be very accessible to the average MMO player given the way that they seem to coddle the disgruntled former WoW hardcore raider. They seem to go out of their way in interviews to say how difficult their dungeons and raids are. How forgiving will all those hardcore PvE players be to those lesser skilled players when they start to try group content? My guess will be that the elitist players will drive away the lower skill players pretty fast unless there are some really fun single player things to do.

    Since Carbine put themselves out there regarding their raid difficulty level, once they do get to the point where they are bleeding off players they’ll probably anger their hardcore base if they make raiding more accessible.

  • Just throwing out a few randoms

    @Keen – if Wildstar works out as a 3 monther we’re all be satisfied, no?

    @sikk – ohpuhleeezzz.. dodging redspots on the ground is far less “immersion breaking” (who comes with this crap?) than dodging DeadlyBossMod on screen prompts.

    regarding the LM “wipe fury on the forums”. Yeah there are now a couple dozen more accounts spamming the forums with google translated wipe fury. Most are brand new or nearly… If historical forum fury patterns are to be trusted, the LM dev team should be worrying about implementing robust anti-RMT mechanics. Like, right now. (not that soe ever bothered)