Tag Archives: Blizzard

What’s the name, what’s the game?

I saw the news a few days ago, and for the most it does not matter to me, but there is an awful lot of hypocrisy going around and the media is (as I personally see it) as tainted as anything else. The stage is set to Elon Musk, or better stated is set against Elon Musk. Why? Don’t really know the man, but he seems the modern day Midas. Whatever he touches turns to gold. He made an upheaval in the battery market, the mobile market, the energy market. The man is (allegedly) an inventor like me, or he can see proper innovation just like Steve Jobs. How is this a bad thing? Consider the news that he was getting involved in social media. Why not? I do not know if it is a bad idea. But he has the dough to become part of it. Yet the Sydney Morning Herald gives us ‘Elon Musk launches $58 billion hostile takeover of Twitter’ (at https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/elon-musk-launches-hostile-takeover-of-twitter-20220414-p5admv.html) as such lets take a look at what constitutes a hostile takeover? The definition gives us “A hostile takeover occurs when an acquiring company attempts to take over a target company against the wishes of the target company’s management. An acquiring company can achieve a hostile takeover by going directly to the target company’s shareholders or fighting to replace its management” is this true? CBS gives us ‘Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter for $43 billion’, so who is giving us the truth and who is giving a stakeholder a blow job? You think this is rude? You ain’t seen nothing yet. We can argue until the sun goes down, but the setting of finance is clear. If a company is worth it, or could become worth it, you buy it. This has been the case in many occasions. Yet no one is saying that about Microsoft and Blizzard. There we get ‘Activision Blizzard/Microsoft Deal Discouraged by Letter Penned by SOC Investment Group’, how quaint.

So it was today when I saw (at https://www.reuters.com/technology/twitter-adopts-poison-pill-fight-musk-2022-04-15/) ‘Twitter adopts ‘poison pill’ as challenger to Musk emerges’, it is the Guardian version where we see “The method, known as a “poison pill” in the finance world, suggests Twitter will fight Musk to prevent a hostile takeover. It would go into effect if a shareholder were to acquire more than 15% of the company in a deal not approved by the board and expires 14 April 2023.”You see my issue is with the ‘hostile takeover’ part. The guardian gives us those goods with “Jack Dorsey, Twitter founder and former CEO, noted in a tweet on Friday that such surprise purchases are always a risk for the company. “As a public company, Twitter has always been ‘for sale’,” he said. “That’s the real issue.” Musk is already facing legal action for his Twitter purchases, with one investor suing the Tesla executive in a potential class action lawsuit for failing to disclose his buy-up of shares before the required deadline to do so. The lawsuit comes as Musk faces a number of investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission for his investment activities, including insider trading allegations related to his own tweets.” So we see ‘insider trading’, we see ‘hostile takeover’ but we are given no real evidence of either. Merely the word ‘allegations’ that everyone is overlooking. 

The stage becomes even weirder as we consider the actions that Microsoft unleashed on the gaming industry and it is casually trivialised by too many media outlets. 

In all this the statement “he wanted to release its “extraordinary potential” to support free speech and democracy across the world.” Is trivialised by “Twitter’s board on Friday unanimously approved a plan that would allow existing shareholders to buy stocks at a substantial discount in order to dilute the holdings of new investors”, there is no real setting of who these board members are, the media seemingly forgot about that part. These members that include Bret Taylor (SalesForce), Parag Agrawal (CEO Twitter), Mimi Alemayehou (Mastercard), Egon Durban (Silver Lake), Martha Lane Fox (House of Lords), Dr. Fei-Fei Li (Stanford), Patrick Pichette (Google), David Rosenblatt and Robert Zoellick (AllianceBernstein Holding L.P.) there was a unanimous objection to the purchase by Elon Musk and no media outlet had anything from these members with the simple question ‘Why oppose?’. There might be a very valid reason, but I and all others were not informed, so what gives?

We can speculate on why it was done. Elon Musk sees that the US is going after the billionaires. As such he might be buying anything he can to drop the tax rift, and lets face it, he has been turning things to gold and Twitter is a golden idea. So whilst we see all kinds of objections on how analysts see (and say) things like “KeyBanc Capital analyst Justin Patterson downgraded the social media company in the wake of Elon Musk’s buyout proposal. Patterson cut his rating to sector weight, after being at overweight since January 2021, saying that the potential for the Musk bid to “go up in smoke” will turn investor focus on a more challenging macro environment that elevates downside risk to financial estimates.” I personally honestly do not know what will happen, but when a person buys a company, a person that has transformed several companies into powerhouses, I wonder what really is going on. It could be simple, it could be complex, yet the larger station is that people laughed at Tesla and now we see “As of April 2022 Tesla has a market cap of $1.018 Trillion. This makes Tesla the world’s 6th most valuable company by market cap according to our data.” So as I see it, the joke is on them. What was an idea is now 6th on the most valuable companies on the market and that is behind Apple, Microsoft, Aramco, Alphabet, and Amazon and as I gave voice to Microsoft, there is every chance that it will head of Microsoft in the next 3 years. And that is whilst no one has a clue where Meta will end, because they will become part of the top 7 soon enough (2024), and that too is out into the market. So I have questions and the media is not asking the board members of Twitter, or Elon Musk a clear set of questions. And all that before someone decides to ask KeyBanc Capital a few uncomfortable questions. So what is in the name Twitter, what is in the name Elon Musk and what is in the shares game being played now. No matter what is happening, I feel certain that the media will not properly inform us, that mush seems a personal given. Yet in all this we see the approximation of “to support free speech and democracy across the world”, it seems to me that Elon Musk is giving us options, options in mobile technology and energy technology. Who else has been giving us that? I see questions and no one asking them, it is weird, is it not?

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Microsoft, for cold laundry

Yes, there is a need to go there. You see there is the setting that we kick Microsoft as a civic duty, but how long do you need to kick them for it to be regarded as for personal pleasure? Yes, that is the question and it is more to the point than you think it is. Two days ago I wrote ‘What we hope for’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/03/07/what-we-hope-for/) there I gave the setting that Microsoft is in more trouble than we think they are. They are losing the gaming niche, the ‘tablet’ niche, the cloud niche, the SaaS niche and optionally the office niche as well. That is a lot of terrain to lose. I also stated there ““Microsoft is in talks to acquire cybersecurity research and incident response company Mandiant, according to people familiar with the discussions, a deal that would bolster efforts to protect customers from hacks and breaches”, you see, it is not merely “bolster efforts to protect customers”, it is about preventing and protecting the customers you have and as we are seeing several Microsoft issues”, a few hours ago I learned that they do not even have that. ArabNews gives us ‘Google buys Mandiant for $5.4 billion’, the article (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/2038611/business-economy) “Google is fortifying its cloud services with a $5.4 billion acquisition of the cybersecurity firm Mandiant, the companies announced Tuesday”, as such the clouds around Microsoft seem increasingly less secure soon enough. Microsoft will find someone (I think) and they need to find someone and set the stage to a stronger Microsoft. Yet as I see it they lose gaming to Amazon (I was happy to help Amazon do that), their Surface thingamajig will lose to the Apple iPad more and more, and the Mac Air book takes what is left and the cloud is increasingly less and less secure, as such they are losing market share to all the other cloud providers. The SaaS niche is different, it relies on the cloud, lose one and you tend to lose the other as well to some degree. So now the last straw for Microsoft is their good old Office backbone. It is firm (for now) but the cyber issues will affect their mail system and it already has had a few issues. But the big push could come from a very different angle. Adobe will be the largest player in several ways. There is additional consideration that when business aligns for Meta, Adobe will get a fair share of that business and should they push for the an ‘office setting’ they could clearly clean house. The last setting is pure speculation. There is no educated guess in play. They need their version of Excel, Word, Powerpoint and Mail versions to impact Microsoft even larger, but that is not outside of their abilities to do so and moreover, as Meta will go in 2024 Adobe will feel forced to go there. If only to cater to the millions of GoPro users who will see new business ventures in a Hybrid setting of the Web, Web3.0 and Meta. I think that Google lacks more elements than Adobe does so Adobe is in a good place. No matter how we think it will go, I feel more and more certain that Microsoft is about to lose a hell of a lot more than they bargained for. I wonder if they ever saw that part coming as they increasingly believed the spin they put out there as well. Consider their 2018 setting: ‘The most powerful console in the world’, it was surpassed by the weakest (Nintendo Switch), it will optionally also be surpassed by the Amazon Luna (if I get it my way, ha ha ha). At that point, what did $68.7 billion get them (as well as the $7.5 billion for Bethesda)? Seventy five billion to end up in 4th position in gaming? Google buying what they need for Cyber security? One could argue that soon the buzzards will circle Microsoft, but that might be a little too negative. 

I saw Microsoft grow from nothing to the behemoth that decided what we wanted. Now it is turning out that too many are eager to find someone else, in too many IT fields. There will be Microsoft lovers out there, eager to state that I am wrong. I could be, I freely admit it, but when you put the facts together, when you collect the information out there and the weaknesses that they show gives a larger rise to my version (which has speculative sides) and the largest setting is the one we do not have. What will Adobe do in 2023/2024. It will impact several players a lot.

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What we hope for

IP is a tricky thing, it is usually where we hope the people will be when it is ready, some are continuation of ideas and some are a wishful thinking approach to what might be, or become.

I understand this part. You cannot sell if people are never going to go into that direction. It is wishful thinking that they will get there. In all this, I am no different. I expect the world to evolve (or become extinct) towards the 5G stage that Neom city stages it to be. It might merely be Neom at first, but it will throw the bough of marketing into a different heading and my IP will be ready when they do. It was not rocket science. It was always going to change. There was no other way and no matter how many marketeers catch up, or try to turn the dial to THEIR advantage. It was always going to happen and the marketeers that were not ready for the shift, they merely seize to be. The market was always going to reroute because scammers, spammers and criminals stopped the current direction, 5G is enabling them more and more and we see this Wild West corral approach to ‘cyber safety’, doing whatever they can, the reality is that there will be no real relief until 2025, and that sets the stage even more to my advantage (yay me). Yet it is not about me, or my IP. It is about the stage that I set in motion. I am merely in the right place as will a few others. I foresaw a massive crash of Microsoft. Spin only get you so far, but they are so driven to Azure, Spin and ‘their’ great innovations, all whilst iteration is the best they can get. It opens up a drive in a few directions. As I personally see it Microsoft is about to lose the gaming platform to Sony, Nintendo and Amazon. They are losing more and more tablet grounds to Apple and Adobe could set the sails to take a huge chunk out of the Office market. All that and a global Azure outage. The last one might be really bad luck, but to go out globally is rattling the cages of too many and there lies the rub. GaaS and SaaS are setting a larger stage, a stage where people look to what they can TRUST, and there is my open IP connecting to a lot of it. (Yay me). Instead of looking for spin, looking for hype, the offices of GaaS and SaaS required updating and stabilising. So in this Microsoft is in a bad place. Even as we were given 3 weeks ago “Microsoft is in talks to acquire cybersecurity research and incident response company Mandiant, according to people familiar with the discussions, a deal that would bolster efforts to protect customers from hacks and breaches”, you see, it is not merely “bolster efforts to protect customers”, it is about preventing and protecting the customers you have and as we are seeing several Microsoft issues and close to none from the Amazon, IBM and Google area, Microsoft could lose this side as well making them a loser three times over, but no fear. They paid $68.7 billion for Blizzard and it will not be enough. Me (and my sense of humour) attacked that deal by handing out IP and gaming ideas as freeware for Sony and Amazon developers. It is my ‘subtle’ way of telling Microsoft to wake the fuck up. And that is merely the beginning. When my IP comes through to certain parties Amazon and Google will cut Microsoft game revenue in slices, not all mind you, but well over 30% and that is before I show them a new direction they ignored for a decade and they will lose acquiring more. I reckon that it is in the air where the SaaS will go, but IBM, Amazon and Google have equal chances. OK, Google has a better chance. But as I wrote earlier, not reality but a dream, I saw adobe evolve and take a massive chunk out of the Microsoft office population and that would hurt the most. And the Office issues in the last two years were not the greatest for Microsoft, so that field could open up and some are on the Apple trail, some prefer the Google trail and yet it is not enough, a player with the proven track record of Adobe in SaaS could overtake and shoot Microsoft to rubble. It sounds violent, but that is the SaaS field. And Microsoft has had too many issues in too many places at the same time and trying to hide behind Mandiant might not be enough this time around. I admit that I could be wrong, but I can wait to be proven right and those believing the Microsoft spin will end up with a larger mess than they are ready for, but that was the choice they made. With gaming and 5G IP I will hopefully be in a place to step in and at some point either Google or Amazon will have to reconsider the station of selling 50,000,000 consoles to a population that could be a lot more, could open a lot more and that bill fits Amazon better then Google, but Google needs to make choices at some point, with the SaaS and GaaS in such a volatile setting Google might not have a choice and losing more ground to Amazon is not in their best interest. 

Yes, it is all based on what we (read: I) hope for, but it also sets the choices we see now, the choices that some reporting channels ‘trivialise’ and that some ‘minimise’. The consumer at some point catches on and as such Microsoft is in a not so good place on several channels where they boast good times. Reality does not give them that pleasure and it will take more from them soon enough.

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Gift for militant wench

OK, not my finest hour in diplomacy, but it was the only way to give the path to people thinking ‘another Amazon story’. I woke up this morning with a new IP, an IP based on Google technology, but they do not create software, so their loss. And this is freeware only for Sony and Amazon products, just another way for me to say to Microsoft “Screw you!” So in my sleep I was racing through the street, there were paths, obstacles and my mind was making sense of it all (which took a few seconds) and I was seeing the brilliance of that Nintendo kart game that can take place in your home. A good idea, but I gave it steroids and turned it into something serious. You see, there are the F1 people, who love the F1, want to race on their tracks, want to be an F1 driver and this is not for them, There are good products and they are happy there. No, this is for the people who want to race in the real world. So consider a setting where the game has 10 circuits. They can give their address, or one they wished to live and the system will design a racetrack from 2500 metres up to 5500 metres (for now) based on real Google Map data. So you get a game that will soon have thousands of tracks, and the nice part is that there is racing (just the street) and challenge where the system adds obstacles, ramps (looking like it was fake and inserted) to give that goofy feeling for when you go all out. As far as I can tell, it has NEVER been done before and there Amazon gets the inside track, because as you race what is, the system with Machine learning and deeper machine learning will try to make you a map you requested based on the area, or location you gave and adds the track for you personally to your account. A setting where a game can grown into a massive behemoth of racing fun. A setting where you can race where you always desired to race, your hometown (wherever that is), Tokyo streets, Monte Carlo (every racer wants to be there one day), London, Berlin, Amsterdam and the list just grows. I am actually amazed no one in Google was that alert, but there you have it. So I say (still lacking diplomacy) “Militant wench, have at it”, we could include boat racing, but I reckon that a place like Rotterdam will give Amazon all kinds of problems. 

A simple idea boosted to a real challenge, and should you wonder why Microsoft cannot come up with it. Well that is simple, they can buy creativity, they merely lack the ability to create something. For that they have Mojang, Bethesda and Blizzard. Those who buy are limited to their knowledge of Excel (or so they say).

Enjoy this midweek! The weekend will be 68 hours away for some. 

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daemonis more

Yes, from one we go to the other and it is time to look towards the setting of protection. Armour if you want. You see the games all have their take on it, and so do I. We have cloth, leather and…..

Yes, you are roaring to name dozens of armour, all from other games, Blizzard and Bethesda did their work, yet I believe we need to go back to the basics. You can have 60-200 forms of armour, but what does it serve? The basics are what some call undergarments, the armour and the cloak. Yet be not deceived, the undergarments can be fur, cloth, thin leather or chainmail. Each their protection, each their weakness. Try walking through the winter scape of Scandinavia or Canada and try doing that wearing chainmail UNDER your vest, you soon will learn that col travels and Chainmail holds onto the freezing cold like nothing you have ever experienced. Yet chainmail has properties that we need. So we could go chainmail coated fur. You see, each benefit will have a drawback and it becomes a much larger puzzle when you imbue the armour with magical properties. I do not believe that there are only upsides. Like magnets, what pulls on one side, pushes on another. Any natural product is like a small balance, upside and downside go hand in hand, but overall the larger benefit is found. The cloak might have stealth magic, yet the iron armour imbued with strength or poison magic will negatively impact stealth. It is not completely set in stone yet, but I believe that a lot more can be done on balance instead of merely adding percentages here or there. 

And as armour is stronger, it tends to be less stealthy, still stealth will have a side that benefits all, it will have options making it worth having and so begins a new water table of balance. 

As I personally see it, we get a lot more puzzles and joy by having the three elements of armour in the personal screen and work our way from there. Three elements in stead of a combination of 8. Three elements and each having its options instead of X*Y*Z armour settings you have to program ahead of release. There is of course more to be done, but I just handed three separate sides (including the previous two articles) to get you going and become a new and competing Blizzard. Let’s not forget that there are several systems where Microsoft is not welcome, so you have options in the long run and this was handed to you without charge so you can design your version of a slicer and dicer on Sony and Amazon systems at no charge. When was the last time you had an offer like that? You still have to do your dues and your perseverance in making the game, but you have a head start now. I will try to add a few more sides to this all giving you more to work with and let us remember that we want a better set of options for gamers in total. You see Microsoft is about removing choice, they have the largest companies and you get to play those games as long as it is on a Microsoft system. An inferior system that betrayed its gamers (as I personally see it) more than once. Do  you really want to be part of that, or do you want to be the new wave of game designers in a setting where the gamer gets to choose and they choose you? Now they will choose Microsoft because there is no other system that has it, how is that freedom for gamers? 

And freedom is where it is at, so I design the IP for you all so you can oppose a Microsoft dictatorship for gamers. It is merely my way of fighting that technology usurper. At least that is how I personally see it.

So feel free to agree or disagree, yet those who disagree when choices fall away, you better realise that you were part of that limitation of choice.

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As I slice and dice

Yes, if you are a Microsoft lover and you thought the previous article named ‘In the beginning’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/01/21/in-the-beginning/) was all there is you are in bad luck. I needed time to get the next part in chime. You see, the antagonists are important, but so it the way we deal with them. Weapons matter (in all kinds of occasions) as such I wanted a new setting, not some Diablo copy and it helps setting up the gaming IP, the more unique an IP is, the easier it is to get a nice exclusive IP for Amazon and Sony. 

So in this setting I wanted a whole new direction. A direction that we seemingly forgot about. In the first setting we start with a dagger. The dagger can be imbued (needs to be) to be a more efficient weapon against a major demon class, and as we upgrade it from level one all the way to level 4, the weapon will get a whole lot more powerful. Yet there are also gradients here. I wanted to set the first level to 5 demons, so 5 demons will have to shed something, or we cut it out of them and in level 2 we need more, there is an idea to get 5-25-30-55. I also wanted to reward tenacity, so if you go in one stretch, the cost would be a little higher, but you can go from 5 in level one to 35 to level 4 and skip levels 2 and 3. It is but a simple thought and it ups the gameplay too. 

You make money by selling items and I wanted to avoid to a larger degree chests (not completely), so the kills will give you items that you can sell and in that premise the alchemists will be more important. So this is the first demon class. What about the second demon class?

In this I thought that upgrading a level 4 dagger to a level 0 Dirk might be an idea. 

As such we get the balance of Dagger – Dirk – Short-sword, and after that we need a second weapon. 

I am still considering versions of a morning star, a roman Pilum and a few other weapons, yet in the end, you will have 2-3 weapons, so there are two parts, you need two weapons and you need to think strategically, which Diablo took from the equation (it never really had any clear strategy). As such we have a new environment, we have different enemies and we have the need for different skills. I personally believed that support skills were where it was at. Healing, tracking and vision skills are the path to nice powers that aid in the challenge to finish the game. More important, as each level (area) is better cleared, the towns will open up more stores and more options. 

There is a secondary need to set the stage in a few more ways, in one part as I hate linearity, in the second part if we have more challenges the game would end up getting a much wider acceptance. I want to create a game that honours Diablo, not copy it. Diablo was a game I loved forever ever since the first one came out in 1997, there was Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 broke the mould, so I want to honour it, not copy it. We honour what we love, and I am merely making sure that Microsoft learns the hard way what a total of 68,000,000,000 can cost them. Especially when independent designers use my ideas for free mind you, and only when it is for Sony and Amazon Luna releases. Even if little old me can make sure that Microsoft realise that there is a larger station outside Microsoft, it would have been worth it. Like I stated in the previous article, Microsoft can only win if there is a dartboard and I fail to hit 180 points 470 times, only then would they optionally win, and I have a few more ideas coming. So take notice of this new approach to weapons and I will also give an alternative consideration to armour. In the first there is the idea that leather and pelts make for much stronger protection, in the second I would want to set the stage that imbued metal in the armour would hurt them, but that comes at a price as it would only protect against one major class and two minor classes attached to the major class (see previous article), you see we cannot make it too easy and as you might want to get all protective at the first class, the larger station is that you can never protect against all (a military certainty discussed by Julius Caesar at length). And we must respect the classics, should we not?

So here is the idea of weapons and a little about armour. I will try to come back soon and give you the larger setting of the environment and how levels are set, you can figure out how to program it, I will not do all your work, but the ideas might help set the station, so good Luck and may the one using this find and gain great fortune (and piss of Microsoft in the process).

Enjoy the day!

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In the beginning

It is not a new line, it has been used so many times, but it is a decent start to any story. As I was contemplating yesterday’s story and yesterday’s actions, my mind wandered al over the field. You see creating a hero is easy, you look in the mirror and you have a (delusional) hero. You see, it is the antagonists that shape the story. Would Hercules be anyone if his deed was stopping bullies in a bar? Would the bowie knife existed if it was tasted on vagrants? Nope, we need antagonists!

So I wanted to create something new, yet there are only so many antagonists you can create, gaming has existed for decades, people have used nearly all the antagonists that myth, folklore and history allows for. So we need a new setting of a story. And then it hit me, what if (a setting I personally believe in) the enemy is all around us, we start in a place with one enemy, but from there, then what? That is the only weakness that Diablo has, the story is set to some degree and then we see that our powers are created because we know what comes. So what happens when we take that away?

So consider the pentagram above (a coincidence, honestly), We see the 5 points (A-E) when you start a new game, Demon class A is the first one you meet, you will gain powers from killing that demon, but there is no way telling what class it is, it might be vampire, it might be a ghoul, Incubi, Ifrit, there are too many to name, but that makes the setting fun. As you kill more of that kind your power in point A rises, so at some point you will encounter a new demon. Killing the first one is a challenge, but like Demon A you gain the ability to kill it easier. Now the hard part, the small points are not assigned, If demon A is coded blue, and the second demon is Red, then whoever you meet is assigned purple will be easier to kill, but you will have a max of 50% advantage (can’t make it too easy) and every game the wheel changes, every game will be a new challenge, you can (to some degree) consider the main points, but the minor points cannot be determined until you face them. A setting that (as far as I know) Blizzard never considered and now I have come up with a new challenge. And every game will have up to 8 main types, so against 3 of them you will have to fight for your life. to a smaller degree with minor classes too. And with up to 25 main classes and 30 minor classes, there will be new and unique playthroughs for some tyme to come (spicy enough for you).

This is merely the antagonists. There is more, towns will need to be created and they all have a smith (weapons) an attacked armour maker, and inn (food and drink). And as we see these elements evolve we get a better handle on who and what to kill. A setting that has been done before but not to this degree. So Microsoft spend billions on goods, and I countered the first move (free for Sony and Amazon developers). So consider how angry gamers will become and create your own fortune, let’s show Microsoft not to mess with gamers through their sanctimonious BS. So there is a lot more to do, but consider that we have a larger population dedicated to keep the quality of gaming high.

Enjoy the weekend!

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Is there a difference?

That is the question that overcame me. I was considering a new IP on gaming and it is actually going well, but about that soon. Leave it to me to create a Blizzard contender but now as public domain (for Sony and Amazon). And I do need a hobby so it might as well be sawing the chair-legs away from the Microsoft board of directors. Anyway, as I was contemplating a new path in IP, the Guardian gives us (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/jan/20/tower-twice-grenfell-height-planned-single-staircase-urw) with the title ‘Tower twice Grenfell’s height planned nearby with single staircase’, so the initial example on June 14th 2017 was not enough, construction and architectural companies in the UK as vying for the title of who can kill the surplus population the fastest. A few small details, the Grenfell tower was 67 metres high and became a coffin for 72 people. Now we see that the mistake is overtaken by to buildings, one of 130 metres, one 174 metres and again the singular stairs. I reckon that cladding will not be a problem either, there are always ways to avoid cost overruns. So when we are given “A planning application for a 51-storey residential tower in Docklands with one fire escape has been paused after a safety outcry”, my initial thought was “At what point will Mayor of London Sadiq Khan wake the fuck up?”. Not only was once not enough, we now see two plans, one in Docklands and one close to Grenfell, so the people will not see this nightmare, once, they optionally (if they are lucky) see it twice, what a joy greed makes!

So when the guardian treats us to “Grenfell United, a group representing the survivors and bereaved, said: “After half a decade of campaigning for safer homes, it’s shocking to hear that a new tower block, a stone’s throw from Grenfell, rigged with a fire safety defect before it’s even been built, is being planned.” It considers a single staircase inadequate for use by residents and firefighters if an evacuation is needed, even though it is allowable under building regulations.” I am left with the cornerstones.

  1. Why is this still allowed under building regulations?
  2. Why did the Guardian and Grenfell United need to bring this to the people attention?
  3. What on earth is the Mayor of London doing by allowing this targeted killing of London citizens under his watch?

You think that point 3 is overreaching? Consider the Guardian, yes I have had disagreements with them, yet they are giving us a while places like the BBC people (and others too) seemingly have nothing. So at what point will the BBC wake up, when will the larger news take this up and asks loudly the serious questions that should be asked? 

I know, only 72 died, London has roughly 9,000,000 people, so it is nothing. If this upsets you excellent! You see, we saw all the trial shenanigans. Now consider the video (from a firefighter) that some might have seen (at https://youtu.be/QM4RJE81fh4) and now consider and wonder how these two plans were set in motion, moreover we get to hear “a 51-storey residential tower in Docklands with one fire escape has been paused after a safety outcry” at what point will you consider ‘has been paused after a safety outcry’. This required an outcry? This was not stopped from the moment the plans were submitted? It would have been long before the people and in particular Grenfell United would have been aware. 

So when we see the video with the response from a firefighter ‘How is that even possible?” and now the Guardian informs us that two more apartment buildings, buildings that are even higher are planned, I reckon that a lot of people want to know who is at the helm of these folly pieces and a list of civil servants that are seemingly asleep at the wheel of city governance, because as I personally see it heads will roll on this one. So we might be drawn by “as some safety experts call current staircase rules ‘madness’”, I would be much more interested on the setting that someone signed off on this, because we see “has been paused”, this implies that someone gave the signal to go ahead on this, or not?

So when the Guardian gives us “as part of a complex of 1,760 new homes being planned by the owner of the Westfield shopping centre in west London.” I merely wonder if that Westfield complex has an undertaker on the spot, because for them business will be booming with up to 3,500-4,000 new customers soon enough. You think I am too blunt? Consider that being soft seemingly did nothing and the fact that someone was optionally willing to repeat the 72 deaths with up to 4,000 souls for bartering in a second attempt. I believe we need a sledgehammer, not the subtlety of tweezers. We did that in 2017 and it seemingly led nowhere. So as the Guardian gives us “but it will rely on the same “stay put” strategy that failed on 14 June 2017 contributing to deaths, according to planning documents.” I feel anger, but mostly because there is some logic in the ‘stay put’ setting, yet it cannot be denied that is failed completely in Grenfell, so why were ALL London building plans not stopped to investigate the logical sanity of that procedure? And moreover, why is that setting as well as the conclusions of that not in EVERY newspaper in the Commonwealth? 

I will let you ponder on this whilst I continue on the idea that gives Blizzard a run for their money, mostly it is me having a go at Microsoft for buying an ice-cream cone for $37,000,000,000 whilst the supermarket 253.4 meters away sells them by the bucket for $50,000,000. It is only a mere factor of 740, and if I get a decent result on my first attempt Microsoft stock would go straight to the basement, and that is before they get a clue on the other issues that Activision might give them, which makes my attempt a lot easier. Ah well, I hope to give you the news soon. 

When a hobby give that much satisfaction, it is almost criminal to be on an income (I would still take it), and the better case for laughter is that one in 740 implies that statistics would fall towards me no matter how it goes. Consider a dartboard. How many darts will it take for you to throw 180? Microsoft can only win if I fail 740 times any success hit sooner becomes a massive cost for them. And there is the rub, only if I fail more than 740 times will Microsoft win, now you try on a dartboard and see how many times it took you to get 180. That is the folly Microsoft started and I am about to rain the size of a blizzard on their parade. Life can be fun and rewarding at times, unless you live in an apartment building in London.

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The gaming mandate

We all seem to know what is best for all, we talk about policies, protocols and even mandates. Yet are they valid? I looked at a game based in the Walking dead on iOS, I looked at it for 5 minutes, saw how it played and deleted it. In my view it was not a game. It looked awesome, the graphics were amazing, but the game play is set to short term events that will get increasingly harder, not challenging, merely harder, and soon there after too hard. The game draws you in and after that it will be about pay to play through microtransactions. Their actions are not invalid, they are not illegal. I merely see it as this being no longer a game, but a mere cash cow. The problem is that these games also attract people who do not really know what gaming is, or sometimes even what games are. That is a shame.

You see, I am not trying to set out some mandate, but there is the joy of gaming and that needs to be protected. As I saw this game of short term bursts of gaming, the idea of gaming tends to be larger, should be larger and often on non-micro-transaction foundations will be more joy. So I started to think, what if the premise of that game is altered?

A different stage of play, a much larger map, even at the same foundation, consider what you know of the Walking dead and now have a Dungeon keeper approach. A map that is set, but in that map we can create a small protected place, we can place a garden (hatchery) that offers sustenance and calls a type of player, we sleeping quarters (lair) that does the same, but lets people rest. And we can see how we can add a workshop, a gym, a guard post and so on. As the game goes from level to level the players gets attacked, walker after walker with a wave or two and  the player can figure out hat to build where, how to get resources and so on, a stage NOT build on micro transactions, but a game build for joy and the consoles are doing their jobs, but soon it will be to the streamers, if they cannot break the cycle of pay-to-play, a whole generation will optionally lose the joy to play at all. Consider that Activision Blizzard generated 5.74 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. That is ONE company. Now we get it, Blizzard is big, and we cannot compete with that size, but there are dozens of smaller ones competing for revenue. Candy Crush generated revenue exceeding a billion dollars in 2019. Now consider that they did nothing wrong, but their game is set on algorithms that are set on you almost making it, and yes for $1 in special candy you could make it, it is ego versus mathematics and the ego will ALWAYS lose. Yet what happens when we invest into that $5 a month Amazon Luna solution? What if we enjoy long term gaming? You see, Amazon Luna (Google Stadia too) have a much lower threshold than consoles do and that is the barrier that is easily broken, to set players into a field where they can explore, enjoy and have fun. You see when we crush short term achievement drives and we get people on the bandwagon of fun we can change a lot and hopefully create a few people to take over the sceptre from people like Peter Molyneux, Richard Garriott, and Sid Meier. We have some really good game makers, but t present there is ALWAYS room for more, especially when their dreams, ideas and perseverance brings us new and original gaming IP. That is what we need on pretty much all systems. When the wish becomes the mandate it can be a force for good, but it is not a given, I merely hope it will turn out that way.

Yet in all earnest, and even as I am ripping old IP apart to use what is good, we need the stage of what is good to hopefully create something new and better. Even now I still think of a game released 24 years ago. It was GoldenEye 007. It changed things and even now it still holds a candle up to what is created today. Some of it is found in TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, almost 17 years ago. Games that enticed whole scores of gamers. So what happens when we look back and consider the IP we cast aside? We ignore Populous II: Trials of the Olympian Gods, a game 30 years old, but even now it still has appeal. Even as graphics need improvement, the makers then had really nice ideas and we forgot just how much fun we had for weeks. Even now, a 23 year old game like Sentinel Returns could still generate a whole score of fans and they are not alone. There have been makers like Peter Cooke who created Tower of Babel well over 30 years ago. Even as it requires an upgrade (graphics), the foundation of these games was good and engaging and we need them, we need to break the cycle of micro transactions. This sounds a little wrong, because there is nothing with microtransactions, yet I see everyone hammering against loot boxes and EA, all whilst the problem of microtransactions is well over 1000% worse. And the issue is not that they exist, or that they are not illegal, because they are not, but the foundation of the kind of gamers we create is. And I am not including the stupid people who go crying to some lame journo on how they wasted $12,000 on loot boxes, all whilst that journo is ignoring the stupidity of the person, but the draw of gaming is partially to blame. By setting the stage to ego (like a puzzle with a diminishing IQ counter), instead of a joy that has no time pressure, we change the foundation of our playing habit, and it needs to change. The old systems were harbouring dozens of games that could be added to any gaming arsenal and bring joy to the gamer Not all of them are RPG, some are shooters, some are platforms and some are a combination. We all have different needs, but we all have an overwhelming need to have fun, and too many games in todays android and iOS environment are driven to make it an ego driven event. If I were wrong there would never be a lego game, but I am not. There are well over 80 games based on the lego concept and they are (for the most) all fun. They are not alone but they are out there and their presence sticks out, they are not alone.

To call for a gaming mandate is wrong, because gaming is different for us all, I get that and some like the match three games, but they are hidden traps and that has never been made clear, The Conversation linked to this in 2014, There we get “During a recent radio talkback discussion, on which I was a guest, parents rang in with extraordinary tales of their children’s accidental and expensive online spending. One parent divulged that his six-year-old had spent A$700 in 15 minutes upgrading to new levels using in-app purchases.”, we still see news on loot boxes and the need to tax it all, yet none of them are looking into micro-transactions and match 3 games, are they? And they are not alone, a source gives us “The mobile games industry shows no signs of slowing down with consumer spending reaching $44.7 billion for the first half of 2021, an 18 per cent increase year-over-year.” And how does that add up compared to loot boxes? I think certain political players are unwilling to look into the directions that they have no hold over, and micro-transactions are not illegal, neither are loot boxes, but their legal status is wrongfully being changed. The stakeholders have a little too much power, so I need to make sure that we can change the premise of gaming before it is too late and in this the streaming solutions are the easiest to tackle, they are the station where the independent programmers could make the larger impact and with disregarded IP on a dozen systems there are additional options. I believe we need to press for this change before people forget that gaming has always been about fun, not ego.

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Awaiting next week

Whatever happens, will happen. You see, the E3 is on next week and in this it will be the week of gamers. We will see presentations from the big makers and they will either wow or BS us. The interesting part is that this is the one week in the year where we either do not care or we cannot tell the difference. You could tell a little better if you are actually there, but that is not for all to do, unless you live in California that is.

The big players will give us on Saturday the 10th the EA press conference, the day after it will be for Microsoft and Bethesda to ‘wow’ its public. Monday will be Ubisoft and Sony, followed that day after by Nintendo and several small presentations with two unannounced AAA games. There is a chance that the new GTA expansion Gunrunners will take one of them. Tuesday till Thursday, from 19:30 (LA time), we will get the Giant Bomb Live (whatever that is). During those days we will get additional presentations some like Shadow of War (Shadow of Mordor 2) is set, and we will see demonstrations of games (titles not given, other than the platform they are on) and the rest is about seeing the stands and watching what wealthy gamers can enjoy in person. It is the chaos all gamers desire. There are already games in place, games by marketeers. You see Ubisoft is in a difficult position. When we see: ‘New Assassin’s Creed: Origins Leak Shows Main Character, Pyramid, And Bonus Content‘ we see a title that implies that either the issue of Ubisoft not knowing how to deal with security, which is a problem. Or, what is more likely is that its marketing department is dipping its toes in the water trying to see the feedback. The second is more likely as this is pretty much the last chance Ubisoft has to recapture the audience it lost from this franchise and that is a large audience. The fact that it is safer nowadays to just wait 8 weeks and buy the limited editions with 50% discount gives you the idea of their loss. In the old days those boxes would be sold out even before the first day of release was even close to happening, Ubisoft lost that much. The EA presentation is a hard one. When we consider what is confirmed, than they do have an issue, however, they might have surprises for us, which most tend to have. For EA it is a hard one, because they are kicking off E3 2017. Bethesda did such an amazing overwhelming job last year that EA is in a tough position, I am not writing them off, but until we see a gossip part of something truly amazing, EA might not rock-da-house so to speak. Bethesda comes the next day with several titles that will capture the minds of gamers. Several of them are all about shooting; at least one will be about shooting, stabbing and killing Nazi’s, so Blazkowitz is expected to be nearby. The Evil within 2 is announced through rumour, which is a nice surprise. After giving us a different kind of nightmare a few years ago, we will get to see what will make us fear what is under the bed this year. In addition Elder Scrolls online players will get to see more, so there is that to look forward to. The latest rumour is that there is a small chance that we will get a first glimpse of the new Elder Scrolls game, and a smaller chance that a tease for the next Fallout will hit our eyes in roughly 3 days 4 hours and a few minutes. We got a fistful of teaser last year with the upcoming god of War last year from Sony. The title is still not out, so we should expect to see more of that game, hopefully updated with an actual date of release. For the PS4pro fans, we should be hopeful to see David Braben show off the PS4 edition of Elite Dangerous, as this version is out on June 27th, which is less than 2 weeks after the E3. This E3 will be a lot more about DLC’s, so the Blizzard fans will get to see loads of upcoming stuff. The list of people awaiting the Diablo 3 addition is larger than the LA White pages, so this is something we hope to see the official release date on. Another reason to seek YouTube on the E3 events is to see the floors. When you realise that the booths of Ubisoft, Bethesda, Microsoft and Activision are the size of a department store, you know you will get to see unique things that the non-visitors will envy you for; especially, when you start forwarding the ‘selfies’ with a larger than life Butcher (Evil within, 2013). This is just one of several halls described, so when I say that the E3 is the gamers place to be, I am understating the need to be there by a fair amount. It gets even wilder when you realise that in another hall, the Sony stand is larger than the Bethesda and Microsoft combined, so we will very likely get to see a few more things regarding all things PS4pro.

In the end, do not just take my word, find the E3 events and watch the presentations. Those will show you for one what you missed out on and it will also be a first step in creating your upcoming Christmas wish list. So far the last three years have shown me what was coming and how much I was unaware of the games I really wanted. One presentation is unknown to be there, but the Subnautica early release on Xbox One was overwhelming. Not just as a game, but as the game grew and as we got more and more, the game will become an absolute must on the PS4, which is expected to be released in September 2017. Oh, and the E3 is not just software, hardware players like NVidia will also be present, so any new hardware development for PC graphics will be visible too.

So as we are awaiting the arrival of next week, for those who are a little over the bulk promises from political parties, the escalations in France and Germany’s move from Turkey, there is the option to just get into gaming and see where that leaves your sanity. In addition, as you get deeper into Call of Duty, you might find yourself more and more imagining these Nazi’s to be ISIS fighters; there is no war like the present I say. So as I leave Activision with the idea of a free DLC, so that we can practice. I also leave you with the comment of Josh Hutcherson in Red Dawn, where he states: “Dude, we are living Call of Duty and it sucks!

That is to make you aware of the difference between gaming in a lazy chair and an actual theatre of war. Because as we seek a little escapism from reality, which is good for the soul at times. We should not forget that the deadly reality is on several doorsteps; in addition, the implied changes I suggested yesterday were partially implemented by France less than 24 hours later. What were the chances of me predicting that? I offer the thought that this was not a game and the changes required in Europe seem to be adopted in France, which is good as they lack a level of security that the UK has due to the fact that it is an island. In addition, the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40195212) gives us more on Youssef Zaghba and more important, the fact that Italy placed Youssef on the SIS2 list, which now beckons the call on how Youssef actually entered the UK. If it was though the Netherlands (Ferry) or the smaller airfields like Rotterdam or Eindhoven, the question becomes how diligent are these checks? There are a few unknowns, but it seems that within Schengen, certain unchecked issues are now an actual security concern. So as we see certain implied accusations, we need to wonder whether Youssef was on SIS2, and if so when was he added?

These are all issues awaiting us for next week, one is all about recreation, one is about anything but recreations and the rest falls in the middle. We can argue, or have a conversation how the terror curve is an inverted recreation curve, yet in all this; the one element that I raised yesterday is now coming to the forefront. I mentioned that we need to think in new ways, we need a new approach to tackle intelligence solutions. The one part they all ignore, or philosophise around it, is that the better game designers have been developing at the edge of hardware possibilities and software creativity for years, a few literally for decades. It is not the worst idea for some of the larger players in the field of security find a way to have a serious conversation with some developers in regards to how creative solutions in data parsing could be found. Some of the larger developers have been doing just that for a decade or more.

As I stated, and I stand by that ‘we need to stop looking in the same direction and regard any box to be obsolete, we need to start being creative to the application of data and technology‘, it is that approach that got me to solve the NHS IT issue. The foundation took a mere hour to ‘solve’.

To those doubting me (always a valid option), I now have a few dozen I told you so articles where what I stated and those following learned came with a difference of weeks, not hours. So I reckon I have made my point a few times. When it comes to the upcoming elections, my larger fear is that Corbyn succeeds by swaying the people to dive the UK in a deeper debt, one that it cannot overcome for decades, it leaves the UK too vulnerable. So consider your choice, and also consider the bleeding hearts of Amnesty International. As they proclaim on loss of rights in Paris, they seem to leave the people in the dark on the dangers that France has faced a few times and how these dangers for now persist. There is a time and a place for everything, and for the most I have never opposed peaceful protests, yet these tend to escalate fast, and it only takes a few people to escalate it beyond proportions. In a time when a man attacking people with a hammer near Notre Dame is just another moment of extremism, is the question, should we protest now, at a time when groups get targeted by extremists? There is nothing stopping them to do this online, via Facebook or Twitter. As stated, it is not about the protest it is about the timing in the light of events as they are happening in Europe. Perhaps my thoughts are wrong on this, and you are welcome to oppose that. Yet with the amount of attacks, with the dangers as the flood of extremists is not known, do you want to be the person starting a peaceful protest, only to guide those who agree to a dangerous life threatening situation?

I do not proclaim to be wise enough to have the answer here; I am merely going on common sense here. So as we get towards and through next week. Perhaps at that point will the information be shown that I was right or wrong? I am happy to be wrong, I am less happy that me, myself and I setting the wrong stage costing the lives of others. That is fair too, is it not?

So as we see the throne of games evolve over the next week on the stages of politics, policies and PlayStation, we need to try and identify, what is marketing and what is BS marketing. The difference will impact the lives of many. It is easy to shrug it off when it is a $100 video game; it is less entertaining when it causes 15 years of austerity. I’ll let you decide on how fair that is, when in doubt, see austerity in action by watching the news on Greece!

 

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