Retired NFL’ers want their cuts, Rockband 2 Glitches , and World of Warcraft Patches – Welcome to the column that the first step was not admitting they have a problem but deciding the problem never existed at all known as Dare to Play the Game.
Ha, well the Ike debris still exists. It’s like a fungus actually. At some point, I expect it to sprout wings and engulf my house. Somehow, I don’t think FEMA or my insurance covers such things or the deductible might be too high. It has moved (by me, not spontaneously) to the front where I was going to try and load it into my Corolla. This didn’t work as planned and is now in a neat pile waiting for next weekend. Hopefully, I’ll be able to corral a couple of friends with larger vehicles or better knowledge of what to do with it. I would like to tell what I would like to do with it, but there are children listening. I wish I could burn the pile, but I am not sure anybody wants to entrust me with setting fire to something.
Over the weekend, I purchased Lost Odyssey for the 360 at Target for a mere $15. Beautiful game, 4 discs, a turn-based rpg, the whole bit. One tiny problem. The packaging. I’m sure there are those out there who have seen this piece of crap. Three discs on a spindle and one disc floating in a paper envelope thrown together in a single dvd case. Are they on crack? Seriously, did they employ a masochist who dabbles in dvd packaging? Would it have killed them to make a quad disc case that was slightly bigger than the average case? I can’t imagine them saving that much money to throw it in there and shove it up the consumer’s ass. Oh sorry, children, right. The game has been out about 7 months now, you think there would be enough complaints about this thing for Microsoft to do something about it. Oh right, this is America, there is hardly any of us who play rpgs without the name Final Fantasy or Warcraft on it. /sigh.
Here is Morgan live from the news desk of G4 reporting on today’s economic events. “Please stop selling your &*^&$^ stocks and actually buy something once in a forsaken while.” I’m paraphrasing but I’m sure she said something like that. Seriously, to those who are panicking right now (not the ready to retire folks, the general 30 something’s with nothing better to do), just do the world a favor and shoot yourself in the head. I understand the whole freaking world is in a recession (we’ve been in it for some time now), but the sooner we work together and congress works together to get a good solution in place, the better off we are. In the mean time, calm down and have yourself a bud. The sun still sets and beer will still be sold, hopefully by the case.
A suit brought by retired NFL players not only alleges they’re due money for Electronic Arts’ use of their likenesses and career stats, but also that their own union brokered a below-market deal as a favor to EA, helping it secure exclusive NFL rights for its Madden franchise.
Via Ars Technica and GamePolitics, former Buffalo Bills defensive back Jeff Nixon has written an open letter to John Madden (also a Hall of Famer and former Oakland Raiders coach) which details some documents discovered in this suit. Nixon alleges the plaintiffs have communication between the a union official and an EA developer cc’d to another union official, in which everyone agreed to scramble retired players’ likenesses to keep from paying them, beginning with Madden NFL 2002. The players may not be identifiable visually, or by number, but they still have the same height, weight, years of service and performance characteristics, making them wink-and-nod identifiable.
The reason for the scrambling? Take-Two apparently was going after retired players’ image permissions for a game that never got off the ground. Nixon alleges EA and the NFLPA’s marketing unit, NFL Players Inc., rushed to lock down a contract that secured the most valuable retired players’ rights for below-market payments, and says he has an email (jump) admitting this.
When a substantial competitor to EA [Take-Two] began to emerge for use of retired players, EA and Defendants rushed to enter into a contract locking up the most valuable retired players’ rights in exchange for payments that were admittedly below market. [NFL Players Inc]’s Senior Vice-President, Clay Walker, admitted as much in the following email:
“Take Two [the EA competitor] went after retired players to create an “NFL” style video game after we gave the exclusive to EA. I was able to forge this deal with [the Pro Football Hall of Fame] that provides them with $400K per year (which is significantly below market rate) in exchange for the HOF player rights. EA owes me a huge favor because that threat was enough to persuade Take Two to back off its plans, leaving EA as the only professional football videogame manufacturer out there.”
Ars Technica also pointed out another email dug up by the suit:
An e-mail sent November 1, 2007, is equally plain in its language. Andrew Feffer, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the NFLPA wrote to EA Sports’ representative Paul Cairns that “Clay and Joe’s negotiation of these discounted terms was a significant contribution to EA as you more than likely would have paid in excess of $1 million for these rights without their involvement and assistance.” In other words, you saved a cool million because you had people negotiating who weren’t hoping to strike the best deal for the players.
As for the agreement to scramble players’ likenesses, Nixon’s letter also says this is from LaShun Lawson, the VP of multimedia for NFL Players, Inc., to EA producer Jeremy Strauser, cc’d to Doug Allen, then president of NFL Players Inc.
“For all retired players that are not listed… their identity must be altered so that it cannot be recognized. Regarding paragraph 2 of the License Agreement between Electronic Arts and Players Inc, a player’s identity is defined as his name, likeness (including without limitation, number), picture, photograph, voice, facsimile signature and/or biographical information. Hence, any and all players not listed… cannot be represented in Madden 2002 with the number that player actually wore, and must be scrambled.”
The lawsuit goes to trial next month in San Francisco.
For me, one of the best things in the Madden series was the recreation of the old teams. The 85 Bears was extremely popular and it was always a wink wink nudge nudge that you were running with Walter Payton and you could always tear the quarterback a new one with William Perry. But it would only be their numbers. Along the way, they had to get smarter and skew it even more where it would just be raw stats and a guess as to which player was which. Now apparently after all of these years, the retirees have figured out the game and went, “Hey that’s me and I’m not getting paid for this”. Of course this was spurred some with T2 & All-Pro Football who purchased the rights to use many retirees. Most likely, they will have to pay some money & dump the whole idea and not even include any famous teams. Although, I’d say with the current age of consoles as long as you have full edit rights (both name, info, and stats) and are able to save it to the hard drive, this shouldn’t even be a problem. Plenty of us are smart enough to do this on our own, we just need a vehicle to let us.
Lots of people on the Rock Band forums are complaining of a pretty heinous multiplayer glitch in Rock Band 2, which seems to only affect the 360 version. In a nutshell, it strikes bands with Live Enabled gamers as the primary account, and non-Live enabled as the secondary. The glitch wipes out your band in tour mode, and forces you to start over. Particularly aggravating is that it seems to wait until you’re a ways into the game.
Sifting through a 15-page thread I can’t seem to find any response from Harmonix on this, as to whether the glitch is known, what the problem is, if there’s a workaround, if a patch is coming, what. Now, I don’t have a direct line to Harmonix — I don’t even have the game here — and besides, it’s a Saturday anyway. But yeah, if this problem is as people describe it, that’s pretty goddamn aggravating and they’re owed an explanation, or at least an acknowledgment of the issue. So how about it, Harmonix.
Email from a tipster explaining the glitch is on the jump.
Writes Justin B.
A number of Rock Band 2 players are experiencing an error in tour mode where at some point through the game (it seems people most often make substantial progress and are just prior to the airplane award) they start the game and find they cannot access their band. Your character and your band do not show up in the selection screen, but unlocked songs are still available. If you enter quickplay mode your character is deleted. For some reason your band will show up in online mode, but when you access it you get a message stating “looking for band leader” that never resolves and you have to back out. In the game options screen, when you try to load your band, or modify it in any way, you can still see the band but your only option is to delete it. This error seems to becoming more and more common, and its incredibly frustrating because your only option is to create a brand new band and start your tour all over again.
The common threads seem to be the use of an X-box Live Enabled primary account and a non X-box Live Enabled secondary account. To form your band. This makes me believe this will be an X-box 360 error and not anything that would effect the Wii or PS3 versions.
I’m glad I read this before I bought RockBand 2. The scenario that is listed below regarding an Xbox Live Enabled primary account (Kedrix) and a non X-box Live enabled secondary account(Like my girlfriend’s) is exactly the scenario I created a band under in my first Rockband game. Hence, if I were to buy Rockband 2; I would fall into this deadly trap. Rockband is one of those games where they force every player to have an account. I’ve always thought it should go both ways, have a primary account like mine and then player 2-4 should just be part of that profile. Yes, all achievements would be achieved under one profile but it is just a lot simpler. When two people log in, it becomes confusing and sometimes achievements pop in one account but not the other. Just have one profile active during a game session. I know, it sounds conceited for those who like to play with multiple profiles on the same xbox but expect glitches like these to happen. Here is hope that they get this fixed and in short order. I really would like to get Rockband 2 by Christmas and this is something of a stumbling block since I find the World Tour mode one of the major reasons to buy.
World of Warcraft
(*Selected notes follow. If you want the full notes, feel free to click the link. I really didn’t want to paste the full notes since it is about 15 pages long and I have no earthly clue what impact a certain skill will have on a character I don’t play*)
• All players will have their talent points reimbursed and will have access to new talents throughout their trees; this includes the 51-point talents. Several new spells and abilities have been added for all classes. Players will need to visit their class trainer to learn new spells.
• The Kirin Tor have made their move and so has Dalaran.Please watch your step around the crater that has been left behind!
• The Barber Shop has been implemented and you can now visit one of the Barber Shops in the major cities to change your appearance. Be sure to get your Shave and a Haircut!
• The all new Achievement System has been implemented and the Achievement panel can be accessed via the interface. While many achievements are not retroactive, we have done our best to credit as many as possible. Gamemasters will not be able to grant achievements for past accomplishments.
There are a couple of important things here. First, we get a free re-spec which will surely delight those who need to re-spec more often than a dwarf needing a re-fill on the Thunderbrew. However, the reason is because they are changing many parts of our sacred trees that we have come so accustomed to. So be sure to visit some calculators @ Wowhead or other locations before you make your choices final. I’ve needed to re-spec my rogue for a long time so this should be very helpful. A nice thing here is that Achievements will try to be retroactive. But this will most likely includes those tasks where information can be saved about it. If there is an achievement of jumping off a pier and surviving, there probably isn’t anything in the system that can be saved so expect to do this one again.
• All pet families now have one unique ability. New abilities have been added for families such as bears and sporebats.
• Stablemasters can now accommodate two additional pets.
• Pets now have their own trees. These can be accessed via the talent panel.
• Aspects now no longer cost mana.
• Bite now has no cooldown, does the same damage and costs the same Focus as Claw, so works as a Focus dump.
• Every hunter pet can learn Growl, Cower and either Bite or Claw (never both).
• If a hunter tames a pet that is more than five levels beneath their own level, the pet will then have their level increased to five levels beneath the hunter’s own level.
• Loyalty, Training Points and the hunter Beast Training button no longer exist. Hunter pets can now learn all skills at their level. They will get new ranks automatically as they gain levels.
• Wingclip: No longer does damage.
I decided to touch on Hunter first since this is my second favorite character and my girlfriend’s level 70. But I think the main improvements here are centered around the pet. First we get two more pet slots, thank goodness. Expect those to be purchased in short order. Pets are now actually unique. No longer will everybody have a cat or a boar simply because of their abilities. There will actually be reasons (besides cosmetic) to have bears, turtles or perhaps even a hyena. Okay maybe not a hyena. The pets can also be tailored a certain way based on their own talent tree. If you like cats or another family, this is the way that you can actually have two cats and they be totally different.
The ability to have both Claw and Bite was removed. My bear has had Claw and Bite for the longest time and I never understood what the difference was. Another excellent thing that has been simplified is that we can now tame low-level creatures and have them automatically jump in levels. This was primarily done for boar lovers I would guess as I never seen one above the mid-20’s. Leveling a level 20 pet when you are 70 is virtually insane, so this helps. Also Loyalty and Training Points have been thrown out the window. Does that mean we don’t have to feed them anymore either? But I will miss the fact that I no longer have to go find X creature so I can learn bite 4. Actually made it kinda challenging. Oh well.
• Circle of Healing (Holy): Now works on any targets in the caster’s raid, and is now a “smart” heal and chooses the lowest health targets to heal first within its range. Also now has a 6 second cooldown. Also no longer will heal summoned Snakes from Hunter’s Snake Trap.
• Focused Will (Discipline): Now increases healing effects on you by 3/4/5%, down from 4/7/10%.
• Force of Will (Discipline): This talent now increases your spell damage by a flat amount, rather than increasing your spells by a %. (Now increases school %, rather than selected spells damage %). In other words, your spell damage gained from this talent is now reflected on your character sheet, rather than the skill tool-tips.
• Holy Fire: Cast time reduced to 2 seconds, down from 3.5. Damage increased roughly 60%. Duration for the damage over time effect reduced to 7 seconds, down from 10. Holy Fire now has a 10 second cooldown.
• Improved Inner Fire (Discipline) – Now also increases the effect of Inner Fire spell by 20/40/60% (Includes the +spell power on higher ranks, as well as total number of charges).
• New Talent: Twin Faiths (Discipline) – Increases your damage and healing by 1/2/3/4/5%.
• Pain Suppression (Discipline): Cooldown increased to 3 minutes, up from 2.
• Power Infusion (Discipline): Cooldown reduced to 2 minutes, down from 3.
• Psychic Scream now costs 15% of base mana.
• Shackle Undead now costs 9% of base mana.
• Wand Specialization (Discipline) has been removed.
Since I’ve been playing my priest a lot lately, I figured I would attack this next. Currently I’m a disc priest, so I’ve selected a lot of discipline related talents. Now, I could be reading this wrong but it looks to me like a not of nerfing going on. Focused Will down, Force of Will increases spell damage by a flat amount rather than %, Pain Supression Cooldown increased, & Wand Specialization removed. WTF?! Now, I know most priests go either Holy or Shadow. Those who go Holy are pure healers; those who go Shadow try to be crappy fighters. Yeah I went there. Disc is supposed to be a harmony and while you are still a healer, you can still solo quests and do things by yourself. Maybe I should just go Holy. At least they had the sense to improve Holy Fire. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to try & cast Holy Fire and have it interrupted umpteen times.
• Blade Twisting (Combat) now cause all damaging melee attacks to have a 10% chance to daze for 4/8 seconds movement speed reduced by 70%.
• Crippling Poison reduced to 1 rank, slowing movement by 70%.
• Dagger Specialization (Combat) renamed Close Quarters Combat, moved to tier 3, now increases critical strike chance with Daggers and Fist Weapons by 1/2/3/4/5%.
• Damaging poisons now scale with attack power.
• Dual Wield Specialization (Combat) moved to tier 1.
• Fist Weapon Specialization (Combat) removed.
• Kick is now only 1 rank and no longer causes damage.
• Pick Lock and Disarm Trap no longer require Thieve’s Tools.
• Poisons skill removed. All finished poisons are available on vendors rather than created by the rogue.
• Precision (Combat) now also increases chance to hit with poison attacks by 1/2/3/4/5%.
• Riposte (Combat) now slows the target’s melee attacks by 20% instead of disarming them, awards one combo point.
• Vanish no longer requires the reagent Flash Powder.
• Wounding Poison no longer stacks, reduces healing by 50%.
Ahhh, my main. I miss him so. He will be my first 60. By christmas I hope, even if I have to claw and scrape to get there. He is a Combat rogue as well, so let’s see what they did for him. Fist Weapon Specialization has been removed and merged with Dagger Specialization. Yes! Less points for me to spend. Since our selection of fist weapons is about as entertaining as one-handed maces for priests (yes my priest is using Cookie’s Tenderizer, a rolling pin folks!), it made only sense to group these together. The other huge thing was that Poisons were greatly simplified. No more making poisons or making sure you have enough materials. Instead, you have to buy the finished poisons from the vendors. That’s good for the most part as we had to visit the vendors for the vials anyway. Other poisons were modified like Crippling & Wounding. I use crippling a lot, the 1 rank is the equivalent of Crippling Poison II, which is fine. The rest of the major improvements is an attempt to alleviate bank space with no more flash powder (thank god, I carried two stacks) and no more tools. I’ll miss the little machine in Ratchet that spit out the tools though.
• New Profession: Inscription is available to train up to 375.
• New Calendar feature: Players will be able to access the new Calendar feature by clicking on the new icon located in the top right corner of their mini map. The calendar will track in game events, allow raid scheduling, and more.
• New Vanity Pet and Mount changes: Players will now be able to access their non-combat pets and mounts by clicking on the pets tab in the Character Info panel. These pets and mounts will be now learnable much like spells or abilities. Once a vanity pet or mount is learned, the icon will disappear from within a player’s inventory and reappear in the appropriate tab under the pet tab under Character Info. Say goodbye to your vanity pets and mounts taking up bag and bank slots!
• Quests can be shared with party members at any distance.
• Quests can be shared with party members by linking the quest into party chat.
• Quests can be shared in raids but not battlegrounds.
The remaining notes are just some nice features they have added to the system. Quests can basically be shared anywhere except battlegrounds. Thank goodness I don’t have to be in somebody’s face to share a quest anymore. Some of those people we quest with smell of decaying flesh and bleached out hair. I got to stop questing with those darn Blood Elves. The Vanity Pet and Mount changes. Halleufreakingyah! My hunter and priest both have about half a dozen pets each, probably closer to ten. To have those on a spell bar as opposed to silly bag space is such a blessing. The calendar feature I like and kinda laugh at the same time. It’s awesome because I can put events like Brewfest or other things that are important to my character. It’s laughable because I think of other people’s calendars. Those who take WoW a little too seriously and will have raids and guild meetings on them. And oh, don’t forget those World of Warcraft weddings. Don’t be late or else you might not get to /roll on the bouquet.
A little bit of a let down this week after the last couple. MLB Stickball is the big money title this week and I admit it is an interesting idea. Start you off with some players, get more through baseball cards that I assume you earn by winning games and such. The characters have huge heads and tiny bodies which make it seem very kiddiesh. Here is hoping that there are enough options and cute ideas that help us remember when we were kids and playing this form of baseball was king. Does any kid these days actually know what stickball is? Good idea, but perhaps about 10-20 years too late.
I am 100% confused on this title. Well okay, 97.9%. No mention on the official Xbox site, I saw this title when I logged in this morning to download demos. While I didn’t get anytime to play it, from what I can guess, it is a ninja party game. You are one of four ninjas and you run around in circles trying to kill your opponents. There are powerups and other items that make your ninja more powerful while you try to assassinate your foes. It sounds a lot like Bomberman goes ninja. Whether or not it is worth 800 points, your guess is as good as mine.
A bowling game for WiiWare. A very simplistic bowling game with some radical physics engine to precisely control your throw with the Wiimote. Midnight Bowling, more than likely this is Nightmare Bowling. Hey wait, Gameloft; this is a mobile phone game. Mobile Phone ports to major consoles, never good. If you want a bowling game with obstacles, Rocketbowl for Xbox Live Arcade more than fits the bill. Don’t feed this little nightmare after or before midnight.
In this little puzzler, you have elemental mad stones and they need to reach the bottom of the screen which represents the bottom of the earth. These mad stones will help to quell the forces of nature that are turning the planet upside down. Creepy. Blocks are broken by direct impact and setting up scenarios where you can devise a cascading collapse. There is single player and competitive two player modes and it might be a nice deviation or just make you well…mad. (That you spent 800 points on this)
The title of the week perhaps and one of the few times I won’t rag on a N64 game. Mario and his buddies take to the links and try to find their way through 6 different 18-hole courses in a variety of environments. There are ten modes of play and a lot of characters to choose from. Having a Boo indicate wind direction is a nice touch and it includes multiplayer support. If you like golf or adore Mario, this is worth the 1,000 points and gets a very hearty recommendation.
This Shining Force was considered a much better title than the first release. The world is much larger & you can return to previous parts fairly easily giving more options while you play. A large number of player characters has been included as well to build your Force. Great tactics and a beautiful world made this quite the fun game to play. This game was extremely highly regarded and a copy can fetch the same as a new game these days. Here is hoping with the VC release that the cart goes down some. Easy recommendation as well.
NBA Live 09
NBA 09 The Inside
Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant
NBA Live 09
NBA 09 The Inside
My Spanish Coach
NBA Live 09
NBA 09 The Inside
NBA Live 09
Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant
Guilty Gear 2: Overture
Game Party 2
NBA Live 09 All-Play
Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant
Army Men: Soldiers of Misfortune
North American Hunting Extravaganza
Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant
Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals
Prey the Stars
Kage Densetsu: The Legend of Kage 2
Imagine Fashion Designer New York
Bleach: Dark Souls
Hey some, basketball titles got released, did you not notice? Remember this year, especially for the Xbox and PS3 experience, you get updated rosters on a frequent basis for NBA Live 09 and I believe 2k9 as well. Probably not daily, but I would imagine weekly. I find myself drawn to the 2k series and might be looking for the game if I snag it for around $40. Then again, I haven’t played a real basketball game since 2k5 so it might take some adjustment. A new Crash Bandicoot game makes to many of the major consoles in an attempt to make him relevant. He hasn’t been relevant unfortunately since the Playstation 1 console. Man I miss Crash Bandicoot 2 and his first racing game for PS1. I still have the Xbox copy of Crash Bandicoot on my shelf sealed that I found for $5. Other interesting sighting include Guilty Gear which unfortunately might get lost in the shuffle (even though typically they have been great fighting games) and soon find itself as a $30 title. The final one, for my sweetie is a good ole Bleach game for the DS. I still have yet to watch an episode but if there are two games out there (1 for Wii and 1 for DS), it must be something decent going on there.
WoW time. 53/29/25/17. The only character I played with this week was my priest, that’s why he jumped 5 almost 6 levels in a short period of time. I got sick of Auberdine (terrible place to quest without a mount) and took the time to finish Bloodmyst & some other misc. Exodar rep quests. Got to Revered even (how I will ever get to Exalted is beyond me though). I also went through the important quests over in Westfall and had one last run through of Dead Mines. I like him a lot but not sure if I will end up just being a support character for my girlfriend’s characters like her warrior or even her 70 hunter. I will try to stay a disc priest up until roughly 60 when I probably will re-spec to Holy to help her hunter directly. His jewelcrafting has helped actually a lot (currently 120), and he is starting to make a lot of gold. I do hope to get back to my hunter and get him a mount but my priest stands a good chance of passing him up since I am not pvping with the priest at all. He is clearly trying to find the quickest path to get him a mount and get him to 60. Everything else with the exception of jewelcrafting (and by default mining) is secondary. I also want to send a woohoo to my girlfriend who has now been on a Kara run. She got two epics I believe and had quite the interesting time. I don’t think she’ll do it again anytime soon but I think she learned a lot from the experience. Love you sweetheart! Welp, that’s it for me. Have fun kiddoes and enjoy the rest of your week.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)