Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Work Night Grab Bag

Title says it all. Let's start with a couple of updates on the MicroBlizzard story. It's playing as "Microsoft buys Blizzard" in this part of the blogosphere because no-one around here much cares about Call of Duty or Candy Crush. Some coverage I've read from sources not obsessed with mmos, however, seems to think it was mainly King that Microsoft wanted, to further their penetration into both non-PC and console markets, not to mention China.

If so, it seems at least that the never-ending shenanigans at Blizzard opened the door for the opportunity Microsoft had been waiting for. An article at NME, a surprisingly reliable source of information on gaming these days, claims "Activision Blizzard misconduct allegations allegedly led to Microsoft acquisition."

The thing that seems to be excercising people more than anything about this whole affair is what's going to happen to Bobby Kotick. The obsession with the man seems positively unhealthy. I find it weird to think that a year or two ago I'd never even heard of him and now I'm seeing his face and hearing his name every single day. It'll be nice when that stops. Thanks to Syl for the link to the Twitter feed that claims Bobby's done for but no-one seems to agree when he'll be going, only that, as Wilhelm puts it, "he will get to walk away dragging a giant sack of money like the goblin he is."

If anyone needs further proof of Bobby's goblinhood, try this for size: as reported in the Wall Street Journal and repeated by, "Kotick had expressed interest in buying multiple video game press outlets in an attempt to adjust Activision Blizzard's perception in the news." Apparently he had his eye on both Kotaku and PCGamer. That's some serious Lex Luthor, super-villain strategy, right there.

Counter to the "Anyone but Kotick" narrative, I've seen quite a few people bemoaning the loss of their once-favorite developer to the grey, corporate maw that is Microsoft, to which I'd just like to say it could have been a lot worse. As the NME revealed (In the piece linked above.) "Activision apparently looked for other interested parties, including Facebook parent company Meta."

Forget playing World of Warcraft on XBox. How'd you like to have to sign up to Facebook before you log in? To Meta, sorry! Meta! 

Enugh of that. For now, anyway. I'm sure there'll be plenty more for month after month until the deal finally goes through. Which it will.

Time for some pretty pictures. I'm taking way more shots in Chimeraland than I can possibly use even in the long-ass, rambling posts I've been writing about my new favorite game. Here are some I couldn't squeeze in.

I think the idea is you seek out these big beasts and hunt them. They get flagged on the map in various ways. All the ones I've come across so far are non-hostile. It seems a bit off to just kill them because they're BIG. 

One of the huge waterspouts I mentioned yesterday. I'm hoping they suck you up and throw you across the map but as yet I haven't managed to get inside one to find out.

It's hard to tell from this shot but that's a giant sword stuck in a mountain. It makes the Claymore in Antonica look like a toothpick. I climbed all the way up there and someone had built a house next to it. Also, note the flurrying leaves in the foreground. Some of the visual effects in the game are gorgeous.

There are lovely touches all through the game. I keep noticing little details. When my fox plays her lute she floats off the ground. Don't know why, she just does. 

Also, the face of the loot is a reflective surface that acts as a mirror. At least I think that's what's happening in this shot. Or maybe it's painted that way? I'll have to look more closely next time she takes it out for a strum.

And finally, let's close with a couple more from that NME 100 to Watch list or whatever it was called. Essential Emerging Artists, that was it. Makes them sound a lot more important, doesn't it?

Nick Mono singing about how he really wants a girl like Effy Stonem, who's a character in Skins, a show I've never seen because I'm not eighteen any more, sad to say. Whoever wrote the squib for it in the list flags it "for fans of Easy Life and Rex Orange County" which, being quite keen on Rex, is why I picked it out. It sounds nothing like Rex Orange County, does it? More like any number of classic two-chord motoriks from everyone since Jonathan Richman. Reminded me of Brimful of Asha more than anything.

That one was NSFW by the way but no-one plays this stuff at work, do they? I like the guy in the comments with the inevitable "Here before this blows up" line. That was three months ago. It has just under two thousand views. I like it.

Do I detect a bit of a Camera Obscura vibe? I love the sax and I'm generally not much of a saxofan. I made that up, saxofan. Think it'll catch on?

And that'll do for now. Gotta save some for Sunday.


  1. ::checks blog feed::

    Wait, how did Syl....

    Oh. A comment here.

    I was wondering...

    1. Normally I'd have linked to the comment but I was in a bit of a hurry... hold on one sec... there! Fixed!


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