Saturday, June 9, 2012

Poor Leadership

So as ya'll know I was banned over on the BT forums, no biggie as it was their loss, although its obvious their forum has died out quite a bit since (perhaps I was posting too much)... anyway....

So I created another account.  Not trying to hide who I am, just an account I never posted any messages with, nor intended to ever, purely so I could download attachments and subscribe to the newly released topic so I could be notified of new products.

That existed for a week or two, at least, then worktroll decided to go and ban it for the same reason.  Perhaps if I zipped up my 30GB+ battletech folder into a torrent they'd be justified in being such assclowns. Nothing like biting the hand that feeds ya huh?

There are a thousand other ways I could actually log in and post if I so desired, gmail/yahoo/etc/etc accounts are free and easy to make, proxy servers exist in the hundreds to hide IPs, but all those would require me expend more effort than I'm willing to, and based on the horrible quality of the a few of the more recent products, the horrible wait for new products like IO and HBHK, and the completely lack of any quality control over their products (not to mention massive inconsistencies), and honestly I'm done keeping up with it.  

There are other reasons too, simply put there are not very many Battletech players around the world.  I'm betting the number is well under 10,000, and a large chunk of those are like me and never really play it anymore anyway.  The couple hundred that are active on the forums are hardly representative of the fan base.  The game is very dated, and with the Jihad and now Dark Age the universe itself is getting pretty silly (if not stupid).

The leaders of the online presence are, well, not leaders at all, have horrible tempers, and basically act like kids protecting their toys.  Granted, there may be a slight reason there, as if Battletech stopped selling they would not only be out of a job, but most likely their careers would end and they would have a hard time feeding their families.  So I can understand their protectiveness of their "baby" and their downright viciousness against any who isn't a "fanboy".  I know many of you have the same feelings, as more than a handful have essentially told me these same conclusions.  I really try to look past that sort of thing in people, and try to understand why they do the things they do, but honestly, why am I spending so much time on a game that isn't doing such a good job trying to stay alive.

What is really sad IMO, is they have not only the ability but the creativeness to actually bring new life back into the game, instead of catering to only the fan boys (of which I am probably one), but instead they just live in their tiny little world, not listening to their critics, and not caring that so many of their fans get more and more distant to their universe each passing year.  The MUL for example could have been great, instead its sucking ass, basically it all comes down to just poor leadership.  Maybe its that same leadership that screwed the pooch with CGL finances a short while back.  Leadership will kill the Battletech IP, or it'll revive it, simply staying alive is ensuring death as more and more fans gain wives, kids, and lives that do not allow them to enjoy games anymore.

This also comes during my 2nd order in the past year where I had to contact CGL to see why the hell it never shipped, so they aren't even very good at even selling stuff.

And another tipping point is when I started going over warships and dropships, and found out pretty much every design is broken, with no sign of a fix.

And yet another was THIRTY pages of errata for Tacops, seriously?  Did they even read it before they pushed print?  I can't think of ANY product I've ever seen so filled full of errors, inconsistencies, and missing data.  How can somebody tell themselves that wasn't a serious charlie-foxtrot?  Heck, it isn't even unique, all the main rule books that were supposed to be "core" are full of issues, many of which are *still* not fixed after being pointed out multiple times.  I'd be fired if I did something so half-assed.

So I'm going to back off "battletech" specific stuff again... yeah yeah, I've said this before, and who knows, I may come back tomorrow with an updated, but my intention at the moment is to step away from it for a while and see how things go.  If somebody wants to "take over" the encyclopedia its just 2 SQL tables (75mb) and an application, with the $50 a month the server costs me in just power to leave on I may decide not to power it on after my next power outage.

I'm still debating on flooding ebay with the 100 LAMs and hundreds of unseen in my closet ;)


On to other news.  I've made a LOT of updates to the encyclopedia lately.  Most of the units battleforce/quickstrike sheets should work, and mechs at least should be pretty darned accurate.  There is a lot of stuff on the history page you may want to take a look at though, as some of my calculations are a bit different and there are some new values that'll appear.  My next major thing was to make a system to track damage of units so you could use the site while you played a game on a table to track your units, but I think that may have died.

I also nearly completely rewrote my Federation and Empire mapping application to support lots of galaxies and eras.  There is a thread about it on the old starfleetgames forums under F&E\Computer F&E Development.

Mechwarrior Online is looking good, and I think I'll enjoy it, but I'm betting 5 to 1 that free to play will make it suck to play.  Basically, you'll have those that play 6 hours a day ruling the battlefield, those that pay $200 holding their own, and everybody else being frustrated.  I'll play it a while, probably send them $50 for goodies, maybe even $100, but the balance could be sucky like Tribes Ascend. where 70% of the games are 5-0, and the ones that are 4 to 5 are fun as heck.  I think the game could end up being too much like world of tanks.  

Mechwarrior Tactics is, well, pretty I guess.  Hopefully they have a demo, but regardless I seriously doubt I'll play it very long.  It'll get boring *very* fast, even to those who love it.  But, if they somehow make a system that'll allow launching a game from a script, or setting up custom servers, it could end up being a great tool for campaign systems out there.  Being a browser plugin tho, well, it is VERY unlikely to have any of that support.

I exchanged my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch (long freaking name!) for an HTC Evo 4G LTE.  It has the new Android 4 OS on it, which is a little prettier.  A slightly better phone with a couple features I preferred, though I really miss having buttons.  Anyway, I think I went through all the games and many of the apps, and aside from a very small handful, they are pathetic.  This is a dual core, 1.5 ghz computer, with 1gb of ram (Galaxy S3 has 2GB), and over 30GB of storage, and the best games we can get are basically an 8 bit NES clone?  Ok, some are 16 bit.  Anyway, seriously, these phones should be able to run Windows XP, or at least Windows 95, and the games are closer to things you'd find back in the 286/386 days.  I can't help but wonder if people are just that easily entertained these days, or there are just no good developers writing apps for the Android.  I've peaked into the Android SDK, and though my java experience is pretty much nil I may start to tinker with it and see if I can do some rudimentary graphics and see where it takes me.  4G LTE bandwidth sucks buttox too, best I can get is a few hundred kbps in the middle of Dallas.  On my wireless network its great tho, 15x that, but I thought LTE was "super fast".... oh well, I'm usually home.

If ya'll never caught it, Legionnaire Games has a really great line of products.  They allow you to fight as a squad of troops, all the way up to a fleet of warships, and all the systems work together pretty well.  I'm most fond of the 6mm (epic or 1/300 or BT) scale rules.  They are die based (d4 for green, d8 for elite sorta thing) but its a pretty good system, and you can still reach the author directly and he'll answer any questions in the yahoo group.  And yes, you could use your battletech miniatures ;)

So who knows what I'll do in the near future, but I really regret naming my blog after BattleTech :)

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