I want to be evil but not too evil

Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved the idea of summoners and necromancers. Skeletons are cute and the idea of resurrecting fallen (potentially enemy) warriors to fight by your side is a great idea and I love the whole thematic around it. However, when it comes to games, I feel like there aren’t enough games that let you do something that is so immoral. In a way, reviving corpses is desecration, after all, right?

Similarly, I love it when games let you perform choices that are immoral in a way, even when I myself in real life (at least the human that I pretend to be) would never do anything like that. In Fable, for instance, you can decide if you want to be an angelic hero of justice… or you just slaughter people, rob the poor, take bribes, and sacrifice people to the Chapel of Skorm in order to gain your lovely devil horns and your demonic aura.

And I know, I know… Being bad is… bad. Obviously. I’d never kill anyone in real life or I’d perform robbery… but the aspect of being this character that you could never embody in real life is actually quite intriguing and I feel like there are not enough games that let you do. Of course, you have these few titles with two different endings that let you be “bad” or “good” and it influences your ending which then… blablabla… Bioshock 1 and 2 did that btw where you could show mercy on people and rescue the Little Sisters or you could kill them and harvest the little brats and it would give you a different ending… but I feel like those games aren’t going far enough. You basically just have two choices: Right or wrong. Good or evil. But there are a lot of things beyond good and evil (great game btw) that let can’t just be seen as inherently evil or good. Robbing people would be bad but what if you redistribute the money you rob to the poor to enable them to live, for instance? Or what if you have to kill someone to save someone else (like with the Trolley problem)?

Games often try to make you believe that there are only two choices and that you can’t be in the middle or go even further… it’s a bit of a habit that some companies have to make it easier for themselves, and I find it somewhat lazy.

Catherine Classic does a great job by letting you achieve one of nine endings ranging from “very evil” to “very good” and it has some neutral endings in the middle… but the problem with that game is that it still abides the traditional values of “good” (aka marrying, only having sex to reproduce, no fetishes, etc.) and “evil” (aka Lust, hedonism, cheating, fetishes, etc.). You have to answer some questions and based on your answer it (sometimes rather randomly) assigns a value to your Karma that basically influences your ending. Your texts with either Katherine or Catherine also influence your ending… and generally, the game wants you to think that going for Catherine is bad and that going for Katherine is good… despite there being plenty of things that are wrong with Katherine. Just a hot take, I guess.

Overlord does a great job of letting you chose what to do. You get to become an “evil” Overlord and either save towns and be celebrated or enslave them and be hated and feared. You’re not just some bad guy but you’re actually THE Overlord that rules Hell itself… or at least your dark domain. The game lets you perform whatever choice you want to perform as you’re kind of the hero of your own story. The heroes that are in the game that oppose you, more often than not, seem to be twisted themselves and resemble caricatures of hero tropes, which is a great take, in my opinion. Dungeon Keeper lets you experience the story of some sort of evil being that is creating the living space for the undead, the monsters and the other evil beings that get threatened by those pesky humans. Fable lets you be a devil. In Skyrim, you can be an outlaw.

My point is that these games don’t judge you for being bad but they don’t condone it. When you perform an evil deed, you’ll notice and the characters will treat you differently. Fable has this weird thing where you get booed and insulted by everyone if you go for an evil playthrough, even though everyone is afraid of you… which is kind of silly in a way. In Overlord, you actually receive rewards for being the good guy and saving people and stuff. In Skyrim, you can murder bandits and nobody will judge you, even when murder is bad… and you can join a creed of assassins… which is quite cool, y’know? In Carrion, you’re the monster that is escaping a research facility… and you murder everyone… and that’s cool. The game WANTS you to be evil and I love that!

But how far can you take this? I feel like there are boundaries that you shouldn’t cross, I’d just love it if we could still move more freely into this chaotic evil kind of playstyle in games where you’re the villain and do bad things but don’t take it too far. I feel like it should be possible for you to be the bad guy in games without getting judged for it by the developers and without the game putting you at a disadvantage. I’d love it if games would more often get into that mindset of this evil lich or other villaineous beings that try to conquer the world. I’d love it if you could play as a skeleton (like in Skul or Osteoblasts) more often instead of this scrawny Prince Charming that saves the day yet again.

Obviously, games shouldn’t take things too far. I don’t think that you need to show how someone slowly thrusts a knife into someone’s throat (talking about The Last Of Us 2 btw) or how your character tortures someone by pulling out their fingernails or by breaking their fingers one by one (like in GTA V)… I also don’t think that you need to murder children (I’d never do that in Bioshock btw) or that you need to r*pe women in games to be “evil”. You don’t need to kick puppies or burn people alive in order to be able to play out that fantasy. I think games don’t need to go that far but they still should allow some sort of freedom. They should restrict the player when it comes to things like the points mentioned above but also allow you some freedom of choice when it comes to “do you want to be evil or good or somewhere in-between?” and I feel like I haven’t seen too many games that pulled that off well. Beholder has some interesting mechanics and ways of letting you do things that aren’t ethical to potentially save people… and it also allows you to do similar things to do bad things or punish people or frame them. Meanwhile Catherine Classic was quite obvious when it came to what choices the game wants us to make to achieve certain endings.

So, frankly, I’d love to be the villain in more games. I’d love it if I could be that demonic character that conquers the world or that heroes want to defeat… I’d love it if I could play games with characters like that more often and I’d love it if games would let me have that choice without pushing me onto some sort of path that is rather obvious.

I feel like that could be great. I feel like that’s something that I’d enjoy and that other people could potentially enjoy playing as well and that games need to explore more often. Obviously, we don’t need a game where you just assault people and r*** them and whatever. I think that certain boundaries are obvious to anyone.

Edit: I’ve added the example of Carrion to one of the paragraphs as I love that game and I forgot to mention it despite intending to. #fixed

What do you think? Do you know any games that do this quite well? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Roguelike vs. Roguelite

I love playing Roguelikes. I love playing Roguelites. There is a difference between the two but a lot of times people debate and it just leads to nothing. Sometimes games are labelled as “roguelikes” but they’re actually “rogue-lites”. Sometimes people label games as “rogue-lites” based on one factor and one alone… and that’s kind of wrong, in my opinion. In the end, it doesn’t make a difference, really. As long as you enjoy them, it doesn’t matter what other people call them, right? 

Well,… it would be boring if I were to just leave it at that, as I personally think that there is a difference between rogue-lites and roguelikes. 

Faster Than Light would be a roguelike for me. Pawnbarian? Roguelike! The Binding of Isaac? Roguelite! Hades? Roguelite!

Now, the original game (can be found all over the internet but also on steam) that defined the genre of “Rogue-likes” was, as the name suggests, the 1980 game “Rogue”! It was an ASCII based game that featured turn-based combat, procedural generation and permadeath. While it was hard and challenging, it was also rather strategic and allowed you to step back, think about your next move, and then go on. All games that are like “Rogue” are rogue-likes, duh. Games that are like Roguelikes but aren’t exactly Roguelikes would be Roguelike-likes or Roguelites! Games that aren’t grid-based or that aren’t turn-based, for instance, would fall into that category. There are some people in the gaming community that define roguelikes and rogue-lites just by the amount of permanent character progression in the game, which I personally feel is wrong. I think that that’s a feature that shouldn’t define a genre. Whether or not a game features permanent character progression doesn’t matter for me when I tag a game as a rogue-lite or a roguelike in one of my reviews.

A new addition to my library, Noita, is a fantastically magical Rogue-lite that I can highly recommend!

So, Pawnbarian, for instance, features grid-based, turn-based combat that allows you to be rather strategic about the way you play. Slay The Spire may not be grid-based but it still is a rogue-like for me since the combat feels rather strategic to me. Meanwhile, Hades is more of a rogue-lite in my opinion as it adds a lot more to the original rogue-formula than just action and character progression. It adds dialogues, a story, permanent resources, cosmetics, and even fishing into the game. It’s a rogue-lite in my opinion.

Technically speaking my favourite Pokémon games are roguelikes: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is a great series that features dungeon-crawling with turn-and-grid-based combat as well as resource-management. I’m not sure if other people would agree with me here, but in my opinion, that’s quite a lot like Rogue… or quite rogue-like!

But hey, opinions change and I’d love to hear more about your opinions on the matter so that I could educate myself. As far as I know, there is also the Berlin Interpretation that defines eight high-value factors and six low-value factors. Among the high-value factors, there’s procedural or random dungeon generation, permadeath, turn-based gameplay, non-modal gameplay, a degree of complexity, resource management for survival, hack and slash -ish based gameplay, and exploration. Having more of these features or fewer of them doesn’t exclude or include a game. It just makes a game “more roguelike” or “less roguelike”.

With Guild of Dungeoneering, I’m honestly not quite sure if it’s still a roguelike (technically, it should be…) or if it’s already a roguelite (I mean, it’s quite different, right?).

While I agree with a lot of these features, I’m not entirely sure what to do with the Berlin Interpretation. I guess, you could grade games in those aspects and then compare them to other games to decide whether or not the game is a roguelike or not… but generally speaking, I doubt that I’d ever use that interpretation/definition. 

Instead, I tend to go with the strategy aspect vs. other approach definition. Most of the time, I go with how I feel about a game and I’m sure I misclassified some of my reviews… but generally speaking, I don’t think that Diablo or Minecraft are roguelikes and I do think that Isaac is a rogue-lite. My blog, my rules!

Hope you enjoyed this post! I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for ages now and am glad, I got to make it. Going more in-def with some of this stuff would have been boring, so I tried to keep it light… or should I say… lite? :^) 

Do you care about that stuff? If so, what definition do you use? What’s important for you? Let me know!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Is another review needed?

Some games out there are real gems but will never get any attention. And that’s sad, so I started reviewing games on this blog and recommending underrated games to friends and eventually, this became a big part of my life. It’s a hobby that I’ve been doing for more than a year now and it’s always fun to find gems and recommend stuff and write down my thoughts about all of these things. Lovely!

Meanwhile, other gems out there are well-known and have their own dedicated communities. People know titles like Slay the Spire, The Binding of Isaac, Stardew Valley, etc. already. Do they need more reviews or should I even write about titles like that?

Note: Since I forgot to take any screenshots for most of the games I’m mentioning in this post apart from Hades, I’ll only use screenshots from Hades. I’ll keep it spoiler-free, though, so no worries about that.

That’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot for the past couple of months. I’ve got countless posts sitting in the drafts about titles that I wanted to review and that I wanted to talk about. Just when I was about to get ready for the finishing touches, I ended up hesitating: Do I add something to the world by just saying what is already known? There are too many reviews for me to add any new thoughts to the same topic, after all, right? 

And that’s where my opinion changed recently: The fact that it’s a review by me should be enough to make my review different from other reviews.

The Steam Curator “Can you pet the dog?” would now say “yes, you can pet the dog”, I guess.

Even though everyone has probably said everything about every popular game out there, I can’t be 100% sure about that without having read all of the reviews out there. Obviously, that’s not possible. I can’t read every review out there and honestly, I don’t want to. In the first place, I don’t read reviews on games that I’m reviewing until after I’ve posted them as I don’t want to get influenced by other people’s opinions on the matter. I feel like that’s quite important, especially as I don’t want to accidentally or subconsciously write something similar or maybe even the same sentences as someone else has. 

Alas, I kind of changed my opinion on the matter. Of course, countless people probably know about Graveyard Keeper, Monster Train, Celeste, and the like, but I think that my opinion should matter as well. Maybe I actually do have something to add to the giant pool of reviews out there. Maybe I actually do have a different point as to why a game should or should not be bought. 

Every opinion matters, after all, and alas, every review is important. There probably is someone out there that hasn’t played Celeste yet or that has been hesitating to play it because they don’t like Platformers… and only recently, I played it for the very first time and enjoyed it a lot! It made me feel good about myself as a person that plays games as I was dashing through the air in levels that other people thought were really difficult. Meanwhile, Celeste was thought-provoking and challenging in other rooms when people said that it was an easy level while I was struggling to figure out what the intended way was and whether or not my way was doable, at all. There are countless reviews on Celeste out there but I’m not sure if any platformer-haters out there have taken a look at the game only to say that it’s actually great as an introduction to platformers. I don’t know if people that hate the genre would pick it up. Alas, my opinion as someone like that, as someone who hates and sucks at platformers, matters! My opinion matters and in that instance I probably have something meaningful to add to the ocean of reviews.

Well, who would have thought that there’s lava in hell, eh? What a surprise… /s – no spoiler. 😛

Or take Hades, for instance, the game that got updated so much during Early Access that I ended up having to rewrite my review a total of nine (!) times because things that I didn’t like got changed or updated and suddenly with new implementations old weapons and boons actually were incredibly strong or powerful. I suddenly enjoyed those, so I rewrote a few paragraphs, only to realise that it all didn’t work out too well, as my style changed in that time. When I was done with rewriting it for the ninth time, it has already been released with its version 1.0 and everyone hopped onto the hype train, resulting in me feeling like my review wasn’t needed. Again, that mindset is bad. 

I can praise and love Hades as much as I want to and I’ll do so eventually. I’ll be able to add a lot to the discussion as I’m a mythology-crack and as I love Transistor and Bastion. I probably have other takes on the game that other reviewers may not have had.

Alas, since I have had different interests in my life and since I’ve been enjoying different games, movies, books, poems, shows, and other media, my reviews may already have a different take on things. Just because I am obsessed with mythology, I may already have different bits and pieces of information to add to the discussion. Just because I’m into Drama and plays and stuff, I may already be able to connect lore pieces together or laugh about something that other people may not get. 

No turning back now.

I’m not saying that I’m better at reviewing games than other people or that my reviews are better or worse. I’m just saying that every review is unique and that every reviewer has different tastes, interests and takes on the same topic, making them unique and special and alas, their opinions are important. 

What does this mean for me and my blog? Well, I’ll revisit all of those drafts and try to publish some of my older posts throughout the year and rework them to fit my current style and you’ll probably see some newer games in there as well as some more popular ones. There will be the odd one here and there with a very underrated and unknown game and I’ll just hope that it’ll get more attention. 

I hope you liked my take on the matter. I feel as every take on a topic is important even if some if not all points are the same. As long as it’s written independantly it should be allowed to exist. As long as it’s a different person writing it, it already should be able to provide some new thoughts and opinions on it. And well, obviously, the people that read my blog posts are not the same that read Frosti‘s or Krikket‘s, right? 

Alas, I hope you enjoyed this post and the next few on other stuff. Have a nice day and stay awesome!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Looking forward to LoL Season 11

Another year, another season. League of Legend’s Preseason 11 has started quite a while ago, and with 2021 being around the corner, I thought I’d take the time to write a post on it.


Just like other seasons, there has been a major change in the Rift this time around to keep the game fresh and innovative: The Item Rework!

Alas, this season brought a whole new shop system and the introduction of Mythic items that basically are supposed to be super overpowered but you can only buy one Mythic item. On top of that, they have Mythic passives that add bonus stats to all other Legendary (aka completed) items, including boots! These new Mythic items, as well as a bunch of new other items, replace about a third of the old items that got removed. Meanwhile, the last third of the items have been reworks. Generally, I feel like a lot of the items are quite strong but not too strong. There are some items that still need to get touched but I’ll talk about that later.

Before we talk about my issues with the new season, I wanted to talk about what I’m looking forward to, my champ pool, builds I’ve enjoyed, and what I’m glad about.

As a Support player, I made it to Gold last season and this Pre-Season, so I want to reach that goal again in the next season and potentially even climb past it to Platinum+ if I’m good enough. Riot changed the ranked system in a way that is going to make climbing easier, so I’m happy about that. From now on, there is no promotional series (aka “win two out of three games” to be promoted) between the ranks of one division. Instead, you have to reach 100 LP to climb from, say, Gold IV to Gold III. Once you’re at 100 LP in Gold I, you need to win three out of five games to be able to get to Platinum IV, which is a great change! On top of that, being at 99 LP is less frustrating now as a win translates into, say, +16 LP in the next rank if you gain 17 LP after your win. This is a welcome change that I’ve been asking for, for quite a while now actually. There was nothing more frustrating in League than winning a game only to gain 1 LP and to then get inters, feeders and AFKs in your promotional series only to reach the next step in your climb.

I’ve been playing a bit of ADC this season and have been enjoying a plethora of champions in that role. Alas, I’m going to go with ADC for my second role and I’ll most likely play (in this order) Jhin, Caitlyn, Ashe, and Varus. Otherwise, I obviously would also manage to trade roles or potentially pick something else to fit my team’s needs. On Jhin, I’ve been enjoying the crit builds a lot with Krakenslayer/Galeforce into Rapidfire Cannon into Infinity Edge/Bloodthirster. With Krakenslayer your third shot basically deals as much damage as your fourth shot, which is a pretty big deal. Meanwhile, you’re super fast with Galeforce and also gain a dash to get out of some peculiar situations, which is quite fun. Most of the time, though, I play a lethality build with Eclipse into Collector on Jhin, running Dark Harvest, and basically one-shotting everyone. The Collector is incredibly broken as it basically executes enemy champions at 5% of their health, which sounds like nothing… but if a Champion had about 5000 HP, they’d get executed at 250 HP, which is surreal… and a lot of fun.

But my main role is obviously Support. I’m a sucker for mage supporters and enchanters and I used to play a lot of Nautilus and Braum in the past… but tank supporters feel incredibly weak. Unless you get super ahead, you can’t get tanky enough and you can’t really set up kills either. Tank items are constantly getting nerfed when it comes to their tankiness (the part that you need) when it’s actually the damage that should get nerfed (the part that a Tank/Tank Support doesn’t need). At the same time, Tank items are extremely overpriced and you end up in this weird spot where you need kills as a supporter to make the dream possible. I wanted to try out Tahm Kench again and some other champions that I used to main, like Taric, but I’ve put it off since everything else feels a lot stronger and better in my humble opinion.

And I don’t mind that. I don’t mind that tank supporters feel weak in a tank meta. I don’t mind not having to dodge a thousand hooks in the bot lane. I really don’t. Obviously, people still play tank supporters and statistics say that Leona, Thresh and other champs are really strong at the moment… but I just personally don’t like the feel of tanks, at the moment, and alas, I go for mages and enchanters instead.

This brings us to my current favourite mages to play in the Support lane: Xerath, Zyra, Vel’Koz, Brand, Neeko, and Morgana.

Xerath and Vel’Koz are incredible at poking down enemies from afar, setting up kills or securing them when your ADC isn’t close enough yet. Both of these champions scale well into the late game but don’t need many items to burst people down. Xerath has a lot of burst damage, a slow and a stun in his kit as well as a semi-global ult and a lot of sustain through his passive. I tend to go for Luden’s Tempest into Event Horizon on him, although Liandry’s into Demonic Embrace also can work quite well on him against tanky teams. Luden’s Tempest gives you some movement speed on every proc and adds a lot of burst-damage to your abilities when you hit enemies. Meanwhile, Event Horizon adds an increase in damage on abilities that hit enemies at more than 750 range or that immobilize them. Xerath’s Q is already 750 range long when tapped, as far as I know, so this is a great item on him as well. Vel’Koz has a knock-up on his E as well as plenty of tools in his kit to zone enemies, secure objectives and kills as well as a lot of true damage to melt enemies away, which is just lovely. I tend to go for the same items on him as on Xerath. On these two champions, I tend to run Comet, Manaflowband, Transcendence/Absolute Focus and Scorch… and then I go for Cosmic insight+Cookies in the second tree or I opt-in for Presence of Mind and Coup de Grace for some extra damage.

All the other supports I mentioned have also great poke and some degree of utility to them. Zyra is incredibly nice to pick when you have an Ezreal for your ADC. Ezreal scales well into the late game and usually buys Tear for his first item, so picking up lane-dominant supports like Zyra can help him scale away without problems or maybe even pick up an early kill or two to snowball. Zyra is also great against Melee comps that are fairly tanky, as you most likely will buy Liandry’s+Demonic Embrace into Morello. The double burn procs on all of your plants which makes you great for taking Baron Nashor or for team fights. Brand already has a DoT on his passive, so obviously, you want to capitalize on that by building double burn, hence resulting in a triple burn. Brand also has a Stun in his Q when applied on a burning target as well as percentage-health damage in his passive (and if I remember correctly, the other part of your passive with hitting three abilities on one target actually does true damage!). Hence, Brand doesn’t need many items to really shine and he’s also great to take objectives or to team fight with.

And well, Neeko,… is… interesting. She never has been weak but people don’t really play her as a Support anymore. I usually go Luden’s or Protobelt on her. You can also build Night Harvester on her or go for the double burn if you want to. There are a lot of different options for her and you can easily catch people off-guard with the clones, her damage, her utility and her epic ultimates in team fights, which makes her a great pocket-pick.

As you can see these are all mages… but sometimes you just have too much magic damage on your team already, so I have two picks for that case to balance out the damage more: Ashe and Senna.

On the one hand, Senna has been one of my favourite champions to play last season. She has great scaling, great poke and a heal (that scales with Attack Damage), as well as some decent CC on her W in form of a long-range AoE root. Her E ability lets you camouflage your teammates to get away or to engage on people in a better way while her ultimate does decent damage and even shields allies at a global range! My favourite build on her is Eclipse into the Collector. I usually run either Grasp of the Undying or Glacial Augment on her, based on what I play against. The items generally are the same as Jhin’s as you’re basically doing the same thing as him… but in a less artsy way.

Ashe, on the other hand, is a fantastic pocket pick of mine that I haven’t seen too many people play as a Support yet. Essentially you run comet to poke enemies down with your W and you stack up Focus on enemies to then burst them down with your Q. Your E provides vision for your team while your W makes it easier to hit the comet. On top of that, your ultimate is a great engage/disengage tool at a global range, although I suck at landing those. As for builds, I tend to go for Imperial Mandate into Manamune into Ravenous Hydra. This build is all about your W which does more damage thanks to Imperial Mandate and Muramana (the upgraded Manamune) and which basically also amplifies your allies’ damage by a considerable amount as well. All of the items in this build have a lot of ability haste, resulting in you basically being able to spam your W while not running out of mana. Muramana also applies on-hit damage to all of your attacks and spells. Ravenous Hydra heals you and also applies some AoE damage to your volley and auto-attacks. Overall, it’s a fun build to try out into some team comps or when your team is lacking in the physical damage or CC department.

Speaking of ability haste: Cooldown Reduction has been changed. Before the change 10% cooldown reduction would allow about 11% more casts and getting more cooldown reduction would result in even more casts of abilities, which was great. Getting 40% cooldown reduction was basically what you’d want most of the time as it scales exponentially. The new system, however, is all about ability haste which stacks linearly, just like most other stats in the game. There is no cap on how much Ability Haste you can have, meaning that it’s possible to even reach 50% or 60% CDR with the new system, although you’d have to opt-in for very specific items to do exactly that, resulting in potentially losing some power as you’re not going for more damage but more tasks. This new system is actually also quite cool as it means that getting less is better compared to before.

The last category of champions that I’m playing this season is about enchanters!
I mainly tried out Nami in the preseason as well as a few others and overall, everyone felt quite neat to play. Nami, Bard, Janna, Soraka, Lulu, Sona, Seraphine, and Rakan are great champions to pick up (and yes, I count Bard and Rakan as Enchanters) especially with all the new items. Before the item rework, you’d go the exact same items on every enchanter in every game for your first three: Ardent Censer, Athene’s Unholy Grail, and Redemption. There wasn’t much variety from game to game and while I miss Athene’s Unholy Grail a ton… I’m kind of happy about the new changes. Generally, I go for Imperial Mandate on Nami followed by Ardent Censer or Staff of Flowing Water.

Imperial Mandate causes immobilizing abilities to mark enemies and deal extra damage – and allies can proc the mark to deal even more damage on top of that. Nami’s Q, E and R work great with this item. Ardent Censer is still a great item but sometimes I have to opt-in for the Staff of Flowing Water as it’s basically made for Nami… I mean, what item would be more befitting of Nami who’s already wielding the Tidecaller’s Staff? The Staff of Flowing Water grants you and your allies Ability Power and Movement Speed whenever you affect them with your abilities. The bonus MS paired with your passive works great to rescue allies in bad positions while the ability power works quite well with a lot of champions… although it’s mostly for yourself. When I play with a Kog’Maw, Lucian, Varus, Senna, or Kai’Sa this is a great pick-up as it enables them, even more, to get away, kite better, get closer, or add damage to the abilities that scale with AP in their kit. Ardent Censer, however, gives you and your ally on-hit damage and attack speed, which is also great. It just depends on the champions.

Now, this is a great change for Enchanters: You basically have your Mythic Item, your Support Item, Boots, an Enchanter Item, and potentially another… but what do you do with your last slot? Generally, you’d get more pink wards but you can only place down one at most on the map and you can only carry two at the same time. Buying an additional item results in no more pink wards for your team, which sucks. Alas, you’ll get… hear me out… the best item that was introduced this season… the Vigilant Wardstone.

For a price of only 1100 gold, you get an item that grants you the ability to store three pink wards at the same time in your inventory. Once you placed down 20 Stealth Wards (#easy #supportlyfe), it transforms into the next level of the item which basically grants you some bonus stats… and then you can also invest another 1300 gold into it to get even more bonus stats. The end result is an item that stores pink wards (that you still have to buy) but it also grants you bonus movement speed and ability haste (GREAT for enchanters!) and… it also increases the cap for stealth and pink wards placed. You can now place down a maximum of four stealth wards and two pink wards (instead of three/one) with this item.

Vision = Power

On top of that, you also have other options that you can go for as far as items go… Zeke’s procs now whenever you CC enemies, so it’s a viable option to use on champions like Nami as it doesn’t require a short ult cooldown to work efficiently anymore. Meanwhile, Moonstone Renewer is a great item for times when you need to heal a lot instead of dealing a lot of damage. Instead of amplifying your damage with Imperial Mandate, you instead opt-in for amplifying your heals, which is great on Soraka, for instance. Also, you don’t have to buy a completed Morellonomicon to have Grievous Wounds as a Mage but can instead just build the Oblivion Orb for considerably less gold. And that’s lovely. On so many levels.

Now, earlier I talked about issues with items that I have and… well,… The Collector is just unhealthy for the game. Being able to execute people like that is a bullshit mechanic to have in a game as it makes champions like Jhin, Senna, Draven and even Veigar incredibly strong with little to no counterplay. Again, 5% of your maximum health is a huge amount of health still… If they tuned it down to 2.5% or maybe just 1%, it would be considerably less strong to the point where it was useless… Alas, I’d say that the item should receive a nerf to its stats and/or its price. Being able to build this as your second item every damn game on some champions and get away with just having two items is bullshit and super unhealthy. It not only makes it easier to get kills but also rewards you a bonus of 25 gold every time you take down an enemy, which eventually pays for your next item, making you even stronger. It’s a snowball item like the Sword of the Occult, which is unhealthy for the game.

At the same time, healing is too strong in the game even though it was supposed to go down. Tanks are also too strong. It’s not the problem that you can’t kill them easily… after all, that’s their purpose: They’re tanks!
The problem is that they’re dealing a ton of damage to enemies around them. Sunfire and some of the other Immolate-Mythic-Tank-Items are way too overtuned, in my opinion, with their damage increasing based on your other tank-stats such as your health. Being tanky is good but dealing scaling damage is not so good for the health of the game. Now, I haven’t played League in two weeks so maybe there’s been another patch. Alas, I’ll hold off on this rant for until I’m home again, this Sunday. I may write about this again in the new year.


I hope you enjoyed this looooooooooooooooooong post. I wouldn’t have thought that this would turn into a post that is nearly as long as my Moonlighter review… Oh well. Personally speaking, I really enjoy writing about topics like these here with my strategies or thoughts on a meta. As mentioned before, I don’t like being forced to play tanks or whatever in a season. I play what I enjoy and this season… I can do that. I can play enchanters and mages, poke and cc, I can do all kinds of things and still have fun with the game while climbing. I’m looking forward to Season 11. And I’m looking forward to potentially writing about these topics as well throughout the season.

How about you? What champions are you going to play? What are your thoughts on any of these changes and my pool? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Humble Choice – December, 2020

It’s December! And that means that it’s time for another Humble Choice!

This time around it’s rather disappointing. Like, Naithin already said it earlier this month but I feel like there are other reasons for it being disappointing than just the absence of AAA-titles.

Alas, let’s dive into this: This month’s Choice contains a total of fourteen games on top of a coupon for one month of “EA Play Pro”, which is… alright. I’m not interested in EA Play Pro, so I’m not opting in for that… it’s also not a month of it but rather just a little bit off it which is super “eh”.

The games themselves are alright, I think. In this month’s Choice, there are all kinds of games available but nothing really too thematic… More about that later.

RankGameDeveloperGenre
1Children of MortaDead MageRoguelite, Action, Story-Driven
2One Step From EdenThomas Moon KangCard-based, Strategy, Roguelite, Real-Time Action,…
heck i don’t even know
3Still ThereGhostSharkPoint n Click, Adventure, Space
4Shining Resonance RefrainSegaAction, RPG
5Frog Detective 1Grace Bruxner, Thomas BowkerAdventure
6Frog Detective 2Grace Bruxner, Thomas BowkerAdventure
7Overcooked! 2 + 2DLCsGhost Town Games, Team17 DigitalCo-Op, Cooking, Simulation …Madness
8The Beast InsideIllusion Ray StudioSurvival, Horror
9Zwei: The Ilvard InsurrectionNihon FalcomAction, JRPG
10Zwei: The Arges AdventureNihon FalcomAction, JRPG
11IndivisibleLab Zero GamesAction, RPG
12Path of GiantsJourney Bound GamesPuzzle, Adventure
13StrugglingChasing Rats GamesPhysics, Platformer
14Tabletop PlaygroundPlasticity StudiosSimulation

For now, the games included are actually rather nice. Children of Morta, One Step From Eden, Still There, and Shining Resonance Refrain look really promising. Children of Morta, in particular, is something that I personally have already played (and reviewed) but I could gift it to a friend and we could play it together. I feel like that could and would be really cool as it’s definitely a title that is better with friends.

One Step from Eden is this weird mix of Real-Time-Action, Roguelite mechanics, Strategy, and Deckbuilding… and it looks like it’s just up my alley. To begin with, I love Roguelite games when done well and when they’ve got their one spin on things… so, I’m looking forward to playing this title. Still There looks interesting, especially with the Space theme. I wonder what the story is going to be like. It’s a story about grief, technical puzzles, wacky AIs, dark humour, and… coffee? Idk, I actually have high hopes for this title and am looking forward to playing it myself in 2021. Shining Resonance Refrain looks like fun but I honestly don’t know if I’ll like it or not. Like, depending on much the characters interest me, it could be better or worse. 

I love the Frog Detective series and am looking forward to playing and writing about the second game! I ranked Overcooked 2 behind these two games as Humble Choice comes with two DLCs for that game but not with friends or time. Overcooked is a ton of fun, don’t get me wrong… but you’ll need to find people to play it with and then the stars need to align and all of that… it’s a hassle. 

As far as the rest is concerned, they are alright, I guess. The Beast Inside is a game that is “eh” from what I’ve heard. The Zwei Games are from a franchise that I’ve never heard of. I’d be happy to dive into them but honestly, I’m not typically a huge friend of JRPGs. The Ilvard Insurrection seems like it has the less annoying characters in it… but not too sure if it matters too much for the ranking. 

Path of Giants and Indivisible look interesting but I’m not in the mood for another puzzle game or a platformer, so I placed those behind the Zwei series. Struggling is a Physics-based platformer, which sucks because I don’t like that kind of games usually. And as far as the Tabletop Playground is concerned, I feel like you need to use the Tabletop Simulator most of the time since it’s just more popular. Most of my friends (if not all) use TTS and not TTP, so owning TTP is a waste, really, I think. Unless you go for local sessions or unless you have a friend group that uses TTP or got this game from this month’s Choice.

Overall, this month’s choice has been alright. I’m not too bummed out by the lack of AAA titles… especially as I run an Indie blog and as some of those games have been on my wishlist actually… So, I’m getting a better deal here than at the Steam Sale right now. The issue is that I have CoM already and that I don’t care about JRPGs too much. They’ve been either hit or miss for me, which is annoying. 

I feel like there’s a bit of a missed opportunity here. The only “choice” we have is whether or not we take them all or not. I can rank them and write about it but I don’t feel like there actually is much of a Choice here. There are twelve games every time and only two drop out. As a Classic subscriber, I get all twelve of them each month. My Choice is literally “pay” or “pause”. 

Instead of giving us twelve games to chose ten out of. how about offering more games to make the choice more meaningful? Two drop-outs are nothing compared to five or ten, right? Or how about introducing a bundle system with fewer games but they’re all themed around similar topics, settings, genres, etc.? The Strategy bundle that both Nait and I would love, the Sim bundle for people that love those farming simulations, and the FPS bundle for fans of guns. Next month? Sports bundle, Tech Bundle, Roguelike Bundle. Next month? Action bundle, Puzzle Bundle, Party game Bundle. And so on.

Instead of giving you the choice to pause or unpause, they’d grant you the Choice of one of three bundles. It would be like Humble Monthly but potentially a bit cheaper or more predictable or maybe it’s just a thinner version of Humble Choice. 

Heck, you could also just create the selection using three themes and then have equal parts of different genres in there so that some people aren’t too upset about it. I was a bit disappointed at first as I saw a lot of JRPG-ish games in this choice but I still ended up going for it as I’m quite excited about trying some of these games out.

What are your thoughts? What suggestions would you have to change or improve Humble Choice? Have you grabbed this month’s Choice? 

On another note: I’m a Humble Partner and alas have this affiliate link right here: >>> Affiliate Link <<<

If you want to, you can use that link to get Humble Choice and also support me. No extra costs. It just supports me a little bit as well as the Trevor Project and it would be cool if you could consider it. There is also another deal for the annual plan and it’s a bit cheaper than usual, so if you wanna go for that annual plan… use this link here: >>> Affiliate Link for that offer <<< if you want to.

Either way, I hope you’re having a great time. It’s a bit late for this month’s choice but better late than sorry! December and 2020 aren’t over yet but we’re there soon. Hope you have some nice holidays and a great start into the new year!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Opinion on “Nazi Gamer?” by Frontal 21

The other day, a major media outlet called ZDF uploaded a documentary on how nazis are infiltrating gaming culture produced by their magazine, Frontal 21. The documentary is available in German in the video embedded below this paragraph. I thought I’d comment on what went wrong with that specific documentary.

Let’s start with the beginning of the documentary: They start by showing Hitler skins in Minecraft and some sort of Nazi server or whatever… While Minecraft itself is harmless, Notch (formerly the creator of Minecraft and founder of Mojang) is no longer part of Mojang due to him being a white supremacist. Fair enough. I get that. Depicting Minecraft as some sort of Nazi playground, however, is just wrong. Sure, someone made that video and it sucks but this paints a picture of Nazis using this to turn your children into little Nazis. Idk. 

They ask questions about how Nazis are infiltrating gaming-culture and how games turn people into killers. “People get annoyed at these questions, including our interviewees”, they say, quickly cutting to a clip where Sissor, a big-ish streamer on Twitch is saying that media kinda fucked it up. The context of that answer was that they messed up trying to unite old people that have no clue and young people that are in the medium. A lot of older people think that games turn you into killers while younger gamers don’t think so at all. It’s just very hard to have an unbiased conversation on that topic, is what Sissor is trying to say, as she mentioned in the video below this paragraph. They basically are just taking her out of context, trying to show her as someone who’s very biased and doesn’t want to talk to the media even though it’s completely different. 

Later on, this trend continues with interviewees getting taken out of context and not given any speaking-time. Sissor, in particular, talked to the journalist for about an hour – got featured for about two minutes, though. A lot of times, the documentary is portraying her in a wrong light, making it seem as if her whole community is flaming her when she plays badly. That was in an instance where she talked about “some haters”. She also said that “of course Nazis come into the stream every now and then but they’ll get instantly banned”, which is not in the actual documentary. 

There is a nazi-game called “Heimat Defender: Rebellion” that some people developed for some obvious propaganda. The protagonist of the game is Alex Malenki who’s a right-wing activist in Germany. They talk to him and take him out of context as well, allowing people to shout “Lügenpresse”, yet again, “proving” that you cannot talk to official journalists. “Lügenpresse” is nazi jargon and basically means “fake news”, FYI. 

Instead of including more information on community management, chat rules, guidelines, etc., they instead focus on filler clips from ages ago, showing Sissor with her cats and things she said taken out of context. Nothing of this adds value to the documentary. Nothing of this is professional. The whole documentary is lurid at best, aiming to provoke and get clicks and reactions. 

The channel the video was uploaded on apologised in the comment section for a lot of these things but doesn’t intend to upload the full interviews or a reworked video any time soon. 

At one point, Frontal 21 is showing Steam, Twitch and Discord as platforms for Nazis and say that these platforms don’t do anything to prevent hate speech from happening. There apparently is no report function on Twitch and people never get banned for sexism, not even MontanaBlack, some bigshot German streamer who got banned on Twitch for saying that women are like dogs. They mentioned that in their own documentary but didn’t connect the dots that sexism and racism don’t get condoned on Twitch and on other platforms. 

After Sissor mentions sexism, the MontanaBlack example is being used to further showcase sexism in the gaming community, before eventually heading into a direction I didn’t expect at all: Gamergate. They explain gamergate and link it to Nazi-groups. A source they used as a “fact” is labelled as an “opinion”, which is quite amusing. Minutes passed and suddenly, we’re talking about Christchurch and how different people “gamify” their murder sprees for “high scores” and “achievements”. 

Usernames like “jewkiller88” or whatever also get mentioned in the documentary but the way they mention it implies that it’s literally every second username that is offensive.

Eventually, they say themselves that “no scientific study has shown that games lead to violence in real life”… and then they continue with “but”, leading to their point that “there has to something about to it”, which is basically an “I’m not racist but” kinda thing. Instead of accepting facts, they try so hard to steer this narrative about “killer games” and “Nazi gamers” into a direction that proves their point. The expert, they asked, also says multiple times throughout the documentary that the gaming-scene isn’t more susceptible to Nazis compared to other scenes. In essence, book readers, dog owners, kids that got breastfed… are you all nazis? There are Nazis after all that have read books, owned dogs or that have been breastfed in the past. 

(this is sarcasm) Let’s ban breastfeeding because it turns people into Nazis. Quod erat demonstrandum. (back to the serious post)

Despite being presented with facts that do not prove their point, they paint a picture of Nazis in the gaming community and present their opinions as facts instead. They’re implying that every gamer is automatically a racist, sexist, homophobe or even a potential gunman, about to shoot up a mosque or synagogue. They’re not adding value to their own documentary but instead rely on GTA clips and questionable music and other devices to have this very alarming tone throughout their documentary. 

This “documentary” is just another one of many trying to picture video games as the new medium introduced by the devil himself to tempt people into killing other people in real life. The expert that they asked also mentioned that “the statement that media are not reporting factually about video games is not unfounded” which is quite ironic, considering how biased and opinionated this whole ordeal is.

I would have loved a more or less professional and unbiased piece of investigative journalism that just states facts and has interviews in it with different experts and perspectives. I would have loved to see the whole interview with Sissor in it and maybe, I would have even liked to hear what that IB-guy, Malenki, has to say on the matter of games as propaganda. I would have enjoyed watching an hour to two hours of professional journalism but instead got to see 13 minutes of some female reporter doing her best to drag “gamers” through the mud and depicture them as terrorists. It just seems lurid at best. It seems as if someone’s horny to get those reactions and clicks with this when the video has over 50,000 dislikes in contrast to 1,762 likes. It’s absurd how they gave this thing an “okay” after seeing how they cut down 50 minutes of an interview to two minutes of highly opinionated journalism tucked into a “documentary” that can’t even be called that, to be fair.

Oh well, hope you enjoyed this post. I don’t wanna get too political on here but I just wanted to get my voice out. Obviously, I’m condoning every killer there is and every racist and fascist and all of that. I wrote a piece on that in the past that caused quite a dip in views at the time, I guess from people thinking that I’ll get super political now with my posts. Luckily, I don’t do that. Now and then I write about people goofing up and being stupid. This time it was left-wing journalists pointing fingers at people that play games. As someone who plays games, I know that their claims suck and don’t make sense. Their arguments are as valid as my breastfeeding argument: Not at all.

Stay healthy and be kind to others!

Cheers!

Alex Hutchinson is out of touch with reality

A lot of streamers on Twitch have been using music that they don’t own or that they weren’t explicitly allowed to use in their streams and now have to fear DMCA strikes and potential takedowns from clips and VODs that could be plenty of years old. Twitch is trying its best to mute those VODs and clips or potentially just remove it but has also handled the situation in an iffy way as it doesn’t communicate which content is problematic and what you’re getting struck for. Instead of saying that this VOD or this clip uses music by some artist who’s now claiming it, then you could delete that specific video and just not use that artist’s music, I guess…

But it’s all a rather difficult situation. Twitch doesn’t handle it well but should’ve stopped copyright infringements ages ago and should communicate it better right now… Meanwhile, labels, studios and artists are in the complete right as well to claim what they own, although the warner bros. bots are going a bit too far at times. 

But among all the chaos in regards to DMCAs and Music and Twitch, there is one man who’s completely out of touch with the world… Alex Hutchinson who’s known for working on Spore, The Sims 2, AC3, Far Cry 4 and Journey to the Savage Planet – who now is working on Google’s Stadia! 

Hutchinson’s hot take is that streamers should rather “worry about streaming the games they didn’t pay for as well” and that “streamers should pay developers and publishers of the games that they are streaming”. According to him, there should be a license “like in any real business” to pay for the content they use.

And naturally, this blew up and he’s responding to some of the comments and I’m not entirely sure if he’s not just baiting to get some attention going or if he’s completely serious about it… but it makes for a good prompt: Should streamers pay developers for the games that they make money with? Should bloggers do the same? Should I pay developers in order to acquire a license to be able to review their games, even when they sent me a copy or when I bought the copy myself? 

Well, short answer: No, that’s stupid. And here’s why:

The problem with this whole idea is that the gaming industry works in a wholly different way from the music industry. Let’s say you’re a solo developer without a publisher and you end up selling a game for 5 bucks on steam. Someone buys one copy of your game and you earn 3.5 bucks whilst Steam takes 1.5 bucks for every copy sold aka 30%. (We’ll just use the 30% cut for this instead of the actual numbers that scale with how many copies are being sold and stuff because it makes it a bit easier.)

If a hundred people buy that game, the developer will get 350 bucks while Steam gets 150 bucks and everyone is happy. Of course, there are other costs involved like advertisement and potential losses but generally, you can get “free” advertisement by giving copies to select streamers, bloggers, websites and certain people so that they can talk or write about it and potentially play it in front of a large audience. A great example for that would be SplattercatGaming on YouTube who’s doing First Impressions of games. Meanwhile, if FGSquared streams it in front of her audience, she’s showing gameplay for more than just half an hour and is able to show the gameplay quite well to her audience, encouraging them to buy it. And on another note, I do reviews as well whenever I get the time to do so – and there are developers that reach out via mail to me and that want me to review their game or at least write about it. 

Essentially, instead of investing a whole lot of money into Facebook, Instagram and YouTube ads, you can distribute review copies to people that will advertise your game for free. They earn money from YouTube ads and Subs/Donos on Twitch and uh… I don’t earn money at all apart from blogging but that doesn’t matter as you get the idea. It’s free advertisement, essentially, at the cost of not selling a copy to that one specific streamer, blogger or YouTuber. 

On the other hand, musicians earn $0.006 to $0.0084 per play on Spotify. If the streamer plays the song in front of a large audience, they earn that $0.006 from that one play. (I’ll stick to the lower number since I also used the highest cut in the example above.) If a hundred people decide to play that song one time, the musician earns $0.60 which is… not much compared to what a solo game developer would earn. And even then, I’m not sure if that musician is getting the whole 60 cents from Spotify or if it gets split up between the artist and the label/studio, etc. 

Obviously, developers will have publishers as well that may potentially take a cut as well but generally, I’d say that small developers earn more on Steam than small musicians do on Spotify. Of course, there are also sales from other music stores (like Bandcamp!) or if you buy the album somewhere else but the cut over there can be so different from artist to artist that I’m not sure if the comparison is fair.

So while the gaming industry and the music industry are completely different in that regard, at least in my uneducated and superficial opinion (prove me right if you wanna and if you know more about it), I actually do think that having licenses could be a good idea. Not for the games but rather for the music. 

In my streams, I use music by Bonaparte, Desmond Cheese and City Girl who I wrote E-Mails to in order to get permission to use their music. Whenever I play their music, it shows on screen and I tend to talk a bit more about the songs and what I like about them. I also tend to tell people to check out the links below to get to the social media pages for the different artists… and I’m also sure that Bonaparte at this point earned a lot from me alone on Spotify. 

What if there was a license that you could pay for that would support the artists that you used on Twitch? You’d essentially pay a fee every month or so and then you’re able to use select artists or playlists and the artists would get a better cut from the deal compared to Spotify… I’d like that idea personally but I’m not sure if that would ever work properly.

Btw, Twitch is now introducing “Soundtrack” now which is an app that not only allows you to use music by approved artists that gave permission to Twitch but that also separates the audio from the VOD, resulting in an easier time for you as a streamer. The overlay for it is also on the screen and doesn’t feel intrusive at all but I’ll write it about that eventually as well at another time.

As for gaming, I feel like it’s ridiculous to pay for a game again that you already bought just to be able to stream it. A revenue share is also a rather silly idea, in my opinion, as the streamers that earn money with their content don’t earn it because of the games… but rather because of the entertainment they provide. It’s transformative, in the sense that streamers add commentary and their personalities to the gameplay. It’s not about the game but rather about the streamer. 

A revenue split would not work in a way because the streamers that do it as a hobby and that don’t earn a cent from it would still have to pay to be able to stream the game they’re playing, for free…? The idea of review copies that the publishers are HANDING OUT to certain streamers would be idiotic as the streamers would suddenly have to make less money by streaming the games that they got given. 

If we take this proposal further (ad absurdum), then the pianist is going to have to pay the guy who made his piano for every single person that bought a ticket to his concert. The piano maker already got paid for the piano but suddenly, he’ll earn more and the pianist is going to have to deal with it. 

Let me go even further: The ASMR and Just Chatting streamers will have to pay money to the some state because they’re streaming and making money off words. They’ll also have to pay money to the company that made their mic, even though they already bought it. They’ll also have to pay additional money to their landlord since the rent only covers them living there but not them earning money in their flats.

On another note, a lot of athletes use certain brands as well and hence advertise those. My siblings used to play table tennis and when they followed the better players for a while on TV, they would constantly wish for a DONIC table tennis racket. The fact that the best of the best were using those, at the time, made these already worth buying in their eyes, even if they had to save up a lot for them. 

The pianist is playing his best music on a certain piano. The soccer player is using one specific brand of shoes whenever he wins a game. A member of a famous esports team is using a specific mouse in all of his games. 

The idea of marketing and free samples and review copies is something that works quite well. Streamers playing games for their audience and hence promoting it… it works and is nothing that should get changed to get even more money for Bigfish developers and publishers while small indie studios would probably not profit all that much from it. 

At last,… Hutchinson also mentioned, jokingly, that NFL and other sports organisations should maybe pay streamers to broadcast and comment on the full games… on Twitch… and that’s hilarious because while he’s mocking the idea, it’s actually a thing. Twitch does that. The NFL does that. It’s very successful actually. Hutchinson must be trolling. I don’t want to believe that someone who’s behind great titles like Spore and who’s working on Stadia is just really that out of touch with reality. Like, that can’t be…, right? 

So, uh, let’s summarise: As mentioned above, I think that the proposal of having streamers pay for games that they already paid for is stupid (I just noticed that that’s what WoW and FFOnline are doing… I’m still not a fan of paid subscription models in games that you already bought). I haven’t even gotten into tax stuff and all of that… in Germany, you’d have to pay taxes and your channel would get treated like a small business as well when you earn a specific amount of money per year. 

It’s also stupid to demand a revenue share when streamers add a lot of publicity to games, as you can see with Among Us (which was quite “dead” for two years and then blew up because of streamers) and Fall Guys (whose whole marketing campaign consisted of handing keys to streamers). It’s stupid to criticize streamers for earning money with their own content that is based around review copies handed out by publishers and developers. It’s like jumping in front of a car and then demanding that others pay for the hospital bills, not because of them running you over but rather because of them not being there for you and preventing you from jumping in front of the car. Doesn’t make sense? Yeah, exactly!

I hope you enjoyed this post. I kind of wanting to give my two cents on it and wanted to make a post while it’s still a “hot topic”. I’d like to hear your thoughts on it and see what you think of this whole ordeal. Is Hutchinson out of touch with reality or is he really just a genius that is too advanced for our current times?

Cheers!

Edit: I added “ad absurdum” to one of the paragraphs since that’s a word that I’ve been looking for while writing up the post but while it was lying on my tongue, it just didn’t come out. Now it’s there. The “to take it further” part was meant to be an “ad absurdum” mechanism to showcase how silly this idea would sound if we replace “games” and “streamers” with “pianos” and “pianists” or “microphones” and “ASMRtists/Just Chatting streamers” or “running shoes” and “athletes”. So that’s an edit I had to make to essentially just mention that it’s supposed to sound silly and absurd because it is silly and absurd in a way.

The “How are you?” controversy and Fleeksie

Today a tweet by Twitch streamer “Fleeksie” blew up and went viral, causing a relatively one-sided discussion about small talk, streamer-to-chat-interaction and toxicity. I usually wouldn’t write about this since it’s just gonna pass after a day or two at max anyways but I thought it would be an interesting topic for a blog post.

Either way, first things first: What happened?
On September 6th, Fleeksie tweeted the following thread where she effectively complains about people coming to her stream and asking how she’s doing. While it’s somewhat understandable that she, as a bigger streamer, gets that question a lot throughout one stream I don’t think that this is the right approach to the problem. Obviously, she’s entitled to her own opinion and she can think and say whatever she wants (to a degree) but I don’t think that her response to this “problem” is valid at all, which is my opinion to which I’m entitled, obviously.

The “problem” at hand is the fact that people tend to ask a question at times and when other people join in later they may ask the same question as well not knowing that it was asked already before, resulting in the streamer answering the same question over and over again. This can range from a simple “How are you?” to stuff related to the stream or the content, like “Does Zoe’s Q proc her passive twice?” – a question that Vicksy has to answer relatively often throughout every stream.

My stance on this matter is that streams that are community-focused often rely on a little bit of Small Talk to get a conversation going. People joining in and being curious about your day or about your well-being is never bad – on the contrary, this opens up potential other topics like your job, your hobbies, your stream so far, games you’ve been playing, news you’ve heard about and other things. On top of that, you can ask others how they have been (which I do anyway, even if I didn’t get that question), resulting in you finding out things about your viewers, their well-being, job, hobbies and other things that they have done/read/heard, etc. You can then essentially just latch on to any of those conversation points to never run out of topics.

Hence, I wouldn’t say that Small Talk is essential to streaming but it is not the worst thing ever either and if anything it can actually help you.

Back to Fleeksie, she continues saying that she feels puke coming up whenever she reads “I’m good how are you?”. It’s apparently painful to respond to that question. Even if this physical reaction to a harmless question was real, being rude to others wouldn’t solve it at all.
To solve this “issue”, streamers could introduce a chat rule saying that you aren’t allowed to ask how the streamer is doing. It’s that simple. Especially with mods, you can just time people out or ban them when they do that and you’re fine. It’s not going to be necessarily helpful to do so, though, as people getting timed out for formalities or small talk is just stupid.

And as per usual, Twitter… was Twitter. The tweet went viral and all kinds of people ended up either meme-ing about it, asking her how she’s doing… or they had constructive criticism, saying that they personally don’t agree… or they were just toxic. But Fleeskie also didn’t make things better, constantly tweeting about how she’s not getting scratched by it while also still going on about it, showing that it affects her. And while I don’t agree with her attitude and how she’s handling the situation, I don’t think it’s alright for people to straight-up attack her. Even when she’s now tweeting about how “hating small talk is controversial”, trying to fix the narrative… It’s not about “hating small talk”, it’s about making it sound as if every single streamer in the world thinks that way and as if every single viewer in the world is doing it wrong. It’s about biting the hand that feeds you. It’s about acting as if you’re entitled to people’s kindness and interest in and for you. That’s what’s ticking people off and that’s why people are getting so agitated about this.

If you cannot deal with people caring about you or people asking you something as simple as “how are you”, then Streaming on Twitch may not be the best thing to do since a lot of people ask questions and talk to the chat/streamer at times. I struggle with conversations, people and all of that stuff all the time, being an autist, but I’d never go as far as to attack others for being curious or for being nice. I don’t think that you should bite the hand that feeds you. I don’t think that attacking others for essentially nothing is the way to go, and I don’t think that being rude to people for asking a question that others have asked before is going to solve anything at all.

Twitch is currently in a peculiar state already. There are a lot of users and streamers that are just way too toxic or that harass, bully and attack others, on a whim. Especially women and people of colour have it rough on Twitch and I don’t think that this kind of stuff is going to help the case. Call me a hippie, a dreamer or even a “Gutmensch”, but I believe that there’s one good person for every ten people and that kindness and reason are able to solve more problems than rudeness and madness. Being nice to people and reporting offenders is a better way to handle things compared to attacking people that attacked you or being rude to people that were trying to be nice.

And since this is the internet, it’s only understandable that there’s always going to be some person (or rather a lot) that is really toxic… but it’d be great if there were more people out there that would promote positivity, respect, kindness and inclusiveness so that people would have a place to return to from all of that toxicity. I don’t want to watch a stream after having had a bad day only to see that I’m not welcome or that I’m being treated badly. I’d rather see others building each other up and us all having a good time.

But maybe that’s just me. Do you have any thoughts on this matter? What’s your stance on small talk in Twitch streams? Would you handle this any different?

TSS#65 – My Shaky Moral High Ground

In the past, I’ve talked about my core beliefs and ideals already. It has lead to the decision to not review Heartbeat, for instance, because I wouldn’t want to review and promote a game that is made by people actively harming others…

But as time went on, I noticed that my thinking may be flawed. It’s causing me a headache again because that’s a moral standard or an opinion rather that I can’t really hold that easily. If I don’t support this Indie Studio because there is one dev that is a terf, that’s one thing… but why do I stop there? 

I still regularly play League of Legends because I love the game and the champions in there… but I know that Riot Games (and Tencent) are full of a lot of issues like sexual harassment, discrimination, toxic masculinity, and a lot of other things. There are a lot of things going wrong at Riot Games and there are more and more stories coming out about the behind the scenes stuff right there. One of the higher-ups saying that “no doesn’t always mean no” (linking one of the many articles I found but if you want to dig into the topic, sure, go ahead and you’ll find plenty more dirt without digging too deep) is not at all in line with what I believe in… and yet, I’m not boycotting Riot Games. I’m not spending any money on League of Legends, TFT, Legends of Runeterra, Valorant, or anything else… but I’m still playing these games and even writing about it here and there… and that’s a contradiction, isn’t it? 

The gaming industry is full of cases like that. There are plenty of shitbags in the Industry and plenty of companies and dev studios and publishers that are full of shit – but I love video games and alas, am still playing games and writing about it… and my moral high ground of not wanting to support the TERF and her girlfriend who worked on Heartbeat or not wanting to support the homophobic Brazilian Muslim that reached out for a video game review but ended up trying to convince me that I’m sinning for being bi and coming out like that… well, that moral high ground is shaky. I can’t stand on it. I can’t just go ahead and ignore review requests from studios that I know are bad… and go ahead and play games by people that are equally full of shit. 

I love the games published by Chucklefish Ltd. – But even they have mud on their shirt with them not paying some devs or whatever (haven’t really dug too much into that). 

And well, there’s also Blizzard, Activision, Ubisoft, Valve, and a lot of other bigger companies that are equally full of shit than the ones I mentioned before. But I still play their games, which is shitty and hypocritical in a way. In the long run, I won’t be able to hold up that moral high ground of mine where I don’t talk about some games but still support other games that I personally like but who are made by equally bad people. 

Uh, lots of (not exactly) Ivory Towers and uh, a High Ground… I guess?

And as previously mentioned, stuff like that gives me headaches. I’m in a conflict with my own beliefs of what’s right and wrong. I get migraines at the worst possible time and I end up questioning whether or not I should maybe write a review of Heartbeat. 

I mean, even TERFs quite often have a reason for being the way they are. If you’ve been traumatized by men in the past, you probably don’t feel that safe around anyone who’s been a male before or who still is a male – especially in “safe spaces”. At the same time, I still disagree with them and I do feel like there are better ways of handling things. Insulting and discriminating against trans-women isn’t at all what I want to defend here… but at the same time, I can’t say that I know their stories. I don’t know whether or not, I can just shit on terfs without ever really knowing what they’ve been through – and I doubt that I can get in that mindset either since I’m just a male myself. 

It’s a tricky subject and while I will not support that dev who tried to “make me hetero” because he personally harmed me, I may consider actually writing a post about Heartbeat… as a game… made by people that cared about the game. People that actually are inclusive. People that spread love and make games for the sake of bringing joy to people of all kinds. People that created something that taught me a lot about self-love and loving others despite our differences. In the core, Heartbeat is a great game that I really recommend. My stance on that one dev doesn’t change necessarily. That one dev isn’t part of the studio anymore. Everyone in the studio distanced themselves from that one dev or left the studio. 

A lot of the things that that one dev did to harm others are unforgivable. The way they handled things shouldn’t be able to get excused purely by trauma. I don’t think violence solves violence – physical or verbal doesn’t matter in that regard. I don’t think it’s fair for me to judge someone from this ivory tower that I’m sitting in. I mean, if someone actively harmed me or my friends or anyone in my community, I wouldn’t want to support them. 

The Gaming Industry might as well be as rotten as the Curse-rotted Greatwood! idk, it’s just a picture, move on.

My ideals don’t change. My ideals are the same as before. Transwomen are women. Transmen are men. Trans rights are human rights. For every bad person, there are ten good people in the world. Love and let love, live and let live. I’m still trying to be my best possible self and I want to grow as a person and I feel like taking a look at these stances that I took in the past and that I’ve been thinking about for the past couple of months already is only natural and actually quite important. You can’t always stick to one opinion unless you’re really stubborn. 

So what I’m trying to say is that I still don’t know if I can hold that moral high ground up. I doubt it. I’m still against people that cause other people harm and I still want to improve and become a better human being. My ideals and principles haven’t changed at all… but I can’t act as if that one small Indie Studio is the worst part of the Gaming Industry when it’s really just one dev there… and I can’t just ignore all the other parts of the Gaming Industry. Instead, I feel like it’s a lot easier to put up a disclaimer of sorts in a review. “The members of the studio distanced themselves from the lead dev (aka the terf) and I personally don’t like what the terf did but a lot of other people put their heart, sweat and blood into this game, so I’m still writing a review on this game. I hope you can understand” or something like that. 

I’m still torn about this. I still don’t know what to do about this. I’d love to hear a lot more opinions on the matter. If you’ve got one about it, please let me know. I’d be more than pleased to know. 

#TwitchBlackout and how I handled it

Just recently I wrote about #TwitchBlackout and my issues with it. On Wednesday, the 24th, I actually went live and talked with my community about different issues and, here’s how that went. 

So, at first, I thought I’d talk about the issues that are currently in the focus and why I think talking about it is better than not streaming for one day to my three to four regulars. My stream would start with the usual Just Chatting and would then slowly move into a discussion with information and the links I provided and all of that.

I was fearing that a few things could happen:

  • 1. People might not like these “heavier topics” and would just leave, resulting in us not really spreading awareness. 
  • > This wasn’t the case. In fact, a lot of people new ones and regulars talked about their experiences and shared a bit of stories. One viewer, in particular, mentioned that he’s from Romania and how there’s still a fair bit of racism against “gipsies” (don’t like the term) and how being LGBQTIA+ isn’t acceptable at all. 
  • 2. I feared that the discussion would drag on and people wouldn’t like it too much or wouldn’t appreciate my input or other people’s inputs.
  • > This wasn’t the case… luckily, everyone took part in it and most people agreed with my views that staying silent is stupid and that Twitch won’t take that much of a punch when a bunch of small streamers stop streaming all of a sudden for ONE DAY. 
  • 3. Someone would be offended that someone as privileged as me is talking about those issues, being male and white.
  • > I talked about racism in Germany and that my parents were refugees, too. I talked about the fact that you’re always “the different one” and that people don’t necessarily accept you for who you are but always see you as “that other guy”, and a lot of other people talked about that as well. So that was nice, actually. 
  • 4. This would become a One-Time-Thing and would never happen again on Stream…
  • > I’m going to continue the discussions in the future. But more about that later.
  • 5. People would make it about me, suddenly. 
  • > This did happen at one point. Someone said that it’s good that I’m doing that, so I instantly refused to accept that. It’s not about me. It’s about discrimination, harassment, assault and abuse victims and survivors in the Streaming and Gaming industry. More about that later as well.

So, the discussion was rather fun and quite enlightening. We shared experiences and opinions. We talked for about an hour in total before heading into Children of Morta, a game I’m revisiting shortly for a post. During the gameplay, we still talked about it, so that worked out fine. And in the end, it has been a lot of fun and the links I shared were copied by other people to use on their streams as well. 

Spread awareness. Don’t go silent. 

Now, regarding my 4th point from earlier:

I don’t want this to be something that I do only once. I’d like to discuss these things more often in the next few streams and then see what days are the best to talk about issues like that and about discrimination, sexism or socio-critical stuff like toxic masculinity, TERFs, and other stuff. I feel like that would be the better way to handle this. We could talk about heavier topics on Wednesdays for instance while having mediocre gameplay in the background. And if the demand is there, I’d maybe have it twice per week where we talk about that stuff, discuss different point of views and try to spread awareness on other things. 

And, regarding the 5th point: 

I don’t want this to be about myself. I’m not constantly getting harassed by people. I’ve seen people creeping in female streamers’ chats so often, asking for silicone moulds of the shape of their feet and videos of them pumping the pedals or donating bits or money to get other advances. Usually, they get made fun of but I’ve also seen people not react too well about that. At the same time, there’s also a ton of people of colour on Twitch that get harassed for being PoC. I can’t say that I get sexually harassed on Twitch or that I get harassed for being German with a migration background. I can’t say that I’m getting bullied or attacked by people. I didn’t get assaulted or catcalled or even attacked in public yet for being male or “looking pretty”. 

I’m not a fan of the “other people suffer more” or “kids in Africa are starving, so you shouldn’t complain” mentality. I don’t think that people should necessarily do that. I don’t think that that’s the right thing to do at all. But in this case, it really isn’t about me. I don’t want to spread awareness because “I’m such a nice guy” or “because I’m white and need to help others”. I just want to take part in spreading awareness and talk about it, hear other people’s views. 

So, that’s essentially why I hate that “thanks for doing this” that I got there. No. Just don’t. It should be normal for people to talk about that stuff. And sexism and harassment isn’t exactly something new either. The important things jut tend to get put into focus over time. 

People forgot about the locust plague in Africa after COVID broke out. People forgot about COVID when the riots in the United States happened. People forgot about BLM and the riots when people came out with their stories now. And I know that right now people are shitting on me and others for going live. I get it. But in three weeks nobody is going to give a fuck about it since Trump will have done something stupid again. In Stuttgart there’s riots as well right now and people will forget about it once the AfD has done something racist again. 

So, that’s what I’d like to do differently in my streams. I’ll try to talk about more serious things every Wednesday and we’ll have discussions while playing Hollow Knight or some Roguelike or something. Idk. 

And I feel like the stream went well overall and I’m happy that the people in my community actually cared enough about the topics and didn’t flame me for being a white male (being bi or migration background doesn’t matter in that case, I’ve heard), so that was nice. 

And I’m thankful for that. It worked out well and all the anxiety I felt right before the stream… just vanished in a go when I saw the usual faces participate in the stream and actually engage in the topic… and well, just yesterday we had a bit of a discussion on racism and discrimination based on being a muslim or, in the case of a viewer, being arabic.

It was really insightful and I could share my fair bits on how Europe is also shitty in that regard with all kinds of “right-wing parties” spreading in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and other countries… parties that are not good at all and that always paint a bad picture on certain groups of people… and it was a lovely discussion. It didn’t turn into something one-sided or anything like that. We were able to talk about negativity and later even got into relationship stuff and, honestly, I don’t even know how but we got really deep into all kinds of topics and that’s something I’d like to turn into a more common thing.

Thanks a ton to my regulars there for actually caring about the topics and helping me with actually spreading awareness. This is not going to be a one-time-thing. I want to spread awareness on a lot of things and I wanna talk about these things without anyone having to fear their opinions, as long as they don’t harm others.

Thanks a lot.

Cheers

TSS#63 – The current situation and my opinion, I guess

This is a shorter longer post and potentially a bit “heavier” than usual but this time around it’s about “our voice” and about politics in a way. It’s about my beliefs and my take on the matter and everything that is going on right now… and I’m telling all kinds of -ists and -phobes to fuck off. Despite being “heavier”, there will be no cat pictures in this post… or really any pictures at all. I’d say “enjoy” but I don’t think that this is all that joyful.

Welcome to another Stray Sheep!

Currently, as all of you probably are aware of, a whole bunch of things are happening over there in the United States of America and while we’re obviously not really affected by it too much here in Germany, it’s still quite worrisome. As a blogger or as a streamer or as really just anyone with a Twitter account, you’ve got a voice that “you’ve got to use” and while I understand that a lot of people don’t want to “politicize” their own opinion on social media or on their blogs, streams, etc., I also feel as if I cannot just ignore the fact that a whole bunch of people there are suffering with riots going on and with “not enough” people talking about it.

It’s a bit of a dilemma, I guess, in the sense that the “purpose” of my blog and the “intention” of me as a person are two different things.

My blog is mainly a hobby and is mainly there to promote Indie Games and work through my backlog. I do play games, I do write about it. I end up with a lot of different posts about all kinds of things and it’s generally rather light-hearted and focused around information and potentially even (if you like my posts) entertainment.

And that’s important. When Covid-19 was more of a topic (I mean… it still is), it was a relief of sorts for me personally when I got to read a post that is not about the or a virus. It was lovely to watch a video or a stream where people would just completely ignore everything. At the same time, we even joked about a Zombie apocalypse in my stream when someone brought it up once and it was a lot of fun and people seemed to enjoy that quite a bit as it served as a bit of a “change of pace” of sorts.

Now with my Twitter feed consisting of retweets of police brutality, racism, people that were hurt or killed in the riots and shops getting plundered, I thought I should say something, too.

But while this obviously isn’t the place to start a political discussion, this also is not a place to just ignore everything going on and to just stay quiet about it to not risk any backlash. But… do I have to fear anything like that?

I mean, sure, people could unfollow my blog or my twitter or twitch or whatever but in the end, the question of the day is: Do I care?
And the answer to that would be a definite “no”. As simple as that.

They’re only followers and views and all that and I don’t think I’d like to have people around here that possibly harm people offline.

I’m a left-ish liberal and an equalist, I guess. Politically speaking I am not a communist but I would still consider myself “left”, I guess. And as far as my lib-views and the equalist-part go, I believe in equality and that every person should be treated the same with the same chances in life.

While I know that you cannot “not have a bias” of sorts against people, I’d like to think that we should try our hardest at making a place like that where we are truly equal a reality. Little by little. Day by day. Treat others friendly and accept them no matter their political, religious or other views. No matter their heritage, their appearance, sexuality, gender, sex, their colour of skin, age or their profession. That’s something I’d like to work towards.

People are different and you cannot like every person. I know that. But I feel like it’d be nice if we could work towards a goal like that. I haven’t had any bad experiences with refugees or whatever and hence I don’t think that all refugees are bad. Heck, my parents were refugees. It’d be ironic if I was against them.

Just because there are some bad people, I don’t hate all people. Just because of some cops in the U.S. and in Germany and in other countries, I don’t hate all cops. Even now there are cops walking among the protesters… and even now, even among the cops out there that are doing their cop-stuff, there are people helping old people get away or stopping police brutality.

Right now we just get to see less of that. Right now we only hear about the negative cases… and the victims and the cases where everything is going to shit. Right now we only hear about the bad cases where the press or where the medics get pushed and kicked and pepper-sprayed. Right now we only hear about the cruel jerks that are wearing a uniform out there. But I’m 100% that not all cops are evil. “Heck, even my father was a cop” would be something that I’d say if that war that my parents had to flee from hadn’t had happened. And even if my grandma and other relatives died in that war, I am 100% sure that not all Serbians are bad people.

We only get to hear about the bad ones. We never remember the good ones. We only get to see the bad news, we never hear about the good ones. Don’t judge everyone based on the actions of a few.

And while the “me being an equalist” part may sound as if I’d belong to the “All Lives Matter” camp, I would like to also clarify that I hate it when people use “ALM” instead of “BLM”. If anything, spread #BlackLivesMatter or #BLM on social media and not some stupid “Hey, we white people exist, too”-hashtag. When your neighbours’ house is burning down, you shouldn’t start to water down your own house… or rather the houses that also matter but that aren’t burning right now.

OBVIOUSLY, white people also can suffer from “racism” in a way but it’s not as frequent and not as bad as it is for black people to get shot when someone calls the police to come to those black people’s houses. When you get treated so differently just because of something that you couldn’t decide on at birth.

We can’t decide how we’re born and we can’t decide whether or not we get born at all. We only get to decide how we live our lives and how we treat others.

And I hate the concept of “privilege”, since people will always find something to bring you down, no matter what class you are from. The concept of “privilege” and not being able to talk about racism or discrimination based on your sex, sexuality, gender, colour of skin, heritage or age (aka “straight white old heterosexual male christian thin people”), is absurd since it seems to be just another form of discrimination…

But I guess in this particular instance, even I’d have to say that some people should just sit the fuck down when it comes to their attitude and their whole fucking “All Lives Matter” bullshit. You don’t get shot on sight for being white. You don’t lose a job because of being white. You don’t get framed for crimes for being white. Please think about it logically. Don’t try to stop a fire that doesn’t exist in your house while ignoring the fire in your neighbours’ house.

Only recently a black birdwatcher got accused of “threatening a woman’s life” when he told her to leash up her dog in a park. She called the cops and lied about “an afro-american man threatening her life” in the park. The whole process got filmed by the man. The whole process of her falsely accusing a black man of something that could get him killed if the wrong cops would get there – oh, and all while she’d abuse her dog while being filmed.

I just feel like some people can’t fucking keep quiet about their beliefs or whatever. People that actually talk about the “All Live Matters” hashtag **right now** are just like those “Straight Pride” people, in a way. They have to make everything about themselves. You shouldn’t take pride in being white or straight. Not like that, at least. Not that pride.

(Had to edit the post here as I forgot these last paragraphs initially, despite me taking notes on wanting to mention that very accurate comic about watering down a non-burning house while your neighbour is dying in a fire and the “all lives matter”/”straight pride” people and the Karen that abused her dog while falsely accusing a black man of somthing he never has done and everything. So, sorry for that long edit here.)

And while I know that in the States segregation and all of that has not been “gone” for too long, officially speaking, I don’t personally think that that’s an argument for racism or racial bias or police brutality and flat out murders. I feel like that’s especially a reason why we should do our best to bring people to court for what they do, even if they’re policemen.

Germany has had its past and while I personally have nothing to do with that, I still feel like we have to always remember the past and hold it dear so nothing like that ever happens again. It’s only been 75 years after all. Same goes for other countries in Europe and other places in the world, of course. There seems to be a rise of “suspicious” parties in the world and while, of course, you can’t just forbid every political party in the world, I don’t think that you should tolerate any intolerance.

My views on a certain president are probably rather obvious as well and it’s not due to “the media telling me that he’s bad” but rather due to the bigotry and hypocrisy in calling out other people for “fake news” but being against Twitter labelling actual fake news as… well… fake news.

In German, there’s a term called “Lügenpresse” which is basically Nazi-jargon and which means “fake news” or “lying media”/”lying press”. It gets used in the same way to shut up everyone who is against one.

If you tolerate intolerance, after all, the tolerant people will be the ones that end up not getting tolerated. The political extremes are, in essence, extremes that just fight each other to the death and screw everyone in between over… and if we tolerate bigotry, we’ll end up as the ones that are not tolerated.

We’ll be the ones that get pushed into a corner and eventually, we’ll be the ones that suffer as the racists and sexists and supremacists start rising again. If you tolerate the intolerant, you’ll be the ones that suffer.

And, well,… extremism. I’m against it. Obviously. Every form of fanatism and extremism is bad in my opinion. No matter if it’s left or right, liberal or authoritarian (or whatever the counterpart to liberal is). It’s bad.

While a lot of the cases of politically motivated cases of violence in Germany are committed by the far-right, I’d never say that the far-left is any less bad. I feel like it shouldn’t matter who you are or what you stand for in those cases. Crimes are crimes.

So the people out there that are peacefully protesting against everything that is going on right now… those people are heroes in a way. They are doing it the right way, peacefully, even when their lives can be at risk right now for it. “Just stay safe, please” is what I’m trying to think but I guess that’s easy to say when you’re on a whole fucking other continent. I’m sorry if I sound like an idiot in this post. It’s easy for me to write this when I’m basically on the other side of the planet, I guess.

The people that are plundering stores and that are hurting others. The people that are throwing rocks and that are cursing ALL the others. The people that are destroying so much that so many people have built together. Those people suck. The violent ones who are violent for the sake of being violent. Crimes are crimes. Be it violent policeman or violent protesters.

And of course, I have a lot of other thoughts on politics and social norms and we can surely have a discussion on those as well but generally speaking, I’d like my blog to be relatively neutral when it comes to politics… but I also don’t want it to be a platform for any forms of “-ists” or “-phobes”.

A while ago, I was torn up about reviewing a certain game which was or still is great… but I don’t think that I should support its devs. And not all of the devs are like that but the lead dev and her girlfriend are trans-exclusionary radical feminists or transphobes that have secret discord channels and stuff where they’d make fun of and bully trans-women in their community, pretty badly.

And honestly, nowadays, I still am torn up about it but I don’t think it’s worth the headache when it comes to this topic… and I don’t think it’s good to provide any coverage for a game when it’s going to directly support someone who hates trans-people so much that it hurts. I don’t think I’d like to support the intolerant like that and end up hurting those that I am an ally of.

So, if you’re a racist, a sexist, a whatever-ist or if you’re against the LGBTQIA+ community or certain people of colour or that kind of stuff, please fuck off.

And I don’t mean that in a “you can’t have your own thoughts or ideas or opinions” kind of way but rather in a “don’t talk about it and we’re fine since I won’t know about it” kind of way.

If you feel the urge to be very open about opinions, ideas and positions that harm other people… fuck off.

“Die Gedanken sind frei”, the thoughts are free. You can’t be judged for what you think in secret. If you think that all X have to die, then that’s obviously bad… but if you think that and don’t tell anyone, nobody is going to know… and obviously, nobody can judge you for it.

I have friends that are politically speaking on the other side of the spectrum than me… but they are not “too” far on the other side, I’d say. They are not far-right and they are not racist or whatever. They just do not agree with me in the same way as I do. But as long as they don’t commit crimes, it’s fine, right? As long as you don’t harm others or insult them or harass them or whatever, it’s fine to have your own thoughts and opinions.

And by voicing these thoughts and opinions, of course, I could become a target of sorts, too, but I really doubt that that will happen. Of course, people could unfollow me on Twitter or Twitch or WordPress but I doubt that I’d be bothered by that if it’s really just the racists, sexists, and other forms of -ists and -phobes that are leaving.

I probably won’t talk about politics too much on this blog but generally speaking, I’d like this to be a “safe space” of sorts where people come and read my posts and have a fun time. If you have any thoughts on the matter you can voice it in the comment section. I personally feel like having my opinions and my stances on things out there, like this, is going to be helpful in a way. I think it’s going to be important to be transparent like that. And while I’d like to create more posts on games and upcoming releases and everything to entertain and distract from everything that is going on right now… I also don’t want to just ignore everything that is going on in the world.

I don’t think that we need to watch how all the content creators out there are behaving themselves and how they are treating the situation. I don’t think everyone must display their views if they don’t want to and I don’t think it’s okay to judge people for not speaking up about it…

I do not think it’s all that necessary of me to write this post, in a way, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s bad. If anything, it’s better this way. I’ve been struggling for the past couple of days with putting my thoughts into words and with “writing a tweet on the matter”… I felt as if I’d have to write something on the matter and as if I’d have to do something about it to be there for others as I’m helpless in other ways and as I can’t help at all regarding actual ways of helping. I read about people judging others for not using some hashtag or whatever… and I don’t think that’s necessarily good. I don’t think it’s good to judge others for not hopping onto a bandwagon and I don’t think it’s good to only voice your opinion because others pressured you into that.

I feel like a few words of love or support would be a small way of helping but I am not good at all with words… and hence I’ve been struggling. I’ve been frustrated in a way. I ended up just tweeting “all the love to you out there” or something like that but I don’t think that that’s going to help. I’m not sure if that was the right thing to do but it certainly isn’t the time for “perfect tweets” or some stupid “campaigns” or movements or whatever.

That may be a bit contradictory in a way but I wanted to write this post despite it being unnecessary. If this is a non-political kind of place, we don’t need to know about my political views… and if I want to promote Indie Games, I shouldn’t tell certain people to “fuck off”, especially as they may want to buy some Indie Games that I’ve reviewed… right?

Hence, in a way, it doesn’t make sense for me to tell you all of this but I really wanted to get it off my chest and talk about it. If you ever feel like talking or if you need someone to vent to, my Twitter DMs are open (I think?) and you may message me on Discord at MagiWasTaken#4357.

Thanks for reading so far! I hope that this post didn’t bore or disturb anyone in any way. I just felt like it. Maybe I should create a second blog just for my political opinions on matters that don’t affect me… but then again, this post is so long that I got all kinds of politics covered for the next few years, I think… so that shouldn’t be too mandatory.

Have a nice day.

Monster Hunter World Cross-Overs?

In today’s MonHunLog, I mentioned that it would be cool to see other features in Monster Hunter World from other franchises… so in this one, I’m discussing what I could imagine and what I’d find cool. If you’ve got any ideas of your own, be sure to let me know about them! I’d love to discuss some of your craziest or best ideas! 😀

So, first up, I’d love to see a special assignment in that we’d have to fight against Arceus or Rayquaza from the Pokémon Games. Maybe, after having been defeated by Ash and his team, Team Rocket and their balloon crashland in the New World where they get saved by us and our handler. Before getting eaten by a Great Jagras, we save them and bring them to our base where they naturally see all the big monsters that they could potentially snack to get world domination in the Pokémon World… and well… they manage to capture one of them, using a Pokéball and then we need to fight them and later we then fight against a Legendary Pokémon before Team Rocket shows up again and get blasted away into the Pokémon World.

Sure, that storyline still has some weaknesses and doesn’t sound too convincing but luckily I’m not working on new MHW-assignments. Instead, I get to focus on playing the games while other people who are good at that kind of stuff, actually implement that kind of stuff into the New World, which I really fancy. A Pokémon-themed Special Assignment would thus be very cool.

Another great one would be a Kaiju-style special quest where, after defeating an Anjanath (or some other Large Monster), it grows instead of being defeated and suddenly it’s so huge that it can easily stomp and destroy everything. Alas, our Palico then grows into some sort of giant, too, and we slip into its brain to fight Anjanath beat-em-up-style until the giant Anjanath (or whatever) explodes, destroying everything in the New World! And then we wake up. (Yep, I’m not good at the story-telling stuff… but some Kaiju-movie-inspired mission would be quite neat!)

Or just a “Monster Island” DLC with all the Godzilla monsters where you fight against them in a giant Palico-Robot!

While these crossovers have already been weird, I’d imagine it gets even weirder if we were to play in a Prof. Layton vs. MHW quest where Layton tries to solve a puzzle in the New World and while searching for clues every NPC would have a puzzle for us. Eventually, we could open an ancient tomb where a giant monster from some older Monster Hunter game would come out or maybe possibly some creature from a completely different franchise. That’d be quite neat, I guess.

And lastly, I’d really enjoy being able to play alongside Rick (from Rick and Morty) or Finn (from Adventure Time)!
I believe that they would add some interesting costumes or mechanics (similar to the Ignis Sign or the Moogle-costume) to the game and that it would be fun to experience some sort of crossover like that where we’d go on a weird adventure in the New World.

But then again, I’m not sure if the Monster Hunter series is the right franchise to be featured on the multidimensional cable and alas, I’m not too sure if any of these are that nice… But I’m excited to see what Iceborne has to bring!

Until the next post, enjoy the nice weather and stay safe! If you’ve got any ideas for potential future cross overs…. be sure to let me know or discuss them in the comments! For now though…

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

The Stray Sheep #34 – my dilemma

This week is full of posts because of creativity and me being bothered by something for quite some while at the same time hyped for the new Riot Games (who still is a small indie company for sure, kappa). A bit after posting that RoL post, my account was activated for Legends of Runeterra, which is awesome! But the post had not have had any views at all at that point, so I doubt that it had to do anything with it. 

On to another topic that is a bit heavier than other stuff. Naithin covered it on his blog already, but we basically had a discussion on the Blaugust blog just yesterday about taskbars. It’s really bothersome since my taskbar is on the right while apparently, a ton of people use it at the bottom (normies…) while some people use it at the top (hipsters…).. I mean, the right is perfectly fine and makes a lot more sense as you’ll be able to read more of your posts that way.

And of course, I’m just joking around. While it is interesting, it’s not today’s topic. 

I recently have posted about what’s up and my quick little break and the fact that I haven’t posted much and that I said that I was gonna cover three games quite soon: Heartbeat, Guacamelee!, and The Swindle. 

Cute little kitties and stuff that resemble some of Heartbeat’s characters.

This post is about something very bothersome about Heartbeat. 

So, Heartbeat is basically an Indie Game where you are a Conjurer who battles feral Mogwais and helps out people in your town. You then embark on a journey to find out about weird wisp that’s been stealing the cores (hearts) of Mogwais that are from The Den. To do so, you train, solve puzzles, battle Mogwais, find new friends and allies along the way who will fight by your side or help you out, and do lots of other stuff! 

The game is overall very cheerful and happy and embraces ideas and values about empathy, love, lesbianism, friendship and other great things! I love the soundtrack, the fighting system, the story, the characters and my little Mao, a cute little baby moth that you raise and that evolves depending on what you feed it. It’s got a ton of cute little system and you can fish in it (which is, as always, the most important reason), achievements, an arena mode of sorts, alchemy, interesting upgrade systems, tons of humour revolving around meta-jokes about it all maybe being a simulation and not real at all, which got me to chuckle quite often, and a lot more reasons why I love it. It has waited for so long in my backlog and I only know had the time and urge to play it, which I kind of regret. 

A gatcha minigame in the game.

If I had reviewed it in Blaugust, I wouldn’t have had this dilemma right now, as it all started in September. 

Nicotine, the lead dev’s girlfriend, is a TERF. By that, I don’t mean the slur or insult (as that’d be super rude, even for a TERF….) but rather the term that describes trans-exclusionary radical feminists, feminists that end up not seeing trans-women as women, excluding them from women’s spaces, and fighting against trans-rights. 

TERFs are basically shitheads. And while I don’t want to make my blog about political or other views, I myself am an LGBTQIA+ ally (apparently you can’t be pro LGBTQIA+ if you’re straight, so you gotta be an ally) and I’ve got tons of friends who fall into that spectrum and who had it tough with the coming out and all of that. Even in Germany, there are still people that believe that all gay or trans people have to die or whatever, which is ridiculous.

Thankfully the town I moved to and my uni are great places to be and there’s no space for trans, homo and xenophobia and all of that. If you’re a misogynist, a transphobe, a homophobe, a racist, or xenophobe, or even a TERF, please don’t comment any of that stuff on here or on my blog in general as I don’t want this to become a place for that stuff.

Back to Nicotine: She made clear that those things were “her opinion” and that she just listed it and that her girlfriend’s game has nothing to do with it. Shepple and Nicotine are in a lesbian relationship and should be fully aware of the hardships of people in the LGBTQIA+ spectrum and yet, they are TERFs. I say “they” but, so far, only Nicotine said stuff like that, right? 

Secrets!

Well,… actually… Shepple herself is getting accused of having said similar things in DMs and in a secret channel on her discord server.

Also, after a statistic came out. 

“The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute report the attempted suicide rate among transgender people is 41%. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims 35% of transgender high school students have also reported suicide attempts.”

And at the same time, Shepple (apparently coincidentally) put a discount on the game on Steam for 35% and 41% when combined with the game’s soundtrack. Absolutely. Disgusting. It can’t really be a coincidence, but at the same time, the Heartbeat community is full of transgender people and promotes empathy and love! 

So, there’s the benefit of the doubt there, but still…

In the end, one dev cut ties with Chumbosoft, the studio of Heartbeat. Other devs and Chumbosoft distanced themselves from Shepple and her views.

My dilemma is the following: I love Heartbeat and really recommend the game. But I can’t support a game whose lead dev is a TERF. I can’t support a dev who is mocking trans people in such a disgusting way. By recommending it I’d be giving a – rather small but still a – platform to possible transphobic thoughts or people that want to support Shepple or people that also TERFs or shitheads. I don’t know if I can do that. But I also cannot not-recommend a game that is so good and those many things that are done well along with the beautiful messages that should also count for trans people about empathy, love and everything. 

I planned on listing the shitheaded-ness of Shepple as a flaw. A paragraph on the end of my review but that’s not enough, I guess. 

“Here’s the game, it’s great, I love it. But that dev is a shithead and you’ll support someone who’s transphobic while also supporting people that distance themselves and that aren’t.” 

That felt like the best possible compromise, or just making a post about (which I ended up making). Naithin from timetoloot.com made a post about the matter and I hope that this post about the matter justifies the heaviness of the whole thing. In the end, I cannot not-recommend a game this good to people. I want to write a review on it. But I’ll add two disclaimers to it stating a short brief summary of the matter and what happened at the beginning and the end of the review, linking to this post here, before then reviewing the game. 

It’s similar to the dilemma of artists and their personal life, where you can’t support an artist who is also a child abuser as you don’t want to support a child abuser, but at the same time you cannot avoid his movie as you’d be missing out on that actor’s movies that are “this good”. 

I’d like to see personal views/life as a completely separate thing from their art and craftsmanship. But it’s not possible in every case.

I don’t know how many racists have made the comfy pants I’m wearing. I don’t know how many homophobes have worked on my jacket, and yet I wear them. 

I don’t know if really only Shepple is responsible for the whole 35%/41% thing and if there’s not a transphobe in hiding at Chumsoft, and yet I love Heartbeat. 

I bought Heartbeat a year ago and now this story blew up in September but Blizzard’s decisions are covering it up quite well, which isn’t good at all. 

This post is longer than usual. As a summary: I don’t agree with Shepple’s or Nicotine’s views, I support LGBTQIA+ in every way, if you’re a jerk, a misogynist or whatever, please don’t comment here, and I will probably review this game in a few days but will put a fat disclaimer about the situation and tell people to not buy it if it bothers them. I guess that’s a compromise that I can live with. 

My head feels like it’s exploding from this migrane that I’ve got for two weeks now and I kind of think that Heartbeat and my dilemma have been reasons for it but maybe I’ll just need to get a checkup at a doc’s. Who knows. Anyways,…

Edit: I decided not to cover it.

I wish y’all a good day and hope that you get to live your life to the fullest in every way possible! I love y’all.

Edit: Added hyphens and “phobes” to certain passages for better understanding. Thanks for pointing it out, Nathin!

The Stray Sheep #2 – Back to the Roots!

The Stray Sheep is basically a little series of posts about anything and everything! Here I comment on all sorts of topics and whatever crosses my mind. So, when I don’t know what category to put a post in, I’ll put it here since it’s the stray sheep on my blog. I guess that makes sense.
Anyways, now to the actual post.

Today I talked with some people about Minecraft and about how it’s the go-back-to-after-six-months-game for everyone who’s getting bored of the game he’s playing right now. I mean…it’s true. Now and then I feel like playing Minecraft again. Once you’re at it, you get nostalgic and then you drop it a bit later and don’t touch it for another six months until you kind of feel like it again. Minecraft is one of those back-to-the-roots-games, as I’d like to call them.
But there’s more of them and I thought I’d share some of these games with you guys.

Even bears have their favorite sauces.

For instance, there’s Stardew Valley. It reminds me of games like Harvest Moon where you could just do whatever you wanted and you always had something to do. In Stardew Valley it’s the same. At the beginning you’re presented with your farm, your duties as a farmer and NPCs.. but over time you’ll get to forage, fish, adventure, craft, help and do all kinds of other stuff. Right now I’m re-organizing my farm and trying to polish it so that it looks better. I’d like to have my animals in that corner and an optimized field in the other one with paths and lamps in between and even though you don’t need fences all that much, I’d still like to fence everything in. My house is already upgraded and just in case some of my friends feel like playing Stardew Valley again, I’m planning to build the multiplayer-houses just to show them around my farm and to adventure together. I think that’d be cool.
However, once you get to big plans like that, you realise how many materials you need and how much work it is to put them all down. After that, you finally managed the first half of the farm and realise that you misplaced one thing and have to take everything down and get started with it again for another hour or so. It’s just frustrating, so you, of course, drop the game for now and come back to it in a few months…

Fishing in warframe is kinda fun.

Another game like that is Warframe. It’s cool to grind and fly and roll over the world and kill enemies using cool ninja-weapons and that kind of stuff. It’s cool and you’ve got so much to do. You’ve wave modes, bounties, all kinds of missions. They added in new open-world-areas with huge world-bosses and escort-missions that you can go for. There’s also fishing, mining, scanning, new animals as companions and tons of stuff to grind for. On top of that, they added a new season pass and quite a few main-story-lines, as well as missions where you have to fly in space or fight people while watching a point or hacking a system and escaping before people see you.
However, with all the new changes it takes me quite a while to get used to the new features. It’s overwhelming and I feel insecure. There are all kinds of things to do and I’m not understanding most of them since there’s little to no explanation for people like me who’ve been playing the game for quite some time. I feel like a veteran with PPSD: Post-Patch-Stress-Disorder. It takes me way too long to get used to the new features and once I got to that point of understanding, I’m already at the point where I’d like to drop the game for a few months.

That’s the point where I go back to games like Banished. It’s a great game where you get to build a civilization and have farms, mines and all kinds of other buildings. It’s fun to create different districts for your city and take care of the needs of your citizens. Once your little settlement reaches a certain point of growth, you’re going to run into problems though. There are not enough tools, people are getting cold, some are starving, your animals are getting sick, you don’t have enough materials to finish up your building-projects. One of your smiths died of starvation, you need to reassign jobs but after that people are dying like a flock and you’re not even able to carry your materials from one place to the other since you’re low on labourers. At last, you lose the game and set aside this game for another while.

There are games you can always turn back to after a while. They all may make you drop them for a while, but you always get back to them and there they are, awaiting you. Are there games like that for you as well? 🙂

Anyways, cheers.

This post is part of a contest/challenge called Blaugust! The goal is to post as much as possible and participants are awarded with different prizes depending on the goal they achieved. My aim is to post on all 31 days of August and if you’d like to know more about this “event”, you should check this post out.