October 14th, 2004


(no subject)

Ratchet and Clank II rocks.

For those who don't know (i.e. probably most people reading this journal) Ratchet and Clank I was a nice 3d platformer with lots of guns. Big guns. Fun guns. Guns that make things blow up real good.

Ratchet and Clank II appears to have well over twice as many guns, and most of them blow up even better.

This actually has nothing whatsoever to do with the entry I'm writing. Guns are fun and all, and so is blowing things up, but what this entry is really about is economy. (It's things like this that you read my journal for. "Well, I *could* talk about mass destruction. But instead I'll talk about minutae of game balance.")

See, Ratchet and Clank I had two major problems. One of them was called "Super Nanotech", and the other was called "RYNO". They cost, respectively, 50,000 and 150,000 bolts. That's a hell of a lot of bolts. Consider that most creatures drop perhaps a dozen bolts on death, the biggest maybe up to 100, and that crates can be smashied for two dozen at best. 200,000 bolts is a LOT OF BOLTS.

(In case you haven't guessed, bolts = money. We now return you to your regular programming.)

In order to get that many bolts, there's basically two ways to do it. Play the game for hours on end, repeating simple actions. Or cheat. There's a few places - one of which is the result of a bug - where a weight placed on a PS2 controller can accumulate bolts at a steady rate with no risk. A few of them require inventive use of rubberbands also, but we're all inventive here, that's not much of a problem. So you set yourself up in one of these, put something heavy on the X button (like a baking pan, as a completely arbitrary example), and leave the PS2 on overnight.

Obviously, this sucks.

In R&C2 they fixed this quite handily. They added tons of things to do for bolts. Racing! Starfighting! Arena battles! Crystal hunting! You can't go through four zones without it saying "You can continue, or if you want MORE CASH, keep playing here!"

Which is, you know, a serious improvement. And actually a lot of fun. Very little of it feels grueling and boring - it's actually quite fun to go through a horrific arena battle and come out on the other end ten thousand bolts heavier. Minus ammo costs. But those usually aren't so bad.

Now, many people would say "Great! Problem fixed." Not these people! Now that we have more money in the game, what's the logical next step?

More things to spend it on!

RYNO II price: ONE MILLION BOLTS. (Say that in a Dr. Evil voice. One meelion bolts. One MEEEEELIIION bolts.)

Which is cool, ya know? 200k bolts isn't really all that much to me. I mean, it's a hell of a lot. But it's not *that* much.

One million bolts, though . . . That better be a pretty awesome gun. The RYNO killed basically everything you could see, plus a sizable fraction of things behind you. RYNO II had better kill things in entirely different universes. That's all I'm asking.


As a completely unrelated aside, when I went to LJ to write this post, I accidentally typed www.liverjournal.com. Unfortunately it's taken by a domain squatter. There is no justice in the world.

(no subject)

Comic shops rock. Everyone's so friendly. I mean, you're in there for the comics. Everyone's in there for the comics. Nobody's about to yell "You're stupid! Comics are for kids!" with a stack of Teen Titans under their arm.

So there I am, wandering around the comic shop, browsing the new stuff, and I overhear someone talking to the guy at the counter.

"Yeah, there's this great series called Platinum Grit, but you can't find it anywhere."
"I've never even heard of it."

At this point I wander over and break into the conversation.

"The people who did that put it all on their website, I think. At least, it's 13 issues or so."
"Hey, really? I should check that out."
"Yeah, I'll write that down."

I start wandering towards the door, and the guy at the counter (who knows me, we've had many conversations about FFXI) notices.

"You leaving already? Not buying anything?"
"Nah, nothing new that I'm looking for today, it seems."
"Pity. Oh, another copy of Flight should be coming in for you soon."
"Cool, looking forward to it. Oh, did you ever get copies of Daisy Kutter #2?"
"Hmmm. No, I don't think we ever got those in."

Someone else waiting in line breaks in. Someone old. We're talking 70 years old here. He didn't have a cane, but he looked like he was only a few weeks away from needing one.

"You did have those - I picked it up last week. I think you're out now."
"Ah, okay. We'll probably get more in in a week or two, then."
"Great, thanks."

Comic shops rock.

(no subject)

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If you're going to spam me, could you at least make sure your program works first? I'm tired of getting spam emails with clearly buggy headers and no body.