I would like to be the first person to express my grave reservations about

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Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Everyone says EA is just testing the waters. That is absolutely correct, and you should all be scared shitless.
I'm more and more disturbed by the arguments being brought up here. I'm actually starting to wonder if LeHah's method of argument isn't perhaps the way to go here - maybe you guys really don't understand logic or common sense, and the only thing that can be done is to yell at you until you go away? I truly hope that's not the case, but it's starting to look like it...

EA wants to see if we, as WC fans, will fork over $400 just to follow the genre onto consoles (since apparently the Vista thing isn't gonna happen). EA wants to see if we'll forget that WC was a space sim (moreso than an arcade game at least) and buy the game even though it's an arcade game.
This is lovely stuff, here. Number one - EA does not actually know who buys a console to get their game. All they know is how many people get their game. And in any case, they have no reason to care about who buys a console to buy their game, because they don't make any money through console sales. If we accept your logic, then it would be reasonable to assume that the best bet for EA would be to make the game for the PC - after all, that's the easiest, cheapest way of cashing in on the existing WC fan base. If, as you argue, EA is trying to find out how many flaming hoops we'll jump through to get the next WC game... then surely they don't care at all about profits? Surely, all they want is to make fools out of WC fans and destroy the WC franchise, because they're so terribly evil? That makes perfect sense, except for one small detail - it's crazy-talk. It's paranoid gibberish.

If we'll forget that WC had depth and plot and character development and memorable scenarios and all that, and just care about mindlessly fragging our online opponents. You know what the single player looks like from the screenshots so far? Destroy X number of asteroids! What the hell kind of Wing Commander game is that?
It is an arcade game, developed for something called Live Arcade - a service where arcade games get released for players who are looking for arcade entertainment. You getting my drift here? EA isn't saying that from now on, all WC games are going to be arcade titles, just like they weren't saying all WC games are going to be strategy titles when they released Armada back in 1994. I'm sure, if this game was being developed for a mobile phone, you'd have no difficulty comprehending that Arena is not EA's all-encompassing vision of the future of this franchise.

EA does not care. They are testing the waters to see what they can get away with in terms of screwing over our favorite franchise. Maybe they thought that after ten years, we'd forget what WC was all about.
That's right. What you write is so perfectly logical, it has to be EA's clever plan. They're hoping to make lots and lots of money off Wing Commander by not developing any WC games for a decade, and then, when everyone's forgotten what Wing Commander is about, cashing in on this forgotten brand by releasing a title entirely unlike the original game, thus screwing the franchise over. Genius. With cunning plans like this, it's no wonder EA is the world's biggest games publisher and developer. Again, all that makes perfect sense, except for one small detail - it's crazy-talk. It's paranoid gibberish.

Unluckily for them, this is not the case...to some degree. Apparently, a good deal of you are WILLING to forget. I'm looking at you LeHah. If this game was released on the Playstation store, you would have bought a PS3. If it was a racing game with the Wing Commander name, you would have praised it for staying so true in having the same ships. LeHah is one prime example of someone who is completely willing to let everything slide as long as they get new, official content. If there's anyone here who's trolling (although I fear I have delved into said realm myself) it seems to be LeHah. People voice their opinions, and LeHah seems to find every way to shut them down.
I think you're way, waaaaay too obsessed with Wing Commander. LeHah is clearly a far more casual fan than you are. You have your narrow vision of what a Wing Commander game is like, and you refuse to accept anything outside of it. LeHah is willing to look at an arcade Wing Commander title and say, "hey, if it's fun, I'll play it.". And yeah, I'm sure if they made a racing game, LeHah would be interested in it - as would I, and thousands of others. A space racing game set in the WC universe... jeepers, how cool would that be? Only if it was a well-made and fun game, mind you.

You know why they're releasing Arena first? They want to see how low they can go before the fans riot, how little they can do to still make a profit off the WC name. If Arena fails, then yes, we'll see a better WC game, and EA will try something different, because they're forced to. EA will not miss a chance to cash in on so big a name, we've seen it before, and we'll see it again.
Again, your clarity of vision astonishes me. You've shown us all the way. We now know exactly what to do in order to persuade EA to make a new WC game - we must not buy anything with "Wing Commander" on it! We must show those greedy bastards at EA that there is absolutely no money to be made with Wing Commander! Only then will they finally invest millions of dollars into a proper Wing Commander game, secure in their knowledge that their investment absolutely will not pay off!

...Need I even point out how crazy you sound?
 
OK, let's say that Arena is a raging success. EA has raked in a ton of cash by slapping the WC label on a low budget arcade action title. The theory is that this will pave the wave for a new, more traditional WC game, right?

There are two problems with this line of thinking. First, you're assuming that players will be willing to make the jump from a quick, simple, pick-up-and-play arcade-style shooter to a more in-depth flight sim. I think that's a bit of a leap. Of course you would, you're a Wing Commander fan -- I'm talking about the gaming public at large.


Um... remo?

Let me offer this for your thinking:

I recall the dawn of my Wing Commander addiction... Wing Commander for Super Ninetendo!! WOOT!

I picked up a game that, frankly, had flashy pictures and looked cool. The between missions game experience was little more than a few talking heads, a save/load room (hell I played the SNES version, so we didn't even have that...write down that alphanumeric cipher, for god's sake!!!), a "mission briefing cinematic", and a cool "scramble/launch cinetmatic". That's about it.

Then you were plunged into a quasi-3D..um...arcade shooter... My recollections were of simple graphic ships and swirling combat against unbelievable odds. Beyond that... it was: "fly here, shoot anything red on radar, fly there, dodge rocks, fly there, dodge exploding rocks(mines) AND shoot anything red on radar..." that kind of thing...

Beyond that you had a rudimentary branching story line based on success/failure in certain key missions (probably just flipped a set of bits in a byte of "story progress data"). You got medals and awards and promotions and got to fly new fighters... but there was no gloriously in-depth storyline beyond slogging ahead and trying to win every mission! Again, this is my recollection of how it seemed to me at the time.

After a LONG bit of playing over and over and over again, I finally won and whacked that big @$$ starbase in Venice...the last few missions were VERY engrossing. Somewhere in there between saving my carrier and blowing up a fralthi and other interesting missions, I got hooked on how well integrated the game PLAY felt. It was easy to play, visually appealing, complex without being "holy hell what are all these buttons!?", and just hard enough to make it challenging. (no, I'm not invoking the ralari mission ;-) ) The characters were charming enough, but nothing really deep!

The reason I bring all this up was: it didn't take a big cinematic production to hook me on the game... It took good solid gameplay, high fun factor, and a surmountable, yet difficult, challenge to keep my interest. Probably the thing that hooked me long term was the backstory that was available in the book. I didn't read the book much early on, but I went back and re-read the story line SEVERAL times after I'd gotten into the game. That did it, I was hooked.

WC: Arena could have that same effect... good graphics to hook initial interest, good gameplay to let people enjoy their purchase, good challenge based on multiplayer etc., and a wealth of backstory available to flesh out the universe.

Don't slam it before you play it... if it breathes new life into the series and new players discover the old WC-iverse, it could reinvigorate the entire series.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
EA wants to see if we, as WC fans, will fork over $400 just to follow the genre onto consoles

As opposed to making us fork over $2,000 for a new PC?

That arguement is so idiotic, I'm laughing directly at my monitor. I needed that, thanks.

Apparently, a good deal of you are WILLING to forget. I'm looking at you LeHah. If this game was released on the Playstation store, you would have bought a PS3.

Shock of shocks! Horror of horrors! How dare I buy something I'd like to have!

You are right though. Heck, if a Wing Commander game came out for Talking Wiz-Kid, I'd buy it. I even bought EA Replay and I don't own a PSP. I'm not saying that all WC fans need to follow suit - but there is no good that comes from shitting on a product you say to liking.

If it was a racing game with the Wing Commander name, you would have praised it for staying so true in having the same ships. LeHah is one prime example of someone who is completely willing to let everything slide as long as they get new, official content.

I have a respectable WC collection. I'm not Joe Garrity by any stretch - but I do have some very nice WC material in my room. A ticket to the premiere of the movie, as well as an invite to the party afterwards. I also have a hat from the visual effects crew - and all of that was sent to me by Chris Roberts.

Over the years I've gotten a couple emails from Chris Roberts, William Forstchen, Peter Telep, George Sanger and other people who have worked on the series.

Do I want new, offical content? You bet your ass I do. Wing Commander is probably the most consistant quality series in PC gaming. Why would Arena be any different?

If there's anyone here who's trolling (although I fear I have delved into said realm myself) it seems to be LeHah.

Let that be decided by staff. I've been around here long enough, they know how to get in touch with me if they feel the need.

People voice their opinions, and LeHah seems to find every way to shut them down.

If you notice - it's because those people are saying very negative things that are shot down very easily. I'm not LOAF or ^Death - I'm not big brained like they are; consider me the pea-shooter and them the Guns Of Navarone.

And to quote a favorite movie of mine - "Mess with the bull, young man - and you get the horns."
 

lxi

Spaceman
maybe it's just me but people seem to take this way too seriously... like it's just a live game... of course it's going to be arcade like... it's meant for multiplayer...

i have played wc since it came out... i still play the games... to me, this looks like a lot of fun...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Jesus asked me to post about this.

I have had a chance to play Arena, and can confirm that it's more complex than it 'looks'. I went in with pretty much exactly the same worries that you all have right now: that it would be too 'arcade'... unfortunately, the name of the service along pretty much instills this impression immediately.

I can testify that the game is a lot more complex than it seems, in terms of combat. Ships behave like they do in Wing Commander, complete with shields, armor, multiple gun selection and so forth. Everyone is scared of the '2D' aspect, and I was as well... but the 'maneuver' system they've come up with to get around that limitation is innovative. It combines something consoles are good at (limited button combos) with a real "flight" feel. Arena is a game that takes a minute to play and a lifetime to master -- you can go in there with guns blazing... but you're going to get your ass kicked by all the pilots who have learned to do loops and flips and immelmans and dodges and strafes and so forth.

Does EA care about the fans? Yes, to a point beyond reason. We represent several thousand people... of whom a small minority have XBoxes. For those few people, they have taken the time to not only let Chris and I see the game in an early form (before the press, apparently), but also to take our input in all sorts of gameplay things -- how do missiles in WC work? Where in the WC timeline should this go? What type of ships will WC fans recognize?

That's why all this skepticism makes me angry... because of the amount of stuff I *know* they've done that you simply can't appreciate because it's already there. The capship mode, for instance, originally had a bright blue Kilrathi battleship. Chris told them it shouldn't look that way and bam, it was changed. The press release alone should suggest this -- it spends space, a precious thing in a promoional document, making sure they know the game should appeal to *long time fans*... even though we're a tiny minority of the million people who make up the actual audience for this thing.

Does it have a story? No (it has a setting, though)... but neither did Armada or Academy... does it have arcade elements? Yes -- but so does every Wing Commander game ever. Everything I've said earlier in these threads in terms of what this game means for future titles is true: if this game is a success, then we will see larger things in the Wing Commander un iverse... not only from EA -- I talked to an editor at Baen about exactly this possibility some day, for instance.

But that's all meaningless to me, really, because Arena is a heck of a fun game right now... beyond being promising for the future, it's a pretty darn good now. Wing Commander has always pushed the limits of systems... and this one absolutely does. A lot of you don't understand what XBLA is... but it's basically a system for selling little games. I have Galaga and Feeding Frenzy in my arcade, for instance. The kind of games your mom plays at work. Arena blows these away -- it's a giant multiplayer game with huge, complex systems of weapons and a great background lore for WC fans.

It's a good thing... and, as we have quoted so often in the past ten years, there's *always* hope.
 

remo

Spaceman
the name should be spoken. the audience should be fed. so it's like this: either we tolerate Arena... or we let WC fossilize like Zork, Elite and Loom.
Frankly, I'm OK with this. The day of the flight sim has come and gone. I'd rather it die gracefully than be shoe-horned into a genre that lacks any of the key elements that made the original such a success.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
It's so easy to win an argument when all you do is dub the other person "completely insane"
That's just plain insulting - I've spent a good twenty minutes explaining in great detail why I think what you wrote is insane. If I just wanted to "win", I would have done exactly what you've just done - post one sentence about you being crazy, and be done with it. God knows, that would probably have been a better usage of my time. But no, I actually wasted time explaining why I disagree with you, and why I think your arguments aren't merely wrong, but downright unbelieveable.

Now, if you have any reasonable response to what I said, feel free to post it - but don't try to play the "I declare myself winner by default, so I don't need to respond" card, because it really doesn't work around here.
 
Frankly, I'm OK with this. The day of the flight sim has come and gone. I'd rather it die gracefully than be shoe-horned into a genre that lacks any of the key elements that made the original such a success.

Ok then... let it go! If you're curious what's happening, feel free to keep watching!

There's plenty of game play out there in the WC-iverse and if you want something more than what you've already got, try your hand at modding!
 

CrazySpence

Rear Admiral
Back in my day

- I got chewed out by halycon for letting the killie cats scrag my medical transport.
- Reemed by Tolwyn because he thought I was a traitor.
- Chased out of Deneb sector due to the crippling defeat of an entire Confed fleet
- Transfered to a bucket of bolts after the loss of the flagship
- Freaked out at the loss of my chick and almost missed my jump home
- Saved Confed by blowing up a fracking planet
- Became a farmer? *shrugs*
- Uncovered a twisted genocidal plot
- Turned into a young rookie again all of a sudden and fought some new bad guys
- Insulted my former self but that's ok, we became pals later
- Saved the galaxy AGAIN (including some kats) from the new bad guys
- logged on as CrazySpence in a 2D shooter

wait...what was that last one?

that sucks. wheres the story. even in my very short point form all the other games still sound freakin awesome how can we end with "I killed pwnme2wce 20 times today and then Juggernaught4eva griefed me for hours"

I don't know.... back in my day it felt like I was living a second life in the WC world, the story was so obnoxiously detailed in every way...then I switched characters in WCP, which just so you know kinda pissed me off but once again there was story and I got into it and eventually I liked lame Casey too.

I really hope this isn't where they stop because I'd have rather Secret Ops had been the last game because at least it had a point to it. Pretty sad that groups of die hard fans can produce better games (Standoff) than HIGHLY PAID DEVELOPMENT HOUSES.

I'll try it out, It may actually be a fun game, it is just going to be shallow and heartless which is not what I expect from this series.
 

Sylvester

Vice Admiral
Here is something that I think you naysayers have not taken into account. Yes, Arena is not the storyline driven, mission oriented game that the original games were. However, as Ed and others said, the gaming market is all about making money. This is an excellent opportunity for EA to take a low risk option to reintroduce Wing Commander to a new generation of gamers, besides the kids and younger siblings of people here at the CIC. And when these new gamers play Arena, and like it as I expect they will, they'll say "Hey, there are other games in this series, I wonder what they are like." And they'll find Wing Commander 1, they'll find Privateer, Secret Ops and all our other beloved games. This new generation will play these games, and the majority of them will enjoy them. And then they'll look forward to when EA, and I'm pretty certain they will, releases a new storyline driven WC game for the next gen consoles and the computer.

This is a time for hope and happiness, and anyone who says otherwise before actually playing the product or reading more closely in to what exactly EA says Arena is offering or listening to commentary from people who have played the game like LOAF and Chris, should just shut your mouths, because you are ruining the moment for the rest of us who are excited by this new prospect for Wing Commander.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I think that's a big point, too... but moreover, you're also ruining *your* moment. This is the *beginning* of something that we've all been hoping for for a heck of a long time... lets take this chance to have a few drinks, let down our hair and have some fun before we go back to being cynical critics.
 

remo

Spaceman
Um... remo?

The reason I bring all this up was: it didn't take a big cinematic production to hook me on the game... It took good solid gameplay, high fun factor, and a surmountable, yet difficult, challenge to keep my interest. Probably the thing that hooked me long term was the backstory that was available in the book. I didn't read the book much early on, but I went back and re-read the story line SEVERAL times after I'd gotten into the game. That did it, I was hooked.

Agreed, doesn't need to be a big flashy FMV production, and I loved the early iterations for the same reasons you did. Heck I have Wing Commander for the Sega CD on the way and I'm really excited, I loved playing it back in the day.

My concern is that many of the things you mentioned simply won't be in this game, it sounds like a simple fragfest. Which begs, the question, is it still Wing Commander if the only tie to the past is the ships? I guess we'll see. Like I said I'll give it a shot, but it's disappointing news. (but not unexpected)
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
It isn't a simple fragfest -- it's as, if not more, complex than Wing Commander Armada. Here's an example of that emergent gameplay:

The capital ship mission (seen in the movie from last night) is one of the most exciting co-op things I've ever played. Those two capital ships pound away at eachother, and your goal is to take down the enemy while protecting your own. It's covered in little structures and turrets and so forth that you have to torpedo or defend.

So you have to coordinate with your team of eight guys -- people will have to fly point defense fighters to protect your capship, others will have to fly escort for the bombers, others will fly the bombers themselves. Then you deal with a live enemy who's doing the same thing.

What it is is basically a huge *setting* to make people act out classic Wing Commander elements. You are forced to literally key your comm and say "they're on my six, help me out!" or "Mav, attack my target!" in order to play.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
I think that's a big point, too... but moreover, you're also ruining *your* moment. This is the *beginning* of something that we've all been hoping for for a heck of a long time... lets take this chance to have a few drinks, let down our hair and have some fun before we go back to being cynical critics.

Took the words out of my mouth. Cheers.
 
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