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This week's highs and lows in PC gaming

The lows

Evan Lahti: Tale as old as time

The awkward relationship between Blizzard and WoW modders continues. Though I'm certain Blizzard values and appreciates the work of the WoW modding community at large, it's unfortunate that the most ambitious amateur projects are the ones that are most likely to be cease-and-desisted. That was the case with Warcraft Tales this week, an interesting-sounding attempt to "rewrite the entirety of World of Warcraft's level 1-60 quests zone-by-zone to make the story more interesting" by adding a bunch of new VO and restructuring things to an episodic format, as Steven reported.

What likely rubbed Blizz the wrong way was Warcraft Tales' call for donations—$2,500 per was its first Patreon goal before being shut down. It's just a shame that Blizzard isn't able to somehow take the StarCraft Arcade route and integrate these kinds of projects more officially, or better yet, open up a Steam Workshop-style space and allow players to vote on which mods are considered for official inclusion (and revenue sharing) as CS:GO, Dota 2, and Team Fortress 2 have done successfully for years.

Wes Fenlon: Internet privacy? What's that?

Last year the FCC created rules that would have required internet service providers to follow better, more specific privacy procedures than they do now, telling users like you and I what they were doing with our data, and asking permission before, say, selling it. Thanks to the government, those rules are now dead, and ISPs have no government oversight to fear anytime soon. So that's pretty shitty. 

Chris Livingston: Station fears

Just got through staring blankly at the trailer for Stationeers, the upcoming space station management game Dean Hall announced the other day. I'm not here to judge a game by its trailer—that's never a good idea—I guess I'm just disappointed to see a cartoony Minecraft-lookin' thing from the creator of the gritty and brutal grief-simulator DayZ. Whereas his abandoned project, Ion, sounded interesting (from what little we knew), I didn't see anything terribly appealing in the brief glimpse Stationeers, apart from the blocky spaceman tripping over a crowbar. Hopefully, as we see more of it in the coming months, I'll see something I like. 

Joe Donnelly: Rezzed for bed

So, for some reason I thought it was a good idea to fly early to London tomorrow and fly back to Glasgow on the same day. My flight is at 6.50am, which means I’ll probably need to get up around five. I’ll drive to the airport, park my car in short term, fly to Gatwick, get the train to central London, do Rezzed, have fun, get a train back to the airport for a 10.50pm flight, fly back to Glasgow, grab my car from short term parking, drive home, and crumble in a sweaty heap back where I started. All in the name of videogames. Yay.  

Tyler Wilde: Virtual real estate

Read this passage from Vive headset maker HTC about its virtual reality advertising system: “Ads that appear in immersive VR environments can not only provide more effective impressions, they can also track whether the users have viewed them or have turned away their gaze. Accordingly, the multiplied effect of effective impressions and verified viewings will bring you higher advertising revenue!"

Oh joy. 

Samuel Roberts: Empty months

Seriously, why have there been three big game announcements this week but basically nothing for the last six months? I'd really like it if the major publishers started pacing these things out a little more. There's no reason we have to live in the same seasonal cycle when Mass Effect launches in March and Resident Evil VII can launch in January. 

None of those rules need to apply now, and a lot of mid-sized games would really benefit from getting out the way of bigger releases. That's probably helped Nier: Automata find a bigger audience than it would if released at, say, Christmas.