Monday, June 30, 2008
This would also go hand-in-hand with what we heard in a couple of videos from the media event where you could hear Allen Goode saying "the game is slated for a fall 2008 release", and we all know that September 16th is still considered summer.
Well as long as it ensures the game will recieve a proper launch with a steady framerate and stable netcode, I'm ok with it.
Friday, June 27, 2008
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We are also on iTunes here
I'm back with a new podcast, once again co-hosting is Hellman, and we're just in time for the embargo to lift. We discuss all the stuff that came out today, a couple topics we forget to talk about last time, Zipper's game, and also forgot to do a map of the week segment! I made it up to you though by including some funny pre-show test records and bloopers. You'll just have to wait till after the outro music for those.
GameTrailers map fly-throughs
IGN hands-on + new videos
GameSpot demo video
PS3 Fanboy hands-on
SOCOM Headset officially shown
1up Hands-on preview
Thursday, June 26, 2008
To add more fuel to the fire, in IGN's latest Podcast Beyond (which I linked to in the previous post), mentioned that Greg and Chris were going to check out something on Friday, and that embargo would be lifted at 8am EST on Monday.
So now the speculation begins. If there is indeed a 2nd embargo, what could it be on? SOCOM Confrontation beta? Zipper's new SOCOM game? Who knows. All we have left to do is play the waiting game.
Hey Slant Six, why add team switching?
That's a good question. The decision to implement team switching stems directly from the core premise of SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation; pure online competition. The ranking system in Confrontation is meant to truly reflect individual skill and teamwork, and in order to do that all other variables must be controlled. If a team only plays one side of a map then we can’t determine who truly is the most skilled, flexible and capable team. Would anyone claim that they have played a game where all the weapons, attachments, maps and game modes are 100% balanced in every way (including the previous SOCOM? Does that stop people from taking advantage of those subtle imbalances and aiming to play under the most advantageous conditions? Not a chance.
In order to make a game truly competitive it must be as fair as possible and that means leveling the playing field. There is a reason professional sports have the competitors switch sides part way through a game. Surface irregularities on an ice rink or tennis court could unbalance a sports competition, so the players always switch ends. We don’t want people walking away from a match attributing their win or their loss to the location of their spawn or the weapons their team had. In addition, we feel that players will have the greatest investment in their Clan-specific Special Forces character, or at least have a preference for playing Commandos or Mercenaries and we want to ensure that in ranked games everyone gets equal time with their preferred character.
In ranked games players can expect to play a total of 10 rounds, each round being 6 minutes long. At the 5 round mark the teams will switch sides and the players reverse roles. This is the reason that each player has two avatars: your Commando (Special Forces) and a Mercenary. You will be playing with these two characters each time you jump into a game. Players will be able to create multiple preset loadouts for each avatar which can be easily selected during the course of a game. At the beginning of each round players will be able to choose the loadout they want to use.
If at the end of the 10 rounds both teams are tied at 5 rounds each then the team with the best overall performance is awarded the victory. This is where individual skill blends with being a team player to tip the balance in close matches. So if you have a camper playing with you, hanging back and not pulling his weight you may want to persuade him to change his play style.
Finally you can disable team switching in custom matches.
My comment to that was:
I understand what you're saying, but I'm not yet convinced.
And you can't blame me for feeling this way when no one complained about how this was handled in previous SOCOM games. We've been waiting for a true SOCOM experience since SOCOM 2, then we finally are offered what seems to be one...yet now you guys want to change aspects of the game that was never broken to begin with.
My big problem with your method here is that in classic SOCOM, it was all about those heart-pounding come back victories. Your team was down 4-0, but then you all agreed on a new strategy, banded together, and came back to win 6-5. This is what classic SOCOM is about.
Are you making us play 10 rounds in every match, even if it's not needed? If a team wins the first 6 rounds, are they going to have to play the next 4 as well? Your explanation is hazy in this regard.
I'll let you know if I get a response to this.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I just wanted to let you know that you are right and I was wrong. There is an embargo in place until Friday. I had thought there wasn't so that's what I told you last week. I'm very sorry. I am not part of the Marketing/PR department so sometimes I don't get all the details of what they are doing. At any rate, I am very sorry that I told you there was no embargo. It was my mistake.
But I do have to say that we are not the ones that got you all looking so forward to this. I keep reading that we shouldn't have set you up for a let down. Well, we didn't let you know about it. As far as I know, it was kept a secret by us until some of the people that were invited mentioned it. Then we really had no choice but to admit that we had it scheduled. I hadn't wanted you to know it was coming for just this reason. I know how hyped up you guys get.So hold on until Friday. And go ahead, let me have it for giving you the wrong info. I try very hard not to make mistakes with you guys but hey... It happens sometimes.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I wouldn't expect the embargo to last past midnight PST though. So hopefully we will get something before we're all in bed tonight.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Sadly I wasn't invited (cry for me), but just keep a close look here on the 24th, assuming there is no embargo, and I'll link you to all the right places.
I'm also going to try and roundup Hellman for a podcast on that day so we can discuss everything that went down and everything else that we have made a note of and want to discuss.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Encouraging clan play is one of the best things they could have done for SOCOM Confrontation. First of all, if you aren’t already aware, being in a clan is being encouraged in a few different ways. It’s the only way to join a Special Forces team (ie: Navy SEALs, British SAS, etc) and have access to a new weapon, new gear, and be a part of the clan leader boards. At first I wasn’t so sure about this idea to push people into a clan, but now it’s all making sense and if you look ahead, post-release, it’s going to help keep the community for Confrontation going strong.
If you aren’t following what I’m alluding to here, I’ll make it a little more clear. The online mode in the original SOCOM was able to create a very strong community, almost by accident. A large part of the reason for this was the lobby system that was implemented in conjunction with the lack of a fleshed out friend’s list. What I mean by this is the friend/clan list in SOCOM 1 only told you who in your list were online, it did not tell you what room they were in. This caused each clan to have a “home server”, so you always knew where to find their rooms or could at least narrow down where they’d be playing. Which also meant that it, almost accidentally, caused communities to form around each server and you really got to know the people you were playing with and against as you would keep running into them in that single 256-max player servers (‘US East 5’ for example).
So what does that have anything to do with this? Well the encouraged clan play in Confrontation is almost like the SOCOM 1 lobby system in that they will both, almost by accident, strengthen the community. What the encouraged clan play in Confrontation will do, is firstly, cause people to join a clan. That part is rather obvious. But the ramifications of this will be huge.
For anyone that has been in a clan or a guild, one thing you realize is that often times you’ll just play the game so you can play with those people, because you enjoy spending time with your clan mates or guild members. And if you take a look at all the most successful online games (World of Warcraft, Counter-Strike, SOCOM II, Halo 2, etc), clans/guilds are a HUGE part of those communities.
So not only is pushing clan play in Confrontation to the benefit of Sony/Slant Six, as it will build a strong community and help keep this game going for many years, but it will also benefit the player in ways that might not be as obvious. Taking the examples I used in the paragraph above, something else they all have in common that goes hand in hand with clans/guilds, is voice chat. Whether it’s through Ventrillo in World of Warcraft, or it’s built in like it is in SOCOM II, voice chat is integral to those experiences. And if you are familiar at all with the state of online gaming on PS3 right now, voice chat is very underutilized.
But with clans being so prominent in Confrontation, what this will end up doing it pushing people to use voice chat more. No longer will we be in games where only 50% of the room has a headset, and the other 25% has one but doesn’t want to wear it, because with clan play you WANT to talk. You want to have conversations with the people you play online and have become so familiar with. So because of this, I predict SOCOM Confrontation will be one of the first PS3 games where you find 9 times out of 10, that almost everyone in the room is using voice chat.
So the way I see it, encouraged clan play is the SOCOM 1 lobby system of 2008. Both are brilliant accidents that did/will strengthen the community.
Friday, June 13, 2008
New pictures on SOCOM.com
Check out both links.
I think Viral Labs is looking pretty nice. Seems to be some nice potential for choke points along the catwalks, and that dome structure looks pretty diverse and interesting. Also, there is the addition of the water which you CAN swim in (one of the pics has a playing climbing up a ladder out of the water), so that should add an extra layer of strategy to the entire thing.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Luckily one of the community members over on the Playstation.com boards, Culkid, has the issue and was nice enough to give us details about it:
i loved the new preview, however GI seemed to say some negative things like they dont see it becoming as popular as COD and halo. they did say a few things. ill list what i read
NEw map called Viral Lab. its the inside of a domed industrial facility surrounded by metal catwalks and water.
they said you can only have one character at a time and the only way to get a new character is to leave your clan
each character "seals, sas, ksk, UOE, RPIMA have their own specific weapons, camo and specialized armor
in the photos:
let me say i dont know if every screenshot here are from this new viral labs but let me describe each picture:
the first one has terrorists on top of a cat walk shooting at seals below. the seals are crouched behind 2 water turbines.
the second one has a seal prone on a catwalk shooting at a standing terrorist on another catwaelk
the third one has seals shooting at terrorists on a catwalk. the terrorists are standing by a big satellite
the fourth one has a SEAL with an ACOG scope on an M4A1 shooting at a terroriost. someone must have thrown a smoke grenade because the effect is AMAZING
the fifth photo is seals running outside *seems to be 2 facilities in this viral labS EMPHASIS ON THE S. meaning seals start in one lab and terrorists start at the other. water surrounds the lab
Sounds really cool. Almost like a spiritual successor to Chain Reaction, one of my favourite SOCOM II maps.
Be sure to pick up the issue yourself when it hits newsstands. It's the one with the inFAMOUS (Sucker Punch's new PS3 game) cover story.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Hit detection map, built in clan/friends list, complete breakdown of stats by weapon, medals, mail, a calendar, and...and...replays?!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
If you click the link it explains it a little better, but basically it's an interactive magazine you can buy each month from PSN with,
"exclusive news, developer interviews, in-depth game previews and behind-the-scenes looks at PlayStation games and special access to game demos, special beta invitations, game add-ons and other downloadable game-related content."Seems interesting enough. With exclusive SOCOM stuff coming in the first issue including an exclusive theme and a beta invite, they obviously have me pegged for a purchase.
Concerning the beta though, there are questions swirling whether this is for the private or open Confrontation beta. I'm pretty sure it'll be for the open beta as the private was supposed to be invite-only. I'll keep you updated when I find out for sure though.
Monday, June 2, 2008
I know you are all waiting and wondering what’s going on with the closed Beta. So I wanted to give you an update. I’m getting a lot of questions here and in PMs so I will answer what I can.
First of all, the closed Beta has not started yet. We are getting closer to it, but as of right now, anything you have heard about it starting already or people getting emails about it is not true. I know there are rumors floating around to the contrary but I am here to tell you they are just rumors. No one has been notified of anything yet.
I told you all in this post a little about the selection process. I told you that I was making lists to send to the group that was actually handling the Beta. Well, that has already been done. Those lists have been sent and it is now out of my hands. So if you didn’t get on one of those lists by now, I cannot add you. I’m very sorry but it’s too late.
And finally, I know you all want to know how you will be notified. If you are selected to apply for the closed Beta, you will get an invitation sent to the email you have registered for your PSN account. That will be the only way you will be contacted. So watch your emails!
If you do not get an invitation for the closed Beta, you will still have an opportunity to get in the open beta. Watch the blog on socom.com for a little bit of information on that later this week.
Hang in there, folks. We are getting closer and we will get this show on the road as soon as we can!