Category Command & Conquer News

EA Uses “Moral Compass” on Lootboxes, Contradicts Self

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As we all know, EA loves its lootboxes. While they are not the ones who first envisioned them, nor popularized them, they are taking the hardest backlash for them due to the way they monetize their games, even high-tier ones like Star Wars: Battlefront II (2017). And yes, if you already didn’t find out by now, they could simply not resist putting them into Command & Conquer: Rivals.

A few days ago, gamesindustry.biz interviewed EA vice-president of strategic growth Matt Bilbey on matters such as game streaming, VR, game-licensed movies, but what stood out was the last subject – lootboxes. Bilbey states that EA is working with entities such as the Belgian Gaming Commission, which lobbies for legal restrictions on such practices:

I believe what we’re working through with those specific groups at the moment is an education. Not meant in a patronizing way, but just helping them understand how we design the games and the notion of choice and our commitment to making the games fair and fun. We learned a lot from Star Wars: Battlefront.

Additionally, he says that they have an internal “moral compass” that would supposedly ensure “fairness”:

I ran a team internally with Patrick post-Battlefront to actually redesign our game development framework and testing platforms to ensure we’re giving our game teams the right guidance–we’ll call it an EA moral compass–at the beginning of development so that we’re designing our live service early, we’re testing it early, testing it with gamers who are giving us feedback so we ensure those pillars of fairness, value, and fun are true.

PC Gamer’s brief analysis pointed out EA’s self-contradiction. In May 2018, not even a full month after EA chief designer Patrick Söderlund claimed they wanted to avoid another Star Wars: Battlefront II (2017) scenario, EA CEO Andrew Wilson stated in an earnings call that the company would “push forward” with lootboxes.

With EA refusing to take the hint from players and even some countries’ governments, the future of their games seems bleak indeed.

Throwback Thursday for 1st February

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In this week’s Throwback Thursday feature, we continue with our Iconic C&C Units sub-series with the Terror Drone from Red Alert 2. This unorthodox spider-like mechanism was no joke – it was a blazing-fast vehicle that could be used for scouting and slowly dismanling enemy vehicles from the inside. Their drills could instantly kill infantry in the same way Attack Dogs could. However, their weaknesses were Service Depots and Repair IFVs, and if the infected vehicle would chronoshift (e.g. a Chrono Miner), the Terror Drone would be left behind. Enemies without the ability to repair an infected vehicle had to force-fire on it to destroy the Terror Drone that was inside at the cost of the said unit.

Remember, you can click on the preview to see a larger and more detailed image. Don’t forget to check out the Throwback Thursdays archives if you’ve missed a week. Check back again next Thursday for another Throwback. Send in your ideas for future instalments. We also encourage you to share this on social media using the hash tags #ThrowbackThursday, #CnCTBT and #CNCNZTBT.

C&C Community News – January 2018

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Throughout most January, there haven’t been many news, especially not those that would warrant a full post. In recent days, however, this changed, so let’s quickly look at what’s been going on:

Upcoming tournaments:

Throwback Thursday for 25th January

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In this week’s Throwback Thursday, we feature something from the cancelled free-to-play Command & Conquer, which we haven’t really covered in this segment. The star of this feature is the redesigned Dr. Thrax, a returning character from Zero Hour. His appearance changed dramatically, true to his original backstory that he frequently visits plastic surgeons to cover his tracks, but he appeared to act like a loose cannon in the few cutscenes that became public – well, more so than he already was. Already a sadist with chemical weapons, he turned his disregard for his enemies’ lives into fun and games, true to a more light-hearted approach that Victory Games was apparently going for.

Remember, you can click on the preview to see a larger and more detailed image. Don’t forget to check out the Throwback Thursdays archives if you’ve missed a week. Check back again next Thursday for another Throwback. Send in your ideas for future instalments. We also encourage you to share this on social media using the hash tags #ThrowbackThursday, #CnCTBT and #CNCNZTBT.

Throwback Thursday for 18th January

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After an unexpected month-long silence, our Throwback Thursday feature is back. This week, we remember the “bosses” of the Red Alert 2 Allied campaign – the Soviet Black Guard. This was a small but powerful defense force positioned around the Kremlin, consisting of four elite Apocalypse Tanks and a few defensive structures, protecting Premier Romanov in the final Allied push on Moscow. They also appeared in a cutscene that played after the mission ended, flanked by a Harrier squadron.

Remember, you can click on the preview to see a larger and more detailed image. Don’t forget to check out the Throwback Thursdays archives if you’ve missed a week. Check back again next Thursday for another Throwback. Send in your ideas for future instalments. We also encourage you to share this on social media using the hash tags #ThrowbackThursday, #CnCTBT and #CNCNZTBT.

5 Years of Generals Gentlemen

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The best-known Command & Conquer shoutcasting duo, Generals Gentlemen, celebrates 5 years since their first video today! Their story is one of great success, as they currently have around 18 thousand subscribers, just over 5 million cumulative views, and most importantly, TheMachine got a job as lead designer for Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation at Stardock Entertainment. Their channel is still active and ranges from their usual lineup of Zero Hour, Company of Heroes 2, and Dawn of War II: Retribution casts, to occasional dives into other games like Red Alert 3, Ashes of the Singularity, Rise of Nations, OpenRA and Total Annihilation. Congratulations!

Nmenth’s Research Lab: Lasers and Prisms

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Along with the new year comes a new feature, Nmenth’s Research Lab is where I take a look at the technology used in the Command & Conquer series and compare it to how it would work in reality.

A new technology will be explored in Nmenth’s Research Lab on the first Monday of every month. For the month of January, it is Lasers and Prisms. Return next month on the 5th when I take a closer look at the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP).

2017 – A Year in Review

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For the first time since 2010, CNCNZ.com brings you A Year in Review, a special article which sums up all the important news from the Command & Conquer community in the past year, month by month. It can also be used to silence the voices who say nothing ever happens in the community. Click here to read the full article.

We’ve also restored the previous iterations of A Year in Review (the reasoning of their removal is still unknown to me): 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Expansive Civilian Warfare Released

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The standalone Renegade mod called Expansive Civilian Warfare (ECW for short) just got its first release since it came under W3D Hub’s roof in 2015. It is the successor of the map Roleplay2, and includes a huge open world in which players can do whatever they choose, from taking jobs, driving hundreds of vehicles, buying estates, interacting with wildlife, and more. The full description can be found in the original announcement, while Testament released a handy tutorial that is recommended reading. You can download ECW through the W3D Hub Launcher the same way as you can Red Alert: A Path Beyond and Tiberian Sun Reborn.

DBolical’s Mod of the Year and Indie of the Year 2017 Awards – Players’ Choice Released

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The results are in for the Players’ Choice part of this year’s Mod of the Year and Indie of the Year awards in the Released category, which was, however, scheduled for Friday. In the Mod of the Year, the C&C community was made proud once again – we got Twisted Insurrection in 3rd place and Dawn of the Tiberium Age (both for Tiberian Sun, standalone) in 8th place. Honourable mentions went to Mental Omega APYR (for Yuri’s Revenge), Contra, Rise of the Reds (both for Zero Hour), and Tiberium Essence (for Tiberium Wars). In the Indie of the Year awards, no C&C-related projects made it.

Congratulations go to all C&C projects in this year’s awards in all categories!

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