A few interesting tidbits have been around lately of interest to agoners.
The biggest one is the excellent competitive card game Yomi finally coming to Steam on May 8th. Whilst I’ve played this game tons already in it’s web version and it’s physical form, this is still a huge deal as it will have much more visibility and appeal on the Steam platform which should expand the player pool no end. The Yomi team have done an absolutely incredible job of implementing almost every feature agoners recommended back in 2012 as well as many more improvements, since I last played it a lot. It’s still a bit intimidating to new players and the tutorials aren’t that in depth, but to be honest, the addition of AI bots of varying skill levels pretty much solves that problem too, allowing new players to learn at their own pace in a non-competitive environment if and when they want to. Gameplay wise I’m still a bigger fan of the slower pace of the original version of Yomi (v1), however the current version (v2) is still a really good game – and one I’m expecting to get back into in a big way if it’s Steam implementation is as good as I expect it will be. No forced grinds, no need to spend in a fortune in cash or time collecting cards, an even playing field in every match, an excellent ranking system and matchmaking that should work great with a bigger player pool means this is one of only a handful of competitive card games that actually IS worth competing at.
This piece at RPS explores the ideas Blizzard has with it’s attempts to expand the eSports scene with Heroes of the Storm (and maybe Overwatch). Whilst I applaud the good innovative ideas Blizzard has had with the game mechanics and the publicity to make the lane-pusher genre much more fun and interesting to play and watch, as long as they are implementing a forced grind in games like HotS, I consider it a waste of time to any players who actually want a real competition. I’ve been on the HotS beta for a while, but knowing the grinding mess it seems intent to be, I’ve only really scratched the surface of it as it doesn’t have much appeal to me. Come on Blizzard, we know you can do so much better – competitive gaming design like StarCraft 2. A mix of the best qualities of a number of Blizzard’s games could be truly interesting. To be honest, the amazing competitive gaming design of StarCraft 2 mixed with anything would be interesting!
Another RPS piece notified me that Valve are just starting to think about adding competitive matchmaking to Team Fortress 2…. Agoners take: a huge LOL – this is just rather too late I feel. I can understand and identify with most of the negative comments on this at RPS, but I still have to approve of this move to at least start to move this total mess of a game into something that I could perhaps one day be interested in playing.
Myself, I’m still mainly playing Hero Academy and a bit of Ultra Street Fighter IV, as well as running and playing in some local casual fighting game events… in fact I even recently won a local Street Fighter 2 tournament, hurrah! Just a massive shame they were playing HDR in the obsolete “Super ‘Tard” (ST) mode. Awful decision; but a really awesome fun event regardless 🙂
With the announcement of the long-awaited Yomi on Steam, I’m really hoping that the fact my friend gave me this yesterday is prophetic of another game I’ve been waiting years for to finally be released on Steam… 😀