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

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Fatcat

Swabbie
Banned
I would like to be the first person to express my grave reservations about Wing Commander: Arena. Before assaulting over the Internet me with the fury of a thousand burning suns, please, hear me out.

This game is a step in the wrong direction for the Wing Commander Universe. EA has finally played their WC card, and they played it from the bottom of the deck. I feel that Wing Commander has every right and need to be reborn, but not in the form it has taken today. Wing Commander games are famous for their engaging story, filled with loss, victory, and general kick-ass storytelling, graphics, and gameplay. In my opinion, Arena has thrown those out the window. Arena's focus is purely on arcade-style action, with a 2D plane of movement, emphasis on 'frag' counts, and little to no story. While many of you will say that this opens up the possibility for more Wing Commander Games, I feel that the next games will be more of what we are seeing. There will be no more Mark Hammil or Tom Wilson, no more flying Excaliburs over the molten fault lines of Kilrah, no more flying on the ragged edge of destruction to deliver that torpedo and save your entire carrier, no more Maniac (*sniff*), no more of what we have all grown up playing and loving. I am not willing to throw in the towel just yet, but this is a dark day for Wing Commander. I may sound overly pessimistic to many of you, but I have seen this all happen before, with Mechwarrior becoming the bastard Mechassault games. At least Wizkids has revived the Classic Battletech storyline, a great thing indeed.
Many of you will be quite dazzled by this news, but I beg you to look ahead, down the path that Wing Commander has been consigned to. What future does it really have, as EA is more interested in producing games that will make money quickly, at the expense of the franchise's history. I know, I shouldn't expect much more from EA, I am well aware of how business works.
Despite this, I would like to personally thank people like Quarto, PopsiclePete, and Eder by giving us the magnificent Standoff, and the rising star Howard Day, who has bent over backwards to make Pioneer everything that we hoped and more. And of course Chris and Loaf and everyone else for making this all possible.
Until then, I await the game's release and the initial optimism to wear off.
 

Steltek

Rear Admiral
I couldn't agree more with the thread starter. Reading that this will be a multiplayer arcade game, developed by some never before heard of company (Gaia Industries), the first question that popped to my mind was: And this will appeal to long time fans of the legacy series exactly how? To me, it just looks like a typical EA move, trying to make money of a name that used to stand for good games (remember Command and Conquer Generals?), and I can only hope that they will fail and leave the series alone in future. Personally, I'd rather have no further Wing Commander games than bringing such shame upon the series I so much enjoyed 10 years ago.
 

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
wow.. you are probably pretty lucky that you waited until the admins were asleep to post your grand hypothesis on the state of the gaming industry.

To your comment I say stuff it. Just because you didn't get what you want doesn't mean its not every bit the great game that it appears to be.

Way to crap on a game day opening, you go on hating a project you've never played and I'll go ahead with my plan to buy it anyhow M'kay?

Good.
 

Fatcat

Swabbie
Banned
wow.. you are probably pretty lucky that you waited until the admins were asleep to post your grand hypothesis on the state of the gaming industry.

To your comment I say stuff it. Just because you didn't get what you want doesn't mean its not every bit the great game that it appears to be.

Way to crap on a game day opening, you go on hating a project you've never played and I'll go ahead with my plan to buy it anyhow M'kay?

Good.
Loaf and Chris may be stern moderators (which is good), but they are not vindictive assholes. I am merely stating my opinion about Wing Commander in a calm and eloquent manner. I say go and enjoy Arena if it suits you, but it does not suit me and I feel shortchanged by EA with this step.
I couldn't agree more with the thread starter. Reading that this will be a multiplayer arcade game, developed by some never before heard of company (Gaia Industries), the first question that popped to my mind was: And this will appeal to long time fans of the legacy series exactly how? To me, it just looks like a typical EA move, trying to make money of a name that used to stand for good games (remember Command and Conquer Generals?), and I can only hope that they will fail and leave the series alone in future. Personally, I'd rather have no further Wing Commander games than bringing such shame upon the series I so much enjoyed 10 years ago.
An excellent point, Steltek. I am glad that others have considered where I am coming from.
 

Kavok

Spaceman
Sirs,

With all due respect, Mr. Fatcat and Mr. Steltek have a valid point, or at least a legitimate argument. And since I don't believe this post breaks any rules - "thou must be wholly in support of any new WC franchise" was conspicuous by it's abscence when I read the forum guidelines - I cannot see how the powers that be would have a problem with it.
I'm sure it does say "respect each others views" howe'er, so I will thank Mr. NinjaLA not to be so unpleasant in the future.

I'm forced to agree with Mr. Fatcat in any event. This new project looks like everything I didn't want WC to become. A straight-up-the-middle arcade shooter missing the hallmarks of what WC should be. Not to use the franchise would have been preferable to abusing it. I must also concur that, until any evidence suggests otherwise, the Fan Projects such as Standoff and Saga are the future of Wing Commander - not a console game of dubious quality. It's not an extreme view, Mr. Mav23, it's an alternative view.

And one at least some of us support.

Regards,
KvK
 

Mav23

Swabbie
Banned
I understand the concerns, of course. And part of me agrees to some extent. On the other hand I'm very grateful we're getting anything new at all, and that regardless of how different it is from the other WCs, I'm sure I'll still have hours of fun blowing up (and most likely, getting blown up) by my fellow WingNuts.

And a picture of the destroyed Concordia with text over it stating : "RIP Wing Commander" over the announcement of a fun multiplayer X-Box Live Arcade game IS "a tad extreme".

P.S.- You're REALLY well spoken. ;)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I can understand you guys not being happy about this game - after all, 2d multiplayer isn't exactly what got us all into Wing Commander in the first place.

You are, however, looking at this entirely the wrong way. First up, even if multiplayer isn't what got you into Wing Commander, you certainly won't tell me that you never wanted it. So, how is this a bad thing?

You're also claiming that this will put the franchise on the wrong path. First up - remember, no matter what WC games will look like in the future, nobody will actually take away the games that have already been made. So, you certainly don't need to worry about not flying Excaliburs over Kilrah ever again. At the same time, if Excaliburs over Kilrah (that is, a remake of the existing games) are all you've been hoping for, then this day should be no big deal for you one way or another - you've been hoping for something that will never, ever happen, so this announcement changes *nothing* for you.

Secondly... times have changed, gamers have changed. Does it really bother you so much that EA has decided to make a WC game for the gamers of today? If yes, then you must truly feel very old, and very bitter. You must also be exceedingly naive, if you actually seriously thought that EA would ever go back and make a game that would have appealed to people in 1990.

You don't have to be excited by this game. We've got people in this community who dislike WCP, we've got people who dislike Priv 2... heck, we've even got people who dislike WC1. Wing Commander is not all one big package that you must either love in its entirety or hate in its entirety. You're quite free to dislike this new game, and every game that will hopefully come after it - but trying to persuade others that the franchise is over because EA has made a game *you* don't like is going way overboard. After all, what does it mean for the people who are interested in this game, and who can't wait to play it? Are they somehow wrong for the franchise too?

Remember also, the Wing Commander franchise has been dead for almost a decade, prior to this announcement. How could this announcement take the franchise in the wrong direction, when the only other direction would be for EA to keep WC on ice? Is having no new game at all really better than having a 2d multiplayer game? Does having no new games really give you more hope for a proper single-player WC title in the future than Arena does?

Finally, note that Arena is targetted at a very specific console. Microsoft imposes a 20MB (maybe 50MB, I don't remember for certain) size limit on Live Arcade developers - such a size limit virtually requires developers to go in a different direction than they normally would. Think of this title as an adaptation for a particularly restrictive console, and ask yourself this - if EA announced a similar title for mobile phones, would you be telling us this is the end of Wing Commander, or would you have enough sense to understand that it's just a side-title, rather than the whole and only future path of the franchise? Because that's exactly what Arena is - a side-title for a very specific type of console that wouldn't allow the development of a WC game the way you envision it in any case.
 

Fatcat

Swabbie
Banned
I can understand you guys not being happy about this game - after all, 2d multiplayer isn't exactly what got us all into Wing Commander in the first place.

You are, however, looking at this entirely the wrong way. First up, even if multiplayer isn't what got you into Wing Commander, you certainly won't tell me that you never wanted it. So, how is this a bad thing?
Of course, like every other red-blooded Wing Commander fan, I was giddy with excitement over HCl's masterwork, allowing me to test my meddle against other Wingnuts. However, having multiplayer doesn't save the game in and of itself.
You're also claiming that this will put the franchise on the wrong path. First up - remember, no matter what WC games will look like in the future, nobody will actually take away the games that have already been made. So, you certainly don't need to worry about not flying Excaliburs over Kilrah ever again. At the same time, if Excaliburs over Kilrah (that is, a remake of the existing games) are all you've been hoping for, then this day should be no big deal for you one way or another - you've been hoping for something that will never, ever happen, so this announcement changes *nothing* for you.
I used those examples to give an image of a memory, the memory of playing a game that you really enjoyed and took to heart. Of course I'll always have dear old Wing Commander 3, but Arena seems to negate the possibility of seeing another Wing Commander game, like Wc3, again.
Secondly... times have changed, gamers have changed. Does it really bother you so much that EA has decided to make a WC game for the gamers of today? If yes, then you must truly feel very old, and very bitter. You must also be exceedingly naive, if you actually seriously thought that EA would ever go back and make a game that would have appealed to people in 1990.
Games are becoming less and less story, quality, and detail-oriented, and are being made more for the new majority, people who play casually/can't enjoy a game with depth (sadly, I know many people like this). I like a game I can get into like a good book, not the casual, one-dimensional games being churned out right now. I frankly think the quality of games has been diluted to make way for this disturbing trend, with less and less games like Elder Scrolls, or Half Life, or Monkey Island being made. I do feel very bitter, and the idea of being an old fogey at 17 is disconcerting. I would be very sad to later realize that I have outlived the golden age of video gaming. As I said, I couldn't expect much more from EA.
You don't have to be excited by this game. We've got people in this community who dislike WCP, we've got people who dislike Priv 2... heck, we've even got people who dislike WC1. Wing Commander is not all one big package that you must either love in its entirety or hate in its entirety. You're quite free to dislike this new game, and every game that will hopefully come after it - but trying to persuade others that the franchise is over because EA has made a game *you* don't like is going way overboard. After all, what does it mean for the people who are interested in this game, and who can't wait to play it? Are they somehow wrong for the franchise too?
I can see why many people would be excited by this game, I just cannot share their enthusiasm. I'm sure Wing Commander has several glorious years ahead of it (with no small help from Wcnews!), but I cannot help but see the impending twilight.
Remember also, the Wing Commander franchise has been dead for almost a decade, prior to this announcement. How could this announcement take the franchise in the wrong direction, when the only other direction would be for EA to keep WC on ice? Is having no new game at all really better than having a 2d multiplayer game? Does having no new games really give you more hope for a proper single-player WC title in the future than Arena does?
This may rub people the wrong way, but I personally preferred the course Wing Commander was going on February 21st 2007. No game it truely dead when people are creating their own games on such a level as our little community has. When that kind of thing is happening, there is always the possiblity of a miracle. The Wing Commander story was by no means over at the end of Secret Ops.
 

Steltek

Rear Admiral
The thing is, we're asking the question the other way around: Why does a game, that has none of the values of a Wing Commander as we know it have to be called "Wing Commander"? Your argument about the Xbox Live Arcade restrictions is also moot: Nobody forces them to release this for Live Arcade. Nobody forces them to release it on a console even. If EA wanted, they could just as well go out, get a proper development team, actors, filming equipment et al, and start doing a real Wing Commander game that fits the series. (Which would prevent me from ranting. ;) )

I guess my primary problem is that I know beforehand that I won't enjoy this game, so there's another Wing Commander that will be missing from my collection. I rarely play Multiplayer-only games as I don't find the premise of online gaming that interesting, and I can honestly say that I can do without a multiplayer mode for Wing Commander (unless we're talking playing Co-Op through the storyline). (the same is valid for GTA, and other primarily single player focussed games) I do enjoy a short game of Starlancer, Freespace 2 or Tachyon at LAN parties, but I can't imagine playing it over the Internet, let alone on several consecutive days. (see previous posters comments about getting into the depths of the game and the 'universe' in which it plays) Multiplayer fanatics will probably rejoice at the new game but alas, I'm not one of them.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Steltek said:
I guess my primary problem is that I know beforehand that I won't enjoy this game, so there's another Wing Commander that will be missing from my collection. I rarely play Multiplayer-only games as I don't find the premise of online gaming that interesting
I can understand where you're coming from, I really can. Multiplayer gaming probably only makes up about 10% of my total gaming time, and massively multiplayer games tend to annoy me. But I'm hoping its just extra franchise exposure. There are many examples of franchises which can change paths (e.g. Warcraft), and whilst I hate WoW, I'm sure Blizzard hasn't dismissed the possibility of Warcraft 4, and now the franchise has even more exposure. I will enjoy this, briefly.
It really depends how EA plays its cards, if they decide the franchise is viable they can't keep it on this path, this is an XBLA which are generally fundamentally different to retail titles; it's just not indicative of the future, which as I've said in another thread is worrying as they'll have to remarket it, but its better by far than if the franchise were getting no exposure.
 

KrisV

Administrator
You have to remember that arcade titles are in the $10-$15 range and most of them are just NES ports. People playing the Live Arcade this Summer will have the choice between Paperboy, Frogger and 16-player space combat with Wing Commander. There will be just a few serious titles on the platform, and Arena will be one of them. I think we have every reason to be excited when EA picks Wing Commander for their first major arcade title.

Your whiney post itself is not against forum rules, but the thread title and the graphic you attached constitute trolling.
 

Edfilho

Cry some more!
Fatcat is completely missing the point here.

As much as I still love PC gaming, it has certainly lost its status as big boy in the industry. The big bucks are in the Consoles now, and that won't change for some time.

Another important thing is that EA goes where the money is, and its a very conservative company. They are not know for taking risks. Maybe that's why they're #1 in gaming software. EA is also known for actively protecting its IP, and they would not squander a precious brand like Wing Commander on a bunch of "silly" Subspace like games forever.

Now, the Xbox 360 has added something to mainstream console gaming that had previously only existed in PCs: Xbox Live Arcade. Microsoft took the whole casual internet flash gaming/Indie game developing thing and added it to the wildly successful Xbox Live environment. Now both small and big developers and publishers can make smaller and quicker games, with a much smaller overhead (manufacturing, packaging, distribution).

Add those three things, and what you get?

EA is taking the opportunity to TEST the market viability of the Wing Commander BRAND in the console market. How? By releasing a lower cost, quick, arcadey game. IF it flops tragically, then you can bet that we will definitely NOT see a newer, bigger WC game any time soon.

OTOH, if it's a success, EA will know that not only the WC brand is viable, but they will already have laid the foundations for a new game, because the newer generation of console gamers will already be AWARE of the WC brand. This is a twofold Marketing action, really, more than anything.

Hell, as far as I'm concerned, they already have a bigger, more complete DVD-ROM title in the making, and will announce/release it depending on Arena's success.

I REALLY hope they make a game that's very close to Ace Combat series in terms of actual craft control and level of quality. A console arcade sim made for the dual analogs from the ground up can be really fun to play.

Really, Fat Cat, you completely and utterly missed the point here. Don't get your panties in a bunch (Quoting the Maniac).
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
This entire post is silly sensationalism from a poster known for nothing but. Something great has happened? How can I *possibly* rain on everyone's parade? It's absolutely no surprise that this comes from Fatcat rather than some respectable poster.

It's not even worth thinking about -- if you haven't played Academy or Armada, give them a shot, they're amazing amazing games. Arena is, too... and I can speak from experience when I say that the development team has been *very* interested in connecting this release to the preceding Wing Commander lore and experience.

That's just all there is to it.

What I want to know is what *happened* to ordinary people to make them like this? I remember when the community saw the very first screenshot from Wing Commander Prophecy back in early '97 or so. It was a cockpit with an untextured strut and no instrumentation looking at a distant blob of an alien capital ship. The 'shot was a photograph of a monitor which had been in turn scanned from a glossy German magazine.

People were *amazed*. What's that thing around the cockpit? Will this have FMV? Will Blair be in it? What kind of ship is that in the distance? Is this a new engine? Etc., etc. That horrible blurry photo was everyone's desktop background for a month.

So what happened? Where did the sad, sad cynicism come from? How did the internet, in a mere decade, empower everyone to think they had some right or ability or requirement to speak about the intentions they don't know of an industry they don't understand instead of just enjoying the amazing news?
 

Mike-L

Spaceman
I agree with Fatcat that WC Arena has gone wrong way.

History proves that EA can and do screw up good game titles, just as it did with Command & Conquer (when "Generals" was released) and now the same is happening to my beloved Wing Commander :(

I know some of you (maybe even most of you) will enjoy WC Arena , but as far as I enjoy SPACE SIMULATORS not the ARCADE games , it won't be me :(

Still I have hope that one day EA will realease a WC game that will be worth for me to buy...
 

Steltek

Rear Admiral
Something great has happened? How can I *possibly* rain on everyone's parade?
Did something great really happen? Is the parade actually deserved? Yes, the Wing Commander name has been resurrected, whether that is a good or bad thing is, at least in my opinion, debatable.

and I can speak from experience when I say that the development team has been *very* interested in connecting this release to the preceding Wing Commander lore and experience.
You seem to have background information that is not available to us. All I see when I look up the development team is a bunch of mediocre games. That doesn't mean that they will never ever produce something good/big, but it makes me more sceptical towards them.

People were *amazed*.
Which is pretty much the reaction one sees in response to the Arena screenshots. I have however taken the attitude to no longer judge games by screenshots, having been burnt one too many times by games that look good and play horrible.

What's that thing around the cockpit? Will this have FMV? Will Blair be in it? What kind of ship is that in the distance? Is this a new engine? Etc., etc. That horrible blurry photo was everyone's desktop background for a month.
Certainly, those questions could not have been answered from a screenshot. Some of the questions we have have however been answered by the press release with statements that this will be an Xbox Live Arcade release focussed on multiplayer for example. That doesn't exclude single player, good story and atmosphere of course, but it makes them 'less likely'.

Where did the sad, sad cynicism come from?
C&C Generals, the Need for Speed series, the death of Origin, ... all things somehow attributed to EA and with that reputation, people turn sceptical and react heavily when they see their favourite franchise popping up in the news, even if it means that technically the franchise lives on.

It's as if the release said: "EA announces Wing Commander Tetris for Playstation Portable, a revolutionary game produced by the same company that brought you 'Kabuki Warriors'". It's not my platform (PC), it's not from Origin (or the same people that composed the latter) but from a company that is mostly unknown, it's not the game type I remember and hence I can't really feel joy about the announcement. Now I hope to be proven wrong when the game gets released, I really do, but until then, I'm sceptical.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I know some of you (maybe even most of you) will enjoy WC Arena , but as far as I enjoy SPACE SIMULATORS not the ARCADE games , it won't be me
No offense, but Wing Commander has *never* been a space simulator beyond the ad copy on the box. It's *always* been an immersive arcade game. My biggest complaint with Arena is that it's less immersive -- not that it isn't a "simulator".

C&C Generals, the Need for Speed series, the death of Origin, ... all things somehow attributed to EA and with that reputation, people turn sceptical and react heavily when they see their favourite franchise popping up in the news, even if it means that technically the franchise lives on.
Wing Commander 3, Wing Commander 4, Wing Commander Prophecy, Wing Commander Secret Ops, Wing Commander Privateer, Wing Commander Armada, Privateer 2 -- all things somehow attributed to EA.

(Also, do people actually hate Generals? I couldn't stand the 3D stuff and the serious style instead of the pulp story... but I thought the C&C crowd loved it. It sold very well, too.)
 

Steltek

Rear Admiral
Attributed to the 'then-EA' not yet known for the 'lets make Fifa 200x' mantra etc. Basically EA's reputation has suffered badly since then and the original games are attributed more to Origin Systems Inc., the company around Richard Garriot and Chris Roberts, than to EA. (At least in my mind, EA was more 'distant' and less intrusive when it came to game development, whereas in this case my guess would be that it is them dictating the basic specs of the game to the new developer they have chosen.)

I don't know a single fan of the original C&C series that likes Generals. Generals does have a following, but as far as I know it is a completely different crowd from the followers of the original series. That's also the reason why many are excited about EA's promise to bring back the real C&C in Command & Conquer 3 (whether they will succeed or not is another matter). The new Wing Commander may also gain a following of its own, but they will have far more trouble winning over an old fart like me.
 

Vinman

Vice Admiral
When the first rumors about Prophecy started coming out, I was convinced that it would be the end of the franchise. A new enemy, a new engine, weird new ships... hell, we thought the main character was going to be a woman with the callsign "Cashy"!

It turned out that Prophecy was one of my favorites.

I'm not saying Arena is what I've been hoping for, and to be honest, I don't have an Xbox or broadband, so I'll probably never play it, but the game isn't out yet, we haven't played it, and we shouldn't make up our minds about it five or so months before it is released.
 

Aplha 1-1

Spaceman
Well this is incredibly friggin awesome news! Would this be the first unique WC to be made for a console before the PC (if they even port it)?
Will there be online squadrons, Sector campaigns....
The only major downside was very accidentally pointed out by LOAF
So what happened? Where did the sad, sad cynicism come from? How did the internet, in a mere decade...
A lot can happen in a decade. And in regards to certain non-risk-taking companies, a lot of the same happens in a decade :(
Battlefield 1942, BFV, Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142....wheres the new innovation?
And in all fairness they DID try something unique....changing the title to battleFRONT and using star wars characters :(

Until I'm personally convinced otherwise, i hope this isn't going to be battlefield: 2669
 
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