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Kotaku Hates Minecraft – Where Bad Writers Go To Make Money

Weeks ago a chick made some fast cash ‘bashing’ the Magic the Gathering guru over two dates and the ‘article’ she posted only really expressed what a terribly shallow person she was.  Even though the post was both badly conceived and edited, it still hit huge numbers and caused people to blog about it due to how scathing and nonsensical her thoughts were on the subject; as she went on to say “judging people on shallow stuff is human nature.” So when she so shallowly dismissed the lucky guy for no good reason, it wasn’t her fault.  She was just being human.  Nice spin there, right?

Found another ‘winner’ today, thanks to Notch’s blog.

Round two of the equally minded bad ‘journalist’ attacked today when a post on Kotaku immediately jumped to the conclusion as to why Notch is greedy and plans to wring every last dollar out of Bethesda.  I’ll give you a bullet point per paragraph to spare you the same headache I am now going through.

  • He played Minecraft this whole weekend.  So, you know.  …Trust him.  He totally loves the game.  He likes Notch.  Believe his words, friend.
  • Suddenly cites Notch to be the overly vocal and dimwitted leader of the Mojang Gang.
  • Bad mouths the entire team behind Minecraft, stating that they are “less reputable or successful than Zenimax/Bethesda” and that Notch isn’t so much inexperienced with lawyers, but actively using his twitter to strong-arm Bethesda into dropping the case:

…it’s entirely possible Mojang knows they have no case and are simply trying to do as much PR damage to Zenimax as they can before they have to admit they applied for a trademark that will never stand against a serious complaint. They may even be thinking that if they embarrass Bethesda enough, the company will relent. After all, this would not be the first time we’ve seen someone take their grievances against a larger company to the court of public opinion (WINK).

And yes I am completely aware that “WINK” has no link to go to.  Apparently they did not.

  • Further implies Mojang is going out of their way to stick it to Bethesda when they ignored a Cease and Desist order.  Admits utter lack of knowledge of how the law works in Sweden.
  • Goes off on a tangent about radios and television, casually saying he isn’t sure how innocent Notch is in a pseudo-friendly tone, which utterly clashes with the entirety of the ‘article’ already at this early point in time
  • Jumps to the conclusion that Notch not only wants the rights to the title “Scrolls” but that in owning those rights they would then dominate the rights to “The Elder Scrolls” though Notch has gone on to say several times he could change the title of his game, which Bethesda completely ignored.  Also, while I am not surprised to see a curse word online and in-game, I am quite surprised to see one as unabashed and public as it was placed it in this paragraph.
  • Again he describes the patent, and again he is mysteriously amazed at how the law works.  Notch wants to own all the rights to the name of his upcoming game that he announced months ago?  Not just a quarter of the rights, but ALL of the rights?  Dear me…

Let’s assume for a moment that Mojang knows that their trademark would give them leverage over Zenimax, and that they might actually be planning to take action by claiming trademark violation the next time Zenimax publishes a game containing the word “scrolls” in the title.

My, how wonderfully random and unsolicited!  I am sure glad you started out the first paragraph stating you liked playing Minecraft.  If it weren’t for that hollow opening I would begin to think you had sinister intentions to deeply misconstrue your ‘knowledge’ of this lawsuit to better promote one side than the other instead of merely pointing out the facts and calling it down the middle.

  • He frantically tries attaching the two dynamics (Notch and Evil Notch) by stating this happens all the time in the gaming world.  This vague answer is supposed to provoke you, the audience, into thinking “So since it happens all the time and Mojang might be in a good position, they MUST have been planning to do that since the first dev meeting.”
  • The first unbiased and well thought out paragraph thus far, he states that Bethesda couldn’t take the chance that Mojang wouldn’t try anything fishy. Maybe this is where the opposite side of the argument starts up, and we see strong evidence supporting Mojang and just how silly this whole thing has blown up to.

Besides, if Mojang were as naive and innocent as Notch claims, why the far-reaching trademark application?

Well there goes that idea >.>  Right back into zealot-laced diatribe.  Oh, bother.

  • Mojang = Tim “Edge” Langdell.  Basically, if it quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, but swap out “duck” with “thief” and “a hack”.
  • He then tries to further compare Langdell with Mojang, as his duck concept is foolproof and needs no further evidence or detail.
  • Yet again he brings up his infatuation with radio and tv programming rights.  He feigns being non-biased by using Notch’s words but ultimately only sets up a strawman to break it down in the following sentence.
  • After a convoluted and conspiracy laden paragraph he finally gets to his second actual non-biased fact: Bethesda would be stupid not to fight the claim as it hits so close to home with The Elder Scrolls.  If this get nasty, they could lose the rights to the name of their monstrously popular series.
  • As a final slap in the face against Mojang, he mentions a trademark someone has to use the word “Scrolls” on a t-shirt, but with the last “s” backwards. It is a great deal more than a ‘bit of a stretch’, but if you actually ate up his ‘article’, at this point you’ll continue eating out of his hand at this shoddy statement.

You know how late-night ads are surrounded with the usual jargon of “we do not condone, nor endorse the views or products shown” and all that?  Well, after Notch got wind of this highly fantastical viewpoint, he responded and so too did Kotaku:

UPDATE from Kotaku: Notch has responded to this story, saying that Bethesda declined his company’s offer to add a sub-title to their game and give up the trademark.”

Oh, so you mean a big, huge part of this was purposely left out in order to blow it up into something to cause enough commotion to warrant attention, and thus page views and their juicy, juicy ad revenue?  Heaven’s, what a thought!  If that was the case I almost have half a mind to think that Russ Pitts planned that from the beginning.

And the very end of all is this hilariously over-stated message:

Russ Pitts is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Escapist and former Producer of TechTV’s The Screen Savers. Currently he is looking for work…

Lot of emphasis on “former”, there.  No wonder why he is looking for work.  Such a cheerful, knowledgable, and un-biased guy.  Hey, wait a minute.  Hey, Notch!  You claim to not know a lot about the law, and this guy surely is water-tight in that department.  He seems to be down on his luck, why not give him a shot?

Minecraft Monday: Item Repair, Strength, Speed, and Invisibility Potions!

Between company and finally getting the Misses to try out 1.8 with the creepy Enderman we lost track of time yesterday.  But I has news and tweets and all that stuff!  Plus I have plans on doing a guide post or two later on in the week about a revamped mining strategy I just found, as well as a mushroom ‘farming’ technique!

Minecraft News

That autumn air is just about here, and I am curious to see if the first frost or 1.9 is going to drop first.  My bet is on 1.9 as there is tons and tons of new content just pouring into that mode.  In fact, SO much content I am kinda wondering what took them so long to come out with 1.8 in the first place.  There are quite a wide variety of mobs being added to the Nether.  The Nether version of a slime looks pretty trippy as every time it jumps it kinda morphs into a blocky slinky and you can see each ‘row’ of it’s body fall back down onto itself like someone catching a pile of books.

Further adding reason to get into the Nether is each mob can drop new items that can either be combined into bars of gold (kudos on increasing the ways to get that!) and even uber epic weapons.  To get builders interested in the scary zone they are even adding nifty new stairs and fences made from the Netherrack Ruins!  Crazy stuff XD

  • Just today even a bunch of news has been released.  The Bethesda lawsuit about using the word “Scrolls” in a game against Team Mojang is going to court (“Weee! :D“).
  • An ironic and possibly unconscious jab back against Bethesda is a new Item Repair feature in 1.9 that works very similar to how you do it in Fallout 3 (a Bethesda title haha).  Combine two broken/used items and get a single item with more uses than the two previously used ones. (source)
  • There will be yet another Beta 1.9 Pre-Release release this week.  “Yeah, it’s a Beta of a Beta :D
  • Jeb mentioned this will likely not be in 1.9, but offers a glimpse of what they are thinking about in the future:

Jeb also mentioned that potions will not be in 1.9 because the Brewing system will not be made in time, though Notch pipped up and added he was not in favor of the proposed idea in the first place.  You can see a glass bottle or vial in the screen shot above.  So the art of it is in at least.

1.9 is shaping up very quickly, keep your eyes peeled for another pre-release on the horizon, folks!  And mind your step in that new Nether.  It’ll be a doozy!

Minecraft Monday: A River Runs Through It! Plus, Notch Challenges Bethsda to a Fight to the DEATH!

What a week!  Man, Notch has been busy!  First he gets married, takes some time off, and poof!  Right back into coding.  I have to say it is quite nice to see all the changes taking shape, though I am a little leery about the islands and rivers, but ya’ll might not know about that.  So let’s jump right in, shall we?

Minecraft News

Let’s get the “Fight to the Death” outta the way first.  Notch blogged a few days ago in a public message to Bethesda’s lawyer branch:

“I challenge Bethesda to a game of Quake 3. Three of our best warriors against three of your best warriors. We select one level, you select the other, we randomize the order. 20 minute matches, highest total frag count per team across both levels wins.

If we win, you drop the lawsuit.

If you win, we will change the name of Scrolls to something you’re fine with. … I am serious, by the way.”

How awesome is that?  Honestly!  That’s pretty flippin’ sweet!  Not only is he actually willing to go through with this in such a laid back way, but the style he does it in is outstanding.  Quake 3!  My fav. shooter of all time!  (Almost did an accidental imitation of Kanye there, “Of all time!“)  No matter what the outcome everyone would end up winners.  Though later on Notch did mention a minor flaw in his planning:

“considering they’re in the same company as id Software, q3 might’ve been a poor choice. ;)” (source)

His co-worker Jeb commented that the pressure is starting to get heavy on them to make it in time for PAX, and all of the changes Notch mentioned just in the past few hours is pretty intense.  So far he has mentioned changing the process of generating land masses, adding rivers and how they work, and admitted he made an ocean biome.  Speaking of his co-worker, someone asked Notch if fences will have their own gate in patch 1.8 as there will be window panes which look similar.  In response Notch simply stated, “ask jeb!” So we might end up getting those in 1.8, too!

Here’s a picture of rivers and what I can fairly safely assume are biomes.

I think the amount of river water might actually be a bit much, but we’ll see how he tweaks it as the time comes.  He already admitted that while he can easily make much larger biomes and landmasses, they did not play very well.  When asked directly he responded frankly, stating that if he kept them that large they are “kind of dull.”  Either way, here is a picture of a river he took first hand!

Note the giant radiant mushroom at the bottom (actually there are three in the picture if ya look close), as well as pumpkins on the bottom left.   Don’t freak out too much about how high and low things are, I think he tweaked the layout personally as he mentioned it was “force high height contrast.”

Finally, Notch hinted that he might auction off his trademark hat at PAX next week, adding “It smells slightly funky, but it still works.” (source)

He is currently making a short game for Ludum Dare 48 and he’s doin’ it live!  He’s wrapping it up now, but here’s a link in case you wanna see or catch clips if you click it a bit late:

‘Craft long and prosper, friends!

Minecraft Monday: Endermen Pictures Revealed! Notch is Getting Married, AND Sued! What A ‘Lucky’ Guy!

Hiyas!  Last week I talked about the mysterious and haunting Endermen!  This week I got a picture of em!  Two in fact.  Plus a skeleton shooting a zombie, a lot of trees, an NPC village, and a dude wearing a pumpkin.  (Minecraft’s a busy place.)

I will not reveal the mechanics of how Endermen works so there will be none of that spoiling your fun if you want to be left out in the dark.  But I will be posting how he looks!  I don’t consider it a spoiler, but just in case I’m adding a “more” tag here so you can click to the next page if you wish to see him and a bit more Minecraft News!

Read the rest of this entry


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