Stuff like this just makes me furiously mad. A bit late, but it has to be noted.
Gaijin Entertainment, having started with a legal threat letter, completely without merit and full of ridiculous inconsistencies, have escalated the war for Gaijin. com. They now attempt to get the WIPO to turn the domain over to them directly.
This is exactly the kind of legalistic bullying that makes me see red. They are counting on people being random, normal people who don’t have access to the lawyers necessary to fight these kinds of attacks. And they usually win. Hopefully not this time. But as far as I’m concerned you’ve already lost.
You will never get any of my money Gaijin Entertainment.
And today is the long-anticipated go live for World of Warplanes. This being a game that’s been hotly and vitriolically hated by many, bored several, and made a very large turnaround in the process to come out and (to me, at least) be something fun to play.
I fired up the patcher before leaving for work – it didn’t quite finish before I left the house, unfortunately.
Last night, being both in the mood for plane battles, and fresh off reading TAGN’s enthusiastic posting, I reloaded War Thunder and took it for a spin. And I had quite the fun time with it!
The battles remain overly long. I don’t like the “Garage battle” format and can’t quite find a setting to let me fly one plane only. But the skill level of my opponents seems to have gone down. Queue times were reasonable at 25 – 40 seconds. And instead of finding my reserve planes getting jumped by veterans flying jets, instead I fought and died, and figured out strafing.
I had one battle in the “African Canyons” where none of the enemy molested me while I shot their entire column of armored cars to pieces, using a level one reserve plane. It was great practice – I managed to go from barely able to strafe, to taking out target after target as I passed overhead and they scattered and drove for their lives.
Now I discover that the battle isn’t only the virtual one between players (H/T Hzero again). It’s also a hot war between developers. Gaijin is throwing down the gauntlet with an offer to help them test their version of tanks – and you get into the closed beta by playing their game. Tonight only. Warplanes release date.
What a nasty, dirty….. and effective trick. I sure would love the chance to get early access to another tanks game, and I really honestly enjoy the bug finding and reporting process. It appears I’m going to be pretty busy tonight, beginning the rocket up a tree process in Warplanes, and blowing up ground targets in War Thunder.
Gaijin the company is not something I am fond of – I think their general ethical level is pretty low, while Wargaming comes across to me as a professional and interested group. I know, they both exist to make money, but they get mine by treating me well. So far, and by all expectations, Gaijin gets none of mine.
But I just might be playing their games in addition.
Gaijin Entertainment, the Russian developers of War Thunder, have resorted to the lowest of internet lows – they’ve decided that gaijin.com should belong to them, and have made the appropriate legal threats to back up this claim.
It came to our attention that you registered and maintain a website http://www.gaijin.com (“Infringing Website”) that infringes Gaijin Mark. By maintaining and offering to public your content via the website, i.e., Infringing Website, having the same domain as Gaijin Mark, you create consumer confusion and mistake as to the source, sponsorship and/or affiliation of the
Infringing Website and Gaijin, thereby infringing Gaijin Mark. Consequently, the main purpose of this letter is to demand that you immediately cease and desist from maintaining and offering your content via the Infringing Website or any other site having the domain substantially similar to Gaijin Mark. Gaijin also demands that you immediately transfer the Infringing Domain to Gaijin.
A quick perusal of the site shows there’s nothing confusing about gaijin.com which would make you think, you know, a Russian game developer must be running the site.
A couple of years back I wrote a review of a movie that had been the biggest box office smash that year and had won zillions of awards.
I hated it. I hated every moment of it with a passion and fury that outmatched the heat of a thousand fiery suns.
The rest is similar. The site is simply some guy’s personal blog at this point, with articles (as I scroll down) about Roger Ebert, Tomato sauce, New Years resolutions, and my favorite albums.
This is apparently of no interest to Gaijin Entertainment. After deciding they wanted the domain, they simply stoop to legal thuggery to attempt to get it, by sending frightening legal letters that would simply stop a non-lawyer in their tracks.
But apparently the guy running the blog has his own lawyer. Not just anyone – Mike Godwin. Have you ever heard of Godwin’s law on internet argumentation ? Yeah, that Godwin.
Please be advised that my client, Brandon Harris, disputes your trademark-infringement claim in every particular.
That is the most polite way to state how vigorously we dispute your attempt to assert flat ownership of the word “gaijin,” a word so well-established in English that it is an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Currently, I’m advising my client to publicize your demand letter, so that the entire game-consuming public will be made aware of your client’s overreaching trademark assertions.
Now set your wayback machine to perhaps 1994. Well before the time of personal blogs, back when I was still figuring out how this whole Internet Tube works, I ran across a similar little guy story – the bank Chevy Chase demanding a computer consultant release his website chevychase.com to them. They sent nearly the verbatim letter to this guy, who flailed around for awhile until he managed to get legal help. I always remember the final outcome for this one – he kept his domain.
They apparently kept after him for awhile, he negotiated, and simply requested that if they wanted the domain so bad, just pay him some fee. And they disappeared and never came back to haunt him again.
I’ve been sued before, not having the resources to have a lawyer on speedial. It sucks. You are the equivalent of the 98 lb weakling getting picked on by the 300 lb hulk. Getting one of these letters it’s tempting to just give in. The fact that they have limited bases in law doesn’t seem to matter much – just try and strongarm the guy, and see what happens. Copy, paste, send – what could go wrong ?
Bad publicity perhaps. Remember the Streisand effect.
Nowadays it appears that chevychase.com is also a blog page. Funny how that works. But no bank owns it. I certainly hope the same happens for Gaijin. com. And my respect for Gaijin Entertainment has sunk massively. You guys have hit an issue that I am intimately familiar with; and you couldn’t be more wrong if you had tried. And you think I’m going to give you money ? Not likely.
Coincidentally, today is also the day I get a badly worded translation of a Russian story about how much Wargaming is making.
Revenues – 218 million euros.
Profits – 6.1 million euros.
I couldn’t be happier for Wargaming, providing such an entertaining game and doing the entire software development process right in the process. If your revenue is so high like that, with profit much lower, it makes me think they could be positioning themselves to be an even bigger gaming company – and given how they treat their star property, that is fantastic news. That sure dovetails with the upcoming World of Warplanes and the in development World of Battleships.
It could also mean that Wargaming is less business focused and more on providing the right experience for gamers. This can happen with companies that have success, sometimes. If so I hope they continue to prosper, and it’s still good news.
PS – I know Wargaming is from Belarus, but it just sounds better calling them Russian and it’s not far off; the country was part of the Soviet Union back in the day.
The inevitable question with the current Russian plane games, is which one is better ? I loaded both up, repatched WT which took an hour, and flew a mission in each. In roughly order of importance.
War Thunder points :
- Crew skills give you a reason to keep playing each plane while you grind credits. If my plane keeps getting deadlier the more matches I use it, I’m going to have much more fun with it.
- Garage battles, when it comes down to it, don’t make the game more fun. I feel disconnected from the whole thing since I can just come back in another plane. And keep going and going, until I’m out of planes.
- No doubt this is a pretty game. Crashes, gameplay, are all easier on the eyes.
- The atmospheric music is great. Sounds seem a little punchier too. Now if they would somehow add English-language period-style vocals that would really kill me !
- Why do I have to have only four crew slots per nation ? At least, I think ? After I bought my 5th American plane it seems to be “on reserve” waiting for another crew to be available for it. Except I bought a crew immediately before buying it. Sorry, I don’t get it.
- I have so many different levels and I don’t see what they all have to do with one another. I have nation levels – and these are partly used to unlock planes, in addition to XP. So I need to have 1) Credits 2) Unlocked Xp 3) Levels before I can buy the planes (why do this?). And, perhaps, the crew. Add in a player level, which I don’t know what that means.
- Reports are that War Thunder is pretty hackable, not being a server side game. Could this be why I get blown away all the time ? If someone has a game side hack on their PC, they get an advantage over me which really sucks. I’m not going to keep playing if I’m frustrated to death. But see the WoWP issue too.
World of Warplanes points :
- No garage battles. I guess I really hate these things; one plane per match simply works better. Partly because it keeps the battles short.
- No crew skills. I have two German planes, the Tier 1 and the AO 192. If I want to unlock the Tier 3 Focke Wulf 57, I need more credits. I don’t want to fly planes for the sole purpose of gaining credits, and having a more skilled crew would give me a second reason. The multiple goal pursuit always adds a lot of fun to a game.
- Crew skills would be relatively easy to add to the game as a part of late beta, so I’m not too concerned about this missing feature. If it gets added soon, that is.
- Tech tree makes more sense to me. I’ve been trained carefully in the Wargaming tradition after all.
- Planes that are missing include almost EVERYTHING I would want to fly : P-38 Lightning. B-17 Flying Fortress. Stukas. Zeros. Spitfires. The only one they have is the ME-262. This isn’t too bad of a point, because if Wargaming is good at anything, it’s adding new vehicles to their game.
- WOWP processes everything server side. Planes are much more “twitchy” than tanks. If I turn, and this has to go to a russian server, and travel back to my PC, this is the reason for the lag I’ve noted. I feel pretty good about living with it, personally, but can totally understand anyone upset by the lack of control. Now, will the game succeed if it’s “laggy” ? Still, see the contra-issue with WT.
- Probably for the reason above, I can often live through a WOWP battle. Patience is one of my virtues (well, as self-reported. Ask my wife for a dissenting opinion).
- Every flaming battle is one of two maps. Supposedly there are more. I guess I just have to unlock them, and this is not unprecendented since that Tank game does the same.
- Tuning numbers is clearly a strength for Wargaming – look at various economy changes and tank rebalancing in that Tank game.
- World of Whatever seems to be that rare game that monitors the game currency and makes it meaningful. I have never seen a game that takes better care of its “Credits”, and I do indeed mean NEVER. This adds to the game immensely for my accountant side. Maybe *this* is why I’m still playing after two years.
Now the real question being, how long until WOWP open beta ? How long until “no more resets”, aka, go live – whatever else the Devs say about the game ? Presumably soon. I understand the real grognards are getting pissed off at Gaijin, the developers of War Thunder, because of odd changes to the game such as reducing XP and credits received. But the longer until WOWP hits the masses, the more likelihood people will just get into War Thunder instead.
The end result really is, just play either one since both are free-to-play. That will be the real test of longevity and acceptance, versus anyone else’s opinion. Fun will win out.
Managed to get into War Thunder last night. The holidays are over and I’m expected to work hard, leaving little gaming time.
Made my first kill. Kills are well rewarded – 900xp or more.
This immediately pushed me to level 1 (of 20) as an American flyer. I’ve bought another plane and another crew – strangely, a crew costs you 10,000 silver currency, whereas the first plane only costs you 500. The next crew I purchase will cost 50,000. Now I can get shot down four times a match.
I’ve been concentrating on hitting the ground targets requested on every mission – destroy this, destroy that – figuring that I have a better chance with them than dogfighting players who presumably have many matches under their belts. And taking targets of opportunity.
The question for me is, tuning. Will they tune this game such that early levels go faster/easier than they have it set at the moment ? Or will they leave it as is, ensuring dozens of matches required to get started in the game ? That is a legitimate beta decision which the game is officially in, and will determine the fun factor to a high degree. As it is, it becomes a determined grindfest like World of Tanks.
No amount of signing up and being patient, or sleuthing around for an invite code, has gotten me into the World of Warplanes beta. I think it will matter which of these is better, and how much, to see the future of MMO WWII vehicle grinder games.
War Thunder occupied my night. I went ahead and completed all the tutorials for the game. They are very well done, for the most part. The Assault Plane one was pretty difficult, I kept crashing into the ground or running out of ammo, and having to restart.
The controls are straightforward for the most part. You can fly with a keyboard (albeit clumsily) or just wiggle your mouse around and the plane will generally do what you want.
The game features aerial combat, close in bombing and ground target destruction, and full high altitude bombers with precision bombing and defense. Ride a Flying Fortress and take any of the gun positions to shoot down the enemy. Pretty cool !
Then I jumped in and did my first battle. Simply fun ! As an American, I have three “reserve” planes and they all seem available to me as I play out the game. Crashed the first one, but no problem, I jump back into the battle with the second and third, until they were all shot down.
The statistics page is very informative. Hey, I wasn’t the *worst* performer so that makes me happy !
And clicking into your name or any one elses shows your personal stats.
Apparently, all levels of planes fly together. They don’t corral noobs like me into a battle – I was up against jet powered MiGs and other Peashooters. And there are a number of game modes. I played the following in my three battles :
- Capture the airfield. Whichever team knocks the progress bar down fastest wins.
- Destroy ground targets. Once they’re all gone, the game is won.
- Repair your plane at the airfield. And destroy ground targets.
No doubt, this is an excellent game that’s in the polishing stages. If they ever follow through with ground battles and fleet battles it’ll be impressive, but just the aircraft portion is fantastic fun.
Because I clearly need more games to play, I find myself installing War Thunder following a visit to Z’s blog.
Apparently Gaijin (the publisher/developer) has decided to put the game on the Steam “Greenlight” program. I can’t exactly get behind the idea, other than if they are trying to reach more gamers. I don’t want my MMO’s encumbered by Steam, there’s no point to that. Some of you don’t feel the same way however.
While I wait, I probably better check my email. And of course, I find out that the Steam Sale begins now and Torchlight II is on sale ($10). Time to pick this one up and see what all the fuss is about.
Now I really have a lot of downloading to do. That’s OK – I need to get some work done anyway. I look up and get ready to update my Tomato router. I read up on NAS and decide to think about buying some. Holiday pictures get processed. Time Warner Cable still has no clue that upload speed is important, so I won’t be upgrading my service.
Finally, I get to log in and mess around with War Thunder.
The game looks pretty good – I am getting a high framerate during the tutorial mission, the controls respond well (Even though it’s beyond easy) and my respect for Russian game programmers grows.
Now if this doesn’t look like World of Tanks I’ll eat my hat. I can apparently choose any of three planes and jump into a battle, or I can finish the tutorial which seems to consist of 8 or so different little missions to clue you in about how to play. Think I’ll mess around a bit with this one .