IDW Comics layoffs hit nearly 40%

Major comics Publisher, IDW, terminates 39% of their staff to recoup on losses.

With Properties like Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Godzilla, Power Rangers, and Sonic the Hedgehog you’d think a Publisher would be able to hold it together. However, holding IPs doesn’t just manifest capital. Neither does being the 5th in the top five, apparently. I wouldn’t know because I’ve not bought one of their comics in over a decade.

The Marketing and Editorial divisions took the biggest hit. Because of that they’ve “gone dark” as their cost-cutting “measures” are taking effect while they’re being delisted from the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange). We reached out to Hasbro and have not been given any comment.

Our hearts go out to those Laid off. San Diego is by no means an easy place to afford. If this is a sign of things to come, we could see Dark Horse, Marvel, or DC to suffer similarly. Only time will tell but it may be time for industry-wide downsizing to a more “Indi Comics” standard.

The Dungeons and Dragons Corporate VTT Nightmare

It’s totally a “Half Orc” fighting “Kobalds” guys…

When you think of VTT Platforms you think of “A place for everyone” but Wizards of The Coast and Hasbro have built a Dungeons and Dragons Virtual Paradox Machine…

We are not strangers to the Virtual Tabletop. Not more than a year ago did we invest in Game Master accounts for the top two we saw fit to back. One, a robust colossal “Everyman” blast-from-the-past hosted on browsers capable of running on PC, Tablet, and Smart phone devices known as Scene Grinder with compatibility in EVERY System and a planned marketplace to make Indi Creators a viable platform for both running games and selling content. The other, a Steam-Based graphic-heavy Modern PC marvel known as RPG Stories.

Because of the Independent push the “Big Dogs” have decided to get into the game. Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast have been “Working on this for a long time” (despite having a 3D Isometric Dungeon-Maker with the original Neverwinter Nights and a short-lived 2D Online Only Dungeon Manager with the release of Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition). “Getting into the game” doesn’t mean they care though. They showed their contempt for the customer-base at large with the OGL 2.0 leaks.

Imagine yourself as the werewolf in the corner, a player, and the lifeless soul-less skeletons as the corpos of Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast looking to get you for a monthly fee plus whatever microtransactions they can bleed you for. You’ll need to roll at least an 18 or above to make your saving throws.

“Why is this VTT bad?”, “It looks good to me?” Are two big questions we got while walking around a virtual chat-room with our avatar carrying a sign that said “Ask me why DnD VTT sucks!” with about 300 people attending a “Virtual Dance Club”. Due to copyrighted music we can’t show the video but we can give the reasons why here:

  • Does not support non-Hasbro/WoTC Content.
  • Does not support 3rd party models.
  • Does not support any other 3rd party RPG system other than Dungeons and Dragons 3.0/4.0/5.0.
  • Does not support “Creator Copyrights” which means everything you make in game belongs to them.
  • Does not support “Low Spec Hardware” which means if you don’t have the newest systems you won’t be able to render the world.
  • Does not support 3rd party sound files/music files or content integration of any kind.
  • Requires all users active subscriptions just to play.
  • Only supports “importing characters” from DnDBeyond.
  • Does not support Homebrewed/Pathfinder content.
  • Involved Companies are still in litigation for millions of dollars in damage after the leak of their predatory attempt to subvert and reap profits from “Player Made Content”.

If you don’t see a pattern here then you might want to read all that again. However, we can tell you that this whole thing is a house of cards ready to fall. Intellectual Property belongs to it’s creators weather or not it’s played out in the settings Gary Gygax made.

If there is one thing I will remember WoTC and Hasbro for it’s the never-ending retcon that began with 3rd edition that turned a once humble publisher with integrity to their source material into a “Paper Mill” spewing forth thousands of pages of broken continuities and half-stories of the same tyrant with a different coat of paint every quarter year. Gary hated it but he was under a NDA and a noninterference contract so he kept his mouth shut. I knew. You could tell when he described whatever the “current trending publication from Wizards” was.

R.A.G. Rankin, Author/Creator of Eon Legacy on the “Nature of WoTC and Hasbro”

Diablo VI did what now?

The Blizzard Official “Beta Weekend” for Diablo 4 has mixed reviews so we decided to cut through the gore and give you the gold!

Spoilers ahead…

So, you decided to play the Open Beta after getting some KFC chicken or just pre-purchasing a PC game for $70? Blizzard is happy to oblige and so is their stockholders. Either you pay the 11 dollars for the chicky sammich or the traditional $50 + $20 over average retail price for every other game to get entry. Alright, so your in…or not.

As you can see we’ve paid for every game Blizzard has seen fit to bleed us with.

Because of it’s “Popularity” the servers were down/unresponsive/overburdened. Not uncommon for Blizzard, it happened with Diablo III and Diablo II (and the Resurrections). We talked about those over here but today we’re talking about the latest installment that isn’t the festering flesh-pit that is Diablo Immortal. No, Diablo VI (4) is suppose to be the spiritual successor to D2. Because of this the game is “Much darker and grittier than the last one” (We heard that about Star Wars Episode 3, didn’t we?) and suffice to say it did not meet our expectations.

Guess who gives you her “Special Gift”? Spoilers past this point.

I start the game with ZULTAN KUULE SAVING ME FROM FREEZING TO DEATH, in the form of a black wolf. So, I got to start the game slapping stray dogs for four minutes until I get into town and get my bearings only to be sent on the first quest. Ten to twenty minutes later I cleared the first dungeon and got back to town. It sounded good. The music had some nods back to the D1 and D2. The combat felt so CLUDGY.

So what happened?

Because it’s a modern Blizzard game, of course, things take a turn for the worst. In-Game I get roofied then force-fed demon blood which inflicts me with some kinda Soul-Ruining Demon STD. I’m now the next victim of some Sanctuary Based Bug-Chaser cult. Way to rob the agency from me, Blizzard.

You Remember…

Don’t get me wrong I slogged through it up to level 25 with a Barbarian. Then A Sorcerer and I never went back to Barbarian. At that point I had a level 21 Sorc and 25 Barb in the beta and thought “Please get better by release!”. Will it? I don’t know… I just write TTRPGs and watch people take modern day problems and insert them into gritty fantasy games breaking my immersion and making me go bald faster.

-The Loremaster