This is an edition of Fringes, my roughly weekly newsletter about my travels on the fringes on the internet. Often about games, sometimes about... other things.
🚨 I fixed the email reply address for my newsletter, so if you have any comments or questions, hit reply and let me know! 🚨
Why is Path of Exile so hard to play?
I wrote a short post on why Path of Exile is as unfriendly as it is:
Perhaps it's only possible to build a game like Path of Exile – a game singularly focused on deep systems – in an environment that is tilted so much towards systems design as to be inhospitable to any other designers.
You can read the whole thing here.
Tencent is making a cloud gaming controller geared towards mobile, but it also includes swappable layouts, including one that is geared for the standard mobile-MOBA controls (like King's Glory, Wild Rift, etc).
It's kind of surprising that we haven't seen more game-specific (or at least genre-specific) controllers over the years. Mice designed for MMOs (with a ton of buttons) are the only semi-mainstream thing I can think of. Meanwhile in fighting games...
There's this custom controller for Smash that uses only buttons for inputs (no analog sticks!). I'm not a big Smash player, but a friend in the competitive scene says there are debates as to whether this provides an unfair advantage since the digital input lets you input certain moves with perfect accuracy over an analog stick.
The tournament legality of them seems to be an ongoing issue. It's surprising how little of this we've seen in gaming, compared to something non-digital like swimming. Maybe because the easiest way to get ahead in games has been straight-up cheating using things like aimbots or other hacks – but I imagine it's only a matter of time for hardware to catch up.
Other dispatches from the fringes
👾 Gamestop is making NFTs because of course they are. Of course the meme stock of the year is also working on some mysterious NFT project. It would be weird if they didn't.
💾 Chia coin causes hard drive shortages. Chia coin, Yet Another Cryptocurrency, is experimenting with "proof-of-space" where "where provers show that they allocate unused hard drive space for storage space". Predictably, this is causing a run on hard drives. I guess that's better than not being able to buy GPUs?
🎵 Anything about Roblox makes me feel old. Robloxcore is no exception.
If you liked anything here, let me know. If you think a friend would enjoy this, please pass it along. And if you were forwarded this email and want to subscribe, go here.
Until next time,