CataCast

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On Google & YouTube removing videos for no reason.

I’m beyond mad at this point. I’m pissed off and furious.

As you may or may not know, a few months ago I had to take the ax to the Sims 3 Legacy Challenge I had running on my channel. It wasn’t my choice, a good chunk of the series had been taken down due to “inappropriate content”. What? Sims 3, inappropriate content? Now at the time I just thought someone had come through with some bots and flagged them, and really didn’t think that much of it. Fast forward to today, I went into the video backlog to double-check on the name of a texture pack I had used for Return to Minecraft for some time, and lo-and-behold, a good massive chunk of those videos (along with adventure maps and texture pack reviews) were gone. “Inappropriate content”. 

Now, I had come to terms with the fact that partnership had been stripped from the channel for “invalid click activity”. I sent appeal forms in and attempted to get some semblance of an answer from Google & YouTube. Nothing.

I said this in my video, and I’ll say it again here, Google & YouTube do not give a damn about small channels and will screw them over repeatedly. I realize this is a strong accusation, and it’s one I make with quite a bit of regret. I also realize that stripping a channel of partnership/monetization (they are now classified as the same thing) can be a pure business decision to keep ad suppliers happy if results are not seen. 

In the video I posted about this, I equated my situation (and the situation of other channels) to television. ABC had rebooted V back in 2009, and after 2 seasons axed it because of viewers. NBC did the same thing with The Event, however put a break mid-season for no reason, brought it back in February and then promptly killed it off because of bad viewers. Those networks didn’t give enough time for the shows to mature and grow an audience. This is somewhat similar to all the YouTube channels that had partnership that have now, for whatever reason, had it revoked. Like I said, business decision, fine. Flat out removing videos for no reason and without notification? There’s something wrong there.

Here’s what I believed happened with my partnership. Back in late February/early March, I posted a video about a Legend of Zelda Minecraft Texture Pack that, as of writing this, has roughly 44,471 views. When YouTube saw the rapid growth in this video (thanks again minecraft.fr community, the boost from your forums really inspired me to keep going), they immediately flagged my account for monetization. Less than a month later, gone. No warning, nothing saying what the offending video was, just “invalid click activity” and that was it. Sent in an appeal, figured that was that.

Turns out it wasn’t. My account is still flagged as monetized/partner, but my monetization account is flagged as disabled. I can’t even look at stats to see if it was a group of bots or some glitch, I’m locked out. Because my account is still flagged as such, I believe that YouTube is being rather harsh in judging what is “appropriate content”. Where a partner would be able to argue that the content is their own, something I had to do with each video posted after monetization (all game rights to company, any songs used to artists, etc.) and slide through with little problem (it’s not a big deal having to write this out; small paragraph that it’s you (in my case) playing the game for viewer entertainment and not infringing on copyright), I can’t. If YouTube feels as if I’m purposefully infringing copyright, they’ll swing the hammer, and hard. This is why I am led to believe a large chunk of my videos are missing (also warning on Skyrim and Mass Effect that they “matched third party content”. You don’t say?).

After typing this whole block of cheese out and recording my video, I realize something. YouTube will throw monetization/partnership based off of very small results (see, LoZ texture pack video) and then immediately revoke it when that number is not met with every video. It’s understandable, their business expectations are not being met. However, they are not giving the smaller channels a chance to grow. Searching videos for similar problems led to a tech channel that got it revoked after 2 years, and, after looking through their uploads, met a rather stable number of views per video. It is because of this, along with other channels, that leads me to throw the accusation about Google & YouTube not caring about smaller channels out in the open.

I’ll update as I get more information (if any) from Google and/or YouTube. For now I ask one of two things.

  1. Share the video I posted about this topic
  2. Reblog and share this to get it some attention.

This is a problem among small channels, and I’d very much love for it to be fixed.

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Update Time (again)

So now that I’m getting back into the swing of things, Return To Minecraft finally has a set schedule (somewhat) but that’s about it. Mondays and Wednesday about mid/late afternoon. As far as the other content goes, I’ll slowly hack out a schedule as I go, and as far as the Pandaria beta goes, I’ll have something nightly, bar prior announcements saying otherwise.

Now for the big “but…” part. Classes are starting very soon, which means my time is going to get stomped on repeatedly. I’ll try my hardest to get at least something out every day, even if its something minor late at night. That about does it as far as updates go for now. Working on a couple of small things to the side, but slowly building something slightly resembling a schedule.

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On Mass Effect 3

This post will contain spoilers.

Seriously, if you don’t want to be spoiled, just leave. 

I will kick a puppy if you complain about being spoiled AFTER I’ve warned you.

Last chance.

Alright good, now that that’s done, on to the meat of the post.

Finally as of 5/3/12 I’ve beat Mass Effect 3. I spoiled myself prior to the genophage mission, so I knew what to expect. Disappointment, a bad ending, and everything from the previous games crushed as if a fat kid had sat on a ladybug. I had read various indoctrination theories, one of which saying that Major Coats was indoctrinated, and that he purposefully screwed up the tank line so the mission would fail; another saying that Shepard was fighting inside his subconscious ever since the beam knocked him out. Let’s go through what is known:

  • EA pushed Bioware to get ME3 out quick; they requested more time, and got until 3/6/12
  • Some form of indoctrination was planned; during dream sequences, there’s a reaper hum if you attempt to run in any direction opposite the one the child ran.
  • BioWare has stated they “ran out of resources”; not money, but time.
  • Casey Hudson and Mac Walters are the only ones that worked on the ending (star kid scene)

So who screwed the ending? EA because the game was rushed and ultimately unfinished? Hudson and Walters for not getting the opinion of anyone else? Maybe the ending isn’t screwed up to them, maybe this was the original direction from day one of the first game. Here’s what I think about this whole debacle.

Hudson and Walters are NOT at fault for the endings. To an extent, they’re just collateral damage in this whole thing. BioWare was out of resources, EA was breathing down their necks, and they needed to do something to get the game finished. So yes, while under any other set of circumstances, they should have consulted everyone else, they are not completely at fault here. EA is trying to push Mass Effect to be their Call of Duty, yearly releases with a bigger emphasis on multiplayer than single player. They think people will “forget” about the series if they don’t go yearly.

Indoctrination was supposed to be the original ending, but due to the time constraints imposed by EA, this was impossible. Pulling from some theories over on r/indoctrinated (http://www.reddit.com/r/Indoctrinated/), there are trees seen (faintly) on the Crucible, a reaper hum and red light during the dream sequences if you run away, and the Major Coats theory (he’s indoctrinated and purposefully screwed the mission so the indoctrination of Shepard could complete). So what would’ve happened after the Citadel? Would Shepard, depending on his actions, wake up, engage a boss, and end the reaper threat? Or would he be indoctrinated and lose the war? I really hope the Extended Cut DLC addresses this and more. The evidence for IT is really starting to pile up, hopefully this was BioWare’s original idea and they can fix it.

Really that’s it. It was a great game (and the first Mass Effect game I’ve beaten so far) with a few moments where I facepalmed because someone died/lost war assets/something because I wasn’t using an imported save file (hi Geth and Eve, looking at you guys). All in all I enjoyed it and will probably do another playthrough or two (outside of the full renegade one I’m doing for YouTube channel). To be fair, I think if I had spent several years building up the save files and importing them into the next game, I’d be a lot more angry at the endings. But to be fair, yeah, fans have a right to be pissed off (look at Star Wars fans whenever George Lucas does something, they don’t get called entitled or whiny) and demand a better ending. I’m disappointed that the ending didn’t have any real substance, but I’ll hold back full judgement and wrath until the Extended DLC is out and on my computer.

Filed under Mass Effect retakeME Retake Mass Effect gaming opinion reapers Shepard BioWare EA demand a better ending

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Update time.

Working on roughly 3 hours worth of content, decided to update this while it’s going through rendering processes. Several things have changed, namely the schedule, which I guess at this point means absolutely nothing. There will only be a couple of certainties:

  1. Horde and Alliance Leveling videos will be Monday and Friday. If Monday cannot be reached, they will go up on Wednesday instead. I may move to put both videos up on all three days once I’ve worked out a proper way to get everything recorded.
  2. Sundays are off days. If I stream I stream, if I don’t I don’t. Simple as that.

I’m trying to get out more videos per day now, so expect to see some new things, old things, and just random stuff.

Cancelled: Sims 3 Legacy. Unfortunately for whatever stupid inane reason, YouTube decided to yank down well over 50% of the series. Now, its not just sound disabled, in which case I could download them and reupload them. No, they’re gone. I’d love to continue it, but at this point there’s so many gaping holes progession-wise, it will just have to wait. At sometime in the future I may reboot it and start all over, doing to it what I’ve done to the leveling videos for WoW, and record huge chunks, cut it into multiple episodes, and edit down each episode. That way I get more stuff done over the course of an episode and I’m not having 50+ episodes on the same exact job/vacation/whatever.

Reboots: StarCraft II casting and Forever Bronze, Minecraft (even though it never really went away), and maybe a Let’s Play.

New: Tribes: Ascend gameplay, Mists of Pandaria Beta (“soon”), Diablo III.

I’ve finally gotten into a pretty good rhythm about how I want to get content recorded, edited, and uploaded within the quickest amount of time while preserving a good quality. Nothing will degrade, but expect to see several episodes of Minecraft where I continue on a single topic, then the next one I go off on another tangent. That’s simply the result of recording 2 hours+ at a time.

Not much of an update, just wanted to get this out. Back to editing.

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Let’s talk Mists of Pandaria Beta

Should be obvious by now, I’m in beta. I expect to have the invite within the next week or two. Everything is ready to go, client downloaded, schedule prepared, and everything set up. Here’s what’s going to happen since Blizzard is gating the beta content.

  • Pandaren Monk gameplay and 1-10 experience.
  • All class changes, focusing on Rogue, Warrior, Warlock, Shaman, and Death Knight. These are the classes I know best, and will get some additional commentary on Warrior and Rogue. Additional insight into Warlocks as being a viable tanking class in Mists. This to me is huge news. Demo warlocks being tanks.
  • Warlock pet changes.
  • 86-90 content, going through all 7 zones. This is obviously a giant quest spoiler.
  • Dungeons
  • Raids
  • BGs (with Beast)
  • Arenas

So basically every damn thing I can. I’ll be having co-commentators for some, if not most of this list. I’ll be pumping out beta content as quickly and efficiently as possible once I’m in, and all videos will be cross-posted to tumblr for maximum exposure. Subscribe to the YouTube channel if you’re not already, content begins over-drive mode Monday.

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D3 and SC2

Restarted my beta content for Diablo 3. The character from before was wiped along with the other characters, and I wasn’t satisfied with my commentary. All 5 parts of my witch doctor commentary will go up this week, with part 1 being uploaded earlier today.
I’m currently trying to piece together what would be a good bronze-silver tournament for SC2. Main thing is the prize pool. I’m shooting for $50 to 1st, $20 to second, $10 to third. If I go through with this, it will be a 16 player tournament taking place on the NA server. If I can’t get it all done in one day, it’ll span a weekend. I’ll be asking for guest casters to get games I can’t cover, and I will be personally streaming and casting some of the games. Losers of semifinal games will play a BO3 to determine third place. Semifinals will be BO5, with finals a BO7. All games prior to semifinals will be BO1. If I have to draw it out over two days, I’ll save the semis and finals for that Sunday. More on the tournament at a later date, as this is still in the early stages of planning.

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More on the second channel.

Have some time to go in a little more depth about the second channel and what will be posted there, so let me start off with there is no schedule for uploads yet. I highly doubt I’ll get a video on the channel every day to start with, as I’ll have to be watching for a time limit (new account, uploads under 15 minutes) and if I exceed that limit, I’ll have to spend time editing the video. It’s not too bad, but just don’t expect something new every day for the first month or so. On to the content that will be on the channel.

As I stated in the last blog about this, Let’s Play content will go on the channel. In addition to that, I announced this morning that Minecraft custom maps would also go on the secondary channel. Additional content will include collab projects (previously mentioned) and StarCraft II streams. MISTS OF PANDARIA CONTENT WILL BE ON THE SECOND CHANNEL. Diablo 3 beta will still be on the main channel, but MoP beta content will be on the second channel (and any other beta content in the future). DOTA 2, once released/beta invitation, as well as the occasional TF2 match will be on the second channel as well. All other content, Return to Minecraft, D3 beta, Forever Bronze (non-stream), leveling videos, Sims 3, texture pack reviews for minecraft, and Skyrim streams will continue to be on the main channel, with no change in schedule.

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Second Channel

Now that the video is out of the way, I have a second channel. All Let’s Play content as well as any collaborative stuff will go here. I’ve been wondering if a second channel is warranted at this point, and I finally made the decision AS the LP of Dungeon Defenders was wrapping up. Streaming will be starting again with me finally finishing the Skyrim Civil War and Dark Brotherhood quest lines. This is going to clog the subscriber feeds with content (which isn’t a bad thing, but I’d like to limit the amount of spam to subscribers). Plus with everything I’m planning, I can finally justify a second channel. Not a lot of content will be there at first, but it will slowly grow over the next month. I may get rid of the secondary cam on my end, depending on how I feel about it. That’s basically it for now, more videos will be coming onto the channels in the coming weeks. If you are subscribed to my primary channel, please subscribe to the second one for more content.