GWJ Conference Call Episode 32

Conference Call

The Halo 3 Beta, Aegis Wing, Shawn Gets a PS3, Starcraft 2, TONS of News, Sony's Gamer Day, It's a Beta But Not!, A New Trivia Contest and more!

The guys are full of piss and vinegar this week, hitting tons of game news, arguing about betas, turning the corner on the PS3 and consoling Rob in his time of need. Plus, a new Gamers With Jobs trivia contest! Send your answer to [email protected] and you could win a free $60 game of your choice from Liongames.com!

Want to support the show? Hit the Digg link just above (it's fast and easy to register) or review us on iTunes! Read on for show notes.

To contact us, email [email protected]! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about or whatever else is on your mind. You can even send a 30 second audio question or comment (MP3 format please) if you're so inclined.

Sponsor
Liongames.com

The Links
Halo 3
Starcraft 2
Aegis Wing
Del.icio.us Grab Bag o' Fun

Thread of the Week:
1) Are you a "Good" Role Player? - wordsmythe

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"Luna Machine" (Benoit Casey) - 0:26:56
"Impeller" Ian Dorsch - 1:02:04

Comments

We're a little early today, it's such a news heavy show we figured it would be worthwhile to get it up a little sooner. And because we love you. Except Cory, he only loves candy.

So I decided to check out what my 360 was blogging about since I hadn't played it in a week and found this posted a day before my 360 died. I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry and really wish I had checked the site out before the show. And I quote:

Gaald's Xbox - 5/14/2007

My power supply almost exploded! Gaald turned on the juice and we did some serious gaming!

Oh the humanity!

I LOVE YOU GUYS!

Now i can listen to the podcast on the way to work... in work and again in work! I wasn't looking forward to having to listen to it on thursday (can't have anything interrupting my beer, BBQ and football session tomorrow night.... C'MON YOU REDS!

Hey, lookit dat! I had been on sort of a dry spell for thread authorship. Felt like it was about time for me to get back into things.

Talk about LOTRO all you want guys, WoW needs to step down...

We need to take a closer on the general state of Asian economy. South Koreans not being able to afford computer ungrades, pshaw!

Regarding the Halo 3 lobby: it supports 16 players because it is the same lobby system that will be in the full game, and in the full game you will be able to swap on the fly from matchmaking playlists (which have a set maximum player limit) and custom games which support up to 16 players.

For the beta, though, the custom games have been disabled. A good party leader, however, can go into the options and limit the party size to 8 or 12 or whatever the limit is on the playlist they intend to play to prevent the problem that Certis was talking about.

zeroKFE wrote:

Regarding the Halo 3 lobby: it supports 16 players because it is the same lobby system that will be in the full game, and in the full game you will be able to swap on the fly from matchmaking playlists (which have a set maximum player limit) and custom games which support up to 16 players.

For the beta, though, the custom games have been disabled. A good party leader, however, can go into the options and limit the party size to 8 or 12 or whatever the limit is on the playlist they intend to play to prevent the problem that Certis was talking about.

Which is what I was trying to explain to these obvious Halo haters. You tell 'em, Steve Dave.

I just want to make sure the facts are straight. Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts.

The "I'm Too Busy Playing Halo 3 Edition"

Games we're playing now

For Gaald:

IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/mszilla/redringdeath.jpg)

That trade-in deal:
That sounds like a cool deal. Like maybe worth a run to Vancouver. And it doesn't come with Flow? I thought that was loaded on the hard drive.

News

Starcraft II: Hell, it's about time! My crystal ball is cracked so I'm not even trying to guess dates. But I can't wait and I'm going to be watching those hardware requirements.

HL2 Black Box Demise: Ugh. Marketing ploy. Handing out samples on the playground. Sad fact is, I want a taste too.

End-game advertising: This is Fight Night and the go ram Burger King ghoul all over again. If it made the game cheaper, I wouldn't be mad. But it's not. This is just plain bull.

Chronicles of Riddick: The Lost Chapters of Vin Deisel?
Uh, I played it and it didn't exactly ring my bell the first time. Slapping a new shade of lipstick on this pig isn't going to help as much you would hope. I wouldn't buy it at $50 either. And that movie was horrific.

Halo 3: Crackdown issue sucked. Bitching and moaning sucked even more. And they gave them four extra days because of all their screeching.

I completely disagree with the comment about it not being a real beta. I was inspired to get more forceful in my expression, but I don't have enough pejoratives to properly express my feelings about this.

I did have a key and I downloaded it. And so did all the asshats who are bitching and moaning about Crackdown. All betas are marketing ploys. But there are techical goals.

They're testing the matchmaking. For that they need a variety of bodies. Not just the reasonably hardcore who had the time/resources etc to shoehorn themselves in via the Rule of Three contest or blow someone hard enough to get into the Friends and Family thing. Crackdown gives them that. This whole frickin' thing has very little to do with the new content. So why the heck would they blow their whole wad and muddy the waters on what they really need?

That said, the new matchmaking is pretty good. If I'm playing on with the Goodjer list, I get harmed in a large, large way. But in the Rumble Pit they've got a decent supply of people who are as bad as I am, and they're not matching us up with Spork-types. I'm getting better and having way too much fun. This is considerably better than the Halo 2 situation where I pretty much have to stick with Zombie Skate or it's just plain no fun.

Vanguard: Sorry - you pissed me off and I missed the whole thing. Runescape, Maplestory, Neopets,... This has been going on for quite a while. You guys really need to take a look at the less "hardcore" end of this pond.

Gameday:

So totally not even bothering. I haven't seen anything in the coverage or what you guys were talking about I give a rat's bikini about. Where were Lair, FFXIII, and Metal Gear Solid 4?

Nintedo Power:
You guys are obviously not 10-year-old kids. Or the parents of one of those kids. I'm curious, what's wrong with being a "fan magazine"? Their audience is exactly who wants to see that stuff, and they've catered to them for a long time.

And no one gives ratings below a 7. IGN doesn't, Gamespot doesn't, and those are ostensibly separate entities. Why do you ping them on this?

"Good" Roleplaying:
Asshat Neutral is an alignment. I'm a goody-two-shoes and I admit it. If we were playing Nodwick, I'd be Piffany.

Oh, and as far as slashdot, well, I'm going to hide in a corner for a while longer. You wouldn't believe some of the ripple this has had.

Um... that is a bit disturbing! Earlier today I was thinking, how come you guys don't post a show at a bit earlier time so that I could download it and listen to it on the way to work... in fact I debating whether I should write in to ask same very question!

Here is the kicker, I was using my PS3 to browse the internet and first thing I see is brand new podcast... talk about odd timing!

to an early show!

momgamer wrote:

And no one gives ratings below a 7. IGN doesn't, Gamespot doesn't, and those are ostensibly separate entities. Why do you ping them on this?

Fair warning. I actually agree with you in principle, and in fact I'm now collecting checks from these guys, so just ignore me in general, but I'm feeling ornery, I'm sick, and I've not slept in days. But ...

http://www.1up.com/do/sortIndex?ct=R...

I see a boatload of reviews under 5 there, and they toss out a zero now and then for a real dung heap. If you sort by inverse rating, there's page after page of stinkers with 1s and 2s, and not just random crapware -- blazing angels was at least an attempt at a launch game for the Wii, it got a 2 (as did a few other early Wii games, which is a WHOLE nother topic we just scratched the surface of on the call). Now none of that says anything about whether they're right, whether they're well written, whether there are other agendas, and whether they are 1000 word thoughtful analysis or 'dude the chick is hot, i give it a 9.'

My ONLY point is (and its only because I'm being argumentative) that there is, i think, a substantial group of games journalists out there who abhor the idea of game ratings, and if forced, will try very hard to bell curve at 5 (or 2.5 stars or whatever).

I don't write for them, and I'll say the GFW has really set itself apart as redefining the rating scale. I regularly see 5s and below, and as Rabbit points out it's for big name titles as well as the trashware.

Here we go...

* C&C3. Not bad. I agree that the writing sucks. It was fun. Not as fun as I remembered it though.
* LotR. I will enjoy the game vicariously through the enjoyment of others. I'm holding out for PotBC or AoC.
* Halo 3. ick phbbbt. I'll pass. Spend less time covering the Beta and wait for the released game to cover it more completely.
* PS3 deal. I wish something like that existed here in the US. Crazy. Surprised you didn't get at least one game. Some decent titles on PS3. Metal Gear Solid, Assassins Creed and... that's about it. Not much on the PS3 yet. Disappointing.

-----------

Starcraft 2 - First off comparing Starcraft 2 to C&C3 just because it uses a 3D model is insulting. Might as well compare Halo to any great number of FPS games, or comparing LotR as nothing more than a LotR themed WoW with some extra features. A bit of a low blow really. As for the release date, Late Spring 2008 is my guess. What they showed really looked like an Alpha stage on one or two maps. They will probably be working on more maps and doing other things so they have some work to do most likely.

Half Life 2 - Played the complete game and really had no interest at all in the expansions. So it's shelved until Half Life 3 comes out.

The Chronicles of Riddick part... More about industry rehashing games over and over again. I completely agree with Rabbit on the rehash thing. More and more "console" game developers are doing nothing more than taking an old game, cranking up the graphics, maybe adding something little in it and then releasing it again. That's complete crap and the easy non-imaginative way out. Just like what EA does with PC games. Same thing.

On the Beta it's a beta or not a beta. Yea it's crap. Why are we as players having to beta test a game and help a gaming developer fix a game. What ever happened to us the consumer getting a decent game that was finished? What happened to getting a complete damn product? We are accepting this too easily and should be putting up a much harder economic boycott on games that are released completely broken and obviously in late stages of beta.

Sigil. Wow what a complete bus wreck. SOE is attempting to fix it but I don't know if it will survive this ordeal. Management that sucks will take the best game and turn it into poop. Yes I bought the game and yes I actually liked parts of it. However it could have been soo much better. All I can do is level my PC to 50, deck him out with decent gear and then sell the PC to someone else who might want it. But I'm done after that.

On the good games for the PS3 coming out in a year. You know the same mind set for wanting to buy a PS3 because of games in a year can be given to the Wii for games coming out in a year just not announced yet. Just saying...

Nintendo Power was my first gaming magazine period. I have the original original that was published with the original Nintendo with hints and strategy for Super Mario Brothers 1. Yes I'm old.. bite me!

----------------

Goody goody tooshoes or Evil evil bastard? No preference. I just want games that let you make a better choice which way you want to go. Not obvious idiot choices. Had a very long discussion with a friend on this very topic... I'll try and remember most of it and write it up in some ridiculously long post some time later.

---------------
I'll have to let the contest pass to someone else with a better and longer memory than I.

Another great show guys. A bit long on the Halo stuff but otherwise always funny and entertaining.

kilroy0097 wrote:

On the Beta it's a beta or not a beta. Yea it's crap. Why are we as players having to beta test a game and help a gaming developer fix a game. What ever happened to us the consumer getting a decent game that was finished? What happened to getting a complete damn product?

Um... Sorry. Did you pay for a box of Halo3? 'Cause if you did I missed the launch notice.

Look, the only reason why anyone's remotely whining about this is because it came with Crackdown. Frankly if people bought crackdown just to play Halo3 for a few weeks, I feel bad for them, mostly because it seems misguided.

I do a LOT of beta testing. I think the trend towards broader and more open betas is a GOOD thing. I would much rather have a game kicking around for a few months for free before anyone has to pay for it. As I wrote before, LOTRO took this to an extreme, and even if you think the game is ass (LOTRO isn't the point here) the reality is that it's very extended, very FREE beta resulted in a game that launched essentially flawless. Weekly maintainance has so far fixing extremely odd quest hangs and the like, but absolutely nothing critical.

Frankly, I wish a whole pile of games I like had had much more open betas -- Catan for one.

rabbit wrote:
kilroy0097 wrote:

On the Beta it's a beta or not a beta. Yea it's crap. Why are we as players having to beta test a game and help a gaming developer fix a game. What ever happened to us the consumer getting a decent game that was finished? What happened to getting a complete damn product?

Um... Sorry. Did you pay for a box of Halo3? 'Cause if you did I missed the launch notice.

Look, the only reason why anyone's remotely whining about this is because it came with Crackdown. Frankly if people bought crackdown just to play Halo3 for a few weeks, I feel bad for them, mostly because it seems misguided.

I do a LOT of beta testing. I think the trend towards broader and more open betas is a GOOD thing. I would much rather have a game kicking around for a few months for free before anyone has to pay for it. As I wrote before, LOTRO took this to an extreme, and even if you think the game is ass (LOTRO isn't the point here) the reality is that it's very extended, very FREE beta resulted in a game that launched essentially flawless. Weekly maintainance has so far fixing extremely odd quest hangs and the like, but absolutely nothing critical.

Frankly, I wish a whole pile of games I like had had much more open betas -- Catan for one.

I think I either wrote that wrong or you misunderstand. I don't own a XBox 360 so I would have never even played the Beta Halo. I am talking about games in general. PC Games to be exact. Just to name a few BF2, BF2142 and Vanguard come to mind as games that were released as finished products and were in fact nothing more than glorified polished Beta games that had all the bugs still in them. Not even hiding the bugs. It was so bad we might as well have been the open Beta team and have paid money for the privilege.

I absolutely agree with open and broader Betas. I have no issues with that at all. In fact I would love to be able to gives these beta games a go and be able to put my 2 nickels worth of comments on what I feel should be changed for the betterment of a game and what the bugs are that I find. What I Don't agree with however is paying $50 for a game, installing it and finding out that it's 2 months from completion and they released it because of some stupid deadline or because they didn't want to put the effort into fixing the game until a month after release.

I am tired of paying for Beta games that are pawned off on the public as completed. That's my number one issue with the gaming industry today. Second in line is the complete lack of imagination and the re-release of copy cat games with new graphics. Tired of it.

Starcraft 2 - First off comparing Starcraft 2 to C&C3 just because it uses a 3D model is insulting. Might as well compare Halo to any great number of FPS games, or comparing LotR as nothing more than a LotR themed WoW with some extra features. A bit of a low blow really.

A "low blow" huh? Must be a perspective thing, we liked the C&C 3 implementation quite a bit. Given this kind of reaction keeps coming up here and elsewhere, I have to assume it's sacrilege to be anything but insanely positive about Starcraft 2, because people keep accusing us (even Demi did in the show) of being negative when we thought it looked just looked "good" and exactly how it needed to evolve. To say it was a "low blow" suggest we were being malicious and unfair, which is far from true.

My game library purge was pretty vicious too. I had games in my collection that I hadn't play for a year or two, yet was holding on to them "just because". Heck, I still had Final Fantasy 8, and I hated Squall. The lure of a free system helped me get over my pack ratting hurdle. 20 or so games later,I'm the proud owner of a shiny black PSP. Not to mention I now have shelf space again!

Aha! I think we understand each other perfectly, and I completely agree. Given how EASY it is to run an open public beta, it is completely unconscionable to release a not-ready game under a retail barcode.

I've only listened to the first fifteen minutes so far, but there's one part I'd like to call people's attention to. At about 14:10 Rob says "screw you". I'm not sure why, but the manner in which he says it had me holding my sides. I listened to that two second stretch a bunch of times. Thanks, Rob.

Certis wrote:
Starcraft 2 - First off comparing Starcraft 2 to C&C3 just because it uses a 3D model is insulting. Might as well compare Halo to any great number of FPS games, or comparing LotR as nothing more than a LotR themed WoW with some extra features. A bit of a low blow really.

A "low blow" huh? Must be a perspective thing, we liked the C&C 3 implementation quite a bit. Given this kind of reaction keeps coming up here and elsewhere, I have to assume it's sacrilege to be anything but insanely positive about Starcraft 2, because people keep accusing us (even Demi did in the show) of being negative when we thought it looked just looked "good" and exactly how it needed to evolve. To say it was a "low blow" suggest we were being malicious and unfair, which is far from true.

I think it's the context in which it's used. For example comparing France to Italy just because they share a group of wonderfully prestigious mountains or Libya to Egypt just because they are both Mediterranean countries and the Med is beautiful or Canada and the US just because they share the majestic Niagra Falls. Yes these are positive descriptions calling into account a wonderful aspect of feature but you can hardly call the two countries similar. Compare any of these countries to the other, no matter the good message, and you will have a fight on your hands.

I'm going to be over the top descriptive here.

The same goes for Starcraft and C&C. Because C&C3 may look good, to those of us who have this fantastic Utopian RTS vision of memory in our heads of Starcraft, comparing it to the lack luster over all feel of C&C3 is kind of an insult. I can't really describe it any other way except it just makes me think less of Starcraft when compared to C&C. I would rather have you compare it to Supreme Commander or Company of Heroes or some other RTS worth of comparison with the Ambroisa that is Starcraft. I know it doesn't make sense and yes I can look past it and see and understand what you are talking about and yes it is a compliment that is paid upon Starcraft but it just doesn't sound... right. That make sense?

Told you I was going to go over the top ;)

kilroy0097 wrote:
Certis wrote:
Starcraft 2 - First off comparing Starcraft 2 to C&C3 just because it uses a 3D model is insulting. Might as well compare Halo to any great number of FPS games, or comparing LotR as nothing more than a LotR themed WoW with some extra features. A bit of a low blow really.

A "low blow" huh? Must be a perspective thing, we liked the C&C 3 implementation quite a bit. Given this kind of reaction keeps coming up here and elsewhere, I have to assume it's sacrilege to be anything but insanely positive about Starcraft 2, because people keep accusing us (even Demi did in the show) of being negative when we thought it looked just looked "good" and exactly how it needed to evolve. To say it was a "low blow" suggest we were being malicious and unfair, which is far from true.

I'm going to be over the top descriptive here.

The same goes for Starcraft and C&C. Because C&C3 may look good, to those of us who have this fantastic Utopian RTS vision of memory in our heads of Starcraft, comparing it to the lack luster over all feel of C&C3 is kind of an insult. I can't really describe it any other way except it just makes me think less of Starcraft when compared to C&C. I would rather have you compare it to Supreme Commander or Company of Heroes or some other RTS worth of comparison with the Ambroisa that is Starcraft. I know it doesn't make sense and yes I can look past it and see and understand what you are talking about and yes it is a compliment that is paid upon Starcraft but it just doesn't sound... right. That make sense?

No, it really doesn't. If you didn't like C&C 3, that's fine, but you can't ignore the context and intention of our conversation and call it a "low blow" because it doesn't jive with your personal opinions. That kind of approach doesn't make for very good conversation, it's a ridiculous "us vs. them" mentality that serves no purpose but to create arguments.

I think it's the context in which it's used. For example comparing France to Italy just because they share a group of wonderfully prestigious mountains or Libya to Egypt just because they are both Mediterranean countries and the Med is beautiful or Canada and the US just because they share the majestic Niagra Falls. Yes these are positive descriptions calling into account a wonderful aspect of feature but you can hardly call the two countries similar. Compare any of these countries to the other, no matter the good message, and you will have a fight on your hands.

Comparing one beautiful country to another = having a fight on your hands? That's just ... yikes.

Had to get rid of the other quotes. I was beginning to lose beginning and endings. I will also have to move your two quotes putting the first, last, because really that's the context that I'm not putting forwards clearly enough it seems.

Comparing one beautiful country to another = having a fight on your hands? That's just ... yikes.
Certis wrote:

No, it really doesn't. If you didn't like C&C 3, that's fine, but you can't ignore the context and intention of our conversation and call it a "low blow" because it doesn't jive with your personal opinions. That kind of approach doesn't make for very good conversation, it's a ridiculous "us vs. them" mentality that serves no purpose but to create arguments.

In todays world, regardless of the context of the comparison, I believe that comparing the UK to the USA to a Brit will most likely start an argument. If you want to better understand this ask our British member. Wordsmythe right? It really doesn't matter if you say both countries are great. Just the fact that you compared the UK with USA will cause tension. Probably the same with France and the US. It's not the good things you said that matter, it's all the bad things that are compared as additional baggage to the comment. "Hey Bob you are a great speaker like Hitler." That's an even more blunt and ridiculous statement that illustrates my point. Is there falseness in that statement? Hitler was in fact one of the most charismatic speakers of the 20th century. Being compared to him in a charismatic speaking sense is actually a huge compliment. Would you want to be compared to Hitler in any way at all? No. The same can be applied to initial reactions of comparing games to those that have strong feelings for one game or another. Perhaps not as strongly as my Hitler example but I am hoping you are getting what I mean here. Until you explain yourself more in detail in conversation the initial reaction is still a negative one even though your statement is a positive one.

I've explained myself, and you just invoked Hitler in a discussion because I didn't explain why I like Starcraft 2 in a manner that you find acceptable. This is far beyond my capacity to wade through, I likely won't be having many debates with you in the future if this is how you normally approach things.

Well, i thought the podcast was great.

While comparing the look of C&C 3 to SC2 (because that's what you guys were doing... not the actual gameplay) i think is a pretty moot point. All next gen lasers, bump-mapped textures and other stuff looks pretty the same... we've come to an impasse in the ability of artists, it seems, to create truely unique sci-fi stuff. One glowy light is pretty much the same as any other...
Whereas it's much easier to create a uniquely looking fantasy game many are still generic. I always thought that this was the fault of the developers being lazy or something... but perhaps i was wrong in this assumption judging by this thought process.

f you want to better understand this ask our British member. Wordsmythe right?

Wait... wordsmythe is from the UK? I was unaware of this. If he is i might have to challenge him, highlander style, for the poisition....

]:)

[edit]

I forgot to point out that i was looking forward to the original Dark Sector game before the re-design as we don't have enough japanese anime dark, gritty sci-fi tech games.

Certis wrote:

I've explained myself, and you just invoked Hitler in a discussion because I didn't explain why I like Starcraft 2 in a manner that you find acceptable. This is far beyond my capacity to wade through, I likely won't be having many debates with you in the future if this is how you normally approach things.

Um.. I'm not trying to be insulting in any way. I used an over the top example to explain what I meant. It does not mean I feel on that level. Am I not being clear in my writing? Am I being too aggressive in my debate style? If so then I apologize.

Kilroy - I don't think the general consensus agrees with you about C&C3. You seem to have taken a lot of offense to SC2 even being mentioned in the same sentence as C&C3, which comes across as particularly fanboi-ish, especially given that one of the games was just announced, with an unknown release date and murky details.

I also don't think comparing two countries will necessarily start an argument. Of course it depends on context - the particulars of the subject as well as the people you're addressing. If you're talking to the nationalist/patriotic extreme, they'll likely take offense regardless of what you say, even if it's given as a compliment. That's a combative attitude though, and I don't think that matches the tenor of this site or the people here at all.
People can agree to praise A without taking a potshot at B, and can disagree over C while remaining civil. Insert butt patts, oogaba, and finger->butts as needed.

Yea I used an over the top example or group of examples to demonstrate what I was trying to say. And yes I came off Fanboi-ish on purpose, though I did warn you in that post.

My mistake, I'll attempt to you less extravagant and wild examples to defend my points in future debates. I'll just chalk it all up to being my mistake by misunderstanding the original context of the comment in the podcast. So yea my mistake. Mine. Uno de mistako

I didn't think there was a level of nerdiness above "guest on videogame podcast." Turns out, arguing about content in said podcast on an Internet forum is just a hair above. I'd like to congratulate everyone on trumping my nerdiness, and suggest we all take some time out for group hugs.

Come here, Ely, give me some sugar.

I need an adult.