GWJ Conference Call Episode 46

Conference Call

Live From Gen Con!, Crysis, Warhammer Online, An Age of Conan Interview, The Witcher, Starcraft 2 and more!

In what may be one of our best shows yet, we record live from Gen Con! We bring you hands-on reports from some sexy upcoming games and delve into some of what makes Gen Con so cool. We also have an interview with Funcom's Jason Stone, a game designer working on the upcoming Age of Conan MMORPG. Large scale PVP, building towns, bedding wenches (or not) and more. Enjoy!

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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.

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"PodunkStump" Ian Dorsch - 0:22:00
"Los Pistoleros" Ian Dorsch - 0:51:26

Comments

Good podcast this week guys.

GenCon: I demand pictures. Sounds like you guys had a great time. You guys had me laughing out loud during this part. "Almost all PC" that makes me jealous being the hardcore PC fanboi I am. Sean "WoW Suicide" Sands... I can't wait to read his article on that. The very thought of it scares me.

FarCrysis: Meh, with Bioshock and Half-Life 2: Episode 2 coming out, I'm good with FPS games for a while.

Starcraft 2: One thing that is dramatically different is how missions are. Instead of "The Terran Campain is 10 missions long that you do one after the other" after you do a mission, you can branch out and do side missions or continue the main story and go around your ship and upgrade your technology and things like that. THAT is awesome.

Age of Conan: I havn't been following this game much. Too many MMOs out to keep track of. The only ones I have on my radar are WoW and Warhammer Online. Sounds like it could prove interesting. Sounds a LOT like Shadowbane. *shudder* With the amount he talks about, it seems like that there is a LOT more they need to do to make their date early next year. Would definently have to play on a PvP server for this one. I don't like "lock out times" and the ability to say "Hey, I don't want my city to be able to be attacked until this time." Level 80 cap... wow. (Looking at some screenshots now... WOW THIS GAME LOOKS GOOD GRAPHICALLY!)

Warhammer Online: I'm really looking forward to this, though I have one question... how did the graphics look? Because looking at a lot of the screenshots online... they look... very meh.

The Witcher: Sounds good. I may have to get this. Is it PC or Console? Or Both? Oooh just checked. PC release. Sign me up.

D&D: Hahah that sounds like a blast. With DragonCon in a week and a half, I'm looking forward to trying some of that myself.

All around I really enjoyed this show.

GenCon: I demand pictures.

I pre-fulfilled your desire!

Warhammer Online: I'm really looking forward to this, though I have one question... how did the graphics look? Because looking at a lot of the screenshots online... they look... very meh.

Good art direction, the engine is definitely a lowest common denominator deal, though. It's on par with WoW, at the very least.

Re: AoC

I agree, it's a lot of excitement but we didn't actually SEE any of the exciting stuff. What we saw was very pretty artwork, an interesting combat interface and, umm, I guess that was it. Boobies. We saw some boobies. I was wary of the lockout thing, but it's not quite as bad as you think. THey're not saying "you can't attack my city until next month" they're saying "you can start attacking my city tomorrow at 8PM instead of tomorrow at 1AM." Given the experiences in DAOC, I think that's just fine.

Am I imaging it, or did Jason Stone say "instanciated" a couple of times? I had to stop and figure out what he meant. I'm being nit picky, but it really throws off this listener and I lose the next part of the conversation. I get hung up on one word. On to the game.

The PvP siege in AoC sounds somewhat similar to Dark Age of Camelot's Realm v. Realm without the forced separate sides, with a splash of Shadowbane mixed in. The player run cities/villages definitely sound like Shadowbane or maybe some SWG.

Someday I will get back to Gen Con, and it will be a very good day. Still bitter about the move from Milwaukee. I WALKED to Gen Con on year from my aparment it was so close.

Zaphod,

Indy is nice. I loved MECCA too, but Indy really works better.

Here's the commie shirt I was wearing.

That shirt was awesome.

Um, how can this be one of the best shows? I wasn't there!

Thanks for the great AoC questions! Clarified a bunch of questions i had. The base lockout times are similar to pre-nge SWG bases. It's not that bad. In fact it adds more intrigue to the overall game. Some people will go through great lengths to find out when a base is vulnerable.

Again thanks for the awesome show!

I, too, am bitter about the Milwaukee defection.

Fun show, guys. Wanderer, did we agree on going to GenCon next year? I'm fairly certain it will be cheaper than flying to PAX and back.

Elysium wrote:

Um, how can this be one of the best shows? I wasn't there!

I love it when you answer your own questions, very efficient.

Gaald, my feelings are hurt. You mentioned the guy that was excited about downing a tree in Crysis and looking at the 30" Dell monitors in the AoC booth. But each time you said you were with Pyro instead of me. McChuck doesn't feel loved. But it's okay. We're both so very pretty so the confusion is understandable.

Going along with the end of the show, my favorite part of the show was being as geeky as I wanted to be. While playing one of the many zombie games, Last Night On Earth, I rolled a 6 and Julie played a card making me re-roll on a 6. I rolled another 6, and she played another card. I rolled yet another six but she was out. I commented, "That was a good weapons development roll," and people got it!

Sidestory: When Gaald made me re-roll one of my sixes, I promised to give him not one, but both, middle fingers if I rolled another six. The birds did soar and the crowd did cheer.

Tannhauser: The pitch at the booth, as echoed by Demi, was that it's a FPS boardgame. I would say Certis was more correct with the Silent Storm comparison. It's definitely a shooter, but not first person since you can see the entire board at once. Even though you control a single character, unlike a FPS, you are not working together as a team to pass on information about your limited point of view because everyone has the same POV. So, unless you're a total dick, you're conferring with your teammates and planning what to do with "your" character. As far as deathmatch goes, which is what we played, one on one may be the best setup. The only benefit to teammates is that they're mainly focused on the possibilities for that one character, so they are able to offer a quicker answer when it comes time to use that piece.

Certis wrote:
Elysium wrote:

Um, how can this be one of the best shows? I wasn't there!

I love it when you answer your own questions, very efficient. :hump:

Dam you, beat me to it!

Gaald, my feelings are hurt. You mentioned the guy that was excited about downing a tree in Crysis and looking at the 30" Dell monitors in the AoC booth. But each time you said you were with Pyro instead of me. McChuck doesn't feel loved. But it's okay. We're both so very pretty so the confusion is understandable.

Crap, sorry McChuck you are absolutely right! Shame on you Pryo for not speaking up!

Sidestory: When Gaald made me re-roll one of my sixes, I promised to give him not one, but both, middle fingers if I rolled another six. The birds did soar and the crowd did cheer.

You can have your small victories! Just remember the zombies did reign supreme that night! All hail the Zombie horde!

This whole weekend was crazy, it was by the far the best time I had at any of the conventions I have done so far.

Crap, sorry McChuck you are absolutely right! Shame on you Pryo for not speaking up!

Yeah I kept thinking "I don't remember that" but I just sort of went along with it.

Mordiceius wrote:

Good podcast this week guys.

GenCon: I demand pictures. Sounds like you guys had a great time. You guys had me laughing out loud during this part. "Almost all PC" that makes me jealous being the hardcore PC fanboi I am. Sean "WoW Suicide" Sands... I can't wait to read his article on that. The very thought of it scares me.

FarCrysis: Meh, with Bioshock and Half-Life 2: Episode 2 coming out, I'm good with FPS games for a while.

Starcraft 2: One thing that is dramatically different is how missions are. Instead of "The Terran Campain is 10 missions long that you do one after the other" after you do a mission, you can branch out and do side missions or continue the main story and go around your ship and upgrade your technology and things like that. THAT is awesome.

Age of Conan: I havn't been following this game much. Too many MMOs out to keep track of. The only ones I have on my radar are WoW and Warhammer Online. Sounds like it could prove interesting. Sounds a LOT like Shadowbane. *shudder* With the amount he talks about, it seems like that there is a LOT more they need to do to make their date early next year. Would definently have to play on a PvP server for this one. I don't like "lock out times" and the ability to say "Hey, I don't want my city to be able to be attacked until this time." Level 80 cap... wow. (Looking at some screenshots now... WOW THIS GAME LOOKS GOOD GRAPHICALLY!)

Warhammer Online: I'm really looking forward to this, though I have one question... how did the graphics look? Because looking at a lot of the screenshots online... they look... very meh.

The Witcher: Sounds good. I may have to get this. Is it PC or Console? Or Both? Oooh just checked. PC release. Sign me up.

D&D: Hahah that sounds like a blast. With DragonCon in a week and a half, I'm looking forward to trying some of that myself.

All around I really enjoyed this show.

Hey this is Jason Stone aka Athelan the guy in the Conan interview. (Thanks for coming guys I really enjoyed the show and our time we got to talk)

I just want to clarify the reasons why I was talking about instancing. I personally feel that you want as little of it as possible when it comes to PvP so that PvP feels more a part of the world, which is why I was pointing out that our massive PvP area is intentionally not instantiated while the PvE player village areas are in order to guarantee space. I am sorry if it was confusing. Also lockout times is just to make it so it is not an option to pick a time window between X and Y hours, like midnight to 8am or something. When you capture an objective you have the option of adjusting the window of vulnerability but this is limited by the cycle time of the resource so no postponing the fighting by monkeying with times. If we want to talk examples of what I mean, you could use AO Towers or Shadowbane Mines as a reference. And yes I use Shadowbane a lot in these types of examples because this is one of the few areas where the game actually was pretty well done, it just was hampered by engine, control, gameplay, and latency issues preventing the enjoyment of something that could have been really kick ass. While I don't think Certis is getting to go, there should be some more detailed info on this particular topic coming out of the Game Convention in Leipzig.

P.S. I am jealous of the fact you guys actually had time to play some board games.

Athelan wrote:

I personally feel that you want as little of it as possible when it comes to PvP so that PvP feels more a part of the world, which is why I was pointing out that our massive PvP area is intentionally not instantiated while the PvE player village areas are in order to guarantee space.

I think I love you for this.

Any game that starts moving away from instances is good in my book. I want to feel part of the world, and you can't do that in a random 'instance'.

Athelan (Jason):

Next year, join us!

Thanks for all your time and for dropping in. Don't be a stranger!

Good show! You guys sound like you're having so much fun.

Anyone ever tell you, Jason, that you vaguely sound like Tom Cruise?

Rat Boy wrote:

Anyone ever tell you, Jason, that you vaguely sound like Tom Cruise?

He looks JUST like Tom Cruise too! Imagine!

Wait, maybe he IS Tom Cruise!

Dare I say though that the AoC keep fighting is running the risk of being bogged down by rules. So much so that it may as well be instanced. The same people that bitch about instancing are the people that are going to bitch about a lengthy and more than likely confusing ruleset.

The other option is that people just wont play that aspect of the game. Its already a pain in the ass to gather dozens of people let alone gathering them while keeping track of an elusive time window and memorizing a ruleset.

Or perhaps it will boil down to people capturing the resource camp over and over again causing a varying amount of frustration. What good is owning a keep if its effectiveness is hampered by 24/7 raping of its support buildings? Likewise, if it doesnt hamper the keep at all then the risk runs that the keep is nigh impregnable and GvG becomes futile.

Fang:

These are all the things we all know suck about large scale PvP. I'm willing (always) to suspend my doubts until the proof is in the pudding and time will tell and we wait and see. Or something.

rabbit wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

Anyone ever tell you, Jason, that you vaguely sound like Tom Cruise?

He looks JUST like Tom Cruise too! Imagine!

Wait, maybe he IS Tom Cruise!

See, here I was worried that what I posted might seem creepy, but you take it to a whole new level of creepiness. If there's ever a game developer conference in the SF Bay Area, I'd move heaven and earth to hang with a guy who out does my level of nuttiness.

Of course we will wait and see. Its not like I would turn down a beta invite an I am very looking forward to things like mounted combat and *gasp* bar brawling. As with most things written on the internet, I probably came across too harshly.

Im just a little leary that, while well versed in the problems the devs may be, using rules upon rules may bog development down.

Athelan wrote:

Hey this is Jason Stone aka Athelan the guy in the Conan interview. (Thanks for coming guys I really enjoyed the show and our time we got to talk)

I just want to clarify the reasons why I was talking about instancing. I personally feel that you want as little of it as possible when it comes to PvP so that PvP feels more a part of the world, which is why I was pointing out that our massive PvP area is intentionally not instantiated while the PvE player village areas are in order to guarantee space. I am sorry if it was confusing. Also lockout times is just to make it so it is not an option to pick a time window between X and Y hours, like midnight to 8am or something. When you capture an objective you have the option of adjusting the window of vulnerability but this is limited by the cycle time of the resource so no postponing the fighting by monkeying with times. If we want to talk examples of what I mean, you could use AO Towers or Shadowbane Mines as a reference. And yes I use Shadowbane a lot in these types of examples because this is one of the few areas where the game actually was pretty well done, it just was hampered by engine, control, gameplay, and latency issues preventing the enjoyment of something that could have been really kick ass. While I don't think Certis is getting to go, there should be some more detailed info on this particular topic coming out of the Game Convention in Leipzig.

P.S. I am jealous of the fact you guys actually had time to play some board games.

at the risk of being labeled a suck-up-fanboy that post is just too cool.

See, here I was worried that what I posted might seem creepy, but you take it to a whole new level of creepiness. If there's ever a game developer conference in the SF Bay Area, I'd move heaven and earth to hang with a guy who out does my level of nuttiness.

You just want the free Martinis.

Man, between this podcast and my friend Andy K's description of his GenCon experience, I really want to go next year. When I was a kid, really into D&D with no one to really play with, I had a longing for GenCon. Eventually it died down but now it's returned, mainly because I know there will be people I know there to hang out with.

Man, between this podcast and my friend Andy K's description of his GenCon experience, I really want to go next year. When I was a kid, really into D&D with no one to really play with, I had a longing for GenCon. Eventually it died down but now it's returned, mainly because I know there will be people I know there to hang out with.

Likewise, except I want to go for the boardgaming. A buddy of mine just recently picked up all of the A Game of Thrones titles, and we have been dorking out hard to it. I've never seen board games of that kind of quality before. I think 3 days of it straight would be something like attaining Nirvana.

I've been thinking of picking up the AGoT boardgame for a while now.