GWJ Conference Call Episode 77

Conference Call

Rainbow Six Vegas 2, The Graveyard, Taking Games For Serious Reals, A New Audio Sponsor, Your Emails and more!

This week we dig deep into what happens when we dig deep into our gaming and our groups. Elysium expresses his love for living under Shawn's iron rule, DoomMunky sponsors Games You Can Play Now and Rob ... says stuff. I think. So does Julian.

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 - 0:22:30
"Los Pistoleros" Ian Dorsch - 0:53:11

Comments

Dude, Kinder Surprise is damn awesome, fo' sho'. I didn't know the US didnt' have them, it's a shame.

Mex wrote:
Dude, Kinder Surprise is damn awesome, fo' sho'. I didn't know the US didnt' have them, it's a shame.

In all likely hood they do and both Sean and Julian just never noticed them. They are awesome though. I got two the next day as well.

I dropped out of a UT clan I co-founded because it stopped being fun and it turned into a bootcamp for 13-year-olds who have nothing better to do than practice walljumping and shortest paths to the flag. Coincidentally when I stopped having fun with the game and started playing to win, my skill dropped dramatically. I could no longer fly like a butterfly, for my mind was too fixed on an end goal, and thus I couldn't sting like a bee, either.

Great show

In WoW I was a member of a fantastic guild. It had it's personality conflicts and leadership dramas but, for the most part, the fun and comradery easily out weighed the aggro. We always called ourselves a 'casual raiding guild' and whenever someone got too serious or the rules got to draconian we'd remind ourselves of our casual remit. Despite that, we soon found ourselves up all kitted out with resistance sets, raiding three times a week and fighting our way through Ahn'Qiraj. Every so often someone would say, "I'm glad we're only a casual raiding guild," and we'd all laugh.

I don't think Larry is anything to be ashamed of, at least not if we're talking about the subject matter. They're not really misogynist (at least not Al Lowe's games. Magna Cum Laude on the other hand...), they spoof Larry's behaviour and make fun of him every step of the way. Shockingly often he's even out to find true love, not just have shallow, meaningless sex.

Of course, the early ones are replete with horrible puzzle design, but that sort of thing infested most Sierra adventures, so it's entirely warranted to be ashamed of enjoying them on that account, but then the same should go for 99% of non-LucasArts adventures of that era.

Great show guys.

About Massive effect, two words: Adaptable difficulty!

They don't need to have a completely linear path if they use adaptable difficulty to make whatever starting points you are able to make it to easy enough for you to pass. Of course, then you have a scaled experience throughout the game and if properly done, allows the player the optimal playing difficulty for their ability and style.

Maybe the game already has this feature... but i haven't seen it written anywhere.

I've not played Mass Effect so maybe I'm missing something here...if the party makeup is bad, couldn't you just go back on the ship and switch around party members then give the mission another try? Coz if you can't that sounds very frustrating!

Regarding MMO's where the social aspect is part of the game, you guys missed out A Tale in the Desert (unsurprisingly, very few people play it). That game plays havoc with all sorts of social aspects, I mainly played it because I was fascinated by those aspects, which is good because the actual game was pretty tedious

The "Gamers With Real Jobs" segment, while totally awesome, hit a little too close to home.

I feel I would have more to contribute to the Gamers with Real Jobs site with the little gaming I do at the moment....if other people feel like this too, it may lead to a mass migration....I sense treachery is afoot On the plus side, in 9 weeks my degree is over then then I can go back to being a gamer with just a job! HOORAY!!

On the up side, gaming I feel is never meant to be taken seriously, once you start taking anything seriously it appears, it ceases to be fun. And in WOW i never really witnessed anyone ordering about except for a silly 12 year old wanting us to kill everything for him. Perhaps the european servers have a different kind of people than on the American servers, as in all honesty you tend to find more obessed people there. Gross generalisation but hey ho, I'm allowed to alienate myself.

Perhaps this debate extends beyond the gaming aspect and more into human beings in general.

Wait that sounds serious, run away!!!

Games I'm ashamed of playing: Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball.

Now that you're all done laughing. In regards to taking games seriously. I really enjoy adding metagames onto a game, a league for TF2, ISW for Mechwarrior. I enjoy having a goal, something to work towards in games. While that might be just completing the game for singleplayer games, multiplayer games generally don't have any finite ending. They usually boil down to doing the same thing over and over again. While that can be fun in its own right, be adding another layer on top you can provide cohesion to all your time spent in a game. I am a very competitive person by nature. I want to know that I'm progressing, getting better. Some of the games I've enjoyed the most? Planetside, helping my Company take control of an entire continent. Battletech Online (I can't remember the actual name, it was basically ISW, though it never got out of beta), and helping my house capture planets. Knowing that the time I've spent in game has meaning outside of logging out of that play session is a huge plus for me. Maybe thats a flaw of mine, maybe I should be able to play a game for 20-30 minutes, logout and not be bothered that the time I spent is now essentially meaningless. But I'm not like that.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy playing games that don't extend beyond the play sessions. I've had a blast in Sins with several members of the GWJ crew. But when I find a game I enjoy that can also provide that metagame experience, I'm quick to try it out. I try to take care to avoid the drama that can normally occur, but every now and then you get lucky and find a great group of people that just enjoy the game, and win or lose, they'll still enjoy it. Thats what I play for.

The TF2 tournament was supposed to go up against Octopus Overlords, but their teams kind-of never materialized, and we had SO many TF2 volunteers that we could make 4 teams. When OO dropped out, people didn't want to let all of the work go to waste, so we tried to make a round-robin tourney between the four teams, but it ended up falling through, and everyone pretty much just forgot about the teams.

Oh, and my secret gaming shame? Having played the Commodore 64 Strip Poker game since the inception of the internet.

Oh, and my secret gaming shame? Having played the Commodore 64 Strip Poker game since the inception of the internet.

Is it shameful if you played it, pre-internet? Hooray for red and yellow pixellated boobies!

nsmike wrote:

Oh, and my secret gaming shame? Having played the Commodore 64 Strip Poker game since the inception of the internet. :oops:

Was it called "Samantha Fox" ? Cause I had that one on my ZX Spectrum.

Higgledy wrote:
Great show

In WoW I was a member of a fantastic guild. It had it's personality conflicts and leadership dramas but, for the most part, the fun and comradery easily out weighed the aggro. We always called ourselves a 'casual raiding guild' and whenever someone got too serious or the rules got to draconian we'd remind ourselves of our casual remit. Despite that, we soon found ourselves up all kitted out with resistance sets, raiding three times a week and fighting our way through Ahn'Qiraj. Every so often someone would say, "I'm glad we're only a casual raiding guild," and we'd all laugh.

This is key for the majority of guilds to be successful.. You have to start out with people you want to play with. A lot of "powerguilds" in WoW fall apart due to drama, because each person is the ruler of their own little fiefdom (which consists of their character stats and inventory,) and they feel entitled to privilege and rewards. If you start without stress, and find players you enjoy, things work out.

But as was mentioned in the podcast, eventually the newcomers and players with less time, will fall victim to a "reverse snowball effect," where, as you fall behind, it becomes more and more prohibitive to play at all.

I've played in more than a few really high-end raiding guilds in WoW since the game started, and had a really good time and got a lot of rewards, but I've also seen all of those guilds fall apart eventually, due to ego, bad loot drops, and/or encroaching IRL concerns for key members (who've often put more time into the game and guild than was prudent.)

I learned in the end, that anyone who wants to be a guild leader probably shouldn't be, because they want to have all the power without delegating it out, but they also don't want the responsibility. Being an officer is fun, but being a leader is Serious Business.

The thing about Mass Effect's romance system is that it's a lot less obvious to tell how you're doing* and how often you should be talking with your potential partners. I had a similar experience as Elysium in my last play-through and even though I did score with Liara, I must have done something wrong. Supposedly if you try to woo both partners at equal levels, it makes them jealous of each other and they'll eventually corner you and ask you to pick (one of Shepard's possible responses is labeled "Cat fight!"). You can even suggest a three-way, which doesn't fly with them, but it's a funny option. Somehow, this didn't happen; Ashley never raised a ruckus.

* = Well, I'm partially wrong:

[color=white]There's a way to tell how you're doing with Ashley if you're a male. You can drop in on her in mid-conversation with her sister. Depending on how well you're doing with her, her sister will either say that you or Kaiden is kind of cute. It'd be interesting to see how this works with a female Shepard and if she can get pissed at Ash for trying to hook up with her man.[/color]

coyo7e wrote:
But as was mentioned in the podcast, eventually the newcomers and players with less time, will fall victim to a "reverse snowball effect," where, as you fall behind, it becomes more and more prohibitive to play at all.

Yep. That happened to me.

coyo7e wrote:
This is key for the majority of guilds to be successful. You have to start out with people you want to play with. A lot of "powerguilds" in WoW fall apart due to drama, because each person is the ruler of their own little fiefdom (which consists of their character stats and inventory,) and they feel entitled to privilege and rewards. If you start without stress, and find players you enjoy, things work out.

I think another key to survival is to have a strong philosophy identified with the guild from the start. That way you seem to end up with a lot of like minded people.

My retired parents are members of a local lawn green bowling club. On the surface it's all cups of tea, biscuits and wrinkly smiles but they have their fair share of political intrigue and back biting. Their recipe for survival is to not get involved in the fights.

I do love that blog...


Part of convenience of access, to me, includes full disclosure.

I called for transparency when Bioshock was released but unfortunately i'm a nobody - my emails went unanswered and my forum posts were initially met with minor derision and hostility. I just wish that more industry insiders were realists.

Seriously. Excellent post, Edwin!

Interesting discussion about the clan-mentality. I thought the clan thing was something everybody has done at some point in their life because it feels good to be in such a structure but then leaves it behind because it becomes to much of an effort.

I agree with (Shawn?) though, being a grunt is the best part of the game because it's easy. Boss figure tells you what to shoot at, you shoot it. It's the social interaction and the feeling that the you are doing something for a real purpose puts it a good seven notches above single player against the computer.

I agree with (Shawn?) though

That was Julian, aka rabbit. I'm the power mongering dictator one.

Thank you for reading my email. FYI it's the newer version of Pirates that I have or semi-have, not the original. Pirates was developed by Firaxis, and then published by Atari. After listening to your response I'm going to try writing to Firaxis about getting a replacement disc2. I figure my chances (however slim) will be better with them then with Atari.

In the mean time however, pirating Pirates has a nice ironic ring...

Games I'm ashamed of playing, but enjoyed? Princess Maker 2. So there. It's good.

Ok, its the second time I hear something about friends and Diplomacy, so I have to show the t-shirt from gamink

IMAGE(http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/4920/da36a7a4a3ac57885db3396iw7.th.jpg)

* Bug Alert - If I press Shift + I the [ i ] UBB code shows? (Also with shift + [b]B[/b) (Gentoo linux - Mozilla Firefox )

It happens with all the keys, inestead of CTRl it uses Shift..

Sweet.

If DrunkenSleipnir would get off his ASS we'd have a little online blind Diplomacy going...

I would be down.
Diplomacy fits my bitter jaded world view.

Elysium wrote:
Why am I going to GenCon?

The post-S&T late night just friends spooning, that's why. That and when you get sleepy rabbit will tuck you into bed and sing you Tura Lura until you fall asleep.

I heard there are no heterosexual pillows allowed at GenCon.

I heard there are no heterosexual pillows allowed at GenCon.

That's ok. I bring mine everywhere I go now.

Alien Love Gardener wrote:
I heard there are no heterosexual pillows allowed at GenCon.

The proper name is "Pillow of Heterosexuality / +4 versus Undead".

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Alien Love Gardener wrote:
I heard there are no heterosexual pillows allowed at GenCon.

The proper name is "Pillow of Heterosexuality / +4 versus Undead".

Doesn't that make it a "Pillow of Heterosexuality and Necrophobic protection"?