GWJ Conference Call Episode 218

Conference Call

WoW: Cataclysm (First 19 minutes), Infinity Blade, Steam Treasure Hunt, Future of MMOGs, Games of 2011, Gaming Charities, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Julian, Cory and special guest Wes Wilson talk about Cataclysm, MMOGs and a whole lot more.

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. You can also submit a question or comment call in to our voicemail line at (612) 284-4563!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Trailer - Infinity Blade - http://www.epicgames.com/infinityblade/ - 30:56

Main Theme - World of Warcraft: Catacysm - http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/catac... - 57:11

Comments

Anyone else having difficulty downloading this episode from the website or playing the streaming feed?

Corey, I'm with you on Angry Birds being hard. I bought it and Cut the Rope yesterday after hearing good things about them on the show, and Angry Birds is giving me a hell of a time. Even the early levels have taken me multiple attempts to clear, and I've given up entirely on getting three gold stars for anything.

I am laughing out loud after reading this article:

"The January-launching PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 will include an interactive comic called Mass Effect Genesis. It doesn't just summarize the original Xbox 360 and PC-only Mass Effect from 2007, it simulates the experience of playing it."

Re: Infinity Blade on 360:

http://www.mcvuk.com/news/42246/Infi...

Was conceived as a Kinect title, and may become one in the future.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
AndrewA wrote:

So why do MMOs even bother trying to make you feel like you're super-important when, just by looking around and noticing the other six dozen "heroes", the illusion will be quickly dispelled?

An MMO, at least in my opinion, ought to try to make a player feel like a coherent part of the world, not the god of that world.

I think it's what players want. Not many gamers want to be 'just a dude.' And I think the developers want to encourage players to move forward into end game, making them the hero would help that.

That's valid, but when we started to understand the challenge of telling an engaging story with a world full of main characters, I was really hoping to see innovation into new ways of telling stories--not a retreat back into the old, single-player ways of telling stories. It feels like we invented the wheel, only to then decide that we'd rather walk.

And thanks for the mention of Chicago Loot Drop. The event was last night--and it was fantastic--but we're still taking donations if anyone's interested.

I'm surprised that Demon's Souls was mentioned, but nobody put Project Dark on their list for next year. Given how fantastic Demon's Souls was, if Project Dark is anything like it then it'll be a great game.

ahrezmendi wrote:

I'm surprised that Demon's Souls was mentioned, but nobody put Project Dark on their list for next year. Given how fantastic Demon's Souls was, if Project Dark is anything like it then it'll be a great game.

I literally hadn't heard a word about Project Dark until now. Thanks for the heads-up.

I'm surprised the word "episodic" never came up in response to the email asking for shorter, less-expensive versions of big games. Or has it joined "visceral" and "compelling" on the list of words that have worn out their welcome on the podcast?

ahrezmendi wrote:

I'm surprised that Demon's Souls was mentioned, but nobody put Project Dark on their list for next year. Given how fantastic Demon's Souls was, if Project Dark is anything like it then it'll be a great game.

I hadn't seen anything on it besides that one vague trailer. Has it been confirmed as a 2011 release?

misplacedbravado wrote:

I'm surprised the word "episodic" never came up in response to the email asking for shorter, less-expensive versions of big games. Or has it joined "visceral" and "compelling" on the list of words that have worn out their welcome on the podcast?

The problem with episodic games is when they have to compare with big impressive 'AAA' titles. To make something smaller up to the same standard you're probably talking a high proportion of the cost anyway, so it doesn't make sense to split it up into chunks and sell it in pieces.

The Half-life2 episodes probably made sense at the time because they were building from the end product of HL2, but they ran into a snag when they needed to make a great deal of new content at a good quality level (which is my guess for episode 3, it's in a new arctic environment which means they can't reuse the old temperate assets, so it needs to be made). For Valve this just wasn't a quick process

For a company like telltale, who I think is the only one to get the formula right, they're not making their games as extravagant as a big title, they reuse their frameworks, and they sell 'seasons' of episodes and not individual episodes any more.

I just wanted to add I think Rabbit is spot on with his assessment of Planetside's population problems. It certainly isn't something that is unique to Planetside. In WoW, the GWJ guilds struggled because Blackhand was overcrowded early on. Everybody wanted the benefit of lower cost goods on the overstocked auction house, but everyone also hated the queues.

I think its just worse in a PvP focused mmo because the sweet spot of popular but not too popular servers is much narrower. Plus, you can still accomplish a lot of fun things on an empty PvE mmo whereas you can't do anything on an empty PvP mmo.

I really hope Planetside Next adopts the Guild Wars "subscription" model. I really can't see it being more profitable than the first one, no matter how much they improve the mechanics, if they retain the monthly subscription fee.

"Sean Sands… go!" Nice Larry King moment there.

Cheaper subscription fees would get me to play more MMOs. I tend to think that the characters we play in MMOs are soldiers in an army.

Corey is part of the "Games are Too Damn Hard" Party. I am with him on that.

The X-com games on Steam was my one "hoarding" purchase. Playtime: 5 minutes.

"Experience the shaft." It's ok to chuckle.

RE Planetside and FPS MMO genre.
It was mentioned that one problem with a FPS MMO is that as an FPS it is perpetually skill based (twitch type skill). That has been true of all FPS games, however they have also found ways to keep those skill-less monkeys, ( such as I), playing and being able to contribute via the classes.

To the best of my knowledge this started with Tribes and the engineer class. You don't have to have great twitch-to-the-head-pull-the-trigger skill to determine a few prime spots for turrets, and playing a more supportive role.

Yes, if you have great FPS shooting skills it will help and you will be better. But having classes allows people to play in a fashion which they are capable at and contribute to the team/game.

I tried planetside several times - and gave up quickly each time as it seemed so cumbersome to simply get onto a battlefield and play.

I will certainly try this new one out... and I have high hopes for it. But after games like Global Agenda where you have to do the typical PVE MMO quests just to get to PVP... I'm holding my enthusiasm in reserve.

Perhaps that is why the MMO FPS models have failed. Perhaps the FPS player isn't looking for the 'shoot 12 mobs' experience (shock :/ ). Just look at the FPS game and see how a huge part of the nostalgia and success is based around multi-player PvP... not campaign moments. most FPS players I know talk about what happened in multi-player and only a little bit about the campaign mode. You'll get the "that was really interesting how you jump and grabbed with the ice picks and felt like you almost fell to your death" statements from things like COD. But then you get 100x that amount of talk over knifing people, grenades that bounce wrong, etc.

Yes things such as BioShock can be called an FPS, however I feel when we say FPS we are not talking about the 'mechanic' of the game in this instance. We are talking about the Quake/Unreal/tribes/BF Series play style.

So an FPS MMO - should look to take that play style...and expand it into a large world to play on... not take Quake and try to turn it into a game where you kill 12 spiders to get silk to weave a pair of useless silken gloves in town that you can then chat about endless at the virtual pub.
Don't try and mix the two types of players. Stick to making an FPS that is an FPS. Get back to big ass world maps, floating bases, etc.
Of course also I say bring back Skiing, Jump Pads and the Goo Gun.

For everyone that uses Steam and has an obsessive compulsive nature in purchasing, I share with you a site that can help you estimate how much you have spend on Steam and what the game value is. Make sure you have your hyperlink to your community page set up so it can find your account and value it. It is a bit crazy. I think mine is valued at $1729.56 and only registers 126 of my 166 games listed on my community page. It also says I got them for $1,006.29 on sale saving me a good amount. It also provides cost per game averages and how much you spend per month on average.

http://www.ddgamer.com/worth.php

Enjoy and be amazed if you are a steam power-shopper.

MeatMan wrote:
Certis wrote:

WoW: Cataclysm (First 19 minutes)

Thanks for the heads up.

*skips to 19:00*

Yep. Sooo glad that note was there.

Thin_J wrote:
MeatMan wrote:
Certis wrote:

WoW: Cataclysm (First 19 minutes)

Thanks for the heads up.

*skips to 19:00*

Yep. Sooo glad that note was there.

I kept trying to listen to that episode. I was home alone, recovering from surgery. I had my iPad, and decided to use the GWJ app to listen. Let's just say on painkillers, I never made it pass the 19 minutes. I never knew to FF.

But now I have two podcasts to listen to this week!