GWJ Conference Call Episode 269

Conference Call

Saints Row The Third, Rocksmith, Skyrim, Just Dance, Expectation Station, Your Emails and more!

This week Julian, Lara, Elysium and Allen talk about how they manage their expectations before big games come out.

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

Audible
Tech Thing Daily
Game Thing Daily
Good Old Games

Rocksmith
Saints Row The Third
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
Skyrim Mod Thread

  • Subscribe with iTunes
  • Subscribe with RSS
  • Subscribe with Yahoo!
Download the official apps
  • Download the GWJ Conference Call app for Android
  • Download the GWJ Conference Call app for Android

Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Believe It or Not - Greatest American Hero - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gre... - 18:31

Main menu - Saints Row: The Third - http://www.saintsrow.com/ - 31:36

Comments

Certis wrote:

This week Julia, Lara, Elysium and Allen talk about how they manage their expectations before big games come out.

Who is this Julia? Is she hot?

Freudian slip. I REALLY wish Julian was a woman.

The steam shopping spree game list for Juv3nal! Pending his thumbs up in case he's already played any of them.

Torchlight 2
Galciv 2 bundle
Psychonauts
Orcs Must Die
Braid
Mount and Blade bundle
Machinarium
Dungeon Defenders+DLC

The Torchlight 2 reference had me giddy for a second, but then I remembered that's what he asked for. Damn. Was hoping I had missed the announced released date/preorder.

Wait a sec, where's Secret of the Magic Crystals? Oh, he already beat that and got all the achievements? Okay. That's fair.

Certis wrote:

The steam shopping spree game list for Juv3nal! Pending his thumbs up in case he's already played any of them.

Torchlight 2
Galciv 2 bundle
Psychonauts
Orcs Must Die
Braid
Mount and Blade bundle
Machinarium
Dungeon Defenders+DLC

Great List!

I demand GWJ podcast video dance off!

FedoraMcQuaid wrote:

I demand GWJ podcast video [pants off] dance off!

Yup.

Speedhuntr wrote:
FedoraMcQuaid wrote:

I demand GWJ podcast video [pants off] dance off!

Yup.

Where ever the alcohol takes them, is the right direction.

I'm sending my hate mail right NOW

Don't you all need to be asleep? Here's the un-spoilerific rundown:

00.01.38 games we're playing right now
00.01.49 Lara plays Just Dance III (without even mentioning DA2)
00.07.03 Pyroman plays Saints Row III (spoiler it's not a rom-com)
00.11.15 Elysium plays the hell out of Rocksmith, and then so does Julian
00.16.03 Pyroman plays Trine 2
00.19.00 topic
00.32.08 your emails

Chairman_Mao wrote:

Don't you all need to be asleep?

I'm off for the next two days!

Yay Pyroman likes Saints Row. You had me worried for a second!

Great conversation as always. One correction. Fallout 3 did level scale-- just differently than Oblivion. In fact, Skyrim's is supposed to be similar to FO3 -- though honestly, it doesn't seem as graceful to me.

I feel we missed out on the opportunity for some good hijinks by not buying Juv3nal at least one MLP game.

Believe it or not, I'm not hoooooooooome.

Really rabbit, you think this

IMAGE(http://pcmedia.gamespy.com/pc/image/champions2_1092457218.gif)

is better looking than this?

IMAGE(http://lparchive.org/Ultima-VII-The-Black-Gate/Update%2019/13-U7_16_06.png)

I'm glad you got him the Mount & Blade bundle instead of just Fire & Sword. Fire & Sword isn't as good as Warband and you can get the "fire" stuff with mods.

Nightmare wrote:

Really rabbit, you think this

IMAGE(http://pcmedia.gamespy.com/pc/image/champions2_1092457218.gif)

is better looking than this?

IMAGE(http://lparchive.org/Ultima-VII-The-Black-Gate/Update%2019/13-U7_16_06.png)

No of course not, I'm mis-remembering which was which in my head obviously. In my head I was thinking of the Dreamforge engine stuff for SSI (Ravenloft, etc) which was contemporaneous with Ultima VII, not precursor. And not even third person. So I'm an idiot.

Yeah.. Julian's Ultima talk threw me a bit also. No harm done, though. One of the things I loved about the Ultima games was that the option was always there to essentially turn it into the Sims: Britannia. When Ultima 8, and (shudder) 9 came out, the biggest outcry from the fan base was over the removal of depth from the world in service of better jumping puzzles and whatnot. When I first played U7, I was around 12 years old, and completely lost myself in the world in a way that only a few games since have matched. Going back to the GoG version, I still love the game, but I can't get into the non-essential systems the same way (baking, forging, etc.). I think this may just be a personality thing, as I've no patience for the Sims either.

I'm glad you got him the Mount & Blade bundle instead of just Fire & Sword. Fire & Sword isn't as good as Warband and you can get the "fire" stuff with mods.

Yeah, sounds like Certis made an executive decision on that one. I liked Fire & Sword which is why my pick was limited there, but Certis has lots more M&B experience than me, so I defer to his reccomendation.

... I just copied and pasted what Julian emailed me. Fair chance that this is a product of senility rather than a conscious, connoisseur choice.

Can't argue with the logic, though.

Hollowheel wrote:

Great conversation as always. One correction. Fallout 3 did level scale-- just differently than Oblivion.

Yes. I was bugged by the question and the fact that Elysium's correct response to it was overruled!

I have not played Skyrim, but my perception of FO3's level scaling is that 1) not all enemies seem to scale noticeably and 2) other character progression choices (skill selection, weapons, etc) made enemies easier over time, even if they were still "powering up" to some extent.

Basically, the enemies got better along with you, but you got *more better* than they did.

The fact that people didn't even notice this may be a testament to the fact that it was done well. The idea is to let upgrade choices feel meaningful, but at the same time keep monsters from falling behind too much and becoming trivial.

Jonathan chose the strangest combination of break music ever.

gore wrote:
Hollowheel wrote:

Great conversation as always. One correction. Fallout 3 did level scale-- just differently than Oblivion.

Yes. I was bugged by the question and the fact that Elysium's correct response to it was overruled!

I have not played Skyrim, but my perception of FO3's level scaling is that 1) not all enemies seem to scale noticeably and 2) other character progression choices (skill selection, weapons, etc) made enemies easier over time, even if they were still "powering up" to some extent.

Basically, the enemies got better along with you, but you got *more better* than they did.

The fact that people didn't even notice this may be a testament to the fact that it was done well. The idea is to let upgrade choices feel meaningful, but at the same time keep monsters from falling behind too much and becoming trivial.

My understanding of FO3's level scaling was that when you visited an area, it clamped the enemies in that area to a certain range around your character level, so that newly explored areas would have high difficulty level-scaled enemies, but if you go back to an old area, you can mop the floor with the baddies there. There were a few exceptions, such as a death claw hub in the north.

Oblivion's problem with level scaling was compounded by its level up system, whereby you can level-up accidentally by walking around and smelling the roses. As you were training in speech, salesmanship and equipment maintenance, the rest of the world was lifting weights and taking taekwondo.

garion333 wrote:

Jonathan chose the strangest combination of break music ever. ;)

Believe it or not!

RoutineMachine wrote:

My understanding of FO3's level scaling was that when you visited an area, it clamped the enemies in that area to a certain range around your character level, so that newly explored areas would have high difficulty level-scaled enemies, but if you go back to an old area, you can mop the floor with the baddies there. There were a few exceptions, such as a death claw hub in the north.

Oblivion's problem with level scaling was compounded by its level up system, whereby you can level-up accidentally by walking around and smelling the roses. As you were training in speech, salesmanship and equipment maintenance, the rest of the world was lifting weights and taking taekwondo.

To further elaborate on the Fallout 3 level scaling, areas were given a range. Encounters would not go below or above certain levels, and the level of the area was set according to when you wandered into it. That range could still be way higher than your character's if you wandered off the beaten path, especially in the early game. I think it's a great compromise that still lets you create safe and dangerous areas of the world, while tailoring the difficulty *and* letting you feel you character's growth when you return to a previously explored area.

Oblivion's level scaling was just broken. If you cheesed the game and used the skills that didn't count towards leveling, it became piss-easy. If you had non-combat oriented major skills, and used *those*, the game crushed you. If you did neither, you were on a treadmill. If memory serves, the enemies' gear leveled as well, which created absurd situations where bandits wandered about in absurdly expensive glass and daedric armor, making a complete mockery of the economy.

garion333 wrote:

Jonathan chose the strangest combination of break music ever. ;)

That was the best break music, since a) I wasn't expecting the first one and b) I had a blast with the game for the second one.

trueheart78 wrote:
garion333 wrote:

Jonathan chose the strangest combination of break music ever. ;)

That was the best break music, since a) I wasn't expecting the first one and b) I had a blast with the game for the second one.

:D

Okay, everyone who sang along to "Believe It or Not" raise their hand. Mine's already in the air.

Thanks for the response to my question.

Definitely agree that there is nothing wrong with the best games of the year being sequels but it is nice seeing something different on the gaming landscape. And speaking of Bastion, I just saw it go on sale for $5 on Steam. With that and the GWJ "Original Game of The Year" designation , it becomes a slam dunk purchase.

And another fortuitous happening is the out-of-nowhere release of Chrono Trigger on iOS, which is another game Lara mentioned on the show.

I hate level matching in general. What's the point of an experience based game if the game is just going to hold the carrot dangling at the end of a stick that stays the same length forever?

The thing I liked about Fallout 3, and it's implementation of what I consider to be a bad idea, was that I could make myself strong enough to one-shot Supermutants with my rail gun if I was willing to put the time and the perks into it.

With this talk of Level matching in Skyrim, I'm worried that I'll never actually be able to complete the "Silenced Tongues" quest, since I started the quest at level 7 and realized it was waaaaay beyond my powers, so I grinded a bit and now I'm at level 14 and it doesn't seem to have made a damn bit of difference, even with the new spells I'm wielding. Does level matching mean that the fact that I went to that quest so early in the game renders it un-completable because the differential between my ability and the enemies in that quest will never change?

I'm working my way through the mage college quests right now, and I'm getting my arse handed to me... by cocroaches. I'm level 14, one arm is a flamethrower, and I have to backpedal and use dragon words on a cockroach, and hope to Talos there's only one of them! If that's level matching, you can keep it.

Nevin73 wrote:
trueheart78 wrote:
garion333 wrote:

Jonathan chose the strangest combination of break music ever. ;)

That was the best break music, since a) I wasn't expecting the first one and b) I had a blast with the game for the second one.

:D

Okay, everyone who sang along to "Believe It or Not" raise their hand. Mine's already in the air.

Danced on the El.