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.

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Tech Thing Daily
Game Thing Daily
Good Old Games

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

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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

Is there anyone on the CC crew that's gonna check out Pushmo on the 3DS eshop?

mrtomaytohead wrote:

Is there anyone on the CC crew that's gonna check out Pushmo on the 3DS eshop?

ClockworkHouse wrote:
mrtomaytohead wrote:

Is there anyone on the CC crew that's gonna check out Pushmo on the 3DS eshop?

:lol:

What? You laugh because you know they'd never look at it unless someone mentioned it to them directly? That's why I'm laughing. See, I'm laughing...

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

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?

When you enter a dungeon for the first time it will be permanently locked to a specific level based on your current character level. If you leave, level, and come back the enemies will still be the same level they were before. However, every dungeon has a predefined level range, so if you enter somewhere intended for a higher-level character it will be locked to the low end of that range, but it might still be too tough for you at your current level.

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.

By "cockroaches" I assume you're talking about Chaurus? No level matching there, they're just really tough enemies.

To clarify how the level matching works, when you're level 40 you're not going to be getting your butt kicked by level 40 Skeevers. Individual enemy types have their own predefined level range. What the level matching does mean is that you'll start running into tougher types of enemies. For example, once you level up a bit you'll one-shot any regular Draugr you encounter, but you'll start seeing a lot more Draugr Scourges, Wights, and Death Overlords.

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

I've already played the heck out of Braid on console, but otherwise thumbs up all around!

I've already played the heck out of Braid on console, but otherwise thumbs up all around!

See I told them Braid was a bad choice! Ok, for a different reason, sure, but still.

Congrats, juv3nal!

Nevin73 wrote:

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

Believe it or not, it's just you...

complexmath wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

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

Believe it or not, it's just you...

I sang the George Constanza answering machine song.

juv3nal wrote:
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

I've already played the heck out of Braid on console, but otherwise thumbs up all around!

Guess that means I'll have to pick something. Mwahaha!

Certis wrote:

Guess that means I'll have to pick something. Mwahaha!

I should mention (since they came up) I've also played Bastion on the xbox and World of Goo on my phone.

Certis wrote:
juv3nal wrote:
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

I've already played the heck out of Braid on console, but otherwise thumbs up all around!

Guess that means I'll have to pick something. Mwahaha!

I hope Juv3nal likes Men of War!

Speedhuntr wrote:
Certis wrote:
juv3nal wrote:

I've already played the heck out of Braid on console, but otherwise thumbs up all around!

Guess that means I'll have to pick something. Mwahaha!

I hope Juv3nal likes Men of War! ;)

I hope juv3nal likes ... nevermind, Dark Souls isn't on Steam.

Gravey wrote:
complexmath wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

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

Believe it or not, it's just you...

I sang the George Constanza answering machine song.

Same here. I never actually heard the original before.

I would have loved to hear you guys making fun of my steam list.

Plants Versus Zombies, Half Life (and all the expansion packs) and Windosill.

That's it.

If I'd won you probably would have ended up buying me the complete Popcap library, or a bunch of games my PC wouldn't be able to play (it can barely handle Minecraft with all video settings dialed down to minimum and only if I turn the sound off)

Congrats to Juv3nal.

muttonchop wrote:
doubtingthomas396 wrote:

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?

When you enter a dungeon for the first time it will be permanently locked to a specific level based on your current character level. If you leave, level, and come back the enemies will still be the same level they were before. However, every dungeon has a predefined level range, so if you enter somewhere intended for a higher-level character it will be locked to the low end of that range, but it might still be too tough for you at your current level.

So that means I'm basically playing the game wrong because I didn't enter all the caves before I started leveling.

Well, something to remember for my next playthrough.

muttonchop wrote:
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.

By "cockroaches" I assume you're talking about Chaurus? No level matching there, they're just really tough enemies.

To clarify how the level matching works, when you're level 40 you're not going to be getting your butt kicked by level 40 Skeevers. Individual enemy types have their own predefined level range. What the level matching does mean is that you'll start running into tougher types of enemies. For example, once you level up a bit you'll one-shot any regular Draugr you encounter, but you'll start seeing a lot more Draugr Scourges, Wights, and Death Overlords.

2 points:

1) There's no reason for a large spitting bug to cause this much trouble for someone who's killing dragons.

2) Adding a prefix to the same enemy and making him harder is the same as just leveling up the easy enemy as far as I'm concerned, particularly if you don't see the easy enemy anymore.

To me, an EXP based game should mean that once you get to a high enough level you should basically be able to one-shot everything. Kind of like the hobbits in the ending of the Lord of the Rings books. I've faced the fires of mount doom. A handful of bullies with sticks shouldn't concern me, the bullies shouldn't be larger and have harder sticks just because I stopped off to clear the barrow wights before I went to mount doom.

If I can't break the game, it's not a real RPG.

The Skyrim levelling works I think. Not all mobs level, there is variety in encounters. Some are stronger, some are weakers. By the time you hit higher levels you also have the advantage of all the perks you've chosen along the way, resulting in more than enough one-shotting whether your path be might, stealth or magic. Its not as if all I run into at Level 40 is just the top of the line versions of each monster tree, you see lower levels ones too. The levelling keeps it interesting, and personally I like that the scalability keeps encounters fresh so that a quest I chose not to do earlier is still interesting when I decide to weave it into my storyline.At lvl 40, my character is generally a walking killing machine, yet I end up finding good solid encounters too.

I see your point about dragon hunters having trouble with giant centipedes, but... its plausible enough to rationalize that an expert in one thing, might not have the tools or knowledge to deal with a different enounter. Even the lowliest scorpion, spider, bee or swarm of ants can take down a human in the right circumstances.. despite our ability to take down much bigger things. See, rationalization can easily bolster the sense of disbelief. No problem at all.

DoubtingThomas, with your strong views on levelled lists, I do have one piece of advice...Never play Dead Island. Its a great game I think, but the auto levelling of the mobs is so obvious, it would drive you crazy. It might even blind you with its brightness within each and every encounter, because you can see the enemies level above their heads.... levelling along with you. Actually, that would probably result in a fun post to read by you.

My problem with the Skyrim autoleveling is simple: After 40 hours of the game bears shouldn't still be harder to kill than dragons.

Is that auto levelling or is it that they set the difficulty too low for the dragon encounters. I would say it is the latter. My impression was that from the first dragon encounter, they could have been more epic in nature.

I stopped having trouble with bears ages ago, so maybe its your build or your strategy.
(I mean this in jest)

Skyrim is definitely an interesting gaming experience to reflect on. I mean, I've been hooked on it and devouring its content, but I keep having this feeling, right or wrong, where I kinda remember Oblivion leaving more ways to approach a particular goal within in a quest line. This engine is better, the world maybe more detailed/realized, but something that I enjoyed about Oblvion seems missing. I keep thinking that each individual quest is a bit more on a straight and narrow path. Oblivion had good little stories within its miscellaneous quests, and some of that seems missing. I think an example of this might be in the Brotherhood (assassin) quests. In Oblvion, there were kills that you had to do achieve in a certain way. I think there was even one where you had to sneak in and drop a mounted animal head off the wall onto a target, or something like that. Skyrim in its equivalent questline hints of this need for special kills in quest descriptions, but almost invariably it says something like "you can perform this kill by any means." which was an easy out.

I enjoy Skyrim, but as with other Bethesda games, I hope it succeeds in providing an upgraded tool and platform for folks to mod and extend. I'd be particularly curious to see if folks can take the Radiant Story telling component and build that out into new meaningful ways to affect the game world.

garion333 wrote:

My problem with the Skyrim autoleveling is simple: After 40 hours of the game bears shouldn't still be harder to kill than dragons.

Obviously they are dragon bears. Dragon Bears > Dragons.

Shamus Young had an insightful take on Oblivion's levelling that I pretty much agreed with.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

To me, an EXP based game should mean that once you get to a high enough level you should basically be able to one-shot everything. Kind of like the hobbits in the ending of the Lord of the Rings books. I've faced the fires of mount doom. A handful of bullies with sticks shouldn't concern me, the bullies shouldn't be larger and have harder sticks just because I stopped off to clear the barrow wights before I went to mount doom.

If I can't break the game, it's not a real RPG. :)

Good news! You can break this game. You can easily get your character to a point where you can one-shot most enemies, especially if you invest some time with smithing and enchanting.

muttonchop wrote:
doubtingthomas396 wrote:

To me, an EXP based game should mean that once you get to a high enough level you should basically be able to one-shot everything. Kind of like the hobbits in the ending of the Lord of the Rings books. I've faced the fires of mount doom. A handful of bullies with sticks shouldn't concern me, the bullies shouldn't be larger and have harder sticks just because I stopped off to clear the barrow wights before I went to mount doom.

If I can't break the game, it's not a real RPG. :)

Good news! You can break this game. You can easily get your character to a point where you can one-shot most enemies, especially if you invest some time with smithing and enchanting.

That's how I'm going to have to play it, I think. I just finished the Mages College quest, and

Spoiler:

crimeny, what a stupid system. I'm a battlemage focusing on blunt force trauma and fire spells. The boss of the Mages Guild quest can kill me with one hit, so close-combat is O-U-T. I ended up having to exploit a bug in the AI where he basically will just mill around in a room and take potshots at you if he happens to see you but will never give chase, using the slow-time dragon shout (which I got from killing the insanely hard sub-boss in the same dungeon who can disarm you by yelling at you and carries a weapon that drains your health to recharge his own) and popping out to shoot two arrows at him before slow time wears out, then hiding again until the shout recharged.

It took me an hour to beat him like that, because I hadn't been using my archery skills at all.

I have to tell you, though. Once I finished that, I was in no mood to humor the Thalmor mage who tried to mug me on my way out of the labyrinth. The only reason he didn't take a really, really long time to die was because I just finished killing something that took a really, really long time to die.

Bottom line, the game a) heavily favors sneaky archers (which is a boring way to play a game like this IMHO) and b) punishes you for doing anything, because the rest of the game gets harder every time you kill anything. It's kind of like a passive aggressive Demon Souls.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Bottom line, the game a) heavily favors sneaky archers (which is a boring way to play a game like this IMHO) and b) punishes you for doing anything, because the rest of the game gets harder every time you kill anything. It's kind of like a passive aggressive Demon Souls.

a) is definitely true, stealthy archers are really powerful in this game
As for your second point, this really isn't true. Things definitely get easier as you level. For one, pretty much everything in this game has a maximum level so as you level up a lot of enemies will start to get really easy. Bears are terrifying early on, but after I levelled a bit I was one-shotting them with a one-handed axe. Some enemies, like Draugr, will level with you a lot more than others, but as you gain more perks and better gear they'll get easier too.

Making the game more favourable to sneaky archers has been a huge draw for me, since that's the way I love to play IMNSHO. However, I wouldn't say Skyrim unfairly favours sneaky archers since I'm also swording-and-boarding like nobody's business, the first time I've ever delved into melee combat in TES, and it's just as powerful and satisfying.

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

Congrats to Juv3nal. I'm listening to this episode a little late, and I know you guys mentioned this in the show but I couldn't help but think,

Wait!!!! Don't buy that game now, it's going to be like $2 in the next steam sale....as you picked out each game. I've been so trained by Steam sales that actual buying a game on Steam for full price just seems so odd, I didn't even know some of those games cost so much. It was still a lot of fun to hear you guys go through his list and just pick out games through, rather than just picking from a wishlist.

Just popping in to say another thanks for the games. Also, pychonauts is awesome. I don't know if it's a steam daily deal or was earlier, but even if it hasn't been, it's probably pretty cheap and totally worth it. The gap between the cutscene versus in-game resolution is a bit jarring (but comes with the territory with an older game, I guess) and the camera leaves a bit to be desired, but generally really great: as in I would say it's the greatest thing Double Fine have done and probably ranks second (grim fandango, for those keeping score) for greatest thing Tim Schafer has been involved with counting his lucasarts stuff.