GWJ Conference Call Episode 275

Conference Call

L4D2: Cold Stream Map, Rayman Origins, Fortune Summoners, The Witcher, A Few Acres of Snow, Super Crate Box, Unity of Command, THQ Rumors, LOTRO's Slippery Slope, Games of 2012, Your Emails and more!

This week Julian, Rob Zacny and Shawn talk games of 2012, THQ tanking, LOTRO's slippery slope and 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.

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Good Old Games

Left 4 Dead 2: Cold Stream
Rayman Origins
Super Crate Box
Fortune Summoners
A Few Acres of Snow

THQ Rumors
THQ Denies Rumors
LOTRO Selling Stat Gear

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Push Anyway (BigBot Audio Drop) - SGX - http://sgxmusic.com/ - 30:43

Amity (BigBot Audio Drop) - SGX - http://sgxmusic.com/ - 1:02:34

Comments

Great job this week, guys. I like that you were flexible with the format this week in the absence of the usual.

I'll second Shawn's recommendation of the Ready Player One audiobook. I just finished it yesterday, and man it was a fun listen. Wil Wheaton does a great job as narrator.

Football talk in the podcast? *swoon*

Rat Boy wrote:

Football talk in the podcast? *swoon*

They didn't talk about your 49ers, so move along.

rabbit wrote:

Complaints about LotRO going pay-to-win.

"One does not simply shop into Mordor"

What kind of numbers does SR3 need to do to become a hit for them? It's sold something like 3 million on the console side. GWJ accounts for at least 1,000 being sold on the PC.

But seriously, did they need it to be a 10 million seller? Not gonna happen.

League of Legends isn't pay to win. New champions aren't designed to be overpowered, certainly not all of them are at launch. And if you're really concerned about certain champions being overpowered then you can play draft mode and have them banned from the game. For a game with so many characters I'd say the game balance is pretty good right now, there's definitely no character that you can play and be guaranteed a win.

X-Com was very spooky back in the day in-game. The low-key music combined with the loud footsteps and shots coming from nowhere was completely tense and very spooky. There was this silence and low-key background music in the geoscape as well. I don't think it was just campy, there was a seriously white-knuckle tense side to this game.

Glad to hear the (mostly) anti-freemium talk on the call. The spread of freemium games on the App store really annoys me: I just want to pay money and get a good game, I don't want the game design compromised to get me to buy more stuff. Buying more content I can understand, but making the game boring so people will pay to skip bits of it seems pretty weird.

Although, with even hardcore game companies like Cave concentrating on social gaming I think it's only going to get worse

Erm, I actually liked how 4th ed did the rules. Shrug. Having rules be simple and straightforward allows everyone to focus more on story. It doesn't have to be combat-driven.

LarryC wrote:

Erm, I actually liked how 4th ed did the rules. Shrug. Having rules be simple and straightforward allows everyone to focus more on story. It doesn't have to be combat-driven.

Thank you for commenting on this! I never understood why people wanted D&D to codify and dictate rules for role-playing. All the rules actually need to do is let you do things in the game that you can't do in real-life, and add some randomization: hence roll a d20 to hit the _____.

If your adventures are only MMO-style raids, it isn't the game system's fault.

I enjoy the way combat plays in 4E. I just wish they had applied the same sort of magic to other parts of the story GMs tell. Daily social powers... where are you?

To be fair, D&D was never much of a structured narrative game. It's only in 4e where you even have balanced abilities that affect noncombat parts of the game - in every other edition, that part was broken to hell and back, in various ways.

MeatMan wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

Football talk in the podcast? *swoon*

They didn't talk about your 49ers, so move along. ;)

They were ragging on Sands. They're too smart to rag on Grump.

PyromanFO wrote:

X-Com was very spooky back in the day in-game. The low-key music combined with the loud footsteps and shots coming from nowhere was completely tense and very spooky. There was this silence and low-key background music in the geoscape as well. I don't think it was just campy, there was a seriously white-knuckle tense side to this game.

Which, in terms of audio, the devs have captured it based on the videos I saw at Game Informer. The music in X-Com was designed with the express purpose of getting your heart rate up, to put you on edge and make you fear what might happen the second you step out of the Skyranger. The beauty of X-Com was fearing the possibility that the next step you took could be your last.

I think they got the music nailed down, for the most part. Visually, XCOM was absolutely B-movie fare, and the genre is that way as well. I think that the spooky music and B-movie camp made for a memorable combination, thematically.

I'm just a little disappointed that they're moving a little bit away from the Saturday morning cartoon sensibility. I liked that part.

I'm late to this party!

00.01.59 L4D2 (Kickin it Old school!)
00.05.29 TF2
00.07.26 Rayman Origins
00.11.05 The Witcher
00.18.09 Julian and his online board games: A Few Acres of Snow, and continues on in SWTOR
00.19.55 The Fortune Summoners
00.23.08 Atom Zombie Smasher. Rob's winter time fling
00.23.24 Unity of Command
00.31.22 Rob's Topic: THQ doom n gloom
00.42.25 Julian's non-love affair with Pay to Win in MMOs.
00.54.18 Certis wants to talk about some of the stuff coming in 2012 that isn't Bioshock Infinite
01.03.10 Your emails

conejote wrote:

I'll second Shawn's recommendation of the Ready Player One audiobook. I just finished it yesterday, and man it was a fun listen. Wil Wheaton does a great job as narrator.

I've been thinking about this book for a while, and now it's probably on the reading list for a class this semester. Now to figure out if I already have an Audible account.

Atras wrote:
rabbit wrote:

Complaints about LotRO going pay-to-win.

"One does not simply shop into Mordor"

"Grinding is hard; Let's go shopping!"

Atras wrote:
LarryC wrote:

Erm, I actually liked how 4th ed did the rules. Shrug. Having rules be simple and straightforward allows everyone to focus more on story. It doesn't have to be combat-driven.

Thank you for commenting on this! I never understood why people wanted D&D to codify and dictate rules for role-playing. All the rules actually need to do is let you do things in the game that you can't do in real-life, and add some randomization: hence roll a d20 to hit the _____.

If your adventures are only MMO-style raids, it isn't the game system's fault.

I found it awkward at first that everything felt so sparkle-powered (there's a reason I generally choose not to play magic users), but I've grown to like it. As for rp/combat balance, I think that remains in the control of the DM and players.

Rob Zacny is the man

Many games get recommended when listener questions are answered. Since those aren’t included in the show summary on the web site, here’s a list of the games and links that got recommended in this week’s episode.

Dead Island
Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning
Dishonored
Arx Fatalis
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic
Blacksite Area 51
Max Payne 3
Syndicate
Escape from Butcher Bay

gorilla wrote:

Many games get recommended when listener questions are answered. Since those aren’t included in the show summary on the web site, here’s a list of the games and links that got recommended in this week’s episode.

Dead Island
Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning
Dishonored
Arx Fatalis
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic
Blacksite Area 51
Max Payne 3
Syndicate
Escape from Butcher Bay

:nicekiss:

Rabbit, I'd love for you to go in a little deeper into the business side of the industry sometime... ever since the Game Theory podcast went dark (for what, the chance to screenwrite for Avatar? c'mon!) I've been without my fix. I'm particularly curious how the financials will keep working for the industry with the downward pressure being pressed by free or $.99 games. Revenues in 2011 sunk dramatically, and it's probably not piracy (SOPA be damned) that's responsible.

I think it's unquestionable that $.99 and $5 games cut into the market for $60 games (when did $60 become the new $50?). I mean, I find myself tooling around with stupid app games when I could be enjoying a AAA title. But how much better do the AAA titles have to be to survive? Or is the "sweet spot" shrinking for survival outside the app and microtransaction world? The collective wisdom of previous podcasts seems to be that there's no room any more for mid-range games - it's go big, go tiny, or go home.

kyrieee wrote:

Rob Zacny is the man

this.

People do say that champs in league are op on release, and then they get nerfed. Even though that is mainly people putting a heavy emphasis on the ones that actually were like Graves.

Right now i could go into the lol client, and see that the latest champ is the boar lady Sejuani. Is she massively op, and will grant me a never ending win streak? Heck no! she is an average tank champ. That could just be a fluke though. So let's go with the previous release Viktor.
I go into a game , and someone says "surrender at 20 guys? This guy picked Viktor".

Yeah, agreed. Viktor and Sejuani are a little underpowered on release. There was a streak there where the new champs were op, though, so I get where Rabbit is coming from.