GWJ Conference Call Episode 293

Conference Call

Diablo III, Max Payne 3, Arma II DayZ Mod, Autumn Dynasty, Portal 2 Update, Pinball Arcade, A Diablo Retrospective, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Julian, Elysium and Cory reminice about the Diablo series on top of our thoughts on Diablo III!

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

Tech Thing Daily
Game Thing Daily
Good Old Games

Insomniac Games Full Moon Show
Arma II DayZ Mod
Diablo III
Diablo III Spoiler Thread
Autumn Dynasty
Portal 2 Update

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Diablo Town Theme - Diablo - http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/games/d3/ - 37:06

Main Theme - Max Payne 3 - http://www.rockstargames.com/maxpayne3/ - 1:07:10

Comments

This week's rundown, fully funded by Lao Ye's Genuine USA Military Parts and Hardware Emporium, where you pay half the price for two-thirds the quality

00.02.09 Autumn Dynasty
00.07.14 Max Payne 3
00.17.01 Portal 2 update
00.22.48 Ghost Recon
00.23.05 Unreal Tournament 1999
00.23.14 Kohan
00.27.04 Pinball Arcade Tables
00.30.30 Shawn, are you still playing your Vita?
00.31.21 Arma 2: Day Z mod
00.37.34 This week's topic: Diablo
01.07.36 Your emails

I feel so very old these days. The concept of buying a game but only being allowed to play it at certain times, when you have a connection for example, leads me to have zero interest in that game. As is the case with most people on this site my time is limited.

I've been playing DayZ for a while now. Moral dilemas have left the dialogue tree and turned into instant life-or-death descisions. Picture this:

You've been teaming up with a decent guy for 3 hours now and everything went great so far. But the last raid took a wrong turn and you were hurt. You're in pain, and you're out of painkillers. You can't see, much less aim straight. You ask you partner for meds, but he doesn't want to give you any. Do you kill him to get them? It gets worse: Is he already taking aim at my head because he knows I'm considering it?

KOHAN!

One of the top 5 RTS games. Ever. Period. Exclamation Point. One.

Here's the Day Z community thread. We have a Steam group and late last week it was pretty easy to find 2 or 3 GWJrs at any time in Vent. Getting into a game can take more than an hour, and orienteering yourself actually near other GWJrs may take you two or three play sessions, depending on how far north your friends are.

Coupla good after action reports in here, nearly all of them ending with an untimely demise.

http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/1...

In my dreams we have 7-8 GWJrs camped around the north west airport. We all log in one weekend morning (daylight US, and when the servers are being hit just a smidge less than usual) and we storm the airfield looking for guns, ammo, and grenades. Then we become a band of hunters, mowing down the unjust.

All the talk about Diablo II and UT99 (ok that was a namedrop) made me really nostalgic for freshman year of college. Thanks for that!

Glad to know I'm not the only slowpoke dragging their heels on Diablo III. Finally cleared Act 1 last night. Writing so far isn't hurting my brain but glad to know I've got an Easter dinner to look forward to.

Also, I sent in some thoughts on the writing as reader mail, but one other thing I noticed is that Blizzard used to pack in a sizable manual with each of their games detailing backstory and lore for the game (and skimping on details for the mechanics). This was not the case with Starcraft II and Diablo III and I wonder if that's hurting their storytelling / world building (mind you, they were never OMG amazing storytelling but usually fun to read). Whereas before they could spend 20 pages or more detailing things like the history of the world or individual characters, units, or abilities, they're now forced to cram everything into actual game. Which, let's face it, gamers usually aren't in the mood for when they're trying to click everything to death or stressing out over positioning their troops on the battlefield. So I think there's possibly a trend toward simpler and hammier writing because it seems easier or faster to be blunt about someone's intents and motivations with a healthy serving of ham than to expend serious effort crafting a subtler and nuanced story when you know players are just going to skip the dialog/cutscene so they can continue wearing out their mouse. Thus, we end up with writing that's reminiscent of an 80's Saturday morning cartoon.

Speaking of which, is there an option to gag my companions? I really don't care to hear about Leah's plans for a roadside inn over the course of 20 minutes. Makes me wish I could go back to the hirelings of D2: Here's your gold. Now shut up, try to keep up, and be sure to jump in front of that fatal blow when the time comes.

Great show

Aside from L4D for co-op, what about Torchlight 2?

konamicode wrote:

Aside from L4D for co-op, what about Torchlight 2?

It's not out until summer, but also a great call!

I get updates by email about new releases including PS+ free games, as well as getting them on my RSS reader from the Playstation Blog.

The RSS reader is also how I keep up to date on sites like GWJ.

I just went poking around and found this link. https://account.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com/cam/account/notify/edit-settings!input.action
Most people probably turn it off to reduce spammy emails, but it's the "Yes, I am interested in receiving marketing materials from Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE)." option. I have the second one turned off. It does send me 2-3 emails per week on PS+, PS Store updates, and Video/Music Unlimited updates.

You guys always complain about the updates on the PS3. Of course you're going to have a lot of updates if you only turn the system on once every 3 months. Every device that goes through regular updates would have the same issue for you if you let your device get too far behind.

For instance Starcraft 2 typically has about an hour of updates every time I feel like playing it because I only play it once or twice a year.

Gimpy_Butzke wrote:

You guys always complain about the updates on the PS3. Of course you're going to have a lot of updates if you only turn the system on once every 3 months. Every device that goes through regular updates would have the same issue for you if you let your device get too far behind.

For instance Starcraft 2 typically has about an hour of updates every time I feel like playing it because I only play it once or twice a year.

The last time i tried to play Starcraft 2, two weeks ago, I abandoned it because of updates. Bums me out that Blizzard doesn't have a tiered patching process for SC2 like it does for WoW and Diablo 3.

And I actually used to spend quite a bit of time on my PS3. I stopped because I'd have to update so much. In fairness, the updates sound like they've slowed down from where they were 12 months ago, but it's still a ridiculous process.

You guys always complain about the updates on the PS3. Of course you're going to have a lot of updates if you only turn the system on once every 3 months.

Two things:

1) Never been a problem with my other consoles no matter how long I go without turning it on
2) Even if there is one, it's a 5 minute wait at worst. The PS3 is a nightmare for the time it takes to update.

Elysium wrote:
You guys always complain about the updates on the PS3. Of course you're going to have a lot of updates if you only turn the system on once every 3 months.

Two things:

1) Never been a problem with my other consoles no matter how long I go without turning it on
2) Even if there is one, it's a 5 minute wait at worst. The PS3 is a nightmare for the time it takes to update.

I have found the PS3 updates to be very inconsistent in download times between consoles. I have a 5 minute wait at worst for most updates but some of my friends, with the same router and cable internet that I own, have much longer times. Not sure what causes that but I can imagine it would be frustrating.

Elysium wrote:
You guys always complain about the updates on the PS3. Of course you're going to have a lot of updates if you only turn the system on once every 3 months.

Two things:

1) Never been a problem with my other consoles no matter how long I go without turning it on
2) Even if there is one, it's a 5 minute wait at worst. The PS3 is a nightmare for the time it takes to update.

I don't understand why every PS3 system update has to be almost 200MB. If they could just update the parts that need updating instead of the entire OS each time, no one would complain.

And how about making sure downloadable games are the latest version? There's nothing more fun than downloading a multi-gig game over night only to find out you can't play it online unless you patch it with this hundred meg patch.

I get around the system updates by downloading them on my computer first. I think that's a nice feature. But the patching process for games is an unavoidable mess.

walterqchocobo wrote:
Elysium wrote:

Two things:

1) Never been a problem with my other consoles no matter how long I go without turning it on
2) Even if there is one, it's a 5 minute wait at worst. The PS3 is a nightmare for the time it takes to update.

I have found the PS3 updates to be very inconsistent in download times between consoles. I have a 5 minute wait at worst for most updates but some of my friends, with the same router and cable internet that I own, have much longer times. Not sure what causes that but I can imagine it would be frustrating.

Are you comparing the PS3 directly to the 360 Elysium? I don't remember ever updating my Wii. The 360 never seemed much different in terms of download speeds for me, but for the time I did have a 360 it did not update as often.

Is the PS3 a nightmare to you only because of the download speeds? I think I once had an update take 15 minutes on PS3. It was for one of Sony's major updates to PSN. I'm ready to play 5-8 minutes from the start of most updates. Installation times for games tend to be longer than updates for me. I have heard of people with hour long 30mb updates before though, but I always figured that updates taking more than 10 minutes were for the minority of users.

Hey guys - thanks for reading my question! You guys did make some good points regarding SWTOR's long-term economic viablity, but according to the LA Times the game cost close to $200 million to make.

http://www.gamespot.com/news/star-wa...

That's a huge initial investment to recoup, and rumor has it Lucas is taking an additional 33 percent in royalty fees. So I guess the real question is how big a profit can EA expect to make off the game.

PS - I'd love to hear a show in the future where you guys discuss the financial straits of EA, or even go into the business side of the big publishers.

Gimpy_Butzke wrote:

I don't remember ever updating my Wii.

The Wii receives regular updates, actually.

Chairman_Mao wrote:

I don't understand why every PS3 system update has to be almost 200MB. If they could just update the parts that need updating instead of the entire OS each time, no one would complain.

I thought one of their firmware updates enabled them to only update the parts that needed updating.

For iOS integration of a console game, I would love to be able to do things like pull up my soldier for Battlefield 3 and change his load-out, his skin, etc. Especially if the app included detail stats/info for each item.

It would also be cool to be able to write yourself notes ("5 more grenade kills until platinum star") and have them readable between rounds.

I like the way Diablo 3 gives the option to basically power level, because I am not good at this game. I can't keep track of the madness, so a few extra levels now and then are welcome.

Adding the always online element of Battle.net to this game is a great idea. Being able to take my character wherever I want, wether I am playing alone or jumping into a friend's game, is amazing. I really wish MMOs offered this same functionality. Give me my little group of characters and let me take them to whatever server I want, at any time. By the way, here's my money.

As for Diablo III, I like the game itself, but I love Battle.net.

CY wrote:
Gimpy_Butzke wrote:

I don't remember ever updating my Wii.

The Wii receives regular updates, actually.

It did have updates, that were released not exactly regularly until September 2010 when version 4.3 was released. I don't believe there's been an update since then, which was 20 months ago. I don't even remember one on the Skyward Sword disc, which they tend to force system updates with all the games they publish by putting them on disc and blocking it from running until you update.

Steam is great as it lets you keep playing and downloads updates in the background during idle time, then tells you about it (with patch notes) when it's done and gives you the option of restarting to install.

I just checked at Amazon and Pinball Arcade is there for $0.99 (for the Arabian Nights table). According to the reviews, it's decidedly unoptimized for the Kindle Fire. As in, you can get it on there, but it's close to unplayable.

Has anyone actually tried it on Kindle Fire? I'd like a good pinball game on the platform, but Pinball Arcade may not be quite ready yet (at least, according to the reviewers).

mrtomaytohead wrote:
CY wrote:
Gimpy_Butzke wrote:

I don't remember ever updating my Wii.

The Wii receives regular updates, actually.

It did have updates, that were released not exactly regularly until September 2010 when version 4.3 was released. I don't believe there's been an update since then, which was 20 months ago. I don't even remember one on the Skyward Sword disc, which they tend to force system updates with all the games they publish by putting them on disc and blocking it from running until you update.

Pretty sure I've seen mine do the "update glow" thing since Skyward, but we could be in different regions. Also, my memory sucks. :D.

CY wrote:

Pretty sure I've seen mine do the "update glow" thing since Skyward, but we could be in different regions. Also, my memory sucks. :D.

They've shoved out a couple bits of advertising for upcoming games via the Nintendo Channel opt-in thing (they were also sent out to 3DS users as well), I can't remember the last time I downloaded an update on my Wii though.

shoptroll wrote:
CY wrote:

Pretty sure I've seen mine do the "update glow" thing since Skyward, but we could be in different regions. Also, my memory sucks. :D.

They've shoved out a couple bits of advertising for upcoming games via the Nintendo Channel opt-in thing (they were also sent out to 3DS users as well), I can't remember the last time I downloaded an update on my Wii though.

Yeah. This wikipedia page of updates is the best I can do without going to an up to date Wii.

I would love to get some Goodjer Arma 2 co-op going. I've tried a few times, and it's going about as well as our attempts to get some co-op flight simming going. Not well.

The lack of challenge in Diablo 3's normal mode is a big problem for me, given that you have to finish it to get to the next level (nightmare?). My fun with D2 was going through the game with all of the characters (on normal mode) trying out the disparate and interesting skills. I can't see doing that on this ultra-easy normal mode. Once I get through normal mode once, will I be able to start up new characters and classes in nightmare mode?

Also, can someone who has played D2 recently (Sean?) opine as to whether the difficulty has been ratcheted down or have we all gotten a lot better at action RPGs? When did normal become the new easy? There was the same problem with Torchlight but thankfully someone (Shawn!) told the GWJ community to start on hard mode and that game allowed this.

Unicorns in Colorado. I enjoyed your comments about LAN parties. I am part of a group that does LAN parties in Durango, CO. We typically have monthly LANs with anywhere 15 - 30 people showing up and have been doing it for over six years now. Although the challenge of having needs for Internet connections (not a problem for my group) and lack of dedicated servers can be challenging, it is a lot easier with Steam keeping everyone on the same patch level. The nights of getting everyone on the same patch are virtually gone.

Last month we had a group of guys drive down from Boulder (about 7 hour drive) and get a couple of guys coming up from Albuquerque (3 hours). The Albuquerque guys are part of a group who put together 100 people LAN parties in Albuquerque a couple of times a year.

So unicorns do exist, just sometimes harder to find i suppose.

Tomorrow night is our next LAN. We start at 7pm and go to 7am Saturday morning. www.durangolanparties.com

shoptroll wrote:
Chairman_Mao wrote:

I don't understand why every PS3 system update has to be almost 200MB. If they could just update the parts that need updating instead of the entire OS each time, no one would complain.

I thought one of their firmware updates enabled them to only update the parts that needed updating.

I had thought so too, but I have yet to see a firmware update since then that was smaller than 170+MB