GWJ Conference Call Episode 297

Conference Call

Gravity Rush, Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, Warlock: Master of The Arcane, The Real-Lification of Games, A Dragon's Dogma Spoiler Section, and more!

This week Shawn, Cory, Julian and Rob Zacny talk about real stuff getting into our games. After the credits, a Dragon's Dogma spoiler section with Polygon's Justin McElroy!

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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Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion
Gravity Rush

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Gravity Rush - Battle Theme - http://us.playstation.com/psvita/gam... - 37:10

Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion - Theme - http://www.sinsofasolarempire.com/ - 1:12:19

Comments

And this week's rundown, from the bowels of Daidai Rare Earth Hoarding Enterprises. If we have 'em, you probably don't!

00.02.14 Warlock: Master of the Arcane
00.08.45 Sins of a Solar Empire
00.17.53 Gravity Rush
00.26.49 Pinball Arcade
00.29.53 Max Payne 3
00.37.42 This week's topic: Real Lifimification
01.12.47 Your emails
01.31.16 Dragon's Dogma Spoiler Section

Yesterday I was talking with some co-workers about the Real Money Auction house, and I pondered the idea of unemployed people and College students that "waste away" their lives on games like Diablo 3 might now be able to have some level of steady income.

Doubtful, but it would be interesting to see people become professional gold farmers.

ccesarano wrote:

Yesterday I was talking with some co-workers about the Real Money Auction house, and I pondered the idea of unemployed people and College students that "waste away" their lives on games like Diablo 3 might now be able to have some level of steady income.

Doubtful, but it would be interesting to see people become professional gold farmers.

I'd say there's more reliable ways like the Mechanical Turk.

I'm glad they didn't dub Gravity Rush into English, too. . . . But I don't think that's Japanese! It's gibberish.

ccesarano wrote:

Yesterday I was talking with some co-workers about the Real Money Auction house, and I pondered the idea of unemployed people and College students that "waste away" their lives on games like Diablo 3 might now be able to have some level of steady income.

Doubtful, but it would be interesting to see people become professional gold farmers.

One of my college acquaintances claimed that she made enough money to live on by leveling and selling Everquest characters. (Or maybe it was Ultima Online?) I was never quite sure whether she was exaggerating.

I guess the difference between the Real Money Auction House and gold farming in other games is Blizzard's stamp of approval.

Anyone have a link to this hawkin controller? I am probably spelling it wrong since Google search is failing me.

Gravity Rush is a joy! BUT I wish I could map the gravity-slide mechanic to the thumbsticks instead of the gyros. I'm playing this on the train and I feel like a f*cking idiot when those sections arise.

Complex wrote:

Anyone have a link to this hawkin controller? I am probably spelling it wrong since Google search is failing me.

Yeah, the spelling is what's throwing you - "Hawken" instead of "Hawkin."

Here's a link with a picture of it.

OzymandiasAV wrote:
Complex wrote:

Anyone have a link to this hawkin controller? I am probably spelling it wrong since Google search is failing me.

Yeah, the spelling is what's throwing you - "Hawken" instead of "Hawkin."

Here's a link with a picture of it.

Huh, interesting. Thanks.

misplacedbravado wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

Yesterday I was talking with some co-workers about the Real Money Auction house, and I pondered the idea of unemployed people and College students that "waste away" their lives on games like Diablo 3 might now be able to have some level of steady income.

Doubtful, but it would be interesting to see people become professional gold farmers.

One of my college acquaintances claimed that she made enough money to live on by leveling and selling Everquest characters. (Or maybe it was Ultima Online?) I was never quite sure whether she was exaggerating.

I guess the difference between the Real Money Auction House and gold farming in other games is Blizzard's stamp of approval.

That was totally plausible back in the day.

misplacedbravado wrote:

I guess the difference between the Real Money Auction House and gold farming in other games is Blizzard's stamp of approval.

There's a line connecting the Diablo III real money auction house with its Starcraft II competition strategy: both are attempts to go beyond the sticker price of the game to capture the wealth created by secondary activity among users.

When the original Starcraft became a sport in Korea, my understanding is that Blizzard actually didn't make much money off it. Teams and TV networks and league organizations all got rich on Starcraft and Brood War, but they didn't have to kick in to Blizzard. They helped sell copies of the game, but they didn't have to share their advertising and sponsorship money.

The next time around, with SCII, Blizzard decided to take control of the competitive experience so that it could get a cut. As is well known, all multiplayer SCII goes through Blizzard's servers (no LAN play, which occasionally results in high-profile f*ckups during major competition). In addition, Blizzard has acted aggressively to make sure all tournaments play a Blizzard tax. All the major SCII competitions are in fact officially licensed. (IIRC, since launching SCII, Blizzard has also attempted to force the continuing Brood War competitive scene to get special licenses for tournaments.)

The real money auction house is another move to channel a previously unofficial economy into an official medium where Blizzard can extract rents. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

You were discussing EvE Online with regard to RMT and you seem to be under the impression that you can actually extract in-game currency for RL bucks. This is not the case, at least not without breaking the EULA (just like EQ or WoW or any other game I guess, and I do know players who had their accounts removed because they were selling in game assets for RL money in EvE). EvE was however one of the earliest games that let you inject RL funds into your in game wallet in the form of game time credits which then could be sold for in game currency. Just wanted to clear that up.

I'm not sure if I should listen to the spoiler section. I'm pretty interested in the game, but I don't think I'll have time to buy and play it anytime soon. Is the story even a big draw? Most of the talk I've seen makes it seem pretty inconsequential, but there is a 35 min spoiler cast about it...

The voice in Gravity Rush definitely isn't Japanese, it's gibberish. I kinda get the feeling it was meant to sound European to Japanese ears, like a blend of Spanish and French. Even the sound effects in the panels are from whatever their made-up language is. It's a nice touch, and it means the the world can feel similarly foreign to both American and Japanese players.

The spoiler section very nearly got me to buy the game. If I wasn't spread so thin with the other games I'm currently playing, I probably would have gone to get it right after work.

I haven't listened to the spoiler section yet. Does he discuss actual plot? I'm still in the game, and while I've mostly been doing side quests there are hints of interesting story here.

Yeah, the eve system is convoluted, I went through it here in detail back during the dentara rast era:

http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/2...

Sometimes hard to be super clear about this stuff in a conversation.

I really, really wanted to like Warlock. And I did! For about 1 week until it refused to start anymore. Just a black screen with nothing. Too bad, I was really starting to get into it and the mix of Civ and Majesty was really fun.

Edit: Valve hires a economist from... Greece? Did they not see what happened to that country? #badumdum #cymbalcrash

Dyni wrote:

I'm not sure if I should listen to the spoiler section. I'm pretty interested in the game, but I don't think I'll have time to buy and play it anytime soon. Is the story even a big draw? Most of the talk I've seen makes it seem pretty inconsequential, but there is a 35 min spoiler cast about it...

ccesarano wrote:

I haven't listened to the spoiler section yet. Does he discuss actual plot? I'm still in the game, and while I've mostly been doing side quests there are hints of interesting story here.

We do discuss story items and some of the ... endings? Honestly, story ain't a big draw for this game since it's so convoluted and incomplete, but it's definitely wacky in spots.

Great job with the spoiler section for Dragon's Dogma! It's so nice that this off-the-beaten-track of a game gets a good discussion on the podcast.

The discussion on real money transactions and specifically the comment about how microtranactions change the game reminded of DLC in general. I still just feel like stuff is being withheld in games. Especially Battlefield 3. I'm enjoying playing it on the PC, even after jumping into MP only a month ago, but only bought Karkand because it was half price and seemed to be the only way to find a decent amount of servers. Now that Close Quarters is out and I'm not a premium member (a $50 purchase) /didn't buy the expansion itself ($15), I'm stuck with a limited number of servers again. I know they've already got the whole thing planned out (# of maps, guns, unlocks, modes already listed) and can't help but feel like they were holding stuff like the game modes back just to be able to stick it with something later. It sucks. The auction house and such just remind me of how annoying it all is again. I'm basically ready to just not bother with battlefield again, which is sad as it's the only MP modern war shooter I like and I put 120 hrs into Bad Company 2 after joining late to the party.

Not sure if Cory took Rob for a ride re: Borat/Ali G, or if serious...

Gravey wrote:

Not sure if Cory took Rob for a ride re: Borat/Ali G, or if serious...

This, too, crossed my mind.

My favorite quote from the spoiler section:

Spoiler:
Justin McElroy wrote:

And there's a throne in the rift and nothing else. And Special Boy is there.

Warlock's great, but it did kind of feel a little shallow. It's a solid base to build from though, would be interesting to see where they go. I guess I was also expecting something... a little more mature in it's storytelling, like Fall from Heaven.

Also definitely not a fan of that narrator.

FinalExcalibur wrote:

Warlock's great, but it did kind of feel a little shallow. It's a solid base to build from though, would be interesting to see where they go. I guess I was also expecting something... a little more mature in it's storytelling, like Fall from Heaven.

Also definitely not a fan of that narrator.

The narrator is the worst.

It feels to me like Ino-Co Plus and Paradox felt they had enough game complete to start charging for it, but they certainly seem more ambitious when they talk about what they'll add to the game. For $20, I think it's great.

I still haven't really dug into Fall From Heaven, but it's now on my list.

Demiurge wrote:
FinalExcalibur wrote:

Warlock's great, but it did kind of feel a little shallow. It's a solid base to build from though, would be interesting to see where they go. I guess I was also expecting something... a little more mature in it's storytelling, like Fall from Heaven.

Also definitely not a fan of that narrator.

The narrator is the worst.

It feels to me like Ino-Co Plus and Paradox felt they had enough game complete to start charging for it, but they certainly seem more ambitious when they talk about what they'll add to the game. For $20, I think it's great.

I still haven't really dug into Fall From Heaven, but it's now on my list.

Personally I think FfH was the opposite end of the spectrum, way too much stuff. It seemed to be complex for complexity's sake. It didn't really add to the game it was just many many options for how to play it.

Also, the first thing I did upon starting my first game of Warlock was to turn the voice volume all the way down.

Not mentioned, but very relevant is Neal Stephenson's Reamde - much of the premise is based on an MMO built around real money withdrawals, and Chinese gold farmers.

I wish REAMDE was more about the MMO, actually. I found that to be some of the best parts of the book. The MMO is the catalyst for the story, but it disappears pretty quickly and for most of the book until the very end.

lostlobster wrote:

I wish REAMDE was more about the MMO, actually. I found that to be some of the best parts of the book. The MMO is the catalyst for the story, but it disappears pretty quickly and for most of the book until the very end.

Me too. Which was surprising, considering how much *stuff* he sticks in his books (Reamde being no departure from that norm).