GWJ Conference Call Episode 317

Conference Call


Hotline Miami, Assassin's Creed 3, Fallen Enchantress, Mechwarrior Online, Hawken, CS: Go, A Reading By Graham Rowat, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Julian, Cory and Rob Zacny talk games. Shawn and Justin McElroy also file their grievences on Assassin's Creed 3 and we have another reading by the talented Mr. Graham Rowat.

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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Chairman_Mao's Timestamps
00.01.53 Hotline: Miami
00.10.38 Mark of the Ninja
00.15.38 League of Legends
00.22.50 Mechwarrior Online
00.29.48 Hawken
00.33.02 Counterstrike: GO
00.37.48 Fallen Enchantress
00.41.03 Halo 4
00.48.45 Assassin's Creed 3 (w/ Justin at 00.57.16)
01.25.48 This week's Audible.com recommendation by Certis: Cloud Atlas!
01.26.22 Empty Bed Blues: A reading by Graham Rowat (written by Shawn Andrich)
01.31.58 Your emails!

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Comments

Cannot wait to listen to this one. Hotline Miami is my Game of the Year, provided Hotline Miami 2 does not come out before Dec. 31.

The level of detail you guys were talking about with MWO is there. You're not going to find it in just a few play throughs.

ranalin wrote:
The level of detail you guys were talking about with MWO is there. You're not going to find it in just a few play throughs.

Are there bigger maps we haven't seen yet? That's my main thing.

Sad to hear the state AC III is in. I hope they patch at least some of it. I really though this was going to be the best Assassin's Creed of the series :(.

Someday, perhaps as a fundraiser reward, there should be a collection of Graham's readings. Absolutely love.

Pirate Bob wrote:
Someday, perhaps as a fundraiser reward, there should be a collection of Graham's readings. Absolutely love.

Yes. It was fantastic.

Certis wrote:
ranalin wrote:
The level of detail you guys were talking about with MWO is there. You're not going to find it in just a few play throughs.

Are there bigger maps we haven't seen yet? That's my main thing.

Not yet. Supposedly there's more coming, but i suspect they're not going to be much bigger.

That's the downsize i see of them going the 'freemium' route. They're going to try and keep things on scale where matches can go quick.

This is the first time I heard anyone discussing Assassin's Creed 3 in the truly negative. I think they got a bit negative in Weekend Confirmed, but mostly all the criticism I've heard has been towards AC: Liberation on the Vita (RadioRadar and Jumping The Shark said the exact same thing while Weekend Confirmed was only slightly more forgiving).

In truth, it sounds like a lot of what I expected in terms of shoddy mission design, but it might seem worse now that everyone has played through Dishonored. I think it was Weekend Confirmed that noted there's a mission where you have to chase a guy that is literally running in a circle, but if you stop and turn around to catch him from the other direction the game will cause you to lose synchronization and start you over.

Compare this with Dishonored, where there are a lot of routes to take in terms of defeating an enemy.

So I'm wondering if the big thing is it's easier to become disenfranchised with Assassin's Creed now? I was playing Brotherhood and all the love I had for previous games started to fade away because I was doing the same old collection of mini-games. Assassin's Creed isn't exactly the best style of game to play annually.

Really enjoy the reading of Empty Bed Blues, great job both writing and reading.

First, I definitely liked the discussion without a directed topic. It allowed people to just talk and let the conversation go without the pressure of moving on too soon. I listen to the podcast to hear the opinions about games. Most of the topics don't focus on games specifically, but rather an aspect of gaming, the industry, or something else.

Second, about Mechwarrior Online...

If you aren't playing with a group in chat, you are missing most of the game (imho). Calling strats, locating enemy mechs, focusing fire, and scouting are all almost impossible without chat. With the patch today it will be a bit better for PUGs, because you wont go up against full 8 man premade teams, but you really need to be dropping with friends in a voice chat group.

There seemed to be a comment about needing to give the game money for some reason. It may take you a few matches to save up enough CBills to buy your own mech, but that can all be done for free. I will grant you that spending money will certainly hurry the process up, but it is not mandatory.

As always, loved the show.
Keep up the good work.

Just started listening to GWJ, really enjoyed the Assassin's Creed 3 part. I grew tired of the franchise since Brotherhood, but still absolutely love the setting, sad to hear that it is in this unpolished state.

Great show, looking forward to many more.

InspectorZenigata wrote:
First, I definitely liked the discussion without a directed topic. It allowed people to just talk and let the conversation go without the pressure of moving on too soon. I listen to the podcast to hear the opinions about games. Most of the topics don't focus on games specifically, but rather an aspect of gaming, the industry, or something else.

Awesome feedback. Thanks!

Second, about Mechwarrior Online...

Uh oh.

If you aren't playing with a group in chat, you are missing most of the game (imho). Calling strats, locating enemy mechs, focusing fire, and scouting are all almost impossible without chat. With the patch today it will be a bit better for PUGs, because you wont go up against full 8 man premade teams, but you really need to be dropping with friends in a voice chat group.

That's valid. I still haven't played an organized team game with voice chat and the full nine yards, but I hope to do that soon. I don't think my experience is invalidated because I wasn't totally organized with my teammates, however -- The maps do feel pretty small, and I still think that's because they want to churn you through matches. Not a criticism, just an observation.

There seemed to be a comment about needing to give the game money for some reason. It may take you a few matches to save up enough CBills to buy your own mech, but that can all be done for free. I will grant you that spending money will certainly hurry the process up, but it is not mandatory.

Also fair. I don't think any of us felt spending money was required. Specifically, I think I said that I was hesitant to spend money considering how bad I am with the free mechs.

I cannot watch an e-sports event for a game I don't actively play. I'd imagine that's true for most people when it comes to e-sports. I never have played or will play organized football but I still watch 3-5 NFL games each week in the Fall. Conversely, I love playing ultimate frisbee but think it's a lousy spectator sport. Much like Ultimate, the teams in e-sports are often unstable and spectating can be a mess for outsiders (keeping track of scoring, knowing the rules, understanding strategy).

Completely unrelated, I was a little bit surprised that no one harped on Shawn for pronouncing Iroquois with a French-Canadian flair. I also expect that the character from ACIII would have to be Algonquian. I don't think the Iroquois confederacy stretched much past Albany, let alone all the way out to Boston.

Demiurge wrote:
That's valid. I still haven't played an organized team game with voice chat and the full nine yards, but I hope to do that soon. I don't think my experience is invalidated because I wasn't totally organized with my teammates, however -- The maps do feel pretty small, and I still think that's because they want to churn you through matches. Not a criticism, just an observation.

Certainly your opinion is valid, but I dont think you will have that "AH HA!" moment until you play in an organized group with a lead that knows what they are doing. That is how it happened for me.... I was a little bummed about being spanked continually and feeling like the game was too frenetic and closed until I started dropping with a merc company.

Anyways, I dont want to turn this into a MWO love fest on my part, but I did want to speak up for a game that was talked about fairly negatively.

press x to dump

Great show, guys, as always!

However, I'm a bit surprised Double Fine didn't come up as a "cool company to work for." In every interview I hear from that team, it sounds like they have the most fun out of everyone. That being said, I know a guy that works at Riot and I can vouch for how cool they are. Believe you me, he loves working there.

Idle Thumbs reports the Interwebz says the puzzle element to Hotline Miami actually detracts from the game.

I'm only one level in. I wish I had heard rabbit's "pencil-in-the-eye" metaphor first, and that there's no controller support—so I would also add "pencils-through-my-hands". Quickly middle-clicking a scrollwheel isn't working out very well. I bought it from GOG, and I just assume that it's totally against the TOS to resell my copy, even if I promise to never ever install it again, cross my heart, hope to have my head bashed in by a man wearing a horse mask.

Counter-Strike night? Count me in!

I'm going have to take issue with your impressions of MWO as well. To be honest, from your description it sounds like you're playing a totally different game than me. You make it sound like its been dumbed down and sped up compared to previous mechwarrior games, but I played MW4 again this summer and aside from differing control schemes, it feels pretty similar.

I think the map size is perfect for 8v8 matches--I don't have any idea how you can think its too small (feels like solaris arena battles, seriously?)

I have to agree with the poster above, having some buddies to play with on ventrilo enhances the gameplay by miles. Group focusing on mechs, scouting and calling out lrm targets, and organizing base rushes makes this game really feel more like a military simulator than a free-for-all deathmatch brawl.

The last thing I want to touch on is that you have been playing with trial mechs that lack any kind of tweaking and tuning. For me, and many others, the mechlab is the real meat and bones of any mechwarrior experience. In this way, its similar to forza in that, while racing is fun, whats more fun is finding ways to get more mileage out of your machine. Sure, grinding for money for parts can get tedious sometimes, but when you get your mech decked out just the way you want it, its a wonderful feeling.

Unfortunately, the early game is kind of crappy because of trial mechs and lack of cash, butI really hope that you guys keep on playing this more and get a better impression of it as you unlock more stuff.

Thanks for the heads up on AC3. That's $60 saved right there. Sadly, not unexpected at all. When a studio has to churn these out annually, they can only iterate so much. A complete revision like the one AC3 is more or less doesn't stand a chance of ending up polished or even just robust. Especially with all the contrived (and imo superfluous) content like naval battles and township management.

Great podcast! I actually enjoyed the lack of a definite topic, it's very interesting to hear nonetheless.
Thanks a bunch for the feedback on AC3. I'd already decided that I wouldn't get it on launch, but you've now completely convinced me to wait until the patches have been released and the Steam sale has worked its magic.

cpugeek13 wrote:
I think the map size is perfect for 8v8 matches--I don't have any idea how you can think its too small (feels like solaris arena battles, seriously?)

I've been playing the game for awhile now and do think the maps feel more closed in or smaller than the old Mechwarrior maps or even the Chromehound maps. I remember matches in those older games taking awhile because the two sides would end up going opposite routes and would have to hunt each other down. That's not possible in MWO. Well the scenario is, but the time to complete it is drastically reduced.

Late response, but I think the cast was fair on their MWO and Hawken takes. Neither one is a proper replacement to favored Mech games of the past such as ChromeHounds or MechWarrior 2. Hawken is polished and becoming what it wants to be, but it's not trying to be a Mech game at all; it's just a shooter with Mechs in it.

On the flip side, MWO wants to cater to two different audiences (hardcore Mech simulation fanatics as well as a more mainstream audience new to MW), but for the most part is not delivering to either. It's bare-bones and missing too many crucial aspects for a long-lasting, enjoyable Mech sim experience.

The current game is:
-five small maps (one is a reskin),
-one mode (8v8 HOLA No Respawn),
-three really good Mechs (Jenner, Catapult, Atlas) with a handful of less-good Mechs,
-two really good weapons (Gauss Rifle, Small Laser) with a dozen other weapons ranging from serviceable (Medium Laser, SRM) to completely broken (Flamer, Machine Gun),
all held together by a duct tape UI and a meta-game economy.

There's no Community Warfare, no separate queue for solo players, no Starter Mech or Starter C-Bills, no knockdowns via ramming or damage taken, no Get Up button, no Jettison Ammo button, no Passive Radar, no in-game data for any of the weapons systems or internals... I'll spare you the rest of laundry list, but suffice to say this game that claims to be in Open Beta, has less polish than quite a few Alphas I've tested.

I love MechWarrior dearly and the game can be fun if you plan for it and make sure everything is perfect before you play, but Piranha Games desperately needs to finish their product. It's not done, and it needs work. Impromptu battles-in-a-bottle are not what made MechWarrior a success, nor is it a sustainable business model.

Loved this long CC, if you guys having random convos leads to that then keep at it. Also I have listened to this 3 times now because I love when ya rip into AC3, mostly because I felt the same way after playing it for a night with my friend and not being impressed all that much because of the issues.

Higgledy wrote:
Pirate Bob wrote:
Someday, perhaps as a fundraiser reward, there should be a collection of Graham's readings. Absolutely love.

Yes. It was fantastic.

Aye, top notch work as usual. More of these please!