GWJ Conference Call Episode 383

Conference Call

Elder Scrolls Online, Bravely Default, Fallpy bird, Threes, UT2K4, Europa Universalis IV, Hearthstone, Eschelon Book III, Games You Fight to Love, Your Emails and More!

This week Shawn, Elysium, Julian and Rob Zacny talk about games that make you fight to love them.

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.

Chairman_Mao's Timestamps
00.01.50 Flappy Bird
00.07.25 Threes
00.09.14 the Secret World
00.13.59 Elder Scrolls Online
00.24.30 The Wolf Among Us: Episode 00.25.30 UT2K4
00.29.19 Bravely Default
00.38.58 Europa Universalis IV
00.40.30 Hearthstone
00.41.08 Eschalon: Book III
00.43.54 This week's topic: Games you must fight to love!
01.00.51 Your emails!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Young Man’s Game - Echoside - http://echosidetracks.bandcamp.com/a... - 43:21

f*ck It - Echoside - http://echosidetracks.bandcamp.com/a... - 58:43

Comments

"Fallpy bird": just one of the many shameless rip-off of Dong Nguyen's much discussed creation.

Misspelling entirely intentional*

*now

1st ed. D&D (Red Box and stuff) - multiclassing restricted to race choice. Generally okay.

2nd ed. D&D - Multiclassing related to race choice, but with many options. Generally considered powerful, but ultimately limiting; all races except human had level limits. Generally better to multiclass as demihuman because of said level limits. Humans cannot multiclass.

3rd ed. D&D - Multiclassing totally screwed; considered reactionary to too-powerful multiclassing in 2nd edition. Basic multiclassing mechanic borked. Prestige Classes offer some fixes.

4th ed. D&D - not old-school D&D. Multiclassing somewhat restricted. Some combinations very good, many not so good; dependent on primary attack attributes and defense attributes lining up.

Certis wrote:

Misspelling entirely intentional*

*now

I was about to ask if it was deliberate bad SEO. Genius.

Hearing Elysium on Bravely Default was my favourite, though hearing its only $30 in the US hurt. I paid $60 for a digital copy. Ughhhhhh.

I'm with Certis on the gaming and dating thing. rabbit said something which felt extremely strange to me.

"You're trying to make someone like you."

It sounded almost PUA-esque. I don't know if he meant it that way, but that sentiment certainly resonates with a lot of content from dating sites and advice stuff in general, particularly in Western and Western-influenced nations (I don't know enough about other locations to comment - who knows what dating in Yemen is like?).

I've never actually dated anyone without first making their acquaintance in another way - work, hobby activity, friends of friends, friends of family, location meets and so on. Every one of those has a context attached to my identity that establishes who I might be other than being a gamer.

If I met a girl at a bike shop and we decide to meet up later for a non-date, we'd probably do so for a ride. At that point, she'd know that I was a professional and a cyclist. This gives context to any later revelation saying "I'm a gamer."

I met my wife in med school. We dated for a long time. It wasn't that long into the relationship when Civ 2 came out and I went on a 3-week stretch playing just Civ 2 and doing nearly nothing else. I didn't know whether she was going to be okay with it, but that was who I wanted to be, so I wanted her to know how things were going to be if she decided to stay with me. She could take me or leave me as I was. I wanted her to love me for who I was; I did not want her to accept me as someone that I did not want to be.

However, I also wanted that acceptance to be complete. In a sense, I considered it a testing period for both of us. I wanted her to be happy, so a grudging acceptance of my hobby would have made me consider ending the relationship.

I suppose the overarching theme I want to say is that to me, a relationship is an open and honest partnership of equals. I show her what I've got and what I want, and if she wants to walk with me, then that's cool. If she doesn't, then I wish her the best; it's cool, too.

"I want her to like me," doesn't sound like it's in the right place. I'm more "I'm having fun and have an awesome life. Would you like to come along?"

Gaming combined with dating experiences, from myself and friends in UK
There is a social stigma attached to gamers from most women that I have spoken to, or have heard about from my friends and colleagues.
The reason why there is a stigma attached, as I have experienced, is that male gaming is "man in cave time" (read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus for full exposition on the "man cave").
Women may feel scared or threatened by "man in cave time", as, guess what ? His attention is not 100% focused on them whilst he is in there. (In fact, his attention is likely to be >5% on them!)
At the start of relationships I can see where this can cause problems, and why men can choose to abstain from video games to save all the hassles at that early stage.
I have been in such a "zero-tolerance" relationship regarding gaming and it didn't work out, surprisingly.
The best way around this, as suggested on the podcast, is to try and find some mutual common ground.
Nintendo make the best and most addictive and accessible games for non-gamers. Have a Wii and a (pink) DS ("oh that, a friend gave it to me...do you want to try it?") littering your lounge. If not, try and get her to play some iphone/android games.
Try and introduce co-op gaming, and either way, make sure to establish what is your acceptable "man cave" time. Establish the importance of such a time in your life, and how it will make your time together all the more sweeter. (One friend is permitted 30 mins every Saturday on CoD...and that's it!).

So are there any links to the Jobs cast? Does it exist yet?

Commenting from phone ;

Sega JRPG = Phantasy Star or Shining Force.

Xbox JRPG = Sudeki?

troubleshot wrote:

So are there any links to the Jobs cast? Does it exist yet?

Sooooon. Probably next week.

I fought to love the Arkham games. Haven't won, yet.

I realise that EA need to go right up to the line in terms of what is acceptable to gamers. The problem often seems to be that where EA thinks the line of acceptability is is quite a few miles past where the actual line is.

In terms of games I struggle to like I usually find that, if I'm struggling, then the battle is pretty much lost.

Where I do have some success is when I've made a judgement about a game before even playing it. I have a fanboyish tendency to dismiss games out of hand based on how I imagine the game functions rather than any actual experience of how they play. I did that with Dragon's Dogma and Dark Souls. Both games I bough cheap, determined to give them a chance but expecting the worst. Both games are on my list of all time favourites.

I'm reminded of that article on...Jezebel? Where the woman was talking about having a nice date until the guy revealed that he's a professional Magic the Gathering player, and then her impression sunk like a rock. Or that's how it came off. A lot of negative response by both men and women to that article, if I recall correctly.

I've reached a point where I just don't feel like putting any energy into "try not to be single", and I care less and less about what impression I leave people. I wear a Super Mario scarf I got from the Nintendo World Store everywhere I go in the winter, and half the damn time I'm wearing it I forget it even has Mario on it. Once in a while someone will tell me they like it. All I know is that it not only keeps me a bit warmer, but it reminds me of an awesome weekend with friends in New York City.

Would this scarf change how a woman might react to me if I approached her? I dunno. If I were gay, would it change how another gay man would react? I dunno. It all depends from person to person, and I've already learned well enough that I can be quite sociable and delightful to be around. It is how I've made a variety of acquaintances and a decently large pool of friends. I've stopped apologizing for being a video gamer, or a fan of anime, or an watcher of fictional film, television, and reader of genre novels.

I just don't give a damn if someone thinks I'm a man child because I play video games. I don't just open up with this information, but it's pretty clear what with my scarf and the fact that I play 3DS on the train to and from work.

That noted, I haven't been on a date in years, and I haven't really fallen hard for someone in a long time, either. As in the "makes my mind spin" driven crazy sort of fallen. At most I've been attracted and interested, but not enough to really care at this point. And honestly, life's a lot less stressful when you're not worried about finding someone.

I don't really know what my point is. I'm hardly the first person that should be offering up dating advice. But to me, if you play video games, you play video games. If you're ashamed of it, other people will know because it will show in your speech and body language. If you seem ashamed, then people will think it is something to be ashamed of and judge you based on that. And hey, maybe part of you does really question your devotion to the hobby. But that should be unrelated to whether someone else likes you and more about whether you are spending your time in a way that makes you happy.

So the way I see it, if it's relevant to the conversation, do not be ashamed to mention that, yes, you play video games, or you're really excited about this one game that came out, etc. If the other person can't deal with that, then you might as well move on because it's not going to work. Otherwise, who gives a damn?

I think Certis hit the nail on the head when he talked about the fundamental problem with the very question - playing games shouldn't be a loaded thing at all. When you make it weighty, then it gets weighty.

I've been out of the dating pool for some time (which either makes me super qualified or completely unqualified to toss my opinion into the ring) but I don't think you have to apologize for any aspect of your life, and conversely you don't have to define yourself as your interests. We're all alive for a limited amount of time, doing our best to find meaning and joy. Find the common ground, negotiate the boundaries, and respect the uncommon ground.

My game I had to fight to love is Street Fighter 4 (no pun intended). I watched the 2009 EVO finals and got really interested in the game, but had no history with fighting games. I was getting my head handed to me online, basically trying to hit the one combo I knew over and over and over. My win rate was around 5-10%...

Eventually I stumbled upon an amazing tutorial series on Youtube that broke down the basics/fundamentals of the game. It really blew my mind, as there was so much going on I had no idea about. Almost 5 years later, I don't consider myself great at the game, but I at least know what I'm doing and my win rate is around 60%. Not to mention, when I watch the EVO finals now, I have a way better understanding of what they are doing.

At least now I don't lose to button mashers anymore!

Also, on the 8-person co-op topic. If they are up for an MMO, Final Fantasy 14 has some great 8-man party content. And the regular dungeons are 4-man.

My last fight-to-love game was Valkyria Chronicles. I love the art direction and enjoy the mechanics, but the menu-within-menu-within-menu set up and un-skippable cut-scenes make me want to punch kittens.

It baffles me that y'all consistently get "how do I trick my spouse into letting me play more games" inquiries. He/she MARRIED this person; how was this not addressed before the wedding day?

LarryC wrote:

1st ed. D&D (Red Box and stuff) - multiclassing restricted to race choice. Generally okay.

2nd ed. D&D - Multiclassing related to race choice, but with many options. Generally considered powerful, but ultimately limiting; all races except human had level limits. Generally better to multiclass as demihuman because of said level limits. Humans cannot multiclass.

3rd ed. D&D - Multiclassing totally screwed; considered reactionary to too-powerful multiclassing in 2nd edition. Basic multiclassing mechanic borked. Prestige Classes offer some fixes.

4th ed. D&D - not old-school D&D. Multiclassing somewhat restricted. Some combinations very good, many not so good; dependent on primary attack attributes and defense attributes lining up.

Ahh man, I loved multiclassing in 3rd edition because it was so flexible. D&D has never been about min-maxing or even viability for me; for roleplaying purposes, being able to mix whatever classes you liked together was great. 4th edition sucked all the fun out of it by making cross-class stuff all feat based, which meant you couldn't pick other feats to flesh out your character concept. Not that many of the feats in 4th edition were much fun anyway...

*falls down the D&D Edition Wars rabbit hole*

Seriously, every now and then there's a show that confirms why I listen and why I wish I knew more Goodjers in real life. Nodding along to all the book recommendations at the end...yep, yep, yep. Sean gets a special nod cause of Hyperion. My recommendation would be The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey.

For short stories, check out Lightspeed Magazine. It's a relatively new magazine (started a couple years ago, I think) with some great content. Also, check out the writer Ted Chiang.

Finally, MORE LARA!! MORE LARA!!

@Rob Zacny:
The next Iain M Banks after Phlebas is The Player of Games, which is generally more positive..and is all about the best strategy gamer in the universe!

..but then maybe skip Use of Weapons, as that one is especially dire.

I've been fighting to like Crusader Kings. No luck so far. Anyone want to give me a free two hour coaching session?

I have two "fight to love it" games.

One was Far Cry 2. I picked it up, started playing it and hated it. Just hated it. For all the reasons everyone who hates it cite (I won't go into them here, they are well-documented). But I kept hearing from people whose opinions I respect that the game was awesome. So I tried again. And still hated it but kept going because evidently there was a great game in there somewhere, I just couldn't see it.

Then it clicked. I was playing it wrong. I was playing it like a traditional shooter. It looks like a shooter and you shoot stuff like you would in a shooter and there's lots of guns and missions. But it's not really a shooter. I don't know what it is, it is unlike anything else I have ever played. But suddenly, all the things that were annoying about the game melted away. Yhe game isn't about going from mission to mission gunning people down; it is all about the stuff between. It's about exploration and discovery that just happen to have shooty bits mixed in. In Far Cry 2, it is not the endpoints that are important, it is the journey.

The other game is Alpha Protocol. Similar to Far Cry 2, it looks like a shooter. When I first played it, I played it like I would a shooter. And it is a terrible FPS. The guns have little heft, the aiming is a little dodgy and the "super powers" are nonsensical. But, once I put it down in disgust, waited for awhile and went back to it, I discovered Alpha Protocol may be a terrible FPS but it is a really great RPG. Suddenly, all the stuff that bugged me made sense and I came to regard Alpha Protocol as a brilliant game, one of my all-time favorites. It took a while to get there but I am glad I gave it another chance.

Redwing wrote:

*falls down the D&D Edition Wars rabbit hole*

I love falling down that rabbit hole (and 100% agree with you.) Third edition's flexibility was just so so good.

The most recent game I had to fight to love was Borderlands 2. I loved the first game, but the second one never clicked. I played two hours, dropped it, came back months later and dragged myself threw it. Never got over it, never loved it even a quarter as much as I loved the first one.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

I've been out of the dating pool for some time (which either makes me super qualified or completely unqualified to toss my opinion into the ring

The day a work colleague told me she was fretting over reading a facebook message from a guy she had recently become interested in because the message sends an alert when it is received, and then asked myself and the co-workers nearby how long she ought to wait to read it to not look desperate, I realised I'm waaaaay to long out of that game.

For reference, the consensus was three days, I told her those pre-dating mind games are bullsh*t and just to look at the message, but got shot down by every single colleague there. I then found a Chrome plug-in that prevents the message received notification and set it up for her.

But f*ck that noise. Glad I'm not single in this day and age.

It sounds like the same thing as "how long do I wait to call back?" and "how long do I wait to text back?" The song stays the same even as the instrumental arrangement varies.

F*ck that noise indeed!

"I'm a gamer."

I think this statement is the problem. I would never label myself based on a hobby I have. I think if someone asks you what you do for fun and that is your answer then they have every right to read that as a red flag, it gives off the impression that this is how you define yourself and it very well may be an obsession.

If you asked someone who was into going to dog shows what they did for a hobby they probably wouldn't respond "I'm a dog show enthusiast". They would probably say something like I like to go hiking, watch tv, and go to dog shows. I think the thing is most women want to see that your a fairly well rounded person, and I think defining yourself by one eccentricity rightfully tells them that you may not be what they are looking for in a mate.

I'd say I'm a cyclist or a runner. I don't think either of those would have the same effect as saying "I'm a gamer."

Yeah, I'm not really bothered by the phrase "I'm a gamer." I don't think that's the problem at all. I would be turned off by someone who goes out of their way to define themselves as just one thing - to me that's more of an issue. That's a red flag. That says "I have an obsession that occupies my every waking hour to the exclusion of all other things."

If someone asks for a quick shorthand on how you spend your free time and you say "I watch sports" and then nothing else, that person will think you are a weirdly obsessive sports person. If you say "I like sports, video games, and traveling" you sound normal. True, it is still a pretty narrow self definition, but someone just having more than one option suggests significantly more diversity of interest.

I'm a gamer, I'm a nerd, I'm a geek AAAAAND I DON'T CARE !!!!
I'm also single, ha ha ha!

Eleima wrote:

The most recent game I had to fight to love was Borderlands 2. I loved the first game, but the second one never clicked. I played two hours, dropped it, came back months later and dragged myself threw it. Never got over it, never loved it even a quarter as much as I loved the first one.

I'm about like this with Borderlands 2 as well, though I think I may like it more than you did.

As for gaming - I made sure my husband was aware of this hobby well before we got married. As for how other potential suitors might have received it is hard to say, since the reaction is different when the gamer is female, not male. However, as I've mentioned in other threads, my experience is probably atypical, because the reaction I get is generally positive - teenage males have complimented me on my Portal t-shirts, as well as my Pokemon 3DS XL, for example.

I dive into EQ2 often. Unfortunately it never lasts longer than 2 weeks. (oddly I have a much better time with the original eq)
But a few months ago, they opened up the test server to test the new expansion. This unlocked everything for f2p players so I was able to play the new class the channeler and the previous new class the beastlord. The channeler was good but too awkward to play consistently. The beastlord however, is fantastic! It is so much fun and like no other class in EQ2. And I am just waiting for a station cash sale to buy the adventurers pack that contains it and a few other things from the Age of Discovery expansion.

Don't get me started on that. AoD is the only expansion not included when you purchase the new expansion. You basically have to drop $40 for the beastlord, mercenaries, and transmog. Then if you want the channeler class, you have to spend another $40 for the new expansion. It would have been a much more attractive buy if you spent the $40 on the new expansion and got everything that came before it. (as was par for the course in previous expansions for both eq2 and eq)

Witcher 2 is definitely one of my white wales. I do not get it at all.