GWJ Conference Call Episode 462

Rocket League, OlliOlli2, Prune, Warhammer: Shadow of The Horned Rat, TrackIR, 80 Days, Payment Models, Your Emails and More!

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This week Sean Sands, Julian Murdoch and Rob Zacny talk payment models, their Rocket League love and more.

To contact us, email call@gamerswithjobs.com! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about or whatever else is on your mind.

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Comments

Do NOT appologize for talking about Rocket League! For those that play, join the Steam group and play with your fellow Goodjers. We're very welcoming of all skill levels!

On the VR thing, my skepticism of it has nothing to do with whether I think games are as good as they're going to get. I just realize my own limitations. I'm lazy and impatient.

If a game requires more than turning on a system and playing, I'm much less likely to want to do it. If I know I'll have to spend fifteen minutes getting equipment out of a closet, hooking it up, hooking it up again because the system didn't register it the first time, setting it up, opening the game, getting the game settings right, then playing I'm not going to bother. I only have so many hours in the day, and I'd rather be playing than preparing to play.

Also there's no way any head-set is going to be comfortable for me. I've never owned a pair of headphones that I could stand wearing for more than an hour or so at a time, and now I'm supposed to wear a whole face mask? Again, I don't deny the tech is cool but that is an active deterrent to me playing with it.

I also don't like the prospect of being completely isolated from my family while I'm playing.

So there are a lot of deterrents for me, and I really don't want VR to be the next thing that I have to dive into if I want to continue gaming. I'm sure that's just doomsday mentality, as it's not very likely that VR will replace monitors, but that's where my skepticism comes from.

How many people would like to switch places with the person that wants to catch up on +5 yrs of PC games and MAME ?
Imagine not having played Fallout 3 or Bioshock !
You sir, are in for a treat.
I'd recommend - Skyrim, Dragon Age, Cities Skylines, Shadow of Mordor, Portal 2, Alien Iso, Outlast and Mount & Blade: Warband
I've sunk weeks into these.

Very cool that Elysium mentioned 80 Days, we don't talk about iOS games nearly enough! I loved 80 Days and played it obsessively for months last year and I really recommend it. Very neat steampunk spin on Jules Verne. (Not cyberpunk )
Also, after hearing about Prune on Isometric and now from Rabbit, I'm convinced and downloading it now. Booyah, Mister Levine!

I'm a bit disappointed by Rob Zacny's rant on VR though, and surprised that neither Rabbit nor Elysium followed up. Isn't there room for some of us who just aren't excited about VR? I'm one of those, and I'm not saying to stop development on VR and eye tracking and all that jazz, not by any means. But it's not for me. I don't want to have a contraption on my head, it makes me kinda claustrophobic, to be honest. I don't want to have my entire field of vision obscured when someone might come in the door, or one of the boys might wake unexpectedly from his nap. I want to be able to hit escape and bolt. To say nothing of the feeling of vulnerability the sole idea of having a sense or two entirely out of tune with the immediate environment; as a woman, that immediately, viscerally makes me go "nooooope!"
You can't force us onto this bandwagon, Mr Zacny. Let us cheer it on from the sidelines, but don't expect us to jump in.

Edit: DoubtingThausered. And he brings up super good points.

Rest assured, Elysium, you're definitely not the only one when it comes to inconsistencies on payment methods for games. It's ridiculous but I can't help myself. I'll drop 100€ on preordering the Guild Wars 2 expansion (admittedly after some grumbling, but I'm at 930+ hours) or 70€ on the Collector's Edition of Dragon Age: Inquisition, but resist paying 3 bucks for a game in the Apple Store. It makes absolutely no sense. If a game is free to play, I will grind away and make a point of not spending a dime. Rob Zacny made a great point on tokens, I do the same thing with boosters in GW2. I've gotten a few "for free" doing dailies and the like, and I just can't bring myself to use them, I just hoard them. It's ridiculous!
And to answer Rob Zacny, the collector's edition or special edition is important to me, but only on games that I fervently care about. I'm a huge game music fan, so I love having a soundtrack (still kinda miffed about how lame the OST was for Pillars of Eternity). I don't own any statuettes (aside from an Ezio statuette a friend gave me when he got AC2), but I enjoy the art books. And I **really** like having the N7 logo on my ME2 collector's edition instead of BroShep. I just really like feelies, always have. I didn't get the collector's for Witcher games, but I love the idea of the dice, for example. I'll only pay for games that are important to me, much like Rabbit said.

My sympathies to Richard on getting laid off. Hope you manage to bounce back sooner rather than later. And +1 on Dishonored and its DLC, it's really awesome.

Lots of fun to be had with this GWJCC, I was giggling through most of the end there (and it's true, the GWJCC does make housework easier as many of us will attest).

00:01:22 Rocket League
00:10:55 OlliOlli2
00:16:43 Prune
00:18:05 Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat
00:21:21 TrackIR
00:26:35 80 Days
00:31:03 Trial of the Clone
00:33:00 Payment Models
00:55:35 Your Emails
01:14:18 Esports Today podcast

I bought a collectors edition once (in the early days when they didn't contain statues, working night vision goggles, etc) and I felt I wasted my money. I haven't bought one since. When I look at the items in collectors editions, even for a game I love, and all I can see if future clutter that will hang around the edges of my desk/home until enough time has passed that I can bin it, donate it to a charity shop or put it in the loft to postpone the day I inevitably do one of the first two things I mentioned.

I may be a skinflint but I'm a pretty consistent skinflint. I spend as little money on games as possible. In my own defence I don't have a lot of money to throw around so any money I save on one game allows me to play another one. If I'm careful with my money I can play considerably more games in a year that I would otherwise be able to.

One thing that is sometimes mentioned, when games are deemed to be too expensive or publishers are using 'underhand' business practices, is the fact that, getting the most money they can out of their customers is their job. That is what businesses do. What is rarely, if ever, mentioned is that, as customers, part of our role is to get as much for our money as possible. If I know a game is going to be 50% cheaper in three months time it is completely reasonable, especially if I have 20 games I need to play in the mean time, to wait those three months before buying the game. The added bonus being, if it's a stinker, or just a great game that I personally don't get on with, I have only wasted 50% of the money I would otherwise have wasted (Likely as not the game will also have been patched into a working state by then and will have most of it's dlc available.)

To relate it to buying cars, if a salesman said to me, "This new car, including all the extras you want, is £6,000 but, just to let you know, in three months time the same car, with the same extras, will be £3,000." I don't think any of my friends, if I bought the car there and then for £6000, would consider that a sensible use of my money.

I'm sorry, Elysium, but that $750 figure that you wanted to use for your example of how much you've spent on WoW is way off. Here's the amount I came up with.

Spoiler tagged in case you'd rather not see it.

Spoiler:

$50 (retail price of vanilla game)
+
$200 (5 expansions at $40 each)
+
$1260 ($15/month for a full 7 years, based on your comment where you said you've been playing for "7 or 8 years")
_____
$1510

I'm not clicking that spoiler.

*clicks the spoiler*

*cries*

Higgledy wrote:

One thing that is sometimes mentioned, when games are deemed to be too expensive or publishers are using 'underhand' business practices, is the fact that, getting the most money they can out of their customers is their job. That is what businesses do. What is rarely, if ever, mentioned is that, as customers, part of our role is to get as much for our money as possible. If I know a game is going to be 50% cheaper in three months time it is completely reasonable, especially if I have 20 games I need to play in the mean time, to wait those three months before buying the game. The added bonus being, if it's a stinker, or just a great game that I personally don't get on with, I have only wasted 50% of the money I would otherwise have wasted (Likely as not the game will also have been patched into a working state by then and will have most of it's dlc available.)

To relate it to buying cars, if a salesman said to me, "This new car, including all the extras you want, is £6,000 but, just to let you know, in three months time the same car, with the same extras, will be £3,000." I don't think any of my friends, if I bought the car there and then for £6000, would consider that a sensible use of my money.

This.

Whenever someone says "this game isn't worth X dollars, I always silently add the words "to me." Collectors editions and bundles of consumables exist because people buy them in sufficient quantities to make the business case for selling them. The people who buy those things aren't suckers or rubes or idiots, they just found something of value and decided to spend money on it.

I don't personally want an Italian sports car, but I don't look down on people who do. I do, however, occasionally want a game bad enough to spend full retail on it.

For example, I preordered Fallout 4. Sure, in a year's time they'll release a GOTY edition that has the patched version of the game and all of the DLC for the same price that I paid for the base game. I don't care. I wants it for my own, my precious.

MeatMan wrote:

I'm sorry, Elysium, but that $750 figure that you wanted to use for your example of how much you've spent on WoW is way off. Here's the amount I came up with.

Spoiler tagged in case you'd rather not see it.

Spoiler:

$50 (retail price of vanilla game)
+
$200 (5 expansions at $40 each)
+
$1260 ($15/month for a full 7 years, based on your comment where you said you've been playing for "7 or 8 years")
_____
$1510

You can probably take about $75 off of that for free months that came with the game and its expansions, but yeah.. that's about where my back of the envelope math was when I was listening.

Regarding F2P games and their monetization, I finally broke, over this past year, and spent money twice in Marvel Puzzle Quest - the first two times I've ever spent money on a free to play game of any sort. That said, I don't regret it at all - I knew I was being manipulated (the game even comments on it in its metatext, through Deadpool - one of his powers is literally, "Whales! Whales! Whales!"), but I was enjoying (and am still enjoying) the game, and I wanted to keep all the goodies that had a timed expiration date.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Whenever someone says "this game isn't worth X dollars, I always silently add the words "to me." Collectors editions and bundles of consumables exist because people buy them in sufficient quantities to make the business case for selling them. The people who buy those things aren't suckers or rubes or idiots, they just found something of value and decided to spend money on it.

I don't personally want an Italian sports car, but I don't look down on people who do. I do, however, occasionally want a game bad enough to spend full retail on it.

This whole post is what I was getting ready to write, but especially the bold parts. Thanks for posting, Thomas.

Tanglebones wrote:
MeatMan wrote:

I'm sorry, Elysium, but that $750 figure that you wanted to use for your example of how much you've spent on WoW is way off. Here's the amount I came up with.

Spoiler tagged in case you'd rather not see it.

Spoiler:

$50 (retail price of vanilla game)
+
$200 (5 expansions at $40 each)
+
$1260 ($15/month for a full 7 years, based on your comment where you said you've been playing for "7 or 8 years")
_____
$1510

You can probably take about $75 off of that for free months that came with the game and its expansions, but yeah.. that's about where my back of the envelope math was when I was listening.

True, but I bet Elysium has actually played for more than 7 years, considering that WoW was released almost 11 years ago. So the actual total amount is surely higher than my estimate, not lower.

Lots of thoughts on this one.

A Mordheim X-Com style game has me more interested than any of the Warhammer games have to date. This is the first I heard of it and I will definitely look further into it.

I noticed 80 days is available on the iOS store as a four game package for $14. Are the other games as awesome?

I always think at best VR will become a fad for a few years like Wii Motes or fake plastic instruments; neither of which were able to sink hooks in me. I am trying to keep an open mind because I was extremely opposed to computer games requiring mice once upon a time. I do feel my younger self was somewhat correct in assuming it would mean a collective dumbing down of adventure and roleplaying games; however, imagine all of the brilliant genres that may have never existed without mice. I also am loathe to wear any peripheral on my head. One of the luxuries of being an adult is I can play games in the living room without having to wear uncomfortable headphones. The sensory deprivation is also a huge turn off. I'll wait to see how it all shakes out.

I am sure I have spent well over $5,000 on MMO subscriptions, used to have a monthly Xbox avatar clothing budget, and will frequently buy a collector's edition of it comes with an art book or soundtrack, so it doesn't make sense that I would be so opposed to paying money on free-to-play games but I am. I always chalked it up to not feeling like the offered "bonus" content were valuable enough. Paying to win kind of offends me (I can see the argument supporting it). Buying a cute dress for my virtual doll I intend to spend over 500 hours playing with is fine but buying a cute dress, or *yuck* a hat, for a doll I am only going to play with for 20-ish hours doesn't seem worth it. I think you touched on a couple other issues I hadn't considered that also affect me. It does unconsciously kind of feel like the developer is trying to get one over on me. It is like when beer or wine prices aren't listed on a menu; just tell me how much it is, so I can know whether to order two bottles or three. As a fellow smoker I think that is part of it as well. In college I would often get out of control and smoke 2 or 3 packs a day, then I started budgeting it and roughly keeping track and if I smoke a whole pack hanging out with friends then I will just go a day without smoking. Video games are my fun time and I am not yet willing to start recording exact minor transactions to make sure I am keeping within budget. It is much easier to just not spend any money on the free games.

I don't play Rocket League at all but I highly enjoy the conversation. You don't have to apologize.

Log_In_Lain wrote:

I noticed 80 days is available on the iOS store as a four game package for $14. Are the other games as awesome?

I got the four game package. The other games aren't bad, but they aren't as awesome as 80 Days. Basically I've played once through Sorcery! and Sorcery! 2, and a couple of times through Down with the Dead Men (which has a piratey theme, more fun!). None of them enthralled me like 80 Days, but YMMV, of course.

So I have a wow question:

If I get into World of Warcraft do I have to buy every expansion up to the current one, or can I just jump in at the latest expansion?

It's complicated. The level gating, and some of the classes and races are based on which expansions you own. If you buy the basic game, you're good until level 60, at which point you'd need the first expansion to progress, etc, etc.. That said, I think the game is free to play until level 20 or so now, and the base game alone is probably still good for about 40-50 hours of gameplay. By that point, you'd probably have a sense of whether you want to buy in even more.

Thank you for the recommendation, Eleima. I think I will just pick them all up. I have enough credit on the store.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

So I have a wow question:

If I get into World of Warcraft do I have to buy every expansion up to the current one, or can I just jump in at the latest expansion?

Odds are there will be a sale when the expansion comes out or during the holidays. If you don't want to wait, they offer a deal on all of the content for $60.

I definitely recommend playing for free up to level 20 to see if you are interested. Also if you have never played before, find someone you like and have them do the Refer-a-Friend. You'll both get mounts and I think there is an ability to teleport to each other. They sometimes have "bring a friend back" type deals as well.

Tanglebones wrote:

It's complicated. The level gating, and some of the classes and races are based on which expansions you own. If you buy the basic game, you're good until level 60, at which point you'd need the first expansion to progress, etc, etc.. That said, I think the game is free to play until level 20 or so now, and the base game alone is probably still good for about 40-50 hours of gameplay. By that point, you'd probably have a sense of whether you want to buy in even more.

I believe that was the case, yes. But this past fall when my fiance and I decided to adventure out in Azeroth for a few weeks we had to purchase a copy of the game for her. I didn't opt to upgrade to the Warlords expansion, and for her to have all content up to I think mists it was just a 20 dollar purchase. So maybe the most recent one or two expansions will need to be purchased but I believe they now include the rest in the base game at this point.

I buy what I want when I want to and don't feel bad about doing so.

This was my thought when the how we pay for games discussion started. A subsequent sequence of thoughts was

If devs can figure out how to make more money, good on them.

I don't care about trends; if every game became "freemium-like", that is fine as long as I think the content is worth it. If it is not, I will move on to another hobby.

Spoiler:

They probably were not even that coherent in my head

Good episode, by the way.

Chiming in on the free-top-play reluctance and paying for stuff in games...

For me, what makes the difference is if I can see the ceiling to how much I can spend. Games with "store points", "Time points", and "boosts" have essentially no ceiling to how much you can spend. This is a non-starter for me because it signals that the relationship between my wallet and the game dev is setup as such that the dev will bleed me dry if I dont have the restraint. At least I know myself enough to avoid those situations.

I think this is close to the reluctance that Sean (?) and others had with buying points etc. on some games.

That doesnt mean that I need the dev to give me their whole game for $5 or whatever the value. I spend money on games, I spend money on free to play games. For instance, I have a about 20 of the Heroes of the Storm heroes. This is an easier free to play purchase because when I buy a hero, I've bough the whole hero. I am done. Heroes might keep coming out every month and I dont have to buy them, but when I do buy them It's a *whole* purchase.

Likewise with WoW. Every time you spend $15 for a month, you know exactly what you paid for: a month of WoW with access to all that entails.

Hearthstone gets a little trickier... but when you buy packs/expansions you what you're getting too, though the ceiling is a bit more variable. If you're buying packs just to get cards that's what you get, if you're looking for a specific car you'll either get it, or get enough dust to craft it (well except for legendaries.... the legendaries get tricky but you can grind for them).

There's a reason why those strategies work well, they dont make you feel like a huge chump and they dont demand much extra work from you to figure out if you're getting the best value for what you're spending on.

On the other hand, for points based systems... you need to min max, and for time-based boosts you NEED to give it all your time or you'll waste some of your value. It feels cheep, it feels like they're trying to "get" you, and when they have you there's no telling how much you could potentially spend.

MeatMan wrote:

I'm sorry, Elysium, but that $750 figure that you wanted to use for your example of how much you've spent on WoW is way off. Here's the amount I came up with.

Out of morbid curiosity, I checked out my own account.

Counting cost of games plus every expansion as collectors edition, monthly subs, in-game shop purchases, character transfers/changes, my total as of this month is $2552.03.

I dunno, that's almost 10 years of entertainment. Seems like a bargain to me.

I hereby award the Medal of Missing The Point to one R.Zacny.

Rob's VR rant misses the point of the cynicism over VR. And it's absolutely because we've been burned before. I'm super excited about having my own ludicrous headgear, but I recognize that I am in the minority. And that's where the cynicism is coming from. VR is absolutely going to be a niche that's fun for us nerds. It's a novelty that we'll love for a few years, but it's just not a technology that's going to "change the world", it's just another technology that's innovative and interesting, and some people will dig that for a few years, then we'll all move on. It's not going to go mainstream, because wearing that getup is downright stupid, and I'm one of the minority that's willing to jump through all those hoops for the opportunity to do something stupid.

Eleima wrote:

I'm a bit disappointed by Rob Zacny's rant on VR though, and surprised that neither Rabbit nor Elysium followed up. Isn't there room for some of us who just aren't excited about VR? I'm one of those, and I'm not saying to stop development on VR and eye tracking and all that jazz, not by any means. But it's not for me. I don't want to have a contraption on my head, it makes me kinda claustrophobic, to be honest. I don't want to have my entire field of vision obscured when someone might come in the door, or one of the boys might wake unexpectedly from his nap. I want to be able to hit escape and bolt. To say nothing of the feeling of vulnerability the sole idea of having a sense or two entirely out of tune with the immediate environment; as a woman, that immediately, viscerally makes me go "nooooope!"
You can't force us onto this bandwagon, Mr Zacny. Let us cheer it on from the sidelines, but don't expect us to jump in.

This is exactly how I feel about VR. It has nothing to do with the quality of games -- if good games come out for VR it'll just make me sad because I still won't want to play in a VR headset.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

On the VR thing, my skepticism of it has nothing to do with whether I think games are as good as they're going to get. I just realize my own limitations. I'm lazy and impatient.

If a game requires more than turning on a system and playing, I'm much less likely to want to do it. If I know I'll have to spend fifteen minutes getting equipment out of a closet, hooking it up, hooking it up again because the system didn't register it the first time, setting it up, opening the game, getting the game settings right, then playing I'm not going to bother. I only have so many hours in the day, and I'd rather be playing than preparing to play.

This is only a valid argument with VR as it is being designed today. I expect VR to become the standard instead of the exception. If you want to watch a movie, you'll be putting on a VR headset instead of looking at a TV. Headsets will become more compact, wireless and lighter. Eventually they will just beam the visual data directly onto the retina instead of being bulky LCD displays. I agree that what is being released now is not optimal, but your reasons why VR isn't good is based on today, not tomorrow.

If you were to go back in time and bring a modern 4K TV to your father or grand father, they would probably feel overwhelmed with your selection of channels and complicated remote control. Sure, he'll love the picture quality, but he would be happy going back to his 15" 13 channel CRT. As time progresses, so will the acceptance of newer technology.

Ive been listening for over 10 years and don't get on the forums much anymore. Just wanted to say thanks guys for doing this awesome podcast week after week. You're all amazing super creative people.

Love Brae

Grrr, its all I been hearing about across several podcasts/streams. I want it so badly, but just dont have the funds for it on Steam. Its great to hear all this. But I want to play too lol.

kazar wrote:
doubtingthomas396 wrote:

On the VR thing, my skepticism of it has nothing to do with whether I think games are as good as they're going to get. I just realize my own limitations. I'm lazy and impatient.

If a game requires more than turning on a system and playing, I'm much less likely to want to do it. If I know I'll have to spend fifteen minutes getting equipment out of a closet, hooking it up, hooking it up again because the system didn't register it the first time, setting it up, opening the game, getting the game settings right, then playing I'm not going to bother. I only have so many hours in the day, and I'd rather be playing than preparing to play.

This is only a valid argument with VR as it is being designed today. I expect VR to become the standard instead of the exception. If you want to watch a movie, you'll be putting on a VR headset instead of looking at a TV. Headsets will become more compact, wireless and lighter. Eventually they will just beam the visual data directly onto the retina instead of being bulky LCD displays. I agree that what is being released now is not optimal, but your reasons why VR isn't good is based on today, not tomorrow.

So, if I want to watch a movie with my wife I'll need two headsets/cybernetic eyeball implants? Four if I want to watch with my kids?

I make my living off of advanced technology, but no thanks to that.

Kazan wrote:

If you were to go back in time and bring a modern 4K TV to your father or grand father, they would probably feel overwhelmed with your selection of channels and complicated remote control. Sure, he'll love the picture quality, but he would be happy going back to his 15" 13 channel CRT. As time progresses, so will the acceptance of newer technology.

I remember seeing an ESD prostate stimulator in a museum once. It was in an array with a hundred other attachments that could be applied to various bits of the human anatomy. The power of static electricity would cure everything from poor appetite to too much appetite. It was the future!

More recently, and less ridiculously, correspondents on this very podcast were proclaiming that FarmVille was The Future of video games. How'd that work out?

History is littered with advanced technology that heralded The Future. New technology gets widely accepted only if it's measurably "better" than the old technology in terms of convenience, price and utility. Maybe VR will get there and will replace television screens, but with luck I'll be dead by then and everyone else can die of dehydration from all the vomiting, or get their cybernetic eyeball implants hacked by the Chinese.

I have no animosity toward VR. If you want it, have at it. I understand the appeal of it, but if it becomes the only way to consume media then I'm taking up macrame.

Preach it, DoubtingT!!! Although no macramé for me. If headsets and cybernetic eyeball implants are the future, then I'll stick to more gloriously old school rig with an i5, a GTX 970, a XBox 360 controller, a G500 mouse and a wonderfully clickety mechanical keyboard. Awww yeah.

In the end, though, I really think this sentence is key:

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

I have no animosity toward VR. If you want it, have at it.

That's basically what I was arguing in my first post. If you want it, take it, but don't force it on others.

Eleima wrote:

That's basically what I was arguing in my first post. If you want it, take it, but don't force it on others.

This line confuses me though. In the podcast Rob wasn't saying that he wants everyone to embrace it, nor has anyone else. He is just saying that VR won't succeed if people judge it without giving it a shot. Nobody can force you to do anything. There are people who still prefer to read books over watching a movie or TV show. Some people thought about the car the way you think about VR. Some got over it and gave up their horse and carriage, but others probably did stick to it until they died. But I truly believe that VR will eventually replace TV though and even if you don't like it, content for flat screen monitors will slowly disappear. But I think it will take 20+ years for it to get to that stage.

I don't think ocular implants are going to be around for a much longer time. My comment was more about glasses that look like regular corrective lenses that have mini projectors that beam light into your eye. Maybe this generation of VR won't work for you, but one day it might be something you like.

IMAGE(https://scifiinterfaces.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/sttng-the-game-02.png?w=545&h=408)

Kazar, you might need to take another look at my posts, and Demyx's. I don't think we're alone in this, but even if half the population feels claustrophobic, and vulnerable, and genuinely alarmed at the sensory deprivation linked to VR, then that is not a viable solution that will supplant the other forms of entertainment. The market just isn't there, and won't be until society itself changes (see the rape culture thread).

To say nothing of the feeling of togetherness that is loss when watching a movie with your family, like DoubtingT pointed out.

Edit: I've had some more thoughts. The thing about watching movies or playing a console in your living room is that it's a social thing. People get together and do this thing together. The moment you strap that thing on your head, you're mostly closed off from the rest of the world.
Call me when they invent the holodeck.