GWJ Conference Call Episode 538

Resident Evil 7 (VR and Regular), Farcry Primal Survival Mode, For Honor Beta, The Vive ... Sold?!, Random Draw Topics, Your Emails and More!

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This week Julian, Sean Sands, Amanda and Shawn roll the wheel and hit 3 random topics submitted by listeners!

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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Show credits

Music credits: 

B3 - BoxCat Games - http://box-cat.com/ - 25:06

Mt Fox Shop - BoxCat Games - http://box-cat.com/ - 42:57

Comments

I am a big fan of the Diablo series but I haven't touched Diablo 3 for a couple/few seasons now. With almost nothing new in the last few seasons I have had nothing to draw me back to the game. I am genuinely interested in why members of the panel are still playing it so often. I didn't even end up playing the anniversary event because I felt it was poorly executed and mostly a bad reskin with a grainy visual filter (and I only briefly played the original Diablo so perhaps a little less nostalgic for me than others). I will buy the Necromancer pack, and I definitely understand Amanda's excitement playing through it completely for the first time, but I don't know what keeps players going season after season when the devs aren't adding anything of substance. I really got tired of the grind and re-levelling up characters only to use the same build I did in a previous season or just try to attain the same items and sets everyone else is already using. Holding out hope for an expansion or D4 announcement...

00:01:45 Resident Evil 7
00:12:18 The Vive
00:14:41 Endless Space 2
00:15:54 Diablo III
00:17:06 World of Warcraft
00:18:01 Farcry Primal
00:19:56 For Honor
00:23:50 Patchwork
00:25:06 Random Topics
00:42:57 Your Emails

I'm looking forward to for Honor, but the discussion this week made it sound like it was multiplayer only. Hmm. May have to rethink.

On Gaming While Angry: this describes nearly every online multiplayer game I've ever played. I'm usually fine with them until I start getting enough skill to recognize when I'm doing badly, and when my "teammates" are doing badly.

Lately I've been giving Rocket League a break precisely because I'm getting unreasonably angry too often, either because I'm getting matched with people who don't seem to be able to hold a controller the right way up, or because people who are better at the game keep spamming "nice save" when I miss blocking a shot on goal. (I thought bottle Rockets would be my ticket, but I'm so outclassed among the regulars that I might as well not even touch the controller.)

I'll keep trying, because I apparently hate myself and because I want to find out why the hell everyone seems so high on multiplayer, but so far it's a challenge.

On GTA5 making you a bad person: I struggled hard with this question when my kids were first born. My argument was two-fold. First, I reasoned that character is what you do when nobody is looking, therefore if you want to do reprehensible things when the brakes of consequence are completely off, that said something about you. Playing a game where rape was rewarded, for example, would definitely fall into that category of "games that say something about me that I don't like." Second, I wanted the world my kids grew up in to be a better one, and I couldn't justify rewarding people who catered to humanity's basest impulses with money, because that would only ensure more of it.

Then one day I realized that it's much more complicated than that. It's not in what you do in a game, but how you think about what you're doing in a game. Playing Hitman doesn't make me want to be an assassin in real life, any more than playing Mario Brothers makes me want to be a plumber. Maybe some other person plays Hitman and sees a career opportunity, and that's not good, but it's also not anybody's business until that person actually starts murdering people, and a person like that wasn't going to not murder people just because Hitman didn't exist.

If we could all just settle down and let people love the games they want to love-- or not love games at all, if that's their thing-- well, that makes the world a better place for our kids.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

I'm looking forward to for Honor, but the discussion this week made it sound like it was multiplayer only. Hmm. May have to rethink.

I heard there is a single-player campaign, but we're likely going to have to wait for the release reviews to find out how long it is.

As for getting angry, the only time that happens to me is playing a game where luck is a major component. If it is primarily skill-based, I know my limits and either I blame my old-man-reflexes or just admit that I don't want to play it long enough to get to a certain skill level. I can see where a game like Hearthstone being anger-inducing where some matches are simply unwinnable from the start based on the cards dealt.

For games that make you sad at the end, normally, I'm like Shawn A and do not usually get emotionally invested in what I am playing. Perhaps I am soulless? I'm not a ginger, though... haha! However, Spec Ops: The Line game gave me the most emotional, physical and visceral reaction I have EVER experienced in a game - both during the game and afterwards when thinking and reading about it. I don't seek out games like this - for the same reason I don't watch horror or tear-jerking movies - life itself has plenty of drama and emotion. I play games to feel things I can't experience in real life - heroism, adulation, etc.

Most game endings make me sad, because most game endings are terrible and make me hate games that I enjoyed while I played them.

Vikings, Battle for Asgard, Transistor, Fallout 3, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West are just a few of the games that I liked significantly less because of their endings, and that makes me sad.

Maybe that misses the point of the question.

I feel way too little time was spent regarding an entire species called Horatio.

As ever, very much enjoyed the CC this week. As much as I love the usual in-depth topic format, this week's topic roulette was a fun change-up. I feel compelled to express how much I enjoyed hearing the clatter of Rabbit's lucky 8-sider in the background; I am pro more-lucky-die-rolls on the 'cast, in whatever capacity.

Happy Birthday Rabbit!

Just to give my two-penneth on the Overwatch Battlefield comparison (I can't speak for Call of Duty. I've never played it.) It seems like I am one of the few people who bounced off Overwatch in much the same manner that many people report bouncing off modern military shooters i.e. I played a few games, died randomly to various people and then just called it a day. I wanted to love the game but I don't. That world doesn't grab me at all.

It may seem like Battlefield doesn't have much variety of game play styles when compared to Overwatch but, factor in the myriad of ground, air and sea vehicles in the game, and there is as much, if not more, variety when it comes to ways to play the game. The real test of any multiplayer game is if you love the mechanics and the environments enough to improve and find a niche where your skills will help you prevail.

Modern military shooters seem to be developing a reputation for being the home of the hardcore player but all multiplayer games, from Starcraft to Hearthstone, if they've been around for long enough, have a lot of seasoned players who are practically unbeatable. I have no doubt that, given time, Overwatch will have it's own extensive army of near unstoppable players.

In terms of number of maps, if you are going to play any game for many years straight (as lots of Battlefield players do) you need a good number of maps so the game doesn't get stale. Every map in Battlefield (and even different areas of the same map) offers different tactical challenges, different ranges of combat and lend themselves to different combinations of vehicular, aerial and infantry combat.

One reason I may not have connected with Overwatch is the smaller map sizes. If a map is too small I just feel like I'm running round and round in circles covering the same ground over and over again. I like big open maps where I might be fighting around a petrol station at one moment, driving a tank through a border post at another or trading grenades with unseen soldiers on a rocky hilltop the next.

Battlefield is also, believe it or not, a game where us over 50 year olds can thrive even though we may not have the twitch skills of some of our opponents. Sniping from a distant hilltop, running someone over with an armoured personnel carrier or just being in an attack helicopter tend to negate any inherent reflexive advantage the younger player may enjoy.

Happy 50th, Rabbit. I'm not too far behind you.

IMAGE(http://home.earthlink.net/~hrdina/bunny/image/sparkles.jpg)

I was a little surprised that no one mentioned "Papers, Please" in response to "Games that make you sad". Then, of course, it was mentioned later in the CC.

There are certain locations in Witcher 3 that make me sad (like most of Velen). Likewise, walking through Rapture in BioShock, or through the ships in System Shock 2, has the same effect.

As DT mentioned, the ending of Fallout 3 also made me sad (and very angry at a certain Mutant).

At the end of Brothers, I mostly felt like the developers were manipulative assholes. Didn't they lay it on a bit thick?

My saddest game ending was The Longest Journey. You run that risk with outstanding writing. All the characters, especially April Ryan, were so well drawn I just couldn't stand to say goodbye to them.

Having played several months of both games, I have some sympathy with the Overwatch > Battlefield 1 postulate. However, I don't think the issue is entirely due to 'skill cap' issues. I think the difference is squad-related.

In Overwatch, it is actually quite difficult to do something that doesn't help your squad in some way. Whether or not your character selection matches the current 'meta', unless a player actively runs away from their team and the objective then they are always likely to make some contribution to the collective goal.

In Battlefield 1, the reverse is more likely to be true. It is actually quite difficult to do something that doesn't hurt your squad in some way. To pick one of Higgledy's examples (and I'm not having a dig, Higgledy), sniping from a distant hilltop is almost always the wrong thing to do if you're part of a squad playing one of the objective-based games. The journey to a Point is more perilous for your squad. The act of capturing the Point is slower. There is more likely to be an unmanned gun in the tank. Etc. Etc.

I can easily come out of a Battlefield 1 match feeling that I've contributed more to the opposing side to my own (through my frequent deaths). It's difficult to say the same coming out of an Overwatch match.

I play on PS4 and nine times out of 10 my fellow squad members aren't using microphones and have no interest in sticking together as a squad. About 5 minutes into an Operations or a Conquest match, my green dots are spread across the map like confetti. The result is that we end up using each other as mobile spawn points, rather than team mates.

EDIT:

I cannot prove it, because I can't see the opposing side's view of the map. However, my sense is that when my team is routed, it is because one or more proper squads/clans is on the other side. Certainly, my experience of playing with a proper squad a couple of weekends ago is that a team that sticks together, rolling from Point to Point, is very difficult to stop.

As an aside, I think the squad-breaking 'distractions' (for want of a better word) are a stroke of genius in Battlefield 1. The horses are my personal favourite. My regular playing partner cannot leave them alone, which of course immediately leaves the squad down to 80%. Behemoths are the same. Great for one's individual stats. A disaster for the squad...

And 'Happy Birthday, Rabbit!' I too am creeping towards the big five-oh. Reached 46 two weeks ago...

Good points detroit20. I fully approve of what Overwatch is doing in terms of emphasising the positive in matches and doing away with the K/D ratio. I'm sure they'll retain more players and provide a better game play experience because of it. K/D tends to have a big negative effect on how people behave in games.

I remember reading an anecdote from a management book that demonstrates how easy it is for people to loose track of the true purpose of any task:

A UK bus company was receiving lots of complaints about empty buses were driving past long queues of people at bus stops. The management went to the drivers and asked them all what they thought was going on. The response they received from quite a few drivers was that they couldn't possibly stick to the bus timetables if they had to keep stopping to pick up passengers.

I tended to play Obliteration mode in BF4 which involves transporting a bomb to an objective, arming it and defending it while the other team try to defuse it. I'm all about the objective all of the time (which is one of my strengths as a player) but I'd regularly encounter people sniping from the sidelines with a sniper rifle or a tank and I'd regularly see players who would run past a dropped bomb. If you managed to get an arm on a bomb it was very unlikely anyone from the other team would turn up and try to defuse it because it was too risky for them. The most egregious example was an occasion when I was carrying the bomb and jumped into a nearby tank. The driver, who would know I had the bomb, immediately told me to get out. I stayed where I was but he steadfastly refused to drive towards the objective, presumably because he'd be risking his precious K/D ratio (In the end he jumped out of the tank and ran off and I went for the objective.) If someone with the bomb came to my tank I'd do all I could to get them to an objective. If the tank was full I'd get out and let them have it.

K/D may even be the main reason new players in Battlefield have a bad time being shot a few feet from spawn. It's likely that the culprits are players staying away from the objectives and getting easy, no risk kills just to keep that vital K/D stat in good health (all the best dinner parties in the UK have a K/D stat minimum requirement.)

Hi, Higgledy

Is there an Obliteration-style mode in Battlefield 1? It sounds like the kind of mode I'd both enjoy and - as per your hilarious example - find myself incredibly frustrated by. I've only played Operations and Conquest (having played one hateful game of Domination).

Your story reminded me a game of MAG that I once played. At the start of a Domination match (8 objectives to capture in 30 mintues), my squad spawned in... and five of our 8-man team immediately lay down in a row and started sniping! I was literally speechless! They had decided - before experiencing even one second of the match - that sniping at four or five opposing players, FROM MAXIMUM RANGE, was preferable to even attempting to take the objective.

I think it takes a special kind of twisted logic to conclude - probably correctly - that the best way to preserve one's K/D ratio is to risk no deaths at all while hoping for one or two lucky kills.

On the plus side of your email, I now know why I don't get invited to decent dinner parties...

Hehe. That's definitely where you are going wrong dinner party wise

I don't have BF1 yet. Most games I don't buy because I know I won't play them for months on end. BF1 I'm not buying because I know it's going to take over my life for a month or two when I do.

The pigeon release game sounds in the spirit of Obliteration. You have to run to a pigeon randomly placed on the map, write a note while holding the pigeon (there is probably an art to that) and then release it somewhere where it can't be shot down. It does sound like it would be as fun and as frustrating as Obliteration.

From what I've heard, Operations is supposed to be a very nice mix between Conquest and Rush.

I think that selling your Vive was a good decision, so congrats!

@Dylan Braille

Why did you think that it was a good decision? Genuinely interested (on another thread, I've expressed my scepticism about the long term prospects of VR in video gaming).

Regarding RE7, VR, and smellovision, this is an officially licensed product:

IMAGE(https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Y0MytAaUYXmHvrfJmVl3zPTWC2I=/0x0:856x554/920x613/filters:focal(360x209:496x345):format(webp)/cdn2.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/52608477/recandle_main.0.jpg)

It's supposed to smell like "old timber, leather, and maybe some blood..."

I enjoyed the RE7 and VR discussion this week! I've played the first 90 minutes or so in VR and am hoping to get through it by the end of the year. It's pretty great but hard to get psyched up to play. I've also been kind of busy.

Happy 50th to Rabbit! You're less than 6 years behind me!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!!!

detroit20 wrote:

@Dylan Braille

Why did you think that it was a good decision? Genuinely interested (on another thread, I've expressed my scepticism about the long term prospects of VR in video gaming).

Personally, I sold mine very soon. Why? That's simple: I just got used to it and it was like: VR.. Meh... Whatever.
I don't know, it's like I've got enough of it and it got boring.

LTTP: Happy Birthday Rabbit!

First, Happy Birthday to Rabbit!

Second, last night on Conan Tom Brady admitted he has his share of broken remotes and one broken TV due to gamer rage. So don't feel so bad when you rage out - maybe it just means your passionate about life and a true competitor. Or something.

My Two Cents on the Battlefield/Overwatch talk -

I don't think skillcap is really the point, as there is an *amazingly* wide range of skill between players. I think it has much more to do with Blizzard's excellent match making system and an ocean of players to match you against. That's what makes people come back, because you can always come out on top, some of the time.

Battlefield will always have a disparity of skill, but unlike Overwatch with its wide variety of characters, it includes vehicles. And vehicles, by and large, are much sturdier than just a lone soldier, so it creates a disparity of HP/armor what have you. And if you're not one of the lucky ones that gets a vehicle...sorry. Better luck next time.

Both experiences are made better by playing with a group, though. We're a lucky bunch to have a dedicated group of awesomes with whom we can play.

I'm surprised nobody brought up Valiant Hearts ~ The Great War ~ in the sad games discussion. Probably because nobody played it. That game had me in tears at the end. Great game, but I have no intention of ever playing it again.

bobbywatson wrote:

I'm surprised nobody brought up Valiant Hearts ~ The Great War ~ in the sad games discussion. Probably because nobody played it. That game had me in tears at the end. Great game, but I have no intention of ever playing it again.

2nd on my List Of Games That Caused Me To Experience Emotions (behind SpecOps: The Line). Others on this list are Journey, Transistor, and the original Max Payne.

So nobody believes eye-tracking peripherals have a future?

NB: I work with eye-tracking so this is a bit of a plug.

SimulatedMan wrote:

So nobody believes eye-tracking peripherals have a future?

NB: I work with eye-tracking so this is a bit of a plug.

I always thought eye-tracking could be used to save processing power. Our eyes can only focus on a small radius, so everything outside of that could be rendered low-res - rather than rendering the entire screen perfectly. It would have to have super-low latency, and possibly predictive algorithms to determine where the eye is moving to focus...

dewalist wrote:
SimulatedMan wrote:

So nobody believes eye-tracking peripherals have a future?

NB: I work with eye-tracking so this is a bit of a plug.

I always thought eye-tracking could be used to save processing power. Our eyes can only focus on a small radius, so everything outside of that could be rendered low-res - rather than rendering the entire screen perfectly. It would have to have super-low latency, and possibly predictive algorithms to determine where the eye is moving to focus...

This is often called foveated rendering and is indeed an interesting application for eye-tracking. Early experiments indicate that the latency does not have to be as low as one might think. This is (probably) because you are functionally blind during a saccade (non-tracking eye movement). The tricky part is to figure out how to render the part of the scene in the user's peripheral vision so that they do not notice any artifacts (e.g. flickering from low-res shadow maps for instance).

I'm pretty sure the immersion shirt peripheral Amanda mentioned does exist. Or at least in academia somewhere. One of my professors in college was interested in creating a vest lined with cellphone vibration motors to do exactly what she was looking for.