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Van Hemlock Episode 55
Thu, 11 Jun 2009 16:56:00 GMT [download/play]



It's our E3 special, in which we have in depth analysis of all the major releases and show how they are going to effect the games industry over the next five years. OK, they were mostly sequel announcements so we just run through the keynotes and take cheap shots at the games before another session of what we've been playing.

The twitter question this week was "Another E3 come and gone. See anything you liked? Didn't see something you hoped to? Let me know cos I missed the whole thing!". Then it degenerated into rude comments about uses for Project Natal.

There is also a recommendation for http://www.trueachievements.com in the show as well as their UI is quite nice. That's as close to a glowing endorsement as we get.

You can read out blogs at http://www.vanhemlock.com and http://www.chimpsinspace.com, follow us on Twitter as @vanhemlock and @jonshute or leave us a comment over at virginworlds.com.

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Episode 55 Discussion Thread

'On episode 55' by Bremen
Submitted on 2009-06-12 05:35:31 CST
If the idea of GARPA scares you, you should check out Goonswarm director The Mittani's column at TenTonHammer, http://www.tentonhammer.com/features/mittani

I'll admit it's shameless propaganda, but it's fascinating reading as well, I highly recommend "Bad crazy in internet space". It's been said that EVE is a boring game but an awesome spectator sport.

Re: The new scan system, it completely replaces the old one for everything except anomalies. It's much faster than the old one, but requires you sit there working at it; scans finish in ~10 seconds and results always show up, no randomness to it, but you're constantly arranging and adjusting your probes to triangulate down the elusive hits. No more sitting mostly AFK for an hour while your probes scan repeatedly.



'Solo Guild Wars' by Andrew
Submitted on 2009-06-12 12:41:43 CST
In response to Tim's worrying about misleading listeners about the MMO's that he's playing with static groups:

I tried Guild Wars largely on the weekly reports from this podcast, and found myself extremely disappointed. The huge problem about playing GW solo is that, aside from the cities, everything is instanced.... so not only did I not have friends to adventure with, but NO ONE was in the world with me while I was questing. I may as well have been playing a stripped down version of Baldur's Gate..... very disappointing, really.



'CSM' by blaktalon
Submitted on 2009-06-12 13:59:04 CST
Glad to have my ignorance removed. I absolutely love the new scanning system, one of my primary professions in EVE :)

And RSS Newsfeed ingame would rock.



'Sorry' by blaktalon
Submitted on 2009-06-12 17:14:30 CST
Sorry for the double post, but I just finished listening to the podcast. Couple of points.


GameGuard: NCSoft is in love with it, Lineage II uses it and it's the nuisance (spelling?) of all nuisances. There are numerous workarounds for it, including editing your Hosts file with an IP Address that causes gameguard to essentially stop working (I think thats what it does). All I know is once I punched in that IP Address into the Hosts file it stopped coming up with an error saying I had hacking tools on my PC (which I did, but it was for use on emulators and older PC games - it really was). This is as official as i've seen, coming straight from Lineage II Dev/CM team on the Lineage II forums.

Party Games: One of the co-opish games I play is Call of Duty. I've only played 4 and 5, but they both support up to 16 or 18 players (cant remember which offhand) depending on the type of game you choose. The only problem is you're facing each other on teams. I *think* it splits the Xbox Live parties up if there are too many slots on 1 side (ie, 9 in party 8 to a side, itll bump 1 to the other team), but dont quote me on it. So it *may* be possible to play with all your friends and only a couple of random people. Or there is a private match option which I have yet to explore, as I have no friends that play Xbox. I do know that Private Match does not give XP points towards your character/avatar/dude's progression, if you're aiming to get XP too.

Please feel free to correct me anyone as I have little experience in terms of Xbox Live partying. I do however, know that GameGuard is craptastic.

Have fun! Im off to reinstall Windows and get back to probing in EVE. Viruses make WIndows sad...



'Troll' by Token
Submitted on 2009-06-12 17:15:35 CST
Tim, go out and buy a 360. Get off the old noob retirement fence of jadedness, join the cool crowd. Thanks for reading.


'Show 55 and the new Twitter question...' by Sentack
Submitted on 2009-06-12 18:26:34 CST
Great show, guys. I never heard of MAG until you brougth it up and now I'm glad I own a PS3. I look forward to that game as well although, i want to hear more about what do you do besides huge 128 vs 128 instanced one shot maps. Any world domination or the like? Planetside was fun not just because of the big fights, but the fact that you had multiple options and a lot of variety in the world space. Start on one of the ice maps, then switch over to the jungle map a second later, dropping down on a tower and quickly hacking your way to victory!

Now, about today's Twitter question, I wanted to elaborate real quick on what I was talking about in terms of "I hate random item drops.". I know that without random item drops, most games would be dreadfully short very quickly. If you could predictable run through a series of dungeons and get exactly what you wanted, mostly likely 2 things would happen, 1) everyone would look the same, and 2) everyone would be very bored, very fast.

Still, Random drops just lead to frustration and are an overused barriers to content. Token systems, such as in City of Heroes, allow players to earn rewards slowly but give them the chance to pick out what they want, when they want it. Also given the fact that players there need like 40 "Inventions" just to slot out to the max means that they have a LONG way to go on any one toon. Compared to most MMO's where you have like 6 armor pieces, a weapon, and off hand item (shield/weapon), and maybe a few jewelery pieces. Usually no more then 12 items.

Perhaps as i'm getting older, I'm getting less impatient, or less willing to accept 'randomness'. Make the combat random and exciting, but make the rewards clear and obtainable. I want more fun.



'Here I go...' by Akely
Submitted on 2009-06-15 07:30:45 CST
Natal:
Having it track head movements and what-nots... of course it can be done. You guys missed Darren's Trac-IR video review didn't you? I bet a beer that Natal can do that too. As a gamer thing this thing could be the Next Big Thing. I sure hope so. "Enforced role-playing in RPG's" Holy crap, what possibilities.

More Trolling:
Like Van Hemlock I too have difficulties with the controllers. But I've found it depends on the game. I hated the controls in Resident Evil 5. Burnout works great though. So I chime in with Token. Get a 360.

Update:
Did get an XBOX a really expensive TV and more. Wife not that thrilled. I survived, barely.

Nationality/Plant location:
The plant is not that close. A few feet of concrete should do. I'll Tweet when we blow up.



'Hmmm' by Akely
Submitted on 2009-06-16 19:43:38 CST
IF we blow up. I meant IF. Naturally.

As you where.