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Brent's Other Podcast
Host: Brent
Brent from can't talk about MMO games all the time, so this audio, video, screencast collection is an opportunity for him to spread out a bit and discuss other topics. All are guaranteed to be nerdy. And he'll be sure to talk about games plenty; it is unavoidable.

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Brent's Other Podcast #3
Tue, 3 Mar 2009 16:09:00 GMT [download/play]

This time Brent laments the MMORPG features that have been lost along the wayside in the current and emerging generation of games.  Brent also takes some time to talk about microphone selection in greater depth, explaining his comments from last time and showing you some popular microphones.

Brent's Other Podcast #3 from Brent on Vimeo.

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Episode 3 Discussion Thread

'don't edit late at night' by Brent
Submitted on 2009-03-03 20:01:37 CST
two typos in the very few words that I put on screen.
shoddy work, Brent. shoddy work. :)

'I miss oldschool MMO staples too' by JamesTaylor
Submitted on 2009-03-03 21:08:17 CST
Kiting still exists, just not in the mainstream games :(

Plenty of kiting while leveling as a ranged class in Lineage 2 - I love it.

I hate the "rts zoom-out" style that games have adapted now too. I want a locked over the shoulder type view or first-person, honestly.

'monk' by dan
Submitted on 2009-03-04 02:50:01 CST
haha monk thing is halarious

'Another great show' by Shalimar616
Submitted on 2009-03-05 12:15:54 CST
I am always amazed at your talent and skill, sir. Another good show.


'Can you recommend any inexpensive video editing software' by Shalimar616
Submitted on 2009-03-05 12:33:50 CST

I was thinking of doing something along the lines of Brent's Other Podcast, but have no idea where to start.

Do you have any recommendations on software? I have a PC at home and a Mac at work -- I would prefer to stay with Windoze but could maybe do it on an Apple.

Also do you have any thoughts on software to capture ingame content?


'Nice discussion/reminiscing' by DamianoV
Submitted on 2009-03-05 13:43:22 CST
3rd person viewpoint: I agree it changes the gameplay dramatically. While I always play over-the-shoulder view, it's always at that EQ1-esque ultra-short, breathing-down-the-neck distance, so I never get the RTS feeling, but I can easily imagine the possibility.

Trains: One of the my favorite memories from early EQ1 was the first time me and my compadres stood our ground and survived a full zone train in Blackburrow (after countless episodes of being overrun).

Pulling: like nearly everything else on the list, both good and bad memories here... I agree that it is disappointing that it has been so simplified over the years as to become bland and blase.

Kiting: I never personally really liked kiting, it leaned on my "that just doesn't make sense" nerve almost as often as feign death pulling (heh). I suspect it's disappearance was as much a reaction to hyper-specialization of class roles as anything (i.e. "Tanks" can't have a non-trivial ranged attack, too powerful, not fair! Wait, that means Tanks can't kite... not fair! And so on...)

The arguments I've always seen about the evolution of MMOs away from these types of concepts boil down to the "accessibility" angle, and/or the avoidance of the negative "decision points" Damion Schubert talked about at last years AGDC (or was it the year before?).

"Accessibility" does not have to mean Lowest Common Denominator (thank god, otherwise we'd all be playing that fascinating new MMO Tic-Tac-Toe Online!), but it often leads that direction. Predictability, for all it's other failings, _is_ "accessible", hence the loss of pulling and trains. Having perfect knowledge of your situation, aka 3rd person view, fits the same basic mold as well.

As for avoiding negative decision points, i.e. subscription cancellation events... I freely admit that when I was playing EQ1 back in the early days, for example, it nearly lost my subscription about once a week out of sheer frustration. I stuck it out because 1) I wasn't going to let a stupid game beat me, and 2) my gaming cohorts counted on me for the group sessions. Between creatures you had little hope of avoiding, beating, or escaping wandering low-to-mid-level zones, random griefers, and just plain bad luck compounded by poor decisions in the clutch, it wasn't the easiest game to log into, on occasion.

In contrast, these days I don't log into many of the games I have access to because I sit there and look at the desktop icon and say, "Why bother? There's nothing I want to do." Is boredom better than frustration? Not sure...

Well, a little feedback at least. Fine work, sir...

'great show' by Token
Submitted on 2009-03-06 14:54:35 CST
Hi Brent. Thanks for explaining microphones, my band is plastic and comes from Activision but I still find audio chat interesting.

About those mmorpg characteristics that got removed I do miss them sometimes, it was definitely nice to be respected as a good puller, when it was a real skill. Honestly though I wouldn't want to go back to playing those sorts of games, it was kinda neat when the internet was young and we were all nerds but there's no going back now. I've just had too much fun on games that really take advantage of mmo power such as PlanetSide. Hardcore meta knowledge PvE mechanics frustrated me back then and nowadays I'm sure it would be an exercise in frustration most people can do without.

'\o/' by FarSpace
Submitted on 2009-03-06 18:52:24 CST
The 3D pull back view or all the way up close are easy to go back and forth and I just play it the way I want.

Close in view is great for in depth feeling of play

Pulling back is just a way to let people see ahead better like they can in life with out a screen. imo

Trains and kiting are just a sign of bad AI or mission design. And NOT fun for me in EVE for example. If there is a time when you kite in RL then it's cool in a game.

In EVE you kite in missions that are too tough for you but if it were real the other ships would not be that stupid to let you just do that to them.

In walking games, killing one then fleeing and then kill another, one at a time seems is what happens mostly if things are too tough, not sure if that is fun or just the way it goes but I like it when if you try it they will regroup on you or at least show some brains.

I have no idea why they keep promising better AI and just put different upgraded ships in the missions in EVE, maybe they don't want people to play that will expect better AI for real, every once in a while.

'MMO Magic lost?' by mikejl
Submitted on 2009-03-19 15:27:49 CST
Well not completely. However I recall when I started MMOS back in DAOC and when I look back I never look at the numbers much. So .. has min/max'ing killed some of the magic?
Being a software engineer I do enjoy some level of the min/max; it appeals to the meticulous engineering parts of my little mind. However; look at what a monster it has spawned. Optimal character specs and certain gear load outs. Only looking at DPS / MP5, spell hit, hast..etc. Do we now play a spreadsheet rather an RPG?
And worst you need to adhere to the optimal if you want to get into some of the MMOs end game now. When have you seen an epic adventure based on group needing to raid the same tower fifteen times to get the shoulder armor? The antagonist has been replaced with gear. Not saying I don't enjoy a new axe to swing, however have we lost the story ... the magic in the gear grind?
Just a thought

'Whats Kiting?' by Eldarwen
Submitted on 2009-05-21 01:40:56 CST
I think this is a great subject to touch on. For us gamers who have been around a while. There have been a lot of changes over the years. I think for some of us we just have become numb to them. There presence or should I say absence from the games we play has been assimilated and taken for the norm.
As for the 1st Person perspective. There is a scene of anxiety when I scroll the wheel down to 1st person. I loose a lot of field of view that I am accustom too. I think what frustrated people to make the game designers re think the 1st person perspective is 'Being blind-sided' There was a device that came out a while back that attached to your head. And as you moved your head the screen would also move. Allowing you to see whats on your peripheral field of views. Perhaps we should look for something like that feature when zoomed in to 1st person. For instance you have your mouse wheel zoomed in to 1st person view. Your walking through woods and you need to keep an eye on a pack of creatures on your right as you work your way through this area. So you grab you 'right-arrow' key and it pivots the camera view to the right about a 45 deg angle for as long as you hold the key down. Simple solution to a problem.
So whats kiting?

Thanks Brent, I hope you get to speak at Fan Fair in June this time.
-Eldarwen ( SWG 5+yrs)