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Shut Up. We're Talking.
Host: Darren and Karen
Darren and Karen present this commentary podcast covering recent topics found within the MMORPG Blogging and Podcasting community.

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Shut Up! We're Talking #10
Mon, 1 Oct 2007 03:33:00 GMT [download/play]

  • Introductions
  • Listener mail/What we're playing
  • Some Web 2.0 Action
  • Sexually Confused
  • It's the Chef
  • 3 Mistakes
  • Gaming Parents
  • Blog of the Week

    Darren - commonsensegamer
    Kean & Graev
    Sean - Brackishwater

    Metathis, Metathat, Metaplace
    Metaplace Madness
    Metaplace - where is itâs niche?
    Raph's New Game
    Metaplace re-read
    Metaplace the Next Big Thing
    The Meta Place Craze
    Meh to Metaplace
    Chinese MMO bans Manginas
    All your Ladies belong to us
    Play as you are
    Girlz Don't Exist
    It Ainât the Recipe - Itâs the Chef
    Three Things
    Gaming Parents

    Blog of the Week:
    Tide's Horizon

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    Previous Episodes
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    Episode 10 Discussion Thread

    'darren.' by ktin
    Submitted on 2007-10-01 03:00:33 CST
    if you havent seen the starcraft 2 demonstration played by rob pardo.. some of your opinions about sc2 may change.
    after viewing.

    'viewing what...' by darrenl
    Submitted on 2007-10-01 06:01:59 CST
    ..the gameplay or the graphics?

    'Suggestions' by Dathmar
    Submitted on 2007-10-01 09:11:38 CST
    Great Show again...thanks
    If you are ever looking for topics for the show I would love to hear the thoughts from you and your fellow bloggers on a couple of subjects.

    1 - Subscription Charges - will all regions see raises in these soon, beyond $15 per month?

    (seems since the new account / subscription system was released at SOE the UK players are now being charged more per month (didn't see any noticed to the cost increase from SOE) -
    For any of the main games like EQ , EQ2 or Vanguard

    I used to pay in dollars (the only option previously)-
    $17.61 (US) = $8.62(includes taxes)

    Now I (would) pay -
    £9.49* every month
    *Plus Applicable Taxes
    which =
    which coverted to US Dollars = $22.75 per month - (most expensive subscription charge for any MMO currently)

    Are SOE starting to test the water ?

    2 - Deplayed games - are almost all MMOs in development being delayed - Is this just because no one wants to produce another Vanguard ?
    I don't see these type of delays in the console market - yes a few months but not a year delay.

    >> just a couple of suggestion - feel free to bin them.

    'Alternate Avenues' by brackishwater
    Submitted on 2007-10-01 12:00:06 CST
    While I said that having another choice for advancement in LOTRO would be good, I wouldn't spend all of my time in PvP b/c I honestly don't do it now, but I want multiple channels to level my character. Maybe I'm just being greedy here, but I like variety and I like to have a unique experience with each character if I can. LOTRO started this and did a good job up until 20 when we were all funneled into Bree.

    I hope they choose to go the alternate route from wow and focus on the multiple paths for a player to go 1-50.

    Thanks for inviting me back on Darren, it was good. Its about time I actually write up my ideas on the whole parent vs gamer thing though and I'm glad we had that as a topic.

    'Good Show' by Medz
    Submitted on 2007-10-01 15:28:24 CST
    Whats the name of the song at the start?

    'Good Show' by Medz
    Submitted on 2007-10-01 15:30:22 CST
    Whats the name of the song at the start?

    'Good Show' by Medz
    Submitted on 2007-10-01 15:30:45 CST
    Whats the name of the song at the start?

    '?' by Medz
    Submitted on 2007-10-01 15:36:47 CST
    Do not know why it posted 3 times

    'My Three Mistakes That I Will Not Repeat' by Shalimar616
    Submitted on 2007-10-01 15:37:27 CST

    While listening to your program, I had my three mistakes that I will not repeat in a MMO:

    1. Never play any new game. I will wait at least 6 months before I play the new MMO. I have just found that no matter how smoothly the launch of a game, the first 6 months are full of pitfalls and player dissatisfaction. If I had waited a year after EQ2 or six months for Vanguard, my experience in both of these games would have been far more enjoyable.

    2. Never join a guild with prospect of Raiding. I am just not a raider, and when I join a guild with that idea of being in raids, it often degenerates into people forcing me to do things that I don't want to do (again, its supposed to be a fun experience -- if not, its work).

    3. Don't Dual Box. I have played two accounts from the early days of Everquest all the way to Vanguard, and ultimately in each game, I have come to the conclusion that the cost is not worth the two accounts. Plus, either I am getting old or the games are getting tougher, but after four hours of dual boxing, I am just plain sore; my back hurts, my arms are tingling, my eyes are dry, and my head swims in a swirling cloud of confusion.

    I also have a PS to that three. I will also never get into a group that requires me to travel more than 5 minutes to get to the group. In Vanguard, I often join groups that are more than 50 kilometers away and by the time I get there, they often break up.
    What a WASTE!

    'Girlz . . . ' by Jossfan
    Submitted on 2007-10-01 15:51:33 CST
    Thanks for the link to "Girlz Don't Exist on teh Intarweb." Reminds me of that old "Love Line" bit: "Florida or Germany?" where they'd read some twisted news story and then the other host would guess if it was from Florida or Germany. The MMO version would be "China or Germany?"

    I wonder sometimes if these news items are as nonexistent as girls in games are.

    Speaking of, don't give Keen crap about playing transvestite. It just isn't a deal.

    My super group had a transvestite night in CoH completely by accident. With no preplanning, all the guys showed up with their female alts and the two women arrived in their male alts. As one of the women put it when we were laughing about it, "Playing a guy is no stranger for me than playing a girl with these collossal kaiser roll breasts."

    'WoW Clones' by Syndre
    Submitted on 2007-10-01 16:54:30 CST
    Hello! Great show, I've been enjoying the last 10 shows very much keep it up. ;)

    There was just one small thing that irrated me a bit and it was the mention that LotrO is a WoW clone, or cloned itself from WoW.. It's not really the case, it seems more like Blizzard took many cues from Turbine's Asheron's Call and Everquest while sticking to their Warcraft world, with some great innovations.. That said all Turbine did was taking into account those innovations and applying them to their own system while adopting some features from EQ.. So who's cloning who? I don't think anyone is.. They all take a little bit from each other.

    Loved the section on MMO mistakes you'll never do again, I pretty much agree on all counts. The parenting gamer was a great mention too, I'm a mom and I can't raid or do anything that requires 3 hours of my undivided attention, and that's fine with me. It's worrisome some parents neglect their children for a fictional world that's only there for fun and will never have the lasting impact your children will on life, whether it's your own life or someone else's including their own.

    'Gaming Parents' by James
    Submitted on 2007-10-02 11:08:40 CST
    It was great to hear the perspectives of Darren and Sean on this issue since both seem to balance being good parents and "good gamers." I'm not a parent, but have encountered many of the sorts of disheartening things Kean and Graev mentioned when I was in a raiding guild. The immersive, escapist elements of MMO's provide a refreshing break from the everyday and great fuel for the imagination. But for people who may be severely unhappy or overly burdened with responsibility in their real lives, that immersive element of gaming provides them a convenient place to hide out and escape. When you have the responsibility of a child, this really is not an option. Of course these negative extremes are always what pop up on blogs and in news articles. It was good to hear two normal people talking about how parenting and gaming CAN be balanced. Sean also made a good point by dispelling the concept that "good" gamer = raider.

    'bits and pieces' by Sente
    Submitted on 2007-10-02 15:49:13 CST
    Nice show and for once I did listen too it not too far after it was released :)

    Some notes, at least those I remember right now:

    Programming skills for Metaplace. The short demo on video with Raph and some of the info provided indicates that it should not be necessary to be a programmer to make some kind of game, but it will ikely be an advabtage. Ryzom Ring and Neverwinter Nights 1&2 are some other toolset examples, you can do a decent amount without strict programming there. What Metaplace will end up with remains to be seen.

    Playing other sex characters - I thought it was a bit funny that basically all seemed to think it was a big deal. But it perhaps depends on whether someone views the characters as extensions of their persona or just some characters that you create to fit in the context of the world and play a role in it. I have a mix of male and female characters in most MMOGs. I might certainly like them, but they are not me and their sex is no big deal. Can't say that I have seen much better treatment with female characters, but I do not try to project that I would want or need that either.

    Mistakes - To me there was a bit contradiction in the mistakes mentioned. One mistake was to play as other wanted and not for yourself. The later another mistake was mentioned as not sticking with a character to keep up with other friends players and playing different alts. Those contradict each other to me. If you are enjoying playing alts and not stick with just one character, that is hardly a mistake to do that. To not do that if you enjoy it is the former mistake.
    The problem rather lies with the game that does limit your ability to play with your friends, not what playstyle you might enjoy.

    'playing the opposite sex' by hallower
    Submitted on 2007-10-02 16:06:51 CST
    To me, it depends on what you're doing with the character.

    In most games, nothing about the gameplay changes whether you're playing a man or woman, so playing the opposite sex really isn't strange because you're not really roleplaying the character's sex. In some Bioware games, NPC dialogues are determined partially by character sex, which rewards trying out both. But the player still isn't doing anything differently, really.

    The two circumstances in which it would become strange are (1) if the player was actually roleplaying the opposite sex, like in some game about romantic relationships, and (2) if the player is socializing with other players as if he or she belonged to the opposite sex. The first is just weird. The latter I'd consider unethical, since it's a lie in the same way as telling someone you're from Texas when you're really from New York. It might be a relatively harmless lie, but you're still carrying on the relationship under false pretenses.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays into Mass Effect. Like other Bioware games, the dialogues will change according to sex, but it sounds like the player's character will always or usually be involved in a romantic relationship, too.

    'Good Show' by Adele
    Submitted on 2007-10-02 17:40:45 CST
    I raid and I'm a good parent, although you have to find a raid guild that fits your family. The guild I am in does not start raiding until after my kids are in bed, so this is not a problem for me. I do tend to stay up a bit later than I normally would, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make, and have to make if I want to raid and balance my family.

    As for metaplace and being a programmer if you read the faq on metaplace site you will see that you do not have to be:) A lot of interesting things in faq's:)

    As for proving I'm a woman, if a game requires me to go get a webcam and send pics of myself I would not play it, and I am a woman. That would be more trouble than it is worth to play a game.

    'hey hey' by brackishwater
    Submitted on 2007-10-02 19:53:26 CST
    @ Adele - Yeah I read that about Metaplace too. I had the impression, similar to Sente, that programming or something about Meta script would help you. I guess we will really see once we find information on the tools themselves or Areae begins to release more demonstrations. My guess is Raph is going to start going around similar to Will Wright and his Spore project and more information will trickle out.

    @ Hallower - I still think I do it because they look way cooler.

    'The Opposite Sex' by Ariannel
    Submitted on 2007-10-03 13:12:54 CST
    What a great show! I had a comment on the part about playing the opposite sex. I wonder if the response would be the same among girl gamers who play male characters? I don't play male characters, myself, but not because I think it's weird in any sexual way, but because I usually view my char as an extension of myself personally. Also, with the exception of Guild Wars whose male avatars are hawt, most of the MMO's I've played have kinda beefy macho looking men for characters and that just doesn't appeal to me at all.

    But, I guess I'm really vain with how my chars look.

    'Mass Effect = It's a boy!' by Jossfan
    Submitted on 2007-10-03 13:18:12 CST
    @ Hallower = check out the Mass Effect podcast over on the bioware site. Among the many interesting revelations is that the player's character is fixed in name and gender and looks. You can make some choices about his back ground, but you don't customize him like you did in KotOR or JE. Lucas is doing the same things with the player's character in Force Unleashed.

    '@ Jossfan' by hallower
    Submitted on 2007-10-03 15:00:47 CST
    You're right and you're wrong. Your name is Commander Shephard...that and your role in the main storyline is chosen for you. But you can choose Shephard's sex and facial appearance. I've watched videos showing that customization (they're probably at GameTrailers, or maybe IGN). In fact, I think there's even a video of the game being played as a female Commander Shephard. You can't change appearance in terms of clothes, but you can change the face.

    'But...' by Talyn
    Submitted on 2007-10-03 19:45:27 CST
    ... wasn't Sheppard male in the novel? It's been a few months since I read it but I was pretty sure Cmdr Sheppard was male in Revelations and if that's the vision the author/designer has then I have no problem playing a fixed character. We did the same in all the Final Fantasies, despite being able to rename the characters there (who in their right mind would?) so why should it be a problem for Mass Effect?

    Some RPG's are about creating your own character to play through the story, others are about playing the pre-existing characters through that story. We do all the exact same actions and advancements either way.

    'Sex' by Token
    Submitted on 2007-10-04 19:17:50 CST
    In my experience men playing female characters only becomes a problem on RP servers.

    'Whats the name of the song?' by Medz
    Submitted on 2007-10-06 10:18:32 CST
    The song after the simpsons clip at the start?

    'Whats the name of the song?' by Medz
    Submitted on 2007-10-06 10:26:48 CST
    The song after the simpsons clip at the start?

    'Song' by darrenl
    Submitted on 2007-10-06 17:09:43 CST
    Finger 11 - Paralyzer...

    I should really put the list of songs that I put in each episode. Lets see if I do it next show :)