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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 #27
Mon, 2 Jun 2008 02:42:00 GMT [download/play]



  • Introductions
  • Listener mail/What we're playing
  • MMO Malaise
  • Being a Place Matters
  • Gambling in MMOs
  • Blog of the Week

    Hosts:
  • Darren - Commonsensegamer.com
  • Karen - Journey's with Jaye
  • Michael - MMOG nation
  • Luper - Voyages of Vanguard

    Topics:
  • Pondering
  • Worse MMO Player Ever
  • Final AoC Verdict
  • I Believe I can Fly
  • Being a Place Matters
  • Gambling in MMOs

    Blog of the Week:
  • Madness & Games

  • Login to post a comment
    Previous Episodes
    Episode #77 - Duration: 2925 - Released: Wed, 13 Jul 2011 06:16:01 +0000
    Episode #76 - Duration: 7730 - Released: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 19:34:01 +0000
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    Episode #68 - Duration: 01:13:32 - Released: Sun, 15 Aug 2010 15:34:00 GMT
    Episode #67 - Duration: 01:12:09 - Released: Sun, 18 Jul 2010 14:24:00 GMT
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    Episode #60 - Duration: 01:57:27 - Released: Tue, 30 Mar 2010 23:34:00 GMT
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    Episode #57 - Duration: 01:47:46 - Released: Mon, 1 Feb 2010 19:01:00 GMT
    Episode #56.5 - Duration: 00:02:21 - Released: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 12:26:00 GMT
    Episode #56 - Duration: 01:01:53 - Released: Mon, 16 Nov 2009 19:41:00 GMT
    Episode #55 - Duration: 01:16:27 - Released: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 02:31:00 GMT
    Episode #54 - Duration: 01:14:25 - Released: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 01:51:00 GMT
    Episode #53 - Duration: 01:31:47 - Released: Tue, 8 Sep 2009 04:12:00 GMT
    Episode #52.5 - Duration: 00:04:12 - Released: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 19:43:00 GMT
    Episode #52 - Duration: 01:04:24 - Released: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 16:35:00 GMT
    Episode #51 - Duration: 01:17:30 - Released: Mon, 13 Jul 2009 23:49:00 GMT
    Episode #50 - Duration: 01:35:33 - Released: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:15:00 GMT
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    Episode #44 - Duration: 00:56:47 - Released: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 16:15:00 GMT
    Episode #43.1 - Duration: 00:18:59 - Released: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 20:11:00 GMT
    Episode #43 - Duration: 00:59:34 - Released: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 01:24:00 GMT
    Episode #42 - Duration: 01:11:28 - Released: Sun, 8 Feb 2009 15:14:00 GMT
    Episode #41 - Duration: 01:06:59 - Released: Mon, 26 Jan 2009 01:55:00 GMT
    Episode #40.5 - Duration: 00:02:50 - Released: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 17:48:00 GMT
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    Episode #28 - Duration: 01:09:13 - Released: Sun, 15 Jun 2008 19:31:00 GMT
    Episode #27 - Duration: 01:14:25 - Released: Mon, 2 Jun 2008 02:42:00 GMT
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    Episode #20 - Duration: 00:49:01 - Released: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 04:08:00 GMT
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    Episode #18 - Duration: 01:08:01 - Released: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 02:35:00 GMT
    Episode #17 - Duration: 01:36:26 - Released: Mon, 7 Jan 2008 04:07:00 GMT
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    Episode #15 - Duration: 01:33:23 - Released: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 01:24:00 GMT
    Episode #14 - Duration: 01:24:15 - Released: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 07:47:00 GMT
    Episode #13 - Duration: 01:22:18 - Released: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 01:30:00 GMT
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    Episode #2 - Duration: 01:09:48 - Released: Wed, 6 Jun 2007 05:20:00 GMT
    Episode #1 - Duration: 01:08:21 - Released: Mon, 28 May 2007 02:12:00 GMT

    Episode 27 Discussion Thread

    'In Response' by Feremir
    Submitted on 2008-06-02 01:45:41 CST
    Hi guys

    Great show -really enjoyed it.

    I would like to respond to a few points you made, particularly those referring to Age of Conan.

    I agree that there is a fair amount of cynicism & elitism among *some* corners of the gaming media -and I think a large portion of it is undeserved.

    The AoC combat system is a major step forward giving gamers a more visceral & engaging experience than the traditional point-&-click affair which makes levelling feel less like grind and more like fun!

    With regards to instancing -many players like the combination of both instancing & multiplayer as each have their pros & cons but combing them it affords the best of both. There's a lot of content that is better delivered to players through instancing so I don't have a problem with it -although I agree a seamless transition would be more preferable.

    With regards to immersion -I can understand female gamers having a problem with aspects of the game but overall it remains true to the IP. If you want to give yourself a chance of getting into the world of Hyboria I suggest picking up one of the books or watching the Governator himself. I was sceptical about the IP myself, but as you become more familiar with the world, its gods & culture it quickly grows on you. It's nice to know the fantasy genre is not constrained to orcs & elves.

    There's many more things to talk about such as player built cities, sieges, blood money, pvp, interesting class types etc -but that's for another day.

    When you've invested so much into a particular game -be it WoW, Vanguard, Everquest etc it can be hard letting go when something new comes along -all I ask is give AoC a chance, it may yet surprise you. Besides, I think we can all agree that Blizzard needs some healthy competition.

    Keep up the great work!



    'DD0=Cute AoC "Instanced" ???' by Celestian
    Submitted on 2008-06-02 14:21:41 CST
    Ok, looper, or loopy whomever is was I just don't follow her logic. First she says she thinks DD0 is "cute" which I can only conclude mean she likes it then she begins to rant about how AoC is instanced and can't explore (yes, saying climbing a ladder is like an instance in AoC is a rant). Where do you even remotely get to explore in DD0? You can't it's a city, surrounded by "instance doors". That's it, it's more instanced than Guild Wars. In AoC you can explore a bit and even more so once you get off the newbie tutorial island.

    Sorry but any credibility I might have given to looper or loopy is gone.

    As to Michael saying he couldn't immerse himself into AoC I think that's just more his personality or "morales" prevents him. I mean if the game makes you feel like things are crude (women treated poorly, abused, blood, gore, base instincts) then it has immersed you because that's what Hyboria is like.



    'Thank you for forgetting my name!' by Beauturkey
    Submitted on 2008-06-02 20:32:49 CST
    It's JIm. J-I-M.

    Ok seriously, I'm kidding, it's Beau.

    Rhymes with BOW as in bow and arrow.

    Beau



    'The Music' by Septentrion
    Submitted on 2008-06-02 22:02:26 CST
    Great show, etc.

    What is the music with the female vocals played as a bridge a little more than halfway through? I've heard it on the podcast before and really want to know what it is. It's...in...my...mind!



    'Grats on one year of SUWT!' by LealaTurkey
    Submitted on 2008-06-02 22:18:49 CST
    Normally I would say that I hate the whole instancing thing too but the little I've played of AOC I've enjoyed. It is what it is. Not every game is the same and I guess that means not every one will be a big open world. I've enjoyed the combat, which to me is the most fun part of any game anyway, so that makes up for it a bit.

    As far as the way women are portrayed in the game, I'm surprised myself at how little it bothers me so far. Again, it is what it is. Its an M rated game that we all know coming into it what to expect. Its actually kind of funny that my avatar is basically a Playboy bunny running around with a sword.

    And YES I think we are hearing all this talk of disappointment for a couple of reasons. One, the grumpy blogger thing is true and also people have been building it up in their mind for so long. I think I'm able to set it aside and play the game (again, what little I have) and just enjoy it for what it is. Because I'm not coming into it with expectations.

    I'm never going to like AOC more than WoW, but I can appreciate it.

    Oh and MMOs are addictive enough without adding ACTUAL gambling into the mix. hehe



    'Congrats on a job well done.' by Akely
    Submitted on 2008-06-03 05:55:04 CST
    Congrats on the anniversary!

    It is great to see/hear the show improve so much over the year. For me, personally, perhaps the largest improvement is sound quality. But I'm an Audiophile, so woot for me. X-) The most important improvement is probably the way the show is moderated. It's always been god but the last shows are awesome. Even shows without any subject that interests me is enjoyable and educational. Now if only Darren could stop wearing his co-hosts out...

    AOC:
    I'm to am a bit surprised about everyone on the show being a bit "meh" about the game. I'll try it myself, of course, when my DX10 rig is done. As for it being instanced I was very surprised that it seems to be heavily so. Whenever instancing is mentioned it is referred to as a Bad Thing. OAC really touts how well the world is made and instancing often takes away from the feeling of that element of exploration. I agree with Luper on her opinions that instancing is detrimental to the Exploration part of a game. Stating she loses credibility because she likes DDO despite it is heavily instanced is a bit off. First it is just her OPINION. Secondly they are to different games. It is fine to feel different about different things. No really, it is.
    I feel that In DDO instances is a little easier to swallow than instances in other games. The city in part makes it so. And after all D&D has always been episodic to me, its strength has never been a well developed world. For me DDO was really a dud. I found it twitchy and repetitive. But Turbine really mailed the D&D feeling.
    Something I think might be important regarding AOC is that it is a VERY young game. And it seems a given that many thing will be improved over time. It will be interesting to see.



    'Thanks...' by darrenl
    Submitted on 2008-06-03 09:25:25 CST
    @ Celestian - It's "Her Loopishness"...jeese ;)

    @ Beau - Sorry for the brainfart...I get them. Was going to edit it, but...nahhh. Next time I'll get your name right Tom.

    @ Akely - Thanks for the compliment...especially regarding the audio because I honestly still think I've got lots of work to do.

    Regarding AoC. Dunno...again, it's just not striking a cord with me and there is nothing I can really do about that. It's wierd for me because I know it's a great game. /shrug



    'Good Gravy' by Checksix
    Submitted on 2008-06-03 21:37:51 CST
    It was funny to me to listen to you guys trash the AoC setting. I guess none of you ever read any of Robert E. Howards stories. Or read any of the comics. Or saw any movies with governors in them.

    Um...WHAT DID YOU EXPECT EXACTLY?

    Anyway, AoC has the guts to say out loud what every other MMO is winking about. Do you guys think Antonia Bayle is wearing that skimpy blue number because it helps her run her kingdom? No. I'm sure she wears it because her foe's are busy staring at her bazongas while she fries them into next week. Thats why I found it very funny to hear Mike Z moan about the game objectifying women. Talk about either being blind or insincere or both.

    And it was also funny to hear you guys talk about the game after not even getting off the newby island. Torgage is the newb island you know. Mike Z. you're supposed to be a game journalist and you didn't even mention the fact that the first 20 levels were designed to be a single player experience (mostly).

    It seems to me, that AoC released early. Before all the elements were in place. Again, it's speculation on my part, but I think they wanted to beat World of Warcraft Hammer Online to the market and to do that they left a few systems out. The focused on combat and got it out the door.

    I for one am happy that they did.

    AoC has remembered something that almost all other MMO's have forgotten. GAME PLAY IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN, NOT A CHORE.

    Later Gladiators,

    Checksix



    'Good Gravy' by Checksix
    Submitted on 2008-06-03 21:50:29 CST
    It was funny to me to listen to you guys trash the AoC setting. I guess none of you ever read any of Robert E. Howards stories. Or read any of the comics. Or saw any movies with governors in them.

    Um...WHAT DID YOU EXPECT EXACTLY?

    Anyway, AoC has the guts to say out loud what every other MMO is winking about. Do you guys think Antonia Bayle is wearing that skimpy blue number because it helps her run her kingdom? No. I'm sure she wears it because her foe's are busy staring at her bazongas while she fries them into next week. Thats why I found it very funny to hear Mike Z moan about the game objectifying women. Talk about either being blind or insincere or both.

    And it was also funny to hear you guys talk about the game after not even getting off the newby island. Torgage is the newb island you know. Mike Z. you're supposed to be a game journalist and you didn't even mention the fact that the first 20 levels were designed to be a single player experience (mostly).

    It seems to me, that AoC released early. Before all the elements were in place. Again, it's speculation on my part, but I think they wanted to beat World of Warcraft Hammer Online to the market and to do that they left a few systems out. The focused on combat and got it out the door.

    I for one am happy that they did.

    AoC has remembered something that almost all other MMO's have forgotten. GAME PLAY IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN, NOT A CHORE.

    Later Gladiators,

    Checksix



    'Umm... I have.' by Luper
    Submitted on 2008-06-04 00:21:55 CST
    I have read the stories, and comics, but that has nothing to do with why I don't like the game, personally. I think the game is great! It's just not my thing. I don't really like the massive use of instances, although it does allow the game to have better graphics and such.

    I'm going to continue to play AoC though, untill I get to max level. I want to see how the PvP experience is. (That's just me though.) I just think that the combat for me is more of a chore and less fun, or maybe, it's something I have to get used to. We'll see.

    Thanks for having me on the show Darren and Karen. It was a very enjoyable discussion.

    ~Luper (Voyages of Vanguard)



    'Level jump in Guild wars' by Viruzzz
    Submitted on 2008-06-04 06:49:24 CST
    I think you misinformed people listening about the level 20 character in Guild wars. You can't bring a character to 20 instantly, it's a separate character that you can create which will be lv20, but only be allowed to play in the PVP areas.

    It's a way for new people to be able to jump into pvp, without having to grind up gear. On a pvp character you can make max lv armor and weapons with any runes and mods that you have unlocked on your account. for free.

    And even if you could bring a character to lv 20 in the PvE campaign, most of the stuff is aimed at level 20 groups. We're talking 80-90% of the game being aimed at max-level characters.


    Should also point out that in Guild Wars you can get to level 20 in a maybe 3-4 hours, so it's not like it's hard ;)



    'I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for level cap today...' by Talyn
    Submitted on 2008-06-04 09:46:44 CST
    Right, most normal MMO (or RPG) players come into GW and don't really know what to make of it. Despite having levels, it's not a levels-based game at all, which is why the actual level cap is so low.

    Viruzzz is spot-on: you can't simply walk up to an NPC and become level cap. The only way to have a level capped character is to roll a PvP-only one. He starts at max level with a basic set of max stat gear and enough starter skills to be competitive. After that it's up to you to advance him for more skills, gear, etc. But that character is only for PvP, he can't enter the PvE game world at all.

    LOTRO is the same way: you can create a PvP-only monster that starts life level-capped. You can advance him through the ranks to get better gear and skills, but he can never leave the PvMP zones. Same concept...

    As for AoC and DDO, two entirely different games for two entirely different audiences. We hear the word "instance" and think WoW-style private instances, which DDO uses. AoC's world zones, on the other hand, are public instances. It's not like GW where only your group enters the world. It's more akin to EQ2 where other players are in there doing their thing too. The difference is AoC's public instances are also population controlled, the same way both DDO and GW's quest hubs are. This makes it easy to change districts of the same instance to find people to group with (once grouped the game makes sure you all stay in the same district) or to find a lesser populated district to kill a boss that's being camped in a heavily populated district, etc.



    'Congrats on Milestone!' by Saylah
    Submitted on 2008-06-04 15:01:04 CST
    Congrats on staying the Podcast course!

    Regarding AoC it might be a matter of expectations and play-style. I had no expectations and had no intention of playing at all. However, with the WAR push back and being absolutely sick to death of WOW, I decided to give it a try. The decision to buy came after having a technical BETA invite that I never even bothered to log into and play.

    I despise instancing and am not a fan of quest heavy games yet something about AoC works for me so far. I explore all the time and I dont find being locked out of accessing instances a problem, since that is fairly common. The distinction between AoC and what I disliked about LoTRO and PoTBS instancing is those worlds felt like window-dressing. Too many of the buildings and areas were just facades. That also exists in AoC, and WOW for that matter, but these two games mask it in a way that I dont find it annoying. These worlds feel alive to me.

    As for seamless nothing I've played has matched AC2 except for Vanguard whose other issues kept me from staying. The bloggers and game critics talk a lot about seamless and think it is the way to go. I think I prefer it. However, a few weeks ago I was discussing this with friends that played AC2 and they dont even remember it! If fact, they challenged me on it and thought I was wrong. Even after I provided repeated examples they still denied it and remember it being exactly like WOW. Go figure. Perhaps seamless isnt as important to the average player as some of us think.

    I've tried multiple characters into the teens and quested on each and every one of them. Here again, something I dont usually do much of but it's been interesting. I dont read the storylines that much. If I cant infer what's going on by the character, where they send me and what they need me to do, I'm fine with passing on knowing the details. :-) Dunno - there is a lot to do and the quests just a bit less tedious than many I've encountered else where.

    I stand by WOW being the best levelling game I've ever experienced followed by AC2 and now AoC. I'm finding that a huge discovery. Does that mean I'll stick? Who knows. My eyes are still on WAR because I think they'll bring the things that suit me even more. Only time will tell.



    'How much is that doggy in the window dressing?' by Talyn
    Submitted on 2008-06-04 16:14:02 CST
    Interesting Saylah mentions AC2... While she's talking about it's leveling and seamless world, I can't help but notice the mention of buildings in LOTRO and PotBS being window dressing. AC2 (the trial) was my first-ever MMORPG experience. No clue what to expect other than I'd be seeing other people doing stuff too. I distinctly remember being disappointed that I couldn't walk inside a single building in any of the towns I found, they were just "there" to visually demonstrate to me that this was a "town" but yet the people (NPC's and otherwise) were unable to go in their houses, shops, etc. The NPC's couldn't "live" in their own world; how could I?



    'AC2 Cities Were Facades, I'll Give You That' by Saylah
    Submitted on 2008-06-04 16:46:46 CST
    Yes, most of the buildings were facades. I didn't think much of that back then. It wasn't until WOW opened up most of it's buildings that I really noticed the difference. however, AC2 was fairly seamless and my only point being that, many people don't even remember that fact so perhaps its not so important after all. Plus look how long ago that was, it's like dog years in gaming development. And I explored anyway. Exploration was the HUGE thing I did in AC2! Interesting to hear someone say the opposite. Most people I knew from AC2 thought that it at the very least, felt immersive. Tastes and perception are funny things! *smile*


    'Exploration in DDO and Luper's credibility' by scytale2
    Submitted on 2008-06-04 20:12:27 CST
    I think you will find, Celestian, that DDO has a lot more exploration now than it did when it launched. In fact it has very large areas, with xp for exploring every last nook and cranny, as well as rare encounters with treasure chests.

    These areas are instanced for the group that enters them, but to all intents and purposes they are exploration areas. So you might want to give some credibility back to Luper



    'Alrighty.. ' by Luper
    Submitted on 2008-06-06 04:55:33 CST
    Welll, I posted something and it didnt go through which makes me angry. hehe.

    Anyways, I guess using the word "cute" to describe DDO was probably not the right term to use, but hey.. it's what I used. I think it was really explorational because I played a Rogue/Wizard. Searching for traps and disabling them is so much fun, plus the puzzles and riddles are really neat. The game is not challenging to a point where it is extremely hard, but it is quite neat, imo.

    My name is Luper, not Loopy, or Looper, or anything else.. and no I am not related to wolves or beans.

    AoC is a great game! I came off as bashing the game, when I really didn't mean to. It's an awesome game. I have been playing it, and I will continue to play it till I get max level. I'm just leaning towards the game not really being my thing. The instances are another issue within it's self. I have never liked instances. For me, It just takes away the whole community aspect of games. Although, I did have fun playing AoC with Leala the other day. Maybe, it will grow on me who knows.

    As far as my credibility.. if he wants to base my credibility off of a few comments, then Celestian can have his/her own opinions about me. Aren't podcasts rants? haha.. anyways, ladders feeling like instances to me is an opinion, and perhaps, one can rant about their opinions.

    ~Luper (Voyages of Vanguard)