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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 #64
Sun, 6 Jun 2010 15:51:00 GMT [download/play]


  • Listener Mail/What we're playing
  • No Point, but 50 Novels Deep
  • The Steep Learning Curve of MMOs
  • Blog of the Week


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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 #65 - Duration: 01:23:43 - Released: Sun, 20 Jun 2010 16:03:00 GMT
Episode #64 - Duration: - Released: Sun, 6 Jun 2010 15:51:00 GMT
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Episode #61 - Duration: 01:26:12 - Released: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 01:26:00 GMT
Episode #60 - Duration: 01:57:27 - Released: Tue, 30 Mar 2010 23:34:00 GMT
Episode #59 - Duration: 01:37:24 - Released: Mon, 1 Mar 2010 03:48:00 GMT
Episode #58 - Duration: 01:21:01 - Released: Sun, 14 Feb 2010 18:45:00 GMT
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
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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
Episode #49 - Duration: 01:03:31 - Released: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 21:27:00 GMT
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Episode #44 - Duration: 00:56:47 - Released: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 16:15:00 GMT
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Episode #7 - Duration: 01:11:21 - Released: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 04:05:00 GMT
Episode #6 - Duration: 01:10:07 - Released: Mon, 6 Aug 2007 01:13:00 GMT
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Episode #4 - Duration: 01:13:04 - Released: Mon, 9 Jul 2007 03:52:00 GMT
Episode #3 - Duration: 01:10:25 - Released: Sun, 24 Jun 2007 17:20:00 GMT
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 64 Discussion Thread

'woo, what do i win????' by rocknerd
Submitted on 2010-06-06 23:42:43 CST
hello guys, listening right now. im so sorry you had to read my poorly written message from last week, but thanks. i usually game late and when i get around to writing its usually so late its early. plus im an ignoramus attempting to walk upright.

i love discussions like this. because it seems like its just too simple and popular right now to say review scores are evil and move on. but you guys are giving your opinions and forging and ultimate debate hypothesis.

cheers on that.

but i agree with karen, any site that uses the score as the ultimate end all be all, is failing any possible debate and growth of ideas.
a score taken with a grain of salt (like one of your guests also said) and an informed blog or editorial about games is a good combo for me.

'Darren...AoC?' by Checksix
Submitted on 2010-06-07 02:05:57 CST
So Darren, I was suprised to hear you are not palying AoC. Weren't you just talking about it on the VWPC?

'Yes AoC' by darrenl
Submitted on 2010-06-07 12:29:34 CST
Yeah...still playing a couple hours a week. I'm around level 42-ish.

'@Darren' by Checksix
Submitted on 2010-06-07 15:27:53 CST
I was kind of ready to buy /deathmetalvoice RISE OF THE GODSLAYER /deathmetalvoice after listening to you on VW. R u still happy with it? Did you get your 40 bucks worth?

'Lotro and swtor.' by Miffy
Submitted on 2010-06-07 15:35:56 CST
Lotro is nothing to how Lord of the Rings fans wanted. For me the downfall started when they renamed it and it went from being living in Middle Earth to being some lord of the rings tie in thing. Then I got to play it and the combat wasn't fun, couldn't find an interesting class, the animations were horrible, character models were ugly. There were very few races and you couldn't play as the other side. So PVP sucked cause it was only that monster play thing. The faults are endless and most people agreed to the point where the game did so poorly for a Lord of the Rings based title. It just felt like why play Lotro when WoW does almost everything better and actually has people playing.

So to me making it free is because the game has done poorly and Turbine want people actually playing it to make cash. The problem is it isn't like EVE where there's a great base game there and they can spend years improving it. The base game in Lotro sucks and these are design flaws that wouldn't require a whole other game. I don't know anyone who will play the game now because it was free, people are willing to pay if it's good. I just think it'll draw in the kids who can't afford it and like DDO it'll be popular for awhile, then it'll die down cause the game is crap and there is better out there.

Now onto swtor...

The game is run by Lucas Arts really and they've shown they want to milk the Star Wars franchise for all it's worth. After The new movies, the stupid clone war series, all the new crappy games and SWG, I'm going to give swtor a pass. I know what'll happen and I'm not interested in getting burnt by Lucas Arts again.

On top of that all I've seen is a Single Player/coop game so far and that isn't what I'm looking for in an MMO. One person at Bioware even said awhile back that what people want is a good single player with online features and for me it's like.... no, I want it to be 100% fully online!

The MMO genre died after 2004 anyways, all been shit since. There are no signs of it coming back with all these games claiming to being MMOs, when they aren't. The frigging clone wars game ain't an MMO, it is Guild Wars or Diablo and they aren't MMOs. The word gets thrown about too much these days to the point that you have like 8 v 8 games calling themselves MMOS just because they have persistent character levelling up. Soon COD will be called an MMO...... Stupid.

Just give me SWG Pre CU with content that is upto the quality of Blizzard's standards. Not the shit SOE kept throwing out, I mean people were only leaving SWG cause SOE released hardly any content and when they did it was so bad and broken.

'Also' by Miffy
Submitted on 2010-06-07 15:51:42 CST
Don't forget when Bioware get bored Lucas Arts will get another developer to make an expansion or whatever. There will always be new Star Wars movies and TV stuff, so expect tie ins like Kash and Mustafar in SWG. They can step in at any time and tell them they want Bioware to do this and that like the NGE in SWG. So expect lots of cash shop crap ruining the in games economy.

I just can't see any hope for a game where Lucas Arts is heading.

'2004 Was It?' by Wilhelm2451
Submitted on 2010-06-07 21:29:17 CST
Miffy said, "The MMO genre died after 2004 anyways, all been shit since."

And yet I bet somebody out there with some numbers can demonstrate that more people have played MMOs since 2004 than ever played them before that date. Odd behavior for a genre that died.

Lot of hate in that screed there Miffy. I take it though that we can mark you as somebody who prefers the virtual world aspect of these games, the, dare I say it, sandbox nature of being able to go where you will.

My own worry about SWTOR is that BioWare is going to go so overboard with story that their game is going to end up making WoW look like a sandbox by comparison.

However, when it comes to LOTRO, I would like to know what fan organization elected you their representative. I am a huge Tolkien fan and, while I have my own nits with the game, I still quite enjoy it. It represents perhaps the best compromise that could be hoped for, so speak for yourself and don't pretend you speak for others.

Let's face it, we'll never see something like, say, an open pre-third age world where we can defend Gondolin, ride with the Noldor, or venture towards Angband. There isn't a market for it, the fan base isn't there. The game had to have a name that invoked the story in The Lord of the Rings because even Middle-earth would get you a blank stare from most people.

'story, TOR, and cutscene mmo' by werelord
Submitted on 2010-06-08 04:46:26 CST
I really want to take issue with episode 64's discussion about TOR's "story" MMO, and the comparisons made to story within other MMO games. I think you're putting too much emphasis in the story expected in TOR as in relation to other MMOs; comparisons to the "themes" of EQ (1 is the only one I have experience with) and with WoW's dialog boxes for delivering story, or the few cutscenes WoW has within WotLK.

Although its far from being delivered, you can draw better conclusions with how story will be handled from Bioware's other single-player games in recent memory; Mass Effect (1 and 2), Dragon Age, and even back to the first iteraton of that engine, KOTOR itself. The story wasn't delivered as a wall of text; those were delivered in complex dialog trees; when talking about how much text and spoken dialog within those games, the majority of it is handled as a discussion with NPCs rather than other methods of delivery. I don't see them changing that for the MMO perspective.

In thinking about how multiplayer "story" dialogs would happen, you can look directly at Dragon Age itself; there were many places where the others in your party would interact with the NPC that you were talking to. I can definitely see instead of canned responses from party-member NPCs giving the other PCs within your party dialog trees for interacting with an NPC seamlessly within your discussion.

Same with cutscenes.. While there are definitely cutscenes within Bioware's previous games, they generally are only at momentous points within the plot; to expect that the majority of the game will make up these cutscenes is just not realistic.

When playing DA or MA, I can't help but see these same story mechanics put into TOR. I think its more likely to look at these other games and expect that sort of mechanism, rather than expecting what other companies have done for delivering story.

Obviously speculation, but you don't have to go that far to figure out how Bioware thinks or works.

'----' by Token
Submitted on 2010-06-08 22:19:15 CST
Miffy is correct, the MMO genre has been pretty dull since 2004. Ignore wow and look at the titles.

Pre 2004 = tons of variety and boundless hope for the genre
Earth and Beyond

Post 2004 = 3 versions of the same game

'Testing, is this thing on?' by Denny
Submitted on 2010-06-08 22:21:42 CST
Great episode, as ever. Not done listening, though. What's with the one-sided sound? I'd like to think all of my head-, and earphones aren't malfunctioning, and that you're testing some new format, but there's Darren in my left ear, and everyone else in my right ear, and background music playing stereo as normal.

Being a storyline gamer I rarely read reviews, and even less check scores. Actually, the only site I do that on is, cause they use video format, and actually display what they're grading, and why. But even there I don't use the review as a guideline.
The main thing I research, when choosing a game is the story, and that's something no critic can feed me, or cut open. Sure they try, and use their fancy words, and literature build-up comparisons, but games are not books.
What game journalist would ever point out the greatness of Borderlands', Modern Warfare's, or even Bad Company 2's story? Generally put they're shooters, multiplayers with a solo play capability, and any plot is background. I view it in reverse.

'F money. ' by rocknerd
Submitted on 2010-06-09 01:53:26 CST
money does not make one MMO better than an other. just like it doesn't with any other creative medium, art, music, movies.

all money does is line the pockets of the creators of the product post release.

@ miffy, just because lotro wasn't your cup o' tea doesn't mean its not good. and citing it's lack of financial income doesn't mean it's a bad game, or any other game for that matter.

WoW may be the highest grossing MMO forever, does that mean it is the all time best, even including anything that hasn't even been released or heard of?

I think WoW serves the LCD perfectly, and I did enjoy WoW back when all i could play was dark age of camelot and anarchy online etc. MMOs moved too slow. there was way too much down time between fights and you had to pay out the ass for everything. but when WoW was released i loved it becuase it wanted to be a better MMO. it didn't hurt that they have a badass concept artist that gave the game such a unique look that people were immediately sucked in. but i have out grown that game.

now it does things that i think are way too outdate like dark age and anarchy online used to be. i wanted a new MMO to come out that didnt require me raiding with 40 just to get 2-3 magic item drops that would eventually lead to an argument about who got to roll on it. and a game that didnt make me save up for 2 months just to buy a new suit of armor at level 40 that would have an astronomical value attached.

and not to mention paying to level up fireball from 6 to lv 7, just tp go from 100 damage to 120, and to have it cost whatever it was 3-10 gold at high levels was absurd to me.

well guess what magically swooped in and fixed what i felt was poor design flaws, yup, lotro!

now lotro does a few things that i would like to see Tera fix, or SWToR or whatever else is coming out down the line, (AHEM* FF 14 please be here soon!!).

i just can't believe people are still content with what WoW is in this day and age. i feel its too old to enjoy when so many other games, that make just a fraction the amount it rakes in, are out now and ready to enjoy.

i would never deny someones enjoyment of WoW, my gal still loves it and my brother still plays it while i roll my eyes at them, lol. i get it, it looks REALLY cool, and being swept into the environment is half the battle. and yeah maybe i sacrificed a little environment going from WoW to lotro, because i agree with you about the character models and sub par classes, but the gameplay, loot and reward system is much more of what im looking for.

'PS' by rocknerd
Submitted on 2010-06-09 01:53:51 CST
unless its money for me!!!

'Only 3 MMOs since 2004?' by Wilhelm2451
Submitted on 2010-06-09 04:57:18 CST
@Token - You'd best go back and check your facts again if you're seriously tying to tell me that we've only seen three MMOs since 2004. Either that or explain your criteria for excluding, say, GuildWars, Darkfall, Runes of Magic, Aion, Champions Online, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Star Trek Online, or Fallen Earth.

The genre has been so alive with entries that we've been able to choose, which has lead to the once unheard of fact of MMOs closing. So away went Tabula Rasa, Auto Assault, The Matrix Online and Dungeon Runners, all post-2004 entries into the genre.

You can convince me that the genre has changed, but to declare it dead since 2004 presses credibility too far.

'On the sound' by darrenl
Submitted on 2010-06-09 15:48:22 CST
Yeah...had a couple emails on this so I thought I'd pipe up.

I tried something new with the recording of SUWT this time around. I recorded my voice on a separate channel from everyone else. I however, was not able to merge the tracks...didn't know how, but that shall be fixed next episode. me ringing in your left ear for this one guys ;)

'-' by Token
Submitted on 2010-06-10 05:05:54 CST
@ Wilhelm

None of those games you mentioned sparked my imagination and made me wonder what was possible. Thats why they are not on the list. By that time we could see what the games were offering, their limitations etc, so may as well just pick your WoW clone and play that...

'Pwew' by Akely
Submitted on 2010-06-12 17:49:33 CST
Glad to hear that the sound will be merged. I really found it annoying, for some reason. i don't know why, just found it so.

Pretty interesting show, with a balanced round of opinions.

As much as I respect peoples opinions I must point out to no one in perticular: Just because you have an opinion that something is so-and-so does not make it so-and-so. It's just an OPINION. OpinionFact

'@darren ' by Jmo
Submitted on 2010-06-13 05:27:23 CST
For the sound do this if you use Audacity:

Hit CTRL+A to highlight all of the tracks.

Go to the Tracks menu.

Click "Mix and Render".

This will combine all tracks into one, normalize, and render the sound. Works like a charm to even everything out. Hope that helps. =)