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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 #9
Mon, 17 Sep 2007 04:47:00 GMT [download/play]

  • Introductions
  • Listener mail/What we're playing
  • 1-800-MMO-SERVICES
  • Are Bloggers Press?
  • Family Aggro...disspell please
  • Help Wanted
  • Non-Beta-Tester, umm, testing.
  • Blog of the Week

    Darren - commonsensegamer
    Brent - VirginWorlds
    Troy - Voyages of Vanguard
    Sean - Brackishwater

    Are Bloggers Press?
    Darren Wants to Know so we Answer
    Are Bloggers Considered Press?
    Are Bloggers and Podcasters Press?
    Hot off the Blogging Press
    This Just In
    Am I a Member of the Press
    Bloggers Press
    Are Bloggers Press (Tobold)
    MMO Elitism
    Do you Help New Players
    What are Beta Tests For?
    Test the Beta Please

    Blog of the Week:

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    Previous Episodes
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    Episode 9 Discussion Thread

    'In game services.' by Dathmar
    Submitted on 2007-09-17 05:52:43 CST
    You were talking about in game services...and it might be an idea to pay in game currency for services...

    I saw a funny thing the other day in LOTRO
    A player was sending this message out in Region and LFF channels.

    "I will help you with quests - level 17 and below - charge = 30 silver per quest"

    So basically this level 17 player ( I guess) was asking people to pay him to group up !
    I just thought it was funny - Capitalism hits Middle Earth

    'ACTUALLY - Beta and Bugs' by Dathmar
    Submitted on 2007-09-17 07:09:11 CST
    Yes....I completely agree with the ease of raising bugs.
    LOTRO via Codemasters had an awful system where you had to raise the bug via a webpage on the codemasters website.
    The worst thing was that you needed to specify the location of where the bug occured which meant entering a series of letters and numbers which was awful trying to tab between the game client and the webpage.
    Surely any decent bug logging system should know where you are when you log the bug.... ?

    Also sometimes the attitude from some developers towards the beta tester is important on how much feedback they get.
    I recently had 2 issues with beta testing recently.

    1 - The "developer" / community team think that most of their beta testers just want a free game, when in fact the beta testers just want to beta test the game (which in this case has been almost unplayable / testable) for 6 months with very little news from the developers why there has been no patch / new client.

    2 - Sarcasm from the developer for raising minor bugs ( had this twice recently in another beta test) - they stated that they had a few more urgent issues at the moment even though I raised the bugs starting wth the line -
    "This is a very minor issue...."

    I think its really important to have a good , in game bug logging system and that all beta testers are treated as a help to the development process - not assume that each beta tester is there for the free ride.

    'ACTUALLY, did you know?' by brackishwater
    Submitted on 2007-09-17 08:47:44 CST
    Vanguard had a fairly decent bug reporting system, but lacked the upfront, in-your-face information that I think that developers should put before their testers. Things like requirements for testers should be bestowed upon them when they sign a NDA. I don't think its a bad idea to expect a bit from your testers.

    Had a great time guys, thanks for having me on.

    'ACTUALLY...' by darrenl
    Submitted on 2007-09-17 11:53:18 CST're double posting. If you'd actually stop using "actually" for everyting, maybe you'd actually stop doing that.


    'Troy's Wife' by brackishwater
    Submitted on 2007-09-17 12:42:15 CST
    That was absolutely priceless. What you hear at the end is his wife talking to him right after I had told him to be careful. Its was in the beginning of the segment about Family Aggro.

    oh and I must have hit refresh - my kingdom for a delete button.

    'Awesome again thanks' by pvthudson
    Submitted on 2007-09-17 14:04:57 CST
    Thanks for the coverage on my article about that beta stuff

    As for the family aggro, I have to say my wife dishes it out more than I do. She is a hard core player and actually raids more than I, so if she doesnt get a raid spot I really hear about it! I suffer from a different type of aggro in that I have to be nice to her on runs and let her loot things or I get smacked upside the head. Still its always fun. Helps pass the time away when she is playing with me since we can make fun of what happens online and get stuff done together

    If you need to get a significant other hooked, get em to play Diablo 2 that always works!

    'PvP and PvE' by hallower
    Submitted on 2007-09-17 15:36:54 CST
    As usual, I've got a lot to say, so I'll separate the posts by subject.

    "[WoW battlegrounds]...It's just chaos."--Brent

    Exactly. The point that usually comes up when people are praising the potential of PvP content is that human beings are less predictable, more dynamic, than AI. But I recommend reading Chas York's blog on why predictability is often good: One of the main ways PvP needs to develop in future MMOs is that there needs to be a better balance between dynamics (which keep battles interesting and fresh) and predictability (which enable strategy and tactics).

    Current PvE in MMOs leans much too strongly toward predictability. What I was trying to say before is that it doesn't have to be that way. PvE can surprise players and keep them on their toes. But dynamics take more time to design and tweak, which is why developers have stuck to the same old static PvE models.

    Brian Green and Moorgard both blogged recently about how much of WoW's design success can be attributed to the exceptional amount of time and money Blizzard was able to put into it (most other developers don't have that option). Dynamic gameplay costs more than static gameplay, but I think the benefits are well worth it if the developer has the chance.

    And on another note... What is that song with the woman singing that you always play in your podcasts?

    'profesionnal guides, and "are we press?"' by hallower
    Submitted on 2007-09-17 15:38:29 CST
    The main barrier to professional guild/raid leaders or guides is the presence of people who are willing to do the same thing for free. I think people tend to think something you have to pay for is more valuable than something that's free, but the perceived value would have to be really special for it to become very common.

    On TV, editorial shows get more viewers than journalists who focus on the facts. Newspapers might get more credit for news, but the newspaper business has been in decline since the growth of internet news (my journalism professor was a chief edtor at the Houston Chronicle, and he made that point). No matter what the medium, it's not information that really sells. News companies sell their products by highlighting information more for its dramatic appeal (ability to rouse the audience) than for its educational value. If a news organization merely listed facts in bullet-point, in a diagram or on an Excel sheet, it wouldn't attract a big audience. News articles are called "stories" for a reason. How the story is told is vital; the creativity and analysis is vital.

    Sanya Weathers said in that AGC panel that whether a blog or more formal news outlet is the best choice depends on what the information is that the deveopler/publisher wants to release. She didn't go into detail, but I think she's probably right.

    'selling family on games' by hallower
    Submitted on 2007-09-17 15:46:04 CST
    One word: Spore.

    That game's going to hook a lot of folks who don't play games yet. Some very-occasional gamers in my family are showing signs of becoming hardcore gamers when that one's released. They're practically drooling. If you buy it, they will come.

    'betas and MMO communities' by hallower
    Submitted on 2007-09-17 16:42:31 CST
    I just got a new invite today and the server is down. =(

    My responses on these turned out to be pretty long, so I guess those will be my blogs for Tuesday and Wednesday. lol, I had no idea what I was going to write about this morning, and now I've got the whole week lined up.

    'PvP Advancement? ' by CDHWaldo
    Submitted on 2007-09-18 00:53:08 CST
    I assume we mean leveling in PvP? Did nobody play DAOC?

    'Thanks Darren' by Talyn
    Submitted on 2007-09-18 12:12:41 CST
    Hey thanks for the mention on the show, I didn't know that was coming. Just downloaded it and was out sweating on a good walk and suddenly Darren's mentioning my site. Oh crap! haha

    Sometimes the secret attention can take ya offguard :)

    On beta testing: absolutely, I agree 100% with Brent. We're applying for a volunteer "job" and both the volunteers and the devs should look at it as such. If you're not pulling your weight, you're gone. They're spending umpteen million dollars in the hopes of getting a quality product and some clown is making guilds and spamming chat with "why isn't this like WoW?" Donald Trump should license his likeness to all MMO devs so they can use a Trump NPC to give a "You're Fired" voiceover to testers who aren't testing.

    On the flip side of that coin, in addition for making it very easy and obvious to send feedback, the devs should be active and upfront each week (or whatever time period) about specifics they're interested in getting feedback on. Sure, if you see a typo or general stuff, send feedback as always, but for this week's patch we want specific feedback on [insert content here]. If you're tasking us brave and masochistic volunteers with testing your content then go the next step and actually give us a task every now and then.

    'Press not putting in own views and the such.' by mrluigi
    Submitted on 2007-09-18 17:41:20 CST
    How can you say a blogger is not press because we don't do "fact" checking. Have you watched CNN or Fox news? There is no fact checking in their stories.

    'I must say..' by LealaTurkey
    Submitted on 2007-09-18 23:51:09 CST
    Excellent episode guys! Very good topics. But I must say that I am curious to hear from all of these wives about the family aggro thing. You can have them contact me with their side of the stories. =)

    'Poe' by Brent
    Submitted on 2007-09-19 11:33:33 CST
    That tailing song is by Poe.

    'nope, another one' by hallower
    Submitted on 2007-09-19 12:05:00 CST
    Thanks Brent, but I didn't mean that song. I did some quick skipping and found the song I'm talking about at about 19:50 into the podcast.

    'doh' by Brent
    Submitted on 2007-09-19 12:14:24 CST
    ah, I was reading the wrong thread... you're talking about SUWT, not VW... sorry.

    'Song' by darrenl
    Submitted on 2007-09-19 19:01:10 CST
    ..that song is called "Dream of Peace", from Lineage II

    'Great show!' by Beauturkey
    Submitted on 2007-09-19 23:34:42 CST
    Love it, and all that. I emailed you bout a co host. I am cute, have a great voice and yes, WILL take my clothes off while chatting.

    Ok, well, maybe.


    '@ Waldo' by brackishwater
    Submitted on 2007-09-20 00:13:47 CST
    You are right there sir. Yes I did play that but its been a long time and many worlds since that day. Its amazing how it can meld together. Guess we will see how WH does with the whole process. I imagine they will have a more quest and mission oriented approach to it.

    @ Beau
    I hope you sent head shots.

    'Bloggers Press?' by Akely
    Submitted on 2007-09-21 08:02:37 CST
    Troy hit the nail on the head when he said"What is press?". (Of course I think so becouse he I have the same thoughts.)

    I work with press people on a semi-regular basis in the regard that I am the one that press wants information from. In the capacity of being the one that answers to questions, or give out facts, you can not and do not make any difference between non-press (as in John Doe calling) or Mike Wallace calling. Questions are questions and information is given to any and all that wants it. As long as the info is free to give. So in that sense all is press.

    If there would be a difference between non- and real press it is legal. A news organisation can be held legally responsible for telling lies (or even having an agenda. At least over here). Whereas non-press just relate opinions and comments which mostly is fine... So in that sense there is a difference.

    So are bloggers press? Well... I think the term Press is outdated. What to call it I do not know. Perhaps something that rings more of the service done than referring to the tool used...

    'Press' by twistah
    Submitted on 2007-09-21 15:10:44 CST
    Over the latest decades, the definition of "press" have changed dramatically. I think "press is what you make it" or as they say about politicians: "you get the press you deserve". If enough people belive, watch and accept Fox news, it will become your press. If enough people get their news from blogs, then bloggers constitute press.

    I think the discussion should be more about whether or not the blog content actually constitute news. I think most often they dont. But when they do, they are refreshingly interesting.

    'Podfading by gender. Actually.' by Jossfan
    Submitted on 2007-09-21 15:17:55 CST
    There is probably a topic to be done about "Why are there so few women who podcasts? And why do women podfade even faster than men do?"

    'Pseudo Tester' by Etelmik
    Submitted on 2007-09-25 15:02:09 CST
    Too many testers these days don't even know what it means to test. So they just view it as a preview. Sad, really. We're trying to change it.

    I hope it works, because I'm in the Fury beta and the testers don't seem to be too interested in putting in the itty-bitty time it takes to pass along the problems.