Diecast #18: Xbox One, The Witcher, Unrest

By Shamus
on Jun 25, 2013
Filed under:
Diecast

145 comments

Mystery guest this week. Even if you’re not usually a Diecast listener, you might want to give the first couple of minutes a try. Just saying.


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3:15 Chris is still working off his indentured servitude to Thomas Nook, certified jackass of Animal Crossing.

8:50 Rutskarn explains the depth and verisimilitude of the Tropico political simulation.

12:00 Josh tells us some Crusader Kings II stories. And also X-Files.

19:45 Shamus has been playing Papo & Yo and watching the Red Bull Training Grounds Starcraft II tournament.

23:30 Xbox One policy reversal.

46:05 Rutskarn regales us with his horror stories of the Witcher’s tutorial and the tragedy of his faithful companion, Jackass McSpuds

54:20 Kickstarter, Unrest, Horrible Pick-up Lines, and Snake People!

1:11:55 Mailbag

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A Hundred!20205We've got 145 comments. But one more probably won't hurt.

From the Archives:

  1. Mr Compassionate says:

    Mumblez!!!
    Missed you madam. The podcast is made brighter by your presence.

    (psst… psst, Mumbles. Join SP again, reclaim the title from Chris, you have a de jure claim)

    • arron says:

      Both surprised and delighted. Long has Mumbles been missing from the Spoiler Warning Sofa with her bee-swarm related shenanigans. :)

    • Steve C says:

      “de jure claim”

      :->

    • The Rocketeer says:

      Ruts wasn’t kidding about the high standards for her Riddler harem, either; I showed up as the Question as a joke, and I’m not sure the scar will ever heal.

      On the bright side, I finally got to take the Team Mumbleskarn shirt back off the hanger!

    • TouToTheHouYo says:

      I read that as “de jure clam.”

      I don’t know what to make of that.

    • Hitchmeister says:

      Just a quick note for Mumbles. In Dragon Age II, fem Hawke can hook up with Isabella. (And also Merril. I was worried about Isabella’s daggers in my back after that, but she was cool with it. Didn’t blame me a bit. She said she was tempted to ask to join us, but was afraid the poor elf’s brain would melt… or words to that effect.)

    • Volfram says:

      Yay, Mumbles!

      Mumbles by herself is not a particular bonus. Rutskarn under the influence of Mumbles is my favorite Spoiler Warning personality.

      Rutskarn by himself being a close second.

      Would be thrilled to see Mumbles return in a future Spoiler Warning series.

  2. Entropy says:

    Crusader Kings II creates some great stories. This one time, I tortured and subsequently maimed a 0 yr old. Then raised her as my own.

    This other time, I was in line to inherit from the King of Scotland, who would NOT stop having children. Dude lived to 84 and produced 10 kids, about half of whom were sons.

    I’m uh… noticing a theme of cruelty to children here. So, anyone for multiplayer CK2? :D

    • Prof_goldfish says:

      Totally up for some multiplayer haha. I had a gay, chaste king of Leon. He had 6 sons, four daughters and at least one bastard. LUSTFUL FTW! Needless to say it took forever to reform that kingdom.

    • Zombie says:

      Still not as good as me killing my cousin and then my wife as the King of Wales to get almost all the North of France, including Paris, Orleans and Brittany (Well, my son and heir got to be Duke of Brittany, but that’s just semantics). And then the Pope called a crusade on Bavaria, and I got to take the Kingdom of Bavaria back home with me. I’m hoping England will go through its, like, 20th rebellion and I can grab some more territory, maybe challenge Scotland for Northern Ireland, and then make the Empire of Britannia.

      And I would totally be up for multiplayer, if my schedule wasn’t complete a mess right now.

    • Colin says:

      One of the many things I really miss about CK2+ whenever I try vanilla is the lack of aging symptoms for characters. In CK2+, infants have very low health and have a reasonable chance of dying from illness on their own. As characters age into their thirties and beyond, they lose health and fertility, so that they rarely live into their seventies and are much less likely to produce children after their fifties.

      • Exasperation says:

        Possibly the most frustrating game I’ve had was the one where I had a successful king with a good, strong heir and had to watch my heir die of old age so that when my ruler finally followed him several years later the whole kingdom fell apart.
        Or maybe the one where my heirless king had a heart attack at age 32. After starting the game at age 32. I didn’t even get 9 months into the game.

  3. Humanoid says:

    In a wonderful accident of timing, this post came up during the time it took to put my shoes on to go to work, which naturally delayed me leaving by a few minutes, but will make the day go by faster.

  4. Thomas says:

    Now PS+ is something lots of people are going to sign up to, I guess there’s a decent chance they’ll be continuing their PS+ sales schemes, which might be a good sign for platforms getting closer to Steam flexible pricing

  5. Chauzuvoy says:

    So Rutskarn, how do the snake people fight in that game? Do they use… Krav Naga?

  6. The Witcher 2 is where I started off in the series and I actually didn’t feel that out of place in terms of what is going on. I would’ve liked to know why the war was going on and a few little things about the world but they kind of explain it a little bit.

    • Nordicus says:

      In Witcher 2, the books were much more helpful in understanding the setting than playing Witcher 1 was. Witcher 1 mainly takes place in Temeria, and there’s only a passing mention to other countries, but Witcher 2 takes place in multiple countries with multiple international conflicts rising up to mess up Northern Kingdoms. So I was a bit confused with all the names thrown around in Witcher 2, even if I had beaten Witcher 1 only months prior.

      I do hope Rutskarn sticks with Witcher 1 for 2 reasons though:

      1) The story and the setting are fantastic despite the crappy combat, not to mention there’s a sort of self-discovery element like in Planescape Torment and Mask of the Betrayer, you know, 2 games whose combat is known to suck?
      2) Rutskarn is a Morrowind fan, so he knows that games can overcome their sucky initial combat, given a few hours for the system to develop

      • Ysen says:

        It’s not just terrible combat which hampers the Witcher. I found the story mediocre, the characters both unlikeable and uninteresting, and the pacing terrible. And I had the same problem as Rutskarn and Mumbles with the *cough* “masculine tones” of the game.

        • Nordicus says:

          If the Witcher 1 story was mediocre, then I can only imagine the types of things you’ll say about the usual Bioware fare.

          Witcher 2 did do a hell of a better job at fleshing out characters, but I still have to raise an eye brow if you found no characters neither interesting or likeable. Zoltan and Dandelion, Foltest, Siegfried, Vincent, Thaler, de Aldersberg, none of these managed to leave a positive lasting impression? Shame, because I found Siegfried and de Aldersberg especially interesting.

          Now, the pacing is agreeably slow as hell, and if by “masculine tones” you mean womens’ character models and the cards, I’ll let that slide. There are little details that trying to invoke a harsh, unfair magical middle-age setting does not excuse.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Oh man, Thaler. The one guy I always forget exists until he’s mentioned but he’s fantastic.
            Foltest also manages to win an award for being a not-to-bad-king, anyone who refers to their own capitial as “the Whorehouse” at least has their feet on the ground.

            • Nordicus says:

              Thaler’s one-line cameo in Witcher 2 was amazing… BUT NOT ENOUGH!

              He was the kind of guy who could have been Roche’s best buddy or the biggest pain in his ass. Oh, what could have been…

          • Ysen says:

            Well, I didn’t really get that far into the game. People kept telling me that it was totally the best game ever, honest, but I wasn’t willing to continue playing something I hated on the promise that it would magically stop sucking at some point. Maybe the characters stop being terrible and the story picks up, eventually. That doesn’t matter if the start of the game is so awful I never reach that part.

        • TSi says:

          It feels weird to me that some people feel this way about the game when the plot takes place in an European medieval (fantasy) world. Greyish tones, dirt and shit, you can nearly “smell” what you see and hear. I find this quite interesting.
          Also equality of genders is not something they aim for in these dark ages but still, in the game, Women have dominant positions and sexism is criticized as far as my GF and I know (played differently).

  7. swenson says:

    You know, I realize I actually agree with Mumbles on the “can’t play as a guy” thing… I find it really boring. Like ManShep, I just could never get through the whole game with him.

    • swenson says:

      On an unrelated note about Dwarf Fortress, I love the Let’s Plays (Boatmurdered, Headshoots/Syrupleaf, all the Battlefaileds…), but it’s just too complicated for me. It’s not even necessarily the ASCII–I play Nethack (poorly) and handle it just fine–it’s just… there’s so many commands! There’s so much to do! Gah!

      Some day I need to sit down with a tutorial and force myself to try again, but this is not that day.

      • MetalSeagull says:

        I’ve been playing Dwarf Fortress off and on for about a month using the lazy newb pack. It gives you a couple of graphics sets and Dwarf Therapist which lets you monitor and easily add/subtract jobs for your dwarfs. Plus it lets you turn off invasions and cave-ins so you can cut back on what you have to deal with while learning to play. I really enjoy creating a world, choosing a site, and setting up the embark party. Then after playing for awhile, I inevitably find out I’ve screwed up in some way I don’t know how to fix yet. I quit the game and when I start up again, I figure they’re screwed and start over. I’m really good at setting up embark parties. I’ve got that down pat.

        I spend a good part of my play time looking stuff up in the dwarf fortress wiki. I never worked so hard to be bad at a game before.

      • Nidokoenig says:

        As a general rule in Dorf Fort, when you’re given a couple dozen ways of doing something, you can probably get away with just knowing enough about four or five of them to be functional and you’ll be fine.
        Make a fort where you do a bunch of carpentry, make a fort where you brew everything you can get your hands on, make a fort where you subsist on gathered plants instead of farms. Decide when you start out what one thing you’re going to learn in this new fort and do it.

        I story I often tell is how when I was first getting interested in Dorf Fort, I was looking at the wiki, reading up on all the various things you can do, when I had a realisation: If I put the butcheries, tanneries and leatherworks in the nobles’ quarters, any dwarf that had a fell mood was most likely to grab some posh git and make them into a furniture/weapon/clothing artifact. Simply the idea that this could be done spurred me to get started so I could try it. I never properly got the nobles’ quarters-cum-butchery working as advertised(it needs far finer and braver management of dwarven sanity levels than any sane person would attempt), but I learned enough to be able to just play the game instead of study it as a curiosity.
        So basically, have a crazy scheme you want to enact, and learn only those things that will allow you to enact it. Learning a little of everything will mean you forget the one thing you learned about something by the time you get back round to it.

      • Neko says:

        I am a diehard Dwarf Fortress fan.

        I am also a professional user interface designer / programmer, so it drives me absolutely batshit crazy sometimes and I quit playing for a few months. Then it lures me back in.

        I understand the developer’s intentions – he doesn’t want to rewrite the UI code every time the base game changes, and the base game changes a lot between releases. But little things like having three different keys to inspect/interact with something depending on what it is (‘q’ for buildings, ‘v’ for units, ‘k’ for objects and ground tiles) really doesn’t help the game’s accessibility.

      • Volfram says:

        Dwarf Fortress is incredibly challenging to get into, but fun once you figure it out, and you can do some really interesting stuff in it. I also have not touched it in four years, in part because they have the single worst online community I have ever seen.

        It’s like the opposite of the Twenty Sided community. Ask for help and they’ll insult you, praise themselves, call you stupid, maybe help you, and then insult you again and claim that you’re a horrible person for not seeing what a messianic gift Dwarf Fortress is to the world. And that’s if you say that you like the game.

        I am happy to observe their community from the outside, when I even observe it at all anymore.

        • Neko says:

          Huh – I must confess, I’ve never hung out on the official forums long enough to make any judgements about the community there, but I’ve always found the fine folks over at reddit’s r/dwarffortress to be polite and quite accommodating towards new players.

      • Blake says:

        Boatmurdered was the greatest LP I’ve ever read.
        I know very little about DF, but knowledge was not required.
        I highly recommend to everybody ever.

    • Humanoid says:

      On the other hand, I find it easiest and generally preferable to have my characters be as unlike myself as possible. This includes gender of course, but also race, physical build – even things like hair style and eye colour. It’s like an additional layer of protection against the tendency towards self-insertion.

      • lurkey says:

        Same here. I cannot play a self-insertion, because I know my self-insertion would croak within minutes in any of those games, and Mary Sue McChosen-One von Superpowerz type of self-insertion isn’t a self-insertion any longer.

        In other words, I am me in real life, have no choice but being me, and the whole purpose of escapistic entertainment is becoming someone else.

        • StashAugustine says:

          I do this too. I sometimes play male characters on second playthroughs (because by then I generally have a ‘gimmick’ like Fallout John Wayne or an atheist human mage in DAO to complement my zealous female city elf rouge) but I don’t wanna self-insert. Also, what got said below- it’s interesting to see the world from a different perspective.

    • Nidokoenig says:

      I usually play as female or non-human simply because men tend to be the default setting for the writers and it’s more interesting to see what they do with the non-standard trouser furniture people. Which is often naff all, so I’m starting to just go by looks or stats.

      • Volfram says:

        I usually play as a girl because they’re nice to look at.

        I have been doing less of this lately. Women don’t hold the same interest for me as they used to.

  8. Amstrad says:

    Animal Crossing has creepy undertones you say?
    Try reading this LP of the game: http://lparchive.org/Animal-Crossing/
    It’s creepy to an extreme.

  9. Thinking of kid’s games with surprisingly creepy mechanics, Scribblenauts Unlimited immediately leaps to mind. To a kid, it’s a puzzle game where you learn that with great power comes great responsibility, kindness is a virtue, etc. To an adult, it’s a terrifying Dark God simulator where you can re-write existence to your liking, overwrite people’s personalities, summon eldritch creatures, fulfill wishes in the most darkly ironic ways possible, then reset everything and start anew.

    • MetalSeagull says:

      I can’t remember what I was going for, but I somehow created an undead monster that only laid on the ground being undead at me, since that was all it was capable of doing. I felt horrible about it.

    • Tse says:

      Ah… using human meat for lunch, giving away shrunken people as toys, rotting the sun away, making a biodegradable (decomposing) boat or plane for someone, making a giant fat diseased heart transplant, turning a giant’s true love into a miniscule man so they have more in common…
      And that’s just from doing missions.

  10. guy says:

    Huh, inability to lose Tropico was NOT a problem I had. In my experience, you’ve got like a decade of relatively smooth sailing, then it goes downhill rather sharply.

    • Smejki says:

      You gotta be the evil guy and control imigration and education. Game tends to become a chalange in proper management and distribution of services, production and space (sometimes) with 300-350+ citizens

  11. HeroOfHyla says:

    Rutskarn I’m guessing you’re talking about that gmod video that starts with a standard “yer a wizard harry” “I’m a what?” “yer a wizard harry” “i’m not a wizard, i’m just harry” “no just harry, yer a wizard” “i’m a what” and so on until it starts getting incredibly bizarre.

  12. anaphysik says:

    Pretty sure that “Tudyk” is of Polish origin, so it’d be pronounced /’tudɨk/ (EDIT:or more technically /’tudɘk/, but I’d be rubbish at pronouncing that sound, which is in between /ɨ/ and /ə/). For comparison, “two dick” would be /’tu: ‘dɪk/. (EDIT: ignore the different-looking apostrophes, those are just an artifact of the text display (combined with the fact that I used apostrophes instead of the actual IPA stress symbol (which looks very similar to a vertical apostrophe)); they carry the same meaning of “stress this part”)

    The /ɨ/ sound (a rare phoneme in English) is the “e” in “roses,” whereas the /ɪ/ (a very common phoneme in English) is the “i” in “bit” (or in, say, “Rose is”). These sounds are similar (though distinct), so it’s easy to see why to an English speaker they would be allophonic (and to be fair, a Polish speaker would also probably consider them allophonic, although they might also pronounce /ɪ/ like /i/ (“eee”), since /ɪ/ is not a part of the standard Polish phonology).

    Additionally, the stress in “Tudyk” is on the first syllable (stress in Polish is almost always on the penultimate syllable, except in foreign-origin words), whereas stress is equal (or fluid) in “two dick.” Also, you know, there’s that pause you should be saying in between words <_<. (The "oo" sound in "two" is also generally going to be longer than the same sound in "Tudyk.")

    Hey, my nearly-inconsequential semester of Polish is useful for something! Woooo…. -_-

  13. MetalSeagull says:

    Ruts, about your Nagan racial slur for humans, if they view humans as a threat, how about something related to mongooses? They’re native to India. Another possibility is for them to refer to humans by the Indian equivalent of a really common last name like Smith. Singh maybe? Not sure if it fits the region or time period, but it is sibilant.

    • Syal says:

      Or maybe something about having lots of weird useless limbs like toes. “Cracked” or something.

    • anaphysik says:

      (EDIT: note that I wrote this before getting to the Unrest part of the podcast, so Ruts already covered some of this in it.)

      As I said in the livestream chat, the problem with fictional slurs is that real-life slurs are powerful precisely because of their historical usage – they’re slurs not because of their literal meaning, but because of their /cultural/ meaning, because of what they represent (how strong that meaning needs to be before something is a legitimately hateful slur vs just being a word that people take offense to is a matter of debate, of course). Consider that one of the most storied and hateful slurs in the US is literally just a modified form of the Romance-language root for ‘black,’ a root which is retained in many Romance languages and /even in countries’ names/. It’s not about the meaning, it’s about the (systematic, repeated, ingrained-in-history) usage.

      So basically the problem with fictional slurs is that the player doesn’t live in the fictional world :/. It’s not that it can’t be done, but it’s much harder to worldbuild in a way that the player can imagine them like the characters do (and thus they can wind up being very narmy and ham-fisted). Prejudices, superstitions, and physical hate crimes, frex, are far easier to successfully and deeply worldbuild (and are things that I think the Unrest team are planning to focus on).

    • RedSun says:

      How about tying it to sweat? Think about it: Naga have the physiological heads of snakes, meaning they probably don’t have noses and smell with their tongues. They probably also, like snakes, don’t sweat.

      So imagine a Naga coming into a human city, with crowds of unwashed, hot people and having to perform manual labor with them, and you smell with your tongue. Imagine how the air would taste, full with this salty grease that only you really notice? Hell, snakes don’t even pee; their urine come out in a solid form known as urates. To a Naga, Humans are constantly excreting this waste product that only they produce and it is considered entirely normal to do it all the time, in public. That’s disgusting, and it’s definitely the kind of thing you’d use for a slur.

      Salt fountains. Grease tit. Maybe the Nagan word for salt lick. C’mon, there’s got to be a way to make a racial epithet out of sweating.

      • bloodsquirrel says:

        I think creating a fictional slur is entire possible- you just need to use character reactions to really sell it. If it doesn’t have any impact on the characters, it’s not going to have any impact on the player.

    • Hitchmeister says:

      There’s always the lazy catch all racial slur for humans that it seems like every scaly, furry, differently pigmented alien or fantasy race seems to settle on, “Pink Skin.”

      IN fact it was used on Defiance this week. The campy, sneering, villainous, pasty white alien used the term to Graham Greene’s character, who held up his hand as asked if that looked pink. Just to reinforce his racism the alien claimed all humans look alike to him.

    • Paul Spooner says:

      Do reptiles sweat? No? No.
      Anti-human slur = “Sweaty”

      Edit: Completely missed RedSun’s suggestion above. Anyhow, I agree, this is a good racial distinction, especially in a culture with lots of manual labor and no antiperspirant.

  14. Colin says:

    To be fair in regard to Rutskarn’s Tropico story, if you lived on a small island in which ten successive presidential candidates were publicly murdered by undisguised agents of the state, including your uncle, would you declare your intent to vote against the incumbent when that vote is completely transparent and visible to him?

  15. anaphysik says:

    Rutskarn: [intentionally scares the fuck out of someone]
    Rutskarn: [clamps hand over their mouth to muzzle them]
    Rutskarn: [gets bitten]

    “DESERVED.”

  16. anaphysik says:

    re: all British dudes sounding the same, Lez sounded just like Ringwraith to me XD

  17. anaphysik says:

    Man, when Shamus pulled that A-Team Hannibal joke, you could just tell that he was sporting a troll…Face.

  18. Chamomile says:

    Mumbles, the guy asked a question with a lot of names in it. Maybe he just wanted the cast to talk about a mascot brawler but instead of video game characters fighting each other, it’s video game devs playing games against each other. Maybe he just thought you guys would say something funny or interesting about that. There’s seriously no need to chew him out by name on a public podcast he will probably be listening to just because there are a lot of proper nouns in his sentence.

  19. ACman says:

    Nice to see you guys ditching the tight ‘1 hour’ format and having a more natural discussion.

    While having a framework for things that you are going to discuss is appreciated It’s nice to not have an interesting discussion shut down just to bring up the next point on the agenda.

    You’re a specialist podcast. You don’t need to be the mandated 30-60 minutes for people in traffic. You are for the people who are playing Civ4 or Crusader Kings (or browsing reddit) to listen to while they make meaningless decisions.

    You also don’t seem to being doing it for money/advertising which seems to be the main driver for podcasts being about the length of a weekly commute.

    From someone who works at home I appreciate a couple of hours of people talking about things that I’m interested in. So why cramp the style by forcing the conversation into a single hour? That’s not to say that every podcast should be over an hour, if the conversation ends after 45 minutes or even 15 that’s fine. But some of your more dynamic discussions have been limited by the need to move onto the next topic.

    I guess what I want to say is — Tangents are great –. If you guys start talking about RPGs and end up discussing history, or interesting books, or TV, or movies, or how to get into space, or the future of life for digital human beings, then that would be awesome.

    Just let the Insight/Deconstruction/Critique/Complaints flow.

  20. Ryan says:

    All romanceable companions in DAII are bisexual, because they exist only to facilitate your power fantasies.

    • RedSun says:

      It is a role-playing game in which you play as an exceptional, physically powerful person having extraordinary adventures. It is, by just about every definition, a power fantasy.

      Why is it that that fantasy being inclusive to all genders and sexuality is a problem to you? Or is this just because it’s DA2?

      • Raygereio says:

        It is a role-playing game in which you play as an exceptional, physically powerful person having extraordinary adventures. It is, by just about every definition, a power fantasy.

        True. However that doesn’t mean the game has to be creepy about, nor does it excuse bad writing.

        Why is it that that fantasy being inclusive to all genders and sexuality is a problem to you? Or is this just because it’s DA2?

        I won’t speak for Ryan, especially since you’re attacking him by putting words into his mouth.
        But there’s a non-bigot issue with making characters player-sexual: It diminishes the characters. Sexuality is a part of who people are. Flipping it to whatever the player wants them to be, in my opinion turns them into nothing more then sexdolls that serve the player’s amusement.
        Personally, I like characters to be actual characters.

        Mind you, I’m not saying it’s impossible to write characters to be player-sexual. Liara in ME is written like this and it somewhat works for her (though the Asari as a whole in the ME-setting have a ton of problems), but that’s besides the point).

      • SwaggusMcTaggus says:

        No dude, there’s a difference between a game being inclusive to all preferences and a game being “lol everyone loves you”. Unless it’s a dating sim, it’s more interesting if some characters are gay, some are straight, some bisexual, and some pan rather than everyone being asexual or pansexual until they encounter the player character. Hell, it’d be even better if this extended beyond sexual preference or gender. I’d love to play a game where a character just isn’t sexually attracted to you because you have a large busom or you don’t have prominent cheekbones or whatever. The fact is it’s more interesting when the player character has the chance of being attracted to someone who doesn’t reciprocate their feelings whatsoever, and the PC just has to deal.

        • Raygereio says:

          The fact is it’s more interesting when the player character has the chance of being attracted to someone who doesn’t reciprocate their feelings whatsoever, and the PC just has to deal.

          I liked that in ME3. When a male-Shep tries to put the moves on Traynor like a little creep, she responds with a firm “Not into you”.

      • Ryan says:

        I certainly do not have a problem with presenting a varied spectrum of genders and sexual orientations in a work; in fact, it’s an obvious positive because it mirrors the complexity found in the real world. I would like to be ABSOLUTELY clear about that.

        That’s not the problem.

        You know what was one thing that made Specialist Traynor an interesting character in ME3 (Besides being better at shadow brokering than any shadow broker living or deceased)? As a maleShep, Traynor could be a very good friend to me. She could look up to me as an example of bravery in a dark time, and I could encourage her to follow that example. What I couldn’t do was get her to sleep with me, period, because I wasn’t her type, period, because part of her identity was as a lesbian, period. That part of her identity would feel cheap or contrived if I could, I don’t know, ‘turn’ her or whatever with my magic paragon options. I would feel pandered at, which is exactly how I felt when just about everyone I meet in Kirkwall falls in love with me. It doesn’t help that most Bioware romances are sort of an awkward “say nice things to me and your reward is awkwardly animated mild titillation!”

        It’s sort of metagamey to look past the presented world and see a hypothetical world where Hawke is a completely different person in terms of temporament, background, and gender, but it’s still jarring to see the same characters falling in love with you for the same reasons- it cheapens my perception of thee characters being presented in MY story; as well as cheapening Hawke, since apparently its only defining characteristic is its last name. it’s also sort of messiah-complex creating, which is annoying because that’s not what I wanted my Hawke to be.

        Also, the situation Anders presents a HeteroMale!Hawke is unforgivably bad writing, but so is most of Anders in DAII, so that’s to be expected.

        • lurkey says:

          You mean the situation the doormat Hawke is put into, when you are forced to either flirt back or get negative influence if you choose take all “nice” dialogue options? That’s just your reward for being a pushover, man. ‘sides, the worst what happens is pixel person thinking a bit less about your in-game avatar. Really not a big deal for you as a player, no?

          I love DA2 Anders. One of the greatest trolls in video game multiverse, and not just for that flirt stunt. :-)

          In related news, I really wish people stopped being obsessed with all that sex stuff in any goddamn media. I really liked how New Vegas handled it, when without a certain perk you could never even know Arcade Gannon was gay. Why? Because he didn’t deem it important enough part of his identity to announce to his temporary companion – unlike stuff like his opinion on NCR, House, Legion and political climate of Mojave in general, his jaded yet present idealism and issues with his past.

          As for DA2 – bisexual, shmisexual, pft. Who cares about this mundane instinct we share with species as dumb as Gallus gallus domesticus, when the characters involved are demon-possessed ultra-radical mage right activist, mentally stunted blood mage, living weapon on the run and sleazy pirate with a nasty secret?

          • Ryan says:

            My main problem with Ander’s flirt is that IIRC it’s impossible to turn it down without sounding homophobic.

            And man, I haaaate Anders. Maybe calling his entire character bad writing is incorrect- he’s pretty logically written given his motivations, but the chantry thing just comes out of nowhere. As a direct result of Anders my ‘canon’ DAII playthrough is as a mage who sides with the Templars because it turns out the tower actually is full of demonic blood mages, who woulda thunk?

            Actually, on my second playthough I made Anders go away and never come back at the first chance I had. Which was annoying, because he comes back in Act III anyways, and I told him I had no interest in helping him. When it came to the ending mission I really had no qualms with killing him and siding with the templars, since it turns out the mages did know blood magic, and Orsino was, as a matter of fact, a supervillain.

          • Phantom Hoover says:

            Uh, Arcade does mention he’s gay in an offhand way even without Confirmed Bachelor.

  21. Wes1180 says:

    I think the thing to take away from this episode is that Mumbles was not in fact the cannibal and it was actually Chris.

    Also on the topic of Dwarf Fortress, here’s a link to a pack that includes a graphics mod for the game so it’s easier to start with. I think this is what Josh briefly referred to.

  22. The Rocketeer says:

    So I’m adding a second button to my Chris soundboard: a clip of him shrieking, “PENISPENISPENIS!”

  23. Erik says:

    Just wondering: just how popular is the die cast? I love it myself, but are you keeping track at all as to how many people listen to it?

  24. papersloth says:

    Ok, I know Rutskarn didn’t want to bring up the whole Kickstarter thing, but I can’t help it.
    In short, I’m against any power of moral censorship to be given to either Kickstarter or the vocal crowd, regardless of content (as long as it’s legal).

    I kept neutral position (which isn’t easy on the internet) on videogame violence/sexism/whatever for some time, but recently I had a thought: if people were as vocal about being ‘offended’ by games in the past as they seem to be today, would I ever get a chance to play games I consider my favorite? Wouldn’t VtMB be blamed for provocative outfits? Wouldn’t Morrowind be blamed for slavery portrayal (with main quest including buying a slave wife for a khan)? Painkiller for having a topless woman in its non-story? Silent Hill [2] for showing “rape culture”? Fallout, Wolfenstein, Doom, etc etc.

    It might seem like I’m over-exaggerating, but it no longer seems like a big stretch, not after all the public overreactions to Dragon’s Crown artstyle, the Armikrog guy, or just jokes and trashtalk on conferences. So now we have new Lara Croft that totally was never intended to have a character-changing near-rape experience, and a politically correct Lo Wang in a remake of a stereotype-based game (which is announced beforehead). To me it just seems like suppressing artistic freedom while expecting it to “grow up”.

    Again, I apologize for bringing this up, this isn’t really related to the book in question (which wasn’t videogame-related in the first place). Just that, in principle, I think no one should have a right to demand censorship.

    • Zukhramm says:

      Kickstarter is in no way obligated to protect your artistic freedoms, or even to run a service for people to gather money at all, and they, or their customers are free to demand anything, because it’s their money.

      • papersloth says:

        What I’m saying is, it’s a platform – it doesn’t have to be a moral filter as well, which is what the argument is about in the first place (demand by public).
        Of course Kickstarter is free to do whatever within its terms of use, including changing them. But it’s a right, not an obligation.
        Customers are free to not give them money.

        • Zukhramm says:

          Then what’s the problem?

          • papersloth says:

            I dunno, you tell me. What’s the problem with a niche community supporting a niche project that is not illegal? Kickstarter reserves the right to close it down for any reason. It’s their money (KS, authors and backers) – not the protesting people’s money (which you implied earlier).
            In principle, it should be of no concern to others – which is my point.

    • Trix2000 says:

      I think the issue was more that the book seemed to be encouraging questionable activities in real life, as opposed to a game where most if not all reasonable people can keep it virtual. Still doesn’t mean its an easy thing to make a decision on either way, but the only people I would blame are the ones who wrote the book in the first place.

      • papersloth says:

        People said Kickstarter should have done something, which would require formalizing what content is questionable.

        It pretty much boils down to what Shamus said: if they continue to take a role of filtering “morally inappropriate” projects, it will cause creating projects that have a slightest possibility of hitting a nerve of any demographic to be an uncertain affair.
        Then some can say that MLP-related projects “encourage questionable activities”, others – that an educational movie is offensive for suggesting that evolution happened. Rock music is obviously a work of the Devil and should be forbidden, anime is destroying youth’s minds and so on.

        The book in question is hardly a novel thing, there is a ton of that stuff on the web already (and has been for ages), attracting similar-minded people. And you’re free to judge them yourself. But the moment you start demanding anything to be censored, you are no different from radical conservatives or religious fanatics.

        • Zukhramm says:

          Asking a company not to support certain products or people, and demanding censorship is not in any way the same thing.

          • papersloth says:

            Same thing as asking town authorities to cancel a music show or pressuring a publisher into denying a deal with a writer.
            I did exaggerate, and it isn’t literally what censorship is, but if it were to become Kickstarter’s obligation, it might as well be called so.

  25. Adalore says:

    Arguhh… the dwarf fortress. So farms are actually sorta BS and used to be super easy and then became “We haven’t fixed this because of… uh reasons?”. The current “band-aid” fix is just digging down until you hit underground caverns where you can plant your plump helmets.

    Like the most simple change in my mind that could be done to make the game less hostile food wise would to just have dwarves need to get a bucket of water to make a farm plot underground or some crap. instead the awkward “GOTTA SIMULATE STUFF” detail stomps all over basic gameplay standards.

    The one man working on it(at least the last time I checked) needs to spend a week on programming non-stupid farming.

    • SwaggusMcTaggus says:

      Actually, all you have to do is poor water over the farm plots and you can plant in them. It’s still goofy because it lasts forever, but it’s goofy in that it’s too easy rather than too hard.
      That’s how I feel about the whole game, really. Once you learn the interface the game is really quite simple to play unless you artificially challenge yourself or try to lose spectacularly.

    • Halceon says:

      With the current version there are already three types of farms that don’t need irrigation – overground, in caverns and underground soil layers. Like sand, silt, loam, clay or whatever else that isn’t a type of stone.

      Unless embarking on a barren mountain, there should be at least one proper level of soil in convenient distance from your main facilities.

    • guy says:

      That was fixed, uh, at least a year ago.

  26. Luke says:

    I just wanted to chime in on the shenanigans that can occur if your internet is in the wrong place. I know that the Comcast where I live sends in a signal to one specific line for the cable modem. If you move the modem to another cable jack it won’t work.

    So, yeah, placement of internet vs living room could at least potentially be a problem for new owners of the Xbox One. While more and more internet providers give you modems with built in wireless router, I don’t think they are truly universal.

    • Thomas says:

      Having one day of moving hassle is hopefully solvable though. In a worst case scenario you take it round to a friends house who has wifi and do the one-time update there. I think at one point one of the PS3/360 consoles had a mandatory update and Game was offering a ‘service’ of installing it for you if you paid them. It’s still really awkward but probably not cripplingly so.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the PS4 has a day 1 internet update too, although it may not/probably won’t be mandatory.

  27. Weimer says:

    I have a feeling that MikeSoft REALLY want to make the XBone to sell properly, and that’s why we have such a quick response. Maybe they’re feeling a bit sore after their somewhat lackluster forays on PCs (Win8,LIVE) and they want to keep making money at least on some venue, so they have pushed a lot of resources to their console department they can’t afford to lose.

    Pun time!

    I hope we’ll see some depressed and negative Nagas, or Nagatives.

    Are you saying that there are no black Nagas? Naga please!

    Maybe you should add some Nagas following heathen religions to the gameworld. Also you should call then Nagans.

    I’m out.

  28. Ysen says:

    On cables in lounge rooms – cable TV is super-popular in the US, so this is a lot less common in many countries. In the glorious kingdom of Australia, for instance, not only is pay TV less popular in general, it’s often delivered via satellite. Most people get their internet via either ADSL or wireless.

  29. Atarlost says:

    What is this vile calumny against Blender? I’ve used Blender and tried to use Dwarf Fortress and the Blender UI is orders of magnitude easier than Dwarf Fortress. Especially for basic stuff. I was making things that looked like things that weren’t copies of the things in the tutorials within an hour of downloading Blender.

    I sunk days into Dwarf Fortress before giving up on being able to do something as basic as a textiles industry or a functional military.

    • Halceon says:

      A functional military isn’t basic. It’s one of the mid to top tier things you can do. I.e., it depends on having a combination of working leather, bone, metal industries. Maybe cloth.
      Because while you can arm and armor your troops with traded items or goblin loot, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get what is needed.

  30. Halceon says:

    One thing about what Shamus said about Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress. I.e., that in MC you can sorta intuit everything by clicking and a thing happening.
    I agree that DF doesn’t hold your hand at all, but the weird thing here is that MC is directly dependent on the wiki, while all the systems in DF can be discovered from withing the game. It’s not easy, but the error reports and menus give enough information to know where to look and with what to fiddle to figure things out.

  31. Steve C says:

    I watched a Papo & Yo gameplay vid and I immediately thought “Ico”. How does it compare to Ico?

  32. Jarenth says:

    I THOUGHT WHAT WE HAD WAS SPECIAL

  33. Piflik says:

    Regarding Micro$ofts policy change: I could not care less. I still won’t buy one. Even if the 360 hadn’t been a piece of junk that broke every 5 seconds I don’t want that thing, precisely because what Micro$oft wanted to do with it. I heard people say that now, after they reversed that policy, I’d have to change my opinion, because “they listened”, but I won’t. The thing is, they didn’t change their minds, they collapsed under pressure. They still think they were in the right, but were afraid that the XBone would not sell well (rightfully so). I don’t care what they are going to do, it’s about what they were willing to do. And I don’t trust them to not re-introduce that crap later…

  34. Corpital says:

    Thank you SO very much, Diecast. It’s been three months since I last played DF and now I’ve got the irresistible urge to play it again. Actually, my first new world already finished generating.

    Time for a new volcanofortress, shaped like a skull.

  35. slipshod says:

    Best ending ever, Chris.

  36. Tereus says:

    Ok Campster. You have bitched about your dlc being bound to your old xbox
    360 for two podcasts now. HERE http://support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-live/marketplace-and-purchasing/download-content#transfer
    Transfer the licience to your new xbox and try to google next time

    • Shamus says:

      Offering help is always nice, but your indignation is silly.

      • Keldoclock says:

        No, I agree with this guy completely- it’s like when you guys had trouble with Dwarf Fortress, all the documentation is out there, and really, there are only two possible conditions for a dwarf fortress after a few years; mega project or catastrophic failure attributable to poor planning. As for farming, it used to be just plant your undergrounds in the dirt layer and above grounds in the walled courtyard where your entrance is( you do have a fortified entrance, riiiiight?) or on terraces in your mountain, where only flying enemies can reach them.

        Nowadays, dig down to the caverns and plant like the other guys said. Buttskarn could have just gone to the bay12 forums and solved his problem if it really happened 50 times.

        • Asimech says:

          You’re both acting like they’re guilty of the Deadly Sin of Not Googling.

          So yeah, the indignation is silly.

          • Paul Spooner says:

            Well, that’s an interesting point actually. At this juncture, looking things up is basically free. This means that the only cost is your time required to comprehend the subject. Well, that and personal pride. So NOT looking things up either means you’re not interested, too busy, too dense, too lazy, or too proud. The last two are both deadly sins. So, fair odds that your not sarcastically correct?
            I kind of wonder if the mass-indexing of information is going to polarize communities of people who are interested in feeling knowledgeable into those willing to data paleontology, and those who (for whatever reason) find ignorance preferable.

  37. bloodsquirrel says:

    Microsoft being knocked out of the console business would be really, really bad for the industry. We’ve seen what Sony gets up to when they think that they own the market, and Nintendo has made the decision not to compete directly.

    We need strong competition to keep console makers honest. It would be far, far better for everyone for Microsoft to climb their way back up than for Sony to get fat and complacent again, and see a $699 console next generation because fuck you, what’s your other option?

    Let’s not forget that Microsoft brought a lot of innovation to the console market. They brought indie games to consoles. They led the way in having a robust online network for their console. Hell, they put a hard drive in their console back when everyone else was just using memory cards. Feature-wise they were a generation ahead with the Xbox.

  38. Draxom says:

    On the topic of cable connections: Straight out of college I rented a 2 bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh that had one cable outlet in the whole apartment. The outlet was in the “master”(largest) bedroom which was at the extreme other end of the apartment from the living room. So I had to get a 50 foot cable to run the line from the bedroom to the living room just to hook up the TV. Any TV’s in any other room had to be split off of this main line. It was the most annoying set up imaginable.

    This was also before wireless routers were really reliable so my home network was wired as well. it was insane, all because the landlord was too cheap to put in one outlet in the living room.

    Special note: the apartment was freshly remodeled. I was the first person to rent it after it had been gutted by a fire. so age of apartment is no excuse. I did get permission to have a new outlet installed(at my expense), but the exterior of the building was solid brick so that was impossible unless I wanted them to tear out all the brand new walls to run the new cable that way.

  39. Thomas says:

    The most fun thing about the One80 is how out the blue it was. Not one week before were Microsoft engineers and PR people fervently arguing in favour of the 24 check-ins and how it would be a massive problem to try and reverse it

  40. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ugh that kickstarter thing…

    On one hand,you cant blame the inventor of a technology(tool,method,whatever),for how others will use it.Whats next,censoring internet/printing presses because some idiot can write whatever on those?

    But on the other hand,kickstarter is not a public thing.Its still a company that gets some money from this,so their image is tied to things that they help get the funds.Forcing them to promote free speech is like forcing you to allow any bigot to come to your house and spew whatever crap they want.

    Tl;dr If kickstarter were free,it should be without censorship,but the way it is now,they should have the freedom to tell anyone to get out.

  41. Gilfareth says:

    Rutskarn, I personally suggest ‘shedders’ as a slur for naga, whether or not they actually shed skin.

    Also, the video you were going for was probably this one (warning: foul language).

  42. Paul Spooner says:

    I’m not sure if this is intentional… but you misspelled “Starctraft.” I think you meant “Starkraft” where you Tony Stark from Iron Man rules over The Raft from Snowcrash… which sounds like the best game ever. Or maybe where you manage an interstellar macaroni and cheese manufacturing network. Either way really.

  43. Dave B. says:

    RE: Steam logins and sharing computers. My brother and I share a gaming computer, but we have separate Steam accounts (because of that whole “one of us will move out and who gets all the games?” thing that Shamus brought up. So, I put up with it because I have to, but it sure is annoying to have to log out and back in because I’m tired of playing Assassin’s Creed on his account and want to play Kerbal Space Program on my account. I still get games on Steam, but I now gravitate towards games without Steam integration, specifically to get around that. My case is probably atypical, but it still annoys me.

  44. Volfram says:

    Kickstarter pulling Tentacle Bento(which I was a backer of and did end up getting a copy, as well as several miniatures from Soda Pop Miniatures) was another contributing factor to my decision never to back another Kickstarter project. Based solely on what was said in-podcast about the “how to pick up women” book, it sounds like that one probably should have been halted.

    I also saw one card game try to get funded 3 times using artwork that the project creator did not own. He did not respond when I asked about it.(Granted, this is not Kickstarter’s fault.)

  45. Harry says:

    I have a terrible feeling that Rutskarn was referring to this… thing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aISzEbGK1w

    But I can’t be sure. It’s certainly British in origin, so Jibar might have known about it. If that wasn’t the reference, I feel like I have to apologize for subjecting everyone to that video.

    Anyway, thanks for answering my Dwarf Fortress question, guys! It’s a shame Shamus hasn’t played it as I’d love to hear his thoughts, but I honestly don’t blame him – there is no learning curve, just a steep and forbidding wall.

  46. Tony Kebell says:

    Rutskarn mentions that 3/5ths of the characters are Female.

    Rutskarn mentions that 2/5ths of the characters are unkillable, SEXISM!

  47. patrick johnston says:

    I’m not sure but I believe Rutskarn may be referring to the “your a Faggit Harry” youtube video when they were talking during the mailbag. Correct?

  48. I’m really lowing the weekly mid “news” break in the podcast: OK! Which part of the games industry screwed up this time then?
    :)

  49. Rutskarn you crack me up, when you started to “describe” how the snake folks saw humans, as pink hairless but with a little hair.. etc. My first thought was…”Dicks? Humans are dicks?”

    I like the mice thing though.

    What if they use “hairless mice” as a slur to wards humans?

    Ooh! I got an idea. What if “Rutskarn” where a word in the language of the snakesies, that actually mean “Bad pun” so they call all humans “Bad Pun” :P

    • Gilfareth says:

      Except somehow I doubt naga penises are exactly like human penises.

      …not going any further with that, even though there’s a dozen wikipedia links I’m dying to share to further explain. Somehow I doubt Rutskarn cares to think too deeply on this aspect of the race, anyway.

  50. Smejki says:

    “~You can’t lose in Tropico”
    Well yeah. It is a sandbox, not a strategy, much. I would prefer it to be more of a simulation with system on the constant edge of stability (now it is auto-stabilizing system). Like older Simcities (til 4) where, in the time, something always becomes problematic and must be fixed. Hell, it is the same approach the new Simcity took. But Tropico at least does all things better, works properly and as intedted(!), doesn’t lie to you(!) and there are challanges when you aim to achieve certain numbers.

  51. Steve C says:

    In regards to who doesn’t have an internet connection in their livingroom? — Me. I don’t. @32:28 “I keep my internets in the bedroom and my non-existent console in the living room.” It’s one of the reasons why I don’t have a console beyond a PS2.

    The cable for my internet comes in at one end of the building and my living room is at the other. It’s on that side for a reason. The dish I get my internet from is located on that side, and where it has to be, in order to get around the trees to get a signal. It’s also directly above where my computer is, so it’s handy. I cannot move that modem. I have wireless throughout the house so a console that wants me to move it can DIAF. I don’t have sufficient bandwidth to stream 720p video so there’s zero reason to hook up my TV to the internet.

    So Shamus you are 100% right. Just thought you’d like to say “I told you so” to Josh.

    • Volfram says:

      The thing that concerns me is that if they require you to do a first-run sign-up, you’ll probably have to agree to terms of service just to use the console.

      Both Microsoft and Sony have added unconcionable terms to the TOS to use their online services. As a result, neither my Xbox nor my PS3 has seen the internet since then. I do have an XBL Silver account.

      I just want a PS2 with all the power of a PS3. I don’t care about user accounts or online features or updates, I just want to buy the game, throw the disk in the console, and start playing.

  52. Nick Pitino says:

    Dwarf Fortress is one thing, but you know what else is cool and should be played?

    Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden

    If that’s not contemporary enough Papers, Please is good as well.

  53. Traiden (Andrew) says:

    As a millitary type person I am glad that the Xbone is going back on its always online policy. I still don’t see them selling to any millitary base with the security concern the camera presents.

  54. Coblen says:

    Dwarf fortress doesn’t really have a learning curve. It’s either you know it or you don’t. If you you don’t mind spending hours reading the wiki to get a grasp on it then it can be an amazing experience.

    My crowning achievement was building a giant upside down pyramid made of glass in the middle of a dessert.

    On the topic of cannibalism. A friend of a friend who worked in a metal shop one day without his gloves on. He said the smell was disturbingly delicious.

  55. Zak McKracken says:

    Okay, I have a question:
    I just listened to this:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/audio/2013/jul/04/tech-weekly-ps4-v-xbox-one
    where T3 deputy editor Matt Hill, Indie-games developer Mike Bithell and Eurogamer news editor Wesley Yin-Poole discuss the PS4 and xBox, and all agree that the policy reversal was a step backwards, and that the gaming community had actually lost something by it. All also agreed that it was mainly due to the internet, that feral beast that will always complain about just anything. None of them mention explicitly what the advantages of the original policy in comparison to the current would have been, but seem to assume that everyone already knows that.
    … can anyone explain this to me? Was there any (however insignificant) functionality tied to the horrendous always-on requirements and restrictive DRM policy that has been lost now? Is there any part of the memo that I did not get?

  56. Valcien says:

    Remember kids, women aren’t masters of their own destiny, they’re fragile objects to which things happen. We must protect them! IOSWMDI

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