Skyrim EP46: Enchanting Questions Part 1

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jun 25, 2014

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 106 comments

Link (YouTube)

This is Spoiler Warning, only moreso. Inasmuch as our show is about having a rambling conversation where we talk over game footage while accomplishing nothing aside from navigating endless menus, this is episode is indeed Spoiler Warning in every way, only moreso.

We solicited questions from twitter. We got dozens. This entire episode was dedicated to the first question. We have two episodes left.

On the upside: I did manage to sell off some of the items that have been clogging my Steam inventory. Turns out I didn’t have nearly as many useful / valuable items as I thought I did. Still, I made a few bucks. And then spent it all on the Steam Summer Sale.


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106 thoughts on “Skyrim EP46: Enchanting Questions Part 1

  1. Henson says:

    While we’re on the subject, Awkward Zombie has a great comic on the insane way Skyrim handles stolen goods.

  2. Thearpox says:

    So for someone who never played TF2, was it then hats that ruined it?

    Silly me, when you occasionally began talking about it becoming not good, I always assumed it was something like balance and mechanics changes.

    1. Zukhramm says:

      I don’t think hats ever really ruined the game at some single point. The game just became more and more hats.

    2. Ambitious Sloth says:

      The hats were a part of it, but there’s not really a single point were people agree everything went downhill. Some would even say it hasn’t yet. Over the last 7 years though TF2 has grown a lot. There’s more maps, more game modes, and several magnitudes more of weapons and other miscellaneous stuff to use. Over time people eventually just stopped playing either because of newer games, or getting tired of keeping up.

      If you took a poll of the subset of people who think TF2 isn’t as good as it was. I’d expect you would find something like this: most of them would think TF2 went bad in the last X years, fewer will say it went bad in 20-whenever, and a very small percentage of people will say it was the [blank] update. I’d expect you could probably organize a nice diner party for people who agree in that last category without it becoming very expensive.

      1. Thearpox says:

        If one stops playing a game simply because it’s aged, and playing the same game for 10 years is not something people do, why then say that it went downhill?

        Seems to me it didn’t go downhill, it was just time. I don’t hear a lot of people saying that WoW went downhill, (although Mists of Pandaria certainly jumped the shark,) people just say that it is slowly and naturally crumbling from old age.

        1. aldowyn says:

          There are a surprising number of people that will name a specific expansion as having ‘dumbed it down’ or whatever.

        2. Octapode says:

          There’s loads of WoW players who will tell you that 1.0 was the best and that the dungeons and the skills have been dumbed down (which is probably true, but the counterpoint is the modern dungeons aren’t a horrible confusing mess like say Blackrock Spire).

          Also pandas are awesome and don’t you dare say they are terrible >.> (I did start playing after MoP so I can’t really say if the game’s jumped the shark with that expansion. I know people who will argue that though).

          1. Thearpox says:

            It jumped the shark from the lore and ideas perspective at least. I also like pandas, but they just don’t seem to fit as well in the overall world. And before the expansion, they were only used as Easter Eggs. Not to speak of the overall story. (The first two expansions followed Warcraft 3, while Deathwing is a Warcraft 2 character.)

            And I can see the evolution in dungeon design, but… that was an evolution, uphill or downhill. Meanwhile, the WoW beast grew in popularity, which is why I say that it did not go downhill.

            With TF2, I don’t find such a concrete concern as dungeons or raids. It’s… hats. (Which people say were “a part of it,” whatever the “rest of it” is.) And with the date or year at which TF2 went downhill being apparently hard to pin down, that doesn’t help me understand what exactly went downhill. At least if you use dungeons from WoW, it is also hard to pin down the date, but that is not a problem as you know exactly what was gradually changing.

            And finally, I don’t even know the player numbers to say something like: “Despite some veterans quitting WoW because of dungeon design, the game still prospered.” So I guess I don’t actually know if it ever went downhill, as it might be more popular than ever.

            1. Humanoid says:

              I loved a lot of the vanilla dungeons (I exclude raids and fully concede that the vanilla raid designs were terrible) architecturally, but admit that when combined with the somewhat unproven game mechanics then, many were a pain to do with an unprepared group. Mechanically WoW has come on by leaps and bounds since then, but at the cost of any sense of freedom and creativity.

              Getting together a well-oiled group and executing perfect Dire Maul runs (still my singular favourite place in the game) end-on-end was one of my fondest times with the game. The other was doing stealth runs, whether solo as a rogue or with a group of other rogues and druids. It was a immensely satisfying thing to do, but clearly unintended as by the time Burning Crusade rolled along, they made sure to add stealth-detecting, unsoloable enemies to *all* the new dungeons to make sure it never happened again, a sacrifice at the Altar of Game Balance. It’s unthinkable now, but consider that you used to be able to do Dire Maul West *backwards* from end to beginning.

              Karazhan was the last remnant of that school of design, complete with totally redundant rooms and other interesting locations that you had no reason other than exploration to visit – places like the kitchen, the harem rooms and even Medivh’s bedroom. It was the last time I think that a dungeon felt like a living (ironically) place, as opposed to a linear corridor with enemies placed at even intervals between them. Perhaps the greatest illustration of this phenomenon is the contrast between Karazhan, the earliest-developed content of the first expansion, and Magister’s Terrace, the last: a place where you start on a bridge above the end part of the dungeon, but can’t jump down because of invisible walls. This phenomenon might seem familiar: it absolutely mirrors the ‘evolution’ of first-person shooter level design over the last couple of decades, only that in the case of WoW, it happened only over a couple of years.

              I never got to Pandas, I quit some months before its eventual release: not because of it, but just out of general fatigue with the game. But long before then, dungeons had ceased to be interesting places to visit, just places to gear up before being ready for raiding. That is an absolute statement in that for the duration of WoTLK and Cataclysm, I stayed solely for the raiding and ignored the rest of the game. And I think that’s a great tragedy.

              1. Thearpox says:

                People like you is why I know about the evolution of WoW. And I think that those words are the most important ones: “out of general fatigue with the game.”

                Now, if only people were as clear about TF2. Because I am sorry to harp about it, but the whole “it was hats,” but “hats were only a part of IT,” but “it was really old age,” et cetera, is starting to get a little on my nerves.

                1. Humanoid says:

                  Heh, I’m an odd sort of historian here I guess because I have never played any of the preceding Warcraft games – hell, I’ve never played any other Blizzard game other than demos or brief tryouts at friends’ places, before or since. Tended to get some guildmates off-guard by not getting a lot of what happened in the game storywise.

                  The delineation between separate phases of my WoW experience are pretty illustrative of a typical MMO gamer’s experience curve though, and might be relevant to the discussion. It was actually a pretty slow withdrawal, taking the best part of two years from the decision to the actual end.

                  – Classic: Start with no friends as an MMO novice. End with a small core of several friends within the context of being a member of a larger, somewhat impersonal guild of 50+ members.

                  – BC: Original guild folds, found own guild with said core of friend and spend time and effort building it, Bad News Bears style, into a respectable force. (Though in our case it was more by accident then by design)

                  – WotLK: Peak time, a highly competitive period existing as an established guild.

                  – Cataclysm: The wind-down. My co-leader and I both resign leadership (various other co-founders having dropped out over the years prior), he quits altogether, I stick around a while longer acting as a sort of ‘elder counsel’ while letting others run the show proper. Say my goodbyes at the end, haven’t been back since.

                2. ACman says:

                  Yeah I’d love to hear Mumbles actually articulate what changed for her.

                  Josh as well.

                  Josh and Mumbles seemed to still love the game in 2010. Unfortunately the TF2 Spoiler Warning special no longer exists so I can’t check.

                  1. Humanoid says:

                    That was another thing Josh said he’d put up. Between the Shogun posts and the CK posts and the L4D continuation and the next Synergy episode and….

            2. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Panda brewmaster was a warcraft 3 thing.An easter egg bonus,but still it was there.

              As for TF2,for me it was the man vs machine thingBut thats because I dont coop.

              1. Thearpox says:

                “Panda brewmaster was a warcraft 3 thing.An easter egg bonus,but still it was there.”

                “And before the expansion, they were only used as Easter Eggs.”
                -Myself, from a post above.

                “As for TF2,for me it was the man vs machine thingBut thats because I dont coop.”

                I have no idea what that means.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  I mean that TF2 was a competitive game,and thats why I enjoyed it.But man vs machine introduced play against ai, which is what I play single player for.And since most people jumped onto that,I stopped playing.

                  1. RedSun says:

                    People played MvM for like two months, most of the people who cared got a weapon with a skull on it and a shiny badge, and then the entire mode was largely forgotten about until the Tale of Two Cities Update.

                    After the Tale of Two Cities Update, I can see grinding for Killstreak kits for a good long time, but even now, a good majority of players do not care at all about MvM. It’s never been a replacement for normal competitive TF2-it couldn’t be if it wanted to.

            3. krellen says:

              I thought WoW jumped the shark in the lead up to Dark Crusade, when Chris Metzen admitted he forgot something he himself wrote, and then retconned it to be the exact opposite.

              Also the travesty of the Eredar Draenei, which is related but not the same as the above.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Considering that the lore of warcraft universe was already reading much like a bible,was that really surprising?

                1. Thearpox says:

                  WoW jumped the shark when it stopped being an RTS.

                  But on a serious note, there are several prominent moments that can be used as examples, and I used Pandas as the most layman-friendly example.

                  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    “WoW jumped the shark when it stopped being an RTS.”

                    Id say it happened much sooner.If you were to read the expanded lore during the frozen,you would see that it was the legend of the fall of lucifer.Repeated about 4 times.

                    Cant blame them though,its a good myth.

                    “But on a serious note, there are several prominent moments that can be used as examples, and I used Pandas as the most layman-friendly example.”

                    Aside from the looks,pandas werent that outrageous however.Not more than the rest of the stuff(two headed ogre mages,for example).

                    1. Thearpox says:

                      Okay, I’ll engage you.

                      For starters, I am of the opinion that all the expanded lore did not really matter. Why? Because it had no effect on the game. When you play the Undead Campaign, you’re not really exposed to the expanded lore. When you visit WoW expansion, you are absolutely exposed to the pandas.

                      And the story, of every Warcraft RTS taken separately, makes Internal Sense. Whether a simple “Orks Smash” of Warcraft II, (Yes, I know it was more complicated. I’m exaggerating.) to the fairly complicated Fall of Lucifer as you said of Reign of Chaos, the stories make internal sense.

                      And yes, they restructured the lore every next game. And once you start investigating the lore, it begins to fall apart at its seams. However, it was pretty consistently that way.

                      Maybe we’re using a different definition of “jumped the shark”? Because as far as I’m concerned, there was not a moment in Frozen Throne when I went “This is completely insane, and does not compute to what I know about this world.”

                      As for why I find the pandas outrageous in comparison to the stuff like two-headed ogres?

                      Well, what’s wrong with two-headed ogres? I honestly don’t see a problem. Sure, they’re a little silly. But as Tolkien taught us, Orks+Goblins+Trolls+Ogres=Team. So when ogres appear in the same game as orcs and trolls, I don’t see a problem.

                      Maybe there’s something silly in the expanded lore about their creation? I honestly don’t remember. Well, so what? To an average player, it’s just a ettin, a well established fantasy creature.

                      The problem with pandas was that they created an entire expansion for them. I did not have a problem with them during Frozen Throne. Sure, it was a little silly, but the game itself was not beyond silliness. But when they became an expansion, it meant that the game designers had officially run out of ideas.

                      After Warcraft III, WoW had to work with Night Elves, Humans, Orks, Undead, Other Undead, Demons, Blood Elves, Draenei, Faceless Ones, not to speak of Dwarves and other underdeveloped races. Somehow or other, they all mesh and interact together.

                      For example: Draenei
                      Allied with: Blood Elves, Nagas, Illidan
                      Enemies: Demons, other occupants.
                      Occupying: Previous orkish lands. Possible interaction with reformed orks?

                      So if Blizzard focused on the Draenei, they could at least answer the question: How does this tie in to the world you created?

                      With Pandas, no such chart is possible, because they during the 15 years of the franchise, they don’t figure at all in the story. And as an aside, adding such a huge thing to long-running franchise is usually a bad idea in itself.

                      So if Blizzard were to be faced with the above question in relation to pandas, there really would be no good answer. Taking aside from a moment the reality of MMOs, if they released the Pandas in a different franchise with no connected to the WoW, it would NOT have hurt the content. And that is what I define as having jumped the shark. When the content they release would be just a well not just in a new game, but even a new franchise.

                  2. Eruanno says:

                    But WoW was never an RTS. (Warcraft was, though. Sorry, nitpick!)

                    1. Tizzy says:


                      I’m pretty sure that was the joke…

              2. Ivellius says:

                As someone who hated the eredar/draenei retcon and still think everything could have been done the same way without making them eredar… it’s actually set up some interesting plot points and worked out fairly well. I still don’t *like* that they did it and will lament the lack of playable Furbolgs until they happen (they probably won’t), but it’s been a fine story since then.

                Pandaren absolutely fit within Azeroth, and Mists of Pandaria would not have easily worked as anything but a World of Warcraft expansion. They were *sort of* an Easter egg race, but Chen was actually pretty important, it provided good justification for “continent out of nowhere,” and it progressed the story of Cataclysm in a good way (as well as setting up the next expansion).

                This is coming from someone who’s been an ardent lore follower since Tides of Darkness came out and played the original Warcraft: Orcs and Humans.

          2. Eruanno says:

            As a person that played through Molten Core multiple times, I can tell you that everything else that came after is better.

            1. Humanoid says:

              They came close a few times though…. Actually I’m happy to call AQ40 tied for worst, with the caveat that I only ventured into a relatively mature MC, probably around August ’05, so I wasn’t around for the launch version.

              Also being kind and disregarding the obvious “bugger we ran out of time” filler raids.

        3. Okay, as someone whose blog is still called The WoW Noob and who no longer plays, I can talk a bit about my opinions on this….
          I can look at the community (and that’s what kept me playing for so long) and say, yup, gone downhill. Many awesome blogging peers (and guild friends) have left, and fewer awesome bloggers have come along to replace them.
          But the blogging community (however awesome) is only one small section of the small percentage of players who are vocal about the game. There’s a huge group of people who are still having fun and aren’t burned out or bored, so I wouldn’t say WoW as a whole is going downhill.

          I’d say that I miss the Wraith days (but omg do I not miss raiding Icecrown for a FREAKING YEAR and if I never hear Sindragosa again I will be a happy person), and while Cataclysm’s revamp of the 1-60 game was really necessary (and parts were really entertaining), the lack of content for those who’d been raiding in Wraith hurt the game. I raided all through Cata (only bosses I didn’t kill while they were current were the heroic endboss in one of the starting raids and Ragnaros (HATE SO MUCH)) and spent the rest of my time leveling alts. I hit Mists running, expecting to do what I did through Cat, get my main geared up and raiding, and spend my offtime leveling alts, but my first time through the first zone soured me on the entire expansion. I didn’t like the plots, I didn’t like what was happening, and so I walked away. My guildies who are still raiding have told me there’s some awesome raids, and while I’d love to go run ’em, the entire treadmill to get there is just not something I wanna do anymore.

          Mists is stunningly beautiful, and there’s some great bits of story (and some awful bits and why can’t I leave the freaking Horde and join the pandas, why?), but it’s same old same old with a couple new twists and the twists aren’t enough to keep me in.

          I think Blizz is stuck at this point. Large changes to try to reclaim former players risk alienating current players, and small changes aren’t really enough to get former players back. I’ll likely buy the new expansion and go through it, see what I think, because Blizz managed to keep me playing one game for 5? years, that’s better than anyone else has managed.
          Thinking on it more, I’d say the problem is World of Warcraft is now a classic, and that has both good and bad points. You expect certain things from a classic game (or food or album or book) and one major thing you expect is for it not to change, but a MMO that doesn’t change risks stagnation and death by slow bleeding of players. It’s not going downhill, it’s stuck. Cata and Mists both did some great things and added fun stuff (pet battles are apparently insanely addictive if you didn’t play and get over a pokemon addiction already), but neither one was BC or Wraith, and they couldn’t be, because the playerbase has changed too, and we’re all looking back at the past through rose-colored glasses. People remember the good bits of BC and Wraith (forgetting the annoying bits and there were a lot, trust me), and compare them with the whole of the current game and say “yeah, totally going downhill”. I vividly remember the bad stuff, compare it to what I saw of the bad stuff in Mists, and Mists is much improved. I just don’t want to deal with any of the bad stuff anymore, I’ve lost my tolerance for it.

          And wow, that was long. TLDR: not going downhill so much as people looking at the past and forgetting all the bad stuff.

          Only lore issue I have is what they’ve done to their strong female characters, and that’s a rant I suspect no one wants to get into. I know they’re retconned stuff but hey, it’s their world, they can do that if they want.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            “I know they're retconned stuff but hey, it's their world, they can do that if they want.”

            And we can criticize them for it if we want.

          2. Humanoid says:

            There is a guy who managed to get to level 90 without joining either faction, by way of staying on the Panda starting island and gaining experience solely by mining and herbing. That said, it did apparently take about 174 days of actual playtime over two years….

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              And how long would it take if you only grind boars ?

              1. Humanoid says:

                Never watched that episode (though am familiar with it being a thing), but the literal answer is forever, he would have stopped gaining XP from any kills at level 16.

  3. Zukhramm says:

    So when I said I made that money on the Steam market I didn’t only mean I sold off some old TF2 hats but buying cheap but limited items and holding them for a couple of months before selling them for ten times as much. If I mostly buy games at sales and Valve doesn’t change how they make available certain items, I don’t think I will spend much real money on Steam at all in the future.

  4. TMTVL says:

    Selling random cards made me enough money to buy some Crusader Kings 2 DLC.

    1. Benjamin Hilton says:

      I actually love the market for this reason. I didn’t even realize it was a thing until while playing Last Light it kept telling me that I’d earned cards. After investigating I discovered the market, and I realized that people would give me money(not much but still) for things that I had gotten in the course of playing the game like I always would…..Awesome.

      Point being: For me its just free money I get every now and then.

  5. Doomcat says:

    Just kind of going on the halo being “Uncool”

    There was alot of animosity on the servers I played on when the whole TF2 halo idling thing happened, mostly because there was (somewhere) a post on the official TF2 forums by a valve representitive saying that the program used for idling was okay to use (Because someone who was “Famous” in TF2 circles for writing a bunch of little programs did a program to idle FOR you)

    Then they up and did the whole halo thing…compounded was that this was the Spy and Sniper update, and they’d replaced (Temporarily) the normal “achieve milestone get weapon” with “Random drop maybe get weapon…possibly” so a lot of people, me included, idled to try getting the new weapons…granted all the new spy weapons weren’t my thing, but I didn’t know that at the time.

    For a while there I hated ANYONE I saw wearing a halo, not just because of the reason stated above, but because there was also a superiority complex there for a while almost…then again, I didn’t tend to play with the most empathetic people, so yeah.

    1. Josh says:

      It also had the virtue of looking really bad.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        Hope you’re feeling a bit better.

      2. Trix2000 says:

        It was also hilarious to see spies with them – cloak didn’t work on it, so you’d see these floating halos running around.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      So you wanted to one up everyone who was grinding for stuff,but instead valve one upped you by giving all of them a bonus,and it made you mad?I have zero sympathy for everyone who got pissed off about that.

    3. Dave B. says:

      I was one of the people who got the halo, but that was actually my first introduction to the situation, and I only ever heard the “official” version of the story. Which was, that the third-party idler program violated some terms-of-service thing, and all items gotten by using it were taken away. Of course, all I knew at the time was that I had gotten a hat for (quite literally) doing nothing, and it was the first hat I got. So I happily wore it, and (just maybe) felt a bit superior to a nebulous group of people who had done “something bad.” Hearing the other side of the story now makes me think that giving out the halo was a bad move on Valve’s part, by insulting one part of the community and making them resent the other part (who probably had no idea what the whole thing was about.)

      And, while at the time Valve focused on the third-party client issue, it’s clear that they don’t like any kind of idling, as they’ve since made changes to the drop system to make all idling pointless.

  6. Ambitious Sloth says:

    Maybe it’s just a playstyle thing but I am the same way with crafting and selling. I prefer to go around adventuring non-stop for a long time making drop offs at my house in between quests. After a couple of play sessions of that I realize I have filled with 600 units of stuff I need to enchant/craft and sell and devote a large chunk of time to that (usually an hour by itself). Either way I’m surprised Josh got this far without having to do even more inventory management than he has already.

    On a different note I want to ask if maybe next time Josh does this if you could try to predict this and ask for questions in the preceding episodes’ post. Partially so cast members can have a some time to think about specific questions, and let more people have time to ask them. posting to twitter is good and get why you want to do that. However I don’t think I’m the only person who may have missed the posts when they went up and only saw them a couple hours later.

  7. Mintskittle says:

    I recently realized that I wasn’t going to play TF2 ever again, so I dumped most of my inventory onto the market. Been using the money to fill out my card collections and make some badges.

    Regarding the Steam Sale teams game, there’s obviously some kind of shenanigans going on.
    Day 3: Green wins by over 400k points with less than 2k difference between 2nd and 5th.
    Day 4: Pink wins by 700k with a 5k diff from 2nd to 5th.
    Day 5: Blue wins by nearly a million point lead with a 2k diff from 2nd to 5th.
    Day 6: Red wins by over 400k. The diff from 2nd to 5th is much larger though, at around 112k.

    1. My whole participation in the card thing was to sell a Postal 2 card for 10 cents. I joined team purple by accident and couldn’t figure out how the scoring system worked, so I closed it and went back to more productive things.

      By the way, all the cards I had from the Christmas sale are gone. Are these cards only “good” through the current sale and then they vanish forever? I suppose that simulates losing them in your desk drawers, but I didn’t see that listed as part of the experience.

      1. Mintskittle says:

        Just checked a current event card and found this in the description:

        “Valid until Mon Jun 30 2014 11:00:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)”

        So yes, event cards are only good through whatever the current Steam event is.

        1. That’s annoying for so-called trading cards.

          And I say this as someone who has a sizable number of Phantom Menace pog-things from Taco Bell in a shoebox somewhere.

          1. Benjamin Hilton says:

            OH MY GOD POGS! Oh the nostalgia.

            1. Hang on to your hat: Among my comic book collection is a set of the “Death of Superman” pogs, in mint condition!

          2. Trix2000 says:

            It’s not hard to sell them, though, considering lots of people are buying them to make badges. So the limited time thing isn’t much of an issue.

      2. Okay, I kept on voting on the next community sale thingie like a good little lemming, but unlike the Christmas sale, I wasn’t getting any more trading cards. My potential influx of dimes every three votes had dried up.

        Why?! I’m voting! Where’s my intangible temporary inventory item?

        Wait, what’s this? I’ll get a card for every vote once I reach level 8? How do I get to level 8? I have to play certain games they’ve listed. What if I’m done with those and don’t want to play them?

        This is ridiculous. It’s like the complexity curve on this meaningless “game” just took on the look of a hockey stick. I hope they’re getting something out of it, because what was as distracting as an online scratch-off ticket is now about as fun as min/maxing a Magic card deck using a slide rule.

        1. Humanoid says:

          I thought I was boycotting the Steam store, but it turns out it’s now the Steam store boycotting me.

        2. kanodin says:

          Yeah that part’s pretty silly. You can see how they did it to prevent endless free accounts being made to get cards but at the same time they’re excluding a lot of potential customers with that high of a level.

          It makes sense though if all you care about is extracting money from whales. They will be over level 8 and they are who the gameification is really all about.

    2. Zukhramm says:

      No shenanigans other than bad game design I think. As you have to spend resources, people are discouraged from scoring points unless they are likely to win. Hence once one team gets ahead the others stop trying.

      1. Agamo says:

        According to PC Gamer, there were actually some shenanigans on the part of Reddit to try and make the race more fair, i.e., a different team would win each day (like what happened in the first 5 days).

        However, Valve updated the metagame a little bit, so that 2nd and 3rd place teams would also receive free games, though fewer than 1st place. I guess this was an attempt to foster more competition between teams, and it seems to be working pretty well, judging by the team subreddits.

        EDIT: Oops, looks like MichaelGC beat me to the punch by an hour.

        1. MichaelGC says:

          We should probably have coordinated via Reddit or something.

          1. Agamo says:

            Aye, but then Valve would have trolled us and brought it all crashing down.

        2. Zukhramm says:

          I do not consider communication to be shenaningans.

          1. The FBI would like a word with you about something they’re calling “insider trading.” If you’ll step outside your house into the waiting police car, that’ll be greaaaat…

    3. MichaelGC says:

      There’s certainly been collusion according to this article:

      Although something’s gone a bit haywire today – Green is ‘supposed’ to win but is currently dead last, and Red is way out in front again…

      Edit: ‘collusion’ sounds more negatively-loaded than I intended. If the article is correct then I actually reckon the speedy ad hoc organisation on show is pretty impressive! (Given that the stakes are rather low, I mean – it’s not like rigging an election or similar.)

      1. Nidokoenig says:

        Someone on 4chan claimed to have spent $1200 on boosting red purely for the pleasure of pissing in Reddit’s tea. Given that it doesn’t take much of a lead to make everyone else give up, and for everyone on the winning team to craft a single badge to put themselves in that days prize pool, then I suppose one nutter buying point stealing items in bulk on the market might well be enough to make that happen.

    4. Peter H. Coffin says:

      Yeah, it’s all pretty much “let’s give some stuff away and pretend people can influence it somehow”. Which is fine, but leads to feeling a little like a mouse pushing a bar for the hope of a food pellet… (:

  8. newdarkcloud says:

    I think this Steam sale might be the first one where I’ve gone several days in, and have yet to spend more than $10 total on it.

    All of the Daily Deals/Flash Sales are either for games I don’t want or already have. And as any seasoned Steam Sale customer knows, you never buy anything until either it goes on sale on the front page or the sale is about to end.

    1. Eruanno says:

      Yeah, I don’t know if the deals are just for games that I don’t want or if I already own all the games I want. I’ve spent a total of like 12 euro on the sale (and then I bought the new Wolfenstein for 30 euro from a physical store-sale, but that doesn’t count!)

      1. Peter H. Coffin says:

        Totally “already have most of the sale titles I want”. I dropped a fiver on Mirror’s Edge, because I might play it again sometime, but would probably do so on my laptop on a train than on the PS3 again. Not that I expect the experience to be particularly better, but rather that that’s when I tend to play disconnected games. Home’s for stuff that needs internets.

    2. Same, or the ones that look interesting are in “Early Access maybe we’ll never finish” mode along with being too expensive for a roll of the dice that they’ll ever be completed.

      About the only AAA game I was kind of interested in was Skyrim, but all I really want is the Dragonborn DLC, not another copy of the core game and the other DLCs which I don’t really want. That last bit is ironic, as for what they’re currently asking for Dragonborn, I could’ve bought the legendary edition, so even avoiding stuff I wouldn’t use seems like a waste of money because… I wouldn’t get the stuff I wouldn’t use.

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “We are going to answer your questions,so send them to us.”

    Then they address only one question.Priceless.

    1. “Enchanting Questions Part 1

      1. syal says:

        Are you insinuating the next few Spoiler Warning episodes are going to involve other questions? Because I think they can take this one a few more rounds.

        1. Humanoid says:

          And after that there’ll be Blacksmithing Questions, Alchemical Questions, Mercantile Questions, etc.

          1. Not to mention the ever popular, often rhetorical, sometimes existential question, “WHY?!!”

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              The answer to that is always “Because Josh”.

            2. RTBones says:

              Just remember – this is all hypothetical.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “And then spent it all on the Steam Summer Sale.”

    But the question on everyones* mind is:Did you buy the rock simulator?

    *Everyone who reads your twitter,that is.

    1. Humanoid says:

      It’s labelled free-to-play. But perhaps it has micro-transactions? Buy some gravel to complement your rock?

      1. Mintskittle says:

        $9.99 to unlock new rock classifications.
        $1.99 to unlock new types of rocks within a given classification.
        $0.99 “Metallic Shine” booster gives your rock temporary metal deposits.
        $4.99 “All That Glitters” booster gives your rock temporary gemstone deposits.

        1. MichaelGC says:

          Some might slate this kind of business model, but stone me, I think it might be kinda gneiss! Although if they do a sequel, they should really give it to Obsidian…

          1. Tizzy says:

            Sir, you just rocked my world!

    2. I thought that was Ubisoft’s game where you needed a real guitar and a special USB cable.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        No,its a kinect/oculus game.You need both in order to fully experience every detail and to properly control it.

    3. Spammy says:

      I can’t wait until Monday when Jim Sterling will tell me how Steam and Valve are the worst for allowing Rock Simulator any space in any form on Steam.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Hold on.There is a big,BIG difference between something that is “broken” on purpose,but works as advertised(like the desert bus,and this rock simulator),and something that is broken due to incompetence/laziness,yet is still advertised as working perfectly and doing something it clearly is not(like big rigs and air control).The problem with the latter is that they deceive customers on purpose,promising something that they arent delivering,while the former does exactly what it is said it would do(in this case,show you a bunch of immovable rocks).

        1. Spammy says:

          I should make myself clear: I was being facetious and comical. I watch The Jimquisition out of choice, and I think that Jim makes some good points often. It just seems to me that lately he has focused on Steam’s openness being terrible leading to broken rip off games and stupid Youtuber fodder, and Rock Simulator seems like just the kind of game he would seize upon.

  11. Spammy says:

    I’ve never played TF2 when there weren’t hats. I only got my current gaming rig in 2011, so I came in well after hats and cosmetics and new weapons and all of that. For me, TF2’s always been about playing dressup with your avatar and choosing which weapon you preferred. So I always find it odd to hear people start talking about how hats ruined the game.

    And really I think the reason I don’t play much TF2 these days is less that there was anything wrong with the game and more that I’d gotten my fill of it and didn’t need to play it any more. I’d Badwatered, Gravel Pitted, Granaried, gone Upward, even beat some MvM missions and conquered Wave 666. I felt like I was done.

    But I still like to watch competitive TF2, primarily the UGC Highlander stuff where they get to play on Payload maps and have more weapons available.

    1. RedSun says:

      I’m in somewhat of a similar situation, in that I didn’t start playing til the release of the Pyromania update and I also erratically follow competitive.

      That said, I do still play-a lot, almost every day. I have found the duration of my consumption slowing down a fair bit-I mostly play for anywhere between twenty minutes-an hour, hour and a half, which is a lot less investment of time than when I was first starting out, but given my investment in the game, how fun Mann Up turned out to be after the new updates, and how hot and bright it is outside, I don’t really see myself quitting anytime soon.

      Also, I thoroughly don’t understand how hats ruined TF2. I just…I don’t see the logic. There are enough hats circulating around that no one really cares what anyone wears anymore, and outside of a number of unintrusive trade/achievement servers, hats seem pretty well-removed from the actual playing of the game.

      1. Ranneko says:

        Honestly I really like occasionally dipping into the trading scene, much like competitive it is simply a completely different game and culture, and yet one tied so intimately to a game I know really well.

        I played a lot just after it was released, then played again with friends after they got into it around 2011. It is still a game I really enjoy, but not one I have the urge to play as much any more. Plus I have moved continent since then, so my favourites list is no longer helpful. (Seriously, anyone got any EU TF2 server recommendations?)

        I am in a similar position to Shamus regarding TF2 items, I have a bunch of really quite valuable items, but I cannot bear to part with them, even though in terms of hats and miscs I have 3 all class ones that I basically use everywhere, so could quite easily pare down my inventory to just those and weapons without much of a visible difference.

    2. Dave B. says:

      I started playing TF2 when the only items you could get were 3 per class that could be unlocked by doing achievements. I don’t remember there being any hats yet, but when they started introducing them I was thrilled. I liked the ability to customize characters, and choose item loadouts according to your strategy.

      But here’s the thing: there was a very limited pool of items, each with it’s own distinctive appearance, strength, and weakness. I wanted to collect all of them, even the ones I would never use because I didn’t play spy or sniper. Then, before Valve had even released the full set of those items, they added a few extra ones on the side. Then some more. Then some community-designed ones. Then more and more and more until I lost all hope of even remembering what they all did, much less owning them. So I stopped caring. And a while after that, I lost interest in the game. Sure, it’s still lots of fun, but I think my quest for items was one of the things that kept me playing after I got tired of sucking at PvP. I don’t think the game is “ruined” but think I lost sight of whatever made it fun for me in the beginning.

  12. Grudgeal says:

    So what you’re saying, Shamus, is for the longest time, you’ve been lugging around, in your inventory, this big heavy thing that sets stuff on fire. You don’t really have any concrete idea of *why* you’re doing it, you never use it and it has no use to you, it’s just sitting there taking up space and some people are giving you grief for it. You just keep on carrying around this useless hunk of pixels that incinerates things, mostly for the nostalgia value.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Sick burn.

    2. kdansky says:

      And unlike Reginald Cuthbert who is rich enough to buy anything that’s on offer, he could actually really use that extra money to buy stuff with.

  13. Thomas says:

    I’m still not a fan of the gamification of things which are just about paying people money and I know that I have the sort of personality that is vunerable to that sort of thing (as I suspect do many gamers, it’s basically how things like Diablo operate) so I’m trying to ignore it as much as possible. I don’t want to ever have ‘i might get a steam card’ in my mind when I make a purchase, but if I ever care about cards I know that will eventually happen with time.

    So I don’t think I’ve clicked on my inventory since they were introduced.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Aye, please be careful! It’s quite eerie how easy it is to get sucked in…

      I’d been serenely indifferent to the whole card palaver until now, but I made the mistake of crafting one measly card on the first day of this sale.

      One week later and I find myself adding actual funds to my Steam Wallet because I’m GBP 0.02 short on the final card required to fully-level my chuffing System Shock 2 badge, and desperately trying to fix the install of a game I don’t even want to play so I can leave it running in the background generating card drops to trade…

      Meanwhile, the me of a week ago looks on with a mixture of astonishment and disgust! :D

      1. Trix2000 says:

        The way I figure it, it’s cheap enough to not be a big issue, and if I got some engagement/fun/interest out of it… not a big deal. That and I’m helping someone else out by giving them a little money.

        Plus, so long as you have a decently-sized library, you can do a lot for free by just selling card drops from some games to buy those from others.

  14. RTBones says:

    Wait, wait, wait. You say you have, “two episodes left.”

    Does that mean you have two episodes of inventory management left, after which you’ll get on with the season?

    Does that mean you have two episodes of enchanting left, after which you will manage inventory and get on with the season?

    Does that mean you have two episodes of mailbag left, after which you will continue to inventory manage and spam crafting until the main quest decides to complete itself?

    Or do you really mean you have two episodes left in the season?

    1. evileeyore says:

      To answer your first question:
      Yes you may ask questions!

      Sorry, we only had time for one question today.

    2. AdmiralCheez says:

      I’m pretty sure they record episodes in batches of three, so that probably means two more episodes of answering questions/crafting/inventory management.

      But, of course, I wasn’t there, so that’s just my guess.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        But bob was there,so we should ask him.

  15. Neko says:

    I love how Belethor says he’ll give Reginald the best deals, or die trying.

  16. Alex says:

    So Steam plays with our minds by having convoluted BS games with their sales. They consistently shove a new EULA down our throats and hold our games hostage if we don’t sign.All this while GOG gives out a free game if you checked their page once in a while, during their sale. They rather can’t hold your games hostage. They are launching an optional client. Are accepting new games. They do refunds…….. Holy crap why do I have 139 games on Steam and only 16 on GOG!!!! Seriously though once GOG gets a bigger library I will switch all of my indie traffic over to them. They just give you a better deal.

    1. Humanoid says:

      Yeah, I have a policy of if it’s available DRM-free, I’ll buy it DRM-free. If it’s Steamworks only, then I’ll buy it from somewhere other than Steam. I’ve only been doing the latter since the start of the year, but it’s worked out pretty well so far – indeed Amazon usually offers the same, if not cheaper deal (because no regional pricing shenanigans) during the sale.

      My GOG games do outnumber my Steam games (about 200 to 150), but that’s probably not a useful metric, both are bloated with titles purchased (well, in the latter case, mostly Humble Bundled) without any intent of ever playing them. People talk about their ‘backlogs’ – well, I don’t have a backlog because to have one I’d have to want to play the games at some point.

  17. Dragmire says:

    Well, the visuals are far more entertaining than the planet scanning eps from the ME2 season.

  18. kanodin says:

    Now me, I’m a bad person. So when I got the halo I was fully aware of the negative connotations and how much it pissed certain people off, and that was precisely why I always wore it. My favorite part is still that a halo meant to show that this is a good honest tf2 player became the best griefing tool in the game.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Why do you think you are a bad person for showing off that you didnt try to take a shortcut?Its a great grief,and if I were at all interested in the game back then,I wouldve been there showing off with you.

  19. spicy says:

    I didn’t know it at the time but the medic update(the first weapons update BTW) spelled the end of TF2 being good. Although I say that beta was better than release(the rocket launcher had more rockets in a clip). There is a reason that Counter-strike still has basically all the same weapons.

  20. Nick Powell says:

    I got scammed out of roughly £50 worth of vintage TF2 items before I knew how the trading worked… I’m more pissed off that some asshole made money from it than that I lost those items.

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