Diecast #114: Mailbag, Dragon Age, TF2, Tacoma

By Shamus
on Jul 27, 2015
Filed under:
Diecast

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Hosts: Shamus, Campster, Rutskarn, Josh.

This Diecast barely happened. Thanks for Josh and Rutskarn for making the effort to show up when they had so much else going on. Thanks also to my daughter Rachel, who edited this so I could do other stuff. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions.

New record: We made it through half the available questions!

Show notes:
1:00 Early Access for AAA Games?

how do you think the B:AK launch fiasco would have played out if WB had released the game in it’s current state, *but* at reduced price and clearly labeled as a beta/early access version? That way, people who can run it sufficiently well could already play it, but it would have been clear that the game is far from optimized. I guess you would still get anger from people wanting to play the final version *right now*, and wondering why the consoles get it early.. but at least you would know what you’re getting.

Obviously, they could have also gone the GTA V route and delayed the PC version, but why not give it to people early along with a big warning that it’s not well optimized yet, if they really want it?

Cheers,
Niko

13:00 Spoiler Warning of Dragon Age: Origins?

Dear Diecast,

I’ve long since accepted that we’re never getting a proper Spoiler
Warning season of Dragon Age: Origins. Is there any chance, though, of
some kind of partial season, the way Half-Life 2 was, or the way
Marlow Briggs was supposed to be, so we can at least get to hear your
thoughts over game footage? I know that the Cuftbert muttonchops are
an option for human male characters, so there’s that…

McNutcase

25:00 Rando!

Dear diecastcast

Artisnal
Hatebasement
Room in the fridge
Bourbon
Loiter

Phill

28:00 Tacoma

Dear Diecast

What are your thoughts on Tacoma, the new game from Fullbright (creators of Gone Home). Do you think the simple walking and examining mechanics can support a larger scale game?

~Ben

32:00 Games harmed by additional content.

Dear Diecast Mailbag Black Hole:

Some games frequently receive major post-release content updates, while with others you’re lucky to get a patch for critical bugs. In some cases the updates can change the nature of the original game quite a lot. Have you ever been turned off a game because an update changed something you liked, or only gained interest in a game after new content was added?

-Neko

40:00 Participating anonymously.

Have any of you participated in your own comment sections or forums under alternate pseudonyms? If so, why? I can think of a number of good reasons but I’m curious to hear your experiences. Or those of others in the biz that you know (this may be a good one to reserve for the next time you have a guest).
Sincerely
Frank Stallone

50:00 Square Enix has plans for Hitman.

Dear Diecast,
Following its announcement at E3, Square Enix has released some details concerning a rather unusual release plan for the new Hitman game. Namely, they plan to release some of the game on December 8th, and continually add to it across 2016.

https://hitman.com/news/announcing-hitman#
https://hitman.com/en-us/news/hitman-q-a#

Do you think this is a good sign for the game’s development, and do you think other AAA Developers may follow this release model?

Yours, Merzendi

At some point in the show (I forget where) I mentioned the graphical glitches I found in Shadow of Mordor. In case you’re curious:

Is this Elven magic or do I need to reboot?

Is this Elven magic or do I need to reboot?

TASTE THE RAINBOW. FIGHT THE RAINBOW.

TASTE THE RAINBOW. FIGHT THE RAINBOW.

You can’t see because of the ridiculous bloom lighting, but eventually the rainbow engulfed an entire stronghold. I’m up here on the rooftops, looking down into what should be a city.

The graphical glitches I can forgive. But the juvenile debasement of Tolkien lore? Not so much.

The graphical glitches I can forgive. But the juvenile debasement of Tolkien lore? Not so much.

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A Hundred!209There are 129 comments here. I really hope you like reading.

From the Archives:

  1. Ranneko says:

    That TV episode kind of model sounds really interesting, mostly because of the open ended nature of it.

    The closest thing to it that I can think of is Fallen London, which has added new monthly story arcs for Exceptional friends, so you can get new quality content each month (along with in game perks). I don’t think they have explicitly stated that this will continue for as long as they have sufficient interest, but it definitely feels like the new higher price is part of that.

    • Ivan says:

      Honestly a TV episode model would perfectly suite a Hitman game. You know, a game that isn’t driven by a central, overarching plot but by a basic premise. Like a contract killer gets a contract to hit a man, and goes out to hit said man.

      It’s a shame that there aren’t any examples to draw from like, oh, I don’t know, the entire history of the franchise?

      Look, if you can forgive my sarcasm (which is solely directed at Square Enix) then just let me say that I hope you understand when I say I have no faith that they can learn from their mistakes. The people who actually made the game probably can but the problem is that now hitman is a AAA franchise and it’s making all the mistakes that plague AAA titles.

      I really want these games to exist again but I have no faith that the guys in charge will actually allow a hitman game to be made. Even though this sounds like a step in the right direction I’m sure they’ll sabotage the whole thing somehow.

  2. MichaelGC says:

    I think that’s just Sauron playing Breakout on the Barad-dûr Jumbotron. He needs a nice big screen…

    PS Thanks Rachel!

  3. Wide And Nerdy says:

    I don’t think anyone needs to defend liking the Witcher 3 when they didn’t like the previous Witchers. Its undeniably a higher quality game and I found Geralt a more likable protagonist in it. I think Witcher 2 is pretty good too but if anyone is only going to like one game in the series it would definitely be the third, even if it wasn’t graphically better than the others, its more engaging.

    With the comment question, I think what Frank Stallone had in mind was more a “disguised King among his men” type situation. On the one hand, yes everything we say is within earshot. On the other hand, if I had my own fandom to post to, I’d occasionally wonder how my opinions would be treated if my fandom weren’t offering the deference I’d normally get. Like does this opinion stand on its own or are they just liking it because they already like me. (Not that I have a fandom, hypothetical here.)

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Id argue that one doesnt have to defend liking any installment of any series if they disliked previous ones.Improvements in gameplay,graphics,characters or story are are more than enough to justify that.

      Same goes for the reverse(mass effect being the prime example).

      • Christopher says:

        That might just be a case of something niche becoming something with more mass appeal, though. Mass Effect improved on many of those things. Lots of people would say all of them.

        I haven’t heard old Witcher fans talking about how Witcher 3 is totally watered down or anything, mind. But I think it’s nice to think about the difference between something being in your niche vs being an improvement in all areas. Or to put it another way, how sometimes you’re part of the mass market, if something that wasn’t your niche has been watered down with something that you like. Inquisition isn’t exactly what I’d think of as a natural evolution of the Dragon Age Origins western PC RPG thing, I just like it better because it’s colorful and large and you can attack without any dice rolls.

        Not saying you need to defend yourself, but I don’t think you liking a new installment of something and not the old one means it’s improved. But then, am I just arguing that everyone should say “I like it so I think it’s better” rather than “It’s better”? Maybe forget I said anything. Don’t like where that was going.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          I think I’ve heard only the slightest murmuring about Witcher 3 or Witcher 2 dumbing down from Witcher.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          I didnt mean universal improvements all over the board.Witcher 3 still has a bunch of problems(though their furious patching has fixed a bunch of those),and it still is quite juvenile when it comes to sex* and nudity(god forbid we see geralts ass,but here,admire some female t&a).But mechanically,its a definite improvement over 1,and from what I hear from others over 2 as well.Same goes for me2 which has a bunch of improvements over 1,yet narratively and continuity wise is worse.Hence the “or” in my original statement instead of “and”.

          *I would even argue that witcher 3 is worse.In 1 you got cards for sexing the ladies,which is dumb,but at least its superficial.In 3 you get xp for sexing hookers,which is worse.However,Im not that experienced with 1 or 2,so I dont know if those also gave you xp for that.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            You get a little XP for a number of different transactions. One of them is changing out currency and another is taking out a loan and paying it back. This mechanic just gives the player an incentive to do what Geralt does (and helps explain why he’s always broke in spite of making pretty good money as a monster hunter.)

            At least its not the GTA situation.

            To me this has always made sense with fantasy era adventurers. You’re out on the road, climbing through caves and dungeons, being burned and clawed by nasty monsters. Whereas in real life people suffering these injuries wouldn’t be on the road long, in fantasy settings adventurers can get healing which means they can suffer through these experiences over and over and over again.

            So I always play my characters as wanting every creature comfort they can afford when they do reach town. Of course, I usually go for a hot bath, a hot meal and some ale first (and get my clothes cleaned until I can afford +1 self cleaning clothes). Helpful as a reminder of why my character is still hunting for treasure.

            So this is why this has always fit for me. You gotta think like your character even if the rules or game mechanics say nothing about how travel effects you*. Plus after Dragon Age took it out of their latest game, its a relief to see someone still knows whats up. But I wouldn’t mind if it was the fade to black variety. This is about the character’s needs. Not mine.

            *This is why I appreciate the inn bonuses in Pillars of Eternity (I can’t remember if they’re homaging Baldurs Gate on that one). Its a good mechanical incentive for proper roleplay.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              At least its not the GTA situation.

              Youre right,having prostitutes drop money as every other npc in the world is much worse than getting xp directly from having sex with them.

              Also in 1.07 you dont get xp for converting money,and they removed xp for loans because it was an exploit.

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                How? How is it worse? Its roleplay XP. Its rest and recovery XP. Its XP for bolstering his spirits.

                Also I don’t understand how the loan thing was an exploit. You lose money with each round. Its basically a way to turn a reward you apparently don’t need into one you can use (if you’re doing it over and over again, I assume you have cash to burn).

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  How? How is it worse? Its roleplay XP. Its rest and recovery XP. Its XP for bolstering his spirits.

                  Its not roleplay xp,its xp for finding hookers to bang.Its exactly like the cards in the first game,only instead of meaningless achievement,you get meaningful xp.

                  Also I don’t understand how the loan thing was an exploit.

                  Probably because it was so cheap.Dont know,never bothered with that one.

        • Galad says:

          A bit of a late reply, but if you have followed the Witcher forums, you’d have noticed a lot of fans voicing dissent about Witcher 3 dumbing down a lot the global politics side of the game, compared to witcher 2.

          http://knightofphoenix.tumblr.com/witcher – A series of blog posts discussing the politics in witcher 2

  4. Phill says:

    I worked on a game that went through early access. The plan was to have about 6 months development before launching into early access, and had 3 months in early access before putting out the full game.

    The idea was – I believe – that because it was a new IP for the studio, they wanted to mitigate the risks by essentially using early access as focus group testing, to see how the players wanted the game to evolve (or the players willing to be part of early access anyway). This was in terms of the tone of the game (more cutesy, more grim), what kids of levels proved popular, what difficulty people wanted, what game abilities and UI features were desired / ignored, what people wanted to be able to do with the level designer.

    The extra testing feedback for bugs and compatibility issues on different PC configurations was also nice. IIRC some significant changes were made primarily as a response to early access feedback, although I can’t say how many of those would have been made as a response of more traditional, smaller testing sessions.

    There may have been some exploration of the financial implications, pro or con by the management / producers as well, but as a mere code monkey that wasn’t something I found out about, or cared about.

    There is a place for early access, and that sort of game is one of them. People essentially paying to get in to the closed beta of big name titles (and inevitably discovering that ‘playing’ an unfinished game is very different to a properly released one) looks much more like an attempt simply to get more money out of the subset of fans willing to pay over the odds for a game.

    • Trix2000 says:

      If they’re paying reduced price and ultimately they get access to the finished game without additional cost, then I think it’s much more reasonable. Then it’s less about buying access to beta as “Hey, help us test this and we’ll both let you play earlier and cut the price a bit”.

      Clearly it varies based on the situation, but I think a lot of it comes down to how much people are willing to buy into incomplete experiences… and how good the finished product ends up being in the end (I mean, if you’d have bought the finished product anyways, getting it earlier for cheap seems like a deal… but only in retrospect).

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Thanks for Josh and Rutskarn for making the effort to show up when they had so much else going on.

    Rutskarn has no interwebs,ergo he cant have much going on.

  6. James Porter says:

    So the one cool thing I thought they did with city elves could be Sera in Inquisition. She basically has been absorbed into human culture, that she completely hates both Elves and mages. Its super fun to be an elf mage and have her get all awkward about it. There is also a bit later where you goes to some great elven ruins, with ancient elves guarding their cultural secrets. So I haven’t done it, but I imagine there is some interesting talks about that in the game

    • IFS says:

      The worst part about the elven ruins is having Solas along explaining elvish culture to your character, who acts completely unaware of it, when YOU YOURSELF ARE A DALISH ELF. I like Inquisition but that part annoyed me sooo much, they have an established mechanic where in a conversation you get options based on your origin, and they utterly failed to use it in a place where it made complete sense.

      Sera does have some dialog about the place though, mainly its her attributing the ancient elves culture to ‘demon worship’ and is otherwise very dismissive of them. It is frustrating talking to her when you’re playing an elf though, simply because the dialog options make it very hard to effectively argue with her, at best she just starts yelling at you and throws a childish fit (Sera is probably my least liked companion in Inquisition, in case it wasn’t obvious, I think she’s a good character and she grew on me a little after reaching skyhold, I just don’t like interacting with her very much).

      • James Porter says:

        No I agree, those are some very silly things. I have to admit that I have not beaten the game, since my computer exploded a couple months ago and I lost all my data. I actually kinda dig the conversations with Solas about elves and magic, if only because I was playing an Elven mage. So it was more like buddies talking about stuff they found interesting(at least early on, if he really is just “and here are the elves” and your character is all “but elves live forest!” that is ridiculous)

        I tried really hard to like Sera, and ran into a lot of the issues you had. I think she was a pretty effective ignorant jerk, who at least had an interesting way of thinking about things, but I would have enjoyed a bit more player pushback on her superstitions and biases.

        • I liked Sera as a character–I saw her as a dumb younger sister to the Inquisitor. So, yeah, you can’t argue her out of her prejudices–have you ever been able to argue any of your siblings out of, well, anything? I saw her character more as a question of whether you were going to be indulgent and see the good sides of her or just be an asshole and go head-to-head with her. Because her entire personality is filled with defense mechanisms to defeat head-to-head assaults, so it’s futile.

          Inquisition has most of my favorite characters in the series thus far: Cullen, Solas, Varric (who was in DA2, but I think I like him better in Inquisition). The gameplay was lackluster and the story was spread far too thin. The villain was dreadful–the Archdemon was a better villain and all it ever said was “RAWR!” I mean, come on,
          you find out that you basically defeated the villain’s main plan completely by accident before the game even STARTED.

          Bioware has also been doing this annoying thing over the past few games where they don’t really give you an intro section where you have a chance to get settled into the setting. Instead they start off with some in medias res action sequence. Heck, Inquisition even gave the protagonist temporary amnesia as a stopgap due to how they chose to start the game off! I’m sorry, but if you find it necessary to give the protagonist amnesia, you need to go back and re-structure your game intro.

          There were other major issues–there’s an entire section that’s nominally devoted to court intrigue which contains no. intrigue. whatsoever. It’s just a bunch of fights, some smack-talking, and a couple of boring ass collection puzzles to fill up a meter. This when Patrick Weekes wrote an actual novel with REAL intrigue in it to fill out the characters and the situation, too! It was dreadful.

          The first 1/3 to 1/2 of the game is decent and everything past that is just gobs of filler and dull mopping up after an incredibly stupid and ineffective bad guy. And I’m a positive fan of the game, too.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            Corypheus was such a missed opportunity. I would have liked them to play up the idea of people wanting an active god over the absent Maker. That would have been a meaty idea to hook acts 2 and 3 on.

            After the rift is closed at the end of Act 1, have it so that people think the threat is over and done with and everyone is questioning why you’re keeping the Inquisition active as you try to convince them there is still a threat and they shoot back with the allegation that you’re making Corypheus into a boogeyman so you can retain your newly acquired power.

            I could get behind the idea of what Sera’s character is supposed to be about but I’d had a little too much of Bioware’s brand of awkward cutesy type person and Sera is that cranked up to high for my taste. Plus, the humor of the series has fallen flat. Its been a steady decline since their peak, which was HK-47.

            • IFS says:

              Corypheus was both more intimidating and more interesting in DA2’s Legacy dlc, where he first appeared. He threw around crazy powerful magic that forced you to move constantly throughout the fight, ranted about the Imperium and was otherwise imposing. At the same time he was rather pathetic, clearly out of place and time and even calling out to his god (Dumat) and receiving no answer, you almost felt bad for the guy as you were trying to stab him. As he is in Inquisition he really doesn’t have enough of a presence or character. I think if they gave the player a few more run ins with him personally then maybe they could have done more interesting things with him as a villain, they even have the ‘he can body jump’ excuse to let you fight him multiple times without needing to resort to killing him in a cutscene (maybe each time you fight him he’s gained more power somehow, and only has the orb with him for the final fight).

              Also what are you talking about? Sera isn’t the adorable character in Inquisition, that’s Cullen!

              • Vermander says:

                I found myself wishing that they hadn’t made Corypheus so monstrous and grotesque looking. I would have an easier time believing that people would ally with him or support him if he didn’t look like a demon. Actually, I tend to think this about most Bioware villains. I’d like to see a villain who is charismatic and reassuring, a natural leader that people would rally behind instead of a terrifying monster who transforms all of their followers into hideous abominations.

                Frankly, my favorite villain of the series (maybe from any Bioware game) was the Arashok from DA 2. That dude was intimidating, but not completely insane, and you could see how he’d inspire loyalty in his followers.

                I wish we could get a Dragon Age Game where we fight a more conventional threat like the Tevinter Imperium or the Qunari without needing to involve any demons, cursed artifacts or “mystical corruption”.

          • IFS says:

            Oh man I was so disappointed when I got to the masquerade, like I would buy an entire game of properly done Orlesian court intrigue but the masquerade was anything but that. It had some fun moments like when your companions are announced, or meeting Josephine’s sister, but once those are past its not nearly as interesting as it could have been. Bioware really underestimates how enjoyable conversation can be in their games sometimes.

            I do like the characters in Inquisition as well, though I think my favorites are still from the previous games. Inquisition for the most part nails the companion missions though, there are a few that I don’t care about (Sera’s for example is over before you can blink), but others like Cole’s or Blackwall’s I found to be really well done and offered very interesting choices regarding the characters.

            Overall I quite like Inquisition, its not my favorite of the series and it has its issues but I consider it a good game. Hell I even poured some time into the multiplayer with some friends, which actually proved quite fun (especially with the dragon fights they added) if repetitive, hopefully they’ll flesh it out more with free dlc like they did with ME3’s multiplayer.

            • Wide And Nerdy says:

              I overall hate the Ball but I agree I’d have liked to see it done right. Would have liked to see something more substantial in the politicking. Not just coyness.

              But to say something nice about it, the moment on the dance floor with the Grand Duchess was great. Sadly though it was unearned. If there had been a better build up of tension, maybe with some early suspicion about the Duchess’ role in things, that moment could have been quite powerful, dancing with the enemy.

              Also, the fate of the Grand Duchess can be hilarious including her trial and what you can do with her after. Thats the one time in DAI that I felt a touch of Bioware’s older edgier sense of humor.

              I’m referring to posthumous trial of the Duchess’ remains and then potentially having her remains attend her birthday party. That’s what Orlesian politics should look like.

            • I think there were a lot of problems that contributed to the issues I see with Inquisition, like:

              1. New engine. It takes Bioware some time to find their legs with a new engine. Generally the first game they make when switching is kind of meh.

              2. According to some writer interviews and such, DA2 was not originally meant to be its own game, it was sort of a backstory for Hawke who was (in theory) meant to be The Inquisitor. Granted, this sort of thing happens in development all the time, but it might indicate why some of the story between DA2 and Inquisition was . . . garbled.

              3. Trying to appeal to EA’s audience. I don’t think EA pressures Bioware as much as many doomsayers believe, but I do think that EA is not comfortable trying to appeal to what would be Bioware’s “usual audience”. They don’t know how to market toward that audience, they don’t know how to get revenue out of that audience, and they don’t even really know how to predict anything about that audience. This puts more focus on “how can we jam more action and multiplayer in here” rather than “let’s spend hours sweating our way through myriad branching conversation paths to try and get these nobles on our side”.

              4. They have flat out said that making the game for the 360/PS3 resulted in major stuff they really wanted to do being cut. They even made an announcement that all DLC going forward (and there’s more in the pipeline as we speak) will be PC/XB1/PS4 only.

              I swear that the enormous Codex is a result of the writers’ frustrations. There is a LOT of cool stuff in there (and in the war table missions if you read all the text). And I do like a lot of the new features in the gameplay. They just don’t add up to anything.

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                I wonder if that has anything to do with the dynamic content being cut. In their long preview features leading up, I seem to recall them suggesting that you were going to have more of an impact on the environment around you. That each of your squaddies was going to be the leader of their own team you could deploy (there’s still some of that but its all either off screen or in specific story sections.)

            • Sleeping Dragon says:

              I had issues with Sera* but that’s likely because in games that offer the option I’m all about exploring magic, lore and the whole “mystical BS” and she’s not only very much not it but actively against it. Then again I also had issues with Solas’ patronizing. It’s interesting that this was a decent fit characterwise as I was playing a Dalish mage.

              Cole’s quest, or more specifically the choice, was gold. It dealt with exactly the type of things I want to see explored and I’d love to see some statistic on what and why people picked. Quest spoilers under the tag I know a lot of people went straight for the “human” choice because that “makes him a real person” but personally I thought that’s the reverse pinocchio syndrome, forcing the human, anthropocentric values on all living beings.

              *Which didn’t stop me from sucking up to her because that’s what you do in Bioware games. I think the approval system was one of the few interesting bits in DA2, it was probably the Bioware game where I roleplayed conversations with my companions the most, because I wasn’t afraid of loosing approval. That, or make the PC pick sides more often, or get called on their slick manipulative ways.

              • IFS says:

                DA2 had a couple things it tried out that worked really well that I was very sad to see dropped for Inquisition, the friendship/rivalry mechanic being chief among them. Companions having unique skill trees for their specialization was also really cool imo, the way they made gifts work was far better than Origins, and I actually liked how Hawke developed a personality as you played him depending on which dialog choices you favored (and how this gave you special persuasion options at times).

                • Sleeping Dragon says:

                  Oh yes, the personality stuff was excellent and, in contrast to the first game, I actually felt like I was playing a mage in the dialogues (and if I remember correctly to a large extent in the cutscenes). I also actually liked that the game was happening in a single city over a long period of time, despite some people saying it was to cut corners, it was interesting to see glimpses of the companions having lives of their own and not just hanging around camp on a grand quest, similarly the interactions with NPCs felt like they were more lasting because it was possible to bump into them at any given juncture.

                  The execution, especially in the department of story and writing, was… flawed to say the least but I’d be more than happy to play an RP that used a similar story structure of a big city changing over the period of several years and the character both affecting it and finding their place in it.

              • If Cole doesn’t want an anthropocentric worldview forced on him then he’s welcome to go back to the Fade–which he states he does not want to do. If he wants to live in the world with people then he needs to become a people so he can understand why randomly ripping people’s worst experiences out and displaying them for all to see can hurt as much as help.

                • Sleeping Dragon says:

                  See, that’s my point, what you said is an interesting argument that can be explored further. Maybe he has to become a person, maybe he can learn to be better at people without loosing what makes him (or it) him (or it). Maybe becoming more humanlike is a development, maybe it’s forcing him into a form that is convenient to us. Does becoming human mean he will stop hurting people or will he hurt them in new ways (it’s not like human beings are excellent to each other)? Does preventing him from hurting people through his spirit powers outweigh robbing him of his supernatural ability to help them? Is the way he helps even a good thing? If they feel better or become better people because of it how does that fit with someone magically affecting their memories and, consequently, personality? How does free will feature into it?

                  It’s a thing, it’s a multifaceted issue that, if not digs in, at least brushes against a whole set of problems. Yes, a lot of people will have strong, set opinions why a given choice is the right one but even then the arguments go beyond the usual vidyagame logic of “killing is bad, giving money to the orphanage is good”. It’s so much more than the way Mass Effect paragon-renegade or Dishonored low-high chaos systems were implemented, not to mention the ligt-dark side in almost any Star Wars game (though I’m willing to excuse that because of the way the setting universe works).

          • Another thing I found interesting about Sera as a character is that people talk about her as if she were a rebel (Solas in particular, who keeps trying to give her advice on how to rebell better), but she’s NOT a rebel. She LIKES the system and SUPPORTS it–in an ironical hipster way. Yes, Sera is the Thedas version of a hipster. She doesn’t want nobles removed from power–she just wants to twist their nipples a bit. She doesn’t want her “little people” IN power–they wouldn’t be little any more. Her entire worldview and lifestyle depends on the quo staying status.

      • Mike S. says:

        I’m not Sera’s biggest fan, but the idea that the Elven deities are demons is pretty much bog-standard Andrastianism, and her point that the Herald of Andraste shouldn’t be so wishy-washy about it is defensible. There’s the Maker, spirits, and material beings. (Plus hybrids, like abominations and darkspawn.) Spirits who intervene in the physical world are demons pretty much by definition. (With all due respect to Solas, even his beloved friend was clearly a Pride Demon when forced to manifest.)

        There is some indication that the Elven gods are at origin elven mages rather than spirits, but I don’t think Sera is paying much attention to those discussions.

        Players tend to want to be friends with everyone and engage in 21st century religious multiculturalism, and the game supports that. (Even if people’s insistence on continuing to treat the PC as a religious figure in the face of repeated outright denials is a little Life of Brian.) You can be an uncompromising believing Andrastian, but I’d guess playthroughs like that are outnumbered by Inquisitors who are either tolerantly broadminded or outright skeptics.

        But Sera doesn’t really care who she offends, and turns out to be surprisingly orthodox beneath it all. It’s understandable that she gets agitated when the local saint is saying that maybe heathenism is also true from a certain point of view.

        • It’s not necessarily that the gods are mages per se. My personal theory is that they’re the Old School type of D&D elder dragon with the magic and the shapeshifting and all that. They may derive originally from mage stock but it’s pretty clear there’s something else about them also that makes them what they are–whatever allows them to do their body-hopping et al.

          I found the reveal that the ancient elven empire that Dalish elves revere was pretty much Version 1 of the Tevinter Imperium to be quite interesting, too.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            I’m really surprised they haven’t caught flack for that. Consider who the Dalish are a stand in for (more a broad category than a specific group granted) and then think about what the narrative means that their former civilization destroyed itself rather than the people they claim did.

            Granted, they can still blame humans for their current plight but they’ve taken that and blamed humans for everything bad that’s ever happened to them when some of it is their own ancestors’ fault. Its kind of bold to put that in there and again, I’m surprised that hasn’t gotten backlash (that I’ve seen).

            • They have gotten backlash (someone on the forums was bitching that “Bioware hates elves”, for instance) but, personally, I think it’s much more interesting this way. Elves as helpless victims are annoying and pathetic. Elves as masters of their own fate (even if they screwed up in the past) are interesting.

              It’s even more interesting because the Tevinter Imperium becoming what it became may be a direct result of what the elves did in their own ancient empire. Solas claims that the Imperium was “built on the bones of my people” and an elf you meet late in the game says that the Imperium didn’t destroy the elves–they destroyed themselves. So it’s quite possible that all the nasty shit humans are supposed to have done TO ELVES was a result of humans just picking up elven leftovers and going “hey, what does this do?”

              Basically, the elves are now reaping what they sowed, and the humans–who finally ended the Tevinter Imperium and broke down most of that stuff into the still nasty but more benign forms it takes now–may actually be major BENEFACTORS of the elven race. Taken in general terms, of course.

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                Oh I completely agree that its more interesting this way. The stuff about ancient elves in general is the one addition to the lore I liked.

                The relationship becomes much more complicated. Granted stuff that humans are doing to elves in the present is wrong but there’s not just the revelation that the elves destroyed Arlathan themselves, there’s also the idea that the Exalted March against the elves (at least one of them, I can’t remember what all the Marches were) was in retaliation against something the elves had done.

                Works especially well if you remember what elves are typically like in most other settings.

            • Mike S. says:

              The Elves obviously draw from both Jewish and Roma tropes for the City and Dalish versions. But it was clearly intended as a pretty loose connection. (Just as the Qunari are geopolitically the Turks between the Seljuk and Ottoman ascendancies, but aren’t a close culutural or religious match.)

              Neither source culture ever had the pretentions to global temporal power that Arlathan asserts. (Even the Solomonic kingdom’s most extensive claims are pretty small next to Rome.) The only remote historical analog to the Dales for either is modern Israel, which doesn’t map well to the rest of the timeline. And the City Elves have lost most of their religion in a way that ghetto-dwellers never did.

              Still, the idea that the Empire just put the capper on a lot of self-inflicted damage isn’t too far off even so. The decline of the biblical kingdoms mapping to the monarch and the people falling away from the true path and then being smacked by the Babylonians/Assyrians/Persians as a well-deserved comeuppance is pretty much the refrain of the Prophets. And reading about the corruption and internecine atrocities of the kingdom of the Maccabees prior to its becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the Roman Empire is enough to tempt one to despair at Chanukah.

              And in both cases, the idea that any ancestral screwup justifies systemic mistreatment of descendants in the present is hard to justify, at least by the ethics most players will bring to the game. It changes the perception of history, but not really the current social problems of Thedas. Especially since it was always clear that no one knew how literally to take the various conflicting legends of Elvish history.

              (I read “we used to be all-powerful immortals before the humans came” as self-serving myth in DAO. I’m more inclined to think that some were post-DAI.)

          • Mike S. says:

            That may be. Draconic divinities (which seem to include both the Old Gods and the Elven deities, who may or may not overlap) are another different thing whose nature is hard to pin down. They seem to be in part material rather than purely spiritual Fade dwellers (though I could imagine them as powerful spirits who possess high dragons), they can be corrupted by the darkspawn taint (assuming our understanding of the archdemons is correct). But are they, or some of them, mages who’ve learned to shapeshift into dragons rather than dragons some of whom have learned to shapeshift into humans? And where does the body switching come in?

            (I remember thinking the whole cult of Dragon Andraste in the first game was weird craziness. But that was before I’d fully internalized how interchangeable the concept of “dragon” and “god” seem to be in Thedas. They may have been nuts, but it made a lot more sense in their paradigm than I’d realized.)

            • aldowyn says:

              Worth pointing out that Andrastism is a pretty obvious *exception* to the “dragons are gods” thing, in a bit of a parallel between Christianity and the European polytheistic religions that preceded it.

              • Mike S. says:

                With a concomitant slice of “what other people call gods are actually demons”. Which might explain why the archdemons are called that, when they seem to be of a different nature from demons proper. (They aren’t purely spiritual, they don’t embody an emotion or drive, etc.)

                From the most recent DLC, we also have one god who’s explicitly a spirit bound into a dragon. (Though unusually, the Avvar worship the spirit and consider the vessel secondary.)

  7. IFS says:

    I like how this podcast started and ended with talking about selling half a game. There are definitely some games that do the ‘added content later’ model really well (splatoon and Witcher 3 are two great examples) but I don’t think Square Enix has built up enough trust for them to be able to try it.

    Also part of me is almost glad they aren’t doing a DA spoiler warning, because while I would watch it and enjoy it I also love the DA games (though I am certainly aware of their flaws) and seeing them torn apart would probably be painful.

    • Ranneko says:

      I think Square Enix dipped their toes in the water by selling Life Is Strange. There it is even combined with a new IP, but a lower price point and the ability to buy the first episode separately and cheaply.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So theres fra…Damn it Rutskarn!You ninjad me by a smidge….and few hours…and a day.

  9. Shamus from Wendys says:

    Spicy chicken sandwich!

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Shamus,now that you are grooming your daughter in the family business,which don do you think you are most like?

  11. Benjamin Hilton says:

    When I first saw the stuff about Tacoma it kinda reminded me of Bioshock. Then I remembered that my favorite part of Bioshock had been the exploration. So yeah, I’m hopeful.

    • AileTheAlien says:

      I hope they add more exploration mechanics! :)

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      You know what I thought about when playing Gone Home? I want a detective (police or private) game based on this. Exploring a house/apartement/crimescene finding little bits of information, figuring “whodunit” or a similar riddle. It seems like the marriage was perfectly happy but have you found the letters in the shoebox in the bedroom closet? The victim was supposed to be alone, but why was the table set for two?

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    People say that dragon age origins had interesting characters,but the only thing I remember from that game is that I was doing some questing with two naked dudes because I didnt want them to have my precious equipment when they finally croaked in a cutscene,and I didnt know the precise moment that was gonna kick in.That game was seriously boring.So why does anyone want it on a spoiler warning?It would be like alan wake,only much longer,and with no old rocker dudes to lighten up the mood.

    Why not play dragon age 2?At least that one was shorter,and has a controversy behind it that could be discussed for a long time.

    • Henson says:

      I’ve long said that Awakenings would be a much better option. It’s shorter, and is essentially a distillation of most of the elements of DA:O. And its deep roads aren’t particularly deep.

      • IFS says:

        And there’s only one person you’ll leave naked until she dies!

        Awakening would be the better option, but maybe they don’t want to do it because its best when you have a character to bring in from Origins? I’d certainly be in favor of it though.

        • Henson says:

          Importing a character from Origins really doesn’t affect much about Awakenings. Just a few blurbs here and there, but otherwise, it’s identical.

          Let’s face it, no one has done imports very well. They always suck.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            What about episodic games?

            • Henson says:

              Never actually played an episodic game, but I would hazard a guess that it’s not really comparable with other imports, since the basic outline of the story/design is set from the start, regardless of when it gets finished. It would probably be better to be comparing ‘seasons’, like Walking Dead season 1 to season 2.

          • Henson says:

            Oh! But I forgot about Nathaniel. That’s pretty significant for an import.

            Jeez, how could I forget Nathaniel. He’s one of my favorite characters in that game.

            • IFS says:

              Sigrun also fangirls if you started as a Casteless dwarf, and I think being a Dalish elf gives you some special dialogue with Velanna (as opposed to a city elf, which changes some dialog but not as significantly). The import for Awakening doesn’t change much true, but it does alter a number of small details that I quite enjoy, plus it lets you start at a higher level than if you don’t import (which Josh would probably want just so he could break the game harder).

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Notning says Josh cant import a character he made off screen.

    • Mormegil says:

      But then Josh would have to play Dragon Age 2. And I kind of like Josh and wouldn’t wish that on anyone….

      Seriously, I think there’s actually a lot that’s both good and interesting about Dragon Age 2 (e.g. unconventional small story focus, well developed NPC’s). But the combat is terrible and the repeating maps are insane. It would have probably been remembered as a good game if you took out respawning waves in combat and stripped out most of the needless sidequests that involved going down the same dungeon over and over again. It would have been a 10 hour RPG which would have been controversial but it would have allowed the parts that are good to shine through. Instead they stretched it out to to a 30 hour epic but didn’t add 20 hours more content.

      It’s actually a terrible spoiler warning game since there’s so much repeated stuff that the crew would run into long gaps of silence.

  13. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Maybe its just me but my favorite moment in Origins and the moment that made me just fall for the series was when I was in the camp talking to my squad. Particularly Lelianna going on about her stories. Its that camp theme that plays in the background while you’re talking to your teammates that goes really well with her romanticized stories of myths. Just something so cozy and enchanting about it. Its probably the best example of Weidman’s “Quiet Time” that I’ve ever seen.

    As for Morrigan, I found her interesting in that, as modern relationships often go, you can sleep with her early on which fits her MO, but getting her to actually open up and admit feelings and vulnerability is the real arc with her romance. But I hated her going in and only started liking her after I got bored with Lelianna and decided to try her romance on my 3rd or 4th playthrough.

    Its Bioware’s go to trick. They can make any character likable by revealing their hidden vulnerabilities and insecurities, thus making their jerk tendencies more understandable and endearing.

    • James says:

      Morrigan in DA:I was strange when i met her, she is still somewhat an icequeen, she still very pragmatic, but shes also a mother and actually in love with someone, (assuming certain setting are made in the keep i don’t know what cannon is)
      she asks the inquisitor if you would like her to contact The Warden (DA:O PC) and remarks that he will be insufferably smug that she did so.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        She was considerably more likable in DAI. In keeping with someone who has people she cares about now and has had to live among people on and off for about ten years now.

        I wonder where her son was when we were at the palace.

        There’s even a scene with her and Alistair. Its hard to trigger because you have to do some things in a specific order to have them both at the keep at the same time. If Alistair is the kid’s father, she pays a small compliment to him.

    • SlothfulCobra says:

      Morrigan starts out as brusque and unlikeable, but after getting to know her a little (and maybe using some of the super influence items that the Ultimate Edition gave you access to, because Bioware’s influence systems are complicated and annoying to figure out properly), she really starts to open up and seem interesting. She’s got reasons for what she does and how she acts, and it all makes sense after a while. There’s a lot of complicated characterization going on.

      And then she pops up and offers to bone you because Bioware just makes elaborate dating sims these days, and talking to somebody a lot means you want to get it on. I could’ve played it off as fitting with all the character development, but I decided that as a dwarf, even if our bits were compatible, she was a bit too…tall for me.

      • Nimas says:

        I really like Morrigan, but looking back honestly the fact that she was A. voiced by Claudia Black and B. Captain Janeway’s daughter basically made it a forgone conclusion for me ><

        Plus, the whole "i'm kind of evil, but also kind of incompetent at it" thing that she had made perfect sense being Captain "I torture my crew on a daily basis" Janeway's daughter :D

    • Mormegil says:

      My favourite thing about Morrigan? Getting high influence with both her and Alistair and getting them to produce the magic grey warden demon baby at the end. It means that you have to not do Morrigan’s romance plot but it’s worthwhile for how funny I find that whole situation.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        I like to get Loghain to do it. Then take Loghain out with Zevran in the party to show the former how much he’s been owned. Best part is, they’ll comment on it.

  14. Bloodsquirrel says:

    There were some things I liked about of Dragon Age’s lore.

    -portraying the dwarves as having an oppressive caste system
    -the mage/templar stuff and mages being tightly controlled

    But most of Dragon Age’s lore was drowned in lazy cliche that was worse for thinking it was being a dark, gritty deconstruction. The fade is the ultra-generic magic realm, without any real style or ideas of its own. The elves/dwarves were basically redundant; they could have been an ethnic group of humans for all it mattered. The Darkspawn were an evil mook army that didn’t even have an interesting villain leading them. The politics were the standard not-quite-feudal-but-there’s-nobles-and-stuff-and-a-king-I-guess.

    • aldowyn says:

      I would argue that the Fade DOES have some interesting ideas, but very few of them are explored in Origins.

      Luckily Solas’ whole thing is that he’s an expert in the Fade, both in theory and philosophy and in practice.

  15. I’m sorry, but any post-mortem of Unrest’s sales arc is incomplete until we can see what effect being featured on Spoiler Warning has on sales.

  16. Henson says:

    For me, the best parts of Dragon Age: Origins, as far as plot/theme/atmosphere go, were the first ten hours and the last ten hours. The origins themselves were a great mechanism for a jumping-off point in creating a character (I’d like to see more games try something experimental like this). I loved Ostagar, and the ending story web with Loghain was great, and all of the middle was kinda samey.

    Still love the game, though. Except for the Brecilian forest. That can burn.

    • aldowyn says:

      Honestly I find this is true of a lot of the middle era of BioWare’s games. Take Mass Effect: my favorite parts are the Citadel (as long as it is on subsequent playthroughs) and Virmire and Ilos at the end. There’s just not enough plot and/or world building in between. (Someone explain to me why all the main planets in Mass Effect 1 are human colonies?)

  17. silver Harloe says:

    I believe Rutskarn cut off the assignment of words from the gibberish letter to people in the cast because he could see he was going to get stuck with “loiter” once “hatebasement” was applied to Mumbles.

  18. Alexander The 1st says:

    It just occurred to me that Rachel is the same daughter who wrote that write-up on The Crypt of the Necrodancer – any comments on how well each file and/or the final podcast works with it?

  19. Volatar says:

    You know, I like the discussion some of these Mailbag questions get to, but what I really find I enjoy listening to most is when everyone just talks about what they have been playing lately and discussion naturally forms around this or that. You end up with a nice mixture of discussion on current game releases, random good old games I might want to check out, and fun tangents into randomness.

    So maybe I should send this into the Mailbag:

    “Dear Diecast

    I have been wondering what ya’ll have been playing lately. Anything interesting to talk about?

    -Volatar”

    :P

    • silver Harloe says:

      yeah, I miss the “what’s the happy-haps?” segment, too

    • Chris says:

      When it works, the Happy Haps bits are my favorite parts of doing the DieCast. It’s basically the reason we started doing this thing in the first place – recording all the wacky conversations we have as we warm up before Spoiler Warning. And when a few of us are playing the same game it works well since we can bounce off of each other. Other times it branches off into interesting side conversations that we never would have planned for, and that’s also awesome.

      But I’m wary of the fact that the Happy Haps too quickly branch off into monologues – me prattling on about some quirky indie game no one on the show has played, Josh going off about Dark Souls or Crusader Kings adventures, Mumbles talkin’ wrastlin’, Shamus breakin’ down technical issues, or Ruts getting neck-deep into deconstructing a tabletop RPG mechanic system. It’s not that any of those things are bad mind you – those interests are what drive a lot of people to watch the show! They’re our selling points! I’m not saying “Let’s not talk about these things!”

      I just worry that on a podcast the appeal is the back-and-forth between the hosts as interesting viewpoints bump up against one another with humorous banter, and unplanned, unscripted, unstructured Happy Haps tends to veer away from that in favor of giving us each a platform to spout off uninterrupted and off-the-cuff for 10 minutes (especially weeks when no one is playing/doing the same stuff). Podcasts are more successful as a dialog than a live journal.

      Plus there’s a bit of damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t going on. If we neglect the mailbag people get upset we’re ignoring e-mails; if we focus on pushing down the mailbag we don’t do the happy haps some people tune in for. We try to do both most weeks, but we only record for an hour or so and sometimes topics run long (or there are legitimately no questions we can answer in the mailbag that week). Really what we probably need to solve that problem is tighter moderation to ensure we hit both topics (a tough job with this group being 100% remote) or just run long and have heavier editing (which, as Shamus is quick to point out, is already really burdensome without having to cut out bits about forced topic changes or conversations that ended up going nowhere). That, or we turn the DieCast into a book club and have everyone play a short game or read an article or something each week so we have at least one thing to discuss (knowing how busy the cast is this would never ever work).

      TLDR; I don’t disagree! I’d love to see more (successful) Happy Haps. But its absence isn’t without reason (our mailbag was overflowing, our last podcast without mailbags was so unstructured as to be almost Warhol-esque). I’m sure we’ll get back to it again soon.

  20. AileTheAlien says:

    Am I the only person who thought Chris’ estimate of 1.5 hours for Gone Home was a bit short? It took me like, two 6-hour afternoons, plus a walkthrough in a couple places. Or do I just suck at adventure games? ^^;

    • Jokerman says:

      Na…. i had the same reaction. But i also suck at adventure games… i needed a walkthrough at least twice for the Walking Dead Season 1, and everyone who is a fan of adventure say the puzzle aspect is dumbed down and easy.

    • Mumbles says:

      You know, I was just looking through games on Steam and I was pretty surprised my total time clocked in around 80 minutes. I felt like the game was a lot longer, I feel like I explored a LOT but only 80? Man.

    • Chris says:

      I was giving it a rough average. Crass players mark its play time at something like 45 seconds because “beating the game” can be done that quickly if you know what you’re doing. Other people spent hours poring over the miscellany of the house’s contents; absorbing not just the scripted narrative bits but what each room’s items said about what had transpired there.

      That said, my original playthrough was a brisk 2.5-3 hours, and when I guided my wife through the game she beat it in 1.5. Which is itself sort of interesting to me – a quicker playtime in that game doesn’t represent a higher skill ceiling but lessened engagement with its world (to a degree, anyways). Like, she was interested in what happened to the family, but absorbing that story through the game space was sort of an alien concept to her. She was looking for objects that triggered narration or things that spelled events out in big letters; she wasn’t that interested in inferring the status of the Greenbriars’ marriage from passive aggressive notes or putting a cassette into the tapedeck and listening to the song to get a view into Sam’s personality and mental state.

      • AileTheAlien says:

        That explains at least part of it, then. I know I spent at least 15 minutes agonizing over the parents’ potentially failing marriage, 30 minutes on a forum discussing it, and then 5 more re-reading stuff after hearing other peoples’ interpretation of the given text blurbs. :)

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Thats the best speedrun ever.Loving it.

  21. SlothfulCobra says:

    I was really into the dwarven politics in Dragon Age. I’m not sure if there’s much unique about the way that dwarves were depicted, losing gleaming underground cities to hordes of orcs is nothing new, but the whole class divide and politicking was very engrossing. I played both dwarven opening stories, and the stark difference between the two is fascinating, not just the class divide and different perspectives, but the ways that the game actually allows you to roleplay into the classist fantasy world. There are some really neat dialogue options there.

    On the other hand, the human politics are bland and boring. So boring that I never managed to pick up my game after trailing off during the whole Alistair/Loghain fight. I wonder if the best writing is in the opening stories, and if I should just play through all of those (except for the human one, which is really dull).

    • IFS says:

      The Origin stories all have pretty great writing imo (except of course the human one as you pointed out, its just ok and kinda bland) and it’s well worth playing through all of them. It also helps flesh out certain aspects of the world a bit more (for example Jowan is important in the mage origin, so playing that gives you a better understanding of his character). My personal favorite origin is the City Elf, it gets pretty dark but I appreciated the sense of community it gives for your character and the other alienage elves.

      • Soylent Dave says:

        I played the Human Noble Origin story first, and thought the writing was so terrible that it put me off the game completely.

        (“Hi, I’m Duke Evil, I’ll be hanging out with your family and definitely not betraying anyone in the near future MWA HA HAHAA *cough* *cough*” )

        But some time later I went back to the game and thoroughly enjoyed the Dwarf Commoner origin (and then much of the rest of the game… and most of the other origin stories when I ultimately played them)

        So yeah. The Human Noble origin story is pants.

    • Merlin says:

      Having only played Origins as a human mage, I felt like the dwarf segment was the weakest chunk of the game, even not counting the deep roads.

      You walk into Orzammar, meet two jerks, and are immediately prompted to choose which one to vote for. And they don’t court you or offer you information about why they’re the right man for the job. No no no. Thedas is a planet trapped in the asshole dimension, so you need to run all over the city talking to randos to even learn these guys’ deals. Once you do, they demand you perform chores for them and get upset if you even talk to the other camp to learn who they are. Made me wish I could just throw the dwarves to the wolves entirely and deal with a more difficult final battle.

      It kind of comes back to my thoughts on the origin system itself. Yes, each one makes one of the major quests personally engaging. But the flip side is, the system ensures that all of the other quests aren’t.

  22. Mumbles says:

    I tried to make it this week, but I was drunk off my ass on Viniq and passed out right before recording. For those curious here it is. Basically, it tastes like pixie farts.

    Also I won’t be on next week because I’m getting married. Big Whoop. Wanna fight about it.

  23. Sleeping Dragon says:

    RE gamechanging content:

    The model that Josh mentioned for Paradox is actually what keeps me from biting into many 4x games until way after their release. I tend to play these in short but intense bursts and then only come back to them for a single game every couple of months (could be because I don’t really do multiplayer so the part where I “explore” the game is the most interesting). Knowing that there are probably going to be big additions that change the game heavily makes me want to hold back until the game is “complete”. The most recent example being Endless Legend which I really want to play but at the same time I want to wait until they’re done with releasing the DLC.

  24. NotSteve says:

    I guess it’s time to finally come clean. I’m actually Shamus. How many of the rest of you are too?

  25. aldowyn says:

    Inquisition has a lot of problems (the more I think and read about it, the more I feel a lot of the open world/mmo-like stuff was completely unnecessary), but I also feel that it’s finally /using/ some of the best parts of the Dragon Age setting. I really like some of the historical parallels and it feels like more than just another tolkienesque fantasy story.

    Plus it has Cassandra, who has somehow managed to dethrone Garrus as my favorite BioWare character. (A lot of people cite Cullen, and they actually have fairly similar arcs. Anecdotal evidence suggests that’s split along lines of sexual preference.)

  26. Also, Rutskarn, Dragon Age is much more like 15th-16th century Europe than 11th century. Two words: Printing Press.

    • Mike S. says:

      The politics are more medieval, with the very pre-Fourth Crusade Byzantine Tevinters facing off against the Turklike Qunari, powerful feudal lords (especially in Ferelden), and no Reformation in sight. (Though nuking most of the hierarchy at the beginning of Inquisition might kickstart that, depending on who winds up Divine.)

      But Orlais definitely feels early modern, and of course the Qunari guns are at least Renaissance-level if not better.

  27. Galad says:

    I still visit the Escapist to check their news section. One out of 10 or 20 would be of at least mild interest to me and I wouldn’t have heard of it, and their news are surprisingly varied in topic and area, from gaming, video, tabletop, or otherwise, through communications, through science and space. Of course it’s a superficial coverage on any but the gaming part, but still, it expands my horizones occasionally.

  28. Sova says:

    ” I gotta wait for this cobblestone to finish baking”

    That kind of throw away line is perfectly suited for anonymous pseudonyms.
    Although quite frankly I would love for that to be Shammus’ quote he is remembered by in years to come.

    In all seriousness though I found Twentysided not through the Escapist (where I assume most people come from) but completely by chance through a news aggregate app similar to Flipboard. That in turn lead me to poking around Campster’s things (and a little of Mumbles) on YouTube. I can’t say I’ve had much of a look at Josh (can’t find anything) or Rutskarn (as I understand not actively posting) but it is interesting how each of the ‘personalities’ as Chris mentioned can influence how viewers discover new content.

  29. TheAlchemist64 says:

    I’m surprised Josh didn’t mention Star Wars Galaxies in the “Games harmed by additional content” section. Granted, it was the company chasing WoW that ruined the game. But it was the additional content that resulted from said WoW money-chasing that “directly” caused its downfall, so I would think it would be a kind of fuzzy example. Of course, bringing it up again when it’s already been talked about before in a previous podcast might have been treading water.

  30. Adam says:

    I’d played a bit of Titanfall when it first came out, only to be turned off by the lack of singleplayer/co-op content, multiplayer being dominated by coked-up 5-year-olds and racist college students. Then they announced that one of the add-ons would add an actual co-op mode, which ALMOST made me get it again. That’s the only time I can recall a game influencing my interest in buying it, positively or negatively.

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