Diecast #149: Eve Online, Town of Salem, Dark Souls III

By Shamus
on Apr 18, 2016
Filed under:
Diecast

Dear Firefox user: You can stop leaving comments and emailing me about how I have a bug in my website that makes the Diecast auto-play. That’s a confirmed bug in Firefox. I’ve heard a rumor that the latest build has a fix for this. Good luck!

Direct download (MP3)
Direct download (ogg Vorbis)
Podcast RSS feed.

Direct link to this episode.

Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Shamus, Campster, Mumbles.

Episode edited by Issac.

2:02 Empires of Eve

We’re talking about this book, which is a history of the wars in Eve Online.

11:25 Team Fortress 2

16:35 Town of Salem

25:35 Dr. Strange and his new trailer


Link (YouTube)

34:05 Dark Souls III

50:50 Borderlands

Related: Borderlands: The Loot Lottery

1:00:00 E.T. isn’t a good movie?

1:04:00 Strange Memories.

Here is an episode of the Electra Woman and Dyna Girl show that I brought up:


Link (YouTube)

It aired 1976-1977, which puts me at 5 or 6 years old. I know I said I was 8 in the Diecast, but 5-6 sounds a lot more reasonable based on various details of the memory.

I realize this probably seems like a fun kitschy novelty to the younger generation, but that’s because you’ve had the pleasure of real sci-fi and comic book media. In a world where this is basically the best anyone can do, it’s just depressing and cringe-worthy.

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A Hundred!20202015Many comments. 175, if you're a stickler

From the Archives:

  1. shiroax says:

    That double intro you get on the main page sounds pretty cool when the delay is just right. Any chance of releasing a version like that?

    • Also, has anyone else been failing to hit the mute button and been really amused by getting things like “Hhii eveverybody I’mI’m JoShamush. And I’m and I’Rutskarn CampstI’m Josh, I’m Mumbles, I’m ChriAnd I’mmmmm Mumbles, and we’re So did anybody hear aboutOh, YES, I HATED THAT SO MUWelcome to the Diecast, everybody! This weeOh no way, really?”

      I actually sat and listened to about five minutes of it once, just because it was so surreal.

  2. kunedog says:

    Another option that would probably work is the Flash Control (or similar) plugin that keeps flash and HTML5 media players from even appearing by default.

  3. Lalaland says:

    Reports of the bugs demise are greatly exaggerated I’m afraid, I’ve 45.0.2 and it’s still autoplaying MP3s, still as shiroax says it’s not an unpleasant acapella effect while the intro is playing

    • MichaelGC says:

      If I’ve understood correctly this means we should continue to leave comments and email Shamus about how he has a bug in his website.

      • KidneyChris says:

        I’d like to file a bug report:
        > My work computer has no speakers or headphones attached. Please fix your site so I can hear the Diecast without an attached audio device.

        Hey, it took 5 minutes to write the bug report, it should only take 5 minutes to fix, right?

    • Aitch says:

      Used the most current version available of Firefox for years now and never ran into this autoplay problem, thankfully since I visit here so often. So at the least it isn’t every FF user. They’re usually pretty quick on bug fixes and new features too, should hopefully be a quick and simple one to repair.

    • Destrustor says:

      My solution to this bug is to simply mute my computer’s speakers when I visit the front page, and unmute when I get to a page without a diecast or a page with the diecast I intend to listen to.

      In a way, it’s kind of handy to not even have to press a button to listen.

      • Zak McKracken says:

        Firefox will show a loudspeaker symbol on tabs which play audio. clicking that will mute the respective tab.

        Also: That rumor about the bug being fixed may have originated with me. Turns out I can’t keep track which ones of the many computers I’m using between home and work (and on the road…), have the problem … the fact that it’s one of the Linux machines and one of the W7 machines does not help, either.

  4. pedantic idiot says:

    correction for mumbles, you can romance someone in dark souls 3! You get married and everything!

      • pedantic idiot says:

        you get married by lying to them, letting them get assassinated and finally by driving a sword through the face of her/his lifeless corpse all the while an NPC tells you this how you become a real lord.

        • Mumbles says:

          this is not exactly the spaghetti date i had in mind >_>;;

          • pedantic idiot says:

            Also for Chris: use fire on the resident evil monsters. It makes them spaz out (giving you a couple of free hits) and does a good deal of damage. Fire bombs are handy or picking up a fire gem as the starting gift will give you early access to a fire weapon. You can also buy a torch. Do it. It will become very handy in some areas.
            Not because its really dark, but burning resident evil monsters and can help with one particular enemy type that makes you bleed/covers you with maggots.

            Didn’t mean to click reply, oh well.

          • James Porter says:

            Oh, also doing so lets you get the evil ending where a character actually pleads you to “Make Londor Whole” as you become some evil drumpf lord.

            The Beginners Guide told me not to, but it really makes you wonder about From’s stance on marriage.

            • pedantic idiot says:

              If we’re going go that route I think we can safely say FromSoft’s stance on humanity is depressing. And they clearly have a great opinion of their playerbase.

              I loved in the first game that rats had a good drop rate for humanity. I remember the second games intro saying something like ‘you will lose everything and you won’t even care’ as a woman and child melt away.

              I also thought the burial gift – The sovereignless soul, described as one who slept beside you, was a great touch.

              There’s so much other stuff you could draw dark conclusions from but that’s the sort of stuff that pops to the forefront of my mind.

              • James Porter says:

                I was mostly kidding, and mostly agree with you. I actually picked the sovereignless soul just because of how evocative an idea that was. I almost didn’t want to use it, if it didn’t get lost in my inventory with all the other soul items.

                I actually really like the whole marriage thing, since its a great perversion of something we understand being normal. Like its really weird!

          • James Porter says:

            In all fairness, another character gives you alcohol he made himself as a token of friendship, id consider that a date

  5. MichaelGC says:

    Are we certain that’s a trailer for Doctor Strange and not Batman Begins or somesuch? Seemed full of batmannery and beginsery somehow.

  6. Christopher says:

    I adore that Campster is the real life Crestfallen Knight. If he’s having such a bad time, I’m with the rest of the Cast, Campster should play something he actually enjoys instead. What good is the resulting content you make going to be anyway if it’s just about you having a terrible time with something you dislike, but not something you’re deep enough into to make informed commentary about?

    I only really know Dr. Strange from Spider-Man crossovers, and he normally just shows up to talk cryptically or fix some magic off-screen that means Spidey needs to stall for time while he charges up. I never read that as him being an asshole, but he always seemed like a guy that was very busy in literally another dimension and only stuck his head in the door when shit leaked over from whatever Cthulhu dreamworld hellscape he usually spends his time in. I like his design.

    • James Porter says:

      I agree, I have to admit as someone who is having fun with Dark Souls 3 instead of being responsible and finishing my homework, this episode kinda brought me down. Campster I think there is really interesting things to say about Dark Souls 3 (If you are looking for the actual interesting topic on DS3 to write about, the talking points about it seem to be how really fanservice-y the game is, and how important it is for From to be original) but I don’t want one of my favorite things to be a chore for someone. Dark Souls 3 is actually really funny, but I can probably tell that it isn’t sticking with him.

      • Christopher says:

        Yep. I don’t want Campster to have a terrible time with something I enjoy, and I also don’t want him to talk about why he doesn’t enjoy it when he doesn’t have much experience with it. But besides that, because of the stuff you put in spoiler tags, Dark Souls 3 is more for the fans than ever. Specifically the fans that enjoy that kinda content, I suppose. And that’s me! I’m having a hell of a time. But if you aren’t the type of person that likes that sort of stuff, or if you don’t even like the games, I can imagine Dark Souls 3 being the worst of the bunch for you.

        • James Porter says:

          Yeah, Dark Souls 3 is kinda just for Souls fans, which I actually think is to is determinate. There are a lot of nostalgic callbacks to the entire series, but mostly Dark Souls 1. I cant imagine a new player getting as much enjoyment from the game. I would use the final boss for example where halfway the music and animations are switched for the animations gwyn had from the end of the first game. Its a really pander-y, but really effective callback that new players are not going to get.

          Overall the most effective Souls games were when they were doing their own thing, but if this really is the sendoff to the franchise I really like it, and I’m exited for what they do next

  7. Ninety-Three says:

    On WoW: “I do not like playing one part of a videogame for a long time”
    I am surprised that you got very far at all in WoW, because that is also what made me quit, only I quit at level 19. I remember the exact moment, I went to the skill trainer and saw that I already had almost every skill my class would ever get, and the next forty levels were just “Frost Bolt rank 3, Fireball rank 2, Mage Thing rank 2… rank 4-7”. I had this vision of the next forty levels of combat being exactly the same as the combat I was doing now, only with bigger health and damage numbers, and I promptly quit playing.

    That was back when the level cap was sixty, and enemy behaviour and stats were governed entirely by two booleans and an integer (isRangedAttacker, isElite, currentLevel), rarely with one special ability like “immune to taunt”. Maybe WoW’s gotten better since then.

    • Hal says:

      WoW’s changed a lot since then, but you’re not terribly far off in that assessment. The philosophy was that characters shouldn’t be getting paradigm-shifting abilities as they level.

      This is partly because it can make the class less fun to play as it levels. Paladins were a great example of this, having very few abilities in the early game, not ending up with much mechanical distinction until midway through the game (like, level 40ish.) It was a well-known fault that Paladins had no ranged attack until that point, which is a tremendous disadvantage in a game like WoW.

      Besides that, though, the bigger worry was that the game wasn’t actually teaching you how to play your class. At level 40, you get ability X, which drastically changes the play style of the class. That’s a big problem, because you’ve spent the last 39 levels learning to play a certain way. Maybe that’s not a big deal if you only played by yourself, but dungeons and raiding are a major portion of the game, and it wasn’t very enjoyable to play with people who didn’t understand how to play their class. (It’s also pretty embarrassing to find out you are that person!)

      One of the nice changes they’ve made since then is to the talent trees, which are simply gone. In its place are talent tiers; at each tier, you get access to one of three different talents. These talents might change the behavior of an ability you have, or give you a new ability altogether. Each is situationally useful, so there’s no “right” choice, but they’re not so dramatic that choosing one over the other changes the way the character plays.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        That makes a certain amount of sense, but what’s the point in leveling up if nothing changes (except you get 10% more damage and enemies get 10% more health) when you do? Why have players get all their abilities by 20, then not let them into the endgame raiding routine (which I’ve often heard called the “real game”) until they grind 40 more identical levels?

        • Moddington says:

          Because endgame content in general was never intended to be the ‘real game’. It just happens that when players run out of content it’s because they hit max level. So where do the devs add new content? At the level cap, and preferably make it just slightly harder than the content they added last patch.

          It’s all an emergent effect that sticks around because no dev has been willing to throw out the entire levelling system to get at the underlying issues. And they’ve probably been right to, because god knows how much MMOs rely on filling bars and making numbers bigger to offset the limitations of the medium.

          • Ninety-Three says:

            That was very insightful, thanks.

            Although it sticking around isn’t necessarily for the best. The MMO industry practically runs on failing to innovate.

          • Falterfire says:

            Yeah, it’s sort of the inevitable MMO problem: If you have a significant portion of your playerbase playing 20+ hours per week and it takes your team more than 2 hours to make 1 hour of new content and you have a 40 hour workweek, how do you make enough content?

            The only answer is, of course, “make the player play the content you make as many times as possible.” With the caveat that the more obvious it is that you’re forcing a grind, the angrier the players will be – Having a thing that drops after you beat the dungeon for the fifteenth time will generally be less well regarded than a special title for beating the dungeon without getting hit by the boss, even though the two things may take roughly the same amount of tries.

            (And of course, the more stretched out your content gets, the harder it is for new players to ever catch up)

          • krellen says:

            For most of its existence, City of Heroes’s “endgame” was “make a new character and do it all over again”. Or keep doing the same with your max-level hero, if you were having fun, since most of the content was procedural. It worked pretty well; City of Heroes wasn’t killed because it lost its audience and lost money, it died because it wasn’t making as much profit as WoW and NCSoft was hell-bent on shutting it down to “free up” population for another of their games (which didn’t work).

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        which is completely different from how GW2 runs thing now. Content, skills, gear, all that unlocks with levels from 2 all the way to 80. Offhand weapons don’t happen until level 6 or something, and swapping weapon sets at 10. The ability to use the #0 elite skill slot doesn’t happen until level 31. If you’ve been playing a while, you’ve probably got the stuff needed to pop off to level 80 just lying around in your bank, but for an actual new player, there’s a lot of complexity that comes over time and there’s plenty of opportunity to learn how the new thing goes.

  8. Ninety-Three says:

    When it comes to dealing with salty players, there’s nothing you can say to calm them down, but I have found a way to counter-troll them that completely takes the wind out of their sails. They’ll post a long, caps lock rant and I will always reply with something like “Your bitterness is delicious”. Salty players don’t know what to do when you enjoy them being salty.

    But regarding Town of Salem in general, I never quite got the point of Mafia games. The only public information tends to be the public chat channel so you’re essentially playing a game where people get handed a playing card only they can see, then they’re asked to avoid you guessing their card, and that’s really easy. There’s no way to tell what they’re doing, no clues to follow unless they have the world’s worst poker face. Have I just been missing something all these years?

    • Syal says:

      I think this movie trailer illustrates the appeal of Mafia.

      • 4th Dimension says:

        WTF?!? What the hell does all that CGI have to do with a game where you have to guess who is the bad guy?!?

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Well you are trying to spot a lie,right?And there is no lie bigger than cgi.

          • 4th Dimension says:

            It’s like they realized for the first time you can use CGI in a movie, and are still in that honeymoon period and are adding CGI to anything.
            Or they need to spend their CGI budget for this year or they will get less next year.

      • Zak McKracken says:

        That looks like either a hoax or some weapons-grade bullshit. Kind of reminds me of “Battleship”.

        The crazy thing is that you could probably make decent movie out of that game but you can’t habe people literally playing it, you’d just put them in the situation depicted by the game.

    • Alex says:

      There are clues to follow, and not just because investigative roles exist. The things you say and the people you vote for can sway the rest of the town into doing the things you want them to do, but it can also draw attention to yourself. When the Sheriff accuses one of the Mafia of being Mafia, for example, you have to balance how much you will work to defuse the accusation with the risk that the accused will drag you down with them.

      With skilled play, it is possible to win what would be an unwinnable game if your impression of the game was correct. For example, one game I won as a lone Medium by pretending to be the Mafioso and conspiring with the Witch to lynch the real Mafioso.

      • Merlin says:

        Traditional Mafia has clues to follow, but only after things get rolling a little bit. It basically relies on the detective (or someone claiming to be him) speaking up right away, and if that doesn’t happen everybody just kinda looks at each other and says “I guess we should kill somebody…” Without input from investigators, everyone’s decisions are being made randomly, and everyone knows that, which makes drawing any conclusions a dubious prospect at best.

        I can’t speak to how Town of Salem dodges that issue, but it is definitely an issue.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        But talking is worthless. No one has any reason to believe someone who says “I’m the doctor, ’twas I who healed Bob last turn!”, because anyone can say it, and there’s no public way to determine if they’re lying.

        Sometimes you get roles who can make verifiable statements to a limited set of people (a detective can investigate Alice and Bob, then tell Alice “Bob is X and to prove I’m the detective, I know you’re Y”), but dialogue is largely unverifiable which leads to games where the optimal strategy is to never bother talking and simply use your ability at random (because everyone’s role is unknown).

        Disclaimer: I haven’t played Town of Salem, I’m talking about Mafia games in general.

        • Merlin says:

          But talking is worthless. No one has any reason to believe someone who says “I’m the doctor, ’twas I who healed Bob last turn!”, because anyone can say it, and there’s no public way to determine if they’re lying.

          The public way to make a decision on whether they’re being truthful is to gauge the reactions to that statement. If nobody objects, they’re probably telling the truth. If somebody objects, one is the doctor and the other is mafia, since a civilian gains nothing by lying, and you’re stuck looking at logic and visual tells to determine which is which. It’s not ironclad, but that’s kinda the point of the game.

          The problem isn’t that anyone can say that, it’s that there’s very little reason to say it. Announcing you’re in a specialty role puts a target on your back. Mafia lying that they’re in a specialty role immediately puts them in a suspicious position. That leaves too much incentive to wait until you have something solid, which leaves the other 80% of the group sitting on their hands in the meantime.

          • Decus says:

            You’re assuming logical operators. If everybody always played 100% to logic mafia would be boring from the start–it might as well be AIs playing with each other–and you could only make it interesting again by making up new roles with new rules each time. This is part of why playing mafia games with only people who constantly play mafia and know it front to back is entirely boring–a lot of those types do only play to logic.

            As a simulation, it’s more interesting when real-world conditions are closer to being met. That is, when you have players who operate on emotion or gut or desire to ______.

            • Ninety-Three says:

              So basically, Mafia is only interesting because of Donkeyspace?

              • Decus says:

                Yeah, poker would be the good comparison. Most of the fun is in the human element, human unpredictability and you’re limiting yourself if you’re always playing logically or if you’re always assuming that the other players are playing logically.

                Like poker, it’s also way more fun to play in person instead of online since you have more to read into and it’s harder to tell convincing lies. Bad liars are bad liars regardless–they’ll slip up even in pure text–but it’s harder to be a good liar in person.

            • ehlijen says:

              Indeed. Mafia, and in fact most similar games as well, fall apart without the talking. There just isn’t that much to them without the element of having to guess who’s lying, and that can only happen if everyone actually says something.

              The bad guys start knowing who each other are. The good guys don’t. It’s actually in their interest to get everyone talking so they have something to go on when deciding who to kill.

  9. Fizban says:

    I for one liked the idea of tying i-frames to a stat in ds2, in spite of and even because it bugged players that depended on being able to perfectly dodge everything at level 1 with no investments. If you have to put a ton of stats into using good armor and shield, why should you get to dodge everything for free?

    On the other hand, the cost of getting your i-frames up to par wasn’t all that high and being stat-controlled meant that all pvp builds will have more than you if you don’t max it out (and the state of forced pvp is still bs no matter how tiny the window: I should not have to kill myself or go offline to avoid being invaded by a dickwraith every time I kill a boss, period. It actively harms enjoyment of multiple areas).

    I also didn’t have any problems with the story/lore in ds2, it started out being over the top and obtuse right from the intro and I just don’t see what the big problem is with any of it. People complained about it not being connected but ds3 is, if anything, even more disconnected.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      I hated having iframes increase as you leveled, because it meant you spent the early game learning and getting used to a roll with few iframes, then threw out all that learning by changing the properties of the roll. Imagine if the Zweihander’s hitbox changed after you’d been using it for ten hours, that would be a terrible idea.

      and the state of forced pvp is still bs no matter how tiny the window: I should not have to kill myself or go offline to avoid

      I never saw it as forced PVP, because I always defaulted to offline mode. So really it’s opt-in, you can go online in order to see bloodstains, summon phantoms and get PVPed.

      It’s sort of like the famous WoW rest XP story, the exact same mechanic gets a wildly different reception, based entirely on being presented as a boon or a bane.

      • Destrustor says:

        For me, I do kinda consider it forced PvP; one of the things I enjoy the most in these games is letting myself be summoned to help other players. I get to scout ahead in an area, grind free souls, practice at the game in a consequence-free environment, And be a cool nice guy who helps people.

        But I can’t do that without accepting the fact that I will get invaded and killed every once in a while by an inevitably better jerk that I have no hope to defeat.

        So I’m forced to be online and endure the part of the game I hate the most if I want to partake in the part I love the most. I can’t have only one of the two.

        • Fizban says:

          I’ve already written my main essay (appearing below due to the comment setup), but to focus on this: for DS1 the wiki indicates that you gain a Humanity item after co-op sucess, and beating bosses also only gives you Humanity. You don’t become human and thus invade-able automatically, only when you choose to. DS2 doesn’t give you an item, instead making you human upon success, so after co-op you’ll be invade-able but that’s it-boss kills still have no danger.

          DS3 makes you invade-able after every boss kill in addition to every co-op success, so that even people who just want PvE can still be invaded unless they metagame and break immersion in order to avoid it. I can’t help but wonder if this is on purpose, so that invaders get to ruin people’s fun more often (as I note below, a huge portion of players were probably avoiding invasions at all cost, and if you’ve got a bunch of people who want to be dicks. . . well they should just suck it up and play with each other but here we are).

          • Decus says:

            In DS2 you’re actually invade-able even when you’re not human. It can be kind of annoying when you’re trying to level sunbro or anything else since it erases your summon sign and probably meant the last few minutes of potential “people tried to summon me” were over-written.

            Invaders know this and constantly invade in the popular sunbro leveling spots, like earthen peak and iron keep. Jokes on them though–I use the agape ring so their reward is 0 souls each time. Most just shrug after killing me.

            Also, in regards to your other comment, invaders had their estus and other heal item use taken away in DS2 after some patch cycles. Really weird that they gave it back in DS3 unless hitting them while they heal is an auto-crit now or something.

            Way of Blue/Blue Sentinels aren’t dumb because nobody is getting invaded or because invasions happen rarely–they’re dumb because I’m pretty sure being in way of blue, similar to way of white in dark souls 1, puts you lower on the invasion queue. You’re also less likely to be invaded if you don’t have any sin, which you only get from invading others or killing NPCs. There is a “let the dicks be dicks to each other” mechanic in play there.

            • Fizban says:

              Pretty sure that’s not until past a certain cutoff point on soul memory, so it won’t happen on a new playthrough until the end of the game. And eventually they brought back the “boss is beaten no more invasions here” sort of mechanic from DS1 (the “burn human effigy at bonfire” effect which blocks summons/invations appears and sticks after you beat a boss now).

              Didn’t know they removed invader estus in DS2, but it was probably the same patch that took out invading post-boss kills. Hitting someone while healing isn’t any better than it’s ever been, unless you can kill them in a single combo they’re probably gonna survive and just do it again, or hit you back so you’ll have to go heal.

          • IFS says:

            So far all my attempts at invading have resulted in me invading players with at least one (often 2) summons which typically proves an insurmountable challenge for me. DS3 really hates invaders, they get half as much estus (of both varieties), some enemies are still hostile to them, and the matchmaking seems to highly prioritize coopers. In addition if you’re invading to become Kindled the Host will always have more hp than you. Estus healing is ridiculously fast now as well making it nearly impossible to punish. The only advantage left, some enemies being on your side, is also negatable by the host using a seed of the tree of giants (or whatever its called) which turns all enemies against you. Even with all that the rewards for invading are shit, the most souls I’ve gotten so far is around 300 (from both a host and their blue sentinel dying), beyond that you get kindled (if you weren’t) and depending on your covenant an item related to it. Honestly invading with how the game is set up is extremely unfun, it makes me wonder why they even bothered putting it in. That said red sign pvp is much better, although I’ve still run into a lot of ganks and other dickery (one guy summoned me just to run to the boss door so I’d get sent right back, wasting my time). Still I miss the Bellkeepers from DS2, that covenant was full of all sorts of chaotic pvp with great rewards.

            • Fizban says:

              The reward for invading should pretty much only be getting to invade someone as far as I’m concerned. If you want souls or kindling, there’s co-op. I would expect lack of souls is because people are playing conservative and spending them as soon as they get them, or their souls are on the floor in the boss room. You may not be able to punish my healing, but I’m even less able to punish yours (since I’m a mage with spells set for PvE trying to get somewhere). Of the 5 times I’ve been invaded so far only one of those felt like a victory- I still died, I just forced him to heal more than I did, and 3 were exactly the walk-in get-invaded-die I was expecting.

              The bellkeepers, you know I actually had some fun with those. Suddenly being invaded the first time I walked in, figuring out why, realizing it was an optional area and not coming back. Then on later games making the sprint to grab stuff and accepting a pvp fight or two knowing I could go offline if it started to bug me, or just leave the items since I wasn’t actually going to use them anyway. Had a couple of surprise kills too. Even the rat bros were funny since the only penalty was a mild waste of time, and I got a couple kills passing by them too.

              I’d hope the territory covenenants would get more popular. . . but since one of them is in a high level area you have to pass through, it’s not going to be properly optional like the bellkeepers were.

              • IFS says:

                I will agree with you that DS2 territorial covenants (or covenants with arenas) are preferable for PVP (bellkeepers especially, Belfry Luna was a very interesting level to pvp in) and its a shame that so far those haven’t been very prevalent in DS3 (if there are any past where I’m at I haven’t found them). However I don’t think that its right for the game to present an option to the player (invading) and then absolutely hate them for attempting it. You accept the risk of being invaded when you choose to play online and kindled, if you don’t want to be invaded then you have those options before you. On top of that the Way of Blue covenant actually works now so you have an added protection you can take against being invaded even if you do want to be kindled and online.

                Besides all that invasions should be rewarding on success not just because it sucks to penalize the player who enjoys pvp but doesn’t much care for fighting the same boss again (personally I enjoy both, but I feel that pvp has a lot more variety to it than pve coop), but also because pvp should be an attractive option in universe. It’s presented to you as this sinister but rewarding option, it’s supposed to be tempting, but in actuality you get very little to show for it. As for the lack of souls being because they spent them all I rather doubt that is the case considering that the wins I’ve had were on people who were progressing through the level, at the very least they should have had more souls just from the enemies they were killing.

      • Fizban says:

        I played the entirety of Dark Souls 1 in offline mode (it started with GFWL, hah), and it was good. Then I played Dark Souls 2 in online mode with everyone’s messages and you just can’t say it’s the same experience. The price of forced pvp isn’t in the summoning for boss fights, you can save+quit right in front of the boss door and go online if you want, and summoning allies in front of the boss door is about the safest possible place to be if you’re invaded (the worst is right after you’ve entered a new area, oh hey look that’s when you’ve also been forced into invade-able state in DS3).

        The price is the messages, the least interactive of all the online features and the most immersive: in order to avoid being invaded without suiciding you have to go offline before entering any area that’s popular for invaders, or that’s linked to the “defending territory” covenants, which you won’t even know about on your first playthrough (Note however, that those territories were optional and had bonfire entrances in DS2, and were more recognizable, while DS3 they look unavoidable to me and can blindside you). So you’re on your first playthrough enjoying the sense of community of all those messages from everyone and leaving your own messages and now you have to make a choice: completely give up that part of the game for an unspecified amount of time out of fear of stupid unfun mechanics, kill yourself and give up the mechanical advantage you’re supposed to be *enjoying* immediately after your hard fought victory, or accept that dickwraiths (and blind territorial areas) are more important than you and wait for the inevitable.

        Now sure, there’s a decent chance you’ll die to the game rather than a pvp’er before you get invaded, but come on. Basically anyone who’s not speedrunning will spend enough time in the area that it’s gonna happen. To add further insult to injury: in DS1, the idea was that invaders couldn’t heal (they could though other items but losing estus makes the intent pretty obvious). In DS2 they gave invaders their flasks back and DS3 continues it, which is ridiculous: invaders do not deserve parity. By simple fact that you’re instigating the fight you forfeit any claim to fair play, and giving invaders the ability to heal when the host is not explicitly asking for pvp is not defensible.

        It doesn’t help that between player tendencies and matchmaking, the Way of Blue/Blue Sentinals covenant is basically a joke. I can be ready to assist all day and never be summoned, and the one time I’ve had a sentinel arrive to assist it was after I’d already been wrecked by a new enemy mechanic and finished off by the invader. Of course I’m almost never invade-able (for obvious reasons), which is obviously when I’m never called to assist: no one else is invade-able either, because we’re all hiding from the bs.

        The obvious fix would be to drop in a nice NPC blue phantom if there are no players available, though I don’t know if there are even NPC boss summons (so many player marks and they’re more fun anyway).

  10. James Porter says:

    So I think Campster’s begrudged playthrough of Dark Souls 3 did kinda get to me, and I think I am alright with you guys not talking about Souls. Its pretty obvious most of you guys dont like it, and really have nothing you want to say about it, so its alright.

    I hope this doesn’t come off like me getting mad at you guys not giving the game the proper *respect*. I would really rather everyone talking and engaging in something they are really passionate about.

  11. Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

    And announcing the triumphant return of Mumbles.

    I just healed a little.

  12. Phill says:

    I didn’t much like ET either. I saw it in the cinema when I was fairly small, and I found it veered between being terrifying at the start (when ET is hiding in the closet) to being pretty dull and slow for much of it. It had its moments, but it didn’t stick in my head as a great movie, in the way that say ‘Ghostbusters’ or ‘The Dark Crystal’ did for me from the same era (or ‘Labyrinth’ from a few years later). I can’t say that I’ve noticed anyone else talking about it as a great film from their childhood

    Never understood why it is so talked about. Maybe it was one of those things that looked impressive to adults and they thought was the sort of film kids would love (FWIW I lump it in the same bucket as ‘Close Encounters’ or ‘2001’ as films that some people rave about that I haven’t the slightest interest in).

    • djw says:

      Yes. I was 10 or 11 when it came out (don’t remember exactly) and I thought it was dull at the time, and haven’t watched it since.

    • Echo Tango says:

      I’ve watched it as an adult, and can confirm that it is indeed a bland, forgettable film, compared to other stuff from the same time. Ghostbusters and Dark Crystal are both waaaaay better. :)

    • Fizban says:

      Didn’t get it here either, with an added bonus: I could read the Steven Spielberg on the box/credits same as Jurassic Park, only Jurassic Park was awesome.

    • drlemaster says:

      I remember liking ET as a kid. It was very well received at the time, but I agree it has not aged well. Spielberg had a lot a cachet at the time, so I am sure a lot of folks gave it chance who would otherwise not have. I think its positive reception was also due to having a alien that looked very alien, but was friendly. Not merely non-hostile, but wanted to share candy and hang out at your place while you played D&D. I don’t know that that had been done before. And kid’s movie that didn’t look cheap, and could hold the attention of adults, were pretty rare in those days.

  13. Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

    EVE forever remains this game that I immensely respect but am equally immensely intimidated by.

    The stories that come out of it are a product unto themselves though so I can appreciate the game’s existence for that reason alone.

    • Josh says:

      It doesn’t help that it’s mind-numbingly boring to actually play.

      • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

        I wonder what the economic impact would be of making the grinding loops fun (no less time consuming, just enjoyable). Over time this would massively lower the current value of assets wouldn’t it? Or would increased demand from new players balance that out?

        Then again, even if it takes the same amount of time, if people enjoy grinding for their own stuff, that would still decrease the desire to purchase from others and thus lower the cost over time. Not completely though as I’m sure you’d still want to trade to leverage specialization and division of labor (one of the better aspects of EVE’s design and I think one of the major reasons their economy is so interesting.)

        Side note: Has anybody in the game managed to impose an artificial scarcity?

        • Ninety-Three says:

          I wonder what the economic impact would be of making the grinding loops fun (no less time consuming, just enjoyable).

          It would depend heavily on how exactly you implemented it. For instance, an increase in nullsec grinding would result in an increase in players ganking nullsec grinders, draining resources from the economy with every killed grinder.

          Also, I think the major reason EVE’s economy is interesting is that it’s one of the rare MMO economies that has sufficiently strong money-sinks draining resources from the system (mainly: ship destruction). Most economies, a gold piece either suffers under inflation, or becomes obsolete as the game’s most valuable resources (typically end-game raid gear) can’t be bought with them, so they’re worthless.

          • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

            So war is actually good for the economy? That doesn’t seem right. Maybe its the fact that, though its a high ceiling, there is still a ceiling to how much money can benefit you.

            • KidneyChris says:

              War is good for the economy when you’ve got resources that auto-magically generate in the universe.

              Mining in EVE, for tons-of-ore-per-minute-per-player, vastly outstrips what we can do in real life (I think? If I say it like it’s a fact and I’m wrong, someone will correct me :-)). Likewise, ore is much more accessible, and it regenerates over time (otherwise every asteroid belt would have been stripped dry by now). Blowing stuff up in a fiery explosion removes resources at much the same rate.

              Modeling a pure closed economy is difficult. I once read an article (and I sincerely hope someone else knows of it and can find it, because it was a very good read) about a team who tried to implement a closed economy in a MMORPG, and caused a market crash of shirts (basically: newbies could only make shirts. They made metric crapsacks of shirts. Nobody would buy shirts because anyone can make them).

              To me, the *really clever* bit of EVE is that the newbies contribute to the economy. Newbies are mostly mining the Tritanium ores, which are consumed by the crapload. Sure, they don’t mine much per person, but in aggregate it’s worth having new players around. Contrast with most games, where the new players get to mine shedloads of Junkonium ore which is only used to make Junkonium armor, that’s rapidly outclassed by the next tier of ore (but takes a lot more Junkonium than could ever be used to be mined to get the XP to mine the next tier…). The high-ranking players kill each other for the one tile of Awesomite at the bottom of a volcano, and may as well be playing a different game.

              • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

                That in turn teaches an important concept about the power of division and specialization of labor. Even if Alice is better than Bob at all things, time is still finite so its best for Alice to specialize in her most productive area and let Bob make the other thing (even in the immediate, and it only gets better when they both get better at their specialty). They both benefit from this versus doing everything themselves. And EVE actually models that.

              • Ninety-Three says:

                I once read an article (and I sincerely hope someone else knows of it and can find it, because it was a very good read) about a team who tried to implement a closed economy in a MMORPG, and caused a market crash of shirts (basically: newbies could only make shirts. They made metric crapsacks of shirts. Nobody would buy shirts because anyone can make them).

                This is not that story, but there was a similar story in City of Heroes.

                For a long time, the CoH economy was profoundly broken. You get money from enemies in the usual way, and you spend money to buy gear from NPCs. The problem is that the curves were a mess: A full set of level appropriate gear started out more expensive than a player could afford, but ended up dirt cheap compared to high level money generation. At level 22 you were scraping to buy decent stuff, at level 35 you could buy everything you ever wanted, and at level 50 you had so much money that you could fully fund several other characters in their 1-50 equipment.

                They eventually introduced crafting that produced standard gear, elite gear, and super-elite-grind-for-days ultra gear that sunk enough money to turn the economy into something functioning. The way crafting worked, you had to get a crafting recipe, some money, and some raw resources, all of which (even the recipe) were consumed to make equipment.

                The interesting, unintended consequence came from a fairly minor sub-system. For all the non-rare crafted equipment, there was a badge (achievement) for crafting ten of that item. Achievement hunters flooded the market with basic crafted gear, people ended up selling level 30 swords for less money than it cost just to buy a level 30 sword recipe.

              • Falterfire says:

                Speaking of weird MMO economies…

                I never played WoW or EVE, but I did play a truly embarassing amount of RuneScape back in the day, and RuneScape has some very interesting dynamics.

                The first thing to understand about RuneScape if you haven’t played it is how much less focused on pure combat it is. In WoW or Guild Wars or many other MMOs, one of the absolute first choices you make that will define your character for as long as you have it is which class you want. Before you actually see the game world, frequently before you see a single cutscene, one of the foundational choices you make is “How do I kill things to death?”

                In RuneScape, you don’t have classes. More than that, on your skillsheet, combat skills aren’t given any particular prominence. You have 30 or so skills, each with its own level and only six of them are directly tied to combat.

                What this means in practice is that to some extent or another, every character is a crafter. But crafting doesn’t require any less grinding than combat (And combat in Runescape requires a lot of grinding), it just has different grinding. Instead of killing hundreds of level appropriate monsters every level, you’re mining hundreds of ore or making hundreds of daggers. So almost every thing you actually craft is crafted not for its use in gameplay, but for the XP it gives you.

                This creates a rather interesting economy, because the value of an Iron Bar is largely held by the XP value it represents. One bit of Iron Platemail is worth significantly less than the five iron bars it takes to make it because each player needs at most one Iron Platemail and it no longer contains that valuable XP. An Adamantite Bar is worth more than an Iron bar not just because it’s stronger, but also because it contains significantly more XP and it takes the same amount of time to make an Adamantite item as it does an Iron item, so the Adamantite bar represents a much higher XP/hour value.

                All this creates a bit of an unfortunate incentive system: Mining is worth a good bit of money, because it’s slow and creates resources that contain XP. Smithing is a complete drain on resources because it turns expensive ores into worthless armor. This is, you might notice, sort of the opposite of what you’d hope would happen after you use your hard-earned skill level.

                It’s a problem the devs were aware of, but I don’t know if they ever found a great solution. The obvious answer is to make smithed items untradeable, but if they’re worth having that just means that you’re forcing all of the players to level smithing, even if they just want to be combat oriented, and if the smiths don’t want to do combat they’re now even worse off.

                All this to say: When designing an MMO with crafting mechanics, it’s important to ensure that there’s a use for all the things that are crafted, because otherwise you have a bunch of craftsmen making a bunch of trash, which is both uninteresting and a rather disappointing result.

                • Ninety-Three says:

                  What I resented about that system was that it punished dabbling smiths. Low-level smithing is all about converting money into iron bars into smithing XP so that you can eventually unlock level 90 smithing and the privilege of converting awesomite bars into awesomite armour which is the only action worth doing.

                  Many of the game’s other systems were set up to reward you for going less than all-in (mid tier magic gets you teleportation abilities, mid-tier prayer gets you combat buffs, mid-tier agility is a speed boost and unlocks certain shortcuts…), but it’s hard to do that with smithing when all that smithing does is produce increasingly high-tier armour sets out of increasingly high-tier metals.

                  • Falterfire says:

                    The issue really goes deeper than that though. They’ve changed some stuff over the years (Largely by adding things that are untradeable and need a high smithing level), but for a very long time the highest level stuff you could smith was effectively mid-tier armor. Runite (the highest level of armor you could smith) was only the best on Free to Play servers, and you could equip it from level 40 combat stats. You couldn’t smith even a Runite Dagger until level 85 Smithing, and the full set needed the full 99.

                    This was a bit of a problem, especially since the needs of an MMO meant that inevitably they had to add something after that. But there wasn’t any room on the smithing tree for it. So when they added Dragon armor (the step after Runite), it couldn’t be smithed at all, only received from drops. And then they added armor after Dragon and then armor after THAT.

                    So for all your hard work of getting to 99 Smithing, your reward was the ability to turn phenomenally expensive Runite bars into armor you likely stopped needing quite a while ago that you couldn’t even sell for much.

                • KidneyChris says:

                  I was fondly remembering Runescape when I made the original comment :-)

                  The weird thing to me with Runescape was the coal economy. Mid-to-late game crafting required a boatload of coal, and coal was mine-able from level 30 or so (i.e. you’ve been mining a lot of worthless copper, tin, and iron to get to this point).

                  The one NPC vendor who could sell coal would buy and sell for 15-20 gold (iirc). When I started playing, players would buy and sell at around 100 gold, and by the time I stopped playing it was 150 – 200.

              • KidneyChris says:

                Did some reference digging.

                Turns out I was thinking of “The In-game Economics of Ultima Online“, which is a great read even aside from the bit about massive overproduction of vendor-trash.

                I re-found the reference via the book “Designing Virtual Worlds” by R. Bartle; the website contains the bibliography and related links (some of the text available via Google Books).

          • Gabriel says:

            Technically ganking is a money faucet in EVE, not a sink- insurance produces currency from thin air, and not much currency (in comparison) leaves the system when building and selling the ship. Although unclaimed/expired insurance is a sink, and you have to consider the lost minerals as a sunk resource… and if the minerals rise in price then the taxes from their sale are a bigger sink…

            I don’t envy the job of their staff economist.

        • Blackbird71 says:

          “Side note: Has anybody in the game managed to impose an artificial scarcity?”

          Short answer? Yes. There are large groups in the game that excel at market manipulation for financial gain.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        I disagree, EVE is very fun to play. It’s just a shame that you only get to play the game 10% of the time you’re logged in. The other 90% is spent watching your ship auto-mine, watching your ship auto-follow travel waypoints, watching your energy recharge so you can watch your ship travel some more…

      • James says:

        This is a line i’ve heard alot. and yes there is alot of downtime in the game, time where your not doing much or anything sometimes. but for me and evidently the people who also play it we find alot of joy and fun playing it.

        There is a reason that people say that this game is best played with people as a Corp (guild) because then you can make the hard stuff easier, less grindy and socialize with them.

        Also just flying around in space can be its own enjoyment even if nothing is actually happening.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        So its like dark souls then.

  14. Aitch says:

    Is it really that odd and rare to have memories from being young? Now that I think about it, none of my friends or anyone I’ve spoken to on the subject tend to remember much before the age of 5 or 6, but I just wrote it off as a sample size problem.

    I’ve got loads of memories from about a year and a half onward, and a very few hazy ones before that. 31 now and they’re still hanging around. They’re such a cherished and important part of my files that I could never bear to forget them. It makes me sad to imagine losing them or even worse having them corrupted and misremembered, and I can’t wrap my head around not having them to reference. But that seems to be the norm from what I’m hearing?

    Does no one really remember anything of those years of their lives?

    Also, do you remember the event or setting or thought that you feel triggered your consciousness to switch on? I love hearing those stories. Rutskarn’s tale was great, sounds like it was a bizarre enough setting to shock his brain into wonderment of some type.

    For me, it was being handed a cup, (one of those sippy cups, the kind with a lid that had a sort of wide rounded hexagonal protrusion to drink from – still have the cup but not the lid) for the first time and told I’d have to drink from that from now on. I guess it was jarring enough to my routine up until then to make me wonder why it was necessary. ::shrug:: I dunno why I dig those formative moments, and it seems to be completely off the radar of everyone I’ve met so far, though the Ruts story gave me a smile and a glimmer of hope that I’m not some one-off freak of early consciousness.

      • Aitch says:

        What an awesome way to wake up. I’ve read through this Wiki and while what they’re saying seems to line up near perfectly with all the responses, for myself it’s a bit more scattered.

        Like early development of language being a cornerstone of intelligible memories rather than flashes and blips, yes. I had access to language from roughly 6 months onward (according to my mother, hell if I know) and (relatively) complex language from a bit after a year. But nothing really traumatic, no siblings, nothing particularly profound went on. Moving to a new place around 2 and a half is a nice anchor point, but hardly a trigger or trauma.

        Here’s an interesting bit – “Mixed-handedness and bilateral saccadic eye movements … have been associated with an earlier offset of childhood amnesia, … interactions between the two hemispheres correlate with increased memory for early childhood events.”
        Which does describe my writing right handed, and holding bats, hockey sticks, etc, left handed, and also the questionable talent of voluntary nystagmus that I picked up around 4 or 5.

        I need to go deeper over the next few days, see what I can find. Thanks for keying me to the term so I can start picking at what the Psychological realm has garnered.

    • Fizban says:

      I think most people can’t reach back further than 4-5 or so. Earliest I’ve got was I think at 4 (also involved a kiddie pool, possibly some others I can’t be sure about the order of), though the more noteable entries don’t start until 5 with kindergarten. I’d be more interested/unsettled by why most people don’t know when their consciousness switched on. Seems like a rather important moment for a thinking being, but I’ve got nothin.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Year and a half?Pfff!I still remember that night when I came to the park with my father and went home with my mother.

    • Soylent Dave says:

      I’ve got an very good memory (not eidetic, but if I’m paying attention at the time, I find it trivial to remember things with quite a bit of detail) – but it only reaches back to about the age of 10-11 with that level of clarity. I guess that’s when I upgraded some of my hardware.

      I’ve got a few ‘snapshots’ from before then, some of which are complete memories, some of which I can piece together from knowing the context, and some of which are just random things, but that’s about it. They get increasingly more sparse as I head backwards in time, and there are only four from before the age of 5.

      (one of me falling over and hurting my knee in a (school?) playground, and one of me holding my mum’s hand as I walked down the road (she was telling me that I was “too big now” to have a dummy (pacifier), which is probably why it’s significant enough to remember!), and two from the hospital where I had an operation (one before and one after) – and aside from the last two, I don’t even know what order those should be in.)

      I think the one of my falling over is the first; it feels the most important. I can remember looking at my knee and being fascinated by the damage and the pain, more than frightened. Was that the first time I was ‘seriously’ hurt? Or just the first time I was really capable of starting to appreciate what it meant?

      But I don’t know if that means my consciousness switched on when I was 4(ish), or when I was closer to 10 (when my memory got upgraded), or somewhere in-between…

      • Aitch says:

        Yeah, it’s those moments of being jarred from routine that seem to necessitate that spark of consciousness. It’s seeming less like a lightswitch and more like a pull-start on a lawnmower or somesuch. Might take a few tries before it gets going for good, but while it’s running there’s always the potential for permanent memories to be left behind.

        Still no idea why I find this all so fascinating, but it really is great hearing from people on it.

    • djw says:

      I remember standing on the porch wearing a suit (so we must have been getting ready for church) and then seeing a baby crawl away from my mother into the house. This must have been my younger brother, who is 22 months younger than me. My guess is that this puts me near 3 when that memory formed. It is an isolated snipet, and I have no recollection of how I got to the porch or what we did after that.

      I also remember several dreams that I must have had before I turned five. I’m certain this is the case because my family moved from California to Michigan a few weeks after my fifth birthday, and the dreams include people that I knew in California and have not ever seen since. They also involve me doing impossible things (such as scaling a brick wall) and this is how I know they were dreams, but for a very long time I was *convinced* that this was a thing that actually happened.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      My earliest memories are from an age of 2, and my older brother’s earlierst memories are from around the same time. That means he was 3.5. I think it may have been because we moved and lots of things were different, and we both got into Kindergarten and such.

      At the age of around 28 or so, I explained to my mother why I had cried that one morning when she brought us to kindergarten the first time (it wasn’t what she had thought). She was a bit surprised…

    • Hrm. Well, it’s possible that you developed in such a way that it’s not been awkward keeping those memories around. I had this childhood amnesia people are talking about, and yeah I can (well, now I can; I’ll explain in a bit) remember feeling horribly sad when I first realised it was happening. But as an adult, some of those early memories are weird, like really weird, and I can understand people losing them as they get older.

      Admittedly, I’m coming at this from an unusual angle; I had some problems with my more recent memories and have had to put in quite a lot of work to sort all that out. Funnily enough, what was going on in my head then turned out to be analogous enough to what had happened to my early memories for me to be able to take what I’d learned and poke around there like the curious individual I can be sometimes. And so I started getting a bunch of childhood memories back too, and they are really odd compared to the rest.

      First of all, childhood fears are a nasty beast to come across as someone who has outgrown them. They’re irrational and they’re visceral and they’re things experienced before you’ve got the apparatus in place to reason with them. Seeing something that basic and that powerful from the outside is strange enough; looking at it from inside your own memory is quite creepy, since there it’s still baring all its fangs for you.

      Secondly, and even more strange, is remembering big, important bits of your own mature mind develop and come into force. Things like ‘a framework for understanding the motivations of others’, or ‘complex, abstract emotional responses’. Or ‘goal-based decision-making decoupled from immediate physical stimulus’. (Or even ‘proper functioning empathy at last, you little weasel’.) And then there’s things like first teeth coming through and learning how to speak (Don’t know if I’ll ever be able to remember that one, it happened pretty early). People go through a lot in those first couple of years, it’s pretty astonishing.

      Compared to the mundane stuff we go through in most of our adult life (or even at school really) it could be a bit difficult to relate to. IDK, I’m not a developmental psychologist; all I can do is anecdote and discuss.

      • Aitch says:

        From profundity and no way to associate or relate it, to total mundanity with all the faculties necessary to track every second. Life is such a bait and switch sometimes heh.

        I also remember that feeling of sadness at the prospect of losing everything up until that point, and promising myself to find a way to keep it all if i could. Puberty in particular was rough, it was like a tree being pruned without any conscious oversight as to what was kept and lost apart from recent usage or usefulness.

        It’s totally understandable if you don’t want to mention any recent problems with memory, but it sounds like you’re getting it all back, along with some of the irretrievables of the early days, very cool.

        Is there a technique you’ve found to help in getting these memories back? Do you attribute it to anything in particular like having to re-path your brain or regrowth from some sort of physical damage? I’ve always found objects from that time to be massively helpful. Also, a parent that was paying enough attention to corroborate a fair bit of it.

        • Ahh, well, the interesting thing about that and also the reason I don’t want to go into detail is that it wasn’t a physical event that scrambled my more recent memories. Which means that, vagaries of the brain and its operation notwithstanding, anything I can now remember from early on I’d guess ended up being hidden through a similar mechanism. Which is interesting, since there’s supposed to be a loss of brain mass associated with puberty and the whole cognitive pruning thing, and you’d think that anything lost then would be totally unrecoverable. It’s possible that a lot of it genuinely is and the rest just ends up getting shelved because it gets hard to navigate with so many points of reference missing.

          Techniques I don’t think I can offer any insight into, though. I’ve got a bunch of different mental constructs and associated guff going on but I honestly couldn’t say if they help or not – it could easily be (in fact, I kind of suspect it is) just something I’m doing to feel important while my mind snaps things back into place unconsciously. The only reason I’ve ended up with the earlier memories is because whatever process is sorting things out does somewhat respond to my trying to remember specific things, and pretty much by luck I ended up opening some things that had been closed a lot longer than the rest.

          And that’s pretty much my story, plus a healthy dose of speculation about the processes underlying it. Haha :D Hopefully it’s of interest.

    • Syal says:

      I think I had one memory at 3. Might have more, but time blends together so much I couldn’t tell you when any of it was.

    • drlemaster says:

      I also can remember stuff from when I was 1 1/2, mostly amusement parks, and pretty much normal levels of recall going back to 2 1/2. My dad is the same way, but I have never talked to anyone else who was like that. Other than remembering The Matterhorn was a cool ride when I returned to Disneyland in my 20’s, this trait has never been useful in any way.

  15. Grudgeal says:

    Dr. Strange… Well, there’s something in magic that is a bit inhently cool I figure. I mean, science is becoming more and more openly discussed in a public forum so the Reed Richards-style “science geniuses” don’t seem quite so mystical and unapproachable as they did during the 20th century. So magicians are kind of cool, and he’s got the sort of Grandfather Clause, having been a comic magician for a long time by modern standards.

    Also, I like his helmet, I guess, and the whole “both genders” thing they’ve made out of it is a bit interesting and could even be said to be a bit before its time. I think the Justice League cartoon made him a little cool too, even with his detached stand-off demeanour almost ruining everything in the Cthulhu episode.

    What? I’m just saying is all. He’s not that bad.

  16. noisegrrrl says:

    Chris : You missed a bonfire I think, there’s one really close to the first boss

  17. Falterfire says:

    I don’t know how much I like Strange as a main character, but he makes a very good side character who shows up on the edges of other stories. Done well, he’s just approachable enough that the other characters are willing to ask him for help while being bizarre and standoffish enough that he’s never quite familiar.

    What I’m saying is that I really like having a character that helps facilitate really odd and other-worldly stories. It’s cool to have Spider-man be able to consult with Dr. Strange and have him explain why they’re going to have to use an ancient artifact to go into the dreams of the people of Manhattan to fight a nightmare monster from the dawn of time.

    I see Strange as a sort of Merlin type character: He knows a lot, but he’s not really the hero of the story. He just gives the hero the knowledge and tools they need in order to solve their problems.

    Of course, it probably helps that I AM a fan of the weird abstract super-high-fantasy nonsense worlds that Strange is connected to. I love the way it’s a slightly more friendly version of that Lovecraftian idea that the reality we see from Earth is just a tiny fragment in an infinitely huge multiverse full of places where the laws of physics are totally different. That said, I do completely understand why some people don’t like that sort of storytelling where new sets of rules can be made up on the fly.

    (It’s worth noting that I’ve never actually read any comics where Strange was the main character, which means I primarily view him through the lens of guest appearances in other Marvel titles)

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      I’m in the same boat, I too am a fan of all sorts of weird fantasy-mystical mumbo-jumbo and I like Strange but this may very well be because I had little experience of the character. Marvel (and DC but that’s beside the point here) comics were published extremely selectively around here. We got Spider-Man and X-Men as regular series but even with those the publication only started decades after they launched, then they were published out of order with arcs (and especially side-arcs) often being suddenly cut, character coming in out of left field that everyone in the comics seemed to know and only marked by the dreaded footnote “*other adventures” referencing comics that weren’t actually published in my country. We also got small collections where they’d publish an entire arc in one bigger album and that was almost the only contact we had with some of the other superheroes and teams (like Fantastic Four or Avengers). To my knowledge not a single one of those was actually focused on Strange but he would sometimes appear and often as someone who played chessmaster against some cosmic horror, influencing events in such a way as to ensure the final victory. Which was really cool compared how most heroes would either outpunch or outscience stuff.

  18. Joey245 says:

    From what little I know about Doctor Strange (that being the animated movie from 2008 and guest appearances in the new Marvel cartoons), I gathered that he’s a sort of guardian. There’s a lot of bad demons and monsters out there who would love to come to Earth and devour the souls and faces of humans everywhere, and he’s the only one who can keep them from doing so.

    He’s basically a magic bouncer. And I really, really dig that idea.

    Also, it kind of makes sense that he’d be a “dick” as Mumbles says he is. It sounds like he’s emotionally distant and impatient with others, and hates having his time wasted without being compensated. That makes sense to me – if you were all that stands between the world and ancient, demonic entities, you’d probably be a little bit snippy if someone kept pestering you to help them take down Bartroc the Leaper or something like that.

    I dunno. I saw the trailer and I liked it. It could be good. It could not. We’ll see.

    • Peter H. Coffin says:

      “It sounds like he’s emotionally distant and impatient with others, and hates having his time wasted without being compensated.”

      That’s pretty much every surgeon I’ve ever met. Some of ’em don’t even seem to know how to do stuff for their own fun and it’s all about creating indebtedness to them, or at least to make themselves look good rather than actual altruism.

      • JAB says:

        Well, let’s see. 4 years in high school focused on trying to get into the best college, 4 years in college trying to get into the best medical school, 4 years in medical school trying to get into the residency you want. Then at least 5 years of residency, easily more, with at least the first couple of years being one of the most high stress, low power, long hours, low pay jobs I can imagine. Then, hey, you get a chance to pay off your loans!

        And, of course, you don’t really want a surgeon to have a strong empathic connection to the person he or she is operating on- when things go wrong you want the focus on fixing it, not OMG WILL HARRY LOSE HIS LEG?

        So, yeah, some of it’s nature, some of it’s nurture, but some surgeons fit the stereotype.

    • JAB says:

      Most of my image of him comes from the old comics and a little of the current animation. I have no clue what’s going on in comics today. And, to review a lot of the old comics, I’d have to dig them out of storage, so my memory is probably faulty.

      That said, it seemed to me greed wasn’t his fatal flaw, it was pride. Which would make sense, as the Sorcerer Supreme really isn’t all that concerned about the state of his bank account.

      I liked Dr Strange wandering through worlds that look like they were drawn under the influence of hallucinogens. I liked Dr Strange having a few spells and abilities, that he sometimes used in different ways. I liked his opponents being vastly powerful otherworldly creatures, that couldn’t be beaten directly, needing some wisdom or insight into the problem.

      And I liked the fact that he wasn’t rescuing kittens in trees, or wondering how he’d get a good enough picture to sell to the Daily Bugle, to make enough to pay rent.

      Maybe today we’d call him a high functioning autistic, maybe not, but he didn’t have family that could be kidnapped or killed. The people who filled that role were either his teacher or his apprentices, people that he’d voluntarily made some sort of connection.

      So, basically, the reason I liked Dr Strange is the reason I like Harry Dresden- the way he wins is by having a suite of various powers and abilities, and figures out how to use them effectively. Not by HULK SMASH!

  19. Mintskittle says:

    Anyone interested in hearing more stories from EVE Online should watch Scott Manley’s telling of the Fountain War, describing the largest war in EVE at that time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZQ4ejFq7BY

  20. Cybron says:

    I’ve been eyeing Dark Souls 3 apprehensively. I loved Dark Souls 1 for its level design, and every follow up to it so far has been a massive disappointment in that respect. No one’s said anything bad about 3 yet, but no one’s said anything good either, so I’m guessing it’s better than Dark Souls 2 but ultimately still unremarkable.

    • straymute says:

      I’d agree with that. I just kinda stopped and uninstalled it after the swamps. It’s not so much that I think it’s bad, it’s just such a shit load of effort if you aren’t absolutely in love with the game that the whole experience can build into something very negative. The nostalgia is also a very double edged sword in Dark Souls 3. On one hand you have the memories, but on the other you’re not really going to new areas as much as tweaked throwbacks to old ones. You’re not really doing a new story as much as retreading the same material you did in Dark Souls 1.

      For me the feeling of discovery was everything so without that when I fought the Abyss Watchers and started out again I just got the “Is this really all they’re going to do?” feeling and lost my motivation to endure the grind.

      • IFS says:

        Did you find the Cathedral of the Deep before you hit the swamp? I quite enjoyed its level design and I think you’re meant to go there before the swamp (although the Cathedral is rather annoyingly tucked away making it quite easy to miss). Personally I’m enjoying the game a fair amount though I do think my enjoyment is somewhat hampered by how derivative some of it is (which wasn’t something I got from DS2, for all its faults DS2 was at least willing to experiment and in doing so had its own identity beyond ‘more of dark souls’ imo).

        • straymute says:

          I liked the Cathedral of the Deep as a concept, but the thing that brought it down for me was you still end up fighting more giant knights and undead. The weird nun ladies and priest could have been cool and doing something unique there, but they just scatter them around the rest of the game too. This came to a head when I set out for the catacombs and it was skeletons and traps again and the traps were references. I guess I just really wanted the game to throw something out of left field at me like Frampt, Kaathe, or Gywnevere.

          Not a reference to them or anything, but something that makes you see things in a new way like they did and makes you wonder how deep the rabbit hole goes.

    • James Porter says:

      I think Dark Souls 3 is an attempt at distilling the best of the best from all the Souls game. Not to say that its the best, or does those things its taking better than the orignial, but it is whole heartingly trying to appeal to fans.
      The non-linear world is replaced with non-linear levels, which have all the great shortcuts and reused bonfires I want, but all the levels are linearly connected to each other. Its actually a lot more like Demons Souls in its setup, which the hub also visually reflects.
      I have really been liking the design of the levels without really liking the levels i have played so far? The Undead Settlement has 3 ways to get everywhere, and if you go certain ways you can get the drop on groups of enemies, but it a bit too long and the boss is a little boring. Farron Keep and the surrounding area is a poison swamp, but I actually really like how many secret shortcuts to bonfires there are in that level.

  21. Peter H. Coffin says:

    Not Da Vinci Code, Ruts. Close Encounters.

  22. Peter H. Coffin says:

    Oh, and all? Electra Woman & Dyna Girl has been rebooted.

    It looks a *little* better…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtkPbA3J510

    • 4th Dimension says:

      That kind of looks interesting.

    • Echo Tango says:

      I’m optimistic about this. :)

    • Tizzy says:

      So… Except for the major franchises, we can’t have super-hero movies without them being “meta” in some way?

      There was a point when this was a clever twist on the theme. That was a long time ago, though… Admittedly, it looks less cringe-worthy than the original, but not by much.

      Oh! And what are the odds that some obscure show I’d never heard of would both be one of Shamus’s memorable childhood moments and would be remade the same year he happens to mention it on the podcast?

      • JAB says:

        Considering the WB had a pilot of a different remake made in 2001, and this remake was announced more than a year ago, the odds were pretty good. Well, better than you might think, anyway.

        • Tizzy says:

          Fascinating! Wikipedia tells me that the original show was one season of 16 episodes, at 15 minutes per episode.

          But obviously this was enough to have a memorable impact lasting to this day, beyond the sexual awakenings of Shamus. Who would have thought?

  23. SlothfulCobra says:

    EVE is a crazy game. People put their actual money on the line with currencies that they buy and can be used to pay for your EVE subscription, and I’ve heard stories of Goons not actually shelling out any of their own money for EVE and just living off of the spoils of what they plunder. Not necessarily from having killed dudes and taken it, but often from scams and grifts. EVE is an amazing place to see what can happen in a free and anarchic market. Boring to play, but it produces fascinating stories.

    I was under the impression that Mumbles kinda liked Doctor Strange from the way she talked about Doctor Orpheus from the Venture Brothers the last time this came up. Doc Strange is one of those characters who spends a lot of time showing up in other people’s books rather than dealing with his own. I liked a 2010 miniseries on him and the new title he’s in, but in both of them, he did more a sort of Doctor Who sort of thing.

    Honestly, the main reason they’re making a movie for Doctor Strange is probably because they’re going to be testing the waters for a Defenders movie, just like how they set aside a quarter of Ant Man to set up some of the next Avengers. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has picked up enough steam that it’s putting out movies that exist for its sake rather than the other way around.

  24. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The doom beta:

    Shamus,imagine if they took unreal tournament,slowed it down,reduced the loadout to just 2 weapons and a teleporter(because fuck grenades).Thats the doom beta.

  25. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The first porn Ive ever seen was actually from the 70s.And it sucked.

    Well yeah,sucking is usually expected from porns.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CdVTCDdEwI

  26. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard “This trailer sucks!Marvel is sure to fail with this one”.Id have at least….*counting*…7 dollars by now.

  27. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Hey Shamoose,I dont have a firefox and diecast doesnt autoplay at the main page for me.I demand that you fix this bug!

  28. baseless_research says:

    Soooo … dark souls hangout?

    edit: with the new password system we could even set up a twentysided group.

  29. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Mumbles,you shouldnt have believed that you are straight just because you saw labyrinth.Watching Bowie fondle his balls would turn a straight man gay,and a gay woman straight,no matter their age.

  30. I don’t know if Shamus was trolling, but the forum that the Goonfleet originated from was SomethingAwful.

    Also, Mumbles mentioned that the current fight is called “World War Bee,” but not the reason why. It’s because the Goonfleet/Goonswarm has a logo that looks like this.

    They also have a Space Pope.

  31. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I want to restate once more that you guys should definitely get tabletop simulator and play secret hitler.Its the best.

  32. Paul Spooner says:

    Does anyone else hear “Mammary intensive” at 44:05 ? Just me? Okay, need to go do something real quick. BRB.

  33. Groboclown says:

    All Hail Sid and Marty Krofft. They created the greatest TV show ever – Bigfoot and Wildboy.

  34. topazwolf says:

    I played Dark Souls 3 (first time and haven’t played any of the other ones) and I beat the first boss in two tries. However, I did spend a while practicing on the ice dragon thing before I got to it (where I died several times) and was used to how it telegraphed it’s attacks. Since it was slower, I think it helped prepare me for the boss very well.

    • Ringwraith says:

      I find different opinions on Dark Souls interesting.
      III is by all accounts much gentler on the difficulty curve to begin with, and has its areas and bosses all try to teach you different elements, however you have to experiment. Like that some enemies are scary and probably best left alone to begin with, sometimes bosses will try and intimidate you into submission (like the first boss), while also plopping bonfires and shortcuts around liberally so you’re never very far from one.

      Also, make sure you take advantage of summoning help for bosses you’re struggling with, the game is supposedly super-generous with the items to restore you to a state of being able to summon. More importantly, use the white sign soapstone you can buy from Firelink to get yourself summoned by other players, to either scope out new areas and bosses without much risk. Succeeding means you get some souls and restored with your ember to summon your own help.

      Additionally, there has also been a lot of talk about it starting to do its really interesting stuff a bit further in (although that can be 10 hours), past its more ‘tutorial-y’ sections, asking you to bring all your lessons together and generally go a bit weird.

  35. Canthros says:

    On Dr. Strange: like everyone else, I’m not especially familiar with the guy, but I’ve always understand his development from desperate jerk to master mage being a side effect of finding enlightenment in his journeys in the Tibet, seeking a way to fix his hands.

    Strange is a weird character. As everybody else noted, I really only know the character from a few appearances in other books. Unlike many of the others who’ve weighed in, I mostly checked out of comicsdom post-Civil War, around 2007 or 2008-ish. (The last comics I was really enjoying were Hellboy and BPRD books, and it wasn’t worth the effort to me to trek half-way across town to spend $3 every other week in an era when gas was $3+ a gal.)

  36. IFS says:

    So I actually played (and enjoyed) the Battleborn beta, and since it was mentioned in the show I feel like talking about it. It is visually (and tonally) quite similar to Borderlands, and there is some gameplay overlap (in that its a FPS) but its quite different in other ways. Rather than having some diablo in there it has League of Legends or DOTA2, there are a ton of characters (25 right now I believe) who all have their own distinctive style of play and abilities (and personality, its honestly impressive how much personality the different characters have, and many are quite funny). Each time you go through a level you will level up from 1 to 10, picking one of two (or three in some cases) upgrades, you have an ultimate that unlocks at level 5 with a longer cooldown, and there is a lot of emphasis on teamwork.

    While you might see DOTA2 or LoL and think its all about the multiplayer then I don’t think it is, there were only two campaign levels open in the beta but both were quite fun to coop through, time will tell if there is enough content in the game at launch to keep campaign players active for long. The shooting is also much improved on Borderlands imo.

    • Ysen says:

      I also played the Battleborn beta, and found it to be mediocre. The campaign was tedious; boring enemies and bullet-sponge bosses. It was like Borderlands except with less loot and generic robots instead of psychos.

      The multiplayer was slightly better but the shooting still didn’t feel great. Movement felt sluggish and I found myself continually bumping into (or getting stuck on) allies. The screen is too cluttered with effects, to the point where I sometimes couldn’t tell if an ability had connected because the visuals were blinding. Yet despite the colours spewed all over the screen I felt there was inadequate feedback for getting hit, shield and health levels. I also didn’t like the meta progress – I didn’t actually get a chance to play any of the characters I was most interested in, because they were all locked behind grinding.

      I also had some pretty bad performance issues, which may have coloured my feelings. Had to turn everything to low and reduce the resolution to get it to run at a decent framerate, even though my machine met the recommended specs.

  37. kanodin says:

    I really like dr. orpheus does that count?

  38. “I realize this probably seems like a fun kitschy novelty to the younger generation, but that’s because you’ve had the pleasure of real sci-fi and comic book media. In a world where this is basically the best anyone can do, it’s just depressing and cringe-worthy.”

    oh my goodness

    So here in the commonwealth there was (and now once again is, hooray!) Doctor Who, running basically forever. It’s still a bit silly and kitsch, but – well, just have a look. It didn’t try to talk down to the children, that’s for sure. Some of those stories were pretty brutal.

    EDIT: Like that one time where he fell through into a parallel universe run by fascists (I think?) and everyone else ended up dead. (Seriously I have a pretty big soft spot for this show)

  39. Felblood says:

    I think a lot of the animosity toward the Goonswarm grows from their dark and terrible origins.

    They are a faction of SomethingAwful Goons who banded together to engage in a form of griefing so nasty that even some other Goons found them embarrassing. –and this was in the days when SomethingAwful was the internet’s #1 source for mummified baby photos.

    The idea behind the GoonSwarm was to grief a random MMO en-mass, every weekend, to the point that the game itself would die. They literally dedicated their weekends to destroying game companies, and ruining game developer’s careers. That’s pretty fucked up.

    One weekend, they rolled into EVE Online and that all changed. They showed up with the attitude that they were going to kick over some sandcastles and make a bunch of those silly, spreadsheet loving nerds cry.

    The next weekend, barely anybody showed up to grief the next target. They were all too busy playing EVE. IIRC: At the last minute, the official target was changed to EVE Round 2, but the writing was on the wall.

    The savage, nomad horde that had slaughtered their way across the internet and scorched the Earth behind them, suddenly found they had a home, where their style of play was accounted for my the game’s core design and rewarded with more than just the implicit win state of knowing you’d ruined another person’s life. EVE developers, if not it’s players, were the worthy foes they’d been searching for.

    The existing playerbase, who had endured the initial rush of immigrants by banding together against the invaders and hoping they be able to last until the storm blew over, was not pleased to see them back. Many survivors, of beloved MMOs that died to the Goonswarm, were instrumental in uniting the other factions against Goonswarm, but those firebrands were not content to forgive or forget, once it became clear that the Goons were moving in.

    Ironically, the Swarm has grown so much since they settled in EVE that I doubt the majority were even part of the griefing that made them so reviled.

  40. Warclam says:

    My dad saw E.T. shortly after its release, and he was seriously unimpressed.

  41. Nimas says:

    YES! Was thinking exactly what Josh was when the Star Trek analogy came up :D

  42. Ventus says:

    Sorry I’m so late to the party but I have a similar opinion to Josh concerning BL2, maybe his reasoning is similar to mine?

    Because I, like Shamus, love that Diablo-like, ARPG loot fest driven grind. My favourite game at the moment is Path of Exile, with nearly 600 hours. Also like Diablo 3, liking Torchlight 2 and Grim Dawn, all games that I am playing right now. So i know for certain and the gear treadmill isn’t something I inherently dislike, for sure. Instead, what I feel that Josh was trying to articulate was that the guns in BL2 feel lackluster in comparison to the first game. And that stems from a few different reasons.

    1. You outlevel the guns too quickly. No longer do I ever get the feeling of “Holy Crap!”, I just found an awesome gun. You never get any attatchment to the loot you find, it never feels as though you ever find something worthwhile because you are always chucking stuff away. I much prefer the system of using a gun with 100dps, finding something with 500dps and then getting to really use that gun and feel that it is something impressive that constantly changing from 100 -> 150 -> 200 -> etc etc because you are forced to due the level being so intrinsic to damage.

    2. Compounding on this, and this is a small thing but I think it makes a big difference, the UI for the backpack changed from a list of names for the guns to little picture cards of the guns. And for sure, I can see the benefits of the picture system. But being able to put a name to gun really helps give it personality and a sense of importance so when you’ve had that crazy Double Anarchy that you found at level 10 and now you’re lvl 25 and it’s only just falling off, suddenly that gun feels impactful and you can put a name to it.

    3. Adding manufacturer specific “features” to the guns. Yes, sometimes the guns in BL1 felt a bit too same-y but this was too much, I think. So many of these are so personal preference that sometimes you end up with people like me that can barely find any that you like. I really wish there was a toggle so you could turn it on and off. For example, for someone that impulsively reloads every ten seconds, I can’t use tediore guns because they chew through all my ammo. Can’t use Torgue because the rockets are two slow firing and inaccurate. Hyperion’s accuracy boost is awful for snipers, okay on SMGs and okayish on fast firing shotguns. Dahl burst fire when ADS is awful for anyone that dislikes burst fire weapons. etc etc, I’m basically down to: Vladof who make Snipers (fast firing snipers? no thanks), pistols and assault rifles (which are almost always inferior versions of pistols); Maliwan pistols or snipers or smgs and that’s mostly it. The hunt for good loot, for me anyway just never feels very rewarding.

    anyway, sorry about the ranting and stuff, I’ve got a massive essay worth of complaints that I one day hope to spew onto the internet in a well written way – my gf has had to suffer the vocal version at /least/ three times already. But yeah, that’s some of my reasons why I like BL1 over BL2.

  43. Kelerak says:

    I don’t think Spider-Man would like Doctor Strange very much, as Doctor Strange DID refuse to fix Aunt May’s bullet wound in One More Day.

    I’m so glad I got to make that reference.

  44. River Birch says:

    Why not much like for Oklahoma?

  45. Nixitur says:

    If Rutskarn complains about his savefiles not getting synched, is he technically “Young Man Yells At Cloud”?

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