Diecast #160: Doom, Civil War 2, Mailbag

By Shamus
on Jul 25, 2016
Filed under:
Diecast

134 comments

This episode of the Diecast contains equal amounts of Shamus Young and gluten. I’m going to write up these show notes as I listen.

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

Direct link to this episode.

Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Campster, Mumbles.

Episode edited by Rachel.

Show notes:
2:00 Josh tells his Fallout 1 anecdote.

Like many sad stories from Fallout 1, this one begins with, “I was traveling with Ian when…”

0:06:52: Doom versus Dark Souls

Rutskarn pits these two games directly against one another and comes to the inescapable conclusion that you are probably a scrub. Or something. I don’t know. I kind of zoned out when Dark Souls came up.

0:16:23: Civil War 2 (Big Spoilers!)

Chris is reading the comics and telling us why that might not be a great idea.

0:33:51: Twitter Mailbag: Early Access Buyer’s Remorse

Delicate Danseuse ‏@Preciositiness 33s34 seconds ago
@nicemovemumbles What’s everyone’s biggest early access buying regret?

0:42:37: Twitter Mailbag: Is a hotdog a sandwich?

Wordy ‏@WordyEnby 15s15 seconds ago
@nicemovemumbles is a hotdog a sandwich?

0:46:28: Twitter Mailbag: Games Too Old to Play

Ardyvee ‏@Ardyvee 1m1 minute ago
@nicemovemumbles have there been cases where you guys didn’t review a game because it was “too old”? If so, which game?

I’m a big believer that this should be the main thrust of Rutskarn’s Patreon. His best content is when he’s trapped in some unbearable ancient game that barely ran even on its intended hardware where – after hours of tears and confusion when he finally overcomes the game’s broken systems by pitting them against its glitches – once he beats the game nobody will care because nobody even remembers it. Basically, if we can just keep him doing that forever and ever I’ll be happy.

And if you haven’t been reading Rutskarn’s series on Battlespire, you’re missing out on the best thing this site has to offer about the worst thing Bethesda has to offer. You should check it out. Start here.

1:08:18: Twitter Mailbag: Jenkins?

Stuart Benvie ‏@TheRealStooB 1m
@Rutskarn Why do rpgs have Jenkins??

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A Hundred!2014There are 134 comments here. I really hope you like reading.

From the Archives:

  1. Tizzy says:

    Dark Souls Dark Souls Dark Souls Dark Souls Dark Souls Dark Souls

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Football manager 2010,football manager 2011,football manager 2012,football manager 2013,football manager 2014,football manager 2015,football manager 2016,football manager 2017.

    • Tizzy says:

      As a recent Dark Souls convert and evangelist, I want to encourage anyone even remotely intrigued by the games to give it a go. I have no patience for games that waste time, and I have no discernable reflexes or ability to recognize patterns in time. That hasn’t stopped me from having a good time in DS1.

      If you’re at risk of being bad, it’s worth not going in completely blind and watching some vodeos to get a sense for what the important mechanics and tools are. But DS1 is definitely worth trying.

      I don’t know about the other ones, since I hear that one of the DS1 features I most enjoyed, the fact that you can get yourself into high level areas right after the tutorial, is not as prevalent in the sequels.

      • The key to the game is oddly enough economic in nature. You wanna have fun?

        SPEND SPEND SPEEEEEEEEEND.

        Do not under any circumstances hoard souls. At any point, for any reason. If you are leaving a bonfire with any amount of souls that can be spent on something, then you have made a mistake. As long as you can deal with the aesthetics of a failure state, then mechanically, the penalty for death in the game has you pretty much breaking even. You look uglier, other players can’t join/kill you and you lose your souls/humanity…which can be retrieved if you’re cautious/’gud’.

        The point being is that the only thing you have to lose in DS1 is the souls you have no reason to hold onto. There’s no point in the game where you will not be able to obtain more souls, so holding onto them is just a sad face waiting to happen.

        And as always: Fuck Blighttown.

        • Ninety-Three says:

          Pick the master key and go through the backdoor for Blighttown, it makes the whole thing so much more tolerable.

          • IFS says:

            I would disagree with this for the first playthrough at least. The Master key is a great item that enables a lot of cool skips and routes, but its not so great for a first playthrough when you don’t know where anything is, especially if you’re avoiding using walkthroughs. I will admit I am among the few who don’t mind Blighttown all that much, but then I’ve suffered through the Valley of Defilement which is basically the worst (honestly I’d rate Blighttown the highest of the Souls games swamp levels, DS2 doesn’t really have one and DeS and DS3 are horrid).

            For a first playthrough I’d advise picking knight, bandit, or pyromancer. Knight and warrior have solid starting armor, bandit has the best starting shield, and pyromancer can throw fire and also levels up faster early on. For a starting gift it really doesn’t matter much but the ring that gives you a little extra hp is nice for a first time player, Old Witches ring and Master Key are the ones I usually pick but probably aren’t that helpful to a new player.

            • Ninety-Three says:

              a first playthrough when you don't know where anything is, especially if you're avoiding using walkthroughs.

              I think that “without a walkthrough” is a terrible way to play Dark Souls. A GameFAQs stlye “here is exactly what you do in each level” walkthrough is not what you want, but the game is completely uninterested in explaining itself, you’d do much better to ask for someone’s advice about “Where is the fun?” than bumbling about in the dark looking for it.

              I know someone who played the game for hours on a heavy armour character, and they thought the fatroll was just how rolling worked in the game. As soon as I saw them play I told them about weight thresholds, they stripped off five pounds of gear, and started having way more fun because their roll was no longer garbage.

              There are countless examples like that. I recently coached a friend through playing it for the first time, here are just a few of the questions they had. I’m convinced I improved her experience by answering them.
              “What sort of character should I play?”: “Sword and shield is the best way to learn the game.”
              “What weapon should I use?”: “Zweihander is a great weapon, here’s where to find it early game.”
              “Taurus Demon keeps killing me.”: “Turn around when you enter the fogdoor, there’s a ladder.”
              “Ceaseless Discharge is so hard.”: “You haven’t even gone to Sen’s Fortress yet, you’re fighting a lategame boss, go do the midgame.”
              “The respawning skeletons are kicking my ass.”: “You can push them off ledges, or build a divine weapon to permakill them.”
              “I’ve beaten the game but NG+ is kind of unsatisfying.”: “Yeah, it’s not great. Try making a new character focused on rolling instead of shielding and play through NG again.”

              Dark Souls is a great game, and playing it blind is a good way to miss that.

              • IFS says:

                I disagree, I went into Dark Souls mostly blind (I had watched a Demon’s Souls LP to get an idea of the mechanics but that was it) and enjoyed it a great deal and I think following a walkthrough would only have diminished my enjoyment of the game. A lot of the fun for me in the souls games comes from the sense of discovery. Now sure if you’re getting stuck it can certainly help to look up a walkthrough but for me (and I’m sure others like me) using one the entire time for the first playthrough can diminish an aspect of the game that is almost uniquely well done in the souls series.

                • Ninety-Three says:

                  I played the game with a lot of wikiing, and my experience was substantially improved by the following pieces of information I otherwise would never have discovered (some of which I didn’t learn until too late):

                  There’s a staircase down from Firelink (I played for so long without noticing or even looking there before randomly learning it on the wiki)
                  You can upgrade your Estus Flask
                  Stats have a nearly-hard softcap
                  You can make a weapon Occult in order to int-link its damage
                  How the equip load system works
                  The locations of multiple hidden bonfires (I didn’t learn about the Sen’s Fortress fire until after I’d beaten the game and saw someone else use it)
                  Where to find the excessively hidden advanced spell trainers

                  It’s not just about getting stuck, Dark Souls is inexcusably bad at explaining itself. Belatedly learning about Estus upgrades or realizing I permanently gimped myself by upgrading a softcapped stat isn’t a cool moment of discovery, it’s “Oh, fuck. I could’ve been doing that all along? I would have wasted so much less time if I knew that!”

                  It’s shit like that, the fact that the game hides checkpoints that prevent me from being That Person saying “Everyone should play Dark Souls!” It’s great, but boy does it have some problems.

                  • IFS says:

                    We seem to have very different approaches to the game and enjoy different things about it, I enjoy figuring a lot of that stuff out by myself, coming off of Skyrim having a game that made me pay attention and challenged me to figure it out was quite refreshing and while I certainly turned to wikis in the late game to find a few things that I knew existed I feel my experience was substantially improved by not relying on them from the beginning. That might not be everyone’s experience but I’m sure there are others who feel similarly to me.

                    Aside from the exact breakpoints for equip loads (I did figure out early on that my roll was slower with certain gear so I understood it, just had no certain knowledge of the exact points of 25/50/75%), the Sen’s Fortress bonfire (which becomes redundant once you’ve opened the shortcut), and the nearly hard softcap (which I only got near on my first playthrough after hitting NG+, and can be intuited because you can see how much of a benefit increasing a stat will give you by looking at the changes it results in) I found all the stuff you mentioned by myself. Its certainly not impossible to find this stuff, and a lot of the games tension comes from not knowing whats around the corner so to me it was worth the tradeoff to try and figure it out myself rather than rely on a walkthrough. The sensation of ‘wait I hear a hammer… holy shit a smith who sells titanite!’ compared to ‘ok the walkthrough says I should go this way to find Andre so he can upgrade my gear’ is very different and the former is much more satisfying to me than the latter to give just one example.

                    • Ninety-Three says:

                      I exceeded the softcap when I was still in Anor Londo, it’s harder to detect when you’re leveling up one point at a time, and especially hard to detect on a caster where your spell damage isn’t shown on the levelup screen, and varies by each enemy anyway.

                      the Sen’s Fortress bonfire (which becomes redundant once you’ve opened the shortcut)

                      There’s a shortcut!?

                    • I imagine this issue of wiki-looks has more to do with how old the game is. You have to remember, the souls series are designed around the expectation of co-op communication. A lot of the game was intentionally left hidden in order to facilitate discovery yes, but also to incentivize communication. If you found a separate path, and left a message noting so, that message would get upvoted. This leads to a two-fold problem:

                      1) It’s not sustainable over time. The Souls series as games have a substantial amount of content, but it is still finite. There simply aren’t enough people playing this old ass game to provide all the information they were initially designed to provide.

                      2) An upvoted message literally means nothing so far as I’m aware. It has no tangible benefit to the player who made it which means there’s little reason to provide that information aside from self-supported constructs such as sportsmanship. Which is not impossible to sustain over time per se. I mean, it’s still considered bad form to attack an opponents world you’ve invaded without some kind of gesture between the two…but the reason that has stood the test of time is because it’s a direct player action that is being viewed in real time – or close enough to it for the pendants out there – so it feels that much more substantial even if it has no bearing on what you actually do.

                    • Ninety-Three says:

                      An upvoted message literally means nothing so far as I’m aware.

                      Actually, getting your message upvoted earns you humanity. The system still fails because more people think it’s funny to upvote “try jumping” over a bottomless pit than think it’s helpful to upvote warnings about mimics.

        • Retsam says:

          > And as always: Fuck Blighttown.

          You have a really weird way of spelling “the Capra Demon and his little dogs, too”.

          • Not gonna lie. never had a big problem with him. Now to be fair, my first run at him was raw cheese tossing bombs over the fog gate, but on my second run through of the game I took him on normal and it still wasn’t more than half a dozen lives to take him out.

            For me the key was 1) I had a roll character and 2) I used those stairs as often as I could. The key is not to use the stairs to fight, but to buy some time and split the group as best ya can. Ya stay up there long enough to figure where everyone is and then drop down to take ’em on! I basically just timed myself so that if it took more than two strikes to kill something, I’d just start running somewhere else until I could make a beeline for the stairs and start all over again. Once it was just him though, he’s cake. Just a standard mook moveset that I could roll/hit around till ded.

          • Kelerak says:

            For some reason, you mistakenly left out Aldrich.

          • GloatingSwine says:

            Whilst Frank can indeed fuck off, as soon as you’ve sent his dogs packing his leap move leaves him vulnerable and can be exploited. You just have to be aware of the space, because he’s only an arsehole because he chose that little cupboard to hang around in.

      • Wide And Nerdy® says:

        Said this a bunch of times but, I’d like to try the gameplay and exploration style in a world I’d actually like to be in. I’m not going to deal with this frustration for the reward of being in these horrifying Dark Souls and Bloodborne style worlds or learning more about them when I feel like I already know more than I want to about them. I wish I could unsee the footage I’ve seen.

        • Doomcat says:

          Personally, I’d love a world that plays similarly to dark souls, but is much more forgiving/about the exploration. I was actually looking into Dragon’s Dogma for something along those lines, though from what I’ve read about the game, it won’t hit that ‘spot’ for me.

          Black Desert seemed to be going for something close to that, but (When I was using my guest pass) BDO seemed like a huge empty world, narrative and worldbuilding were null entities, and the combat, while satisfying, was the only activity that seemed to actually accomplish anything…

          Perhaps I should look into a copy of Shadow of the Colossus…

          • Christopher says:

            Dragon’s Dogma is pretty much that for me. It’s nowhere near as good as Dark Sould, not actually, when I sit down and compare their merits. But because it’s easier I have more fun playing it, so I return to it all the time.

          • galacticplumber says:

            Try salt and sanctuary. Game is actually way easier than dark souls for a few really important reasons. There are many many more weapons across various builds with better range, higher swing speed, or that do excessive amounts of poise damage. You can enhance weapons with augments that have extremely powerful playstyle ramifications. For example you can improve attack speed, range, damage, stagger, or even stamina cost per attack. Armor can be upgraded to the full level just like weapons instead of a third of the way, and is generally more useful and easy to find than before. Exploration is more central to player power than ever before for two main reasons. All that I’ve said about more powerful equipment applies mostly to finding things off the beaten path or by going back to old areas with new movement abilities. Further in addition to equipment you can find black pearls which are literally free levels, and grey pearls which are partial re-specs. Healing items are far more common and easy to acquire in large amounts than before. You are unlikely to die to attrition because of this. It’ll more likely be due to genuine mistakes or getting overwhelmed. You have more mobility and freedom to choose attack angles than ever before what with air combos being a thing. By midgame upgrade materials are cheap and buyable to the point that any weapon or armor can become at least decent in one session. Late game stuff can still be expensive or time consuming, but not standard upgrades. You can’t be invaded. No not even then. The feature doesn’t exist. Sanctuaries can be improved by summoning stone NPCs. In addition to offering various services each one offers a passive permanent buff active for as long as you’re within that sanctuary’s level and haven’t betrayed your creed. Literally every boss in the game has a distinctive candle before their arena. They will never surprise you. Literally every trap in the entire game is visible before activated. Some are hard to spot, like the tripwires, but every single one has clear tells that are used more than once.

        • Shoeboxjeddy says:

          The “style” of Dark Souls is well… dark. It’s unforgiving, it’s intimidating, it’s challenging. A more friendly world wouldn’t add to that, it would detract from it. Perhaps you mean you ARE interested in monsters, just not these ones? That’s fair enough, maybe something like Bloodbourne would be more your speed in that case. If you mean “I want an interesting, friendly, non-doomed, non grimdark world” that sort of defeats the purpose. The game feel of that world would NOT be the same.

          • Wide And Nerdy® says:

            Bloodborne from what little I’ve seen of it looks even worse. Trading hell demon shambling skull piles of doom for bleeding skies and slavering maws and tentacles with eyes and spikes is not a step up.

            But whats the reward in either case if the worlds don’t look remotely interesting (and I’ve seen enough LP footage to continue to feel that way.)

            • Shoeboxjeddy says:

              If you’re not a fan of horror genres in any case, it may not be for you. And that’s totally fine! I was just commenting on the “I’d like it, if not for the (very deliberate design choices they used to add to the game feel they were aiming for).” If you want a very challenging game that isn’t horror based at all, I think various Rogue likes could scratch that itch. If you want to explore a dark landscape that isn’t THAT dark, Darksiders could be up your alley. If you want a combat game that’s more intriguing than frightening, God of War could do it.

              • Wide And Nerdy® says:

                Thank you.

                That said, I don’t see how these are horror games. They may be brutally punishing but you can prevail in them.

                • Ninety-Three says:

                  “Horror” is a terrible description of Dark Souls. The creator has said that the series is hard not for the sake of being hard, but to create a feeling of triumph from overcoming a genuine challenge. That kind of empowerment is basically the opposite of horror.

                  • Shoeboxjeddy says:

                    So when the Last Girl beats the monster at the end, that means it wasn’t a horror movie all along? That’s a very limited view.

                    The games are horror because they make you nervous then they surprise and shock you. They succeed in putting you on edge. As you come through small successes, you feel the weight of progression and your collection of souls. You don’t want to get killed and lose that advantage, maybe you worry that you won’t be able to find your back to get the dropped souls if you die (especially if you’re crap at practical geography, like I am). When you encounter something new (like a big, gross boss), you hesitate at its obvious threat. Sometimes it’s that hesitation that makes you slip and fail. Yes, an accomplished player no longer feels this way, but many people will never get to that level. All they will remember is the intimidated, nervous feeling. Hence, the game is a sort of horror.

                    So no, DS isn’t the same kind of horror as Five Nights at Freddy’s. But FNAF isn’t the same kind of horror as System Shock either. And The Exorcist provokes a different sort of feeling than Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Genres have gradients to them.

                  • Syal says:

                    It’s a horror aesthetic, not a horror game. It’s the same space Diablo occupies, the first Diablo at least.

                    • Deadpool says:

                      I’d say in a bit more than just aesthetic. Watch a blind playthrough and you will see players genuinely scared to move forward. There’s a great recent video of Extra Play where Dan sees two possible paths and agonizes over which is safest. And makes several references to how nerve wrecking each fight is as his soul supply goes up and he has no idea how to even return to a bonfire…

                      It’s not “boo” scary, but it IS fear…

                • IFS says:

                  You can prevail in many games that are universally recognized as Horror titles, including some of the Silent Hill games. Horror doesn’t mean that you can’t win, though often victories in horror are often more fleeting or pyrrhic than in other genres, that said I would say the Souls games as a rule are not horror. Bloodborne draws very heavily from gothic and cosmic horror so it is definitely horror-themed at the very least, and Demon’s Souls draws from horror more than the other souls games (Tower of Latria Prison of Hope is very definitely a horror level). In general the Souls games do have very good atmosphere and the particular flavor of that atmosphere can be very reminiscent of the horror genre.

                • Ringwraith says:

                  Blooneborne is very definitely horror.
                  Although in the sense of “what in the blazes is going on?!” Kind of way. It’s more deeply unsettling and weird. Although learning not to be scared is actually how you beat some of the bosses.

        • Christopher says:

          I remember you made a comment about feeling uncomfortable about Christian/hell-like demonic imagery in a comment thread about Doom. Maybe Metroid could scratch that itch? It’s not the exact same thing, but Dark Souls is often very much like a 3D metroidvania. I can imagine Metroid Prime or one of the 2D Metroids being more up your alley on account of everyone being aliens.

      • Andy_Panthro says:

        I watched the Extra Credits series on Dark Souls 1 (Extra Play?), and so decided to have a go. I really enjoyed it, but got burned out after getting the Lordvessel. I really wanted to like it, but there are so many bits that are just really annoying, frustrating or feel downright unfair.

        Everyone loves to praise the design of DS, but there are some parts of it which drive me insane. The evangelists for it put me off playing it for so long, and now I have played it, those same evangelists make me angry for how they gloss over the bad parts (not all DS fans are those sorts of people thankfully!).

        My other problem with DS1 was that I was playing at very much the wrong time, when there were almost no other (friendly) phantoms around after a point. The early game seemed to have plenty of either NPC or helpful people to fight the bosses, but the later ones had nobody (on PC, this was before DS3 released).

        I did much prefer DS3, even though it had it’s fair share of issues and frustrating moments. It was made so much better by having a thriving multiplayer community (on PS4 anyway), and it wasn’t until the very final bosses that I struggled to get help. Because of this, I actually managed to finish DS3.

        I have no idea if I’ll ever go back and finish DS1 though.

        • 4th Dimension says:

          To be fair I played the entire thing offline and I’m rubbish at skill games and still had fun. I think what helped me the most is 1) stubbornness to persist and sometimes grind my way to victory 2) I DID NOT GO IN BLIND. Some people like going in blind and surviving and overthrowing DS bulshit (like at times hiding bonfires) but that is not something all of us like. Since I was prepared for bulshit it hurt a lot less.

          BTW which particular bulshit annoyed you the most. I’m not looking to make excuses (well maybe give a bit of advice if I know how to help) but am really interested.

        • IFS says:

          DS1 definitely does take a turn for the worse after you get the Lordvessel, the last third of the game is rushed and contains some fairly awful bosses and levels. The DLC does improve on this a great deal, as while it doesn’t change that last third it opens up around the same time and contains some of the best content in the game.

          If you do find yourself wanting to go back and finish it then I believe the community has the original release day marked as an annual ‘go back and replay the game’ event, which might address concerns of a lack of multiplayer activity.

      • 4th Dimension says:

        I would heartily recommend watching a good LP of DS1 if it appears daunting and if you aren’t really into try and fail thing. That is the way I played DS1. First I watched an LP, thought what I saw looked fun and then actually played it and it was fun, and most of the annoyance did not hit me because I was expecting it and I knew my way around them. I still had to GIT GUD to master the combat and find my play style (SHIELDS SHIELDS SHIELDS SHIELDS Endurance to get stamina and armor up, and the reason I won’t be playing DS3).

        In the end what I liked most about DS was the combat and I’m rubbish at anything requiring twich. I liked it because it offers you different viable play styles to suit your preference. I personally like slow and strategic thinking game, stalling for time untill the enemy makes a mistake. So I went shields and armor and had loads of fun. Somebody else might prefer more twichy play style so they might pick something less armored and will be rolling around like a mad man dodging attacks and striking from behind.

        As for the LP I have to heartily recommend the GeoLP one. The best part is that in it he is going in blind but is accompanied on his journey by two DS veterans who are there to provide him with info if he requests so time is not wasted (simple things like is this a dead end or progress or what the trick to the boss is after the third failure or how some mechanics work). Basically it’s like that “LP” where Dan from Extra Credits played DS1 accompanied by supposed “expert” James only this time the veteran actually knows his shit.
        Also it’s somewhat like Spoiler Warning since they will be discussing the lore and the design of the game from time to time and the rest of it will be spent in finest SW tradition by trolling each other and especially the player. But all in good sport.

        • IFS says:

          Geop’s LP of Dark Souls is indeed fantastic and he’s recently been working through an LP of DS2 which is great fun so far. I would also recommend Squint’s Demon’s Souls LP which you can find on youtube or on the LParchive, I would also recommend the punchyfist run of Demon’s Souls but it unfortunately no longer exists as it was largely hosted on viddler.

    • James Porter says:

      I still really want to hear about Ruts and his bout with Bloodborne, since he has been overall positive but cryptic.

  2. pedantic idiot says:

    hey Shamus you should play this game called dark souls, if you let the stockholm syndrome take you, you will likely enjoy its punishment.

    • Tizzy says:

      I may be repeating what every person in an abusive relationship ever said, but the game is fine and it’s all my fault if it keeps doing bad things to me.

      What I mean is, once I accepted the game on its own terms, I stopped feeling frustrated by my deaths, or at least most of them.

      And I can’t think of any other game experience I’ve had where discovering a new location and somewhat making reasonable progress without dying felt quite so thrilling.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        Just for variety of opinion, I’ll chime in to say that I have 200 hours logged against Dark Souls 1 alone, and I love it despite its “die and spend minutes running back to where you were” mechanic, not because of it. That mechanic sucks and I hate having my time wasted, the game is just good enough to make up for it. Most of your deaths feel fair (fuck the first mimic) but that’s still no excuse to impose a Do It Again Stupid level of reset time.

  3. “His best content is when he’s trapped in some unbearable ancient game that barely ran even on its intended hardware where – after hours of tears and confusion when he finally overcomes the game’s broken systems by pitting them against its glitches – once he beats the game nobody will care because nobody even remembers it.”

    He’s going to play GTAIV?

  4. Wide And Nerdy® says:

    I’ve only had one Early Access experience and I didn’t regret it. Crypt of the Necrodancer. But only because I was seeing reviews that said the game was good as is.

    I know there’s good reason to get involved in Early Access games, particularly since the people who tend to play them are nothing like me so their feedback is going to steer the game in directions I don’t like, but I just can’t generally bring myself to play a half finished game.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      Here’s my list.

      Bad EA experiences:
      Invisible Inc: Great game, mostly finished when it entered EA, but permadeath + bugs is not a fun time.
      The Long Dark: It’s like Don’t Starve if you took out the crafting and building mechanics and the combat and some of the survival mechanics (sanity, seasons, escalating hounds/spiders). I hope you really like scavenging.

      Good EA experiences:
      Darkest Dungeon: 90% finished when it entered EA.
      Kerbal Space Program: It’d be wrong to call it 90% complete when I got to it, but everything they’ve added has been focused on career mode, which I don’t care about, so for me it’s mostly the same game.
      Infinifactory: 95% finished when it entered EA. The developer said “this is basically a public polish test for a game we might’ve considered releasable”, it left EA a month after entering it.
      Minecraft: It’s Minecraft.
      NecroDancer: 90% finished on when it entered EA
      Offworld Trading Company: I liked it better when it had the underdeveloped AI that I could easily defeat. Beating an idiot on Impossible mode is somehow more satisfying than beating a fair opponent on Hard.

      “This is fun, I should stop playing and come back to it when it’s finished” EA experiences:
      Besieged

      I am detecting a trend in what makes a good Early Access game, to me at least.

      • Matt Downie says:

        Is there another abbreviation for Early Access that won’t make me think of Electronic Arts?

        • Ninety-Three says:

          I figured the phrase “Good EA Experiences” was enough to make it clear I wasn’t talking about Electronic Arts.

          • Lanthanide says:

            Actually that just really really confused me. I’m not really familiar with any of the games you listed except for Kerbal and I had seen the video for Infinifactory that Shamus linked here.

            So I had to read your post about 4 times before I worked out what EA meant.

      • Echo Tango says:

        I think it’s a better comparison, to say that The Long Dark is like Don’t Starve with less quantity/variety of items, creatures, and world assets, but with a more realistic aesthetic, and a more sombre mood. (Note, that it does have both crafting and combat.) Though, I don’t know when you played it; It’s possible they added the weapons and item recipes after you played it.

        • Ninety-Three says:

          The crafting is extremely marginal (few recipes, most of which are lategame animal-hide clothes that aren’t even necessary because basic cloth is already great), and I’ve played adventure games that more closely resembled combat than The Long Dark’s “Point and click to convert bullets into dead wolves” system. For a resource-management survival game, it works, but I wouldn’t call it “fighting”.

          The core of my problem with it is that it’s a survival game with no real advancement and no goals. There’s nothing to do but survive, and surviving consists of nothing but scavenging for food (and walking the other way whenever you see a wolf). Once you get an hour in and find an axe plus a full set of clothing, you’ve reached peak player power. As soon as you’re not in imminent danger of starving, you say to yourself “Okay, I’ve got a day’s food, what do I do now?” and the only answer is “Get two days of food.” I stockpiled a week’s worth of food before realizing how pointless it all was.

          Don’t Starve does a great job of avoiding that problem not just by giving you basebuilding goals, but by creating an escalating difficulty curve of survival mechanics. The Long Dark only gets easier as you play, Don’t Starve introduces more challenges to keep you engaged. On night one it’s dark and you’re likely to be eaten by a grue, so make fire. On day two, you’re at risk of starving and have to start tending to food. On day five you might start losing your grip and have to start tending to Sanity. On week three or four, winter comes in and you have to start dealing with temperature and crops not growing. And the whole time, the game is spawning increasingly large waves of Hounds, and spider colonies are breeding.

      • Cardigan says:

        I would argue that Prison Architect is a good Early Access experience, even though it hasn’t officially been released.

        • Yurieal says:

          I’ve loved Prison Architect, but after they came out of Early Access they really struggled to treat it as a full released game with adding new features. Next month is version 2.0! They are moving to bug fixing and hardware support so it’s done fully.

      • Philadelphus says:

        Hmm, Early Access stories…I don’t actually have many, I got into Minecraft at version 1.2.5, I followed Invisible, Inc. for most of its development but only got it after it came out, ditto with Kerbal Space Program.

        Good Experiences:
        RimWorld: Technically RimWorld only officially entered Early Access a week or two ago when it first became available on Steam, but I backed the Kickstarter two years ago and have been playing the various alpha releases off and on since then. It’s kinda like a graphical, sci-fi Dwarf Fortress-lite with a bit of a Western theme with a single dedicated developer and a legion of modders, with fairly regular updates with a noticeable progression of content. My main gripe is that the first released alpha had a nice mix of alien animals and regular old Earth animals, which fit the game’s theme of landing on a random planet with an eclectic mix of species, but progressive updates have added tons of boring plain Earth animals and very few of the cool exotic alien animals. Which really isn’t that much a gripe, but still.

        Bad Experiences:
        Dragon: The Game: Yeah…I backed a Kickstarter for this one just this spring, so it’s still pretty fresh in my mind. It had been in Early Access for a year or so and I’d be kind of following it, so I figured the Kickstarter would be for a developmental push to get it finished and out of Early Access. Unfortunately, it’s completely broken on Linux at the moment and has been since I first tried it months ago, with complete silence on the part of the developers in the interim. And people on Windows who can actually play it aren’t much more charitable, either.

        “Meh” Experiences:
        Reassembly & Besiege: Reassembly I backed a Kickstarter for so got access early before it released, Besiege I just picked up in Early Access, and in both cases my experience was that playing the game just wasn’t as fun as I’d expected. Neither is a bad game—they both work just fine, and Besiege in particular has a great “feel”—they just showed me I’m not as interested in games primarily about building vehicles as I thought.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Two polar opposites for me:

        GalCiv 3 – It was good before it got finished,it was better when it was finished.Though I wish they made the combat more tactical,but its fine the way it is.

        Master of orion – FUCK REAL TIME COMBAT IN A TURN BASED GAME!

        • Deadpool says:

          No idea about Master of Orion but Ring of Red has a special place in my Jett and I dug the real time combat in a turn based strategy game…

          I’m sure they’re totally different mind you. Just saying…

    • Ardyvee says:

      I have had two experiences, both sucessful, and a third one that’s been… okay. The first one, Arma 3, I knew I was going to be playing (and still am) for a long time, short of it being a terrible mess worse than the predecessor. It was better than the previous one, and it has provided awesome experiences so far. The second one is Darkest Dungeon, also worth it.

      Then there is Killing Floor 2. It was everything it needed to be mechanically, it just needed more content. Sadly, it has taken forever to add those (although recently it seemed more complete). I don’t regret buying it because I already had my share of fun and I know I can just hop in with a few friends and have a good time.

      And, I’ll be honest. Out of all these, none I wanted to push the development in a given way. Getting involved in early access as a way to influence development is not the way to go. The game needs to have a strong vision to begin with, if it wants to succeed in Early Access. If it does not, I doubt more hands would help. I will admit it does help with balance, but we’ve been dealing with balance on post-launch patches anyway.

      I would love to see a developer use Early Access as a way to bring in people into the actual development, though, and incorporate things like levels or items. Unreal 4 is doing this in an odd way, I believe. But, again, Unreal knows what it is.

      EDIT: I forgot Minecraft, and that’s one I also got my enjoyment out of.

    • Syal says:

      The only one I’ve done was Nuclear Throne over a year into it, after hearing good things about it. It’s fun to see graphics get added and mechanics get tuned up to being broken and/or overpowered every so often, but I wouldn’t want to play a game where the core gameplay needs significant ironing out.

      • Echo Tango says:

        I wasn’t really unhappy with playing Nuclear Throne in early-access…until I played Enter The Gungeon, which has deeper mechanics, more varied mechanics (e.g. dodge-rolling and pits/water, shops), and a more polished aesthetic. NT is a good game, but I haven’t really gone back to it after playing ETG. Art doesn’t exist in a vacuum. ⎺_(ツ)_/⎺

        • Ninety-Three says:

          I’m shocked, I bought ETG because I heard it compared to Nuclear Throne, and came away thinking it was worse than NT in every way.

          It’s slower, the weapon ammo system encourages JRPG-style item hoarding and prevents you from spending a long time with that one gun you love, the guns don’t feel good (because they’re slower), you can walk into a pit because you didn’t realize it was a pit, it’s slower, the whole progression system is blatantly there just to have a progression system (if your roguelike is more fun with a bazooka in the loot tables, just put a bazooka in the loot tables, don’t make me spend hours playing the less-fun bazooka-less version in order to unlock that), and it’s just so much slower than Nuclear Throne (even the fast-travel system is slow because, for no particular reason, it can only be used between about half of the rooms).

          • Echo Tango says:

            The slowness is best explained, by the fact that ETG is more of a bullet-hell game than NT. So, you spend your time dancing around the bullets and enemies, trying to avoid damage constantly. In NT, the combat is more fast-paced and has more health pickups, so you spend more time losing and regaining health, sort of like Doom 2016. I sort of agree with the progression system being annoying in ETG. It’s way to slow, so instead of a system just to keep new players from being confused, it acts as a gate to keep players experiencing all the content quickly, forcing you to grind. Maybe if you’re *really* skilled, you can unlock everything relatively quickly, but I can only unlock things very slowly, after grinding bosses.

            • Syal says:

              Enter The Gungeon is like a cross between Nuclear Throne and Binding of Isaac. I really like Nuclear Throne and really don’t like Isaac, with its constant “let’s put a rock in the least convenient spot” room design (ETG’s tables can block bullets if you flip them up, but they’ll block movement all the time). It’s also got the left-hand overload problem that mechanically complex games usually end up having. ETG is solid, but it’s not really something I enjoy.

              Though I’ll probably go back to it eventually. Unlockables have their own dark power.

              • Ninety-Three says:

                Even the unlockables don’t feel good. You’re not unlocking the BFG, you’re unlocking the chance to have a BFG drop, on level six. And it has that miserable roguelike aspect where playing optimally means not unlocking everything so that you can stack the pools to pay out with guns Q and W as often as possible. It could probably be a less satisfying system, but I’m not sure how.

          • Galad says:

            Very much this.

            Then again, I have 260 hours currently in NT, so clearly it scratches my gaming itch. And I was appalled at the idea of pausing the gameplay to reload in ETG.

    • Hermocrates says:

      I’ve only had one Early Access experience and I didn’t regret it.

      Same here, and it was Kerbal Space Program. I bought that back before it was even on Steam for $15 (there was only Kerbin and the Mun), and honestly it’s at least payed itself back in the game time equivalent of twice its current retail value.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        In my case it would be Minecraft (which was technically not in Early Access but people mention it here, for good reason as it’s a title that seems to have started the whole alpha funding rush), I’m pretty sure most of my playtime was before the proper release.

        I actually don’t have many EA experiences I’d call “bad” but that’s because I make a point of not playing these games until they’re finished (I even often postpone playing games that I know will get DLC or until I buy the DLC). I also generally don’t buy games in Early Access though I do have a number of titles that I got from bundles, some I’d be interested in but they ended up seemingly abandoned/stuck in Early Access limbo.

    • Nick-B says:

      Too bad. I liked crypt of the necrodancer a fair bit. It had great music, and when you are on point you feel like a gaming god. The problem is that either my rhythm eventually gets off-beat (happened a lot in repetetive sections of Rock Band) or I’d panic during intense moments. Having to remember exactly which key combo (left right for magic, up down for item, or was it….?) does what in the middle of a large combat room, on tempo, with no wasted movement…. ugh. I’m glad it adds a special character that can ignore the beats and play at a normal pace.

      As for Early Access games I regret… One big one is TUG. I love survival crafting games, where competition is NOT the point (no thanks, DayZ). Minecraft, Terraria, FCE, etc. TUG looked nice, but incomplete. I bought it in sale, and it just festered for half a year while I waited for it to get better. Then they announced they are going to go F2P? Maybe? I dunno, hasn’t been updated since Feb now…

      Uh, what else… Oh yeah, Dungeon Defenders 2. It was only after me and a friend bought it (on sale too) before we discovered it was a paid beta for a planned F2P release. We hate F2P, and to find out we got duped into not only playing one, but paying for the privelege of testing it, we haven’t loaded it up since.

      Good EA experiences? Well, Don’t Starve is one of my fav games. As well Craft The World and Factorio, all games that to me were good enough as-is to justify the purchase, and they aren’t even done yet.

      I guess I just like EA games that are good enough as-is to buy. Improvements, tweaks, and new content beyond that purchase feel like the good ol’ days where a company would patch in free stuff WITHOUT uttering the phrases “Microtransactions” or “DLC”.

  5. GloatingSwine says:

    Man, poor old Godus guy.

    He was supposed to get a cut of the microtransactions from the multiplayer IIRC, but they never released the multiplayer, and were probably never going to release the multiplayer anyway because calling the development a shambles is missing a perfect opportunity to use the word clusterfuck.

  6. Fizban says:

    Paper Mario is great, Thousand Year Door is a masterpiece, and Super Paper Mario is not terrible (even though it abandons the core gameplay and goes a little too far reaching for it’s story, I did like what it was going for).

    For anyone playing or replaying Thousand Year Door, try taking a dive into the pit of 100 trials if you haven’t already (look for the platform on the left/foreground, in the room with the titular Door). There’s some game changing gear down there which is a blast to have and reaching it as early as possible is a fun challenge, though if you can do it the rest of the game is probably a cakewalk. Next time I start a new game I’ll probably go the opposite route and do it “1st playthrough” style, ignoring the pit, the badge shop, the work board, pretty much everything I can to toughen it up (half of which I didn’t even notice existed on my actual 1st playthrough).

    • Kelerak says:

      The last time I played Thousand-Year Door was a 10 HP run, which meant I focused on FP and BP, and that was pretty easy. The only time I ever had any difficulty was the final fight with the Shadow Queen.

      I might have to do a Double Pain run next time.

      • Hal says:

        I’ve seen 5hp runs described, and although they sound like fun, I can’t imagine even trying.

        If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you go to the fortune teller who can swap your stats around; you have her lower your HP to 5, which is as low as it can go. This puts you in “danger” status permanently. However, it means that the badges that only activate with the danger status are now always on, and their effects are potent. If you can stockpile them from the store, you can really get juiced.

    • Hal says:

      I don’t know why we’re talking about TYD (haven’t listened to the episode), but if we’re getting people to play it, I’m on board. Such a good game.

      The Pit is interesting, but you can’t really finish it until just before the final dungeon, since you need a lot of the upgrades you’ll get as part of the game.

      The bigger problem for me with the Pit was that it’s such a bloody time sink. Once you start getting past the halfway point, a Pit run can take hours, and running into a spot of difficulty, forcing you to go back to the surface, can be incredibly demoralizing.

      • Fizban says:

        Oh definitely, the boss will murder you if you aren’t tall enough. The most important gear is around the halfway point though, I know I had it before chapter five, possibly early as three. Checking with the FAQ, I think the way it went was I got to floor 40, but had to turn back there because I couldn’t kill floating enemies with spikes/fire without star attacks. Floor 50 has the real prize of (spoiler) doubling your inventory space.

        I had a great time balancing all my attacks and star usage, pushing to the limit where missing a crowd pleasing flair could cost me the star power needed to survive the next turn. Unfortunately it also leaves you irrevocably over-leveled for the next chapter or two, and floor 50 is basically as bad or worse than the actual endgame so reaching it during chapter 3 makes it clear you’ve passed the game’s intended limits.

        While the Double Pain badge exists, I just don’t like that sort of clearly artificial difficulty increase. I cap out my hp at 20 or 25, so I’d have to either waste points on hp (the lamest stat) or spend way too many actions hiding from attacks. A 10hp run would be a bit harder in some places but more powerful most of the time. I guess you could call my run “low gear” since the idea is skipping on any extra combat and many of the good badges.

  7. Jsor says:

    Well, it’s settled, then. Time to force Shamus to play Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door.

  8. James Porter says:

    Aw man, party cause Shamus aint here to stop it! Danses

    Anyway, they only thing I know about Elder Scrolls books is that one about Vivec being destroyed by the Ministry of Truth. I read a plot synopsis, and apparently the book is about the wizards building a machine that literally runs on genocide to keep the city safe from the meteor, and that the main character stops it cause their in love or something.

    I remember thinking it sounded interesting, but looking back I think that was because Vivec and the Meteor he turned into Sky Alcatraz, and Morrowinds Destruction are good ideas that this boring writer tied together

  9. Also Holy Jesus Mumbles, I damn near spit my drink out when you did that fedora bit!

  10. Fast_Fire says:

    @41:16
    Josh: “I always feel like Peter Molyneux is a guy that has all these interesting ideas, but nobody to tell him ‘no’…”

    Tim Schafer (Broken Age) came to mind.

    • Jsor says:

      I didn’t follow its development or back it in Early Access so maybe I’m missing some serious broken promises, but Broken Age was fine. Don’t get me wrong, it was a complete anticlimax that just suddenly ended with too many unanswered questions, and they didn’t use the character switching mechanic very well, but I’m pretty happy with what I got.

      That said, I will never back a Double Fine game, including Psychonauts 2, because from everything I’ve heard about Massive Chalice and Starbase 9 they cannot be trusted with money.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        That said, I will never back a Double Fine game, including Psychonauts 2, because from everything I've heard about Massive Chalice and Starbase 9 they cannot be trusted with money.

        You are correct, Double Fine is a random fly-by-night indie dev. They budgeted Spacebase such that it would be funded by Early Access sales, and would have to maintain a spot as a top ten seller in order to keep going. This was never communicated to the playerbase, until the game was canceled.

        A month after swearing that they wouldn’t silently pull the plug on Spacebase, they announced that they were pulling the plug on Spacebase. But hey, at least they didn’t do it silently, right? I wouldn’t even hold the failure against them, except they never admitted failure. The PR spin was “This is a complete game that has successfully exited Early Access and you should be happy to play it. Nothing is wrong and we definitely didn’t fuck up.” Refund requests were met with silence.

        From a pure marketing perspective, not admitting your mistakes might be the right financial decision, but it also makes them assholes who took people’s money in exchange for a promise of a complete game they never delivered on, and never even apologized for.

        • Shoeboxjeddy says:

          I’m sure they never apologized because their lawyers told them that they might be on the hook for refunds or lawsuits if they did. Taking the position that “this is a full (shitty) game” was legally defensible.

          • Ninety-Three says:

            That sounds plausible in a vacuum, but Steam’s terms of Early Access cover them pretty thoroughly. It basically states that you are buying the game as it is now, the developer is allowed to cease development at any time and walk away with all your money.

            • Nidokoenig says:

              In a lot of jurisdictions, an EULA isn’t worth the paper it’s written on if someone actually brings it to court with a decent grievance. Even then, a case doesn’t have to win to cripple Double Fine, just defending it, and Valve are going to want to avoid setting big precedent. Much of the over-cautious legalese is more about convincing people not to bring suit or get it thrown out than to defend themselves in proper court.

              • Lanthanide says:

                A EULA – that you read and click ‘accept’ on AFTER you have purchased the product, is entirely different than Valve’s terms of sale, which you are able to read in their entirety before purchasing the product.

                There’s really no doubt that any western court wouldn’t uphold Valve’s terms of sale. EULAs are on murkier ground, as you say.

      • Merlin says:

        Massive Chalice was a solid game with no financial goofiness. They actually ended up expanding access to the beta beyond the initial plans in the Kickstarter, and while they ended up delaying the release (I think?) around 6 months, that’s mostly under par by Kickstarter standards or otherwise. Not sure what your concern is on that front.

      • Ranneko says:

        Massive Chalice was my favourite of the games I finished last year. It is one of the few I have played repeatedly over the course of tit’s development. Why would it make you avoid DF games?

        • ZekeCool says:

          Incredibly shallow, awful UI, horrible voice acting, abysmal pacing (why can I only take an operative on two missions max before they die of old age?)… I was really excited for Massive Chalice from the premise but I was completely done with that crap by twenty minutes in.

          • Ranneko says:

            Twenty minutes doesn’t even get through the first battle.

            2-3 fights per hero was generally what worked for me, it let me experiment with various builds as I allowed my bloodlines gained strength. Especially when you start to get the hybrids out.

            Similarly I really liked the voice acting, there are only 2 that you deal with but I thought they did a great job expressing the characters of the chalice, you are the first person I have heard complain about that aspect. Same thing with the UI, I thought it did a great job on the combat layer showing relevant information, allowing you to view hero and monster stats as well as ensuring you were always aware of what enemies could see you and what enemies you could strike from any given position. Heck, XCOM2 explicitly copied that idea because line of sight is so important.

            I have seen a number of complaints about the lack of enemy variety which I think is a pretty fair complaint, though given the game budget also fairly understandable. I wish the game had done well enough to justify DLC, but with Brad Muir having moved over to Valve I don’t see that happening.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        I usually don’t have spending money to throw at kickstarters and Early Access games anyway (and I really don’t like playing unfinished games so things like beta access aren’t attractive for me) but I’m still going to be very cautiously excited for Psychonauts 2, I’ll even forgive if it feels dated or unpolished if only they manage to capture the wacky dark humour of the original.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      I liked Broken age, and had backed it. The first part was better than the second though, and the character switching didn’t add much.

      I’m not really sure what sort of game people were expecting, but I had set my expectations relatively low (because of the small budget and because kickstarter hadn’t really kicked off fully at that point).

      I suppose if you were expecting something as good as Monkey Island 2 or Day of the Tentacle then you’d certainly be disappointed. It actually has far more in common with Loom.

    • GloatingSwine says:

      It’s apparently worse than that.

      Peter Molyneux has no internal idea censor, he would apparently talk in interviews about wild improbable gameplay features that none of the team making the actual game have heard about to that point, but who would then have to attempt to actually do the things he had just unleashed upon the world.

      Tim Schafer is a guy who has really good ideas for games but isn’t actually very good at making them. A lot of the time the strength of the idea and the quality of the writing carries it through (Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, the first half of Broken Age), sometimes it all goes horribly wrong (Spacebase DF9, the second half of Broken Age)

      • Ninety-Three says:

        It’s apparently worse than that.

        Peter Molyneux is a con man who will say whatever it takes to sell the game, and has successfully cultivated a public persona as a wide-eyed ideas man in order to improve his reputation. For years, most people believed him because, well, it’s rude to call someone a liar.

        At that point I’m just finishing up, getting the last of the assets done. And he pointed at the screen at a massive press thing and said, this is probably about 30 per cent of how good it looks because the art is not done yet. And I was like, the art is totally done. Why are you saying that? He was just like, aye, you know John, come on, you’ve got to sell these things.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        Also, Schaeffer had nothing to do with DF9, except insofar as he’s the founder of the company and so was probably the final decision-maker in approving, budgeting, and canceling it. It was created in an Amnesia Fortnight with no involvement from him, and worked on by a team he was never a part of.

        Also also, I feel like it’s not fair to say the first half of Broken Age was great. That’s the same thinking that leads to people saying “Mass Effect was fine until the ending”. The first part was making cheques it couldn’t cash, it’s just that the audience often doesn’t see failure until the end, when it can be conclusively declared “Well that never came together right”. Case in point, as bad as the character swapping was in Part 2 (hurray for fourth-wall-breaking information sharing!), it was completely pointless in Part 1.

        • Ranneko says:

          I disagree, for me the difficulty and obtuseness of the puzzles is what makes the second half of Broken Age worse than the first, that is demonstrably related to the harder core backers complaining about the low difficulty of the first half.

          I think appealing to those more vocal backers made the game less accessible and entertaining for the larger mainstream audience.

        • Matt Downie says:

          They had, like, a psychic connection. That’s why information sharing was totally allowed and not just bad metagaming.

          If it wasn’t for the fact that I couldn’t be bothered to write down all the patterns I was supposed to remember, I’d have finished that game, instead of just watching the end on YouTube.

  11. Ninety-Three says:

    Hey Shamus, apropos of nothing, what’s up with the numbering scheme on your content? This page is http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=33440, but the previous page, Rutskarn’s GMinars, is p=33437, before that is 33419…

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      My assumption would be that they are numbered based on when they were written, but they appear in a different order because some will be scheduled for specific days, or there may be delays in them being finished or whatever.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        That can’t be it, the gaps are too many and too wide. Shamus hasn’t put out 34000 articles.

        • MichaelGC says:

          They are essentially sequential, if I remember rightly (it has come up before). Every time someone creates a new page it’ll get given the next number along – that’s why you have two on the frontpage now quite near to each other (33440 & 33437). The Final Fantasy post will have been started a while ago, and that’s why its number is much lower (33255).

          I guess 33438 & 33439 were deleted, or haven’t been published yet – if deleted, those numbers won’t be re-used, so that’s why we don’t see a total of 33,400 posts.

          • MichaelGC says:

            Ah, here we go:

            http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=744

            it looks like I throw away a little more than one out of every seven posts

            … although that was a decade ago! :D Things have changed a leetle since then.

          • 4th Dimension says:

            I think WordPress basically stores each version of a post as a separate post. So if you wrote something saved made two changes and saved each time the ID would be incremented three times. Also the DB might be doing funny things as it’s trying to avoid possible primary key collision so it might go 1, 2, 3 and then figure that maybe somebody inserted some rows in the DB in the mean time and it will skip to 10 to avoid possible collision.

    • Shamus says:

      That number is literally the table key in the database. In the first few years of this site, posts were basically sequentially numbered. Maybe once in a while I’d kill an article rather than posting it, but for the most part the number climbed in a predictable way.

      Then WordPress introduced post revisions. Now every time I hit the “save” button, the post is stored in a revision. These revisions consume these unique numbers. At any given time, I’ve got a half-dozen entries in the queue, all of them eating up ID numbers when I make a change.

  12. Dreadjaws says:

    Hey, what happened to Lulzy?

  13. Zukhramm says:

    DayZ was probably my best Early Access purchase.

  14. Cardigan says:

    Aw, I was hoping the crew would set the comments on fire by mentioning the new Ghostbusters… and then immediately switching topics.

    • Syal says:

      So is Shamus covering X-2 after Final Fantasy X wraps up? I’m playing it for the first time and I think it needs covering.

      • Shoeboxjeddy says:

        Like many X fans, my guess is Shamus has played through X several times… and X-2 once if ever. So I doubt he has a deep perspective on it enough to write a book on it.

        I could be wrong, and this isn’t meant to be insulting, X-2 is just leagues less popular and respected (for some very good reasons actually).

        • Syal says:

          It doesn’t have to be deep, shallow’s enough for a lot of the problems (the early ones anyway, I’m not far in). He already owns it, it comes with the Steam version of X which is the only reason I’ve got it. A fresh perspective can be as useful as an informed one.

  15. Hermocrates says:

    Bless you Mumbles, for finding Rutskarn an emulator.

  16. Kestrellius says:

    I still stand by my assertion that Elder Scrolls lore is amazing, and perhaps makes the series some of my favorite fiction in general. It sort of takes a degree of resignation to batshit insanity, though. Like, it deals with a lot of really fascinating philosophical stuff, to a much greater extent than most works, but it’s stuck behind a ton of obfuscated mythology-speak and people sleeping with deities and things.

    Basically, it’s really really cool, if you just deal with it on its own terms and power through weirdness.

    …which I guess makes it a bit like Dark Souls?

    (although I’ve never played Dark Souls and don’t intend to)

  17. Ryplinn says:

    Lee’s closed?? Where are students going to get their midnight egg rolls now?

    It’s been most of a decade since I lived anywhere near Irvine and I am surprised to find myself actually upset about this.

  18. lurkey says:

    Years had passed since I had to deal with my last HP printer myself, yet I am still always giddy on finding another being hating on those hellspawns. Aw, Josh. ♥

  19. Artur CalDazar says:

    The Curiosity dude got some money? I’d heard he was only ever going to get any after release, which is never, so glad to hear somebody gave him something.

    Rutskarns ES tales are as always very entertaining.

  20. Steve Online says:

    You know, i was just passing on a joke from Tom Francis, but it still tickles me that to this day people remember ‘Eight By Zombies’.

  21. SoranMBane says:

    I actually own a Nokia N-Gage. I won it from a giveaway by Adult Swim way back in the day, then I played it once and never played it again. It’s still there in my bedroom, like some forgotten relic in a dragon’s hoard.

    Though at least the giveaway itself wasn’t a total wash; along with the useless gaming phone, I also got a cool Adult Swim courier bag. I used that bag for like five years.

  22. Neil W says:

    So, Jenkins as lazy writing. I get you, but this is like all short cuts. Sometimes it does what you want and it’s “efficient”. Sometimes it’s shoddy and “lazy”. Jenkins is bad gameplay/mechanically because he is a squad member who dies by being shot rather than as the result of a player decision (which is how every other squad death occurs). Usually when a squad member is shot by the bad guys, they can be healed or get up after the fight. It doesn’t work story wise as he clearly dies to make room for Ashley, and his death is the least interesting thing to happen on that planet.

    Compare Leo in The Witcher. Usually you don’t have people join you in a fight, and if they do sometimes they die. If Mass Effect has a pinch of grit, The Witcher has a dumper truck full to pour on you so having the rookie die warns you that tough things are going to happen. It’s still a lazy shortcut, but it’s one that works better with the style of the game.

  23. NotSteve says:

    Shamus, I think you were missed.

    The ending:
    Josh: See you next week! Shamus will be here to rein in our stupidity, so, you know, that’s nice.
    Chris, who hasn’t spoken in like 30 minutes: (quietly, in background) Yay!

  24. Galad says:

    I have no Early access buyer’s remorse. I’ve enjoyed all the Early access purchases I’ve made – Crypt of the Necrodancer (~280 hours), the Long Dark (14 hours), Distance (5 hours). What I do regret is some of my non early access purchases (Shadows: Heretic kingdoms, Armikrog, Castlevania: lords of shadow), but eh, they’re few compared to my total purchases.

  25. Falcon02 says:

    Have you guys ever considered putting the diecast on a proper podcast network (ie. searchable directly in most podcast apps; iTunes, Pocket Casts etc.)?

    I’m not sure if you guys may have tried in the past and it didn’t work out, or just consider the RSS feed more than sufficient for what you guys want to do with the Diecast. However, it may help expand your audience a bit and make it easier for people to discover you guys.

    One reason I ask is I just switched from iTunes on iPhone to Pocket Casts on android, and I’m finding it tricky to add a generic RSS feed (though it looks like there is a way to resolve it I just need to work through it). But even more generally it kinda surprises me you guys aren’t on those libraries, especially so I can see that wonderful Diecast banner when I listen to you all.

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