Diecast #271: EGS Hypocrisy, Broken Games, WoW Classic

By Shamus Posted Monday Aug 26, 2019

Filed under: Diecast 181 comments

I’ve been playing Rage 2 this week. Did the world forget that game exists? I haven’t heard anyone mention it in months. I guess Campster covered it last month, so that counts as a bit of relevance. Still, this game came and went so fast.

It’s so forgettable I forgot to talk about it on my own podcast, even though I’m in the middle of a playthrough!

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Show notes:
01:30 Epic Doesn’t want non-exclusives?

Link (YouTube)

We could blame a lot of the failings for the Epic Games Store on the company’s inexperience and hubris. But this is a pretty clear expression of company values and it leaves Epic absolutely no room for them to claim any sort of moral high ground.

This company doesn’t want to depose the tyrant to end tyranny, it wants to replace the tyrant. Given the company’s behavior, it would be a far worse tyrant than Valve ever was.

04:18 Shamus Critiques Your Dream

Here is the comment in question.

07:20 Mercurial Support Ends in Bitbucket

Here is the announcement, which I’m pretty sure just affects just me.

The Good Robot source is still in Mercurial. I wonder if there’s a non-horrible way to migrate that to Git. Also, I’m open to suggestions for a lightweight Git front end GUI.

16:33 The New Blender 2.8, Everything old and irritating is New Again

I don’t know if we have many Blender users in the audience. If so, I’d love to hear what you think of the new version, or if you’re avoiding the upgrade.

35:14 Wolfenstein: Still Broken

For those that missed it, here is the post describing the problems I had with the game: Wolfenstein II Part 2: Broken Technology. The fact that it’s still broken on my new machine is just ridiculous. And the unskippable splash screens are salt in the wound.

39:19 Rage II is Also a Hot Mess

It’s not nearly as bad as Wolfie’s 2017 outing,

Also, I kinda dumped on Id Software in the segment, and that’s not really fair. Wolfenstein was made by Machine games and Rage 2 was from Avalanche. They’re using Id Tech, but they’re not made by Id.

43:24 Spider-Man Custody Battle

It’s a sad, silly story.

53:06 Mailbag: Forums

Dear Diecast,
Any idea when the forum might be coming back?


54:43 Mailbag: WoW Classic

Dear diecast,

With WoW classic nearing release, I wonder how you guys feel about it. I initially thought it of it being people who cannot let go of the past, but the success of the lvl 15 preview, the popularity of the lvl 1-40 beta, servers filling up with name reservations 2 months for release (and people willing to shell out 15 bucks just to get their name), them having to get extra servers just to handle the amount of people coming in, and the constant hype buzzing around (youtube trying to hype me up even though I dont click the videos) I start to feel like this could be more than a month long distraction. And a significant playerbase will remain.

Also what do you think is WoW’s “X-factor” that MMOs that came after it all missed.

with kind regards

Mentioned in this segment: Paul’s WoW exploration journal and Creeper world tiling fixer.


From The Archives:

181 thoughts on “Diecast #271: EGS Hypocrisy, Broken Games, WoW Classic

  1. Chris says:

    I’m a bit disappointed that you didn’t read my letter because I find it more interesting about how the game seems, against all people saying people just want to go back in time, to gather more and more followers. Especially since Blizzard first was very resistant to opening a classic server, but now probably is also shocked how many people they have to deal with.

    1. Gresman says:

      I attribute most of the hype to curiosity. Either by people, who misremember or by ones who never experiences original WoW.
      I reserved my name because I want to check it out. Also I want to know if it was as bad as I remember it. Followed by the short shitstorm of players thinking it was different in the past.

      I guess it will be about as forgotten as Rage 2 before Christmas.

      Just for context. I have an active subscription since 2005.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        Yeah, I’m not surprised at the popularity of the idea but I doubt it will actually remain popular for long. Then again, I don’t have a horse in the race either way and if I’m wrong it would be an interesting from the point of view of MMOs continuous development.

  2. tmtvl says:

    And Blender showing up to answer my question from last time about updates that ruin things. Wonderful.

    Mercurial is less popular than Subversion? Colour me surprised. SVN is painful to use.

    No comment about the EGS news, people have been decrying it since before it went off the deep end.

  3. Daimbert says:

    I used to play a lot of MMOs — at least as quick trial/demos — and played a demo of WoW and never managed to get into it. I had no connection to the world itself and found the gameplay itself tedious. Even the games that I didn’t pick up after trialing them like DCUO and LotRO seemed more interesting than WoW because of the differences in lore. With WoW, I started with an undead Warlock and then switched to a Dwarf Paladin and found that the world was slightly different but the gameplay almost identical. Different heroes at least let me feel a little different in DCUO and the different realms in LotRO were different enough to prevent boredom.

    Despite trying a number of MMOs, there were only three that I stuck with for any length of time:

    Dark Age of Camelot: The three realms were my three favourite mythical/legendary realms, and the worlds and the classes in the worlds felt different enough for me to be able to play in all of them and not get a sense of repetition, The gameplay wasn’t quite my style, though, and was a bit too grindy/group-oriented for me.

    City of Heroes: Classes played differently, origins had different initial quests, and even some combinations of powersets played differently. I kept restarting new characters because that was so interesting, and the higher levels were more grindy. Also, their Task Forces were the greatest thing I’ve ever played in an MMO.

    The Old Republic: The story is great. The gameplay is tolerable, and generally was solo-friendly if you did it right.

    I haven’t even looked at a new MMO in ages, mostly because Shamus doesn’t talk much about them anymore and so I have a hard time hearing about any new ones that might interest me.

    1. Kylroy says:

      City of Heroes is back and completely free, if you’re interested.

      1. King Marth says:

        It was shut down in 2012. Looks like some reverse-engineered fan servers are running, though.

        I got very close to actually buying a subscription for City of Heroes. The official free-to-play version had some neat quests, but it didn’t keep interest.

        1. Kylroy says:

          It’s not reverse-engineered, it’s (a modernized version of) the same code from 2012 – some developers essentially smuggled the program out as it was shutting down. The private server had been running since shutdown, but was a well-kept secret until recently.

          The current FTP version includes *everything* the old subscription version did. They take donations at the start of every month until they get enough to cover costs, then stop accepting money until the month changes – they’re usually done by the 3rd. NCSoft is aware of the server, and the folks running it are in talks to get it legitimized.

          1. Daimbert says:

            I might have to look into that, but would probably wait until it goes completely legitimate. I don’t really want to go through losing it again [grin].

            There are also a couple of MMOs that are trying to do things in its spirit that interest me a bit as well.

    2. DeadlyDark says:

      I’m curious to see how Camelot Unchained (a spiritual successor to Dark Age of Camelot, from what I gathered) would work. May be it’ll be my first serious foray in mmorpg since trying swtor (which I never really liked)

      1. Daimbert says:

        It looks like they’re taking the Realm vs Realm combat up to 11 here, which is probably not a good game for me, since I NEVER do PvP. That’s also a part of what killed the Warhammer game. I’ll have to keep an eye on it, though.

  4. Hal says:

    I really don’t get the popularity of WoW Classic. I think there’s a huge Rose-Colored Glasses effect happening here.

    I also think the effect is going to be short-lived, for two reasons. First, there will only be so much life to the game. One of the things that made the game interesting at that time was the gradual roll out of new content, world events, etc. But all of that content will eventually get completed, and there won’t be anywhere to go but . . . beyond Classic. So what then?

    This on top of the fact that the game was never static; all of those patches bringing new content also brought changes to the game in terms of class features. Endless tweaks to the system. And every time those tweaks were made, someone was unhappy. I don’t know what Blizzard’s plans are for those features, but I suspect lots of people will have opinions on the matter.

    That also leads into my second point: The changes made over time brought lots of quality-of-life improvements to the game. Things that made the game easier, less of a hassle, less of a grind, and more enjoyable to play. Features that made different subclasses viable in their roles for raiding content. Without those changes in place, I suspect the bloom will come off the rose for a lot of people, especially when it comes to raiding and people start saying, “Your character just isn’t viable at this level, sorry.”

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Here’s the LRR video I was referring to:
      It really does seem odd. On the other hand, it really does seem to be working to raise engagement.

      1. Kylroy says:

        I 110% agree with that video. It’s worked to raise engagement because I imagine there’s a *lot* of people who played Classic, drifted away, then briefly tried to come back but found the game had changed too much for them to ease back in.

        I strongly suspect they will rediscover why they left in short order.

    2. GM says:

      people voted for Runescape Classic and much like wow classic it has certain design that the newer version,mind you i havent played newest nor the oldest just the one in the middle a sprite of lava was too bright for me too play&pay.

      Newer version had certainthings taken care of i don´t remember now so just look up someone talking about the differences.

  5. Joe says:

    I think Tim Sweeny is an arsehole. Seriously. He sits down, opens wide, and shit comes out. Arsehole.

    This’ll be controversial, but I don’t care about Spider-Man movies. I saw the first two Raimi movies in the cinema, and hated them. The third one I saw on DVD, and hated it. In retrospect, I think I just don’t like Raimi movies. The trailers of all the other ones left me cold. He’s fine when he pops up in Avengers, but I’m not fussed either way.

    I started downloading WOW way back when. But it was slow on my connection even for the time. Then I realised I could put my attention towards being a level 70 or whatever night elf druid, or my own creations. Also, I’m strictly a loner as a gamer. Sometimes I’ll accept an AI party member. But actual multiplayer? No way. So I never finished, never played it.

    1. Daimbert says:

      I liked the Raimi movies, but didn’t care for any of the ones after that, including the MCU ones. In both cases I watched the first one of the new series and decided after that to not watch any of the others.

    2. Ciennas says:

      Try the Spiderverse film- it was pretty solid.

  6. Darker says:

    You could try Sourcehut if you’d like to stick with Mercurial (I prefer Mercurial to Git for my personal projects, though I am hosting the repositories myself so I don’t have experience with cloud providers).

    If you decide to move to Git TortoiseGit is an ok frontend on Windows.

  7. Joshua says:

    My wife and I have been playing LOTRO again since they released their “Legendary Servers”. In this case, it’s not true vanilla, just basically the same game except gating the content and level cap, and they release the expansions every 3-4 months. You can run a lot of the old content on-level, and you can grind only as much as you want to, because if something feels like a chore, there will be a new expansion in 3-4 months with new gear anyway.

  8. Ninety-Three says:

    With Classic WoW, a lot of people point to the theme-park-ification of the game: these days it’s a very hand-holdy guided experience, but it used to be more of an independent world that you just inhabit. That definitely happened, but I think nostalgic nerds overvalue it as a component of WoW’s success.

    The big thing WoW did in my mind was that it took the existing MMOs and made them friendlier. WoW’s death penalty was extremely lax compared to games like Everquest, it was much more open to solo play, it had actual quests instead of “Stand on this hill killing the same respawning monster for literally hours”. Obviously Blizzard did a good job with it, but I think a lot of their success was simply being first to market with a product that people wanted: an MMO that doesn’t hate the player.

    1. Joshua says:

      My first foray into MMOs was DAoC back in 2001, and your second paragraph basically explains my experience (Eldritch I think the class was?). Log in, use the group finder channel for 10-15 minutes to find a party of half a dozen people of nearly the exact same level so I could sit there and kill the same set of trash mobs for an hour, and that’s if I was lucky. It seems like half the groups would end up disintegrating before we accomplished too much because people would log out, and then we’d need to advertise for more people again.

      Regarding your second comment, I seem to recall my spellcasting was just spamming the same damaging spell over and over again until I leveled up and got a new spell to spam.

      There were quests, but you had to go up to NPCs and type /quest to see if they had something for you to do, and it usually wasn’t that interesting.

      I never played past the initial free 30 days. Any of the other RPGs I had at the time were significantly more entertaining (mostly Bioware), and the multi-player element just didn’t add enough for me to enjoy the game.

      Although LOTRO was really my only MMO, I think WoW was really the game that started taking what would be more typical of a single-player RPG experience and then adding multi-player content.

    2. Kylroy says:

      “… I think nostalgic nerds overvalue it as a component of WoW’s success.”

      Mostly, I think they forget that the “sandbox” MMOs all pretty much died out. Providing people with endless new vistas to experience is a lot more work (and more expensive) than providing an engaging gameplay loop. Star Wars: Galaxies is fondly remembered for trying to have players occupy every role in it’s economy, but then learned most people don’t want to create an avatar in a galaxy far, far, away who’s just a *shopkeeper*.

      1. Chris says:

        “Providing people with endless new vistas to experience is a lot more work (and more expensive) than providing an engaging gameplay loop.”

        except that is what a themepark MMO has to do as well, does it not? New raids, new levels, new areas, new rollercoasters to ride. Blizzard releases a new expansion every to years to keep people hooked. I think the sandbox MMO died because people saw WOW printing money, and thus tried to emulate that over trying to create a game that allows for greater player expression. Games like city of heroes and EVE online still exist and is a sandbox. CoH did get killed by nexon becasue of business reasons, not because it didnt make money, and it is back as a private server.

        1. Ninety-Three says:

          I love City of Heroes to death but man, it is not a sandbox. You had the freedom to go anywhere and do anything, as long the place is a zone full of bad guys and the activity is fighting them. I guess technically there was the ski lodge minigame, only available during the holidays. WoW was more of a sandbox just by virtue of having crafting skills.

          1. Daimbert says:

            CoH’s later updates, at least, had crafting as well. And at the end it went more story-based than what you’d expect from a typical sandbox game, so closer to TOR than DAOC.

        2. Kylroy says:

          The new zones in WoW are basically changes of scenery as you kill new things for loot. I’m not saying aesthetics aren’t important, I’m saying that the act of exploring these zones plays more like Dragon Age than Firewatch.

          As noted by Ninety-Three, CoH is much the same as WoW, not really a game about exploring. EVE is it’s own weirdness, based on incredibly dense mechanics and deeply entrenched player-led power blocs – I don’t think any developer has even *tried* to copy their formula, and if someone has they failed to register as even a blip.

          1. Sartharina says:

            Part of what makes EVE work is the sci-fi setting. In fantasy games like Albion and Archeage, the geography gets in the way.

      2. Ninety-Three says:

        Point of order: there was a Merchant profession in Galaxies, but one of its features was the ability to set up NPC shopkeepers on your behalf precisely to avoid what you describe.

        1. Kylroy says:

          Okay, so they eased the drudgery a little, but again – the number of people who look at the Star Wars universe and want to play a merchant are not enough to support the economy of an MMO.

          1. Ninety-Three says:

            Okay, so they eased the drudgery a little, but again – the number of people who look at the Star Wars universe and want to play a merchant are not enough to support the economy of an MMO

            Did you play the game? Neither I nor anyone I talked to ever had complaints about too few merchants, and the real-world economics were that the game had over 200,000 subscribers in 2004, more than enough to financially support an MMO.

          2. shoeboxjeddy says:

            On the contrary, it seems like most RPGs in say, the Korean market, have player shops vastly outnumber the usefulness of NPC shops. It seems as if Galaxies had a unique and enthusiastic playerbase… that did not touch the more popular WoW. And the powers that be wanted a game that rivaled WoW since they had the excellent and popular Star Wars license to use. It’s hard to fault the reasoning that Star Wars should be a mass market success and not a niche product, but it’s NOT hard to fault them for just copy pasting ideas from more popular games and assuming that would do it. Sure enough, they lost their dedicated fans and didn’t catch up to the leader.

  9. Ninety-Three says:

    I was one of those people who played WoW for a month and then quit. What happened was that I hit level 20, went to the skill trainer, and saw that I had already acquired basically every skill that my character got access to, and the next 40 levels were just a matter of acquiring Shadow Bolt Rank 2 through Shadow Bolt Rank 6. I had a horrible vision of the next hundred hours of my life being spent doing the exact same thing I’d just been doing only with bigger damage numbers, and I turned the game off. It wasn’t that I hated the gameplay, but I didn’t like it enough to do that much of it without variation.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      I think I got about to level 20 as well, and realized the same thing about gear and crafting abilities. Magic food level 2, green helmet level 2. There was a joke among my friends that the only reason to raid was to get better pants, and the only reason to get better pants was to be able to do the next raid.
      Then there’s all the random drops, which basically made each enemy in the game a loot box. I started saying, some years later, that WOW was successful because it was a casino where you wagered time for flattery, but it felt a bit too cynical at the time. Might still be true though.

      1. Ninety-Three says:

        People focus too much on the randomness in MMOs. In my experience there’s barely anything like a casino, and what does exist is often limited to endgame “kill the raid boss and hope for a one in fifty rare drop” stuff.

        I think the better comparison to make is idle games like Cookie Clicker. If levels 20-59 of WoW are doing the exact same thing with bigger numbers, then people play WoW because they want to make numbers go up. Logging on for a few hours to knock out some quests is popular because it’s precisely the opposite of gambling: a reliable way to make your numbers go up. It’s not gambling because you can’t lose, the worst possible outcome is that you die and spend a couple minutes walking back to where you were.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          In fact some of the earliest “idlers” I’m aware of, like Progress Quest, were specifically parodies of (MMO)RPGs constant grind for gear that only functionally differed in terms of growing numbers through quests that were a progression from “bring me 10 rat tails” to “bring me 10 dragon pancreases”.

          1. Paul Spooner says:

            Yeah, maybe Gashapon is a better analogy than casino.

    2. Kylroy says:

      The (live) game isn’t particularly like that anymore, but so many people were *just dying* to experience that again, so we got Classic.

  10. Dreadjaws says:

    Funny story about DARQ. The developer has been respectful to the fanbase, he shows he cares about keeping promises and guess what? All he’s gotten is praise for it. Let’s see the Epic fanboys spin their “toxic gamers” narrative into this. Hell, after the positive response the developer will now release free DLC for the game, which has also received tons of positive responses. As a corollary, the new Oddworld developers merely left a message claiming they went Epic exclusive because they needed the money without any attacks on gamers or overpraise of Epic and, again, there’s no outrage against them. Sure, some people are disappointed, but they find it understandable.

    DARQ is a really fun puzzle game, too. Puzzles are varied, imaginative and interesting and the game’s visual style is gorgeous. It’s short, but I think that’s pretty good, as the game never overstays its welcome and doesn’t resort to repeating puzzles in order to pad the runtime, unlike many other puzzle games. Still looking forward to that DLC, of course.

    Now, sure, some people here and there are being cynics and claiming the guy isn’t really all that good and is doing this to garner sympathy rather than out of integrity. And sure, I understand that point of view. Companies like EA, Activision and Epic have made it hard not to be a cynic these days, but, if that’s the case… what’s the problem? As Shamus has pointed out before, there’s nothing particularly wrong with greed; the real problem is incompetence. Many developers are just jumping into Epic’s offers without taking even a moment to consider how this quick cash grab might hurt them in the long run.

    Whether this guy is doing this out of actual integrity or he’s merely being business savvy, he has to be commended for playing his cards right. He realizes that he has more chances of staying in the business if he has the respect of people. Sure, big companies like EA don’t care. They already made a name for themselves (and they certainly didn’t have their current attitude when building that name). But indies need all the goodwill they can generate.

    1. Ninety-Three says:

      And sure, I understand that point of view. Companies like EA, Activision and Epic have made it hard not to be a cynic these days, but, if that’s the case… what’s the problem? As Shamus has pointed out before, there’s nothing particularly wrong with greed; the real problem is incompetence.

      Funny, two weeks ago you were complaining about Ooblets being dishonestly greedy in going to EGS, with no implication that it was against their best interests. Now that DARQ is avoiding EGS, you don’t mind lies and actually going to EGS would be incompetent.

      You’re making it easy to spin a narrative about people making bad-faith arguments who just want to hate on EGS.

      1. Dreadjaws says:

        Um, what? Please go and read my comments again. My problems against the Ooblets developers were their insulting attitude. Never said anything about their greed. I said very clearly that if they had simply stated they needed the money no one would have made a ruckus against them.

        Sure, it’s very easy to spin a narrative if you ignore things people actually said and make stuff up instead.

        1. Ninety-Three says:

          Olivier FAURE: It really looks like they thought “Well, we’ll just explain our point of view and then these thousands of aggressive fans will realize that the strong opinions that they hold and have spent months arguing about online are wrong and thank us for being so honest about our decision, right?”

          Dreadjaws: I see this kind of defense all the time, and I can’t agree with it. No one would have been bothered if they actually had been honest (I mean, generally speaking, of course someone would have been bothered). If all they had done was say “Hey, guys, we really need the money. We can’t finish this game without it and put food on the table”, that would have been honest and understandable, and people would be alright with it.

          But not only no one does that (every single developer that takes Epic’s deal take the chance to prop them up at the best thing that happened to PC gaming or attack Steam)

          Here we have the Monday August 12 post in which you claim that they had not been honest (falsely, since they did talk about how they needed the money, and didn’t spin Epic as good for PC gaming), and that their dishonesty was a significant problem. In fact, per “No one would have been bothered if they actually had been honest”, they could’ve insulted people and not bothered anyone so long as they were honest.

          I admire the boldness of accusing me of ignoring what you said and making stuff up, while you ignore what you previously said and make stuff up, about a post in which you ignored what someone said and made stuff up.

          1. Dreadjaws says:

            I don’t understand how you take the actual words I said as an argument in your favor when all that does is say precisely what I said in the comment you’re replying to. So yeah, you’re quoting what I said, but you’re still ignoring it, because, again, I never said anything about them being greedy. My problem was, quite rightly, their attitude.

            I think the problem is that you somehow believe that honesty in this situation and the previous one are interchangeable. Again, the problem is the attitude. With the Ooblets developers, being honest would have probably led to a more positive attitude towards gamers. In the case of the DARQ developer, being honest or not is not a problem because he’s not being disrespectful.

            Clearly you want to win this argument, whether you have a point or not, and you’re deliberately quoting things out of context and misinterpreting in a very picky way what are really very clear messages in order to try to get your point across. So yeah, you’re making stuff up.

            1. Shamus says:

              Arg. Neither one of you is “making stuff up”.

              I’ve been reading comments from both of you for years now. I’ve never known either one of you to engage in calculated deceit.

              The fact that you’re both looking at the same comment and disagreeing on what it says, and you both saw the Ooblets post and disagreed on what IT said, indicates that there’s a pretty big gap in understanding. I don’t mind if you keep chewing on the topic, but if you ARE going to keep chewing on the topic, I’d really appreciate it if you could do so with a bit of circumspection. If you come in with the attitude of, “Ah-HA! Now I’ve cornered you and you have no choice but to admit I was right all along!” then you’ll just continue to go around in circles.

              I gave up on the argument the first time around because I don’t think you can PROVE something is offensive. If someone wants to look at the Ooblets message and claim that, “No, I don’t see how anyone could be insulted by this”, then there isn’t really any way to change their mind on that. Maybe there’s some cultural difference at work on something provocative in one context sounds benign in another. I don’t know.

              Anyway, please back up and give the other person the benefit of the doubt, or just let it go. I would like to get off of this particular conversational merry-go-round.

              Thank you.

              1. Apologies for stepping in, but «I don’t think you can PROVE something is offensive» makes me want to point at an excellent quote by Jimmy Carr in one fragment of his performances on the most offensive jokes. In the intro he says “offense is taken, not given”. I think that’s spot on. Even if you can argue certain things can be said with the intent of offending, but that’s based on your knowledge or expectation that the target party will take offence. But even then, you can do that and find the target party isn’t offended.
                There is also the point that sometimes I see people arguing (also in my first language) and realized each side is interpreting the same phrase differently, which includes seeing different attitudes behind the same text.

                1. Asdasd says:

                  Sadly that attitude hasn’t really held up even among stand-up comedians. Policing and social media call-outs are becoming increasingly common within the profession.

                  I hadn’t followed this Darq controversy at all, so I was pretty stunned when Penny Arcade stepped up and took a huge swing at Epic, whose side I would have expected them to be on:


                  I was taken aback by the comic, but the news post offers a more nuanced position that takes a lot of perspectives into account. Like Jerry I could not sympathise more with the position of artists trying to sell their art. I think revenue guarantees are a bit weird – insurance against failure is great, but the position it empowers is one in which you’re betting on your game to fail. If your game is a success, as you’d hope the EGS would help it to be, and you recoup through your sales to the point where the guarantee is null, then congratulations, you’ve essentially given your exclusivity to Epic for free.

                  In spite of that the market is still so cut-throat that, hand on heart, I don’t know what I’d do if I was the one having to maken that choice.

                  But in no way do sales guarantees – or even the 88/12 split – constitute a grand act of altruism on Epic’s part, and I agree with Jerry that it’s strange to see people so quick to reach for that moral framing.

                  1. Mike says:

                    I think it’s a great economic perspective on the issue, where I’d like to add two additional points:

                    – As soon as “success is assured” offer is made, devs get immediate economic incentive to pocket the money and drop the game on the floor.

                    It’s in no way given that anyone will make that choice, as people are not “homo economicus” and have many other incentives beyond just money – such as making a great game and a portfolio for future gamedev career.
                    Though if latter two are the case, limiting or alienating audience for your passion-heavy project is a heavy price to pay.

                    – Exclusivity is limited.

                    So if you are making a platform of a game with a ton of future improvements, content, DLCs or such, first year might not matter that much, kinda like early early-access period, where game is not ready for mass-market anyway.
                    Though this in turn gets undermined by lack of features on EGS (such games live or die by their moddability), undermining good will (which you most need if game is kinda raw), and EGS is probably less likely to pick these up in the first place (though Satisfactory might be an interesting counter-example).

                    Given the two, maybe EGS guarantee + devs thinking long-term will make sense once/if emotions and moral panic cools down a bit, making EGS into a dedicated early access platform, though doubt Epic can make profit off that.

              2. Dreadjaws says:

                I have no problem with letting this go, but I don’t understand why the guy follows me from thread to thread trying to catch me with an attitude I never had and saying something I never said. This isn’t about the argument on Ooblets, it’s about this particular commenter attacking me personally.

                1. GargamelLenoir says:

                  Maybe Shamus is right, maybe he means well but his background gives him another vision of your comment entirely… I read your comments (including the one he quoted) and see them as you intended them for what it’s worth.

            2. Ninety-Three says:

              At least one of these statements must be false:
              A: No one would have been bothered if they actually had been honest
              B: You are bothered by their attitude of disrespect
              C: It is possible to be simultaneously honest and disrespectful

              Are we disagreeing over logic (C), are you exempting yourself under “I mean, generally speaking, of course someone would have been bothered”, or is one of A and B false?

              1. Dreadjaws says:

                Look, man, I’m not trying to exempt myself from anything. While I do think it’s rude from you to angrily start accusing me of stuff I never said, I believe this is a miscomunication issue. I’m not the kind of person that believes honesty is always the best policy. So when I praise someone from being honest and I praise others for not being honest (or, at least, in this particular case, not praising, but saying it doesn’t really matters) you have to understand that it’s a matter of context.

                Again, the real problem here is attitude. I did not like the attitude of the Ooblets developers. I like the attitude of the DARQ developer. With the latter, honesty doesn’t really come into play because they’re not engaging into aggression against the community. In the case of the former, honesty would have worked in their favor. They weren’t being honest, they were being passive-aggressive. They were using bad analogies, unfair generalization and overpraise of Epic that simply couldn’t have come from honesty. Yeah, it’s true, I don’t have mind powers and I don’t know what other people are thinking, but when they resort to basically internet forum troll fallacies as their argument then there are pretty much two choices: they’re being dishonest or they’re being massive idiots, and playing the odds I choose to believe it’s the former.

                Now, if you want to keep thinking I’m some sort of Steam shill and I only hate Epic because I can’t accept change, be my guest, just stop pestering me about it. And please never talk to me about The Last Jedi either, because I can see your argument coming from a mile away.

                1. Ninety-Three says:

                  My post was not a rhetorical tool to accuse you of exempting yourself, this was me attempting to resolve a disagreement with a simple question about which one of three possibilities is the case. I notice that you have not answered it.

                  1. Dreadjaws says:

                    I give up.

                    1. Supah Ewok says:

                      Y’all need to just kiss already.

                    2. Nimrandir says:

                      Hey! No LARPing!

                    3. Ninety-Three says:

                      My theory of this disagreement is that Dreadjaws not performing a calculated deception but using words with an indifference to truth. For instance, he might say that “No one would have been bothered if [Ooblets] actually had been honest” because that phrase expresses frustration: the words are not meant as a counterfactual claim about whether people would have been bothered had Ooblets been honest. This explains my confusion about why he used those words even though he was angry about disrespect and would have been angry had Ooblets been honestly disrespectful. This also explains why he uses words like “blackmail”, “dishonest” and “coercion” to describe clear and voluntary contracts he disapproves of, why he has stated frustration with everyone taking him literally, and why he is refusing to answer my question about a logical contradiction between two of his statements.

                      TL;DR: A disagreement occurred between us because Dreadjaws is an emotivist, while I expect people to use words to express propositions which are true. In the interest of avoiding future arguments, I will adjust my expectations.

                    4. Shamus says:

                      That’s a really good observation and (hopefully) helpful in the future. Thank you.

        2. Olivier FAURE says:

          Not getting into that debate again, but I’ll just restate my thesis from #269:

          The Ooblets devs were emotionally honest, but intellectually dishonest.

          The problem is that they made a statement in a context where they expected the former to matter, and it blew up and was widely exposed to communities that judged it on the latter.

    2. Olivier FAURE says:

      Funny story about DARQ. The developer has been respectful to the fanbase,

      Not saying you’re wrong, but the first thing I thought when I read his blog post was “Here’s a guy who understand that every statement you make on the internet has to be posted with the assumption that it will be read by a angry crowd looking for any excuse to have you quartered“.

      Like, seriously. His post is a perfect example of CYA done right.

      (not that there’s anything wrong with that, like you said)

      1. Dreadjaws says:

        Yeah, that’s pretty much what I meant. He has been respectful. Whether that was done out of real respect of merely “genre savviness” its something that really doesn’t matter. It’s a question of knowing how to properly run a business, and I think “Don’t alienate your customers or potential customers” should be right around the top in the rules list.

    3. Olivier FAURE says:

      (As an aside, is anyone else super disappointed by the first gameplay trailer for Oddworld Soulstorm? I loved Oddworld as a kid, but it never, ever occurred to me to think “Still, I wish it was more like Dishonored and Bioshock Infinite“)

      1. Higher_Peanut says:

        I only remember the first 2 (exodus and odyssey?). Some good 2d puzzling with the possession mechanic. They promised 6 games or something and kept dropping off the map. Series continued but never made any more puzzle games. Didn’t it become a 3rd person shooter with a hunter protagonist at one point too?

        So I guess I can’t be any more disappointed than I was when we lost the series in the first place.

  11. Linus' Baby-Momma says:

    Here’s a guide on how to convert a Mercurial repo to a git repo in Windows. Looks legit; Was the top result on Google.

  12. ccesarano says:

    Humorously enough, my buddy Steve and I also spent a lot of time on our podcast discussing the Sony/MCU split, but I’m cautiously optimistic about it. Like you, with Endgame I kind of feel done with the MCU. These new movies can cater to a new generation of viewers or something. I don’t care. I no longer want to keep up. However, I still saw Far From Home, and the conclusion to Far From Home is such a great set-up that I wanted the next Spider-Man movie as soon as the credits were done rolling… then came the greater MCU post-credits stinger and I was reminded that I may need to keep up with the rest of the universe in order to see the fall-out of things. That disappointed me. When Marvel revealed Phase Four, I noticed that the next Spider-Man was notably absent. I didn’t like the implications of that.

    But this split means Spider-Man can go back to being self-contained, which… quite honestly, I’d love. With Tom Holland still contracted to do one more movie, we at least have the same kid that just… is Peter Parker. However, while Sony claims the Director is still on-board, we’ve no real guarantees of that. Simultaneously, what does that mean regarding the writers?

    On one hand, if we look back at Amazing Spider-Man, Sony was trying to cross-pollinate between MCU’s growing influence and the massive popularity and success of Harry Potter and Twilight. Before Avengers came out in 2012 (the year Amazing Spider-Man released) and proved a shared cinematic universe could work, Harry Potter had shown just how explosively profitable a long-running franchise based on young adult novels could be, and despite all the competing “failures” (many were still profitable, but not the smash-hit of Potter), Twilight managed to be a big success. So yeah, a lot of people gave a ton of insults to Sony, but you could understand some of the logic running through some executive’s head. “Hrm, Peter Parker is a teenager, like in all these young adult movies… what if we threw some of that romantic drama into these films?” It’s one of the reasons I kind of love both Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2. They’re complete messes, but they also have a lot of moments of brilliance in them.

    Now, however, Sony has effectively been shown “Okay guys, this is how you make a Spider-Man movie” with a director that clearly knows how to make it work. The concern now is whether the executives will become too involved, or if they replace Kevin Feige with a producer that’s absolutely clueless.

    Which is where my caution comes in. Venom was a mixed bag of a film but it was a financial success, and no doubt enough of one that Sony is now emboldened to believe they can make this shared Spider-Man universe work. I don’t know if Disney has grown cocky with their ownership of Marvel, Star Wars, and now Fox, or if they truly were just unable to read Sony’s Poker Face when they made their 50/50 deal. It would seem all follow-up deals were denied. But I think the success of Venom has left Sony feeling like they’re not so clueless, which could unfortunately mean we’ll see Tom Hardy showing up in the next Spider-Man film in some capacity… and I don’t like that. I want to see Tom Holland’s Spider-Man continue on in his own wonderfully charming stand-alone films.

    My fear isn’t whether Sony can do a good Spider-Man film. I believe they can. My worry is that they’ll try and hurry into using Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to push their efforts at a cinematic universe forward.

    1. trevalyan says:

      If Sony insists on making a Spiderman cinematic universe, start in the animated Spider-Verse. Hell, have Doc Ock be the catalyst for it. That movie was an Inception-sized gold mine.

    2. Hector says:

      Don’t assume Tom Holland will be involved. He may not want to or Sony may suddenly change directions. I’ve seen numerous people claim that it will happen because of contracts, but those are hard to enforce and its usually a bad idea to try – and this is well known. This may end up flipping the entire cast from here. We’ll see how it goes.

      1. Dreadjaws says:

        Do you really think Holland is going to jump ship? First of all, I don’t know where did you get the idea that actor contracts are hard to enforce, because that’s just false. Second, this is literally the only prominent role he’s got going for him right now, leaving it would be a terrible idea. Actors can’t just turn away roles willy-nilly. Not even actors with a much higher profile than Holland can just say “No” to a role unless they have some serious cred or something else to fall back on. Third, the last movie ended on a massive cliffhanger. If he really gives a crap about the character as much as he pretends, then he has to stay at least to see the story finish.

        1. Hector says:

          Andrew Garfield was on contract as well. That didnt stick either. Holland probably has options now that he’s been in a big role.

          Some people seem to assume that Sony’s films would just be a continuation of the Marvel style, but that may not even be possible. Sony may opt for a new actor or Holland may not enjoy a different script direction. If he does not, Sony cannot compel him to appear, much less give a good performance. And that assumes his contract has no escape clause for exactly this situation – if he doesn’t have one, Holland should fire his agent. Same applies to the director, likewise.

          1. ccesarano says:

            I mean, time will tell and sadly trying to research what Holland’s response has been to this is not an appetizing task from my phone. Did he find out with the rest of us? Or was he involved in negotiations? Sony seemed sure they still had him, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

          2. Dreadjaws says:

            You might have a point, but you still have to remember that the latest movie with Garfield as Spider-Man was a critical bomb, was despided by audiences and while it made some money was still the Spider-Man movie that earned less from the entire franchise since the first Raimi film. The reason Sony did away with Garfield’s contract is that they really needed a reboot at that point.

            But this latest Spider-Man film, disregarding actual quality, was a major box-office success and a darling with critics and audiences. They really have no reason to change things. And sure, Holland might be able to move away, assuming he has options (which, again, might not be that great; what was the latest memorable movie Tobey Maguire starred in?), but why would he? In fact, being with Sony instead of Marvel might give him the opportunity to make the character his own rather than constantly staying under Iron Man’s shadow. They really have to deliver him an absolutely terrible script for him to reject the role at this point. And I mean “Batman & Robin” levels of terrible.

            Honestly, have you seen the latest Spider-Man film? It’s a visual spectacle, for sure, and has some charismatic actors but the script is so, so dumb. If Holland had no problem with that one, I really doubt he’ll be outright rejecting whatever Sony gives him. And if Sony manages to snag the “Into the Spider-Verse” writers for this movie I bet he’ll be throwing away his Mickey Mouse ears for good.

            1. Hector says:

              I disagree on the quality of Far From Home, but apart from that, well, Tobey Maguire’s had a pretty good career and it seems he just took a break. The only thing I wanted to pull out and look at was your comment, “They really have no reason to change things.”

              I mean, I agree in theory, but just by doing what they’re doing Sony *is* changing things. Sony can’t reference any MCU characters or events, which includes just a few important bits right now. They may not even be able to realistically follow-up on the apparent direction MCU was going in at all, and they quite possible would want to have a very different Spider-Man who can interact with Venom and all their other characters. In this sense, they’re sort of like EA when ti acquires a developer: Change is inevitable no matter how much it may be un-desireable.

  13. BlueHorus says:

    One question:
    Will WoW Classic feature the essential Goldshire Experience?

    Or is that more-or-less unchanged in the contemporary game?

    1. Chris says:

      Yes and no. Worgen cornered the furry market and dreanei have their niche as well. So it changed, but I think its one of the few areas everyone thats into that stuff agrees blizzard improved.

    2. Chad Miller says:

      When this game was announced, my first thought was “Maybe I can finally find Mankrik’s Wife!” followed by “What is wrong with me?”

    3. Asdasd says:

      For someone who thought the essential Goldshire Experience was wandering around in circles and getting lost looking for that one specific Gnoll among a sea of thousands, the pixelcat video I just watched was a real eye opener.

  14. Moss says:

    Is GitKraken what you had in mind with “git frontend”?

    1. tmtvl says:

      Seconding Kraken, it’s really nice for people who don’t feel like using the CLI or their IDE.

  15. BlueBlazeSpear says:

    I tend to think of “Rage 2” as “That game that Bethesda kept talking about at the video game conferences instead of talking about ‘Starfield’ and “Elder Scrolls 6’ – You know, the games we’re actually interested in.” I know that my thoughts and feelings aren’t universally held, but I just remember it being a game that I wish would hurry up and go away, and it seems that reality obliged me on that particular wish.

    I certainly grasp the difference Between Bethesda Softworks and Bethesda Game Studios, but they still share the same stage time and I felt like they were wasting it on this game that looks like a thousand games that are already out there. I was ready for them to get out of there with that noise and give us some tasty BGS morsels for what they were working on.

  16. Legendary Teeth says:

    Source Tree isn’t the lightest weight, but it has a very nice Gui for git. Especially for visualizing different branches and picking exactly what you want to commit.

  17. John says:

    My experience with Git was (and is still) similar to Shamus’s, except that he seems to have understood the concept of version control before he attempted Git. For me, version control was more “a thing I have heard of and that might be worth looking into”. I had to get a book from the library on the subject before I even semi-understood what was going on. Then I didn’t use Git for a couple of years and forgot all the commands. I use Linux (mostly) and have therefore taken full advantage of “man git” to refresh my memory, but that’s really only sufficient to re-learn how to do things that I already understand conceptually. To learn how to do new things, like branching, I’ve had to resort to the book again. (I think it’s due in a week or so. I should probably check.)

    I’ve got Git with a graphical front-end installed on my Windows partition, the uncreatively named Git Gui. It works intuitively enough for simple stuff like adds and commits, but it’s no panacea. Still, I was glad to have it when the re-write I did for the input handling code on my game screwed up keyboard inputs on menus somehow. The code in the old version may have been hard to follow but at least it worked as intended. I was glad to be able to revert to a previous commit so easily. One thing I’ll note is that Git Gui comes with Git Bash, which is like a Linux terminal for Windows.

    1. Mako says:

      I was wondering if someone already mentioned Git Bash. Here’s the link: https://gitforwindows.org/

      It’s good :)

  18. OldOak says:

    Good talk about Blender!
    Couple of 0.01 dollars:
    – the big frustration I’ve noticed with newcomers (and went through myself) is the multitude of options: modeling, texturing, sculpting, materials, composition, animation, video editing, and so on. Unless you understand quickly and get quite sharp focused on what you’re looking for, you’ll get overwhelmed (yes its UI will contribute to this, but the UI is/was trying to provide for all these options). People prefer workflows with Blender/ZBrush/Substance Painter, although Blender definitely offers a solid sculpting environment, and the materials shading allows a good procedural generation for textures.
    – the game engine — yes, it’s been removed. Although more programming intensive, with 2.80 you could mock up through python some dedicated UI/navigation controls/HUD to use the viewport like in a gaming experience — but all the previous “logic bricks” facilities were dropped.
    Oh, and I’d expect Shamus to pay more attention to the upcoming releases, as it seems NVidia is working in providing some advantages for those equipped with RTX video cards.

  19. OPG says:

    Hey Shamus, now that you’re done with the Marvel movies, have you tried … reading Worm? [scheming finger movements]

    Honestly I think Endgame was a good time to get out. I gave Far From Home a shot because I didn’t see Homecoming and I was curious how they’d handle RDJ’s legacy, and damn it felt like it actively didn’t want to be a good movie (I have odd standards for these so I’ll admit my opinion isn’t the norm, so I’m not sure how much you’ll agree). I wasn’t super invested in the MCU (mostly because I read Worm halfway through Phase 2 and it put those movies to shame), but Infinity War and Endgame worked so well at sending off this project that I’m kind of miffed they didn’t give everyone a 2-year break. I’m kind of surprised that you’re as done with it as you are, though. You’ve been in the geek orbit for so long I just sorta figured you’d ride the train until it went off the tracks.

    1. Tohron says:

      I’m not sure Shamus would be into something that dark. It’s definitely well-written, but it can also get quite graphic, especially the Slaughterhouse Nine arc.

      1. galacticplumber says:

        Yeah. Fair warning to anyone considering Worm. It’s what happens when someone takes the idea of comic book supers, refuses to shy away from the darker bits of how that would go, amps the creativity of power use, and takes the level of conflict and negative emotions as far as it possibly can.

        Setting is messed up, and anyone considering reading it needs to know that.

        1. Kathryn says:

          It *is* dark, and I normally hate dark stuff, but I loved Worm. In fact, I think I’ve recommended it to Shamus before.

        2. Paul Spooner says:

          I read Worm some years back. Or, skimmed it I should say (1.7 million words? That’s twice as long as the Bible! I don’t have time for that!).
          It was a fascinating attempt at a realistic treatment of superpowers, though it didn’t really answer any of the questions that I wanted answers to, and (like so many other superhuman settings) didn’t address conventional material science in a way that felt convincing to me.
          It also didn’t go as “dark” as I had anticipated. The reasons border on religious ones, so I’ll leave the details out, but the exercise struck me as mostly dramatic wallowing and artless attempts at body horror. If the social commentary was on the level of Watchmen, I must have missed it.

          Send in a question to the diecast! I’d like an opportunity to chat a bit about “realistic” superhero settings.

          1. galacticplumber says:

            It hits some people less hard then others. I’ve seen it mess with people pretty hard, and the warning is for those of similar temperament. Worm isn’t for everyone. It has wonderfully creative power use, goes a lot darker than is common, and created one of the most active and varied fan works communities. So active in fact that if you start and find you enjoy it you’ll almost certainly never run out of stuff to read.

    2. Retsam says:

      I loved Worm, but I don’t really care for Worm/MCU comparisons, just because they’re taking very different approaches to the idea of superheroes. It’s a bit like saying “I stopped caring about the MCU because Watchmen was better”. Obviously you’re free to prefer Worm, but I wouldn’t say it “puts the MCU to shame”.

    3. Asdasd says:

      On the subject of superhero web serials, I wonder if anyone can help me remember the name of one I was reading for a while. It had a strongly sci-fi bent, but the idea was that every year, someone in the world would ‘awaken’ with an extraordinary amount of power – always exactly twice as much as the previous year’s person.

      They’d also go crazy for a while, and quickly became strong enough to do untold damage to the world, so every year every single hero that had ever awakened had to club together to pacify that year’s awakened (following the law of powers of 2, each newly awakened would have the power of all the others +1).

      There was also some stuff about teleportation, FTL communication and other weird science. I got pretty far into it but eventually got a premonition that it was no way near finishing, and didn’t look like it was likely to resolve, so I sort of drifted away from it.

  20. Olivier FAURE says:

    I’m starting to wish this blog had a “No politics, and also not talking about EGS” rule, because every time the subject comes up it pisses me off for the same reason politics discussions do.

    People use the same cognitive shortcuts, the same “you’re saying X but you said Y before which proves you’re a hypocrite” reasoning, and the same general aggressiveness where everyone involved act like they have a moral duty to push their vision of the issue at every possible occasion.

    (no offense meant to anyone who talked about EGS in the past, I don’t have the players, I hate the game)

  21. DeadlyDark says:

    Finished listening to the podcast. Can’t help but have a chuckle, how different Shamus and NerdSlayer’s reaction to WoW Classic is. NS is really excited, since its success could lead to reverse trends of making MMO genre into glorified single player games on easy mode and to return to things he missed since the time of SW Galaxy that encouraged talking with other people in order to (improving the social aspect, which should be the most important part of the genre, at least, in his eyes).

    I almost want to see those two speak with each other now, for a half an hour or something (both are very intelligent, so the conversation would be fascinating). I mean, I never considered that level boosting is anything but a cashgrab by the lazy developers, but Shamus points out to level capped character sellers, and now I want to hear NS’ reply.

    P.S. For the record, I never played WoW or any MMO in any serious capacity. Genre fascinates me, but because of the internet or because specific games aren’t interesting for reasons, I never got into it. I have my eyes on Camelot Unchained, but no idea if I’ll play it or not. We’ll see

    1. Ninety-Three says:

      I mean, I never considered that level boosting is anything but a cashgrab by the lazy developers, but Shamus points out to level capped character sellers, and now I want to hear NS’ reply.

      These things do not seem contradictory. Previously, players were buying level-capped characters from randos making an effortful cashgrab at third world salaries. Developers realized they could provide the same service at the click of a button, and began raking in the lazy money.

      There’s a general argument for undercutting the Venezuelan grinders in order to preserve the game experience (e.g. bots are mining tons of mithril, deflating its value and rendering the mining skill pointless for real players), but just leveling a character doesn’t impact anyone else, so the only reasons for putting a stop to it are to take that cash for yourself, or to preserve the purity of the game (which you can’t exactly do while selling maxed characters yourself).

      A really nice example of legitimately undercutting the Venezuelans is letting players buy extra subscriptions and sell them on the auction house. It creates a system where anyone who wants to convert their real-world dollars into extra gold can buy a sub and dump it onto the auction house rather than going to a third-party gold seller, it theoretically isn’t a cash grab because it’s just rearranging which players pay for the same pool of subscribers, and it reduces inflation by cutting down on the number of gold-farmers pumping more currency into the system.

    2. Shamus says:

      That’s a really interesting take. Thanks for the link.

    3. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I always find it interesting how different people treat MMOs differently. Like, a big chunk of the playerbase leans heavily on the social aspects and this is largely the perception of MMOs for the people outside of the hobby as well. But for example I don’t usually get too into that, I like the awareness that I’m sharing the gameworld with other people in some way or that I’m contributing to a shared effort (I’ll often be the guy who’s religiously doing the daily quests that give the guild some resource for the next upgrade or whatever), I just don’t like talking to people all that much. For this reason I’ve often been one of those people who set up a base way out of town and just dig for resources in Minecraft, or I imagine I’d be a great “mining drone” in Eve if I ever got into the game.

      Just to be clear, I’m not saying either of those approaches is the right one, just that it’s interesting that the games that are nominally under the same umbrella name can be approached from very different angles in terms of players’ needs.

      1. Lino says:

        Solo players like you are more common than you may think. This GDC talk deals with all the types of solo players MMOs have. My favourite type is the “Lone Ranger” type – a player who’s in it for the fantasy of being a Batman-style hero who likes to go it alone. There are other types, as well. I even remember there being a type who enjoys the things you described liking (although I don’t remember the exact name).

        1. Daimbert says:

          I’m a confirmed solo player, mainly because I like the worlds that at least some MMOs have created but am not that interested in the social aspects. Where can you find a single player RPG that spans the Arthurian, Celtic and Norse mythologies, or is an in-depth superhero sandbox, or has eight detailed class stories in a Star Wars universe, or lets you play in the world of the Lord of the Rings? Some of the best worlds are in MMOs, and so in order to play in those worlds I have to play those MMOs. That doesn’t mean that I like forced social interaction.

          That being said, you CAN have decent social interaction even if people can solo. You just have to make doing so desirable in some way, so that the people who want to solo can when they want to and join groups and do the social things when they want to.

          1. Joshua says:

            My wife and I play LOTRO together. It’s not because we’re big MMO fans, or really like to be social with a bunch of other people at all. But MMOs are one of the few multi-player RPGs that are made anymore, especially that have a good interface for it.

  22. Mikko Lukkarinen says:

    I heard a rumor once, that the future wasn’t released on 1.1.2000 like they’d advertised, because the publisher felt the future wasn’t ready and so they postponed the launch. Some of the issues that caused that delay also pushed hoverboards and fusion reactors further down the roadmap.

    1. RFS-81 says:

      They forgot to fix the Y2K problem on the Future Computers, that’s why it’s been delayed. They’ll probably get them ready just in time to forget about the Year 2038 problem.

  23. tmtvl says:

    Ooh, Vulkan video incoming? Looking forward to it!

  24. The Rocketeer says:

    I think it’s worth asking if the forums are just dead, or should be left to die.

    I’d been one of the forum’s most active users, and once put a lot of things on there just for the sake of having them handy if I wanted to link back to them for future reference, which I often did. And I found it a useful place to write out my thoughts on whatever I’d been playing, justifying what was primarily a critical writing exercise by bouncing it off of the other posters. But the writing’s been on the wall for months: it’s a graveyard. The forum never had much more than just about the baseline of activity needed to justify its existence and has been dwindling from that point in fits and starts for many months, until now, when it no longer had the energy necessary to sustain two catch-all threads before being abruptly and indefinitely closed. There were a good handful of people I loved reading on the forums. Most are gone now, and have been gone for a long time.

    The tipping point seems to have been the big server migration kerfuffle, which put the forum offline long enough for people who had been in the habit of posting to break that habit; once it came back online, with no notice from the management and under a different URL, which was not pointed out to users and broke all existing links to past threads, many of our most active, interesting, and friendliest posters simply never came back, though some still post here on the main site.

    I do not see how the forum could continue to justify the cost, however minor, in treasure and attention that it takes to keep running at all if growing and sustaining it does not become a priority for Shamus, which I do not expect. Normally, a website would consider a forum a tool for bringing readers back to the site and keeping them there even when no new content is being posted— a going concern when your site has only three contributors. Partly, this need is alleviated by the lack of advertisements on the website, nulling the need for people to constantly click around on these pages. But from the start, Shamus’ attitude towards the forum has been something between grudging permission and indifference; it was created as a concession to slight but persistent demand that a forum be made, and announced more or less by saying, “This exists now, use it if you want, I guess.” Shamus has always considered this comment section the heart of the community’s engagement with the creators and with itself, and has always been very clear that the forum is never to risk making that function redundant; explicitly, the forum is not for discussion of the main draw of the site. Aside from sending a clear message that the forum is an extraneous sideshow, this also leaves the forum without the primary promotional devices one would expect; there’s no blurb at the end of each post or podcast saying, “Have thoughts on this? Share them with other readers/listeners in the forum!” Generally, whenever Shamus is forced to admit the forum’s existence by whatever issue is currently plaguing it, we get at least some comments to the effect of, “I didn’t even know we had a forum here.”

    None of this prevents the forum from making its own way and finding its own topics to mull, as it has in the past; the core of the forum has always been the “What are you playing lately” thread inspired by the opening chatter on the old Diecast, which ensured a steady stream of discussion on games new and old, and often served as a jumping-off for more specific topics. But that only worked while the forum was still above a certain critical mass, which is ancient history. It’s now nothing more than 4thDimension’s meticulous recaps of the current anime season, SteveC’s ongoing disappointment with every piece of media he has ever experienced, and Narratorway’s endearing defenses of bad films. Even during its peak, the forum had a rough go of catching new, regular members above replacement level. But now, if a person navigated to the forums right now (assuming they were able to do so, which they are not), possibly by accident while attempting to click Shamus’ Patreon link, I cannot imagine what they could possibly see that would convince them not to immediately hit the back button. Anything they see, even on the top page, to which they might be interested in responding might be days or weeks old at the newest, and even then would probably comprise a thread of two or fewer consistent participants. Nothing they might take the time to post themselves would catch enough feedback to warrant returning to their own thread.

    I’m not necessarily advocating closing the forum. I’ve written a lot of great stuff down there over the years, and it would be a shame to deadlink all of it. But concerns for posterity aside, I am honestly curious who, if anyone, would object if Shamus announced he just wasn’t reopening them after the latest outage, or why. If there is to be any purpose to bringing it back online, the following questions must be seriously addressed: what purpose, if any at all, the forum is or has ever been intended to serve; whether it is or is not serving that purpose now; and what might be done to serve that purpose in the future.

    1. Supah Ewok says:

      I’d be a little dissapointed if the forums didn’t come back.

      They gave me about 10 minutes a day of browsing for when I’m bored.

      Yeah, that’s really my only reason. My participation dropped off when I got really serious about college, and didn’t have energy for the long posts that place attracts. Or I wasn’t playing anything I thought was worth discussing in the games thread, either because they’re old or popular (and therefore I didn’t have anything to say that somebody else already hadn’t).

      I do miss the 2015-2017ish crowd.

    2. krellen says:

      The forums were made as a place for me to run play-by-post for the community, and that community fell apart a bit after the forums got started (though some Skype/Discord groups were borne of it, so it wasn’t a waste.) What the rest of you did with the framework was never its intended purpose. ;)

      1. Daimbert says:

        You were doing play-by-post? I might have looked into the forum if I’d known that!

        I don’t really have the time to browse and post on forums anymore, between my own blog and the comment sections on the blogs I read. I haven’t even registered for the SF Debris ones, and don’t even read them anymore.

        1. krellen says:

          This was years ago. I don’t know if there was still any PbP going on when the forums got flooded.

    3. John says:

      You’re probably right, Rocketeer, but you have nevertheless bummed me out. It’s clear that the forum is not a big priority for Shamus. Hosting the forum is nice of him, but I’ve never understood what he gets outs of it. It’s also clear that traffic in the forum is way, way down. If Shamus didn’t bring back the forum, I wouldn’t blame him.

      But I’d miss it.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        Same. I think the slow speed was what allowed us to post at length in the “What are we playing” thread, I actually remember occasionally just browsing that thread at random during slow nightshifts and reading some longer other_than_mine posts for pure amusement.

    4. BlueHorus says:

      Yeah, you’re probably right. Given how sleepy the forums were, it’s probably worth Shamus really thinking it through –
      is this really worth the time and effort to maintain?
      I mean, I liked it, but it wasn’t really a thriving community.

      I think it’s kind of telling that the people who’ve replied to Rocketeer comprise most of the people I regularly saw posting there, and they’re kind of agreeing with him.
      Hell, now that Daemian Lucifer’s gone, all we need is Steve C and Narratorway to respond here and that’s all the regular users I can think of (offhand, at least).

    5. Steve C says:

      I’d be bummed if the forums did not come back. There’s really nothing like that (general discussion forums) around anymore. I’d like them to continue existing.

      SteveC’s ongoing disappointment with every piece of media he has ever experienced,

      I find that rather rude. I guess I’m disappointed in the media The Rocketeer just wrote.

      1. Steve C says:

        Oh, also I’d be sad if the forums disappeared. I love having an archive to look back on. It has already happened three separate times since the forums went down that I’ve wanted to reference something there and couldn’t. I use the forum to organize my thoughts. IE once something is written down I don’t need to think about it anymore.

        1. The Rocketeer says:

          That’s exactly how I feel, with one difference: while putting my thoughts down for posterity often gives a sense of closure, I often can’t help but keep thinking about the same games as more time passes, and my old posts about them are useful benchmarks for how my opinions have evolved. Sometimes I’m surprised by what I used to think, or surprised that I left out something that now seems important.

          1. Paul Spooner says:

            Yeah, I’d like to have access to the post history as well. However, I feel like, looking forward, it might be wise to repost our favorite materials elsewhere, where they can’t be taken down again.

            1. Syal says:

              Main site reposts of the Final Fantasy 12 take, oh hell yes!

    6. John says:

      Upon further reflection, I wonder if the comment section for an occasional short “Hey, what’s everybody playing?” blog post might serve as a decent-ish substitute for the forum. I get that it might create more moderation work for Shamus than the forum did. There may also be other issues with the idea that I haven’t thought of yet. But the “This week I have mostly been playing . . . ” thread was, I think, the most popular thread in the forum. Or, possibly, just my favorite thread in the forum. It’s certainly the one that I miss the most, even though I’m in the midst of my annual summer gaming lull and wouldn’t be posting in it on a weekly basis even if the forum were up at the moment. Anyway, a monthly or maybe twice-monthly blog post of that sort might result in a really interesting comment section.

      1. The Rocketeer says:

        Unless I am misremembering, I believe Shamus has done exactly this at least twice, either as an addendum to the Diecast, to fill a gap in content, or maybe just for curiosity’s sake. And I believe both times it received several hundred comments’ worth of feedback, spilling onto a second page.

        Here, for instance: https://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=38520

        1. The Rocketeer says:

          However, it might be that the response volume was partly due to the novelty; it isn’t a regular occurrence to openly solicit the peanut gallery. It might not draw the same attention as a semi-regular feature. And unless the purpose is just for Shamus to gauge what people are into, it’s not worth it if people are just leaving their own two bits without taking part in any actual discussion or follow-up, although engagement seems pretty healthy in at least that one instance.

          I don’t think the comment format here is ideal for that, though; it’s never exactly accommodated lengthy discussions with it’s “narrowing tree branches of fixed maximum length,” exacerbated if two different chains on the same thing pop up, as they do, and consist mostly of crossposts or restatements.

          1. John says:

            Yes, I remember that post. (I waxed eloquent about Satellite Reign. I still stand by everything I said except for the part where I said I was going to finish it someday.) That’s more or less what I was thinking of. As far as the volume of responses goes, I’d say try it and see what happens. If it’s too much or not enough, stop doing it. I have no answers, good or otherwise, for the comment-width and chained-responses problems, however. I agree that the comment formatting isn’t ideal for the kind of discussion you can get in a forum thread.

      2. Retsam says:

        If we’re going to lose the forum and move discussions into comment sections, I’d ask for Shamus to add a way to get email notifications about comment replies: I find the blog comments very hard to have discussions of any length because you have to remember to keep coming back to old posts to see if there was a reply.

        1. Lino says:

          Even if the forums come back, I’m very strongly in favour of adding email notifications to the comments. Currently, the lack of such a feature is one of the few things I don’t like about this site, because it makes tracking discussions and replies to your own comments a huge pain.

    7. SpammyV says:

      Yeah, I’ve been wondering too if the forum is actually large enough to justify its existence.

      I will say though that I have enjoyed the community and the discussions.

      And having a place to post me misplaying through Pokemon.

      1. The Rocketeer says:

        If only one thing could be saved from the forum before running a magnet over the server, I’d pick your Pokémon RTR’s and there isn’t a close second.

    8. Steve C says:

      BTW Rocketeer I just watched Astra eps 9. Far from being disappointed, it was amazing.

      1. BlueHorus says:

        Well now I’m disappointed…


  25. RFS-81 says:

    I’m puzzled about what Epic could possibly want to achieve by rejecting DARQ as a non-exclusive. Is this supposed to put pressure on indie devs? Seems rather weak to me, there can’t be many people who will buy on the Epic store only. On the other hand, I have no clue as to how many random impulse buys they’re going to miss out on. Still, I don’t see how that would change the mind of someone who doesn’t want the exclusivity deal.

    And also:

    – “Say goodbye, Paul!”
    – “Goodbye, Paul!”

    Thank you for listening to audience feedback!

    1. Ninety-Three says:

      It’s a weird tactic and I can’t figure out if the goal was to change the mind of the DARQ dev, or to establish a firm stance so that other indies don’t try to negotiate out of taking the Epic exclusivity deal. Neither seems to be much of a gain for Epic, and the only way I can make sense of it is if Epic expects that they will sell approximately zero copies of a non-exclusive game (which seems plausible, albeit not obvious) and so they’re going into these negotiations with nothing to lose.

      1. Chad Miller says:

        I can’t figure out if the goal was to change the mind of the DARQ dev, or to establish a firm stance so that other indies don’t try to negotiate out of taking the Epic exclusivity deal.

        Given the amount of money being thrown around, it’s probably the latter. Especially given that if it were about this deal, surely Epic could still profit by lowering the amount of money offered and letting the DARQ dev tell his fans “I’m still releasing on Steam because that’s what I promised, but I make more if you go buy on Epic instead”

        1. Mistwraithe says:

          It is interesting. I suspect there are three factors in descending order of importance:

          1. It is a negotiating tactic. Epic want/need exclusive deals and I suspect they are correct that their acceptance percentage is higher if they don’t offer the middle ground of a non-exclusive deal.
          2. I suspect Epic genuinely do feel that there is a limit to how many games they can release at once, they are clearly still working on their store features and automation. So I am sure they do have quite different criteria for accepting non-exclusive vs exclusive games.
          3. I suspect that Epic know they would have been outsold by Steam 100 to 1 if they had taken DARQ at that late stage. (If Epic had been able to make money or gain customers from a non-exclusive deal then I expect they would have).

          I do find this whole EGS discussion fascinating, particularly how anti Epic everyone is. Epic are effectively trying to break into a monopoly and appear to want to get to the point where they have vaguely comparable market share to Steam (by which I mean probably get to 1/2 or 1/3 Steam’s share).

          Typically monopolies are regarded as poor outcomes for the customers of that monopoly.. There are two classes of customer in this case – both game players and game developers are effectively customers of Steam and Epic. Yet, one market of customers (game players) are strongly defending Steam’s right to a virtual monopoly and are heavily against Epic’s attempts to gain market share and become a viable competitor.

          For financial reasons game developers traditionally couldn’t afford to ignore Steam, despite their high fees and unpredictable algorithm for recommending/surfacing games. Epic came along and provided a way for game developers to bypass Steam and still do well financially. However, Steam hasn’t even had to fight back, the game player market is doing it all for them!

          Clearly Steam’s strategy of focusing their efforts on keeping game players happy at the cost of game developers has been successful.

          It’s fascinating on so many levels…

          1. Syal says:

            I think the key is that Epic is trying to break a hegemony by offering an inferior product*, and instead of improving the product to be on par with customer expectations, they’re trying to force the customer to accept the inferior option. It’s like competing with McDonalds without offering fries or drinks and instead trying to control the meat and cheese supplies. The customer is worse off if you succeed.

            (*I don’t care enough to look it up, but I think Epic doesn’t have achievements, cards, modding tools or various other Steam condiments.)

            1. Olivier FAURE says:

              I don’t care enough to look it up either (high five!) but I don’t think it’s been refusing to improve their product; these features just take time (and money) to roll out.

            2. Mistwraithe says:

              It really depends on which “customer” you are. I agree that Steam is superior for the game player but in some important ways Epic is superior for the game developer. In particular Epic’s commission is much smaller (12% vs 30%) and Epic doesn’t yet have the serious discoverability problems that Steam has (albeit the last point is because Epic isn’t nearly as successful, although even if they get successful Epic may choose to curate more than Steam has). Furthermore Epic are offering guaranteed minimum sales in return for exclusives which further distinguishes their offering for developers.

              Which was my point – Steam screws over the developers (I don’t think anyone really believes that Steam needs a 30% commission in order to make good profits) but by keeping the players happy they not only get away with it, they end up looking like the good guys and end up with the benefit of thousands or millions of game players attacking their rival.

              1. Geebs says:

                The thing for me is, with the notable exception of the indie devs who are getting insured against marketplace failure by going Epic exclusive the business about being good for developers hasn’t ever really held up under scrutiny:

                1) for the AAA releases which went Epic exclusive, we don’t have any evidence that the developers (as in, the people who actually made the game) are getting any more money out of the deal. For example, Metro Exodus was supposedly Deep Silver’s decision. I would rather have it clearly stated that the actual workers at 4A got a bonus, rather than the default assumption that Klemenz Kundratitz bought another car he won’t ever drive.

                2) All of the money that Epic are spending on buying exclusives comes from two sources: Tencent and Fortnite. Stories have been emerging about how Fortnite’s content mill is being run on underpaid contractors and crunch time. So, even if some developers are doing well out of Epic’s deals, on balance more developers are suffering.

                Don’t get me wrong; I would happily choose to shop at a store that legitimately gave the actual workers more of the profits from game development, over a more “fully featured” store. The impression I get from Epic is that they don’t.

                P.S. I just got a free code for Control and so now I have an Epic Store account. I am a filthy hypocrite and you should ignore everything I say.

                1. Mistwraithe says:

                  Some good points, but I feel they are somewhat tangential. I’m pretty sure of two things:

                  1. Developers taking exclusives on the Epic Store feel they will make more money with the exclusive deal than with releasing on Steam. Otherwise they wouldn’t be taking the deals.

                  2. If Epic somehow magically reached equal market share with Steam and no longer offered exclusives then developers would make more money selling their games on EGS than they would on Steam (assuming neither changed their current commission structures)

                  Point 2 is the more important one to me. Fundamentally paying 12% commission is much, much better than paying 30% commission (particularly when you consider your costs of making the game might be 50+% of income so the take home profit could be double with EGS, assuming equal sales). So for developers the long term opportunity offered by someone like EGS being successful in breaking Steam’s monopoly is HUGE!

                  I’m sure in some specific cases (eg big bad studios) that money wouldn’t make it to the actual workers/developers, but if games are more profitable then there is overall more money to go around the games industry (which helps in many ways, eg it becomes more viable to start as an indy) so I feel the argument doesn’t stand up as a general point.

                  1. Higher_Peanut says:

                    From my perspective point 2 seems like a total fantasy. I don’t see any world in which steam exists and Epic stops buying exclusives.

                    The store as it stands is basically hemorrhaging money in an attempt to oust steam. Even if they somehow gain the market share, they’re still a barely functional storefront with low infrastructure investment. Given equal pricing I would expect most people to purchase what is familiar (steam) over an inferior version. The small indie dev gets money purchases won’t make the volume required to continue competing without continued exclusives.

                    The comments Epic made about the store and responding to questions show it’s aimed at developers and the customer is a secondary concern. They’ve very deep pockets they could invest in infrastructure, but it’s clear they’re not trying to compete with steam with a superior product. In the hypothetical where they have an equal product I still don’t see Epic dropping exclusives because why settle for competing with steam when you could force them out of the market and make more money.

              2. GM says:

                I remember something about steam selling in India and Epic not and the method being such that lowering the commision would cost them money,what with steam cards and such.

                And have you look at what Steam offer versus Epic and also considered wheter what Epic doing with underbidding is honest trade or an foolish attempt for monopoly?

                Oh and does the price off serve the game developer or just tell the costumer the game is worth less.

                1. RFS-81 says:

                  I don’t have a link handy, but what I heard was that in Japan (and probably many other countries) people do not like to use credit cards and don’t really have any alternative means for online payment. So in these countries, people mostly use the prepaid cards that you can buy in supermarkets or gaming stores, etc. But of course the vendors want to take a cut, and the buyers expect that a 50$ prepaid card is worth 50$ on Steam, so that eats into the cut that Valve is taking from the dev or publisher.

                  1. Mistwraithe says:

                    Yes, I think Shamus wrote about this once. Steam have built their model on 30% commission so they potentially are trapped in some edge cases, however in general I’m sure Steam could be profitable with much less commission.

                    1. RFS-81 says:

                      Sure! Valve will take as much as they can without publishers jumping to an alternative. I don’t know if they can afford to match the 12% deal though.

              3. Syal says:

                The developers are being paid to show up. They are not customers, they are the employees who make the burgers.

                1. Mistwraithe says:

                  But developers are a much more specialised and limited resource than employees at a burger joint. In theory there should be strong competition between storefronts for the best developers (or rather for their games) but in practice Steam doesn’t need to compete for developers because it effectively has a monopoly on the game player side.

            3. Mistwraithe says:

              BTW, I think Epic’s counter to your analogy would be that if they get their way then consumers will have more choice in their types of meat and cheese, plus higher quality meat and cheese, because the meat and cheese suppliers (developers) will get a much larger share of the purchase prices.

              Obviously Epic would also say that they are working on offering fries and drinks too, and will retrospectively add them to your previously purchased burgers when they are available… but the analogy is really starting to break down! :-).

              1. Syal says:

                …I’m taking this opportunity to link Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass, because MAN that game is good.

                …oh, relevance. Uh… right.

                This is the quality we have now. This is what one guy can do with RPG Maker.

          2. Olivier FAURE says:

            The mail between Epic and DARQ developer suggests n°2, but I’m not really seeing why. Is the number of games EGS can release that limited? Why?

            1. Mistwraithe says:

              I can see possible reasons such as lack of good discovery queues (mainly a problem if you have a lot of games), manual steps still required for creating and managing game pages/infrastructure (lack of automation), limited trained support staff for managing the relationship with the developers for each new game, even concerns over peak bandwidth usage (Steam has invested a LOT in global bandwidth to support their downloads).

              That is all pure speculation though, it’s possible that it’s just an excuse in, which case #2 and #3 should be swapped.

          3. BlueHorus says:

            I think it’s a matter of perception: It’s not what you do, it’s also how you do it.
            Epic’s ‘be exclusive or we won’t sell your game at all’ stance is just an assholish thing to do, business sense or not, and engenders dislike. They WOULD make money selling the game alongside Steam – not much, sure – but they’re turning it down out of what (is business acumen but also) seems like spite.

            Similar to the Ooblets controversy – going for the money Epic was offering made sense for the devs. But they announced it in a way that was insulting and belittling to a lot of people. They could have just said ‘we’re a small company, more financial security is what we need’ – but they didn’t.

    2. Dreadjaws says:

      Probably a little strongarming with the “Well, if you don’t accept our deal you’re not just missing out on the upfront cash, but also every possible sale in our store, which, I remind you, gives you 88% of total earnings”. It’s almost blackmail at this point, but, like I’ve said before, Tim Sweeney looks more like someone who’s lucked out in the business than someone who’s actually business savvy.

      1. Ninety-Three says:

        If your idea of blackmail involves giving money to the blackmail-ee, you’ve been doing it wrong.

        1. Dreadjaws says:

          You know, at this point you’re just deliberately trolling me.

          1. Ninety-Three says:

            My favorite part of this is that I didn’t even notice who I was responding to until the post was written. But sure man, it’s all about you.

            1. Shamus says:

              The conversation just died down and you decide mock Dreadjaws one last time. I really was hoping my comment would encourage some sort of circumspection or empathy here. If you’re trying to demonstrate that this isn’t personal, then is it too much to ask that you not make it personal?

      2. Olivier FAURE says:

        That’s a very creative interpretation of the concept of blackmail.

        It’s not uncommon, mind you. This is something that I feel a lot of people get wrong whenever they discuss capitalism and the free market.

        “Blackmail” is when you’re setting up a situation where the other party is ruined if they don’t take your deal. It doesn’t apply to situations where the other party is in the exact same situation after refusing you that they were before you made your offer.

        You can argue there’s an exception where the company offering the deal is a monopoly, and refusing it isn’t an option (eg if a sweatshop combine tells employees “Take our pay cut, or good lob finding another job”, then it’s probably blackmail), but that’s clearly not the position Epic’s in.

        1. Dreadjaws says:

          Jesus, I was using hyperbole, for God’s sake. Why do you people take everything literally?

          1. shoeboxjeddy says:

            If you want an honest answer, it’s because ALL of your arguments on this topic have become too hyperbolic, which is creating a flaw in how you’re making your points. Hyperbolic statements that even you don’t fully agree with likely remind people of tremendously flawed arguments made by pro-Steam shill commenters.

            1. Dreadjaws says:

              How are my other arguments hyperbolic? The only other argument I made is that I don’t like the attitude the Ooblets developers had and that I think the DARQ developer is handling things well. I think those are pretty simple to understand. Everything else was me trying to defend myself from an unwarranted personal attack by some guy.

          2. Olivier FAURE says:

            I understood the hyperbole, and I think I understood your point, and I still think it’s wrong.

            There’s nothing coercive about proposing someone an exclusivity deal. If they refuse, they’re in the same position as if you hadn’t done anything.

            1. Dreadjaws says:

              Alright, fine, it was a poorly chosen word then, but my point was it was a dishonest attempt at coercion and not, say, a deal that hinged on offering actual value to both parties. Epic was clearly only looking for their own benefit, no matter how much they claim to care for the industry.

              1. Olivier FAURE says:

                Again, nope, there’s nothing inherently coercive or dishonest about giving someone a contract that says “We’ll give you X if you agree not to do Y.”

                You said earlier, “Epic is almost strong-arming people by telling them that if they don’t sign, they miss out on a 88% cut of their game” (I’m paraphrasing). And no, that’s not what coercion is. Telling someone “if you don’t sign our contract, you’re missing out on a fantastic deal” isn’t morally wrong, it’s basic salesmanship.

                Re: benefit, well, yeah. All developers are driven by profit at some point; it’s true of indie devs, and it’s especially true of companies the size of Epic Games. The fact that a company’s strategy is driven by profit doesn’t make that strategy inherently evil.

              2. Ninety-Three says:

                Epic: “We will give you $X to put your game on our store and not Steam.”
                Developer: “No deal. How about you don’t give me any money and I put my game on both stores?”
                Epic: “No deal.”

                No one seems to be accusing Epic of failing to live up to the part of their deals where they give a developer $X, nor the part of their deals where they put the exclusive onto their store. I assume we all agree that Epic will sue any developer who takes their deal and then puts the game on Steam anyway, which seems like honestly sticking to the “and not Steam” part. The only words left in the exchange are “No deal”, and given that DARQ will not be appearing on both Steam and EGS, they seem to be living up to their promised lack of a deal.

                There’s nothing left, what part of this exchange is dishonest?

          3. BlueHorus says:

            Why do you people take everything literally?

            ‘Cos they’re mostly engineers and programmers.

            More seriously: classic internet miscommunication?
            Forums lack the other cues you’d get in real life (body language etc), so people tend to either a) take stuff at face value or b) assume you’re using language the way THEY would, by default.

            Like if I used bold text to emphasise my points and people assumed I was being angry about what I was saying.

            1. Dreadjaws says:

              Fair enough. I tend to use quotation marks when using hyperbole and this time I didn’t. That’s on me.

    3. Syal says:

      The only way it makes sense to me is if they’re trying to prevent anyone from directly comparing sales on Steam with sales on Epic.

      They’re possibly just out to mess with Steam, since these exclusive offers seem to be coming days after people make announcements about Steam releases. They might view it as reducing Steam’s catalogue rather than increasing their own.

    4. Paul Spooner says:

      You’re welcome! (insert gem/portal 2 pun here.)

  26. Dreadjaws says:

    As someone who’s never played WoW, which one is more solo-friendly, current or classic? I really don’t like it when MMOs force grouped content.

    1. Chad Miller says:

      Current. The levelling system is fast enough that you can just ignore all group content if you want, and if you don’t want to then the dungeon finder lets you make pickup groups without the need for a giant friendslist or guild.

      (I used to play roughly every other expansion or so, most heavily during TBC, Pandaria, and Legion)

      1. Dreadjaws says:

        Nice to know. Thanks!

  27. Ninety-Three says:

    News on the Classic WoW front: It opened today and set the record for concurrent players across all of WoW’s history. In a very literal sense of the words, more people are currently playing Classic WoW than were ever playing Normal WoW.

    Obviously those numbers include a lot of tourists and rose-coloured glasses who will drop off quickly, but still, that’s astonishing.

    1. Geebs says:

      Concurrent users isn’t really a helpful metric, especially at launch, and especially when the people playing Classic are the exact same people as those playing regular WoW.

      1. Kylroy says:

        WoW’s peak was ~12 million subscribers, but ~100 million different people subscribed to the game since 2004. If even 20% of them buy a one month return sub for this event, that’s a new record for the game.

  28. Duoae says:

    I’ve played a few MMOs and, to be honest, there are a few reasons I don’t want to play another:

    – I just don’t have that time any more (generally speaking)
    – I don’t get as invested in games as often as I used to and I don’t want to lose that investment like I did when I quit each MMO
    – I like playing solo: most of my grouping activities were less than ideal. There was always the random team-up which lead to a fantastic night or few hours but the majority of groupings just lead to politics and time-wasting whilst you’re trying to get everyone herded in the same direction. I don’t have patience for that.
    – I’m done with “clicky” interfaces outside of isometric turn-/semi-turn-based RPGs
    – I’m done with grindy games with little content or a preponderance of “tuning” to keep the PvP players happy at the expense of the PvE (which I prefer)

    Let’s see…. my MMO list is:
    – Asheron’s Call (which I struggled to understand back in the mists of 2000 so didn’t play much)
    – Planetside
    – Eve Online
    – City of Heroes
    – Ragnarok Online
    – Destiny (debatable, I guess but most of the hooks are there)
    – Planetside 2 (which I only played for a weekend)

    My three favourites were Planetside (before the BFR update), City of Heroes and Desitiny…. and quite frankly, my relationship with Destiny was very unhealthy – It was really a sort of “maybe one day it’ll love me” in terms of content…. but that day never came. Loved the moment-to-moment gameplay but Bungie never even came close to realising simple improvements to the variation in gameplay and they had a pathalogical addiction to locking content from players who didn’t upgrade to the latest expansion. (“Didn’t buy the new expansion? You don’t get the weekly content – despite it being zero effort to recycle the ones we’ve been putting out there for the last 6 months…”)

    1. shoeboxjeddy says:

      In Destiny’s defense, the purpose of say, the Nightfall Strike, was to be the highest level of difficulty Strike. Which fed into the concept of the required Power level. For it to be harder, the Power level was set to the highest point. So if the expansion raised the Power level, then naturally the Nightfall would reflect that. And to keep the game interesting, they allowed the new strikes to come up in the Nightfall playlist. If the game launched with 6 strikes and then added 5 more over time, it would be REAL BORING if they only allowed 6 of them to be in the hard mode.

      However, they clearly overdid this effort. When the game launched, the first Raid had a Prestige hard mode. Then when the next expansion launched, they made the same exact content harder with the Power Level demands. Despite there being new Raids for that new higher level! That was clearly a bad idea that cut off players from content that did rightfully belong to the core game and even made an achievement from the base game impossible to get, which breaks the platform holder rules of the console versions. If they want to create modes that match the current highest Power level available, that’s cool. They just also need to leave the base game playable. The current version of the game does this already, and the new version kicking off in October will be even more thorough and fair about this.

    2. Asdasd says:

      Oh hey, you’re me.

      I’ve made a few efforts to get into modern MMOs having fond(ish) memories of losing a scary amount of time to them in my youth. I’ve tried to work out why that is, and the conclusion I came to was that I just can’t withstand the grind and constant diet of awful combat long enough to become invested in their worlds, or my character, said investment being what kept me coming back in the past. Games like The Secret World and Final Fantasy XIV simultaneously throw too much and too little at you from the off – long and painful tutorials, big stodgy dumps of lore, but not enough to do.

      It’s all a bit too streamlined, both in terms of early quest content (which is flashier than ever but in a sort of on-rails, movie aesthetic way) and in terms of the decisions you get to make – I appreciate not being thrown into a screen with a thousand options on level up, but I could really use a touch of early game Civilisation, you know? Here’s one thing you can pick now, and not too much later you’ll get to pick something different.

      Probably the smartest design decision I’ve seen in any MMO was how City of Heroes delayed your travel power til level 14 or so. It was the perfect amount of time to build up anticipation and excitement without delaying it to an off-putting degree.

      1. Asdasd says:

        Just to add, I’m one of those people who played the month of WoW that came with the box and let my sub expire. Came back for the free trial with Burning Crusade and quit again when it was over.

        I recently went back again and played the starting zones for a Goblin, just to see what had changed (the answer is not much.) I managed to break into the backside of Volcano Island or whatever it was called and experienced what Shamus calls the carpet. It was an eerie experience and one that made the ‘theme park’ analogy feel so much more real, finding all that space that was a part of the world and yet clearly undressed set. Especially given that the procedural rules to spawn certain types of baseline fauna every X units of distance were in place, but not mobs.

        All three times I found the chunky world appealing but just got bored. I know for a lot of people the boredom and the grind is sort of the point, and I definitely felt that numbing pull during the 400 or so hours I was playing City of Heroes. But by comparison WoW dangles surprisingly few carrots over your head, or at least did prior to flying mounts or whatever. Another level in frost bolt is definitely not going to cut it.

  29. Gordon says:

    You are right about the meaning of git. The joke is that Linus (creator of linux and git) names everything he creates after himself.

    1. Philadelphus says:

      There has to be a “Git gud” joke somewhere in all this.

  30. Stalevar says:

    Shamus in 2018: “+com_skipBootSequence 1
    This will disable the appalling 30 seconds of splash screens.”

    Shamus in 2019: “30 seconds of unskippable splash screens!!!”

    That 2018 Shamus seems like a smart guy, you should listen to his advice, might save you some time.

  31. Tomas says:

    I’ve tried about every major Git client, and the one I keep returning to is Smartgit. It’s free for non-commercial use. The only bad thing I can think of is that unless you paid for it you cannot turn off the update checks/nags.

  32. Borer says:

    I know I’m a week late to this podcast but I still have something to add to the whole git question. I personally like the JetBrains IDEs (though most of them cost money outside of an educational environment). And those ship with git support built in. Once I’m done with my changes I can push them to the repo from within my IDE. With commit messages and everything. There’s even a graphical interface for fixing merge conflicts. That is so convenient!

    I remembered reading something about Shamus using Visual Studio. A quick search later and there it is in Unity Week #8. Naturally I was wondering if Microsoft’s IDE has anything like this. So I looked it up and Visual Studio ships with a git client built in. It’s also a thing in Visual Studio Code. (I mention both VS and VS Code because I don’t really know the difference and I am too lazy to look it up right now.)
    So Shamus, why not start within Your IDE and only look for an external solution if that is unsatisfactory for Your needs?

    1. Chad Miller says:

      Visual Studio is a full on IDE, while VS Code is more like a text editor made for coding (including plugins that can make it behave a lot like an IDE). I use it for Python and the git integration is pretty neat, although I use terminal commands for git stuff anyway.

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