Weekend Confirmed 72 - Diablo 3, Catherine, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

By Garnett Lee, Aug 05, 2011 11:00am PDT

Diablo 3 starts this week's show off for Xav, Jeff, Garnett, and their guest, Clevver games' Andrea Rene. Garnett details his time playing a Demon Hunter in the beta before the subject turns to Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Catherine, the Resistance 3 multiplayer beta, and a couple other games. Diablo 3 also comes back up during the Warning with a discussion of Blizzard's decision to allow gear to be sold for cash in the game that gets, well, a little animated. Xav gets the show back on track with a fat stack of news that carries the momentum right up to Finishing Moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 72: 08/05/2011

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If you're viewing this in the GameFly application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 72 directly.

Weekend Confirmed comes in four segments to make it easy to listen to in segments or all at once. Here's the timing for this week's episode:

  • Whatcha' Been Playin Part 1: Start: 00:00:00 End: 00:29:05

  • Whatcha' Been Playin Part 2: Start: 00:29:39 End: 00:59:47

  • The Warning: Start: 01:00:50 End: 01:36:35

  • Featured music "Brittle Bones" by Wintercoast: 01:36:35 End: 01:39:35

  • The Front Page news: Start: 01:39:35 End: 02:16:42

Wintercoast is an five-piece, alternative folk/rock band from Vancouver, BC. Band Members: Andrei Dumitrescu plays acoustic guitar and sings with Sylvie Bridgman. Samuel Chow rocks the electric guitar, Alex Kadhim plays bass and drummer Alberto Cristoffanini keeps it all together. Together, the band hopes to win over both hearts and minds on their quest for world domination, starting with your ears.

Their first four-track EP, "Trees, Homes & Better Place" has just been released and will be supported by gigs in the Vancouver area, so check the band's facebook page for information on upcoming shows!

Listeners can download the entire EP and set their own price! Yes, even for the low price of free! (Of course, even a minor donation would be greatly appreciated.) Get it now on the Wintercoast bandcamp page to download it today!

Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, The Wait is Over on iTunes. Check out more, including the Super Mega Worm mix and other mash-ups on his ReverbNation page or Facebook page, and follow him on twitter delriomusic.

Andrea Rene hosts the Clevver Games Channel. For more, check out the Clevver Games Facebook page and follow Andrea on twitter.

Jeff Cannata can also be seen on The Totally Rad Show. They've gone daily so there's a new segment to watch every day of the week!

Remember to join the Official Facebook Weekend Confirmed Page and add us to your Facebook routine. We'll be keeping you up with the latest on the show there as well.

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  • I have concerns about Diablo 3's real money auction houses that have nothing to do with the potential of game breaking or people screwing themselves out of the experience. Rather, my concern is the potential for abuse.

    There is potential for a criminal element to use this real money system in a variety of ways. The first, perhaps most obvious path would be money launering. You take 50 dummy accounts to put up bogus auctions with low level crap, you have 50 more dummy acounts buying said auctions with money that needs to be filtered. By the end of it, you have a trail that shows you that you've earned that money off the internet, rather than by whatever ill manner you originally recieved it.

    We've had news reports of countries, like China, forcing their political prisoners to spend countless hours in the day playing WoW in order to use their characters as gold mills, selling the in game currency they earn for large amounts of real money. This makes that process so much easier and much more viable for other, perhaps smaller entities to earn money. Terrorist organizations could set up banks of computers running Diablo 3, using their toons as nothing more than auction fodder in order to build up real world money to finance their illegal acts.

    There are any number of ways that these real money auctions can be abused. Now that Blizzard would be getting it's cut both coming and going and a service like Paypal would get it's slice, what incentives do either have to keep out such a negative element? Couldn't this lead to governments attempting to pass terrible, game crushing legislation in order to try and stem this sort of behavior?
    I'm concerned about this, not just as a gamer, but as a fan of Blizzard who wants to see them succeed. What steps can be taken, proactive not reactive steps, to limit such liability and stop abuse in these auction houses?



    And, on a lighter note, I think it'd be hilarious if Garnett introduced himself one podcast as "thats with one "L" and two "Es". ;)


  • It's really been irking me hearing on podcasts about the confusion of Catherine's moral choices. The morality system is not based on good vs. evil, it is based on law vs. chaos. I don't know how things turn out in the endings, but please stop talking as if the choices are good or bad. it's to be looked as, "are you a committed, settled down person or are you more independent and don't want to be tied down." I wouldn't call someone who believes life ends with marriage a bad person, they just don't believe in marriage. This game is serious when it asks you to be very honest with your choices. The choices push you toward the sensibilities of either one of the C/Katherines, not good or bad morality.

    The game makes this pretty clear, but I keep hearing commentaries on how people aren't sure how the morality system works. You can't be nice to both C/Katherines or you'll perpetually be stuck in the middle. You need to choose which one you're going for which effectively makes you act like a douche to the other. I wonder if there is a 3rd neutral ending. I'm locking myself out of any media on this game that would reveal such.

    I love listening to Garnett and the crew because they usually talk more in depth about why they like or don't like games by really getting into the mechanics or discussing the meta-content that games contain. When they make misnomers or inaccurate statements (Garnett called Vincent, Trevor) I don't blame them. They are busy and can't fully immerse themselves in every game they play. It does bring to mind, however, how having to blast through games affects one's enjoyment or ability to effectively comment on games.

    Weekend Confirmed Crew, what games do you wish you could slow down and smell the roses in to fully appreciate and enjoy what they have to offer?

  • Just a repost of some of the potential fears I postulated with regards to this auction business. I was hoping to discuss this a bit, and whether the extremes are as bad as I postulate.

    Blizzard's decision to implement their own auctioning system is a double edged sword. On the plus side, Blizzard legitimizing the real money transaction for items is creating a more safer route in doing what is already there (as you pointed out with the links). Basically that "legalizing drugs and keeping it more controlled" argument (ie. Amsterdam).

    On the minus side, this calls for an increased level of faith in the trust in Blizzard. Blizzard have the ability to control the economy. In a worst case scenario, say some killer over powered and rare item is gotten and then sold for an extremely high price. Should the item be deemed as unbalanced and game breaking, and thus Blizzard nerfs the item, the buyer of the item is going to be completely screwed because that no long becomes the item that they purchased. Thus far, Blizzard have done nothing (that I know of) that has compromised the trust between their users, but the fact that with they have control of the microtransactions (though not directly as they have to go through a third party, thus they themselves are not the bank) and have this added power, does create concern, and for that I do see something to genuinely worry about.

    Obviously Blizzard had to have run all this through their legal team, so I don't expect any direct market shenanigans happening. But with the savvy nature of some of the hardcore gamers, they will definitely keep track of the specific stats of their particular items, and know when their items have been nerfed. In this case, Blizzard have to be extra careful about the game balance aspect with regards to over powered items that are potentially game breaking. The sensitivity of any sort of nerfing will be, and to some extent already started, to increase.

    One idea is to segregate those that have a certain quota of transactions, and those that don't touch it at all... but that is a whole entirely different can of worms.

    The concern is less about 'the philosophy of gaming', which is what I feel was the argument/rant Garnett was angling at (ie. the gamer that buys items vs the gamer that earned the items), but more a question of "How much faith are you willing to put in Blizzard"?

    Just as a side note, the concerns for con jobs within the gaming world reminds me of a couple of infamous cons that was run in EVE online, which I believe ended with one player practically owning the entire universe through a series of elaborate schemes, but all done within the ruleset of the game so that there was no legal way the creators of the game could remove his account. I think this is a cautionary tale amongst developers/publishers, but one that everyone dealing with microtransactions want to avoid. If this is indeed the case, then it would not surprise me that the game itself was actually ready years ago, but the long duration of time is due to Blizzard doing their utmost to keep everything absolutely air tight, and as con-proof as possible.



    I also posted something else with regards to the 'item purchaser' versus 'item earner' and reasons for particular choices. I don't want to repost that one since it is untouched (located near where some of the oldest posts are). I would like to discuss that a bit, if only because it is broad enough to discuss the merits of microtransactions and 'why not'.


  • I agree with Garnett about the Diablo 3 auction house problems. I also agree with Jeff Canatta chiming in about it dropping down into simple greed with uber items rather than just using them on your character. And I also, to an extent, agree with Andrea in saying it won't affect how *you* play the game.

    Just to build on Garnett's points, back in D2 I put in my time looking for loot, running absolutely countless Meph runs with my sorc, plus cow runs and Hephaestus runs. When you got an item or a Stone of Jordan, you *earned* it. You could then turn that around and start making trades for more items, always hoping to trade up to something that made your character how you wanted, or got you something you valued higher than what you had.

    With the addition of the for-pay auction house, this whole self-driven community economy collapses.

    This then becomes little different than people in WoW who buy their characters on ebay.

    And that's not even to say how annoying it is that someone can level their character up and just buy gear. Yes, it's their money and they earned it, but it drives an absolutely ugly part of casual/hardcore gaming.

    I'm torn on whether this actually kills one of the core tenets of Diablo gaming: loot crack. Keep making runs to get more chances at uber awesome loot. Why, when you can just buy it? But it also may turn people into even more mindless loot farmers to whore the auction house. Ick.

    Then again, me playing loot-crack D2 for 2 years didn't net Blizzard much money directly.

    One last point: If you thought there was incentive to cheat before...just wait until real money is involved...



    That said, there's not much Blizzard can do to dissuade me from the loot-crack that is Diablo 3....








  • I understand that Garnett doesn't like the real-money auction house but i think that he's under-estimating the audience.

    People like us, that LOVED Diablo 2, aren't part of the pay real money for virtual goods generation. We don't like the farmvilles and smurf villages, and the last thing we'd ever do is buy items for a game. The FUN is finding those items. It's the whole allure of Diablo. When you see an orange or a green item drop from an enemy it's like christmas. You get that anticipation when you put it in your inventory to identify it. Then when you find out what it is and what it'll do it's an awesome feeling.

    The BAD part about it was when it was something you already had or something that was for another class that you didn't play. What then? In Diablo 2, you'd sell it for gold which was completely worthless in D2.

    In D3 they are making it so there are all kinds of things you can do with your gold that will actually help your character. If I find some unique item that i can't use, I'm going to be selling it for gold in the game so I can make MY character better. Am I really going to care about making $2 in blizzard bills? No way!

    The cash-money AH in D3 isn't going to change how i play the game at all, nor is it going to change the way any of my friends play. All it is doing is allowing Blizzard some control over a market that ALREADY existed in D2. You're just kidding yourself if you think that you were immune from paid-items in D2.


  • Loved to see Andrea back. I didn't realize she would be a monthly regular so it was a nice surprise this week. Thing is, I don't agree with a single word she says; in fact, most of what she says pisses me off. Despite all of that, I cherish her point of view because it gets things stirred up. The best podcasts I've listened to since the inception of 1UP yours have been the ones to capture the truly epic heated debates between Shane, Luke, John, and Garnett. A podcast with all like-minded individuals is boring shit. So again, glad to see Andrea back, and I sincerely hope she stays for months to come. Keep the love/hate relationship alive for me! :P




  • Jeff reminded me of what was so great about Super Metroid. Unlike the more recent Metroidvanias I've played, it just drops you into a world without much explanation and sets you free to explore and figure out the whole thing for yourself. Even though the world is designed to be tackled in a certain order, you're funneled down that path in a way that makes it feel like you're not being manipulated.

    Super Metroid was especially wonderful because every area ties together and makes sense when you look at the world as a whole. The surface of Zebes is rocky, harsh, and mostly devoid of life. Explore further down and you'll come to Brinstar, where life flourishes, most likely due to close proximity to Norfair's rich volcanic soil as well as the waters of Maridia. Only the strongest life that has adapted to extreme heat survive in the deeper parts of Norfair. Even the wrecked ship ties in with Maridia, where additional wreckage and sections of the ship have sunk deep into the water and taken root in the muddy ocean floor.

    The best part of the designed discovery is Samus' secret abilities. Shine sparking and wall jumping are taught to you by the friendly aliens, but they're tucked away in optional rooms and I don't think those abilities are actually necessary to complete the game. Then there's the truly secret abilities, like the power bomb recharge, which are only hinted at in the attract mode. That game singlehandedly made Metroidvanias my favorite sub-genre.

    Unfortunately, that kind of wonderful discovery has been sacrificed to the gods of casual gaming. Now we have tutorials, clearly divided areas and warp points. Since games have gotten more complex, I understand and advocate the need for tutorials, but it's such a damn shame we also lost intricately interwoven worlds. I blame weak sauce gamers who complain about backtracking. Automapping wasn't enough for those tards, impatience led to warp points being commonly implemented. What happened to using your new abilities to traverse old areas more efficiently? "To hell with that, we have to get where we're going NOW." No returning to old areas. Well fuck you guys, you ruined my Metroidvanias.

    Wow, now I understand how Garnett felt when he ranked about Diablo 3.



  • Just want to say that Warcraft 3 is in my top 5 of all time, and a huge of part of that is the "lore" I guess. I'm not exactly into reading reams of text found in games, but I thoroughly enjoyed Blizzard's take on the whole Tolkein fantasy template. The narrative campaign has a fairly large cast of distinct characters, the plot is coherent and long, and there's a nice lack of moral stridency between the sides of every conflict.
    To that point, if I'm not mistaken WoW really bases a lot of its story components on the characters and plot threads of that game. Arthas, Illidan, and Slyvanas are all kind of explained in Warcraft 3. I've always hoped Blizzard would do another RTS sequel so I could experience more of that world's plot in a digestible way.