Weekend Confirmed 124 - Army of Two, The Old Republic, Deadlight

By Andrew Yoon, Aug 03, 2012 11:30am PDT

Kick back for a midsummer's show full of gaming awesome. Arne Meyer and Jason Paul from Naughty Dog join Garnett and Jeff "two 'n's one 't'" in catching up on games and the latest happenings in the videogame world. Conversations kickoff with EA's announcement of a third Army of Two game and the state of its floundering MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. There's also time to talk about Orcs Must Die! 2 and a quick look at Deadlight. Spurred back to driving from the recent addition of the Porsche pack to Forza 4, Garnett re-opens the racing game debate between it and Gran Turismo 5. Jason brings his real world racing experience to the table and it concludes... well, you won't want to miss that part. Finishing Moves puts a bird on it all.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 124: 08/03/2012

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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:

    Show Breakdown:

    Round 1 00:00:31 – 00:27:09

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:27:45 – 00:55:53

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 00:56:57 – 01:28:21

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:29:20 – 02:02:30

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Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, Club Tipsy 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.

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Comments


  • Garnett, have you tried "Datura" on PSN yet? It's a really interesting little "interactive art" title from Plastic, the guys who made "Linger in Shadows."

    On the downside, you have to play most of it with the Move controller up at your shoulder like a torch or something, and it can be wonky to control at first (lean the wand to turn instead of twisting and it gets far easier.) It's also only a couple hours long.

    Other than that though, it's a really refreshingly different experience with a novel Move-as-hand interface that lets you move a hand in 3D space in the game, realistically brushing and grasping at things. You explore a realistic forest, finding things that pull you into short dreamlike experiences with a moral choice aspect to them. The soundtrack is nice and ambient, and changes depending on the kinds of choices you make. I'd really recommend it for anyone who likes the short "art games" and wants something they haven't done before.







  • That car talk discussion was amusing but for anyone with a wheel almost entirely inaccurate. I guess I should of stopped listening when I heard about Iracer (as opposed to Iracing) . The Sony employee trashing wheels for some power assist nonsense was also a red flag. (There was some of this in Forza 3 but it was hardly enough of a factor to completely discount using a wheel at all.)

    First off, they comment about how you can be just as fast with a controller. It is actually far easier to drive with a controller because of the buffers applied to the inputs from your controller. In Forza 4, I've had friends who only play with a controller transfer a car over to play with my wheel (CSR-E) and the car would be nearly undriveable and oversteer with minimal effort. In GT5, try the Lotus Top Gear challenge on a wheel and try not spinning out. At least in Forza you can retune the car to something useful but this challenge in GT5 doesn't allow tuning, Much less changing the tires from road tires that, in real life, the car never had in the first place.

    The comment about maximizing the contact patch between cornering and braking was also baffling as it is essentially the exact opposite experience myself and other wheel users have had. Try playing Gt5 with something like Fanatec CSR-Elite and you will find that for whatever reason Polyphony Digital doesn't model any range of understeer; rather, the steering washes out completely once the tires break traction. On the GTPlanet forum someone seriously thought their wheel was broken because the effect was so jarring. They then played Forza and praised that game's force feedback because it models the transition to understeer and loss of front end grip so well.

    Let's talk about oversteer. With a controller in Forza it is difficult to cause oversteer compared to gt5 Turn10 buffers the inputs a lot more. With a wheel oversteering is handled fairly well in both games but as mentioned before the communication of front end grip leaves much to be desired in gt5.

    Btw that "japanese drifting track" is Fujimi Kaido a fantasy track so it is sort of useless as a comparison tool. You both go on an on about the importance of having a baseline by driving a 240, etc in real life but then the Sony employee trash's Forza's handling based on a track that doesn't even exist. Now you could say well it was based on roads in Japan but the track was built with drifting in mind so complaining that you have to use a handbrake is just plain stupid.

    Now the clutch. This wasn't discussed but it is the main reason I prefer Forza. Personally I don't have that much of a problem with either game's force feedback or physics they are both different but my major problem with GT5 is the clutch. Anytime you shift gears you must completely press down the clutch, change gears, release the clutch, and then press the gas. Not accomplishing this perfectly forces you into neutral and you have to start all over. It makes no sense, PD really loves punishing me for pressing the gas slightly before completely releasing the clutch. To alleviate this problem I've read of users disconnecting the wires on their clutch pedal and leaving the clutch in automatic so they can use the clutch like in a real car without this penalty. (but then you have no clutch, obviously)

    In Forza you can powershift and slip the clutch. It's not perfectly modeled but in this area it is far superior to what Polyphony has provided, If you misshift in Forza the penalty is a grinding noise, a later shift and some transmission damage and further misshifts will increase the grind and delay. This is a compromise,sure but it far better than just going into neutral.

    Next the comment by the Sony employee "I could be driving on rims" when speaking of tire modeling in Forza. This applies to even with a controller. I doubt he has even played one of the 70's muscle cars in stock form the effect of tall tires is very noticeable in Forza but is nonexistent in GT5. If you didn't notice it on a newer car that's because there are diminishing returns on having a lower aspect ratio tire. This should be obvious to someone who races cars.

    Finally F1. It is well known in the sim racing community that the Codemasters F1 games only simulate physics just slightly above the leagure of their other titles like Dirt . If Garnett knew that, he should at least point it out rather than hopping to that topic and misleading others into thinking they are in the same class as a GT or Forza as far as physics. //Now I personally don't consider either of those sims and this is a minor complaint but I'm just putting it out there.

    Love the show, just thought that the segment provided a lot of misinformation especially to those interested in using a wheel.


  • Jeff is on the right track. As a long time EVE player I've been wondering for a long time why other MMOs haven't tried to learn from it. Having a player driven world that actually takes advantage of the fact that there are thousands of people in it creates something much more interesting than any theme park MMO could ever dream of. It's not even something new, the early MMOs like UO, hell even SW:G, were headed in that direction but then WoW came along and everyone stopped taking risks and just copied that.

    The DayZ analogy is also spot on, it's easily the most similar game to EVE that I've played but because it's superficially a shooter it's much more approachable than EVE will ever be. I love it for exposing more people to how awesome a free form sandbox game can be and I hope that other developers finally start taking some lessons from that.


  • The MMO talk was great two things.

    1. MMO's lost their complexity as the graphic complexity increased and as more people flocked to them. UO was incredibly free form, EQ had classes all about Buffing, or Messing or Pulling. WoW took that formula and focused it to such a point that it became what the genre represents.

    2. The combat in MMOs I think is the way it is due to latency and a lack of hardware uniformity. Massive scale multiplies the problems when it comes to providing an equal experience for everyone. You can limit the game to people with the 'same' internet but we all know it isn't the same. So ACTIONBAR and cool down techniques fulfills the technological adversities facing the genre.

    Anyone remember Mortal Online? Didn't think so.

  • Thought I'd Tap in with my thoughts on the recent news of SW:TOR going F2P.

    I believe that If the product is good enough, people will pay a monthly subscription for it. Blizzard innovated and differentiated with WoW enough so that even with the threat of F2P, their systems are still so well refined that 9-odd million users are willing to pay $15 a month. SWTOR, on the other hand, tried to hide a clone under the shiny wrapping of voice acting and a couple of extra clicks during dialogue sequences. Reductive, I know, but there isn't a whole lot else to it, aside from maybe space combat. The particular type of themepark MMO is under effective ownership of Blizzard, so it's easy to see why people are unwilling to pay for an inferior product.

    Then there is EVE, which is targeted to a particular niche market and has flourished as a result. Its sandbox style is not only different, but very well tuned to those that most enjoy its mechanics and systems. The game is even older than WoW and still, people want to pay for it too!

    Simply put - one can't go about the business of creating content that is done better elsewhere without proper innovation or enough of a differentiation and expect to be paid continually for it. WoW is good enough to charge $15.00. SWTOR isn't.

    Thoughts?

  • I've always thought Dungeons and Dragons Online had an approach to an MMO that worked great but just ran out of steam for me.
    Here's the good stuff:
    -real time combat where position and all the objects (crates, rocks, ect) mattered. Also characters took up space and blocked attacks.
    -Instanced quests that were crafted out to include traps, events (such as a floor collapsing), and NPCs rather than just dumb mobs.
    -Multiple ways to complete a quest, such a disarming a trap or using a shield to block as others ran past.

    The bad
    -not enough content. Once I ran through all the well made quests I had little motivation to do them again since I knew exactly how to complete them. Also, not fun playing with someone in the group who just gives it all away. New content didn't come along fast enough to keep my interest and eventually they went to larger raid type quests to give something to do. I lost interest about that time.

    What I wonder is if a microtransaction model could fund something like this enough to keep the content coming. Would someone be willing to pay 50 cents or whatever to run a new quest in an MMO?


  • Great discussion on MMOs this week.

    I think all MMO gamers have asked themselves what to do about the "Holy Trinity"/"Wack-a-mole"/"Fetch-Kill Quest" problem that has become a real issue with the modern MMO space. I think Jeff hit the nail on the head when he started talking about the Day-Z MMO.

    In this style of game, you're given finite resources, an interesting environment, and left to decide for yourself what kind of fun you're going to have with the game. This is Eve currently works, and, while I've not put any serious time into the game, this is one of the reasons it sounds compelling.

    This Sandbox style experience is something that SOE's John Smedly hinted that his company is really focusing on in the future. "That's where the whole thing is going. That's where we're going. Emergent." from: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/xlir0/iama_john_smedley_22_year_game_industry_veteran/

    Is this the future of MMOs? Will games like Planetside 2 and War Z revitalize he landscape?

  • TERA actually IS free to play... sort of. They have an interesting new system, which I hadn't seen before. Basically, they created an in-game item called "chronoscrolls" that, when used, gives you 30 days of playtime. You can buy chronoscrolls in-game from other players with in-game money, so it's now possible to play this game for free if you're willing to grind currency to buy it.

    The trick is that chronoscrolls are actually purchased by other players for 15 real dollars. They're creating a legitimate real-world money conversion into in-game money through this item. It's sort of solving two problems at once.

    So Richy No-Time buys this item for 15 real dollars, then puts the item on the in-game auction house. Cheapy Grinder buys the item in-game and gets to play for free, while Richy gets in-game money for real dollars.

    When you think about it, it's pretty slick, but then you realize that you now have a conversion rate for in-game to real currency. So that tier 12 chestplate that dropped can be considered to be worth "30 dollars," which is a really weird thing to think about when you're actually playing.

    Here's EnMasse's blogpost on chronoscrolls: http://tera.enmasse.com/news/posts/introducing-the-tera-chronoscroll