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The Extra Credits thread!! EC is amazing!


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Honestly, I'm much more interested in a full episode on the quip at the end about the "lots of brown over there". We need to see a wider color palette in games -- the real world has it, and our "realistic" games should too.

This. I've easily been turned off by color schemes, and on the flip side colorful games have always popped out at me (e.g. El Shaddai, Sly cooper, Ratchet and Clank)

I think that Battlefield 3 did alright at this, not amazing, but at least I enjoyed some of the views from that game than other shooters recently.

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I work groundskeeping at my local college campus, and I'd just like to say that one of my co-workers, a 30-something-year-old guy from Alabama who has been gaming since the Commodore 64 era frequently brings up you guys when we talk about video-games during our lunch breaks.

I just thought it'd be cool to mention that not only do you find gamers in the oddest spots, but even fans of EC!

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Diablo 3, is it?

I'm interested to see where this goes. The game isn't even on my radar, because online-only for what they're offering is BS. Still, as you say, the results of their experiment will be felt across the industry.

RE: people playing games for a living, I'm mostly concerned at how that's going to stifle the market. I forsee a lot of "don't buy from gougers, I need to eat this week" threads in the official forums.

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Yay Lunatic Moon in credits :D

Great episode, too. I have no problem with online-only. Seriously, how often are we playing games on a computer that has no internet connection? For me, that's literally never. If I'm on a plane or something it's usually too uncomfortable to bust out the laptop and try to play something non-casual, so in that situation I'm using handhelds anyway.

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I have no problem with online-only. Seriously, how often are we playing games on a computer that has no internet connection?

It's about the loss of control for me. If I'm enjoying a game one night and the internet cuts out, as it sometimes does because no system of infrastructure works perfectly, I would like to continue enjoying it. Online only cripples that.

Also, not everyone is so fortunate to have the same circumstances as you. There are large portions of the American midwest where dial-up is still the only way to get internet at all. And in some countries, bandwidth is tightly metered, with harsh penalties for going over your monthly limit. Making no effort at all to accomodate these groups is disconcerting at best. Particularly when, as the video says, there is no reason to disallow an offline mode. Except greed.

Let's not trot out the tired excuses of duping/hacking/etc. either. People who want to exploit the system for their own personal gain will do so. Having everything run server-side just means it'll take them longer to find an exploit.

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Seriously, how often are we playing games on a computer that has no internet connection? For me, that's literally never.

And what about those who can't go online because their connection died (lines down, modem died and can't get a new one for a while, etc.), or their connection got dropped unexpectedly in the middle of play (which I'm sure will have some affect)? Seems like a shit deal then.

And really, it doesn't matter. A hack will come out that'll allow you play offline, and that'll be the end of that. I personally don't care about the proposed marketplace, as I'm never going to pay for someone else's weapon that was made/found in-game, and anyone who would... well, I question their intelligence. If someone made/found it, that means you can too. So find it your-damn-self people!

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Yay Lunatic Moon in credits :D

Great episode, too. I have no problem with online-only. Seriously, how often are we playing games on a computer that has no internet connection? For me, that's literally never. If I'm on a plane or something it's usually too uncomfortable to bust out the laptop and try to play something non-casual, so in that situation I'm using handhelds anyway.

http://ocremix.org/artist/4515/suzumebachi

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Poor Suzu :(. Unfortunately the market is a a point where it's perfectly justifiable to have online-only games, though, so people who simply can't get online access will be SOL.

From a business point of view, that model is genius. Frankly, I could actually see myself doing that - my brother paid for his DII set back in the day with a shitty drop that someone was willing to pay 50$ for. People do this already, whether others like it or not, so incorporating it into the game and pocketing some of the revenue for yourself is brilliant.

From a player's point of view... you can just ignore it, if you really don't like it. From my experience playing DII (which is a bit more than it should be... so many hours lost...) it's a perfectly playable game when you run it 'pure' (that is, without any hacks, outside assistance or hand-me-down drops). I am curious, though, whether or not they'll have a 'soulbound' process - that would work both for and against their market system. I personally am hoping for a non-soulbound system (or one which allows the item to at least be passed between characters on the same account), but we'll see what they do. If they already announced what they're doing... then it shows how much attention I've been paying :P

Great video, as usual.

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It is worth noting that, in at least some degree Diablo 3 is (can be) completely free "sort of".

For anyone unfamiliar on how it works:

  1. You have/buy World of WarCraft (which a base level cost $20 now a days AFAIK which gives you access to the first 2 expansions)
  2. You pay for WoW for 1 year. Either in 1 lump some or 12 consectutive months.

Once you do this you get Diablo III and a few other things you don't really care about BUT if you're one of the people that has a constant WoW subscription anyway, then you really do get the game for free, and I assume this is because Blizzard REALLY wants THOSE WoW players to play Diablo because they think they'll use the marketplace more.

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Probably some effect, but not in the way you're thinking.

There are two ways of valuing an item - one for it's monetary worth and another for it's actual function. If a barb item can get you a hold of a monk item, as long as the other person can use the barb item s/he'll probably still trade. Real money can add a different perspective to trading (which means you'll have a possible alternative edge, when bartering), but overall if someone would have made the trade when real money wasn't involved it's likely that they'd make the trade when each item has some monetary value.

Beside that, not everyone is going to know the value of every randomly generated item. They won't look at a rare drop and think 'Well, I could probably fetch 2-5$ for this on the auction house'. Remember, in a game like DIII, if it's anything like DII there will be a lot of items that are great drops for somebody (I'm talking about a 5-1 ratio per character on a given server, to give a conservative estimate). That means with a player base of a million (and THAT is a conservative estimate, to say the least) there would be about 5 million great items that people would want to trade/sell to other people - and that's assuming that each person only makes one character (which isn't even conservative - that's probably just going to be incorrect). At best, most items will be in the micro transaction range (>1$ - 2$, maybe), if a person wants to make money off their items, and THAT'S assuming that a person can even find a price for a randomly generated item on the auction.

Sure, there will be those one-of-a-kind items that'll fetch ridiculous amounts of money every once in a while... but again, looking to Diablo II as a model, those items are astronomically rare (think something like literally 1/1,000,000 chance to drop from only the top tier baddies, like Nihilithak and Baal - with 300% MF). So yes, there will be items that are expensive on the Auction House that you will NOT want to trade for an item, the law of averages says that you will likely never see those items legitimately drop so that's almost a non-issue.

I suspect that it'll have less effect on ingame trading than you'd think.

Thinking about this, though, I'm wondering if Blizzard will incorporate Hardcore into this game. I'm really hoping that they do, but looking at this marketing model I think Hardcore would be counter-productive to this style of marketing. Who would want to buy an item for a character that could be lost forever in the next game s/he is in?

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  • 2 weeks later...
The above counter-reasoning makes sense, thanks.

As for Hardcore, I doubt they will include it. I have also lost numerous characters to very short bursts of poor connection, so will not miss it in the slightest.

Q. Will I be able to use the currency-based auction house while in Hardcore mode?

No. Hardcore mode is not implemented in the Diablo III closed beta test. When Diablo III launches, players who choose to take on Hardcore mode will not have access to the currency-based auction house. Hardcore players will be limited to buying and selling items from the gold-based auction house.

Two questions answered in one.

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Looking forward to next week when the show gets back to the business of them vijima-games. I would've liked to see some examples of technobabble in modern games to tie everything in, but that might have filled numerous episodes, ha ha.

A whole video or 6 can be dedicated to the stuff that Hideo Kojima pulls out of his ass every game!

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And what about those who can't go online because their connection died (lines down, modem died and can't get a new one for a while, etc.), or their connection got dropped unexpectedly in the middle of play (which I'm sure will have some affect)? Seems like a shit deal then.

And really, it doesn't matter. A hack will come out that'll allow you play offline, and that'll be the end of that. I personally don't care about the proposed marketplace, as I'm never going to pay for someone else's weapon that was made/found in-game, and anyone who would... well, I question their intelligence. If someone made/found it, that means you can too. So find it your-damn-self people!

Well, first of all (to Clefairy) I wouldn't call myself 'fortunate'... I just have standard cable internet service. Something like 95% of Americans have access to broadband internet. I think a very, very small portion of the 5% that doesn't have access would actually be interested in a game like Diablo III. Just hazarding a guess on that last one though. And, I dunno, even though I've used Comcast for years (supposedly the worst ISP / worst company in America) I've had virtually no problems with outages, dropped connections, etc. Maybe a few hours out of every year. Is that really such a problem? Penny-Arcade put it best:

http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/08/08

I guess I just think the response is a bit overblown. If it were some other company, like EA with their crappy Origin service, I'd be concerned. But I've had nothing but good experiences with Blizzard and I don't mind being online and using their servers when I play.

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Well, first of all (to Clefairy) I wouldn't call myself 'fortunate'... I just have standard cable internet service. Something like 95% of Americans have access to broadband internet. I think a very, very small portion of the 5% that doesn't have access would actually be interested in a game like Diablo III. Just hazarding a guess on that last one though. And, I dunno, even though I've used Comcast for years (supposedly the worst ISP / worst company in America) I've had virtually no problems with outages, dropped connections, etc. Maybe a few hours out of every year. Is that really such a problem? Penny-Arcade put it best:

http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/08/08

I guess I just think the response is a bit overblown. If it were some other company, like EA with their crappy Origin service, I'd be concerned. But I've had nothing but good experiences with Blizzard and I don't mind being online and using their servers when I play.

I just see it as being an issue if you want to play at a location where there is no internet connectivity, such as on a plane, commuter train, etc. Then it's not so much about how much you're on the internet as when you're able to access it. Steam has an offline mode, for example, that allows you to access games, as long as you let it know _before_ you go offline, which is a logical solution to the problem: you have access to all games until you have internet access again, since you already authenticated them before you went offline.

And to tackle the Comcast tangent, believe me, I've seen far worse ISPs, many of them local to an area. Comcast has its hiccups, glitches, and intentional oversights, but that's because they're a business, and they have to weigh decisions like any other business. They're not perfect, but we can't really expect any business to be perfect, and Comcast usually provides a better option by far than the alternatives, in my (limited) experience. (How they handle the customer-facing side of the business is another matter, for sure...)

This is purely based off of personal experience, so there's probably a dozen counter-examples I haven't heard of.

EDIT: I guess zircon already sorta touched on the loss of portability earlier.

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  • 1 month later...
I wouldn't call myself 'fortunate'... I just have standard cable internet service. Something like 95% of Americans have access to broadband internet. I think a very, very small portion of the 5% that doesn't have access would actually be interested in a game like Diablo III. Just hazarding a guess on that last one though. And, I dunno, even though I've used Comcast for years (supposedly the worst ISP / worst company in America) I've had virtually no problems with outages, dropped connections, etc. Maybe a few hours out of every year. Is that really such a problem? Penny-Arcade put it best:

http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/08/08

I guess I just think the response is a bit overblown. If it were some other company, like EA with their crappy Origin service, I'd be concerned. But I've had nothing but good experiences with Blizzard and I don't mind being online and using their servers when I play.

Comcast tech support was my first job out of high school. I worked in the same building as Grey Ninja, if anyone's been around long enough to remember him. Pretty sure I figured out who he was, but never met him personally.

For the most part they're pretty good at maintaining infrastructure. But when they fail, they fail hard.

Anyway, as I see it, until broadband penetration reaches 100% worldwide, you're fortunate to have reliable access. That's just how I look at the world, though. Count your blessings and all that.

The response seems overblown now, because Blizzard still carries an enormous amount of good faith in the gaming community. Nevertheless, disallowing offline play is a blatant attempt to control how we use their product. If the product were inextricably linked to the servers that support it, like an MMO, that would be one thing. But the first two games weren't online only, so obviously that's not true.

As consumers, we're conditioned to find more options preferable to less. Even if the option is largely unnecessary by today's standards of available internet, some people would prefer to have it. Myself included. That's really all there is to say.

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