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Thread: RPGCast - Episode 217: "That's Falco"

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    Man vs. Slime, the fourth type of conflict Administrator sabin1001's Avatar
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    RPGCast - Episode 217: "That's Falco"

    RPGCast - Episode 217: "That's Falco"

    The Pokémon will rule the world, the Mass Effect 3 ending dispute is resolved once and for all, and Falcor comes to Torchlight--no, not that Falcor. Also, we have Disgaea buying advice.

    You can find the links to all our stories on delicious: http://delicious.com/rpgamer/217

    RPGCast streams live, sometimes on Friday at 10 PM Eastern / 7 PM Pacific, usually on Saturday at Noon Eastern / 9 AM Pacific.

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  2. #2
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Chris is right about an all-digital or no-used future hurting the mid-tier more than the tiny or the big publisher. Tiny guys like Zeboyd or Team Meat don't have much, if any, overhead, so they can just release at $10-$15 anyway and make a tidy profit off moderate sales. The mega-huge companies will get enough revenue between sales to keep them around, especially companies like EA and Activision who market aggressively.

    This hurts your Capcoms, Your From Softwares, your Atluses, companies who aren't some nobody garage development houses, but aren't enormous corporations. They almost certainly won't get enough money between massive sales because those sales will likely be the only time gamers, without the ability to offload games they don't like, will even consider purchasing them. Then there's the fact that they'll rarely ever on the Steam front page the way an indie darling or a massive mega-game will be, and of course they can't afford to advertise as much. They'd rely exclusively on word of mouth, and as Sega has unwittingly taught us, that approach isn't helpful in the long run.

    Oh, and let me make this clear - if gaming moves into that sort of model, I'm straight-up done. I have more than enough games to survive the crash that such unmitigated greed would surely cause.

    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
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    All digital is hurting is people's ability to get special edition boxes. Something I don't care to pay for anyway. I don't want to go to gamestop and hear about the million things I should preorder.

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    The lovely nurse Member FreakGirl's Avatar
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    I haven't listened to the whole podcast, yet. But I wouldn't be very fond of all digital gaming. I collect games and I like to see them in their cases in my shelves. When I just have a digital copy of a game, I don't feel like I own them.
    I wouldn't switch to just gaming on the PC, either. I own a gaming PC, but nonetheless prefer the consoles and handhelds. I just put the game into the console and can play it right away. I don't have to install them (at least on X360 you are not being forced to do so), I don't have to care about whether I have the current driver for my graphics card or not, whether the game can run while Kaspersky is working in the background (I think I had that problem with Aion), etc. Just to name a few reasons.
    Most of my gaming time I spend in front of the X360 playing all sorts of games, while chatting with my best friend over Party Chat. I like it that way and don't feel like changing anything about it!
    Currently playing: Diablo III, Max Payne 3, many XBLA games

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    A Serious Man Drav's Avatar
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    Artistic masturbation.

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff GaijinMonogatari's Avatar
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    Sorry that I didn't mention multiplayer in the Pokemon Conquest impression, but there is a wireless versus mode. There is also regular DLC material being released, it seems.

  7. #7
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r34z0n View Post
    All digital is hurting is people's ability to get special edition boxes. Something I don't care to pay for anyway. I don't want to go to gamestop and hear about the million things I should preorder.
    Hyperbole much?

    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
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    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    Not really. Digital distribution in and of itself is nothing more than an alternate avenue through which to buy software. I know some people don't like it, but others of us like it quite a bit. Now, I don't think it's a good idea for the console makers to restrict their machines to supporting digital-only (and that digital distribution is more problematic on consoles than PC because of the single-market situation), but I also believe that the console makers are well aware of this and that all those rumors about anti-used-sale measures (in the coming generation, anyway) are just a bunch of hot air.

    Really, there are two different issues here. 1. Whether or not people personally prefer to buy physical or digital games, which is a personal choice that is morally neutral. 2. How the gaming landscape would change if console makers suddenly artificially prevented the physical sale of software.

    I really don't think number 2 is an imminent possibility, although there is a possibility that console makers somewhere down the line (again, probably not in the coming generation) will start attaching non-transferrable serial codes to game copies on console games. That's a separate issue from digital distribution proper, though. That's about used games, and perhaps if the console makers act to prevent the sale of used games, somebody will be brave enough to actually take the issue to court. It's a consumer rights issue, and one that consumer rights groups have been reluctant to challenge in court because we know how many judges out there are old and stodgy and don't understand technology. If we want to keep the right to sell used games, though, I think we're going to have to challenge single-use, non-transferrable serial codes and the like in court.

    Separate from the used games debate and consumer rights, though, digital distribution on its own is just another option for buying games, one that I'm personally a fan of because of digital sales on older games and because I like minimizing clutter in my house. If some smaller companies are finding that they can only afford to sell games digitally, that's not because digital distribution is evil. It's because economic forces are preventing them from turning a reasonable profit off physical sales. If you want to support these niche companies in their quest to continue to release physical games, mail-order your games from retailers who stock niche games or shop at a mom and pop that stocks niche games instead of buying your games at Gamestop/Best Buy/Wal-Mart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThroneofDravaris View Post
    Artistic masturbation.
    Pretty much. If you need to try and explain why something is artistic, or explain an ending, you're doing it wrong.

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    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThroneofDravaris View Post
    Artistic masturbation.
    I'd honestly prefer artistic masturbation to no visions at all, which is where Chris' position leads us.

    Rebo, I was more talking about the "million things to preorder" as Gamestop's not as bad about that as most on the internet make it out to be, and I've seen my fair share of pre-purchase splash screens on Steam.

    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    I'd honestly prefer artistic masturbation to no visions at all, which is where Chris' position leads us.
    The problem is that the current ending has no real vision either.

    This is one of the few times that I actually somewhat agree with Chris (sorry Chris!) and disagree with Manny. The problem with the argument regarding "artistic integrity" is the assumption that there was any in the first place. I believe that there was some degree effort put into the rest of the story, although that is still debatable for some people. But the ending was so problematic, and just seemed half-assed. To me, "artistic integrity" is just used as a cover-up for the lack of effort and thought put in the ending.

    Prior to the release of the game, I was opposed to fans having too much control over the final product. I do actually believe in the idea of this artistic integrity after all. But looking at some of the decisions made, it seems like the fans actually care about the product more than the producers do. The problem here is not whether fans should have the ability to change the ending or not, rather, the problem is that such a situation should not have occurred in the first place.

  12. #12
    A Serious Man Drav's Avatar
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    In case it wasn't obvious, I was just laughing at the term "artistic masturbation" (which I'm pretty sure doesn't mean what Chris seems to think it means). I didn't quote it because I thought anyone in particular was correct in what they were saying. Generally, when you invoke the word "art" in any kind of debate, you have killed any chance you had of making an intelligible point (unless, of course, your point was "art is a ******** term invented proto-basement-dwellers to justify all the time they spent staring at pretty pictures.").

  13. #13
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThroneofDravaris View Post
    In case it wasn't obvious, I was just laughing at the term "artistic masturbation" (which I'm pretty sure doesn't mean what Chris seems to think it means). I didn't quote it because I thought anyone in particular was correct in what they were saying. Generally, when you invoke the word "art" in any kind of debate, you have killed any chance you had of making an intelligible point (unless, of course, your point was "art is a ******** term invented proto-basement-dwellers to justify all the time they spent staring at pretty pictures.").
    Well, mine would be more like "art is a ******** term invented by European elitists to thumb their noses at the creative input of other cultures," but that's loaded with social commentary I suppose.

    That said, I don't see any good coming out of the fans coming in to change an ending. Nothing is ever gained by bowing to the crazed fandumb. And really, what does the fact that there was a petition in this case prove? There were petitions to protest DMC4 and FFXIII going multi-platform. Online petitions only prove that people have way too much time on their hands and have no idea what to do with said time.

    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.

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    In regards to physical versus digital products... right now I lean towards the "pro-physical" side. I purchase game discs and carts when possible. If there is no physical product, or if I want a PSP or iPod compatible version of an old favorite game, then I will consider purchasing a digital game. I've used iTunes, MediaGo, XBLA, and the Wii Store, all with some degree of success. Regarding computer games, I've purchased a few directly from small companies and independent publishers, and that's it.

    Still having trouble understanding how Steam works. I read the FAQ, and tried looking around the forums. However, I didn't see any clear statements about the following potential problems:

    * What happens if my computer stops working? Will I have to purchase all the content again? In the last few years, I've seen several of PCs become useless. The two most recent examples: one had a faulty power cord and no longer powers on, and another had repeated BSODs and now refuses to let me install a new OS.

    * I think that a person has to be online in order to use Steam. But do I need an always-on internet connection? If my internet service stops working for a few minutes, what will happen?

    * What would happen if I uninstall Steam? If I decide to stop paying for broadband services, will my purchases become useless data?

    Gamersgate has a few clear answers to basic questions like these. I purchased Civilization 3 there, but had a lot of trouble installing it. I didn't know how to proceed from there.

    I know that some companies have openly talked about their troubles selling PSP games. In the last few years, companies seem to have an "abandon ship" attitude towards Wii and DS software. And I've heard some reports about indie game creators having trouble making a profit from inexpensive games on iTunes. The last time I read an article about a major company being unwilling to port a game to PC was just a couple months ago. So... are companies making money through digital sales of PC games? If so, which ones?

  15. #15
    The Gratitude Pokemon Shaymin's Avatar
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    Steam is entirely tied to the login. So if you change PCs, you can just sign in with your Steam ID and download again. Same if you uninstall it - just reinstall it later.

    Also, it does have an offline mode as well.

    Not that I'm rooting for the digital future - you'll pry my carts, cards and discs from my cold, dead hands. But of all the online services, Steam sucks the least.
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  16. #16
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Shaymin - While Steam itself is tied only to your login, individual games may have additional DRM, such as constant connection or install limits. Basically, outside of GOG, you have to research every individual purchase.

    Also, while the games can be played offline, you won't be able to reinstall without a broadband connections. Basically, your collection is at the mercy of your ISP.

    Caddyalan - It's hard to tell who is making what on Steam, as no one, including Valve, is willing to divulge numbers. With GameStop having all but abandoned PC gaming in the years prior to Steam, this effectively makes the entire PC market a guessing game. Much the same can be said of iOS.

    And yeah, you companies can talk about licenses all they want, but the core opposition to digital only or bind-on-equip models is that said licenses are written so that games can be taken away on a whim. By contrast, my current collection isn't leaving my home without a fight.

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    Hi folks! Here's my two cents on the Chris X Manny debate over Mass effect ending

    1) Bah! I think Bioware has been lazy and not supplied additional endings considering how big this series is.
    2) Games are protected from a recent court decision because they're classified as "art" If we don't accept artistic integrity we're underming our own positioning and shooting ourselves in the foot.
    3) I am in despair about the lack of original endings in games and books, the very obvious decision to use tragedy to try and impart a sense of emotional involvement is overused and instant negative points from me.
    4) Before we have sides that are opposed we have to wonder who is the true enemy here. We want gamers to enjoy their experience-this is entertainment and WE are paying for it. Plot makers won't be able to please everyone, but it would be nice to have one or two alternatives that placate the majority- that is the sensible compromise. The game company should want gamers to be happy, if I had some "artist" who won't compromise their ideals for getting off their lazy backside I would just hire another to make another plot ending, if he/she complains too much I would fire them. After all who should make the compromise? An "Artist" or thousands or millions of fans?.

  18. #18
    Member Savorien's Avatar
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    I agree with Manny on all things, ever.
    Vanillaware’s 2D is, once again, shaming their competitor’s 3D. It’s like, what are you even doing with your extra D, jerks? Maybe we should hold that extra D in reserve for you, like a trust, until you are ready. - Tycho, Penny Arcade

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    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savorien View Post
    I agree with Manny on all things, ever.
    I dunno if I'd go with "all things ever," but he does get a lot of things right, at least sometimes.

    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.

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    Chris was right.

    When you take something that fans have been wondering for the longest time, Tali's face, and use a barely photoshopped stock image photo from the internet instead of actually working on it yourself, your claims of 'artistic integrity' have pretty much gone down the tubes.

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