Escapist Podcast: 079: JJ Abrams (Again) And Game-Related Anger

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I know someone who had a pet fox. I hear it was nice, but that it smelled bad. Also house-training them might be difficult.

If you're serious abouta pet fox, check out the local fur farms, (and whether keeping a fox is legal where you live) and if they'd sell you one. And keep in mind they aren't like dogs and you can't treat them like ones, even though they're close.

Foxes are animals that are very adaptable, though. My grandfather has a half-wild fox he feeds, and they also get in the cargabe unless you take precautions, and can live near humans, even in cities.

But if you want a pet that's like a dog, get a dog.

My favourite comedies have very unlikable protagonists. Because I can laugh when bad things happen to them, but also feel sorry. (one of my favourite funny comics is Iznogoud, that has a protagonist that tries to murder or otherwise dispose of the one person who likes him, and regularly blackmails, lies and tortures people.)

Hmmm, titles and sigils...?

Susan: Supreme Squee Editor
Your heraldry would probably be something like a corgi rampant on a field of white.

Greg: Senior Magic Strategiser
I'm thinking a silver wand and a silver musket, crossed, on a field of purple.

Justin: NOTHING tops "Tank Ninja".
... a white tank, surrounded by red flames, on a black field? Either that or a dagger with blood on the blade on a black field... cause you love to backstab.

Paul: All-round Awesome Assistant?
Gold shield on a blue field, a goose on the left, a duck on the right, both facing outwards.

Schuyler: "Former Riverboat Captain" Assistant
A tower, but built out of square blocks, ala Minecraft.

I'm gonna join in on the Dark Souls Easy mode debate... why does it matter if there's an easy mode? There are people who might now play the game given the easy mode. It's not "in the spirit of the game"? Who decides that?

How about all those games that were remastered and released for later consoles? Is it in their spirit to play those versions and not to get the original console/game? [insert example of game with horrible controls / graphics that was improved in re-release.]

To say that "these features should not be present because it isn't in the spirit of the game" goes against the "play how you want to" line that is otherwise given. It's optional, so...

[I would cite other games and say 'is that in the spirit of the game', but I don't have that kind of game knowledge.]

The 'this takes time away from development' is a fair call for things yet to be done, but can't be applied to what has already happened.

[ObDisclaimer: Haven't played the game, probably never will.]

Sorry this got a little out there, I really needed to weigh in...

When a cos-player consents to posing for a shot the cos-player is choosing the angle the camera gets to see. That angle (or at least general angle) is the ONLY implied consent. For 3rd-party shots, that implied consent is assisted by being within the cos-players visual range giving them the opportunity to ask you not to shoot if it's uncomfortable.

What is NOT implied is stealth shooting the rear out of eye shot without asking. Especially if it's targeted at a sensitive area. If you caught one of these people they'd blush or try to hide, why? Because they know it's wrong. That's why I was so surprised you all agreed so readily with the concept of stealth booty pics (creepy much?). It smells like a "She/he was asking for it" type escape with totally disregards an individual's wishes whom may not even want any pictures taken at all.

Regarding the whole Dark Souls thing...
I never saw Dark Souls as being oppressive or unfair; quite the contrary, in fact. I see it as a game world which is completely fair because it is completely indifferent. As a player, it give you no undue concessions; you are not special in Dark Souls. You are undead schmuck constantly struggling an uncaring world full of undead schmucks, and any slack it gives you has already been shared with the rest of the class. You come back to life not because you can save and reload, but because everyone does. You can heal, but not because of power armor, but because you have a healing item, and sometimes you won't have a healing item and your enemies will. Giving the player control over their situation-giving them something the world doesn't allow everyone-destroys that ethos.

Also, new titles:
Susan Arendt: Part-time Druid
Greg Tito: Fifa Photobomber
Justin Clouse: Forgotten Realms Ambassador
Paul Goodman: Most Trusted Vizier

Susan doesn't like Arrested Development, even after watching it?

image

I kid, I can see where you're coming from in that respect.

Call me weird, I like circus peanuts

The discussion on the issue of game difficulty, and not enjoying games/game genres because they are too difficult, was really interesting. I actually have a small personal anecdote on the topic:

A few months ago I started a new campaign in StarCraft 2, and my girlfriend happened to look over my shoulder. She is an avid gamer and we both spend a lot of time playing games together in co-op, or the same game at the same time. However, she generally does not play strategy games, and had never even touched the original StarCraft. What had piqued her interest in this case was the story told both in cut-scenes, and as part of the missions.

I decided to give her a chance to experience the game on her own terms and we bought the game for her (not a hard decision for her, since she also got a WoW pet out of it). After initially trying, and failing, playing the game on Normal difficulty, she switched the game to Easy. I helped out a little by giving her hints for the missions I knew, and she soldiered on and really seemed to enjoy the game.

At the same time, I was playing through the campaign on Normal difficulty, and as I had in past attempts, I was struggling with certain missions and mission goals. In my previous attempts I had grown frustrated with this, put the game aside, and played something else, not returning to SC2 for weeks or months. I had experience the same issue with the original StarCraft on several occasions. Add to this the fact that some of my friends have the wonderful ability of making me look utterly inept and idiotic when playing RTS games, and you can understand that my enjoyment suffers.

But this time I took a page from my girlfriend's play-book and turned down the difficulty. Seeing as she had progressed further in the campaign than me in the same time-frame as well, I switched to Easy and was finally rewarded with success and parts of the storyline I had not previously reached. I am still not sure why I remained so stubborn until then.

As an end result, my girlfriend has almost completed StarCraft 2 on her own, a game in a genre she generally never touches, although she still loathes RTS multiplayer. I have finally been able to complete the game and enjoy all aspects of the storyline. I have since begun to complete individual missions at higher difficulty, simply to gain the achievements. Having previously seen the missions and the storyline, I am a lot less stressed about the occasional failure. Adopting the same behaviour in other games has had the same effect there.

But yes, that does not mean that Dark Souls should have an easy mode. There must be some things in life that simply kick your teeth in until you learn your lessons.

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