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Twenty Sided @ PAX

By Shamus
on Monday Sep 6, 2010
Filed under:
Nerd Culture


I got together with Josh and Mumbles on Sunday morning and we talked about what they saw at PAX on Saturday.

Note that we recorded this show with the intention that it would be an audio offering. But then we found out that video services are – for whatever reason – less of a headache then audio hosting services. So we decided to record audio and put it up as video. I mean, we can just stick a screenshot in there or something, right? Then I got the bright idea of spicing it up with photographs from the show. Then I realized that I had ten photos and forty five minutes of audio to cover, and the photos weren’t even related to the games we were discussing. So then I figured I’d just grab some trailers to fill the time.

Seven hours later I had this big presentation thing. And I’m still not happy with it.

There is some sort of equilibrium at work here. Josh and Mumbles saved me a few hours by making all this content, and my workload immediately expanded to fill the void.

Hello, person from the future. This space used to have an embed from the video hosting site Viddler. The video is gone now. If you want to find out why and laugh at Viddler in the process, you can read the entire silly story for yourself.

At any rate, the video is gone. Sorry. On the upside, we're gradually re-posting these old videos to YouTube. Check the Spoiler Warning page to see the full index.

It’s important to note that I didn’t make any effort to line the video up with what was being said. However, some of the on-screen visuals during the Tera discussion were really unfortunate. Once I realized this, it seemed like it would be cheating to fix this by rearranging the footage. So, yes. Very much aware of the ironic visuals during that discussion.

Having said that, I think I’m more excited about Tera than any of the other stuff we covered. I’ve been anxious for a more action-flavored MMO for a long time. And it looks fantastic.

Comments (70)

  1. bbot says:

    Unfortunately, it’s still a MMO.

    PAX 10 was pretty good, even though I skipped all the big demos, since they would end up on gametrailers.com anyway, and even though Nintendo didn’t bring the 3DS for some damn reason. Spite, presumably.

    • Pickly says:

      I tend to think this about a lot of MMO’s. They often seem to have some cool concepts and potentially interesting gameplay, but of course end up falling back on the same boring level and grind model.

  2. Josh R says:

    I’m really liking how Shamus has expanded his “team” to incorporate a bunch of other people, but can you please stop using viddler! the interspersed comments are not worth the fifteen times I have had to see the god-damned detergent adverts as every time it bugs out, it makes me watch them twice and then guess where my progress had got to.

    There has to be another way.

    • Shamus says:

      Actually, there isn’t. I know it seems like a simple problem to solve, but we’ve experimented with other video services and found them wanting. Some have limits to show length. Or limits to file size. Or want money up front. Or expressly forbid shows based on videogame footage.

      Viddler is the least horrible of all the options available.

      • Josh R says:


        Well at least the worst part is over.
        I’ve just had to catch up with about 12 spoiler warnings that I missed over the summer, to the point where I have foresworn any product that they have tried to ram down my throat.


        Off topic Tera looks unbelievable. Is it going to be the same payment plan as WoW though, because I won’t have the money at uni to play if so…

      • Steve C says:

        If I wanted to create an online audio presentation I would have the participants use Ventrilo and record the conversation. Then edit the audio file created and host it via youtube or something. I don’t know how well that would work but it’s instantly what I thought of first.

        But maybe you tried that and it was still a bigger headache than the way you did it. If not it’s a suggestion for next time.

        • Shamus says:

          Youtubes 10 min cap prohibits just about anything we might do.

          • Bryan says:

            There’s no longer a 10-minute cap.

            …But it looks like now it’s 15 minutes, which isn’t anywhere near long enough either. Oh well… :-(

            • FatPope says:

              Larger commercial organisations seem to not have this limit. I wonder if you approached them directly would you able to make some sort of deal with them. It would probably mean vastly more exposure

              • bbot says:

                Yes, but they have to pay for their own bandwidth. Which is, you know, expensive.

                A slightly clumsy solution for the determined malcontents in the audience would be to point at the original video file with a magnet link, or an old school .torrent file.

                Magnet links are really neat, by the way. You click on the link, and your torrent client starts downloading it. No dicking around.

                • FatPope says:

                  Ah ok, that makes sense. Still though, surely you could recoup some or all of the cost through youtube ad links in the video? I mean, people are getting ads already, right? (Not me for some reason: I wasn’t, then I was, now I’m not again. I assume it’s to do with where I live)

      • SatansBestBuddy says:

        I thought Blip.tv was a good alternative, or at least most of the Let’s Plays I watch tend to be on Blip, and they’re better with ads and encoding files to boot.

        • Shamus says:

          Hey! Last time we looked at Blip, the TOS expressly forbid Gameplay vids.

          I can’t find that restriction now. Perhaps they’ve changed it. (It was a stupid rule.) We’ll look at it again.

          • SatansBestBuddy says:

            It has to do with the content they want, namely shows and such.

            Gameplay videos, nope, nothing doing, so subtitle commentary is a no go, but if you’re talking over the video the entire time and overall treating it like a show with beginning and end credits, then you get a pass.

            EDIT: To be a little clearer, they want content that you’ve created and edited yourself; video games are a no go because it’s not like you’re the guy who made the game, right?, but Let’s Plays and reviews are allowed, or at least tolerated, because you did record and edit the footage from the game and recorded you and several guests discussing the game, so it kinda counts, not really, but enough that they won’t delete your videos without a decent reason to do so.

          • eri says:

            I’ve seen plenty of film reviews hosted on blip.tv, which are chock full of copyrighted content. I don’t see why it’d be any different for games.

          • Steve C says:

            Likely the restriction on gameplay vids was due to copyright. Game companies claim all the art assets in a game and don’t allow others to use them in for example machination in an awesome vid.
            However there were recent changes to copyright. The same changes that made it clearly legal to unlock your iPhone also allows for personal remixes of stuff you own. This didn’t extend specifically to games but the writing is on the wall. Stupid restrictions on Blip follow suit.

    • Zukhramm says:

      The ads a location based. It feels really odd to see comercials for Swedish TV when watching a video about video games on a blog made in the US. Espceially as I never actually watch TV. It’s like they know I don’t, so they expanded to the internet to catch me.

    • Raygereio says:

      You could try viewing the video’s through polsy viewer: http://polsy.org.uk/play/

      It sometimes helps with the player’s stability.

  3. Zukhramm says:

    Right when showing the globe with arrows pointing to Shamus and Josh I thought to myself, “I bet they’ll point towards space for Mumbles”.

    The games? I’m sad to hear about The Old Republic, I guess Guild Wars 2 will be my MMO instead.

    Spy Party sounds great. TF2 minus everything but the spy and sniper. I always felt that playing a sniper in a multiplayer FPS feels very much how I believe being a sniper is not.

    Oh wait, the intro was by Anamanguchi? Oh, they’ve released some new songs this summer? Nice, I even bought the Dawn Metropolis CD!

  4. eri says:

    Wow, yeah, that is some unfortunate footage… I imagine that someone from marketing thought it’d be a great idea of show off all the exotic and stripperific outfits your female characters can get into. That or they were just lying to Mumbles and they’re all perverts. :( Though to be fair, knowing a lot of the MMO market, that’s not surprising.

  5. Sanguine says:

    Hi Shamus.

    I’m Australian. This means I have awful internet. Thus, 45 minute videos consume inordinate amounts of my internet quota. When my (pathetic) quota is consumed, i may either crawl out the rest of the month at 64k, or enjoy paying $3/gig.

    That considered, is it possible to get a transcript, rather than a video?
    That’d be great, because I’d love to hear(er, read) some more about GW2.

    • eri says:

      A bit off topic, but I’m curious if there are smaller ISPs in Australia that offer up better service. Don’t the large telecom companies have to lease out their lines to avoid a monopoly?

    • KremlinLaptop says:

      How is it that Australia has some of the most fun people I’ve met, online and offline, yet for example nearly the worst ISPs on the planet? Further example; anti-hooning laws out the wazoo… yet also you have the HSV Maloo, which makes me chew my lower lip nervously and look into how much of my soul I’d have to fork over to import something that AWESOME.

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        You’re wrong. Not only is it “nearly the worst ISP on the planet”, Telestra IS the worst on the planet. And most of the nearest contenders are ALSO Australian.

        The plan is to make interacting with *anything* in Australia as “interesting” as interacting with its wildlife.

      • Veloxyll says:

        O god the anti-hooning laws. The worst example of which is the guy in WA who had his Porche impounded for 28 days because his MECHANIC took it out for a Joyride and got caught doing 200 kph in a 100 zone or some such. And his appeal was unsuccessful >.<

        Telstra is pretty much that in ISP form.

    • Steve C says:

      I shudder to think of adding to Shamus’ workload via a transcript. But capturing the audio from a file above shouldn’t be hard. Then it can be downsampled to make it easier on those with internet issues. 1080p with full surround sound isn’t really necessary to listen to nerds talk.

  6. Gale says:

    This was supposed to be in response to the Australian asking for a trancript up there, but I clicked on the wrong thing. It’s way too long to post the whole thing in the comments, but the part where they talked about Guild Wars 2 went something like this:

    J: Guild Wars 2 is pretty damn awesome. Mumbles I don’t think has actually gotten a chance to play it yet. Yesterday, we were running around the hall so much, and trying to fit everything around panels, and there was so much stuff we had to go see at certain times, that we didn’t have a a chance to just stand in any lines, for a long time, so we didn’t get a chance to play GW2 much, yesterday. But what I’ve seen of Guild Wars is pretty sweet. A lot of the old GW conventions have been updated, you still have the sort of card-game style, you can only have eight skills (or ten skills in the case of GW2) on your bar at a time, and you can switch those out whenever you want to. But they’ve messed around with that. The first five skills on your ten-skill skillbar are determined by what kind of weapon you have out. So a warrior wielding a sword and an axe with have three sword skills and two axe skills, which will be completely different from a warrior wielding a sword and a shield, or an axe and a shield, and that will be different from a ranger wielding a sword and an axe.

    S: Does it feel like an MMO, where you hit “axe skill 1″ and it goes on cooldown, and you sit there and do the animation for axe skill 1, or does it look like what they’ve been showing to us, where it looks like you’re playing an action game?

    J: There’s a degree of, say, “This skill goes on cooldown, now I want to use these skills until this skill comes back”, but there’s also a lot more… Like, I found that I was watching the screen a lot more than I was watching my skillbar, because you can dodge projectiles in that game, and if you double-tap any of the movement keys, you can roll in that direction, which takes up energy, and allows you to dodge stuff. So if someone’s running at you with a sword, and is about to swing, you can double-tap S and roll backwards. So there’s certainly a degree of “action game”, to the game, while still preserving the MMORPG skill system.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Shamus youve ruined the fun of that tera part by pointing it out in the comment,but at least youve given another comedy gold in the guild wars part by saying in a monotone voice:
    “That’s interesting”

  8. Internet Kraken says:

    Somehow I’m not surprised by The Old Republic not living up to expectations. I’ve had this feeling ever since the game was first announced that it was going to lackluster, or at least come nowhere near the expectations people had of it. I don’t think it will be a bad game, just not nearly as good as people are hoping it will be. Still, I’m not dismissing it just yet.

    • Shamus says:

      This is exactly how I feel about it. I *want* it to be excellent. I want this game to do well. But each time I learn more about it, it seems like the deck is stacked against it. But it could be the game will begin to shine once the pieces fall into place. They’ve got a lot of talented people working on this.

      • SatansBestBuddy says:

        At the very least, it’ll make for some good Shamus Plays material.

        • Pickly says:

          That’s a good way to think of a potentially bad MMO. :)

          (I don’t personally have any strong opinion on The Old Republic either way, I could see it going both ways from the bits and pieces I’ve heard, and don’t care too strongly which way it actually goes.)

          • Mormegil says:

            I was very disappointed to hear that instead of a third KOTOR single player rpg we were going to get stuck with another MMO. Nothing I have heard since has made me revise that opinion.

            I’d love it to succeed. I’d love for it to be the game that finally drags me into playing an MMO. But it’s just not looking that likely.

  9. Electron Blue says:

    Spy party sounds exactly like one of my experiments with Garry’s Mod – fill a level with NPCs, have two people try to find and kill each other while they have the same model. Seems like that could be a lot of fun – I need a good 2-player co-op game.

  10. David F says:

    So, here’s some info on the 3D stuff you saw at NVIDIA’s booth. What you played Guild Wars on is the new 3D Vision Surround setup. I haven’t played on it personally, but I’ve seen it used to pretty good effect with racing games. You can also do 3D Vision with one monitor. The kit is a bit under $200, and it contains glasses, transmitter, and I’m not sure what else. You also need a 120 Hz monitor and a compatible graphics card. Any card in the 200 series or above is fine, I think. For the surround version you’ll need SLI. The website is at http://www.nvidia.com/object/3d-vision-main.html. In theory, it works with any game that uses 3D graphics, but in practice, there’s a huge list somewhere on the website of how well it works with different games. For the most part, newer games seem to work better, and there are a handful that are actually specifically designed to work with it.
    Disclaimer: I work for NVIDIA, but not on this stuff, and I could easily be wrong about some things. I’ve only seen demos.

  11. PhilWal says:

    What typeface is that used for the date at the start of the video?

  12. Pickly says:

    There’s a lot of games in that video that I’ve never heard of, which are definitely good to hear about.

  13. swimon says:

    Shame about Sw:ToR I’m really looking forward to that :/ (I would use past tense but I still have hopes). It’s entirely possible that it will shape up later in the game though right? I mean once you get somewhere the story might become somewhat more engaging.

    The combat I’m not really bummed about I mean it’s unfortunate that it’s just a WoW clone and nothing all that innovative (maybe it’s just that class? The smuggler seems pretty creative in an MMO game) but WoW was pretty fun IMO so I don’t really have a problem with that. I guess I don’t really have the same taste as Josh when it comes to MMO combat since I thought Guild Wars was pretty dreadful^^

  14. Irridium says:

    Shame The Old Republic isn’t so great. Yes its an early build, and yes things may get better, but still, so far it seems disappointing. Which is sad.

    Hopefully it gets better, because I really, [i]really[/i] want to play it. Its like 8 KOTOR games in one, and no way can I pass that up.

    Tera looks great though. If its fun to play I may have two MMO’s to look forward to.

  15. Halfling says:

    I believe SWTOR was looking better to everyone before that Guild Wars 2 trailer came out. Still personally I a looking forward to it. Bioware has yet to make a game that I have not enjoyed for at least 50 hours. Will this be their first bad game for me? It is certainly possible, especially with the disappointment that was PAX. You shouldn’t promise saving your best stuff for PAX and then not reveal anything new. But hey I am still hoping. ;)

    Thanks for the info Josh and Mumbles.

    • FatPope says:

      That moment happened a long time ago for me. It was when Neverwinter Nights came out. For the longest time I simply refused to believe it was as bad as it seemed to be. I played and played waiting for some sort of big reveal where they raise the curtain saying “Ha ha! Fooled you! Here’s the real game”

      It never came. I was a sad panda…

      • Halfling says:

        Yeah I never picked up Neverwinter Nights. I think it is the only Bioware game I do not have sitting on my shelf. I guess I should be happy about that. ;)

      • Eldiran says:


        Neverwinter Nights is a great game… unless you never touched any of the user-made content. (Even then it’s still pretty good)

        Maybe you’re referring to NWN2?

        • KremlinLaptop says:

          Yeah, this is… confusing. Neverwinter Nights is among the best PC roleplaying games to come out at the time and has a pretty enduring legacy. The original is a bit crap, granted, but follow ups get better and better the premium modules are absolutely stellar.

          And the community content? Probably some of the most fantastic this side of Oblivion. Better even, since you get whole new stories and lots of them.

          …Neverwinter Nights 2 on the other hand…

          • FatPope says:

            Nope I’m talking about the first one. To be fair I haven’t played any of the extra content, just the main game. I bought it expecting the next Baldur’s Gate. What I got was a game, and especially a storyline, so bad it beggars belief.

            I’m not saying that the add-ons couldn’t improve the game, it’s just that I paid good money for a product that I expected to be good by itself, not something that had the potential to be good when combined with other products

      • swimon says:

        I totally agree. Especially since they ramped up the difficulty for the final boss so if your character wasn’t completely focused on combat it was pretty much impossible (it also locks you in the dungeon so if you forgot to buy potions you’re fucked. The story was pretty good in act 1 though if I remember correctly, it was pretty terrible in the end though since the villains had very little motivation.

        I still liked the game though since it was really fun to design your own levels and what have you. It was the game that taught me how awesome programming is ^^

  16. winter says:

    I dunno, i think you chose the exact right footage for that part. Really.


    And it’s not like i even have such a problem with this stuff, honestly. I don’t mind the sexy characters… hey, why not? But please: make it even. Where are the sexy boy characters? Why are all the guys gigantic musclebound monsters?


    • Roll-a-die says:

      You don’t seem to get the inherent conflict that you get in Asian cultures regarding masculinity and femininity. Especially when viewed from a modern stand point. Something universal for nearly all East Asian cultures, and for most part’s of the sub-Asian continent(India and the Middle East.) They take an incredibly traditional stand point for gender roles, especially when in popular culture. The basic jist of it is, Men are large and strong, woman are weak, and meant purely to look beautiful and obey. You see this personified in things like the Geisha of Japan.

      Case in point, take something like Tsunade from Naruto, loathe as I am to bring up that shitty manga. She’s proclaimed to be the strongest person in the world, now anyone who’s read this manga, think back to all the chapter’s you’ve read, when has she won a fight, without male help. Let’s see the fight’s we’ve seen her in, 1st, Orochimaru, fails completely due to hemophobia, eventually manages to take down Kabuto after he has been significantly weakened. She also could not bring down Orochimaru by her own strength. Next we have Pain, she get’s epicly destroyed by him in a few actions. It takes Naruto’s timely arrival to save her and the village in which she’s supposed to be the strongest ninja. She then shortly falls into a coma, and wakes up when the next arc was done. Next part happened it’s not really a fight but more of a verbal battle. She’s talking to the council of Kage’s, they bring up the idea of hiding away the Jinchuriki, she then point’s out relatively smartly, that Killer Bee and Naruto make up a significant portion of the combat strength of 2 villages. She then get’s talked down to, and eventually forced to agree. Before finally being chastised by a elderly grandfather figure for being too energetic.

      Let’s move on to another character, who’s next, maybe Hinata, no, no, not enough screen time. Aha, Mei Terumi, a relatively recent addition to the series. Holds 2 bloodlines, the ability to breath out acid mist and to spit LAVA, from the village known as the bloody mist, and has out right killed a jinchuriki in the past, as well as having lead a very successful rebellion against said jinchuriki. Achievements and powers sound impressive do they not. She’s up against Sasuke in her battle, she’s outright disregarded and eliminated in about 3 pages, by his henchmen. Leaving E and the Tsuchikage to face Sasuke, and Danzo to finally nearly beat him. He still get’s away though, fucking Marty Stew.

      But let’s move on to another manga, Full Metal Alchemist, there are literally no true female powerful characters, the ones that are powerful are instead relegated to demon/monster status. All others are put into support roles to other more powerful males, Hawk-eye to the fire-glove dude. Tit’s the automail maker to Edward.

      How about Bleach, when have we seen any female that wasn’t in someways reliant on a male. I mean there’s Haribel, but really, she got pwned anyway. But all the others, youroichi is basically eye candy to flirt with all the guys. Orihime is weak, and serves essentially as the Daphne of the series. Rukia was for awhile more powerful, but has since been relegated to a side seat for Ichigo to crush on.

      What about vision of escaflone? Really now, let’s see, there’s main character Brunette, who’s only purpose is to drive the plot and be torn between Vaugn and the other dude. Then there’s main character blond-chick, who’s purpose is to be competition for Brunette. Also cat-girl, who’s there for the nerd cred brought by having a cat girl in your show.

      Gantz, if you haven’t realize where I’m going with this yet, your stupid. Fuck Gantz, the woman there are either there to have sex with someone, usually a guy, or get killed in Horror style cliches. It’s basically a soft-core hentai, with lots and lots of guro. Really you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a woman with her tit’s and limbs sliced off mid-coitus./snarkasm

      How about a movie from China, I can’t think of any female in something like house of flying daggers that has ever won a fight with a male main character. Mei’s role in most of that movie is essentially to play second fiddle and romance target to Jin and Leo. Hell the final scene sees her getting killed, being unconscious for an entire season as the two males in her love triangle fight, then threatening suicide if one of them kills the other. Eventually suiciding because of one of the men giving up.

      Lesse what do I know about from Korea, other than the masses of games featuring slutty looking women, and bestial or Bishie men. Can’t really say I’ve read or watched much Korean stuff. So if anyone want’s to correct me on Korea, go right ahead.

      As to the game itself, without violating NDA, I can say that rather than just straight up porting it, like most MMO’s do, they are actually taking it through a process they call westernization, which involves taking a group of westerners and having them play through a section of a game, or a quest line or two, then getting their advice on what they thought of it. If they don’t like it they can re-write that entire section of the game. They also take a look at the backstory and provide feedback. Which can lead to broad amounts of backstory being re-written.

      Also for my dirty joke of the day, Ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn “says Bluehole? Is that what they call screwing a twilek now?”

      Also Also, in regard’s to the slutty looking women, there are male versions as well. Who also wear slutty gear and look delicious.

      Also also also, somewhat violating NDA, but its stuff you can find on youtube. This looks to be running of the perfect world engine, so you get a very good customization engine as well.

      P.S. This uses/will use the wow model of payment. Monthly fee with retail box.

      • winter says:

        Well, there’s also the whole thing about (at least with Japan and Korea) the more effeminate style of men.

        Of course, a counterexample would be (for instance) Slayers. Or Final Fantasy 13. Or what have you. They’re less common, for sure, but that’s also the case in the West.

        Also there’s stuff like Magna Carta, and really anything where Hyung Tae Kim was involved. Sure that’s still pretty extreme, but it’s extreme in a different direction.

        Also Also, in regard's to the slutty looking women, there are male versions as well. Who also wear slutty gear and look delicious.

        That’s really all i’m asking for…

        Also: i’ve played Perfect World. It’s actually one of the few character builders where you can design girly men!

        • Veloxyll says:

          Do men have an adjustable package slider? Or at least pantsbuldge cause without it it’s not quite equal. But ya, being able to look up girls skirts is okay provided we can ALSO look up men’s skirts!

          It’s probably like was mentioned in the vid though. being able to look up skirts is just a part of the game, like being able to run around in your underwear and do a stripper dance on the mailbox in WoW.

  17. Meredith says:

    I’ve said before that I’ll play pretty much anything from the SW license and I keep wanting to get excited about TOR, but then I remember it’s an MMO and I probably won’t like it. I can’t tell from the comments here if it’s still something I should try briefly or not.

    The Tera footage was a bit off considering the conversation, but you can’t help what they’re offering. Mumbles, I’m totally with you on being offended. That anyone would considering looking up your character’s skirt as a major selling point of a game is seriously screwed up.

  18. X2-Eliah says:

    Wait wait wait wait. No Rutskarn?

  19. Veloxyll says:

    Did I hear that there are Team Spoiler Warning Civ 4 matches :O omg need (though they’re probably at hirrible times early in the morning for me :( )

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