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Diecast #145: Black Desert, Overload, The Division

By Shamus
on Monday Mar 14, 2016
Filed under:


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Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Shamus, Campster.
Episode edited by Issac.

This week we spend probably too much time talking about the recently-released Korean MMO Black Desert. It’s strange and wonderful and goofy and annoying. You’ve been warned.

Show notes:
00:02:00 Black Desert

Link (YouTube)

25:35 Overload

40:37 The Tom Clancy’s The Division The Game The Discussion

What if people made an online shooter but they learned literally nothing from the last twenty years of both shooters and online games?

Link (YouTube)

Comments (82)

  1. Paul Spooner says:

    I, too, helped fund Overload. Mostly due to Shamus’ tweet about it in the eleventh hour.
    Loved Descent as a kid (I think I only played the demo, but that was enough for 10 year old me) and am definitely looking forward to the remake in a year or so.

    Hopefully I’ll be able to borrow a VR kit for the full experience!

    • Paul Spooner says:

      We played a decent amount of Descent multiplayer, including user-made maps. It was really challenging and meta in the sense that you had to get into the other players’ heads. It will certainly be interesting to see how MP works in the new version. Hopefully it will be a fun LAN game again.

    • Bryan says:

      Also backed it here. I heard about it from an older link here (though I don’t remember if it was in the comments, or in Shamus’s twitter stream, or in a previous diecast…), back when Linux support was a stretch goal. Figured I’d wait until a couple days before their deadline, then check back and see how likely the stretch goal was. (Because I wasn’t going to fund it if it was only going to hit Windows and Mac.)

      I checked back in when I got the reminder email from Kickstarter, and found them stretching for the $300k goal. But they had changed it to have Linux in the base game, so I jumped in then. Very very glad they made it.

      Also … um, yeah, Descent with mouselook worked pretty well for me. Well, Descent 3 anyway; 1 and 2 I used a joystick with…

  2. Zak McKracken says:

    Seems like the The Division video was already yanked … (or you got the link wrong)

  3. Grudgeal says:

    ‘Free content’? Hey, I back your Patreon every month. I’m a paying customer.

    Well, you’re my charity case. Either way I fund you in *some* way, so worship at my feet or something. Or at least don’t take too long with the next season.

  4. Jonathan says:

    The second video doesn’t exist according to tUbe

  5. ? says:

    I’m pretty sure new Torment game is not set in Planescape because Wizards of the Coast didn’t license the setting to developers, not because WotC somehow lost the rights to it. I can’t find any hint of Zeb Cook retaining rights to it, and since Wizards are currently selling PDFs of it they probably own every bit.

  6. Ninety-Three says:

    Are there fans of Korean MMOs?

    There are players of Korean MMOs, but I always got the impression that there weren't fans of them any more than there were fans of heroin.

  7. SyrusRayne says:

    So… Some things about Black Desert Online. I’ve not played it too long yet, just picked it up yesterday. But I can offer up some of what it does.

    Firstly, the aforementioned character creator. It’s loco. All of the sliders you can want. You can toggle symmetry when editing your character’s face. You can change the length of individual segments of your character’s fingers. You can change your eyes individually; shape and colour and size of pupils and irises. You can change the length of your thighs and shins individually. There’s also a pose creator? I haven’t messed with it. I dunno how it works.

    Conversations are a thing. See, there’s… Knowledge, in Black Desert. You gather knowledge. You learn about people, monsters, places. And then when you talk to people you get this… Conversation constellation. Converstallation. And you fill that with things that the character is interested in. You do this to make people like you, and then they’ll give you quests or knowledge or stuff.

    When creating your character you also choose a family name (all your names have to be unique, agh,) and a lot of stuff is shared among the family. Pretty much anything that you’re not carrying.

    You can buy and decorate a house, and that house offers things such as tax benefits and boons if you sleep in a bed.

    PVP is something of a thing I’ve heard – not yet gotten that far. One of the neat little touches the game offers is that if you crouch or crawl prone, your nametag disappears.

    You can mantle up ledges.

    There’s a ton of little touches like that that I’ve been noticing. A lot of little things, adding up to a much greater whole than a regular MMO.

    And it’s like 30 dollars if you get the cheaper pack! All you lose is a mount and a pet! What? What is this game??

  8. Falterfire says:

    I’m kinda curious why you quit Tera that made you uncomfortable, because I wonder if it’s similar to the reason I quit due to discomfort, which is to say the existence of a race of small children that had plenty of outfits that were clearly supposed to be sexy.

    Maybe if the launcher ads didn’t include a very very short nightgown on a small girl I would’ve played the game for some length of time.

  9. John says:

    I, for one, am not really looking forward to a Descent revival. Or maybe I am. I can’t quite tell.

    I played Descent a little back in the 90s and didn’t hate it. And Shamus talks about it in wistful, longing tones sometimes. I also needed a game other than Tie Fighter to justify the existence of my flight stick. So I bought Descents I, II, and III in during the GOG Fall Sale last year. I found that I like it, up to a point. The game design is very, very 90s. It’s pretty much Doom with six degrees of freedom–and that’s a complement, just so we’re clear. I really enjoy circle-strafing and side-stepping to evade enemy projectiles. And I don’t really mind hunting for color-coded key-cards. But the boss at the end of the first episode, by which I mean the original shareware version of Descent I or the first third of the first game is–pardon my shouting–so cheap. It turns invisible. I think it might teleport. It fires homing rockets that can sometimes follow the player around corners and then explode and turn into multiple green-balls-of-death that ALSO follow the player around corners. And all of this on Easy mode, too.

    I don’t rage-quit often. I get bored and stop. I gradually get discouraged and give up. But I don’t usually rage-quit. That boss made me rage-quit. I spent a couple of days trying to defeat that miserable so-and-so and haven’t gone back to the game or the series since. But a new Descentwithout infuriatingly cheap bosses–could be a really good game. I really do like the basic Descent gameplay. And a version of the game with higher resolution textures would be really neat. (I don’t actually need more polygons. Polygons don’t matter. But the low-resolution textures were really annoying for various reasons.) If the new game gets good reviews, I’m going to be pretty tempted.

    • Shamus says:

      This was my exact experience with that first boss.

      It’s a huge punishment to people who play cautiously, and it’s basically impossible if you haven’t learned to evade missiles with overturn.

      Instead of playing peek-a-boo in the doorways, it’s counter-intuitively much safer to fly around in the open, doing laps around the central column. Yes the boss both teleports and is invisible-ish. You just keep flying laps, staying a little closer to the outer wall. When the homing missile sound gets really close you cut hard towards the center. The homing missiles won’t be able to turn that fast and will slam into the wall.

      It would actually be a FANTASTIC final boss for the game, assuming they taught you all those mechanics beforehand. Instead you end up locked in a room with a new robot that you can’t see that has new behaviors and a weapon you’ve never faced before. :(

      • John says:

        Ah. That makes sense. (When I ranted about this in the forums, someone mentioned that you can also cut through the tunnel in the central pillar.) Unfortunately, hiding in doorways has always been my traditional means of avoiding homing missiles. As far as I can tell, homing missiles in Descent fly rather directly toward you–that is, they can’t actually navigate around obstacles. So if you go around a corner so that there is a wall between you and the missile, the missile may hit the wall. But to pull that off, you need (a) to be reasonably far from the missile and (b) to have a reasonably sharp corner to go around. If the missile is too close or the corner too slight then the missile may still be able to follow you. It was a perfectly reasonable strategy, right up until the boss. When you have a whole level to work with, there’s a lot of room to run and a lot of corners to go around.

  10. Jonathan says:

    Boss robots are supposed to be harder, but come on… this one’s not Nintendo hard.

    I do recall having some trouble with it, but it’s easier to handle if you fly around the central column and destroy all of the concussion missile hulks and other enemies. It also has a handy intimidating noise (hot-hot-touch) to let you know when it’s nearby.

    I haven’t played Descent 1 in probably 15 years and I’m confident I could kill it with less than 3 deaths right now. I’d go test it, but I’m working from home and probably don’t have a savegame at level 7 or the time.

  11. I believe that Guild Wars 2 is technically a Korean MMO, isn’t it?

    • The Rocketeer says:

      Yep, Guild Wars is an NCSOFT thing. I remember, from the packaging of the first Guild Wars, that they also own Lineage and City of Heroes/Villains, as well as some car combat game I don’t think exists anymore. They might also run Aion, which, with Lineage, is definitely in the vein of Korean MMO’s Shamus is referencing.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        City of Heroes (now sadly defunct) was owned by NCSoft but made by an American team. I can’t actually find a source saying where they’re located, but isn’t ArenaNet (the Guild Wars developer) also American?

        And yes, Aion is NCSoft too.

        • The Rocketeer says:

          Yeah, NCSOFT is Korean, but they own or work with a variety of international developers. I didn’t mean to imply CoH was Korean.

          I think ArenaNet is based in Seattle, but thinking back to the first Guild Wars, I could almost see that game’s art direction fitting in with the Korean-made style, especially the clothing. I remember one of the old Stolen Pixels comics poked fun at the florid, delicate wardrobes everyone was wearing in the burned out, post-Charr wilderness.

  12. Ninety-Three says:

    The topic of MMOs made me realize something tangential to the discussion: Has there ever been an MMO that was well-written?

    It’s not just that MMOs never make the “Top ten best-written games” lists; if you simply set the bar at “good”, I can’t think of a single MMO that clears the 70th percentile. The top of my MMO list might be City of Heroes, whose writing I would generally describe as “Functional and rarely obnoxious”.

    I’ve hardly played every MMO out there, but across the last decade and a half I’ve put varying amounts of time into ten different ones now, and I feel like that’s a large enough sample size that I’m observing a trend rather than sampling noise.

    • Josh says:

      The most obvious pick would be that “most best writingz” of MMOs: Star Wars: The Old Republic.

      So no.

    • Bloodsquirrel says:

      Me and my friend went on a spree of trying out free MMOs, and one of the common themes we noticed is that they kept starting off by trying to present a story in the same way that a single-player game would. It never works, though, because the tropes involved in a single player game can’t hold up when dumped into an MMO environment.

      What we really need is an MMO that embraces the conceit that you’re just one of many adventurers in the world, and lets the depth and detail of the setting make your missions interesting instead of relying on telling the player that *you* are going to save the world.

      WoW has some scattered parts in that vein that are interesting. The 1-60 Cataclysm content did a good job of selling the war across different zones and letting the player see it from the ground level. I love Hemet Nesignwary. Sadly, the story and lore become a complete mess once you get to Outland.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        City of Heroes had an approach to that which was at least interesting. You were just one of many heroes, and while you were saving the world by the endgame, the comic-booky setting let it feel at least plausible that the world was being threatened every other day and that there was always some random hero to deal with it.

        More interesting though was that CoH seemed to have a sense of scale. At level one you’re fighting gangsters with baseball bats and pistols. At level fifteen you’re fighting gangsters with superpowers and rifles. At level twenty-five you’re fighting werewolves, level thirty-five you’re fighting the Black Helicopters guys, and by level fifty you’re basically in Xen fighting Vortigaunts (there were a zillion different enemy groups at every level band, but that example should give an idea of it). The plots had a similar sense of progression, as you leveled you went from breaking up low-level drug crime, to fighting for control of the city, to eventually saving the entire world.

        The Newspaper missions (randomly generated missions with next to no plot) in CoV were a particularly good example of that. A level ten mission boss might shout “Who the hell is this?” when you burst into their lair, a level thirty would say “Ah, $playername, you’ve walked into my trap.” and a fifty would say “Oh crap, it’s $playername!”

        The progression wasn’t perfect, it was more “sawtooth that averages out to an upward trajectory” instead of the straight line I’m making it out to be, but it’s a hell of a lot better than something like The Old Republic where you’re saving entire planets at level 20-something, and where you can’t tell from looking at it if that enemy space monster is level five or fifty.

        • krellen says:

          One of the best little touches about City of Heroes was the enemy progression. Even if you fought a certain faction at every level (and for a few, you did), you still felt you were progressing, because while one enemy type might be a “Boss” level at 10-20, it would become a “Lieutenant” for 20-30, and then a mere “Minion” at 30-40 before disappearing altogether because you’d simply outgrew their threat.

      • Falterfire says:

        The real issue with MMOs is that procedurally generated stories are basically always uninteresting. Even if you just treat the player as one adventurer in a huge world, it doesn’t fix the immersion break of every player doing the same adventures to defeat the same enemies at the behest of the same NPCs.

        It doesn’t really matter whether you’re allegedly saving the world or just baking a pie for somebody, when there are a dozen other characters doing the same thing it’s going to ruin the special-ness of your contribution.

        The only fix I can think of is to go further towards a Guild Wars 2 event model where quests happen with whatever players are there at the time and they all complete it together so that instead of each person clearing a single minotaur from the farmer’s field, everybody helps clear the horde and then the event is over.

        The trick with that method, of course, is having short enough events that players feeling like they’re contributing that fire at long enough intervals that the loops aren’t too obvious but with enough different events that there’s always stuff happening.

        • Ninety-Three says:

          I think instanced missions do a lot to fight that impression. City of Heroes had pretty much all of its mission take place in player-specific instances, so you’d never see ten other people fighting through the same enemy base as you.

        • Retsam says:

          I don’t think “the immersion break of every player doing the same adventures to defeat the same enemies at the behest of the same NPCs” is really a dealbreaker for a game to be “well-written”.

          It certainly is something that harms immersion, but is the MMO thing really any more immersion-breaking than most JRPGs (which have frequently made “best story” lists for the last couple decades). Chrono Trigger is considered a game with a great story; despite the fact that between story bits you walk into a seemingly empty room before being attacked by random monsters which you take turns with in order to try to kill.

          Sure, maybe the answer is that neither MMOs or JRPGs are immersive, but then I don’t think you can fairly say that no JRPG has ever been “well-written”, just because they aren’t immersive.

      • Torsten says:

        The Secret World tries to do that with varying success. The game and the gameworld acknowledges that there are a lot of player characters with special powers, but the story is build so that you are the one special among the specials who get stuff done.

        It still cannot hide the mechanics build for the masses and the static world that never changes.

        • Thomas says:

          I was going to ask if Secret World was a contender for a well-written MMO, I’ve heard good things about it.

          • Ninety-Three says:

            It has a lot of problems. You’re a silent protagonist which results in the fully-voiced cutscene questgives going on positively Shakespearean monologues to hand out missions. The setting overall is a fantasy kitchen sink in the worst way. They embraced the “Everything is true” so hard that it ended up at “Nothing is special”, a perception that’s probably not helped by the fact that every monster’s power boils down to “Attack in melee or attacks at range” and the solution to every monster is “Shoot it with guns and swords and fireballs because this is an MMO and that’s what you do”.

            The bigger problem I had is that there’s just no sense of a cohesive world. None of the quests really tie in with the other quests (except insofar as “there’s lots of zombies in this zone so have some zombie quests”), other than the main quest (which is very short, spaced out over the leveling curve) you could randomize the order in which the player experiences all the quests and it wouldn’t have changed anything for me.

    • TMC_Sherpa says:

      I would argue that the best written MMO is…..

      EVE Online.

      The best MMO stories came out of it at any rate.

      • Thomas says:

        One of the lesser known things about EVE (even to the players) is that it actually has a pretty good in-game story too :p They’ve got a really thought out sci-fi universe with a lot of history and politics and philosophy behind each faction. (Assuming you might be an EVE player this is for other people reading)

        Also, they’re interweave the fake story and the real story in really interesting ways. Players noticed that there was a bright star visible everywhere in the map (and you could triangulate it’s real world position meaningfully and there was a sci-fi reason for why it was visible _everywhere_ which was actually not only a reason but a clue to the larger story), when people spotted it, they started calling it Caroline’s Star, after one of it’s original discoverers. And so now the NPCs and cutscenes call it Caroline’s Star too.

        And they do video news updates which advance the ongoing story, but those updates are completely mixed up with updates on the news of in-game factions too. One news ticker will talk about the Sleepers, the next will be talking about how the Brave Newbies corporation has been losing ground to the Imperium.

        When players began digging up clues on the current story, the youtube videos even had NPC newsreporters reporting on the discoveries of the players and how that fits in with the ongoing mysteries.

        It’s not 100% like this all the time, but they do a lot of really unique stuff.

        • Ninety-Three says:

          Wow. I’ve played EVE and I didn’t know it had a story. Like, at all.

          • TMC_Sherpa says:

            Go read the short stories on the main EVE site. I haven’t read them in a while but I thought most of them were pretty good?

            My personal fan wank theory is if CCP got itself in a position where they had to shut EVE down (And after Incarna/Walking in Stations/Whatever they finally called it this was a real possibility that ran through my mind) the Jovians will come back, turn off pilot clones and the game would go on until everyone was dead. An epic fight to be the last player standing just feels right to me.

    • Hermocrates says:

      EVE Online might have played that the most in its favour, by not really having much writing to begin with””at least, not with how most players interact with the game; I’ve heard rumours it has story missions, though.

    • tengokujin says:

      I rather liked FFXI, but I seem to be one of the very few people who will admit to having played it, around here.

  13. Christopher says:

    Culture is weird. Nothing about the visual design in Black Desert stands out to me as out of place. Between other Korean MMOs like Tera, manga, manhwa, K- and J-dramas and asian artists, that stuff seems completely common from my wide experience with some of those and limited experience with others(Looks like every man knows a woman who watches K-dramas).

    Meanwhile, I have seen videos of Overload and can’t really comprehend it. I get sort of sick watching it, I think it looks sorta boring and I don’t understand how it’s supposed to be played. It’s something that’s made for someone with completely separate nostalgia from me, and luckily I’ve already got my own favorite old-ass developers making a kickstarted Yooka-Laylee.

  14. Kelhim says:

    Shamus, is it a bug or a feature that the podcast autoplays after loading this blog entry (and since the integrated media player does not show that it’s running there is no visual indication at all that the podcast started playing)? Until now I had to manually click the play button or open one of the linked audio files separately.

    I’m using Firefox 45.0 under Ubuntu, maybe it has something to do with the browser version.

    • Shamus says:

      Bug. It should NOT autoplay. (And doesn’t do so on any browser on Win8.) The embedded player explicitly sets autoplay to “false”, so I’m not sure where to look for the problem.

      • krellen says:

        We explored this on the forums. It appears to be an issue of using Firefox 45 (specifically the newest version) and having Windows Media Player as your audio plugin. Change either of those and it’s fixed – or you can go into the settings and change the autoplay audio option to false.

        The error isn’t specific to your site, I think. I think it’s a Firefox bug.

        • John says:

          It may be Firefox, but it’s not Windows Media Player. I have the same problem and I’m running Ubuntu.

          • krellen says:

            Well, the troubleshooting I did to single out Windows Media Player was changing my audio plugin from VLC (which I had been using and not having the issue) to Windows Media Player (and then having the issue). So I guess whatever Ubuntu uses as a default audio codec has the same problem as WMP.

          • Humanoid says:

            Yeah, as per my findings in that thread the default Firefox HTML5 audio player has the problem, and installing the VLC plugin, even if you don’t use it seems to be the “elegant” solution (in as much as having to install a third party program can be called elegant), whereas brute-forcing it with the setting in about:config has the unfortunate side effect of sort-of-breaking other media like YouTube.

            • Humanoid says:

              Did some testing, copied the audio controls bit in the source and put it an a blank html file with nothing else:

              <audio controls height=’50’ width=’300′>
              <source src=’http://www.shamusyoung.com/diecast/diecast145.mp3′ type=’audio/mpeg’ autoplay=’false’ autostart=’false’>
              <source src=’http://www.shamusyoung.com/diecast/diecast145.ogg’ type=’audio/ogg’ autoplay=’false’ autostart=’false’>
              <embed height=’50’ width=’300′ src=’http://www.shamusyoung.com/diecast/diecast145.mp3′ autoplay=’false’ autostart=’false’>

              It autoplays. Then I stripped out the embed tag, since I have no idea what it’s meant to do (some sort of backwards compatibility thing I’m guessing), and it doesn’t autoplay and the controls behave properly.

              What I gather from this:
              a) The embed tag is a fallback for browsers that don’t support HTML5 audio controls.
              b) Either Firefox is mishandling it, or it’s following standards that may be contrary to common practice in other browsers.

  15. Flailmorpho says:

    On the topic of hot guys in games, it usually feels less weird finding in game guys hot compared to in game girls. Mostly because most of the time a guy being hot isn’t as much of a big part of their character design but a byproduct of their character design.

    • Gruhunchously says:

      It’s funny; we have a pretty extensive catalog of details that make a “fanservice game girl” -things like large chests, scant clothing, sexy walks (and gratuitous butt shots if it’s a trashy MMO or a Bioware game) – but not not much on what makes a “fanservice game guy”. What makes a fanservice guy, I wonder. Is it personality, clothing, physique, or some combination of the three?

      I’m pretty sure there’s a distinction between a ‘fanservice hero’ guy and a ‘bad-ass action hero guy’.
      Dante is not the same as Kratos, Solid Snake is not the same as Sam Fisher, and Iron Bull is definitely not the same as Sten. I’m just curious as to what makes them so different.

      • Retsam says:

        As I remember, there was a diecast specifically discussing fanservice, and I think this came up. (Based on Google, it might have been this one)

        In part, I think it’s not just a games thing, but just a wider cultural thing that we have a more widely agreed on idea of what “stereotypical attractive female” looks like, while “stereotypical attractive male” is less agreed on.

      • Decus says:

        I’d argue that the definition of “fanservice game girl” is over-stereotyped rather than there not being any stereotypes for “fanservice game guy”. Unless you mean from the character designer’s point of view, but I’d file that under “not even worth talking about” if only because I’d be hard-pressed to think of any western character designed for that outside of bioware games. On the other hand, japanese games have that super covered from the actual dating sims to things like Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy.

        The Tokimeki Memorial series is worth a look, as it has games that cater to both guys and girls and man is there a broad spectrum throughout each of them especially on the guy end of things. That said, it still mostly plays to stereo-types and more generally I’d say that titles like that are actually more conservative on the “games for guys” end of things, in terms of both fanservice and the cast of romance-able characters.

        And I’d argue that stereotypical attractive male is as agreed upon as stereotypical attractive female–the latter just isn’t the commonly stated and poorly designed stereotypes. Rather, it’s always the most normal looking person. Just, make your dude super average looking and you’ll win people over.

      • The issue is that both “fanservice game girl” and “fanservice game boy” are both by/aimed at males.

        Now, I’m a biased hetero guy but I can’t help but feel that there is little of interest for straight/gay/bi/whatever(too many definitions) when it comes to females.

        The one game that comes to mind that seemed to break stereotypes was Dragon Age: Inquisition.
        As far as a RPG/action game goes it was surprisingly varied. Sadly you can’t make your own character a different “shape” though.

        A good litmus test is what I’d like to coin the Jim Sterling test, if a game lets you create something that looks close to Jim Sterling if he was a video game character will pass as being a “inclusive” game as far as gender/body/shape/lifestyle goes.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:


    On the contrary,you have every right to complain about a game even if you didnt play it.You have every right to complain* about anything even if you havent experienced it yourself.

    *Or praise.

  17. Isaac says:

    How about that new Hitman? Anyone here has played that yet?

    • Sunshine says:

      This guy has, though his main concern was “Can my ridiculous screw-ups and panicked improvisations still lead to my completing the level just before my mistakes catch up with me, (as opposed to Absolution’s method of “you screwed up, now you’ll have to kill everyone” method)?” Even with the game’s imperfections, he was delighted to find that the answer was “yes.”

  18. straymute says:

    What Rutskarn said about The Division reminded me of how uncomfortable I felt with the ghost recon wildlands marketing. From that whole macho narration with the blood on the cocaine to the guy with the skull tattoo on his head and it just jumps to guys with backwards hats and sunglasses blowing away dozens of dudes to cheesy rock music.

    Then later on they have the trailer where they get more into how they researched a game about the South American drug war and the developer is sitting there saying “Don’t worry guys, we talked to the CIA, we talked to the military and we made sure it’s authentic!” 0_0

    It felt like this when I tried the last Splinter Cell too. Sam was angry all the time even at his own guys, then he’s cutting dudes up like Jack Bauer and I’m wondering what happened to the Sam that would grab a guard and crack jokes just to mess with him.

  19. baseless_research says:

    Okay, a couple of points on The Division:

    1. you could hold a drinking game for every cliché in the game and you’d need a liver transplant after 3 hours of gameplay.
    2. I am stealing the term “macho-fascist protagonist” by the way
    3. Did someone inform Snake Plissken on the New York dystopia?
    4. I really want someone to take this premise and turn it up to 11. Give me the Hot Shots spoof version of this story and go all the way into insane stupidity. – Rutskarn, I’m sure you have time to spare, interested in this project?

  20. I Love BDO, while the world and many quests are infuriatingly nonsensical the combat is just so fun for a MMO, and i could probably see the same combat work in a Action hack and slash game.

    The fact that you dont have to(shoulden’t) use hotkeys for 99% of skills is nice.
    So instead of combat beeing the typical 1,2,3,3,3,1,2,3,3,3 of many other MMOs its usually more along the line of E+RMB,RMB,RMB,A+RMB,S+RMB,SHIFT+LMB,S+LMB or similar depending on how it goes is nice.

    And the fact that skills with a cooldown can still be used while on cooldown for a reduced effect and a reset of the cooldown timer is great in certain sticky situations where a AoE with 75% dmg will do just fine as long as its right now and not in 8 sec.

    • Humanoid says:

      At this point I’d settle for some simple 1, 2, 3 but the prevailing design seems to be tilde to 6, shift-tilde to shift-6, mouse1 to mouse6, and shift-mouse1 to shift-mouse6.

      I could never get the hang of ctrl-number hotkeys.

  21. Sunshine says:

    The thing that I liked about that screenshot of a queue in The Division was that I thought an online multiplayer shooter crowd would be all me-me-me-now-now-now, but then they’re all politely waiting their turn like it’s a British post office.

    I’m curious about this game because of the “Little Details” promotional video. That car suspension and bags of rubbish respond to you standing on them, signs dent and cloth is holed by bullets, which sounds like the silliest reason to play a game.

  22. Zak McKracken says:

    Just opened Twentysided on my trusty oooold Linux PC (as I’ve done countless times before), to the tune of the Diecast melody … what? Autoplay? That’s not like Shamus… and not just autoplay but autoplay of three Diecasts in sync, as I realize after the intro … while the audio widgets all stand still at 0 seconds and definitely do not play.

    I’m fairly sure I’m the only person in the universe with this problem but just in case I’m not, I wanted to bring this up. I’m using Firefox 45 on openSuSe 13.1, if that’s relevant.

  23. Slothfulcobra says:

    My god, The Division’s back story sounds stupid. At first I thought Rutskarn was just overreacting when he laughed, but I cracked up myself. Sleeper agents?!

    Now, if this another developer, I might be all on board for this because at least it’s something different than the standard zombie apocalypse, and it might even be self aware, but since it’s Ubisoft, the plot just became ridiculous because nobody was paying attention when they were slapping things together. The finished game may have some good elements, but all the parts of the game will be haphazardly bolted onto each other with no mind to how well they work together.

  24. Piflik says:

    Don’t know if this sailed past everyone, I myself just found it now, but if you want to scratch that Descent itch, this might be something to try:

    Descent Underground

  25. RansomTime says:

    Hey Shamus.

    For some reason whenever I visit your site on my phone this episode of the diecast plays. I mean, this episode’s pretty good, but I’ve already listened to it. Any chance you could see if there’s a way to fix it.

    My browser’s Firefox for Android

  26. Zak McKracken says:

    Question about the Black Desert character creator: Is it possible to make non-sexy characters, with it? Can it do “average non-beautiful” or also proper ugly?

    I managed after some wrestling to get a big strong, hairless and scarred Norn warrior (female) out of Guild Wars II’s creator, but she still walks like a doll, and her bust size is a bit exagerated, despite being the smallest that was available. At east the chain mail doesn’t accentuate it much. It’s amazing how many comments I still regularly endure (for over a year now) because she’s not “female” enough. I think this type of social experiment is a really nice thing to do in an MMO. Also an eye-opener for me.

    Maybe my next character will be a really pretty, kind-of thin male :)

    • Shamus says:

      You CAN make non-pretty people. You can make someone that’s a little heavy, but you can’t do obese. The sliders will let your turn the face into an abomination of lumpy and asymmetrical features.

      But some things are hard to do. I don’t think you can really do a proper double chin. I think this isn’t so much a deliberate restriction, but more like, “Adding fat to an idealized human mesh is REALLY hard.”

      • Zak McKracken says:

        Sounds good to me. I always like the ability to make characters with some character other than the type everyone else makes, but I wouldn’t expect the creators to go out of their way and create “waddle” animations or somesuch. Although it regularly gets on my nerves when I’m reminded that female GW II characters cannot use chairs because they always half-lie if you give the “/sit” command. And I don’t think there was a sound technical reason for putting the lower limit of bust size way above the human average.

      • ThaneofFife says:

        I always try to make the fattest character I can when that’s an option. I really wish more games supported this…

        ETA: I wish developers understood that you can totally make pretty characters who are still fat. And, they don’t have to be comic relief characters like the mechanic in Borderlands 2.

        ETA 2: Ellie! Now I remember her name…

  27. Zephyr1990 says:

    i wonder if Josh has played Salt and Sanctuary yet and what he thinks about it

  28. ThaneofFife says:

    I was absolutely cracking up at the description of The Division’s story. I had seen a lot of marketing for it, but none of it ever really indicated what it was about.

    Shamus, may a make a small complaint? The sound volume levels for the past month or two have consistently been a LOT louder for Rutskarn (and Mumbles, when she’s on) than the other hosts. I’m guessing that part of this is because Rutskarn is kind of yelling most of his comments. ;-)

    Still, would it be possible to equalize the volume of the hosts with each other? Right now, I have to pick between having a host blow out my eardrums and not being able to hear Shamus. Thanks!!

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