Com-cast Ep. 20: Awards and Modularity

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Synoptic Sitrep: Halo (Sparknotes)

Mindshare: CoD's Next Steps

Game of the Year Awards

Final Awards Tally

Xbox 360: Halo 4

Playstation 3: Tie (Assassin's Creed 3 & Far Cry 3)

PC: Day Z

Mobile: Angry Birds Star Wars

DLC: Mass Effect 3: From Ashes

DLG: Walking Dead

Gameminder/The Road Ahead: 4-Way Tie (GTA V, Bioshock: Infinite, DayZ, Rome 2: Total War)

Totally Modular

  • Are totally segmented and compartmentalized AAA titles possible?
  • Where does DLC fit into this new paradigm?
  • Will this only be considered if the next-gen consoles fail to stop continued decline?
  • Does in-game purchasing of small items even the playing field or privilege a few?
  • Will this synergistcally work with the renewal of episodic gaming?
Solifluktion's picture

Nice episode...like always. 

I don't think ingame purchases have too much of an impact.  Players who dump a lot of cash into better equipment won't become better at the game. After all it takes experience with a game to master it.

 

Great choice of music by the way. I just love the KotOR-OST.

Whiplash's picture

Since I started the discussion, it's only right that I end it (hopefully) once and for all. Story telling is 100% subjective to opinion. Not everyone will say that X game's story was good or bad. Many people have their favorite and most memorable moments in their gaming life, and while everyone has their preferred paragon of story telling (i.e. direct, cryptic or symbolic), there is no right or wrong way of telling a story. Do you like Mass Effect's direct story telling? I'm fine with your opinion. I'm no bigot by any stretch of the imagination. You like a cryptic, yet rewarding story? Good on ya! Do you want to do a lot of research to find a hidden message in the story like in Okami's final boss sequence (SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED IT. The first phase was symbolic of man's desire to destroy, the second being of man's desire to set the world on fire, the third symbolizing man's desire to gamble with one's life, the fourth representing man's desire to use technology as a means to an end, and the final stage representing man's desire to do evil with their hands), Halo (Hint: The symbolism is in the title) or, my example, XIII? That's all fine and dandy for me.

 

[Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw speech] I do have to fess up on something I was recently doing, and it's rather embarrassing to say that I've actually gone back to play the game, but I actually found something rather interesting in XIII's Datalog when I went back to catch up on the backstory, and it actually holds weight and merit to what I speculated in Episode 17 and filled me with serendipity to the point that my head would burst if I so much as opened my mouth, but I'll keep it to myself since I don't want to bore everyone with the logistics. Unless you want me to identify all 11 deities and their progenitors of the game's universe, I would much prefer if I left it to myself. As for what I said about where I heard the word "slave" from, it was actually a line of dialogue spoken by Lightning when she does her unique attack, in which one of those strings of dialogue was "I'm no one's slave." And, as she also says in those same dialogue trees, "It's over." Officially, for once! I'm quite surprised by how though-provocative it was. I was expecting it to be a discussion for one episode, but I was proven wrong![/END]

 

As for microtransations/DLC, I think it solely depends on the genre and what they are delivering. Map packs for CoD are most likely intended to be on the disk, but were scraped. I really never buy map packs for any game, unless it's a game that my friends or my older brother play frequently, i.e. Halo. Expansion packs for games like Elder Scrolls, GTA, Borderlands or what-have-you, most of the time it depends on how much extra content they provide. A perfect example (or at least coming out of my pompous mouth) of a massive amount of content for one expansion is The Shivering Isles for Oblivion. A new, fascinating world, new enemies, more quests, all along a very long quest line for the expansion.

 

Now for cosmetic content like hats in Team For- I mean Hat Fortress 2. This is mainly good for Free to Play games or if the armor/shirt/hat has essential qualities that make it useful, such as increased magic damage or increased resistances to X debuff. However, it isn't appropriate for all games. One such example of bad use of cosmetic items: XIII-2. There was an Outfit tab in the in-game menu that allowed you to equip outfits for your characters. Unlike in Team Fortress 2, where you could have the chance to unlock a hat as a random drop while playing or crafting one using three Refined Metal, you couldn't even find these cosmetic outfits to wear. Instead, you had to pay 240 Microsoft Points/$3 in order to dress Serah with nothing but a swimming bra and bikini/skirt. I am not exaggerating with that. In fact, here's the actual Outfit that you can download. Not only that, but some of the outfits were from other games, such as Mass Effect's N7 Armor or Ezio's Assassin outfit from Revelations, both of which are incredibly detailed to the actual outfits in their respectful game. And you could also dress your Moogle with outfits, for the same price as well.

 

As for the debate about pre-order DLC, for the developers and publishers, it's a smart business practice for them to release DLC as pre-order bonuses. They actually lose less money from these pre-order bonuses, as opposed to putting the content on the XBLM/PSN Store/Steam, where they have to pay Microsoft/Sony/Valve to put the content on their respectful markets. Although I do have to speak up about multiple pre-order items. Remember the pre-order bonuses for Mortal Kombat? If you pre-order the game from a specific store (Gamestop, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, etc.), you either got the Scorpion reskin, Sub-Zero reskin, or the Reptile reskin and a classic fatality for each of them. You could only get one of them from pre-ordering at one store, so unless you have friends who pool together and pre-order them at different stores, you wouldn't get the whole package. Your purchase doesn't come down to which retailer you like best; it boils down to which item you like the most.

 

Great ideas for your proposals, and I really can't wait to see these in the future. Though one question about the "spark notes". Are these going to be purely for Halo or can the community add their own "spark notes" for other games?

Milleniummaster18's picture

Doesn't play, as the file's private on OpenDrive. Am I missing something?

Whiplash's picture

@MM18

Just download it from iTunes. I'm subscribed to them and it always downloads there.

RAM's picture

Sorry, some issue with the link posted to WGG. If the problem persists, you can stream it on our site here, or you can subscribe to us on Itunes here. Either way we hope you consider subscribing, as this is the most reliable way to ensure that the podcast reaches you as soon as we finish lovingly crafting it :P 

Thanks everyone

swu's picture

Sorry about that. It's an error with a new way we uploaded the files. It's fixed now.

darthskeletor's picture

Interesting topic. My thoughts are that it will level the playing field more. Those who have skill know it, and they'll continue as they always have. Even if I have the same cleats and jersey as Steven Gerrard, I'll won't be as good as him. It has far more to do with skill. I think some bad CoD players are about to waste a ton of money on gear if this happens.

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