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Star Wars crap
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
After playing so much SW:TOR and really enjoying it I decided to try a Star Wars book. I had given up them a while back after a series of extremely bad books. I ended up grabbing Darth Plagueis. If it had just been incredibly boring I might have stuck it out but it was also stupid. I was listening to an especially lame chapter when the narrator started talking about ancient Sith lords and their lost techniques. One such lord was a sort of ancient necromancer and his name was Darth Andeddu. I don’t care what stupid space way you spell it, the name is pronounced Undead-u. The immortal Sith dude is called Darth Undead. I said “fuck you” out loud in my car and turned the stupid thing off.

I was already not thrilled about Darth Plagueis. I mean why the hell do these Darths feel the need to advertise how evil they are? A good villain does not think he is evil. He thinks he is doing the right thing. That is what makes him so fucking scary. I mean why the hell would anyone deal with someone named Mr. Insidious? Does the Trade Federation really think this guy is gonna honor his deals? If a Sith lord really wanted to mess with people he’d call himself Darth Fruitbasket or something. Then when he shows up with the planet killer gun everyone would be like like “Whoa, what!?”.

If you want to read a really incredible story of a Jedi falling to the Dark Side check out the Legacy of the Force series. Despite Troy Denning attempting to ruin it with every word he writes, the rest of the writing team managed to make a great story. Karen Travis writes a fall to the Dark Side that is actually believable. You really get an idea for how seductive the Dark Side can be and how an honestly good person could give themselves over to it.

It makes me excited for the future of SW:TOR. Imagine a future update in which one of the Jedi story lines involves a brush with the Dark Side and even the ability to fall. Now that would be amazing!

-Gabe out

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Good times
Posted by News Fetcher on January 23 '12 at 04:00 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I love it when Tycho asks me if I want to go learn a new card game with him and then I proceed to destroy him at it. I would not be surprised if he never plays it again. Which is too bad because it’s a rad game.

-Gabe out

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Efficacy
Posted by News Fetcher on January 23 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
The demo for Mass Effect 3 comes out next month, with both single and multiplayer attached, and it will apparently leverage all the Kinect “betterness” we have been promised. I have my, um… doubts.
I’ve found that voice commands in general have lost efficacy since the abysmal, nightmare cloaked Dashboard update; I was a proponent of the Kinect in that regard initially, voice being a daily use case in my house. They’ve really fucked this thing up, in my opinion: I genuinely hate using this device. I want to fight the people who made it, and I can, because I know Karate. Also, I will succeed - provided they attack me with a single punch along a very specific vector. I have pamphlets I distribute to potential foes detailing all my requirements.
In videos I’ve seen, there are many, many functions “bound” to voice that I would never use voice for. I’m not switching guns with voice, even without the obvious and awkward pause while the game tries to differentiate my speech from that of my female heir. That’s not a strong motivator. I’m not opening things with my voice. Usages like ally movement or firing specific abilities from specific characters - functions which are nested in menus and would normally pause the game - we’re moving in an interesting direction. That’s something that maintains flow, and someone taking a second to do what I asked doesn’t wreck the atmosphere.
Features like this are an incredible opportunity to use the word “foofaraw,” so I can’t get too angry. I’ve played Mass Effect 3, though - months ago, at San Diego Comic-Con. They’ve gotten to to a good place, shooter wise! You’ll see next month. It doesn’t need much in the way of condiments.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Efficacy
Posted by News Fetcher on January 22 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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ESA Drops Support For SOPA
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '12 at 04:45 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Wise.

(CW)TB

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Hmm
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Harvesting dirt on tech via Techdirt, I saw a story entitled “The Internet Wins: PIPA and SOPA delayed.” Author Mike Masnick delivers a precisely calibrated mixture of triumph and bleak prophecy in his write-up, which seems like the proper tone. If you go deeper, say, to Harry Reid’s official statement, you won’t see anything to celebrate. It’s delayed, to be sure, although remission might be a better term. The will hasn’t gone anywhere.

News on the gaming side of the equation moved almost too fast to absorb - Ars took Wednesday to run a kind of masterclass on the legislation. There were articles about how Electronic Arts had dropped its support for SOPA, but they never officially supported it, so they didn’t drop it exactly.
What’s their position? This gets right to the core of it: They didn’t drop their not support. Are you not pleased?!?!
My grandmother would have said that this is them “talking out of both sides of their mouth.” That’s the euphemism, and it’s useful, but the truth is even better in this case. The fact of the matter is that Electronic Arts and other ESA members have two mouths.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Hmm
Posted by News Fetcher on January 19 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Anticipation
Posted by News Fetcher on January 18 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Hero Academy is from Robot Entertainment, which I always think of being entertainment for robots as opposed to by them, but that’s not important right now. What’s important is that you download this ridiculously free app for your iOS device immediately so that you can begin waiting for people to send you their turns.
There’s plenty of asynchronous tactics games available on mobile platforms, but this one hits the sweet spot in so many tradeoffs that each turn is like munching a little stack of Pringles. For example, the “playfield” is small, like a boardgame. It could be bigger, but it’s not; at the same time, it’s not so small that positioning is minimized. Each turn consists of five - and only five - actions, and you can play your turn over and over again locally until you’ve found the optimal investment of those actions. Maybe a single unit takes all of them. Maybe it’s a turn you use to equip for the countercharge. Turns are never onerous, they always consist of some scientifically optimized volume of input.
It’s micro’d up the ass, but they’re generally for things that I don’t think are important and probably wont ever purchase. The only thing I’m likely to buy would be new armies, and I’ll be getting those the moment they become available. The art sells them big time, and if the two armies currently available describe their overall thought process I would buy all of them today, these currently nonexistent armies, sight unseen.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Anticipation
Posted by News Fetcher on January 17 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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SW:TOR
Posted by News Fetcher on January 16 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I’m in love with Star Wars the Old Republic. I love the class quests and the flashpoints and the companions and the crafting and the space missions and all that shit! I could go on and on about how great I think the game is but that’s no fun. Here are the things I hate:

My biggest problem with the game right now is actually a pretty minor issue. I really feel like all Jedi should have a “Jedi Robe” gear slot so that no matter what ridiculous outfit I end up with I can always toss a dark brown robe over the top. I had a great hooded robe early on that I recently had to replace with a ridiculous looking white dress because of its stats.

There are plenty of times in MMO’s where your character just looks dumb. As a general rule it feels like SW:TOR goes out of it’s way to minimize this but it’s still going to happen. The problem is that it doesn’t bother me as much in other games because I’m not acting out an epic space opera with my friends every night. When we are in a shared cut scene and the camera passes over Tycho in his bad ass trooper armor and lands on me with my goofy silver headband and white dress I feel like an idiot trying to deliver my bad ass lines. I just want to be able to throw on a robe, pull the hood up and kick some ass. If Bioware really wants to be nice the could even give us the option to put the hood up or down! The robe doesn’t even need to have stats. Think of it like the shirt slot in WoW. You could get them in a handful of different colors and they’d just be for looks.

I’ve seen some pretty cool looking gear at the higher levels and I’m certainly excited to try and get some of it. But think about it, Obi-wan Kenobi had to have been at least level 50 and that fucker just wore a brown robe. Give me the same option!

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Exclusivity
Posted by News Fetcher on January 16 '12 at 08:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
When I make a character in a massively multiplayer game, I tend to “go hard” on the embroidery aspect. That is to say, I like to tart shit up on the narrative front, imbuing landmarks and even world geometry with increasingly fruity elaborations.
Star Wars is the first game to make other people play the way I always try to; when I was getting set up for my first instance, I dropped a little RP while we were waiting for the shuttle and to my utter surprise Gabriel actually took the bait. We ran the whole instance that way, and we were able to do it because the game’s dialogue trees have made him think, and occasionally think hard, about who his character might be.
Gabriel told me a story about he and Kara that gets right to it, I think. I have no idea how Bioware intends to keep this up, this level of raw production, but they’ve already given me several experiences that I’ve filed away permanently. There’s good stuff in there. Not just “good for an MMO.” Actually, genuinely good.

There’s an incredibly short list of people I trust to tell me the truth about the industry, even if I don’t always want to hear it, and Ben Kuchera is on top of that list. You may already be a reader of his at Ars Technica, where he’s been in charge of their gaming coverage for… well, ever. Until today, I guess, when I hired him.
We’re bringing him on to create industry coverage you can read without holding your nose, essentially; I want a perspective, I want a Curator for the Internet’s gaming content. In a couple words, I want something less insulting and disposable.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Exclusivity
Posted by News Fetcher on January 15 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Congratulations Cliff and Lauren!
Posted by News Fetcher on January 13 '12 at 11:31 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
We were recently asked by Cliff Bleszinski and his soon to be wife Lauren if we would create the save the date card for their wedding. The answer was “Of course!”



you can click on the image for a larger version. I removed the date and location since they probably didn’t get enough cake for the entire internet.

-Gabe out

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New Penny Arcade Television
Posted by News Fetcher on January 13 '12 at 09:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
A Fourth Panel, detailing the origin of The Conflux D&D series which people seemed to enjoy. Or, at least, enjoy more than we expected. Which is at all, really. I’m always a little surprised.

(CW)TB

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I Put Some News In Your News
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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I Put Some News In Your News
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
When I saw the headline

Introducing Kotaku Core, For Readers Who Only Want to Know About Video Games
</a>

it seemed like a joke almost, a headline from The Onion. Introducing what, for who? Whobida? Wojaja?

Are they creating a “kids table” version of the site because, almost on a weekly basis, civil war breaks out in their comment threads? In addition to posts about an “amazing Mario belt buckle” and deep photosets of teenaged Japanese cosplayers, Kotaku is also attempting to act as a catalyst for a broader, more inclusive gaming community. The problem (and you can absorb this from these searing, molten threads) is that not everyone wants to be catalyzed.
Splitting their site into two discrete universes seems antithetical to the site’s mission, but what do I know. This atomization of culture isn’t peculiar to gaming, by any means; it’s more or less the inevitable result of media proliferation. You can marinate in a broth of room-temperature consensus if you want to - you can consume only the kind of news that will uphold and verify your unassailable nobility, you can join or create a community that “gets it” and feel confident that you are surrounded on all sides by the evil and ignorant Hun.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Way Forward
Posted by News Fetcher on January 11 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Gabriel’s D&D group has never endured a full Edition War. There was that Essentials thing, which didn’t really touch them; even if one or two of their players might have preferred a “cleaner” system, nobody ever really knew what an Essential was. “Essentials” sounds suspiciously like less. And we are a people engineered to demand more.
We tried to force the issue with a detour into Pathfinder, but - to our surprise - they don’t see any of the problems we do with 4th Edition played at the higher levels. They don’t. This is their version, and synonymous with Dungeons and Dragons; they’re as devoted to their cards and grids as any grizzled ancient is to THAC0 or saving throws. They will argue with you about it in the parking lot when you try to take parts of it away, even when it is “obvious” that things have gone “terribly wrong.”

The Balkanization of Dungeons & Dragons is something Wizards of the Coast is devoting an entire edition to solving, and to that end they have planned a wholesale brain harvest from players at every threshold of the hobby. I guess I don’t have high hopes.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Way Forward
Posted by News Fetcher on January 10 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Dickerdoodle 2011 winners
Posted by News Fetcher on January 09 '12 at 12:01 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
First Place!



Congratulations to PA reader and huge pervert Desirae! I love the “Vaginger Snaps” but for me this one wins because of the incredible depiction of cookie penetration.

Second Place!



A disgusting re-imagining of a classic kids game. Love the sperm!

Third Place!



The camel’s humps are the testicles! Truly inspired.

I’ll be contacting the winners today. The top three listed here will all get a special Penny Arcade prize pack of stuff from our store.

Here is a gallery with a few more entries that I loved but didn’t quite make the cut. This is very NSFW! You have been warned.

Thanks to everyone who entered. You are all perverts and I love you!

-Gabe out

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Bedeviled
Posted by News Fetcher on January 09 '12 at 09:15 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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