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The Delicious Invasion
Posted by News Fetcher on March 16 '12 at 09:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
It occurred to us that, like the Council of Elrond, we had the power to unite the mortal races against a common foe. We could just make our own new ending everyone could rally around.
The official line has shifted from “our endings are invincible chocolate platinum” to “okay, let’s talk about the endings later, after more people have finished it.” Personally, I’m still hooked on the Indoctrination theory; I like creeping, gnawing ideas of this kind, ones that call the understood narrative into question. The first Force Unleashed did that especially well.
I’ve been in the habit of making things for public consumption so long now that a lot of the mystery that is bound up in Creative Endeavor evaporates. Patrick Rothfuss had me on as a “beta tester” for Wise Man’s Fear, which I was more than happy to do: I wrote NO in thick black sharpie over entire pages, and I think I even shook my fist at one point at an impotent God. I don’t know how the book turned out because I never read the “real” version, but this very act horrified Gabriel. He thinks of books as being Absolute Things, like Sandwiches, as opposed to something that vibrates or shifts in any particular. I didn’t find it particularly weird, but you come into this stuff with a lot of your own shit. Perspective is, to him, more or less inviolate. That’s something I get.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Delicious Invasion
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Mass Effect 3 Ending **SPOILER WARNING**
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 01:15 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I will be discussing my thoughts on the ending of Mass Effect 3.

****SPOILERS!***

I chose the “green” ending and felt very satisfied with the conclusion. After wrapping it up I decided to go online and figure out what everyone seemed to me so upset about. This article on Gamefront seems to do the best job of summing up all the complaints. I’ll just go down the line and try and cover each of the five points listed there:

Brevity

The claim here is that five years worth of gaming is wrapped up in a ten minute cut scene. I guess this comes down to when you think the ending starts. Like Tycho, I consider Mass Effect 3 to be “the ending”. The game starts with Earth under attack and from that point on it’s a mad dash to try and stop the Reapers. I’d argue that if you like ME3 then you liked the ending.

It’s Confusing

“I made some synthetics to kill you every 50k years so you would not be killed by synthetics”

That’s a funny line but it’s not actually what’s happening in Mass Effect. The AI who created the Reapers is not killing all organic life. He is actually “pruning” it so as to avoid the destruction of all organic life. By removing the most evolved species and preserving them inside the Reapers he is saving all the still developing organic life. From his point of view it is either go in every 50k years and absorb the most advanced civilizations so that organic life will still exist or do nothing and watch Synthetics stamp out all organic life forever.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Chronoloop
Posted by News Fetcher on March 13 '12 at 11:15 PM
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Multiplicity
Posted by News Fetcher on March 12 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
As my Mass Effect conversations with Gabriel became more and more detailed, it became clear that even if someone or something showed up in both our games the particulars could have radical distinctions. Radical really is the word: there are scenes, thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of work, I will never see. The same is also true for him.
I completed the game on Saturday. Gabriel is essentially at the aperture of the game’s final moments, ready to be slurped through a pneumatic tube very nearly to the end of the game. We’ve received a ton of communication regarding the way things resolve themselves, but since he hasn’t cracked the finale I’m not entirely comfortable discussing it with him. But there’s still something to talk about.
It’s hard to remember, looking at this screen now with my fist propping up my chin, any games that have actually delivered an ending worthy of their premise. Many games deliver on the “climax,” but when it comes time to put a fundamentally interactive work to bed, these things get… restless.
The filthy secret of Achievements is that they are essentially user surveillance, and I’m always surprised to learn how many people don’t complete their games. Not that I’m always running them to the end, of course; I just figured that not getting all the way there was simply an oxide formed on my own fundamentally incomplete psyche. It’s not the case. How much money you want to spend on something a nontrivial percentage of your purchasing audience will never see is a good question, and given the way most games end, we may divine the answer.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Multiplicity
Posted by News Fetcher on March 11 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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PAX East
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
To be fair I don’t honestly expect to be killed by a psychopath anytime soon. But the tweets from Mr. Paul Christoforo have certainly been…interesting. I think that anytime some says they are excited to meet you and that “the police will not stop me.” you should probably pay attention. Honestly as someone who truly enjoys making people angry, the fact that I have now driven another human being to say those words is sort of an achievement.

Either way the guy is not allowed at PAX and I don’t think we’ll have any trouble managing that. but PAX East isn’t just about me and the crazy people who may or may not be stalking me. No, PAX East is also about the Omegathon!

At PAX east we do things a little different. Rather than competing individually, our Omeganauts are paired up. If you’re interested in watching any of the rounds here’s a list for you.

Round 1: X-Men

Merman Theatre, Friday, 4:00 PM

Round 2: Zip-It

Merman Theatre, Saturday, 2:00 PM

Round 3: Dance Central 2

Main Theatre, Saturday, 8:00 PM - the opening act to the Saturday night concerts

Final Round: ???

Main Theatre, Sunday, 5:30 PM

This year’s secret final round will be very cool I think. I don’t want to give too much away but how about a hint?

We had custom equipment built

chew on that for a bit.

-Gabe out

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Eventualities
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
He’s really done it, or perhaps I should say he’s done it again: driven a person so absolutely crazy that the weird threats and even disparaging nicknames are free-flowing.
Gabriel’s contention has long been that I would be murdered first, because people relate to me differently. That is to say, they can relate to me at all. Unlike SOME people (!!!) I don’t have a physiology that can metabolize other people’s anguish. I tend to start shit with concepts, as opposed to individuals, but the main thing is that I don’t have a supernatural ability to discern weakness coupled with a wild animal’s hunger for flesh.
In trying to discuss Mass Effect 3 with Gabriel and Kiko this morning, we discovered how - by this point in the trilogy - we aren’t playing the same game.

Between a platform switch and a hard drive crash, I don’t have any “past” to speak of in Mass Effect. It’s defaults all the way down: some of the things represent my true actions, but many don’t. They’ve stuck with their saves the whole way, and when we sat down it got complex very quickly. Even the pronoun for Shepard was getting in the way. People are dead, or gone, or I never met them, or I sent them away, none of which is true for my cohorts. It’s a nice bit of spoiler protection in some ways, or perhaps something better: the opposite of a spoiler, learning something that did not happen for you. So many switches are flipped by the time you get to this juncture that people are entering a kind of point-cloud cathedral, a structure formed of past experience.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Eventualities
Posted by News Fetcher on March 08 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Priorities
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Survey
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '12 at 12:00 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Robert’s got a new survey up, a kind of readership Census. Do you have a second? Or a few seconds? It’s a huge help.

(CW)TB

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Configuration
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '12 at 08:00 AM
From Penny Arcade:



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Pro-Antagonism
Posted by News Fetcher on March 02 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I’m kind of a Kirkmophile, and certainly an Invinciblist. I devoured all the trades of The Walking Dead. Not literally! They’re fine; I just read them. The show, though, maybe not so much.
I always get a little sad when I read about server closures, even if I’m not a current player. Even for an MMO, except in rare cases it’s usually in indicator of some wasting disease. In this latest round from SOE, I loved Star Chamber back in the day. We even made a couple cards for it, in another era. A CCG Boardgame hybrid released about a decade before its time, it’s a ridiculously adept match for where this kind of gaming is now: asymmetrical play on mobile and tablet devices. We live in an inherently dumb universe.

One of the other games, Cosmic Rift, isn’t one I ever played. But I thought you’d get a kick out of the hardware requirements:

200 MHZ processor

32 MB RAM

28.8kbps modem

4MB+ video card

Windows 9X/NT/2000

So, maybe that game is pretty old. Maybe you shut a server like that down? But how much processing does a game like that take? I understand that it’s more a matter of service and support, but what I’m saying is that these are processes that can easily be replaced with community enthusiasm.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Pro-Antagonism
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 11:15 PM
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TERA part 2
Posted by News Fetcher on February 29 '12 at 01:15 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
NEWSFLASH, I made some people angry. I know it’s hard to believe. It seems a lot of people are upset about my post regarding the TERA beta. I’m a little surprised considering I talked for three paragraphs about how amazing the game is and then gave one paragraph about how I didn’t like the quests. If your take away from that was that I shit all over the game I think you’re probably just spoiling for a fight.

I tried to make it clear that I had only played from level 1 to 12 and so that was all I was really basing my impressions on. Some people have told me that’s not fair and explained that the game “doesn’t really get good until level 20”. That may be and I’m certainly hoping to see that stuff during the next beta but I think it’s fair to talk about a person’s initial impressions. That 1-12 game is your introduction to the game and the world. A lot of people will make up their mind about a game during that period. If you have some awesome stuff it might not be a bad idea to front load a little bit of it.

The reality is that I loved TERA and I was disappointed when the beta weekend was over. I’ve got my calendar marked and I’m ready to jump back in for the next one. You can like something, and still talk about what you think are its flaws. Honestly if I hadn’t liked the game I wouldn’t have given a shit about the quests being boring and I never would have talked about it on the site. But I loved it and so I did care and I did want to share my thoughts.

So there you go. I hope that clears things up.

-Gabe out

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Stewardship
Posted by News Fetcher on February 29 '12 at 12:00 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Scott’s going to put us in charge of the shop while he’s off on some kind of adventure. This seems like a very dangerous business, and I suspect that he knows that all too well, given his attempt to mitigate the damage pre-emptively.
We aren’t intimidated by these restrictions, because - as you’ve seen here on the site - our oeuvre is crazy robust and rarely falls back on a handful of shopworn themes. We came up with several incredible scenarios for PVP’s Francis Ottoman just this afternoon. For example, Francis might:

- become trapped inside of his favorite videogame

- run afoul of Francis Otherman, a doppelganger who is slightly more handsome and who also has a ding dong he can remove and throw like a boomerang which also has a novel, chewy texture

- really start feeling it at the pump thanks to Obama’s misguided energy policies

- befriend an injured bird

and that was only, like three hours of consideration. Imagine if we had invested four. Fear not, Mr. Kurtz! We’ll take it from here. We will try not to pulverize your ancient and respected brand, try with a capital T. But no promises.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Stewardship
Posted by News Fetcher on February 28 '12 at 11:15 PM
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Tera Beta
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I played a bunch of Tera this weekend during their beta test. I was able to get an archer up to level 12 and I had a great time. I wanted to share some of my thoughts about the beta with you guys. I should mention that I did not try any of the PvP and I’ve heard that’s something Tera does very well. My take on the beta is based on a purely PVE experience. I’ll start with the stuff I liked.

First of all Tera is the best looking MMO I have ever seen. It’s just fucking gorgeous. The crazy thing is that not only does the game look amazing, but it also runs great. I can’t believe how fast this game loads and how smooth it runs considering the visuals.

I have to say the best part of Tera though is the combat. This is an MMO but it plays more like an action game. There is no hotbar clicking here. You assign skills to your mouse buttons and the number keys but the real fun comes in building triggered skills. Essentially you create long chains of skills that you can trigger with a press of the space bar at the right moment. For example my archer started fights with a basic arrow shot, then I tap space bar and she moves into a melee attack with the bow, tap it again and she fires an explosive arrow at the ground that throws her back and gives her some distance, then another tap triggers her charged shot and so on. These combos are totally customizable. You just select a skill and then select what other skill it should trigger.

Since dodging and blocking are so integral to combat in Tera you can fight monsters that are much tougher than you are. If you play smart and dodge their attacks you can take on monsters way above your level. This game isn’t about standing in one spot and taking your licks until the monster is dead. This is an action game and how well you play has a lot to do with the outcome of a fight.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Further Deviations
Posted by News Fetcher on February 26 '12 at 11:15 PM
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Jordan Mechner Opening up PAX East
Posted by News Fetcher on February 24 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
My hands quake as I type it!

You almost certainly know, but just in case, Jordan Mechner created Karateka and Prince of Persia, and is currently creating the remake of Karateka, which was just announced! He was telling interesting stories in games without the use of a single word thirty years ago; I can’t wait to hear what he has to say today.

(CW)TB

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