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No Prisoners, No Mercy
Host: Julie Whitefeather & Frances Kosac
There comes a time, friends, when your favorite MMO ceases to sparkle, when even new videogames lose their luster, and the computer room becomes a prison; and all that is left are two gamers (who happen to be nuns) with a very large axe to grind. Come join Julie Whitefeather and Frances Kosac as they go to War - and along the way discuss the events of the week in the MMO industry.

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Related site: http://www.virginworlds.com/blog.php?cat=julie


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No Prisoners, No Mercy - Show 38
Mon, 13 Jul 2009 23:45:00 GMT [download/play]



Welcome to a very special No Prisoners, No Mercy!

On show 38 we have the usual features â short shorts news and commentary, and a three part Mad as Hell. There is also a discussion about some of the fantastic new features that we found as part of the Aion Beta.

The week we also have a very special guest: Mr. Paul Barnett, Creative Director of Mythic Entertainment, the company that brought us all Warhammer Online.  This show features the first part in a three part series of interviews with Paul Barnett. They will appear on the next three shows as follows:

Paul Barnett talks about Warhammer
Paul Barnett talks about understanding the industry
Paul Barnett talks about Life, the Universe and Man Dolls

We know you will have as much fun listening to the show as we did recording it.

Julie and Fran


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Episode 38 Discussion Thread

'Brad' by Token
Submitted on 2009-07-14 15:02:43 CST
Listened to short shorts so far and I gotta say Brad McQuaid still owes me £30. People tend to talk about the parking lot being a reason to hate Brad, but what about that piece of shit game he made. I will never trust him, he's a con man. I would have gotten more value from my money if I had used it as toilet paper. Vanguard was the biggest waste of time, money and enthusiasm that I have ever embarked on in my life and it single handedly made me realise that PC games have no quality control and no standards whatsoever.


'New Blog Site is Live!' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-07-14 15:09:47 CST
We hope you are enjoying the special show with Paul Barnett, Creative Director for Mythic, as a guest. Sr. Fran and I can certainly say that by the time we were done with the two hour interview it was really an eye opener!

We also have a new website that has gone live for blogs, stories, comments and what not...basically a site to accompany this podcast, for blogs, featuring guest authors and more. The web site is noprisonersnomercy.com

Julie



'New Blog Site is Live!' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-07-14 15:11:27 CST
We hope you are enjoying the special show with Paul Barnett, Creative Director for Mythic, as a guest. Sr. Fran and I can certainly say that by the time we were done with the two hour interview it was really an eye opener!

We also have a new website that has gone live for blogs, stories, comments and what not...basically a site to accompany this podcast, for blogs, featuring guest authors and more. The web site is noprisonersnomercy.com

Julie



'Quality Control' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-07-14 15:19:47 CST
@ Token: I think that by the time you are done listening to the first two interviews with Paul Barnett you will have a quite different viewpoint about quality control in the industry. As far as Vanguard itself is concerned I didn't have a problem with structure of the game itself. It wasn't quite ready for publication when it went live and I am sure that Brad would be the first to agree (we will see). I will admit that the launch had more bugs than an Orkin Man. It did have many positive things going for it and still does. At the time there was a lack of an endgame of any sort but much, much, much may have changed since then. In the end, where the game is concerned, Brad McQuaid seems to have bitten off more than he can chew when he originally set out to be a "wow killer" - a foolish idea at best.

As I said on the show, my qualms with Brad McQuaid, and lack of trust, is based on how he treated the employees - it was shameful.

Julie



'So True' by Jmo
Submitted on 2009-07-14 17:28:16 CST
As far as Brad McQuad goes, I don't trust him as far as I can throw him. I was also one who jumped on the Vanguard bandwagon when I first heard of it. Being an EQ Fanboy (so much so that over 10 years later, I'm still playing: "Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in!"), I couldn't resist going to Brad McQuad's "Next Big Thing." He wowed me with EQ, and promised much of the same with Vanguard. I was definitely let down. Vanguard's launch was a buggy P.O.S. to say the least. I had pre-ordered and feel like I really had wasted my money. But the fault with that doesn't fall on Brad. That falls on production companies rushing the launch.

But with all of that said, that is not the reason I don't trust Brad. I agree 110% with Julie when she says it's how he treated his employees. He didn't show up for their firing, and he didn't let any of them know he was selling the game or the company. He took the money and ran. I could never trust the man again, especially if I was a game studio looking at his résumé. I wish him luck, but I'll never jump on that hype train again.

As for your interview with Paul. AWESOME. I can't wait to hear the other parts. One thing I can say about Paul Barnett besides that he definitely knows his stuff, is that he has an awesome sense of humor. A lot of people really take criticism personally, Paul seems the kind of guy who can take it with the best of them, and still come out laughing in the end. Not only that, I'm sure this trait really helps him put all of the flaming to good use, especially when digging through it to find out what fans really want. While Warhammer really wasn't a game for me in the end, there are still 300k+ people who love it, and it is no where near a failure. I'm sure I'll even check it out again some day.

Keep up the great work Sisters. I look forward to hearing from you soon. =)



'Great Interview and...' by Saylah
Submitted on 2009-07-14 17:35:34 CST
I can certainly appreciate Mythic's situation with Warhammer. This is still a game I very much wanted to enjoy long term. The two classes I played rank into my top 5 classes of all time, across all games PERIOD. I haven't changed my opinion that the design decisions are part of the stains they are living through now that impeded some of my enjoyment. I'm not sure if it's possible to change/fix what made it feel broken for players like me. I want massive bodies for reliable encounters across their content types, lag fixed and an overhaul of the non-grinding inspired crafting that is actually extremely grind heavy compared to other games.

We discuss on my segment with you guys so I won't rehash here, but the experiences with WAR differ wildly based on server population which isn't in control of the player. Because unlike a game like WOW, WAR doesn't have the same breadth of entertaining PVE content to support you, when you don't have access to bodies for the PVP/RVR content.




'And P.S.' by Saylah
Submitted on 2009-07-14 17:43:00 CST
to avoid the suggestion... I don't feel is my responsibility to re-roll on servers as a fix to the problem. There's no guarantee the same thing with faction numbers or server population numbers wouldn't happen again and I'd what, re-roll somewhere else again. I don't consider that a viable solution when I'm paying a subscription to do those re-rolls. If it really is all fixed minus population, let me get out of jail for free. At any time or on a 30-day cool down, I should be able to get off a less than medium population server at no cost. Then if the population or balance of players fails, I, the paying customer, would never be impacted without an option for more than 30 days on subscription month. I'd pay to take that sort of risk. I won't pay to get stuck, like my characters are now on a low pop server after having been moved off a dying one before that. This is why I left the game.


'nice' by Token
Submitted on 2009-07-14 18:41:31 CST
@ Julie
Well done with a fine interview, I especially liked the Warhammer loading music playing while he got his coffee. As for Vanguard, if I want to attach the blame to someone for robbing me of my hard earned cash, I can easily direct my attention to 'the team'. I now feel that the parking lot firing should have been a parking lot execution by firing squad.



'Generic Post Title' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-07-14 18:46:14 CST
@ Token: In regard to the parking lot firing I don't think it should be a firing squad...it sort of was one. I am glad you liked the segue music. Actually all of the segue music during the interview were mashups from the same Warhammer Loading music - as is most of the segue music - they are mashups.

@ Saylah: Well, let me say this about aht. If you completely agreed with us about Warhammer the "high noon" part of the next show would have been boring.

Julie



'It was great...' by Saylah
Submitted on 2009-07-14 19:23:54 CST
and clearly a fabulous kudos for you and Fran. Paul Barnett is passionate about what he does, speaks openly and with common sense. They are in between a rock and a hard place. I wouldn't want his job. Then again, I don't want my own either. :-)


'One you go troll you never reroll!' by Pufnstuf
Submitted on 2009-07-14 22:35:59 CST
My brother sent me an e-mail today with just that phrase... I am still laughing at that...

Good show.... Paul is funny... smart... and I really wished I liked Warhammer more :(

Also, I am glad you said the nice things about Aion. Does not really appeal to me at the moment but who knows.

As sung to the song in FInian's rainbow...
When I am not near the game I love, I love the game i'm near!

I just went back to Age of Conan and made a Brad Pitt looking Conquerer... Honestly the game is more fun this time around.... You may want to peek again (maybe make an Angelina to group with my Brad?)

Also have not seen you in Eve... My brother is offering to do a massive mining operation with you if you are game...



'Generic Post Title' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-07-15 03:19:42 CST
@ Pufnstuf: I actually played Age of Conan to a bit more than level 54. Roll up an Angelina Jolie character and play a game of "husband raider"? (my did I say that out loud?)

As for Eve I have been spending most of my time in Warhammer Lately - see the article "in space no one can hear you yawn". The account is open still and training going on but my attention has waned once again (this is the second try). It was nice to be able to fly a hulk this time around with Tech II fitting but the whole "zen" mining thing was getting to me. I haven't closed out the account yet however.



'Had to laugh...' by Saylah
Submitted on 2009-07-15 16:03:08 CST
at the "zen mining thing". I completely know what you mean. The last time I was playing, I realized when it is that I crave to play EVE. It's when I'm overly stressed or somewhat depressed about being stuck in my career for the monetary rewards. Those are the times when I crave the dark silence of EVE Online. There's something about being out there floating in the stars, number crunching, configuring my ships for battle and doing some spaceship pew-pew that sets me right again. The inside my head imaginings and wondering of, "what if..." and when will this be a reality for mankind is fun and soothing.

When my life and daily routine feel like the world is on fire, the last place I want to be is in a fantasy setting burning my eyes with brightly colored sprites and characters frolicking hither and yon. EVE is like therapy for me and once I'm cured, I'm ready to hop and bop back in fantasy settings.



'Julie, please stop screaming into the microphone.' by Checksix
Submitted on 2009-07-17 18:29:52 CST
The difference in ampletude(sp?) between your speaking voices and the SCREAMING IN THE MIC is so great I have to turn the volume up when you're just talking..then when you bellow you blow my ear drums out.

I like the content and commentary but the audio could use a little work.

Checksix.



'Volume levels' by Celestian
Submitted on 2009-07-17 18:32:20 CST
There are definitely times when Julie gets zealous and I have to yank my head phones off to avoid blasting my ears ;)

Still enjoy the show though.



'Glowing' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-07-17 20:18:46 CST
Inside Joke: Am I glowing yet?


'Show 39 has been uploaded...' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-07-19 18:21:27 CST
...and should be available soon. Join us for show 39 when it is posted for the second part of a three part interview with Paul Barnett: Paul Barnett on Understanding the Industry. Show 39 also features our good friend Saylah from Mystic Worlds.

Julie



'Comments' by Seritaph
Submitted on 2009-07-22 17:31:43 CST
I enjoyed this show. People like to bash on Brad McQuaid and Vanguard, but the way I see it that Brad McQuaid is a much better game designer than a company owner or businessman. From what little I've read in interviews and articles, he did not handle his business affairs very well at all, which ultimately forced the release of his product far too early and cost several people their jobs, and I hope he has learned some valuable business and humanitarian lessons from this experience. But even though Vanguard was (and still is) buggy, I found it a very enjoyable, innovative, and well designed MMO. Vanguard is one of the few MMO's where I don't feel like I'm riding on a system of rails. The crafting system and diplomacy system are both very well designed and stand alone as a separate but integrated part of the game, instead of just an afterthought. There are many other aspects to the game that deserve merit, but I don't want to write a book on Vanguard here. Needless to say, it's unfortunate many of Vanguards finer features will never be fully recognized due to all the negativity that surrounds it.

As for Paul Barnett, he is a joy to listen to as always. I enjoy his charm and wit. Although I'm not as big a fan of Warhammer the MMO as I'd like to be, I do respect his passion and love to hear his thoughts on the subject of gaming and MMOs.



'show number 39' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-07-22 19:55:18 CST
@ Seritaph: I am glad you like the interview with Paul Barnett. Show 39 with part 2 of the interview has been uploaded and waiting for the webmaster to post it. Part 3 is being edited and the show should be done by the end of the week.

And if you liked that....

You are sure to enjoy the upcoming guest (if all goes well the recording session is scheduled for this evening). Show 41 will feature guest Scott Hartsman - keep you fingers crossed that all goes well.

As for Vanguard: I played the game and like it. My problem is not with Brad McQuaids abilities as a designer - far from it. My problem is with the way the employees were treated. No one deserves to be treated that way and I wouldn't trust anyone who does treat people that way.

Julie



'Comments' by Seritaph
Submitted on 2009-07-22 20:31:19 CST
In regard to Vanguard (the game) my comments weren't directed Julie or Fran and their segment about Brad McQuaid in the show, but more Token and Jmo's comments about the game and it being a P.O.S. Also I want to add, in regard to Jmo's comment about Brad taking the money and running, I find it difficult to believe any money was made when I consider all the staff salary, equipment, business/operating costs and development time that must have went into making the game. Making any AAA (pc/console) game requires a large financial investment, and a MMO the scope of Vanguard requires even more. At the time he made the deal with Sony, it's my opinion Brad was in no position to leverage any kind of gain from the sale. I get the impression it was more a last act of desperation.

To Julie: you are spot on. The way the employees were let go was awful.