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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 42
Fri, 28 Aug 2009 03:32:00 GMT [download/play]



Welcome to Show 42!

Join us for another hour of gaming goodness as we discuss the news of
the day in short-shorts and another Mad as Hell.  This week we have a
special guest Scott "His Majesty" Hartsman (note of course that the
special name we apply to him is our note of adoration and not his self
applyed epithet. Next week's special guest will be Total Biscuit from
wcradio.com and the "BluePlz" show!

Julie and Fran

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Episode 42 Discussion Thread

'wow wow wow' by Token
Submitted on 2009-08-28 05:29:52 CST
Such a high quality show this week, I don't listen to any other podcasts regularly now so you know you're doing a good job. Don't go podfading or anything!


'Thanks' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-08-28 14:48:35 CST
@ Token: Fran and I podfade? Don't worry, we're not going anywhere - we went to the University of Illinois (old joke). I am glad you enjoyed the show...alot of editing time went into it. Next time we will have Total Biscuit from WoW radio as a guest.

Julie



'World of DutyCraft' by Seritaph
Submitted on 2009-08-28 16:06:19 CST
I don't think that it's fair you lumped World of Warcraft with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. I really don't think the anyone who is working on World of Warcraft directly had any influence on COD: MW2 and it's price point. In fact it's a whole different development studio (Infinity Ward) under the same publishing umbrella. Like you said, this sounds more of an upper-management bean counter decision. I could be mistaken and I haven't read the article, but personally I don't see the relationship other than the Blizzard name in Activision Blizzard as a publishing studio.

I will agree that the pricing is outrageous, and like Fran suggested vote with your dollars and don't buy it. When it doesn't sell to their expectation, the price will drop quickly, I can promise you that.

I really think Scott Hartsman over-simplified RMT transactions. And I understand he has a foot in both camps. But he didn't address the economic and social impact these items can have in a game. Sure you may please 20-30% of your audience, but you may also upset the other 70-80% as well. I also don't think it's right to assume that your most dedicated players have loads of (or any) disposable income, especially in these economic times. I think someone who can afford only a subscription, or less (free to play), can have the same level of passion for a game or gaming in general.

His thoughts on betas and game development however is spot on, and I really enjoyed listening to that segment.

Nice podcast, and thanks!



'Couple Points' by Jmo
Submitted on 2009-08-28 17:09:38 CST
First, in the matter of CoD:MW2, I wish people were smart enough to really vote with their dollars, but unfortunately I don't think that will be the case. The CoD franchise is wildly popular, and there are enough people out there who will buy it regrdless of price, that I'm afraid the money mongerers will win this one. I'm more afraid of the impact it will have on future game prices more than anything else. "If they can do it, so can we."

@seritaph As far as RMT goes, I think the model is really like this: The 30% willing to spend the money will. 60% won't care that it's there and may even buy stuff. The remaining 10% is what we call the un-silent minority. They will cause a big fuss about how it is ruining the game and remain vocal. Half of those players may actually make good on their threats to quit, but most likely won't, with the game maybe losing 3% of its playerbase in the end.

The fact of the matter is like Scott said: companies aren't going to leave money on the table if they can help it. That 3% won't even matter in the long run. The lost subscriptions are covered 100 fold by the money gained from RMT. It's the wave of the future and will only become a bigger share of the market over time.



'Let me say this about that...' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-08-28 18:06:31 CST
I don't see how wondering what Rob Pardo thought about Bobby Kotick's announcement is "lumping together world of warcraft with call of duty". As far as that is concerned Activision/Blizzard as a whole, no matter what game is being produced, seems to have developed the attitudes discussed on the show. I believe JMO is right, however, in regards to players going out and paying for Call of Duty:Modern Warfare 2 no matter what the prices - and more is the pity for that only enables the same attitude that we spoke about on the show.


As far as micro-transactions are concerned, I certainly see Scott Hartsman's point. As a player, obviously, I am not fond of some of the business models that are in play in some companies but as Mr. Hartsman pointed out, companies are not going to "leave money on the table."

Julie



'I guess we'll see...' by Seritaph
Submitted on 2009-08-28 18:58:13 CST
@ Julie

When Activision/Blizzard releases StarCraft II and the next WOW expansion next year (as rumored so far) if the price is inflated well beyond what is considered the norm, then I will give in to the notion that Activion/Blizzard as a whole shares this attitude. I guess you threw me off when you opened with, "I'm speaking of World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft takes it on the chin a lot this week," and then go into Call of Duty pricing which to me is totally non-related. Call of Duty has it's own reputation and audience separate of World of Warcraft, and the sales of WoW do not directly impact the sales of Call of Duty as they are different games entirely and even on different gaming platforms. The only thing they share is a publisher. Personally, I hope I'm right and team Blizzard has not let success go to it's head, and that this is just the rantings of some greedy high level execs. But if I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

As much as I'm looking forward to Blizzard's new offerings, I WILL vote with my dollars and not pay, should some kind of precedent be set by COD:MW2's outrageous pricing. Really, if nobody bought this game out of the gate, and even waited a couple weeks until the first price drop (and it would happen), it would send a huge message back to Activision Blizzard and that would be the end of it. But Jmo is probably right on this.



'Mia Culpa...' by Julie
Submitted on 2009-08-28 20:53:02 CST
@ Seritaph: In that case I should have said "Activision/Blizzard" takes it on the chin this week" or even more appropriately "Bobby Kotick takes it on the chin this week" - but thats the problem with extemporaneous speaking and trying not to say "um" at the same time - you have to think quick and it doesn't always end up as planned.

As far as pricing is concerned I HOPE you are right but I THINK JMO is right.

Julie



'How many podcasters...' by Seritaph
Submitted on 2009-08-28 21:36:16 CST
does it take to screw in a light bulb? I don't know. I've never done it. :)

You guys are great, and you do an amazing job. And I'm sure it's not easy. It was just some phasing that threw me off. Fantastic show, keep up the awesome work.



'Sore Subject' by Jmo
Submitted on 2009-08-28 22:40:56 CST
Title says it all. No matter how this issue plays out, or who's right or wrong in the end, this is a sore subject. I mean seriously? $90 for a (bleeping) game?! If this was a special collectors edition with some REALLY nice extras, then maybe. But not for just the base game. And the sad part is, as I stated earlier, people ARE going to pay it, in turn telling Activision that this is all ok.

I think this is going to be our main rant topic for the next MMOVoices. Again, corporate greed at its best.