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Shut Up. We're Talking.
Host: Darren and Karen
Darren and Karen present this commentary podcast covering recent topics found within the MMORPG Blogging and Podcasting community.

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Shut Up. We're Talking #38
Mon, 1 Dec 2008 05:49:00 GMT [download/play]



Scenario:
The team chats and rants while playing LotRO (or EQ2 in Karen's case).
Note: There may be some explicit language int his show.

Guests:
- Darren
- Karen
- Michael
- Craig
- Adam
- Brent

Topics:

Join our Monday game group along with Karen to discuss:

- DDO static group postmortem
- Tabula Rasa postmortem

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Episode 38 Discussion Thread

'Cool!' by animagnum
Submitted on 2008-12-01 07:03:49 CST
This was an interesting podcast -- it was really funny hearing random game details pop up while you guys discussed DDO and RGTR.

Brent, you are right on the money about keeping TR (and games like it) going. Speaking as an outsider, I guess there are likely some sort of costs that outweigh the price of running the game. Perhaps NCSoft felt low subscriber numbers would give the entire company a bad reputation. Michael described their desire to only promote AAA titles. This is by no means a bad idea, but now they have 20,000 players who might not feel strongly about playing another NCSoft game. Pardon my language, but it was shitty of the company to hand out trial subs for the abandoned players. That's like being dumped by your boyfriend or girlfriend and then they give you the number of a local escort service -- and not just any escort service, but one that they manage!! I suppose it's generous, but what the hell else can MMO companies provide to non-subscribers?

Anyway, if I was a loyal TR player, I would not be at all interested in partaking in any other NC Soft game. What if I joined City of Heroes and then it got shut down shortly after DC Universe and Champions Online are released? Okay, CoH is a more popular game -- maybe I'm wrong -- maybe this might be an unrealistic expectation, but then again... maybe not.

I think it would be really interesting to see a site like GOG.com set up for MMOs. It could be like GOMOG or GOGMOG or GrogMmorpg or something. Inevitable royalty fiascos aside, they could run a couple servers for discontinued games and maybe even change how they are run. Imagine taking some old MMO and charging next to nothing for people to play it, but totally borking the rules just to see what happens. Let players vote on content updates. Let the players run an in-game government where they could deem certain mobs as endangered species, and they could dispatch strike teams to dispose of any players who unlawful hunt them. The very fact that they are playing an unplugged MMO could be rolled into the reborn-lore itself! Just some thoughts. I know as gamers we always talk about the "wouldn't it be cool ifs," but I think discontinued MMOGs provide a wealth of opportunities. The idea isn't to make a ton of money or prove the previous IP owners wrong, but to give players an alternative or perhaps even relaunch a game they once enjoyed.



'Unreal Engine Licensing' by Epicsound
Submitted on 2008-12-01 07:56:29 CST
Unreal Engine Licensing

A royalty of 3% is due on all revenue from the game, calculated on the wholesale price of the product minus (for console SKUs) console manufacturer fees. * In the case of massive-multiplayer online games, the royalty is also due on the additional forms of revenue including subscriptions and advertisements.

This I guess contributes to the unprofitability of the game. To keep the game going they would still be paying fees for the use of the engine. However, it still seems reasonable that a game could exist on a very limited staff/patches.



'You make me want to play Lotro' by Viruzzz
Submitted on 2008-12-01 10:50:09 CST
Always loved the books, never really considered the game. You people (minus Karan) got me interested. I'll have to check it out.


'Darn it I want in!' by Checksix
Submitted on 2008-12-01 14:35:46 CST
Hey I want in on the Monday Night Group! You guys sound like you're having a blast!

Lotro is a great game, I hope you guys stick with it for a bit.

As to the TR shutdown...yeah, I can't really justify it. However, I can tell you that if there are any contract issues concerning patents or the like, and this contingency (low subs) wasn't covered in the contract, then they may have to moth ball it for purley legal reasons.

Also consider this, there may have been understandings (contracts) between Garroit and NC Soft. What if big G's contract said he got paid 5 mill a year rain or shine? Now NC Soft would have to lose 2 mill (based on Brents 3mil figure) to keep the game running. Truth is we don't really know what kind of agreement they had.

I don't think NC soft is a "stupid" company. I also don't think they are soulless. Maybe they have problems in the legal or business areena, don't know. All I know is that most companies don't make decisions to sunset projects based on short term pain when there is the long term gain in sight.

OH...and I want in on that Monday night group....Did I say that already?



'Um....' by Anjin
Submitted on 2008-12-02 00:03:38 CST
I usually love your podcast, but please don't do it like this again. That was as unlistenable as my guild's Vent server.

I do think I should give LotRO another shot. I really was having a good time before I hit the Lone-Lands.



'@ Checksix' by FarSpace
Submitted on 2008-12-02 01:12:02 CST
That makes allot of sence about the legal stuff and NCSoft, I can understand that.

NCSoft messed up and I hope they will learn from this and it won't get repeated. No matter what the reasons were.

I do hope we find out exactly what happened in detale one day. Would be a good thing to learn about. Untill then no one will know if they are getting into a bad deal with NCSoft. Or whatever, it's not like I ever really know what i'm talking about :)

Great show btw. good times, yeah baby!



'Glad to hear LOTRO get some love' by ArtphulDodger
Submitted on 2008-12-02 02:48:34 CST
After graduating from Guild Wars I had a chance to pick from all the titles available, WOW, EQ2 and LOTR was being released. I have to say it was 2 reasons.
1. I already knew the world and had an omg moment as the Moon rose above Weathertop in beta. I fail to see how WOW or any other fantasy based game can compare to Middleearth. (In fact Jonathan from the Online Gamers Anthoogy has been filling the kinchat with ONG for the past few weeks) There is a certain geeky thing accomplished when you have to Hit up Elrond for a Quest.

2. I could pay ONE price and play all I wanted (ie like Guild Wars) As a 47 yr old noob gamer this attracted me way more than station access as another auto pay debit was undesirable. I gave EQ2 a fair shot and got to 30 with my Fae Paladin...but alas..it became to unfamiliar and the lore curve was to great compared to LOTR established mythos. I've played the hell out of LOTRO ever since 4 lvl 50s later and 1 at 54 and 1 at 56 in MOM it has been a sweet ride. yes im a fan boy.its ok.. really

The downside is to really experience LOTRO's new content you have to be 50+. If you guys can hang on and are on the Nimrodel Server..Ill give you a guided tour..(If not..You Shall Not Pass!).

Always listening .thanks Darren your podcast, VW and Ringcast are my staples.

happy gaming.



'Question's about LoTRO playing in groups' by FarSpace
Submitted on 2008-12-02 05:18:01 CST
I had a question about group fighting in LoTRO and since yuo all are playing LoTRO nd all in the same group I was wondering if you would like t answer sme questions fo me?

I remember hearing a long time ago that the combat moves you make can work off other move made by your team?

And if s how is that going for you guys in LoTRO now?

And is LoTRO really one of the best at story telling? And how well does hat work for you in a group and can you enjoy the story while in a team doing team stuff/missions?

And does LoTRO have UE and U.S. people playing one the same servers?

And basically how is LoTRO playing for you grouped and do you do your missions together or just the same mission but kind of separately but at the same time?

Thanks



'Server' by Meithar
Submitted on 2008-12-02 12:43:50 CST
Glad to hear you are enjoying LOTRO, been a lifetime member myself since the game released. What server are you guys on? If you are on the Elendilmir server, give me a shout sometime. The name is Huralagos over there.

Also if you ever need some help with quest info, want to do some RP, or what not, I suggest getting in touch with one of the best Kinships I have seen in the game. They go by the name: Celainedhil and are comprised of two of the oldest kins in the game, the Elves of Imladris and the Calenathrim (or Mirkwood Elves as they were first known). You can get more info on them at http://www.celainedhil.com/.

Forgive the kinship plug, but seriously I hope to see you all ingame and would love to run a few missions with ya sometime.



'Do I Have To Roll?' by Wilhelm2451
Submitted on 2008-12-02 20:10:53 CST
Hey, I get a bit of heat for mining in EVE while recording the podcast (and running a mission that one time), and now you guys are grouped and playing LOTRO during the show?

Does that mean there will be a live from Norrath show some day? Or do I have to roll LOTRO character on your server to be invited back?

Glad to hear the blame for hopping games was placed squarely on the shoulders of Mr. Zenke. He needs to get back in his parent's basement and stick with a game for a while! More Hot Pockets!



'Kudos for trying something new, but too distracted?' by swift607
Submitted on 2008-12-03 21:13:55 CST
You are normally far and away my favorite podcast, but it seemed like the hosts were very distracted by playing LOTRO while podcasting. I appreciate the attempt to do something new, and when the podcast started I was excited by the concept...that excitement only lasted a few minutes. Listening to this episode felt like when someone is talking to you while they are watching a great movie or on the phone. It actually made me empathisize with my poor wife for the times that she is trying to talk to me when I'm fully engrossed in-game and only half-listening to her. No wonder she gets mad!

Kudos for trying something new, but I don't think it worked. Looking forward to the next show!



'NCSoft and Tabula Rasa' by Sente
Submitted on 2008-12-03 23:18:47 CST
I do not quite understand the digust and negativity towards NCSoft that was expressed.

Yes, I think it is a shame that Tabula Rasa will go away and it deserved better. Yes, people have put in a lot of effort in developing the game which is now wasted.

This is something that happens in many other areas of business as well and with much larger numbers than what we see for NCSoft. Not fun, but the alternative may be worse for the company.

And is it really surprising that they have cancelled the project that was worked upon in Austin? NCSoft Austin was formed from Destination Games in 2001 I believe. How many successful games have they produced for NCSoft since then?
Is it really surprising that they have lost confidence in the ability of NCSoft Austin to be really profitable and taking actions to avoid losing even more money?

There seem to be an implied negative attitude towards Korean side here, when it has been NCSoft Austin that has failed.

NCSoft's profitability margins are dropping and just being barely profitable for some operations is not likely going to cut it with investors and business analysts.

It is interesting to see that SOE gets the thumbs up now for the very same thing that they got criticised for a few years back - taking on some perhaps so-and-so games will not particularly large playerbases.

Yet they are the company with the perhaps most spectacular "cancellation" - SWG NGE, which in practice was a cancellation of a game for a number of players.

NCSoft is still running Lineage in NA even though their monthly access numbers seem to have dropped below 5000. Should they not be commended for that if SOE is commended for keeping some of their less popular games?

And should not people stay away from Warhammer Online, because that is part of EA and EA has cancelled multiple MMO games?

Not quite sure where Brent got his 3 million number from, but it does not take many minutes to get actual sales numbers for Tabula Rasa, just go to www.ncsoft.com and download it.
Fact is that Tabula Rasa sales were 5.633 million won during the first 3 quarters of 2008. Exchange rates can be a bit tricky, but the numbers are likely to be somewhat close to 5.5 million USD.

NCSoft is quite transparent in that regard compared to other companies, so there is no need to guess - guesses do not become truth just because they are repeated. And that transparency will also affect how the company conducts their business.




'Love the Gaming Whilst Podcasting' by Jaxom92
Submitted on 2008-12-07 04:23:09 CST
Makes for an interesting podcast, having the gaming going on in the background. As a fellow LOTRO player I immediately tried to figure out where you were and what quests you were doing based on what was said. Realized you were still around Archet. Just starting sounds like. I hope you enjoy you're time in LOTRO.

And, of course, I love the show. I listen to it as regularly as I can. Keep up the awesome work guys and gals!



'Background music' by Buddydude
Submitted on 2008-12-08 04:55:38 CST
I just recently found your podcast (and VirginWorlds) and it's great. It's a great listen, keep up the good work.

But WHAT is that music in the background? I figure it's some fantasy banshee/harpy shrieking everything 30 seconds or so while you guys are talking. It's like "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"... Background music is great, but maybe think about something else, maybe instrumental, some mellow jazz or something.