In response to "Blood and Trumpets in the Rastan Saga" from The Escapist Forum: It is interesting to note that there is an article about Howard fantasy and Lovecraft fantasy in the same issue; Howard and Lovecraft were correspondents and, apparently, friends.

- Bongo Bill

In Response to "Richard Garriott: The Escapist Interview" from The Escapist Forum: I very much respect the hard work Richard has done over the years, but I have a very hard time reconciling what he's saying here with his new chosen medium.

MMOs are a poor vehicle for telling a story. While all MMOs HAVE a story, the players are usually so busy squabbling over mechanics or questing for loot that they couldn't care less about WHY they're doing it. I agree wholeheartedly with Richard's stance on bringing accountability to gaming actions; that, to me, would be far more dynamic then deformable terrain. Anyone can destroy a building, but it would take real effort to rescue the destitute of an entire city. This kind of action almost requires a persistent world, but I don't believe that the MMO players of today have been trained to think of their games in this manner.

- Scopique

In Response to "Richard Garriott: The Escapist Interview" from The Escapist Forum: When I think of seeing both sides of an issue, I think of Dark Messiah. I always sneer when the hero pauses to listen to the baddie's monologue at the climax of most stories, but with Dark Messiah I found myself doing it out of choice. I stood there, weapon raised but genuinely wanting to hear the opposing view.

The plot may have been bunk in general but it did a fantastic job of making you ask difficult question about your morals and justifying the so-called bad guy's actions.

- Tom Edwards

In Response to "Richard Garriott: The Escapist Interview" from The Escapist Forum: When Quite simply, sincerely, I cried.

There, right there, is a person who understand.

Unique, unparralelled and unequalled.

Whether Tabula Rasa succeed or fail as a game, Richard is forever my hero.

- Ramification

In response to "Gaming's Fringe Cults" from The Escapist Forum: As for "the industry has moved on," it has and it hasn't. It's not that much different. For instance, Cain once said about Fallout's combat: "It also showed how popular and fun turn-based combat could be, when everyone else was going with real-time or pause-based combat." That's no different now, everyone else is going with real-time or pause-based, only this time so is Fallout.

So if anything has changed it's that the unique situation behind Fallout can't be reproduced. Not because the people aren't there, but because the companies have closed ranks, and even a proclaimed independent like Bethesda joins those ranks. Only Blizzard remains, I guess, with their hearty sod off to the, as CVG put it, "'big new feature' kind of showmanship." ... I'm sure Bethesda's Fallout 3 has the potential to outsell the Fallout 3 BIS was working on, but BIS didn't need to sell a million copies just to break even.

The base investment cost of the license and ludicrous expenses like their PR department (including a community manager who doesn't really do anything, from what I can tell) or hiring Liam Neeson are choices Bethesda made, and only because of those choices do they have to compete in three markets to so much as break even. That's not inherent of today's gaming market, but I'll admit it's predominant, and it will have to collapse in on itself someday. These high-risk high-profit ventures are a way to instable base for an industry. Heck, you don't see any other industry doing it.

- Brother None

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