Escapist Podcast: 106: Elder Scrolls Online & Moon Computers

106: Elder Scrolls Online & Moon Computers

This week, we discuss proper frosting to cake ratios, and also something about Elder Scrolls Online announcing subscription fees.

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I have no reason to expect this to be the popular opinion.

Also there should be less shitty ports this new gen since the underlying hardware is the same, all x86.

WoW has never had 12 million subs, only active accounts, as far as I am aware the Korea/China/etc block don't really do subs for games.

Light of Day? wut? Time of day, wouldn't give you the time of day.

The proper ratio of cake to frosting is throw both in the bin and then eat some meat.

RE: Frosting

John's right.

Two points... 1) You are wrong Janelle, more cake than frosting. 2) A former senior editor once said, "Cake must be cake, in order to be cake!" If you got a crumb, with a mountain of frosting on it, IT'S NOT FLIPPIN' CAKE! STOP THE MADNESS, JANELLE! EAT MORE CAKE!!

On second thought, no! Don't eat more cake. My theory is that you're so incredibly bouncy because of all the sugar you ingest from cereal and frosting. Just send the cake you're not eating to the rest of the cake eaters, like Jon.

I would like to give my WoW experience. I played for 3/4 years, between burning crusades and cataclysm and I didn't do what Janelle do with grouping consistently. I would play everyday for most of the time and 80% was alone. I really enjoyed questing and I would play with some friends sometimes. We had a weekly thing were we would go do instances. I defiantly didn't raid hardcore. The highest level raid I did was the first few bosses of Ulduar.

Also art books are awesome! I love them. Seeing alternate designs for characters and some of them have writing from the artist on why they designed it that way its awesome but I think game development is really interesting too

More cake than frosting, definitely. As for ESO: I'll happily pay a sub for that. If I look at how many hours I've spent on Oblivion and Skyrim, I'd say that's enough for people to stick around and form a community. I was always sharing experiences with my friends (and complaining how there's no co-op). even if it's just skyrim with a chatbox, i'm gonna be all over it.

Icing should occupy no more than a thin outer layer of a cake, maximum thickness of 0.8cm.
Good cake doesn't need icing at all.

And some cereals are best when soggy - Weetabix being the obvious example.

Microsoft is big on proprietary equipment, it's just usually in the software arena than hardware. Classic example would be MS Office long standing lack of support for file formats from other companies, and in turn its secrecy around its own formats that necessitates reverse engineering on the part of competitors if they want to avoid major issues. And don't get me started on the mess that was NTFS file system support on other OS's due to MS's polices. Thank god it's resolved now.

As for December 15th shopping, going out to buy a next gen console and there's no PS4 available... ..I go home. I don't have the extra £100 to spend, and I just don't want the xbone regardless.

my solution to getting players to stay longer in mmo's is equipment degradation (it should then be easier to get said items)so imagine it if the blacksmith could actually make the best sword in the game but to make it truly epic you need to get an enchanter to add plus 50 strength so you have to make him a helmet this creates both user interaction and a reason to continue exploring and fighting. so it should take 1 hour to make the most awesome weapon in existence which is good for 10 hours of gameplay.

lol, did somebody forget to upload the podcat?

cake > frosting

They say you learn something new everyday, and today it was cock weasel.

Now I need to go eat something with frosting.

When you guys bring up the information that Microsoft has the capability to manufacture and flood the market with Ones, I always wonder why did that not happen this generation? Xbox 360 came out a year earlier, PS3 had supply issues in the beginning and Wii's were being sold on ebay for double their price. However, in the end PS3 and Xbox 360 sold nearly identical amounts (even with Sony piling mistake on top of a mistake this generation) and Wii emerged as a clear winner sales wise. In fact, I remember people making fun of "piles of PS3s" that were sitting unsold in stores, I even bought my 40 gig model for 300USD as the store was actively trying to get rid of them to free up their inventory.

People who buy consoles in the first year are the most dedicated people, first year is the time when console costs the most, has highest amount of problems, lowest amount of games. These are the people who have made their decision, just because the store doesnt have one they will go and find it or wait, piles of an available different console is just going to make them feel smug about their choice. Wii's were being sold for almost double their price on ebay and nintendo couldnt keep up with demand for a long long time, but they were doing so well that people had conspiracy theories about nintendo shortsupplying on purpose to keep the hype up.

I agree 100% with Janelle on MMOs, if I wanted a single player experience then I would play a single player game if I want massive multiplayer experience then anything that puts me in my own little instance for hours at a time simply detracts from the rest of the game.

Furthermore, I cant remember who exactly said it but why in god's name should i look at Elder Scrolls Online as a single player game for 75 USD and think of it as a good deal? I bought Skyrim for 40 USD (on release) and I played that game for several months and I expect to come back to that game every once in a while to try out a few more mods and try to finish some more sidequests. 75 USD is a terrible deal in that case, not to mention that every time I would want to come back to play that game I would have to spend another 15 USD and it is simply not worth it.

Once again, Janelle hit the nail on the head, if you want to charge subscription then you need to make a game that revolves around that, if you want to charge microtransactions then the rest of the game needs to be balanced around that and so on. Any company, blizzard included, that charges for the game, subscription and microtransactions is essentially spitting in my face. Blizzard can get away with it because they have a massive userbase and lots of content that offsets the negatives, no other MMO will be able to offset the negatives from the very beginning.

This podcast made me lose any remaining hype for Elder Scrolls Online.
- Subscription
- Single player centric experience
- Endgame experience that we've seen 100 times in the last decade
- No ability to mod (which was huge for Elder Scrolls longevity)
- You lose the wonder and sense of exploration when you have 10 people running around the zone with you

I never played an Elder Scrolls game to enjoy the combat system.
I never played the game for the special loot.
Yet this seems to be the driving force of Elder Scrolls Online's longevity.

I really hope this game somehow proves me wrong.
But it 'feels' like a complete and utter failure in the making.

What happened to your podcast feed? My phone's podcast app isn't getting updates from you anymore. The last time was episode 104. I'm using Pocket Casts.

Thread vindicates me. Frosting is the bane of perfectly good cake.

They say you learn something new everyday, and today it was cock weasel.

Now I need to go eat something with frosting.

Glad I could share my ample supply of cockweasels.

What happened to your podcast feed? My phone's podcast app isn't getting updates from you anymore. The last time was episode 104. I'm using Pocket Casts.

We'll look into it. Thanks for the tipoff.

Good cake doesn't need a ton of icing, and should be able to stand on its own.

I agree with Jon re: art books. I love seeing the evolution of game elements from "concept" to "final", and art books are the perfect vehicle for that.

My opinion on the whole cake to frosting ratio is to just eat muffins because any frosting is to much frosting .

I get an extra filter for online interaction. While I understand that anonymity allows for actions to lack consequences, I never felt that draw. Arguments tend to stress me out so that's usually my incentive for not doing the violent word flailing dance. I'm far more free in my speech when talking.

Frosting to cake ratio depends on the kind of frosting. If it's the super-thick liquid sugar butter frosting, less is better. Or none at all. But if it's light and fluffy, a 50/50 cake to frosting ratio is ideal.
On consoles: I've played PS since day 1. I'm not exactly a fanboy but their controller is just more aesthetically pleasing and easier to use than the standard X-Box controller in my opinion. So if I'm buying on day 1 and I have to wait, I'll wait.

I personally like MMOs with a cosmetic clothing system. Sure looking epic is cool, but not cool if everyone looks that way. My character in The Secret World looks like Big Boss in a black trenchcoat. My warrior in GW2 is The Juggernaut, a huge, red shiny instrument of destruction. WoW added the transmog system just so players didn't all look alike. Granted, transmogging old armor from 3 expacs back is still armor from 3 expacs back, which looks less and less elaborate as it gets older. LOTRO has a rather slimmed down combination of GW2's system and TSW, where there are some cosmetic pieces and dyes but acquiring them can be tedious and/or expensive, which makes it less useful and robust.

If ESO has a solid story, I would be willing to pay a sub for it. Give me GW2's huge WvW battle system and branching paths on the main quest and I'm in for the long haul. Regardless, I will be at least trying it and if I don't like the direction the game takes there's always EQ Next on the horizon and a host of F2P titles. Whatever I play I will be looking for that huge chatty guild. The charm of MMOs is they're like Cheers. You can go where everybody knows your name.

Starz is the one trying to grab the GoT audience with White Queen. The problem is it's not fantasy, so much as it's based on an actual person so that removes a lot of the mysticism around HBO's offerings. Da Vinci is a bit different probably because it has a good writer, and wrapping the inventor up in secret societies isn't entirely implausible.

Creative cursewords - Sphincterweasel! I used that as a game login once. Much hilarity ensued.

Ive realised listening to this podcat that Janelle isnt actually an outgoing person at all.

Shes actually a shy, introverted type of person who is on a 30 year sugar high.

Also, Im not American so my cakes dont have any frosting. Sometimes they have some icing. But not too much that it overpowers the cake. Cake must be cake in order to be cake.

At the end of the day...

try including someone in your podcast who is knowledgeable about video games and the video game industry next time please. It is incredibly frustrating to listen to a group yammer on with so much misinformation and backwards speculation.

As has been said previously. Cake must be cake in order to be cake.

Now to actually listen to the rest of the podcast.

Frosting is the best part of everything.

As for the propriatary items:
alllow plug in anything: people will plug in their quality items.
allow plug in only microsoft stuff: people will be forced to pay microsoft for items that arent worth 10 times less simply because they have no choice. its basically daytime robbery thats legal.
You could make a adapter, but then you would get sued by MS because how dare you allow people a choice not to pay 10 times more than products price.

Mirosoft cant put out more units in store. they dont have enough. they even had to retract from most markets just so they would have enough for those. this was a simple PR lie they were telling.
Janelles argument basically stands on "there are a LOT of completely idiot parents who will buy the opposite of what thier kids want. even though the kdsi specifically told them what to buy. i still believe people arent THAT stupid.

As far as Cell processor, well technically its more powerful than even a modern high end PC processor. problem is -noone even used 50% of its power due to, as stated, being total hell to program for. PS3s were used as a supercomputer clusters due to its processing power, but thats it.

Subscription based games work and can still be done good. but you need to make the game actually good. And those that do - survive. it wotn have 10 million subscriptions, nor should it aim to. it should aim to ahve a stable income form its subscribers, providing unique experience that you cant get in other games, thus keeping your audience. thats how pretty much all sucesful MMOs evolved anyway.
However you should NEVER NEVER ask to shell out 60 dollars for a subscription based game. you pay subscribtion - you already pay for entry and the patches that come. and so far WOW is the only game to get away with that as well, because, well, WOW.

In eve, your singleplayer depends on others. want to manufacture and sell? well you need real players and not NPCs. in eve its multiplayer even if played as singlepayer, which is why it results in unique experience.

As for the MMOs as chat service - thats how i used to do it. i played it mostly alone, chatted, and then did stuff together once chatting reached critical mass, but chatting was essentially. not anymore though. now for me there are two types of games. singlepalyer games that are singleplayer (and i wont touch multipayer) and multiplayer games that are designed for multiplayer and will always play with others.

I know this is late, but an actual person who works in game development here, and also a person who has/still does work with Unity3D, and on developing for console systems.

on the context of a "launch Window" the reason behind this which is not only the games industry, but also any software, or hyper development project system. essentially the way it works is that either the hardware manufacturer approaches the developer/publisher, and requests a game be made, or the developer/publisher approaches the hardware manufacturer, and says "we want to be on your next hardware), but either way they are given a "target date" so these game projects are started with a target date in mind, but if the point at which this communication took place is not effective for the game to be created then it will not be finished in time, but some agreement was made that it would be a "launch tittle", the other possibility is that like with many other large/complex projects (in many other deliverable frames construction, development, research) things happen, and even if an adequate amount of buffer time was given the project delivery date slips, and so again to maintain that word of "launch" the hardware manufactures have gone to using 2 different designators either "day 1" (the first day the hardware is released, and what many people think of when they here the word launch), and "launch window" (a grace period for the product to be released so that the hardware can still be considered new)

when the Podcast team talked about having a system like Unity being able to port a game to different consoles quickly (a matter of days) is a slight fallacy. when a game is ported if the game was created effectively for its general functionality (to be memory, CPU, and GPU performent throughout) then porting the title should be only a matter of specific optimizations (should be trivial, but many times is not) the major issues with porting of titles can still take place with optimizing image sizes, and formats of different things. in the context of Unity supporting the "next gen consoles" Unity has already announced that the "consoles will be supporting Unity". I specify that the consoles support it because of a multitude of factors ranging from the Unity run-time environment conversions, the system excepting the Unity run-time environment, and above all that the creator/owner of the target platform wanting to put in the effort to have an engine like Unity able to run on it (this last part actually comes from the fact that in the context of Windows8, and WindowsPhone8 that Unity runtime actually has to be converted into a different that is specific to those platforms.

but the above paragraph only holds water if the game was created in a game engine/tool that supports multi-platform deployment, but the reason that a high majority of games don't do so well when it comes to porting is that for some reason that engine/tool was no designed to be optimized for all the potential target "native" framework(s). we can talk about the hardware being the same all day long, but at the end of the day your typical game does not talk to the hardware directly. this effectively stopped when the concept of a home-screen became integrated wholly (and in some cases earlier, but most reader will not care for those intricacies) . usually to develop for the platform we have to talk to what is referred to as "a native run-time" these are most often written in a C based language, but they all leverage the hardware differently (sometimes there is a difference in the graphics, or audio "pipeline", or there is a small difference hardware that requires specific optimization that does not happen, or that was done, but does not function the same of the other targets). so just saying that they have the same hardware therefore porting should be trivial is something that would only happen if they all had identical native frameworks which is like saying that a Mac, and Windows should have the same native framework (for anyone who has questions about that last analogy. can you run an .exe on a max, and a .dmg on windows)

Holy crap I feel like Janelle and I are almost the same person in regards to arguments about Elder Scrolls Online. It's the exact same sentiment I've felt about MMOs all along is that if I'm going to play the game at least 80% solo why should I be playing a subscription and if I'm not playing with friends most of the time I probably won't be playing that game. I'd rather pay for a multiplayer component separately when I plan on using it than paying for a service that I'm not using.

Excellent podcast as always.


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