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 Post subject: please read these websites by GW members
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 2:20 pm 
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oh gof please

http://www.mediumdifficulty.com/2012/03 ... -effect-3/

seriously though what do you think of this here review


Last edited by orikae on November 9th, 2012, 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 2:39 pm 
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I guess saying that it's "too long" would be kind of cheap. Maybe im just so short winded that i find such long articles just plain exhausting.

A pretty good read overall though.


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 3:13 pm 
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Quote:
Two things are certain: one, the review is going to be positive, and two, you have discovered a fantastic new way to masturbate.


I applaud your decision to reflect on the game before writing your review. I too have become somewhat wary of the quality of release day reviews.

I haven't played ME3, but what you're saying seems to ring true with a lot of new release triple A titles. Brief moments of excellence strewn throughout hours of broken mediocrity due to budget and time constraints.

I've really been enjoying the site. Lots of good articles being posted.


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 3:15 pm 
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I too regularly read the site, I haven't yet read the review but will soon.

Darkchild


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 3:16 pm 
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I liked it, although much of it seemed more a critique of Bioware and the modern video games industry than the game itself. I have an interest in the latter and I was well entertained by the humour, so I kept reading.

It all made good sense to me and I had no trouble following any of it - however I finished the game 2 days ago and have spent much of the time since then discussing it. If I had no idea what Mass Effect was I don't think I would've been quite so engrossed.

Otherwise it is very articulate and witty, not to mention accurate. I laughed especially hard at this sentence:
Quote:
The anemic and surreal conversations with random bystanders in ME2 are replaced with the best eavesdropping simulator ever produced: Commander Shepard will automatically acquire quests from overheard conversations, and they’ll show up in your journal so you can go scan a planet and find the MacGuffin.


I agree with the opening sentiment regarding the speed with which reviews are thrown out to the masses. Its why I like Rock Paper Shotgun so much and their 'Wot I Think' reviews that also eschew a rating system. Several years ago I stopped reading IGN's reviews after wading through an article where almost every paragraph opened with "Another feature that I think is really cool is..."

Ugh. Although I always found their UK reviewers to be much more bearable, and a lot less waffley.

But back to the review; I don't think its really all that long. The writing is good - personal, a little buoyant and certainly not without bias - but an enjoyable read. Every review needs an opinion, otherwise it might as well be a list of objective bullet points.


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 10:02 pm 
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karl if anything I am embarrassed to not have linked your site on here first, sorry to force your hand on that one. you and your collaborators have schemed on this for a while and i think it's really paid off, great work. keep that momentum up man!


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 10:13 pm 
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I did not realize that was you. I read the site a while back, thought it was great, forgot about it, and recently picked it up again when it made The Cut on the PA Report (congrats on that, by the way). The whole site is just aces. Good work.

ME3 review was fantastic, and while I haven't beaten the game yet, I agree with everything I can comment on thus far.

Quote:
To speak to this, I’ll be writing an ongoing series where I play through the Mass Effect franchise and critique it planet by planet.


That sounds awesome and I am very excited to read it. Hopefully I will still be by time you do it, but I might burn out on it as I'm also planning a second run through the series to see how much of a human-supremacist asshat I can be.


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2012, 9:27 am 
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you have _never spoken with these characters_, and yet you wander up and push their religion’s only surviving relic into their hand and mutter “I heard you wanted this.”


Brilliant, I thought exactly the same thing the first time I unwittingly gave a Turian in a nightclub the battle standard he so desperately required.
I pissed myself laughing as I imagined myself as that Turian.

Plus, use of the word cogent in a review. Don't read that one nearly enough.

Darkchild


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2012, 5:36 pm 
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oh my goodness! i am hellaciously flattered. thank you all!


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2012, 5:39 pm 
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on that note, since i'm commissioning a site redesign - what would you improve about the site? what do you want to see?


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2012, 7:18 am 
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Joined: March 27th, 2011, 2:41 pm
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poorly drawn cartoon dicks


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2012, 7:42 am 
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Professionally commissioned cartoon dicks.

Darkchild


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2012, 12:09 pm 
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Besides the dongers, which pretty much every site could use more of, I'd say you could use some color and navigationally highlight your split of articles. The "news, reviews, features, criticism, columns" that you have going on in the sidebar, I'd recommend featuring more prominently. It's a nice breakdown of different article types, and while some people will be regular readers you'll also get more infrequent ones who will want to cut through the chaff of what they're not interested in. For example, my main interest in the site is for the columns and criticism side of things-- the more long-winded discussions and debate over games that you don't find much outside of killscreen and RPS, and even then with RPS particularly I feel like I know what those guys are going to editorialize about without even reading it.

And no offense to those guys, but please don't end up with the sterile Giant Color Boxes of IGN and other publications. IGN is necessarily antiseptic because of how large a viewership it has, whereas I think you guys are in a unique position to build a visual motif that's got a lot more personality. While I think you've identified a nice niche for the site content-wise, there are enough similar (generally speaking) sites out there that I think your visual identifiers will be as important as your content, at least in the beginning when you're trying to gain traction and readership.

What that should end up looking like I can't really say (I've been struggling through building a personal website that gets it just right for a while now), but i'd recommend experimenting with some more adventurous visual styles. Navigability is obviously among the most important elements, but that doesn't mean you have to live in IGN rectangle land.

Anyway, that's my two cents. Hope it helps.


Last edited by wake on March 23rd, 2012, 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2012, 1:13 pm 
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gauss your bro knows his shit


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2012, 1:43 pm 
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I'd say something classy and papery, but maybe get some stains on it. Maybe not dongerstains, but if that's what you're in to then whatever.

Also it would be nice if the categories menu were more conspicuous.

Also everything Wake said.


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2012, 1:46 pm 
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Actually yeah. Have it be a punch of papers with some coffee stains on it.

that would be cool


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2012, 2:33 pm 
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HoboKingJerk wrote:
poorly drawn cartoon dicks

aww yeah

El butterfly wrote:
Actually yeah. Have it be a punch of papers with some coffee stains on it.

that would be cool

aww yeah


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2012, 5:25 pm 
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Ok this thing is huge so here's the short version first to put everything else in context: so, what if instead of treating articles as a series of separate opinions that never interact you instead created proper discussions by inviting people to respond in article form to contentious or discourse-worthy posts, in a manner not unlike what happens here on the forum. You control content because in order for a full response to get published it has to go through you guys, but that way you encourage people to be more eloquent (and to proof-read) both by promising that what they write gets prominently featured and that it won't get featured at all if it sucks. On top of all that, you can end up accumulating some really interesting discussions that run for extended periods of time, and create more reasons for people to revisit the site even if there's only one topic there that they're interested in. Think of the site as Gertrude Stein's Salon, where you bring together interesting people and enable them to have it out (in a civil manner).

---

Medium Difficulty as a site, while curated and mostly written by yourself and a few others, seems to me very much about collecting various opinions and articles from outside your circle and putting them on display for public consumption (or maybe I have a skewed perspective there as that's why I read the site). There are other sites that take "guest" submissions, but those tend to be few and far between, and even then those articles tend to be filtered as much for quality as they are for content-- only articles of broad appeal or grand statement tend to get any traffic (which I think has to do with the breadth of content most sites are dealing with combined with how the majority of readers on standard news sites aren't as interested in editorials).

That being said however, between the success of Killscreen and RPS with their clear bent towards subjective journalism (i mean that in a good way), and my experiences both on this forum and at GDC I'd say there's a strong intellectual core of readers and writers interested in this sort of thing, they just don't really have a place to call home and as such aren't as visible as a demographic.

I'm not saying to kill the other topics you've got going on at the site, rather that I think there's an opportunity to capture a small but intellectual and vocal group of people in a spirit similar to this forum, which could in turn help establish a much broader readership based on the content thus generated. Some of the most interesting discussions I've had about games have either happened in this forum or are a secondary result of something said here, and I have yet to see any other sites even approach this level of discourse.

The core behind this i think is two-fold; first, the forum format combined with a small, vocal group of opinionated people has enabled very long-form discussions. Many of our posts, especially introductory ones or first responders, have been roughly article length if not more, and where on a news site that argument would just end there or if you're an "important person" possibly elicit a response from another "important person", here it's able to go on for months as ideas percolate and true discussion happens. If the only discussion of a topic ever happens in the comments section then it's forever doomed to be fodder. The other reason is that gauss has been very careful about curating the forum and the tone in such a way to allow for these discussions to happen mostly unfettered by unhelpful things and unhelpful people. I'd count pretty much any posters in this forum as interesting people i'd enjoy having a long discussion with over a few beers, and that's a rare thing indeed.

Anyway, I think your site could benefit hugely from taking on a more epistolar format-- and by that I mean look at how intellectuals had discussions over long distances before the 1900's: they took turns writing letters, each in turn addressing agreements or disagreements with the previous discourse and then bringing up new points of their own. The problem I have with all these other sites is that discussion is nigh impossible because articles are hermetically sealed and any response either gets buried in the comments section or never read because no one published it besides your own shitty blog that only your mom and two other people read.

If you start gaining traction then you'd almost end up as purveyors of ideas and good taste. Hopeful writers go there to cut their teeth on a regular basis while other just try and chip in on topics really important to them, and everyone else shows up to watch the debates in action.


ok, i need to go back to work.


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 24th, 2012, 1:53 pm 
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wake we love you over at MD

we had a drunken editor's meeting and discussed the merits of your suggestions in great detail

gauss move him over to near you so we can all hang out/make out


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 25th, 2012, 3:33 am 
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orikae wrote:

seriously though what do you think of this here review


Loved it. I wish I could add something, but it seems wake has taken care of that.

(As an aside I did find it interesting that you mentioned Klepek, as I was of the impression that I was the only one here immature enough to listen to the lot over at GB)


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 25th, 2012, 10:02 am 
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I read your review and disagree with all of it. Not so much about the game because I haven't played it and don't intend to, but with your suggestion that bioware is in any way innovative. I also dislike the implication that "interactive cinematic narrative" is anything but a blight on the industry, with the two latter words constituting a direct assault on the whole idea of interactivity. Most of all though I disagree with your belief that you were being harsh when you looked high and low for nice things to say about bioware to make up for calling them on any of their many glaring mistakes.

Bioware has been producing some seriously awful games lately, making really shitty rail shooters and beat em ups vaguely married to terrible, disjointed stories about a bunch of crap. The writing for which they have been praised so much is frankly abysmal, and often has no real connection with actual gameplay.

People praise bioware for making games where your choices actually matter. but do they? Do they matter even a tiny bit? In my experience, the choices you make in the 'play' section of the game are basically restricted to what power or spell you are gonna use, how you are gonna manage the basic resources of mana, stamina, health, and potions. No real choice there, not even the basic lethal/nonlethal dichotomy. It certainly doesn't change the narrative if I use, say, corpse explosion on a boss: the cutscene will invariably show me sticking a sword into his fallen corpse even though I didn't actually leave one and don't actually have a sword.

Meanwhile the story choices have nothing whatsoever to do with gameplay. Oh, sure, every so often you can avoid a fight, or choose a response that decides whether you are gonna fight three waves of krogans or three waves of cerberus robots. But compare this to Alpha Protocol (a game that, for all its ludological flaws, actually did innovate in "interactive cinematic narrative") and you will be struck by the missed opportunities. In alpha protocol, they did all the stuff that Mass Effect promised wrt timing based conversational interrupts. Additionally, they made it so that pretty much every conversational choice you made had an actual mechanical impact.

So that's waht I think about bioware's terrible divide between mechanics and narrative. But how about the failures within the narrative itself? I don't think that the mechanics really need discussing, they are second rate cover shooters and if you want a first rate one then why are you playing an RPG? But bioware's vaunted storytelling is really shallow as well. Most of the time, you take a quest, make a choice, get an immediate gratification (I shot that guy in conversation instead of telling him to run away!) but then in the end there is no real impact. either way, the guy is gone, obstacle overcome, and the game never really gives a fuck about it again. Ok, sure, there's stuff like saving the geth vs. saving the quarians or doing both, but that's not the norm, that's them doing their absolute best to knock your socks off. And even then, the end result is all the same content, only you are fighting geth instead of quarian rebels or whatever, and Tali is mad/dead instead of legion. Color me unimpressed. The way I see it, pretty near 100% of interactions in every single bioware game give lip service to choice without actually encouraging player agency at all.

Alpha Protocol is once again a decent counterpoint, but The Witcher is even better. Shit you do in the witcher REALLY MATTERS. There is a choice in the witcher 2 that changes the whole second act and every single quest in a three act, hundred hour game. CDProjekt RED is actually stepping up and doing the stuff that bioware gets still credited for on the back of one good game they made in the late 90s. Even if you love cinematic narrative (and I do, movies own) and want videogames to have some of that shit, there is no reason that Bioware shouldn't be constantly compared to The Witcher and come out in second place.


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 25th, 2012, 11:53 am 
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Liesmith wrote:
People praise bioware for making games where your choices actually matter. but do they? Do they matter even a tiny bit?

Judging from what happened at the end of ME3, nope. Nothing whatsoever. There are some things that change depending on what you do in ME3 and what you did in previous games (the biggest ones being genophage and geth vs. quarian-conflict, with some smaller things here and there), but mostly it's inconsequential stuff like you said - and the ending invalidates everything you did anyway (and it is stupid. I will never stop saying bad things about ME3's ending. ). Oh and by the way, you only fight three kinds of enemies in ME3: reaper ground troops, cerberus troops, and geth troops in a few missions. No krogans, no quarians, nothing other than those three. And you only fight the geth during the missions concerning geth/quarian-conflict. And you fight them in all of those missions, (well except for one where you don't really fight anything) regardless of which one you will eventually support/try to make peace between the warring factions. It's all cerberus and reapers otherwise - and mostly cerberus at that. Just thought I'd mention that, since you seemed to think there might have been other kinds of enemies, which would be something logical considering that there were a wider variety of opposing enemy groups in earlier games. Atleast all three factions have several different sorts of special units. Even if one of those special units is ultra-bullshit banshee, bane of vanguards everywhere.

great post btw, even if I somewhat disagree on the genericness of the gameplay (it holds up decently, tho you have to play a class that is not soldier for it to be interesting, since soldier is all covershooting, all the time)


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 25th, 2012, 12:51 pm 
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HoboKingJerk wrote:
Oh and by the way, you only fight three kinds of enemies in ME3: reaper ground troops, cerberus troops, and geth troops in a few missions. No krogans, no quarians, nothing other than those three. And you only fight the geth during the missions concerning geth/quarian-conflict. And you fight them in all of those missions, (well except for one where you don't really fight anything) regardless of which one you will eventually support/try to make peace between the warring factions. It's all cerberus and reapers otherwise - and mostly cerberus at that. Just thought I'd mention that, since you seemed to think there might have been other kinds of enemies, which would be something logical considering that there were a wider variety of opposing enemy groups in earlier games. Atleast all three factions have several different sorts of special units. Even if one of those special units is ultra-bullshit banshee, bane of vanguards everywhere.


Hahahahaha wow. I knew this from people mentioning it but I didn't actually think about it, that's crazy. A quick google turns up this:

Image
Image
Image

Damn.


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 25th, 2012, 12:59 pm 
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Extra ironic since all the articles i have read about ME3 had atleast someone gushing about "more enemy variety".


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 Post subject: Re: please read my website
PostPosted: March 25th, 2012, 1:05 pm 
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To be fair, there's a good chunk of the ME2 enemies in that list that are DLC only.

Also, ME1's and ME2's enemies are incredibly samey. A lot of unit types act as simple cannon fodder grunt types. Sure, the ME3 list is far more condensed, but the variation between each unit type is significantly greater than in the previous games.

This of course only impacts the gameplay. Story-wise you're still facing down the same 3 factions everytime.


I agree with the point you have raised regarding impacting the story only through dialogue. Bioware games do seem to come in 2 parts - gameplay and dialogue; the latter being the part through which world changing events take place. This has only gotten worse with successive games too. They are incredibly disjointed - exemplified by the user gameplay choice offered at the start of ME3.

And yeah, i'll never disagree with praise for The Witcher 2. The graphics alone put Bioware games to shame.


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