Episode 5 – The One About Blizzard, Sort Of


Paul and Kris have theย bestย of intentions, talking about the Heroes of the Storm beta, but the conversation rapidly turns to World of Warcraft, Diablo, being an in-game lore dad, Overwatch and other team FPSs with a lot of character, and Paul’s horrifying college friend-oneupmanship that Kris suspects condemned a man to hell.

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  • Tazsul

    Good news!

    They do in fact have skins/colors that unlock by leveling up heroes in Heroes of the Storm.

    Pessimistic news: I don’t imagine they will do persistent level up/talent trees in Overwatch. For four days in beta they tried to test a persistent level up mechanism in HotS and the community lost thier shit. There is a very vocal movement that sees it soley as punitive to “new players” and another form of “punching down.”

    • Paul Verhoeven

      Awwww man… Do you play Payday 2? I know I mentioned it in the ep, but maybe talent trees matter far less when it's co-op and not 5v5 mechanics.

      • Tazsul

        I haven’t played Payday 2, but I did play Borderlands 2 and presequal.
        As I understand it there are two camps of thought in the MOBA community.
        LoL players believe in persistent level up mechanics and tiny fiddly adjustments.
        DOTA2 players believe a brand new player should always be on equal standing with every other player no matter how long they have played, and that little “hidden powers” like talent trees are punitive to new players.
        I played LoL for a couple years so I’m not exactly unbiased, but I prefer some system on persistent growth. I actually quit the HotS alpha for months after the failed “artifacts” test. Just picked it up again.

        I think you hut the nail on the head there with co-op vs 5v5. People are more forgiving of hidden powers and highly customized builds when you are all on the same side, but when you are head to head if can seem unfair?

  • Kyle_Douglas

    Like Diablo, this episode has allowed us to discover 3 Great Evils within Paul:
    1. Enjoying Star Trek Online.
    2. Inflicting Deadly Premonition upon Kris and others.
    3. Condemning someone to Hell.

    Now, I thought that last one was pretty legitimately bad. While I enjoyed the story, I doubt I would have continued being friends with Paul after such a brawl. I mean, that's serious – you know?
    But I can honestly say I wasn't shocked. I was already prepared for such lies and evil because his Prime Evil was already revealed in the opening of the episode.

    Uther: "What is gun? I possess this blade, sanctified in the Sunwell itself!"

    Blade. BLADE?!? Uther is a HAMMER man!

    A truly unforgivable sin. I am appalled and look forward to the next episode.

    • Deadly Premonition is a goddamned WORK OF ART. It is good BECAUSE of its spectacular badness! ๐Ÿ˜€ Trust me you'll dig the episode!

      Also… good call on Uther. I think sword just sounded better. Sort of hard to get an audible "shhhing!' taking a hammer out of it's… what's the hammer equivalent of a sheath?

      • krisstraub

        A hammer cozy.

      • Kyle_Douglas

        "Deadly Premonition is a goddamned WORK OF ART. It is good BECAUSE of its spectacular badness!"
        So says Mr. Verhoeven.

        Or… Paulis York-hoeven?
        No, no, I should have stuck with the first reference.

    • kinotu

      I try not to be too nitpicky, but that Blade comment had my teeth grinding as well ๐Ÿ™‚

      Excellent show all around. Looking forward to more!
      Re: Heroes- Don't forget that there is a Cooperative mode. So you can play with real people, but still win against bots.

      I can't wait to hear your impressions of Overwatch, as I'm craving that game. If Heroes could get me into MOBAs, I imagine Overwatch can do the same for Team Fortress style stuff.

      Can't wait for next time!
      I'd love to watch you two stream sometime, enjoy the games as you do.


  • BostonSeanyD

    Can we talk about diablo for a minute? Oh this is a comment post? I guess I"LL talk about diablo for a minute.
    What an amazing game Diablo2 was. I don't want to into a whole thing on how its better then then diablo 3 (it is) but one very important aspect of D2 that D3 went way off the mark on: Tone.
    D2 felt bad, dark and evil. I had that game when i was 16 and i remember not wanting to play when my mom was around because there's a Satan in it. And Mom sure didn't like no Satans. Maybe it's the sprites and your imagination having to fill in the gaps but each enemy didn't just look like a spawn from hell but it felt that way too.
    Diablo 3 is dark, no doubt about it but there is no danger in it. Also the story blows. Kris wrote a fantastic comic about the plot of D3 immature. Ironically the enemies with their maws filled with fangs lack any teeth.
    Diablo 2 was printed on a matte background
    and Diablo 3 was printed on glossy

    • Chloister

      I was legitimately scared of the first Diablo, while in Diablo 2 I was mostly afraid of losing my precious, precious gems. I cherish both games, though! I haven't even played the third because of all the mixed things I've heard about it.

      • BostonSeanyD

        Yeah the first diablo was actually scary and had a terrifying ending too!

  • Chloister

    I enjoy when you guys go off topic. It's interesting where a conversation can go, and then trying to remember how you got there!

  • SheanaM

    Oh shoot, I gotta join Paul in the Guild Wars 2 gushing here. I've played it off and on (mostly on) since shortly after launch a few years ago, and to this day I'm very fond of GW2. Out of all the MMOs I've played (starting with the original EverQuest as a kid), it's honestly the chillest one out there. Though I'm also pining away for a good scifi MMO as well!

    No quest log, no fetching or grinding, no urgent meticulous raiding or other frustrating ills that plague similar games. You level exactly how you want to, whether that's through wandering around helping the locals or doing random events, exploring maps or crafting items, doing jumping puzzles or several different iterations of PvP. You unlock skins and points and rewards as you go, so there's a nice constant feeling of really earning things and customizing your character. To keep things challenging and fair they also adjust your level to match your surroundings at all times, so even when endgame you can't just run around demolishing low levels, and I don't think they're ever going to raise the level cap either? Your character has their own personal story (apparently there's hundreds if not thousands of combinations for player character personal story choices and outcomes in the game) that's tracked in a nice journal, you actually talk and interact with NPCs, the racial home cities are gigantic and immersive, even the dungeons have actual plot elements to them. The writing and voice acting can be cheesy at times, but entertainingly so, and there's some interesting stuff going on plotwise, especially lately in the Living Story.

    Best of all, no monthly fee. And it's been going on sale a lot lately due to the upcoming first expansion, you can nab the game for like $10-15 if you watch for one of those sales, lots of bang for the buck. I'm on the Tarnished Coast (best coast) server and would friend y'all right the heck up and even run things if ya wanted! This Is Not A Paid Advertisement.

    • giggleloop

      See, I seem to have had the opposite experience as everyone else with GW2. I got to about level 13 or so, & my story quest was to go kill a guy in a courtyard. No matter how many times I tried, I couldn't kill him. Even with help, I couldn't. So I went around to every area I could find, did all the side quests, leveled up, and went back. EXCEPT the game levels you down to the level of the quest if you're higher, so I still couldn't kill him. So I was never able to progress further in my story, and couldn't get past that point. So I gave up.

      Of course, this was at launch, so I'm sure things have changed substantially since, as they tend to do with MMOs, but… Yeah. I personally had fun playing Rift for a summer, I enjoyed all the world boss event things that were always going on.

      But as with any MMO, I can never get too sucked in because I always end up thinking "why do all this, when I can go back and play WoW, a game I know and love and have given a decade to?". So that's usually what I end up doing, like this Christmas for a few weeks. It's nice to go back and visit the old places I used to know so well. I wish they'd just build a WoW theme park already. An official one, not like that one in China. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • SheanaM

        I remember having similar trouble with personal story stuff early on as well, yeah. It's gotten much better since for sure!

        WoW is definitely a good one even despite the faults, I played from launch through Cataclysm, quite a few years! But y'know…time and money. Mostly money, monthly subscription fees can be a helluva thing.

  • Entertained

    Digressing in the podcast is entertaining. Somewhat surprised WildStar didn't make an appearances when talking about Sci-Fi morpogers.

    • krisstraub

      Wish I had tried WildStar! But it came at a time in my life when I had no free time to play.

  • Jerf

    Overwatch and HoTs, lean towards Arcade type games for progression. In that case what happens is that your Character doesn't get better, you get better at playing that character when you've played that character a lot. The fun comes from actually playing the game, or at least it should.

  • Derek

    Oh man, I cannot WAIT for the Deadly Premonition ep!
    I've tried to explain this wonderful train-wreck of a game to all of my friends, but I could never convince any of them to give it a try…

    Little side note about that game: for the length of time that I spent playing it, I would sing a version of "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder, where I would replace the words "Very superstitious…" with "Deadly Premonition…" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7kvabf8Oy8

  • Devin Parker

    I'm so glad to hear about other people who enjoy these games for the setting details; the "lore" as the kids say. That's my favorite part about these games; that and immersing myself in said setting. When I first heard about MMOs, I was *so* excited about the idea: a setting in which you could interact not just with pre-programmed NPCs but other real, live players – tons of them – in a fantasy world. I was thrilled to try out my first MMO, Ultima Online…only to find out the bitter truth: the vast majority of people are not into these things so they can roleplay a character, to put it mildly. I still smart from the sting of that first lesson in the days of my callow youth.

    Back in my prime WoW days I was on the Moon Guard server (then known as "the RP server") in a great Orc guild, where we were all about the roleplays and getting into lore and all that groovy stuff. Consistently, what made me lose interest was the grinding and the great numbers of people who were not only indifferent to people trying to roleplay in an MMO but actively hostile to us. I miss that (the RPing with a community, not the leet-speak antagonism).

    I was already getting bored with the grind in my final days, where I was only playing so that I could play with my wife, brother and a few friends and family members. I ended up leaving the entire scene behind when they came out with the Kung Fu Panda expansion.

    But every now and again, I'll creep onto my old Lord of the Rings Online character and just wander around, looking at the stars.

    Thanks for the great show, guys!

  • guest

    if you guys do end up doing an MMO episode you should let people know when/what you play so we can join in.

  • I wish you commented about Hearthstone, since this was *meant* to be about Blizzard games. Hearthstone also made a cameo in the Overwatch clip where a dude played it on a see-through tablet. It's a great game that you guys should check out, but it can be though getting into it now without any legendary cards, but with persistence, you will get some great cards that make winning easier. It's a real challenge to win but so rewarding! Love the show guys, but sometimes the off-topic stuff seems to take up too much time, when I know you have so much to say about your experiences and stories about gaming.