Episode 71 – Different Strokes

The M-Team discusses the Cryptic acquisition, Disney Fantasy Online, Cheyenne Mountain employees without pay, and more.

00:00:00    Introduction
00:04:26    What We’re Playing
00:23:27    Mail Bag
00:32:57    Blog Chat (WTF?)
00:44:05    The Week in Gaming
01:04:34    Blog-O-Steria
01:35:29    Conclusion

Musical Interludes:
01 – KRS-ONE – Return of the Boom Bap
02 – Astral Doors – Bride of Christ
03 – Astral Doors – Stalingrad
04 – Dick Dale – Pipeline
05 – Beanfield – Quantum


Atari Aquires Cryptic Studios
The Chinese get to live out creepy Mickey Mouse fantasy in Disney Fantasy Online
Time to check and see whether our friends at Cheyenne Mountain have been paid yet…
How do we get them to play our game?  Fix it and make it fun?  Nah…give ‘em a free Snow Mammoth!
It’s not vaporware after all…Darkfall to launch in Europe on January 22nd, 2009
FCC Commissioner: WoW Leading Cause of College Drop-outs
And they have the grades to prove it
WAR Contribution Snafu Explained


It was as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced
They weren’t the only ones to use a cheesy quote from Star Wars to make a point
EA Wimps Out
Ravious wants to know what “mid-session game” means.
Bioware’s Star Wars MMO Free to PLay
RMT is polarizing
Melmoth wonders if they’re going to nickel an dime you for dialogue desicions.
Snafzg has some nice points
Darren wants SOE to really go nuts
Tipa has some info on EQ/EQ2′s shiny new RMT
Clockwork Gamer also has some info on what Station Cash can buy for ya
Zenke has some suggestions for SOE and Blizzard
syncaine is all over Blizzard for it
Mike (via MMOCrunch.com) wonders if this is the future
Tobold thinks it’s a ripoff

17 Comments to Episode 71 – Different Strokes

  1. Julien's Gravatar Julien
    December 29, 2008 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Well the point I perhaps should have made clearer was that pop culture references are not EVERYWHERE as they are in WoW. Perhaps in total through all 60 levels there are 10. Which is really why I was commenting on how ridiculous it was, because its really not common and for half of those ten you need to think about it before seeing it. It’s more like a nod to pop culture rather than a wave. And it’s not often, that’s why I was pissed. If you really want to stir up lore monkeys however, just bring up the rune keeper. You’ll kick up a hell of a shitstorm.
    As for holiday content being an easy way out for saying, “oh yeah we do add content”, I really think that’s incorrect. I don’t know about WoW, but the majority of MMOs I’ve played have almost quarterly content updates. But what do I know? I’m just a listener ;p

  2. Julien's Gravatar Julien
    December 29, 2008 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    In regards to the “no-fun” in lotr lore so turbine has to use pop culture, that’s wrong. From kegs in the shire which from which you pass out and appear at a random location in the world to finding out you’ve been talking to a bearded dwarf woman to finding a hobbit squirrel-charmer with a group of squirrels dancing around him in a grove there are lots of lore related moments and easter eggs. However, if you havent read LOTR and its accompanying “prequels” you might not appreciate all the humor. That’s why I believe some of the pop culture easter eggs have been inserted. But none of those easter eggs beat going to my guild house, passing out, and appearing on top of a snowy mountain with no way off…

  3. Julien's Gravatar Julien
    December 29, 2008 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    oh, and RMT sucks…. case closed

  4. December 29, 2008 at 8:23 pm | Permalink


    “…that pop culture references are not EVERYWHERE as they are in WoW. Perhaps in total through all 60 levels there are 10.”

    Dude. Seriously. If you only found ten pop culture references in WoW between levels 1-60 (*cough*…now 1-80), then you weren’t looking hard enough.

    No one ever said that there was “no fun” in LOTR lore. It’s just that the fanbase tends to take it’s lore a little more seriously than fans of WoW and if you try to mess with their world there’s going to be more vocal dissension among them when it comes to adding pop culture references to LOTRO.

  5. December 29, 2008 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Disclosure: I am in no way related to John Tesh, neither am I a fan of Keanu Reeves, kung fu notwithstanding.

    I guess I could be disappointed that all I got out of you was a Keanu “whoa”, but at the same time, the lack of lambasting (or substantial discussion of any sort) regarding my admittedly exaggerated “EA Wimps Out” post could be a good thing. Thankfully, I got the hyperbole out of my system, and a relatively healthy discussion took place in the comments.

    Microtransactions are inevitable in one form or another, but they need not be game breaking, imbalancing, onerous or even problematic in any way. Three Rings’ Puzzle Pirates is one instance of a dual currency model done very well, even despite moving from an initial subscription model. To be fair, they do maintain dual currency/microtransaction (doubloon or “green”) servers (oceans) and subscription servers, with separate economies. The doubloon dual currency model has been sufficiently good to them that they have created more green oceans, even as the blue oceans stay healthy. Different strokes for different folks, as it were, and some players bounce between servers as their finances dictate. The key is, they don’t leave the game or the community, because they have choices in how they stay on.

    Subscriptions will never die (nor should they); there will always be those who get the most out of such a monetization strategy. The thing is, the gamer demographic at large is more than the hardcore, time-rich player base who get the most out of subs. Other business models are one of the best ways to find a niche that isn’t dominated by Blizzard, reaching out to players with money to spend who don’t get the most out of a subscription.

    Microtransaction models are indeed bad for those with little self control… but companies really don’t care. They want to make money, and if they can do so with such a model, whether or not there is much hysteria about it, they will move to do so. If they can use something like a dual currency model, they can let the players themselves shift between paying with time or paying with money, providing for a more robust economy as well as a more inclusive entry policy.

    Thanks for the mention, guys. We’ll see where things go from here in the industry at large, but I can fairly confidently state that the subscription model cannot be “The One True Path” for MMO monetization any more than buffet style dinners are appropriate for all restaurants and patrons.

  6. Julien's Gravatar Julien
    December 30, 2008 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    @Jason: I was saying LOTRO only had about ten between 1 and 60
    —”that pop culture references are not EVERYWHERE as they are in WoW. Perhaps in total through all 60 levels there are 10.”— thats why there is an “as” in the first sentence, showing comparison. I was stating that pop culrture references were much rarer in lotro than in WoW. Silly grammatical nuances are annoying aren’t they?
    And I apologize for leaving three comments but i was commenting while listening so that’s why it was disjointed.

  7. December 30, 2008 at 9:54 am | Permalink


    Silly grammatical nuances are indeed annoying. Especially when you could have (and should have) added two simple words “in LOTRO” to that sentence to avoid a missunderstanding. Don’t just assume that everyone reading your drivel knows what you are comparing WoW to.

  8. Onigato's Gravatar Onigato
    December 30, 2008 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I want some drivel put in a box and served for breakfast cereal. ^_^

  9. Chris the Unspeakable's Gravatar Chris the Unspeakable
    December 30, 2008 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    For F sake… If someone uses term LOTRO one more time I swear to Flying Spaghetti Monster (Oh praise be it’s noodles) – I’m gonna buy that thing and burn it just to make this discussion stop. Preferably in some sort of vulcano.

  10. Julien's Gravatar Julien
    December 30, 2008 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I apologize Jason, I will make sure to make my comments perfectly worded. As I said, I hate grammar. And I’m sorry you think I write drivel Jason… don’t assume however that what you say is gold either. You seem to have a tendency (one to which I am prone as well) to play devil’s advocate and argue for arguments’ sake. But I never insulted you personally and therefore think calling my stuff drivel is absolutely uncalled for. Let’s just agree to disagree and move on…
    and Chris…. why do you hate L-O-T-R Online ( I spared you the acronym) so much? just curious :p I will not reply to your response trying to convince you it’s a great game ;p

  11. Chris the Unspeakable's Gravatar Chris the Unspeakable
    December 30, 2008 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    ‘Cause I fkn read the book 14 times, saw the friggin movie 8 times (4 times 12h marathon and I’m getting a feel of vomit when I hear word Hobbit. Thats why.
    I don’t hate it… I simply know this damn middle earth world by heart… you understand the word “enough” ?
    Well enough is enough… and you’ve earned it. I’ve just bought LOTRO CD for 9.99 PLN which is like 3 bucks. And I’ll burn it … just for you. Don’t know if I find a Mount Doom anywhere near my place but expect at least some fireworks.

  12. December 30, 2008 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    For fucks sake Julien. Get over it.

    You take yourself way too seriously. You always respond to my comments like I’ve personally attacked you in some fashion (which is never the case). I apologize for sounding so harsh, but man…you seem to beg for it sometimes. Especially with your smartass comments before.

    And when I do ding you for something, just take it like a man and move on.

    It’s never personal.

    We gave you the privilege to post on this site. If you want to continue down this road we can change that.

  13. December 30, 2008 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    I feel so awkward and out of place. Should I be swearing and/or insulting people? Maybe threatening to boycott or provoke random MMO violence? Am I doing this internet thing all wrong?

  14. Chris the Unspeakable's Gravatar Chris the Unspeakable
    December 30, 2008 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    No worries – we’re all reasonable people in the real world. We only go bananas online :)

  15. Julien's Gravatar Julien
    December 31, 2008 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    And Jason I apologize if I’ve taken you too seriously. I think Chris put it best above. I’ll be more laid back in the future.

  16. December 31, 2008 at 3:25 am | Permalink


    Feel free to swear here as much as you want. Just make sure you’re drinking while you do it. It makes it a lot more enjoyable.

  17. Julien's Gravatar Julien
    January 1, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    @ Chris: By the way I do understand how you feel about that series. I feel much the same about star wars. Every time I see an ad or announcement for a new film/video game/tv show/comic book/novel/any other form of entertainment you can come up with, i get sick to my stomach at how bastardized that series really is. Maybe we can start burning memorabilia together :)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Be On the Show! Email Us
Podcast RSS
Blog RSS
Current Poll

How often do you play MMOs?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Blog Categories
Fave Blogs