Tonight we sit down to record our three hundredth episode, and more or less are doing it the old fashioned way.  We had no notes and ownly a loose outline in Bel’s head and what ends up happening is one of the most enjoyable shows we have ever recorded.  We for the most part explain the long and contorted origins of AggroChat and how we wound up recording a podcast.  We’ve told bits and pieces of this tale before, but never in one entire sequence also talking about when various cast members joined the crew.  There are several points where we get derailed along the way, but I guess that is also par for the course.

Topics Discussed

  • The Origins of AggroChat
  • When Various Cast Members Joined
  • Our Most Listened Episode
  • A Bunch of Others Stuff
  • None of us Took Good Notes
Direct download: aggrochat_episode300.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:50am EDT

Tonight we start off with what has become a regular side topic of us talking about our lives dealing with the pandemic.  From there we dive into Cloudpunk a game about a digital dog and delivering packages in a blade runner landscape.  Bel dives into a discussion about how Modern Consoles are effectively turning into Gaming PCs and the weirdness of cross generational purchases for Microsoft games.  Bel also waxes nostalgic about Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and how he is greatly looking forward to the upcoming remaster of 1+2 coming this September.  We end up getting off on a side jaunt into Elder Scrolls games, and then transition into a talk about Sodoku.  Finally we talk some about the announcement of a brand new Paper Mario game and the new footage available for Ghosts of Tsushima.

Featured Topics

  • Life in the Pandemic
  • Cloudpunk
  • Modern Consoles are just PCs
    • Cross Generational Games
    • Ease of Use of Consoles
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2
  • Apparently an Elder Scrolls aside
  • Sudoku and Puzzle Games
  • A New Paper Mario
  • Ghosts of Tsushima
Direct download: aggrochat_episode299.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:05am EDT

We start the show with what has disturbingly become a tradition for us as we talk about what life is like in this weird time we happen to be living.  For some of us I believe it is week eleven and for others week nine, but really what exactly is the passage of time anyway.  The first topic is a bump from last week as Tam talks about discovering Rampage the Board Game, otherwise known as Terror in Meeple City in its most modern incarnation.  This leads down a rabbit hole of talking about classic monster movies and many agreeing that the correct place to start is with the OG Godzilla from 1954.  From there Bel dives into a topic from the Aggronaut blog, of if grinding is actually fun.  This leads to a whole other discussion of how each of us appear to have a vastly different description of what that even means.  For Kodra it means grinding his face off over and over against hard content, but for Grace and Bel it largely means repetition of largely mindless content.  Tam on the other hand has to have a purpose and his brain has to be engaged.  Finally we talk about the integration of PVP into otherwise PVE games and why developers seem to be stuck on that concept.  This leads to some discussion of a recent outing in Sea of Thieves when Tam finally gets people interested enough to try it, but they get griefed over and over by some jerk ruining an otherwise enjoyable experience.

Topics Discussed

  • Rampage the Board Game
    • Terror in Meeple City
    • Classic Monster Movies
    • Mechagodzilla
  • Is Grinding Fun?
    • World of Warcraft
    • Farming Content
    • Phantasy Star Online 2
    • Grinding Hard Content
      • Hollow Knight
  • Do PVP and PVE Mix Well?
    • No
    • Why Devs are Obsessed with It
    • Why its a Bad Idea
    • Why Sea of Thieves ruined the experience
Direct download: aggrochat_episode298.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

Tonight we start off the show with a special announcement.  Cat Context was effectively the podcast that inspired Bel to go out and try and do the same thing with some of his friends.  After a three year absence, this week we get a brand new Cat Context episode that can be found hosted on Aggronaut.com.  Today Kodra is going to be playing some Hollow Knight randomizer since there are a bunch of new updates and he has been given an entire day for gaming.  From there we get into a topic that has been skipped a few times due to the potential length regarding easing into a learning curve and how Infinity is trying this with Code Zero.  Bel segues into a discussion about what happens when the servers go offline and a game goes dark and the concern that there will be an entire generation of games that are eternally lost.  Finally we wrap things up with some talk about the Mario Maker 2 Final Update and the interesting things that level builders are doing with it.

Topics Discussed:

  • Cat Context Podcast
  • Hollow Knight Randomizer Updates
  • Easing into the Learning Curve
    • Infinity Code Zero
    • Magic the Gathering
    • Warhammer 40k
    • Timeless Games
  • Lost Generation of Games
    • What happens when a game permanently goes offline
    • The age of private servers
  • Mario Maker 2 Final Update
    • Fun with World Maker
    • What makes a quintessential Mario game
Direct download: aggrochat_episode297.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:15am EDT

We welcome Grace back after a few weeks away and talk a bit about life in pandemia.  Bel talks about the introduction of RTX Voice and its nonsense ability to filter out background noise from your microphone.  Kodra and Thalen talk a bit about gaming with youngsters focusing on Mario Kart and Katamari or “The Ball Game”.  Ash talks a bit about how bad the storytelling is in Phantasy Star Online 2.  We shift over to some talk about flying in Eorzea and some general talk about alting in Final Fantasy XIV.  Finally we wrap up with Sea of Thieves as Tam has been recently exploring this title and how PVP apparently doesn’t matter as much as it once did.

 

Topics Discussed:

  • Life in Pandemia Updates
  • RTX Voice
  • Games with 3 Year Olds
    • Mario Kart
    • Katamari
  • PSO2’s Terrible Storytelling
  • Flying in Eorzea
    • Alting in FFXIV
  • Sea of Thieves
Direct download: aggrochat_episode296.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:50am EDT

This is the first show of our seventh year of AggroChat, because we are apparently bad at tracking time and said nothing about our anniversary last week.  We start off with another “Bel was dumb” story as he ventured forth to battle the boxpocalpyse. From there we wind around a bit through a few topics and land on another exploration of levels in video games as a concept being a bad idea.  We talk about a bunch of ways that games do this and how some have figured out meaningful horizontal progression. Next up we talk about the effective death of Kotaku with the departure of Jason Schreier and this leads to a larger discussion about the odd place that “video game journalism” finds itself in and the rigors of trying to fill content for the 24 hour news cycle.  We go down the rabbit hole that is Star Wars Galaxies crafting system and contrast it against a few other approaches like that of the original Everquest II system. Finally some brief discussion as Tam finds Beat Saber and the shockingly good work out it ends up being.

Topics Discussed

  • Bel and the Boxpocalypse
  • We’ve outgrown the concept of levels
    • WoW’s leveling buff
    • Marking progression horizontally
  • The Death of Kotaku
    • The challenges of gaming content creation
  • The Brilliant Madness of Star Wars Galaxies crafting
  • Beat Saber
Direct download: aggrochat_episode295.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:48am EDT

Tonight we are back, and we start off with an apology that logistics did not work out last week to get the band together.  We start off with some discussion of the Stellaris group that has been playing as a weekly game night thing. From there Bel talks about his sojourn back into World of Warcraft Retail and his new practice of naming his Hunter pets after people.  Ashgar talks about his recent experiences with Phantasy Star Online 2 and how both him and Tam bought a SADBox to play it. From there we dig into the meat of the show as we give a global spoiler warning that we are going to be talking about plot points in Final Fantasy VII.   We tried to stay away from any specific plot points from the Remake, but the original is discussed an awful lot. Finally we wrap things up with some brief talk about the new PS5 Controller design and how we all generally like it.

Topics Discussed:

  • Stellaris Group Play
  • World of Warcraft Retail
    • Naming Pets after People
  • Phantasy Star Online 2
    • SADbox for everyone
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake
    • Misremembering The Game
  • PS5 Controller
    • Fully On Board With This
Direct download: aggrochat_episode294.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:01am EDT

Tonight we have special guest Nephsys who was hanging out with us on voice chat before the show and we didn’t want to lock her out in the cold when we all popped into the podcasting channel.  This week was one of those weeks when we did not think we had much to talk about, but ultimately filled a show anyways. Up first is some discussion of Stellaris and the weekly pick up game that appears to be happening in lieu of in person board game night.  There is much discussion about the vast changes that happened over the course of the games lifespan. From there we talk a bit about a love letter to Mega Man Battle Network that is called One Step from Eden. Then after that discussion Bel completely loses his place in the list of topics and goes off into an impromptu discussion of Animal Crossing thinking he needs to fill air time.  Finally he sorts things out again and returns to some talk about Dragalia Lost and its recent updates before closing out the show.

Direct download: aggrochat_episode293.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:25am EDT

Just a heads up, Bel had a bit of technical difficulty and the humm that he has been trying to isolate and get rid of is way worse than normal.  He has however ordered some expensive usb power isolation nonsense that is hopefully going to help with this in the coming weeks. Tonight we are still living in Pandemia so we talk a brief bit about that.  From there Bel talks a bit about Doom Eternal and the tweaks it has made to the formula of Doom 2016. Kodra has now beaten Ori and the Will of the Wisps and is now sad as a result. We talk about the Final Fantasy 7 Remake Demo and how we are generally excited for the upcoming game.  While on the topic of demos we talk about the newly released Trials of Mana demo and how Ash and Bel are really looking forward to this game. We finish out the show with a discussion about Animal Crossing New Horizon and how apparently it is a cultural phenomenon already and we are mostly on board with doing nonsense for Tom Nook.

Topics Discussed

  • Life in Pandemia Updates
  • Doom Eternal
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps Beaten
  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake Demo
  • Trials of Mana Remake Demo
  • Animal Crossing New Horizon
    • Unattended Fruit Trade Island
    • Charming Nonsense for Tom Nook
Direct download: aggrochat_episode292.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 11:02am EDT

This evening we thought we would start the show with a discussion of what life has been like for each of us in the time of Covid19.  We’ve all sorta been juggling trying to maintain a relatively normal life while still remaining safe and sound. As part of this discussion we talk about the various things getting cancelled, like E3 and wondering if this is the end of that show as a whole.  Kodra and Ash talk about their adventures in Ori and the Will of the Wisps and how maybe it is on par with Hollow Knight. Bel talks a bit about his problem with Destiny Seasons and how expiring content keeps him from wanting to engage. Kodra discusses his recent journey into Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and Dicey Dungeons.  Finally Bel talks about how he has reached an end with his sojourn into Spiders games with Bound by Flame being the one that he just can’t bring himself to play.

Topics Discussed

  • Life in the time of Covid19
    • What day to day life is like so far
  • Goodbye to E3
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • The Destiny Seasonal Problem
  • Kodra and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
  • Dicey Dungeons
  • Mars War Logs
  • Bound by Flame
Direct download: aggrochat_episode291.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:39am EDT

Another week of sick Bel trying to get through a show without going into a coughing fit and more or less succeeding.  Tonight we talk about The Touryst a wonderful but misspelled visual puzzle exploration game for the Nintendo Switch. From there Bel talks about a poorly named game called Atom RPG that he stumbled across which plays like you remember Fallout 1 and 2 playing.  Ash talks about playing Pokemon Mystery Dungeon DX and his enjoyment of the game in spite of the poor reviews. Tam talks about a project that he is taking on to convert the Star Wars roleplaying systems to Pathfinder 2.0. Bel talks a bit about the Halo Combat Evolved shadow drop and a really brief discussion about Final Fantasy 7 Remake Demo.

Topics Discussed:

  • The Touryst
  • Atom RPG
  • Pokemon Mystery Dungeon DX
  • Star Wars Conversion
    • Porting to Pathfinder 2.0
  • Halo Combat Evolved Shadow Drop
  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake Demo
Direct download: aggrochat_episode290.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:15am EDT

Tonight we are down a bunch of people and Bel is sick so we have a bit of a chill show with a handful of topics.  First up Bel talks a bit about his recent experience with the various Everquest Emulator server options. First he explores Project 1999 or the most old school and legit of projects allowing you to see just how brutal the game used to be.  Realizing that was not for him he however explores EZ Everquest a server that takes a complete opposite approach and in theory turns the game into a Raiding RTS. From there we talk a bit about the impending localized release of Phantasy Star Online 2.  Kodra experiences Sayonara Wild Hearts which we have talked a bit about before in the past. We get into a length discussion about the Pathfinder Game Mastery Guide which is effectively Dungeon Master School, teaching you the elements other than what it is like to follow a predescribed module.  Bel gets into a discussion of the various streaming options and how GeForce Now differs from them, and the frustrations about Bethesda and Blizzard pulling out. This leads into a discussion about who is going to be the next Bioware, Bethesda or Blizzard… and we talk a bit about Larian and CD Project Red.

Topics Discussed

  • Everquest Emulator Servers
    • Project 1999
    • EZ Everquest
  • Phantasy Star Online 2
  • Sayonara Wild Hearts
  • Pathfinder Game Mastery Guide
    • Dungeon Master School
  • GeForce Now and other game streaming
    • Bethesda and Bioware Pulling Out
  • Who is the next Blizzard or Bioware?
    • Larian Studios
    • CD Project Red
Direct download: aggrochat_episode289.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:37am EDT

First off big thanks to @devoradordeflan for letting me use their artwork to illustrate the first topic on today's show card.  We kick off with a discussion about something that is bringing me life, aka the Doom Eternal community and the Animal Crossing community creating artwork highlighting the apparent friendship between Doom Guy and Isabelle.  From there we go into a topic about Learning vs Memorization in games and we discuss Rogue-Likes, Bullet Hell Shooters and Platformers as some examples. We talk a bit about the pacing of Fire Emblem and how Kodra keeps comparing it to Persona 5.  Kodra also has played a lot of Bloodstained and doesn’t really get the hype and as such we talk about the bad port that is the Switch version and how maybe he just likes Hollow Knight better. Ash starts a topic about 504 the Board Game Generator and Kodra talks about how it is effectively a career worth of ideas left on the cutting room floor.  Finally we talk a bit about how great the server emulator communities are with Bel talking about his recent journey back into City of Heroes and talk with his similar sojourn into Star Wars Galaxies.

Topics Discussed

  • Isabelle and Doomguy Friendship
    • Unity Between Two Fanbases
  • Learning vs Memorization
    • Rogue-Likes
    • Bullet Hell Shooters
    • Platformers
  • Pacing in Fire Emblem
    • Comparisons with Persona 5
  • Bloodstained
    • The Bad Switch Port
    • Comparisons to Hollow Knight
    • Talking about past Casltevania
  • 504
    • Board Game Generator
  • Emulator Server Communities
    • City of Heroes Homecoming
    • Star Wars Galaxies Legends
    • Everquest 1999
Direct download: aggrochat_episode288.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

After having to miss last week we had more topics than realistically could fit into a show and only actually made it through three of them. The first is the launch of Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem and how maybe early access isn’t actually a game launch in certain circumstances. We talk about the myriad problems with the online components of the game and the struggles with an indie trying to buy server capacity for high volume bursty connections. Thankfully there is an offline mode which allows us to talk a bit about why the game is worth the struggle. From there we talk about the impending Final Fantasy XIV 5.2 patch and the most recent live letter previewing features coming up for the game. Lastly we talk about returning to an alternate future where the NGE didn’t kill Star Wars Galaxies as Tam convinces Belghast to play Star Wars Legends.

Topics Discussed:

  • Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem
    • High Capacity Launches are Hard for Indies
    • Going from 1000 to 65,000 concurrent users in a day
    • The solid underlying single player experience
  • Final Fantasy XIV Live Letter
    • 5.2 Patch
    • Catching up
    • Free Company Leveling Up
  • Star Wars Galaxies
    • Star Wars Legends Server
    • Piloting Rebel Starships
    • Tam talks Bel into Playing
    • NGE and Combat Update



Direct download: aggrochat_episode287.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:32am EDT

Tonight we talk a bit about some technical difficulties that almost prevented us from recording the show.  As a result if anything sounds weird we are on a different server, and will likely be on yet another different server next week.  Grace was able to join us so we finally get to talk about Paper Diablo aka Book of Demons. Throughout the weekend I saw the strangest comments over our staff slack channel about a game called What the Golf and Tamrielo finally explains what the hell is up with that.  Kodra and Tam talk a bit about the close of Kentucky Route Zero. Bel talks about diving further into Spiders games and playing Technomancer and how once again their ambition outstrips their technical prowess. Ash talks about CrossCode and we wrap things up with a random topic about the perils of opening a Game Store.

Topics Discussed

  • Book of Demons
  • What the Golf
  • Kentucky Route Zero
  • The Technomancer
  • CrossCode
  • Perils of Opening a Game Shop
Direct download: aggrochat_episode286.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:47am EDT

Tonight we start the show by letting you off the hook and explaining a reference that originally I was just going to make the show title without explaining. Bel has been playing an obsessive amount of Greedfall and it is the sort of experience that the deeper he gets into the game the more his opinion of it improves.  Tam has been playing Elsinore a game where you recast Hamlet with the goal of trying to get Ophelia to survive. In many ways he says this is the game that he wished Return of the Obra Dinn had been. Bel talks about TemTem the not-Pokemon MMORPG which will likely give the storied franchise a run for its money because it is really well done.  Kodra takes our advice and explores Into the Breach and has an “Oh Crap It’s 2 am, how did that happen” moment. Finally Bel is astonished that Theros Beyond Death brings back Underworld Dreams at Uncommon rarity.

Topics Discussed:

  • The Mighty Ferrite Bead
    • What it does do
    • What it cannot do
  • Greedfall
    • Improving Opinion
    • Games that Sucker Punch You
  • Elsinore
    • Obra Dinn with Better Story
  • TemTem
    • As close to a Pokemon MMORPG you can get without being sued
    • Legitimate Competition for Pokemon
  • Into the Breach
    • Oh Crap It’s 2 am
  • Theros Beyond Death
    • Underworld Dreams is Uncommon?
Direct download: aggrochat_episode285.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:34am EDT

Tonight we start off with a discussion about Awesome Games Done Quick 2020 which just concluded and raised a little over 3 million dollars for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.  From there we talk about Pax South 2020 and the interesting things Ashgar has encountered while being there. Bel goes into a diatribe about the Witcher games not doing a great job of explaining the cast of characters.  2020 is a year of game delays so far and we talk about a few of them and why we are mostly okay with them. We then close out with a long discussion about Fire Emblem: Three Houses which leads its way into a discussion about Tactics versus Strategy.

Featured Topics

  • Awesome Games Done Quick - January 2020
  • Pax South 2020
    • Indie Games
    • Small Publishers
    • Tabletop Gaming
  • The Witcher Problem
    • Related to the Destiny Problem
  • 2020 The Year of Delays
    • Wishing it meant no crunch time
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses
    • Tactics vs Strategy
    • Perfect Information vs Learned Insight
Direct download: aggrochat_episode284.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 11:08am EDT

As we work on our “Games of the Decade” show, one of the things that kept coming up was whether or not to put tabletop games on the list.  After some back and forth we decided that really the tabletop show was a show of its own, because this decade changed the status quo significantly.  There is a certain amount of hyperbole in the show title, but in truth this is the decade when D&D and Settlers of Catan started being sold at Walmart and Target, and you can’t get much more mainstream than that.  We talk about the meteoric explosion of tabletop gaming and some of the factors we feel potentially triggered it. It was a wildly meandering show and we found it impossible to come up with a bullet point list of what we discussed.  We almost completely missed miniature wargaming, which may end up being its own show at some point.

Topics Discussed

  • Pen and paper
  • Board games
  • Card games
  • Pop culture references
Direct download: aggrochat_episode283.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:40am EDT

It is that time again, time for another games of the year show.  As is usually the case we fire up a google form and have each member of the AggroChat cast pick their top 5 picks for the year.  This then gets collated into the final list that we talked about during the show. This time around we had thirteen different titles to talk about, with the highest voted title getting 5 different votes from staff members.  Since we have talked at length about most of these games, the resulting discussion ends up being more a trip down memory lane than a deep dive.

Topics Discussed:

  • 2019 Games of the Year Show
    • Trials of Mana
    • Anthem
    • The Outer Worlds
    • Devil May Cry 5
    • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
    • World of Warcraft Classic
    • Greedfall
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses
    • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
    • Jedi Fallen Order
    • Untitled Goose Game
    • Baba Is You
    • Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
Direct download: aggrochat_episode282.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:03am EDT

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