Sometimes a show happens without us really realizing it.  That was absolutely the case for this evening's show because we had what felt like a very limited number of topics that filled up the full hour.  We start off the show with some further discussion of Genshin Impact.  Last week we thought we had been pushed up against a wall, but it turns out that was just the foothills leading up to the sheer cliff that is being resin locked on progress.  From there we talk about random video game cravings and the games that we either return to periodically or consider comfort gaming.  We wrap things up with a discussion of the games that we are looking forward to on the horizon be it literally like with Horizon Zero Dawn Forbidden West or the release of the new console generation.  Whatever the case it seems like we have a very packed November ahead of us.

Topics Discussed

  • Genshin Impact
    • The limiting factors of Resin
    • Limited Progress
  • Random Game Cravings
    • We talk about comfort gaming
    • We also talk about out of the blue game cravings
  • What we are looking forward to next
    • Release of the next generation of consoles
    • Horizon Zero Dawn 2
    • The Packed November
Direct download: aggrochat_episode319.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:38am EDT

Earlier this afternoon a large chunk of the AggroChat crew spent a few hours playing Among Us, a two year old game that is now suddenly the most popular thing on the planet.  So of course we lead off the show talking a bit about that experience and how we are making tentative plans to do this as a regular thing.  Maybe at some point we should even offer it up as a stream.  From there Bel talks about a bumped topic from last week and the delay of the World of Warcraft Shadowlands expansion to an undetermined time in the future.  The pre-patch starts this coming week which means the expansion likely lands in November.  However we discuss some of the core problems this expansion cycle has had and the frustrations the players have brought up.  This leads to a further discussion of Genshin Impact and how much Bel has been playing it.  This time Thalen also was able to chime in as he recently started and had some general thoughts to share.  Finally we wrap things up with a discussion about how Games Workshop once again should really stop being afraid of the internet and how their actions are just going to lead folks to pirate copies of their products.

Topics Discussed

  • Among Us
    • Playing with AggroChat and Friends
    • Repeat Impostor Problem
  • Shadowlands Delay
    • Problems with Expansion
    • Problems with BFA
    • Problems with MMORPGs in General
  • Genshin Impact
    • Bel Plays a Nonsense Amount
    • Thalen has thoughts from playing
    • Switch Version needs to Hurry
  • Games Workshop Fears Internet
    • Removing Digital Copies of Books
      • Will Lead to Pirate PDF copies
      • 3D Printing Models
    • Ways that Corvis Belli does this better
Direct download: aggrochat_episode318.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 11:24am EDT

Tonight we have an extra long show, because we tried to limit it down to three topics…  but still had too much to say to fit within the normal allotted hour.  This week we also have bonus friend Nephsys as we talk about Genshin Impact and how it came seemingly out of nowhere and conquered many of our lives.  From there we talk about Star Wars Squadrons and how it seems to be the Star Wars Starfighter game that Tam had been waiting for.  Finally we wrap up with some more discussion of Hades as many escape attempts have been made.  This time around we talk about more specific strategy and player experiences.

Topics Discussed:

  • The Importance of Inverted Y
  • Genshin Impact
    • How is this game this good?
  • Star Wars Squadrons
    • Tam gets his Star Wars Flight Sim on
    • Not Arcade Enough for Bel
  • Hades
    • Many Escapes This Week
    • The marvels of Design
Direct download: aggrochat_episode317.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Tonight we have a show that basically is Bel carpet bombing the trello with current events topics.  First up we talk about the acquisition of Zenimax by Microsoft and our thoughts about that.  From there we discuss the wildly tinfoil hat theory that Microsoft is going to acquire Sega next.  We also talk about how poorly the Xbox One performed in Japan and how it seems Microsoft is attempting to fix that with their TGS 2020 showing.  Kodra talks about playing Pokken with his son and how it is a fighting game that allows you to look awesome without frustrations.  We end up spinning off a side discussion about Fighting games in general and how they expect you to learn the characters.  Ashgar talks about Monster Hunter Rise and how the main line Monster Hunter series seems to be borrowing heavily from Monster Hunter World…  also Doggos.  Finally we talk briefly about the flaws in the RTX 3080 design, at least in some of the add-in board partner cards attempts to save money.

Topics Discussed:

  • Microsoft Acquisition of Zenimax
    • Rumors of a Sega Acquisition
    • Xbox Series Sold Out in Japan
    • TGS 2020 Microsoft Show
  • Dreamhaven founded by Mike Morhaime
    • Spotty track record of Blizzard Spinoffs
    • Irvine Area Studios
  • Pokken with your child
    • Fighting games are bad at teaching fighting games
    • Fighting game story modes
  • Zendikar Rising Commander
    • Extreme Value but likely not a permanent change
  • Monster Hunter Rise Announcement
    • Hunting with Doggos
  • Flaws in the RTX 3080 third party cards
    • Why we should maybe wait a bit
 
Direct download: aggrochat_episode316.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:51am EDT

Ring Fit Adventure released just shy of a year ago at this point, and it is only now finally reliably available in stores.  As a result of several of us finally getting our hands on it we talk a little bit about the experience of using it.  From there we talk about the PS5 Price Reveal and pre-order debacle.  This moves into discussing the RTX 3080 launch as well and the application of bots from Bounce Alerts snagging most of the stock in both cases.  Hades from Supergiant games has finally officially released and and we talking about the game that was described by Tam as an “Escape Room”.  From there Tam talks about finding gold in the Steam suggestion queue in Swords n Magic n Stuff.  Finally we talk a bit more about Final Fantasy XVI and speculate on when we might actually get to see it.

Topics Discussed:

  • Ring Fit Adventure
    • Tricking us into exercise
  • The PlayStation 5 Price Reveal
    • Pre-Order Debacle
    • RTX 3080 Pre-Order Debacle
    • Bounce Alerts Bots
    • Trolling Ebay Flippers
  • Hades
    • Rogue-Lite Games
  • Swords ‘n Magic and Stuff
    • Bad Name, Solid Game
    • Bel Want’s Minecraft Meets Sims
  • Final Fantasy XVI
    • Similarities to Vagrant Story
    • Return to Fantasy
Direct download: aggrochat_episode315.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:56am EDT

Tonight we had some technical difficulties and as a result got to a bit of a late start…  which caused us to lose track of the timing.  As a result we recorded a pretty long show, but I think it was one of our better discussions.  We start with Kodra explaining why he is the fiercest four year old you know and talking about Crusader Kings III some more.  From there Bel talks about effectively being done with Avengers and why it has driven him to deep dive into the Ms Marvel comic series.  From there we discuss the Sportscardification of Magic the Gathering and the crashes of Comic Books and Sports Cards and why it feels real similar to the state of premium collector focused products.  Thalen talks about breaking down ships for fun and profit in Hardspace: Shipbreaker.  We talk about when Quick Time Events feel good rather than something to be avoided, and then dive into the cognitive overhead of trying to return to a game after a long absence.  Finally we talk about the Games as a Subscription model and how it may or may not change the game industry.  Specifically we talk about the dueling business models of the Xbox Series S/X and the PlayStation 5.

Topics Discussed

  • Crusader Kings III
    • The struggles of succession
  • Marvel Avengers
    • Being mentally done with the grind for now
  • Marvel Comics Unlimited
    • How Marvel Made me Deep Dive into Ms Marvel
  • Hardspace: Shipbreaker
  • The good at bad of Quick Time Events
    • God of War
    • Ghost of Tsushima
    • Shinmue
  • Returning to Games
    • The struggle of trying to pick something back after leaving for awhile
    • Games left unfinished
    • Reminders in Games
  • Games as a Subscription Model
    • Microsoft vs Sony Business Models
    • The overwhelming value to players.
    • What does this do for publishers?
Direct download: aggrochat_episode314.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:56am EDT

Tonight we start the show off with a bit of a retraction.  Bel has found out that a lot of the weird mouse and camera interactions seem to have been caused by running RTX Voice while playing Avengers.  As a result Bel talks about his experiences playing Avengers and how the story really shines but the gameplay is adequate but not as smooth as it could be.  From there we talk about using things for alternate purposes, primarily how good cosmetic items work for hobbies.  We talk a little bit about the phenomena that is Fall Guys and both how charming it is and how bizarrely it has lit the streaming world on fire.  Finally we wrap up with a long discussion about Crusader Kings III and the story generator that it is.

 

Topics Discussed:

  • Avengers Release is Not Bad
    • Issues with RTX Voice
  • Repurposing Items
    • Cosmetic Items for Hobby and Crafting
  • Guys Falling
    • Cute Beans Fall Down
    • Streaming Success
  • Crusader Kings III
    • Story Generation
    • Cannibalism for Fun and Profit
Direct download: aggrochat_episode313.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:34am EDT

Tonight we are back after having a week off due to scheduling.  Bel is super excited to talk about Amazon’s New World, which finally leaves NDA.  He goes into a deep dive of his experiences so far with the assorted systems of the game.  From there we have a reasonable segue into a discussion about Guild Wars 2 and getting used to the WvW pvp system.  We also talk a bit about other games like Final Fantasy XIV and how it handles PVP.  We have a random aside where Bel talks about how he tends to avoid using mounts in Open World games, and finally Ash talks about how he has come to peace with the Blue Mage in FFXIV.

 

Topics Discussed:

  • Amazon’s New World
    • Deep Dive into Systems
  • Guild Wars 2 WvW System
    • Final Fantasy XIV PVP modes
  • Frog Fractions ???
    • When a DLC is a new game
  • Bel Ignores Mounts in Open World Games
    • Ghosts of Tsushima
    • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Making Peace with the Blue Mage
    • How Ash Learns to Accept the Systems
Direct download: aggrochat_episode312.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:10am EDT

Bel spent a few hours playing the Avengers Beta and has some things to say about it.  There are what he feels to be fundamental problems with the game that are not likely fixable before the September 4th launch.  Kodra gives some recommendations for a few Sudoku games that allow you to play some of those interesting edge case games.  We pick up a conversation from last week and talked about Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition and more directly the update cycle for physical games and how it doesn’t exactly work.  Warframe announced a major change at Virtual TennoCon and we talk about the Helminth and how it is going to shake up the meta.  Finally Bel talks quickly about the Tony Hawk Pro Skater Warehouse Demo and how the game feels exceptionally good.

 

Topics Discussed

  • Avengers Beta is Bad
  • Good Sudoku and Miracle Sudoku
  • Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition
    • The Physical Game Update Cycle
  • Warframe Helminth
    • Gotta Collect Em All
  • Tony Hawk Pro Skater Warehouse Demo is Good
Direct download: aggrochat_episode311.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:23am EDT

Due to improper planning and the fact that last week was Belghast’s wedding anniversary so we called it for the evening.  Tonight we are back and with a proper show chock full of goodness.  Actually just prior to the show Tam carpet bombed the trello with like two dozen topics, so we will probably be in business for several weeks.  Kodra participated in the very first GenCon Online and has lots of things to talk about regarding it.  During the middle of this discussion we break into a side tangent about how we feel like Shadowrun would work well using the World of Darkness Storyteller system.  Grace and Bel revisit Horizon Zero Dawn on the PC and talk about how much better the game feels with a mouse and keyboard.  Ash talks about playing Gundam EX vs Maxiboost ON and this leads to a side discussion about Gundam Breaker.  Bel talks about finishing Death Stranding and how emotionally connected he was to the characters in the game.  Finally we dive into a discussion about games and companion apps and how a lot of tabletop gaming and the company fear of the internet shoots them in the foot.

 

Topics Discussed:

  • GenCon Online
    • Shadowrun should be a Storyteller Game
  • Horizon Zero Dawn on PC
    • So much better with mouse
  • Gundam EX vs Maxiboost ON
    • Gundam Breaker
  • Death Stranding
    • Emotional Feels
  • Rise of the Companion App
    • Fear of the Internet
Direct download: aggrochat_episode310.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:01am EDT

Bel starts the show off with a discussion about the challenges of playing classic games on modern televisions and how his journey has led him down a rabbit hole that ended up with the Retro Freak.  From there we talk about what happens when the expectations of gamers leads to toxic expectations.  Namely this came into scope over the last few weeks with the reaction to two recent Nintendo Directs.  From there we drive into a discussion about making your own goals in a game and how Tam has found that effective in Guild Wars 2.  This leads to a discussion about when games bribe you to behave a certain way.  Finally we close the show out with Kodra talking about making meta events happen, and oftentimes folks are willing to flock to a zone if you manage to do all the early phases.

Topics Discussed

  • Retro Games on a Modern Television
    • The Retro Freak
  • When Expectations Turn Toxic
    • Nintendo Fans Are Extreme
    • Gamer Identity
  • Guild Wars 2
    • Making Your Own Goals
    • Games Bribing You
    • Making Metas Happen
Direct download: aggrochat_episode309.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:06am EDT

This evening we record an entire show where we basically talk about three games.  The first of these is Ooblets which came out this week in early access and how it is a blending of Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, Pokemon and a Card Battler.  From there we talk about Ghosts of Tsushima and how it presents Samurai gameplay in a new high fidelity light.  Additionally we talk a bit about Kurosawa mode which offers you a unique black and white/film grain way of playing the game.  Finally Bel talks about his adventures being a post apocalyptic fedex driver in a world seemingly run on twitter likes…  aka Death Stranding.  He talks a bit about the odd social aspect of the game where other players can only have a possible positive impact without ever causing any negatives.

 

Topics Discussed

  • Ooblets
    • Early Access
    • Dance Battles
  • Ghosts of Tsushima
    • Ghost Mode
    • Samurai Mode
    • Kurosawa Immersion Mode
  • Death Stranding
    • Beautiful World
    • Interesting Social Mechanics
Direct download: aggrochat_episode308.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:14am EDT

Tonight Belghast completely botches the intro to the show and has to record a second one, and it is absolutely not like the rest of the crew let this slide calmly.  We start the show talking about Cross Code and how it is now available on consoles, and was quite possibly the best roleplaying game of 2018.  Bel dives into a discussion about how connection based matchmaking is destroying any joy that can be found in crucible. This leads into a whole discussion about the best sorts of matchmaking we have played under and also a long discussion about how peer to peer connections are problematic.  We talk about the concept of what if we could choose the length of a game before starting it.  This also leads to a discussion of how more games need clearly identified difficulty settings and allow players to understand the ramifications of that choice.  From there we dive into a discussion about how it is oftentimes hard to find information that is more or less considered to be common knowledge in a given community.

Topics Discussed

  • CrossCode on Consoles
  • Skill Based Matchmaking vs Connection Based Matchmaking
    • How to Ruin and Iron Banner
  • Peer to Peer Connections are Problematic
  • Variable Length Games
  • Why We Need to Stop Caring about how others play games
  • The challenge of finding gaming ancestral knowledge
Direct download: aggrochat_episode307.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:35am EDT

This is one of those shows when we had a long list of things to talk about, but we just sorta started on one topic and it developed a mind of its own.  First up we talk about Bel and his insane grinding nature when it comes to the Four Job Fiesta.  From there we reprise a topic that got bumped last night and talk about the unique nature of Guild Wars 1 almost trading card game like skill based system.  From there we dive into a discussion about the changes that were made with Guild Wars 2, and how they may have taken some wrong advice from the data at the time.  This dives into a discussion of what makes up a role in a game and how exactly games tend to message that.  We go through a whole series of leaps and wind up in a discussion about how freedom to change your build feels really good in games like Guild Wars 2 and Diablo 3.  It even descends into a discussion about what exactly makes up the nature of a “Character” in a game, and if it should just be a cosmetic choice and everything of importance be account bound.

Topics Discussed

  • Bel and grinding in Final Fantasy V
  • Guild Wars 1 Card Based Spells
  • Guild Wars 2 and Abolition of Roles
  • Taking the Wrong Queue from Data
    • People who like only Tanking or Healing
  • The Secret World - When a game has wrong choices
  • What makes a Role a Role
    • And how is it messaged?
  • Freedom of Choice is Really Important
  • What makes a Character a Character?
Direct download: aggrochat_episode306.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:18am EDT

Tonight we have an assorted topic type show, but the main discussion ends up centering around games and game value.  What makes one game feel like a valuable experience and another game just seems like a waste of time.  We talk a bit about the Phantasy Star Online 2 America Day holiday and how they have a really strange impression of our country.  Kodra talks about his adventures in the deeply edge case Sudoku.  We also have a discussion about when the right time to group is in a game versus largely solo play.  In the middle of all of this there are several references to Guild Wars 2 and Destiny 2 for reasons.



Topics Discussed

  • Phantasy Star Online 2 “America Day”
  • When to play a game with friends
    • What point do you transition from solo to group play
  • Kodra’s adventures in edgecase Sudoku.
  • What makes up game value
    • Getting the most out of a game
    • The length of AAA Games
  • Side Discussion about Guild Wars 2
  • Side Discussion about Destiny 2
Direct download: aggrochat_episode305.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:17am EDT

Tonight we start off with a discussion about Destiny and unintentionally the storyline a bit as Darkness has finally arrived.  Bel talks about the degenerate gameplay of the AFK Forge and how it more or less brought the game to a halt.  We also talk about the gear sunset as Bungie tries to do MTG Standard but for Destiny.  From there we talk about Guild Wars 2 and how Tam thinks it is the best mount system.  Bel and Grace disagree, but we continue from there about some general discussion about the game and more specifically the Dragon mount grind.  Lastly we wrap up with a quick discussion of the EA Play 2020 event, Star Wars Squadrons, Cross Play for All Platforms and that EA is probably still evil in spite of them really wanting us not to think that.

 

Topics Discussed

  • Destiny 2
    • The Darkness is Here
    • Degenerate AFK Forge
    • Weapon Sunset
      • MTG Standard for Destiny
  • Guild Wars 2
    • Ideas about Flight
      • Tam’s Soliloquy of Love
      • Bel and Grace’s disagreement
    • The Dragon Mount Grind
    • General Guild Wars 2 Discussion
  • EA Play 2020
    • Sweet Star Wars Game
    • Cross Play For All
    • Probably Still Evil
Direct download: aggrochat_episode304.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:44am EDT

This show has a wide variety of topics that don’t really connect up.  Bel starts with talking about how easy it was to reinstall steam after losing a hard drive, and how impossible it has been to install either Origin or Epic Game Store as they appear to be in a state of limbo, both installed and not uninstallable at the same time.  Grace talks about her recent adventures in figuring out what she wants to play on her brand new Switch without peer pressure of playing a specific title.  This goes into a side topic about Pinball games and also a side topic about a missing style of Arcade Racing games.  We dive into a topic of virtual tabletops and iTabletop specifically as well as a run down of the various options we have tried over the years.  Finally we land on some discussion of Not-E3 and the wide variety of shows surrounding it the biggest being the PS5 reveal.

Topics Discussed

  • Why Steam is Best Storefront
    • Limbo of Origin and Epic Game Store when a hard drive dies
  • Pressure Free Switch Exploration
    • Grace gets a Switch
  • Talking about Pinball Games
  • Talking about the missing style of Racing Games
  • iTabletop and Virtual Tabletops
  • Not-E3
    • Talking about some of the wide variety of shows happening this year without E3
  • Sony PS5 Reveal Show
Direct download: aggrochat_episode303.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 10:15am EDT

Tonight we start off with a discussion of Dungeon Defenders Awakened and how it is a less complete version of the original game.  We talk about whether or not this is going to be a good idea for the long run.  From there Bel talks about his experiences with Minecraft Dungeons and how it generally feels like an unfinished and unbalanced mess.  From there we talk about how PSO2 has a lot of interesting systems and some decent tutorials, but does not do a great job of leading players to them.  Lastly we have a discussion about a return to Guild Wars 2 and experiencing how much better they are at telling its story.

Topics Discussed

  • The Death of a Hard Drive
  • Dungeon Defenders Returns
  • Minecraft Dungeons
    • Unfinished Feeling and Grindy
  • PSO2 Bad Presentation of Good Tutorials
  • Guild Wars 2
    • How they learned to tell a story
Direct download: aggrochat_episode302.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:32am EDT

Tonight we welcome our good friend Nephsys along for this ride because she more or less got kidnapped into the podcasting channel.  We start the show with some discussion about being back in Final Fantasy XIV and the current event where they bribe us to do unpopular content.  One of those content types is Rival Wings, and Bel talks about how it is PVP that he actually enjoys.  From there we break into a discussion inspired by a conversation that happened while watching the cutscenes of Praetorium, which is what games would you like to forget so you could experience them fresh again for the very first time?  We talk for a bit about the afterglow of watching your friends get into something that you really liked.  Finally we nestle into the main topic of the week which is the somewhat awkward North American PC launch of Phantasy Star Online 2.

 

Topics Discussed

  • Mogrocks for Mounts in FFXIV
    • Rival Wings is Fun
  • Forgetting a Game to Play it Fresh again
    • The Afterglow of Friends Experiencing Games
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 NA PC Launch
    • The systems within systems
    • Figuring things out
Direct download: aggrochat_episode301.mp3
Category:gaming -- posted at: 9:47am EDT

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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