Thursday, October 28, 2010

Episode 5: Jar-Jar's Tongue in 3-D?!?

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill.Image via Wikipedia
Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker
and does the voice of the Joker
Welcome back to GamerCatz! We're up to episode 5 already, and having a great time.
What we're playing lately:
FrostyNuts—Modern Warfare 2
N'Eligahn—Sonic 4
Jae Onasi—Lord of the Rings Online and Star Trek Online

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Everyone's Coming to Get Me!"

Art by: Ignited Minds, LLCImage via Wikipedia
 "Everyone's Coming to Get Me!"
Hello and welcome to GamerCatz podcast number 4!
This podcast, Frostynuts joins our litter of GamerCatz! GamerCat Kheren unfortunately had to leave the cast due to a terrible attack of Real Life. We wish him well and look forward to having him back on now and then.
The gaming news for this podcast:
Virtual goods sales are poised to rise 40% in the US in 2011 to an estimated $2.1 billion (no, that 'b' is not a mistake), due to iPhone apps, free-to-play games like Everquest 2 and Lord of the Rings Online, virtual goods on Xbox Live and Playstation Network, digital distribution, and social network sites like Facebook. We share our theories on why we think the microtransaction model is increasing in the US.
Are pre-orders and collector's editions of games worth it? We have mixed reviews on the items that have come with the different pre-order and collector editions. Blizzard has some terrific collector edition items, Bioshock's collector edition and Bioware's pre-order items are less than stellar.
Digital distribution of games is increasing dramatically. We discuss the huge pros for companies like Steam, Direct2Drive, and having older games available that we can't buy in store anymore and not having to deal with scratched game discs. We also discuss the cons briefly, such as not having the original discs available and the decrease in graphics quality.
White Wolf has officially announced the worst kept secret of a long time, World of Darkness Online. So, we discuss the upcoming MMO and the White Wolf's games in general, such as Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines and the table-top games. The game is slated for release in 2012.
Frostynuts shares how his half-orc used a portable battering ram to take out an entire Orc army.
We make a digression to talk about Mayan calendars (due to end in 2012) and famous Mayan sites like Mexico's Chichen Itza (which shows up in Civilization V).
Nintendogs blamed for child mauling”. First, let's be clear—we felt horrible for the young child who suffered through this attack, and we mean absolutely no ill will towards her or what she went through. We hope the girl heals well both physically and psychologically. We also feel bad for the dog's owner, who has to live with the fact that her dog both attacked someone and had to be put to sleep. That's something she'll never be able to live down. That being said, can someone please explain to us how a video game with a completely fake dog bark sound gets blamed for a child mauling, when the child allegedly kicked the dog?
Bobby Kotick is at it again. This time he's railing against EA, and former Infinity Ward employees Jason West and Vince Zampella, who were fired for insubordination and then promptly sued Activision in response. There are enough sour grapes in this interview to make an entire keg of red wine vinegar. Don't miss N'Eligahn using a Nixon voice to read Kotick's comments about ethics violations.
We make a digression to Navy movies like Top Gun, Stealth, and the upcoming movie “Battleship”. This unpaid service brought to you by the US Navy and Tommy Wiseau.
The Great Debate--net neutrality. We talk about the pros and cons of controlling the net, and where it should start and end.
Here's the background information:
Who was there: Washington DC-based nonprofit advocacy group Public Knowledge staff attorney Michael Weinberg and director of outreach and new media Mehan Jayasuriya.
What they talked about: Legislation and public policy probably aren't what's on most gamers' minds at 9 p.m. on a Saturday night, but that was just the topic during Public Knowledge's "primetime" 2010 Penny Arcade Expo. Specifically, Weinberg and Jayasuriya were on hand to discuss freedom of the Internet in a panel titled "Game Over: Why the Future of Gaming Depends on Net Neutrality."....
Takeaway: According to Weinberg and Jayasuriya, net neutrality is all about keeping things the way they are on the Internet, as far as the interaction among consumers, providers, and ISPs goes. Codifying this concept as law is important, they claim, because to not have net neutrality means that ISPs have the power to interfere with the flow of traffic in whatever way they see fit.
Jae asks, "Can net neutrality protect my kids from porn and pedophiles?"  Where do we draw the line, if any line can be drawn at all?

What are your thoughts on "net neutrality"?
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Morally Ambiguous=WTF?

Lineage II screenshot of an elven characterImage via Wikipedia

Download Here

Welcome back to GamerCatz!

We Catz are excited to bring you Episode 2. In this episode, we start off by talking about what games we've been playing in the past week. Jae played some Guild Wars, Kheren joined Champions Online, and N'Eligahn shared his woes of dealing with NCSoft's latest account protection scheme--remembering one of your character's names. Guess how long it took a dev to help him get back into his account?

Gaming news:

Just how addicting can gaming get? Just ask Craig Smallwood, who's suing NCSoft for making the game Lineage II so addicting that he spent 20,000 hours on it over 5 years. A judge, whose sanity we question, is allowing the lawsuit to go forward.

If you're a Final Fantasy XIV fan and didn't score a closed beta key in the past weeks, you've likely been poring over all of the testing news -- both good and bad -- to keep up with the progression of closed beta.. Square Enix announced that closed beta phase three will be ending this Wednesday, the 25th, and open beta is set to begin in early September.

Cryptic's Jack Emmert talks with Massively about the Neverwinter "OMG". Oh. My. God--Cryptic's going to make a Neverwinter MMORPG? Dan Stahl comments on Emmert's comments in regards to Star Trek Online in a post in this thread.

Jae explains where "dink" comes from--the donut dinking scene in the 1986 movie "Running Scared"
The quote:
Danny Costanzo: One of these days we both have to find women at the same time.
Ray Hughes: ["clinking" a donut] Dink.
It starred Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines and featured one of the best car chase scenes on the L-tracks, ever.

Can Neverwinter OMG outdo Bioware's original RPG, 'Neverwinter Nights', or Obsidian Entertainment's "Neverwinter Nights 2"? We share our thoughts. "Morally ambiguous, otherwise known as 'WTF?'"

The Great Debate--if the debate on the Neverwinter "OMG" wasn't enough for you yet, we bring you the latest Great Debate.
Our topic today: Player input in game development. Can it be too much of a bad thing and alter the game in a bad way? We discuss how people on forums for STO and WoW can affect game play. We discuss how groups like United Council of Fleets, led by fleets and groups like Lotus Fleet and Outpostgamez, want to affect game/fleet play in a positive direction and how groups like the STO Advisory Council can backfire.

MMO Drop of the Day: The Giant Mosquito that Ate N'Eligahn! Seriously, the game for this week is "World of Tanks". Tank OMG, anyone? It's a F2P game in closed beta that recreates the great tank battles of WWII. It won the award for 'Best New Concept' at E3 2010.

Feel free to contact us with your questions, ideas, kudos, and criticisms--you can leave comments and questions here, on our GamerCatz Facebook page, or at We look forward to hearing from you!
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Welcome to GamerCatz Podcast #1!

Welcome to Episode 1 of the GamerCatz Podcast!

In this episode, we welcome everyone and introduce ourselves. We share how we got started gaming in general, and MMOs in particular.

Other topics we cover:

1. The Italian-American community protests stereotypes used in the upcoming game, Mafia II. We comment on both the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of of UNICO's protest, and Take Two's chairman calling the game 'socially responsible'.

2. Duke Nukem!! Kotaku posted a rumor that Gearbox Studio (producer of the Borderlands game) will be developing Duke Nukem Forever. Whether we actually see the vaporware come to fruition or not remains to be seen.

3. Square Enix nailed for deceptive advertising in the UK for using images from the PS3 movie to advertise the Xbox 360 version of the game.

4. Rumor: New Lucasarts President Paul Meegan is making a lot of changes, including cancelling Force Unleashed 3 and partnerships with other gaming companies for external development of future games.

5. Lord of the Rings Online is going free-to-play on September 10th.

6. Star Trek Online has released their latest Engineering report. Some of the changes look really promising.

7. Internet and gaming safety--Protect your accounts!! We discuss different spam and phishing attempts that have been hitting our inboxes lately.

First rule: Don't EVER click a website in an email and fill in your user name and password. The gaming companies already know your user name and password--they'll never ask you for it in an email.
Second rule: When in doubt, don't click the link, but rather go to the actual site itself. Many of the links in emails take you to sites that look almost identical to the original site and have very similar domain names.
Third rule: always have a good antivirus running. There are a number of great free ones available such as Avast! and AVG. You can get them, along with a number of other great security software such as anti-spyware and anti-malware, from CNET's download site.
Fourth rule: Secure your browser. Use a script blocker (Jae uses NoScript on FireFox), an ad-blocker, a pop-up blocker, and a flash-blocker. Jae also uses Web of Trust of FireFox.
Fifth rule: Don't use the same user name and password for every game. Don't use the same user name and password for your games that you use on forums or email.
Sixth rule: To thwart keyloggers, keep your game passwords in a word processor file. When you log in to your game, open up the file, copy your password, and then paste it into the password field.

8. "The Great Debate" topic of this cast: How much should a game hold your hand as you learn the game and the class or profession you've chosen to play? We share our feelings on this, and which games provide the best tutorials.

9. MMO Down--we talk about some less well-known or upcoming MMOs. The MMO for this cast: The upcoming Lego MMO called "Lego Universe".
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