Welcome to the Squacklecast Quarterly, a pish posh upper scale podcast. You have your daily podcasts, your weekly podcasts, etc. Well, we are apparently some sort of “quarterly” podcast.
We talk about the government shutdown, Metal Gear Solid, and what we talked about the last podcast. A general discussion about Aquaman, Justice League, Star Wars, Star Trek, Transformers, etc.
New movies vs. old movies discussion talking about how movies are structured nowadays.
We had some sort of technical issue and Skype closed, losing about 10 minutes of conversation, but it wasn’t important anyway. We then started to talk about cereal. Orange juice with pulp as a hipster beverage. This part of the conversation lasts way longer than it should have.
MORE STAR WARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Toys R Us store-visiting experiences!!!
We talk about the general concept of shared universes and crossovers. There’s a general lack of crossovers nowadays, and I think the idea that Alien, Blade Runner, and Soldier all being in the same universe is a dandy one. Thanks Ridley Scott!
The new Jersey Shore reunion is a topic of discussion.
And there’s a Star Wars: The Last Jedi porn parody. It’s probably better than The Last Jedi.
Looks like they got rid of Finn completely — so it’s actually just the director’s cut of The Last Jedi.
Developer: Desert Owl Games | Publisher: ToHeroes Game Studios || Outlook: Not Good
Space Wars: Interstellar Empires ventures into the bold frontier of slow, turn-based MMO. Space Wars: Interstellar Something or Other takes the usual issue you have with this genre, speed of gameplay, and doubles the issue by having two phases per turn. It’s a bit baffling how anyone can have the patience to play when the rule-set is laid out like this, not to mention since this is an MMO where you have to grind to get anywhere. Uhh… No thanks.
For me, it was easy to make the comparison to Star Trek: Online. You have warring factions, you get a ship, then you have space battles. You allocate shields, power, choose which weapons to shoot, yadda yadda. Except where Star Trek: Online is all real-time, you have a slow and plodding turn-based mechanic in Space Wars. Don’t get me wrong, I have no qualms with it being turn-based by design, where it becomes an issue is speed and seemingly needless complexity.
As stated, Space Wars has two phases per turn — an Allocation phase and a Combat phase. Each turn has an Allocation phase where, depending on the stage of the battle, you decide what issues to fix and how to change your combat posture. Your combat posture includes allocating power to different systems such as shields, movement, weapons, etc. You can also repair damage if you’ve got any to repair. This phase lasts until everyone hits “End Turn” but the maximum amount of time is sixty full seconds. Then, you have the Combat phase where everyone gets their own sixty full seconds to make their moves and attack considering the preparations they made in Allocation mode. Depending on how many ships are in battle, your turn may not come for another few minutes, and after you’re done with your turn, it could be another few minutes before the Allocation phase starts all over again. We’re talking about the potential of ten to fifteen minutes per turn at this point, and I already want to open the airlock and get sucked into the emptiness of space. At least I’d die quicker that way, and wouldn’t have to live knowing how much of a disappointment Star Wars: The Last Jedi was.
The interface isn’t bad, but does feel outdated. It isn’t really pleasurable to hit the different buttons and modify shields by clicking just the right pixel or clicking multiple times to modify one piece of your Allocation phase’s bells and whistles. The interface adds to the feeling that there is a layer of needless complexity involved, and many of the numbers/doohickeys don’t feel rewarding considering the gameplay flow. Each weapon you shoot has a targeting arc meaning you have to be pointing the right direction to shoot. You can change the direction your ship is facing to shoot with your other weapons in the same Combat phase, so its like why do I have to go through all of those hoops? Just automate it for me, or simplify it with some other value. I don’t want to control my weapons through three different mechanics, I just want to control them directly.
On a grander scale the game is based on PVP between factions, which two of the four are currently available during this phase of Early Access. The map is persistent as each faction vies for more territory and the only way for a faction to expand is to take over another faction’s slice of the galaxy. Entering on-going fights to help out in this effort is the highlight of this dynamic. However, if you enter a sector already in the midst of battle, you’ll be stuck in a limbo of sorts until the battle has a “Transit” phase, typically after a full turn has been completed. I can appreciate that tactics may all of a sudden change when new players enter the battle as existing battles rage on, but it sucks for the person waiting upwards of what could be five or ten minutes before they get to do anything without forewarning. Also, there is information on what ships are currently fighting, but this can change at any point since players hop in and out all the time. If you go into the sector looking to fight similar ships to you, you may just end up fighting ships that can one-shot you instead. Now that’s what I call fun!
There are some PVE missions to take part in. While the gameplay flow is much less cumbersome, it’s also not as eventful and half of the time you’re searching for the enemy on a large map, hoping you run across them before Alt-F4 becomes a viable plan to defeat them. There is also an XP system and Leadership Points that you can earn to unlock things and progress your Captain/Crew. Of course, as a free to play game, there are currencies you can purchase to improve your game and skip all of the grinding and immediately begin to pound asses without knowing what the hell you’re doing. So there’s, that, too.
Since the game is in Early Access, all of your progress and characters can be reset to scratch at any time, without notice. Cool! Granted the game can change drastically from one patch to the next, it doesn’t exactly inspire me to keep playing something coined as an MMO if progress can be reset on whim. What is the point, especially when it takes a lot of time to get a level or unlock ships? I don’t even get brownie points for the 10 xp I earned before the reset.
Hey everyone! Sorry for the long break, but we’re finally back with a new Squacklecast.
This time we talk a little bit about the reason behind using aliases on the web site as well as the inspiration/explanation behind the current theme song for the 3rd set of Squacklecasts. I’ll be debuting a new song for the 4th set (Episodes 30 through 39) with Episode 30.
With David Bowie‘s passing this month, we go into David Bowie‘s career and what movies/music we personally have interest in when it comes to him.
The Prestige is the most notable acting performance to me, other than knowing he was in Labyrinth. Music was obviously a big part of our exposure.
We go into a longer discussion of Terminator: Gensisys and talk about how laser weapons, time travel, and killer robots are much more believable than one billion pre-orders of an operating system. Also, the movie seemed to be trolling people after the third time travel jump. They also turned Terminators into metal zombies. It was basically one big cartoon of a movie.
It’s a lot easier to remember what you didn’t talk about when you do more than one podcast every 3 months.
davepoobond: Uh oh, I don’t know how easy that is! I like them both, but I’m more into the hard sci-fi rather than the fantasy sci-fi. What’s your favorite Star Wars character?
11 days later…
clairebyoot: Hmmmmm the Emperor and Darth Vader actually Darth Vader is my guy I’m sticking with that. Any you?
davepoobond: Original Trilogy would probably be Han Solo, prequel trilogy would be a tie between Jar Jar and Qui Gon. Jar Jar is hilarious to me because of his voice and everyone getting mad at him being a character. Do you have a favorite movie from the series?
clairebyoot: I hate jar jar deeply this will never work. Good luck on POF
Month long Zombie Awareness Month is this coming May 2015! Also, Month-Long-Holiday Awareness Year starts this year and every year before and after.
We start talking about Star Trek and Star Wars all of a sudden, not sure why, which leads into Interstellar. This is the video Billy talks about where the author of the book The Prestige says Chris Nolan only has a couple of good movies:
Then we go into the different movies Nolan has made and how he is as a general filmmaker nowadays.
When I was naming this episode, I thought I was so clever, calling it “The Empire Skypes Back” due to our issues with Skype that we had during the recording that I discovered this little gem:
Anyway, this Squacklecast we had the Unnamedhero, also known as “Ed”– who has been mysteriously writing some game reviews for Squackle — on the show as a guest.
We principally talked about three teasers.
The Jurassic World Teaser:
The Star Wars Teaser:
We ended it probably earlier than we wanted and having to repeat the same things over and over than we’d like, but at least we got the point across that Dino Lord shouldn’t sport the ‘stache in whatever next movie he does.
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the planetarium where we’re going to have another great day of astronomy notes. Looks to be a promising day as I see class hasn’t even started and a kid to my left, the teacher’s right, has already fallen asleep. OK, so class is now underway and his first issue of discussion is yelling at some kid for reading the BG News in class. Talk about taking the bull by the horns. Now we see him display information on the overhead. Personally, I see two things wrong with this. 1) It has words and number on it that no one in this class understands, and 2) The fricken print is about a size six font, it’s too small to even read! How are the students taking to this? Well, the one kid’s still asleep and another is playing games on his calculator. He’s obviously been in this class long enough to know how to pass the time. Kudos to you young man, kudos to you. Back to class at hand though. Let’s listen in with our in-class mic we have secretly attached to the professor. “Be glad you don’t live on Jupiter because if you did, you wouldn’t have a surface to live on, you would weight 2 1/2 times more than what you do here, and you would have about 25 more moons to memorize.”
Well that’s some good information. Obvious. But good. I tell you what, if I didn’t have a surface to stand on, I sure wouldn’t want to live there. Ah, now we see some information we can actually read. This has caught some of the students. One point for the teacher. I believe the students are still in the lead 3-1 however, due to the two kids sleeping and the calculator playing fellow. Well I’ve been part of some boring astronomy classes, but wow. Today’s is just bad. I see some desperate measures are being taken now by the professor as he has resorted to his slides, flipping from one to the next in a flee of unorganization. That’s going to be scored as minus one point for him. Bad form. During his search for the right slide, I believe I heard someone mutter a “Boring.” What a horrible display of teaching skills. And now he shows us a slide of a picture of a planet’s moon and shows his fascination with how it looks like the Death Star from Star Wars. I believe it is time to end this. This day of class has been ended prematurely due to the teachers own stupidity. I can’t even write anymore. I quit. Enjoy the rest of your day, folks. Your final score is…