Ask Me Stuff

Every Wednesday I ask you to Ask Me Stuff. If you have a burning question about the games industry, leave it in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer it this afternoon.

I'll be doing this every Wednesday from now on. (Hopefully.)

Now, fire away with those questions.


    Question - real or fake?

      Oh snap!

    Is Infinity Ward actually going to respond to concerns by PC gamers about the dedicated server issue? Bowling has left an update detailing IWnet but failed to address any actual concerns raised.

    I'm not trying to be one of the rabid PC gamers who are swearing off IW and so forth. I know I've said before I'm going to cancel my pre-order, but after some thought, I may as well just buy the game and see what it has to offer. I'm sure if it tanks because of the P2P thing they could always patch in dedicated servers.


      I know you are waiting for a reply from David, But there is many reasons as to why they are doing this.

      - Money. With Infinity Ward locking down the servers to themselves, they have more control of Mods and other services which could be technically sold.

      - Piracy/Cheating. With no dedicated servers for people to use, Cheating goes out the window. The leveling system in COD4 was manipulated by many people, throwing the balance of the game and the leveling system out.

      - Easy Matchmaking. Their main sell for this is that Matchmaking will become like the console version, with easy matchmaking for all. No more remembering IP addresses etc.

      - Standardised gameplay. With servers everywhere around the world, the gameplay becomes non standardised. By locking it down to IWnet, they can standardise the hardware and gameplay so that everyone is on a level playing field (read Piracy/Cheating).

      Those are a few reasons which i can think about, I'm sure David will be able to give you some more info!

        I understand what they are trying to do. My concern, my ONLY concern about the entire saga, is latency. I don't care at all about matchmaking as long as I have low ping. How am I going to be able to play a good multiplayer game if I'm matched with some guy in the US, and have a ping of over 200?

        But, on the flipside, I just played a game of COD4 on an Internode server where they were in "knives only" mode. I refused to play knives so I kept getting TKed. I think examples like this are a massive positive to IWnet.

          Yeah I agree... If IW takes a page out of Treyarch and implements regional matchmaking, then the latency won't be as much of an issue... But yeah, the COD4 latency matchmaking really sucked (console version)... So yeah, hopefully David will be able to shed some light!

            Glenn, you've pretty much hit the nail on the head there. The only point I'd add is that it's clear Activision is setting up both IWNET and the new for similar reasons: consistency of experience and revenue potential.

            As for why MW2 doesn't have the same local filtering Treyarch implemented in WaW, Infinity Ward has said it's not necessary because their IWNET matchmaking takes care of all that anyway. We shall see.

              Thanks David.

              I'm curious about it, and I still have it on pre-order at EB. I'll get it, and make my mind up then.

                Consistency of experience? Hell no. It's Activision, it's all about making sure they have their grubby fingers as deep into your wallet as possible.

      on the addtional note of IW's current PC notorioty. Can anyone explain to me why MW:2 is marked at $89.99 US on steam?

      This is a $20 US mark up from US MW:2 PC retail prices ($59.99 - which is already a $10 mark up on average PC Skus - making the steam verion $30 US more expensive than any other current PC game on the US market?

      I actually find this more insulting than the IWnet server issues - its counter productive to the whole focus of digital distribution.

        Thats the US$ price for the Australian store. The US$ price for the US steam store is $59.99. If you have a friend in the US that can gift it to you then you'll only pay (your friend) US$59.99.

        The AU retail price is probably AU$100 so because Activision don't want you to be able to get it cheap through Steam they have used Steam's ability to regionalise content to create price parity with the Australian retail market.

          Correct. If Steam listed prices in AUD, MW2 would be $100. It doesn't, so Activision determines a USD price, presumably based on where they forecast the exchange rate averaging over the next few months.

    Why are Aussies getting so shafted with Xbox live?

    I understand Netflix not being available in Australia, but why don't we have a equivalent service? We pay a premium to have the service ($80 a year) but we seem to get way less than what America gets. Alot of deals on the marketplace get by us. All of the TV shows that America get aren't on there either (apart from 'the guild' (yay...)), also countless other perks which other countries get seem to always get by us.

    Also, I understand that the Zune Marketplace is going to be on XBL soon enough, but if its anything like Games on Demand (Mass Effect for $99) then it will be an absolute rip off. Did i mention that we don't even get Last.FM?!

    Can you find out or at least tell me what XBOX Australia is doing to give us more bang for our buck? With the PSN free... what is keeping me with the Xbox? As it stands, next generation i'm going with the Playstation Iteration.

    Thanks in advance David.

      Microsoft would tell you you're paying your Gold subscription for a superior online gaming service - emphasis on gaming. (Whether it's $80 per year superior to the PS3, you can decide that yourself.)

      The vast majority of the content we miss out on is paid-for content. US gamers are paying extra to download those TV shows; they're paying extra to use Netflix. I realise it's still frustrating to miss out on access to these things, but at least the US don't get it all as part of their subscription fee.

      So yeah, we've got Games On Demand (and its quirky pricing) and we're getting Zune Video (which so far seems far more reasonably priced) along with Facebook and Twitter. Microsoft haven't explained the absence of though, which is a little disappointing.

        Thanks for the reply David,

        I'd be happy to pay the extra subscription fee for Netflix streaming and the other services that America and others get.

        It just seems like Xbox Australia is doing nothing to bring out specific Australian services that America get every day. The thing baffles me, seeing as though i'm listening to it right now...

          Just something to ad to this... The main thing that I want is the option to spend money on these services.

          If we had Netflix on the 360 i'd be more than happy to pay the subscription costs, many other people would too. I know that this is abit different because Netflix isn't available in Aus to begin with...

    Just pushing more on the Modern Warfare 2 saga, what's your opinions of Activision's move to raise the price of MW2 on Steam to $us89?

      Just the question i was looking at asking...

      I would really love to see a VALID reason why they would do this to AUS people but still display the price in USD.

      If Steam are going to push this out to most new games which hit the steam store i think they should start charging us in AUSD and not putting up the prices and clocking it behind a USD price tag...

      Kotaku should do an article RE this IMO as well as why we dont get the some bundle packs which US get, though we can buy the games all on their own for a higher price?

    Why Junglist was really replaced by Hex on Good Game for?

      I think Bajo should have been replaced and Junglist stayed, he actually comes across as a genuine hard core gamer... Bajo on the other hand...well.

      A while ago I think you guys posted that the God of War collection wasnt being released in Aus, is that still the case?

      I think it may have been a decision by some higher up ABC person, it is highly doubtful it was from anyone who actually works on good game, as far as speculation I would guess it has something to do with the new ABC3 channel, and wanting to get Hex on board for that purpose. However I believe Hex is a great presenter and although I feel it was wrong to make Junglist leave when he apparently did not want to, I still look forward to future episodes of good game becuase of Hex.

        Yeah, I was expecting the worst when tuning in, but Hex was actually pretty good, especially for a first episode in.

        I still find the REI parts forced though, they sound like my old high-school interviews.

        So yeah, I hope Jung is doing what he wants to do, and I'll still be tuning in.

    Are there any differences between the US, NZ or AU content of GTAIV: The Ballad of Gay Tony?

      No. I asked Rockstar and they said:

      "We can confirm that Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony has not been edited or altered in any way for its Australian release. The game is releasing on October 29th as a part of Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City for Xbox 360, and will not require a copy of the original Grand Theft Auto IV to play. Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony will also be available for download exclusively via Xbox Live."

      The Lost & Damned was not edited or altered either.

        Thanks for the information, David, it's greatly appreciated.


    Will you be able to romance a Krogan in Mass Effect 2?

    I always felt that was missing from the original

      What about salarians, why more attractive race in my opinion, I think it's the eyes or something.

        Hell, Geth too.

          if anything, you should be asking if Tali is romanceable or not.

            I guess that depends entirely on what the galactic age of consent is?

            Personally, I'm hoping for the auto-erotic option.

    Why not write something about the garbage going on at Steam at the moment with Borderlands for the PC. Steam are just as coy as usual. They have just asked Australian gamers to delete the content they have downloaded (upto 8 gig) and redownload it. Apparently unconcerned about internet caps in this country.

    My question for you is: Are Valve/Steam ignorant or arrogant in doing this? Surely, they are arrogant as they have already acknowledged download restrictions in Australia by allowing Australian customers to select specfic content providers.

      Link to where they say this?

        Ah, someone beat me to it haha. Just in case Sean doesn't get back before my message pops up, David, the links in my post.

        someone probably beat me to it but:

        Here is the link:

        This is where they told us the game won't be released on the date published, an hour before it's due:

        And here is where they tell us to redownload the whole thing:

        (Which is actually a lie because you can just "verify integrity" and it will replace only the necessary files.)

        Still, the point is, we're really getting stamped on here and it's not fair.

        Might I also add pirates have been playing this game without restriction for days.

      Gee valve are in the wars aren't they, 145 pages of complaints that the L4D2 demo has been delayed.

      Apparently Left 4 Dead 2 demo was pushed back for Euro's as well lol :|

      This has definitely made my day.

      Hitler reacts to Borderlands delay:


    Just wanted to know if it is absolutely neccessary that Aussies who preloaded Borderlands through steam need to do so again?

    That thread. We've been told to delete local content and download everything again here:

    Many see this as evil (for obvious reasons). Anyone who booted up steam this morning found that they had to download a little something else which no one is sure the purpose of. Was it a fix?

      Some people are claiming deleting the low_violence file is letting them re download a version without it, but a) I couldn't do that because my steam thought my pre-load was 100% complete anyway, and b) it seems if it was that easy, valve would have worked that out.

      You could keep the low violence version (it will still run fine, just wont be as violent) and hope that at release a "verify integrity of game files" will get the full violence version, but it's hard to say for sure, and so far the official word from both valve and 2k has been "re-download".

      No it is not. "Verify cache integrity" will work and cost you about 300mb of quota.

      So yes, it seems deleting and re-downloading is the official solution. (I wonder if they're reluctant to simply issue a patch because it might also allow anyone in Germany to unlock the uncensored version?)

        It appears there's reports that using the US VPN tunnel trick actually fixes the violence situation. Might have to test this when I get home later on..

        Cases popping up saying those 30 odd megs downloaded for the game for anyone who booted up steam today did indeed uncensor the game.

    Do you think Seabass has completely balls'd up PES 2010 like i do having now played the review build. Sigh.... PES 2009 is better than this :(

      Dunno, not having played PES 2010 even once. I've heard from those who have that it's better than 2009, but not by much.

      I think I've left football games behind. The glory days of PES 2-5 had me excited for each new release, but I just can't summon the same enthusiasm these days.

        Haha! Another PES 2-5 fan! I helped moderate a large online PES forum during that period, when it was the infinitely better footy game. PES4 will live long in my memories of college...

        But it sure has gone the other way since Rutter took over at EA's FIFA HQ.

        PES2010 is an improvement over PES2009, for sure. The problem, though, is that FIFA10 is better in every way conceivable.

    Is it true that Forza 3 has no system link for LAN play??

    I went to buy 4 copies today for me and the boys for a big lan weekend, and on the back it says no system link? I'm holding of buying them till I can find out.

    Surely this is a mistake? We only have satellite internet out here, and if this is true then I've been waiting over a year for F3 for nothing.

    How long is that PITA PSPGo advertisement going to be on Gizmodo/Kotaku? Putting it milding, it's very annoying.

    Hey David,

    Any chance of Kotaku hiring Jeremy Ray (Junglist) following his, er....sudden departure from Good Game? I'm sure most of the people here would love to see the crazy yank's shenanigans on a regular basis again!

    Burning question!

    In Assassins creed 2, is there still hay bails? If not, when you jump off a view point, what stops you?
    Would there have been hay bails just lying in the street in the renaissance?

    Yes, i know, stupid question, but i need to know! XD

    Its great you've brought this back :P

      Yes. ACII is full of hay bales. If you're hiding in one and there's someone nearby, you can grab them, stab them, flip them into the hay and then walk away as if nothing ever happened.

    Is there any news on when the ABC iView app for the PS3 will be released? Other than the press release about it being made available "later this year", I haven't heard anything.

    Random Question...
    Did/Was there a David Wildgoose who used to edit/write for/associate with PCPowerPlay?

    Name has sparked my memory for some reason, Although it could very well be that I've been here too long.


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