Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 13:59 on 20-09-2011, Shim
Initial reactions may be slightly over-the-top... :)

Honestly, it's a mixture of things, but mostly the limited stock. The game looks very cool, but it's £70, which is more than I'm usually prepared to drop on spec. There's also storage space to think about; I wouldn't want to acquire a game I might not use, so I would normally check reviews and word of mouth before buying. If a game's already out, that's easy enough, but this is a limited edition on preorder, so I've no idea bar it looks beast.

Basically, if it was half the price, I'd probably take a punt and just charitise it if it sucks. If it was a normal print run, I'd wait for some reviews and then pick it up if it seemed like something I'd enjoy. In the ideal situation of both, I could nip round the corner to the games shop and pick it up one lunchtime when I'm having a bad day. As it is, I can either seriously risk not getting a copy, or fork out a lot of money (and go through the faff of pre-ordering) without knowing a thing about it. If it does show up in games shops, I'll be under pressure to buy it immediately in case it sells out, rather than making a proper decision. So I am feeling hard-done-by and entitled to insult GW regardless of any economics in the case (I suppose "clueless rodents" may be misleading; substitute your profanity of choice).
at 13:10 on 20-09-2011, Arthur B
Oh hey and Black Crusade comes out at the end of this week so I guess it's time to fall to my knees and be thankful it's payday.
at 13:03 on 20-09-2011, Wardog
It comes with a dirigible!
at 13:01 on 20-09-2011, Arthur B
Is the concern about price or about stock?

I was very pleased with my Space Hulk set, which was released on a similar sort of basis, but at the same time I can see how it would be prohibitively expensive for GW to stock the thing on a long-term basis. And of course making it a "buy it now or it's gone" deal more or less guarantees that the print run will sell out - which I suspect makes the £70 price tag viable in the first place (because if they weren't reasonably sure it'd sell out they'd have to sell it at higher to cover the loss).

Basically, the Space Hulk limited run was clearly enough of a success for them to make it worth doing the same thing with Dread Fleet, so this is evidently the opposite of idiocy. Games Workshop have been learning how to part geeks from their money since before you, me or Dan were born so I'm not about to second guess them.

@Kyra: You are of course welcome to borrow my copy of SPESS MARIEN once I've completed the single player campaign, if you haven't bought it in a moment of weakness by then. :)
at 12:58 on 20-09-2011, Wardog
OMG I don't even like Warhammer and that looks FUCKING AMAZING.
at 12:25 on 20-09-2011, Shim
Exactly. It's the "£70 limited edition" aspect that strikes me as rank idiocy. Will I even be able to get a copy?
at 12:16 on 20-09-2011, Dan H
Am I missing something, because that looks AWESOME from where I'm standing...
at 11:56 on 20-09-2011, Shim
Speaking of Warhams, what are you DOING, Games Workshop, you clueless rodents?
at 10:47 on 20-09-2011, Wardog
It looks like SUCH FUN. I might wait for it to come down in price though.
at 10:29 on 20-09-2011, Arthur B
SPESS MARIEN doesn't rely on knowing that much about Warhams; they've done quite well at making sure it isn't unapproachably lore-heavy whilst at the same time tossing in plenty of details which will make lore geeks' ears prick up. Multiplayer seems wonky but the single-player game is awesome if you are down with fairly linear action-fighty games.

Put it this way: you get healz by stunning opponents and then performing awesome finishing moves on them. So if you're in a tight spot and find you're in danger the solution is to plunge deeper into the fight.
at 09:43 on 20-09-2011, Wardog
Btw, given I know fuck all about Warhams and have been consciously trying to avoid knowing fuck all about Warhams ... should I be playing Space Marine? It just looks AWESOME.
at 09:41 on 20-09-2011, Wardog

Damn you, I got really excited there ... and then came down hard.
at 09:09 on 20-09-2011, Janne Kirjasniemi
Snowy(or Milou, as I know him) is cute though. Kinda like those toy dogs that would move about and you'd always hope that they would actually be like a real dog, and not a toy or a very limited robot.
at 08:44 on 20-09-2011, Arthur B
@Gamer: That trailer looks really disturbing. I think once your uncanny valley CGI characters start looking like actual flesh and blood people with weird prosthetic noses you might as well save money on the CGI and just film a bunch of people with weird prosthetic noses.
at 00:30 on 20-09-2011, Robinson L
I think it was Episode 9 of the first TeXt Factor. It was the point where you were discussing the part in The Woman in White where
Count Fosco hijacks Marian Halcolmb's journal
. Apparently it was the most appropriate epithet you guys could come up with for that development.
at 23:00 on 19-09-2011, Shim
A bit of an odd request, but does anyone remember any particular point in the podcasts where the word "ZOMG" crops up? I'm having a phonetics discussion and it will take a good while to plough through them all again!
at 22:36 on 19-09-2011, Gamer_2k4
Or here, the trailer if you prefer.
at 15:41 on 19-09-2011, Gamer_2k4
Man... You lucky Brits get to see this next month. I'm kind of jealous.
at 15:11 on 19-09-2011, valse de la lune
I discovered this. Holy fucking shit. It looks like typical urban fantasy ho-hum except lesbians. Lesbian main character! In urban fantasy! I bounce with giddy excitement!

...and then I discover the author is a dude. Fuck this earth. Fuck it forever.
at 00:53 on 19-09-2011, Melissa G.
They had a Batgirl before the relaunch, Stephanie Brown

Don't even get me started on how poor Steph was handled. I don't know why Dan Didio seems to hate her so much....
at 00:39 on 19-09-2011, Arthur B
On those grounds I think the worst possible thing the reboot people could have done was re-open the wound because there's literally nothing that can be done about it which doesn't either destroy what makes Origin so great or replay the fridging to no real benefit.

So obviously they did the worst possible thing.
at 00:36 on 19-09-2011, Sister Magpie
But DC doesn't want generic Batgirl. Generic Batgirl doesn't sell as well. They had a Batgirl before the relaunch, Stephanie Brown. Before that they had Cass Cain.

If you make Barbara Batgirl in the relaunch who has never been Oracle, in the eyes of her fans you're diminishing her and taking away the growth she had as Oracle. Then you have a generic Oracle who can't really have Babs' origin beyond being shot by the Joker. She could still work as a character, but she's a new character starting off with a big handicap because not only is she a stranger, she's lacks Babs' history and ties to other characters. Worse yet, she'd be seen by Babs' fans as having taken her accomplishments.

Oracle is tricky because while everyone agrees that her origin was a fridging ("Cripple the bitch!") everyone also agrees that later writers took that bad thing and defiantly made a stronger character out of it.
at 00:08 on 19-09-2011, Arthur B
Nah, you could keep Oracle's origin and pick one or the other of them to be Barbara Gordon. Oracle could still have much the same origin story, but because it wasn't actually played out in the new continuity then it wouldn't so much be of a fridging moment because it would be "this is this character's premise from day 1 of this new continuity", as opposed to "hey, let's fuck over this female character".

And Batgirl, being vastly more generic, can just have the origin from the Batman and Robin movie or something.

Either way, sounds like the new timeline dispenses of Oracle pretty cheaply.
at 23:58 on 18-09-2011, Sister Magpie
There'd be no reason why the new timeline couldn't have a Batgirl and an Oracle who were two different individuals, thus removing the fridging whilst keeping the disabled representation and giving them a Batgirl of some form to play with if they really insisted on having one.

But there is a reason they can't do that: they're both Barbara Gordon. Barbara's the character people love, not Batgirl (a title that can refer to more than one person) or the person that functions as Oracle. Of course in some ways Babs=both those people, but Oracle wasn't just a computer person (frankly, she was often written as not even very computer savvy imo and I know very little about computers!), she was also Batgirl who was shot by the Joker and reinvented herself into someone even more powerful. So by splitting them you either rob Babs of her future or rob Oracle of her origin. If you just make her a different woman who uses a wheelchair you get into the cliche people saw with Wendy in the Steph!Batgirl comics, the computer jock/wheelchair stereotype.