First Episodes Hate?

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existenceisrelative
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First Episodes Hate?

Postby existenceisrelative » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:18 pm

Does anyone else get really upset when they talk about "how bad the early episodes were"?!
Maybe i'm the minority here, but it's those episodes that got me really, really into it. I get that they wanted to cut down on the sheer amount of work they had to do editing each week. But i always wish they'd get back to having 1.5-2 hour episodes. Those were the ones i fell in love with, and what i wish we still got from time to time. The early episodes were glorious, and while they may feel more comfortable doing it now i wouldn't say the episodes are necessarily better for it. The story's still awesome, better than ever i would say. We just get so little of it now because by the time they actually build up a decent head of steam the 45 minutes of actual play time are over. Don't get me wrong, i'm not one of the ones who got all cranky when you guys started advertising your own stuff. But now that you have the SoK doing the editing, is there any chance of expanding the length out a little to compensate? Even just occasionally?

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Re: First Episodes Hate?

Postby JamesKPolkerface » Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:16 pm

I don't mean to attack those episodes here, but there are some real reasons why a lot of us don't think they're as good. I hope this helps you understand us critics better.

I've introduced a few friends to the podcast. Before I started telling them to skip to episode 32 none of them enjoyed it, and none of those people listen now. None of them.

I can see where they come from too. I enjoyed it at the very beginning but there are major problems. The group dynamic never really got to a great place until 32, although there were some signs of Tum, Thom, and Aludra clicking. The D&D side of things was pretty rough too. As somebody who was familiar enough with 4e by then, that was incredibly frustrating. There were awkward interactions and podcast confusion and times when the cast were just struggling to find their feet. Before Thrifty realized how you fix 4e combat the fights were terribly boring too.

I get frustrated sometimes by the amount of fluff and bullshit tangents they sometimes go off on, but I think that actually helps smooth over some of the rough patches of actual play, and makes the show as a whole more fun. Sure, more D&D would be nice sometimes. But they need the fluff to keep their dynamic and their show running smoothly.

I love the podcast and I love the early episodes. But If the episodes were my children, those would be the ugly ones who I told "I love all of you equally," but then didn't pin any of my hopes on. If you want to understand why a lot of us feel this way, you may want to go back an listen to the early ones again. I didn't understand the hate either until I went back and compared it to the recent stuff.

It would be nice to have an occasional long episode though. I don't know if the cast would be able to do it with how busy their lives have gotten since then, but those long episodes sure were fun, and we got to see an awful lot happen.

I hope this was useful.

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Re: First Episodes Hate?

Postby existenceisrelative » Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:44 pm

90% of the time while i'm writing in this forum i am listening to older episodes after being horribly disappointed by the newer ones.
I never cared about whether they knew the rules or not, in fact their inexperience with it is what made me try D&D out in the first place. It was the first game where the group wasn't ruled by the strange, cult-like unspoken rules that happen with too-experienced groups. As far as "fixing 4e", i don't even want to know what you think that means. But for all their inexperience, they still focused on the game 100% more than they do now. You glossed over "tangents" pretty quickly, but i don't think it's the tangents at all. It's just the fact that everything they talk about is not about the actual game. At least 30 of their 60 minutes every episode is dedicated to talking about themselves exclusively. And not in the interesting, personal way either. It's like Tim's jokes about "branding" except not a joke. It's like they're trying to stretch a two minute recap of a previous game over an hour, and injecting inept native advertising every time they fall short. You say that no one you presented the early episodes to still listens. Well everyone i've bonded with over our love of this show has flaked off as they tried to get more and more "slick". I'm the last one of my group left who still listens to the new episodes.

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Re: First Episodes Hate?

Postby mmmizzle » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:29 pm

I think the "problem" is that while pumping out hundreds of hours of podcast content the group has become good friends. They have shared interests and like talking to each other and hanging out, and the recording times are their face to face hangout times.

I don't think their goofs and jokes are really any different than you'd see at any weekly home D&D game. We just get to listen in.

(IMO) this isn't a podcast that listened to for the D&D. This is a podcast that is listened to for story and because it feels like we're all hanging out together.

I wouldn't count on longer episodes - it seems like everyone in the cast is content with the recording schedule.

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Re: First Episodes Hate?

Postby existenceisrelative » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:45 pm

Them becoming good friends doesn't actually account for them concentrating so hard on advertising themselves on the show we're already listening to. If they were talking about themselves in the fun, interesting way i wouldn't have said it. But instead they're advertising themselves so hard in the show we're already listening to, that everyone i bonded with over this show doesn't like it anymore.

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Re: First Episodes Hate?

Postby terrible speaker » Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:23 am

I love going back to the beginning. A humble beginning thrifty making short introduction then saying 'okay, make D&D happen'. something about that nullified my fear of how hard it'd be to DM, thrifty showed you can just jump in. and there are still a lot of jokes in the beginning i love.

i gotta agree with mmmizzle, its a podcast you listen to learn the story and have some laughs.

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Re: First Episodes Hate?

Postby existenceisrelative » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:08 pm

But you're not agreeing with them. They're saying that the early episodes are horrible, when those are the episodes that earned them an audience. Not only that, but the early episodes are mostly the ones who got a bunch of people into D&D. You guys keep saying how "the game is not the point", but where do you think the story comes from? They're not writing a novel, they're playing D&D, a game of human interaction and communal storytelling. And when they shortchange the game, they're also curtailing the story.

Yes it's meant to be funny, yes it's meant to be entertainment. Saying that alone does not address my point. I'm saying the format of the show, which was chosen out of necessity back when no one else was editing, doesn't actually fit the content of the show very well. If you drove all the way out to someone's house, and they spent thirty minutes running the game before spending the rest of your time there trying to sell you stuff and talk you into going to their church, that's probably not something you would be very happy about after a while.

While i appreciate the differences between a private game between friends, and a bunch of people working hard to create a show and give us, their audience free access to it; i'm merely trying to illustrate the way it feels to me and all the people who don't listen anymore.

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Re: First Episodes Hate?

Postby Peg leg Pete » Wed May 06, 2015 8:52 pm

I really dig some of the early episodes too, but i see a couple of big reasons why they might not be such fans of them:

1) audio quality. those first few episodes can be hard to listen to just from a sound quality standpoint. we've gotten a bit spoiled with how good they sound now. at the beginning things were pretty rough

2) rules mechanics. as someone who's played 4e basically since the start of the edition, hearing them kind of fumbling their way through the rules without really understanding them is a little bit like nails on a chalkboard. Things eventually smooth out, though.

3) group dynamic. at the beginning there really aren't characters, just players. it takes a few episodes before the characters start to devlop personalities independent from their players. as such, while there is plenty to like about the first few shows, they aren't really a fair representation of the show as it exists now

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Re: First Episodes Hate?

Postby Frothy Loins » Wed May 20, 2015 2:11 am

Early episodes definitely lack in the audio quality and rules knowledge but what will tentacle grapple you in is the heart and soul. These guys just drip chemistry, if you have been a listener of d&d other podcasts over the last few years there has been abundance. Many of them have partial ingredients, the game play, chemistry, rule knowledge, dynamic, frequency, and quality of sound. In a world where people are spitting out d&d podcasts where 75% of it is 70"s television references or a new member completely derails the chemistry, early drunks stands up. I feel the early episodes do suffer from some poor audio, and a player not meant for the group,after those hurdles cleared, it is simply amazing. The friends I turned on to it did both started at the beginning, 2 are loyal fans, one dropped before 20. I have a large amount of listening time involved with my jobs, allowing me to give my listening material a fair shot as a disclaimer. Bottom line as a d&d player for 22 years the heart and soul exudes from it from the beginning. On a dry pod day I have returned to the slabs and found the same happiness I experienced from the start. Slabbers 4 life.

-Frothy

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Re: First Episodes Hate?

Postby existenceisrelative » Thu May 21, 2015 12:37 am

Yeah! Slabber-pride!

I tend to view talks of "audio-quality" with the same suspicious eye as "graphics" talk with video games, and i tend to give much the same response. With video games i always say "can i make out what everything onscreen is to the extent that i am intended to, within a minute?" If the answer is "yes", then i could not possibly care less about the graphics past that point. If the answer is "no", then factoring graphics into an argument of merit has some relevance.

The same goes with "audio quality" in podcasts. Does the negative audio quality keep me from understanding the main points of the show? If yes, then factoring in audio-quality has some relevance. Otherwise, it's just the random thing people know how to say when they want to sound well-informed. They could have all been using built-in mics from the year 2000 while sitting in a noisy room when they started, and as long as i could make out what they said, i'd still prefer the earlier episodes to almost anything!

As far as Junpei/Strom not being "meant for the group", i've heard it before, but i don't get it. I guess to me Junpei/Strom was the one i could identify with, and it always seemed like he was important to the group because he was so different. Seems like the majority opinion won out with the Junpei situation though. Not that i don't like Nika, I just wish we still had Mike Dao on occasion, you know? Oh.. wait, what??

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Re: First Episodes Hate?

Postby Adam Bash » Sun May 24, 2015 8:41 pm

As someone who has made this statement about my own work in the past, I can tell you (for me at least) it's primarily a byproduct of underpromising and over delivering. Early episodes are always the rockiest, but the traditional chorus of "stick with us through the first episodes" is less meant to say the first few suck, and more meant to temper expectations that things are going to start off perfect.

There's nothing wrong with loving the first episodes. I love the first episodes. I love the new episodes more, whereas you apparently don't. As much as you seem to hope they revert course back to be more similar to the early episodes, I hope they keep evolving like they have. There's no right or wrong there, just differing opinions. But the most important opinions are, undoubtedly, the opinions of the 5 people spending hours every week to play this game for us. They're playing how they want to play, in the way that works for them, and that's the only way to make a fun sustainable podcast.

Every decision they make has the potential to alienate part of the audience. Best they stay focused on doing it the way that they enjoy.

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Re: First Episodes Hate?

Postby Josketh » Fri May 29, 2015 1:49 am

I agree a lot with what Adam said, I love the earlier episodes, however, I love the continued growth over time more. Most of the criticism I've seen hasn't been malicious and either way it doesn't invalidate what I did love about those episodes. I'm seated and buckled in for this ride, where ever it goes and I trust the crewe and their decisions.

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Re: First Episodes Hate?

Postby existenceisrelative » Sun May 31, 2015 1:47 am

Most of the criticism I've seen hasn't been malicious and either way it doesn't invalidate what I did love about those episodes.


Sure, but when it's Laneekann (Lanning+Cheek+Bachmann), Throfty, and Purple Lady devoting ten minutes to how much they dislike the older episodes over and over, it starts to chafe you know?

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Re: First Episodes Hate?

Postby Adam Bash » Sun May 31, 2015 2:05 am

I think you might be getting hyperbolic. I mean they've mentioned it here and there during feedback, but it's not like it's a constant conversation point.

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Re: First Episodes Hate?

Postby Corn? » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:39 am

Knowing how the sausage is made adds a layer of self-deprecation that listeners can't always appreciate. I still enjoy the early episodes in part *because* everyone's bumbling around trying to figure things out.
Corn? Corn?


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