Podcasts (2019)

53

February has been interesting, have a bunch of stuff to talk about. Patreon has been keeping things afloat and keeping things moving in a really positive direction. Broke ankle climbing so haven't been able to leave the house, along with January being awful as Januarys are. No wendigos. Lyz accepted a promotion in Seattle so we'll be moving out to Redmond, Seattle, so that's going to be exciting. I'm planning to continue to do Metroplexity; some of the patreon goals may move around a bit due to the cost of living adjustment. That's probably the extent of stuff that you will see. [Zoey meowing for catching a catnip mouse.] Some amount of disruption during the move. Puyo is moving along with us, as roomates! Art requests might be horrible things. Lots of very sudden stuff. The house that we've been remodelling will be an airbnb and just end up living there for two or three weeks. Sorry for the AV setup, it's been cobbled together for what I can walk to without annoying Lyz doing early music stuff. Last concert she'll be doing with them. She's been working on new edition of Pathfinder, which she works on professionally, and I work on on the side. [Zoey meowling.]

Q: I've been systematically spading cyberware for two months now, mostly using a broad variety of combat techniques and playing around with thematically-appropriate NPCs. How much are we missing from cyberware in general, and am I on the right track or should I take a different tack?

A: That in generally is a really good approach. Both with cyberware and equipment in general. I think there's still a couple little bits that haven't been discovered, a technique or two, but nothing monstrous. I haven't been following super closely due to this month.

Q: Except for the OmniEyes, which are great for hacking, the rest of the Omnibody cyberware seems quite terrible for their price, or in the case of the arms and legs, a net negative. What's the design rationale behind the omnibody cyberware?

A: Some of the cyberware that is out there doesn't necessarily serve - well, the Omnitech store there in game is primarily there in game to make sure that there's a cyberclinic available to install cyberware, if you don't unlock the one on campus. So it would be weird if it didn't sell stuff too. But mostly Omnitech stuff is 'well if you have to, there's Omnitech', so if a person in Southside needed a prosthetic leg, there's Omnitech. If you want a leg that will help you in Cyberbowl or in combat, maybe not. It's a crapshoot. More worldbuilding. A lot of the food from restaurants is not great, but it's weird if it only offered two items.

Q: Any hints on where to find new high-chain, earthly stealth techniques? I do love my Tesla Coil and I would like to find more friends for it :(

A: That is something that - there aren't a ton of those, and there should be more. That's on me. Generally, I've been addressing, over time, the chain value is pretty bottom heavy. Some 3s and 4s, lots of 5s and 1s and 2s, not a lot of 7-9 and 0. That's why the Etheric Guns went in, to flesh out the high end.

Q: How strong was the Vigilante? What was his secret to surviving this long against all sorts of crazy opponents? His Type E sidekick Hammer doesn't seem all that tough, yet our very mortal masked buddy could at least survive, if not defeat sewer mutants, Yakuza and sorcerors. Would it be correct to compare him to Officer Stone?

A: Huh, that's interesting question. He was definitely one of the most dangerous 'mundane' people in the city at the time. In line with high end Midgard security. A fairly scary dude. Whereas, other people like his sidekick could lean a bit more upon their gifts.

Q: The Third Eye seem blase about the player killing their men and working for the Families, even as a member of their own. On the other hand, the Fangs and the Families are quick to punish betrayal. Does the Eclipse keep the Third Eye super chill, or are that they big that slaughtering their dudes doesn't matter?

A: The Third Eye, I wouldn't say Eclipse keeps them chill exactly, rather makes them extremely unpredictable. Unlike the Families that you don't fuck with because they'll gut you, you don't fuck with because you don't know what they'll do, laugh it off, fight you, pretend it's okay and then cause a hand to explode from your chest.

Q: Is there an actual band or song that inspired emerald gift?

A: In generally I listen to a lot of techno, chillwave, ambient music. Hearts of Space, old PBS program. Their approach, the mythos around, not the writings of Robert Chambers, who got some very explicit references in unearthly items, but the surroundings of that, in Lovecraft/Cthulhu universe. The ideas behind his writing have become more relevant. […]

Q: Are there any undiscovered hacking encounters right now? Any nudges or winks towards where to find any?

A: Let's see. There are certainly some hacking results that haven't been found. In the sense of there are items or techniques or text for not using the right level of functions against a server, but the encounters, the places you can hack have been found, cause there aren't that many. Being said, I should go in and add some more in Oldtown before we dive into Midgard HQ.

Q: Are there any skills mutually exclusive with Arsonist Training or Unwavering Attention? It would be a relief to know if I'm disqualified or not from spading other office document skills.

A: I feel like there are some. (checks) Yeah, I believe there's one that you are going to be missing out on.

Q: I noticed that there were a few stunning, area of effect and double attack techniques (i.e. dancing blade and chemical mixture) created early on, but there's been nothing like them since. Is this a game balance thing? Will we see more of stunning, area of effect and double attacks?

A: Well double attacks is the easiest to talk about, it's something that hasn't come up a lot, it's more a tool in the toolbox. AoE, there's some dumb stuff about how AoE works, I want to fix that itwould be a lot of work, so when I go to put in another, I just think I'll do something else. So been kind of avoiding them from that. Stunning is a little tricker. I've been meaning to open things up with stun resistance a little bit, but that needs some coding too.

Q: Is skill 46 gained from an item we've already found skills or techniques out of?

A: That is, yes. From a known item. Don't want to say if item or encounter, but from a known thing that you run into. But it's pretty hard to get. So, tricky. Well, yeah tricky. Brute forcing would be very challenging. With some finesse (not the coding thing) it would be possible.

Q: Is it currently possible to gain another tome of binding technique from any earthly enemies we know of?

A: Good question. Took a long time to figure out spider. There's another one that should work, now that I think about it. (checks) As a general thing, the enemies that would grant that are a pretty tight group.

Q: Is it currently possible to learn the Solar Attendee's "letting his wings cut you" technique?

A: There are at least some techniques that tied into items that didn't get unlocked for halloween. There's a few of those that are in various contexts. Hm, it has art and everything. No, that one doesn't fall into the category I was talking about, it should be 100% gettable. and is not actually related to the solar attendee. It was an existing technique that went in when the solar attendee went in, and worked well.

Q: Yay podcast! Thanks for surging free of the winter doldrums to answer <looks down> eleventy billion questions. No, wait — come back… Is Demon Slayer the so-hidden-it's-almost-an-easter-egg skill, or is that one still waiting to hatch?

A: That was, that is, yes. That's not the only so hidden it's almost an easter egg skill, I actually hadn't realized it had been found so tip of the hat to whoever found that.

Q: Either way, we have made some serious progress lately in the field of demonslaying. How much more cool Matsuo stuff is still out there?

A: There's definitely a fair bit, I mean at least one more decent-sized chunk of goodness. Actually, I put in an art request for a bunch of Zaibatsu stuff, I don't remember if there is any Matsuo in there.

Q: Is it possible for those of us who missed the last few Halloweens to get a cane right now to chastise upstarts and riff-raff, or do we have to wait for a high-falutin' zone to roll out?

A: Pretty sure there aren't any cane drops right now. But it wouldn't surprise me if one of those showed up or if I went back and gave sewer vagrants some canes.

Q: Regarding Eye for Bugs: Is there any reward for completing your bug display collection other than bragging rights?

A: By itself, no, but there is a - part of a process that would give you something beyond bragging rights.

Q: It seems like your personal bug collection ought to interact somehow with the art museum's insect collection, but we haven't been able to find anything. Should we look harder?

A: Someone mentioned that when it rolled out, and I had literally completely forgotten that the museum insect collection was there. And it's too late to be sneaky. I might go back and add something there.

Q: Are there any avatars that require player coordination/collusion, or would at least be much easier to get with it? I'm thinking maybe the Cyberbowl avatar might be unlocked by being all cyberbowl-y and fighting a pvp opponent who's similarly cyberbowl-y but with the other team's helmet and technique.

A: I have generally tried to stay away from ones that require your opponent doing anything. I don't believe there are any require your opponent from doing anything other than die, or not die or what have you. Should be basic combat functions. But there are a number of avatars still out there.

Q: The random seed sample says the seeds "easily might still be viable". Is there a way to plant them?

A: Not currently. That could easily come up. Or rather there - hehe, to be vague: their current viability - you couldn't grow in your apartment, but you might find some place to grow them.

Q: Are there any entities that we could currently talk to about David's question that he haven't thought to ask or, to venture into mind blown meme territory here, haven't even found yet?

A: No I think they've all been asked. All that have been communicative. Though when I say that, I think there's maybe one more that might make sense, and may be more that may come up in the future, postrun.

Q: If you take the Ocean King's path in David's Exploration, you can get two skills: one of Blessed of the Seas/Vassal of the Seas and also Warrior of the Seas. But if you take the King of the Fae path you can only get one (either Warrior of the Seas or Subterranean Rhythm). Is there another Fae-aligned skill we can get from this quest, or do things balance out some other way?

A: I feel like you are missing a Fae skill there? (checks) (was searching in the wrong place and skill 500 is not right) Actually, could be it for that path. There should be at least as mushroom-people skil in there, but unless I added it later and then forgot about it, which is possible, there wasn't one in the initial rollout at least.

Q: There's a long and involved chain stretching from bad poetry to the programmatic satire and learning how to banish the Horrible Poet. In the middle of that chain there's a spur that branches off and yields the vicious poetry. But this item seems like a dead end; it doesn't seem to grant any techniques or enable any new choice encounter options. Is there more we can do with it?

A: There is a shocking amount of bad poetry stuff for reason I don't fully comprehend. Yeah, there are a number of different poetry upgrades. Not specifically sure if… - the vicious poetry might still be a bit of a, well not dead end, but it's own reward. Looks like 4ish ways to upgrade poetry. Not sure those have all been found.

Q: We finally found the big hidden thing venomous angel does. Way back in 2010 you said that finding that "will send ripples out for other stuff that's pretty ignored.” Does that mean that there are other items that silently enhance certain techniques in ways we haven't noticed, or were you talking more specifically about techniques that leave poison?

A: There are/is at least one other thing that interacts with that flag, and other items that interrelate to that. At the time, there may have been another technique that people hadn't found? I was mostly talking about poisoning stuff there. There's a fair number of items that improve techniques, most are pretty straightforward, at least change the technique text. Yeah.

Q: Back in the day there were several podcasts where you talked about a big puzzle in the Hall of Paintings involving "cycles". Did we wind up solving that by finding Stellar Appreciation and/or Whispers from the Stars, or is the mystery still at large? If it is, can we have a hint to put us back on the trail?

A: That should be good. There's another half of that that needs to exist that does not exist currently, and a third half that is the payoff that should exist.

Q: Back on Podcast 35 in 2014 you said you should go back and add another thing we can put in the empty injector. Did you ever do that? (Last addition that we know of was the paint injector.)

A: (checks) Looks like paint injector is the most recent.

(Q: Back on Podcast 42 in 2015 you implied that there will someday be a skill tied to the blotted document, but that at the time you hadn’t implemented it. Did you ever wind up implementing it?

A: skipped)

Q: You've said that Skill #88 is tied to an unearthly item. How many of the other unfound skills are tied to unearthly items (if any)?

A: Most of the unearthly item skills are like, use the item get the skill. Like Eye for Bugs. There are 101,102,103,98,90; not sure if 89 is implemented but if it is it was; 87 should be obvious; 86; 78; 71; 41; more than I was expecting actually. I think all the rest have been found. Can't promise that's complete.

Q: Next season we'll get to vote on which legacy item to bring back to Zack's House of Coins. So that people can make informed choices in their voting, can we have a rundown on how much we still don't know about: Prototype Coat - I don't think there are any additional secrets hiding in its stylish billows, but I've been wrong before.

A: That's been pretty well spaded.

Q: Emerald Gift Scrapbook - We recently found what looks to be the 17th and last form of Channel Inspiration. Is there anything more to find in the Emerald Meditation skill and its derivatives?

A: I don't believe so. Wow, so many forms. Heheheh. That one's been pretty well plumbed.

Q: Holosight Rifle - This gun can potentially grant a ton of Ranged Power and has two techniques, an effect, and a special hologram associated with it. That seems like a solid two coins' worth of content, but is there still more?

A: The - hun. (mumbling) A third technique? Oh, I should mention, almost done the next unearthly technique. I feel like there's one more technique there but I might be completely full of lies. I'm looking. Still some weird stuff out there, for sure. Yeah. Tricksy stuff.

Q: Midgard HGS prototype - Speaking of holograms, there's this bad boy. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think we might have this one figured out.

A: I think you might. It had sort of a lot there, but also kind of did a good job guiding people. I think you've got, actually might be a missing thing there still. Well, there's a thing that no one has found, now checking it's associated with that item. It's unassociated? Now curious where that's coming from. I think you are done with that one. Went down a bit of a rabbit hole that is related to holographic stuff in general but not that item.

Q: Shifting Maze - I wasn't around for this one so I'm not as in tune with the twists and turns of the spading on it, but I'm not seeing any big loose ends. Did I/we miss something?

A: There's a lot of content with that one, but it's not really - oh another poison technique. Yeah, it's not the same sort of horrible intricate puzzle. As far as spading goes, there's still something related to the holosight rifle.

Q: Any hints on Skill 37? I think all we know at this point is that it's not part of the Ship of the Damned quest.

A: (checks) 37 is I don't believe gettable at the moment. There's a couple skills here and there like that.

Q: At the start of last Christmas, the Manyheaded Snowman accidentally showed up in the Snow Goons encounter. Were we ever close to unlocking it for real?

A: (checks) There's some crazy stuff in here. Oh, you were 4% away from unlocking it. You got super close. You'll get it next year with a little bigger push.

Q: Speaking of Christmas, we've fought the Abominable Remains only once on Christmas 2010 and the Snowmonstrosity from Christmas 2011 on. Would it be possible to get them to alternate, or to get some kind of choice encounter where people would be able to influence which one shows up?

A: Hm. Yeah, I should either make a third boss, or bring that back. The Abominable Remains are pretty awesome.

Q: Is there a way to learn the Crawling Mite's evasion tech? Maybe with a mite carapace equipped?

A: Hm, there's art so pretty sure that it should be accessible. (checks) I may have forgotten to grant it. It isn't in any of the obvious places in the code. I'm going to fix this now. There might be two places to learn this now, but it should be in the obvious place now. Might still not be too easy to get but should be doable.

Q: Anything hidden with the church candle?

A: I'm double guessing myself now, but I feel like there is. There's a cool thing. There is a thing that it does. There are some cool candle related things.

Q: Back when the bait worm's image was broken, it was briefly changed to what looked like a computer worm before getting its intended image. Was the computer worm undiscovered / cut content from the pre-Novos hacking system?

A: Yes. It was cut rather than undiscovered, I think. It was going to be part of the virus event, but if I remember, having multiple types of viruses was a pain. The larger version of that image is enjoyable. Might come back.

Q: Hi Kinak! Hope your February is going better than your January! It doesn't seem like it could be possible, but you've answered over 2000 questions about Metroplexity on the podcast! Thanks for all the vague vague hints.

A: Wow, you're very welcome.

Q: Christmas followup! Any way to influence if we build tiny or huge snowmen from the hipsters?

A: I believe that is based off a communal counter, it switches over after a while. Nothing that an individual can do, other than advancing stuff.

Q: For the dusty clipboard/orbital watch/hospital pants, you've said that most remaining undiscovered stuff comes from interactions between the three items. Is there anything there that needs to be done on the same day? Like, if you saved the princess today, then something different could happen in the clipboard? As opposed to the princess's blossom interacting with something in the clipboard.

A: Yes, there are some of both. Originally design-wise it was very all same day stuff, and I pulled back on that a bit but there's still some.

Q: I have a feeling there is a lot we are missing from the Classic Writing Desk. Trying various combinations of effects, I still keep getting "It feels too early to work on this. Either that or your well has run dry.". I believe only a single time Arkaim was able to get a different result and I did not have any success when I tried to replicate. Any vague hints?

A: (checks) Yeah, there's a lot of stuff going on in here. Okay. Inspiration is a fickle beast. There's a lot still buried in there, out of the unearthly items, that might the one with the most undiscovered stuff. Inspiration is a fickle and ever-changing beast is your vague hint. Oh, and the Midgard Music player is a similarly vexing sort of creature.

Q: The Speculative Fiction effect hints that neural bridges are a relatively new advancement in technology. What's the history there?

A: The ability to connect things to people's brains is not new, but the generalized hooking in everything to do things like neural recordings is new. Finally cracked by a group of Zaibatsu scientists. Midgard not big fans. There's always backlash to new forms of entertainment, and neural bridges are kind of scary; Metroplex is not alone in banning them. Zaibatsu is a fan, especially for things like the REM timer and white noise.

Q: Is there a Barista skill? Can we hack the Lattes! Personal Latte database?

A: That is not the first time that has been asked, if you can hack the database. Not at present to both. Temptation to make a coffee master skill is pretty high. Puyo is working at Starbucks now, back in the day Lyz was working there (that's how they met), they offered a coffee master course, like a sommelier for coffee. Deserves to be a skill. Would take some coding. Or, just making coffee more efficiently, like Sushi Chef.

Q: I've filled out nearly all the stats of my Opponents Stat Table except for Evasion Power, because that is a real pain to investigate. Are there any other techniques or methods to check opponent's Evasion Power?

A: (checks) I feel like there's something that checks stealth against their evasion. Ooh, okay, there is currently only one techniques that you can use for that. Not sure if you would find it. Not a common technique and the comparison is pretty tricky. I'll keep that in the back of my mind.

Q: While on the Slags Communication quest, I can't seem to get any drone antennas from hacking and crashing the delivery drones on the shoreline. Do those interact?

A: It is not intended those interact. You're supposed to be going in for the Midgard drones. There is a degree that would make sense. Let me think about it, that was not the original intent but there is a certain charm to that.

Q: Thanks for the cooking update! What is your favourite breakfast?

A: I have the most static breakfast routine - every morning for ten years, a bowl of oatmeal, brown sugar and walnuts.

Q: No cheese omelette?

A: I do not like omelettes.

Q: There seem to be classes of items that are all functionally equivalent - apples, fish, mushrooms, etc. Did you consider any alternative crafting interfaces here or was it just easier to make each recipe individually?

A: With the recipes system, it was easiest. A game like Twilight Heroes which doesn't have a recipe system, it might have made more sense for another interface.

Q: There are no known ways of learning opponent IDs and the alternative-forms of technique IDs. Was that just a by-product of how things were coded? Do you think there will ever be a way to learn those? (It would be a spader's dream, even if it were difficult to find!)

A: I tend not to expose information when it isn't rooted, and there are some shenanigans behind the scene, where there might be two version of a technique that look the same (or encounters, mostly). Opponent IDs, any enemy that has multiple forms, those are different IDs. If something were to come up like that it would be some sort of 4th-wally mechanic, like if an age-based mechanic where techniques do more damage when their against an newer opposing technique form. Would need a bit of narrative.

Q: We've only found 4 "filler" techniques - are we missing a bunch more?

A: Oh, ones in the middle of the chain. There are not a lot of those. There are certain concepts that don't come out a lot in the fiction. Looks like there are actually five. So one missing one, it is unearthly.

Q: Does Poltergeist Spark interact with the Pile of Secrets or anything else in Oldtown or Downtown?

A: It should interact with Pile of Secrets. If it doesn't interact with Pile of Secrets, something is wrong. It only interacts with golums, so if any more of those come it

Q: Judging by Demonslaying Blade, why does Matsuo think of robots as demons?

A: Oh, thought of a way better answer, there's a Princess Mononoke vibe going on there, with the distance between the spiritual and technological realm. What an awesome movie. That aside, the actual reason, I would have to look at it but if I remember, it's a white list rather than a black list. Matsuo is like these groups are alright, fuck everything else. And I could have added drones to that list but I think it works.

Q: Is there anything special with the Annoying Headache effect? Can you get it from anywhere other than peacefully traversing the Fang hideout? It makes me suspicious of hidden things.

A: I feel like it doesn't do anything special. But it totally should show up in other places. That update was long enough ago that I need to check this. Really seems to be its own thing. But it totally should show up more often, it's a great buff for expressing my feeling about things.

Q: Brutality unopposed is known to enhance at least 3 other techniques. Is there a general class of "beating techniques" or is that special to unopposed Brutality?

A: I don't want to say that those sets are completely overlapped. There are some that might only come from Brutality, but there are also some that are "continuing to beat" someone. Not sure how much overlap there is on the stuff you've found.

Q: The description of the Unshielded Jumpjet from the Hammer says: "This used to be part of a cybernetic upgrade, but now it's just a rocket that some crazy person could attach to themselves". Can we craft or acquire that cyberware?

A: I was just thinking about that just before the podcast.

Q: We voted for you to relax and catch up a bit, but the latest Patreon poll had a number of interesting sounding things in it. Most of them would probably be spoilers to talk about, but can you share any thoughts about what the Pickpocketing skill would be?

A: Pickpocketing would be along the lines of fishing. This is Argeth's idea, years ago. There's a bunch of encounters where you pickpocket people, building up the skill, getting more and better items in those encounters, less likely to fail and get beaten up, and probably add various more encounters and various rewards. At the moment, there's an adhoc system, where you can fail if you don't have enough Stealth Power or the like.

Q: With the recipes from Introduction To Baking, are there some particular rules governing which recipes cost energy versus the ones that are free?

A: I do remember having a good reason, and I think it was not game balance or anything, just gut feeling of what takes 10 seconds or not. Not entirely fair.

Q: It's come up a few times in the past, but do you think a player character's ability to keep coming back after being killed will have any future interactions with quests, or maybe events? The Fang boss, Shard and Saber come to mind for currently existing examples.

A: Yeah, it actually will only become more significant. A chunk in the Downtown quest where it will probably matter quite a bit, and the stuff past there it's very significant.

Q: Does code on paper require energy to use for balance reasons, or is it just a flavor thing to reflect the process of transcribing the code?

A: That one is a bit of both, initially a flavour thing, but also serves a balance purpose, I can just give out code on paper without it being a big deal because it takes the energy. If it were 0 energy, I'd have to be more stingy with it.

Q: With the new cooking recipes, are there any base ingredients that are brand new items we haven't been able to find yet?

A: Yes. There are, I want to say, 3 new items that I added with the second wave of cooking. I was going to say one of them is pretty delicious, but all of them are pretty delicious. Available within pre-existing content. Not like I added a new shop that no one noticed. One's a drop from an existing enemy, certain requirements, all sort of tied into existing content. May take a while to find them.

Q: Any plans for us to be able to kill Maria in the Cellar Door, rather than allying with the Ghosts? Sounds like she might have some interesting stuff beyond just the Ghost skin.

A: Yeah, she should be killable. Oh, I didn't make her killable yet because there are still some outstanding questlets that tie into Downtown that might require you to kill her, and if they do, I didn't want to make her killable and make people get stuck unable to complete a sidequest. She will have some cool stuff, and there should be more hacking stuff in the Cellar Door. Not really a spoiler to say, there are a number of factions that you can get help from. And what subset you decide to help will determine the challenges for HQ. HQ is a beast, it'll be a number of zones and will come out in waves.

Q: If Lo, Dr. Amundsen, David and Hel were to play D&D/Pathfinder, what classes would they pick?

A: [1:51] [Hel = barbarian. Dr. Amundsen = bard. David = wizard. Lo = cleric. More details.]

I'll have new Patreon questions up before too long. As Crypto mentioned, everyone went for the "take a month off and chill", on Patreon which I put in a, not going to say a joke, but as an afterthought, but taking some time to myself has been an extremely valuable thing this month and I appreciate you all looking out for me. Hopefully a bunch of cool stuff next month. New unearthly item, probably not tomorrow but in the early part of March. Pretty simple 1-coin item. Third Eye and Yakuza coming soon, more shops in the Zaibatsu building. Moving in April so might be some disruptions there.

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