Since Sakuracon, we’ve had a powerful urge to revisit the Cardboard Tube Samurai. Like Twisp and Catsby, we have tried to keep adventures in his faux-feudal context restricted to more or less annual affairs because we are polite. We do not assume that rodent liberation, psychic birds, or even comparatively mainstream wordless meditations are topics of general interest. This said, we have done our best to entertain you these seven and a half years, and your indulgence during these periods of personal weakness are most appreciated.
There was a question at the Emerald City panel where someone asked us what games we were looking forward to, but the set of possible answers is so large that mental processing is hindered. By the time I was ready to answer, everyone had left. Where the chairs had been, a lone janitor was guiding a push-broom. He did not look up.
In any case, the games I’m looking forward to quite spill out whenever I’m not being asked about it point blank.
For example, I am the only person I know who is genuinely excited about Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. The Battlefield series has a lot going for it, but infantry combat that feels solid and meaningful is not one of them. There’s enough value elsewhere in that game to keep me coming back, of course - Battlefield 2’s Squad system in particular moves the genre forward - but for a genuine sensation of physical mass, the mind turns quite readily to the engines of id Software. Quake Wars’ driving principle is that the gameplay be satisfying even outside a vehicle, crazy, I know. It’s a laudable goal, but their success or failure in this endeavor is not some shimmering ideal - it can be determined scientifically. It’ll be available to play at E3, and it won’t be five minutes before I can discern the pithy quote from the delivered parcel.
I saw their display last year at E3 inside Activision’s iron fortress, and I tried to explain my roadside conversion to Gabriel et. al. but they were not ignited. I waved my arms, I even undulated briefly, calling to mind a serene bed of kelp. Still, they were unmoved. In a striking inversion of the Birdnest Conundrum, Gabriel has a tendency to detest things that are shiny, and the Doom 3 engine is definitely about things that be shining on the reals. In Real-Time Strategy it’s virtually assumed, but team-based action titles that hinge on asymmetry - like Natural Selection or Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow - are more rare. If Splash Damage can make a largely conventional force feel great up against an extraterrestrial onslaught, and if it can look like this while doing so, buoyant joy might make weighted shoes necessary.
We knew the Guitar Hero sequel was en route, and supposedly the genre packs we have discussed before, but a full sequel with more tracks and a genuine co-op mode that lets players separate rocking duties into rhythm, bass, and lead may be more than this host body can bear.
It’s at E3, as well - I need get my mitts on that shit.
Many of you asked about it so I’ll go ahead and mention it here. Downloadable Content, The Penny Arcade Podcast is now available on iTunes. You can hit their podcast section for a complete archive of the shows we’ve done so far. We’ll still be posting the raw MP3’s here every week and we’re working on archiving them along with the comics and the posts.
It’s hard to believe but it’s been 8 months since we started the Penny Arcade Alliance (PAA) on Dark Iron. We’ve got 12 guilds and multiple PAA raids hitting all the major end game instances every week. Getting 12 different guilds to all work together in the way that the PAA does I think is pretty incredible. I’ve known single guilds that have a hard time coordinating an MC raid. We have two or three of them a week with players from all the various PAA guilds working together. The Horde side is also doing really well. A few of the guilds managed to shed their leadership like a dead skin and have emerged stronger than ever. The Player vs. Player guilds are still going strong as well and we bump heads with all of them pretty much daily. The Dark Iron experience is really unique and if you want to be a part of it you’re more than welcome.
Annarchy is, one of the more structured PAA guilds. We promote a family atmosphere, and enforce stricter rules to maintain a "PG-13" environment. We are based on the character "Annarchy" in Penny Arcade. Our guild tabards are pink, and once you become one of us, you will forever ROCK the pink!
We raid on a regular basis, everything from ZG and AQ20 to BWL. Our signups are open to members of the PAA. Our guild has been around since the PAA’s first week on the Dark Iron server, and today, we are family.
Guild Leader: Galucia
Officers: Scrit, Gillrowson, Milkywhite
Currently, we’re a very casual guild, and we’ve been hovering around 100 accounts for the past few weeks. We’ve got a decent base of great people, and I hope to keep this guild progressing as far as possible.
We are a laid back social/casual guild that enjoys company and helping each other out, but we can keep up with the hardcore guilds. We are even planning our own fun stuff. We are very loyal, and we love a good fight at any level. However, we are about honor, so we are very strict on our PvP rules. We have fun without torturing some little horde. It’s not uncommon for us to go to some horde town and say, "FOR THE TUBE!" as we charge in with no regards for what’s up ahead.
We are a laid back, social guild. We are an integral member of the Penny Arcade Alliance, and our members can be found being drunk and dangerous in almost every raid out there. We slay the Horde, we down Nefarious, we get drunk and streak Ironforge.. if you wanna do it, we are there! We have no minimum level requirements for entrance, but do require you to be a Penny-Arcade Fan and know who Div is. Come, get to know us and you to could join our drunk and surly ranks!
Guild Leader: Telaril
Officers: Zhuangzi, Patrikswayze, Rishya
Ominous: Prondwarf, Comfort, Garntoggle
Exuberance is a jovial accumulation of misfits and scholars. Disorganized but consistently helpful, we do a lot of mid level instances and occasional pickup world PvP raids. We offer complete sentences in friendly green text, and we strongly encourage use of the words "you" and "are" rather than the letters u and r. Our decorum level is slightly higher than average, as is our improbability quotient. Fun, camaraderie, wit, and vocabulary all in one convenient package. Insubstantial!
The Lads are far and away the fanciest of all the guilds on Dark Iron, with the best looking tabard ever. We are a pretty laid back guild that has been vital in the successes of a number of the PAA endgame raids. While we don’t run our own 40-mans, we are starting a weekly 20-man run, and our PuGs always kill Hakkar in ZG.
A ragtag group of grizzled veterans, Fused With Infinity pursues end-game raid advancement while maintaining the laid-back atmosphere shared by all PAA guilds. Elementals or dragons, bugs or blood gods, wherever there’s a raid boss to be found, FWI will be there.
Oldest of the PAA, and by far the sexiest. We have a large number of 60s, as well as a good number in the 30-upwards range, with mainly our alts populating the lower ranks. We have weekly MC raids that down Ragnaros, as well as a weekly AQ 20 raid, in addition to any pan-PAA raids. Always looking for new members- just be level 10.
Kung Foo Roostaz is a pvp focused guild, doing pvp’ing for its own sake of good clean fun. As a guild, we run World PvP as well as Battlegrounds. Ultimate goal is to create fear in the horde whenever they see our guild tag in pvp battles. We do not ourselves host endgame PvE raids. Currently a smaller and informal but tight-knit culture in the guild, we strive to be bad-ass without being an ass.
Mean Bean Machine:
Guild Leader: Docnoff
Officers: Grimogsh, Lightfingers, Cerinyse
MBM is a small, casual friendly guild with a focus on getting to the end game, however long that takes. We are enjoying the journey, while still focusing on the destination. We enjoy long walks in the sand, a mid level instance once in a while and taking the fight to the horde.
We are an end-game oriented guild. We’ve pushed our way through MC already and starting in BWL. Our requirements are a little steeper than other PA guilds (must be level 60, MC/BWL attuned, and have started on your Fire Resist set). Other than that, we’re very laid back, joke around all the time, and aren’t easily offended. Classes are limited to 7 per slot right now. Check us out PA-Guilds ->TSS forum for more information.
I’ve talked to all the guilds and the majority of them are willing to lower their minimum level requirement for new players to 10. So if you want to join us on Dark Iron now is a pretty good opportunity. Jump in, level to 10 and then start talking to one of these guilds. I’d honestly recommend playing for a couple weeks and getting a feel for the server. Try grouping with some of the different guilds and talk to the people. Chances are one of these guilds will be a good fit for your style of play.
They all have their own rules and some of them are a lot stricter than others. They also each have their own requirements for joining, so be sure and talk to an officer to get the details. It’s true that I’m in the Fancy Lads but you have just as good a chance of running into me in a raid if you’re in Annarchy or KOTW or any of the other guilds.
I should mention that this opportunity is only available for members of our PA Supreme™ service. I can’t afford to spend valuable WOW time with just any Johnny-come-lately off the street. This is extra time that I make to have fun and interact with the hyper valuable ultra members of PA Supreme™. In order to become an extreme member of our exclusive service you must first complete two steps. Step 1: visit our website. Step 2: Look at our stuff. If you are reading this than you’ve accomplished both of these tasks already, congratulations! Welcome to PA Supreme™. Don’t tell the rest of the ungrateful mongrels, but we love you more.
I got a lot of requests to post the full artwork for the Guild Wars girls (Isn’t that a show on the WB?) in the current set of ads. Unfortunately the only one I have high-res artwork for is the Assassin. I was under the gun to get the other one done in time and had to draw it directly into my ad template. So what you see in the ad up there is all I have for her. Here is the full drawing I did for the Assassin though:
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