Qt3 Games Podcast: notatiger and Team Fortress 2

Joe Hall, a.k.a. notatiger, knows what it’s like to spend a Texas summer working the brickyards of Lubbock. He’s also facilitated some, uh, unlikely drug deals. Listen to this week’s podcast for details, along with some Team Fortress 2 talk that includes a couple of surprises for me.

(As a boring technical side note, I’ve made sure this MP3 has a bitrate of 48kps and a sample rate of 22khz. I have no idea what these things mean, but according to some helpful input from some of you guys, this will hopefully help the sound quality. Keep the suggestions coming and let me know if there are any other improvements or changes you think I should make.)


Actually the cleric is arguably the best class in D&D overall. All spells accessible. Cast spells in FULL PLATE without error. Buffs galore. Bane of undead. Spells like harm do massive damage with no chance to save. (well in 3.0 anyway)

Yeah, Fighter/Cleric was my favourite class to play. All those buffs, 1 or 2 decent offense spells and all the saving throws I’ll ever need. Not to mention the heals and the freedom to act like a dickwad cos I’m not a Paladin. Also, if you worshipped the Storm God, you could be throwing lightning around with wild abandon.


Medic was my most played class for a long time before soldier took over, but even then, about 260 hours as medic is fairly long to play as that class (my most played class Soldier is 315 hours). After medic was scout, at 90 hours.

I always found medic to be a lot of fun and I’ve never understood why it is so underplayed. Lack of killing perhaps? But 1 or 2 good medics in a team tends to make a huge difference in the abilities of the team. I don’t know, medic was just fun for me, and would occasionally stroke my ego when I’d be top of the leaderboard by far, and earning praise from my team for a job well done and all that.

Also, it rocks that Saxton Hale is Australian.

Excuse me, $9 for a 6-pack? Jealousy!

What/where exactly are the brickyards of Lubbock?

Apparently that’s deliberate! Somebody has do it, but it’s not as much fun to be the heal bitch for the party. So the Cleric deliberately gets better toys to lure people in to playing the class. I recall reading that on the Wizards of the Coast website some time back - some of the regular features about the design of D&D or Magic are actually very informative game design articles, and one of them basically explained that Clerics are powerful because healing and buffing other players isn’t fun otherwise.

That’s also why in 4th edition, the Cleric healing powers tend to have an active monster-smiting component - they’re mostly on the lines of “you hit a guy, and a party member is healed simultaneously”. Likewise, healing surges help spread out the burden of managing hitpoints.

Tom, very interesting to hear you are getting your hands on a copy of Labyrinth. I got it from the publisher upon release, but am still looking for my first game with a human opponent. If you are looking for an opponent, drop me a message! Can do PBEM using VASSAL or H2H when I am in the LA area.

Game on…

If only there was some way to find out… :)

Man, where were all you cleric fans when I was a D&D dork? Everyone wanted to be a magic-user, fighter, or thief. Clerics had to use all their spell slots to heal everyone. They had to use a crappy mace instead of whatever awesome swords, daggers, or staffs everyone else got. Who ever heard of a bad-ass famous mace? The best thing that could happen to a cleric is some undead show up so they could be turned.

But, yeah, advances in cleric technology in gameplay have come a long way. These days I play support class in Monday Night Combat, a minstrel in LOTRO, and I actually like that healing chick who rides a cat in Demigod (“This way, Sedna!”).


Dude, get down here! If you ever do come to LA, let me know. I’ve never tried Vassal. Don’t you have to know German to use it? :)

I’m hoping to try to set up the solo game this weekend. I presume you’ve tried it solo? I really liked Twilight Struggle and 1960: Making of a President, so it’s nice to see those basic mechanics are so intact.


I own Twilight Struggle and enjoy it greatly. I have not played 1960, though I have heard and read it is a good game.

I have read the solitaire option for Labyrinth and have just started dabbling with it. I guess it’s a nice option when one has no opponent, but I think the “flowchart” nature of solitaire play is a pale substitute for a human opponent. Still, a good way to ease into the gameplay, I suppose…even though there are a few rules tweaks for solitaire play.

VASSAL is, at its essence, an map/counter/card interface to allow PBEM interaction between players. It’s not hard to use. The onus is still on the players to make their plays within the framework of the game rules, as VASSAL modules typically do not have any coding to enforce game rules. In short, the players still need to know the game; VASSAL is just a quasi “game table” that supplies the map, counters, and interface for various popular strategy board games. Definitely worth checking out if you are into board gaming and want to better facilitate PBEM games.

I thought the sound quality was much better than some of the older Qt3 podcasts I have heard previously. I’d like it if you stick with that recording format, though I don’t know if the final file size of the finished product is an issue.

Really? A 6-pack of Bud is $9 up in sunny Canada? Is the decent stuff usually $12?

It was Acme Bricks, which used to be over near 4th & Ave A (I think, it has been 7 years) before the Martha Sharp freeway went up. The brickyard has since moved.

OK :) I am guessing you have had a Tommy’s burger or two (easy stomach)

Sorry no, my math was extremely off here, I usually buy 24-packs (of Blue) for around $32. $9 for 6 is not an outrageously bad price but it isn’t terrific either.

Also, you should absolutely read Life of Pi. It does have some pretty strong thematic underpinings to theology.

I’m trying not to spoil the book, but a large part* of it is very much about belief systems and how they strengthen, or weaken Pi’s hope in the future; as well as a little bit about how he got there. At least within the first few pages, before the story proper even begins, Pi adopts Hindu, Islam and Christianity** because he was told they were all the best and he decided not to anger any of his teachers. It made for a great comic showdown between the various teacher.

You could probably finish the book in a day or two of dedicated reading.

*Save for one strange section about ecology and biology.
** I could be remembering the religions wrong. Maybe there was Jew in there.

In 3.5, which is the version which my friends and I play, Clerics can use any non-bladed weapon (this includes mauls, flails, whips, warhammers, etc), get a quite decent BAB, have good hit dice, can wear full plate with basically no penalties, and have enormous self-buffs.

Add in templates and you can have a half-Dragon Cleric wielding a Goliath Greathammer with Surges of Might and Righteous Wrath of the Faithful for absolutely insane combat ability. (Just buy back your levels at character creation, if your DM is silly enough to let you!)

Plus, spells can now be spontaneously converted into the equivalent heal spell of that level, if you’re a Cleric, so you pack all of your utility/combat spells and then spontaneously cast them as heals (or inflicts, if you’re Evil) at need.

My DM made me reroll my Cleric into a Barbarian so that I would be less powerful. … I still hurt things a little too much; combat which we’re supposed to run away from, we vanquish instead.

30 hats?! wow.