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Everything posted by Luridis

  1. I do have one complaint about the D3 console design. Because of the sofa cooperative mode, the moved the default HUD to the lower left corner. This creates a focus-fixation problem for the player. D3 is an action based RPG where movement is important to avoid damage etc. That in itself isn't a problem. They also have cool down mechanics, which also aren't a problem. However, when you introduce gear, or any other random mechanic, that reduces those cool downs as part of a performance metric, you create a focus problem: Where am I supposed to look? My cool downs or the battle? Inevitably, the human eye is drawn in by concentration to one or the other. So, you end up with only two options... Look at cool downs and get smashed, burnt, tossed, etc. by the center screen action. Or, watch the center screen and either lose efficiency due to missed early cool downs or spam buttons and listen to "I can't do that yet." till you end up muting the game. The lead designer was remiss by by not including center screen notifications for things like health and cool downs after moving the UI from view. It would be less an issue on PC, but consoles are typically connected to televisions and keeping the HUD in peripheral vision is near impossible. All that said, I still think they did a good job. But, I'd be happier if the designers actually put it on a big screen and tested it themselves, they'd have definitely noticed the issues with HUD being essentially invisible on a large screen during heavy action. The resource globe is the worst of the lot, I can't see it at all unless I glance away from the center screen.
  2. Hold up...so there's singleplayer mode on the PS4 version? Like, legit "my internet is out right now, but I can play just fine" singleplayer mode? Oh yeah. There is. Honestly I own both the pc and ps4 version and after starting up the ps4 version, never really went back. Especially with how it controls on the controller. Further clarification: can you play those same singleplayer characters in the normal multiplayer mode? If not, that makes sense (works as Diablo 2 did), but if you can, that's pretty messed up, as that means somebody somewhere is making cheating tools to edit their characters in offline mode that they can carry into multiplayer. I'm not sure, you need PlayStation Plus to play it online, as it apparently doesn't run on Battle.Net. Still cheating and duping wouldn't be as bad as on PC, as it's much easier to run crapware game hacks from a google search there than on a console. However, there are cloned and hacked items out there, but I am unaware of the extent of such. Personally, this has never been a problem for me as I've never had the inclination to go that route, in any version of the games. Back in the 90's there were "legit" player groups you could join to avoid dealing with that sort of thing, so I never did, even in DIablo 1. That said, knowing what I do about client server systems. "Always Online" isn't necessary to prevent item duping or hacking, they could go about this a completely different way and achieve the same goal without forcing players to be always online. That's why it is absolutely, and without a doubt, a DRM mechanism and not an anti-cheat mechanism. Some examples: Offline characters could be played in online games only with items earned in server side games. Item generation and verification could happen both off and online via a encrypted function that is regularly updated with key rotations. Items could be generated in bulk, server side, with UUID's and checksums that cannot be altered, then randomly distributed into offline play. A developer could not make any system absolutely un-hackable, but they could make it so that hacking becomes an easily detected anomaly. The bottom line is that every reason Activision gives that D3 needs to be always online for the PC could be handled another way. The only significant reason to require a persistent connection is DRM, because the method they've chosen makes cracking difficult to do, and more so, difficult to maintain across patching. Finally, at the end of the day, hacking and duping is Activision's problem, not mine. I should not have to pay the price for other people's behavior. Whatever solution they come up with should be able to accommodate everyone, but that's too hard, or more likely, too expensive. So, in the end, they decided the best course was to screw their customers, par for the course in big business.
  3. Small companies are usually started by individuals with a non-monetary focus. That is to say, they think they can do something better than how it's being done elsewhere, or at least improve upon what exists in their own way. Large companies are usually run by boards with an entirely different focus, that being dividends and stock value. There is a problem with that kind of focus, as it undermines the intent of society's allowance of the existence of things we call companies. However, most people have forgotten that they exist at our sufferance and they've been given too much leeway therein.
  4. Diablo 3 UEE on PS4. It's so nice... No Need to Log In No Always Online DRM No Action Lag Due to Single Player Game Running w/ Needless MMO Server Component No Lag Deaths While Pack Farming No Whole Screen Freezes While Farming Rifts All I can say is: This is how Diablo was meant to be played. Now, if I could only go back in time and do absolutely anything required to stop the Blizzard-Activision merger. And, if I could go back in time, I'm sure there would be creative options available to me, like sending the person whom orchestrated the deal back to the Cretaceous Era... alone.
  5. Jade Empire is one of my favorite games of all time. I loved the combat, except for that the challenge went away quickly as you acquired play skill. I think the problem was that it was a new way of doing things for Bioware (ARPG), and they needed input from a fighting game AI designer. If they had hired someone, even part time, whom had worked on Tekken or Street Fighter, the combat would have no doubt been much more challenging.
  6. I'll dig up one more old school game for ya... It was pseudo RPG, but still good.
  7. Here, this is a sci-fi RPG I did play and like. It's a way old school Gold Box game made when TSR was branching into dozens of different intellectual properties. I tried it on a whim and I thought it pretty good. The gameplay was of course D20 based, only with lasers and whatnot. The game also came with a full novel, which I read, and it wasn't bad at. There are two very interesting things I can now note about the novel. First, there was mention of a device called a "black box" in the story. These black boxes were essentially nothing more than a computer without a "global network connection". (Note again, this book was written before 1990.) It was a very chilling thought to me then, and I was only 15 at the time. Today, with what the NSA has been doing and bureaucrats are trying to do with mandatory encryption backdoors, it's even more frightening to think about. The second interesting part of the book is that, I've watched the pilot for Syfy's new series The Expanse, and the setting is near identical. Here is the game on Amiga...
  8. I'm still amazed they went this direction after Windows 7's success... Anyway, when I am forced that direction I'll run from a stand-alone dedicated drive just to play games. (It won't be able to see my personal data on an encrypted ZFS pool.) Everything else I can use BSD or Linux for with Windows 7 & XP running from inside virtual machines. I'm pretty much done with Microsoft at this point. After they put that metro UI on servers, I was sure they were getting full of themselves again.
  9. PVP is probably simpler to implement ? Online multiplayer, of any kind, is significant coding. Imagine trying to write instructions for playing Ping Pong over the phone, in real time. On top of that, it usually is doomed to be mediocre at best if multiplayer wasn't designed into the engine game logic & loop from the ground up.
  10. I already played quite a bit... back in 1996, that is. I was with a group called -=Gunslingerz=- in House ST. (I think, it's been 20 years after all.) I see some of the old school pages are still up. I had a pretty good sanctioned match rank between mid level and champion. I was a pretty nasty PPC sniper, Marauder & Banshee, when I wasn't overheating the f'n mech with them. I quit because I got tired of dealing with AOL to play it.
  11. You're insane. I've never claimed otherwise. But, my Dr. assures me, my willingness to admit such, or even be open to the possibility of it, is proof that I am not insane. That said, I do try to convince him, yet he blames those actions on unchecked impulsiveness, rather than abject insanity.
  12. Regardless of what you personally want to take seriously, I don't write B.S. IRL, a person who moved that slow would be owned by anyone with actual experience fighting, unarmed or otherwise. Finally, while people don't typically move as fast as fighting games portray, they do move much faster than what I saw in that game. The bottom line is that action is too slow to be labeled "action" anything in my book. A mechanic designed around timing without reflex is a "press button A at the correct time" game... Most platformers do a better job of that.
  13. I just rented Bloodbourne and gave it a try, and it didn't last long. I expected the action element, but not that the character would move as if underwater. I also play fighting games from time to time, and for action based combat, this game's character moves too slowly to even compete in a real life fight. Press Button Wait. Wait.. Wait... Something Happens Horrible action. They could do with a better mechanics designer.
  14. There use to be lots of genres in games. Hell, even niche games often made profits. The problem is that now game publishing has become a big business. These being worthy of notice by shareholder boards that steer businesses towards the highest profits at the expense of every other quality and virtue, without fail. FPS and Sports Games are prime examples. High level of code and even asset reuse for minimal cost, and lack of imaginative narration. Personally, it is my belief that 9/10 FPS and sports games are shovelware, regardless of any gimmicks they might employ. There's almost none of these genres that can't be had as a freebie hardware bundle within a year. That's the only reason I have Metro, came with my video card.
  15. I think in new modern games there is no need for mob enemies anymore, just make all mobs are bosses and the boss of the game is the top boss of all bosses. Mob enemies are boring like in Dragon Age 2, they are just copies with different clothings and names.In Skyrim it is similar, they all just copies of one another, doing the very same thing such as attacking one handed or two handed with the same attack pattern, or using bow, or magic...if magic they will summon, and then spam ice/fire/lighting...if creatures also the same what make different is their size. So just remove mob enemies, make them bosses and few but hard. By hard doesn't mean they have millions HP but their intelligent, their AI, their fighting skill, their variety of magic, unpredictable and always changing their pattern each time we play new character or when we meet similar enemies somewhere else. Umm... Bosses are mobs, the difference being in the difficulty. So you really didn't say anything that I had not already. Multiple enemies with good group AI can be just as much of a "boss" as a single very powerful enemy. My overall point was that scaling levels and stats on monsters is a poor way of scaling encounter difficulty with the player. Finally, using the same skins on mobs (bosses and normal) with differing names and colors is not a consequence of poorly designed AI, but is related to reducing the number of necessary art assets. Get an older game with a text-focused combat engine like the old AD&D gold box games and you'll see far more variety in monsters, because they're all just a list of names in an encounter dialogue.
  16. IMO the best way to do encounter scaling is this... (Towards classical RPG.) Create effective, challenging mob groups of various level ranges that are automatically adjusted for the local environment. By "adjusted," I mean no swamp slimes in snowy mountain pass, etc. I don't mean adjusting the individual level of the mobs. Example: Level 1-3 Weak Encounter Environment-Plains = Group[starving Wolf x2, Wolf] or Group[Young Boar + Boar] or Group[Chinchilla_From_Hell] Environment-Swamp = Group[Zombie x2, Weak Wight] or [Ornery_Groundhog + Sneaky_Snapping_Turtle] Environment-Desert = Group[Vulture x2, Sidewinder] Level 1-3 Strong Encounter Environment-Plains = Group[Hyena x3 + Wandering Lioness] Etc. Etc. Have those encounters be automatically selected, with some consider variance, to the current character level. DO NOT just dynamically adjust enemies by giving them more stats and/or levels individually. This creates weak, generic feeling encounters like TES. Note: I like TES, but it's more about the open world and environments than it is encounter mechanics, I think those leave a lot to be desired.
  17. "Physics" aren't likely to calculated for rendering at the server level, which would omit the use of the CryEngine proper. I don't know for sure, but I figure the server is calculating collision detection only. Here's a place to start that I pulled out of one of my textbooks. This is likely to be theory focused and provide only cursory examinations of client-server code. I personally haven't read it, but given the reference material I found it within, it is more likely to be aimed at the professional. i.e. Not a "how to make an MMO in 30 days" type of nonsense that won't teach you anything but how to debug the book's printed code pages. Understanding and Engineering Online Internet Games
  18. nevermind... delete I got suckered. I'll just leave a wiener dog down there.
  19. You don't care for the story... I didn't either, until I thought about it for a while and read between the lines a little. Consider that he may be an unreliable narrator. A lot of what he says does not coalesce with established lore, with what Justinia said, nor with things he has said before. Lastly, consider the being he is known to be in established lore. I find a lot of what he says dubious at the very least. To give an example of the devs doing this... If you started with different characters, in the first part of the game when you can ask Varric where he got Bianca, he will have different answers. On one of mine he said he found it in a junk barrel in the black emporium. For another, he said he won it in a card game.
  20. Really? Because it is exactly what came to my mind when I saw that MKX has a few characters + price tags. (I don't pay much attention to that stuff anymore.) That said, when I bought MK3 for PS1, you got all of them when you bought the game. If I was still shopping regularly in that genre today I would tell Ed Boon exactly where he could shove his game, in exacting detail. If I buy another fighting game it will likely be Tekken. I liked that better than MK anyway.
  21. Oh, so it's not just a "this is vendor trash once you equip it" mechanic. Then, there may actually be something to it. But if it's just like a MMO thing... blah.
  22. I saw a youtube video once of an RPG developer's conference. One of the bigger names, Bioware-pre-EA I think, made the comment that when you're going to nerf something, to always overdue it. It was apparently their standard practice. Then, once the balance has been sorted, ease back off the previous nerf until it is just right. Why? He explained nibbling players to death with repeat nerfs that aren't quite enough and, where was adjustment still needed, creates far more forum rage than one big hit that you eventually relent and back off on a little. LOL Sorry Josh, I had to let the cat out of that bag.
  23. No, it's not a cool idea. I had no idea... This is a MMO mechanic that doesn't belong in a single player game. MMO's use it to keep you grinding for rare items for your guild, instead of burning through content on hand-me-downs. If you've got a party of 6 different classes in a single player game, at most one melee hands down to another, and for a very limited time too. If this is truly like what happens in MMO's, it's just nonsensical. Edit: Don't misunderstand my statement. I'm not saying that because I can't do something I want to. I haven't even started the expansion yet. What I am saying is that it's like this... In an MMO, say a top raid item drops for a warrior and you have 3 good warriors in the guild. Of course they all want it, which is why systems like DKP are put into place. And those warriors have to make a hard choice about whether to use their points or save them in case something else good drops later in the raid. In a single player game, if the same thing happens and I have two fighters in the party... It's not a big deal. I just give it to the least well equipped one and wait for something else to drop. After all, I control both of them and it's no skin off my nose. See? There is no "hard choice", and that makes it a meaningless mechanic to the player. Personally, I won't lose any sleep over it. Except maybe, why didn't they put that effort into some other feature?
  24. I've experienced this myself and I am by far less and advocate of Unity than I use to be. The idea of it is great, but the implementation turned out to be less than what I expected. All that coss-platform compatibility cost it in terms of performance.
  25. As a Linux user... I have something to say you probably won't expect. Steam OS needs to move to FreeBSD, but leave the API's open for a compatibility layer on the Linux side. In the same way the BSD guys are able to port Linux software to their platform. Why? FreeBSD is much more stable. The ABI's don't change, and backwards compatibility is a given. PS4 is already running there, so cross-development wouldn't be difficult. Then leave the FreeBSD-to-Linux interfacing to the community. Linux developers are use to moving software targets. Hell, Linux can't even reliably wake from hibernation. That goes without saying how much stuff systemd is breaking, including POSIX compatibility. Linux changes too much to build reliable business platforms on. Even Google gave up and gutted it, sans the kernel itself, for both Chrome and Android. All that change isn't necessarily a bad thing, and turns out to be a wonderful research and invention mechanism. But it also makes it far from an ideal commercial platform. So, move it to BSD and we'll end up running steam in a chroot with a different libc or even the BSD kernel under a Linux paravirtualization layer or something.
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