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marelooke

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Posts posted by marelooke

  1. Turns out James Ohlen is now working for WotC in a new studio that is focusing on "creation of original IP outside the Magic the Gathering and D&D brands" (no BG3 here, folks). Pretty much no other information there but this could potentially be interesting.

    Source (linked at timestamp so you can skip the Epic bollocks):

  2. Right, so after a day with the upgrade I have to come back to my point about the old "My activity" stream: it no longer appears to exist in this version, meaning I have to check all the threads I've replied to manually by just going through all the forums, which is rather inconvenient, to say the least.

    The "Profile" lists all threads a user has replied to, much like the old "My activity" that also was under profile, unfortunately it does not tell you which ones have replies.

    The activity streams just give you a stream (or flood, rather) of all the replies to threads you've subscribed to, if there's any large volume threads you've subscribed to that feature is just entirely useless.

    If there is a way to just see subscribed threads and whether there are new replies or not, then please point me to it, if not then at least for me, that is a major loss of functionality.

  3. Sword in the stone
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    Eep!
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    Move over Lara, this tomb needs raiding!
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    Dark places

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    EDIT123532523412312: still doesn't show up in Firefox, works fine in Chrome, no more whining about insecure content on a secure website though so probably just Firefox being derpy. I must say adding that 's' to "http" was quite the nightmarish endeavour in the new UI.

  4. Looks spiffy. Upgrade seems to have gone smoothly as well, nice job!

    So on to the remarks:

    • Another vote to get BBCode mode back
      EDIT: editing images is practically impossible in the new UI, something as simple as modifying the URL turned into an ordeal that almost made debugging multi-threaded code seem like fun, comparatively.
    • Any way to get the "Content I Follow" in a more convenient location? This 2 level AJAX menu is kind of...annoying for regular use.
      Eg. back under the "My activity" in the Profile menu would be nice (and back to where it used to be before the upgrade), but just putting in the menu bar would be nice too.
      EDIT: looks like it might still be under "Profile" just that threads from before the upgrade didn't carry over?
    • Like 1
  5. I'd agree in general, but I wouldn't put the engine near top of the problems- it doesn't really explain why Andromeda was worse than DAI despite coming after.

     

    Sounds more like issues relating to half-baked build tools than anything fundamentally wrong with the engine. All that BioWare jank with Andromeda seems more like **** QA from strained time tables and over cranked developers. The engine teams usually have it better since they are preparing for things farther down the road. The end game logic is a bit removed from the integrity of the engine.

     

    Yeah, Andromeda's main problem was clearly bad project management more than anything, they had more than enough time if they used it well. It's a massive game (as is DAI), but there isn't enough to hold interest. The fps gameplay is actually pretty good but it's hard to see how the RPG systems would have worked well on any other engine either, they're kind of disjointed in a way that suggests people were developing systems and even planetary narrative in isolation; and the characters, plot and antagonists being so poor is 100% not due to the engine. Plus despite Andromeda following DAI and theoretically having extra time to work out any kinks DAI was a far more consistent end product.

     

    Bad project management seems to have be Bioware's ongoing problem too given Anthem and DA4 clearly have had or are having a lot of problems too with development being rebooted.

     

    BioWare was also subject to being forced to develop games with Frostbite..

     

    Supposedly they weren't forced to use Frostbite. ISTR they had to use the same engine for DAI and Andromeda but it didn't have to be Frostbite.

     

    Clearly the engine wasn't the sole problem, although at least in Anthem's case it seems the original concepts they had went out of the window because they couldn't get them to work in Frostbite. Which doesn't mean it's impossible, but something being possible means very little when you don't have people on staff that can make it happen.

     

    What I do have difficulty believing is the "they were not forced to use it" line. While sure, technically they probably weren't forced to, as in, nobody put a gun to their head nor do I consider it very likely they were outright told they "must" use Frostbite. But if a big corporation publicly states they want to standardize on something... then yeah, it's generally not a good idea to diverge from that, especially if you're a very visible part of said corporation, like BioWare is.

     

    EA management: "Hai guys, we're going to standardize on Frostbite which is this awesome engine that can do anything we want it to and doing so will save us tons of money, because we no longer have to pay royalties to outside parties!"

    Investors: "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!"

    BioWare management: "Yeah, that's nice and all but that engine won't really work for us, we'll use something else instead."

    Investors: *confused faces*

    EA management: *very angry glares in the direction of BioWare management*

    • Like 1
  6. Not sure what is bad about Frostbite, I haven't played a game on it since BC2. But the rendering engine is impressive. It seems worthy of salvaging even if the rest of the ECS is a hot mess. DICE after all has some very talented graphics researchers.

     

    Maybe it went to **** because too many senior developers with all the tribal knowledge left. That's what happened to Square's luminous engine. Fantastic rendering tech, but the ability to implement all the necessary logic systems began to crumble once the lead architect left. I believe the guy wasn't even Japanese, so what was left was hardly useful for the team to pick up and get started with.

     

    I though this quote from the Kotaku article summed it up nicely:

    “Frostbite is like an in-house engine with all the problems that entails—it’s poorly documented, hacked together, and so on—with all the problems of an externally sourced engine,” said one former BioWare employee. “Nobody you actually work with designed it, so you don’t know why this thing works the way it does, why this is named the way it is.”

    On top of that its tooling is apparently seriously sub-par when compared to the competition and it takes ages to render something before you can test to know whether it actually worked.

     

    Add to the above that the thing wasn't built for the kinds of stuff BioWare has been trying to use it for. It doesn't support third person, for example, that's something BioWare had to hack in, with barely any support from the Frostbite team from the sounds of it. It also couldn't handle the map sizes of DA:I and I'm sure someone at BioWare has a very very long list of other things the engine didn't support that are basic requirements for what BioWare was trying to do.

     

    It might be a good engine, but if you use a tool for something its not designed for you're just setting yourself up for a lot of hurt.

     

    tl;dr: Frostbite + BioWare = round peg, square hole.

    • Like 1
  7.  

    https://www.pcgamer.com/new-games-2019/

     

    Great list of upcoming games for 2019  :thumbsup:

     

    In a very real sense the video games industry seems over-saturated.

     

     

    Eh, if you remove all the exclusives that list might quickly become pretty manageable I'd expect, especially with the backlog I've managed to build up.

     

    Same what happened after the MMO thingie failed. Everybody wanted to be a WoW killer, but now, most of the publishers avoid MMOs like a plague.

     

    Unfortunately. There's not many good MMOs around (and many of the ones that are/were decent are suffering from massive neglect and/or being sold to F2P cashgrab companies) and innovation is absolutely nowhere to be found in the genre. Barring a very few exceptions they're all just WoW clones in some form or other and WoW was already a dumbed down clone of what came before.

  8. Honestly, the initial vision for the game sounded pretty neat. Closer to Monster Hunter World than the Destiny clone we got now. Bit of a shame that one of the major reasons it didn't get made was because the engine foisted onto BioWare just couldn't handle it (that and keeping it engaging over longer periods of time).

     

    Unless they somehow manage to modularize that engine so they can basically have multiple engines with the same underlying technology Frostbite is just going to stay the Achilles heel of EA, and probably ends up costing them way more than just licensing an engine that's actually fit for the task ever would.

    But it looks like a saving, on paper at least, just like outsourcing everything...

  9.  

     

     

    I'm sure it'll become an Epic exclusive closer to launch

    Well played

     

    Right in the feels, ouch...

     

    On that note are there any exclusives by company that tend to publish actual sales numbers? I'd be really interested to see the impact (even though financially their sugar daddy covers them so the publishers/developers won't feel it, at least not in their pockets). Note that the 2.5 times LL "numbers" from Epic are meaningless marketing bs since we don't have actual sales numbers for LL.

     

    Do we know if those 2,5 mils might potentially include the Steam pre-orders or is it explicitly Epic only?

     

    It's not 2,5 million copies. It's 2.5 times the amount Last Light sold. Given how LL was, at the time, arguably even more niche than The Witcher 2 and there was a bunch of negativity around the day one difficulty DLC I very much doubt 2.5times that number is anywhere close to 2.5million copies (in fact, 2.5million would be beating out The Witcher 3's PC sales in that same period, which I would consider extremely unlikely).

     

    To quote a thought exercise I did a little while ago:

    Exactly, couldn't find any numbers for Last Light, which was a niche game released 6 years ago. 2.5 times the sales of a niche game doesn't sound like anything to write home about...

    That would be like calling The Witcher 3 a success when it sells 2.5 times the copies of Witcher 2.

    In fact, if we assume Last Light sold around the same amount of copies as Witcher 2 (which released 2 years before LL and was similarly a follow up to a popular game but not really mainstream yet) then we're talking about ~240k copies on PC (in a 4 month period), that would mean Exodus sold ~600k copies on PC, though the game hasn't been out as long so the real number would be lower, with the majority of the sales in the first month or so I'm going to guess we'd be at ~450k copies on PC).

    Now Witcher 3 might be in an entirely different league still, but that game sold 6 million copies, in the first 6 weeks, only 30% were PC sales, so the actual PC sales number would 1.8m

    So yeah, that...doesn't seem very good given the amount of hype.

    Of course all of the above is extrapolations on top of assumptions, so take it with enough salt, but it does make one wonder whether they might be desperately trying to make things look better than they are in the hopes that people will "realize their resistance is futile".

    But, as noted: extrapolations on top of assumptions (I should note I've also been rather generous towards Exodus in the above).

    Hence why I'd very much be interested in an Epic exclusive company that provides actual sales numbers (I doubt there are any, but one can hope someone comes up with something ;)).

    • Like 1
  10. Well, Borderlands 3 will include xp and loot boosters in the "deluxe" and up editions (going up to a ridiculous 250 USD edition). Going to assume these will be purchasable with real money as well and until reviews roll in proving otherwise I'm just going to assume the grind is tuned to sell those things to people. Guess there should have been more outrage about the practice AC:O after all.

     

    If the Epic thing wasn't enough reason to hold off (and the fact that I never managed to finish Borderlands 2, ;) ) this on its own would definitely be enough reason for me to toss this game onto the "wait-and-see" pile.

     

    Inside Gaming link for reference:

  11.  

    I'm sure it'll become an Epic exclusive closer to launch

     

    Well played

     

     

    Right in the feels, ouch...

     

    On that note are there any exclusives by company that tend to publish actual sales numbers? I'd be really interested to see the impact (even though financially their sugar daddy covers them so the publishers/developers won't feel it, at least not in their pockets). Note that the 2.5 times LL "numbers" from Epic are meaningless marketing bs since we don't have actual sales numbers for LL.

  12.  

    The funny thing being that BioWare's response came literal minutes after the Kotaku article was published, in other words, it was a canned response written before they even bothered reading the entire thing based on the synopsis sent to them by Kotaku (which they didn't bother responding to). So yeah...

  13. Yeah, none of the Anarchs struck me as particularly memorable in general.

     

    Regarding Jack, whether he behaved as expected or not, I find it rather hard to deny that he was pretty memorable.

     

    I'd like to add Pisha (the flesh eater), Fat Larry and Chunk though. None of them were major characters but they were imho rather important for the atmosphere (and background exposition, in Pisha's case) and I felt that especially Chunk added a very much needed touch of normality and humanity whenever spoken to.

     

    Heather was also pretty memorable, I guess, if only for the "Oh ****, what did I do now?" effect. (of course, people in the know would've seen this coming so there's that I guess)

  14.  

    I have noticed they're calling you commander, yet you don't get to pilot jetpack-powered dragon. I find this development unsatisfactory.

     

     

    Wonder what it will be like. I definitely wouldn't mind an improved Dragon Commander, I thought that game had potential, but alas, it seems Larian only throws out a quick strategy game when they need more moneys (see also: The LED Wars) so it was kinda left to rot, unfortunately.

     

    So here's to hoping this one gets the attention it needs.

     

    (also talk about not a lot of information available, couldn't even find a way to get to the trailer from the Larian website, heh. The only mention there is a banner on the forums that just leads to the Divinity: OS 2 website)

  15. Does anyone remember who created the Ocean House Hotel level? I remember an interview (or rather, more like an AMA) with the guy, likely on Gamebanshee before they ruined their forums, but I'm entirely unable to find it again :(

     

    Btw, what made that level special, at least for those that weren't knowledgeable about the WoD, is that you had not idea what was out there. For all you knew on first entry there actually is something in there that could easily give you your final death. Of course, like many levels designed like that they only really work once.

  16. Bethesda is giving away free copies of Morrowind GOTY through their Bethesda.net launcher when using the code "TES25TH-MORROWIND" to celebrate 25 years of The Elder Scrolls.

    Since they are apparently having some capacity issues they've extended the give-away through the weekend (worked just fine for me though).

  17.  

    How much say does Obsidian have over exclusivity deals when they own the IP rights to the game? 

     

    Wouldn't owning the rights give you more control in the matter? 

     

    The leverage they have is that they can threaten to take the IP elsewhere for sequels. In this case that has already happened though, since MS bought Obsidian in the interim the IP has already gone elsewhere. If PD handling sequels was written into the contract even that leverage would not be there. Walking out of the contract would also be an option, but not a practical one.

     

    Except in a very few cases the publisher has effectively total freedom in determining how the game is published because they are providing the funding and ultimately taking most of the risk. A situation like PoE/ Deadfire would likely be one of those different situations as there were obligations to honour KS/ Fig pledges like being on GOG/ Steam and the bulk of the funding was provided by crowdfunding and Obsidian itself- but minus IP ownership TOW seems to be a classic work for hire situation. Phoenix Point shows that even crowdfunding obligations can be... delayed, with enough inducement.

     

     

    Eh, PP mostly shows that crowdfunding obligations are worthless (or worth as much as the word of the developer, which I guess says a lot about the decision makers at SSG) in practice since pretty much no-one is going to take the steps to enforce them given the relatively small amounts of money involved. I'd love to be proven wrong though and I'd be very interested to see the outcome of any such case, especially in the EU (where Snapshot Games is based).

  18. BloodLines 2 is set in the new WoD, not the Gothic inspired one from the first game, right?

    Any other major differences we should be aware of, other than art style?

     

    Official website here, btw.

     

    I notice there are 5 clans listed, and one bonus, so that's one less than the original Bloodlines. Wonder which one got axed, I hope it's not the Malkavians. But maybe some don't exist in the new WoD, kinda know nothing about it tbh (except that they moved away from the Gothic look, unfortunately)

    • Like 1
  19. I just tested the Windows store and I didn't hate it. Nothing to download, sign up for, or configure.  

     

    Just putting that out there for those that don't want Epic or to install an additional client

     

    The nothing to sign up for bit is only true if you linked your Windows account to a Microsoft account, If you didn't then you still need to sign in (possibly even create an account), and be very careful so they don't intrude into your Windows experience outside of the store. (because anyone who didn't link their OS account did so on purpose, MS kinda "hid" that option on purpopse)

     

    Just fair warning: do not pre-install (which is not the same as pre-loading) on the Windows store (or at least be aware of the caveats), if you install a game before its released it will download some placeholder data. It will then happily pull in the entire game on release. And fail to install it with a vague error. The only way to fix it is to uninstall and redownload. I've had this issue with all three Forza games, so I'm going to just assume it hasn't been fixed yet (and those aren't exactly small games, so I wasn't too please about having to redownload 40GB+ each time). Given how helpful the errors were it took me multiple hours (and multiple failed downloads) to figure out what was going on the first time.

     

    If you get lucky and they either fixed it, or you manage to avoid it, go you, if not, now you know what to do :)

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