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6 hours ago, LadyCrimson said:

You know how in most rpg's you're trying to save the town, planet, or the world, or something? Are there any where you're the evil guy destroying them instead and you have to thwart the goodies? And not in the "your chr. can make Evil path choices".  Like Dungeon Keeper/Evil Genius but more rpg or something. 

Tyranny and Overlord have been mentioned already. There are also Avadon, Dark Souls 3 (2 of the endings), Prototype (not an RPG, though, and everyone is terrible), Furi (not an RPG), NieR: Gestalt (not an RPG).

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I'm playing Axis Football 20. I was a huge fan of the 05 - 07 Madden games. Those were easily the deepest franchise modes in simulation football. Madden since has slowly stripped away features down to the sad franchise mode they have now which is nothing more than asset flips with minimum features--they treat it like a loss leader for ultimate team builder microtransaction mini-game.

Axis Football is an indie football simulation series made in unity that focuses on franchise mode. Many of the features in past Madden games are available in AF20. On top of the normal signing, trading, and drafting players you can hire and fire coaches including coordinators, position coaches, and scouts--you can even promote and demote from within your own coaching staff. Scouting for the draft happens year round. You get your broad basic scouting reports and then start to identify real prospects over the course of the season.

While you can play the games you can also coach and switch back and forth between playing or coaching for each game if you so choose. In coach mode you call the plays, make the audibles, change hot routes, and sub players in and out. This is the mode I play in. It can be frustrating at times. I just gave my RB 34 carries for a whopping 52 yards. He kept running directly into defenders even when there was open field. This, I suppose, is what happens when you try to get clever and move your FB to RB because he's the fastest ballcarrier on the team. 🤦‍♂️

The league is tiered and you always start out in the 3rd tier. If you make your tier's playoffs and win you get to faceoff against the lowest ranked team in the tier above you. Win that game and the following season you'll start out in tier 2. So going worst to first is at least a three season process. This adds a sense of build up and real team growth over time that's very lacking in Madden.

There is PvP. You can play games against one another (I wouldn't given there's so much cheese in this game things could quickly devolve into players spamming the cheapest tactics to win--this is one of the reasons I like to play in coaching mode) or play in coach mode against one another. This is particularly cool for people like me who are better playcallers with terrible stick skills.

Very good game though still slightly overpriced at $30 USD. If you love franchise modes in simulation football grab this game if it drops to around $20.

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Was idly trying out some of the more recent additions to the NES and SNES Switch Online libraries. The best addition by far was Mario's Super Picross (or was that Super Mario's Picross?). Anyway, it's a hell of a gateway drug and being able to do the puzzles co-operatively is a blast. It's drop-in multiplayer at that, where the second player just needs to hit any input on their gamepad and it's automatically activated, no faffing about in menus required, which is a good thing because it's one of the games they didn't bother translating before dropping it onto the service.

This is the opposite of Tales of Berseria, which I've also been trying lately, which has one of the more horrifically cumbersome multiplayer implementations I've ever seen. Every time you start up the game you have to manually assign the second gamepad to the second player, then manually assign a character to that player. Oh, and it's one of those games where the multiplayer only gets enabled when you formally get a companion NPC a few hours into the game, despite there being temporary companions earlier. I get that the multiplayer is basically just an afterthought, but still, it could be a hell of a lot friendlier to use. Oh well, not in love with the game anyway and just about to drop it in favour of BG3. The mood of the game is probably best described as being bi-polar, a lot of the NPCs are insufferable, and the combat is mostly button-mashing at this stage.

L I E S T R O N G
L I V E W R O N G

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My current game of "War in Russia" is going well. Actually, a bit too well. As the Soviet side, I got weather patterns I've never seen before in 15 years of playing the game. A statistical oddity that I couldn't have planned better if I had somehow cheated and bribed the weather gods.

 

It also means, the match became way, way to uneven as I'm only in the summer if 1942 and I've already taken Romania and subjecting the cities and towns in eastern Poland to sustained artillery bombardments. I'll probably be in Berlin before the end of the year.

 

As for the weather, a bit of explanation: The game starts with Axis forces have a bonus to supply and readiness for the first 6 weeks of the campaign to simulate the preparations and stockpiling taking place before operation Barbarossa. However, once winter sets in, Axis forces lose a lot more readiness than Soviet forces and every once in a blue moon, the weather is supposed to change from snow to blizzard. During blizzard conditions in the winter 1941, Axis forces (except Finland, which is counted among Axis forces for this campaign) lose so much readiness that a single sneeze from Stalin sends even elite SS troops fleeing for St. Tropez, having much better things to do than fighting a war. Basically, any Axis unit you attack during blizzard conditions crumbles and shatters. It's supposed to be an exception. I got it 9 weeks in a row, then a single week of snow and back to another 12 weeks of blizzard (after which it turned to rain and mud, which makes movement almost impossible)

 

I completely destroyed the Wehrmacht, the Hungarians, Italians, Slovakians and Romanians. It freed up troops I could redeploy and overwhelm Finland, which surrendered after Red Army units marched into Helsinki. Now I have a staggering surplus of men, material and resources and am facing an enemy that is completely annihilated already. I guess I'll I finish the campaign just for trying out the unusual circumstances.

Edit: Slovakians, not Slovenians 😳

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Axis Football Diaries: Preseason

I took over for the San Francisco Sharks. They are among 5 of the worst teams in the league. I chose them because I didn't plan on keeping any of their top five players. First up, I replaced one scout with a new guy who was better at evaluating. Then hired a few new position coaches that were better as developing players. Next I bought a nationwide scouting report and began looking for players who fit the Shark way. My biggest targets are offensive linemen and defensive backs. Found a really good DB early on. Hopefully I'll be able to pick him up in the draft.

Next came trades. Got rid of my QB and a fourth round pick for a first round pick from Chicago Lakehawks (who were qb starved). Then I traded my top two WRs to the Philadelphia Express for their first rounder this year and a first next year. Finally I packaged my middle linebacker and tightend for a first from the New York Barons.

Trading Final Count: -1 QB, 2 WRs, 1 MLB, 1 TE, and a 2020 4th round   --  + 3  2020 1st round draft picks and 1 2021 1st rounder 

With stocking up on picks and cleaning house done, I signed a few free agents. I got one monster left tackle but then got out bid on a really good left guard. Those two together with my one good right tackle already on the roaster could've anchored my o-line for years but alas I only got the tackle. Then I signed a couple of speedy WRs to replace to two I traded. They're both really fast by have below average catching ability (this would come back to haunt me). And finally I signed a young QB with a crazy strong arm and good awareness but poor accuracy. I'm kinda proud of how I signed him for a 5 year deal only worth 700k. That would never fly in the NFL. Oh. I guess I also signed a tightend just to fill a roaster spot.

I set my practices to maximum intensity and put strong emphasis on speed and strength training and watching film. This should in the long run result in my guys getting faster, stronger, and smarter. Next I focused on defense because my D is so bad they'll need it.

Lastly I shifted a few guys around on my roaster. Mostly moving my larger RB to FB and my smaller and faster FB to RB. I also made sure the faster WRs were my third and fourth in the depth chart to take advantage of LBs and safeties.

This team is clearly not very good on paper, but in the end, despite dumping a chunk of the coaching staff and trading the top four or five players, I feel like I like the team that I have now and more importantly, I like the teams future with all those picks.

Edited by the_dog_days
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Axis Football Diaries: Week One vs. New York Barons

This was a test case for my new ugly-yet-effective gameplan. I went into this game knowing that I was going to ground it out and then take my shots in the air. My QB is a highly talented guy but because of his accuracy problems he's not someone I trust at this point to be the focal point of the offense. First quarter is ugly 0 - 0. QB has a high completion percentage and high yards per-attempt but few attempts. Meanwhile my FB-turned-RB already has something like 15 carries in one quarter but only 30-some odd yards and one fumble.

Second quarter picks up with a good drive and a field goal. My defense is terrible but apparently my playcalling is good enough to stifle NY's offense. Mid way through the quarter I finally get into the endzone. To close out the first half my team runs the two minute drill to drive down and kick another field goal. We go in a half 13 -0 and I'm feeling real good.

My FB/RB Hill finally tried my patience and I swap him and Childs back into their original spot. This was after a third and short where Hill ran directly into a defender when there was open field. At this point though I feel like the run game is pretty pathetic. It's definitely what we'll be hanging our hat on this year, but I'm still gonna run it more often than not if only to keep those passing lanes open for my QB. Third quarter is a lot like first quarter. Neither team does jack.

Early in the fourth I kick two more field goals and already start to take the air out of the ball. NY manages to score a TD it garbage time and the game ends 19 - 7. Ugly game but it proved that despite the apparently talent deficiency of the team, there is a formula to winning with this team.

At this point I'm thinking there's a good chance I could go undefeated this season. How wrong I was. 😂

Edited by the_dog_days
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Got bored with D:OS2 again, even though I do prefer it over D:OS, annoying armor mechanics and all. So decided to have what I thought was going to be a short detour into the other VN in my library, "The house in Fata Morgana". Short my arse, the thing overstayed its welcome worse than "Return of the king". :getlost: Also, while I'm a big fan of "Life sucks, people suck worse, now lets bury protagonists under big huge enormous pile of misery and desperation" narrative,  there's always this point when "Oh this is so tragic and poignant, sniff" turns into "Oh FFS, get outta here!", and since this novel's every vignette tries to one-up the previous one in despair and misery, the point was reached somewhere around the middle of the novel. Still, I quite liked it even in its ridiculously overblown tragedy phase, the story, while not particularly original, was quite captivating and the characters relatable enough and nowhere near as insufferable as in that other VN I played, "Amnesia".  That I didn't have to play the doormat girlfriend to a bunch of jerk dudes to get "The True Ending" was a huge plus as well. 

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I have thought about picking up Axis Football in the past. It's been far too long since I've owned a football game and I can't bring myself to pick up any of EA's increasingly sad whaling games. The fact that Axis has native Linux support is also a plus. Can you name your own team and/or design the logo?

rowsdower_sig.jpg.0f13980282a9229af0f1609eb6dee060.jpg
I wonder if there is beer on the sun

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Played the Stirring Abyss demo.

50s deep sea cthulhu xcom isn't bad.

Taking a look at XCOM, seeing that one thing people hated were mission timers, and deciding to make your whole game based on mission timers (your divers' air runs out after all) is a bit 🙄 And Diablo like saving on top of that. I'll probably pass.

Edited by melkathi
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Unobtrusively informing you about my new ebook (which you should feel free to read and shower with praise).

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On a good run in Brno, and naturally my players are upset because a lack of playing time, which is just due to them sucking at their job compared to the new guy.  I like my CB who has 5 Determination and 8 Concentration which means he's useless in big games and makes tonnes of mistakes grousing and then having his teammates stick up for him, which causes everyone to do poorly.

The games somewhat funny in how the players freak out, one guy misses 2 games due to being an offensive winger when I don't need that against Slavia or Viktoria and then bam, tantrum.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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2 hours ago, Keyrock said:

Can you name your own team and/or design the logo?

Not yet though the devs say that is a goal some time in the future. I don't know if they meant they were going to patching in to AF20 or if its a plan for future games. If I were to guess I'd say future games.

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41 minutes ago, melkathi said:

Played the Stirring Abyss demo.

50s deep sea cthulhu xcom isn't bad.

Taking a look at XCOM, seeing that one thing people hated were mission timers, and deciding to make your whole game based on mission timers (your divers' air runs out after all) is a bit 🙄 And Diablo like saving on top of that. I'll probably pass.

Yeah, at first I was like "Terror from the Deep!" but then I watched some videos and didn't see any cruise ships, so I was out.

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1 hour ago, the_dog_days said:

Not yet though the devs say that is a goal some time in the future. I don't know if they meant they were going to patching in to AF20 or if its a plan for future games. If I were to guess I'd say future games.

Yeah, I would expect a future release. I don't know if this is just 1 person making these games, but I know it's a small studio with very limited resources. I'm just happy there is an alternative to EA's whale milking operation at all.

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I wonder if there is beer on the sun

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8 hours ago, Keyrock said:

Yeah, I would expect a future release. I don't know if this is just 1 person making these games, but I know it's a small studio with very limited resources. I'm just happy there is an alternative to EA's whale milking operation at all.

I think they're a five man team. I recently joined their discord.

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Axis Football Diaries: Week 2 vs. St. Louse Racers: Are We the Cowboys Now?

This one is long because the game was easily the most fun and most challenging sim football game I've played in a long time.

This game was tough. After winning the coin toss I elected to kick and get the ball to start the second half. That was probably the best coaching decision I made all night. They promptly took the ball right down the field. Made my defense look like the warm winds beneath their wings--there to lift them up rather than hold them back. Got all the way into the redzone and then threw a pick in the endzone. Pretty sure it was 'cause their QB forgot there was a defense on the field and thought he was throwing a touchdown to his own guy. All I felt was relief for 3 plays and then I punted the ball right back to them. Then they scored. It starts dawning on me that these guys are competent and I might be in trouble.

I score on the next possession but I have no faith in my defense. Deciding my best chance of winning is to get the maximum number of points in each drive, I go for two instead of kicking the extra point. This was my first coaching mistake. At this point as a team the Sharks have around 60 - 70 carries but they average less than the 3 yards needed to convert and the vast majority of those carries weren't against a goal line defense. None of this occurs to me as I bring out the jumbo set and call a run. I even audible to another run once I see the defensive formation. Good playcall but the AI apparently has the field vision of Trent Richardson 'cause he ran right into a defender and came up an inch short.

First Quarter: 6 - 7

The Racers 10 unanswered points early in the 2nd before I finally get back into the endzone. I go for 2 again but this time get it. Just before the half ends I mange to score a third touchdown.

Second Quarter: 21 - 24

It feels like nothing I'm doing on defense is working. Coverage, man, 4-3, 3-4, zone blitz, shifting alignments pre-snap. Nothing. I come out in the second half determined to take the air out of the ball and reduce the overall number of possessions of each team. It starts to work. I manage once to hold St. Louis to a fieldgoal by baiting them into a delay of game.

Third Quarter: 28 - 27

The tide has turned. I eat up a ton of clock moving down field to kick a field goal. Racers get the ball and for the first and only time in the game my defense gets a three and out. The punt is high and one of the blockers bumps into the returner. Muffed punt. Then he kicks the ball. Then the blocker kicks the ball. It rolls and bounces into a group of players and they're kicking the ball. This is soccer now. Bad soccer. American soccer. Finally one guy bends down and picks up the ball.* The only positive on this play was all that kicking send the ball back their way about twenty yards. They go down and score again.

5 minutes left in the Fourth: 31 - 34

I run the clock. Taking my time down the field. Drive stalls out after a dropped pass by my RB on third down around their 30 yard line. It's a makeable fieldgoal but I don't like my chances in overtime with this defense. I go for it on fourth. Good snap. Good blocking. WR wide open in the flats. This guy is one of the two burners I signed in free agency. I'm torn. This feels like his fault for dropping the ball but it could also be a coaching lapse in having that guy run that route in that situation. Ball turns over on downs.

We're under 2 minutes, I only have 2 timeouts, and my defense had one 3 and out all game. I'm not sure why the AI called a pass on that play, but I do know why there was no one around: I was angerly sending the house on every play trying to force a turnover. They score another touchdown. Then RNG taunts me one last time by missing the extra point leaving them up by 9. With seconds left on the clock and no way to draw even the game was already over. But if I'm gonna go out I'mma go out like a chump. I drive the ball down field. Pass, pass, pass. Even using some cheesier plays that I swore I wouldn't. As the final seconds run out my QB hits a WR deep down the middle of the field. Out of sheer spite I went for 2. Mostly to make sure they're defense got yelled while watching the film later.

Final Score: 39 - 41

*Now that I think about it, I should trade for this guy. After all, what will we do if we ever fumble again?

Edited by the_dog_days
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9th Dawn 3 (a pixel-y, hack-slash rpg game with bit of Divine Divinity feel but more grindy)

--there's no tutorial re: skills or abilities and it took me a while to figure out how to become a mage vs. melee, seems to be the "use gear/skills to increase" sort
--you don't gain ability points (eg, to acquire Fireball or other active/passive skills) on level up, you have to find them as loot (or maybe some thru quests sometimes?)
--if you die, you lose "a little XP"
--if you die, you're teleported back to the last/closet load spot you saved and all enemies respawn

So I keep trying to clear this early snake-pit dungeon.  Mostly easy peasy.  One locked room however (the lever to open it was far far away),  I've tried to approach the room itself to loot it and the enemy guarding it keeps killing me.  Die, back to town, sell, try to upgrade a little, fight back, die, repeat.  Maybe I'm a little too low level.

Grindy, slashy, mindless fun tho. Can't wait till I can tame an army of rats or other to fight with me.  Might be a while.

Edited by LadyCrimson
“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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Axis Football Diaries: Week 3 vs Miami Warriors: You, Me, and Dupree

I played this game a few hours after the week 2 game. I drank quite a bit in-between the two (not related to losing--I had fried chicken for dinner and every Southerner knows you can't have fried chicken with out alcohol). Not using this for as an excuse for my amazing playcalling but rather as an excuse for my temper tantrum of roaster changes after the game.

Miami isn't a particularly good team. Feeling I'd learned my less from last game I decide to open up the playbook earlier. On my first possession I went right down the field and scored a touchdown and went for 2 without hesitation. They're moving the ball pretty good but their qb is no Chandler (St. Louis' QB).

First Quarter: 8 - 10 with me driving.

I score two more touchdowns in the second quarter but for some reason didn't go for 2 after either. This was probably where the alcohol was kicking in because I remember very little past the 1st quarter.

Second Quarter: 22 - 10

I'm leading. I'm feeling good for a number of reasons. I start to take the air out of the ball and run the clock. Upon Miami's possession (this is one of the few second half details I can remember) I noticed that my outside linebackers were frequently out of position and getting abused in the flats. I try changing coverage, rotating guys around but it seems like there's nothing my guys can do to stop the RB from catching out of the backfield. I'm starting to get a little angry even though I'm leading after we give up a touch down and I noticed that for some half my defensive backfield and all my linebackers thought the best way to defend against the pass in a goal line situation is to run out the back off the end zone.

Third Quarter: 29 - 17

Now that I notice it my linebackers are terrible and it's driving me nuts. I remember little to nothing of this quarter except being so mad. Looking at the score card they scored two touchdowns in the 4th but only got 6 points on each. I can't even remember if those were because of missed extra points or because they went and failed to convert for 2.

Final Score: 36 - 29

I threw the ball a lot more in that game. My run game was as bad as ever (worse considering I ran far fewer times). But I was so upset with the defense coming out of that game I did something I was avoiding in the first place: went to free agency and bought two new linebackers. I didn't want to do this for several reasons among those is it's easy to buy wins by stacking up on talent in free agency but also the two backers I hired were the two best free agents available. To my now sober mind this kinda feels like cheating. Because the game auto saves I can either cut the guys and take the cap hit, trade them for even more picks, or just roll with it and pretend this was apart of my master plan and not me making a fuss. I'm leaning towards the latter. (This was all after I'd identified a really good linebacker in college scouting earlier that week, too.)

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Tried playing the Syberia The World Before demo.  Game doesn't even launch successfully, seems like admin mode is the key so I guess I'll try that.  Rather disappointing.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. I became the champion of the House of Valor (arena). The funny thing is that the only battle I haven't completed yet is against 25 sprites. They pretty easily stun-lock me to death with homing projectiles. Also the party for the quest line was quite enjoyable to work with - capable and adequate.

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