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What Are You Playing Now: The meaning of life


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15 minutes ago, Malcador said:

Lubricated a jack with butter

...my mind went to strange places.  :disguise:

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“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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9 minutes ago, LadyCrimson said:

...my mind went to strange places.  :disguise:

Thankfully not that kind of game

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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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How do I have 100 hours in Destiny 2 just since Beyond Light's launch? It's not that good a game... And I haven't even done the raid yet!

I'm also playing The Last of Us 2. Initial impressions were that it's more of the same... but the game has flashes of brilliance where you're focusing on characters and it really connects with me again.

 

Both are really just holding me over until this December's release of the true Game of the Year. Sam and Max Save The World remaster.

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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Still doing Bloodborne. Getting much better at it. It's night time now, and ducking hell, the game is creeping me out.

Pretty good idea to reuse the environment like that with new / different mob compositions. You know all the places, but it's still different and you can't feel safe.

Hell, I even dreamed about it today... more specifically about Eileen the Crow. 😄 Man, that's probably the coolest character in the game so far.

 

Right now it feels to me like it's just the very beginning of the game that beats you down and is super hard. Once you managed to level up a bit, it suddenly becomes A LOT easier. While still harder than the last Dark Souls that I've played, it's really nothing compared to the first few hours anymore. Basically, the first thing you have to do is manage to unlock levelups, then pump points into vitality and there you are - the game is open now... only took me 10 or so hours, though.

Edited by Lexx
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I'm very much looking forward to the day that Bloodborne is emulatable. I played it on the PS4, but I no longer own said PS4. Also, I never learned how to parry, not sure how much of a difference it made.

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I still fail at parry half the time. Even on mobs which I parried A LOT before, every once in a while I just fail to do it ... guess I just suck at reflexes.

Still. I'm ~lv50 now and the game got a lot easier. There are still mobs that can kill me fast and especially groups are deadly, but all in all it's very manageable. Since Father Gascoigne there was not a single boss that needed more than 2 or 3 tries for me to get done with it.

 

/Edit: I'm in the forest area now, and have to say it's probably the worst so far. Same experience as in every other Souls game ... as soon as you get to the forest area(s), the fun is just sucked right out and I'm craving to get out of there again ASAP.

Edited by Lexx
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Much like with the game series it is both emulating and paying homage to, Dragon Quest, Yakuza: Like a Dragon fails to explain a great deal about its underlying RPG systems. As much as I love Dragon Quest, and I most definitely do, that's one aspect I would have appreciated Ryu Ga Gotoku had not emulated. Alas they did, hence I am left to figure it out for myself and/or seek out wikis, which seem to have little grasp of the situation more than myself.

As best as I can tell, Agility seems to mostly be about evasion and initiative. Dexterity seems to be mostly accuracy and critical chance with maybe minor impact on initiative. Attack, Magic, and Healing are mostly self-explanatory. A bigger question is what stats each skill uses as a modifier. If I am correct, heart icon skills use Healing. Skills with a fist icon use Attack. Blade and gun icons I think mean Agility and Dexterity, but I'm not sure which one corresponds to which. A staff icon means Magic, obviously.

One thing I am almost completely sure of is that you get to keep the stat bonuses from jobs, in addition to the (usually 2) character skills when using a different job. This makes it valuable to train certain jobs even beyond getting the last character skill. With that in mind, I'm starting to plan out how my late game party will look.

Edited by Keyrock

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Let it be stated for the record that I tried to give Phoenix Point yet another chance.

That I acknowledge that they removed the dumbest most brain dead terrible tutorial in gaming history and replaced it with a decent narrative tutorial that doesn't force you to make stupid moves a la XCOM to get half your squad killed.

But:

I got out of the tutorial missions and opened up my roster to spend skill points.

Each soldier has a list of class skills and three random skills you may buy to give them a unique personality.

The first soldier the game gave me, your standard assault rifle grunt got:

Reckless: -accuracy + damage, Cautious: +accuracy, - damage, and weapon proficiency with assault rifles.

The second soldier, again the standard grunt with assault rifle got:

Extra 'nade range (nice), Extra perception, and weapon proficiency with assault rifles...

My heavy got:

Weapon proficiency with heavy weapons, extra melee damage, weapon proficiency with handguns and shotguns.

My sniper (sniper rifles and hand guns)

Guess what...

Out of 5 soldiers only 1 didn't get the option to spend points to train a skill to become proficient in the weapon they are proficient in. OK, it's not that bad, those skills give a buff to those weapons, so if those stack, you may actually want them on those soldiers.

Seriously though, how hard is it for devs to flag skills/traits/whatever as opposite and not give a soldier both reckless and cautious?

Same with the Necromunda devs.

 

Is it so much to ask for a modicum of competence in this industry?

 

I don't want to change much in gaming.

I just want devs and publishers to be forced to play their own games.

Also, to read a dictionary.

 

edit:

P.S.

/end rant

Edited by melkathi
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Phoenix Point scares me in that it looks like it's leaning too heavily on emergent and randomized gameplay.

As you progress, the enemies adapt! That doesn't sell me. That sounds absolutely exhausting.

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They don't adapt. That never worked. And it never could. Adapting meant the enemies had to figure out what tech works best against the player. But with body parts taking damage and getting disabled, everything works well against the player if the AI gets to use it. So players are forced to take out enemies as soon as they see them - or at least their weapons. I see a crabman, I shoot out his arm, especially if that arm was a grenade launcher - grenade launchers don't work against me as they never get to fire. If they did fire, they could wipe my squad on turn 1.

So the only thing that the AI saw that worked was increased armour. As a result, all it smart-evolved into was bullet sponges, while randomly swapping load outs in and out.

Also, it made for boring fights, as the AI was "testing" the new evolutions and scrapping the old ones and would then swarm you with just one unit type. You'd attack the nest/lair it spawned from - do a dungeon map with just that unit and wipe it's spawners. Then the AI would rush you with the next evolution.

With the latest update they scrapped the myth of "evolution". The Pandorans now simply have a tech tree and conduct their own research.

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

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A few more thoughts on Phoenix Point:

 

The crux of it is, what was promised? A game in the XCOM/UFO genre by the creator of that genre, pushing the boundaries.

What is the genre? Squad based, turn based, tactical combat to defend humanity from an alien threat.

They changed the aliens to virus based mutations. Cool, it differentiates them from other XCOM clones.

They tried to use the theme to build some innovative AI evolution. It didn't work out, but at least they tried.

Because they failed at creating the core system that would make the game interesting, they had to push other conflicts into the foreground. Read: the conflict between the human factions.

Human factions are nothing new to the genre. Being unable to make everyone happy or to defend all of humanity is nothing new. What is new is the game forcing you within the first hour not just to abandon parts of humanity (because you don't have the means (radar range, enough interceptors, etc)) but to actively work against them. Since Pandorans are not interesting enough to shoulder the conflict (there are... 7 different aliens who may or may not carry different weapons (arm mutations are just a fancy way to say different loadout)), the player is forced to fight humans for variety. Just protecting havens in terror-mission equivalents isn't enough to make factions like them. You have to complete diplomacy missions. Which means attacking other factions. ("I saved 50.000 of your people from mutant attacks!" "Sure, sure, but that is irrelevant. You didn't blow up the granary of those other humans we don't really like." "Why don't you like them?" "Well you know how this virus is spreading and killing people and we are forced to execute anyone who gets infected because we have no doctors and no cure?" "Yes?" "Well, those other humans are doctors and are actively working on finding a cure. We need you to starve them out so we can swoop in and shoot the ******s" "I think I see why you have no doctors." "We don't need doctors as long as we have guns.")

Couldn't you just ignore them? No. Because research is extremely limited. Phoenix Point did away with classic research and now most research you get from the factions in one of two ways: allying with them so they gift you their tech tree. Or fighting them and reverse engineering their equipment. You just choose which 2/3s of humanity you want to actively attack.

And you are pushed into it right from the start. And the DLC is even more pushy. "Hi, I am the DLC quest giver. I will give you the ability to use cybernetics, just as you could in the XCOM games." "Cool!" "I need you to attack faction A to proceed with this DLC content." "But I was planning on allying with them..." "Wrong answer, no DLC for you." (to be honest: I do not know if later on you get a different way to unlock the tech, because it always annoys me and I have quit three playthroughs at this point)

What I see is a game that could be a decent XCOM clone, which wasted resources on an innovative system that didn't work and to still have a game pushed and blew up an aspect that makes it contradict its theme.

The response of course of the community ... person was: We always said there would be faction conflict.

Yes. And the factions were mostly purposefully overdone caricatures. At least Synedrion and the Disciples of Anu. New Jericho sadly is very real. But from faction conflict being part of the game, the game's story became this:

"The virus spreads in areas covered by the funky mist. What are your solution to this?"

Disciples: "Let's breath in the mist and become one with the mist!"

Jericho: "Let's shoot the mist!"

Synedrion: "Well, we have developed this aerosol which can disperse the mist if it isn't too thick. It isn't strong enough to clear areas already covered in it, but if we build a network of towers around areas of mist, we can stop it from spreading, effectively containing the virus to those areas. As we will only need armed forces to patrol the boundaries of the mist and not expect mutant attacks elsewhere, we'll not only reduce the risk of infection for our soldiers, we'll be able to divert funds from our military budget to our healthcare and research budgets and start working on a way to eradicate the mist and the virus completely."

Disciples: "Why? Why fight the virus when you could be one with the virus? You have to take a deep breath of the virus and realize you are one with the virus on this adventure. Now take a deep breath of the virus and realize this is me breathing."

Jericho: "Shoot the doctors! They want to take away your guns!"

Phoenix Project: "You all make valid points. I think I'll need to do three playthroughs to explore all your equally valid positions."

 

I should have started a blog called: "Gamer offended by stupid writing"

(edit: mind you, the writing on its own wouldn't be bad. It is the tie in with the game mechanics that makes it bad. And even the viewpoints sadly have been proven not unrealistic.)

Edited by melkathi
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In my playthrough, I was able to ally with 2 of the groups and keep one somewhat agreeable. You just have to be careful with the direct attack quests.

edit: Granted I'm playing on normal, and I think it is easier to balance reputation on that difficulty.

Edited by Hurlshot
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I think they tweaked the new build to have more direct attack quests. It used to be that the first level of diplomacy mostly had "Defend a haven" quests and the direct attacks came to increase past the first stage of diplomacy. Now I always get attack quests from day 1.

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Plugging along in WoW. They've gone far in the time gating, sort of funny to see how criticism bounces all over the place - some outraged it's grindy (while cherishing vanilla for...uh...not doing that) and others angry not enough grinding.   I am enjoying myself though, making progress and not taking too much time.  Torghast is pretty boring for me, but maybe my gear is just crap. 

Secret Files has some weird puzzles for sure, I can shoot a guard with an improvised blowdart, but I have to lock him in a room first rather than just drop him unawares while he (in my game invisibly) tries to fix a satellite dish.  Probably have to subdue the other guard by sic'ing hordes of rats on him somehow. 

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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The late game difficulty in Bloodborne is a bit wack. There's generic mobs who seriously duck up my day up to the point where I begin to just speed past them, and then I get to the boss and finish him off in 1 or 2 attempts. It's almost like the generic mobs are the real boss after all.

"only when you no-life you can exist forever, because what does not live cannot die."

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On 12/3/2020 at 10:44 PM, melkathi said:

They don't adapt. That never worked. And it never could. Adapting meant the enemies had to figure out what tech works best against the player. But with body parts taking damage and getting disabled, everything works well against the player if the AI gets to use it. So players are forced to take out enemies as soon as they see them - or at least their weapons. I see a crabman, I shoot out his arm, especially if that arm was a grenade launcher - grenade launchers don't work against me as they never get to fire. If they did fire, they could wipe my squad on turn 1.

So the only thing that the AI saw that worked was increased armour. As a result, all it smart-evolved into was bullet sponges, while randomly swapping load outs in and out.

Also, it made for boring fights, as the AI was "testing" the new evolutions and scrapping the old ones and would then swarm you with just one unit type. You'd attack the nest/lair it spawned from - do a dungeon map with just that unit and wipe it's spawners. Then the AI would rush you with the next evolution.

With the latest update they scrapped the myth of "evolution". The Pandorans now simply have a tech tree and conduct their own research.

Like I said, exhausting. Honestly, having their own tech tree sounds like it's an improvement.

Is it?

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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Finished my first game of Xenonauts. Made a classic mistake of putting 3 of my troopers too close together around a corner at a doorway. All 3 taken out by a handgrenade. Decided to ignore the reactors and just soldier on, killing the boss and... was at a loss what to do next 🤔

 

Turned out I didn't really need to do much. Got flooded by reapers, taking out my remaining 5 troopers (lost the tank int he boss chamber to cross fire) and decided to pull the pins of a few plasma grenades and call it a day rather than being converted into *that*. Then the game ended and declared me the winner 😂

 

Ok, I'll have to try this again. Now building bases with much better radar coverage of both northern and southern hemisphere and I know to stock up on the best armour and mag guns for the end fight.

 

I should put some memorial plaques up on walls and houses in small villages, commemorating the brave heroes what departed earth, unknowingly *cough* going on a suicide mission to save earth and their commander!

 

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Sounds almost like my final mission, with the exception that I did not brought a tank, and somehow my team stayed alive despite me doing some silly tactical decisions as well 😄

 

 

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6 hours ago, Tale said:

Like I said, exhausting. Honestly, having their own tech tree sounds like it's an improvement.

Is it?

Probably. Can't but be an improvement as the old system was so broken, it can't be worse.

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^ I had to uninstall FreeCell from my phone a few months back because it was ruining my life. FreeCell instead of sleeping, FreeCell instead of working, FreeCell instead of eating, etc, etc. These days I'm playing Picross on the phone instead because at least it has a finite amount of content so I find it easier to impose a measure of self-control when playing it.

 

On the PC side, I was saddened to hear that the most anticipated game of the year was delayed once again. Yes, the Iberia expansion to Euro Truck Simulator 2 is now definitively postponed to next year. I spend most of my time in Italy and Southern France so an expansion to an adjacent region is pretty much perfectly suited to me.

With that in mind, I finally sprung for the older Beyond the Baltic Sea expansion, which adds Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and a little bit of Russia. It was never a high priority for me due to the region being somewhat isolated: I really dislike driving through the oldest regions of the game - i.e. Central Europe - because of how badly the maps have aged, and to access the Baltics means interacting with the tired old Poland map, which was added with the first DLC way back in 2013. But I grit my teeth and took a job hauling some low value junk from northern Italy to Lithuania, to experience a journey that looks great at both ends but is utterly drab in the middle bit. Oh well, it's not something I'll have to repeat often.

Since then I've just been taking short distance jobs wholly self-contained in the new expansion regions. Once I'm sufficiently satisfied with exploring that side of the sea, I'll start taking jobs that take me back across to the Scandinavian map, which despite being the second expansion is actually one that does hold up very well. I think I'll just hang around in the north until I get access to Spain.

Some observations:
+ No toll roads in this region that I've seen, excellent. France is really bad with them.
+ I'm often allowed to travel at 90km/h again, after being almost permanently shackled to 80 in my regular stomping grounds.
- Being that far up north makes the lack of seasons in the game more glaring than elsewhere. It's permanently mid-summer in the game no matter where you are, but seasonal variations in daylight and weather, etc, are more noticeable by their absence up here.
- The font on road signs in Finland seem kinda small, and speed limit signs being on a yellow background is weird and harder to read too. Is this a snow thing? Yellow road markings are fine and interesting though.
- Kaliningrad sucks. Border controls, weird speed limits, and apparently Russia has these weird roundabouts where vehicles already in the roundabout must yield to vehicles entering it. Like, what? Do you understand the concept of roundabouts, Russia? EDIT: Not my screenshot but here's an example of what they do. Utter madness. At least fuel is about half the price it is anywhere else.

 

P.S. To pre-emptively answer the age-old question of which DLC to buy, I would say the biggest factor is adjacency, and how you can leverage it to avoid Germany. Buy France and Italy, or buy Scandinavia and the Baltics. I don't have the Black Sea expansion and don't intend to buy it just yet because it doesn't fit all that well into the rest of the map due to the ex-Yugoslav countries not being implemented at all.

Edited by Humanoid
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They changed the roundabout thing over here in Greece as well. In theory it simplifies things because this way the car coming from the right always has priority, a rule roundabouts were the exception of until then.

 

Edit:

In Germany any roundabout that has roundabout priority rules has to be marked as such when you enter it. If there is no sign saying the roundabout has priority, then it doesn't function as a roundabout but a normal crossroad in regards to priority.

Edited by melkathi

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I'm eyeing "Prey". Things happen in the space station of sorts and I love space sci-fi, lots of raving reviews, by the same guys who made "Dishonored" which I loved, but trailers show you wielding BFGs and going RATATATATAT!!!!! at huge monstrosities, and I'm easily bored with pure shooters even in great settings, so getting mixed signals here. Anyone here played it? Please help me out. :)

Edited by bugarup
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Prey is a lot closer to Dishonoured in a contiguous world than Doom. If Dishonoured is Arkane's homage to Thief then Prey is very much their homage to System Shock- a bit more shooterish and less sneaky, but by no means a run and gun game unless that's what you want. It has its weaknesses but if you liked Dishonoured chances are you should like Prey as well.

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