Jump to content
Register Now


  • Posts

  • Points

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Withywarlock

  1. I began PC gaming in 2015, after a year I can only describe as the worst I've ever experienced in video gaming. I guess my tale begins in 2013 when I'd bought a Playstation 4 in advance to play The Elder Scrolls Online, except it saw delays. A few other games I wanted for the PS4 were also being delayed, so I eventually grew tired and traded it in toward an Xbox One to play my highly anticipated Sunset Overdrive, which didn't appeal to me as much as the Sunset TV marketing campaign did. Following disappointment after disappointment, pre-order after pre-order I eventually sold that to put toward a Wii U and enjoyed what few games I played on it. In March I decided it was high time to get a PC, which took me about nearly 2 months of research and a budget of just over £400 to custom build what was pretty much no better than a seventh gen console. Oh dear.

    I hadn't had many good experiences with that PC as the GPU once died on me. Eventually the motherboard gave up the ghost, and in less than 12 months after having it repaired the PSU began to make insufferable noises I wasn't going to tolerate much longer. I bought a brand new PC, named it Wizard Peak, and having upgraded it just last week I've renamed it to Nosferatu.

    Oh, and I should add I've since played The Elder Scrolls Online. It's alright.

  2. My reasoning for going for SSDs for gaming is for the near instant load times in virtually all games, and still faster load times than a HDD for massive games and texture resolutions. I also have a 256GB SSD as a boot drive so Windows starts up and runs buttery smooth. So while I do prefer SSDs for speed, it really depends on how much money you think faster load times is worth. I can't speak to their durability, but I'd imagine they can handle a lot more wear and tear due to the lack of moving parts.

  3. You're correct about not needing to close all the Oblivion gates in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, for the same reason one doesn't need to defeat every dragon they encounter in Skyrim: they respawn, and only a few are essential for the plot to move forward. However I'm generally fine with Oblivion gates because they're always out of the way and give you plenty of warning when you're about to approach encroaching enemies' line of sight with the sky reddening, and I've always been scared of that since I first played the game. Dragons on the other hand annoy me because they can appear out of nowhere when not in a main city, have frequently killed NPCs outdoors I was doing a quest for (granted they weren't main quest critical* but the point remains), and worst of all they piss off when they've had enough, keeping me in combat so I can't fast travel and get on with the good bits of the game.

    What I don't like about either of these games though is that there's quests and crafting that need a renewable source of these items. Take for instance if you screw up at the Fighter's Guild and need Daedra Hearts. Without a guide you're lost if you've closed the jaws of Oblivion for good.

    Other than that it's rarely a problem I encounter any more. I know which studios and publishers are likely to be the worst offenders for fluffing up the length of their game, and thus avoid. I can happily stomach a grind (see my World of Warcraft reputation FoS and weep as I do), i just prefer it to be more time consuming than difficult while listening to something in the background (currently The Vampire Diaries).

    *I'm fine with this happening in Morrowind because of the prophetic nature of the story, that and I go into it with the mindset that RPGs were much different back then.

  4. I voted for the story being too long, but I really should've gone for "Other" because it's both that and the game didn't ground me well enough. Even after the deciding moment of whether I should stay or go with the famous Bloody Baron questline I still didn't cling to it.

    The thing is no dev can say when their story is too long or short for me personally. Spiders' games are consistently too long - Of Orcs & Men is only 12 hours long including its side content, which is 9 hours too much. A similar story with Mars: War Logs. GreedFall is 65 hours long, which is 30 too many. I'd said in another thread that I was loathe to play God of War (2018) because it needed to be condensed so much. And I've gone on to say frequently that Pathfinder: Kingmaker is "the best game I'll never play again". All of these games have great tales to tell, but they way they're told is what turns me off.

    In reference to Cyberpunk 2077 I'll probably find it too long with how much the side content ties in to the main story (one of GreedFall's pros and contras). The devs can't win, which is why they should try to make the story they want to, rather than what people like me want them to.

  5. 4 hours ago, Kane99 said:

    Yeah a few of them were testers. They're part of the Super Best Friends on YouTube. They used to do lets play on YouTube, and a couple of them would talk about testing certain games often in their videos. Mostly talking crap about how awful certain games where lol. I think it would be fun to make friends at a job like that though. 

    Cheers for filling me in on that!

    I suppose you'd have to make friends on a job that's as dreary as game design, which is apparently thankless from the studios you work with.

  6. The saying "if it's too good to be true, it probably is" applies to a lot of what are called "grey market" sellers. 'Grey' because they're not 100% known to be legitimate, but not 100% proven to be illegal. While I can understand wanting to hurt a publisher by buying from a different store front, you could also be buying something that was obtained via illegitimate means, or risking your own credit/debit card details. I'm also very wary of any digital storefront that offers protection like G2A's at an additional cost to ensure you get a working key.... surely that should be standard service, right?

    Here's a few sites you can trust:

    • Humble
    • Fanatical (formerly Bundle Stars)
    • Greenmangaming (GMG)
    • Itch.io

    It's not an extensive list by any means, but I frequent the top three of those for some cracking deals. They're not always the most competitive (for that you want grey market, that comes with a lot of risk), but they'll often beat Steam's lowest prices even during their famous sale events like the current one. ^^

  7. I've already posted my thoughts on a similar matter on this subreddit (my comment is under the name u/Fistfantastic) in regards to whether or not it should be a legal requirement for unfinished games to be marked as "Early Access", but the principle is about the same as this: it won't change as long as consumer habits don't change. Of course it's completely unreasonable to expect our demographic to boycott, stop pre-ordering, stop buying DLC/online passes/microtransactions/battle passes, I think the rot has long set in, but I'm still sure that is the solution. Boiled down to its simplest form, this is a matter supply and demand, and it's worrying how high the demand for broken games is.

    I understand the problem people have with such a movement - nobody thinks they're to blame, and equally as much, nobody thinks they can make a difference. Not to inject politics into this discussion, but there's plenty of people who don't vote for this very reason. They don't believe their vote matters, or that because they voted unpopularly, they're absolved of the blame because "so did all the other people".

    That said, the blame isn't squarely on consumers, I'm not that in favor of the devs. The management and the shareholders knew better (I don't want to entertain the possibility they didn't because of the kinds of money CD Projekt Red is sitting on). The fact that the programmers, artists, sound designers and all the rest who do the gruntwork had to call an emergency meeting with the chairmen of the board tells me that CDPR, and likely all so-called AAA studios don't know the state of each others' departments. And if that was going on before Covid-19 had everyone working from home or isolated from one-another in the office space, that shows a horrifying lack of communication that's in desperate need of changing.

    As ever I'd like to think this will be the end of it. But it was the same with Aliens: Colonial Marines, and Battlefield 4, and Watch_Dogs, and Assassin's Creed Unity, and Destiny, and Evolve, and Batman: Arkham Knight (on PC), and The Order: 1886, and Star Wars Battlefront II, and Fallout 76, and Anthem.

    Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. - Edmund Burke.

  8. Just this moment finished Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures on Steam, having gained all 25 achievements. It was one of the best sixth generation platform games I'd ever played, except it came out toward the tail end of the seventh gen. Oh dear. It'll do in a jiffy for someone who would find emulating Pac-Man World on the PS1 too easy, though it still suffers all kinds of baffling design choices like the overdesigned artwork, inconsistent level design quality and a lot of ideas that don't get the time they deserve to be fully realised. It also does nothing to help me get into the TV show of the same name, nor can I see it doing anything for fans of said show.

  9. That trailer is more inspiring than it has any right to be. Give me five of these systems! >.<

    15 hours ago, Shagger said:

    When I come across shit like this, I usually get pessimistic and dismiss it, but this time I want it to be real. What we are essentially looking at here is a reiteration of the Steam Machine (to be be clear, I hated steam machines and they soon faded away), but this interesting. 


    I liked the idea of Steam Machines but Valve's marketing strategy was dire. Come to think of it I sort of wonder if they wanted it to fail given how ordering via Steam was hidden away, and they were given little shelf space in stores like Gamestop and GAME.

    15 hours ago, Shagger said:

    This is a PC that uses the heat vented out of the components, usually wasted energy, for a practical purpose.

    I concur that it's a PC what with the interchangable components rather than the console they market it as, though I'd love to see the facts and figures behind the energy output so that we can see what their idea of warming up the meat is. For reference, my GPU's fans start kicking in at about 65-75 degrees celsius, and it's in a mid-tower case with plentiful ventilation. How the KFC handles the heat transfer and cooling will be interesting stuff, but I trust it's in good hands if it's a Cooler Master case.

    15 hours ago, Shagger said:

    Don't ask me whare I saw it because I'll never remember, but I once read a publication of an experiment online whare somebody built a fully functional gaming PC, removed the heat sinks, made the necessary seals the immersed this circuitry into a tub of cooking oil. Not only did the PC work, after a few minutes they able to fry food in the cooking oil as if were a deep fat fryer. That's how hot these things get.

    At first I thought this would've been a Linus Tech Tips video, but turns out those were mineral oil rather than vegetable oils and such, so I did some digging and tried to find a specific video with this. I had thought it would be this one, but the PC died just before they tried to cook the egg rolls. Though I did come across this blog post, so it might be possible to cook food rather than just warm it on the outside.

    15 hours ago, Shagger said:

    They promise up to 240fps at 4K. The estimated price I've seen quoted is around $2000, so we're talking a mid-high range PC

    I could believe that. If it was either 240FPS or 4k then I'd find that a lot more believable at a lower cost, but even then the KFC and Cooler Master logo probably mark it up a fair bit anyway.

    Honestly I'm a lot more excited about this becoming a reality than I was before now!

  10. If the PS5 has to stand upright, perhaps some sort of decorative book-ends for the cat to rub herself on rather than the console might help it from tipping over. Alas I'm not too familiar with the console so I don't know how heavy it is and if it can support a cat/book-ends being near it. If it has to be horizontal I'm wondering if some sort of stand the size of the PS5 could cover it? Not very aesthetically pleasing I grant you, but if it means the console and/or cat don't set on fire from being sat on, it might be worth considering.

    Can't say I've had this problem with my cat, though she always liked to sit on my lap while I was on the laptop. Mythic dungeons with her 'help' were always fun. Turns out there's more than one reason to play World of Warcraft with one arm free!

  11. On 12/17/2020 at 11:35 PM, The Blackangel said:

    Wanking Simulator

    I was going to ask who needs a simulator for wanking but then I am a fan of PC Building Simulator so...

    Ahem. My contendor for the worst game of 2020 is without a shadow of a doubt, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics. It's functional, which can be said for a lot of games mentioned here, but then if it wasn't functional I could refund it and be done with it sooner. Alas, its technical competence meant that I played through it from start to finish (twice, for a spiteful final achievement) and hated every waking moment of it. My ire doesn't stem from a hatred or lack of love for The Dark Crystal, I am at worst indifferent toward it, but I can see quite clearly that it fails to provide any fan service to viewers of the movie or show. Its references are weak, its gameplay is stretched thinly across ~20 hours and its expectation that the player will grind to catch up to the overtuned AI later on is abysmal.

    If I could hate a game out of existence, I would not spare TDC: AoRT a microsecond to justify its miserable little self. Clearly "just a job" for its developer. I hope it plumped up their resumés enough to work on projects more deserving of being brought to life.

  12. It was always my dream to be in the games industry in some form or another from childhood to college. It wasn't until I learned more about game development and a lot of the practices that I eventually gave up on it. Games testing, I'd later learn, is how others have described it here: clinically examining games and having to speak about them from a technical, objective sense.

    One of the guys of the Castle Super Beast podcast is (was?) a games tester and has spoken about how he'd enjoyed I think a weapon animation or spell effect, but on the questionnaire he had to fill out he'd couldn't justify suggesting improvements without it being ignored. So intead of saying "this explosion would be cooler if it were bigger", he'd have to say something like "this explosion's radius doesn't match other particle effects". It's not exactly like Early Access, which in fairness to "proper" Games Testing staff has its own faults.

  13. (Apologies in advance for what is a shieldwall of text. This is a topic I'm very passionate about. Skip to the bit in bold for a briefer version)

    I think a lot of discussion about reviews falls into the trap of the "Just-World Fallacy", where in a just world reviewers:

    • Are given enough time to play a game to fully and confidently write their thoughts to a word count
    • Are using a universal scoring system that can be unanimously be agreed upon as being "just right" (for instance, I hate out-of-10/100 scores including decimal points)
    • Are having their reviews scored by an editor with consistent standards and transparent reviews criteria
    • Are all going to make the same amount of money from a "First Impression" or "Review-in-Progress" versus a "Review" of varying degrees of completion

    In the case of Cyberpunk 2077, reviewers had to work with the following:

    • Two days before reviews could begin to be released.
    • PC-only copies given to outlets with high end hardware
    • A version of the game with a vague description of what its "Day Zero" patch entails, and no comments on what else will come in the "Day One" patch.
    • Only being allowed to use pre-existing marketing materials lest they have future early review copies (and presumably ads) pulled.

    So while I don't think Kallie Plagge's review was particularly good because of the vaguery (focussing on what she felt rather than the object of her feelings), I can't put the entire fault at her feet when she's got 2 days to figure it all out. While her review could technically wait until it was more substantial, the rest of the games industry won't. That's where the above fallacy comes in to play. If Gamespot had delayed, their readers (and ad revenue) will find someone else who has reviewed it. It only takes one outlet/reviewer to have their thoughts up online to vacuum up all that monetisation and future readership.

    I think of this dilemma as a similar scenario to worldwide nuclear disarmament, though video games obviously aren't as important - everyone agrees that nukes are bad, but no country wants to be the first to disarm theirs because that makes them an easy target for invasion or being blown up themselves, assuming they have anything worth exploiting in the first place (my country's greatest export, for example, is fish 'n' chips and crippling misery, so to any tinpot dictator I say "come and have a go if you think you're hard enough"). Likewise, everyone agrees that reviews should be done with as much knowledge and experience as possible, but no outlet wants to be in second place in releasing reviews. To quote Tallageda Nights, "if you ain't first, you're last."


    But let's say for the sake of argument reviewers are given about a week or two to review a game, which judging by CP2077's length and breadth, is enough time to have some solid ideas on what it is and isn't, do they need to complete it? Yes and no.

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery is quoted as saying "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." This applies to all kinds of fields of work, but literature especially. A review isn't finished when the game's 100% completed. A review's finished when the reader has no questions left at the end. I didn't need to play The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics to completion to know it wasn't going to get any better, because I've played tactical RPGs long enough to recognise what I like and don't like about their fundamental mechanics. New Game+ wasn't going to make it any more palletable, and even if it did it wasn't worth suffering 15+ hours of dire gameplay to get there, but I still did because I wanted to maintain my integrity and--, OK, it was because I had nothing else better to do.

    I'd even go as far as arguing that by completing a game one's thoughts of it may worsen. I hated God of War (2018) by the end of it not because it's mechanically or artistically bad, but I was loathe to pick it up after every session because it desperately needed curating/editing (ironic given the mess my post is turning out to be). To be bluntly honest, I think whatever it achieves is wasted as a video game and knowing what I do about it now, I'd sooner and gleefully see a TV show or movie about it. Bearing in mind that I don't have the stress that Kaillie Plagg does as Gamespot's Reviews Editor, looking at reviews day in, day out without playing much of the game themself to verify. I review a handful of games a month and write the odd editorial, and I'm practically my own boss - barring the spell-checking, code of conduct, scoring and general chat with my editor, I'm free to publish whatever I want whenever I want. I'm free of a lot of the stress and burnout that comes from full-time games journalism, and grateful there's not any freelancers in my area who want to take my corner.


    So, in case the above waffled too much about the industry itself rather than practices (again, apologies for the passion. It's exciting to be part of a new forum!), here's the TL;DR: a reviewer should be given time by studios, publishers and editors to fully articulate their thoughts as accurately as they possibly can, whether or not they complete the game. I think reviewers should see all of the game and tinker with it enough to confidently speak on the subject, but there's sadly too much should and not enough shall.

    Thank you for reading if you made it this far! xD

  14. In general, video game press kits. I'm not in a position to receive any myself (I'd be optimistic in adding "yet"), but some of them are fantastic to behold, even if they would conflict with my reviewing ethics because I want my impressions changed as least as possible by marketing.

    Specifically though, I'd love to get my hands on a complete Fallout: New Vegas collector's edition complete with the poker set and "platinum" chip. I remember seeing it in the Argos Catalogue thinking I must pre-order it but ultimately didn't. At the time I was glad I hadn't because I didn't like New Vegas, and it wouldn't be until a few years later that it would become one of my all-time favourite video games. Trying to find that lunchbox now for less than the £60 I could've had it for at the time is difficult to say the least.

    Finally, not merch necessarily, but the old big box versions of some classics - Baldur's Gate and if there was one for Fallout 1 & 2, those'd be smashing.

  15. I could never wrap my head around how people could play Dishonored 2 without having played the first game and its DLCs, The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches (the latter DLC being a direct followup to the events of the former). God bless those who can, but to me D2's main antagonist felt like she came out of nowhere and was just retreading the ground of the first game.

    If that's not quite what you meant, then there's Asura's Wrath which hid the true ending behind one of its DLCs, though I struggle to recall which other games did this.


  16. On 12/21/2020 at 1:18 PM, Empire said:

    Contact your local hospital and see if the children's ward has any need for it. You could sell it locally or you could donate it to any place that will take it. You could also sell it on eBay or similar. Or just give it away to someone who wants it. I know that you want them to go to someone who will appreciate it, but recycling is also an option if you're not finding anything else you want to do with it that would at least let some of the raw materials go back to be used by people who will appreciate the new items made from the finite resources that can be salvaged from it.

    That's a really neat idea, about donating it to charity or a hospital. Normally I'd just dump it at a charity shop or with my cousins but at a hospital or some other facility I could see it getting a lot more use and providing a lot more joy to those people. It might even remind me to stop being a cynical old git all the time, and enjoy games while we're still around 'cause there's those who aren't able to. ^^

  17. Seeing Winter Tundra for the first time in Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer. The chimes of Stewart Copeland's soundtrack, Elora's pleas for help in defeating Ripto one last time and the overwhelming sense of finality was too much for six year old me to fully bear. What I'd give to experience that magic again like it was the first time....

  18. I realise it's early for me to be tooting my own horn, but I speak from experience as an addict. I did a video on it, but if you're wary about clicking links or understandably think I'm trying to get views, I'll post my experiences below:

    In fairness to Valve and the Team Fortress 2 team, I never really grew out of my impulse purchasing habits of childhood, so the blame isn't squarely on them. Before the Mann-Conomy update, I was preordering games left right and centre in order to get the ever-craved hats for in-game. Monday Night Combat, Total War: Shogun 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution.... you name it, I bought it, even though my laptop couldn't run the games they were for. You could get hats IRL cheaper than those in Team Fortress 2. And yet for all my regret I won't ever let go of the first ever Genuine quality item introduced to TF2, Pyro's Sharpened Volcano Fragment, exclusive to RIFT pre-orderers.

    I say that because my loot box addiction isn't entirely on loot boxes, but they are still made with exploiting that impulsiveness in mind.

    Loot boxes in the Mann-Conomy update weren't anywhere near as flashy as today's loot boxes. It was essentially a box with a grey background and a number counting down, some clinking of chains sounding and a cut to the item you'd unlocked. No sellophane wrapping, no light fighting to escape the slowly opening crate and no explosion of other goodies. So the psychological impacts weren't as profound in my opinion.

    The problems began to arise - and thankfully end - at Christmas some years ago. The moment I got my money on Christmas Day I asked my mum when the banks open so I could pay it in, omitting the fact that I only wanted to bank the cash to spend on loot boxes. Not clothes, books, a laptop that could run the many games I'd purchased or just more games. Just more loot boxes. And while the items in the Christmas crates were available in the store and awarded at random intervals of play, I didn't buy them directly because in theory it was cheaper to keep buying keys for the crates and get them all. I didn't get all the items though, and by the time I realised this I owed £200 to the bank.

    My mum, being a saint, paid the bank back in full and put overdraft and withdrawal limits on my account, so that if my card charged any more than, say, £200, I wouldn't be able withdraw any more without the bank phoning up for justification. The humiliation as well as the grief I put my mum through over that was enough for me to snap out of the habit. I'd go on to enjoy another 2 years of Team Fortress 2 before leaving college, eventually falling off it and playing other games.

    Not everyone's lucky enough to have someone instill such guilt into them to quit a bad habit immediately. I consider myself extremely fortunate, and have since learnt from that experience to never be fully trusting of games that feature these mechanics. If I buy any now, it's with a crushingly forceful reminder of that Christmas since gone to not do it again.

    I still have impulse purchasing habits, though I make it my New Year's Resolution to do something about it. I'm in a good relationship with a partner I want to support financially and emotionally, and I can only begin to do that when I reign in my purchasing habits and find a healthier outlet for my impulses.

    TL;DR - I was once addicted to loot boxes, and while I still struggle with impulse purchases, I mostly got my act together.

  19. My doctor tells me I've got the body of a perfectly healthy 68 year old. I tell him I'm 27. The doctor says "tell that to your liver."

    Glad to see the upfront honesty about it being for marketing purposes and an elaboration on what it means. I was wary of sharing at first but your explanations make sense!

  20. Greetings, fellow forumgoers. It's my understanding introductions are in order before I go about talking elsewhere on this lovely board. So be it!

    Pleasure to make your acquaintance. I'm John, or Withywarlock if we're being formal, and I've been looking for another video game forum to squeeze myself into after looking for somewhere else to chat about the hobby. I'm hoping the good folks here will revitalise my love of the hobby, as spending as much time as I have watching its news I find myself despairing. You've all done well to give me a good impression so far, and I hope that will continue.

    As for who I am and what I do, I've been playing video games for about 23 years and critiquing them for 10 of them over various mediums and formats. I'm currently enjoying reviewing games in a local newspaper (always been a fan of print media) and writing editorials for a local magazine, so all those years swearing on YouTube and being snobbish on Reddit have paid off, it seems. I look forward to having what I hope will be a less.... intense series of discussions on this here board.

    My favourite genre is the Computer Roleplaying Game (CRPG), though my favourite to write about is kart racers. I think that just about does it.

    Tata for now, chums.

    -- Withywarlock.

    PS: Thanks to the kind folks for accepting my registration. I hope I make it worth your while! ^^

  • Create New...