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Withywarlock

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Everything posted by Withywarlock

  1. That episode is one of my favourites. Like the one in the OP, I find it fascinating how the creators take a fairly mundane happening and snowball it out of proportion. What I'd give to be a fly on the wall when they're in the writing room.
  2. The hardware is as powerful as it needs to be, its Nintendo's third party developers who don't quite get the architecture to push it to its necessary limits. The first party lineup features consistently high frame-rates with astonishing graphical fidelity. I suppose that's only a problem if you want more from the third party lineup, which I did, and it's why I quickly got rid of the console. I had my fun but wanted more games and at the time weren't available. I'll definitely pick up the Switch in the future when just about all its first party titles are released. I wouldn't buy a Switch of any kind to be "competitive" unless it was for a Nintendo-exclusive game like Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros (even then the latter may benefit from third party fighting game controllers). The console and its controls are serviceable but aren't as precise as a mouse, even if both were playing at 30 FPS. That said this may be the beginnings of a good argument for graphical settings on console games, which I think has become a thing recently with different presets (performance versus graphical fidelity). That's for another thread though, I'll not derail this one.
  3. Which we've known for a long time and hasn't changed. What's your point? Please don't. I can appreciate that not every user's first language is English, and I hope that's the case here, but you've already shown here and in another thread that you're not really interested in discussion, just shouting matches (one-sided ones at that). You simply cannot say "it's a fact" for it to be so. Prove it. I'm going to attempt reason here: What do HD graphics have to do with the state of Halo: Infinite, its developers 343 Industries, and how they link to the rest of your posts here? High definition is just an evolution of resolution, and we've already seen plenty of games that do 1920x1080 well regardless of art style and graphical fidelity. We've also seen lots of games that don't, but that's not because of HD. How do you propose a meaningful, sustainable way for gaming to be compatible with "hardware, CPU's and INTERNET?" Do you think people are going to change their minds by being spoken to in the way you have? I'm willing to discuss these matters in a civil tone when reason and evidence of your claims is brought to the table. Until then, see above: this is just going around in circles about things we've known about for years.
  4. I will say in their defence that their pricing is pretty decent: £3.49 per month is not at all bad and the different tiers of subscription help save even further. The 7-day trial isn't that great though, but on the flipside they did have free online play for a year or two before they started charging. They've also got monetisation on mobile but their games are for the most part fair and well-liked. Mario Kart Tour is easily one of my favourite installments to the franchise and lends itself well to the update model that I criticise other games for. As subscription models are becoming more prominent we are finding that they're getting better for this (read: competitive). Paradox Interactive, famed for their DLC model over sequels, have subscription services for their games which their players easily treat as their one game. Game Pass et al - to my knowledge - include additional content in premium tiers, which I imagine will change into one single no-nonsense fee if they prove unpopular enough. Doubtful, but possible as I've said numerous times this week. Stick with the Sims on Wii, you're not missing much in today's industry. Besides all the expansions that the Sims is infamous for chopping out and re-selling in future installments.
  5. I've got nothing of meaning to the contribute to this thread, so I guess you could say it's just... (But seriously, I like this addition to the forum.)
  6. I'll begin my post by saying I've not seen you on the forums before, so 1) Hello! And 2) I love the name. Moving on. This isn't quite true. For the Sony Playstation 2 (and later PS3) and the Nintendo GameCube internet functionality was free, but limited. The Microsoft Xbox had Xbox Live, a monthly subscription service. Then there's subscription-based games such as Final Fantasy XI... on the Playstation 2. Even before that there was the SEGA Channel and other online services with the DreamCast. Both SEGA and Microsoft put more emphasis on their online components than their contemporaries, which would've meant being able to justify it with prices. Microsoft especially found that the money was just there on the table, and successfully began a worrying precedent for the rest of the industry. I'm getting hung up on the word 'now'. Xbox Live began 2001 and has been around (mostly consistently) since. Playstation Plus began in 2010. Most recently Nintendo began charging a subscription fee for their online components in 2018, but I'm not fully familiar with the extent of it. As for the prices, they're only going to rise. We're already seeing across the board $70 price tags with additional monetisation. I know why this is: despite the larger amount of people playing games (even before Covid, video gaming had a collossal share of the entertainment market), profit maximisation is still a priority. If/when the gaming boom from covid dies down I suspect a lot of CEOs - or worse, the grunts at the bottom of the totem pole - will lose their jobs as profit expectations are piss poorly managed. Correctamundo. Agreed. There's no realistic way people can afford all of these things. Netflix and co. did the same thing to themselves: carving out digital feifdoms like the pay-per-view channels of old, meanwhile others just pirate things for equal quality and zero money. We're seeing the same thing happening in gaming also: we have Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo, as well as publishers with their subscriptions like EA and Ubisoft. I just don't see how it's sustainable. And yet at the same time... it's pretty cheap if you commit to one system. You pay for a system, get Game Pass or whatever follow-the-leader subscription service you go for, and you can get hundreds of ours out of a ton of games versus just one for a fraction of the price. If you don't care for the future of digital ownership (what little we've ever had), gaming is pretty cheap. Even the tabletop is following suit with services like D&D Beyond or HeroForge, and honestly, I'm all for it. I feel like gaming is as cheap as you make it. There's always older systems and games for 'patientgaming' and there's subscription services that are still cheaper than buying a game and all its parts afterwards. I don't like the amount of subscription management, but thankfully it remains an option. For how long we'll have to see.
  7. I'm told the Battlefield 2 Project Reality mod was amazing, and it appears there's one for BF3, which my mates and I very much enjoy (they particularly like the Hardcore modes when they can find a match). Has anyone played either and could give me their opinions on it? I think I'd like to give it a go but I've got enough games on my plate right now! 😅 I wish you luck with it. I'd always wanted to play Oblivion co-op back in the day. Should I get one of my friends into Skyrim, this might be an idea to help them ease into it.
  8. Ready or Not. There's a lot of these games cropping up with the (accessible-)realism genre coming back into fashion such as Door Kickers, Insurgency 2: Sandstorm and Hell Let Loose, et cetera. But the S.W.A.T 4 style games in particular appear to be returning with a vengeance. I like it. It's very well polished for Early Access, practically feature complete and the devs are open about what's complete and what isn't. Just about all of the content is there, but some levels have textures missing and the odd bug. It's a particularly beautiful game with stellar audio engineering. It's very easy to get absorbed into it, even if it's very difficult. I'm glad to have been invited back into my squad after a falling out with one friend, and paying £30 to join them is nothing compared to the amount of fun I've had with them, which is priceless. Hotel? Trivago, while we're at it.
  9. I don't know if DualSense is that well supported on PC. Xbox controllers have never given me trouble and I think they've had official support for longer, likely due to being on Windows and the Xbox 360 controller being for Games for Windows LIVE as well as consoles. So that might be the issue. Another problem with controller sensitivity is you may have to change it per game as others have suggested; with gaming mice you usually have presets and macros which will apply to just about every game with some exceptions, but controllers often require that extra bit of tweaking. 😞 With aim assist being incorporated in more and more PC games, especially those with crossplay (Halo: Infinite being infamous for this), you're not getting that much more of an edge unless you're exceptionally good with KB&M. Stick with what you know best and ultimately whatever's more comfortable, the performance increase isn't that big a deal and you're not - as far as I'm aware - playing at eSport level in these sorts of games.
  10. Of course they can, and you're doing it in the rest of your post. What you go on to say is a testament to how good that game is for Yaramaki despite its measurable flaws. My complaints (and no small amount of gripes) with Halo Infinite are with the multiplayer aspect of the game rather than the single player, but I'd like to keep it civil all the same. If you want to act like this, the Halo: Waypoint forums might be better as your post is the level of quality for discussion there. As for the rest of this thread, what exactly are we discussing here? Are we in the grief stage of only now just discovering the industry's been bad for decades, or are we in the solutions stage and want to discuss good game developers and publishers, and encourage better practices? Right now I'm just seeing an unconstructive circlejerk and talking about what we already know and perceive. Moving us into a solutions-oriented phase, the answer is and always has been to wait for those whose business it is to get games on day one to find out. Day One is the single most important day for a game developer, and publisher in particular. If they start seeing sales go down before people have had a chance to review it fully (which is another matter I've spoken about at length on the forum before), and they see this happen enough times we might actually get those more complete games. Impulsiveness and simply not knowing better are the reasons why that's virtually impossible today though. I'm afraid to say they weren't. I can't find the video but basically there were times where Daggerfall's procedurally generated content would come up with dead ends, which was sometimes gamebreaking because you couldn't reach key locations. Bethesda is its own worst enemy, and not even Todd Howard can take all the blame for that. That's not to say that games were always like this, Daggerfall and others are an exception to today's industry where there's simply too much cutthroat business for better development practice to exist (at least in the AAA industry, and even then a lot of this is perception rather than based on any facts I have at hand, because getting said facts is nigh impossible). Indeed. I'm loathe to say this but even my plans of trying to direct this into positivity are based on the just-world fallacy: that in a just world developers and publishers will strive to make a better game for all of us because they can afford to give their staff time to make a great product, and that people actually deserve such quality games because in a just world people no longer abuse developers for not giving release dates, or in general really.
  11. I think it would stop, it's just that protests usually run out of steam and ultimately people buy the products they're protesting against anyway. See this tired old chestnut. I won't lie, I've long given up on the idea of protesting and boycotting because I can neither get people to rally under the same banner nor find someone else's banner to rally under. Reviewbombing has become the only means of slacktivism that seems to affect change, or more recently taking to Twitter whenever someone in the industry brings up NFTs (so far, so good: Team17 and Troy Baker have had their projects laughed into oblivion). There have been successful backlashes against DLC practice such as the infamous Horse Armour debacle, which led to The Shivering Isles and other astounding DLC being made for Oblivion and future games. It's just a shame that it wasn't enough in terms of industry-wide effect, and it singlehandedly brought down whatever optimism there was for DLC going forward. As said earlier this probably isn't something game development studios want to do. Publishers such as Electronic Artsholes, SEGA, 2K et al get away with telling their studios to carve up the content because people decided they'd pay for it rather than take a stand. Just about the only DLC being carved up I stand against these days is Total War's added gore effects, but those are sold in the justification of bringing down the age rating of the base game (even then, that's still thin ice). See also House Party's adult content once being free, no longer as it's out of Early Access. At least House Party is self-published, so its developers will see all of the money once Steam takes its cut. You've said yourself why it makes sense: because they can rip people off without any effectual backlash. The lines between carving up a game and 'supporting' it however are blurring, with Paradox and Slitherine being publishers who make great platforms which are built up with quality DLC. The power to do something about this exists and I firmly believe it to be as plain as day, but when it's time to exercise it that's easier said than done. Furthermore, the window of time to act upon that power is swiftly closing as people get older, and newer gamers enter the industry not knowing (or caring) about a time when games were almost entirely feature complete sans updates, patches, and additional content.
  12. Ubisoft only briefly touched upon this with a Far Cry 5 expansion, but I wouldn't mind an open-world Vietnam War game. It's my understanding that objectives were mostly of the search-and-destroy nature, which is essentially open world games boiled down to their base components: you visit pockets of activity and interact with them. In this instance trapped patrol routes, bunkers, villages, and the vast tunnel networks. It would probably work better as a team-based PvE game though, gathering intelligence and taking down soldiers before getting to da choppa. My only problem with this idea is that it's very easy to just highlight the US' contributions rather than the Australian, French and Hell, even the Vietnamese. If they're just mission handlers and bodies to put down, that's not the sort of game I'm interested in. Where things could be that simple is a sniper simulator in the Battle of Stalingrad. Enemy at the Gates, that sort of thing. The problem there is Sniper Elite's likely going to go there if it hasn't already, and again, a tighter series of levels probably works better than an open world. It's not quite the same but you might enjoy Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. You play as the ancient apes grasping the basics of evolution and going forward with it. I didn't get on with it after a few hours because the controls were finnicky and going beyond my home proved too dangerous.
  13. (If available as an option) Report the bug. (If available as an option) Fix the bug myself, to which I include reinstalling/clearing cache, etc. Reload an older save and hope to skirt around the bug. Quit. I don't see how there's many more options besides skirting around it by doing side-activities if available. If I'm reviewing it, my review notes cease immediately and my article begins disclosing where the game abruptly ends. I suppose that's one the advantage of reviewing (post)-Day One: I don't have to wait or care for a patch. It is what it is, being sold for money right now. Recently I had a bug in Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly wherein I couldn't 100% complete the game because a rather long mini-game (a slide activity) was broken on the PS2 version. Whether it was the game or the emulator I couldn't say, so my fix was to play the GameCube version on the Dolphin emulator. Not quite the fix I was looking for, mind...
  14. I can't believe it's been this long since the last post here. I would hope that there's been enough posts between my last one that I can contribute another suggestion, as this topic is rather near and dear to me: Gothic (Piranha Bytes, 2001) Gothic is the RPG time forgot. Its fanbase, frothing at the mouth to defend any criticism levelled at it, did not. They seemingly cannot, for its effects on them and the effects it could have - no, should have - had on the industry are profound. Gothic very nearly changed the RPG space for the better, protecting it from the streamlining The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and its predecessors would go on to perform uninterrupted. You are a convict, sent into a mine protected by a magical barrier to prevent your escape. You've been sent down to hand a message, and all the while survive the camps vying for power, using the precious magical ore to bargain. It's a great story and it's told well to say it's an open world game. The open world itself is compact, wasting no space: everywhere you can go exists for a reason, every creature you can slay (which don't respawn) giving you valuable experience and loot. Not a single pixel or polygon is idly coded in. It's world is quality over quantity, unlike its contemporaries who boasted to have bigger fully 3D worlds. Graphics over gameplay was still a major debate. And while Gothic didn't look particularly fancy, it ran smoothly to say its developers had never made a game before. Gothic is their lifeblood, continuing to make experiences such as Risen and ELEX. One thing you have to give the developers is that they're committed to making this sort of game, even if they never really got better than this. They don't pander nor do they compromise on their artistic vision. Despite its janky controls - a common, but my only real complaint - Gothic does a fantastic job with its technical aspects. No longer are the 'chance to miss' wild swings of Elder Scrolls games implemented, but instead a crunchy combat mechanic: positioning. You can hold your weapon (what few drop) in a number of ways to guard and deflect blows, and swing in different directions for the best performance, which requires you learn from experience or asking around. If you want a skill, you have to speak to an NPC about it and they will instruct you on how to do it rather than simply nudge a bar on your user interface. If you want information, you have to speak to NPCs and write it down out of game because the journal and what few maps exist are not particularly helpful. NPC reactions to your presence are varied. Much like Fable, people will comment on your renown or lack thereof. If you're shady they may step up to challenge you or back away. If you're heroic they may do the same with different commentary. It also depends on the faction; some are welcoming of a thug, and some prefer a character who wields their power with discretion. You don't exactly start out as a saint and you won't necessarily progress that way; being soft will not save you. If you sneak, NPCs will note how you're hunched and walking like an idiot. If you enter a home they will follow you, and passersby will call the owner if you're trespassing. Should you refuse to leave you'll be attacked after multiple clear warnings, rather than just stand and kindly ask you to leave. So why then, after all this praise, is Gothic less than the sum of its parts? Because Morrowind is the overall better game, coming out a year later with its bigger (but sparse) world and minimal voice acting and incomprehensible skills. Morrowind was the quantity versus quality game that people wanted and were told they wanted, and it was ultimately the game that pushed RPGs firmly into the mainstream. Gothic made a point of being hard to access, and it does nothing to discourage its fans' stalwart gatekeeping. Its world is as harsh as its control scheme, but those who play it and survive its trials come out feeling the better for it. It's hard to go back to RPGs after Gothic... but why can't its parts exist in a better controlling, more helpful and wider, deeper game? Its ideas are brimming with greatness but due to their implementation in the hands of Piranha Bytes they cannot meet their full potential. They are the architects of the Great Library of Alexandria, and they choose to burn it down every time they build it.
  15. It's pretty depressing that - seven months later - we're still seeing a lot of these things going on. Of the fifteen things on that list, a third of them are people being treated awfully by fellow staffers or those they make their games for. It's appalling and we still continue to pull back the curtain and reveal more worrying things about this industry, rather than seeing an end to the problems exposed before.
  16. As others point out, some games have infinite autosave history, some go as high as 40 or 20, and some only go as far as 5 or just a single save. Otherwise your current autosave(s) last as long as they remain in your game files or cloudsaves.
  17. I too extend my congratulations to Yaramaki. I hadn't guessed them for moderator material, but the forum needs all the moderation it can get. They're a breath of fresh air on these forums, I hope this position guarantees their continued insightful posting.
  18. With Fallout 76 having less emphasis (to my knowledge) on NPCs Speech isn't really necessary in that sort of environment. If I recall correctly Speech in F76 was more about bolstering your teammates' abilities, and does indeed reflect how Speech worked in ye olden dayes (like how many teammates you could have, and their morale). Intelligence and Strength, with the exception of the CRPGs, are usually the best stats to go for. At the very least they open the most doors in dialogue barring Charisma itself.
  19. I think it's just because it's a relaxing downtime activity. It's a good way to take a break and deal with the sensory overload without quitting. Otherwise I'd just say it's a trend, and one I'm not particularly bothered by the addition of. So long as it has a purpose and is worth the time put into it, I can spend anywhere between five minutes and five hours with it.
  20. I would wholeheartedly agree with it being a gamechanger if it wasn't a Nintendo product. They've only just caught up to recognising internet connectivity as a good thing rather than a begrudging necessity, seeing the benefits of Mario Kart's online racing, Animal Crossing world sharing, and Splatoon's versus multiplayer. It's doubtful that it would've taken off with their management at the time, let alone - as you say - the cost to consumers it would take, limiting its audience dramatically. "You guys aren't ready for that yet, but your kids are gonna love it" is the best thing I've read on the forum today. That's quite an inspiring quote!
  21. Strangely it's games where being evil is encouraged, like Overlord or Naughty Bear (never thought I'd reference that any time soon). Either the evil characters are less evil than the heroes such as in Overlord, or they're unable to walk the line between cartoon evil and pretentiousness and either fall into one or get staggered between them. Even when you're faced with difficult choices it's often in games where you don't really see the NPCs for very long, if at all, such as in FrostPunk (child labour? What children?) or Papers, Please (where neither my customers nor family are particularly emotionally gripping characters). I think Hatred may be the only game that could make me do that just because it's so shocking, but I'm not about to buy that because twin-stick shooters aren't really my sort of thing. In any other game, especially when I'm given the option to go stealthily or can otherwise avoid conflict I empathise greatly with the plights of NPCs. If I can refuse a reward I'll often do so gladly because they need it more than I do, and I often wonder about those poor, poor bandits charging headlong into the lv.256 juggernaut who can pause time to bind their wounds by eating cheese.
  22. I'm not impressed by it when it's touted as a feature or an accomplishment of games design. Making a long game is no small feat, but keeping the player's interest for its duration is the real challenge. Some games suit it and other games don't. I once said that Pathfinder: Kingmaker is the best game I'll never play again because its campaign took me over 120 hours to complete, which was completely unnecessary. However I've since played it again for less time and have enjoyed it more because I've better managed my time. It's a shame it took me over 100 hours to figure that out. And then there's games like those of Spiders such as Of Orcs & Men, Mars: War Logs, and GreedFall, which are all a third of their length too long. Of Orcs should've taken 9 hours but lasted 12; Mars: War Logs was fine being 15 hours long but went on for at least 20; and GreedFall would've been great ending at the 25 hour mark instead of the 65 hour mark. In each of their games I've completed all their side quests, but there's far too many despite how short their games are. Otherwise they're brilliant, their stories and characters and ideas outshining the eurojank they're famed for. The longer you spend in a Spiders game however, the more you see past its sheen. To quote Antoine de Saint-Exupery (as I often do), "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
  23. I make a point of improving my in-game speech skills immediately. Combat is expected and mandatory in 99% of RPGs, so it doesn't really matter if I develop my skills in it or not because the game is balanced in such a way that you can't reach a point of no return regarding your fightiness. I'll leave my rants about balance for another thread. One thing I like about video games versus the tabletop is that I don't have to come up with the answers myself: the game does it for me, and if my character is more intelligent or charismatic than I am (of which there's no doubt), there'll be dialogue options and such to reflect that. Prevention is better than the cure. If I can prevent a fight from breaking out, I can make friends or at the very least pass the obstacle with less time consumed. If a fight does break out, the enemy will either flee, be broken or become enraged and make mistakes they otherwise would not. It's a pity how most games' speech mostly applies only to physical rewards; an extra gold here, an additional item there. Having favours in court, a get-out-of-jail-free card, or a specific service goes a much longer - and more memorable - way.
  24. Yes to both counts. They'll make some money, sure, but realistically speaking it won't be enough to sustain themselves as they currently exist. @Empire mentions Ubisoft who recently abandoned their Quartz programme, and when they're no longer digging in their heels with their bad ideas, that ought to tell you even they know something's gone irreparably wrong. How on Earth do GameStop plan to do a better job than Ubi at pitching, marketing and selling these besides making a headline (which is all most gaming companies have done with their own NFTs)? I suspect the only way this will remotely look like a success is how I suspect Konami did: buy out their own stock.
  25. The Elder Scrolls V: Hearthfire. I appreciate that some people won't like that they have to do the manual labour of, err, clicking on menus, but it stops being funny when they're the 101st person to say it. Just about the only unanimous praise it gets is adoption, which would be deserving of the amount of credit if childrearing wasn't something Fable did donkey's years before. I know I'll not make any friends by saying that it's the best expansion the game had. It's because of what it doesn't do that I prefer it: the only plot it has are plots of land. There's no cutscenes, no sidequests, no urgency and no worry about continuing where one left off. Rather it's the best expansion, possibly in the entirety of gaming in this particular regard, to provide a use for things that exist in the world, which encourages exploring it. It's something that irks me to no end about World of Warcraft, where each expansion makes the old content unnecessary to explore and indulge in. Patch 5.3 is one of my favourites because we see an old zone revisited for high-level play. Pet battles were one of the best things to happen to the open world in a long time, and nothing has quite scratched that itch since. ~ I'm starting to ask this more frequently of other users, but please could people state their opinions in the original post? Even if I don't always engage in the back-and-forth of what I'm requesting, I would like to at least have the opportunity than keep asking "and you?" or "what's your opinion?" If nobody reading the thread can come up with something on their own, the question's just gasping for air. Again, not to pick on you (I really do appreciate people creating as many threads as they do for Q&A), but it makes things so much easier.
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