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  1. #21
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wenz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    The AI are passable but occasionally dead stupid. They navigate using pre-defined navigation nodes but occasionally get randomly stuck and can't proceed. This means you can take them out with little effort using your weapon of choice... of which there are several, and if there's any concession I can make it's that the weapons are fun.
    I'll never forget.
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  2. #22
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    Now, finally, the time for vengeance has come. What was that game?
    It's not any one game, it's business model game design. Modders are crazy bustards but they stop thinking about money and just make the godamn game. But nearly everyone else?

    Microtransactions to vampire out excess money from whales, subscriptions to get paid by people who are sick of the game but lack the self recognition to realise, carved out DLC to promote preordering and end of curve collectors edition's sale, grinding for key components to create psychological dependence, community to hold friends hostage, extended structure complexity to require greater head space investment.

    If it was a relationship you'd call it psychologically abusive. Here ends the sermon.

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I could not get into Deux Ex at all. It was so ... dull ...

    But it was silly, at times. I had to crawl to the end of the tutorial after blowing up both my legs in my efforts to hide from the Mech next to some, it turns out, explosive barrels. It had to build a bridge out of crates to crawl over to the other side because I couldn't jump up out of the water, and then I crawled all the way to the finish line. It was gloriously silly. It all went downhill from there.
    That sounds awesome, you suck at this.
    Last edited by Heliocentric; 11-08-2014 at 12:14 PM.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  3. #23
    Lesser Hivemind Node L_No's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    That sounds awesome, you suck at this.
    Yes it does, I want to play that game too!
    Want to add me on Steam? Steam name: Mr. Gert

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    it's a shame too. They refined the system for multiplayer but for some reason the more tactical multiplayer combat never made it inot the single-player ...

    I think Academy did a better job putting some finesse into the saber system, though I can't say I'm a terribly big fan of the mechanics in Dark Forces II. Might have been good at the time, but I have played very few games that are as mechanically dated as Dark Forces II. It plays terribly. I don't see how Outcast could be thought of as mechanically worse in terms of ... anything. Story? Maybe; I had to quit Dark Forces II because the gameplay was so terrible.
    You're lucky this thread is about being mean to games, or I'd have to get very angry with you! (Best FPS level design ever! )
    Academy had slightly better mechanics and you could actually use some of the other weapons/gadgets usefully.. but all wrapped up in some kind of teen-jedi-academy drama. Shudder.

  5. #25
    XCOM: Enemy Unkown sucks. There, I said it.

    runs away giggling

  6. #26
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Papers Please. Have you ever worked in a bureaucratic admin role - looking through documentation, scouring for mistakes and typos? Reading forms submitted by customers to find the mistakes that mean you fuck their lives up by doing your job? I have, but now apparently ITS A GAME YOU CAN PLAY AT HOME TOO!

    Obviously it's clever conceptually, but my god is it fucking tedious to play. It's a game for critics and for people who like saying 'ooh that's clever', rather than 'ooh that's fun', because it isn't fun, not even slightly.

    Of course, people will sneer down at you at this point "It's not supposed to be fun you stupid fuck, it's about immersing yourself in an environment, putting yourself in the shoes of someone who is actively oppressing people, to stop his family from dieing"

    I have in my working life been one of those cunts who has denied someone what seems like a reasonable and logical request on the grounds of pointless bureaucracy. I fortunately am no longer in that position and I'm pretty damn sure I don't need a computer game to tell me that it's soul destroying.

    (This is cathartic! apologies for the foul language)
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  7. #27
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    Yeah, some retro looking hipster passport simulator. Sure sounds like fun.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    Unfortunately, CA's diplomacy is crap.

    It's possible to become fabulously wealthy, early in the game, by selling military access. Trade deals that would be beneficial to everyone involved are declined as a matter of course. Any number of deals can be tested with a perfect prediction of the response, but actual money values have to be hand-entered, leaving the ambitious daimyo playing the exciting "guess what number I'm thinking of" mini-game. Ongoing transactions like trade agreements can be exchanged for single-turn windfalls-- and then broken the next turn, without any cost.
    Now you're making me think of my repeated attempts to play Civ V. There might as well not be any stupid diplomacy. Particularly the trading stuff. Sometimes the AI will come to me with some exchange or other, and I might or might not like it. Fine. But if I go to them, and propose something that would clearly be of mutual benefit will they take it? Nope. They won't even consider it for any price. I end up just ignoring them. But I bet, I almost guarantee, that someone will pop in later today and tell me how easy the AI is to exploit, and how they scam tons of money every game. Forbidding and unintuitive to a new player, but trivial and dull to an experienced one.

    You know what's finally getting to me? How empty the world seems to end up. In previous Civs the world would gradually fill up. You'd have lots of cities all connected by roads and improvements, so that civilisation would spread in a pleasing, organic fashion. In Civ V you'd better not build too many cities! You're hamstrung by the roll of the dice on generation, which determines how many luxury resource hexes you have access to. Oh, and roads are expensive now, so better not build too many of those. So much of the world is just empty. Pretty scenery, and the occasional barbarian camp. Only city states to break up the wilderness.

    Hey, remember those AIs? Remember that you couldn't trade with them? You might not end up interacting diplomatically with them either, because chances are you won't have neighbouring cities. I've given up quite a few game around the Middle Ages, because nothing ever happened. Units are slow to build, so you won't have too many of them (something else that might have filled up the empty space- nope!). No one has yet declared war on me. At all. Or on each other. Everyone sits locked in their own little bubble. At least the city states will ask me to do stuff.

    There are so many little systems I like in Civ V, but they rattle around pointlessly in this big empty space because nothing makes anything need to happen.

  9. #29
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockie View Post
    (This is cathartic! apologies for the foul language)
    Don't apologise, soul crushing is easily available, we don't need games for that.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  10. #30
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    You know what, Kerbal Space Program is sooo boring. Just try explaining it to your friends. "You build rockets..." They ask "then you do what?". It's just watching it climb and then it might get to the moon... or not. Why? No idea, there are no points or anything.

    They play much more exciting games, like Plants vs Zombies.

    (I'm not helping much, am I?)
    It is a technical difference, but's there none the less.

  11. #31
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post

    That sounds awesome, you suck at this.
    I just worded it badly. The tutorial was fun and silly in a good way. But it all went downhill from there into tediousness. I didn't encounter that again further in. I'm sure some people did, but like me in the tutorial I think it was mostly dumb luck. The game really isn't designed to create those kinds of situations over and over and over again with any reliability. You have to seek them out which takes away some of the power, or get lucky. Or else enjoy the basic mechanics and thus be fine waiting forever to have those moments which seems to be the stance of a lot of fans. They liked the multiple paths and the RPG mechanics and so forth. I didn't. I didn't feel immersed in a simulated world, and the simulation wasn't frequently silly. So I was stuck in this weird middle-ground game that didn't ... feel like much of a thing to be playing.

    Maybe it was better in context. Maybe it wasn't. I liked Human Revolution a lot better (and just straight-up a lot), though not for the same reasons people say they liked the original so at the same time I understand why a lot of fans disliked it.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 11-08-2014 at 11:54 PM.
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  12. #32
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    You're lucky this thread is about being mean to games, or I'd have to get very angry with you! (Best FPS level design ever! )
    Academy had slightly better mechanics and you could actually use some of the other weapons/gadgets usefully.. but all wrapped up in some kind of teen-jedi-academy drama. Shudder.
    I wasn't there for the story. I was there to feel like a Jedi. Academy managed that. Outcast made me feel ... well, like a Jedi reject. Mission accomplished, I suppose, but it's a shitty mission. :P

    Multiplayer Outcast is the best light-saber combat and the best melee weapon combat I have yet to encounter. There is no better 3D sword fighting game for me, at the very least. It's just the right amount of luck and skill and the combos lead to some interesting risk-reward. It's about commitment and caution. It looks and feels like a hollywood sword fight, but moment-to-moment decisions are much more like the actual sword-fighting I've done. Though having participated in combat sports may be part of why I don't mind the randomness of Outcast and Academy's single-player to begin with, too; sometimes you just take a sword to the arm despite using good form against an inferior opponent. War is hell. Thank goodness it's just pretend war and on to the next fight. At the same time, I can see why that's not desirable in a game-mechanics sense to a point even if the table-gamer in me rebels against that understanding ... and further I have issues with the implementation.

    I'm sure I also like it because I'm good at it. At first I didn't like the way it was different from Single-player. But then I died a bit and kept at it and realized I liked it a lot better. Then I got good at it a lot quicker than I normally get good at these sorts of things. Don't know if I'd still be any good, and I was never very competative in any case so "good" is relative.

    Dark Forces:I honestly believe you on the level design. But the shooting mechanics were not fun on a modern system and I couldn't tell you a damn thing about the level design one way or the other.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 12-08-2014 at 12:02 AM.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  13. #33
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    I'll go and write about why Jedi Knight is awesome in the Best games ever thread, if i have time.
    Totally agree with you on outcast and academy. Though I never played the mutliplayer so I only experienced the mostly random single player saber combat. It was still the best part of the game though, not that that was saying much.

    I was gonna write about how GISH is bloody awful... but then I realised that the game needs to be popular, and I don't know anyone who doesn't think GISH is bloody awful.

    Oooh. I know. BROTHERS IN ARMS: I FORGET WHICH SUBTITLE. (The one that everyone said was the best of the series).

    So, I mostly missed the whole WW2 shooter phase that followed Medal of Honor, and I decided I wanted to try one. (after everyone else had moved on to Modern Warfare 23 - late as usual. So I asked around and Brothers in Arms: Whatever was recommended as being the deepest, most tactical and authentic and best written option. So I picked it up for about $4 on a steam sale.

    Opening isn't promising... you're stuck in a small box with bush textures while a tank about 3m away tries to kill you. But then, flashback!
    Now you're stuck in a corridor about 3m wide with a small fence on one side and a small ditch on the other. You have to follow people, then go back the other way on the other side of the fence... what a long way to go around. Follow more people. Get a fixed emplacement gun while endless enemies run at you... sounds fun, but you can't actually see if you're hitting them because of the huge muzzle flash - so no satisfaction.

    So, the big thing of Brothers in Arms: Long Corridor is that it is supposed to have TACTICS. Unlike CoD/MoH you can order your team to flank people. Again and again and again and again.
    Well, it sounded good on paper, but in practice it makes every battle against 1-2 guys into a dull drawn out process where you repeat the exact same steps manually. Every combat area is designed with a side route for your flanking guys. So, meet bad guys. Take cover. Flank. Shoot. Repeat.
    I think I preferred: Meet bad guys. Shoot. It was quicker and more fun.

    Add in terrible checkpointing, endlessly spawning bad guys, really really really limiting corridors. For example: sections where you have to kill dozens of bad guys with a fixed emplacement gun before the 2ft high gate will open, then run across the field where you can get randomly killed by artillery, then do the boring drawn out flanking thing... but die at any point and you have to restart before the 5min fixed emplacement section.

    I can't say how far through it I got, because it was all the same. But I got to a point in a farm where I'd gotten very bored and impatient and consequently obviously advanced too speedily for the game, so the bad guys kept spawning about 3m behind me and attacking my squadmates who were about 50m back.
    They ignored me, so I could calmly pop each of them in the back of the head.. but that got dull after about the 50th appeared. And there seemed to be no way to run back across the farm courtyard to rejoin my slow teammates and do whatever needed to be done to stop the spawns from triggering without getting shot in the back.
    So, uninstalled.

    If that was the best of the WW2 corridor shooter period, I'm very thankful that I missed the rest of it. the only other one I played was CoD1 I think. Which wasn't half as bad.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I'd rip into The Witcher but I did give up (several times) a few hours into the game. Crap combat, uninteresting characters, pedestrian pacing... nope. Also I don't know why RPS lets it get away with its sexualisation of women, particularly when context seems to be irrelevant. Also Bioshock 2's political undertones had all the subtlety of a man with a jackhammer outside your window at 6am.


    On topic: I really wanted to do an indie game but apparently that's off limits so... Half Life 2 sucks, and by extension, so does Half Life. What's wrong with modern FPS games? Did you say linear, scripted sequences and level design? Well here's your goddamn genesis right here: HALF fucking LIFE. Valve's magnum opus gave birth to the linear scripted shooter, with its clearly telegraphed set pieces, arena segments, and scripted story sequences. Half Life 2 just took it to the next level. Instead of shooting Combine or headcrabs, I'm stuck in Kleiner's lab while they talk about stuff like I'm not even there! And when they do include me, they're talking as if I know what's been going on! That made a little bit of sense in Half Life where Gordon Freeman was supposed to have been working at Black Mesa for a while, but he's been MIA for ages in HL2, and they still assume he knows everything! Even worse, Valve's clumsy story-telling occasionally makes concessions by addressing the player with a bit of story exposition. And that story goes nowhere - it follows the LOST method of story-telling by answering every question with circular thinking or another question. Attempts at creating an enigmatic threat fall short because there's no backstory or history delivered to the player. HL2 dumps you in the middle of the conflict with no idea of what's going on or why you should care. Suddenly: Combine. What are they? Why are they here? Why is Breen where he is? How does this new world work? How many other cities are there? Lol nevermind, here's a terrible vehicle segment to play through.

    The AI are passable but occasionally dead stupid. They navigate using pre-defined navigation nodes but occasionally get randomly stuck and can't proceed. This means you can take them out with little effort using your weapon of choice... of which there are several, and if there's any concession I can make it's that the weapons are fun.

    Half Life: Birth of the scripted sequence. Looking for something to blame? It isn't consoles: it's Half Life.
    This...this needed to be said.

  15. #35
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    Skyrim Sucks.

    Here's this huge open world to explore. Full of...snow. And rocks. Lots of those. And frankly not much else. Right then, off we go to the dungeons. Cause...arent there, like, 150 of them this time around?

    No. There are four. Precisely and exactly four. Well, five, if you count that cave sub-type known as cave with ice. Other than that, you have Cave, Dwarven Ruin, Fort, Nordic Tomb. By the Nine do you have Tomb. What are there, like, 55 tombs in Skyrim? I swear to Akatosh there are more Nords buried in Skyrim than living.

    Of course you can still liven up a game with all of four reused dungeon tilesets. A huge beastiary full of numerous, interesting enemies with varied move sets would work, for starters. Except, that's not what we got; we got Skyrim instead. Put Bear Grylls in a costime from a Renaissance Faire and turn him loose with an aluminum baseball bat: There, you now have EVERY FUCKING CAVE in Skyrim, in a nutshell.

    For an Encore he can wander through abandoned third world factories beating on trash cans made of tin to simulate the experience of a Dwarven ruin. Just once. Cause, you know, other than right turn/left turn variations, there's ONLY REALLY ONE in the ENTIRE FUCKING GAME.

    All of which might be tolerable still, given intriguing loot with a wide variety of move sets, interesting abilities and real choices as to play styles. But that's not the game we got; instead, we got Skyrim. Where every melee weapon swings like a baseball bat in the hands of a drunken little league father whose told his son way too many times to choke up and is now hellbent on a demonstration despite the 7 beers he's drank this evening and no, this can't wait thank you very much, this is how its done now pay attention. That's what its like; every single weapon, that's what it's like. Except for backstabbing; that's like trying to trim the hem of a waistcoat with a butter knife while intoxicated.

    But at least there's magic. Red magic. Blue magic. Purple magic. Its like the ending of Mass Effect 3, except exponentially more often and less interesting. Exponentially. Both.

    All of this stuff has the weight and impact of a freezer bag full of feathers in a strong headwind and finishing moves that look like stunts from a silent-film-era action movie with sound effects taken from a busy restaurant kitchen heavy on the metallic serving trays. Which is still an improvement on the voice acting and goes double for any line uttered by Linda Carter.

    Seriously, there are mountains we can't climb, snow we dont leave footprints in, Bears that eat Dragons for lunch and a crap load of wooden buildings Dragons never burn down. Which is weird, seeing as how the wood never absorbs water from the rain or snow; if it did that, the stuff might actually stop when I'm standing under one.

    I know a lot of folks will proclaim that I shouldnt worry and mods will fix all of this. That's great. You know what else would have done the trick? A game engine that wasnt built on an abacus and about two more years of development time. Coupled with a scripting language that actually makes sense and people who know how to use it the first time around, it might actually make for an interesting and thought provoking game.

    The which Skyrim isn't.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Also Bioshock 2's political undertones had all the subtlety of a man with a jackhammer outside your window at 6am.
    That one I'm not going to let go. The characters' political motivations had all the subtlety of a jackhammer, sure, but the same could be said of a lot of extremely successful politicians in the real world. The game did not treat them that way. If you think it did, you weren't paying attention.

    Can't really argue too much with most of the rest of it, though. I mean, I liked fighting the Big Sisters, but I can easily see how someone wouldn't. A repeating boss who's much faster and more agile than you and doesn't change her tactics or react to any of the damage you do until she's dead? Sounds pretty frustrating to me. I liked revisiting Rapture - I viewed it more as someone getting it right where Levine fucked it up - but it was reusing assets that were years out of date (or not doing anything wildly new) and it was very obviously built on a game which was pretty silly and videogame-y back when it came out. (Not to mention their big innovations this time around were theming half the game around horde mode, and the other half around Pokemon Snap.) I had no problem with it being a sequel to one of the most iconic games of that generation (because I didn't like the first one much) but it was embarrassingly desperate to justify itself to people. I liked the plot fine, but if you're not fussed about fatherhood stories and you're tired of Ken Levine Explains Objectivism, yeah, there's really not much there for you.

    I'll stay away from criticising stuff I don't like this time, I think, but hey - just wanted to try and lay into one of my favourite games of all time. :)

  17. #37
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wenz View Post
    I'll never forget.
    Whoa ... it's based on your sightlines?

    Is it bad if that actually makes me more impressed at how well it worked a lot of the time?

    But also why the hell?!?

    Wait. That can't be it. You can be shot from behind. Hmm. Anyone familiar with Source know what's going on there?
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Wait. That can't be it. You can be shot from behind. Hmm. Anyone familiar with Source know what's going on there?
    Don't know Source, but in Quake (which is probably similar), LoS would be gauged by drawing a line from one model's origin to another model's origin. "Origin" is just a particular point for the volumetric bounding boxes; I think the origins were by default the center of the bounding box.

    But a line going from point A to point B is exactly the same as a line going from point B to point A.

    I don't know if games these days actually look for the projection of the model, and total occlusion of that projection, but back then, they were just checking to see if a single line was being blocked. And apparently HL2 physics entities were blocking that line.

  19. #39
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    Don't know Source, but in Quake (which is probably similar), LoS would be gauged by drawing a line from one model's origin to another model's origin. "Origin" is just a particular point for the volumetric bounding boxes; I think the origins were by default the center of the bounding box.

    But a line going from point A to point B is exactly the same as a line going from point B to point A.

    I don't know if games these days actually look for the projection of the model, and total occlusion of that projection, but back then, they were just checking to see if a single line was being blocked. And apparently HL2 physics entities were blocking that line.
    Huh. Why not look to the origin and then extrapolate outwards a little bit? A square or circle centered on the origin or something?
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Huh. Why not look to the origin and then extrapolate outwards a little bit? A square or circle centered on the origin or something?
    Looking at a square is a different sort of problem than looking at a point. Quake1 wasn't even set up to handle looking for that sort of collision. It would have been expensive computationally; even the costs of line-based LoS could add up in Quake 1*. So that's one part of the answer. Other parts of the answer might be that it almost always worked just fine, and, maybe in Valve's case, that this was how the last game handled it.

    *I discovered this, incidentally, in the first mod I ever made, where I put Quake mobs on teams so I could watch them fight each other. Part of what this meant was an explosion of LoS checks. Normally, every mob in a level checked every 0.1 second to see if it could see the player; if it did, it would wake up. With my mod, of course, every mob had to check for LoS to every other mob of a different team. 200 checks per second turned into 2000, and it was noticeable in terms of framerate, so I reduced the rate with which sleeping mobs looked for each other. BTW, the cost of maintaining sleeping mobs is, I believe, part of the original reason behind the popularity of spawning/teleporting in mobs in response to some trigger-- your basic scripted event.

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