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  1. #22621
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    eh, xcom classic campaign is doomed.

    Long story short: I got a terror mission in which as many cyberdisks were deployed as heavies I'd received in the entire campaign (2), whilst my only living heavy was in the medbay, firing HEAT ammo at the walls. I guess next time I'll just have to l2p and not get randomly assigned 4 snipers in a row. What a scrub move. Sarcasm aside, I have learned a few things, and made a few mistakes of my own which I'll endeavour not to do next time.

  2. #22622
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    I have a hard time believing anybody really misses Mass Effect 1's weapon system. Each weapon type having a bunch of different makes and mark numbers, and none of them feeling remotely different. You're regularly upgrading, but all you're doing is making some numbers go up a little. Meanwhile your inventory is filling up with junk weapons. The modular upgrades are good, but only make a noticeable difference late in the game. It was a very underbaked system, and Mass Effect 2 was a lot better for removing it.

  3. #22623
    I've gone back and started playing KotOR again (now that I've finally managed to get it reasonably working on Win7). I never did get very far in it first time round: after Taris and Dantooine, I think I did most of Tatooine, but that was it.

    I've also been playing stuff that's been in sales recently: Just Cause 2, Mini Ninjas and Sam & Max.

    Given future releases, I'm planning on replaying American McGee's Alice and, of course, Deus Ex, too.

    Kind of want L.A. Noire, but I have to spend less time buying games and more time playing them.
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  4. #22624
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arathain View Post
    I have a hard time believing anybody really misses Mass Effect 1's weapon system. Each weapon type having a bunch of different makes and mark numbers, and none of them feeling remotely different. You're regularly upgrading, but all you're doing is making some numbers go up a little. Meanwhile your inventory is filling up with junk weapons. The modular upgrades are good, but only make a noticeable difference late in the game. It was a very underbaked system, and Mass Effect 2 was a lot better for removing it.
    I'll take a bad weapon system (ME1) over no weapon system to speak of (ME2) any day of the week. ME2 is a lovely action game, one of my favorites, but Bioware's "we don't know how to create good RPG mechanics, so we'll just forgo having any" approach really pissed me off. For what it's worth, I thought ME3 struck a reasonable balance, and kind of wish the previous games could be ported to those mechanics.

  5. #22625
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    I thought ME3 struck a reasonable balance, and kind of wish the previous games could be ported to those mechanics.
    Me too. ME3 had a wonderful under-the-hood system.

    I'll take a bad weapon system (ME1) over no weapon system to speak of (ME2) any day of the week.
    I wouldn't. I don't feel the need to customize something if it's not going to make customizing that thing worth my while. I'm fine with games that give me one weapon and say "Go!" as long as the rest of the game is interesting. I want interesting challenges that force me to make interesting decisions--tactical, narrative, or what-have-you. ME1 didn't give me interesting choices or challenges with it's weapon system. I'd as soon not have to bother. It makes me feel like the darn game is assigning me busy work to meet some kind of arbitrary quota of Things Wot Must Be Clicked For This To Be a Proper Video Game.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 22-07-2014 at 05:34 AM.
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  6. #22626
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I wouldn't. I don't feel the need to customize something if it's not going to make customizing that thing worth my while. I'm fine with games that give me one weapon and say "Go!" as long as the rest of the game is interesting. I want interesting challenges that force me to make interesting decisions--tactical, narrative, or what-have-you. ME1 didn't give me interesting choices or challenges with it's weapon system. I'd as soon not have to bother. It makes me feel like the darn game is assigning me busy work to meet some kind of arbitrary quota of Things Wot Must Be Clicked For This To Be a Proper Video Game.
    To each their own, but I felt that while ME1's weapon system was lacking it certainly did still result in a meaningful sense of progression, at least. Losing that sense of progression entirely is one of my (many) mechanical issues with ME2. Bioware has a nasty habit of taking a lackluster system that could be improved and, rather than tring to fix it, simply stripping it out instead. In the case of ME2, they did this with virtually every mechanic in the game, to the point where there was basically nothing left. There's a degree to which my approval of ME3's mechanics is driven, as much as anything, by a massive sense of relief about getting to make any decisions at all.

  7. #22627
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    To each their own, but I felt that while ME1's weapon system was lacking it certainly did still result in a meaningful sense of progression, at least. Losing that sense of progression entirely is one of my (many) mechanical issues with ME2.
    Hmm. I suppose I've played so many games where you don't upgrade your guns that I don't quite understand how not having it represents a mechanical void. The loss of progression didn't happen for me because I didn't experience it in ME1. Enemies seemed to scale with me and it was my abilities that really seemed to grow and make me feel more powerful. Weapon and armor upgrades just felt like keeping up with the Jones's rather than meaningful progression. It's not like I did anything either. I just sometimes randomly happened upon a gun that was better.

    I ME2, that core progression of abilities is still there, and really isn't even much stripped down. Having fewer points is just an illusion--there was a lot of dead weight in the ME1 progression system. Near meaningless points between abilities that still had to be spent. Leveling up could happen with no meaningful changes. Not so much in ME2. Some of the changed and new abilities were really robust, too, and they synthesized much better.

    I find it very hard to see a lack of progression in ME2. You gain party members as the story escalates around you and while that story suffers from some major thematic issues and an awful pay-off with the Reaper thingy ... it creates a sense of building and foreboding and caps it with a great final mission (and an awful boss fight). That's the progression. You're gaining squad members and abilities and squad member abilities. You're gaining more customization options in how you approach a fight. That's mechanical and thematic progression. Adding some weapons with escalating stats just doesn't seem meaningful at all to me. I definitely don't see it as a lazy cop-out that they ripped that idea out of the game.

    I don't really understand what you mean about this alleged Bioware pattern, either. How many games do they do this in? More than that, though, your phrasing of their nasty habit sounds suspiciously like an arbitrary and misguided moralism about perceived effort. There's nothing creatively more suspect about removing and streamlining lackluster systems compared to retrofitting them to make them more robust.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 22-07-2014 at 08:04 AM.
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  8. #22628
    Lesser Hivemind Node L_No's Avatar
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    Finished Torchlight 1 a couple of days ago. The difficulty suddenly skyrocketed in the last few areas, and the final boss was a terrible slog. It didn't help I managed to get myself cornered between the boss and 20+ summoned mooks, so I ended up cheating and using god mode to defeat it - I had to click on the boss for a solid 15 minutes before it went down. I'm so happy I didn't try to beat the game in the regular way.

    Moved on to a replay of Splinter Cell: Double Agent. The game is more difficult than I remember, and that's coming from someone who finished all SC games multiple times and finished all Thief games. Still, having fun though.
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  9. #22629
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    This is pretty obviously something we're not going to agree on, so I'm inclined to stop it here before it turns into another one of those arguments. Suffice it to say that from my perspective, feature removal of the sort described is a cornerstone of a larger trend (epidemic at the time ME2 was released, arguably in retreat these days) of "streamlining" RPG mechanics out of RPG's. It seems silly to bang on this drum particularly hard considering that ME3 was a step back in the right direction, and seemed to work for both of us.

  10. #22630
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I feel like the RPG-paperwork aspects of Mass Effect 1 were kind of ... bad. Getting rid of them is hardly a crime against RPGs. Sure you had more choice but let's look at the quality of the choices here; there were many times where putting extra points into a skill had negligible effect or when you would simply be filling in the bubbles on your way to what you really wanted--the next activate/passive ability. Shepard was customizable in a sense, but sometimes the hierarchy of abilities made very little sense. Needing to waste valuable experience on pistols to get to Shotguns or Assualt Rifles to get to Sniper Rifles and so forth. Being unable to use the sniper scope without putting points into it was sort of annoying--why even make it technically usable if it's not practically usable? It just gets in the way while I'm cycling through to get to weapons I can actually hit the broad side of a barn with.
    I think this is where you and I see things differently. Even if I admire your approch to it, I often don't think way. Too deep and logical, I just go with it. The way I see it is that in ME you were almost constantly getting a level up and I enjoyed putting in my bars even if they really didn't do much. It felt like I was getting a lot more involved with my character, that I was earning it. Where as in ME2, there hardly any levels and a lot less to put things into. I do like some bits of ME2 I just didn't think they would change it up so much. Some for worse, some for better.

  11. #22631
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    Quote Originally Posted by L_No View Post
    Moved on to a replay of Splinter Cell: Double Agent. The game is more difficult than I remember, and that's coming from someone who finished all SC games multiple times and finished all Thief games. Still, having fun though.
    Double Agent's main problem was that it's stealth mechanics were poorly telegraphed. Even in that first mission there were places you could be detected which broke the logic of the game.
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  12. #22632
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Fair enough, all around.
    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. #22633
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    Starting my semi-regular, every-couple of-years-or-so playthrough of Baldur's Gate + BG2/Throne of Bhaal. I've always found that my attention drifts when I get to the first sections of ToB - with the odd result that, even though this series is one of my favourites, I've never actually finished the thing.

    Why does my attention drift? Is it because I love it so much that I don't want it to end? Is it because I'm so familiar with the content of BG1 and BG2 that the 'breaking new ground' aspect isn't what I want, and I just want the familiarity? Is it because it takes hours to playthough, and by the time I get to ToB I'm bored of the gameplay mechanics?

    Anyway, this time will be different. I've been finishing up games in my backlog recently, and I'm in the mood for closure.

  14. #22634
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Finished Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall. Great game, satisfying ending, I'll be remembering these characters for a long time.

  15. #22635
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    eh, xcom classic campaign is doomed.

    Long story short: I got a terror mission in which as many cyberdisks were deployed as heavies I'd received in the entire campaign (2), whilst my only living heavy was in the medbay, firing HEAT ammo at the walls. I guess next time I'll just have to l2p and not get randomly assigned 4 snipers in a row. What a scrub move. Sarcasm aside, I have learned a few things, and made a few mistakes of my own which I'll endeavour not to do next time.
    If you're winning at the strategic level, then unless the Terror Mission is in an important country for you for bonuses, you can consider sacrificing the country if your squad is not up to it.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  16. #22636
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    It's too hot to even think, so I've been playing some Hexcells Plus....

    Not really sure what to think so far. It's fun, but even though I know people say that there's no guesswork, it seems to me that you do have to guess at times. Which confuses me a bit. I hope I'm wrong, but if so I must really be missing something.

    Also played Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart. I don't actually know where I have it from and I was just going to get the cards, but it turned out to be something to do while watching some TV series, so I ended up finishing it.
    Just a typical Hidden Object game (although you can choose to play Mahjong instead of doing the HO screens), but it's okay for what it is and doesn't outstay its welcome (which is a bit unusual for HO games).

  17. #22637
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    And I'm keeping it up with Dynasty Warriors. I really love how the game portraits the flow of battle and how many options one actually has within a mission. It's always centered around the idea of a few super powered ubermenschen walking the battlefield and killing over a thousand soldiers is normal for the game... but somehow amidst all the silly, it deals really well with the back and forth of a battlefield. It feels like I'm actually controlling the battlefield through my presence.

    For example, you're often attacking from several sides and the game explicitely tells you to go someplace and do something. But you can chose not to. For example, there's a mission where you are told to flood a fortress. You can go with the plan and chase a messenger all the way, hoping to get there first. Or you can forgo that part and let someone else deal with it, and suddenly you're called into action to stop a few ballistae and then bring your own. Let's say the plan to flood the fortress failed, you've now got the chance to crack the fortress with the ballistae instead. It might be a bit more difficult but you can do it, if you think that's a better approach. Or you can fail parts of the mission completely and still press on, but morale will suffer greatly. Or going one way results in another way suddenly flanking you. I love that.

  18. #22638
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    If you're winning at the strategic level, then unless the Terror Mission is in an important country for you for bonuses, you can consider sacrificing the country if your squad is not up to it.
    It's precarious. If it was the only setback I'd absolutely abort, but fuckup fatigue is dwindling my reserves of non-sniper soldiers and I've already had 4 countries quit the project because I played the satellite game poorly. I wouldn't say I'm in an absolute loser of a position, but I'd be hoping for some easier missions immediately and hoping that I miraculously get a smattering of every class that isn't sniper just to bring me back on track. I might give it a go, I'm weighing my options.

  19. #22639
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    Quote Originally Posted by Similar View Post
    It's too hot to even think, so I've been playing some Hexcells Plus....
    Not really sure what to think so far. It's fun, but even though I know people say that there's no guesswork, it seems to me that you do have to guess at times. Which confuses me a bit. I hope I'm wrong, but if so I must really be missing something.
    I played through the entire game without needing to guess. I did guess very infrequently (three or so times), only to realize when I went back to the puzzle that the information was there the entire time and I was missing it. There are certain obscure strategies (not explained in tutorials) that the game makes liberal use of. Brackets especially can tell you where a lot of the positives are even if they don't tell you where they all are.

  20. #22640
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Internet View Post
    Brackets especially can tell you where a lot of the positives are even if they don't tell you where they all are.
    Just as usefully brackets can tell you were they aren't.
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