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  1. #21121
    Lesser Hivemind Node Wheelz's Avatar
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    Finally finished my play through of DarkSiders that started 3 years ago. I'd like to start by thanking JGMan, for providing enough details in his description of how to beat the Stygian to indicate that I'd been doing it wrong. I'd also Like to thank my parents for supporting me during some of these difficult times, as well as the rest of my family and friends for not leaving me when the gaming got tough.

    More seriously, I basically spent a good part of the later half of the game with various YouTube videos and walkthroughs open. For some reason I found a lot of the puzzles didn't really explain themselves enough (or give enough feedback when you're doing it wrong) to indicate what I was supposed to do (there's a bit in the Black Tower/Fortress/w.e that involves having to hit white crystals on the wall with a specific weapon, but nothing indicates that you're supposed to hit them, or with what weapon). I had similar issues with a few of the bosses too.
    I did really like the setting though, the whole four horsemen, angels and demons, magical counsel's that uphold the law, etc. A bit disappointed they're won't be more to continue the setting(?) (I don't think story is the word I'm looking for, as it was pretty standard) at some point (I understand DarkSiders 2 is more of a prequel/side-quel).

    Overall, I'm not really sure if I enjoyed it. But I don't think I hated it either, so there's that.
    Last edited by Wheelz; 27-04-2014 at 07:33 AM.

  2. #21122
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    See, that's the same thing, really, to me. Sure, it's mildly more frustrating when I can't physically click fast enough ... but the core of the matter is that a game I anticipated being about reacting to emerging events rapidly was actually more about memory and juggling and multi-tasking. The actual physical fiddliness of that isn't what turns me off.

    I don't think it's a design problem. It's just not what I've always not-quite-consciously desired from RTS games, and as such I've never enjoyed them as much as I thought I would. I'm sure I would enjoy some of them more, now, coming into them with different expectations, but even then I think it's just not the genre for me. I've had the same experience you've had--sometimes losing important units or battles because I didn't have it all organized in my head well and I forgot it more-so than because I wasn't fast enough--either at thinking or at moving. I'm not especially fast at thinking in any case, but I don't mind being pushed on that one. It's more being asked to keep track of the whole battlefield at once. I respect the challenge; I don't think it's meaningless. I'm just not interested in the challenge. I don't want to try to remember an entire battlefield worth of stuff going on unless I have time to consider the data; I don't find that struggle interesting--not on the scale of your typical RTS (i.e. exaggeratedly fast given the in-world scale of operations and relatively large in-world).

    I like frantic games, just ... not in the way that most RTS games seem to be frantic. I'm not interested in playing shepherd, I guess--knowing when to watch what unit and when to do this and that on the fine scale over which even a not-too-micro-y RTS takes place. I love games about timing and efficiency, and I love games about split-second decisions. I've yet to find an RTS that reminds me of why I love both of those things, though I've found plenty of unrelated games that scratch the itch.
    Just as an aside, rather than being directed at you as you state you respect the challenge, just it's not for you:

    Most Battles throughout history have been about movement and logistics and winning ground. If that happens, the rest tends to follow. Because of that, as well as the communication delays, battles between competent generals were usually a tension between constant readjustment before rolling the dice as it were and throwing the unit forward into a final position of either sucsess or defeat.

    In that sense it's only the RTS' of the past ten years or so which have come close to capturing that. The skillset they require is far more appropriate an approximation of commanding men with feelings in random situations, not chess pieces who exist in some form of normalised system. If youre not completely on top of them and don't use them as part of a greater whole things go downhill very quickly. Reacting rather than dictating in Relic RTS is bad, but that's how battles have nearly always gone. I love Chess but I don't think it's a useful approximation of WW2 combat at anything beyond a very large scale.

    RTS before were less about this stuff and more about means of production, wars rather than battles, as the existence of the Turtle Player demonstrates. The fact is that sort of compressed autonomy and ability to thrive in isolation has never really been realistic. And whereas battles are about people and panic and morale and discipline, virtually none of this came across, because these wernt modelled to anything but the vaguest degree. Battles, such as they were, were just top trumps, and DPS contests. Thhey required strategy of a sort but nothing nearly as impressive ir approximate to battlefield thinking.
    I've seen countless COH players fight their way out of dire odds through improvisation and mastery of the concepts, whereas trad RTS with a few exceptions mean that as long as you keep production going you can just keep feeding the meat shield until the balance is tipped.

    Taking your time to find the optimum strategy is not being strategically minded, because you are ignoring the key concepts of Time and the actions of other parties. What people actually want who complain about clickfests in relation to Relic RTS' is a puzzle game with soldiers, or an easy game. Because if you don't understand the significance of planning for pressure and constant scouting to allow for informed decision making, you don't understand two of the most key elements of warfare thought the ages.

    COH is only a clickfest if you're bad at it. Micromanaging dosent require clicks per second-just the constant awareness of what's going on everywhere. If you do that and scout properly and prepare your attacks appropriately you can, at least in single player, just let your forces play it out with just a few clicks here and there to reposition. Ultimately you shouldn't get into a fight you aren't going to win, because you know the opposition and what that will require, and you also shouldn't get pushed back by reinforcements because they should be tied up elsewhere, or you should be attacking somewhere where you know there aren't any because your scouring has revealed as much. It's that multi dimensional thinking that's needed, on the fly, and it's very demanding but it isn't reliant on how fast you can use hot keys. It's very cerebral.

  3. #21123
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    To me its hugely different. CoH is herding units hurriedly into cover, throwing up strips of wire, mines or sandbags to redefines an area and handling simultaneous conflicts. And starcraft is baby sitting resource collection while trying to sabotage your opponents resources.

    Starcraft is clicking faster or you lose up to a point, the minutia of buying and selling structures, hotkeying buildings and units which are many magnitudes more capable in a fight when babysat (the jet bike grenade car thing vs zerglings.) Don't get me wrong CoH has hard counters too (tank vs machine gun) but they are not purely dependant on micro. In all honestly CoH has more in common with the original meaning of micromanaging (a fussy boss who directs everyone) because starcraft is more like being a puppeteer.
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  4. #21124
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    Playing ME,is there maybe auto-aim :o

  5. #21125
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wenz's Avatar
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    Nothing, i'm getting the best vg soundtracks i can. Portal2 is fine but the unofficial ones like vtmb and fear are ok too.

  6. #21126
    Network Hub Avish's Avatar
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    Took a break from Saints row IV to play and finish Blackwell: Epiphany over the weekend.

    It's a step up from previous titles in the series with regards to looks and writing. Dave Gilbert is an excellent writer who brings good lore and great characters (voice acting is also good, which helps) and Ben chandler did a great work within the limitations of the low res graphics.

    However, as an ending to the Blackwell series I felt a bit disappointing with the way things ended. I liked the way the personal story of Rosa and Joey ended, but I was hoping that Epiphany will get more into the bigger story and it was very lacking in that regard.

    And now I can get back to fighting aliens in virtual Steelport.

  7. #21127
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    I got done with the single-player part of Blacklist a while ago. Ultimately, I was disaffected with it. At first I was rather liking it, a combination of just the idea of sneaking always being interesting and the positive image I hold of the series' earlier entries. It seemed to me that Blacklist is out of focus. It wants to be like MGS in some respects. The story is out of whack, but not enough so to be ludicrously captivating. There's the option to go through it without incident, except when there suddenly isn't, which also goes the other way when there suddenly is no option but to not disturb anyone. The environtments bothered me too. Details are used inconsistently - for example, there are a lot of pipes that look like the pipes you can climb but which you cannot. The same goes for ledges and windowsills.

    And like Helio's said earlier, the final boss fight is an ugly wart. What makes it so ugly is that it is just a one-on-one boss fight feeling very out of place in a story trying to occupy the whole world as its stage. And it's also an uninspired boss fight: there's a clear path to go, there's only one stage element to pay attention to and then both combatants are stripped to just the bare minimum of what they can do: one holds a gun and the other jumps from cover to cover. And all covers are identical too. A minimalist showdown didn't sit right with a blockbuster setting.

    I then took up Metro 2033, looking for an unabashed on rails experience, and that's what I got mostly. Here inconsistent detail was annoying too. The world invites you to look around, if for no other reason than to find another filter, but if you can enter a room it's usually the one without a door. You can try most doors though and they make a locked sound. I got the feeling that it wants me to imagine a world larger than what I get to see, but won't just come out and admit that I'm walking through a sealed pipe. I played through in the harder ranger mode, even the outside sections, which were infuriating and didn't need to be - it was only because they're preceded by supposedly big stations that are actually the smallest you interact with and where they sold filters far less often than in stations you visit earlier.I hope Last Light will be more consistent and better paced.

    The above two experiences did remind me of why I prefer graphically less ambitious games: there's less detail to fill the world with, less minutiae, and so I won't notice what's missing because a graphically simpler game doesn't call up expectations of detail on the same level as a graphically ambititious game.

  8. #21128
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
    Finally finished my play through of DarkSiders that started 3 years ago. I'd like to start by thanking JGMan // (there's a bit in the Black Tower/Fortress/w.e) // (I understand DarkSiders 2 is more of a prequel/side-quel). //Overall, I'm not really sure if I enjoyed it. But I don't think I hated it either, so there's that.
    *Raucous applause* "Woo! Woo! We love you man! Woo!"

    Yeah, the Black Tower is...a step-up from the rest, to say the least. If you were able to navigate without getting lost, you had to solve the central puzzle, fight the same mini-boss three times (at least it was pretty fun) and keep up with the narrative dump. Still, the aesthetic of the place was cool, as well as having a great boss fight!

    As for the sequel, that you like the universe will help, but I always find Darksiders 2 a little more difficult to recommend. DS1 ends on such a glorious note, but sometimes it's better to have that idea of what things could be than to know what they are. DS2's combat is far superior, actually approaching serious character action games, but a lot of that is negated by upgradeable/customisable weapons that can really make things much easier for you, but are sort of necessary to keep you going. Whilst the pacing in DS1 wasn't amazing, it was certainly good enough, but in 2 it goes out the window about 2/3 of the way through. The first two areas are huge, but the second one can really start to drag by its zealous adherence to the Rule Of Three.

    Here's how I describe the Darksiders series - where 1 is greater than the sum of its parts, the opposite is true of 2. Almost everything about it is better, but it just doesn't feel quite as enjoyable at the end of the day. If it were the same game, in terms of quality of its content, but followed the narrative of 1, I think it would be a lot more palatable, but given where 1 finished and what 2 does, it can end up feeling a little flat as a result. I do still think it's a good game, especially for the price you can get it at on sale, but outside of a few particular things, I don't think its highs are as high.

    Back to 1, I know that whilst when I finished it I really enjoyed it, I came to appreciate it more after finishing it. The ending really resonates as being something cool and the game has that right level of polish and roughness that makes it memorable, I feel. That DS1 was also the best Zelda-esque game released in the last generation, including two actual Zelda games, probably helped in my case.
    Last edited by The JG Man; 27-04-2014 at 02:24 PM.
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  9. #21129
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    Finally decided to try to play more games in my backlog, starting with Mirror's Edge...

    Let's just say that it may have been a poor choice: having spent most of the last few months' gaming time on FTL and Spelunky, it appears that FPS controls demanding flow might be a little bit beyond me. (It doesn't help that the "turn around" key defaults to Q for quick accessibility, putting it right next to the mission/pause Tab binding...)
    Are the default keybindings good, or does anyone have recommendations for better ones? I keep having to deliberately reposition my entire hand to perform some sequences, which seems suboptimal...

  10. #21130
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Hey Gwath, What's your take on the Homeworld series? I'm kinda with you in the liking of RTSs but I'm in love with Homeworld.

  11. #21131
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    Stupid mass effect,died now i need to repeat 20+ minutes of gameplay because i wasn't allowed to save my progress.. Nice settings and all,but the gameplay is decent at best,what a shame.

  12. #21132
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Yeah, I don't judge people who feel that way but similarly just count myself lucky that I can play games with 90s graphics and not mind that it doesn't look as shiny.
    Actually most 90's graphics are fine, since they're almost universally 2D and that ages well. It's old 3D that makes my eyes bleed, unfortunately. Some people seem to think this is something to be proud of for some reason, but from my perspective its just an irritation that keeps me from enjoying good games.
    Last edited by vinraith; 27-04-2014 at 04:21 PM.

  13. #21133
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skalpadda View Post
    Been on a Don't Starve binge today. I found a perfect camping location with beefalos to the east and west and pig villages to the north and south, one with a pig king and all within walking distance. So far "run to the beefalos!" or "run to the pigs!" has sufficed as a tactic to deal with hounds and most other threats I've come across. I somehow managed to anger two tree guards and a spider queen at the same time only to have my bacon saved by a herd of beefalos in heat.

    I also forgot to eat dinner.
    Yeah that happened to me too recently, it had me laughing out loud (I mean, for real). I had the impression dealing with hounds is not as hard as it was before, or I've become better at it? just weat the log armor and wield the spear, and fight one at a time as you would do in any traditional roguelike.

    Now, after a new burst of DS (with a months long hiatus) I'm frustrated with it again because there's so much to learn and discover and deaths are just so expensive in terms of time, that it makes me want save scum. I actually tried that once and it sapped out the pleasure of playing it. Duh.

    The game is good enough in my eyes to deserve finding out about things on my own, OTOH I don't have a gazillion hours to pour into it, or put it another way, it isn't addictive enough to make me put up with the deaths.

    That's what's frustrating me, I want to play more of it and I can't get myself to. But I don't want to become the wiki-open-in-another-window like Minecraft and Terraria (I swear sometimes in Minecraft I had been reading the wiki and thought - wait how the hell was I supposed to figure THAT out myself?!), because the chance of not playing survival that way is one of the greatest achievements of DS.

    Hell, maybe I'm just not patient enough anymore, I used to spend a lot more time dying stupid deaths in roguelikes without complaining - I just wish there was something in it to keep me motivated to play.

    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    Actually most 90's graphics are fine, since they're almost universally 2D and that ages well. It's old 3D that makes my eyes bleed, unfortunately.
    Old 3D can be eye-gouging, indeed. I often have this funny thought in my head that current games that look "amazing" to us might not all age as well we think, especially those going for the photorealistic angle and having actual people speaking in them. Some titles have distinctive art styles which will always be a good line of defense and others sidestep the problem, still I wonder...

    Now with all this talk about CoH it makes me want have another go at it.
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  14. #21134
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    The main problem I have with old games is the ones where they hadn't worked out mouseover tooltips, so you have to guess what an obscure low-resolution symbol will do if you click on it.

    I'm still on Age of Wonders III and will be for some time. With a side order of AI War and XCOM for when I'm not feeling stressed.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  15. #21135
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    I'm still on Age of Wonders III and will be for some time.
    Should I take that as a recommendation? I'm a huge fan of the originals and had been wondering about the new one. I'm disappointed at the lack of races, though. Needs more dire penguin.

  16. #21136
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    Definitely fought some dire penguin independents.

    Still playing Dark Souls The First. Feel so uncool now that 2 is out but I have a Lordvessel to fill, damnit!

  17. #21137
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    Should I take that as a recommendation? I'm a huge fan of the originals and had been wondering about the new one. I'm disappointed at the lack of races, though. Needs more dire penguin.
    I'm not sure I'd recommend it to someone who was a huge fan. I'm a reasonable fan of the old games and I really like the new one. But in particular if you're concerned about the lack of races you're probably also going to be concerned by the fact that 1) there isn't so much distinction between the races; 2) there's no great reason not to have lots of races in your empire any more, so you end up with a bunch of everything; and 3) often you end up using your class-specific units a lot anyway, which are either race-independent or very similar for all races.

    In mitigation you have the Dwellings which can give you powerful units of unusual races (fairies, giants, dragons, undead).

    I think the amount of variety you get is also dependent on your play style. If you like to play defensively and conservatively then you'll find you're mostly waging war with your class-specific Tier 4 units (with occasional Dwelling units like Dragons). There isn't much variety there. If you're more aggressive (which the game design suggests you ought to be) then you'll be fighting with lots of racial units and you'll see noticeable differences between the sides.

    I did summon a Dire Penguin today. I imagine we'll be seeing Frostlings and some others in a DLC or expansion.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  18. #21138
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by salattu View Post
    I got done with the single-player part of Blacklist a while ago. Ultimately, I was disaffected with it. At first I was rather liking it, a combination of just the idea of sneaking always being interesting and the positive image I hold of the series' earlier entries. It seemed to me that Blacklist is out of focus. It wants to be like MGS in some respects. The story is out of whack, but not enough so to be ludicrously captivating. There's the option to go through it without incident, except when there suddenly isn't, which also goes the other way when there suddenly is no option but to not disturb anyone. The environtments bothered me too. Details are used inconsistently - for example, there are a lot of pipes that look like the pipes you can climb but which you cannot. The same goes for ledges and windowsills.
    You know, after playing conviction for hundreds of hours I was throughly drilled in how to see the navigational markers for Blacklist, had I come out of chaos theory's 'every pipe is a route' I would likely be very confused.

    Like Conviction, Blacklist is at its best when you are far away from narrative linearity. The 4E missions range from Grimm's one alarm mission failure to Charlie's "Take out all opponents". While many deride the Charlie missions I feel they compare well to Hotline Miami on the hardest difficulty because ammo runs low and you need to use what opponents drop. Stealthing with an unsilenced assault rifle is like a murderous mix of knock-a-door-run and bulldog (the playground game) trying to choke out or worse the occasional exposed opponent while dogs and soldiers hunt you.
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  19. #21139
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    @NathanH

    Thanks for the detailed reply. What I'm hearing is "it's a good fantasy 4X, but not necessarily a good AoW sequel per se." That's fair, and actually very helpful because it will constrain my expectations. It definitely still sounds like something I'd enjoy, especially since now I won't be expecting a faithful AoW follow-up.

  20. #21140
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonson View Post
    Just as an aside, rather than being directed at you as you state you respect the challenge, just it's not for you:

    Most Battles throughout history have been about movement and logistics and winning ground. If that happens, the rest tends to follow. Because of that, as well as the communication delays, battles between competent generals were usually a tension between constant readjustment before rolling the dice as it were and throwing the unit forward into a final position of either sucsess or defeat.

    In that sense it's only the RTS' of the past ten years or so which have come close to capturing that. The skillset they require is far more appropriate an approximation of commanding men with feelings in random situations, not chess pieces who exist in some form of normalised system. If youre not completely on top of them and don't use them as part of a greater whole things go downhill very quickly. Reacting rather than dictating in Relic RTS is bad, but that's how battles have nearly always gone. I love Chess but I don't think it's a useful approximation of WW2 combat at anything beyond a very large scale.

    RTS before were less about this stuff and more about means of production, wars rather than battles, as the existence of the Turtle Player demonstrates. The fact is that sort of compressed autonomy and ability to thrive in isolation has never really been realistic. And whereas battles are about people and panic and morale and discipline, virtually none of this came across, because these wernt modelled to anything but the vaguest degree. Battles, such as they were, were just top trumps, and DPS contests. Thhey required strategy of a sort but nothing nearly as impressive ir approximate to battlefield thinking.
    I've seen countless COH players fight their way out of dire odds through improvisation and mastery of the concepts, whereas trad RTS with a few exceptions mean that as long as you keep production going you can just keep feeding the meat shield until the balance is tipped.

    Taking your time to find the optimum strategy is not being strategically minded, because you are ignoring the key concepts of Time and the actions of other parties. What people actually want who complain about clickfests in relation to Relic RTS' is a puzzle game with soldiers, or an easy game. Because if you don't understand the significance of planning for pressure and constant scouting to allow for informed decision making, you don't understand two of the most key elements of warfare thought the ages.

    COH is only a clickfest if you're bad at it. Micromanaging dosent require clicks per second-just the constant awareness of what's going on everywhere. If you do that and scout properly and prepare your attacks appropriately you can, at least in single player, just let your forces play it out with just a few clicks here and there to reposition. Ultimately you shouldn't get into a fight you aren't going to win, because you know the opposition and what that will require, and you also shouldn't get pushed back by reinforcements because they should be tied up elsewhere, or you should be attacking somewhere where you know there aren't any because your scouring has revealed as much. It's that multi dimensional thinking that's needed, on the fly, and it's very demanding but it isn't reliant on how fast you can use hot keys. It's very cerebral.

    Good post! I certainly prefer the mange-the-field challenge to the build-crap-and-manage-finances-disguised-as-crystals-and-stuff challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey View Post
    Hey Gwath, What's your take on the Homeworld series? I'm kinda with you in the liking of RTSs but I'm in love with Homeworld.
    Never played it, sadly.
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