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Poobah

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  • Birthday 07/21/1989

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  1. I was saying that you seemed to be quite vehement in your disagreement with Rodrigo's assertion that it's the "best game ever" ie. you very clearly seem to dislike it being given that accolade/it being in that conversation. I completely agree that fighting about it and trying to project ones own tastes on to others for what... some sense of superiority? is very pointless. Ultimately what people mean when they say "best" is most often "favourite" and everyone's entitled to their own (often evolving) favourite; to me it just seems rude to jump on someone so vociferously for expressing love of something. I do get the instinct to insist that people who didn't play Morrowind when it was new and so can't appreciate it properly the way I did can't possibly know what they're talking about but unfortunately people who were born after its release can now vote so that's a world I've got to live in.
  2. Going a bit hard in the grognard angle there, BG3 is a great game - it does a whole bunch of things really well and is extremely ambitious for a game with its production values in the current era. You might not like it but it deserves the massive popularity it has achieved. It may not literally be the greatest RPG ever (not that we can ever know one way or the other) but it's deserving of being in the conversation and it's certainly a worthy candidate to be anyone's favourite RPG ever.
  3. Slay the Spire 2 announced: I do wonder what they've got to follow up such a beloved hit. We'll have to wait and see how and if they iterate on their formula. Also while I'm here Planet Crafter had its 1.0 patch launch today. It's a game I quickly grew to love, and it's made by a teeny tiny team so to achieve something like this is truly impressive and I really want to sing its praises.
  4. Some people I know were picking out favourite game releases of each year of their lives (I didn't quite go back all the way though, had nothing for the first few years), it was pretty fun to research though I'm sure there were many more that weren't included in the various lists and wikipedia articles as they get increasingly barebones as they go back. Interesting how packed some years are (I had to pare down the list of honourable mentioned in some years a whole bunch) where in others I struggled to even find one game that I'd played and enjoyed enough to consider. Anyway I thought I would share it here for ya'll to judge and perhaps inspire some discussion/consideration of your own. The rules I went by were that I had to have played it, and I would use the date that a game hit 1.0 if it was an early access style title, I would consider the games "as finished" in the case of games that got expansions/dlc/patches, and in the awkward transitional period where I was old enough to be buying my own games but where we still had these staggered regional releases I decided to use the UK date since that'd be when I actually got my hands on the game. Honourable mentions/runners up in brackets. 1991: Civilization (Sonic the Hedgehog) 1992: Ecco the Dolphin 1993: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, the version I played was the GBC re-release but I decided to put it here (Doom) 1994: Final Fantasy VI 1995: Dark Forces (Rayman, Command & Conquer, Phantom 2040, Comix Zone) 1996: Quake (Super Mario 64 wins if I hadn't gone Uk release dates) 1997: Goldeneye 64 - a hell of a tough year but I played many of these later on whereas I don't think anything came close to the excitement I had at getting my N64 and Goldeneye which was quite close to when they actually came out (Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, Final Fantasy VII, Ultima Online, Super Mario 64, Blast Corps, a bunch more) 1998: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Half-Life, Banjo-Kazooie) 1999: Pokemon Red & Blue (X:Beyond the Frontier Rollercoaster Tycoon, Rogue Squadron) 2000: Diablo II (The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Dragon Warrior Monsters, Pokemon Snap) 2001: Halo: Combat Evolved (FF IX, Max Payne, Pokemon Gold/Silver, Banjo-Tooie) 2002: The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, Neverwinter Nights, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 & quite a few others, what a year.) 2003: Metroid Prime (Wind Waker, Knights of the Old Republic, Max Payne 2) 2004: Half Life 2 (Halo 2) 2005: Guild Wars 2006: Nothing I like enough to include, Oblivion if I have to name something I guess 2007: Portal 2008: X3:Terran Conflict 2009: Borderlands (Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver, Braid, Torchlight) 2010: Civilization V (Mass Effect 2, VVVVVV, Starcraft 2, Super Meat Boy) 2011: Minecraft (Portal 2, Skyrim, Bastion, Terraria) 2012: Guild Wars 2 (XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Thomas Was Alone, Borderlands 2, FTL:Faster Than Light) 2013: Path of Exile (Paper Please, Rogue Legacy, The Stanley Parable) 2014: Transistor (Divinity: Original Sin) 2015: Undertale. (Ori & The Blind Forest) 2016: XCOM2 & Stellaris tied (DOOM, Enter The Gungeon) 2017: Divinity: Original Sin 2 (Slime Rancher, Hollow Knight) 2018: Celeste (Into The Breach) 2019: Slay The Spire (Disco Elysium) 2020: Hades (Monster Train, Doom Eternal) 2021: Lots on the "to play" list but nothing yet good enough that I've played 2022: Same as 2021 2023: Baldur's Gate 3 It's interesting how while my tastes have changed over time in some ways, they have stayed relatively the same in others, and while some of these picks are retrospective it's still possible to see a bit of a progression. I enjoyed shooty games a lot more when I was younger, but the seeds of my enjoyment of strategy and management games were sown early, and over time I've grown more and more interested in indie games and spurned AAA developers, as well as console gaming in general. I was mostly a Nintendo kid, though I had a Playstation and later got an XBox too as we can see with the inclusion of the first two Halo games as well as the two good (great!) Max Payne games in the honourable mentions.
  5. I've had a few setbacks the past couple of weeks and my depression is doing it's best to drag me all the way down to the bottom of the hill. I've picked up some kinda unidentified injury to my foot from all the exercise and yoga that's really worrying me but I haven't managed to contact a doctor yet. It was getting better but I forced myself to go out to try and get out of the depression spiral and managed to trigger it again, which of course made me feel worse, like even when I'm trying to help myself things get worse anyway so yeah. Also I had some shitty goings on in a group I was in in a game. I don't want to get on to the nerdy details but basically of put a lot of time and effort in to the group to help friends who were in it - I'd already killed the boss and gotten the achievement the group wants before so I didn't need to be there and was there for the social aspect and because I enjoy helping and teaching others - and there had been a bunch of struggles with it but we were making progress. Cut to a couple of the players who were already causing me headaches quitting, followed by a couple of others who it was more of a surprise to lose, this leads to my friend the ostensible leader of the group needing to find new players - I say ostensible because while he organised the group I ended up doing all the leading - which was fine until he blindsided me by telling me he had to move the timeslot for the group to 4am my time, effectively kicking me out of the group. His reasoning seemed to be that that was more convenient for him and I didn't need to be there anyway so why would I care. I feel very betrayed and upset by this and haven't spoken to him for a week; he already knew I was having some bad mental health stuff going on and clearly didn't give a fuck or care about / consider my feelings or investment in the group over his own utility. The first and most major trigger that's gone off on me the past few weeks has been upheaval with my disability/unemployment benefits. This stuff is an enormous anxiety trigger for me. The system is designed to be hostile to claimants because the Tory government which has been waging war on the disabled and mentally ill for the past decade would be very happy if I were to kill myself because they're all callous fiends who'd happily kill any number of us poors if it made them slightly richer. So fuck all of them, fuck the system, and fuck me too I guess. Anyway the whole thing is awful, incredibly stressful, makes me feel like absolute shit and drags me through making me focus on all the ways in which I'm less functional than I want to be, and then - par for the course - denies me anyway to force me to give up or appeal which would be more stress or course. It makes me so fucking angry because I was actually doing much better until I got the phonecall which kicked this off. So much better! If they actually want me to become a functional all they need to do is leave me the fuck alone to progress and heal at my own pace with the measly pittance I'm entitled to so I can live, but apparently that's too much to ask for. I went out to a social event last night and that's the final thing I want to talk about I suppose. I always find these things so bittersweet and difficult to manage my reacting to / framing of events. Interacting with people in real life is good in moderation, and when I get out to things in my social circle I do generally have positive interactions with people. I'm fairly confident in saying that I'm well liked and considered to be a good friend/person to be around, but that's also sorta the problem. I feel invisible - I'm polite and kind and considerate and everyone always says these things like they're compliments - which yeah I know they are, and I do highly value good/ethical behaviour and try very hard to be a good person but I also kinda hate that about myself. To paraphrase: nice people finish last. I'm too much of a pleaser and my consideration of others needs and happiness never feels like it's reciprocated. I'm nice to have around but it feels like nobody is gonna go out of their way for me, or notice if I disappear, they all have their own relationships and lives anyway so why would they? I am being a little harsh, I have made a small number of deeper friendships, people who do actually seem to care about me, and I value those friendships highly, but in a world of confident socially skilled people me being able to develop meaningful friendships over a period of months / years with people who are already in committed relationships does not actually help me to be less lonely, which is the core ache that's killing me here. I feel the weight of it crushing me, especially when I stop and think of spending the next 5, 10, 40 years with it - my thoughts tell me "you're gonna die alone" and then I want it to be sooner rather than later. People always say to go out and meet people, but increasing I feel like the ones saying that are the socially skilled/successful fuckers happily arranging a date with the new person we both met 2 days ago I'm still feeling them out. Ultimately I reflect that I'm the problem, that I need to change who I am if I want to be happier but I'm not sure I can in ways that will help me get what I want. I try and try and try and I do feel like I am a better, healthier, stronger person in many ways than I was in the past, but none of this helps with my core problems, and some life event or other always knocks me back so I never feel like I get anywhere, and I'm back to invoking Sisyphus.
  6. I have to say in defence of D&D/Pathfinder etc. that I do quite like the structure, specificity and growth/progression narrative that these styles of game offer. I'm honestly not sure what I'd do other than flail hopelessly in one of these improv heavy systems where everything is made up kinda as and when.
  7. A20 is already hard enough to win on for me! I think Spire's balance is very tight and even going from the original A15 to A20 (and especially A20+Heart) is a big step up that significantly lowers win rate even for the strongest players. As for Watcher she is certainly stronger than the other characters she can also be unforgiving and especially when you're learning it's much easier to oops end in wrath guess I'm dead on her than it is to brick your whole run in a single turn on any other character. And I also think that far more than any other character it's easier to get stuck in build traps on her where you're obliterating hallway and even Elite fights with her overwhelming offensive power and then just die to bosses, especially the heart; her defensive options feel much more limited than the other characters with Mental Fortress and Talk To The Hand being her two main methods of stacking up significant block, where other characters have a plethora of options to mitigate damage in the late game, so I don't think she's without weaknesses, and she's fun to play too
  8. Yeah Monster Train is my current number 2 roguelike both in play and watch time but as you say it isn't quite there. Spire really is bottled lightning. I'm excitedly waiting for the board game version which I'm hoping to recieve this month by the way.
  9. They're just for fun. Plenty of people like having checklists to go through, they can inspire a bit of challenge, a bit of structure, a bit of guidance towards doing things one might not otherwise try. I've never met anyone who was competitive about steam achievements.
  10. Thought I'd share the review I wrote for Astrea: Six-Sided Oracles, which I mentioned a few days ago. I'm 21 hours in now so it seemed like a good time to leave my thoughts on this charming roguelike. TL;DR, good stuff up front: it's definitely a recommend for any fan of the genre, there's a lot to like with lots of interesting mechanics to dig in to, six unique characters with a variety of play styles / build archetypes, lovely music, and beautiful art. The downsides are mostly the complexity factor: this is a game with A LOT going on mechanically, both with the characters builds and during any given turn of battle and it can be very hard to read/keep up/plan for the chains of cause and effect later in the game. This can make it a bit intimidating to get in to/learn. For those looking for more detail, and if perhaps the developers are looking for some feedback here are my thoughts in more detail – I’m gonna put a lot more words in to my criticisms but I want to be clear that they do not outweigh the positives and that over all I very much like and enjoy this game, and while I’m not sure it’s going to hit my Slay the Spire or Monster Train levels of play time I suspect I’ll easily pass the 100 hour mark quite happily. As I said before the art is beautiful – the characters, the backdrops, the menus, the presentation of the dice, everything looks phenomenal, the music matches perfectly, the dice rolling animation is very satisfying, all good. Astrea also brings a bunch of interesting new mechanics, foremost in the opposing forces of corruption and purification and I think at its core this is a very interesting mechanic that works well – your character has a corruption bar which serves as your health, if it’s fully red then you succumb to the corruption and your run is over, simple enough, but the fun part is the virtues your character can gain access to as the bar depletes from taking damage and which notably you can use multiple times per turn if you can engineer a situation to yoyo your bar back up and down. Along with the dice based nature of the game it creates a great risk-reward type feeling, and that’s only scratching the surface of how this core mechanic is woven through and impactful on all aspects of your gameplay and character build. Where Astrea struggles with its mechanics though is probably best explained with a comparison to the daddy of all roguelike deckbuilders, Slay The Spire. At its core Spire is remarkably elegant in its design: everything is clear, simple, and (barring edge cases) easy to intuit the function and interactions of. Damage and strength. Block and dexterity. A few other buffs and debuffs. Powers which give named buffs that do exactly the one thing they say they do on the card and no more. Astrea by comparison can feel horribly complex to approach and figure out how to put together a strong build in, from the dice themselves to the enemies and the star blessings (relics if you’re a Spire player) so many things are a tangle of interconnecting keywords and triggers and references to other things, especially on the later more complex characters and when you get deeper in to the later game fights that it can feel impossible to keep track of everything. There are tons of interesting and fun ideas in here but honestly I think there are maybe too many packed on to each character and err on the side of thinking that maybe one or two of the weaker/less impactful ideas should have been winnowed out at some stage to give more focus to the better/stronger ones. This is most frustratingly felt in how the large number of ideas built in to each character can make it feel quite difficult and a bit reliant on RNG to actually draft a properly functional “deck” because the sheer number of different dice available means that sometimes you just won’t see enough of the ideas that you’re trying to lean in to. The game feels to be designed around on what I think of as “synergy packages” - once I began to understand what was going on with each character I could see how dice are grouped into sets / designed function in conjunction with one another often I must say, as a bit of a down side, with little to no overlap/utility outside of the set/synergy package – this in conjunction with the sheer number of different dice and ideas within leads to the struggles in achieving a feeling of consistently being able to draft something functional. Adding to this, and I don’t know for certain but based on the presentation I don’t think there’s any weighting in terms of the rarity of each individual die - dice are categorised as Safe, Balanced, or Risky with each successively higher potential up and down sides, but you typically see one of each type at a reward screen (or you pick a chest that has 3 of a given type) and it feels like within a category each die is equally likely to be offered. In comparison Spire has card rarity with weaker but foundational and ubiquitous cards being in the common rarity so always readily available to form the starting point of your build, and then the uncommons being more specialised and powerful, and the rares being fewer in number but often build defining – obviously you don’t always build a great deck in Spire and sometimes you have exceptionally poor card luck but this system seems to me to offer a less random, lower variance and more natural feeling progression for building up your deck. I’ll finish by saying that having written several paragraphs of criticism my deep enjoyment is testament to how good the good parts of the game are, and how satisfying the character builds feel when they work. I also think that there’s plenty of room for some of this stuff to get ironed out with patches too because as I said the core is very strong.
  11. I did specifically say "and that's not even considering the lack of out of combat utilities" which is yes where the gap is most huge because even if we accept (which I don't) that a smite or manoeuvre is equivalent to whatever your favourite spell is the big huge problem is indeed that out of combat the 20th (or 10th even) level Wizard or Druid or Bard etc. has dozens of options to help the group, even bend reality to their will. Meanwhile a similar level Fighter or Barbarian might well fail a skill check to do something minor like kick in a particularly heavy door or something, when by all rights they should be herculean and capable of incredible physical feats. It's kinda crazy how little the game designers seem to have to offer for the fantasy of the martial figure given how full myth and legend is with mighty and cunning warriors of all types, not to mention more modern fantasy - Lan from wheel of time could defeat a half dozen 20th level fighters simultaneously, The Bloody Nine would make any number of barbarians of any level piss themselves etc.
  12. Cool abilities for martial classes is something that's been horribly lacking in 5e. Yes reliably hitting multiple times a round is actually quite strong numerically but ultimately it's boring, and that's not even considering the lack of out of combat utilities.
  13. You can. They patched in a non-evil recruitment path for her several major patches ago.
  14. Needed something to distract from my horrible mental health doom spiral the past few days so I picked up Astrea: Six Sided Oracles, which is a name that guarantees it only ever gets referred to as Astrea. It's an interesting twist on the deckbuilding roguelike genre where you build a "deck" of different die rather than cards. I love the art style and I think the concepts they're working with are fun and interesting - you play with two major effects, purification and corruption, purification heals you and "damages" enemies (a cure them rather than kill them situation) and corruption damages you and heals your enemies as well as filling up and triggering an additional bar under the enemy. Corruption isn't necessarily bad to roll though, the player characters have abilities which become available as their health goes down and which can be triggered multiple times per turn of you bounce back and fourth last the trigger points for them, and there are die which can convert corruption to purification and various other mechanics which put a big emphasis on taking calculated risks. I've barely scratched the surface so it remains to be seen if this has the staying power of Slay The Spire or Monster Train, but so far it's an interesting distraction. The main negative so far is that it feels to be a quite slow game to play through - there are far fewer combats, but each takes quite a while to play through - it could be just the learning curve but I do prefer my roguelike run length to not get too far above an hour.
  15. By the time I was half way through Poor Things I was convinced that Emma Stone aught to walk away with an Oscar for her performance; her performance was so absolutely outstanding in such a myriad of ways that I would have found it deeply hard to believe anyone gave a better or braver one. I haven't seen Killers of the Flower Moon (and don't have access to a platform it's available on) but honestly based on what y'all have said here if Lilly was only in an hour of this three hour movie I kinda feel like the real injustice was putting her in the best actress rather than best supporting actress category.
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