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Video Games: Mystery Box Character Creation


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On 7/7/2020 at 1:00 AM, Werthead said:

Ha, that'll be fun.

Annoyingly, I picked up WD2 for a relative song last year but still haven't gotten round to playing it.

Lol, so much for that. I logged in into my Ubisoft account a few hours before the stream started. I now came back to see whether I'm still logged in and I'm not. If I try to log in, it's either endless loading or back to the log in screen. I took a glimpse upon Reddit, this seems to be an issue everybody has. So... what a way to trick people into watching a marketing show without giving them the promised bribe?

They also have have one-time only use keys for games pop up in the stream that nobody except bots can claim.

Edit: Update 9.45pm here. I had my Uplay account open all this time in the background. Now it spontaneously combusted as well.

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I love the Fry Cry games but agree the franchise has gotten stale.

They should do a Fallout 76 type multiplayer game where you join a one of three teams on a server. You'd level up your character and fight for control of outposts like normal but there'd be dozens of other human players in addition to the AI. Maybe when you log out an AI version of your character is created as a little boss to guard an outpost while you're away. 

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2 hours ago, Toth said:

Edit: Update 9.45pm here. I had my Uplay account open all this time in the background. Now it spontaneously combusted as well.

From what I saw, their authentication server crashed entirely under the load, but they sent out a message that everyone would get the promised rewards for watching regardless. We'll see if that pans out.

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8 hours ago, Ran said:

From what I saw, their authentication server crashed entirely under the load, but they sent out a message that everyone would get the promised rewards for watching regardless. We'll see if that pans out.

Yeah, they now have put up a page where everybody can log in to claim the rewards: https://register.ubisoft.com/ubisoft-forward-reward/en-GB

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I may be juggling too many games at once right now. But I'm enjoying all of them, so that's a nice change of pace from when I'm struggling to find anything (ignoring that I have a huge backlog that I can't get motivated to touch).

Just finished mission 11 in Desperados III. Now that the game is in full swing, i'm really enjoying it. I'm still not sure if any mission yet has been quite as intense as the final Shadow Tactics missions; but maybe I've also just been getting better at the genre as I go. Based on the end mission timer, that final ST mission took me an hour forty five; but the longest I've gone in any DIII mission is just over an hour. Ignoring that though, they're really well designed, fun challenges.

I'm also playing Devil May Cry 5. I think I played 2 once, but that's my only experience beforehand. What a dumb game that makes zero sense but is a lot of fun.

And I've been Lords of Wolcen; which seems to have overcome its deeply troubled launch. My understanding is that the endgame is still kinda bad. But I've played 10 hours and just finished Act I of III, and the campaign seems solid. It's a Diablo-clone for sure, but a really pretty looking one. 

Also been playing Vestaria Saga I, which is a Fire Emblem clone by one of the original guys behind the series. It looks rough (RPGmaker at its finest) and is hard as hell (and you can only save every 5 turns, so save scumming is not really an option). But there's something really satisfying about beating missions, and the story is solid. Nothing too original, but there's a lot of it and whoever localized the game did a bang up job.

I messed around a bit with Oxygen Not Included over the weekend and couldn't figure much out. I probably would need to focus more exclusively on it if I was going to get anywhere.

And I've still got Skyrim, though I dunno how much more I'll play. I've put in 15 hours over the past 10 days or so, and feel like I've gotten my nostalgia out of the way. Not sure I'm up for putting in the time to really delve into it again.

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If you've got a microsoft account (xbox live) and five seconds my niece and others (there are dozens of them!) would appreciate it if you voted yes on ARM processor support for minecraft. They just want to to make it so you can host servers on the kind of low-power drain processors used in some phones and the raspberry pi. 

https://feedback.minecraft.net/hc/en-us/community/posts/360022601432-Dedicated-Servers-for-ARM-Devices

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I was intrigued to see that the FreeSpace OpenSource Project has released a new mod manager, Knossos. It makes managing Freespace 2 mods far easier, so I fired up the mod that allows you to play both the original Conflict Freespace: The Great War (Descent Freespace in the USA for completely bizarre reasons) and its expansion The Silent Threat in the new and upgraded engine.

Very impressive. The games look more like 10 years old than 22, with much-improved graphics and effects. Just about finishing up The Silent Threat and will then tackle Freespace 2 itself. For pure space combat games, they remain completely unbeaten in quality; I doubt Star Wars: Squadrons will trouble them, and the only hope for something stronger might be Squadron 42 when it finally comes out (given it's three years overdue at this point, I'm not holding my breath).

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Further down in the Tweets that came up when I clicked on that link was this nugget:

 

He has now officially passed Christopher Reeve as my favorite Superman.  (Even though I really didn't like Man of Steel... or Batman vs Superman... and haven't watched Justice League...)

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Christopher Reeve was undeniably magnificent as Superman, but his attempts at building a PC went poorly in comparison.

In other news, replaying Freespace 2 for the first time in 15 years and this is still a bloody magnificent epic of a game. Probably the sole reason the space combat genre stopped being a thing is because of this game: it perfected the field, nothing more can be added to it. 

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Another reason why I'm a fucking moron: In this Ubisoft Forward Sale I actually ended up buying The Crew 2. How come The Crew 1 is more than three times more expensive because it never gets a sale?

In any case... Well, I must admit it succeeded in entertaining me for this week and filling my open world arcade racer fix, even though the open world part is a bit disappointing due to a severe lack of things to do except look for random loot boxes dropping in the middle of nowhere. All other stuff is better found by using the fast Activities tab and fast travel everywhere. Why they reduced the open world activities compared to the first game is beyond me...

The car handling... doesn't really get much better, but you get used to it. It's still at times really odd. Basically the steering is super sensitive on slow speeds, completely stiffens up at high speeds and eases up when decelerating. Not when you are decelerated, but when you are decelerating! This means you have to tap the brake key every time you approach a very slight curve at high speeds to have any chance to move the car three degrees to the left and not get violently thrown against the railings. But just how much you are able to steer still seems rather arbitrary, depending on when you steer during or after the braking. Meaning that sometimes you nudge it a slight bit, other times you get wildly thrown to the side and start to zig-zag because of wild course corrections. It's insane.

Then comes the content, which is admittedly absolutely ridiculous. 4 event types with 4 racing classes each, meaning you have to master 16 different vehicle types. Since vehicles are mindboggingly expensive I was only able to scratch the surface. When you make 15.000 Dollar per race and some higher-end cars cost several millions, the grind is real... The worst part however is the grind for vehicle parts. Every time you win an event you get up to three parts of random quality to upgrade your car with. Meaning you have to win to get better. Meaning that every new event type you enter is at its most difficult right at the beginning when you enter with a trash vehicle with stock parts that barely equals the recommended performance of the easiest events. Unless you are master of your car right away and drive absolutely flawlessly, expect a deeply frustrating experience as the AI drives you into the ground, denying you the parts that you need to get out of this slump. So instead you go around hoping to find these stupid loot caches just to be able to compete...

Now to the classes that I managed to race right now:

Street Racing: Driving on street or country roads with low level street cars. The most basic type of event and the most numerous. Difficulty varies massively. Sometimes you can just casually drive home 1 minute 30 ahead of the pack, at other times the AI at the exact same recommended difficulty level utterly trashes you. Especially on the densely packed street races that solely consist of 90° corners and the entire track littered with countless objects that either throw your car off course as you plow through them or randomly bring you to a total halt in 0 seconds flat, ruining your race entirely. Track knowledge is key, which can be extremely frustrating. Especially in combination with the wonky handling.

Drifting: Holy shit. The Street Races can be frustrating, but ultimately you can get used to it. Drifting however right away became my most hated discipline. Basically you have to rack up multiplyers by continous drifting in 2 minutes across tracks that astonishingly have several long straights that usually kill your streak, so you are forced to continuously swerve around like a fucking idiot to avoid that. Problem with that: If you are tapping the steering too carefully your streak gets broken in between every course correction, if you drive slightly more aggressively you are immediately making a 180° turn because drift cars drive like they are drunk. To have any chance to complete a daily quest where I had to win four Drift Events I had to look up guides that told me I have to turn off the drift assist that somehow is bugged and kills your streaks. I did that and that only made the steering more wobbly. I put it to three quarters on and then... in a moment of madness turned traction control a quarter on. That somehow made the car stable enough for me to win these events right away and back to back. I never touched it again after that because I'm pretty sure I gained a level just from the XP of failing Drift events...

Drag Racing: Accelerating in a straight line as fast as possible in a special car that can't steer for shit. Pretty much the simplest game mode in the entire game and supper easy to grind money with due to how short every event is. Changing the gears at the right moment in itself is just a boring quick time event (that also doesn't tell you that for a perfect start you need the accelerate at the same time the lights go green for some reason), but it does its job quite nicely.

Hyper Cars: Can't afford one, couldn't play it yet.

Rally Raid: One of the funnest events, even though it can at times be a little silly. This is a race against the clock in an off-road vehicle across the countryside. The only difficulty comes in form of rather confused signs that are supposed to tell you where to go, but themselves get slightly confused when every checkpoint can be reached by two official routes... and the third one that is you getting lost and instead plough with 160km/h through the forest praying not to crash into one of the bigger trees. I must admit, I got lost quite a few times (or drowned myself in a lake that I thought I was supposed to cross XD), but at the same time it's nice to check out how suicidal each possible way to accomplish the mission is. It's also nice that the very first race gifts you a Mercedes X-class that has become my trusty companion in these.

Motocross: Bought a bike, got wrecked in the first race, couldn't be bothered to grind for parts yet. It looks doable, the Motocross bike drives quite well, but damn if you can't take the jumps fast enough, you can't bother competing with even the lowest level events.

Rallycross: Races against other rally cars on very slippery mud courses with lots and lots of corners. Super challenging, especially because the cars have very low grip and tend to go through every corner sideways if you aren't careful. Somehow still fun, though I somehow haven't picked it up again.

Hovercraft: Bought the cheapest Hovercroft and immediately got wrecked. Not only were the AI much, much faster, I couldn't even manage to get anywhere. The Hovercrafts are super fun to drive, but due to the insane delay in between steering and actually changing directions, so atrociously hard to get anywhere with without bouncing all over the place.

Aerobatics: The keyboard layout for planes is atrocious, don't do that! But once I changed the keymapping, it was surpisingly fun and relaxing to just go crazy and do the stunts in short order.

Demolition Derby, Jetsprint and Monster Trucks: I haven't tried yet.

Powerboat Racing: Absolutely awesome! Why are there so few tracks?!? Admittedly, I'm probably just saying this because the Powerboat races are ludicrously easy, but... they are! And make you feel like a total champ. XD

Air Races: Races against the clock where you have to fly through checkpoints in short succession. I only dabbled a bit due to the current weekly event having one... It's... not so fun... Admittedly, this is where I lost my patience with the key mapping, I was constantly struggling to find the right key in time or screwed myself over by trying to correct with the wrong button. Air Races are quite hard and the event giving you a shitty biplane isn't helping my perception either.

Touring Cars: Can't afford one yet...

Alpha GP: Only tried the event one. This is basically street racing with a Formula 1 car. There is a good reason why people aren't doing that in real life, what with quite possibly dying 16 times over over the course of a race. The words of that one review I read kept floating around in my mind, the cars in The Crew 2 handle like shopping trolleys and the faster ones are jet-powered shopping trolleys. It shouldn't surprise anyone that a F1 car with that handling on tight street tracks full of litter, traffic and hard obstacles don't fare very well. But thankfully the game seems to choose somewhat wider tracks that you can get the hang of after a few tries... It really feels very much like the street races with an insane car.

Then there are the Live Xtreme races that are just combinations of the above. Of these I only tried the first one and it was quite an insane ride... I like the concept, but I see why there are so few tracks of these because frankly they are insanely confusing at times.

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Finished Desperados III, except for the Baron's Challenges. Good times. On the gameplay front I think it was a step up from Shadow Tactics (though I miss the extra verticality that the hookshot added to things); but in writing, art design, style, etc., I think it was step down. Everything was so brown and same-y, and I didn't care as much about the characters. I also didn't like how so many levels had two completely distinct paths you could take through them. I get that it adds replayability, but it means that the levels are a lot shorter than they could've been for the level of effort the devs put into the game. I like a puzzle endurance challenge, which is why overall I thought the gameplay was better here than Shadow Tactics.

Once again the final level was the standout, even though it was a little silly.

Spoiler

Why does Frank have so many men? And why is everyone okay with standing around in the showdown for 20 minutes at the end while I figure out what to do?

The second to last level was a bit of a disappointment though. I only saw about a quarter of the map and spent most of time just doing the same thing over and over again to clear out the party room

Spoiler

Kate lure a guest/servant to the edge of the room, then Hector whistles to get them outside, where Cooper knocks them out and carries them off into a dark corner.

 

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16 hours ago, Werthead said:

Metacritic: "NOT THIS TIME, ARSEHOLES."

At this rate they're going to need some way of verifying that people have actually played the game for a few hours, if not finished, it before reviewing it.

It seems The Last of Us pt II broke metacritic in more ways than one. It's a lot like how Captain Marvel broke Rotten Tomatoes.

With 127,932 user reviews, I wonder what the 2nd most user reviewed game on metacritic is at?

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2 hours ago, Fez said:

 

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Kate lure a guest/servant to the edge of the room, then Hector whistles to get them outside, where Cooper knocks them out and carries them off into a dark corner.

 

That's one approach but not the one I used.

Spoiler

You can get rid of all the guests and almost all the servants by setting off the two distractions (fireworks and the electricity demonstration). You only really need to get rid of the guards in the central courtyard, which is a trip in itself.

I also missed the giant cave network for most of the mission before suddenly spotting it, which meant that I couldn't use Hector until quite near the end. That made things way more complicated than it should have been.

 

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