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Videogames 2023 pt. II: Can We patreon This Man an Alienware Already?


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1 hour ago, IlyaP said:

I wnat to love this game, but I keep hitting the same wall that I hit in the first game: there's a quasi-RTS, town building component to this game, that feels like a kind of narrative interruption, as I'm suddenly derailed from RPG gameplay to....something for which my brain is not remotely wired. And I can't navigate around it. It's rather frustrating. 

1 hour ago, Arakasi said:

Well I’m a huge fan of the heroes of might and magic games so I enjoy it. It’s really not that hard and you only have to do it in some of the acts. Town building is only on two of the acts and is pretty easy to skip by that part. I actually like the narrative around the crusade though with the decrees as some good RP comes out of it and you can change the ending quite a bit by choices you make. Also it’s cool how the crusade options reflect the choices you make in your mythic path.

Anyway I just finished the Wenduag quest line and it was great. She was my romantic interest in the game and they did it really well. A++ for sure. One of the best characters and romances I’ve had in a game. I guess I should try Camellia next but *shudder*. Of course in that fight on turn one my hero did 7500 damage and killed like 12 enemies including the boss.

I agree with Arakasi. However, if you truly can't stand the crusade stuff you can just set it to 'auto' and ignore it. I believe that prevents you from going down the lich or swarm-that-walks mythic paths (since they require specific crusade projects to be finished), but every other mythic path should be fine.

Although I'd suggest setting it to "easy", picking up the spellcaster generals, and just blowing through it. There's some fun narrative stuff in the events and rank-up conversations. Plus some pretty good loot.

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Yeah crusade is easy just take Setsuna or Chief and just destroy everyone early on with scorching ray. There are a number of best in slot items from crusade that are easy to get. That’s where I got my axe with the 11-20 crit range. Couple really good rings as well and some other nice items. There is a lot of crusade guides out there but after playing it comes down to like five things.

1. Get Setsuna as starter general. Master of maneuver and spell caster is godly. Hire a second later on to be back up general but try to have your main general kill everything. Getting fireball and ice storm and then channel negative energy is how you win.

2. Get some sort of archer upgrade (preferably marksmen which I think is from Regil) as your main damage dealer.

3. Get some sort of cavalry (preferably hedge knights from Greybor) to hold enemies away. Infantry and speciality units are just not that worth it unless you get a bunch of clerics. (Or beer elementals are pretty good too)

4. Give Irabeth the 7500 in act two it’s a huge jump start for the army.

5. For expansion just build supply depot plus archery range plus stables and one other whatever in every outpost. Build some hospitals to increase infirmary size.

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Age of Empires II - originally released in 1999 - is getting a new expansion in two weeks. But it's not a standard new expansion. Return of Rome takes the original Age of Empires from 1997 and its Rome-focused expansion and re-jigs them inside the AoE2 Definitive Edition engine.

This is splendid news. They did do an Age of Empires: Definitive Edition release a few years ago but it wasn't very good, and the game suffered badly from the lack of QOL UI improvements from AoE2. The fact that's now been resolved is splendid news.

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I thought I was going great in Stellaris, then I checked the victory page and saw I was 14th. The fallen empire that declared war on me twice and lost both times and half their territory is somehow 8th. The Unbidden didn't even last twenty years before they were stopped. 

Oh well, can't win em all. I've only won one game of Stellaris in all my years of playing it. 

Can anyway suggest any interesting different setups? I'm gonna take a break but when I play agian I'd like to shake things up a bit. Like is it fun to play with very few empires or anything like that? I've never touched half the settings, like galaxy shape. 

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It is now possible to preload Star Wars: Jedi - Survivor. The Steam release, made available this morning here in Kangaroostan, indicates that the install size is 128.3 GB, for some...baffling reason. The game itself will become fully accessible this coming Friday, 28 April 2023, which is the official date of the game's global launch. 

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For Kingmaker the kingdom-building mechanics are very in-depth and huge, but they are a massive distraction from the actual RPG-ing part of the game. I just loaded up an optimal kingdom-building guide and just did what that said and have otherwise ignored it. I feel like there's times when I want to play an RPG and when I want to play a medieval fantasy town-building game, and those don't overlap often. Baldur's Gate II's much more chill stronghold building mechanics are sorely missed about now.

10 hours ago, IlyaP said:

It is now possible to preload Star Wars: Jedi - Survivor. The Steam release, made available this morning here in Kangaroostan, indicates that the install size is 128.3 GB, for some...baffling reason. The game itself will become fully accessible this coming Friday, 28 April 2023, which is the official date of the game's global launch. 

Modern texture sizes are getting out of hand, and annoyingly they now load the 4K textures (which take up a huge amount of space) automatically rather than asking to download them separately. Very annoying for those of us still gaming at 1080p.

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23 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Modern texture sizes are getting out of hand, and annoyingly they now load the 4K textures (which take up a huge amount of space) automatically rather than asking to download them separately. Very annoying for those of us still gaming at 1080p.

Don't you miss the old install apps that let you choose what you want to install? Including which language packs and associated files? When Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves landed on the PC, a few smart folk figured out which files could be removed and/or replaced with 0k files, to reduce the game's install size from 123GB to 75GB. 

Why gamers aren't allowed to determine the configuration of the games they install anymore is perplexing. My machine absolutely will *not* run a game with 4k textures. It will simply fall over sideways, make a few coughing noises, salute me, and bid this fair world sayonara. 

Le sigh.

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1 hour ago, IlyaP said:

Don't you miss the old install apps that let you choose what you want to install? Including which language packs and associated files? When Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves landed on the PC, a few smart folk figured out which files could be removed and/or replaced with 0k files, to reduce the game's install size from 123GB to 75GB. 

Why gamers aren't allowed to determine the configuration of the games they install anymore is perplexing. My machine absolutely will *not* run a game with 4k textures. It will simply fall over sideways, make a few coughing noises, salute me, and bid this fair world sayonara. 

Le sigh.

Gaming companies' assessment of player intelligence seems to be dropping at a very high rate, which is odd because if anything gamer competence at technical issues, as even console gamers are now having to discuss ray tracing, performance versus visual mode, what fps is more comfortable etc, all the stuff they didn't really need to worry about ten years ago, is increasing rapidly.

Incidentally, this is the very first post I've typed with my new keyboard, an EVGA Z20. Almost every other post I've ever typed on this forum has been done on an old Microsoft keyboard that I got in 2004 and has followed me through four PCs (aside from a few done on my laptop when travelling, or in Internet cafes way back in the day). This will take some getting used to. The new function keys down the left hand side are throwing me off. Will adjust.

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Gamers in the aggregate are probably more competent, but the tail of that bell curve is more n00bish than ever. Due to gaming being more accessible and more popular companies have to go for even lower common denominators. 

Keep in mind also a lot of those gamers are kids and parents of those kids who do not want to futz with things either. 

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9 minutes ago, Kalnestk Oblast said:

Gamers in the aggregate are probably more competent, but the tail of that bell curve is more n00bish than ever. Due to gaming being more accessible and more popular companies have to go for even lower common denominators. 

Keep in mind also a lot of those gamers are kids and parents of those kids who do not want to futz with things either. 

Indeed. I worked in PC retail 20 years ago when the phrase "overclocking" was becoming popular and it appears a number of younger people rushed into trying it out for themselves without realising they needed extra heat management support, resulting in very angry parents and invalidated warranties. Things are a bit better these days (PCs are slightly smarter at not frying themselves) but I imagine there's still plenty of problems.

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4 hours ago, Werthead said:

Very annoying for those of us still gaming at 1080p.

Hopefully we can still do so in the future. Even if not 4K, seems that we are being pushed towards 1440p.

21" monitors are practically not in production anymore. I'm dreading the day that 24" monitors are also eliminated and only 27" and above are available. 

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Heh. My setup at home is a surface studio 2+ in the middle and two 4k 27" on the sides in portrait mode so the whole thing looks like a chubby TIE fighter. It's amazing, though a 4500x3000 resolution is not actually great for diablo 4.

In other news, the UK just said no to Activision and Microsoft merging. That's honestly a bit surprising. Dunno how that's gonna work out now.

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Someone will grease a Tory's palm with dollars and some kind of investment promise for the UK and the objections will likely disappear.

It was surprising because the mood music in recent weeks had been more positive and they would approve, with caveats.

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5 hours ago, Werthead said:

For Kingmaker the kingdom-building mechanics are very in-depth and huge, but they are a massive distraction from the actual RPG-ing part of the game. I just loaded up an optimal kingdom-building guide and just did what that said and have otherwise ignored it. I feel like there's times when I want to play an RPG and when I want to play a medieval fantasy town-building game, and those don't overlap often. Baldur's Gate II's much more chill stronghold building mechanics are sorely missed about now.

Yeah, I love the idea of the kingdom-building, but in practice it feels bolted-on and a distraction from the main appeal of the game. Wrath has a similar extra system, but it's at least a lot less time-intensive. And they made elements of it, the council meetings, much more engaging.

On a separate note, I don't want to spoil anything for you, but I strongly encourage you to make sure all your characters have the 'blind fight' feat by the time you go to the final dungeon, if not sooner. In general, it's a good feat throughout the game (at least on martial characters) due to how many enemies have concealment effects. But the final dungeon (a slog no matter what) has a ton of enemies, literally hours and hours worth, that all have instant-death gaze attacks. Without 'blind fight' it can be literally impossible to beat the dungeon, unless you set the difficulty to the lowest setting to cutback on how much save-scumming is necessary to beat the gaze difficulty checks. It's some of the worst game design I've seen in years. 

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10 hours ago, Fez said:

But the final dungeon (a slog no matter what) has a ton of enemies, literally hours and hours worth, that all have instant-death gaze attacks.

*sigh*

What? A tedious, hours-long dungeon? Do they not understand that people have lives, and that a dungeon that outstays its welcome becomes *work*? 

Why, Pathfinder, why?

 

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I’m almost at that part of the game so I’m curious how that will be for me. Then again I just did this fight on Laughing Caves (with Vavakia Vanguard and Balor and an asssasin and succubus) and killed them in two turns with my MC so I am guessing it won’t be that hard.

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12 hours ago, IlyaP said:

*sigh*

What? A tedious, hours-long dungeon? Do they not understand that people have lives, and that a dungeon that outstays its welcome becomes *work*? 

Why, Pathfinder, why?

 

12 hours ago, Arakasi said:

I’m almost at that part of the game so I’m curious how that will be for me. Then again I just did this fight on Laughing Caves (with Vavakia Vanguard and Balor and an asssasin and succubus) and killed them in two turns with my MC so I am guessing it won’t be that hard.

To be clear, I'm talking about the end of Kingmaker. Owlcat seemed to have learned their lesson for Wrath and the final dungeon there isn't nearly as bad. Wrath's is still tough (turns out giving enemies the 'ascendent element' mythic ability and letting them cast 3 spells per turn can cause them to really carve you up), but isn't a slog. Whereas Kingmaker's is both tough and a slog, and (spoilers)

Spoiler

most of your party members can unavoidably die if you didn't complete their personal quests properly.

 

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Kingmaker does like tripping you up a lot. I'm currently in the Dwarven Ruins during the troll invasion quest and it's taken a lot of my best spells to get through the dungeon. However, I'm only about a third done with it and exhausted. I can't camp inside the dungeon because I have only 5 camping rations (you need 6). I can't leave the dungeon because you get let in during the truce with the troll Jazon, so leaving the dungeon means having to fight your way through the assembled troll/kobold legions. That's almost doable by taking them on in small groups, but when I kill the first group outside the doors, I get rushed by reinforcements from inside the castle with no opportunity to use my few remaining potions. I did give all my healing abilities to my speediest dude and had them mad-rush through the enemy legions to reach the map exit point (at the expense of everyone else being knocked out) but it turns out you can't leave the map either whilst in combat or with your other party members incapacitated so that doesn't work either.

The only solution I can see is reloading before doing the truce with Jazon and just murdering your way into the castle from the outside, eliminating all the trolls and kobolds along the way, but that does seem to be going against my good alignment (I do find myself wishing this used PF2.5 rules, which eliminate alignment altogether).

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Star Wars: Jedi Survivor finally finished installing today. Have spent about half an hour in-game, and, oh boy, it's undeniably gorgeous, but my poor lil' machine is clearly struggling. My GTX 1060 6gb card, which is now six years old, is clearly struggling with the graphics on display in this game. 

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