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Videogames Latest: Starfields of Glory


Werthead
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Interesting interview with Todd Howard here where he relates something that happened in Starfield that took him by surprise:

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Just a few weeks ago, I landed on one of the early planets, and this sandstorm blew through, and I went to run away from it, and ships can randomly land, like, enemy ships. So I'm going through the sandstorm, and I get in this firefight, and I got on the ship and while I'm shooting the guys on the surface of the planet, the ship took off into space. So now I'm in outer space on the ship, and I was just like, "... Can that happen? I guess that can happen."

 

That kind of emergent WTF moment is something BGS are pretty good at doing.

Meanwhile, I'm pricing up my new PC and hoooo boy this is far too much money to be considering spending.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Meanwhile, I'm pricing up my new PC and hoooo boy this is far too much money to be considering spending.

Yeah, prices are still pretty high. I did check what the systems we built in January would cost now, and overall they'd be like 13% cheaper, but most of the savings have come from RAM and SSD prices falling a lot (like 40%) and then much more modest 5-10% cuts here and there. GPUs and CPUs still seem as expensive as ever.

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18 minutes ago, Ran said:

Yeah, prices are still pretty high. I did check what the systems we built in January would cost now, and overall they'd be like 13% cheaper, but most of the savings have come from RAM and SSD prices falling a lot (like 40%) and then much more modest 5-10% cuts here and there. GPUs and CPUs still seem as expensive as ever.

Apparently GPU sales are way down on the last couple of years but nVidia don't seem to be minded to drop their prices too much. Their issue is they are now making shitloads of profit from their AI business, so their model is not as GPU-centric as a few years ago and they are less minded to aggressively reprice in that sector.

I prefer sticking with nVidia because games seem to be a bit more optimised for them, plus their raytracing and DLSSR tech is a cut above the competition, but the pricing is definitely absurd.

My main ambition this generation is to jump out of the "meh, it's okay" bracket I've had before (my last two cards were a 1060 and 2060, which kept things ticking over in the High range but only at 1080p). I wanted to go all the way to the 4090 for maximum future-proofing - the low VRAM of much of the rest of 40xx range is a colossal problem for future-proofing - but the pricing is absurd (and pairing it was a decent CPU, good SSDs and good memory lifts it clear of the £3K mark, which is ludicrous and almost three time the cost of my last PC from early 2017).

The 4080 range is much more affordable (a clear £600 drop from the 4090 options!) but with "just" 16 GB of VRAM, even that card is struggling with the current PC optimisation problems. The 4090 at least sits clear of that issue, but it's a colossal amount of extra money to pay (way more than a current-gen console, for example).

One recommendation was to look at the 3000 series, but the gains over my current card are modest and almost all of the cards up to and including the 3080 are even worse for VRAM (and the 3090 is bizarrely going new for the same price as the 4090, but the 4090 is significantly more powerful).

The old "get something to tide you over and get a more powerful card later on" option might work as it did last time, but that was a £300 difference (£150 once I palmed off the old card), whilst this time around that difference would be more like a grand by the time the 5000 series comes out.

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7 hours ago, Werthead said:

The 4090 at least sits clear of that issue, but it's a colossal amount of extra money to pay (way more than a current-gen console, for example).

Yeah. The only real thing I can say for the price proposal is there's a degree of future-proofing that you get from a card with its best-in-class performance and (especially) RAM, while acknowledging that "future proofing" when you're someone willing to shell out £1.5-2k for a GPU now may mean you're the type to feel FOMO when the inevitable new hot card shows up, and then you're trying to sell that card for a small loss to get a hold of the new thing. For my part, I'm not really, I expect to use this current computer for six years minimum, so that'll get me through the RTX 7000 series at least.

 

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3 hours ago, polishgenius said:

 

I'm rather enjoying the fact that A Short Hike has become an actually influential game. May well pick this up at some point. 

From the review: "You can also sail a capybara across a lake, which is rad."  

Looks like a fun, chill game!

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3 minutes ago, Mr. X said:

From the review: "You can also sail a capybara across a lake, which is rad."  

 

 

Oddly enough, it seems to be the second game this last half-year that involves chilling on a Capybara.
 

 

 

Poor Aka. It launched the day after Lil Gator Game, was never going to win that battle. 

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15 hours ago, Werthead said:

One recommendation was to look at the 3000 series, but the gains over my current card are modest and almost all of the cards up to and including the 3080 are even worse for VRAM (and the 3090 is bizarrely going new for the same price as the 4090, but the 4090 is significantly more powerful).

Yeah going for a 3080 does not look like a good option at all. I'm happy with mine but I got it before prices really exploded(still above the MSRP though) and sold my 1080 Ti a while later for nearly the same price. Buying one now does not seem like the best option. Here in Austria they sell the 4070 Ti at the same price as a normal RTX 3080 anyway.

Edited by Luzifer's right hand
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I got a 4070 TI a few months ago and have been very happy with it. Although I was jumping all the way up from 1070 TI, so there was a lot of improvement to be had. And I don't have a 4k screen, so the even more powerful cards don't really offer me anything.

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Interview with Obsidian CEO Fearghus Urquhart.

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The feeling, then, was that Obsidian were better served not following Bethesda's example of a grand, open world, but instead staying true to what an Obsidian game should be. "That's when we backed up and said again: What are we good at? What's our lane?" That core, for Urquhart, is Obsidian's dedication to storytelling.

Aaand they've got me again. 

I'm still playing Witcher 3 though flagging slightly. I love the idea of open world games, but the reality is often is less rewarding than my hopes of it. 

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16 hours ago, Ran said:

Yeah. The only real thing I can say for the price proposal is there's a degree of future-proofing that you get from a card with its best-in-class performance and (especially) RAM, while acknowledging that "future proofing" when you're someone willing to shell out £1.5-2k for a GPU now may mean you're the type to feel FOMO when the inevitable new hot card shows up, and then you're trying to sell that card for a small loss to get a hold of the new thing. For my part, I'm not really, I expect to use this current computer for six years minimum, so that'll get me through the RTX 7000 series at least.

Same here, a 4090 would see me clear through the next 5-6 years (in some respects I regret upgrading from 1060 to 2060, the performance gain was noticeable but not massive, and I wouldn't be significantly worse off if I'd stuck with a 1060), especially since there's no raytracing-style paradigm shift on the horizon. I suspect the 5090 will be ~10% better than a 4090 and a 6090 won't be much more than that, based on how that's worked in prior generations.

8 hours ago, Fez said:

I got a 4070 TI a few months ago and have been very happy with it. Although I was jumping all the way up from 1070 TI, so there was a lot of improvement to be had. And I don't have a 4k screen, so the even more powerful cards don't really offer me anything.

My plan is to get a 4K screen, although maybe not immediately when I get the PC, so for a few months I might be running games at 1080p on a 4080 or 4090, which would be pretty ridiculous, but the financial outlaw of both a new system and a 4K screen is a bit more than I can do in a single month.

ETA: Looking at comparisons, the 4070ti makes a compelling case as an alternative to the 4080. It is a whopping £600 cheaper on the systems I'm looking at, dropping the price to a still-annoying-but-not-unthinkable £2K, and the performance difference is pretty risible, given I'd probably lock the performance at 60fps on most games anyway, where the 4070ti currently sings at 4K 60fps. The 4070ti only has 12GB, which is not fantastic, but the price saving is colossal.

Edited by Werthead
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2 hours ago, dog-days said:

Interview with Obsidian CEO Fearghus Urquhart.

Aaand they've got me again. 

I'm still playing Witcher 3 though flagging slightly. I love the idea of open world games, but the reality is often is less rewarding than my hopes of it. 

The odd thing is that The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 aren't really open-world games in the same way as a GTA or a Bethesda game, where the world is the main focus and the story and characters are secondary (if you're cynical, more like tertiary for some Bethesda games). They both have a really strong character/story focus. If you removed the SP story, there wouldn't be much left behind except a pretty map and a small smattering of optional missions, whilst people play other open-world games for hundreds of hours without every cracking the SP storyline at all.

Not that there's anything wrong with either approach.

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5 hours ago, dog-days said:

I'm still playing Witcher 3 though flagging slightly. I love the idea of open world games, but the reality is often is less rewarding than my hopes of it. 

The thing that makes W3's open world fun is also that there's just so much ambience. The game is just *drenched* in a dark fantasy texture that's very appealling, if you go in for that sort of thing. 

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I got a 970 for USD375 9 years ago when it was relatively new. It's my main bottleneck as I've carried over the card when I got a new PC, but there also aren't any games that I'm playing that would make me want to upgrade. I'm just biding my time hoping prices go down further and for newer cards to be released.

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8 hours ago, Werthead said:

The odd thing is that The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 aren't really open-world games in the same way as a GTA or a Bethesda game, where the world is the main focus and the story and characters are secondary (if you're cynical, more like tertiary for some Bethesda games). They both have a really strong character/story focus. If you removed the SP story, there wouldn't be much left behind except a pretty map and a small smattering of optional missions, whilst people play other open-world games for hundreds of hours without every cracking the SP storyline at all.

Not that there's anything wrong with either approach.

Just not feeling the love for the writing/characterisation in The Witcher 3. There's more of it than in Skyrim/Fallout 3, but except for a few side-quests, none of it is particularly good: more like a grimy, plodding Tough Guide to Fantasyland with one of the genre's most boring heroes as the central character. It's the beauty of the scenery and the exploration that keeps me playing. 

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5 hours ago, IlyaP said:

The thing that makes W3's open world fun is also that there's just so much ambience. The game is just *drenched* in a dark fantasy texture that's very appealling, if you go in for that sort of thing. 

TBH, it makes me roll my eyes a little. Oh look some more oppressed peasants being eaten by the local supernatural entity. Oh look some more cod-Viking-Highlanders with eighteenth century love song Fear a' Bhàta getting the ooey-ooey synth treatment on repeat in the background. 

I think I'm probably spending too long being a completist and doing side-quests and should press on with the main quest to see if it gets better. 

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