This week I have been mostly playing...

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Daemian Lucifer

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:27 am

The Rocketeer wrote:Finally, for me and myself, there's an important question hanging over The Witness: is it better than Antichamber? No.


Well obviously.Nothing is as unique and weird and uniquely weird as antichamber.

The Rocketeer wrote:So! Apropos of nothing at all, I've had a completely original, entirely brilliant idea for a game the likes of which the world has never seen, which I call "Slime Witness." It's like the Witness, and has basically the same environment and the exact same puzzles, but it has Slime Rancher's art style, the world is inhabited by roaming slimes, the little dots and shapes in the mazes are replaced by slime faces, and instead of lighting up fat fiber optic cables and firing lasers, you get showered with plorts that you use to unlock sequential content, and also all the game's recorded speech or video content is replace by the cooing, burbling, and bumbling of adorable slimes.


All of the games should have slime rancher injected into them.

The Rocketeer wrote:With all that said and out of the way, it's time to start Prey, a game I don't really know anything at all about other than that it seemed somewhat well-receieved.


The real question is:Are you going to play prey or prey?And if you start talking about it cold,with no clarification,how long will it take us to distinguish which one you are talking about.
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Humanoid

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Humanoid » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:19 am

So what common interests do the King of West Francia, the Umayyad Sultan, the Basileus, the King of Mali, various English dukes, steppe nomads and northern pagans have against the Caliph? They're all defending against a Holy War for some backwater Duchy in Pakistan, coming to the aid of the Hindu Maharaja of Punjab. I've marked the region in question for convenience.

Defensive Pacts everyone. The magic of Defensive Pacts. I'm playing with default rules for the first time in forever and this kinda illustrates why I generally don't. It's four years to the year 900 whereupon I'm sure a Catholic crusade for Swedish Aquitaine will more or less immediately fire. Oh boy.

I also died after losing a game of chess against death, and narrowly failed to establish a court of horses because Glitterhoof turned out to be a woman. Yeah, default rules. Some of this is probably old hat for players who've kept up with recent releases, but for me it's a neat illustration of some fundamental issues I have with the direction Paradox is taking the game. It's no longer about roleplaying and alternate history, it's about gamey mechanics designed to be challenges to the player (and other blobby type realms).
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lurkey

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby lurkey » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:14 pm

I've reinstalled VtM: Bloodlines and started to run three builds more or less parallelly: "Looks and Charisma and which end points to the enemy again?", "Sneaky, hacky and lockpicky" and "Brute McSmashface". And then I'l install Unofficial Patch Plus and run something optimized and a Malkavian.
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SpammyV
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby SpammyV » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:37 am

OKAY. I made it through Aether Paradise again. Weirdly enough I only did slightly better in the big fight even though I ground up 2-3 levels on everyone trying (and failing) to find a Goomy. It turns out that somehow a damn Milotic is faster than a Raichu. Bruh what is the matter with you do you surf on a hoverboard because you'd make a regular surfboard sink or what I gave you the Electrinium Z and everything.

But now I'm back and ready to start doing the plot on Poni Island again and I've even reassembled the four members of Team 600 that I'd assembled. AND SAVED THE GAME. So now no forgetting to charge my 3DS is going to separate me from Metal Gear, Slugumgar, Kolaghan, and Smaug.
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Ringwraith

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Ringwraith » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:57 am

I imagine they might be some nature stuff going on. Raichu having -10% speed and Milotic having +10% would probably do it, as the speed gap between them isn't that big.
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Charnel Mouse
Location: England, UK
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Charnel Mouse » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:39 pm

The Rocketeer wrote: Also, one thing I find puzzle games frequently lack— or, I guess I should say, something I like that puzzles themselves tend not to incorporate— is some sort of tangible, observable goal outside of the completion of the puzzle itself. This is kinda core to why I've never liked Sudoku, despite the game being much similar in nature to Picross, which I love; Sudoku leaves you with a grid of numbers, Picross gives you a completed picture. Thus, the presentation and environment of The Witness contributes a lot to a feeling of satisfaction for me, with each puzzle lighting up one of those meaty fiber-optic cables and unlocking the next puzzle or opening a door or accomplishing some task in the physical world. By far, the most satisfying puzzles for me were the ones which tangibly affected the world or physically opened some path in this way, and gives value to the game that it would have lacked were it simply a succession of puzzles accessed through a menu.

I agree about Picross/Griddler/etc., but I'd say that's part of the reason I'm not interested in playing the Witness. Most of what I've seen puzzle completion doing is activating a beacon, or unlocking a door, and to me that smacks of contrivance. Completing a Griddler gives you a picture directly, through the process of solving the puzzle itself, whereas what is on the Witness's solved puzzle grids seems to usually be irrelevant.
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Trix2000
Location: California

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Trix2000 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:42 pm

Ringwraith wrote:I imagine they might be some nature stuff going on. Raichu having -10% speed and Milotic having +10% would probably do it, as the speed gap between them isn't that big.
EVs could make a difference too, though I suspect not unless you specifically ground them.

SpammyV wrote:OKAY. I made it through Aether Paradise again. Weirdly enough I only did slightly better in the big fight even though I ground up 2-3 levels on everyone trying (and failing) to find a Goomy. It turns out that somehow a damn Milotic is faster than a Raichu. Bruh what is the matter with you do you surf on a hoverboard because you'd make a regular surfboard sink or what I gave you the Electrinium Z and everything.

But now I'm back and ready to start doing the plot on Poni Island again and I've even reassembled the four members of Team 600 that I'd assembled. AND SAVED THE GAME. So now no forgetting to charge my 3DS is going to separate me from Metal Gear, Slugumgar, Kolaghan, and Smaug.
The nice thing I've noticed about Pokemon is that the game seems oddly balanced for levels such that, as you get farther in the game, significant level differences have less impact. Like, the difference between a level 5 and a level 10 is huge early on, but 25 vs 30 is not so great and 55 vs 60 can actually be a pretty even matchup. This is mostly just due to how stats work (since they increase linearly with level, but attack and defense stats use a ratio to compare for damage), with the only caveat being how moves grow somewhat in power as the game progresses. It's also why it's much harder to 1-shot anything at very high levels, barring serious stat outliers and weaknesses.

The end result is that Sun/Moon's endgame actually feels pretty good, even with some extra levels. I mean, there's still potential to steamroll if you grind enough (or have a particularly broken team), but at least it encourages strategy to make a winning crew rather than just letting you mash with whatever you like.

...Well, so long as you aren't doing a solo-run.


Oddly enough, I actually just went and binged Ultra Sun over the long weekend, as it just came out and I was kind-of itching to play Pokemon again.

I will say that it's probably a good thing that I had an itching to play regular Sun/Moon again prior to this, because the first half or so of Ultra Sun are fairly similar (if not the same) as Sun, with only a few small though potentially significant changes (the photo thing is surprisingly interesting). From what I've heard, some people have not been too happy about this, but personally it was perfect for me since I really relished the opportunity to play the games again but with a different team.

Interestingly enough, I actually ended up turning on the Exp Share earlier this time, as it seemed like the fights were slightly more challenging up to around the point Spammy is at, though the jump to Poni island didn't seem as dramatic this time so maybe I was just expecting it too much. That said, I was surprised at how close the level cap got towards endgame, and there was even one fight in particular that actually blacked me out for the first time in ages (To put into detail, it was the souped-up Necrozma that you fight in the Ultra World. Not only did it have a level or two on me, but its stats were boosted and the only mon I had with defenses to tank it was weak to its signature attack. I only beat it with excessive use of boosts/X-items to survive.). I'll give the game credit for finally making me see the use of X-items, because apparently at some point they buffed them to do two stages of increase (when? I dunno, I almost never used them in the past)... which is much more useful to spend a turn on in harder fights.

The game does make some interesting changes to the main plot, though, which actually frames things rather differently than the original game... though how much of an improvement it is over the original is... debatable. I think it flows a bit better in some ways, but less so in others (The Ultra Recon Squadies are kinda neat, but they feel a bit shoved in at places. Also, the first fight I had with them, they had the most annoying jerk Furfrou with accuracy/Attack drops, headbutt, and serious stats to back it all up.). The meat of the new content, I think, is in the postgame story...

So I will say I really liked the Rainbow Rocket stuff, if nothing else because they remixed all the Rocket and evil boss themes which sound pretty awesome. The plot itself isn't much to write home about, but it's enough to at least provide motivation to beat up a bunch of Rocket grunts. Was pretty neat seeing all the past team leaders and getting to talk to and fight them, with some significant nods to their past plans and personalities. Also, Guzma being silly ridiculous in the foyer. Also also, Lillie actually fighting in a battle and having a surprisingly good support Clefairy.

For actual battling, the leaders served as pretty nifty boss fights, with them being pretty high level (68-70 range, and I was around 73-77) with fairly well-rounded movesets and even a legendary for each of them. Given I hadn't held back much on experience gains during the rest of the game, it was a nice surprise to see how close things were at this stage (same with Elite Four, tbh).

Ultimately, a pretty cool nostalgia trip and battle gauntlet, with some simple puzzles thrown in for good measure. Not incredibly long, but meaty enough to be fun... and it seems fairly obvious to me that they're setting things up for potential future appearances for this team. Maybe they're tired of coming up with new evil people each generation and want to settle on something more constant?



Oddly enough, though, even if it didn't feel like the changes were THAT huge on the whole, I think I had significantly more fun and engagement this go-around with the games. Part of that might have had to do with my party choice (which felt more balanced, more capable, and more invested-in), and part of that may have to do with the level curve feeling more balanced (even if you used the Exp Share all game). I also have to agree with sentiments I've seen that I think Ultra Sun/Moon are more complete versions of the original games. I'd draw a parallel from them to Platinum vs Diamond/Pearl, though with perhaps a bit more to offer than those did.

So a fun way to burn a big chunk of my Thanksgiving weekend on, I suppose. Still got a few extra areas to explore, but at this point it's just gravy.
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John

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby John » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:59 pm

This week I have mostly been playing Crusader Kings II. I fear, however, that my campaign may not be nearly so interesting as Humanoid's recent efforts. I started as the Count of Temes, an Orthodox Christian and a vassal of the king of Bulgaria, at the Old Gods start date. Temes was at the edge of Bulgarian territory and I thought I would expand my holdings at the expense of the independent counts and dukes in nearby Croatia and Serbia. When I was sufficiently strong, I would seize control of Bulgaria and then work my way toward becoming Basileus.

Yeah. It didn't work out like that. I forgot one very important thing about the Old Gods start, that thing being the Magyars. A few years after the game started, the Magyar hordes appeared and stomped all over Bulgaria. The Magyars always--meaning that I've never seen them not do this--conquer a bunch of territory and form the kingdom of Hungary. It's a scripted event, which might ordinarily annoy me, but it's also a historical fact--er, approximately--so in this case I don't mind too much. Temes, as it happens, is in Hungary. As a single-county count, I had virtually no ability to influence the war and soon found myself the vassal of the king of the Magyars. The Magyars are Tengri pagans. So, John, you may be asking, did you find courage in your faith and attempt to bring the good news of Christ to your new pagan overlord? No, reader, I did not. As a foreigner and an infidel, I was definitely on the king's hit-list. After he replaced several of my peers with good Tengri Magyars I feigned conversion and I feigned it fast. I also adopted Hungarian culture at the earliest opportunity, in case you were wondering.

Feigning conversion is a relatively new mechanic, introduced in the Monks & Mystics patch earlier this year. I dig it. When you feign conversion, your religion for most purposes switches to whatever religion you're feigning and your original religion becomes your new, er, secret religion. As a nominal Tengri, for example, I got to do all the fun things that Tengri do, like use the Conquest casus belli and raid infidels, and suffered from the usual Tengri drawbacks, like the prestige penalties for not being at war all the damned time. Your children will start with your nominal religion, but you generally get an event sometime in their early teens that allows you to pass on your secret religion. I have yet to see a child reject the secret religion, but I'm going to assume that it's possible. I think--but I am unfortunately not sure--that the event even fires for children who are being educated outside your court, which is a little weird. If you have secret societies enabled, you can get additional secret-religion events. I generally disable secret societies, however, because (a) half the nobles in England should not be secret Tengri--that's just silly--and (b) lousy, stinking, miserable Waldensians. In short, I think that secret societies can be fun when you're a count or a duke but that they're a right pain when you're the man in charge.

From this point, shenanigans ensued. The Magyar converted to Orthodoxy and formed the kingdom of Hungary. (I believe that this is also a scripted event.) Thanks to gavelkind succession, the formerly invincible Magyar armies were split between Hungary and the titular kingdom of Magyar and the kings of Magyar and Hungary wasted a bunch of time and lives trying to press claims against one another. Meanwhile, I expanded my personal holdings outside Hungary in Serbia and Croatia and within Hungary in the duchy of Pecs. The king, fearful of my growing power, tried to revoke one of my titles. After teaching him a lesson, I decided that the Arpad dynasty had run its course, plotted to acquire a claim on Hungary, started a faction to put myself on the throne, and eventually became king. My dynasty now rules the Empire of Carpathia and controls not only Hungary but also Wallachia, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, and Bulgaria.

My current project is to acquire the last few de jure Bulgarian counties from the Byzantines. On paper, the Byzantines have a bigger, better army than I do, but their emperors are pretty unpopular and never get the full feudal levy. They're also afflicted by near-constant civil wars. In practice, I can usually put ten to twenty thousand more men in the field than they can. It's only a matter of time. I'm not entirely sure what I'll do next. I think I'd like to try taking and subsequently holding Jerusalem. I've only ever done that once before. I've won Crusades for Jerusalem on several occasions but I almost always grant the kingdom independence so that I don't get bogged down in endless Jihads. The one time I kept it was when I was already the Holy Roman Emperor and controlled Greece and Anatolia in addition to Jerusalem.
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krellen
Location: The City in New Mexico
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby krellen » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:52 pm

I love reading Crusader Kings stories.

That is all.
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The Rocketeer

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby The Rocketeer » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:43 am

Yep, I'll second that.

Also:
John wrote:the duchy of Pecs
You do not want to mess with the Duchy of Pecs. Those dudes are ripped. And the Duke of Pecs? Oh, man.

So I've been playing Prey, and really been enjoying it. It feels like, on top of just flat-out remaking System Shock (or maybe System Shock 2, I couldn't say which myself) Arkane just went ahead and threw in every other game they could think of. Human Revolution! SOMA! Dead Space! Literally every game except the old Prey! Obligatory Dishonored references!

Speaking of that last one, you can tell this is written by the same people that made Dishonored, because the game makes almost no sense most of the time, outside of your immediate, over-arching objectives. This actually doesn't bother me, since the space station is such a cool setting and I'm really digging the gameplay, but I knew something was wrong with the writing while literally talking to the first person you meet in the game. Catch this:
Alex Yu wrote:"I know the test may seem unconventional, but it's a Yu family tradition. Breaking convention is in our blood."
My brain twisted its ankle tripping over this. It's the same oxymoron, twice, with the second repetition creating a larger, double-oxymoron. I'm not convinced the rest of the game isn't just the result of a stroke your character had after hearing this line.

Though truthfully, I have actually been bracing myself to find out everything is just a hallucination or a simulation of some sort; the events of the game so far, especially the opening, have opened the door of this possibility about as wide as it can get. If Prey ends with "it was all just a dream" of some kind, I'd appreciate it if someone would just flat-out tell me right now.

Oh, and I want to point this out, for posterity. Apparently your character is supposed to be some kind of genius, from a family of geniuses (including Alex "This Statement is False" Morgan), but your character apparently hangs up neckties in the bathroom. That's a room where you poop, those are POOP TIES. Anything you wear one with becomes a POOP SUIT. Frankly, I'm not shocked things have gone so poorly on the Event Horizon Talos I with the chucklefuck twins in charge.
Steve C

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Steve C » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:39 am

The Rocketeer wrote:If Prey ends with "it was all just a dream" of some kind, I'd appreciate it if someone would just flat-out tell me right now.
The ending has a good payoff that works. I recommend that you do not look for spoilers as it will undermine the complexity of the ending. That complexity and reflection on the rest of the game at the end is why the ending is good.

If you wish to disregard that advice; Extra Credits, Errant Signal and Joseph Anderson all did spoiler heavy episodes on Prey. All of which are good and I recommend. Though you will be doing yourself a disservice by spoiling it.
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The Rocketeer

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby The Rocketeer » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:53 am

Steve C wrote:I recommend that you do not look for spoilers as it will undermine the complexity of the ending.
Nah, I very seldom spoil myself on games if I can help it. I ask in this specific case because Prey seems to be laying some very interesting groundwork, and if it's just going to turn out it all takes place in Tommy Westphall's snowglobe, I wanna know as early as possible, so I can laugh, wave my middle finger toward wherever I guess Arkane is based, and stop thinking about it at all while I hurl furniture at the Twisted from Third Birthday.

Yeah, that's right, fuckers. Prey has the enemies from Parasite Eve: The Third Birthday, one of the most appalling games ever. If they can stoop that low, there's really not anything beneath them; hence, my suspicions.
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Humanoid

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Humanoid » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:11 am

I like reading other people's CK2 accounts too, but I'm wary of turning this thread into a de facto LP thread (at least I had the XCOM thread for my Long War game).

But anyway, I ended up getting impatient waiting for the Byzantine and Arab blobs to break up so I wound up fabricating a claim on the kingdom via plot and easily taking the title. Sadly it had already flipped cultural name into Italy by the time I could take it, and the flip is irreversible. Ah well. This is where most of my games get boring, and I could easily take most, if not all of the hideously fractured western Europe if I so desired. But I'm exercising some level of restraint now because I have other, more novel goals in mind.

But first, a distraction. The Pope declared war on me. Not for Rome, where I set up an anti-Pope for the sole purpose of tanking Catholic Moral Authority. No, it was for some random county in northern Italy - Modena I think. Thing is, the Pope has no holdings, no allies, no money, and consequently no men. So I waited. And waited. Eventually about 100 men showed up to "besiege" Rome. I wiped them out with my retinue, and just like that, the war was over. I'm guessing he hired a depleted mercenary company as the only one he could afford.

Unfortunately the Pope has another power I was unaware of up to now, which is to magically convert counties back to Catholicism. Catharism had spread to Rome itself, and I became a secret Cathar. However I got a sudden pop-up event stating the Pope had sent an "army" of priests to convert it back, and just like that, it happened. I died of old age soon thereafter, and my heir and grandson does not share my faith. Sadly my ambitions of turning Catholicism into a de-facto heresy would have to wait. I did intentionally stay out of a Crusade for Aquitaine during one of the times Catholic MA rose high enough to enable it, ensuring it stayed in the hands of pagans, so I shall settle for petty revenge for now.


P.S. My infant cousin and member of my dynasty becomes Basileus of Byzantium. It was through no design of mine, and I suspect his reign will be short as approximately 75% of the empire is now in revolt. If nothing else, I may be able to finally conquer the rest of the Italian peninsula.
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grahams_xwing
Location: Mansfield, UK

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby grahams_xwing » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:36 pm

No....you spent 4 hrs over two nights, sourcing and designing badges and kits for your extremely lower league Football Manager save with Keymer & Hassocks... It wasn't me...definitely...

Yes - I'm currently 11 seasons into my save that i started for the LP I abandoned. (That was a good call - While I've enjoyed smashing the opposition week after week, it's a tad simplistic and repetitive still at this point...despite 11 promotions and 2 dozen cup wins) I suddenly found myself looking at the 'modding' options available. Obviously, nothing that changes game play - but there are several beautification options available to the game...

Firstly, while player names are licensed, their likenesses aren't, so most of the faces are either missing or computer generated. These can be replaced.
Secondly, Club Badges. Each club is represented in many places (league tables, in game score lines, news items etc, with a Club badge (for non football fans - normally also on the shirt - it's what gets ostentatiously kissed when the star striker scores a cracker of a goal). Sadly - these are either not licensed or not coded into the game. BUT, they can be replaced by adding images to the game directories and creating some XML code. Thankfully, whoever had gone to the trouble of creating the ridiculous 23 level database I'm using also found/recreated the Keymer & Hassocks logo so I didn't have to mock that up at all.
Thirdly - 2D Kits. Used in 2 whole screens in the game (Club info and player info), you can upload your own 2D kit images and tinker with the colours your team plays in.
I have kept the home orange, and the away black, plus added a tasteful white with orange highlights for the third kit. Getting this to work took a fair long time, having found a program that created the 2D kit PNGs to use, I had a great time fiddling with chevrons, stripes, logos, sponsors and kit manufacturers logos. (We are - for no other reason than they had a good quality transparency applied monochrome logo with low details - now sponsored by Corsair, the RAM maker). My only regret is that I went with Adiddas as my kit sponsor and then forgot to incorporate the three stripe motif onto the shoulders of my home kit.

Lastly - 3D Kits. there is a rather stripped down 3D rendering mode for the actual games themselves. While it's not FIFA quality - it does a decent enough job of showing the action enough to enjoy the games. The kits used in the 3D engine are separate from the 2D graphics and were the most complicated to reconfigure. The way the image is presented to the game is very much like a sprite map, with flattened graphics of the shirt, shorts, sleeves and socks arranged in a particular config in a small .png file.
I found a massive database of templates that some crazy russian had uploaded to a modding site and trawled through them to find a kit I could match to my 2D kits, then set about adjusting the colours and adding the logos. 3 hours later I had it up and running... cursing GIMP and my inability to use it/refusal to spend time reading the tutorials.

True to form. I got everything up and running, Badge in place, kits installed and rendering correctly. We promptly go into a 3 game losing streak.

I must have angered the FM Gods
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:41 pm

The Rocketeer wrote:If Prey ends with "it was all just a dream" of some kind, I'd appreciate it if someone would just flat-out tell me right now.


Of some kind,yes.But not necessarily the "and therefore all you did is erased" kind.
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Humanoid

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Humanoid » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:50 am

Well that was a bit anticlimactic. First heir died due to failing the immortality event. Normally it'd be something I skip since it kind of ruins the long term game, but this is probably the last time I play with supernatural events on so I figured I'd give it a go. Ended up about 1000 gold poorer, and with an infant ruler. Lots of waiting but then ...Catharism spread to Rome once again. About time.

The advantage of being a underage king was that I hadn't yet had time to join a Society. Turns out you have to form a secret cult before being able to properly do anything but secretly adopt a religion. I'm still foggy on how this mechanic works, and I assume it was added with Monks and Mystics. I played around for a short while with the special powers of the cult, which is basically pre-converting people and counties, but I rapidly grew impatient and hit the button (coming out) soon thereafter. And ...not much happened.

The realm is still fairly stable despite most of my vassals remaining Catholic. I could revoke their titles, but I have no real reason to. Since the antipope no longer exists, they have enough MA to call a Crusade against me and it happened a couple of years later. The landless Pope is backed by... Venice, Essex and the Holy Orders. I crush them with a 2:1 numerical advantage. I am free to overrun the entirety of Western Europe with egalitarianism, but I'm not sure I can be bothered. It's an easy 3% MA for every holy war I declare, and there are plenty of independent realms I can conquer. This would raise Cathar MA to the point I could easily convert counties the civil way and entirely supplant Catholicism. Question now though is, can I be bothered?

This save is over as a challenge: the strongest Catholic kingdom has one third of my power, and the strength of all of them combined would still be inferior to mine. I should be able to go toe-to-toe with the Byzantines on roughly , but without the benefit of the Holy War CB, it would be a long series of cataclysmic wars for one county or duchy at a time. Arabia still has over double my men, and remains a waiting game.
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The Rocketeer

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby The Rocketeer » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:15 am

So ever since the beginning of Prey, I've anticipated some sort of ass-pull "all just a dream" shenanigans, since the game basically opens by telegraphing it as hard is it can with the prologue. Morgan's amnesia, the Looking Glass systems, the neuromod-related memory-wiping, and the Typhon's apparent effects on cognition and perception all give the writer practically unlimited license to de-realize anything they want to at any time they choose. Now, at around the same time later in the game, they've revealed Chekhov's Looking Glass VR Headset, and attempting the ending where you just escape in the pod results in a Looking Glass error screen and Alex's voiceover saying, "No good, start it over."

Yeah, I'm bracing hard for some weapons-grade bullshit all-just-a-sim.
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Sudanna

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Sudanna » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:33 pm

Well. Yes, it is a sim. No, it is not bullshit. The post-credits reveal legitimately and interestingly changes how the game is to be interpreted.
Steve C

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Steve C » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:31 am

Prey non-spoiler: Make sure to keep playing after the credits roll.
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The Rocketeer

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby The Rocketeer » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:21 am

So I have finished Prey.

Even though the ending was what I'd predicted as early as the first "rousing from the dream" interlude, and even though I've been greatly and increasingly ready to slag the game for pulling the trigger... I liked it. Eh, what can I say? Prey pulls it off. I've only seen one of the endings so far, and I want to play around with the results a bit more, see what I can pull off. Afterwards, I'll mull it over and see how I feel about it all, but while I think my extreme trepidation about Prey's story direction was justified in the moment, I am very pleased with how it seems to wrap up.

The one thing I regret is that I ended up falling into almost the same trap with Prey as I did in Dishonored. In Dishonored, I always felt compelled to sneak around and play non-lethally, which, as has been pretty widely observed, is a very confining and mostly unsatisfying way of playing that game. Prey doesn't have that problem, the overwhelming number of its enemies being space monsters and hoverbots. Rather, in Prey, I got an overwhelming feeling of bad juju from the Typhon neuromods from the moment they became available, and ended up deciding on the spot to go for a human-mod-only playthrough.

I think it speaks really highly of Prey that, even abstaining from what sounded like a lot of really fun toys, the game was a total blast, and I really do have very little besides compliments for the mechanics of the game. In particular, I think pursuing a non-EXP-based system of acquiring new abilities with neuromods alleviated a lot of the woes that comes from a system like, say, the new Deus Ex games, in which you always want to play in an EXP-optimal way; Prey doesn't have, for instance, the phenomenon in which you're obligated to hack computers and keypads for which you have the password, because treating the password like a reward and using it means playing in an EXP-suboptimal way. And despite having a pretty significant stealth component, the game thankfully doesn't track or record how often you're spotted, etc., in the manner of Dishonored. In all, I'd say the design of the game is very liberating relative to its contemporaries; appropriately, Talos I is a great big sandbox for the player to approach as they wish, and the true judge of your results is who's left standing, how much stuff you hoard, and where you stand with the people around you. That is, it's a matter of the player-character's relation to their world, and not between the player and the developer's extra-diegetic scorecard.

The one thing I'm not sure I like is just how effective the shotgun gets later in the game. In the early game, enemies seem very beefy, ammo is scarce, and you're greatly incentivized to use all parts of the gameplay buffalo: setting traps, using your different sorts of grenades and mines, luring enemies to advantageous environments or into turrets, and so on. My personal favorite was tapping a Phantom with the pistol so they'd follow me around a corner, hurling furniture at their face as they came into view, and then bashing them repeatedly with the wrench while they're knocked down. But later on, I found that against almost any enemy, one single stratagem would bring me victory with little to no damage and scant resources spent: sneak up behind enemy, pop on Combat Focus, and blast them with the shotgun, finishing them off with the wrench or pistol if appropriate or necessary. I found even the Nightmare goes down really easily to this. There are, ultimately, a lot of different means of improving your weapon damage, and you can eventually put out damage numbers that even fully-upgraded Typhon powers don't seem to compete with, and which makes the expenditure of grenades or the time and care necessary to lure enemies or throw furniture uneconomical. And while the powers seem to be largely situational, bullets are rarely impractical.

But again, I haven't actually played around with any of the powers, and I know that's heavily coloring my experience of the game. I do want to go through the whole game once more and really play around with as many of the powers as I can. I kinda stopped really scrimping for materials to make more Neuromods and started ghosting enemies once I maxed the three human mod trees, but I still ended up with quite a few extra neuromods, and I'm curious if it's possible to actually get everything in one playthrough. If not, there are a few pricey mods on the human side I'm certain I could do without.
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Ringwraith

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Ringwraith » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:08 am

So the typhon mods you should play around with sometime really, as the impact they have is that having more than one makes the security systems now also target you by default, that's it.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:02 pm

The Rocketeer wrote:I liked it. Eh, what can I say? Prey pulls it off.


Thats because,unlike other dream/hallucination stories,everything you did was not erased.Even though it happened just in your mind,it all still happened,AND it impacted not only you but the characters in the real world who were watching you.It is a small detail,but a crucial one.
Last edited by Daemian Lucifer on Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lachlan the Sane
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Lachlan the Sane » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:42 pm

I finally got around to finishing Dark Souls 2. My Dex-build melee character had made it to the Dragon Shrine, but I gave up because of the Drakekeepers -- specifically the mace-wielding ones with infinite stamina who hammer at you endlessly. I'm also playing offline because I only have the original edition without any DLC (second-hand for the 360 if you're wondering how I got it). I reloaded it after a couple of months, re-evaluated my ring setup, and finally beat my head against the Drakekeepers until they stopped spawning. I also shanked the Ancient Dragon in the ankles because his house sucked before Homeward Boning it out of there...

Not sure what to do next. I'm not interested in taking this character to NG+, they've hit level 150 or so and their build is basically finished. Pure strength greatsword & tower shield? Sorcerer? Miracle-man? Pyromancer? Perhaps I'll need to just buy another Souls game...
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:50 pm

Opus magnum is an easier version of spacechem.And you know what,having all the freedom on the board does make me want to improve my design even more.Unlike the confined space of spachem,where Id only make improvements if I was forced to by the game.

The only thing I wish is that instead of alchemy I was dealing with actual atoms.But oh well.
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The Rocketeer

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Postby The Rocketeer » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:12 pm

Ringwraith wrote:the impact [typhon mods] have is that
Yeah, I got that part right away. Actually, it's something that January outright tells you, I think, so I'm not sure it's actually a spoiler.

Lachlan the Sane wrote:Not sure what to do next. I'm not interested in taking this character to NG+, they've hit level 150 or so and their build is basically finished. Pure strength greatsword & tower shield? Sorcerer? Miracle-man? Pyromancer? Perhaps I'll need to just buy another Souls game...
I can tell you from experience that greatsword/greatshield is a fine way to play the game. The King's Ultra Greatsword is one of the most overpowered weapons in the game, with some of the highest base damage of any weapon and S-scaling in Strength. Actually, I relied on it so much that I'm not as aware as I should be of all the other Strength-based builds, aside from needing the Smelter Sword every now and then.

As for magic, I think DS2 might have been the Golden Age for casters. I had a very, very fun magic build, with an Enchanted-infused katana that I loved using on anything that couldn't be killed with blue lasers. I'm sure I at least started a couple of miracle build, but I don't remember them well, and I've heard that hexes were badly nerfed after being greatly overpowered on release, and are now kinda worthless.

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