A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 5: New Thread+

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Yeah, both of those things are things that annoyed me. Having the secret ending get locked behind seemingly arbitrary dialogue options (though as far as I am now, mid-act 3, they are a bit LESS arbitrary than they initially appear, so should probably be pretty easy to get on a second playthrough) is dumb, and the Crusade battles suck.

    They're one of the several annoyances I cheated my way out of having to really deal with, alongside the inability to Take 10 or 20 when it would be prudent.
    Oh, ghouls are the worse.
    They can paralyze you for 1d3 turns each time they attack. It took forever for my footman, my archer, and cleric to win vs two ghouls and gargoyle.
    This was on my secondary team I was leveling, (my primary go the free hell knights). He tried out ice bomb (it lowers speed so delayed gargoyle standing by archers, still happened the next turn because they can still fly really well but I got one extra turn; likely more useful for fire element enemies).

    After I finally killed the ghouls (archer was doing all the damage to them since foot man was paralyzed holding them off and Cleric was soloing Gargoyle), the footman kept losing morale after so archer vs cleric whittling the guy down.

    I lost way too much morale in Bug area (you slowly lose some while looting). I have a save before...I'm tempted to wait a couple turns to build up money to boost armies before going inside.

  2. - Top - End - #182
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    And, there it is. I've finally completed the entire Mass Effect trilogy. The adventure is over.

    Despite all the problems with the ending, I have enjoyed myself all the way through. The extended cut ending at least made it a bit more satisfying.

    I feel sad now... Getting through to the very end, and realizing there is no further to go. It really was a unique experience.. I doubt anything like it will ever come again.

    I'm just going to chill on the first game's title screen for a while and listen to Vigil. Feels like the most proper thing to do now.

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Oh, ghouls are the worse.
    They can paralyze you for 1d3 turns each time they attack. It took forever for my footman, my archer, and cleric to win vs two ghouls and gargoyle.
    This was on my secondary team I was leveling, (my primary go the free hell knights). He tried out ice bomb (it lowers speed so delayed gargoyle standing by archers, still happened the next turn because they can still fly really well but I got one extra turn; likely more useful for fire element enemies).

    After I finally killed the ghouls (archer was doing all the damage to them since foot man was paralyzed holding them off and Cleric was soloing Gargoyle), the footman kept losing morale after so archer vs cleric whittling the guy down.

    I lost way too much morale in Bug area (you slowly lose some while looting). I have a save before...I'm tempted to wait a couple turns to build up money to boost armies before going inside.
    The morale lost from the swarm encounter is negligible; I never noticed a difference in effectiveness.

    Thing with Ghouls is they die to a single Scorching Ray, pretty big stacks of them do. What don't are armies of Mariliths and **** which is what you start getting at the start of Act 3.

  4. - Top - End - #184
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    I've now beaten Slay the Spire three times with different characters. Still haven't managed it with the Huntress, despite several attempts. I liked the class initially, but I don't think I can ever quite get it to work.

    Favorite class, I think, is actually the Defect. I find orbs very satisfying.
    "In dark times, should the stars also go out?"

  5. - Top - End - #185
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    So I'm trying something called Gamedec, which seems to be a Polish cyberpunk Disco Elysium-like, in as few words as possible. The premise is that you are a "game detective", sort of, in a world where most people spend the majority of their time jacked up (matrix-style) to immersive MMOs.

    The writing is, of course, not up there with Disco, but it seems adequate, and the breadth of choices the game gives you looks pretty impressive. The game also uses a "deduction" system similar to the Sherlock Holmes games (if anyone played them), where you gather clues and then may tie them to any conclusion from a menu of 2-4, say, and the story continues in that direction.
    Last edited by Cespenar; 2021-09-22 at 08:00 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #186
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    The Defect and Watcher are my favorites. I think I beat the game with each before, but since picking it back up, I think the Watcher is the only one I've made it through again.
    I've been noticing that it often seems like the gold cards are too situational or expensive to be worth picking up, even though they should be the most powerful. I also know there several different viable builds for the various classes, but it seems like I can only get one to any real level of progress, or more likely it seems to do really well until I run into the right elite that seems to be designed as a counter to certain build types, which happens to be the build I picked.

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    So far the best strategy I've found for crusade mode is just small stacks of armies and blast the enemy with magic. Some of the spells are just completely and utterly imbalanced. It's like they didn't play test this mode at all.

  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    So far the best strategy I've found for crusade mode is just small stacks of armies and blast the enemy with magic. Some of the spells are just completely and utterly imbalanced. It's like they didn't play test this mode at all.
    Nah, that's just true to the source material. PF leans hard into caster/spell supremacy, as did 3e before it.
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  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I've now beaten Slay the Spire three times with different characters. Still haven't managed it with the Huntress, despite several attempts. I liked the class initially, but I don't think I can ever quite get it to work.

    Favorite class, I think, is actually the Defect. I find orbs very satisfying.
    I'd suggest focusing on either Discard or Poison, as those are both generally useful even if you need to branch out your build. Shivs and attacks can be strong, but requires a lot of perfection to pull off correctly.

    With the Discard cards, you're focusing on card draw, low costs, and discard effects. The benefit here is that almost all of the "starter" cards for this build (Prepared, Acrobatics, Backflip) are still really strong even when your deck lacks synergy.

    With the Poison cards, you want to focus most of your attention on skills, getting rid of most of your Strikes when possible, and prioritize on trimming the fat off your deck. Poison gets stronger the more you get, and otherwise does your job for you, so all you need to focus on is poisoning the easiest-to-kill target in the enemy group and then avoiding incoming damage. Poison is something that does get a

    And, whenever possible, pick up the Alchemy card. It's probably my favorite card of The Silent. Having infinite potions is a blast, and gives a lot of value to encounters that you can breeze through.

    In case you haven't unlocked them, Poison Cards are the 1st unlock tier, and Shiv Cards are the 3rd. If you haven't unlocked anything from the Silent, just go for a Discard/Draw deck and try to pick up curses for value. It functions perfectly fine with no unlocks and it's a pretty consistent build that almost always works for me, although I'd say that Poison is a lot stronger (if a bit harder to pull off).

    The Silent does have some of the worst Powers in the game, so don't prioritize them like you would with the Defect or Ironclad. Generally, try to avoid picking up Attack cards unless they play well with your strategy or are pretty versatile, as focusing more on skills will give you more breathing room and allow more mistakes (since most skills are either cheap, powerful, or defensive).
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2021-09-22 at 05:30 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Finally beat The Witcher. Overall I enjoyed the game a lot more than I expected, given its age. It suffers the usual RPG problem where all the work is put into the first half of the game and then it kind of drags towards the end. Chapters 4 and 5 didn't have the same depth as the first three, and by the end of Chapter 5 I was yelling "GET ON WITH IT" at my screen as the bits of the game I cared about had already concluded.

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    I was particularly disappointed that the made the leader of the Flaming Rose a nutter. The Order was a very interesting idea - a legion of what are basically paladins who truly believe in lawfulness, righteousness, and saving the poor without charging a penny. Except...they're all colossal racists who don't extend the same courtesy to Elven refugees, and will happily burn down a village if it means they can wipe some elves out along the way.

    That was an interesting enough contrast with the Elves, who were the usual "one mans terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" and the choice between them is a genuinely difficult one. In true Geralt fashion, I elected not to choose.

    But then there's the Order's leader. Who's going to turn everyone into mutant monsters against their will and is clearly unhinged. It makes it easy to have him as a final boss I guess, but I'm scratching my head over why they didn't stick with Azar Javed for that role. The weird hint that he might actually have been Alvin via time travel shenanigans also came out of nowhere and left me puzzled. I guess maybe Witcher 2 will go into that some more.

    Speaking of Alvin, he's probably the weakest part of the story. He's a blatant Ciri clone, which makes no sense given that Ciri's genetics are highly important to how her powers work. Having this random kid come out of nowhere and repeat her story beats (right down to teleporting away to who knows where) was pretty lame. I actually hope the later games just kind of...forget about him. Reintroduce Ciri and go from there.


    I started up the Witcher 2. As with Witcher 1, I can see why I was unimpressed. The tutorial is one big lesson in how not to do a tutorial, and the scripting first broke (which I remember happening from my first attempt at playing the game) and then the game crashed entirely. I can also see the influence of the dreaded "PC RPG designed for consoles" already, and I'm kind of shocked just how awful the UI is compared to the clunky-but-functional one we got in the first game.

    Still, I'm determined this time. I'm going to doggedly push through the early crap and get to a point where the game is playable. This is the game I was dreading the most, so I just have to bull my way through and hope that the story outweighs the gameplay like the first game.

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Well, my wrath game bugged after the latest patch and everything is dying in one hit. Fun. Validating files didn't fix it, and neither did removing all mods. I'm trying (another) full uninstall and reinstall now but I'm not optimistic. My last save that isn't effected by the bug seems to be about 17 hours ago, so I'm probably just dropping the game.

  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    Well, my wrath game bugged after the latest patch and everything is dying in one hit. Fun. Validating files didn't fix it, and neither did removing all mods. I'm trying (another) full uninstall and reinstall now but I'm not optimistic. My last save that isn't effected by the bug seems to be about 17 hours ago, so I'm probably just dropping the game.
    Is it a bug or are you just hitting things with Mythic Vital Strike? nyuck nyuck

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Is it a bug or are you just hitting things with Mythic Vital Strike? nyuck nyuck
    Definitely a bug. Nothing in the game has more than 20 or so HP. Full reinstall did not fix the issue. The dev is blaming mods for it but it was 1,000,000,000% the patch they released this morning.

    Honestly, **** this game. It's a frustrating, buggy, mess. I think I'm dropping it. Maybe we'll come back in a year or two if they fix the issues.
    Last edited by Anteros; 2021-09-22 at 07:34 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #194
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 5: New Thread+

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Still, I'm determined this time. I'm going to doggedly push through the early crap and get to a point where the game is playable. This is the game I was dreading the most, so I just have to bull my way through and hope that the story outweighs the gameplay like the first game.
    Oh, it definitely does that. Apart from the tentacle monster boss fight, which can die in a thousand fires, the actual game is much better after the intro and tutorial are over too.

    [EDIT] Well, just ragequit Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Puzzle in the Subterranean River challenge tomb requires you to tether a waterwheel to a platform to raise it, then jump in the water, kick a raft over to a rock, climb said rock to get up to the raised platform, then jump over to the platform and across to a door. It's a timed puzzle because the rope holding the platform snaps after a while, and the time limit was just too damn short for my reflexes to manage it. So I turned the puzzle difficulty down to Easy, on the foolish assumption that this would make the time limit a bit more forgiving. Nope--made no difference at all that I could tell. So, just quit the game and deleted it from the PS4 forever, never playing it again.

    Then I put Assassin's Creed: Valhalla in. This one's a bit odd, because there's only 13Gb of data on the disc and it then launches a 43Gb (!!) download to "update" the game...however, it still lets you start the game even before the download is done. Which is nice, because it'll take 3 hours for that to finish!
    Last edited by factotum; 2021-09-23 at 09:47 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #195
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    Does anyone know why you get certain artisans in Pathfinder: Kingmaker?

    For example, I haven't gotten Shaynih'a (the monk item makers from South Narlmarches), Nazrielle of the Kamellands, or Kimo Tavon of the North Narlmarches. I did get Dragn in the South Narlmarches, Tarrask in the Kamellands, and Sharel in the North Narlmarches, though. Is it just I didn't spend enough time wandering the villages? I thought they usually showed up and offered services?
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  16. - Top - End - #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Still, I'm determined this time. I'm going to doggedly push through the early crap and get to a point where the game is playable. This is the game I was dreading the most, so I just have to bull my way through and hope that the story outweighs the gameplay like the first game.
    As far as I recall, the writing was starting to get pretty good in 2, as much as that I wasn't really surprised by how big of a hit W3 was.

  17. - Top - End - #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Finally beat The Witcher. Overall I enjoyed the game a lot more than I expected, given its age. It suffers the usual RPG problem where all the work is put into the first half of the game and then it kind of drags towards the end. Chapters 4 and 5 didn't have the same depth as the first three, and by the end of Chapter 5 I was yelling "GET ON WITH IT" at my screen as the bits of the game I cared about had already concluded.

    Spoiler
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    I was particularly disappointed that the made the leader of the Flaming Rose a nutter. The Order was a very interesting idea - a legion of what are basically paladins who truly believe in lawfulness, righteousness, and saving the poor without charging a penny. Except...they're all colossal racists who don't extend the same courtesy to Elven refugees, and will happily burn down a village if it means they can wipe some elves out along the way.

    That was an interesting enough contrast with the Elves, who were the usual "one mans terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" and the choice between them is a genuinely difficult one. In true Geralt fashion, I elected not to choose.

    But then there's the Order's leader. Who's going to turn everyone into mutant monsters against their will and is clearly unhinged. It makes it easy to have him as a final boss I guess, but I'm scratching my head over why they didn't stick with Azar Javed for that role. The weird hint that he might actually have been Alvin via time travel shenanigans also came out of nowhere and left me puzzled. I guess maybe Witcher 2 will go into that some more.

    Speaking of Alvin, he's probably the weakest part of the story. He's a blatant Ciri clone, which makes no sense given that Ciri's genetics are highly important to how her powers work. Having this random kid come out of nowhere and repeat her story beats (right down to teleporting away to who knows where) was pretty lame. I actually hope the later games just kind of...forget about him. Reintroduce Ciri and go from there.


    I started up the Witcher 2. As with Witcher 1, I can see why I was unimpressed. The tutorial is one big lesson in how not to do a tutorial, and the scripting first broke (which I remember happening from my first attempt at playing the game) and then the game crashed entirely. I can also see the influence of the dreaded "PC RPG designed for consoles" already, and I'm kind of shocked just how awful the UI is compared to the clunky-but-functional one we got in the first game.

    Still, I'm determined this time. I'm going to doggedly push through the early crap and get to a point where the game is playable. This is the game I was dreading the most, so I just have to bull my way through and hope that the story outweighs the gameplay like the first game.
    For what it's worth, apart from the UI, I found Witcher 2 much more playable. Better story and characters, too.

    Edit: sounds like you've read the books. Starting in Witcher 2, they also begin to rely more on book characters and story, and less on their own weird creations taht don't quite fit, like Alvin.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2021-09-23 at 03:43 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    Definitely a bug. Nothing in the game has more than 20 or so HP. Full reinstall did not fix the issue. The dev is blaming mods for it but it was 1,000,000,000% the patch they released this morning.

    Honestly, **** this game. It's a frustrating, buggy, mess. I think I'm dropping it. Maybe we'll come back in a year or two if they fix the issues.
    Are you sure it isn't mods, mods seem to break their patches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Does anyone know why you get certain artisans in Pathfinder: Kingmaker?

    For example, I haven't gotten Shaynih'a (the monk item makers from South Narlmarches), Nazrielle of the Kamellands, or Kimo Tavon of the North Narlmarches. I did get Dragn in the South Narlmarches, Tarrask in the Kamellands, and Sharel in the North Narlmarches, though. Is it just I didn't spend enough time wandering the villages? I thought they usually showed up and offered services?
    I think you have to do a quest for them that starts by talking to them in the town they're in. But it's been a while since I kingmakered.
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    Finished a game of Civ 6, domination victory. And so immortal emperor Trajan after wiping out Scythia, turned his attention to Vietnam and the three civilizations across the ocean: Russia, Poland and the Cree. at first he targeted Russia because its leader boasted his culture was better than rome's and that just can't stand. but it turned out Russia and Vietnam were both very close to a diplomatic victory so after his normal troops either are ineffective at storming cities or die to his own nuclear radiation after capturing or razing them, he discovered that the giant death robots his engineers have made were near invincible. So he just began sending giant death robots and nukes at all his enemies until they were dead, targeting anyone who was close to winning through peaceful means. and thus did immortal Emperor Trajan crush all who opposed him with Metal Gears despite expecting he would somehow colonize an exoplanet first and win a science victory, he won by dominance. and thus did the Roman Empire conquer most if not all the world crushing most of the other eight civilizations excepts for parts of Poland which we assume just surrender after seeing a giant death robot take its capital which was a free city.

    My headcanon is that Trajan looked out upon a world he conquered: all the cities he built, all the wonders he made making sure Rome was great, all the cities he bombed and destroyed with giant robots and the irradiated wastelands around them, having basically become the only civilization left, glances at his score and finding that he is still second place in fame to Augustus Caesar at 2400 points despite pretty much ensuring Rome's dominance on earth forever. looks at all the now roman citizens conquered from other people their cities still being rebuilt. he had conquered the world, and with the power of science, he had made sure Rome would probably conquer many more. He can hear all seven leaders he killed taunting him: "was it worth it?"

    in response he spread his hands and said:
    "Are you not entertained?"
    the Roman Empire was unamused as it was now a technocracy full of modern roman youth worrying that all the past deeds their nation did were evil and thus he got shot dead from all directions then was denounced a tyrant who destroyed all the other cultures on Earth. cultural restoration projects would be attempted on the conquered cities and on the space colonies they make, but they'd always be inaccurate and contain roman misconceptions and influences that would never truly go away. The End.

    thing is, this time I wasn't intentionally going for a domination victory- I thought it was a bit hard to pull off after I failed with Mongols, but it turned out keeping your science and faith up and not producing only soldiers to fight does wonders and that even if your going for domination you need to maintain your cities, and while it gets harder to dominate cities towards the late game as it gets into Renaissance and modern eras, the death robots and nukes made domination made conquering others real quick. like the other nations were firing everything they had at me and I don't think they killed a single death robot. also there is probably the fact that I'm playing on a lower difficulty and playing what is supposed one of the easiest civilizations in civ 6 to grasp and play with some generalist traits to Rome that make doing practically anything with them viable, even if they're domination focused. though honestly I didn't use legions all that much in the earlier eras, so I think I need to step up my science game to properly get them early and somehow be more aggressive to get more early conquering in. while if I want a faster science victory, I think I need to be more on the ball about it in general, I was probably real close to a science victory if I didn't get the domination one (I was on third step, don't know how many light years left, but I was enhancing them). like this game was just supposed to be me learning how the game works better and now I do.

    I think I'll look into other domination victory focused civilizations. I was constantly at war given my playstyle after all.
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  21. - Top - End - #201
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    In between bouncing from Tales to Wrath I noticed there's a new Last Spell update. Looks like they introduced a smaller map, nerfed the economy, and added a difficulty to make mobs faster. These changes were all desperately needed, because for a game that prides itself on difficulty, it was mind numbingly easy. It's tough to strike that balance between making the player feel overpowered and simultaneously making the game difficult. They haven't accomplished it yet, but they're close.

  22. - Top - End - #202
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 5: New Thread+

    Goddammit, I started Kingmaker over, again.
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  23. - Top - End - #203
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    BPM: Bullets Per Minute had a performance update that's actually really helped; it's running fine on my computer again and I got a Hard win with Goll (starting character) with doubleshot and oodles of damage, and a win on Easy with the guy who has no starting health. That was a stupidly powerful run: minigun + auto-aim + bottomless clip + regenerating shield + healing spell + max stats = unstoppable killing machine. Interestingly, I don't think I was getting very many points for it, though, because I think just holding down the fire button doesn't count as shooting to the rhythm... so I might have actually ended the run with 0 points or close to. My other runs, however, have been an exercise in humility; loss after loss.

    Also played a lot of Darkest Dungeon. I'm doing my best to keep all my guys alive and sane (which is not necessarily the optimal strategy, I know, but it's how I prefer to play it). I just need one more level 6 character before I can take on the titular Darkest Dungeon, since my level 5 Vestal got absolutely screwed by RNG (nighttime ambush after I used the campfire to top up everyone's stress at the end of a surprisingly easy mission, where she got hit by several attacks, a crit that put her on death's door, another crit the instant she got healed, and then
    she died to blight that bypassed her Guarded status because her turn came up before my Arbolest) making her the 4th character I've lost this run. In retrospect, I probably should have just bailed out of that fight and completed the mission once she went down the first time.

    And just tonight I picked up a game called Potion Craft, which features a relaxed but methodical crafting system followed by selling the potions in your shop. Not the type of game I usually play, but I'm finding it surprisingly fun. It really appeals to the perfectionist in me to perfectly line up the bottles for the strongest effect (and best price).
    Last edited by PoeticallyPsyco; 2021-09-26 at 02:17 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darths & Droids
    When you combine the two most devious, sneaky, manipulative, underhanded, cunning, and diabolical forces in the known universe, the consequences can be world-shattering. Those forces are, of course, players and GMs.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Realism, the natural predator of D&D mechanics.

  24. - Top - End - #204
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
    And just tonight I picked up a game called Potion Crafter, which features a relaxed but methodical crafting system followed by selling the potions in your shop. Not the type of game I usually play, but I'm finding it surprisingly fun. It really appeals to the perfectionist in me to perfectly line up the bottles for the strongest effect (and best price).
    Is this the game you're referring to? Looks pretty charming.
    ithilanor on Steam.

  25. - Top - End - #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
    BPM: Bullets Per Minute had a performance update that's actually really helped; it's running fine on my computer again and I got a Hard win with Goll (starting character) with doubleshot and oodles of damage, and a win on Easy with the guy who has no starting health. That was a stupidly powerful run: minigun + auto-aim + bottomless clip + regenerating shield + healing spell + max stats = unstoppable killing machine. Interestingly, I don't think I was getting very many points for it, though, because I think just holding down the fire button doesn't count as shooting to the rhythm... so I might have actually ended the run with 0 points or close to. My other runs, however, have been an exercise in humility; loss after loss.
    I tried to get into BPM because of the concept, but I always ended up fizzling out at some point. A combination of really bad colorset/graphics combo (that tried to be stylish at a low cost, I imagine), combined with unsatisfactory/low damage weapons, IIRC. Also, the Zelda/Binding of Isaac style rooms are really coming off as quite uninspired after being copied by the 500th game.

    The soundtrack rocks quite hard, though. And it did make me play for a while.
    Last edited by Cespenar; 2021-09-26 at 08:40 AM.

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    ElfPirate

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    Quote Originally Posted by IthilanorStPete View Post
    Is this the game you're referring to? Looks pretty charming.
    That's the one!
    Quote Originally Posted by Darths & Droids
    When you combine the two most devious, sneaky, manipulative, underhanded, cunning, and diabolical forces in the known universe, the consequences can be world-shattering. Those forces are, of course, players and GMs.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Realism, the natural predator of D&D mechanics.

  27. - Top - End - #207
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    So, I wrapped up Tales of Arise yesterday. It's a good game, but sadly not as much as I would've hoped. The good things that they did with the combat system unfortunately get drug down by awful design for certain enemies, namely the bosses and the giant monsters (which become quite common towards the end of the game), who are massive damage sponges that you can never affect with hitstun at all, so you just end up wailing away at them forever while they don't react to your hits at all, and while trying to be aware of when you'll need to dodge their attacks (though the sheer number of things that can be going on on-screen as your four-person party wails on the enemy can make that very hard). I actually turned down the difficulty to the minimum setting, "Story" difficulty, just to make dealing with those late-game enemies and bosses not take forever, which is something I've never done before in any other game.

    As far as the story goes, well, it fluctuates back and forth between "pretty good" and "mind-numbingly stupid." After the couple of completely stupid things I described last time I posted it remained okay to good for a long while, but unfortunately the stupid came back for the ending...
    Spoiler: Ending
    Show
    So, the last major boss before the endgame, the fifth of the Renan Lords, Vholran, somehow survives getting stabbed clean through the chest by a sword made of fire, despite you seeing his body fall motionless before you while the wound is still on fire. He shows up briefly as a prisoner of the real final villains, seemingly gets crushed in a collapsing structure, but given his taunting beforehand and the fact that he survived the aforementioned chest-stabbing somehow you kind of know he'll probably be back.

    He doesn't appear again until the very end of the game, when you beat what you think is (and should have been, IMO) the final boss, at which point he shows up, takes the mcguffin you need to save the world, and fights you. One big final boss fight with him later, Alphen, the main character, decides that rather than finishing this awful villain with the blood of untold numbers of people on his hands who has repeatedly shown he also has a personal vendetta against and fixation on Alphen, taking the mcguffin, and saving the world, what he should do is set his weapon down and offer Vholran forgiveness. Vholran, predictably, tells Alphen he can stuff it, grabs the mcguffin, and then either vanishes in a puff of smoke with it or blows himself and the mcguffin up (it's not clear which). He is then never seen again.

    Lacking the mcguffin, Alphen's only choice to save the world at this point would seem to be killing his friend/love interest, Shion, for reasons that would take too long to go into. Instead, he decides to call out to the people of Dahna, their homeworld, to try and get everyone on the planet to think of saving Shion at once, because that will cause the magical will of the planet, which is dispersed throughout its people, to want that as well, thereby giving him the power to save her. And this works. Despite the fact that they're not even on Dahna at that time, but on its sister planet Rena, and there's been nothing to establish before that the flow of energy Rena's spirit was siphoning off Dahna would allow them to communicate with the entire damn other planet like that. And despite the fact that Alphen is vague enough in his shouted request that there ought to be plenty of confusion from most of the people on the planet as to what the hell they were hearing or what he wanted, even assuming he can do that.

    Now, granted, they foreshadowed several times this concept that Dahna's will, unlike Rena's (which was the other final villain), was spread throughout its people, and speculated that if the people of Dahna were united in a single thought and purpose they could get Dahna's power turned towards that, so that concept didn't come clean out of nowhere. Everything about how they went about it completely did, though - and it was so thoroughly unnecessary. Just leave Vholran dead, make Rena's Great Spirit the final boss, and have the plan to transfer Shion's thorns to the Renas Alma work. Boom, done, happy ending that's much less stupid. Feel free to have the planets merge like they did in this ending as an unexpected side-effect too, because why not?

    I just... wow. Sometimes the story is throwing good, thematic, fun twists at you, like the reveal that the "Renans" were actually Dahnans who got experimented on by the real, much more alien Renans, the Helganquil; other times it's deciding to throw all logic to the wind and do the dumbest thing it can think of. And it had to go do that right at the ending. Damn.

    Fortunately, the game's characters do save it from its story missteps completely ruining the experience. The entire main cast is quite good, especially Shion, and I greatly enjoyed seeing their character arcs over the course of this... stupid moments in the middle for a few of them notwithstanding, anyway. And despite the problems with the story, I feel like I can see what they going for, and the story did have plenty of promise to it in the end I think - it's just marred by a few moments so colossally stupid that they drag it down quite a bit below its potential.

    Compared to other Tales games I've played, I think this falls somewhere in the middle. It's well below the series' best entries (Vesperia, Abyss, Berseria), but also much stronger than the weakest entries I've played (Symphonia 2 and, especially, Xillia 2). I think I'd rate it somewhere around how I feel about Symphonia at this point - though I think Symphonia has the opposite strength, where its plot is quite good, but most of its characters are more forgettable than Arise's.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    And having finished that up, I started on another game that came out recently: Kena: Bridge of Spirits. I'm enjoying that so far - it's got a lot of charm, and it's just great to see this sort of 3D adventure-platformer style in this day and age, it's largely a dead genre nowadays, but one I've always liked. Fairly simple mechanically and a bit rough around the edges here and there, but eh, it's the developer's first game ever, I can't hold that against them much. The music's quite good, visuals are mostly quite good, combat's simple but engaging, exploration is fun - all in all, I'm happy with what I've played thus far and looking forward to the rest.
    Last edited by Zevox; 2021-09-27 at 05:37 PM.
    Toph Pony avatar by Dirtytabs. Thanks!

    "When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." -C.S. Lewis

  28. - Top - End - #208
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    ElfRogueGirl

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    I forgot to mention I was playing Doom Eternal. Oopsies. Finished the game and its DLC campaigns tonight. I've ripped and tore and now I am done.

    The Icon of Sin is one of the best final bosses in videogame history and I'll hear no one say otherwise.

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    Lord Raziere's Avatar

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    Lets see, yesterday I tried to play Hollow Knight with mods to change the skin of the knight. despite all the downpatching and making sure I did everything correctly, didn't work, ended up with blank squares, will have to google a solution to this. probably didn't do it correctly.

    tried to start and play Psycho on Borderlands 2. it kinda works? the fact that getting knocked into fight for your life mode knocks you out of your berserker rage sucks so you can easily waste the ability, and I only got the rush I want to feel from it once. I think I have more fun playing sniper, because the psycho's playstyle is going to take me some getting used to, so I'm jsut gonna go back to sniping until I feel like give psycho more of a try.

    my Norway run of playing Civ 6 is going better than my roman one- I'm still in the 300's turn-wise and I've eliminated most of competition, leaving only two other civilizations remaining and I think my science is advancing faster as well. I'm playing on archipelago map and my civ is water-focused so that might just be me optimizing for the terrain- I've also gotten a lot more money than when I was Rome, as it turns out when you have harbors in every city you make a lot of money. also I've learned that naval units are real powerful for attacking cities if you can find coastal ones, and that artillery pretty much becomes vital in later eras. like, actual soldiers are only good for the last blow after you bombarded the city so much that you can take it with any unit, and that generally for domination victory there are a few main threats:
    -lack of money
    -loyalty
    -grievances
    -diplomatic victory

    you can take care of money as long you keep certain districts and projects going, loyalty is something you have to think of with each city you capture and I've found a lot of times where its just better to raze the city and send a settler to build over the ruins when I've conquered the rest of the area than deal with a rebellious city by trying to hold it immediately with loyalty pressures all around them, and at a certain point you have so many cities that it doesn't matter if you capture a few more because you already have enough to do anything you want. grievances constantly drain your influence and thus leads to the fact that you basically need to target whoever has the most diplomacy points and kill them swiftly to win, because diplomacy points is the one thing a domination victory player can't do anything about other than completely destroying the player that has them.

    so yeah, only one of these worked out well. but thats why you try out new things: to see what works and what doesn't.
    I'm also on discord as "raziere". Hate is a chain, free yourself.



  30. - Top - End - #210
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Been playing FFXIV don't really go for MMOs but this one is good enough I've gone from trail to full member so that's good. Playing Tank at the moment since it's more relaxed than DPS while leveling up and so far havn't had to much trouble in any raids but I am only just getting into the main primal plot from the looks of it.

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