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Thursday, October 01, 2015

OT Gaming: October 2015

RosePortal Games, the developer of an RPG called Epic Quest of the 4 Crystals recently got caught offering compensation—in the form of free Steam keys—in exchange for Steam reviews. When Valve found out, they weren’t pleased.

Yeah, nothing shady about that…

Anyway, here’s the start of monthly Gaming threads.

Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 01, 2015 at 08:02 AM | 679 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: games, gaming, steam

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   1. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 01, 2015 at 09:38 AM (#5051094)
Yeah, the thing about small-time gaming companies is they usually are not run by anyone with a clue about business or marketing. Bribery for positive reviews is of course industry standard (and not just in gaming, but everywhere, as customers pay increasing attention to online product reviews), but you're not supposed to get caught, that's just bad form.

I would estimate that on any product well known enough to draw more than about 20 reviews, 60-70% of the reviews are fake. You learn to spot the tells of a reviewer who didn't actually read the book and pay attention only to the reviewers who did.
   2. tshipman Posted: October 01, 2015 at 10:11 AM (#5051132)
So you're saying the OT gaming thread is actually about ethics in game journalism?
   3. KronicFatigue Posted: October 01, 2015 at 10:47 AM (#5051167)
I may have asked this question once before, but I'm getting to a point where I need to make a decision and I'm torn: Should I get a PS4 or a desktop dedicated to gaming attached to my TV

Let's say 85% of my gaming is going to be FIFA, Star Wars Battlefront and single player games like Batman. My buddies are all on PS4. In theory, i'd like to cut the 85% considerablly and expand both the quantity of time I play and the variety of games I play. I have a bunch of low-spec games on Steam that I've never gotten around to playing. All my tvs have variations of chromecasts, ps3, etc etc so streaming media is no issue. I get very frustrated when I have to map out buttons on a controller for steam. I want to pick up and play. But I like how games are cheaper on steam.

PS4 is the safe bet. Will probably cost me more in the long run, but putting a game into a console and hitting power is easy. I want to get a computer, but I don't want a headache.

Thoughts? and Thanks.
   4. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 01, 2015 at 10:50 AM (#5051172)
My experience is there are very few games that play better with a controller than with a keyboard and mouse, one you get used to the latter.

I adamantly recommend you go with the PC--buy parts, Dan and others are willing to help you assemble the optimal group of parts for your price point, and pay some nerd you know $20 and a pizza to assemble them into a PC for you--but I'm biased on the issue. I don't like home consoles at all.

Oh, and if you do get a PC, get Windows 7. 10 is designed for mobile devices and sucks balls on a PC.
   5. zack Posted: October 01, 2015 at 11:19 AM (#5051204)
I assume most of those games still don't have crossover multiplayer, so it really depends if you want to play multiplayer with your friends or not, I'd say. After that it depends what you want to play that is PS4 or PC exclusive. Also many great "PC games" don't require a very high end box. Most of the PC games with big requirements are also on consoles.

Almost all PC games expect an xbox360 or xbone controller, so if you have one of those you won't need to remap. I don't even have one, but I can't tell you the last time I remapped a button.

The only good baseball game, in the sense of actually controlling players, is a PS exclusive, much to my chagrin. PC has OOTP though.
   6. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 01, 2015 at 11:25 AM (#5051217)
Also with a decent PC you have access to pretty much every video game ever made from the dawn of time through about 2005. Which includes a hell of a lot of great games.

Storytime: Recently a friend dropped by to discuss something with my wife for 20 minutes, and had her three kids (girls age 10 and 8, and a boy age 5) with her. I fired up Super Mario Bros. on an NES emulator and started playing it and they were all drawn to it like an invisible stage hook was pulling them. Inside of five minutes they were fighting over who gets to go next (only the oldest girl ever managed to clear 1-1 in the few minutes they had). They have a Wii at home but they'd never seen Super Mario Bros. before and thought it was absolutely awesome.
   7. zack Posted: October 01, 2015 at 11:50 AM (#5051267)
If they have a wii at home and don't own NSMB, you should call child services on their parents.
   8. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 01, 2015 at 11:52 AM (#5051270)
Of course they own NSMB. But if you go back and play both you'll be surprised at just how different the games are.
   9. zack Posted: October 01, 2015 at 11:52 AM (#5051272)
Reposting from last thread:

So my predictions for my Benevento game basically came true. After my first guy finally kicked the bucket, I settled things down with my new king ok. I've lost half of my demesne troops for reasons that I don't fully understand (probably at least partially marshal ability). I've taken every territory in the Kingdom of Sicily that is not currently held by a superpower [map].

Bari is held by Italy, but I imagine I could take that someday during a crisis so is not really a concern.

I can't usurp the Duchy of Sicily (which I want to make my capital) from the ERE doux because he's Orthodox. The other territory on the island is held by a sultan controlling most of the central african coast (about 7k troops), I only got the bits I did because he lost Sicily to a Shia adventurer who then attacked me and was crushed by Italy saving my ass. It's further complicated by the fact that he has a holding in a province of mine and I have two in his. He attacks about a month after this screenshot in a timeline I didn't save. Both Doux are fabricating claims on me, and they can vote in my elections because I'm dumb.

If the ERE were Catholic or Italian I'd think about vassalizing myself in order to get those purple provinces and have some protection, but I can't imagine that's a stable situation with my religion. I could swear fealty to Italy, but they don't have what I want. Is my best bet trying to marry into the Doux with Sicily and stabbing my way to possession? Assuming Italy or the Pope provides some backup in the coming jihad.
   10. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 01, 2015 at 12:00 PM (#5051293)
I'm pretty sure you can take decisions to convert to your liege's religion and culture (they cost Prestige, though) so if you were to swear fealty to the Byzantines you could become Greek Orthodox (and being Greek is pretty awesome, you get to chop the balls off of rebellious vassals.) The trouble is, with their imperial administration the Basileus can revoke your #### for no reason at all if he feels like it, if you're his vassal. But you'd be a pretty big fish there and might be able to destabilize the realm from within, then cut and run when convenient.

You'll probably be okay in the event of a Muslim holy war because, as happened before, nearby Catholic powers will come to your defense. Keep some cash handy to hire mercs if you need to. It's easier to play defense than offense.

Sicily is de jure Byzantine so the Basileus is going to come after your #### sooner or later if the Muslims to his east don't keep him distracted, and that's a bigger problem.

How strong is Italy, relative to you?
   11. zack Posted: October 01, 2015 at 12:21 PM (#5051323)
How strong is Italy, relative to you?

Currently more than double in max troops, 8.1k to 3.5k. Has all of northern Italy, Genoa, Provence, Carinthia, Corsica and Sardinia and is currently winning a war for Burgundy. So in the range that I could possibly take them when they don't have their #### together, but not anytime soon.
   12. Cabbage Posted: October 01, 2015 at 12:40 PM (#5051351)
Let's say 85% of my gaming is going to be FIFA, Star Wars Battlefront and single player games like Batman. My buddies are all on PS4. In theory, i'd like to cut the 85% considerablly and expand both the quantity of time I play and the variety of games I play. I have a bunch of low-spec games on Steam that I've never gotten around to playing. All my tvs have variations of chromecasts, ps3, etc etc so streaming media is no issue. I get very frustrated when I have to map out buttons on a controller for steam. I want to pick up and play. But I like how games are cheaper on steam.

PS4 is the safe bet. Will probably cost me more in the long run, but putting a game into a console and hitting power is easy. I want to get a computer, but I don't want a headache.


I recently ascended to the PC Master Race. And I gotta say it's pretty spectacular. I was also concerned about extra hassles, but I find the PC's advantages to offset a lot of them. Yeah, you'll have to map controller buttons, but you get to navigate menus with a mouse instead of a thumbstick. Plus mods will usually come in to remove in-game design flaws -- think the Skyrim overlaw, or the crappy fonts in CKII.

Building my own PC was cheap, and assembling it was both easy and fun. logicalincreemnts, /r/buildapc, and pcpartpicker are really helpful resources.
   13. Paul d mobile Posted: October 01, 2015 at 12:46 PM (#5051362)
While I think there are lots of time that a controller is better than a keyboard, you can use a controller with a PC. I'd say it might come down to how much time for gaming you have. IF your time is limited, the ps4, or x box, will have enough options to keep yousatisfied, but you will miss out one some games.
   14. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 01, 2015 at 01:36 PM (#5051432)
Heads up for zack or anyone else that might be interested: Everything Crusader Kings II is going on a 75% off sale on Steam this weekend. Now's the time to grab the DLC.
   15. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 01, 2015 at 01:55 PM (#5051463)
While I think there are lots of time that a controller is better than a keyboard, you can use a controller with a PC.


I recently migrated my desktop into the living room to see if I'd enjoy the wonders of gaming on a 60-inch 1080p monitor, and while parts of the experience are pretty amazing (the Total War games really shine in this scenario, especially with a good rumbly subwoofer to make charges more epic) I'm still having an awful time with games that supposedly play best with a game controller, like Witcher 3 and the Batman games. There's something about using my right thumbstick to look around that is so unintuitive for me and it's been a hard slog to try and get used to that control scheme.

Even playing traditional FPS games with a keyboard and mouse ($5 for a 9ft USB cable, can't beat that!) is a bit disorienting. Just keeping track of things on a screen that size changes the way you play, and whatever scaling difference there is for mouse movement still has me just a bit off my game.

Anyways, at the repeated request of a group of friends I will be taking the plunge into DOTA2 for the first time this weekend, maybe trying a game and genre I have no familiarity with will alleviate some of the weirdness I'm experienced gaming from couchside.
   16. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 01, 2015 at 02:01 PM (#5051470)
I'd almost always lean towards a PC over a console because of:

1) Number of games
2) Cost of games
3) Variability of games

The only reason I'll consider getting a console is when my daughter is old enough to want to play games on her own. Even then, I'd consider hooking up a cheaply built PC to the TV and using Big Picture option for Steam. Of course, by the time she wants to play games, it'll probably be on her Apple [whatever] that will also automatically project onto the big screen.
   17. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 01, 2015 at 02:19 PM (#5051492)
Yeah, get those DLC. I think other than Horse Lords they'll run you about $12 to get all 9. They're solid additions to the base game. It's a lot of fun playing other areas of the region. Also, the Sunset Invasion one is a fantastic piece of alt history, I love watching the Aztecs show up and wreck shop in Europe the same way the Mongols and Timurids wreck Russia and the Middle East.

eta: I'd go PC, too. The only reason not to is because of your friends playing on PS4.
   18. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 01, 2015 at 03:26 PM (#5051575)
I love PC, though I do like consoles for some of the games that don't end up on PC (like Japanese-style RPGs and some sports games).

I like controllers better than mouse-keyboard for sports games (Madden 08 mostly), fighters, and driving. Also for games that were originally developed with a controller in mind (so late console ports like the Final Fantasy games or never-intended-for-PC things like NES emulation).

   19. madvillain Posted: October 01, 2015 at 03:28 PM (#5051576)
I picked up "Bowl Bound College Football". It's a fun game with some really, really, really annoying bugs. It freezes once every hour or so of gameplay and requires a full system reboot. It also has a very poor interface and lacks hyperlink based navigation.

It's also got a great game and recruiting engine and not once has failed to load a save for me. If you're a CFB fan that also likes text based sims it's def worth the $19.99.
   20. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 01, 2015 at 03:32 PM (#5051582)
Now, where I really hate controllers are for strategy games and first-person-shooters. Interfaces for strategy games become inelegant on controllers (can you imagine playing Crusader Kings 2 on a controller?) and in FPS, they're awkward and you'll be destroyed by the mouse-and-keyboard guys. Only really works in Goldeneye when you're just playing with your friends also using the controller.
   21. zack Posted: October 01, 2015 at 04:49 PM (#5051643)
I managed to take Palermo back from the infidels. They attacked (and even brought in 5 allies despite each of them singularly doubling up my army), but did the idiot trickle and managed to hold them off. I counterattacked as soon as I got peace and was able to get 100% absurdly quickly. Then I zoomed out and all of a sudden Italy was Burgandy, both the color and the kingdom. I think the heir to Italy must have conquered and held Burgundy before his father died, it didn't actually change families. But they are even bigger now.

How does empire drift work? In order to drift out of the ERE I'd have to be part of a different empire first?

The trouble is, with their imperial administration the Basileus can revoke your #### for no reason at all if he feels like it, if you're his vassal. But you'd be a pretty big fish there and might be able to destabilize the realm from within, then cut and run when convenient.

Given all that, it seems like my three options are to either swear to the Byzantines and convert, swear to Italy and...change my ambitions, or try and take Italy and form Italia.

The first would give me safety from the ERE and allow me (I think) to take Syracuse, but I don't know anything about Greek culture, Eastern Orthodoxy or how the ERE operates (don't have legacy of rome if that matters). I also assume that converting does not convert my subjects, so that would be a mess. The second wouldn't really help me clean out the boot, because lieges don't join you in offensive wars. The third seems like kind of a longshot.

Also dumb question, but is there a way to tell what the "de jure capital" of a duchy is? I assume it's Palermo for Sicily.
   22. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 01, 2015 at 04:54 PM (#5051650)
How does empire drift work? In order to drift out of the ERE I'd have to be part of a different empire first?


Yes, you'd have to be under it, but I'm 80% sure kingdoms don't drift, only duchies do.

If you're now sandwiched between two powers far stronger than you are, yeah, you'll probably need to swear fealty to one or the other. I'd go with Burgundy (which may soon be Italia). But your new liege will immediately perceive you as a threat since you'll probably he his strongest duke, and if he has medium or higher crown authority you won't be able to conquer your fellow vassals' lands (and you should seek to lower crown authority ASAP).

If the king of Burgundy is unpopular-ish you might try the risky gambit of trying to assassinate him and get a weak child or something on the throne, THEN swear fealty, so the king would be more inclined to cave to a Lower Crown Authority faction.

Also dumb question, but is there a way to tell what the "de jure capital" of a duchy is? I assume it's Palermo for Sicily.


Go into de jure duchies map mode (I think press i) and hover over the counties in question; one of them in each duchy will be denoted on the popup window as "Duchy Capital". That'll be the de jure duchy capital, not necessarily the de facto one (though 90% of the time they're the same.)
   23. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 01, 2015 at 05:56 PM (#5051714)
I just won a faction revolution inside the HRE against the Emperor AND Byzantium. Duchess Jutta the Just is the greatest military mind of her century! Too bad her son and heir is possessed by the Devil.
   24. Cabbage Posted: October 05, 2015 at 01:53 AM (#5053952)
Oh, and if you do get a PC, get Windows 7. 10 is designed for mobile devices and sucks balls on a PC.


This is backwards, right? 7 is stable and been around for ages, 8 is for touchscreens and weird. 10 is pretty great, though I've switch back to firefox cause google wont update chrome (and edge has these classic MS usability oversights -- I can't select a destination folder for file downloads!!! wtf!?1)
   25. Cabbage Posted: October 05, 2015 at 01:54 AM (#5053954)
Also, thanks to everyone early last week for their game suggestions. The wife and I really enjoyed Carcassonne.
   26. The Good Face Posted: October 05, 2015 at 09:39 AM (#5054021)
Hey Dan, was hoping you could give me some suggestions for a new gaming desktop build. Looking to incorporate the following specs; high end i-5 processor, 8-16GB RAM, 500GB SSD, 1TB HD, single GPU (970? 980?), air cooled. MoBo/case/fan/heat sink recommendations are most welcome. Basically a solid gaming system that doesn't break the bank or incorporate too many fiddly components. I've got some ideas, but your input and expertise would be much appreciated!
   27. Covfefe Posted: October 05, 2015 at 10:05 AM (#5054038)
So in relatively ancient game news -

I gave the caveman2cosmos CIV4 mod (the successor to the New Dawn/etc bloat mods) another go - and I gotta say, it's awesome. Previous iterations were beset by memory leaks, CTDs, and late game slowdowns - but they appear to have solved them all - playing a large map against 10 opponents with barbarian civs and revolutions enabled, I've made into the renaissance (roughly 160 hours into a game) and still going strong. A few audio bugs and a couple minor problems with upgrade paths (a few buildings where a subsequent becomes available too quickly and can thus make a few wonders and events unworkable), but it's a bloated bit of awesomeness. At this point, despite owning civ5 - hard to see me ever giving it another go... I'll just wait to see if civ6 continues the tradition of the even-numbered iterations being the keepers. If option overload is your cup of tea... this thing rocks. The animal capture, espionage, and cultural expansion options do a really nice job keeping those dead zone times between wars interesting - and there's also an option to jack up building costs to prevent the supercity "build everything" paradigm, thus making build choices much more important. Even the AI seems better.

I really, really, really hope whomever has the license when 6's development time comes around pays attention - another streamlined age of empires clone is not what I look for in Civilization...

   28. Swedish Chef Posted: October 06, 2015 at 12:32 PM (#5055110)
Prison Architect sounds like Dwarf Fortress behind the bars.
   29. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 06, 2015 at 12:39 PM (#5055117)
Steam Gear is shipping this week, I'm really curious to see how people react to the new equipment. The Steam Controller and its haptic feedback seem like something that could really help me address the dumb issues I'm dealing with in #15. The idea of a Steam Link, where you can supposedly use the horsepower of your office desktop to completely power gaming on a portable laptop-type system in your living room, is also pretty appealing to me if it works without loads of lag and network issues.
   30. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 07, 2015 at 06:52 PM (#5056848)
Hey Dan, was hoping you could give me some suggestions for a new gaming desktop build. Looking to incorporate the following specs; high end i-5 processor, 8-16GB RAM, 500GB SSD, 1TB HD, single GPU (970? 980?), air cooled. MoBo/case/fan/heat sink recommendations are most welcome. Basically a solid gaming system that doesn't break the bank or incorporate too many fiddly components. I've got some ideas, but your input and expertise would be much appreciated!

Budget? And do you have an OS?
   31. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 07, 2015 at 07:03 PM (#5056853)
Here's what I feel is a solid $1250-tier balanced rig that meets your requirements. Just a starting point - if your budget is more or less, there will likely be needed changes!

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($248.95 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z170 Extreme4+ ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($170.13 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($88.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($172.49 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.33 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB Superclocked ACX 2.0 Video Card ($319.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec HCG M 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NSC0 DVD/CD Writer ($13.89 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1265.74
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-07 19:00 EDT-0400

While you don't need an 850W, that particular PSU is at a shockingly low price right now (and it's semi-modular made by SeaSonic) that's actually less expensive than the lower output one.

Lots of stuff we could do - smaller SSD, Haswell instead of Skylake (it's really an incremental gain), 8 GB of RAM to either save money or get up to, say, a 980ti.
   32. The Good Face Posted: October 08, 2015 at 10:04 AM (#5057793)
Thanks Dan, that's helpful. I don't really have a budget, just a rough goal for what the final result will be. This is a vanity project meant to keep somebody busy for a few nights and to create something that will have personal/sentimental value.

Anyway, the OS would probably be Win7; can always upgrade to 10 in a few months. That is a whale of a PSU, but I guess the price is right. You think stock case fans will be adequate for cooling? It looks like that case is well designed for liquid cooling, but I'd prefer to not bother with that.

The MoBo's specs are impressive, but I don't really need SLI or Crossfire support, and I'm having difficulty seeing reviews or feedback on it other than a couple on Newegg, which are uniformly negative. Any alternative suggestions?
   33. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 08, 2015 at 11:12 AM (#5057872)

The MoBo's specs are impressive, but I don't really need SLI or Crossfire support, and I'm having difficulty seeing reviews or feedback on it other than a couple on Newegg, which are uniformly negative. Any alternative suggestions?


The mobo has a 'dehumidifier' setting? Is that a new thing? I'm assuming it just stays hot to dry out a bit?
   34. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 08, 2015 at 01:15 PM (#5058038)
The mobo has a 'dehumidifier' setting? Is that a new thing? I'm assuming it just stays hot to dry out a bit?

They introduced that back in the Ivy Bridge chipsets. It's not really for people here, but there are a lot of people in hot, humid countries that buy PCs and when PCs sit around off they can build up some condensation and cause problems for the voltage regulation modules. The motherboard, when the setting is on, will power up slowly before going into full-on, to try to dry that a bit. Other makers have solutions like Gigabyte's which was simply designing it so that you'd have to be trying to get moisture in there.

The MoBo's specs are impressive, but I don't really need SLI or Crossfire support, and I'm having difficulty seeing reviews or feedback on it other than a couple on Newegg, which are uniformly negative. Any alternative suggestions?

Sure. Though I do caution you that consumer reviews of PC components like this tend to be next to worthless. Just look at power supplies - just to pick a random worthless tin can, the $15 Logisys 480W has 40% five-star reviews.

There have been actually a dearth of detailed motherboard reviews for the Skylake chipsets, simply because so much is now integrated in the chipset that it's really coming down to features and the historical build quality of the manufacturer. OCAholic's motherboard roundup is fairly typical, finding almost no difference in performance among motherboards made by the top brands (Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, ASRock).

Honestly, if you don't have a specific budget, I'd just say \"#### it" and spend a little more and get a 980ti. At least leave yourself the option of going 1440p or even 4K!

Even mATX options, more than not, from top manufacturers are becoming SLI/CF capable.

The Phanteks cases that have come out recently have become very popular with the enthusiast community. They're solid, very easy to work with, and it's very easy to add fans or radiators if you wish. If you're concerned about airflow (those Phanteks have *large* fans, which also keeps them very quiet), you can always add on a fan - they're very inexpensive. A well-designed case, you don't usually need to unless you've got a lot of extra heat in there, like if you have two GPUs. I use a Cooler Master Storm Sniper for my gaming case (no front USB 3.0s though!) and I actually removed one of the preexisting fans (side fans can frequently mess up the flow) so that it has the 200mm in front, the 200mm up top, and the bog standard 120mm out the back. Even with the Hyper 212 Evo, a midrange cooler inferior to the high-end Noctuas, when the fan on the heatsink broke, I didn't even realize it because I was still getting 33 degrees on idle and about 55 on load (not Prime95). 200mm fans push a lot of air and when you're not on load, they move slowly so they're quieter.
   35. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 08, 2015 at 01:19 PM (#5058043)
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($248.95 @ B&H)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.89 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z170MX-Gaming 5 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($144.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($88.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($172.49 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.33 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Video Card ($649.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec HCG M 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NSC0 DVD/CD Writer ($13.89 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1566.50
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-08 13:19 EDT-0400
   36. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 08, 2015 at 01:20 PM (#5058044)
Oh, that Phanteks, you can install an additional *three* 140mm fans up top and another one on the bottom.
   37. The Good Face Posted: October 08, 2015 at 01:33 PM (#5058066)
Thanks Dan, very helpful. Not sure about the 980ti... I don't have a monitor that has 1440p capacity, and don't anticipate being in that market for another ~2 years, but otherwise I think the final build will be very close to your #35.
   38. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 08, 2015 at 03:13 PM (#5058183)
Oh, that Phanteks, you can install an additional *three* 140mm fans up top and another one on the bottom.


Who does that appeal to - overclockers who hate water-cooling and like the sound of helicopters taking off?
   39. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 08, 2015 at 05:26 PM (#5058381)
Who does that appeal to - overclockers who hate water-cooling and like the sound of helicopters taking off?

Pretty much, but the option is there if you're worried about airflow!
   40. TFTIO, for one, is sick and tired of winning Posted: October 09, 2015 at 12:57 AM (#5058723)
I just lost about two hours to the Star Wars Battlefield beta.
   41. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 09, 2015 at 09:21 AM (#5058782)
AND?
   42. The Good Face Posted: October 09, 2015 at 09:26 AM (#5058790)
Who does that appeal to - overclockers who hate water-cooling and like the sound of helicopters taking off?

Pretty much, but the option is there if you're worried about airflow!


Eh, 140mm fans needn't run at particularly high RPM to be effective and can actually be rather quiet. Ironically, the loudest PC in my house is water cooled (but heavily overclocked).
   43. Randy Jones Posted: October 09, 2015 at 09:59 AM (#5058826)
Eh, 140mm fans needn't run at particularly high RPM to be effective and can actually be rather quiet. Ironically, the loudest PC in my house is water cooled (but heavily overclocked).
This. Also, with 3 you can get the super quiet ones that don't push much air individually. Pretty much all machines these days are relatively quiet. I still remember running an OC'ed machine with an 80mm CPU fan that ran at about 42dB. Was like sitting next to a leaf blower.
   44. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 09, 2015 at 10:04 AM (#5058832)
3 top fans, one bottom fan, fans in the front and back, and CPU and GPU fans? Yeah, I'll believe it doesn't sound like a hair dryer under heavy load when I hear it.
   45. The Good Face Posted: October 09, 2015 at 10:25 AM (#5058847)
3 top fans, one bottom fan, fans in the front and back, and CPU and GPU fans? Yeah, I'll believe it doesn't sound like a hair dryer under heavy load when I hear it.


There's fans and there's fans yanno? You're probably remembering BITGOD when blazing hot AMD boxes were cooled with furiously thrashing 60 or 80mm fans. You line up some (relatively) slow rolling 140mm fans and you're moving plenty of air with much less noise.
   46. TFTIO, for one, is sick and tired of winning Posted: October 09, 2015 at 10:44 AM (#5058872)
AND?

Eh. Playing with pubbies is awful, but I can see the skeleton of a fun game in there.
   47. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 09, 2015 at 06:47 PM (#5059526)
OOTP talk:

I discussed this a few months ago but I feel the need to talk about it again: The single most frustrating thing about OOTP is that it not only tracks hot streaks and cold streaks, but is designed to dramatically improve or reduce a player's performance when he's on one. When you play out every game, as I do, the effect is not just noticeable but extreme. Not only that but it affects everything about a player's game: a pitcher on a hot streak will hit much better, a catcher on a cold streak will never throw out a baserunner, and so on.

It's unbelievably annoying, because frequently I can look at the pitching matchup and say "ah, their pitcher's on a hot streak, we're gonna lose today, might as well rest some guys" or "ah, tomorrow's pitcher's on a cold streak, I'd better call up an extra reliever, I'm gonna need him."

And while managing games it's also extremely annoying because frequently there are decisive at-bats wherein the opposing hitter is on a hot streak, and my options are "order a HBP because the game allows me to be psychic" or "lose". Either is maddening.

And naturally, this means hot streaks and cold streaks both tend to go on far longer than they should. Every year there are a few also-ran players who put up outlandish numbers in one direction (Logan Schafer hit .395 over 400 ABs in my last OOTP season) or the other (Francisco Liriano put up a 5.13 ERA by merit of his .355 BABIP over 210 innings) because they spend half the season on a hot or cold streak.

It's the single worst mechanic in the game. I dunno, maybe a lot of players love it that way, but there damn well ought to be an option to turn the streaks the #### off.

Edit: Oh, and a year ago, OOTP 15, Hunter Cole (a Phillies farmhand who in that universe developed into a good/not great hitter, very nearly broke DiMaggio's record with a 54 game hitting streak. Just as another example.
   48. Greg K Posted: October 09, 2015 at 06:59 PM (#5059535)
I haven't noticed that kind of pronounced streak effect...though I mostly play in a fictional league so they're all made up guys anyway. In other words I don't know when a Logan Schafer is hitting like a non-Logan Schafer, or even a Jordan Schafer. I try to avoid looking at scouting ratings to keep that illusion alive. Cold streaks can kill relievers or guys trying to work their way into a rotation though. With a shorter season (100 games) teams are playing 3 or 4 times a week, and its less of a modern environment, far more complete games and starters going deep. So teams can lean pretty heavily on one or two relievers. I have noticed guys get on a cold steak, get bumped to 4th in the bullpen depth chart and remain on the streak for whole seasons as they can't get any innings.

Ideally I wouldn't miss the streak mechanic if it was lost. From playing a ton of pen and paper dice baseball I know there are always thrilling "streaks" guys get on that are entirely the product of the roll of the die, no need to bake that into the game.

Though I should mention, I'm talking about OOTP 15 here. Maybe they go overboard in OOTP 16?

EDIT: I think after 12 seasons my league record for a hitting streak is 26. Though that is with 6 teams, so a far lower volume of players.
   49. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 09, 2015 at 08:21 PM (#5059643)
No, I've been playing OOTP since 13 and it's always been there.
   50. Greg K Posted: October 09, 2015 at 08:22 PM (#5059646)
No, I've been playing OOTP since 13 and it's always been there.

I guess I'm just not playing nearly enough OOTP!
   51. zenbitz Posted: October 09, 2015 at 08:25 PM (#5059658)
Finally noticing actual PC performance issues... My kid is into Ark Survival and its pretty sad on a 3 year old Mac book pro (even a top end one).

For these $1200-$1500 rigs, how many years will I get out of it before the newl6 released software out strips it?
   52. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 09, 2015 at 08:36 PM (#5059689)
If you mean how long will it be able to play new, high-end games at high video settings, probably 1 to 1.5 years. If your standards are a bit lower than that, you can get at least 3, maybe as much as 5 years out of that kind of system, I think.
   53. Randy Jones Posted: October 09, 2015 at 08:39 PM (#5059693)
My system is 3 or 4 years old and I am still able to run nearly every game at max or near max settings.
   54. Swedish Chef Posted: October 09, 2015 at 09:14 PM (#5059777)
It should be good for most of the current consoles' lifecycle as very few developers go further than their capabilities. The market is too small to cater to people with top end PCs. They may get a setting or two to tweak, but mostly they have to make do with bragging about their absurd framerates. So I would be confident in it being good enough for five years.
   55. The Good Face Posted: October 09, 2015 at 09:17 PM (#5059786)
For these $1200-$1500 rigs, how many years will I get out of it before the newl6 released software out strips it?


Pretty much what #53 said. A $1200 home-built machine should be able to run most games at max or near max settings for at least 3 years. At that point, you can throw in a new video card and probably buy yourself another 2-3 years. Around the 6-7 year mark components like RAM and HDs may start to go, and it'll probably be time to think about a new system.
   56. zenbitz Posted: October 09, 2015 at 11:04 PM (#5059983)
Well in 6-7 years I assume that I will be playing mentally controlled uber games on a meta-galactic scale.

Also I have no idea how "high end" ark survival is... the last machine performance-dependent PC game I played was probably Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (so >10 years old).

Does processor speed even matter these days or can I plug a $600 video card and 16GB of RAM in some budget box (which I have) and be good to go?
   57. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 10, 2015 at 03:23 AM (#5060275)
Finally noticing actual PC performance issues... My kid is into Ark Survival and its pretty sad on a 3 year old Mac book pro (even a top end one).

For these $1200-$1500 rigs, how many years will I get out of it before the newl6 released software out strips it?


You can actually get quite a lot of years. I got my Radeon 7970 GHz Edition in early 2013 for $379. Going on 3 years later, it still runs games excellently at 1080p, just a skosh more "High" instead of "Ultra" settings in there. It's successor, the 280x is essentially just a re-branded 7970 with a clock close to the GHz edition still sells for in the $210-$230 range and remains a recommendable buy in that budget range.

It's *still* standard to not recommend people upgrading an i5-2500k unless they have very specific workloads that need as much oomph as possible. The just-released 6600k is still just a few incremental upgrades away from it and it's a five-year-old CPU at this point.

And the thing about building a PC in a quality case with quality parts is that unless you want to increase the number of PCs you have, there's no reason to actually need to build an entire new PC again if you don't want to.

That build above, the GPU will still likely be an upper mid-range GPU in 4 years. The GTX 660 was a mid-range GPU released 3 years ago and it's still comparable to other GPUs that are also in the mid-range (R9 280 is about equivalent). The GTX 580, an older GPU (released at $500 in March 2011) is still essentially as good as the GTX 760 and the GTX 950, both popular mid-range GPUs that are being purchased (the 950 just came out). The SSD will still be good in 4 years. So will the power supply. So will the case. The CPU/MB/RAM will probably be just fine.

Yes, technology moves on, but you'll find that the people who go on about how quickly PCs go obsolete are generally people that didn't make wise business decisions to begin with. They got a $50 PSU that lasts 3 years instead of an $80 one that lasts 10. Or they got a pre-built "gaming" rig that was poorly configured, typically with more CPU/RAM and a some low end GT 720-type GPU.

You don't *need* to spend $1200-$1500 for a rig that will last a while and be easy to upgrade. But it does put off upgrading for awhile! Here's a $750 one that will crush consoles, has quality parts, and can run everything quite nicely at 1080p (next post, I'm already running long here and BTF might eat it).
   58. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 10, 2015 at 03:24 AM (#5060276)
Oh, adding GPUs to a budget box is generally a bad idea. OEM built PCs tend to have really awful power supplies for adding a GPU, awkward, cheaply built cases, and low-end motherboards. They're not just getting discounts by buying in bulk, they're giving you low-end parts at higher prices.
   59. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 10, 2015 at 03:31 AM (#5060277)
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($164.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H97M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($79.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.45 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.33 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 290 4GB Black Edition Double Dissipation Video Card ($287.50 @ B&H)
Case: Cooler Master N200 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($43.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Antec HCG M 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHDS118-04 DVD/CD Drive ($13.89 @ OutletPC)
Total: $757.13
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-10 03:28 EDT-0400

There are some compromises to get to this budget range. No SSD - but it's the easiest thing to add to a PC. The GPU doesn't really give you the option to do 4K gaming, but it'll run anything you want at 1080p quite well, high/ultra depending on the game. No overclocking, but Intel's done a lot more making the CPUs efficient rather than their CPUs more powerful and without overclocking, you can go to an H97 motherboard and use the stock cooler.
   60. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 10, 2015 at 03:36 AM (#5060278)
(On Ark Survival, it's still not very well optimized - even high-end GPUs struggle with it, especially with GameWorks on)
   61. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 10, 2015 at 08:11 AM (#5060286)
I have never noticed that as something that happens in OOTP.
   62. zack Posted: October 10, 2015 at 10:33 AM (#5060321)
If you're like me and don't mind some tearing and the occasional framerate drop, a sub-$1000 box can last...7 years?

This box is a core2duo with a radeon 4850. I bought it for Fallout 3, and only in the last year has it fallen under the minimum specs for new games.

I will probably replace it when I get a new job.
   63. The Good Face Posted: October 12, 2015 at 09:41 AM (#5062320)
Does processor speed even matter these days or can I plug a $600 video card and 16GB of RAM in some budget box (which I have) and be good to go?


CPUs still matter, but a lot less than they did 10 or 15 years ago. A 5 year old i5 processor is almost certainly enough for any gaming needs (I have a 7yo i7 that can run any game with zero problems), but who knows what sort of crappy CPU is lurking in your budget box. What Dan said in #58 is good advice; you could be bottlenecked by your case, your motherboard and/or your power supply. A decent power supply is cheap and usually easy enough to install, but you're back to the case and MoBo and potential compatibility issues thereof.
   64. Covfefe Posted: October 12, 2015 at 10:05 AM (#5062335)
I can track with Zeth's OOTP complaints on streaks -- both hot and cold --

I generally manage a ton my first few seasons of a dynasty, but then do a lot more simming once my team develops.

However, I thought there was an option to trim the effects somewhere in the bowels of the settings. I'll have to look... the only settings I really change from vanilla is a trade tweak to 'rarely' (because I think the AI trades too much) and I also bump the development/aging settings ever so slightly (aging especially because I think players universally lose it too quickly).
   65. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 12, 2015 at 10:15 AM (#5062347)
My experience from simulating centuries' worth of seasons is that the aging settings should be significantly altered from default. Development is pretty much OK, but I play with aging at .750 and talent change randomness turned up to 130.
   66. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 15, 2015 at 01:39 PM (#5067006)
OOTP continues to impress with its realism.

Atlanta compensated me handsomely in young talent to take Nick Markakis' last $10.5 million off their hands. I figured on eating the money and stashing him in Triple-A in case my outfield situation really went to hell. But I shopped him around on a lark; never know. I got a handful of offers to give me even worse contracts... and one team that was willing to take him and his contract for a token Double-A reliever. The GM? Ruben Amaro.
   67. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 15, 2015 at 02:52 PM (#5067082)
I've been playing Hearthstone pretty regularly, putting my gold into Arena trips when I get enough, and I think I'm getting the hang of it (winning about 3-4 Arena matches per time through).

I am going to be so damned happy when Grim Patron Warrior decks are no longer as big a thing. They'll still be pretty solid, but no immediate doom if your opponent happens to get their set-up complete.
   68. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 15, 2015 at 03:59 PM (#5067146)
I have a longer CK2 story to post later, but for now I did find something that should be considered an exploit: If you vassalize either the Templars or the Hospitallers, and revoke their title, every time someone donates to them it goes to your coffers. I am gaining gold faster than I can spend it by upgrading buildings in 7 different baronies...and that's just with the Hospitallers. If I had revoked both at the same time (10 years ago in game time), I'd be over 50k gold right now instead of "just" 15k gold.
   69. Covfefe Posted: October 17, 2015 at 01:11 AM (#5069187)
Anyone do any historical sims/games in OOTP?

Even though I go all the way back to OOTP2, I have to say that I've never done any of the historical stuff.... I've always done current roster sets or fictional leagues/players. I once started a historical league - using the 1984 Cubs as a starting point and was intrigued by the options (like the idea of importing rookies/draft classes), but was thinking my 20/20 hindsight would make it a lot less fun.

I'm considering giving something like that another go - maybe starting in 1985 - and importing real players. I generally play 30-40 seasons before moving onto another league, managing occasionally, but mostly doing the GM stuff.

Any thoughts - and more importantly, suggestions on settings? Just use the baked in historical adjustments?
   70. The Good Face Posted: October 23, 2015 at 11:20 AM (#5076321)
CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($248.95 @ B&H)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.89 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z170MX-Gaming 5 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($144.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($88.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($172.49 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.33 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Video Card ($649.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec HCG M 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NSC0 DVD/CD Writer ($13.89 @ OutletPC)


Build complete. Added a couple extra case fans, but as predicted, the entire thing runs whisper quiet; 140mm fans just noodle along at ~700 RPM making virtually no noise. Even with the air cooling, it's significantly quieter than my OC'd water cooled box.

On a related note, Age of Decadence has finally been released (on Steam) after a loooooong development cycle. It's an indy game, and it shows in many ways, but is a really well done RPG set in a low-to-no magic world set after the apocalyptic collapse of a Roman-like empire. Tough and unforgiving, but super enjoyable for people who like low fantasy and more realistic roleplaying. The setting is very different, but it reminds me of Planescape Torment in many ways.
   71. Greg K Posted: October 23, 2015 at 11:29 AM (#5076331)
On a related note, Age of Decadence has finally been released (on Steam) after a loooooong development cycle. It's an indy game, and it shows in many ways, but is a really well done RPG set in a low-to-no magic world set after the apocalyptic collapse of a Roman-like empire. Tough and unforgiving, but super enjoyable for people who like low fantasy and more realistic roleplaying. The setting is very different, but it reminds me of Planescape Torment in many ways.

I'm really enjoying the demo (going to have to wait for a sale price to buy the game - but it is near the top of my list). I'm playing as a well-meaning, if somewhat cowardly loremaster's apprentice. Unfortunately I had a "streetwise" skill fail and was lured into an alley and got knifed by a man pretending to be a merchant.
   72. The Good Face Posted: October 23, 2015 at 11:40 AM (#5076340)
I'm really enjoying the demo (going to have to wait for a sale price to buy the game - but it is near the top of my list). I'm playing as a well-meaning, if somewhat cowardly loremaster's apprentice. Unfortunately I had a "streetwise" skill fail and was lured into an alley and got knifed by a man pretending to be a merchant.


Heh, that got me killed too. Really kind of unfair, but they DO warn you going in what the game is like. Anyway, I'm about halfway through the game playing as a grifter, with a sideline in trading and lore. I have yet to strike a blow in anger with the character; I've done everything through a combination of persuasion, bluffing, bribery, and outright treacherous lies. Streetwise is a really useful all-around skill if you plan on talking your way through the game.
   73. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 23, 2015 at 11:50 AM (#5076351)
Build complete. Added a couple extra case fans, but as predicted, the entire thing runs whisper quiet; 140mm fans just noodle along at ~700 RPM making virtually no noise. Even with the air cooling, it's significantly quieter than my OC'd water cooled box.

How are you enjoying the performance?
   74. The Good Face Posted: October 23, 2015 at 11:57 AM (#5076360)
How are you enjoying the performance?


Heck if I know, not my system, and I haven't done anything with it other than some web surfing/downloads. It's essentially the exact same machine as my current gaming system, only with the latest gen i5 processor, so can't imagine there'd be any noticeable performance gain for gaming/surfing etc. The case in particular was nice to work with, but the MoBo was kind of a pain; the RAM slots are fiddly and the BIOS is not super user friendly. Hard to beat the price though.
   75. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 24, 2015 at 02:38 PM (#5077497)
The case in particular was nice to work with, but the MoBo was kind of a pain; the RAM slots are fiddly and the BIOS is not super user friendly.

I need to find an excuse to get one of those of my own - I've looked at one myself and they're super-popular among enthusiasts right now for the ease of use. Pretty big case of course, but that's an amazing price for a high-quality full tower.

Would probably have to be a new full build for some reason as the Cooler Master Storm Sniper I use as my case could probably knock down a building if swung from a crane. Even something like the eventual popularity of USB 3.1gen2 ports I can just get a port thing for one of my 5.25 bays (I have 4 free but I find large cases more pleasant to work with and it has 6 hard drives).
   76. Greg K Posted: October 24, 2015 at 02:44 PM (#5077499)
Hearts of Iron 4 is apparently looking for Beta Testers.

It's always been my least favourite Paradox historical game franchise, but I've always loved the way the theory/practice technology system. Reading the features portion of the wiki has me excited. Though it sounds like another WW2 focused game. I'd love a more open-ended 20th century game.
   77. GGIAS (aka Poster Nutbag) Posted: October 24, 2015 at 05:22 PM (#5077551)

I would estimate that on any product well known enough to draw more than about 20 reviews, 60-70% of the reviews are fake. You learn to spot the tells of a reviewer who didn't actually read the book and pay attention only to the reviewers who did.


Save yourselves the trouble and only watch my reviews! They're real, I'm real AND I disclose the fact that I got the keys for free!

(Whorey Self Promotion has been brought to you by Gamer Guy (In a Suit) Productions)
   78. The Good Face Posted: October 26, 2015 at 09:57 AM (#5078108)
I need to find an excuse to get one of those of my own - I've looked at one myself and they're super-popular among enthusiasts right now for the ease of use. Pretty big case of course, but that's an amazing price for a high-quality full tower.


It's an excellent case, easily the best I've worked with since the old HAF 932, and somewhat lighter than that old dinosaur. You pretty much have to try to make the wiring messy, there are ample bays for every imaginable component, tons of space for fan mountings, and it's super easy to access all those spaces and work within them. Assuming you're OK going full tower, it doesn't really have any drawbacks I can think of.

Finished Age of Decadence; it's actually a short game in the sense that you can knock out a playthrough in ~12 hours, but a long game in that depending on your character's build and the decisions you make, your experience (and how you effect the world) will be completely different. Trouble is, that's a bit long to want to play through repeatedly and a bit short to feel like you got your money's worth. Especially since I think you'd need a good 4 or 5 playthroughs to experience all the content.
   79. GGIAS (aka Poster Nutbag) Posted: October 26, 2015 at 06:10 PM (#5078614)
Just an FYI: Vertiginous Golf is free until Tuesday 10AM PST.

Not "Free to Play", but 100% free. Go and claim the game now so you can own it for free forever.
   80. Voodoo Posted: October 26, 2015 at 08:40 PM (#5078651)
Zonk,

I've played a lot of historical OTTP. In fact my experience is almost opposite to yours. I, too, have been playing OOTP for a long time, but almost entirely historical. I just don't like "fictional players".

Anyway, there are a number of options at your disposal depending on the type of game you want to play. If you want to play the games out and basically just "replay" seasons then you'll want to optimize for single season replay, which keeps ratings as close to their real performance that season as possible.

You can also choose real transactions, so if you decide to replay the 2004 Cubs, they'll pick up Nomar at the trade deadline. With this option on, you won't be a general manager in any sense, and trades and free agents will be disabled by the game. This is the best way to do replay seasons, IMO. If you play successive seasons with these settings, there will be no amatuer draft and rookies will be auto-assigned to the team they made their debut with during the off-season.

You can take it a step further and play with real historical lineups, which basically just means that any injuries will happen in real time, too. And also if say... Dusty Baker liked to start Lenny Harris, you'll be stuck starting Lenny Harris, too. If you decide to go with this option, I'd make sure that you turn it off come September. It's annoying when a team is playing a crucial game down the stretch, but they have their AAA lineup in the game, because they had been eliminated in the "real world". Historical transactions suffers from that as well, as teams that should be buyers based on their record will have been sellers in real life and vice versa.

I very rarely play out full seasons, but one kinda fun thing I did years ago was take control of the Cubs starting in 1901, optimized for single season replay with historical transactions on, and computer simmed to the end of the season and manually play the games only if the Cubs made the World Series or later the playoffs (sometimes I'd stop a week before the end of the season and play out crucial Pennant Race games, if applicable.) IIRC, I played out the entire history and the Cubs won 8 titles (but only a couple post 1945).

My preferred method of play, however, is to start at a certain point in history and play as the general manager going forward. So historical transactions are off and I enable the amatuer draft (though you can still have rookies assigned to their original teams if you prefer).

If you want to do this and make it a challenge, you need to change the "recalc" settings. You have a few options. In the aforementioned "single season replay optimization" it defaults to "1 year recalc" which means that the OOTP development engine is turned off completely and ratings are reset every year based on the coming years stats.

You can also choose 3 or 5 yr recalc, which means the development engine is turned on and players will improve/decline according to chance (or your coaching staff and development budgets, if you turn those options on) but will get "reset" every three or five years so stud players don't end up complete duds and vice versa. Even with the 5 year recalc turned on, however, you will find that you can fleece other teams in trades and in the draft by grabbing low ratings players who you know are due for a big boost in the future. Say... a 26 year old Randy Johnson. He might not turn into a stud for you exactly at age 28 like he did irl, but he eventually will.

If you want to remove entirely the problem of having 20-20 hindsight, and this is how I generally prefer it, you can turn off recalc entirely and just let the development engine take over. Some people don't like this option, because you'll have inner circle HOFers who amount to nothing and wash-ups turn into HOFers, but that doesn't really bother me. In this way, it is basically like playing a "fictional" league but with real, historical players. I like this. I think its fun when a garbage time player because a star for my team, and when playing older leagues it allows me to learn about players who never come up in the history books. It's also a challenge, because like fictional leagues, you have to rely on your scouting and stat analyzing prowess, rather than who you know will become great irl.

If you go without recalc, I recommend changing the default "potential ratings based on settings". The default is "the next three years of a player's career", both for a player's overall quality and their position/role for pitchers. If you leave them as set, players who "broke out" later in their career but sucked in their first three seasons will have crummy potential ratings and, barring some unlikely outbreak, will be less likely to be impact players in their career. Similar for pitchers who started their careers in the bullpen. I prefer to base potential ratings on "remaining peak seasons" and for positions/roles on "entire career".

Finally, the way I've mostly been playing the last couple years is with the above settings, but instead of playing with players from a given year, I'll select "random players from any era". This way you can see what it might be like to have Ty Cobb playing in the lively ball era or Bonds playing in the deadball era. All imported rookies are selected at random (you can define the year parameters it draws from, if say, you don't want any 19th century players).

If you want to play with this way and also have full minor league teams, I suggest using the Gambo/Spritze database, which includes Negro Leaguers, top Asian players and certain "career minor leaguers" and has all players "debut" during their late teens or early 20s, regardless of when they made their major league debut. (Note: this database doesn't work well with "real historical transactions" in place).
   81. Swedish Chef Posted: October 29, 2015 at 10:21 AM (#5082375)
   82. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 29, 2015 at 02:48 PM (#5082659)
There's a Steam "Halloween Sale" that is supposed to start today. Apparently there is a bit of a snafu with the rollout as people are reporting the main page alternately lists and then doesn't list that there is a sale going on, presumably something that should be resolved in short order.

The Steam Sales Tracker is already doing the heavy lifting on the sale. I'll probably pick up a few things - here's ol' YR's picks:

Broforce! Seriously, if this games doesn't make you smile you can get your ass back on the camel you rode in on and hightail it back to Russia.

Mark of the Ninja is a lousy $3 and it's great. I picked it up during a previous sale and didn't regret it for a moment, platforming and sneaking with style.

Bioshock Infinite is $7.50, we had some debate during the summer sale as to whether this was a great game or not. Count me strongly on the side of "For $7.50 it's a great game."

If you're looking for something suitably creepy for Halloween you absolutely won't go wrong with Amnesia: Dark Descent and Outlast for $5 a pop. They're both moody, atmospheric, and pretty well guaranteed to make you jump if you're playing on a dark night with headphones on. Love 'em both.

This War of Mine is still on my wishlist, but even at $8 I'm not sure I'm ready to take on a game that has the potential to depress the player. It has outstanding reviews on Steam with an overall "Overwhelmingly Positive" rating, and then you read the reviews and they're peppered with descriptions like "Emotionally crushing."

OOTP Baseball 16 is $10. Not sure if anyone here cares about baseball.

Cities Skylines, which is typically described as the game that the SimCity reboot should have been, is $15. I haven't played a Sim game in years but I loved the old SimCity of the 90s, I'm tempted to give this a shot for a mere $15.

I'll be picking up Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor for $17, which I should have done at the last sale. It was widely considered to be among the very best PC titles of 2014, a directed open-world fighter with RPG elements that caught the gaming community complete unaware, since everyone expected another crappy IP tie-in game for an IP already played out.

Alien: Isolation is a damn scary game. It's hard too. For $25 you too can feel the helplessness of wishing Sigourney Weaver was there to save you.

Lots more where this comes from, so keep checking in.
   83. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 29, 2015 at 02:57 PM (#5082670)
I will vouch for Cities:Skylines. It is damn fun. The (still full priced) expansion pack isn't necessary at all.

Protip: C:S' music is serviceable, but the expert play is to mute it and put a playlist of SimCity 3000's soundtrack in its place.
   84. The Good Face Posted: October 29, 2015 at 03:49 PM (#5082717)

Mark of the Ninja is a lousy $3 and it's great. I picked it up during a previous sale and didn't regret it for a moment, platforming and sneaking with style.


Good game! Really well implemented stealth mechanics combined with platforming. Also, ninjas!

I'll be picking up Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor for $17, which I should have done at the last sale. It was widely considered to be among the very best PC titles of 2014, a directed open-world fighter with RPG elements that caught the gaming community complete unaware, since everyone expected another crappy IP tie-in game for an IP already played out.


I found this one mildly disappointing. It's essentially a mashup of the Assassin's Creed and Batman franchises in terms of the gameplay, with a kind of "Nemesis System" for dealing with special enemies. If you loved those franchises and have always hoped their gameplay could be transported to Mordor (where the color palette ranges from grey to brown), you're in luck. Otherwise, I give it a Meh+.

Haven't seen if it's on sale yet, but Rebel Galaxy is a new release on Steam that's only around $20 retail and is really fun. It's basically the ship to ship combat from Assassin's Creed Black Flag IN SPACE! That's right, you're firing SPACE BROADSIDES at alien pirate scum. In many ways it's similar to the much beloved Freelancer, only instead of piloting a fighter in (sorta kinda) 3D space, you're commanding a capital ship and shooting SPACE CANNONS.
   85. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 29, 2015 at 03:54 PM (#5082725)
Cities: Skylines is a good solid Sim City game.

This War of Mine is very good, if depressing.
   86. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 29, 2015 at 03:56 PM (#5082727)
Victoria II is 4 dollars, and with all it's DLC is 8 dollars, a good deal for those who love their Paradox grand strategy games. I wish there was an EUIV to Vicky 2 converter, though. Frisia is in a tight spot heading into the Napoleonic era, with enemies on literally all sides now that France has chosen to betray them.
   87. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 29, 2015 at 04:46 PM (#5082768)
I found this one mildly disappointing. It's essentially a mashup of the Assassin's Creed and Batman franchises in terms of the gameplay, with a kind of "Nemesis System" for dealing with special enemies. If you loved those franchises and have always hoped their gameplay could be transported to Mordor (where the color palette ranges from grey to brown), you're in luck. Otherwise, I give it a Meh+.


I've recent migrated my desktop system to the living room (hey, I already whined about this in #15) where I'm learning the joys (and perils) of couch gaming with a controller and a 60-inch TV, and one of the genres that really shines for me are the 3rd person brawling/shooting/driving stuff like the new Mad Max or GTA or the Arkham games (I'm betting Rocket League would be great as well, but I'll wait for it to drop to $10 or $15 first). It's been well-reviewed by reviewers whose opinions I tend to trust, and you can't scare me off with the specter of endless brown and grey textures since I loved Fallout 3, so there.

On a related tangent, I do think I will eventually move back to a desktop setup for most of my gaming while maybe keeping some sort of streaming setup in the living room (perhaps with a Steam Link) for the specific genres that seem to play better with a controller like the ones noted above. I'd like to upgrade to a new monitor when I do so, so does anyone have any opinions regarding the new higher-end options like 144Hz refresh or FreeSync (I have an AMD card)? It looks like getting a nice display with these features will run about $500 which is fine but I'm entirely unfamiliar with the technology and have no hands-on (eyes-on?) experience with it. Any monitor-related thoughts would be appreciated by your ol' pal YR.
   88. Langer Monk Posted: October 29, 2015 at 05:15 PM (#5082779)
Plug for The Long Dark - small sale now, and I haven't played it since the latest area was added, but it's really an original, interesting game and concept. Now that winter is coming back around, I'll play it again soon. Still early access, but they have been updating it regularly.

And fellow EU IV junkies may have noticed, a new expansion planned for end of 2015 - Cossacks.
   89. The Good Face Posted: October 29, 2015 at 05:17 PM (#5082781)
It's been well-reviewed by reviewers whose opinions I tend to trust, and you can't scare me off with the specter of endless brown and grey textures since I loved Fallout 3, so there.


It's not a bad game, it's just basically Assassin's Batman set in Mordor. That kind of left me cold, since I'm only lukewarm on those franchises, but if you love that kind of thing, it'll probably suit you just fine.
   90. GGIAS (aka Poster Nutbag) Posted: October 29, 2015 at 05:37 PM (#5082791)
YR - I HIGHLY recommend Rocket League. It's a blast. Pre-order yourself a Steam Controller, get Rocket League for free. That's what I did. Worth every penny and I don't even have the controller yet! C'mon, we could play a game where I can't possibly shoot you in the ass!

Also, The Age Of Decadence is the game I am currently playing for review and MY GOD this game is ####### awesome. I also recommend this to just about everyone here.

While we are on it, if any of you enjoyed Long Live The Queen, go grab Black Closet. That is also a lot of fun. (Not on sale right now, sorry)

I will also vouch for how awesome of a game The Long Dark is. Of all the open world, survival thingies....I have enjoyed it the most so far and the updates are solid and frequent.

OH, OH.......Mushroom 11 is SUPER fun if you are looking for a solid puzzle/platformer. Unfortunately, this is also NOT part of the sale right now.

Cities: Skylines is great fun. Forget Sim City, Cities: Skylines is the new standard for City Building.


   91. GGIAS (aka Poster Nutbag) Posted: October 29, 2015 at 05:38 PM (#5082795)
Oh, can anyone tell me anything about their experience with ARK: Survival Evolved? That one looks fun too!
   92. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 29, 2015 at 05:52 PM (#5082809)
I can also throw a positive review towards "Mark of the Ninja". It was a fun game, and if I didn't have an insane backlog of games, I'd probably have given it a few replays.
   93. Randy Jones Posted: October 29, 2015 at 06:15 PM (#5082824)
I agree with TGF about Shadows of Mordor. It was well done and I thought that it was a lot of fun for about 5 or 6 hours of play. But then I never needed to play it again.
   94. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 29, 2015 at 06:42 PM (#5082837)
Game demo that has me REALLY interested in the final product. It has a "Portal" and "Stanley Parable" feel to it.
   95. zack Posted: November 03, 2015 at 01:25 PM (#5087655)
I can also throw a positive review towards "Mark of the Ninja". It was a fun game, and if I didn't have an insane backlog of games, I'd probably have given it a few replays.

Insane backlog permitting, the new game plus option for MotN is great.
   96. madvillain Posted: November 03, 2015 at 01:40 PM (#5087676)
Oh, can anyone tell me anything about their experience with ARK: Survival Evolved? That one looks fun too!


It's fun but you need a crew to really make it worthwhile and a monster rig. I played a little and ended up using my first ever Steam refund on it. My i7 2600k and GTX 960 were no match for even medium settings at 1440p and turning the settings down made the game really ugly and not even close to what you see on the trailers.

A game I'm monitoring is Grav: Reborn. Slick looking terrain generation and survival mixed with RPG elements and base building. I guess they rebooted the game last week with a complete UI overhaul etc. It's been in EA for about a year now and the reaction to the latest iteration is very positive.

I'm still playing Rust but not even close to the level of no lifing it as prior. Was routinely averaging 20-30 hours for long stretches but now I'm lucky to get 10 in a week. It's just gotten rather boring. I have over 2.4k hours (maybe 1k of those are logged afk) and I've literally seen and done it all. That said, if you have never played it I highly encourage it. It's one of the best sandbox games ever made and the MMO environment will make you gloat, cry, laugh and beg all in one play session.
   97. zenbitz Posted: November 03, 2015 at 07:35 PM (#5087985)
AGE OF DECADENCE IS OUT?? It's taken roughly a decade.
   98. formerly dp Posted: November 03, 2015 at 09:06 PM (#5088030)
Steam Gear is shipping this week, I'm really curious to see how people react to the new equipment. The Steam Controller and its haptic feedback seem like something that could really help me address the dumb issues I'm dealing with in #15. The idea of a Steam Link, where you can supposedly use the horsepower of your office desktop to completely power gaming on a portable laptop-type system in your living room, is also pretty appealing to me if it works without loads of lag and network issues.
Completely floored by the fact that you weren't in on the advanced preorder for these! Early reviews for the Link are generally positive; the controller has been more of a mixed bag. Nice roundup of comments from people who already received theirs.

From what I understand of the controller, it's not really meant to replace a gamepad like the 360/One or DualShock controllers, intended more to substitute for a mouse/keyboard. So I think that'll take some adjustment for people. And no rumble--"HD haptics" in the trackpads, but no rumble. Not really important for Civ V, and underscores the notion that you aren't really supposed to play Arkham with it. I have mine on preorder, but more for research purposes: I expect there'll be a version 2 out relatively soon that fixes whatever layout issues are bugging people most. That's the problem with controllers: not really much you can fix with a patch (though the customization options are reportedly pretty deep, if that's your thing).

I have the Link on preorder as well, mostly because hooking my laptop up to the TV every time I want to game in the living room is sort of annoying, and I try to reserve my desk time for work. Looking forward to having a simple and unobtrusive solution to the mess of wires that is my current setup. And psyched that both F4 and Steam stuff come out on 11/10...

Not too late to preorder--GameStop is participating in the Rocket league offer, and you can snag both there to save on Valve's kind of ridiculous shipping charges.
   99. GGIAS (aka Poster Nutbag) Posted: November 03, 2015 at 10:05 PM (#5088064)
I got in on the preorder...anxiously awaiting my controller.

As for Age of Decadence, this lucky reviewer got a copy form the developer and posted a review already. It is AMAZING. I highly suggest everyone go try the demo....or, ya know, maybe watch my review on YouTube/Steam.
Cause I'm a whore like that.
   100. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 04, 2015 at 02:36 PM (#5088583)
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