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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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   401. Jim Wisinski Posted: May 09, 2016 at 09:30 PM (#5217373)
Stellaris gets a big thumbs up through the first four hours. It's pretty easy to learn and understand and I'm finding it way more interesting than any of the Civ games.
   402. Covfefe Posted: May 09, 2016 at 10:41 PM (#5217419)
Jim/others who have played Stellaris -

Have you ever played Stardock's Galactic Civilization's series?

I watched some of the playthroughs and it looks very similar to me -- i.e., not just settling planets, but planets with certain features best for certain races... on each planet, you essentially have tiles to build different building types, "survey ships" that investigate anomalies, et al.

I don't say that as a bad thing - I loved the Galciv series (indeed - I see they've done a Galciv III - which is also now on my list). I'm just wondering if that's a close approximation... basically, Galciv with the Paradox spin of deeper (for lack of a better term) 'spreadsheets'.
   403. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: May 09, 2016 at 11:14 PM (#5217445)
Seems like a combination of Galactic Civ and Sins of a Solar Empire. A bit disappointed so far, but my expectations were really high. But I suspect the middle and end games will be a bit of a grind.
   404. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: May 10, 2016 at 01:26 AM (#5217509)
I've really enjoyed Stellaris so far. Gives me fond memories of Masters of Orion.
   405. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: May 10, 2016 at 03:15 AM (#5217539)
Did somebody say Masters of Orion. Well I am sold. Off to download it now.
   406. Jim Wisinski Posted: May 10, 2016 at 08:06 AM (#5217563)
I own Galactic Civilizations II but never even installed it. Every time I looked at the disc and thought about playing it I remembered how quickly the Civ games got boring for me with the constant extensive micromanaging and such. Never played Master of Orion either.

So far this seems better though, despite the huge scope this game will have as I get further in I am optimistic about it not feeling like endless boring little tasks. I think it being real-time is a huge help in that regard, you can pause whenever you need more time but it's not like in Civ where you do 15 things, click end turn, and are presented with 15 more things to do again.
   407. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 10, 2016 at 10:59 AM (#5217699)
So I decided to get a Steam Link to play games in the living room with a game controller, theoretically giving me the best of all worlds (FPS & strategy games at a desk with a mouse and keyboard, driving/fighting games on the big TV lounging on the couch). A few thoughts:

- The device itself is delightfully low-profile. It's about the size of a thin paperback book and dark enough to blend easily into the black base of my TV set. It's entirely unobtrusive, which is the point I suppose. Setup was quick and easy, literally 5 minutes from opening the box to seeing my Steam library on-screen.

- So the Steam Link works by using your main desktop system to run games on Steam, and then literally sending a streaming video of the game to the Link. Your controller inputs are volleyed back to the desktop, so I was a bit concerned about lag. In my experience, the lag is only a very minor artifact and is imperceptible except in extremely fast-paced games like Rocket League, where there is a noticeable gap between when I press a button to jump and when my car actually jumps. Because I am lousy at the game this hasn't actually affected my gameplay at all. Which is sorta sad.

For fighting games like Arkham Asylum and Sleeping Dogs, the Link works without a hitch, if there is any lag it is imperceptible.

- The non-gaming parts of the Steam Link experience are well-done. I like being able to sit on my couch and browse the Steam Store with my controller, playing videos of interesting games.

I'm probably going to try out a Steam Controller next to see if that will let the Link be useful beyond the very controller-centric games. Even games that could conceivably be played with a controller, like Pirates or Sunless Sea, are completely useless to the point where you usually can't even move through the game menu. Having Steam natively recognize their controller as something other than a controller should open up lots of gameplay options, even if I don't think it will ever be good enough to play twitch FPS games.

Anyways, $50 well spent in my book. It's small, inexpensive, and works as advertised. Now I just need to save up for a new video card and a Vive and I'll be set!
   408. Randy Jones Posted: May 10, 2016 at 11:03 AM (#5217708)
If your computer is close enough to your living room, you can plug your controllers into it directly and use them. I use my steam link and steam controller that way. Controller dongle is plugged into the PC and I use it on steam link through that.
   409. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 10, 2016 at 11:09 AM (#5217720)
My computer is a good long ways from my living room so that isn't an option. But the good news is before the Steam Link my only other option was to plug in my laptop and play in Big Picture mode with the laptop's limited horsepower, so this is a pretty big step up in performance for me. Playing Witcher 3 on a big screen is pretty great. Now that the new NVIDIA and AMD graphics chips are about to come out it's just a matter of time until I get a new GPU and can turn on every bell and whistle.
   410. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 10, 2016 at 01:10 PM (#5217881)
I've gotten a few hours of play in "Overwatch" this weekend, and I have to say that I might be tempted to buy the game now.
It's easy to jump into a game, play for 10 minutes, and be done. It's very attractive, there are lots of little bits that I discover playing that make me think "I'm going to try that next time."
I've only invested time in four characters (The Reaper, the turret-building dwarf, the Big Bertha shield generating woman, and the healing angel), but I'm tempted to try and play some more of the others.

Most games were tight/interesting affairs, which makes the tug-of-war lots of fun. I didn't try the voice chat yet, and I didn't hear anyone use it, either.
I had a few games where I was simply getting slaughtered the moment I stepped out of spawn, but most of the time I had a positive K/D ratio (or a positive revive/dead ratio as the healing angel).
I popped up as "Play of the Game" three times, won "MVP" twice, and was nominated seven or eight times.

The rewards system (loot crate with 4 randomly chosen items every time you go up a level) is very clever. I assume trading/buying will be implemented soon. There are TONS of items to be won, and they are all cosmetic.

I know Blizzard never has sales, so $50USD now is probably going to be as good as it gets...

I'm thinking about it as an early birthday present to me.
(But I have all these games on my Steam list to still play...)
   411. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 10, 2016 at 01:25 PM (#5217900)
Sunless Sea


I wish I could get a leather bound book-esque computer with a whiff of sea salt to play Sunless Sea on. That game has more atmosphere than pretty much everything else. All Hail the Dawn Machine!
   412. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 10, 2016 at 02:10 PM (#5217948)
I've gotten a few hours of play in "Overwatch" this weekend, and I have to say that I might be tempted to buy the game now.


I've only seen some streams on Twitch, but it looks like the next-gen TF2 I've been waiting for.
   413. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 11, 2016 at 12:35 AM (#5218489)
[412] It's pretty damn close. It's a little more complex than TF2 (so many characters/powers) which can be daunting for people just giving it a try. The graphics are more detailed, and there are more effects, which can lead to a bit of a sensory overload if you aren't used to it. The limit of 6v6 means you better be contributing to your team (and/or be effective), or it will hurt (your team or you). In TF2, you could have much bigger teams, so you could just concentrate on one small aspect or role, or simply act as cannon fodder while you learn the game, and it wouldn't matter that much.

As I flip/flop about buying it (time-wise, I just don't know if I'll play it enough), I can say I'm definitely more likely to play Overwatch than go back to TF2 (where I racked up 400hrs years ago).
   414. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: May 11, 2016 at 11:42 AM (#5218678)
I was in the closed beta for Overwatch and so I got a lot of time in - it's kinda sapped my desire to play my go-to FPS for a number of years, the aforementioned TF2. I think the game has the potential to have a thriving competitive scene, too.

I've talked with the developers about it too, and they're very insistent that there will be active balancing even after beta as needed and that there will be new heroes. They also said that anything added would be free to people who bought the game, but I doubt they have the final say over the beancounters. But what I'm sure about is Blizzard really wants it to be an eSport.
   415. Covfefe Posted: May 11, 2016 at 12:16 PM (#5218706)
Civilization VI announced for fall 2016...

I'd like to be excited - but being excited about it requires me to believe that Civ has a Saberhagen-esque "every other release" paradigm firmly established. I utterly and completely hated Civ V - just really, really hated it. At the moment, I'm actually in hour 217 (no joke) on a Caveman2Cosmos epic game.

If they continue to dumb down Civ into what amounts to a console port, then I'm probably forever stuck with the many fine mods created for Civ IV... plus Paradox titles.

Still, Civ has very much done the odds/even thing... Civ II was a monumental step forward, probably still the gold standard or at least birth of whatever gold standard there is - to 4X games. Civ III was a step backwards, just with more baubles. Civ IV was a thing of beauty. Civ v sucked.

This time, though - no plans to get it on release day, complete with the "collectors edition" figurines and crap.
   416. CraigK Posted: May 11, 2016 at 12:28 PM (#5218725)
eh, civ 5 on release flat out sucked, but the expansions made it much better into "alright to good" territory, but i definitely share your concerns that the long run is to file off all the edges of the civ series until it loses what made it good
   417. CraigK Posted: May 11, 2016 at 12:30 PM (#5218727)
speaking of, that reminds me that i should play a heck of a lot more ck2 and eu4, but heck, them dota bots aren't going to kill themselves.

but heck my list of "best games to leave running on the other monitor while you read #### on the main monitor" remains

1) a paradox game (ck2, eu4, etc)
2) ootp/ baseball mogul
3) civ4
   418. Langer Monk Posted: May 11, 2016 at 07:11 PM (#5219109)
Civilization VI


I'm so glad I found Paradox games. Speaking of, in addition to being generally awesome, the music in Stellaris is phenomenal. If anyone is on the fence about it, hop off.
   419. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 11, 2016 at 07:30 PM (#5219123)
I saw something like a dozen of my steam friends playing Stellaris, so I bought it.

I am so, so happy that I can create my liberal democratic utopia... that's also virulently xenophobic. KILL THE ALIEN. EARTH FIRST.
   420. madvillain Posted: May 11, 2016 at 10:44 PM (#5219249)
Just bought Stellaris. First full price game I've bought in ages. Excited. Also, "Perfect Golf" is now "Jack Nicklaus Perfect Golf" and the game is getting pretty damn good. I'm glad I got it when it was only $19.99 as now it's $39.99

If you ever played Links 2003, Perfect Golf is its contemporary spiritual successor. They just moved to Unity 5 and the performance boost was massive on my rig. Can now run it off a modest i3 6100 and R9 380 4GB at 1440p pretty much maxed out with a steady 40+ FPS. It's a very pretty game and although the online matchmaking still kinda sucks it's way better then it was last year. When it goes full release I'd expect it to become the most popular golf sim for a few years on PC. One thing cool is that like Links the user replica courses are free and mind blowing at times. The replica Augusta on Perfect Golf is very, very good. Not a flat lie or putt out there, that is for sure. The tech Perfect Golf uses is I guess what many of the broadcasts use for graphical simulations, fwiw.
   421. madvillain Posted: May 11, 2016 at 10:47 PM (#5219251)
Gotta love being in Seattle when downloading on Steam. Bought Stellaris at 7:39pm the 1.6GB download was done at 7:44. Maxed out at 6.8 MB/s, sometimes I can pull 10. Not bragging I have average internet, but zero bottlenecks to the Steam Pipe (tm?) and that's the most important thing.
   422. madvillain Posted: May 11, 2016 at 10:52 PM (#5219259)
I'm one minute in choosing a faction. This game is sick. Reminds me of a real old school game "Ascendancy" in the attention given to the alien races and art.
   423. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 12, 2016 at 12:18 AM (#5219315)
Ascendancy was a really fun game with the most alien aliens I've ever seen (there was a race of sentient, spacefaring clouds, for example). If it hadn't gotten so bogged down in the midgame with micro-management and if the AI hadn't been moronic, it would have been one of the great games of the 1990s.

My human Commonwealth continues to expand in support of all of Gaia's great genetic legacy, but I've now conquered and enslaved two neighboring xeno filth and performed some serious experiments on a third bronze age civ... so the rest of the galaxy is giving me serious side eye. But #### them, EARTH FIRST.
   424. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 12, 2016 at 04:13 AM (#5219350)
That's funny, I thought Civ V was a massive step forward in making Civ actually fun to play, rather than trying to min-max early game, then getting hit by an AI 'stack-of-doom', and rage-quitting. (I also loved the aesthetic, and the hex-tiles re-design.) So if Civ VI can build on V, I'll be a tremendously happy person.

Still no Day 1 purchasing, though - that just seems like an invitation to massive disappointment for pretty much any game,
   425. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 12, 2016 at 09:09 AM (#5219402)
The doomstacks were an issue, but the main issue with civ v was that it didn't even approach vanilla civ iv until after its final expansion for depth and nuance.

Also, the lack of deep modding support meant that we never got anything like Fall From Heaven II for Civ V.

Vanilla Civ V is a worse game than Beyond Earth.
   426. Randy Jones Posted: May 12, 2016 at 09:16 AM (#5219405)
424 and 425 are both right. Civ V fixed a lot of issues that earlier Civ games had, but then introduced a whole bunch of new ones.
   427. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 12, 2016 at 09:23 AM (#5219408)
Well, the good news is that the Civ VI developers have stated that almost all of the mechanics added during the Civ V expansions will be in the Civ VI base game - they specifically mentioned trade routes and religion, I think. So those who found Civ V lacking on first release (a point of view I can definitely understand) may have less reason to steer clear of VI.

It does look like they're going more cartoony with the visuals, though, which isn't my preference. Maybe they'll bring back Baba Yetu?

EDIT: Anyone try Endless Legends? Not quite Civ-scale, and I didn't fall in love with it, but some really good mechanics in there.
   428. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: May 12, 2016 at 09:25 AM (#5219410)
The only thing I really want from Civ VI is meaningful diplomacy. Civ V did a lot of things right, but it got diplomacy badly wrong.
   429. Covfefe Posted: May 12, 2016 at 09:52 AM (#5219443)
I assume some/most of these were remediated in later releases, but my main beefs with Civ V vanilla were -

"Culture" became nothing more than the "pink tech tree". It's an area where I though one of the free mods -- Caveman2Cosmos -- had already lapped Civ V by release (OK, technically, it took them a while to get it working right), but they essentially added several variables to cities: tourism, disease, education, crime. These values would grow (good in the case of education/tourism; obviously bad for disease/crime). Buildings, wonders, and a whole slew of civilian units could do various things to cause the values to fall/rise. This had tie-ins with the 'vanilla' culture, as well as events and the potential spawning of revolutions -- which very, very, very much effectively blunted sprawl, especially early.

Oceans/naval was worthless. Completely, laughably, stupidly worthless. Hey - I get it... People were annoyed loading units onto transports... so the solution is ANY FRIGGIN UNIT CAN JUST START SWIMMING ACROSS THE PACIFIC?!?!?! I'll grant - popping caravels first, then astronomy wasn't the most elegant way to handle one of civlization's great leaps forward - seafaring and plying the oceans, but they went (if you'll excuse the Godwin) Hitlerian stupid in the other direction where even as late as the 1940s, the english channel was just another river to cross. It's as if they got to end the end of development and decided "Oh yeah, most planets have large bodies of water... Let's slap some dumb mechanic in place to deal with that."

Diplomacy, yes, also sucked.

Basically, my beef with Civ V is that they focused far, far, far, far too much on just making it a TBS version of an RTS wargame to the detriment of everything else. I'll grant, warfare is a big - perhaps even the biggest - part of Civ, but I'm more of a "turtler"... I prefer to stay as peaceful as possible, build my cities, my infrastructure, technology, culture, etc. V really ruined things for anyone who plays that style.

The only positive I found in V was the introduction of the hex map... but everything else? Heck, the "stack of doom" was pretty easily solved by the mods -- all they did was implement a configurable tile unit limit. Later versions of the mods C2C, AND, etc even tweaked the AI well enough so that stacks were properly formulated and late game, the AI would employ multiple stacks to attempt to attack a large, well-defended city.
   430. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: May 12, 2016 at 10:04 AM (#5219456)
Not that I needed another time-sink (after such things as OOTP and the aforementioned Civ V), but now that I've read the reviews here and read up on and checked out the look etc. of Stellaris after discovering its existence (also here, yesterday), I think I have no choice but to pick it up.

I do wonder how comparable it is / will be with No Man's Sky though. That supposedly is being released next month sometime.
   431. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 12, 2016 at 10:14 AM (#5219459)
zonk, I don't agree with all your criticisms, but at least some of them were indeed remedied later. E.g. expansions added the ability to buy things with culture, there was the 'Great Works'/archeology mechanic in late game which also generated culture more cleverly. Plus, of course, culture defined boundaries as well as the tech tree. I also had some success turtling, and one of the main reasons why was one of my favorite Civ V additions - city-states. (I liked the naval embarkation mechanic, as well - micro management is acceptable in warfare for me in Civ, but not for logistics.)

Anyway, I doubt either will change the other's mind, so here's to Civ VI being best of both.
   432. TFTIO, for one, is sick and tired of winning Posted: May 12, 2016 at 03:02 PM (#5219864)
I am going to try DOOM tomorrow. I don't know why.
   433. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 12, 2016 at 06:02 PM (#5220020)
I am going to try DOOM tomorrow. I don't know why.


I am really tempted to try Doom, if just for the nostalgia factor. I wonder if IDKFA and IDDQD will still work in the console.
   434. Greg K Posted: May 12, 2016 at 06:03 PM (#5220022)
Oceans/naval was worthless. Completely, laughably, stupidly worthless. Hey - I get it... People were annoyed loading units onto transports... so the solution is ANY FRIGGIN UNIT CAN JUST START SWIMMING ACROSS THE PACIFIC?!?!?! I'll grant - popping caravels first, then astronomy wasn't the most elegant way to handle one of civlization's great leaps forward - seafaring and plying the oceans, but they went (if you'll excuse the Godwin) Hitlerian stupid in the other direction where even as late as the 1940s, the english channel was just another river to cross. It's as if they got to end the end of development and decided "Oh yeah, most planets have large bodies of water... Let's slap some dumb mechanic in place to deal with that."

I'd say they fixed this, because in every game I've played the navy has been immensely important. But I don't think they changed anything, the navy was always very important. Whoever has the strongest navy by the time you get to frigates has a huge edge. If your navy controls the oceans than those transport ships just all get sunk. And what's more important your frigates can bombard coastal cities at will. It's almost like getting bombers a few centuries early. I've played numerous games where I've been able to tackle civs which are technologically superior to me and eradicate any coastal presence they have in the world. In my experience navies are if anything a bit too powerful.

Vanilla culture was quite boring, but they've added a tourism mechanic, and a late-game ideology system that makes it worthwhile.

Another thing which has benefited Civ 5 over time is the growth of a modding community. There are plenty of options now to tweak pretty much every element of the game.

Early days, but Civ 6 looks like an re-worked and improved Civ 5. Hopefully it's a more thorough job than Beyond Earth, which was effectively just an expansion to Civ 5.

Of course, it's hard to get too excited about Civ 6...have to get back to Stellaris! I'm pretty sure this game is going to kill me by the end of this weekend. My latest goal is to fit my battleships with space amoebas, rather than bombers, as strike craft. Those bird-faced losers next door won't know what hit them!
   435. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 12, 2016 at 06:03 PM (#5220023)
I do wonder how comparable it is / will be with No Man's Sky though. That supposedly is being released next month sometime.


I've been waiting on No Man's Sky for a really long while. I feel like it's a much more personal journey, whereas so far Stellaris has been a great mashup of Europa Universalis and Galactic Civilizations.
   436. Greg K Posted: May 12, 2016 at 06:06 PM (#5220027)
Depressing stat of the day...Stellaris came out Monday and I have 29 game hours so far.

Jays don't play today, so odds are I will not be able to resist the draw again this evening...
   437. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 12, 2016 at 06:10 PM (#5220029)

EDIT: Anyone try Endless Legends? Not quite Civ-scale, and I didn't fall in love with it, but some really good mechanics in there.


I'll stan for Endless Legend. It's the best 4x released in the past 5 years. Each faction has a noticably different feel while the game itself is still very well balanced, and the combat system gives you a great amount of tactical control on a strategic game. I really enjoyed being the sole hope for the world after the Necrophages started getting Proliferators, and I had multiple battles in a narrow valley that literally saved the world right up until the ####### Ardent Mages backstabbed me.

Ardent Mages have gotten no quarter from me in any game ever since.
   438. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 12, 2016 at 06:11 PM (#5220030)
Depressing stat of the day...Stellaris came out Monday and I have 29 game hours so far.


Last night was the first time in a while that I lost complete track of time while playing a game. At least it was only 12:15 am when I finally looked up.
   439. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: May 12, 2016 at 08:05 PM (#5220058)
Those bird-faced losers next door won't know what hit them!

Hey! That remark resembles my race! It's on! It's on like donkey kong!
   440. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 12, 2016 at 08:25 PM (#5220064)

Hey! That remark resembles my race! It's on! It's on like donkey kong!


Bring it on Polly! When I'm done with you I'll have dispersed your eggs across my empire so that they can feed my ever growing horde!
   441. madvillain Posted: May 12, 2016 at 09:23 PM (#5220077)
Last night was the first time in a while that I lost complete track of time while playing a game. At least it was only 12:15 am when I finally looked up.


I played for a couple hours last night and didn't even get past the first few solar systems next to me. People say this game is "accessible" for a Paradox title so I'd hate to see the other ones. In general I read a bunch of reviews, a bunch of reddit threads and the game seems to have some very obvious problem with the AI that I hope get resolved once I get more into it. People seem both hopeful and a bit frustrated that it will take patches and perhaps DLC (paid or unpaid) to fix it.

The game seems really freaking complex to me despite experience with the Civ series so we'll see how into I can get. The UI seems well designed to me so like Unreal World it's probably just a matter of memorizing a dozen or so things and then it's easy peasy. Getting to that point however will probably require a couple dozen hours. One thing I noticed or failed to properly use cuing orders for my ships doesn't seem as easy as it should.

I do like the iron man option. In Civ it's always too tempting to just re-roll that goodie hut re-send that settler with a warrior this time out so that they don't get eaten by the Bear, and of course that is a big advantage.

Long ass break from Rust for me, probably going on 5 weeks now and haven't even touched it. Waiting on the big XP system update that is going to replace grinding for blueprints. Game seems to be going in a good direction but at 2K hours like I have the burnout is real. The XP system should change the fundemental nature of the game enough to freshen it up however. Game is such a damn time sink though I always feel bad when I can't be on 8 hours or more a day to help my team mate. Almost have to plan a "Rust Vacation" where you can play at least 20 hours that week.
   442. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 12, 2016 at 09:34 PM (#5220083)
Paradox is uniquely good at giving massive patches to everyone above and beyond the paid DLC. If you look at Crusader Kings 2 vanilla at launch as compared to Crusader Kings 2 vanilla today, it's like an entirely new game.

And Stellaris is SO much easier to pick up than other Paradox games... it even has a halfway functional tutorial, which is mind-boggling for a Paradox title.
   443. Greg K Posted: May 12, 2016 at 10:13 PM (#5220092)

And Stellaris is SO much easier to pick up than other Paradox games... it even has a halfway functional tutorial, which is mind-boggling for a Paradox title.

Yeah Stellaris is almost aggressively user friendly for a paradox game. I actually never enjoy a Paradox game more than in the beginning when I'm not entirely sure how various mechanics work or will play out. Makes it easier to role play and make decisions based on the character of the race rather than on an assessment of the game logic. I'm already looking forward to future playthroughs and taking some different courses.

I remember being just about this excited with the initial release of Europa Universalis IV, and looking back on it the vanilla version seems so dull to me now. I look forward to similar ongoing modifications with Stellaris. One of the minor things I would prefer is a greater ability to stay on the galaxy map. I like zooming in for battles, but it's sort of annoying to have to zoom in to a system to tell a fleet to go into orbit around the main planet rather than just hanging around at the system jump point.

I'm starting to have some fun with the option to genetically "uplift" pre-sentient lifeforms. I found a planet that had been a nuclear wasteland for several thousands years that had a fairly advanced race of cockroaches. They are +20% strength soldiers, so I've integrated them into my empire for recruitment purposes. But if any of them migrate to any of my other worlds I'm going to have some angry citizens on my hands...
   444. madvillain Posted: May 12, 2016 at 10:39 PM (#5220107)
Been building a lot of machines with parts people have just left at my shop recently. Built an FX-4350 based machine and OC'ed it to 5.0ghz on air easy peasy, then, a LGA 1155 system with a 3570k I got to 4.0 ghz on air. The FX you can buy new for like $89 and the i5 3570k can be had for like $130 used. Good times to be a tinkerer. The ####### 750ti is a little burner too that I was using as a GPU to run some benchmarks. You can buy the Asus FTW version, the fastest aftermarket version, for $90 used on Amazon and Ebay. It's too bad there's not slightly cheaper 4GB version out there. I only saw one on Amazon and it was $179, aka time to just buy a mid tier card.

Man I can't wait for Pascal. Uh, Titan X performance in the 1070 at $379? Damn.
   445. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: May 16, 2016 at 03:53 AM (#5221898)
Tomorrow's a week and I've done 40 hours of Stellaris. Even with the midgame needing a patch, it's got that same "one more turn" that caused me to not remember much of late 1991 because of Civilization.
   446. madvillain Posted: May 16, 2016 at 01:31 PM (#5222311)
Tomorrow's a week and I've done 40 hours of Stellaris. Even with the midgame needing a patch, it's got that same "one more turn" that caused me to not remember much of late 1991 because of Civilization.


I'm at like twenty hours, most of them yesterday and I'm having a blast. Took me about 10 hours to really get a halfway decent handle on the UI and most of the game's systems. I'm still a little confused on a few things but I'm actually min / maxing a bit Civ style. I'm going to make a new playthrough tonight after work and work on getting more science ships out early with a Corvette fleet escort. A dozen corvettes with lasers seems to chew through most of the early threats.
   447. DEF is a strange duck Posted: May 20, 2016 at 11:03 AM (#5225368)
Saw a post about the Steam Link earlier - I'm also a huge fan. I've tried a couple of options for games that are not controller friendly with the Link - regular wireless keyboard and mouse; keyboard with trackpad; Steam Controller - and been unhappy with all of them. Then I got the Razer Turret keyboard and mouse combo, and I absolutely love it. Real keyboard and mouse, the design is great ergonomically even for extended sessions, and the slight magnetism helps keep the mouse from flying all over the place. It's expensive, and I wish the keyboard was backlit, but those are minor quibbles. Highly recommended.
   448. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: May 24, 2016 at 12:07 PM (#5227876)
FWIW, I am enjoying Overwatch a ton, even though I kinda suck at it. Been a while since I have done any multiplayer FPS. But if anyone wants to watch me step on my own missle or however innovative way I find of screwing up, you are welcome to join me.
   449. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 24, 2016 at 02:21 PM (#5227995)
I've been playing Counter-Strike:Global Offensive as a way to tide over my multiplayer FPS itch after playing the Overwatch demo.
I hadn't played CS since "Source", so it had been at least 7 years. I had the game in my Steam library because I bought it when it was like $5 as a "maybe some day" purchase.

Well, I definitely don't have the reflexes I used to have, but I can say that because I'm completely clueless about the current strategies used by players in CS:GO casual games, I'm holding my own (1.00 K/D ratio) and getting a few MVPs and the occasional top-2 score. I think people are generally surprised that someone would try the stupid things I do, because the n00bs had learned not to do those thing by now. Not me!

That said, I'm still feeling the urge to go out and buy Overwatch tonight and jump back in soon. I'm trying to hold out until my birthday on the outside chance a family/friend might get it for me.
If not, maybe my CS:GO play will fill the need for now.
   450. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: May 25, 2016 at 06:14 AM (#5228513)
For anyone that doesn't have Rocket League, if you sign up for the Humble Bundle Monthly Bundle and pay now, you'll get it as an early unlock. It's $12, which is better than the current Steam price and comes with other games in about 10 days.
   451. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 25, 2016 at 06:49 AM (#5228519)
Guys, Doom is really good. I just got to Hell and it's simply amazing how fast and fun the combat is. I guess the multiplayer is merely adequate, but I'm about 5 hours in on the campaign and already looking forward to replaying it on ultraviolence.
   452. Covfefe Posted: June 02, 2016 at 10:19 AM (#5234545)
So I did pick up Stellaris a couple weeks ago and absolutely did some binge playing... It's a good game but does remind me a TON of Galactic Civilizations. Indeed, it's basically the Galciv --> Stellaris equivalent of Civilization --> CK-EU-Vicky-HOI suite. That's a good thing.

I do have some complaints, though.

First, while I've definitely had games where I got curb-stomped by picking the wrong enemies or waiting a bit too long to build a respectable military - it seems pretty easy... I'm now regularly smashing "fallen empires" for fun. Granted, I'm still playing normal settings - but if upping the settings just means tweaking the minerals/energy equations then meh.

Second, diplomacy seems kind of... well... like a blunt object. It seems pretty easy to get what I want when I want it. Embassy here, strategic rivaling there, etc. I have no use for Federations - by mid-game, I'm the baddest mofo in the galaxy and my federation "partners" seem to take advantage of me for their own ends. I only rarely use alliances - and then, usually just to gain access to an undeveloped sector that I swarm settle. I also find little use for protectorates and vassals - I'd rather conquer (plus gene splice them into happiness). Indeed, more often than not - my vassals get me in trouble with Fallen Empires before I'm ready to dispense with them and steal their cool planets.

Third, the traits/ethics stuff is cool -- but it seems like an awful lot of work and intricacy for not much payoff. It took a few games to get that being "habitable" doesn't mean HAPPY habitable.... but now? I'm just rolling through with very little faction problems (a few years of consolidation post-conquest aside).

Finally... military... Oy. I build balanced fleets for 'flavor' - but it's painfully obvious that corvette spamming it waaayyy over-powered. Cruisers in particular need bigger buffs. BBs are OK, I guess - but they waste so much attack taking out a single corvette that they're a waste of minerals. Maybe proximity damage or something is needed. There also badly needs to be a fleet stance of "don't waste time ####### attacking that pointless mining station when I'm trying to rush you into the crucial battle". As well as a "you can stop pursuing that fleet when it becomes painfully obvious he's using jump drives or worm holes and all you'll do is end up in bad place". It's also a shame that the balance on weapons, armor, and shields is so off -- lasers seem clearly the way to go, particularly the particle lances. Missiles become virtually pointless by mid/late game and I'm not entirely sure my mass drivers have ever laid a finger on an enemy.

Some things I also think need fixing --

The sentient AI stuff doesn't work... I never even go down this path - so it ends up being nothing but a land grab opportunity to me, but several times I notice I take over a planet, the AI reinvades - FAILS - then poof, my world goes tundra and my army is stuck on the surface, unable to embark... unable to be disbanded (Oh yeah, are armies supposed to be this disposable? I just build and then kill them off.) and I have to either find a species that can settle tundra worlds or be annoyed. The horde and other one I forget are similarly problematic - though at least they have the advantage of sometimes being less an opportunity as they sometimes attack me.

Sectors seem terribly exploitable. Initially, I was creating lots of highly specialize sectors... but with the low leader limits, why bother (I suppose I could not assign a governor)? Now? I just create sectors only if absolutely necessary. In my current game - I own half the galaxy and have just two sectors - and only then because I couldn't connect two segments. It seems like some sort of planet limit badly needs to be introduced to sectors.

OTOH, the leader limit is far too low - I'm several steps down the +1 leader research and I'm still barely able to maintain necessary scientists and governors. I dread the "captain of such and such promoted" messages because it means I STILL can't get myself a scientist to man my remaining science ship. I've taken to assigning them to lead single corvette suicide squads just to kill them. There ought to be a "force into retirement" or somesuch, maybe with an influence penalty.

Finally, I don't build many "depots" - but I do find myself awfully annoyed by the mineral and energy credit (and influence point) stockpile limits. Max energy is basically enough to recruit a single good army (well, the advanced ones that cost energy). I suppose I'm +2000 a month, so who cares - I go from 5000 to 0, then back to 5000 quickly enough... but that's just an annoying mechanic. Ditto influence -- post-conquest, edicts + integration campaigns fully bring you down to 0 (and this one DOESN'T recover as quickly).

All in all, though - it's an entertaining title... just badly needs some work on the balancing to fully take advantage of the depth. At the moment, the 'depth' just doesn't buy much because various counterforces/costs really undermine taking full advantage. Still - paradox always does good work fixing and expanding, so I'll stick with a thumbs up.
   453. DEF is a strange duck Posted: June 02, 2016 at 01:31 PM (#5234803)
For anyone interested, the Steam Link and Steam Controller are on sale for $35 through Monday. The Link is awesome and well worth the $50 regular price, so it is highly recommended at the sale price.
   454. Swedish Chef Posted: June 02, 2016 at 03:00 PM (#5234881)
I took part in the Paradox IPO. Aside from the shares I got 25% off in their store for a year and Steam codes for EU IV, Cities: Skylines and CK II. So now I have something to do this winter.
   455. Swedish Chef Posted: June 05, 2016 at 07:32 AM (#5236663)
   456. Langer Monk Posted: June 08, 2016 at 05:23 PM (#5239388)
For anyone that isn't consumed by Stellaris or Hearts of Iron IV (I will learn to play you, HOI4, dammit), gog.com's summer sale starts today.
   457. Covfefe Posted: June 08, 2016 at 06:49 PM (#5239439)
Langer - are you a veteran of hoi2 & hoi3?

I haven't picked up hoi4 yet - I certainly will - but I'm curious about thoughts by those who played it.
   458. Langer Monk Posted: June 08, 2016 at 08:16 PM (#5239494)
I own HoI 3, loaded it up, truly baffled, moved on. I'm determined to learn it this time.
   459. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 08, 2016 at 09:20 PM (#5239556)
GoG is giving away free copies of System Shock 2 if you install their Galaxy launcher. This is seriously one of the best-designed FPS games of all-time, with atmosphere and mechanics that will make you forget the damn thing is over 15 years old. If you ain't got it yet, get it now.
   460. Covfefe Posted: June 10, 2016 at 04:13 PM (#5241069)
So watching the MLB draft -- one really cool thing I have to say for OOTP...

OOTP16 not only had the 2015 draft class, but ALSO had the 2016 draft classes (i.e., Mickey Moniak, etc).

It's cool seeing guys like Kyle Cody (who turned into a beast for me), Cole Duensing, etc being drafted a year and a half after I 'fake' drafted them... course, it also skews one's perceptions of them for better or worse (Puk? Forget him... dude never made it out of A ball!)
   461. madvillain Posted: June 17, 2016 at 03:56 PM (#5246175)
Newegg has "reboxed" PS4 500gb black for $269 after coupon code EMCEKFL35 with free 2 day shipping with shoprunner (again, free, just have to give them your email). No tax on Newegg as well.

I just picked one up, been looking for a good deal on a non bundled new one and this does the trick. Reviews seem to indicate it's a floor model or returned unit but is sealed. 30 day returns.

Picked up Fifa 16 for it, can't wait to get back to some living room Fifa action. Love my PC but Fifa is a total console game.

________________________

In more virtual soccer action we have had a very interesting 3rd season with Wolves in FM 16. We had a glut of transfer money and payroll available after a very profitable 1st season in the EPL and with 65 plus million burning a hole in our virtual pocket we splurged on a couple Argentinian U-20s that are now a couple of our most promising players. We also bolstered the midfield bringing in a disgruntled Fabian Delph for the steal price of $12 million after Man U had seen enough. Well, he might only be a squad player at Man U but along with the Argentinian wonderkid he has formed a formidable attacking midfield partnership for a Wolves club looking to move into mid table. Of course it would be better if he could stay healthy, but with guys like Coady and Sloth still hanging around we have good depth in the midfield. Our wingers got an upgrade after bringing in Jesse Lingard and selling Wellington Castillo who was a nice piece of business for club after coming over on a free and exiting on a 4 million dollar deal to the Championship after helping us avoid relegation in EPL year 1. With Jordan Graham on the right and Lingard on the left we've got quite a bit more bite in the attack this year and Graham has already banged in 15 goals across all comps through the middle of January.

Of course with all the new additions squad chemistry took a hit and we were leaking goals faster than we could put them in early, getting off to a brutal 18 points from 20 games start. Since then we have picked it up and now sit on 27 points after 24 games and have moved five points clear of the drop and into 15th place.

Despite our early season league struggles we struck gold in the Cap One cup beating a rotated Liverpool squad 2-1 to advance to the quarterfinals where we then dispatched Leicester in a nail biter. We moved onto the semis and with low expectations somehow managed a 7-3 aggregate win over Tottenham! Our fans were ecstatic as we took the game to them and for once finished a good number of our great chances while managed to stay solid at the back. Our luck continued in the final were we played a Championship Reading squad with our squad at near full power and took them out 3-1 for our first Cap One cup title since 1980! We made our own luck along the way and had good luck with the draw as well after beating Liverpool early on.

Proud to say although we've scuffled in the EPL we took home a title (without any "re saving" either, did it legit) and still have a healthy 30 million transfer budget after the window closed to apply to our squad next summer, assuming of course we can beat the drop again. With the squad still glowing from the Cap One title and having bowed out of the FA cup early we should be able to go on a good run of form and move up the table some before the end of the year.

Man I love FM 16 but I hate that I look at my clock and see 8pm turn into midnight (and a few brews) way too often.
   462. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 21, 2016 at 01:44 PM (#5248824)
Hey chumps, the Steam Summer Picnic starts on the 23rd but in the meantime Lord GabeN is gifting you a free copy of a very cool, moody indy platformer "Limbo" today. I bought it for $5 way back when and I really enjoyed it, it's fun and has some clever puzzles. Check it out you cheap bastards.
   463. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: June 22, 2016 at 10:14 AM (#5249517)
Thanks for the heads up on Limbo.
   464. Obo Posted: June 22, 2016 at 10:41 AM (#5249548)
I grabbed it too. Thanks YR.
   465. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 22, 2016 at 01:08 PM (#5249726)
Hope y'all like it, I never really liked platformers but I enjoyed Limbo, it's fairly short too which I think helped keep the novelty of the art style from wearing off.

Steam Summer Picnic starts tomorrow - hide ya kids, hide ya wallet.
   466. TFTIO, for one, is sick and tired of winning Posted: June 22, 2016 at 04:43 PM (#5250050)
So ... it seems Last Guardian will actually be a thing that happens? Therefore, I'm going to buy a PS4.
   467. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: June 22, 2016 at 04:47 PM (#5250060)
So watching the MLB draft -- one really cool thing I have to say for OOTP...

OOTP16 not only had the 2015 draft class, but ALSO had the 2016 draft classes (i.e., Mickey Moniak, etc).


Drake Fellows was drafted by the Indians and turned into Bob Gibson in my OOTP16 universe.
   468. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 23, 2016 at 02:36 PM (#5250683)
STEAM SALE IS LIIIIIIIVE b1tches!

And Steam is crashing like a spastic in a go-cart.

   469. Greg K Posted: June 23, 2016 at 02:47 PM (#5250690)
And Steam is crashing like a spastic in a go-cart.

The last few sales have been problematic out of the gate...

I just grabbed my Thea: The Awakening and got out of that mall stampede as fast as I could.
   470. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 24, 2016 at 10:47 AM (#5251457)
So how underwhelming is this Summer Picnic fellow kids?

Well I'll still offer a couple of comments for your consideration:

Stardew Valley is a weird little...well I'm not sure how to describe it. A farming sim with heavy social aspects, exploration, crafting, RPG-ish stuff...Look, here's the thing - this game (a multi-year labor of love from one guy) makes me happy to play it. It de-stresses the hell out of me, and my 7 year-old daughter loves it too. We both have farms and pursue our own goals and then compare notes. It plays fine on a desktop or using a controller with my Steam Link in the living room. It will be 20% off for the next couple of weeks on the sale. You should probably at least consider it. I don't know why I like it so much, but with 23,000+ reviews and an "Overwhelmingly Positive" rating on Steam, I know it isn't just me.

I picked up Darkest Dungeon as an early-access game last year because the artwork and gameplay seemed appealing. Well, the game is finished now and the developers have really put together a fun and frustrating Lovecraftian rogue-like crawler full of new features, tricks, bad guys, heroes, and heaps more. I paid $10 for the alpha version a year ago and it got better each and every month. At 40% you can pay $14 for the finished version and get all the benefits and none of the bugs. I like this game, it's annoying addictive and just right for when you have 15 minutes to kill on a game.

Stellaris looks really cool, I'd love a good spacefaring game, but 10% off? Really? That's barely a sale at all. That's like an AARP discount.

I tried out the HTC Vive VR headset at a local demo and was really amazed at how immersive it was. Games are only trickling out, I'm guessing nobody here plunked down the $700 for one yet, but Vanish Realms looks really neat, and I can only imagine how exciting it would be to play this first-person RPG with the headset and motion controllers. I'm just posting this because I was impressed watching the videos. Check it out.

The new DOOM is 40% off and looks pretty spectacular. This is the sorta game I plan to pick up when I upgrade my video card later this year.

Oh yeah, and Steam Hardware like the Link and Controller are 30% off. $35 for each, money well spent in my estimation. Being able to easily and comfortably play in the living room or office is a really great investment for me at least. YMMV.

You pumpkins find anything worthwhile on this generally-MEH sale?
   471. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: June 24, 2016 at 11:10 AM (#5251495)
Stardew Valley is a ripoff reimagining of the venerable Harvest Moon series that's been on various consoles for 20 years. The past ~10 years the HM series got away from its farm/village life roots and more and more into Japanese fantastical RPG stuff. Looks like Stardew Valley is a spiritual successor to those farm/village life roots.

I may pick it up. I used to enjoy the old Harvest Moon games in much the same way you describe it--it's just relaxing--but it's been many years since I touched one.
   472. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: June 24, 2016 at 07:22 PM (#5251849)
Limbo is fun. I bought Black Mesa. I finished it when it was still free via Steam and it was fun, and they've polished and added some stuff since the free version. For $7.99 I recommend it for anybody who likes Half-Life.

   473. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 25, 2016 at 04:07 PM (#5252107)
Stardew Valley is excellent and everything that a successor to Harvest Moon should be.

DOOM is also excellent and everything that a successor to Doom should be.

Offworld Trading Company is a great idea which doesn't stick the landing for me. I'd wait for it to be more than 50%.

Stellaris is EXCELLENT, but 10% is basically nothing. To be fair it did come out less than two months ago.

Pillars of Eternity is down to 18 dollars, and that's just great value for the price.

Rocket League is only 12 dollars, and is my go to post-work de-stressor. I can play a couple rounds in 10 minutes with my fancy painted rocket car and hopefully score a hat trick.

I picked up Darkest Dungeon, I was just waiting for a sale to get it.
   474. GGIAS (aka Poster Nutbag) Posted: June 25, 2016 at 05:37 PM (#5252134)
Just want to encourage everyone to check out/try Dead by Daylight. Everything Evolve failed at. It's a shitton of fun.

Steam Sale Pro-Tips:

1. Indies man. Grab them. DOOM is a great deal, but I am skipping most of the AAA stuff (I typically do). The indies are where the value, and fun, are at.

2. Best Buy has Steam Cards at Buy One, Get One 20% Off. Or use your PayPal if you get the "rewards".

3. Great Site to help, complete with "Deal Rating" is Cheap Shark. You can open a store and sort by the "Deal Rating" or Price or whatever. Handy site though.

4. There a few gems hiding for REALLY Cheap (ALL under $5). Here's ten of them I would suggest: Riff Racer (Formerly known as Drive Any Track), Just Get Through, Rogue Legacy, Eldritch, WazHack, God Mode, Flobe, Amnesia, Her Story, Lucius Bundle

Less than $25 would grab this whole lot and you'd get a TON of solid gameplay.

There are TONS more...maybe I'll drop some of my faves from the $5-$10 tier in a bit too.
   475. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: June 26, 2016 at 10:11 AM (#5252302)
If you've ever enjoyed platforming then you're guaranteed to get at least 10-20 hours of fun out of Rogue Legacy for your three dollars. It's also digestible in chunks of only a few minutes each, which is something I love about a game these days.

Spelunky is also only $3 and very worth it if you're into platforming. I could never quite get into it myself but a lot of people love it, and it's better regarded than Rogue Legacy, which I personally prefer.

Indies, I agree that's where the value is at, but... since I'm not terribly strapped for money, I'm actually thinking of waiting until after the sale to buy Stardew Valley, for instance, at full price. I'm certain it's worth $15, and the dude that made the game pretty near by himself deserves the extra few bucks. Steam takes a big enough chunk of the revenues as it is.
   476. Greg K Posted: June 26, 2016 at 10:25 AM (#5252309)
If you've ever enjoyed platforming then you're guaranteed to get at least 10-20 hours of fun out of Rogue Legacy for your three dollars. It's also digestible in chunks of only a few minutes each, which is something I love about a game these days.

It's designed as a single player game, but I had a lot of fun with friends one night playing Rogue Legacy as a group. Each person plays a round, decides what to spend their winnings on, and then the next player has a go. It can be competitive, but it's also fun to learn from what killed the last guy.
   477. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 27, 2016 at 07:55 AM (#5252789)
Anyone here played Might and Magic Heroes VII? Loved the past games, but recently they've sorta sucked.
   478. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 27, 2016 at 10:54 AM (#5252854)
If you've ever enjoyed platforming then you're guaranteed to get at least 10-20 hours of fun out of Rogue Legacy for your three dollars. It's also digestible in chunks of only a few minutes each, which is something I love about a game these days.

Spelunky is also only $3 and very worth it if you're into platforming. I could never quite get into it myself but a lot of people love it, and it's better regarded than Rogue Legacy, which I personally prefer.


Rogue Legacy was a game I initially bounced off of because of the difficulty, but then I went back and threw myself at it again. I haven't gone back to play it after finishing it, but the random levels (and the somewhat silly "upgrades") make it a fun game for sure.

Spelunky is almost the perfect "platform" game for the PC. With randomly generated levels, tons of hidden stuff, and a simple mechanic, it was my go-to game for about 6 months. When I was able to finish the game on one try (and record it), I was ecstatic. I've never tried all the hidden levels yet.

My recommendations based on games I have previously bought on Steam Sales:

FTL (70% off for $3.29 Cdn) is a MUST HAVE for those that favour their rogue-like games. It's almost infinitely replayable (with random levels, tons of ships, lots of build options), and since you can pause the action at any time, it isn't as stressful as some other games. Don't let me fool you...it's tough. But fun. And since you can rename all your crew, you can tell your friends how you had to suffocate them in an airless room to save the ship from the rampant fire. :)

Pinball FX2 (free, but the table packs are 75%-80% off for around $2.75 Cdn)) is an addictive series of games. I own all but 3 of the tables (and two of them are free), and I have sunk hundreds of hours into it. Lots of different sponsored tables (Marvel Comics, Star Wars, Walking Dead, FIFA, other TV) give you lots of different play options. Some tables are works of art in their design and fun.

Invisible Inc. (66% off, for $7.47 Cdn) is a fantastic strategy stealth game that really pushes your brain to plan your individual agents' actions. There is an expansion dlc that I might just pick up now that it is on sale.




   479. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: June 27, 2016 at 11:08 AM (#5252864)
Anyone here played Might and Magic Heroes VII? Loved the past games, but recently they've sorta sucked.


HoMM III was the best, II and IV were good, the others weren't that good. Haven't played VII yet, and I won't until it's in a Humble Bundle.

FTL (70% off for $3.29 Cdn) is a MUST HAVE for those that favour their rogue-like games. It's almost infinitely replayable (with random levels, tons of ships, lots of build options), and since you can pause the action at any time, it isn't as stressful as some other games. Don't let me fool you...it's tough. But fun. And since you can rename all your crew, you can tell your friends how you had to suffocate them in an airless room to save the ship from the rampant fire. :)


FTL is amazing. It is honestly a must have for anyone. And if you get stuck, feel free to ask for tips.
   480. madvillain Posted: June 27, 2016 at 02:54 PM (#5253147)
FM 16 on sale again for only $16.99
   481. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 27, 2016 at 02:58 PM (#5253152)
Any items on sale during the Steam sale will be on sale at the same price for the duration of the event. The days of flash sales and limited offers have been lost due to Steam's refund policy, so you have until the end of the sale on 04 July to buy anything you saw at the price you saw it at.
   482. TFTIO, for one, is sick and tired of winning Posted: June 27, 2016 at 06:51 PM (#5253408)
I would do unspeakable things for an FTL 2 or something. UNSPEAKABLE THINGS.
   483. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 27, 2016 at 08:52 PM (#5253510)
Shadows of Mordor is 12-13 bucks. Worth it for a solid fantasy world murder-em-up.
   484. TFTIO, for one, is sick and tired of winning Posted: June 27, 2016 at 08:58 PM (#5253518)
Shadow Of Mordor was a very fun game at $70; for $12, go for it.
   485. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 27, 2016 at 09:44 PM (#5253568)
I got it at a prior Steam Sale for 25ish, and it's definitely been worth it. Excellent Arkham style combat, and a neat nemesis system that allows your opponents to level up and remain threats... especially if they off you once or twice and get major buffs from it.
   486. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 28, 2016 at 08:15 AM (#5253666)
Rocket League is also on sale for 12 bucks, which is ####### awesome. It's my go-to stress release game, just an incredibly fun game with excellent matchmaking that allows you to never be up against players way beyond your skill level.
   487. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: June 29, 2016 at 11:14 AM (#5254743)
I'm kinda disappointed about the AMD RX 480 release. It's a perfectly reasonable card, essentially a cheaper 970/390, but as appears to be typical, AMD overpromised so that when something perfectly serviceable hit, everyone who paid attention gets that feeling of underdelivering. Their internal hype piqued my interest, but now I'm waiting to see what the GTX 1060 has to offer before recommending an RX 480 to friends and colleagues.
   488. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 03, 2016 at 01:42 PM (#5257730)
Anyone here played Might and Magic Heroes VII? Loved the past games, but recently they've sorta sucked.

HoMM III was the best, II and IV were good, the others weren't that good. Haven't played VII yet, and I won't until it's in a Humble Bundle.

I actually got a free copy of HoMM VII from someone a while back. I would love to tell you my impressions of the game, but between crashes, freezes, insane load times, I didn't actually experience all that much of it. The game was basically a giant memory leak, at least on my system. Ate all 16 GB of ram, all the way to 100%. I tried reinstalling, dicking around with settings, and looking for solutions online, and it seemed to be a very common theme, with no solutions offered.

I once tried loading a save game on the first campaign, I went to the bathroom, had a nice long poop, then went to the kitchen, made some coffee, and when I came back, I was still greated by the loading screen. That's about the time I gave up on the game.

It's possible they have fixed some of the performance issues with patches, or that it won't behave that way on your system. But my recommendation would be to stay as far away from it as possible. I certainly won't be trying it again.
   489. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: July 04, 2016 at 11:18 AM (#5258068)
Well, you can play Hearts of Iron IV in the meantime! The HoMM games were fun, but they really had more than their share of craptacular programming.
   490. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: July 04, 2016 at 11:34 AM (#5258079)
Well, you can play Hearts of Iron IV in the meantime! The HoMM games were fun, but they really had more than their share of craptacular programming.


Especially after the franchise was acquired by Ubisoft after HoMM4.
   491. zack Posted: July 06, 2016 at 09:57 AM (#5259311)
Have any of you guys tried much Super Mega Baseball? It was my only purchase during the sale, and I'm considering making it my first refund after playing just under 2 hours. It's not that it's bad, it's just that it misses on little things that I think will be infuriating, as so many baseball games are.
   492. The Good Face Posted: July 06, 2016 at 10:07 AM (#5259322)
Have any of you guys tried much Super Mega Baseball? It was my only purchase during the sale, and I'm considering making it my first refund after playing just under 2 hours. It's not that it's bad, it's just that it misses on little things that I think will be infuriating, as so many baseball games are.


It was OK. I think I put like 12 hours or so into it and lost interest. A decent game if it's available on a deep discount, but that's about the most I can say for it.

On the bright side, Darkest Dungeon is a lot of fun, although it's also very grindy. Once you get a decent grasp of the mechanics, the dungeon delves become a bit rote and routine, and you've gotta do a LOT of them to complete all the necessary upgrades.
   493. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 06, 2016 at 10:28 AM (#5259347)
Well, you can play Hearts of Iron IV in the meantime! The HoMM games were fun, but they really had more than their share of craptacular programming.

Honestly, I kinda always preferred the King's Bounty series over HOMM anyway. Just felt like it had a lot more tactical depth, with the various different units, spells, and talent trees to mess around with, and try and come up with something cool. Wheras with HOMM, you always knew the optimal strategy: hoard resources, upgrade your town, build giant doom stacks of your best units, obliterate everything.

Just looking it up, seems there are 2 new King's Bounty games since the last one I played, with passable ratings (mid 70's most places I looked). Maybe I will try and pick one of those up for cheap sometime.
   494. Greg K Posted: July 06, 2016 at 10:36 AM (#5259360)

Just looking it up, seems there are 2 new King's Bounty games since the last one I played, with passable ratings (mid 70's most places I looked). Maybe I will try and pick one of those up for cheap sometime.

Along that line I really like Eador: Genesis. I think there is technically a series of games, but they all just seem to be the first one with updated graphics. There are some pretty good mods, and it has the rare treat these days of hotseat multiplayer.
   495. Covfefe Posted: July 18, 2016 at 01:26 PM (#5266867)
So finally had a couple of weeks to play HOI4 and you can put me down in the Yeesh, they blew it camp... It's a white hot mess.

It's as if they took the problems from Hoi3 and instead of fixing things that really just needed some pruning, planing, and tweaking -- but were, at their core, solid mechanics -- and replaced them with worse options.

Supply is completely nosensical -- how in the world it makes any sense not to have an actual fuel component is beyond me... I mean, oil is only needed to BUILD the ships but not keep them sailing, really? And likewise, if I build mosquito swarms of planes, I only need to worry about building replacements, not keeping them continually aloft? Seriously?

The naval game may be salvageable - but we'll never know until they fix the fact that Luxembourg can shred the RN by simply creating a competent wing of NAVs. The air war needs to be tossed to the curb and completely rewritten.

I suppose the ground war is passable... though - it only makes sense if you stay on the ground (i.e., amphibious invasions, paradrops, etc are laughably overpowered and easy). Of course, they also oversimplified it -- basically junking most of the sublime HOI3 OOB mechanics in favor of a flat army that's STILL more optimal to control piecemeal yourself. I suppose it's nice to create a battleplan, then individually move pieces with the idea that the BP will then support your superior movements, but the HOI3 model was better.

Ugh... I am supremely disappointed.
   496. Greg K Posted: July 18, 2016 at 05:18 PM (#5267084)
That makes me feel better!

For months I was trying to decide which new Paradox game I'd get out of the shoot, Hearts of Iron or Stellaris. I was leaning towards Hearts of Iron for a while, but it sounds like Stellaris was the right choice. It's got lots of room to be filled in yet, but that just seems how games are designed these days. Presumably free patches and expansion packs will fill in the holes, but it's good fun as is.

Perhaps Hearts of Iron will be a Christmas sale purchase. It looks like a dumbed down game, which is fine by me...I never quite figured out what the hell was going in with HoI3...which I always put down to my short-comings rather than the games. The most I could manage was playing as Canada and developing a crack paratrooping unit to pop into Indonesia, or Sicily, or wherever a small force could do some good. The second I got my hands on an army of any real size I was lost.
   497. madvillain Posted: July 18, 2016 at 07:50 PM (#5267180)
The Last of Us is pretty damn good for a PS3 game. I got the PS4 "remastered" version and despite it having all the mechanics I usually can't stand (linear, heavy reliance on cutscenes, stealth elements) I'm finding myself putting in a few hours every week and I'm about 1/3 of the way through. Made it to Pittsburgh and trying to fight my way out.

The actor that plays "Dan" in Deadwood has a pretty large role early on, he's a great actor his character in the game is pretty engaging as well.



I haven't opened up Stellaris since launch week I'll probably give it another go now that they've been patching it. I got so many games to try and play through and FIFA 17 is coming out in a couple months...I just picked up a 50" 1080p Vizio on Craiglist so for now my PS4 is my main gaming device:there is something to be said for couch gaming after years of sitting in front of the keyboard. GTA V on the big screen with the 5.1 system is an absolute blast.

Next big purchase will probably be to decide if VR is a think I should invest in, either through a Pascal 1070 and a Rift or with the PS4 VR.
   498. Covfefe Posted: July 18, 2016 at 07:59 PM (#5267183)
What I've found Stellaris has over HOI4 is replayability -- i.e., there's a lot more to do than just go to war. Yes, it has issues -- but I find the immersion factor and non-military aspects fun (and for all the problems, designing your ships and sending fleets into battle still IS fun).

HOI4, OTOH, fails pretty massively in its core game. You can "win" - but "winning" means doing boring things that aren't fun and there's not a lot to hold interest beyond that.
   499. Greg K Posted: July 18, 2016 at 08:12 PM (#5267187)
What I've found Stellaris has over HOI4 is replayability -- i.e., there's a lot more to do than just go to war. Yes, it has issues -- but I find the immersion factor and non-military aspects fun (and for all the problems, designing your ships and sending fleets into battle still IS fun).

Yeah, I look forward to an expansion of the domestic options. So far I haven't really encountered much in the way of different factions within my empire agitating for whatever it is they want. I did a run where I was hard-core reliant on robots (I think 65% of my population was synthetic). I got word of a robotic rebellion brewing across the galaxy, but it got into late-game slog before anything came about. I haven't played as a slave state yet...perhaps that would jack up the internal turmoil.

It is a pretty open-ended game, and there are some customizable elements to your empire...I hope that's the kind of thing they develop further.
   500. Greg K Posted: July 18, 2016 at 08:13 PM (#5267190)
The Last of Us is pretty damn good for a PS3 game. I got the PS4 "remastered" version and despite it having all the mechanics I usually can't stand (linear, heavy reliance on cutscenes, stealth elements) I'm finding myself putting in a few hours every week and I'm about 1/3 of the way through. Made it to Pittsburgh and trying to fight my way out.

I spent a lot of time watching a friend of mine play that one. Took me back to childhood when "we" would rent Nintendo games and then I'd watch my older brother play them. He kept offering to let me play, but I stink at games that involve any kind of action...plus it was actually enjoyable to watch as if it were a film.
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