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Friday, September 27, 2013

OT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’

Valve therefore left open the possibility that whatever Steam Machines eventually make it to market next year could either be first- or third-party hardware. The company is putting out invitations for 300 Steam users to participate in a beta test they must qualify for by completing an “eligibility quest” that involves familiarizing themselves with Steam’s current features.

The other gaming thread died. Here’s a new one for those interested. I figured Steam looking for Beta Testers made for a good lead-in.

Happy Gaming!

Poster Nutbag Posted: September 27, 2013 at 05:34 PM | 867 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   601. zack Posted: June 26, 2014 at 10:32 PM (#4737109)
I really want to like CKII, but I don't have the time to learn how to play it. The tutorial is zero help and the manual barely exists.
   602. Greg K Posted: June 26, 2014 at 11:01 PM (#4737149)
I really want to like CKII, but I don't have the time to learn how to play it. The tutorial is zero help and the manual barely exists.

Astoundingly, this is a huge improvement on older Paradox games which seemingly went out of their way to hide, not just strategy, but the actual rules of the game.
   603. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: June 26, 2014 at 11:25 PM (#4737159)
I really want to like CKII, but I don't have the time to learn how to play it. The tutorial is zero help and the manual barely exists.

The keys to learning CKII:

- Start with a small, out of the way area as you learn the game. An Irish Earl is a good character for a beginner - it's not super-hard to acquire a Duchy when you're ready to expand and if your enemies start piling up, you have the option to swear fealty to England.

- Check your unmarried character in the character finder once in a while. Just select Court/Adult/Not Married.

- Make good marriages. A trick people always forget is that if you're on a character screen and you click on the gold ring, it'll actually come up with the best marriage candidates that have agreeable lords. When your kids are 6 and you get the educated prompt is a good time to arrange a betrothal. Getting your male heir married to an underage female ruler - which will pop up quite a bit once the Holy Roman Empire starts either infighting or fighting Hungary or France - is a great way to get land.

- Get from gavelkind to primogeniture as quickly as possible. You want to have a good-sized personal demesne so that you have steady income for improvements.

- To be able to have a number of areas, prioritize stewardship among your heirs so that they can manage more counties personally. Select legalism advancements whenever possible. Once you're a Duke and can have 4-7 counties at a time, you'll have a really solid income.

- If you're looking short on male children, make sure to arrange matralineal marriages for your daughters. I don't usually marry off daughters for traditional marriages unless I have 2 sons. If you start with a small dynasty, this is also important because while going from agnatic-cognatic to agnatic is useful when you have a large dynasty (though after getting rid of gavelkind) when you have a small dynasty, you may need female heirs that will have children of your dynasty rather than a husband's.

- Definitely start with a Christian ruler. The mechanics are the easiest.
   604. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 26, 2014 at 11:29 PM (#4737163)
I was the same way with CKII. It was gifted to me by a BBTF person, and I've put in about 20 hours into the game.
That was only after watching about 20 hours of CKII tutorial/how-to-play videos on YouTube.
Even then, I found myself still confused about what I should do next. My battle plans never went as I expected them, and I only usually won because of MASSIVE troop count advantage (mercenaries more than raised troops). I never got the handle on battle formations/plans (and struggled with international diplomacy/marriages, or what to build/invest domestically) and despite my best efforts, my kingdom crashed around me as I couldn't properly switch my line of succession rules to give everything to my first born son. Instead, everything got split up among my 5 sons, and when the son I ended up taking over was imprisoned by his sister's husband (a prince in another nation), the game was over.

EVEN after complaining like this, I still admit I had a blast with the "story" aspect of it.

(I started as a duke in an area that was part of Serbia/Croatia, and eventually took over the entire Serb/Croat/Bosnia area except one section (which I tried desperately to invoke de jure, but it didn't work) before my untimely death.)

I dream of getting another chance to play, but it's fallen to the back of the line in my game play queue for now (even after another friend bought me all the DLC for it during the last Steam winter sale).

Even now, I have an urge to go watch another 20 hours of gameplay on YouTube.
   605. zack Posted: June 26, 2014 at 11:31 PM (#4737164)
The one things I learned from CKII was that I would not be a good feudal king. The second my vassals started complaining about everything I'd smack the #### out of them and then get my head lopped off. I'm much more the deity type.

YR*, just what in the sam hell do you think you're doing gifting me a game? It is appreciated, though, thanks.

*At least, I think it's YR, but you seem to have addressed the note to yourself so now I'm really confused.
   606. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 26, 2014 at 11:52 PM (#4737174)
Update: Read the reviews on Steam and they were *brutal*. It's actually on Patch #12 now! I don't generally give user reviews much credence but on Steam you can get reviews only from certified owners of a game along with how many hours they've put into it. When guys with 100+ hours say it's still junk, that carries some weight.


Ugh.

That truly makes me have a sadz.

I REALLY wanted that game to be awesome, but the initial release was ####### awful and the news they haven't managed to make it good, however many patches they have had, makes me unhappy.
   607. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: June 27, 2014 at 12:11 AM (#4737190)
What makes Rome II so frustrating is that it feels like there *should* be a really good game under there, but it's just not coming together. It's not actually terrible, it's OK, but it should be *so* much better.
   608. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 27, 2014 at 06:14 AM (#4737242)
YR*, just what in the sam hell do you think you're doing gifting me a game? It is appreciated, though, thanks.

*At least, I think it's YR, but you seem to have addressed the note to yourself so now I'm really confused.


Probably screwed something up. As long as you got the game! I grabbed a copy for myself too, for $2.50 it's too much fun to deprive anybody of it.
   609. formerly dp Posted: June 27, 2014 at 07:07 AM (#4737248)
Really hoping that OOTP deal comes back at some point...holding off on a lot of these b/c work will be insane until the winter sale...

Still up for some BL2 or L4D action at some point, but free weekends have been tough to come by for the past couple of months.
   610. Dan The Mediocre Posted: June 27, 2014 at 07:58 AM (#4737252)
Once you get a feel for CKII, it becomes a fun game. The problem is staying interested long enough to learn it really well.

One fun game is to take the King of France on the Stafford Bridge starting point and get betrothed to Matilda of Tuscany. You're 11, King of a country that spends 1/3 of the game in revolt, your uncle REALLY wants the throne, your vassal in Normandy is about 3x more powerful than you, your wife is likely to rebel, lose, get imprisoned, and die early (though she can still produce an heir), and the nation to the east is strong enough to steal territories one by one early in the game.

If you can survive to 25, you'll actually be pretty powerful.
   611. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 27, 2014 at 08:19 AM (#4737261)
Just wanted to mention that the latest flash sale has Skyrim for $5 and Sleeping Dogs for $4. If you don't have either of these and want to pick up about 100+ hours of quality gameplay for under $10, your time has arrived.

Sleeping Dogs is a great under-the-radar game that's sorta a mix of GTA open-world mayhem with an Arkham-style combat system. Skyrim, of course, is probably the most popular RPG game ever and is incredibly customizable, allowing someone picking up the game now to bypass all the flaws of the vanilla version and jump straight into the awesomeness. Find out what all the FUS ROH DAH fuss is about!
   612. hokieneer Posted: June 27, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4737334)
So I tried out Torchlight 2 for a few hours last night. It was a lot of fun. If you have any affinity for clicky-click ARPG, you'll like it. Has a few mechanics and systems that enhance the game beyond your basic dungeon crawler. I did experience a decent number of FR and shuttering issues when a large number of enemies/projectiles/particles are on the screen. I only have an old 5770, but still I wouldn't expect issues like that at the most intense times.
   613. hokieneer Posted: June 27, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4737362)
Follow up to #612,

I did some searching and found that TL2 is kind of an unoptimized mess. It seems to be optimized for a single CPU core, which obviously is going to present problems when drawing lots of particles. I had to turn my particle quality setting down to Low last night just to play it. Good thing is, in the .ini file there is a setting for Max Particles, so I should be able to tweak that to a level that prevents the sluggish combat. Yeah PC gaming.
   614. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 27, 2014 at 08:32 PM (#4737746)
Aw that's a bummer, it looks fun, I liked the first one.

First weekend night of the Summer Steam sale, who's up for some Magicka, Castle Crashers, Borderlands 2, or whatever?
   615. Poster Nutbag Posted: June 27, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4737788)
WHY!!!! This is the last Friday night I have to work until September!!!

Somebody shoot someone in the ass for me...be it with a gun, arrow, crossbow bolt...anything!
   616. Langer Monk Posted: June 27, 2014 at 10:00 PM (#4737795)
I'm up - no one else?
   617. Obo Posted: June 27, 2014 at 11:21 PM (#4737850)
I'm here. Up for Borderlands 2, Castle Crashers, or Torchlight 2.
   618. JJ1986 Posted: June 28, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4738055)
Are there any good open-world, Action-RPG type games that have come out in the past 2-3 years?

I bought Deus Ex: Human Revolution because it was on sale and I liked the first one 10 years ago, but after kicking around with it for a few hours, I've decided that games with distinct levels and a linear plot aren't for me anymore.
   619. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 28, 2014 at 08:46 PM (#4738573)
Are there any good open-world, Action-RPG type games that have come out in the past 2-3 years?


If you like hitting people in the head with giant purple dildos and shooting people with a gun that makes them dance to dubstep, then I recommend Saints Row III or Saints Row IV.

In all seriousness, the most open-world fun to be had is still Just Cause 2. You can try to complete the missions, or you can just go all over the island blowing #### up and causing mayhem (and getting points for it).
   620. Obo Posted: June 28, 2014 at 08:54 PM (#4738580)
If anyone is interested in trying to get a game together this evening, how about hopping into the steam group chat?
   621. hokieneer Posted: June 30, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4739682)
So how did the TL2, BL2, Castle Crashers, or Magicka session go?

The wife and son went to grandmas for the night Friday night. I was all prepared to join in some BBTF co-op looting. On the way home from work, I stopped by a buddy's house who has played a lot of torchlight 1 & 2 to ask him a little about the game and see if he wanted to party as well. He had just purchased Dark Souls 2 a mere hour before I arrived, and well I didn't move from his couch for the next 18 or so hours. ####### love the Souls games, and DKS2 did not disappoint.
   622. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: June 30, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4739884)
Didn't participate there, but I did get to play some TF2 with Party with Nixon! and introduced him to the majesty of the map known as koth_wubwubwub
   623. Paul D(uda) Posted: June 30, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4739897)
Are there any good open-world, Action-RPG type games that have come out in the past 2-3 years?

It's set on Mars, but Red Faction: Guerilla was pretty fantastic. And the graphics hold up, despite it being fours years old.
   624. madvillain Posted: June 30, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4739917)
The early alpha craze seems to be fizzling out. The Forest has gotten quite a bit of backlash, even on the official Reddit, for releasing a game that is essentially a proof of concept and nothing more. One of the problems is that when people pay money for something they expect certain things, regardless of how many qualifiers you put on the purchase. And on the flip side, it's also human nature to slack off once you get paid.

The dev team for the forest has gone radio silent for about a month now and many of the things that were broken on launch day are still broken (game breaking bugs such as awful physics and broken save mechanism) and meanwhile community patchers are addressing many of the complaints with unofficial patches.

I was very critical of Rust and Garry Newman for his approach to the development of Rust but I must say that he's been paid millions already and could have easily never lifted another finger on Rust, but Garry has a lot of pride as a developer and that's important. He has a vision for Rust and I really am excited to play the new version, which should be out by fall.
   625. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 30, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4739923)
Didn't participate there, but I did get to play some TF2 with Party with Nixon! and introduced him to the majesty of the map known as koth_wubwubwub


That was easily the screwiest gaming experience I've ever had. On the plus side I can now cross "play online game that warns of inducing seizures prior to each round" off my bucket list.
   626. hokieneer Posted: June 30, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4739935)
Are there any good open-world, Action-RPG type games that have come out in the past 2-3 years?


Dragon's Dogma is semi-open, at least vanilla is. It suffers from not having enough high level enemies, so most of the map becomes a cake walk too early, and having a small-ish map. The DLC fixed that, much harder content, but it's a very closed Dungeon Progression.

But it's a very very good action game and a very good character builder RPG. Classes can be switched at any time, abilities and passives can be mixed and matched between disciplines, stats are determined by what class you level up for more granular control over attributes, weapons are upgradable, item crafting, etc. It does lack a lot of the RPG decision making and consequences.
   627. Poster Nutbag Posted: June 30, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4740052)
This is the FINAL day of graveyard shift until September!!!! My poor, neglected library of games.....Daddy's comin home! Beware BTF'ers! No ass shall be safe anymore!
   628. The Good Face Posted: June 30, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4740082)
Are there any good open-world, Action-RPG type games that have come out in the past 2-3 years?


Kingdoms of Amalur fits the bill reasonably well. There are some areas that can only be accessed when you've moved the main plot along far enough, but that's pretty common in open-world RPGs. Enemy leveling is only partially scaled to your level though, so if you go far enough beyond where you're "supposed" to be, you can find enemies that will curb-stomp you. YMMV on that. If it's still $5 on Steam, it's a very good value. Much nicer to play on an Xbox controller (or reasonable facsimile) than mouse/keyboard.
   629. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 02, 2014 at 07:11 AM (#4741735)
No ass shall be safe anymore!


Swiggity swooty?
   630. Swedish Chef Posted: July 04, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4743465)
Civilization: Beyond Earth has a release date now, October 24th.
   631. formerly dp Posted: July 08, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4746548)
New Humble Bundle from 2K-- pay $20 and get all 3 Bioshocks, XCom: Enemy Unknown and XCom: Declassified, Spec Ops: The Line, Mafia II, and The Darkness II.
   632. Langer Monk Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:10 PM (#4747613)
I'd like to see if anyone is up for some gaming this weekend - Friday night, Saturday and/or Sunday. We can get Car Mechanic Simulator 2014 and compare our times on fixing trannies.

No, not really, but Magicka or Castle Crashers, etc.
   633. Obo Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:56 PM (#4747637)
I'd be up for Borderlands 2, Castle Crashers, or Torchlight 2 this weekend.

Note that the BBTF Steam group has a chat room. We could rendezvous there.
   634. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: July 09, 2014 at 10:01 PM (#4747641)
How many of you guys are playing Hearthstone? I appear to have missed a Hearthstone conversation a page ago. I'm Zim #1236 and not quite good yet.
   635. caprules Posted: July 09, 2014 at 10:19 PM (#4747645)
I play Hearthstone for the daily quest and do an Arena run when I accumulate the 150 needed. My best run is 4 wins in the Arena, which I was happy with since I normally only get 1 or 2. I'm caprules there as well.

I have become severely addicted to Mount and Blade Warband because of this thread. Being named Marshall and telling other lords (including the King!) to follow me and just continuously besiege castles is quite the thrill.

I got CK2 during a previous sale and was overwhelmed by the game and didn't have the patience to go through all the tutorials. I appreciate the advice offered here, will use that if I ever get tired of Warband.
   636. Langer Monk Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:20 PM (#4747662)
Note that the BBTF Steam group has a chat room. We could rendezvous there.


Good idea.
   637. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 09:41 AM (#4747795)
I have become severely addicted to Mount and Blade Warband because of this thread.


I've been playing through the Game of Thrones mod a bit, it's pretty fun. I think I spent about $16 on the latest Steam Sale, including one game gifted to a Primate. My haul was Mount & Blade Warband, Pirates!, Magicka, Castle Crashers, and for something a little different, Wolf Among Us since I used to like those Fables comics. I almost pulled the trigger on Rust but it's apparently undergoing a massive overhaul and I figured I'd wait for it to be over before forking over the princely sum of $20.
   638. The Good Face Posted: July 10, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4747803)
I have become severely addicted to Mount and Blade Warband because of this thread. Being named Marshall and telling other lords (including the King!) to follow me and just continuously besiege castles is quite the thrill.


My work here is done. Almost...

Divinity: Original Sin is GOOD. I mean, like, REALLY good. It was just released at the end of June, so you'd be paying retail, but if you're the kind of high roller who can afford $39.99 and likes isometric RPGs from the Baldur's Gate tradition, it might be the best game you play all year.
   639. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4747825)
Divinity: Original Sin is GOOD. I mean, like, REALLY good. It was just released at the end of June, so you'd be paying retail, but if you're the kind of high roller who can afford $39.99 and likes isometric RPGs from the Baldur's Gate tradition, it might be the best game you play all year.


Oh you son of a #####, I loved Baldur's Gate. Dammit. *sighs, takes out wallet*

I really really wish someone would try and break the isometric fantasy RPG mode a bit and come out with something more like Arcanum with a modern engine. That game really was extremely cool.
   640. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4747839)
Damn you guys, I bought Crusader Kings II on sale on a lark after reading about it on this thread and now I'm addicted. I've drifted away from video games over the years; first time since college I stayed up until 4 AM playing a game. Difference being that now I have a wife staggering out at 3:30 and saying "what is wrong with you, why the hell aren't you in bed!?" (I'm usually in bed before midnight.)

Damn it all.
   641. The Good Face Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4747840)
Oh you son of a #####, I loved Baldur's Gate. Dammit. *sighs, takes out wallet*


Yeah, I know, but if you liked BG, Planescape: Torment, etc., you'll almost certainly like this. A lot.

I really really wish someone would try and break the isometric fantasy RPG mode a bit and come out with something more like Arcanum with a modern engine. That game really was extremely cool.


Cool game, but they mucked up the game balance badly. Technology was just weak compared to magic and it ruined things for me. My steampunk dwarf, Sir Reginald Fotherington-Wandlesby and his revolving pistol (pat. pending), was constantly overmatched by random poncey elves with their magicks. Bah.
   642. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4747847)
Cool game, but they mucked up the game balance badly. Technology was just weak compared to magic and it ruined things for me.


There's a mod for that, but guns are really hard to use, especially early in the game. They do get more deadly as you progress. I remember thinking it was like magic in traditional RPGs, weak and in need of protection in the early going but eventually wielders of great destruction in the late stages of the game. Haven't played in 10 years though, my memories may be hazy.
   643. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4747873)
Divinity: Original Sin is GOOD. I mean, like, REALLY good.


I've been playing since late Beta. It's good, with the potential to get better, once the modding community gets up to speed. Don't know what they can do about the completely meh main story line, but the editing engine is robust enough to create entirely new material and I'm sure the community will come up with some amazing things.

More importantly, D:OS was designed for 2 player co-op out of the box and there are already efforts underway to convert the additional 2 henchman slots into playable ones, so we might be able to get a BBTF co-op game going at some point.
   644. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4747882)
I would be very, VERY interested in 4-player co-op on an isometric RPG.
   645. Greg K Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4747900)
A search of the OOTP message boards didn't seem to help, so I figured this may be a place to ask.

I've just digitized my pen and paper strat league into OOTP 14, and I've imported five years worth of stats fine. But the player's "history" page has an "edit history" function, which would be handy (to record batting titles, gold gloves, etc. from past years). Though I don't seem to be able to save anything I enter.

Anyone have any experience with editing player histories?
   646. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4747922)
Greg K: Sure. You're just missing the Save button, which is ridiculously easy to miss. It's in the top right corner of the Edit Player History box. Like so.

OOTP doesn't automatically award ASG, LCS or World Series MVPs, so I always use Edit History to add those in.
   647. Greg K Posted: July 10, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4747941)
Thanks!

It seems like a weird system. When I actually hit save it returns to the standard page and all my entries disappear. But if I go back to edit history its retained them (until I hit save again). Which is good enough for me...I'll just stay in a constant state of the edit history page being open.
   648. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: July 10, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4748028)
Damn you guys, I bought Crusader Kings II on sale on a lark after reading about it on this thread and now I'm addicted. I've drifted away from video games over the years; first time since college I stayed up until 4 AM playing a game. Difference being that now I have a wife staggering out at 3:30 and saying "what is wrong with you, why the hell aren't you in bed!?" (I'm usually in bed before midnight.)

Told ya! It's one of the best strategy games of this era. I posted some tips on playing somewhere in this thread that you might find useful.

Paradox publishes a lot of great games. But what puts CK2 on a pedestal above the EU games (also great) is that it has an elegant simplicity that you don't see often in their games. The focus on family/dynasty building keeps the game from getting overwhelming, as EU4 can be. The original CK had a kind of clunkiness which kept it from being on the same level.
   649. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4748041)
I read your tips; thanks about that. I'm actually really enjoying the game for roleplaying's sake, content to just be a Duke of wherever and just grabbing some land here and there where opportunity arises rather than actively going out to conquer the continent. (Though last night when my daughter turned 16 and I couldn't find any really interesting husband candidates, I married her to the young heir of Sweden and immediately had his father whacked. So that was fun.)

CK2's interface is godawful, but the gameplay is ridiculously engrossing. The interface needs a total overhaul. Just to pick one obvious example, when I find myself needing a competent steward I really shouldn't have to pull up the character list and click on each individual character to figure out who among everyone with high Stewardship hates his current liege and can be bribed to come to my court. There should be a function for "show me everyone in the realm who dislikes his current liege", because this is a thing players want to know on a regular basis.

There are similar complaints among the general nonintuitiveness of finding information... but then, the game offers a LOT of information and that's part of what makes it so fascinating.

Also: Is there a way to make the game pause itself and tell me when a child in my court (who is not my own child) hits age 6, so I can manually choose a tutor? I haven't found one. Being able to do that at 6 and then again at 15 (so as to ensure the educational trait you want) would be extremely helpful to getting your own court to produce worthy council candidates.
   650. zack Posted: July 10, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4748056)
Just to pick one obvious example, when I find myself needing a competent steward I really shouldn't have to pull up the character list and click on each individual character to figure out who among everyone with high Stewardship hates his current liege and can be bribed to come to my court.

Seriously. That one flaw alone caused me to abandon the last game I was playing.
   651. Manny Coon Posted: July 10, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4748084)
if you're the kind of high roller who can afford $39.99 and likes isometric RPGs from the Baldur's Gate tradition, it might be the best game you play all year.


My expectations for Pillars of Eternity are really high and it's still due out this year (and Wasteland but I'm not quite as excited about that), but it sounds like this game might be setting the standard for these types of games to live up to. It would really be something though if three really good isometric rpgs came out in one year.

Another Arcanum style game would great. Cain is at Obsidian, maybe someone can talk them into doing something like that once they are done with PoE, assuming it is successful, although I don't how much of Arcanum was him as opposed to the other Troika guys. Or maybe inExile can do it in several years after they are done with Torment, assuming Wasteland does ok, recreating older cult favorite RPGs seems to be their primary focus these days.
   652. Greg K Posted: July 10, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4748117)
I lean more towards EU IV (especially since they keep coming up with updates that seem to always hit the spot). Though as you imply, picking between Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis is like picking between the best apple in the world and the best orange in the world. It's probably more my interest in the early modern period more than anything else driving my preference. Though I am teaching an early medieval class this Fall, in writing the lectures I'm noticing I'm probably going to refer to Crusader Kings at least once a week. Hopefully some of these poor kids have played it, certainly I'll recommend that they try it if they haven't.

What's really impressed me about these latest round of Paradox games (CK2, EU4) is how they've been...certainly not simplified, but clarified. Generally (after sufficient play-time) it's fairly clear why things happen, and the consequences of your decisions are fairly clear. One of the problems with the earlier incarnations was that a lot stuff seemed to be happening behind the scenes. Now in Europa Universalis you actually have vastly more options than you had before, but it's not really that overwhelming because it's fairly clear what each option is...or maybe I've played waaaay too much of that game.
   653. The Good Face Posted: July 10, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4748124)
recreating older cult favorite RPGs seems to be their primary focus these days.


This is my biggest fear WRT the upcoming batch of space exploration games/Han Solo simulators coming out. I love the genre, but it seems like the two most ambitious projects are both spearheaded by 1980s warhorses re-doing their original vision using modern technology. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but makes me wonder how much originality, if any, we're going to get from Elite Dangerous or Star Citizen.
   654. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4748137)
Do we really need "originality" per se? I'd be happy to see plenty of older games simply ported to new, modern engines and given the requisite modern engine bells and whistles. Baldur's Gate with a fully 3D-modeled environment and all the DX11 shiny stuff, maybe throw in some destructible environmental areas, what else would I really want out of an isometric RPG? It isn't like Baldur's Gate itself was that much of a mechanistic improvement over the old Gold Box Games, just an updated version that kept hte good stuff and upgraded the rest.
   655. Manny Coon Posted: July 10, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4748160)
This is my biggest fear WRT the upcoming batch of space exploration games/Han Solo simulators coming out. I love the genre, but it seems like the two most ambitious projects are both spearheaded by 1980s warhorses re-doing their original vision using modern technology. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but makes me wonder how much originality, if any, we're going to get from Elite Dangerous or Star Citizen.


This is why I'm more excited about PoE than Wasteland, I have more faith in Obsidian to push forward while still staying true to the roots than InExile. But even if InExile just makes modern, solid RPGs that aren't necessarily as creative, it does at least fill a niche that was very empty for a very long time.

From InExile Torment I think has more potential than Wasteland, because it's using a completely different setting and game system than the original which will pretty force their hand at coming up with new ideas, but they aren't all that proven as a developer, so who knows how well those new ideas come out. Even if it ends up a bit of a disjointed mess though that didn't really stop Arcanum from a classic in it's own way.
   656. Jim Wisinski Posted: July 10, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4748174)
How many of you guys are playing Hearthstone? I appear to have missed a Hearthstone conversation a page ago. I'm Zim #1236 and not quite good yet.


I play it a lot, though I'm trying to cut back some so I don't basically just play Hearthstone and do nothing else. I'm TheShovel#1638 (B.Net IDs aren't long enough for me to use my full usual name) and do well enough at it. I spent a lot of time screwing around last month and didn't end up ranking up like normal but the three previous seasons I finished at rank 4-5.
   657. The Good Face Posted: July 10, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4748181)
Do we really need "originality" per se? I'd be happy to see plenty of older games simply ported to new, modern engines and given the requisite modern engine bells and whistles. Baldur's Gate with a fully 3D-modeled environment and all the DX11 shiny stuff, maybe throw in some destructible environmental areas, what else would I really want out of an isometric RPG? It isn't like Baldur's Gate itself was that much of a mechanistic improvement over the old Gold Box Games, just an updated version that kept hte good stuff and upgraded the rest.


I don't know that we NEED it, but I'd prefer it. I don't want to spend the rest of my life playing the exact same games only with better graphics. Perhaps I'm just dismayed that one of my favorite genres (Han Solo simulator) apparently only appeals to grizzled old designers in their 50s. I want to see what sort of spin younger designers could put on the genre, but it looks like I'm going to have to wait at least another 5 years or so, and that's assuming Elite Dangerous and/or Star Citizen are successful.
   658. Greg K Posted: July 10, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4748229)
Do we really need "originality" per se? I'd be happy to see plenty of older games simply ported to new, modern engines and given the requisite modern engine bells and whistles.

I could essentially play the original Shining Force for the rest of time if there were just more levels made. I imagine with a modding community you could just keep adding battles and characters to same basic platform and be entertained forever.
   659. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: July 10, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4748334)
   660. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: July 10, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4748337)
I read your tips; thanks about that. I'm actually really enjoying the game for roleplaying's sake, content to just be a Duke of wherever and just grabbing some land here and there where opportunity arises rather than actively going out to conquer the continent. (Though last night when my daughter turned 16 and I couldn't find any really interesting husband candidates, I married her to the young heir of Sweden and immediately had his father whacked. So that was fun.)

Unless you need the flexibility to decide between regular/matrilineal, I highly recommend getting kids betrothed (when you get the education prompt is a good reminder time). The character finder is really your best friend in the game.


CK2's interface is godawful, but the gameplay is ridiculously engrossing. The interface needs a total overhaul. Just to pick one obvious example, when I find myself needing a competent steward I really shouldn't have to pull up the character list and click on each individual character to figure out who among everyone with high Stewardship hates his current liege and can be bribed to come to my court. There should be a function for "show me everyone in the realm who dislikes his current liege", because this is a thing players want to know on a regular basis.


Ha, it feels great to me in part because I played with the original CK interface! In the initial game, a couple years before the Deus Vult mod came out, you couldn't actually character search. You literally had to click on province after province to find marrying candidates and you were given no indication ahead of time whether or not it would be agreeable!
   661. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: July 10, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4748338)
If you guys are into classic RPGing, there are quite a lot of nicely done RPG Maker games in the community, including some Tactical RPGs. The tools are really good now, there are actually several games made with RPG Maker tools that have received wider gaming community acclaim, most notably the very well received (and heartbreaking) To the Moon.
   662. Jim Wisinski Posted: July 10, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4748340)
Billy Beane seems a tad OP!
   663. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: July 10, 2014 at 07:27 PM (#4748341)
I don't know that we NEED it, but I'd prefer it. I don't want to spend the rest of my life playing the exact same games only with better graphics. Perhaps I'm just dismayed that one of my favorite genres (Han Solo simulator) apparently only appeals to grizzled old designers in their 50s. I want to see what sort of spin younger designers could put on the genre, but it looks like I'm going to have to wait at least another 5 years or so, and that's assuming Elite Dangerous and/or Star Citizen are successful.

You're forgetting No Man's Sky.
   664. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4748351)
CK2: If my daughter develops with awesome stats/traits then I look for a matrilineal marriage, because I want to keep her around to educate kids. If she doesn't turn out so well, then I figure the only thing she'll ever be useful for is alliances/future claims so I ship her off.

A character with 10+ stats in the important categories (diplo, stewardship, intrigue) and several positive traits with no big negatives is rare, and worth their weight in gold for educating kids, it seems.
   665. Obo Posted: July 11, 2014 at 01:32 AM (#4748547)
Mount and Blade: Warband is free to play this weekend, in case anyone else has been intrigued by the comments about it on this thread.
   666. Obo Posted: July 12, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4749598)
Two of us in bbtf steam group chat right now. Anyone else up for multiplayer something this evening? Come join us.
   667. formerly dp Posted: July 13, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4749688)
For anyone who hasn't snagged it yet, Steam has OOTP 2015 for $20 until 7/19.
   668. hokieneer Posted: July 15, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4750925)
So I decided to dive into my backlog last night and play a (recent)classic that's been on my virtual shelf for a while.

20 minutes into Shadow of the Colossus I was hooked. I ended up rage-quitting during the 3rd Colossus at 2:45 am, so I'm paying for it today. I can't remember the last time a game sucked me in so quickly, AND produced that kind of emotional response. I might have raged a few times at Dark/Demon Souls, but those are the exception.
   669. Poster Nutbag Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4752901)
So, OOTP 14 (not 15) is part of this week's Humble Bundle Weekly. Anyone want a free copy, I have a gift link for one. Post here or reach me on Steam.
   670. Langer Monk Posted: July 19, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4754375)
Up for some more Castle Crashers, or try to get a Magicka game going either tonight or tomorrow, if anyone else is.
   671. madvillain Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4755843)
To give an example of how not to release and develop an early alpha title, I give you the dev team of the Forest. Included in their alpha .4 patch was "procedural breast generation". What wasn't included was much, if any new gameplay (game is "completed" in about 2 hours now) and game remains buggy as heck.

It's becoming more and more apparent that this game is a complete cash grab from the devs, capitalizing on the success of games like DayZ and Rust. If you watch the trailer on Steam it has gameplay that you will never, ever experience (and probably won't for many, many more patches), this, in addition to the things they are focusing on (realistic tits) seems to point only in one direction, and that is sizzle over the meat and potatoes of gameplay.
   672. The Good Face Posted: July 22, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4755858)
To give an example of how not to release and develop an early alpha title, I give you the dev team of the Forest. Included in their alpha .4 patch was "procedural breast generation". What wasn't included was much, if any new gameplay (game is "completed" in about 2 hours now) and game remains buggy as heck.

It's becoming more and more apparent that this game is a complete cash grab from the devs, capitalizing on the success of games like DayZ and Rust. If you watch the trailer on Steam it has gameplay that you will never, ever experience (and probably won't for many, many more patches), this, in addition to the things they are focusing on (realistic tits) seems to point only in one direction, and that is sizzle over the meat and potatoes of gameplay.


In today's competitive video game market, it's essential to have the latest procedurally generated, hardware accelerated, real time boob jubbling technology, complete with inverse nipplemetrics. Gameplay can always be patched in later!
   673. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: July 22, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4755923)
20 minutes into Shadow of the Colossus I was hooked. I ended up rage-quitting during the 3rd Colossus at 2:45 am, so I'm paying for it today. I can't remember the last time a game sucked me in so quickly, AND produced that kind of emotional response. I might have raged a few times at Dark/Demon Souls, but those are the exception.

All this is going to do is make another person sad that The Last Guardian is never going to happen.
   674. Langer Monk Posted: July 30, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4760895)
FTL is $3.39 on Steam now - if anyone doesn't have it.
   675. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: July 30, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4760909)
FTL is $3.39 on Steam now - if anyone doesn't have it.

That goddamned game.
   676. Langer Monk Posted: July 30, 2014 at 08:27 PM (#4760955)
I finally won once. On Easy.
   677. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:20 PM (#4761027)
I'm not convinced anyone has actually won FTL.
   678. Poster Nutbag Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:34 PM (#4761036)
I remember the very first time I played FTL, I made it to the 5th world and thought "Man, this game is WAY easier than I was lead to believe".....I promptly died and I have been back there just once or twice since....fantastic little game that is a great challenge
   679. zack Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:46 PM (#4761049)

I'm not convinced anyone has actually won FTL.

I think I mentioned this last time I recommended it, but I once beat it five times in a row with five different ships, on normal pre-advanced edition. I've apparently beat it 43 times in 191 games (some of which were achievement runs). It's really not that hard, it's just balanced for once you've got some experience rather than the first couple run-throughs. The hardest part is learning what is needed for the "ascension kit", since it's more than what is needed for regular combat. That said, I've never beaten it on hard (and only even tried a couple times, got pretty burned out unlocking all the layouts).
   680. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: July 31, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4761321)
I've beaten it with all but the Mantis-B and Slug-B.
   681. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: August 02, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4763207)
I unlocked all the ships. I doubt I'll play any more. However, I most certainly got my $9.99 from it, and I'd buy anything from those guys sight unseen. It's an astonishingly great.
   682. zack Posted: August 04, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4763827)
Hey Zim, how's that WRC4 game? I'm a big rally game fan but haven't found anything great in awhile. Started playing Dirt3 again recently, but I'm pretty meh on it. Dirt1 was better without all the dumb hoon crap, especially since it had a pre-pavement pikes peak course. Richard Burns Rally is amazing, but is now 10 years old and takes forever to learn how to drive again for it.
   683. Langer Monk Posted: August 15, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4771611)
Paradox announced new expansions for both CKII and EUIV.
   684. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4771623)
New expansion for CKII looks thoroughly uninteresting.
   685. Dan The Mediocre Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4771642)
I've beaten FTL on hard. Luck is a major component. Zoltan Cruiser is what you want to start with.
   686. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: August 19, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4774444)
WRC4's decent, but not great. It's diverting and has a lot of area to drive on, but it's not with a lot of replay value. GOt it inexpensively on a Humble Bundle.

While the expansion for CKII doesn't look interesting in and of itself, it does look like we'll get a new starting era for our games at least.

I'd love to see a China expansion.
   687. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: August 19, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4774754)
Speak of the Devil, and he shall appear!

CK2 + DLC, King of Fighters 8, Terraria, Deadlight, Van Helsing, Galactic Civ 2 all combined for the low low price of beat the average, which currently stands at $5!
   688. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: August 19, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4774757)
What exactly kind of game is CK2, I've never played it myself but is it like Civilization or Age of Empires?
   689. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 19, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4774781)
#688

It's a super-detailed dynasty simulator. War, economics, marriage, lineage, religion, prestige...it's extremely rich with details.
The tutorial is not that good (and has bugs in it), so I'd recommend watching some "Let's Play" videos on YouTube.
I did that, played for about 16 hours, and still don't feel like I understand more than 50% of what to do (thinks like army formations and succession changes are a mystery to me).
What makes it fun is that the story of your ruler (and his progeny) can lead to lots of "water cooler" moments that you want to talk about with other people.
Despite my cluelessness, I had a blast watching my ruler take over half the Serb/Croat territories, and then watch it crumble to the ground as he died and my weakest son took over.

If you can get it for $5, grab it, but be prepared for a large time investment on the front end to figure out what is going on.
It is one of the few games where I've had almost as much fun watching someone else play (on YouTube) as playing it myself.
   690. Jim Wisinski Posted: August 19, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4774831)
I've started checking off a long empty box on the list of games I need to play by buying the Mass Effect trilogy. Not very far into the first one yet but liking it a lot.
   691. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4779182)
I've started checking off a long empty box on the list of games I need to play by buying the Mass Effect trilogy. Not very far into the first one yet but liking it a lot.

One is ok. Two is excellent. Three is very good up until the last half hour... where it caps it off with the most horrifically terrible ending to anything I have ever seen. So you have been warned.
   692. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 26, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4779196)
After weeks of cajoling and badgering by my kid, I bought Five Nights At Freddy's yesterday. It's a lot of fun in a goofy, dumb kind of way.

You're a night watchman at a knock-off Chuck E. Cheese's, and the goal of the game is to not be eaten by the animatronic creatures that entertain the children during the daytime. I'm not sure I'll spend hundreds of hours with the game, but for $5, I feel like if it amuses me for a few weeks, it will have been well worth the investment.
   693. The Good Face Posted: August 26, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4779201)
One is ok. Two is excellent. Three is very good up until the last half hour... where it caps it off with the most horrifically terrible ending to anything I have ever seen. So you have been warned.


I recommend just quitting the third game about 80% of the way through. You can pretend that Shepherd saves the universe and is rewarded with a big plate of ice cream, and perhaps a Segway. It's better than the horrifying truth.
   694. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 26, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4779221)
You can pretend that Shepherd saves the universe and is rewarded with a big plate of ice cream, and perhaps a Segway.


A Segway would certainly be easier to maneuver than that awful moon rover from the first game.
   695. The Good Face Posted: August 26, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4779225)
A Segway would certainly be easier to maneuver than that awful moon rover from the first game.


The moon rover was awesome! You could snipe guys from halfway across the planet and watch them go rag-dolling across the landscape! Good times...
   696. zack Posted: August 26, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4779239)
The moon rover was awesome! You could snipe guys from halfway across the planet and watch them go rag-dolling across the landscape! Good times...

Yeah my I liked the truck in the first game with my sniper. If only the jump jets fired automatically against gravity rather than perpendicularly from the truck it would have been so much better though. (I do remember reading that the truck was very different from console to PC, and I played on PC). The stupid hovercraft from 2 was so pointless and boring, though.

Still haven't played 3 thanks to all the complaining about it. I liked 1 better than 2, 2 was just too "neat".
   697. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 26, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4779255)
The moon rover was awesome! You could snipe guys from halfway across the planet and watch them go rag-dolling across the landscape! Good times...


I will admit that once I stopped trying to actually drive the vehicle, and simply parked and shot from a distance, my enjoyment of those levels increased 100%.

I enjoyed ME1, and I didn't come anywhere close to be a completist. In fact, at about the 50% mark, I simply concentrated on the main plot line.
I'll play ME2 when I get my new PC, and when I'm done, I might go back and play ME1 and do a lot of things different (say, become a real a$$hole to everyone) and see how things change.

I'll probably never play ME3 because of the need to install Origin (also whey I never got into Battlefield 3 after enjoying Battlefield Bad Company 2).

Right now, in my play-for-30-minutes-time-waster game list is Dungeons of Dredmor.
I played it about a year ago, and I've jumped back in with the recent free expansion pack. It's goofy fun, but I want to see if I can get to "the end" before I start experimenting with different skills.
   698. CrosbyBird Posted: August 26, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4779256)
Mass Effect 3 is a great game with a crappy ending. It's still absolutely worth playing; you'll just likely feel like the series wrapped up the plot poorly.
   699. The Good Face Posted: August 26, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4779260)
Right now, in my play-for-30-minutes-time-waster game list is Dungeons of Dredmor.
I played it about a year ago, and I've jumped back in with the recent free expansion pack. It's goofy fun, but I want to see if I can get to "the end" before I start experimenting with different skills.


That's a really fun roguelike; good choice for a dungeon-delving timewaster. Egyptian Magic is kind of a game-breaker though, assuming you have decent mana regen.
   700. The Good Face Posted: August 26, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4779263)
Mass Effect 3 is a great game with a crappy ending. It's still absolutely worth playing; you'll just likely feel like the series wrapped up the plot poorly.


I dunno. Perhaps it was because the first two games were so good and did such a great job setting up the story, but the ending of ME3 actually left me angry in a way that no other video game has managed since I was a kid. It was poorly written, felt tacked-on, and most importantly made zero narrative or logical sense.
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