What game are you playing?


#1384

So with No Man’s Sky coming to Xbox One last week, I gave that a try, and I definitely like a lot of aspects of it. I like exploring these strange, cool planets, and the story is helping give a little bit of direction. But about 8-10 hours in, and I’m getting worn down my the more survival-style mechanics.

The only time survival-style mechanics have ‘worked’ for me, is when you feel a good sense of progression of being able to upgrade your survivability to the point of not having to micromanage meters as much. And I just feel like I’m never going to get to that point in No Man’s Sky. Like, it’s not that I want all those mechanics to go away entirely, I just wish they were a little less constant, if that makes any sense?

The whole space exploration/space trucker fantasy that I’m trying to get to in it actually made me dive back into Elite: Dangerous for a spell last night. E:D turned me off before because of how grindy it gets if you’re trying to get to the most expensive ships, but I realized that I would love it so much if I could smash the procedural generation and awesome looking planets of NMS into the world of E:D. I just enjoy the act of playing E:D so much more, not to mention that I feel a much bigger sense of ‘ownership’ over my ship, between the increased time spend in the cockpit, and the more granular customization options for your ship loadout. But the planets you can land on are all some variation of rocky moon-like surface that just gets old real fast, and isn’t enjoyable to explore.


#1385

i just started the witcher 3 and its funny that, i thought the new york witcher stuff from ages ago was a lot more of a bit than it actually was? honestly more dnd parties should just be in a union!

anyway im roleplaying geralt as someone who just wants to get things over with but also as someone who is very conscious about the dangers of forest fires, i put out every fire in the wilderness.


#1386

Currently playing No Man’s Sky.

Honestly, the game feels like an incoherent mess of conflicting systems. I won’t talk about the building aspect as I have no interest in that part of the game but it seems to be the part that a lot of people love. That’s quite funny considering that it was never an aspect of the game at launch and it doesn’t fit it at all thematically with the nomadic wanderer original pitch of the game.

The fauna, flora and terrain is bland. There is no history and it doesn’t feel or act like an ecological system. The most interaction you’ll get is some animals chasing after some other animals. Don’t be fooled by what is posted online on forums such as reddit. Nobody takes a photo of the boring stuff that is the majority of the planets and on reddit the boring stuff is filtered out by the like system so you won’t see it on the front page. Even then it’s just surface level visual aesthetic rather than deeper mechanical interactions. It’s a game that at best will look pretty and through several hours of gameplay you might find something that looks neat.

The alien structures are placed like someone was sprinkling salt or like someone took an Ubisoft collectible blunderbuss to the map. It just feels like random noise and not built by an intelligent species. Every planet has dozens of outposts there already placed in the same fashion as the monoliths but nothing like a city or town that implies culture. This is no Cowboy Bebop. Just the same random Mass Effect style structures placed all over the map like noise. Empty tents in a desert. It’s uncanny how much the maps feel like a suped-up version of the planets from Mass Effect 1. It ends up in this weird place of simulatenously feeling barren and yet having alien structures all over the place. Everywhere you land there will be some structure marked on the map for you to visit and yet there will be nothing of interest. Just another container to press E on to get some minor monetary reward.

The “intelligent” aliens don’t interact with each other. Just stand around doing nothing. Nothing that seems like a species with culture and history. Just Gek standing around looking at data pads silently. It really shows just how surface level appearance randomisation is in general. History and culture makes worlds interesting but you won’t see any of that by looking at the world. I expect the only presence of culture will come from lore dumps relating to the main story.

The game is full of grindy annoying systems. The game nickles and dimes you for every action. Something as simple as taking off in your ship requires you to grind fuel. Any interaction with an alien requires some cost of money. Building anything costs a lot and your inventory is tiny so you have to sell or discard so much. I feel like I’m at some kind of brownian noise carnival. The systems feel oppressive in the perpetual cost and upkeep.

Worse still a lot of the systems are just terribly designed. The environmental hazard protection requires Sodium but it’s functionally irrelevant if you have Sodium. You just recharge every time it gets low and all it requires is for you to have Sodium in your inventory. You’ll have so much Sodium that it’s an irrelevant system unless you run out. It’s not like Subnautica where your exploration requires you to surface for oxygen which limits your exploration distance and gives you a meaningful timer to care about. If you was to translate that system from Subnautica to NMS you would change it so that your environemental shield will only recharge at a base or your ship. This means you’ll think carefully about the distances you travel and whether you have enough time left to get back to your ship to recharge. A far more interesting system than carrying around an hour of Sodium all the time in one inventory slot.

The language discovery system is awful. It incentivizes you to talk to every Gek to learn a word but your interactions are never meaningful and it just becomes a checkbox ticking activity that dehumanizes them even more than the game already does. Not being able to understand what was said just makes the game an even bigger cultural desert at the start of the game.

There are plenty of irritating features such as if you tag a waypoint from the scanner on foot it will disappear whenever you get in your ship. Which means that you have to constantly get in and out of the ship to track whether you’ve gone in the right direction and how much further you need to go. Getting a land vehicle is a significant investment and if the designers want you to travel by land for exploration rather than by air then vehicles should become available very early on and you should be able to take them with you in your ship to new planets.

Overall, the game just feels it wasn’t designed well. Everything gets stuck in this mud of material farming. The pitch of the game was exploring the unknown but I don’t remember having to work to pay monthly bills to do it. I’m going to focus on just the main story and hopefully I can get all the way through it without having to suffer sudden gates that require heavy material farming to overcome.

I’m sure someone will recommend Creative. The problem with Creative is that it removes all risk. Risk is important to exploration. I’m going to install the mod that removes the fuel costs and hopefully that will be enough to make the game tolerable. It may make the game fun in the sense of going on a cheap traveling holiday. Overall, excluding the dull noise of the procedural generation a material cost retuning mod could make the game a lot more enjoyable for many. For me at least I found Subnautica did that really well where in the mid game you got access to battery chargers and water filtration systems that could perpetually run on solar power. That gave you the freedom to focus on exploration rather than paying survival bills every day.


#1387

Olberic’s character ability is the best.

“Dear sir knight, please save my boy! He’s been captured by bandits!”

“I will, but duel me first”

“W-what? Don’t you think it’s a little inappropriate to ask me that right now?”

“Fucken. Fite me. Now.”

And then you get owned by a random peasant who does more damage than a boss.


#1388

All the tactics & strategy going on in Waypoint streams, getting much more Rob Zacny talking at me over the past few months than I was used to with the once-in-a-while Three Moves Ahead, has resulted in some major effects to my brain.

  1. I played Qvadriga, a turn-based chariot racing tactics game (no, really). All the way to the damn end. Or what I think is the end, anyway. It is bizarrely addictive and like a weird little chess.
  2. I downloaded and started Field of Glory II, a turn-based war game (but not a wargame, I think). Took me many hours just to get through the three tutorial missions. First, I played some ancient Britons fighting off the Romans (not that hard); second, I was King Pyrrhos and I had one of those, uh, Pyrrhic victories; third, I was Hannibal against the Romans (who were much tougher) and I cooked up this encirclement strategy which actually worked pretty well and is apparently very similar to things Hannibal actually did. So, thumbs up to a game that makes me feel like an actual ancient general.

I never play games like these anymore. I’m not sure why the turn-based planets are aligning for me suddenly. I guess I appreciate the opportunity for creative thinking without being rushed.


#1389

In Octopath Traveller, I started with Therion (thief) and eventually started using always using Cyrus (scholar) for game play reasons, then just cause. They are the unlikely buddy cop duo of my game, Fingers and The Brain.

Fingers this another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.

You also have to imagine the rest of the octo crew chilling in a bar when a member does their own quest story. Then when things get hairy, they send an eagle or blow on a magic whistle and the rest of the crew busts in. It’s a familiar trope in jrpgs, the party reappearing and disappearing at will…but I haven’t seen it in a while.


#1390

I started The 25th Ward: The Silver Case, a remake and expansion of Grasshopper Manufactor’s Japan only cell phone series sequel to The Silver Case. This is such a cool remake because the original mobile games literally don’t exist anymore, so having a proper collected release is awesome.

That said, like The Silver Case remake, there’s a lot new here, including, and this is not a joke,

Summary

DIRECT CONTINUITY CONNECTION TO THE THIRD NO MORE HEROES GAME CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT


#1391

I’ve recently played through all the Supergiant games (Bastion, Transistor, Pyre) and I’m not a mildly emotional wreck with optimism while going through Mark of the Ninja.


#1392

I finished Dishonored: Death of the Outsider last night. Even though I’m a huge fan of the series, I think I was slightly disappointed? Especially in comparison to the DLC from the first game. There was a lot I loved about it: Billy, her more aggressive playstyle, the bank level, and getting to check back in on Breanna’s coven. Despite all that, I wanted more in terms of story. I wish it spent more time explaining the nature of Billy’s powers and how they’re different from the Mark of the Outsider, and in the end it felt like the writers were just swapping the Outsider for the cultists as the series’ big bad. I was surprised at the lack of finality to it, after hearing so much about it supposedly ending the series. The whole thing felt like Arkane ran out of time/money and wasn’t able to flesh it out in a way that would do justice to the material. Another big problem I had was that the low chaos ending fell flat for me: I think that version of the story makes sense canonically, but there was something about it that felt very anticlimactic (though I think the series has had issues with endings from the beginning). I did the high chaos ending right after it, and even though it was out of character for Billy, it had a lot more bite to it. Anyway, I really did like it, I just wanted the story to be meatier.

I also picked up an old DS Lite and a GBA copy of Final Fantasy VI because I’ve had a bad case of the retros lately, and emulators don’t really do it for me. I’ve barely started it, but hopefully this time I’ll actually finish it. I’ve only ever made it to the very beginning of the World of Ruin, back when I was 10 or 11, even though it’s probably the FF I’ve enjoyed the most. I’m currently trying to figure out how much I want to rely on a guide; I know I don’t want to miss any characters or major items, but I feel like having to constantly switch between the game and my phone/computer takes me out of the experience.

It kind of blew my mind when I first opened up the DS Lite: I guess it’s been about 7 years since I’ve held one, and the screen seems absolutely minuscule to me now. And GBA games don’t even use the full thing! I keep finding myself holding it about 5 inches from my face.


#1393

I finally got around to starting Prey (2017) and… WOW … I’m so mad at myself for not playing this when it came out.

I’m only about halfway through-ish but this game got its hooks in me almost immediately and hasn’t let go, it just does so much right. I kind of talked about open worlds evoking the feeling of BOTW in the last post I made in this thread, but I absolutely love how this game uses space and hardly sets any limit on how you’re able to go about things.

From the offset I was impressed that it gives you the option to neglect the first neuromod (and every single one in the game for that matter), then as I started to explore and retread areas I realized how many possible paths existed toward any particular goal.

The one thing I hope can be implemented into more games in the future is eliminating “mission states” as much as possible and just letting game elements exist in the world for the player to find at their discretion. I find the possibility of stumbling upon and interacting with items, NPCs or other game elements and organically connecting the dots of why they exist, rather than having them appear at a set time as part of a scripted mission, so exhilarating and it drives me to keep playing/exploring in ways other mechanics don’t.

And that’s not to mention the galaxy brain level things you can do and places you can go by manipulating GLOO.


#1394

I’m still playing through Shadowrun: Hong Kong (after completing Dragonfall for the Waypoint 101).

I’m still torn on it: the writing is still good (and there are more team characters in Hong Kong who allow to you push the bounds of the world building in conversation with them, in various ways, which I find satisfying). Unlike some, I actually quite like both the “moral boundary-pushing” team members who were Kickstarter goals. Or at least I really like the conversation threads with them - I’m not sure if I’d want to be alone in a room with them…

The setting feels a bit less compelling than the Flux-State in Berlin - partly because of your relationship to it. In Dragonfall, you were new, but you were also helping to bring the community together (and the community was nominally anarchist). In Hong Kong, I feel much more like an actual outsider, and a bit less interested in engaging in the community. Except for Maximum Law, of course.

However: the changes to decking (as I went into on the 101 thread) still make me very sad, and definitely detract from the experience for me. (Which is also sad, because I like the team decker, Is0bel, and yet her raison d’etre is not a pleasant part of the game for me.)


#1395

What am I not playing?

I “participate” (barely) in the backlog challenge over at ResetERA, so this month I’m trying to beat:
(a) Red Dead Redemption (so I have a month before the sequel comes out to cleanse my palate)
(b) Yakuza 0
© Cuphead and
(d) We Happy Few.

I’d like to also beat Octopath Traveler this month, but that’s a good game for when all my TVs are in use, so I might just let it burn slowly.

I would LIKE to beat those games, but thanks to friends and family always being around I play a lot of FighterZ and Fortnite. I just bought FighterZ to play with friends and I like it way way more than I expected, it’s just so visceral.


#1396

In the past week or so I finished racing through Colorado in Forza Horizon and I definitely burned out on the game by the end. The festival races, street races, and star showdowns are usually interesting races that I enjoyed competing in, but towards the end of the game the races begin to stretch out for 7-10 minutes which is way too long. Many of these longer races turn into solo voyages for 5-6 minutes because other cars are either just too far behind to ever catch up or the ones right behind are always just a little too slow to ever pass you, barring a self-made catastrophe.

I also finished playing through Catherine for the first time and more eloquent people on this forum have already posted great analyses of the game so I’ll keep my thoughts simple. The puzzle levels are fun, but sooo hard; Erica is a great character who the game treats like trash for a bad and cruel joke; and finally, the story is meh and I felt like my ending, the Katherine Good ending, didn’t actually represent the person who Vincent was throughout my playthrough. I mean, the ending is literally decided by three final questions relating to how the player sees order and chaos in their lives so maybe if I just knew that going in I wouldn’t feel quite so weird about the whole thing. Eh idk.

Would anyone recommend going to Youtube to watch the other 8 endings or should I just stay satisfied with the good puzzles and early story moments that I got to experience?


#1397

I just picked up Tekken 7 on the PS4 after watching Evo. It was on sale, so I wanted to get back into it. The finals at Evo were amazing and I’ve been wanting to get back into fighting games.


#1398

So… about me deleting MTG Arena for my own sanity. I ended up being gifted a laptop and proceeded to install the beta on that. Now I am an untethered from my desk, and that’s just made the addiction worse. This game will be the death of me. :smile:


#1399

Been playing a lot of Yakuza 0 on PC the last couple of days. Really loving it. Also jumped back into Thumper. Haven’t played it since launch so I’m just getting used to it again.


#1400

So it looks like I’m going to be on a rogue-like kick for a bit…I finished the main game of Prey (which was really, really good, one of my favorites of the past few years), and I’m now moving on to Mooncrash. I got my first successful escape on my first attempt, despite being ambushed by thermal mimics right out of the gate, so I felt pretty good about that. I’m really looking forward to exploring more of the moon base, and being forced into different playstyles than what I gravitated toward in the main game.

But when the Xbox is occupied by my partner (she’s working on finishing up Dragon Age 2), I turned my attention to Dead Cells on the Switch, and my goodness is that fun to play. The combat has such a fast-paced, kinetic feel to it that has made it a joy to play.


#1401

I’m stuck in LIMBO.


#1402

Rabi-Ribi is the first metroidvania I think I’ve ever enjoyed. The fact it’s filled with silly anime girls shooting bullet hell patterns and has multiple lesbian disaster characters is just a bonus.


#1403

Hey Waypointers, do we have any kind of guild in FF14, or just a specific world we hang out in? I’m getting into the game again and I figured it’d be good to start with acquaintances.