What are you playing?

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Testing out an ARK server. You can join us if you want.

IP: 54.39.141.76:2017
Password: halforums
OOO

I'll jump on later if it's still up. Cleaning at the moment but ARK is fun for awhile. Have you messed with taming and hunger speeds at all? I find them almost unplayable at the base rate.
 
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Dave

Staff member
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OOO

I'll jump on later if it's still up. Cleaning at the moment but ARK is fun for awhile. Have you messed with taming and hunger speeds at all? I find them almost unplayable at the base rate.
Taming is x10, EXP is x3, Hunger/Thirst is 1/2 speed.
 
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Holy moses, I just reinstalled Pillars of Eternity 2 to give it a try now that it has a ton of DLC and stuff and wow, the turn-based mode is a fucking Godsend. I've never been that partial to the real time combat of modern CRPGs. This turn based mode is all I've ever wanted. Allows me to use all my party's abilities instead of just letting the party AI handle everything. It's exactly what I needed. It might make the combat take longer, but I'm actually enjoying it now.
 
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Just finished Firewatch with @Eriol.

Fascinating game. Probably best described as interactive storytelling more than a "game" per se, but still super interesting and a really engaging narrative.
 
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Immortal Redneck - So dumb, but if you want to shoot things for a while without thinking, it does the job.

Inside - I'm loving it, but it's honestly kind of stressful to play. I guess most survival horror games are like that, but I get into the puzzle elements and forget briefly that everything is trying to kill me.
 
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Just finished playing UNTIL DAWN. I nearly finished it last night because I was up very late on the edge of my seat. The only reason I didn't finish it last night is because I had to be up early today. Super engaging and hard to put down. The "interactive story" gameplay lends well with a horror setting.

My only criticism is the "Don't move" prompts. They're a great idea and lend to some extremely tense, nail-biting moments...except when you combine that with a controller that shakes? It's near impossible to achieve not moving.

I considered turning off that controller feature, but then I'd have to replay an entire chapter a third time (once to complete the game, a second to try again, but failed to save one character because of shaking).

Actually, another criticism: being unable to skip dialogue or cut scenes. I can understand perhaps not the first time around, but not on second playthroughs. Very annoying and time-wasting.

Also, the difference between "walk" and "fast walk" is nominal at best.

Still, I enjoyed the game overall. I wound up surprisingly caring about all but one of the characters. And it had some great spooky and creepy moments. Definitely a good horror game pick for October.
 
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Just finished playing UNTIL DAWN. I nearly finished it last night because I was up very late on the edge of my seat. The only reason I didn't finish it last night is because I had to be up early today. Super engaging and hard to put down. The "interactive story" gameplay lends well with a horror setting.

My only criticism is the "Don't move" prompts. They're a great idea and lend to some extremely tense, nail-biting moments...except when you combine that with a controller that shakes? It's near impossible to achieve not moving.

I considered turning off that controller feature, but then I'd have to replay an entire chapter a third time (once to complete the game, a second to try again, but failed to save one character because of shaking).

Actually, another criticism: being unable to skip dialogue or cut scenes. I can understand perhaps not the first time around, but not on second playthroughs. Very annoying and time-wasting.

Also, the difference between "walk" and "fast walk" is nominal at best.

Still, I enjoyed the game overall. I wound up surprisingly caring about all but one of the characters. And it had some great spooky and creepy moments. Definitely a good horror game pick for October.
The successor, The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan, drops the "don't move" prompts for "Heartbeat" checks, which are much easier to do.
 
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The successor, The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan, drops the "don't move" prompts for "Heartbeat" checks, which are much easier to do.
Good to know, thanks. I think it's an interesting idea in theory. Just that the controller vibrate makes it far too punishing.
 
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Just finished playing UNTIL DAWN. I nearly finished it last night because I was up very late on the edge of my seat. The only reason I didn't finish it last night is because I had to be up early today. Super engaging and hard to put down. The "interactive story" gameplay lends well with a horror setting.

My only criticism is the "Don't move" prompts. They're a great idea and lend to some extremely tense, nail-biting moments...except when you combine that with a controller that shakes? It's near impossible to achieve not moving.

I considered turning off that controller feature, but then I'd have to replay an entire chapter a third time (once to complete the game, a second to try again, but failed to save one character because of shaking).

Actually, another criticism: being unable to skip dialogue or cut scenes. I can understand perhaps not the first time around, but not on second playthroughs. Very annoying and time-wasting.

Also, the difference between "walk" and "fast walk" is nominal at best.

Still, I enjoyed the game overall. I wound up surprisingly caring about all but one of the characters. And it had some great spooky and creepy moments. Definitely a good horror game pick for October.
Mike went from being a douche bag to the hero we all need.
 
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That’s good to know! I had fun with Grim Dawn, but the grinding for equipment sucked and I could never get a non-minion build to work. There seems to be a lot more variety available in PoE.
 
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That’s good to know! I had fun with Grim Dawn, but the grinding for equipment sucked and I could never get a non-minion build to work. There seems to be a lot more variety available in PoE.
I was doing pretty well with an "I heal faster than you can kill me" build in GD's base game, but I haven't played through the expansions yet.

--Patrick
 
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Last game for the letter D: Dishonored 2. What character should I use?.

For this letter there are 22 games finished and 27 abandoned.
 
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I'm glad I saw this. That's next on my list after October (spooky games only). I'm a big fan of low chaos and would have screwed that right up.
 
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My not-so-great laptop couldn't run GTA5 very well while I was in the UK over the past year, so now that I'm back in Taiwan and using my cool desktop computer again, I've started another runthrough of GTA5.

Here's the thing, though, for this particular playthrough I've been hit by an annoying bug: picking up hookers only works sporadically. Sometimes if I stop next to a hooker, I'll get the prompt to honk and pick her up. At other times, I could park next to a hooker for minutes on end and never get the prompt, and honking doesn't do anything except annoy her and eventually make her call the police. This happens with all three characters.

Now, I know, I know, picking up prostitutes is completely optional and is not required to make progress in the game. But it's not optional to ME, dammit!!
 
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I'm in love with Slay the Spire but I honestly feel like I'm getting worse at it somehow. I was hauling ass and taking names my first few runs getting to act 3, but now it feels like a miracle if I can eek through act 2.
 

GasBandit

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I'm in love with Slay the Spire but I honestly feel like I'm getting worse at it somehow. I was hauling ass and taking names my first few runs getting to act 3, but now it feels like a miracle if I can eek through act 2.
The disheartening thing about Slay the Spire is that RNGesus loves to torpedo your burgeoning deck build by giving you a bunch of cards that seem to indicate you need to be working toward a certain pardigm - and then change midstream, and fuck you over. It doesn't matter how good you are or how well you plan, if luck decides you're fucked today, you're fucked today.
 
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The disheartening thing about Slay the Spire is that RNGesus loves to torpedo your burgeoning deck build by giving you a bunch of cards that seem to indicate you need to be working toward a certain pardigm - and then change midstream, and fuck you over. It doesn't matter how good you are or how well you plan, if luck decides you're fucked today, you're fucked today.
The biggest trick I've picked up from watching people who are way, way better at the game than I am is that thinking in terms of paradigms is more and more of a trap as you raise the difficulty. The way to find consistent results is to constantly be adjusting your deck to solve the specific problems that upcoming fights/acts/bosses pose and avoiding the cards that demand specific synergies to be better than your starter cards.
 
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So if you have a Switch, and have been wanting to work out, Ring Fit Adventures will kick your ass, you know, in that good way.
 
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Having very recently finished Spider-Man, which was brilliant, I just got started with Trine 4, my first exposure to the series. It's fantastic, I'm loving very second of it (outside of the combat, which is bunk). I don't know how representative the game is of the series as a whole, but I'm definitely gonna look into its predecessors.
 
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AI: The Somnium Files
This is a Spike Chunsoft game written by the guy who directed the Zero Escape series. It's a very engaging story, but it's more visual novel than puzzle game, and the few puzzles that actual exist are either really easy chain of logic, or just a QuickTime event sequence. However, it is a 20-40 hour interesting story depending on how fast you read/skip voice acting, so it's not a bad time investment if you are in to that kind of thing.

Tomorrow I'm going to be delving into Trails of Cold Steel 3 for the foreseeable future. :p
 
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The Outer Worlds is FUCKING awesome.

No usual Obsidian bugginess either which I believe has to do with the acquisition by Microsoft and the massive influx of QA resources that afforded them. Microsoft apparently really believes in Obsidian and I can't wait to see what fruit this bears if this is the first outing. It's really good fellers.

I want to give them my money, but I also don't want to buy anything on the God-awful Xbox app on PC (tried downloading a game on that app? Get ready to restart the download 1100 times) or on the Epic Game Store because fuck Tencent. God damn it.

At least all future games will not be EGS exclusive. Microsoft doesn't do that shit.
 

Dave

Staff member
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I’m going to try the Xbox app. If that doesn’t work I may buckle and do the Epic store. The store may be shit and the forced exclusives piss me off, but there may be another reason devs want to go there. As of this writing, nobody has cracked - to my knowledge - Borderlands 3. So does the Epic store have some kick-ass security and that’s why devs want to go there? A game released on Steam would be cracked and available within days.
 
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No, that's just the ever-changing party of Denuvo, the DRM that makes your games run worse, but is hard to crack. Denuvo, making literally everyone's lives worse.
 
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The Outer Worlds really sounds like something I'd like. But I'm not touching EGS and I'm even more loathe to have anything to do with the XBox Store or Win10 App store, so, nope. Doesn't have to be Steam, sell me a DVD for all I care, or GOG, or fuck-what-have-you.
 

Dave

Staff member
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The Outer Worlds. Holy fucking shit, guys. This fucking game. I just have no words. I picked it up using the XBox thing and when it becomes available on Steam I'll be buying it full price.

This is the best game I've ever played. Better than Skyrim. Better than Fallout New Vegas.

No bugs. Character choices matter. You want to play stupid but strong? Go ahead. You want to play smart but weak? Go ahead. It's nearly 1 am here and I just shut the game off. I didn't want to, but the longer I play tonight the less I can play tomorrow.

Fuck. I have no words. If they took everything Dave loves about games and distilled it into a single title, The Outer Worlds would be the result. I'll probably give a proper review at some point, but right now I'm in the honeymoon phase and the world is bright & rosy.
 
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Yeah, it's classic Obsidian writing. Are you doing the right thing? Morally, yeah sure, you could make that argument. It's not a moral world though so the consequences could be less than stellar for anyone.
 

Dave

Staff member
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Okay, now that I've played this game into the ground, I can give a more *ahem* nuanced review. My enthusiasm is still there but it has cooled so I can look at this with a more critical eye. It's probably one of my top 3 games now but small things keep it from regaining the top spot.

So I haven't finished the game yet, but I also have been chasing around every side quest you can think of. My son got the game the same day I did and he's already won it. But he tends to go straight through the main missions and do very little side quests. His companions must hate him.

There's a lot to like about this game and a lot that I wish they'd been able to do better. But since this was a self-proclaimed AA game with a limited budget, I think they did just fine. Microsoft has apparently bought the dev studio, so we'll see if they get a real budget for the sequel.

Let's start with the basic story. You are awoken by a mad scientist type on your ship, Hope. You're the only one he can thaw out as he needs a pretty rare chemical to do it without melting you. Your mission for the most part is to battle the evil corporations - and they are very impersonal and do a lot of evil shit - and try and free/thaw the rest of the people on the Hope so that they can hopefully take over the system from the evil Board faction that runs everything. Pretty fitting and relevant to today's world, I must say. The timing was right.

The music is okay, nothing really special, but there are times when it's pretty amazing. Like when you enter a bar in the first town you go to. I was streaming and I said, "Man, all this is missing to be a western would be a piano player in the back who stops and everyone looks at you." And then I notice in the back there's a self-playing piano that plays a tune that could very well fit in a western. Then it hit me. This game really, REALLY reminds me of Firefly. Like, a lot. It's a space western. In fact, the first two companions you recruit are Parvotti - a cute young girl who is naive but very sweet...and she's a whiz bang mechanic - and Vicar Max - a religious leader who has a violent hidden background. These sound familiar? Maybe like Kaylie and Shepherd Book? And later you get a black lady who is a gunslinger (Zoe) and a young guy whose main weapon is a grenade launcher (Jayne). There's no Simon, but you do get a companion who is a doctor trained in the rich part of the system who is now slumming with pirates, so...Oh, and a robot that cleans things, so I guess you can make a joke about Wash here.

Companions have their own issues and quests and depending on which ones are in your crew (you can have two of them with you at any time) they will have conversations that can be pretty funny. What they don't have is a lick of sense.

Your companions are set to three different levels of how they react - Passive, Defensive, and Aggressive. Passive means they will hide and not fight at all. Defensive means that they will attack when you tell them to but not until then. More on that in a bit. Aggressive means that as soon as you shoot they will GRAAAAAAAAH! and run right at the bad guys. You are sneaking and sniping? Tough shit. GRAAAAAAAAAH! I haven't done a playthrough yet where I'm alone & sneaky, but it would be refreshing to be able to snipe someone from a distance and then keep sniping bad guys in the confusion. Can't do it right now. Why? GRAAAAAAAAAAH!

There's so much more I could go on about, so let's use bullet points.

Good:
  • The dialog is top notch.
  • Actual choices that matter!
  • Firefly!
  • Skill system is well done and meaningful.
  • NO FUCKING BUGS!!!!
Bad:
  • Loot has only the illusion of differentiation. Most items are pretty much the same with only minor differences.
  • AI bad guys are dumb as fuck. They also just GRAAAAAAAAAH!
  • This is NOT an open-world game. At least, not as open world as I'd have liked. Most pathways are linear and some planets you can't get to until you unlock them. So no real exploration. Again, this is because of the AA designation. The devs themselves said it was not a true open world so I guess even though this is in the bad column it can be forgiven.
  • Healing. Okay, so you heal by using an inhaler that plies you with drugs. And as you gain levels (actually as you gain Medical skill) you get to add more to the inhaler. This is weird to me. Say I have a drug that gives me +15% damage to head shots and +25% to sneak damage that I want to take right before I shoot some dude. I have to put the drug into the inhaler and trigger it. Which triggers the healing drug as well, even if you don't need any healing. So to get the benefits from random drugs you have to waste a healing shot as well. Just weird to me. Maybe let us take out the healing drug. It might screw us in a fight, but it would be our own fault.
All in all this is a beautiful game that has a whole bunch going for it. I'm not sure how well the replayability will be. My next guy is going to be a strong and stupid melee fighter who always chooses the asshole dialog choices. But that won't be until I win the game with my hero build.

Final score: 8.5 out of 10. Solid game with solid gameplay and beautiful visuals. Score is brought down a little for the lack of true open worlds and way too much GRAAAAAAAAAAH! by your companions and the AI enemies.

 
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