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March 13th, 2012, 12:33
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
Our biggest difference here is that I don't anymore think that gamers should be punished in whatever way. If you fail at being stealthy you should either be allowed to try again (preferably in a way that would not spoil the atmosphere like saving, reloading and acting with previous knowledge does) or, ideally, there should be a stealthy way to correct your mistake. Switching from good stealth gameplay to bad combat gameplay is not something that I find appealing anymore.
What's the point of taking on a challenge if there's no punishment for failing? It's not as if you can't succeed on your first try. It just isn't easy in most cases.
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March 13th, 2012, 12:35
Originally Posted by vurt View Post
Sounds like i should give JA2 another chance maybe, its one of those games i've started up a few times throughout the years, but i don't think i've ever finished even the first mission because it really didn't grab me at all.

Arx Fatalis is really good, reminded me of Ultima Underworld so i never had any trouble getting into it..
JA2 did not grab me until I had liberated the first town, but after that, the game really started to grow on me. When starting out, don't go for a full team of mercs, instead hire one good with a long range weapon. That long range weapon will really help early on, and having only a single merc will speed up movement on the strategic map. Use him and your main char to liberate the first city (other than the one you start in). Then move back to the starting city, and hire some cheaper mercs. When your expensive guy's time is running out, let him go, but take his gun first, because that extra long range firepower will help you cut down a lot of damage that otherwise would be nigh unavoidable, if your character only has a pistol.


Jagged Alliance 2 went from being a game that I had a mild dislike for to a game that I absolutely love, once I got into it.
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March 13th, 2012, 13:30
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
What's the point of taking on a challenge if there's no punishment for failing?
Because that's Black Pedagogy ?

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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March 13th, 2012, 13:55
Actually in this case I'm thinking it's more because it's distracting: being punished for failing to sneak and having to go though the process of reloading and repeating part of the game, or having to rely on other methods, hurts the pacing, might spoil the atmosphere and causes frustration that compromises the feeling of being the sneakiest sneak that ever sneaked.

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(LaMonte Young, 1962)
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March 14th, 2012, 21:48
Getting back into EQ2, never stopped raiding but my casual time for the past year had really dropped. Doing instances again is fun!


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March 14th, 2012, 22:47
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
Why not? I'm assuming that the whole point of making a sequel is to make a game with more similarities than differences to a previous one. I might like a sequel more but not enjoying one game in a series is a fair indication that I won't like the others either. So why should I insist trying when there are so many games to play?
Fair enough, but sometimes a sequel makes the experience better as a whole (this doesn't happen as much anymore, but it used to be that sequels were improvements upon the foundation started by the original game). But playing just one game in a series - especially if it's just the first game - isn't really an indication of how well the other games in a series fare after the developers had a chance to review what worked, what didn't, and what improvements/changes needed to be made. The most recent example of this that i can think of off the top of my head is the transition from Oblivion to Skyrim - Skyrim is a vast improvement over Oblivion in several key areas, and judging Skyrim by only playing Oblivion (or even Morrowind) wouldn't give you a very good indication of how the newest entry plays, aside from basic similarities (open-world exploration, a large continent to traverse, faction quests, single character, etc.)

Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
Our biggest difference here is that I don't anymore think that gamers should be punished in whatever way. If you fail at being stealthy you should either be allowed to try again (preferably in a way that would not spoil the atmosphere like saving, reloading and acting with previous knowledge does) or, ideally, there should be a stealthy way to correct your mistake. Switching from good stealth gameplay to bad combat gameplay is not something that I find appealing anymore.
I'm not sure it's possible to make a stealth experience challenging and rewarding at the same time without some form of "punishment" for failure; the tension that slowly builds while sneaking through a level is one of the keys for an immersive stealth experience, and without it, sneaking feels pointless. The newest Splinter Cell is a great example of this: while the "classic" Splinter Cell titles (1-4) made combat a risky proposition and movements needed to be slow and precise in order to successfully advance through a level, the newest entry moved far more towards an action approach. The loss of tension from knowing that failure would mean getting in a tricky situation made the stealth gameplay rather unsatisfying. Running away or using the tools at your disposal is always a way to get out of trouble in "pure" stealth games versus direct combat.

Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
Please keep in mind that I have no intention to bash the game. I can see the good design and I understand why it's considered a classic. I know it took a fresh approach and that inevitably results in rough edges and I understand it focused on a unique type of gameplay that is likely to have improved a lot by other games since. I'm just registering some thoughts about the game as I see it on its own more than 14 years later and, inspired by it, some thoughts about games in general.
Don't get me wrong, if you don't like the game then you don't like it, and that certainly doesn't make you "wrong" in some way - I'm not going to pull a Fluent and try to force you to think otherwise . Like most games, Thief isn't for everyone, but it's highly rewarding for those who do enjoy that style of gameplay. I just wanted to suggest playing the sequels because they might be more enjoyable for you than the first game; I feel that Thief 2+3 are much better overall than the first game, but that's just my opinion.
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March 14th, 2012, 23:05
Nerevarine, I agree with everything you said except the part about Thief 2&3 being much better than Thief 1. Granted, I never played all the way through it, but I didn't think Thief 3 was nearly as good as the first two games. Especially for its time.
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March 15th, 2012, 02:07
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Nerevarine, I agree with everything you said except the part about Thief 2&3 being much better than Thief 1. Granted, I never played all the way through it, but I didn't think Thief 3 was nearly as good as the first two games. Especially for its time.
I absolutely loved Thief 3, but I think that is because it played with more of a 'FPS sensibility' than the others … I think 1 & 2 are better games, but #3 let me 'idiot' my way through.

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March 15th, 2012, 02:19
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Nerevarine, I agree with everything you said except the part about Thief 2&3 being much better than Thief 1. Granted, I never played all the way through it, but I didn't think Thief 3 was nearly as good as the first two games. Especially for its time.
Yeah, I knew that wouldn't be a unanimous feeling amongst Thief fans, and i realize I am in the minority regarding Thief 3 . Most Thief fans didn't like 3 as much as the first two games, but for some reason it really clicked with me despite some of the valid complaints that fans had about it. I loved the atmosphere of the city and exploring the various zones, the controls felt a bit tighter and more comfortable (could be just a personal preference), and a few other little touches made me really enjoy Thief 3. It sure was idiotic to remove the rope arrows though, and the need to buy most of your equipment wasn't exactly…"Thief-like" . Along with other various issues, I can understand why the originals are often considered better than Deadly Shadows, but I enjoyed 2+3 about the same and more overall than the first Thief.
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March 15th, 2012, 02:24
Been clearing out "The Pit" in M&M VII. Truth be told, this is kind of gruelingly tedious
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March 15th, 2012, 04:59
The price of getting cocky in the latter half of a game:


Decided to jump headfirst into a passage chock-full of pain. Backed into a corner with nowhere to escape. And I over-wrote my quicksaves. And so I have to start the dungeon over! Good for a humbling chuckle.
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March 15th, 2012, 11:23
I haven't managed to complete Baldur's Gate yet. As I feared, I sort of stalled after getting to the big city - and I have a hard time maintaining interest.

I got through Mass Effect, despite my reservations about ME3 - and I'm now playing Mass Effect 2. Unfortunately, having already completed it upon release - it's still relatively fresh in my mind. I found the game very predictable and sort of "meh" back then, and now it's even worse.

Oh, it looks fantastic with a great atmosphere - but the gameplay is incredibly streamlined - and I find myself unengaged in the dialogue and story. I wouldn't say it is bad writing - just that it doesn't compensate for the endlessly predictable shooter setups and simplistic RPG elements.

I'd still like to get through it, so I can attempt ME3 somewhere down the line - but I don't know how to avoid resenting the experience. I could just watch youtube playthroughs, I suppose, but I've never been good at watching other people play. Also, I've had this dream since I first heard about it being a trilogy - to take a character all the way through it - in proper style.

Then I'm dabbling with Saint's Row 3 - and I really like it. But it's hardly fulfilling as a meaty game - and there's just nothing available that can manage to grab me.

Skyrim spoiled me, I think - and I'm planning to give that another shot in 3-6 months - when mods have matured, and I have a vacation that's big enough to get me immersed at the required level.

So, I'm sort of stuck in gaming limbo - with nothing to engage me.

This is the sort of time when I should be getting back to developing my game, but I had a harddisk crash a while back - and I lost a few weeks of work. It's hard to work up the will to redo it….

Woe is me!

I expect Risen 2 will be my ticket to gaming revival. Despite the flaws evident in beta - I'm still counting on PB to provide a great world and atmosphere. Something worthy of exploring it - surely.

Then, maybe, Diablo 3 - which should be out soonish.
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March 15th, 2012, 11:43
Currently in episode 4 in Alan Wake and i like the game very much but its scary sometimes, and i usually play horror games for a few hours then uninstall the game and ran as fast as i can in the opposite direction but this one seems nice haven't ran the other way yet. but mainly because of the story and the writing style it feels more like a movie but the gameplay is also good but kinda scary.
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March 15th, 2012, 16:28
I picked up a game called 'Bastion' a while back hated it and quit playing. Then I decided to give it another try last night. I made myself play through the early frustration of learning the controls, and have to say it's getting better and better now that I have it figured out. Very enjoyable.
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March 16th, 2012, 22:19
Now I'm feeling a bit daft. I'm still playing Arx Fatalis, and I'm playing a hybrid mage/warrior. Spells are more powerful, and I've come to rely on the fireball spell to beat anything strong, while reserving my regular sword fro rats, spiders and other minor enemies (game balance seem to be a bit off). One thing that I had issues with though were drawing the runes. I found it a bit awkward to draw runes while something was attacking me, and I was moving backwards to avoid damage, though I thought that it was just some form of balancing factor, to avoid magic being too powerful (which it still was).
It all changed when I started facing Ylsids, those guys can take down by character in 4-5 hits, and they have some form of speed spell that makes it very hard to actually avoid their damage. So I had to be really fast with drawing my fireball runes.
Well, then I decided to take a look at what the manual had to say about this, there had to be some better way to do things, I thought. And well, there is. You can prepare up to 3 spells, so no frenetic rune drawing is needed. Had I known that I would not have had to reload nearly as many times. And this was after I had killed 8 Ylsids using the frenetic rune drawing method.
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March 16th, 2012, 22:24
I must have reread that manual 5 times (still haven't played it).

So these casting shortcuts are necessary it sounds. Seems OK to me.
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March 16th, 2012, 22:36
Well, you don't have to use them, but the game sure gets a lot easier if you do.

And the game is by the way really good.
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March 19th, 2012, 18:25
4 months of Skyrim is enough for me, at least until the expansion-like DLC arrive. My barbarian character's run through the Companions quest line is done (although there are a couple of radiant quests that never triggered). Got tired of running repeated quest types until I got lucky with a new type of randomly generated quest. 3 characters in 4 months. I think I got my money's worth.

My Elven Legacy playthrough was interrupted when Skyrim arrived. As most know, this game is hard. Heck, winning on normal difficulty, without losses, and gold wins for missions that give you bonus missions is a bitch. I've had to give up on a couple of golds because I didn't want to sacrifice any units for the gold bonus (usually an extra unlevelled-unit and an artifact). I don't want to lose units because its a huge investment in time (and in game gold) to level and upgrade them. So far I've qualified for all the bonus missions.

I am in the Snow Valley. Very Skyrim apropos, except the Dwarves are very much alive, for a little while at least. Right now playing the final battle. I must have replayed this final battle 5 times, trying to get by without losses and beating the gold medal time limit to get the bonus mission. Tough. I think you have to be somewhat masochistic for this game.
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March 20th, 2012, 10:34
Got into D3 beta - and it's not bad at all. I'm not liking the streamlined skill system, as predicted, but it's too soon to speak about its impact long-term. In a way, it's just a streamlined respec system - and respec is (unfortunately) something that's here to stay.

Personally, I never liked the concept of respecs in any game - but I concede that in MMOs that demand such a ridiculous amount of grinding, it's probably a necessary evil.

But in a game like D3, which is of a much smaller scope - I find it ruins the strategic layer and the fun of returning to the game after a while, to try a new approach to any given character. I mean, in D3 - there will never, ever, be a reason to replay the game with the same class (non-hardcore).

Maybe I'm weird, in that I love to explore various builds and replaying with the same class (often months or years down the line). To me, it's entertainment - not a grind.

With that complaint out of the way, I really like what I'm seeing. It's incredibly polished - but that's no surprise. It looks and sounds VERY good - and it has plenty of that hack/slash action we all know and love.

The crafting system looks to be an alternate way to achieve the same thing as the old gambling system did, which is a bit of a shame. But at least it's a cheaper way to have a better chance at getting some nice loot. But I would have preferred more customization.

Class abilities look great and feel great. Seems to be a really nice balance of loot drops so far. Nice atmosphere and quality voice-acting - if a bit over-the-top at times.

Overall, I'm definitely going to buy this upon release. But it will be a hard copy at a local retailer. I'm not going to give Blizzard 60 euros. Not because the game isn't worth it, but because it's completely unnecessary of them to milk their audience in this way. This is one game that would generate endless millions - almost regardless of pricing. It's tasteless to set it that high.
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March 20th, 2012, 10:58
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Overall, I'm definitely going to buy this upon release. But it will be a hard copy at a local retailer. I'm not going to give Blizzard 60 euros. Not because the game isn't worth it, but because it's completely unnecessary of them to milk their audience in this way. This is one game that would generate endless millions - almost regardless of pricing. It's tasteless to set it that high.
60 seems to be the new 'going price' for big name games … set by consoles and continued onto the PC. Is the retail version any cheaper where you are? Because here even through Amazon (who is usually good for a few $off) the retail is $60

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