Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

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François
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby François » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:21 pm

I just realized that some Chinese rando has been playing on my League of Legends account for a couple years now... because I got an e-mail thanking me for having bought 90$ worth of Riot Points. Which I obviously didn't do, I haven't touched that game since 2015. I also checked my bank account just in case, but yeah, no, he used his own credit card. How do you even.

Anyway, I changed my password, and that's that. I used to top out at Silver 2, but all of a sudden I'm at Gold 1, with some rare reward skins and such, and a friend list full of other Chinese randos. I know it's not a weird back-end account mix-up because all my old stuff is there, and he doesn't play most of the champions I've unlocked. I almost feel sorry for the dumb bastard. Decent skill, no common sense, I'm not surprised he didn't make it to Diamond. Maybe I'll consider not google-translating some kind of creative insult to send his confederates before I block them.

...in the time it took to write this, my e-mail got three LoL password change requests, the type where you have to click a link within 24 hours. Nice try, bud. You're not getting it back. Thanks for the free pretend money. I might even spend it.

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Mongrel
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Mongrel » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:50 pm

Ahahahahahahaha

:chefkiss:

Make sure he doesn't try a credit card chargeback; could get your account locked. I know you probably don't care about playing it that much, but an "If I can't have it than neither can he!" turnabout might sour your victory a little.
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Friday
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Friday » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:23 pm

you could try holding the account hostage in return for HK and Tibet's freedom

you never know he could be in the government
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François
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby François » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:46 am

Mongrel wrote:Make sure he doesn't try a credit card chargeback; could get your account locked. I know you probably don't care about playing it that much, but an "If I can't have it than neither can he!" turnabout might sour your victory a little.


Yeah, in the end it's not the biggest deal, but at least I opened a support ticket at Riot right away, so if nothing else there's a virtual paper trail about things being fucky. I still have the account creation e-mail from 2011 and I'm sure they can tell the credit card that was used is tied to a Chinese bank or address, so if it comes down to it they might put 2 and 2 together.

Friday wrote:you could try holding the account hostage in return for HK and Tibet's freedom

you never know he could be in the government


Oh if he makes another account to harass me with, my responses will definitely be "REVOLUTION OF OUR AGE"-flavored.

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Mongrel
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Mongrel » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:30 am

François wrote:Oh if he makes another account to harass me with, my responses will definitely be "REVOLUTION OF OUR AGE"-flavored.


Try to sell him umbrellas >:D
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nosimpleway
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:29 am

Or just reply "tiananmen square 1989" and let the Chinese government shut off his internet access for you

Niku
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Niku » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:10 am

Do you miss the combat system from Mega Man Battle Network as much as I do? Of course you do, it was the biggest sensation in the gaming world at the time of release, and everyone tirelessly combed the single player game to get the best chips they possibly could to better compete in the fast and frenetic multiplayer, and did all over again when the sequels were released. Or maybe that was just me and literally one other person in my school.



In any case, One Step From Eden [Switch, PC] is Mega Man Battle Network's combat system turned into a deck building run game. No story, no overworld, just grid after grid of increasingly difficult fights. It has a pretty goddamn hefty learning curve (and I imagine it's even worse for someone who hasn't had experience with MMBN's combination of real time combat, luck based draws, and grid-based positioning) and I think the visual chaos could definitely be tweaked to be more clear compared to the bright and obvious graphics from Battle Network because I'm in the early stage where I can't always tell when or where something is going to hit. But it scratches the itch I get every year or two where I really, really want to replay Battle Network games but don't want to bother with the RPG bits. It's a game almost perfectly aimed at me and people like me and I had no idea it existed until I saw a gif on Twitter yesterday and found out it launched this week.

Definite early pro-tip is to set your Focus (to weight your loot rewards toward a certain type of card category) and mostly grab cards just from that brand while outright skipping loot if nothing pops from it so that your deck has a theme. I've been trying to pick a different one in each run so I can learn the various cards and synergies, but if you just grab every piece of loot that you're offered your deck will very quickly end up a frankenstein mishmash of crap, and it costs a significant chunk of coin to remove cards once you've added them to your deck.

I haven't gotten to the point where I can unlock new characters yet -- hell, I haven't gotten further than the fourth world yet -- because it is fast as hell and extremely punishing, but I'm definitely still in that honeymoon phase where every loss is just another opportunity to try new cards and styles.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Mongrel » Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:37 pm

Oooooh neat

You are not alone in your love for MMBN, my brother and I played the shit out of that and at least the first sequel (I think he got the others later - this was right around the time I left for university).

The funny part is that it's been so long since I played, I don't actually remember much about how it actually WORKED, just that I enjoyed it a lot.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Niku » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:54 pm

I just got my first clear in One Step, something like 25 hours of playtime later. I got an incredibly cheesy strat where you can build up ridiculous amounts of Flow (a build-and-use sort of mechanic) thanks to a spell (Waterfall) that gives you flow, does more damage the more flow you have, and can be upgraded to multi-cast. I then made that the only spell in my deck while playing as Gunner, a character who relies on spells the least out of the roster, and partway through got an artifact that stops time every time you shuffle.

I nuked the Shopkeeper (who is ostensibly the hardest boss in the game) during level 6 (when she is at her hardest) in something like ten seconds, so got all the characters unlocked now!

I also got pretty close to a clear with Saffron's Chrono loadout which is considered "easy mode" because her weapon slows time to give you more opportunity to study enemy patterns by loading her up with Kunai spells and generators and got several Kunai boosting artifacts (Kunai being a 0 cost spell that does an unremarkable amount of damage in a straight line that you can fill your deck with copies of through various other spells), with the side effect being that when time is slowed down (or even when it's not) you can throw Kunai basically as fast as you can hammer on the button. Abusing "slow down time and throw 20 daggers into their face in 2 seconds" got me pretty damn far. Unsurprisingly, Flow was just re-worked on the Steam version and Kunai are being looked at, but hey, still open season on Switch for cheesy victory until the patch passes through cert.

It's really cool how diverse the characters are; Saffron is pretty much your Mega Man, with a pea shooter and some bread and butter spells, but you've got Gunner who goes all in on weaponry rather than spells, Selicy who is all about dashing to the enemy side of the board and doing weird melee damage, Shiho who is about resource management (since his gun fires money and increases in damage the richer you are), Hazel who is all about building up gun turrets and whacking on them TF2 Engie style .. there's a bunch of different play styles, and each character (except for the Shopkeeper) has a secondary play style you unlock by beating the game with them as well. The most interesting one is probably Violette, who's default weapon puts music notes in a cross shape around you and each one has a different effect when stepped on, some good, some bad, some of which can be combined if you move quickly enough to pick up more than one note per cast. I will probably never beat the game with her barring finding something ridiculously broken.

The one downside to the variety is the sheer cliff learning curve in the beginning, because to unlock a character who might suit you better, you have to beat the fourth world and spare the boss to unlock them as playable. Until you understand how to play Saffron / abuse the system enough to consistently get through world four, you're pretty much stuck with the default.

anyway this is what's keeping me sane during the coronapocalypse
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Thad
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Thad » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:11 pm

Went ahead and got Disco Elysium.

Good news: it does seem like it's easy to configure for one-handed Steam Controller play. I didn't see a list of controls in-game but from just poking stuff it looks like the main things are mouse movement, left click, Esc (menu/cancel), Enter (accept), Tab (points of interest), and Spacebar (some kinda perception thing you need to do to get out of the first room; this is some Hitchhiker's Guide shit). Plus I'm using the joystick as arrow keys to navigate menus.

Bad news: So far it is crashing like a motherfucker, on two different computers. Per ProtonDB launching it with

Code: Select all

PROTON_NO_ESYNC=1 PROTON_FORCE_LARGE_ADDRESS_AWARE=1 %command%
should help with that, so I'll see if that works.

I am enjoying it so far, aside from the crashing like a motherfucker part.

(ETA: Played for a couple hours; no more crashes since changing the command line flags.)

Also my left thumb is starting to hurt again? I really should see a doctor about this. Maybe I can find a specialist, because I'm not going anywhere near my primary care right now unless it's an emergency.

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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Thad » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:36 pm

I'm a few hours in and I sure am enjoying it. I've still never played Planescape: Torment but I know enough about it to know it's Disco Elysium's major inspiration. Where Torment was a game that (as I understand it) made combat optional and emphasized player choice in dialogue trees, Disco removes combat entirely; it's all choices in dialogue trees (followed, where appropriate, by dice rolls; wherever a choice relies on a stat check, it also relies on a roll, so there's always -- or, at least, it's "always" in the first few hours of the game I've played -- a chance that you can get lucky even if your stats aren't up to snuff, or see the reverse happen and fail even when you've got the necessary skills).

It's a pretty cool game so far, and it's nice to see successes like these.

I don't remember if I've mentioned this before, but back in '06, '07 I did some script work for a Baldur's Gate-inspired isometric RPG called The Broken Hourglass. The company ran out of money and the game was never finished, which I always thought was a shame -- not just because I never got paid, but because it seemed like a neat scenario and a neat engine and I think it could have been a pretty cool game and maybe even attracted an active modding community.

I've often thought about that and thought y'know, the project just had the misfortune of being a few years ahead of its time. In these days of Kickstarters and Steam Early Access and successful indie games riffing on fondly-remembered classics (like, say, Infinity Engine RPGs), I think it would have had more of a fighting chance -- obviously there are still plenty of promising indie games that never get around to delivering a finished product, but while it's still not easy to succeed with a project like that, it's easier now than it was back in those days.

And so, with that thought, back to playing that successful Infinity Engine-inspired indie RPG.

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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Friday » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:40 pm

Torment's "combat is optional" rep, while technically true, is somewhat overstated. If you really want to avoid all combat, you end up just straight up running past a lot of enemies. Sure, some of them you can sneak by, but a lot of them you can't, so they get free potshots at you as you run by.

But the thing about dialog trees is true. My god is there a fucking megafuckload of dialog in Torment, and it starts right away when you first wake up and never lets up.

You CAN talk your way out of every single boss fight, including the final boss, so that's a big plus. A lot of the options require certain stats leveled up to even appear, though.

Generally, you can pump INT and be a smart guy, pump WIS and be a wiseguy, pump CHA and be a charming guy, or pump STR DEX CON and be a combat guy.

(Really, you can pump all the noncombat stats and be a smartwisecharm guy, which will make you an expert dialog-er)
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Friday » Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:52 am

Just finished Black Mesa last night, wanted to give it a run down here.

For those of you who don't know, Black Mesa (20 bux on Steam) is a Half Life 1 fan remake done in the Source Engine.

it's good 4.5/5

thanks for reading
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Friday » Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:24 am

fine i'll do a real review GOD

by friday, age AS THE STARS BURN TO EMBERS

So, this review needs to be split into... 3 parts. The things they remade, the things they changed a bit, and Xen. Mostly just keep Xen separate, for reasons that will become clear.

1. The Things They Remade

The engine. The graphics are good. Great, even. There's a lot of detail and work put into it. The music is very well done. I haven't played Half Life 1 in probably... fuck, 15 years? so I can't give you a blow by blow of what exactly was changed, but everything looks really great. The guns, the sounds, the music, the gore as scientists are reduced to bloody pulp in vents, it all looks great.

At the same time, it still feels and plays very much like what I remember from HL1. The weapons in the early parts of the game have the same balance (the SMG feels slightly more accurate, but I don't know for sure) and it still always takes exactly 5 hits with a crowbar to down a headcrab zombie.

2. The Things They Changed A Bit

The Marine AI is improved. They're faster, smarter, deadlier with their grenades, and more accurate with their weapons. To compensate, the designers added more cover to the areas you fight them in. The Leeches that used to infest the water are gone, clean removed. The jumping physics are changed. Old HL1 had a weird momentum when moving and jumping, but in the source engine, you can adjust your jumps slightly in mid-air, and most importantly (and impossibly) you can 100% kill your mid-air velocity by hitting S during a jump. This greatly improves your accuracy while platforming, which is welcome, because even I will not defend first person platforming. Who started that shit anyway? Was it Turok, for the N64?

WAS IT YOU, TUROK!?! DID YOU FUCKING GIVE US THIS CANCER THAT WILL NEVER FULLY GO AWAY?! TUROK ANSWER ME YOU PIECE OF SHIT

uh

anyway I think they nerfed the bee gun a bit. I remember it hitting slightly harder than the pistol and now it hits slightly less hard. I hardly used it at all because they're super generous with ammo so you don't really need it except when you feel like clearing Barnacles out.

Toward the end of the game before you get to Xen, they really ramp up the situation. I honestly don't remember if it was spotlighted so hard in HL1 or not, but in Black Mesa it starts off with the military firmly in control, but as time goes on they're taking more and more losses from the invading Grunts and Vortigaunts. I really started to feel sorry for them and would always help them out during the Marines vs Alien setpieces, but then they just started shooting at me as soon as all the Aliens were dead. Assholes.

If you've never played Half Life 1, play this instead, but also I want to touch upon the narrative here: It's great. Everything leading up to Xen is a slowly ramping disaster and they do a great job of showing you exactly what will happen to Earth if you don't clean up this fucking mess. Hint: it happens anyway in HL2.

3. Xen

So.

While they improved and made a few slight alterations to the rest of the game, the oft-derided Xen got a COMPLETE redesign, from the ground up.

When you first arrive, I walked out of that first cave, the music kicked in, and I blinked a couple of times and then said "holy shit" out loud because what the fuck, this is the most beautiful gameworld I have ever seen. I cannot stress enough how insanely gorgeous Neo-Xen is. The time and care and effort that went into this exotic, immersive, and intensely alien world is truly amazing. I don't think I will ever forget that first few hours in Xen.

Yes, that's right. Hours. Xen is actually about 4-5 hours long now. It's the fully realized finale that Steam wanted to do in HL1 but ran out of time and money for.

The music in the rest of the game is great, but the soundtrack in Xen is truly a masterpiece. The composer (composers?) use a leitmotif that slowly builds in intensity and prominence as you make your way ever closer to the Nihilanth's lair, finally cresting like a wave in a final elevator ascending sequence as the crescendo of the music and the Nihilanth's last ditch effort and forces desperately attempt (and fail) to keep you away from it. It's a player empowering moment similar to the end of Half Life 2 (with the Super Gravity gun) that gives you infinite ammo for your most powerful weapon and plenty of targets to vaporize with it.

After limping around in the machinery and the ugly ass industrial waste underneath that moment, solving puzzles and constantly crawling through muck, vents, and enemies, let me just say that when the final moment and ascent before the last boss arrives, it's like...

Well, it's your reward for all your hard work, for all that muck you've crawled through. I haven't felt this empowered and ready to kick evil's ass in a long time.

*****************************

Black Mesa isn't perfect. On A Rail is improved but still a slog, Waste Reclamation still sucks and is boring as fuck, and Interloper (that muck I was telling you about) probably drags on a bit longer than it needs to. Surface Tension replays the same "you vs a tank and 20 marines" fight about five times too many.

But Black Mesa is greater than the sum of its parts. The throughput of the narrative, the strength of the worldbuilding sees to that. Taken as a series of levels the game isn't that great. Taken as an experience, an adventure, it rises above a videogame and becomes something else: A story.

Black Mesa isn't the best story ever told, but it's a damn good one and at 20 fucking dollars it's a goddamn steal.

Do yourself a favor and if you're a fan of HL1, go buy and play this game. And if you're not a fan of HL1, then now is the time to experience it for the first time, fully realized.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Niku » Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:37 pm

man what the fuck is the point of mega man 11

I finally got it on sale and like, the two games that literally just tried to recreate the NES games were more creative and interesting than this thing. The best gimmick in the game is pretty much “quickly navigate a maze before something crushes you” and it does it three or four times because GOTTA USE THAT SPEED GEAR. It’s a shame because the art is pretty nice and the game feels great, there’s just not really any reason for it to exist and there are zero surprises. No second Wily castle, no extra surprise bosses, no Protoman or Bass, it’s just straight up “kill 8 robots and two wily stages and then 8 robots again and then wily’s big robot and then his ufo and then you’re done”. The difficulty feels slightly over tuned for “3 lives, no items” in the stages, but WAY under tuned for how quickly you can buy 9 lives and 9 e-tanks between every level.

Also crank voices to 0 as soon as you can if you do play it.

4/10 it’s a mega man game so i enjoyed playing it but i think it might actually be the worst numbered mega man.
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Thad
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Thad » Sun May 24, 2020 2:03 pm

R-Type Complete CD Intro
(you know what, I'm gonna go ahead and call this NSFW and link it instead of embedding it because the thumbnail image is one of those R-Type structures that look like a bunch of vaginas)

I love early CD games so much. Yep, this is definitely what R-type was missing, all right: a lengthy opening cutscene.

Related: fortunately, there are an awful lot of TG-16 games that were never localized but which are still perfectly playable without knowing any Japanese. Star Parodier and Salamander are both great choices for inclusion on the western release of the Mini; Snatcher remains a baffling one.

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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Mongrel » Sun May 24, 2020 2:20 pm

Oh my god the miniboss at 8:35 is shooting Ur-Quan ships as rockets. xD
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Thad
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Thad » Sun May 24, 2020 6:52 pm

The nice thing about shmups is I can play them with a joystick and it doesn't hurt my hands so much.

I'm not terribly good at the serious ones, your R-Types and Salamanders and Gradii and Darii. But I'm digging Air Zonk. It's got a gentler difficulty curve, and it's got some big, beautiful sprites in an Astro Boy/Mega Man kind of style.

Played a little Star Parodier and it seems kinda similar, in terms of feeling lighter and having a more forgiving difficulty curve.

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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Newbie » Tue May 26, 2020 11:11 pm

Finally started (and nearly finished) Heaven’s Vault over the long weekend.

The obvious point of comparison is Outer Wilds: in both cases, you are exploring a smallish stellar space, searching for ruins with ancient text to translate. In both cases, the history you uncover reveals clues concerning a potentially catastrophic future event. In both cases, there is talk of loops.

I already knew that the main obstacle Heaven’s Vault presents is the translation of Ancient text. That’s one way it differs—in Outer Wilds, the work of translation is completed just before the game begins, and your challenge is solely in finding text to translate and piecing together what it all means. I found that this actually resonated more with Return of the Obra Dinn: you’re piecing together meaning, interpreting clues, eliminating the impossible to try to draw a conclusion. Draw enough conclusions, and you gain confidence in a part you got right; if there’s an error, you can eliminate the red herring and make another guess. It’s satisfying when I can put everything together, but there isn’t quite enough incentive not to resort to brute force during the first half of your translation before the morphemes have been split up into individual words.

What took me by surprise was how much Heaven’s Vault wanted me to care about what happens to my finds: investigating their meaning often meant handing them over to characters with competing agendas, and I found myself fretting over how the spread of certain pieces of information might complicate my own plans. My decisions kept having unexpected, irreversible consequences. For all of Outer Wilds’s volatility, its constantly-changing universe felt comparatively static.

I’m not sure if this was specifically an issue with the Steam Controller interface, but I noticed a couple of occasions in which the game said I could use (say) the X button to provide a certain reply to an NPC inquiry at the same time that the game said I could use the X button to initiate a certain environmental interaction. On these occasions, it was impossible to know which of the two actions would occur, and in at least one of those cases, this meant the character made a choice I hadn’t intended to. There are times when I feel like this interface and control messiness is earned, and that it makes sense that things would sometimes spiral out of the protagonist’s control. I’ve resigned to living with the consequences of these issues. Mostly. But I'm really looking forward to trying out this New Game + option.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Upthorn » Wed May 27, 2020 4:57 am

New Game+ carries over your dictionary and allows the translations to be longer, more complicated fragments. But more importantly, it allows you to do things in a different order, and make different choices about how (and when) to respond in conversations, so that you can piece together more, or different things about your world.
How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks.

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