Today I am officially old

No, it’s not my birthday, thanks for asking.

This article at Polygon has the top 10 influential gamers list, and I’ve heard of exactly zero of them. The comments on the article echo my feelings; its a generational gap thing, where younger people spend a ton of time watching Youtube ‘personalities’ play games or do whatever it is they do. I don’t know, again, I’m now officially old.

What I do find a bit odd however is that while there is certainly a gap in who watches these people, and in turn is influenced by them, there isn’t a gap in what I prefer in gaming (or at least am aware of), and what actually sells, at least on the PC. I know most of the top games on Steam, and I like a good number of them. So are these Youtube people also enjoying these games? They must be right? I’d look to find out, but… yea no thanks.

Anyway, get off my lawn kids!

Posted in Rant | 12 Comments

Revisiting Beholder

I’ve started playing Beholder again, a title I last blogged about in Nov of 2016. I liked a lot of what the game did back then, but found it a little too brutal. Surprise, (note: not a surprise at all if you have been following this blog for a while) since that review a lower difficulty has been added that basically makes the game less punishing and easier to advance in.

The key to the easier difficulty is that things cost less, and you get more money for most tasks. This is very important because rather than having to go down the 100% optimal path, you can now make mistakes, get a little bit less money, but still have enough to avoid the hard stops the game will occasionally force on you. For the min/max crowd the original mode still exists as well.

At the lower difficulty setting, Beholder really is far more enjoyable, and playing through the game (about 6-8 hours) to the end is very worthwhile, because what starts as a slightly oppressive government soon goes full crazy-town on you, and the decisions you have to make get really, really tough.

I’m sure the game will be part of the upcoming Steam sale, and I’d recommend picking it up to try something a bit different. Even if it doesn’t fully click for you, at it’s low cost, a few hours to experience something unique is worth it IMO.

Note: The game also has one piece of DLC, which I’m likely going to grab during the sale, but can’t comment on right now.

Posted in Random, Steam Stuff | Leave a comment

Battle Brothers development has come to an end

My last post talked about the regret of playing a game before all of its content, including DLC, was release. In this post, I complain about the exact opposite, because gamers are children…

Battle Brothers, which you should already own two copies of, has released its final update. The devs are moving on to their next game, and have given reasons why allowing mods for the game isn’t really possible for them. In effect, version 1.1 of BB is it, so it can be played without fear of ‘what if more is added later’ ala Tyranny.

Yet I’m still sad BB won’t be expanding, because its an awesome game and I want more of what it does. Which yes, is the exact opposite complaint I had with Tyranny, but gain, gamers are children in some ways. Much like Mordheim, which has also had development stopped as the devs are on to their next game, the ‘problem’ I have with BB stopping is it still had so much untapped potential.

There are three end-game events, but there could be more. There are no female characters, which would not only visually expand the game, but provide the option for new events and backgrounds. More enemies never hurts, and there is a lot of room for them in BB. More mission types, more weapon tiers, more armor variety; all of that and more could be added to BB and it would be a better game.

That said, I get why the devs want to move on. They have been working on BB for 5+ years, and unlike a lot of other early access games, they not only finished BB, but stuck with it post-launch and were open and honest about why they are ending support. Add BB to the list of games that used EA well, used the Steam platform well (no major publisher would touch a game like BB), and have given PC gaming a unique and extremely fun title.

They have my attention for their next game, and hopefully we see it in EA soon.

Posted in Random, Rant, Steam Stuff | 3 Comments

New Tyranny content I’ll never see

Tyranny has new content available today, including a free patch and paid DLC. The free patch adds newgame+ mode, among other changes. The DLC is additional side story content, along with new background quests for a few companions.

Both of these sound good, but I’m not going to start up the game again. Due to my own fault of not waiting, I’ve already played Tyranny through twice, and I just don’t have it in me to go for round 3. Looking back, I should have waited on the secondly playthrough for exactly this moment, since it was very likely to happen. It is a bit odd that the DLC is coming this late, what with Pillars 2 already in development, but here it is anyway.

What’s somewhat comical about this whole situation is I generally have a problem with early access games, in that I play them before they are ‘finished’, and once finished, I’ve already seen too much to experience the final version. Well here is a full release game and yet the same ‘problem’ comes up yet again.

Kinda makes me wish I was in a time delay of, say, 3 years with everything, so I’d be buying 2014 games today for the first time…

Posted in Random, Rant | 3 Comments

Wrapping up with Rimworld

I believe I’m done with Rimworld for now, having ‘beaten’ the game by constructing a ship and sending some people off into space. Some final thoughts below.

Overall, it’s still a game I would highly recommend, as I had close to 100hrs of fun with it even in its current EA/alpha state. It’s very very solid at the beginning and during the initial learning phase, and its mid-game (half into the tech tree, 6-8 people) is also a lot of fun without being overly complex or micro-intensive. The late game needs perhaps some more work, and I’m guessing that’s going to happen with future development.

Some highlights: I enjoyed the combat a lot more than I initially thought I would. First it seemed that melee was too strong, then there was a time when ranged weapons seem the way to go, and towards the end I found that melee with shield belts and good positioning really got the job done. Defending against raids was always fun, as were the random combat events.

The economy around food and production also seems to be in a good place. At the very end with 12+ people gathering meat for food production got a bit silly, but before that it was all fun and enjoyable. Balance was good too, as different resources become the short-straw, depending on what my focus was or a recent event.

I never got too much into the overworld part of the game, as creating a caravan and sending people off seemed too great an effort vs the reward, but the one time I went kamikaze, sending all my people to attack an enemy base, the ensuing firefight was awesome. Mind you, I had to reload because the casualties and injuries sustained would have crippled me, but it was still a fun fight. I’m not sure if there is ever a time in the game where that’s a smart, viable choice, but as a ‘save and try it’ thing, its good.

As mentioned earlier, the end of the game is the weak point. In my game, once I reached 12+ people and had 75% of the tech tree done, I hit a point where I could defend fairly easily, had enough money to buy basically anything, could produce most resources, and it was just a matter of time until I build the spaceship. As the spaceship takes a massive amount of resources, the wait is long, but not very interesting.

Granted, I could have tried other things, like raiding enemy villages or such, but that seemed very slow and somewhat pointless besides the one-time fun aspect of the fight, as enemy bases didn’t contain enough loot or captives to justify the cost. Even with pods allowing me to fly one-way to the base, it still didn’t really seems that worthwhile.

I’m going to keep my eye on Rimworld however, as I think I’ll have a lot of fun with it again once its had more content added. Great game right now, and I’m sure it will continue to improve in the future.

Posted in Random, Steam Stuff | 2 Comments

Trashfire, elves, builders, and blindness

Collection of thoughts blog:

The cover of PCGamer has a line about Destiny 2 coming to the PC, and how it will be the savior of the MMO genre. What’s sadder: that Destiny 2, a game that isn’t really an MMO, is being called a savior for the genre, or that it’s kinda hard to argue against that point because the MMO genre (non-EVE) has been a dumpster fire for years?

They also have a preview of the next Total War:Warhammer game. Initially when TW:W was announced, it was announced as game one out of three, and my initial reaction was that they are just splitting one game into three, rather than making three actually different games. Well the good news/bad news is I was mostly right in feeling that way. TW:W2 is going to have only four races, a new campaign map, and some tweaks to features. It’s basically an expansion without being called that so it can be sold at full price. That’s the bad, but not surprising, news.

The good news, because it is basically an overpriced expansion, is that it will allow you to play one massive campaign across both the original games map and the new map, using all available races. Assuming that mode isn’t a disaster for whatever reason, it’s an even safer bet to assuming TW:W3 will be another full-priced ‘expansion. Pretty sure I’ll be pre-ordering all of them…

The new Builder Base mode in CoC is still a lot of fun, though right now its far less content than the core game. I basically play it once per day, get my three wins for the loot, set an upgrade, and that’s it. If it was a stand-alone game, it would suck. As a second option for CoC though, it’s not bad. The combat especially is a good twist on CoC, and the base-building feels fresh. All of that said, SuperCell better have additional content coming ‘soon’ to that mode, because pretty shortly most people are going to be sitting at or near the completion line for everything.

I’m still loving Rimworld. I just recently had an event that drove every rat on the map insane and had them attack my settlement. Luckily a trade caravan was around, so they took the brunt of the rats, which was pretty amusing to watch. I’ve also got a minor issue in that my top sharpshooter is missing one eye and has the other scratched, meaning she is 25% away from being completely blind. That’s bad for a sniper, so I’m really hoping a merchant rolls around with a cybernetic eye I can install in her. Bonus points with that is the fact that the cyber eye is actually better than a normal human eye, so it should counter-act the fact that her other eye will still be scratched. That of course assumes she survives the surgery. Wacky fun game that Rimworld.

Posted in Clash of Clans, MMO design, Random | 5 Comments

Strangers and a mass grave

Two fun items from Rimworld that just happened.

Near my starting position there was a large sealed off chamber. When I dug one square away from the inner wall, a warning came up about an ancient evil possibly residing inside. As this was early, I didn’t dare break the inner wall just yet. Time passed, I gained more colonists, they gained better combat skills and gear, and eventually I felt it was time to see what the chamber contained.

I gathered everyone together, set them to combat, and had one person dig their way through the wall. As soon as that section of the wall was down, the chamber was revealed to contain multiple cryosleep caskets. It was a bit spooky, with the chamber made from all dark slate, and containing nothing but those caskets.

Re-positioning everyone for combat inside the chamber, I again had one colonist open the first casket. Soon as that happened, all of the caskets flew open. Each contained a human, along with multiple engineered beetles. The humans were in various states. Some were too injured to move, one was walking about aimlessly, and two were instantly aggressive. The aggressive ones were put down fairly quickly by my team, as we were all armed and healthy, while the enemies were recovering from cryosleep and unarmed. Still, they were well trained, and got in some hard punches before going down.

I took the remaining humans as prisoners, with the hope of convincing them to join my colony in time. This also meant tending to their various wounds, along with feeding them. I sealed off the chamber in fear of the beetles becoming aggressive or causing trouble. As time went on, the prisoners all recovered and joined the colony, while the beetles starved and died. Salvaging the caskets provided some nice materials, and the room itself made for a nice addition to the base.

While all of that was happening, a general problem of what to do with corpses came up. Initially I was digging graves for everyone, including enemies such as raider, because when colonists walk by a dead body out in the open, they don’t like it and get all sad and mopey. This was becoming unmanageable however, since graves don’t decay and the initial burial site was prime real-estate for expansion.

I dug up the graves that were in the way, but this resulted in the skeletons of the dead laying about, which again my colonists did not particularly like. As a solution, I created a special ‘stockpile’ area, inside an old ruin, that was to only be used for decaying corpses. I then blocked decaying corpses from all other stockpiles, dug up all the graves, and watches as my colonists, much to their initial horror, moved every last corpse into the new stockpile. I happily named the stockpile “Mass Grave”, and I now have a ruin full of bodies and skeletons in various states of decay. Sealing off all but one entrance ensured my colonists didn’t see the site as they walked by. Problem solved.

Posted in Random