His reasons for sacrificing his freedoms for others' and Julian Assange shows support. We've assumed our government was spying on us for years...turns out we were right.
Apologies for the Gawker-like title, but it's a lot nicer than what I had in mind.
Deux Ex: The Fall will release exclusively to mobile devices. I've pasted the press release for those who want to avoid the site's ads:
Press Release wrote:
This really didn't surprise me that much, but I was a bit amused that SE decided to move to mobile at the worst possible time. I'd given up on the franchise after the ending given to Deus Ex:HR and that absurd arcade boss battle.
"But you own a tablet, why are you so negative?
I really hope Square Enix finds their Waterloo next year and we get another THQ scenario wherein IPs get distributed to worthy publishers.
I'm a little over an hour into it and I'm enjoying myself. The sound design and overall feel is amazing. The story feels like it'll turn predictable at any moment, but the narrative had me sucked in so I don't expect it will matter that much.
The Anita Sarkeesian thread is clearly not the place for this, so I'll make a new one.
There are so many big-budget games I never touch because of either the protagonist or the premise. As I look at the targeted demographics, I can easily see why. This thread is an attempt to generate discussion surrounding the gaping holes that major developers either refuse to, or are not allowed to touch. I covered some of this in my Combat-Sim thread, but that focus was fairly narrow.
My wishlist for the industry:
I could probably think of more, but that's it for now. How about you?
This comes up a lot, so I thought it could do with its own thread.
When I see "Broadband Internet Connection" listed under a game's requirements, I don't get angry or depressed, I just ask WHY? This is not a question of corporate vs. customer rights as much as a question of efficiency.
An oft-quoted response to "why do we have to be online" complaints is "well you're online most of the time anyway...", yet we're not. Not really. I log onto Steam when I plan to play, I open a browser only when I need to, I download only when I feel the compulsion to do so. Every connection has a legitimate reason.
As to concerns about licensing and "proper usage":
How does this apply to the topic at hand? For an example: It is none of Bioware or EA's business that I modify NPC textures or models in my personal installation of Dragon Age 2. None.
I blame Square Enix's poor reaction to Nude Raider mods for all the "proper usage" legalese... Another example: I routinely edit a game's ini files to hasten its launch time. If every meaningless "is this a legal copy, no there's no real content in this update" update replaces those files and forces me to do everything all over again, I consider the process inefficient. Let's say that my ini edits were only to force the game to run at a tolerable resolution. Is that also improper usage? No, not in context.
Until I sign a service plan instead of a license agreement, I expect to be able to access content I paid for however I choose. With this in mind, it is inefficient for me to be connected constantly.
Your mileage may vary.
When I saw the title pop up in upcoming releases, I rolled my eyes and scrolled onwards. I'm not sure what exactly caught my eye and made me reconsider, but I saw the price on Steam and thought "what the hell, it's fourteen bucks".
I've not been disappointed.
Since I haven't finished it, I'll hold off on a proper review and just list a few things that I absolutely love about the game:
Well, it certainly looked like an amazing title until I saw the system requirements section:
Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
I hope this is a mistake; the Wikipedia entry mentions nothing of the sort. If this is an indicator of an always-online DRM method, Capcom just lost another customer. F%!!ing shame, really.
- 9.99 USD on Steam
Normally, I stay far away from arcade-paced action/shooter titles, but God Mode's art design peaked my interest. When I realized it was LAN-capable (and knowing that I'd lose interest in an hour or two on my own), I talked a few friends into buying it and we wasted around twenty minutes or so this morning. It took a few minutes for us to get serious, but by then we were all dead and the arena reloaded with a different array of enemies that ruined what little tactics we could devise. Only one really b&~!@ed about the gameplay, while the rest of us sat giggling at the narrator and occasional surprises the game would toss our way (no, I'm not spoiling those).
Closing, but not really "final", thoughts:
At the moment, it's 10% off at 13.49 USD on Steam.
I wished I knew nothing about the title going in, but that hasn't taken too much away from the game. It's not a bad title so far, though a few things are annoying me (I'll cover these once I finish).
On Steam for $10.
Review with spoilers:
Three major areas: Financial District, Slaughterhouse Row, and a slightly modified Flooded District. The story's not a long one and remains mostly spoiler free. I've just finished a rushed, high-chaos run and feel mostly satisfied--I'm trusting the non-lethal run to be more enjoyable. The nice thing about this DLC is the emergence of a side-plot that parallels Corvo's journey and new information about Dunwall that leaves us wanting more.
Overall, it's not bad, but I feel a bit like my lust for more Dunwall lore is dulling any disappointment I might have had. I'll post more after a complete play-through.
This video reminded me of why I'm steadily becoming more and more disappointed with today's games. I also recommend checking out the uploader's other videos...and I'm going to talk to myself occasionally, so bear with me.
It's really getting old. Really. I know good single player experiences are hard to come by these days, but I'm sick of spending 80% of my time murdering wildlife, bandits, "terrorists", guards, robots, undead, mutants, f$#%ing zombies (I'm actually just sick of zombies in general), psychotic wasteland nomads, and entire mythology creature catalogues. Keep in mind that I'm not against video game violence at all--I'm just bored.
Alternative routes such as hacking, lock-picking, persuasion, and stealth are slowly creeping into more and more action games. Hell, Dishonored and Fallout: NV feature the option to avoid homicide entirely.
"The Thief series did this as well, so what are you complaining about?"
That is what I'm complaining about: applying action-genre expectations to titles that were never really about action. Thief was always about snagging more loot and staying out of sight, but the expectation of possible action fans playing the game almost demanded an arsenal of weaponry. Garrett could barely hold his own against one combatant, much less an entire squad of armed guards; nevertheless, one could outfit the master thief with explosives and go to town. I maintain that the Thief series should focus entirely on stealth and trickery and leave melee combat to the professionals.
"So go play something else like Sims or Portal!"
Why should fantasy, scifi, and period-themed games focus solely on violent conflict? Why can't I teach or attend a mages' school without the threat of supernatural invasion? Can space operas only exist during intergalactic wars? Should every mystery game star martial artists that face off against waves of hired mercenaries on a regular basis? I don't believe that combat or combat-avoidance scenarios are the only path to entertainment. Nor do I believe quick-time events are the only way to engage a player's attention (I'm looking at you, David Cage).
Gameplay can be slow paced and dialogue-based without being dull and forgetable. Dishonored proved that excellent world-building can keep a player invested throughout a title's tedious bits of gameplay. How could a romance/slice-of-life game seem boring when set aboard an Enterprise-inspired starship?
My point is that there are gaping holes in the video game market and triple-A publishers are being too risk-averse to try anything other than a sports sim, WoW clone, or plotless military training software. This attitude cannot exist alongside "we need to expand our customer base" in a sane world. This issue has been on my mind for a while, but the initial intent was to link the video and generate some discussion regarding the over-saturation of violence in non-action genres.
It's been almost two years since Kalypso's Dungeons crawled into the market and disappointed most of its buyers. I didn't outright despise the title as much as I probably should, but I've spent less than twenty hours on it and it's been a year since I've touched the game. While Dungeons never claimed to be a third Dungeon Keeper, Kalypso did little to discourage the rumors. I hate, hate marketing in all its forms.
That said, both newcomers look appealing. Preordered.
I'm curious as to other GMs' preferences concerning bestiary design standards and related miscellany.
1 - Would you prefer creature layouts (non-animal, non-construct) built at 0HD (or close) in order to allow for maximum customization?
For example, basic goblin statistics can be used as-is for generic enemies, possible NPC, or as a race option for PCs.
2 - Do you advance creatures as needed or prefer to stick with whatever published builds are available?
3 - If you advance or modify creatures, what is the preferred method (standard HD advancement, class levels, etc.)?
Every time I play a bit of Drakensang: RoT I find myself looking for the German audio files. I'm sick to f*+*ing death of inferior voice acting in import titles. What the hell's wrong with reading the subtitles? I'm really tired of playing games with the localized voice-overs muted.
Anime fans know this feeling all too well.
I'm not asking the industry to change--that's like jumping the Channel--I'm only asking for the original audio to be included. Not default, just included so that I can have access to an audio track that doesn't make my ears bleed.
For many, a dead PC at low levels is simply a corpse; similarly, a PC captured and abandoned by their group is never heard from again, save a poignant mention of familiar broken and battered prisoner seen during the group's return. My current group never liked this approach for several reasons: enduring the mistreatment/slavery/etc. for a chance to escape, morbid curiosity, campaign foreshadowing, where did the corpse go?, and so on.
Everyone managed to get today off, so an early morning journey to Rappan Athuk was called for. Two characters fell within half an hour and I spent a solid ten minutes detailing the pair's death. The next Game Over involved a PC's capture that took almost twenty minutes to cover where, what, and how that character's end finally came. All of this has been at the group's request and they have yet to discover an entrance.
No other group I've GMed for or played with wanted to peek behind the "Game Over" screen. Getting to the point of the thread: How does your group handle "Game Overs"?
Anyone playing it? It's still $7.99 on Steam for the next 17(ish) hours.
It's not bad, from a survival horror connoisseur perspective, but the s+!!ty retro look gets pretty annoying. Sort of reminds me of the Clocktower series (visually). I find myself playing it in bursts of fifteen to twenty minutes thanks to the visual styles and an over-cautious attitude (something I fall back on with every horror game I play).
So far, it's worth the eight bucks.
*Avernum was released early for Macs, but the Windows build isn't available until it's up on Steam.
Thoughts? Since the Geneforge series was amazing and Avadon was (and is) beyond boring, I'm pretty much sold on Avernum.
Behold, the Order of the Chauvinist!
Cavaliers of this order must be male (aspiring female applicants must take steps to become male...*snickers*). Mighty warriors and wise mentors, these cavaliers reinforce traditional gender roles and protect the world against new and dangerous ideas.
Edicts: The cavalier must refute all lies regarding gender equality, education, and sexual "harassment". He must disrupt feminist rallies, protect reckless females from engaging in duels, and prevent women from reading outside of the 'Society' section of each day's broadsheet. He must also stop and admire any woman whose flesh is exposed beyond traditional standards, offering suggestions or approval as applicable.
Challenge: Whenever an order of the chauvinist issues a challenge, he receives a +1 morale bonus on all melee attacks rolls against any obviously male humanoid, monstrous humanoid, or giant. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels the cavalier possesses.
Skills: An order of the chauvinist cavalier adds Knowledge (nobility) and Perception to his list of class skills. In addition, an order of the chauvinist cavalier adds his Charisma modifier to the DC on another creature's attempt to conceal their gender from him through Disguise (in addition to his Wisdom modifier as normal).
Other Abilities: A cavalier belonging to the order of the chauvinist gains the following abilities as he increases in level.
Enhanced Bravery (Ex)
Protector of Wenches (Ex)
Only intelligence-based casters (and alchemists) are required to physically store the spells they 'know'. It seems to me that a high intelligence score would indicate a good memory; why shouldn't wizards 'remember' their spells? What if spellbooks could be created as sort of expensive combined scroll? As long as the flavor was intact would it matter?
This is intended as a discussion (The battleground's that way...), so here are a few questions to get things started:
1 - Do you feel that the spellbook (or equivalent) mechanic--not flavor--is necessary for INT-based casters? If so, why?
2 - Do you feel that the flavor and themes surrounding an INT-based caster require them to draw their power from a book or pet? Could you cite examples (books, film, etc.) as to why?
3 - What would be your response to removing spellbooks (and equivalents) as a requirement for INT-based casters? This would not mean witches would have to give up their familiars, but rather that they could prepare spells without chatting up their pet each morning. The casters would still have to pay the necessary gold to learn new spells (outside of leveling up) and prepare them each day as usual.
4 - Have you (or has your GM/DM) made any house-rules regarding this? If so, what changes were made?
Background: I never played the original, but I've heard good things about it.
Since Bethesda's marketing department (or whoever) decided to delay the last bit of DLC for New Vegas when I 'needed' it most, I figured it was time for an impulse buy that would discourage me from getting the DLC when it came out.
Steam had a few titles that looked interesting, but everything's coming out later--wait? What's this, Deus Ex HR unlocks tonight? Well let's look at the trailers at leas--yep, $45 here you go.
Anyone else looking forward to this?
For those unfamiliar with the titles...:
REC: a Spanish horror film
Quarantine: remake of the above title aimed at people who fear subtitles and love long expositions before the plot kicks in
Everytime I learn of an American remake of a foreign horror film, I cringe. I believe that people who refuse to read subtitles should not get to experience the movie. US distributors have an opposing viewpoint: "You say you can't watch the movie 'cause of all the dirty foreigners speakin' their weird languages? Don't worry! 'Got a genuine American-made remake right here! And don't sweat the story parts 'cause it's just a horror flick; you know, people die and weird stuff happens. Enjoy the movie!"
REC 2 picks up where REC left off; same building, same night. The story centers around a four-man special forces team (each sporting a helmet-mounted camera) attempting to assess the situation within the apartment building.
The cinematography really shines in the sequel, allowing for immersion and quality visuals. There's quite a few creepy moments to be found and the acting is top-notch. A weird story development comes out of nowhere and surprisingly (despite my personal opinions of the writer's choice) manages to cement my interest for the remainder of the film.
As for Quarantine 2: the story does pick up after the events of Quarantine, but it also leaves the apartment building and boards an airplane. The plot pales in comparison to REC 2. Predictability and cardboard characters dominate this film; the actors (well, some of them anyway) do their best, but shoddy writing and editing overshadows all their efforts.
The actors with the most screen time interested me the least and moreso with regard to the characters portrayed. I truly hated the main female character within the first ten minutes. At the film's mid-point, the actors I cared about were gone (or on the floor face-down) and all I was left with was a low-grade zombie-fanboy of a film that should have never left the runway.
REC 2: The film rivals its predecessor and stands as a solid horror title worth watching.
Quarantine 2: A garbage plot, awful script, and horribly portrayed (and written) main characters eclipse what little gems this film could have offered.
After hearing people talking about the title for months(and mispronouncing the word every damn time), I looked up the film and read the premise. Realizing the makers of Dead Silence were behind it, I thought I'd give it a go. The street date drew near and the hype was significant. I watched Insidious last night (solo, no lights, full screen, headphones...the only way to watch a horror film) and this is my review.
Horror is my go-to entertainment when boredom sets in; I've seen so much that the typical "one, two, scream" rhythm (and variations of it) does nothing for me (usually). Atmosphere is what gets under my skin. That said, the opening credits of Insidious creeped me the f%@! out. That's a first for me, being unsettled by the opening credits. The first 3.35 minutes of the film promised subtle and disturbing fun for the rest of the film.
For most of the first third of the film, things are standard haunted-house fare. The home is an older one with awful lighting, so every scene has its creep factor doubled. I mean seriously, people, buy better lights for your house. Minor weirdness sets in and the kid's comatose (within twenty minutes). The mood gets bleaker and the haunts mount in severity until the family...moves. That's right. Usually the husband ignores the wife until caskets fly through the floorboards, but this family plays things smart (except for home lighting).
Shortly after the move, things continue to escalate. A quick game of hide and seek featuring a filthy street urchin from circa 1870 London and the wife's favorite mellow piano record exchanged for Tiny Tim's rendition of Tiptoe Through the Tulips (creepy in its own right) puts the story back on track. A priest makes a, thankfully, brief visit. After a nice and twisted dream recap, the comatose kid's furniture goes a##%+&+ and the husband's suspicious mother recommends "an old friend" for metaphysical damage control.
Next comes the comedy hour featuring two tech assistants (one's the writer) to confirm what we already know. Typical late-middle-aged psychic lady shows up and gets a nice first impression. Expected seance takes place complete with crazy possessed fun. The problem turns out to be the comatose kid, who's apparently been astral projecting (unknowingly) and left a "For Lease" sign on his body. Conveniently this is a genetic condition and "only the husband can save him". While this last section is interesting, the subtly is gone and the scares are (mostly) formulaic. Even the ending is cliché.
It should be said that none of the negatives outweigh the film's good points; this is a solid horror film in an age of cheap scares and over-the-top gore. The atmosphere only lets up near the end of the film and the sound design is exceptional (like Dead Silence). The special effects are mostly done with makeup and camera tricks (leaving only a few minor, unavoidable, CG bits at the end). Horror fans will likely enjoy Insidious, but casual watchers might get bored during the final act. Also the fact that I didn't have to endure (another) stupid exorcism scene, is a huge plus.
I began thinking about the volitile nature of firearms (esp. period firearms) and considered the spark cantrip. The "unattended" requirement bothered me, so here's a new spell:
I try to apply science to fantasy when applicable. In this case, it's almost pseudoscience given the fictional nature of magic -- moving on...
Let's assume that positive energy (regardless of the source) rebuilds and restores damaged tissue. Negative energy would attack and distort healthy tissue.
Since positive energy basically regrows tissue, it's feasible that (if applied excessively) positive energy could create cancer. With the same logic, negative energy (if used sparingly) could kill any malignant growth and possibly the guilty tumors.
I think this would make for an excellent, albeit gritty, optional rule: when characters are healed beyond maximum HP, they risk cancerous growths. If the cancer is caught early, restoration and similar spells can remove the affected tissue.
Any thoughts on this? I've no idea about the mechanics at this point; it's just been on my mind for several days.
**I apologize if this hits close to home, that wasn't the intention.
Finished the campaign and the custom maps today; my thoughts...
Dungeons is aimed at fans of the Dungeon Keeper series, but the game is as far as one can get from DK/DK2 without leaving the Fantasy-Villain-Sets-Up-Shop subgenre (maybe it's a sub-subgenre).
Some gameplay elements:
Dungeons is basically a business sim with a fresh coat of paint. I'm just posting this to let people know what they're getting actually buying. It's not an awful game (I give it a 68), but the advertising is way off.
I've bit off more than I can chew...and it tastes funny.
After getting my new group familiar with PFRPG through the Crypt of the Everflame arc - with nice, goodly champions - they asked if we could vary from setting to setting between campaigns. Absolutely. Did they have anything in mind? *ten minutes of verbal chaos* So I had them list movies, tv serials, games, and published settings that they'd like to try; I said I would blend an idea from each of them into a new setting.
Player1 - Fallout 3 & NV, "Batman" (not the movie or game title, just Batman), Cowboy Bebop
None are picky about the time period (Dark Ages, modern, post-apocalyptic, future) as long as it's not Victorian-esque. Any ideas are welcome, I just can't decide how to go about this.
The crawling hand entry only had so much space, so I wasn't surprised by the absence of any creation requirements. Would animate dead at CL 9 satisfy the creation of an undead with animal-level intelligence? Does an INT score (no matter how low) warrant create undead? Would the caster have to develop a spell specifically for this undead?
I'm planning on sticking with the first solution, but I'm curious how others would handle it.
Six years ago, I (with a lot of help) killed Mystra in a Forgotten Realms homebrew ran by a very creative DM; was a long campaign lasting maybe eight months. Since then I've always allowed that possibility should the players reach the level my teammates and I did, but I've noticed (at conventions, alternative DM/GMs, etc) that many GMs would never let the players reach such levels of power and/or allow them to snuff out the divine. So I'm curious:
- Ever kill a deity/had players kill a deity?