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Posts posted by Sno

  1. I just replayed Quake for the first time since i was a kid, and it's a game that was kind of a formative experience for me, so i've always been wary about treading on those memories.

    It was a weird experience, and i'm a little bummed out because i don't think the game holds up quite as well as i wanted it to. The weird thematic incoherence has often been a topic for people who want to look critically at the game, but i think it's actually one of Quake's strengths. It gives it a kind of weird sense of mechanical purity, that it sort of ends up being this abstract, contextless violence. I think the physics and the general feel of that game are as close to perfect as it could be, though the feel of the weapons specifically, and some of the weapon balance, came across as a little awkward this time around.


    The big thing that wasn't working for me though is that fourth episode with the unique and completely awful enemies and its dark, difficult to see, and difficult to navigate environments. It also seemed like there was a lot of cheap damage, with powerful enemies quietly being dumped into corridors you had just passed through seconds earlier, no walls noisily receding to signal the change in the map.

    That ambient ost is killer. (It's not in the steam version, so i just had it on a loop in the background.)

    But yeah, Quake's still mostly awesome, but i think i have to say that it probably hasn't aged quite as well as some of Id's other games.


    I'm not done with MH4U, but I am taking a break. It's a fantastic game, but banging my head against a gimmick fight with PUGs isn't fun, I'm sure I'll get past it eventually though.

    I'm probably on board for eventually doing a forum group, somebody just needs to set a time that works for everybody.

  2. So i want to revise an earlier opinion about damage ups, and then i'm going to list off a bunch of other updated observations about skills in the game.

    Damage ups cap early and hard and at different points on different shooters, but they don't cap at all on chargers and blasters and rollers and actually even grenades. (Though i've heard and generally observed that damage ups past the shooter cap still reduce damage fall-off past maximum range, but that's not very useful in most cases.)

    Now, in many of those cases, it seems like it still wouldn't matter because you're dealing with one hit kills mostly, but that's not really true. You might gain a little more consistency out of your roller's flick attack, but the real treat is faster kills at lower charges on chargers, improved splash damage for grenades and blasters, and some extremely interesting results in a few specific cases.

    Burst grenades, for example, which are not capped by by damage up and are not normally a one hit kill either.

    The custom jet squelcher is an interesting shooter that has a kraken and burst grenades bundled with it. The burst grenades on that have some pretty interesting interactions with the jet squelcher itself, namely landing a direct hit with a burst grenade and cancelling out of that throw into weapons fire makes a 4 hit kill a 2 hit kill that's about a quarter of a second faster. (Which makes a slow and very long-range weapon quite competitive up close. Also, for the record, it drops to 3 shots if the enemy only gets hit by the splash damage of the burst grenade.)

    I've been playing around with that though, and it took exactly five damage up subs to turn that combo into a 1 burst grenade and 1 shot kill that is just absurdly fast since you cancel out of the grenade throwing animation into weapons fire very quickly. (With these damage buffs, it's two shots of the JS when going of the burst grenade's splash damage, btw.)


    So it turns out damage up is awesome, but still super situational. Builds kind of have to find the right thresholds for each weapon and cater to those individually, and in some cases, weapons just won't gain anything from it.


    Also, i no longer feel that run speed up and swim speed up make enough of a difference to really matter. Run speed still seems more significant, and is very nice when combined with weapons that retain a lot of movement speed while firing, the n-zap is a good example, but swim speed is just such a tiny benefit. With no real data to back it up, i can say that i feel like i can maneuver more precisely and accelerate more quickly when using swim speed up, but i do not feel like my maximum speed is increased by any noticeable degree. (btw, neither swim speed up or run speed up affect the rollers' momentum during the held attack.)


    Of the three ammo buffs, ink saver main seems to have the most noticeable impact, but i still prefer using ink recovery.


    Given a lot of the details up top about damage ups, defense up also seems more useful now, it really throws those strats off. (Also the dummies in the training mode are clearly meant to be defense up mains, not subs as i think i had initially believed.)


    I think ink resistance kinda sucks now, after the nerf.


    Ninja squid is still awesome, despite the nerf.


    Quick respawn is hugely undervalued. If you die 6 times in a match, one quick respawn main is saving you 40 seconds of down time. In a game with 3-5 minute matches, that is huge.


    Special charge up is probably the all-around mvp of the skills though, it should probably basically always be in your build, and i think special saver is pretty valuable too. (Tenacity, imo, just doesn't really do enough to compare to either of those.)


    The are other skills that have proven very useful, such as special duration up and bomb throw, that should be factored into focused builds, but are hard to work into generalized builds because they're so situational. (Each of the two named do basically nothing for certain supers and sub weapons.)


    I don't really have any opinions about the super jump skills because i've basically stopped using super jump in the game aside from manic end-game tower pushes in ranked. Super jumps are just so unsafe, even with the stealth jump, teams never really ever try to make room for their allies to move in. (Though if they do, take advantage of it, of course.)


    I feel like the meta will probably swing back to super jumps pretty hard once ranked parties are up though, a communicative team could probably abuse the super jump mechanic pretty intensely. (A build with a fast super jump and recon could theoretically be crazy useful in a voice-chatting ranked group. Have somebody return to spawn to check on enemy positions and then go group up with team mates.)

  3. The ranked parties thing will be a new playlist called Squad Battle, it's worth pointing out. Normal ranked will still be solo queue.


    Further letter ranks will actually probably help ranked out a fair amount. Right now there's a thing where there are some A+ guys that obviously hit that ceiling hard, but are still getting dropped into lower B and A rank games and just wreck house to a hilarious degree. A little more distance there might make ranked a more enjoyable experience for everyone. (Though it might only be a temporary solution, there are some big issues with how ranking works in Splatoon.)


    Also, there was a japanese trailer for this update that depicted two new maps, maps we know not to be on the disc because those maps are now all live. One of the new maps was set on the roof of an apartment complex, and another spread out across a suspension bridge under construction. These maps are mia in descriptions of what the update contains, so they've probably been held back for another update a little further into the future. (Or will be in the update, but not be unlocked at that time.)


    Finally, In addition to these actual new guns and their variants, there are still around 20-30 other weapons on the disc that have yet to be unlocked by Nintendo. (There's also a CTF-esque mode that's still locked.)


    People think there might be more in-game music on the way for the game too.

    UNFORTUNATELY, the news isn't all cool. Apparently one individual has managed to get weapon hacks working online, demonstrating it on a livestream with effects ranging from "painting the entire arena with one shot" to "causing an overflow and lagging everybody out of the game." The person allegedly indicated that they would not release the specifics of how it was accomplished or the tools they used, but... You know...


    I guess it requires you to have a Wii U that has not been updated past a particular older and more vulnerable firmware, so it's probably not likely to become extremely prevalent over night, and i would hope Nintendo realizes they need to combat stuff like this for Splatoon to continue to flourish, but we'll see. These sorts of things are basically an inevitability for online games, and it usually comes down to how the developer was prepared to deal with it.

  4. I remember spending a lot of time in Halo 3's forge with friends and not really doing anything, not really building anything, just kind of spawning tanks and throwing them at eachother. Forge just kind of turned into a glorified chatroom that happened to have tanks and murder.

    Certainly though, i also spent a ton of time with co-op and matchmaking and even -actually- making things in forge and playing those things in custom games, but when i think back on it, probably an alarming amount of time was spent just fucking around doing nothing.


    Another one: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when, back when i was playing Total Annihilation as a kid, i used to love setting up skirmish matches that were just massively stacked against me. Huge groups of allied AI commanders.

    Except, see, the AI in that game had a pretty big issue. The commanders didn't really know how to deal with enemy air transports, and you could easily hijack their commanders if you rushed early in the game with a swarm of air transports. So i would go around collecting all the AI commanders, send around some early rushes to destroy what they had built, and then have all the suspended-in-cargo AI commanders just hang out on one end of the map while i built up my base unopposed. Get everything in place, make that hard save, and then just loose all those allied AI commanders and have hordes of thousands of units crash against my base's defenses to then see if i could both hold out and then mount a retaliation strong enough to still win the game.

    That was definitely me playing that game in a "wrong" way, but I also played that game online a bunch back then, and given that live matches rarely made it to end-game tech, it was just my way of ensuring that i had opportunities to play around with the coolest toys.

  5. I've just about finished the add-on and i like it quite a lot, though perhaps more for the unusual places the narrative goes than the actual game part.


    It plays pretty safe with the mechanics, the puzzles are generally concise and not overly challenging and built around one or two small twists on the application of the basic toolbox, though the game seems to be completely omitting at least one of the tools available to it and a lot of what's there can feel like retread. There's some really interesting puzzles in there for sure, though. The new environments are gorgeous too, that's worth noting, it's the most visually attractive stuff anywhere in that game.


    What's more interesting to me about that thing is what it's doing as a story though, and since it literally just came out, i'm not even going to get into spoilers. It could be taken as very irreverent and pandering though, but i think there's more to what it's trying to do than that.


    It's good though, i'd recommend it. It's fairly big too, it's about as large as one of the worlds in the base game, but it's very, very dense with narrative content.

  6. Anybody else watch Evo over the weekend?


    I still need to catch up on UMVC3 and USF4, but i'm going to say that the KI3 finals were the unexpected highlight of the event for me.


    I wonder if you could make an interesting game experience (probably platform / action game) where varying the frame rate was a core mechanic. You could make simple challenges more difficult, or play with it on a meta-level where, say, collision detection runs on the frame, but it computes movement based on deltas, so you can pass-through obstacles / projectiles as long as your speed is greater than the frame refresh rate.


    Unfortunately, i don't recall what game it was, but there was definitely a game being speedrun at one of the GDQ events where the runner was talking about how manipulating the framerate was basically accepted by that particular community as a valid tactic for speedrunning it because of the various collision bugs that bore out of it.

  7. Made it to coaster king!

    I have also done this, also for the coasters. Seeing the huge bias in favor of the water slides in miiverse posts around the hub sure makes me feel like i picked the wrong side.

    Splatfest was pretty rough for me this time around though. Connectivity seemed pretty bad, i never really managed to land in a good party that would last for more than a couple of games, and i kind of hate two of the three maps that were in rotation.

  8. This discussion is becoming increasingly weird and fascinating to me.  I agree with most of your technical points, but draw a totally different conclusion...


    ...You are allowed your opinion of course so don't think I'm trying to say you're wrong.  I just find it interesting that what you perceive as faults I find to be strengths.


    It's an interesting conversation to have had, certainly.


    What I was attempting to assert, and in my eyes you have reinforced, is that you are not interested in the Rogue specifically in Rogue Legacy. A good chunk of its design basically made it the standard bearer for Roguelite games, and the boxes you're ticking against it are specifically the things that made me so excited to play it in the first place or were literally advertising features. The rooms are all hand-made by a designer. That was a selling point of the game. If this game had a box, that would be a bullet point on the back of it. They're not broken, you can complete every room because they were built to ensure it. The "Legacy" in the title is selling the persistence over time aspect, and the twist on the genre.


    Huh? I'm not saying that the rooms being designed is a tick against it, i'm saying that the rooms being designed and dull is a tick against it. There's no primitive procedural generation to blame it on. It's also obviously not producing levels that are literally broken, but in the broader context of the randomized nature of the game, they're not always completable. I feel the potential solutions that are provided have enough of a downside to not really warrant being engaged with.


    Hey, Super Metroid though, Super Metroid's cool. I think this Rogue Legacy thing has run its course.

  9. There's been a small balance update along the way, but it's mostly just been weapons and maps. Depending on how long you've been gone, some of the additional weapons will have changed the meta pretty dramatically. So did that balance patch, actually.


    The big overhaul is coming in august, though nobody's sure what the entirety of that will end up being.


    Edit: Oh, of course, the tower mode. If you haven't played that, it's a ton of fun. It rotates in and out of ranked, which will be gone for the duration of the Splatfest, unfortunately.

  10. See, that's a point i'm probably willing to concede on. If nothing else, all the conversations about platformers i've had on these boards over the last little while illustrate to me that people approaching the genre from different entry points expect very different things out of physics and control.

    To me, the movement felt... I don't know how else to describe it other than loose, but not unresponsive as you're taking it to mean. It felt to me like none of the movement had any weight to it. I gave that game way more time that i felt like i should have, and i never got used to how it controls.

  11. No, i will reassert that the majority of what i dislike in Rogue Legacy is definitely the execution of its core mechanics and its level design. The dull and simplistic enemies, the loose control mechanics, the ambiguous hitboxes, the unreliable knockback, etc. (Edit: I keep wanting to add more things here, as i continue to think back on the game it just raises up more frustrating memories of it. Those classes were terribly balanced.) Some of them are certainly more open to debate, but the wild and confusing disparity between the player sprite and its collision surely is not. As for the level design, the layouts may be randomized, but the rooms are not. Play enough of that game and it's obvious that rooms repeat and are designed, and those designs are generally just not very interesting, and at worst are fundamentally broken. Treasure rooms that need to be solved with items that didn't appear on a given run, for example. Sure you can lock the castle until you have a character that deal with those challenges, but locking the castle reduces the rewards in the castle. The game is constantly giving you questions without answers. It's hard to overlook as an element of simple randomized omission when it constantly draws attention to the matter. Instead of something simply not appearing in a given run, it's giving you impossible tasks, and it beats you over the head with it constantly. I think that's really shitty design.


    Trying to assert that i just don't like roguelike or roguelite designs is, i think, a bit of a false premise where Rogue Legacy is concerned. This is going to be a tangent. I like the genre and its derivatives quite a lot, but i how i feel about the genre seems rather immaterial here since Rogue Legacy doesn't actually even adhere to what i think is probably the core tenet of roguelike designs. I think far too much of Rogue Legacy depends on what you did in previous playthroughs for it be properly considered as such. So much of that game depends on you having persisted through mechanical progression in advance of any given run, instead of taking each run as a singular thing, a microcosm of choices, reactions, and game progression. There are other games, Nuclear Throne and FTL as examples, that have unlocks persisting through subsequent playthroughs, but they are not progression systems tying together disparate runs into a single advancing playthrough, they're different starting points. I think Rogue Legacy is a fundamentally different thing and that its name is something of a misnomer, and, fair enough, i don't like the thing that it is. (Or maybe i do and i just think its core mechanics are bad, who knows. I definitely think its core mechanics are bad though.)


    I mean, but i get it, i'm apparently odd man out on the Rogue Legacy train.

  12. I think Rogue Legacy imitates Castlevania in that it imitates other games that imitate Castlevania.  Yes, those mechanics are present in Castlevania, but they're also sort of standard fare these days so I don't know that saying it wants to be Castlevania is entirely fair.


    I also disagree that it doesn't reward skillful play.  It's entirely possible to do well and beat the game with very few levels and abilities.  It takes good knowledge of how rooms are generated, enemy behavior, classes and traits, and movement abilities.  It's admittedly designed more towards progression via grinding but there's still room for skillful play.


    I mean, Rogue Legacy is also mimicking the series mythology of Castlevania, it presents a caricatured take on Castlevania's central premise of a family of brave warriors that rises up every generation to take on a resurgent, amorphic castle and its demonic lords.


    Also, i'm not saying that it's impossible to play that game well, but the way it pushes back against skillful play with enemies that have overwhelming statistical advantages is an obvious indication that the game doesn't want you to get far without first engaging with the primary character building systems, which is ultimately a system that is built to reward repeated failure. It's a loop that is intentionally necessitating a resource grind before reasonably allowing progress through the game. Maybe that's interesting, that it's a game about kind of failing your way through it, but i don't think it's fun.


    Except, now that i've typed that up, here i am seeing some parallels in those words with how Monster Hunter is a game that is largely about grinding for resources to build the gear you need to fight bigger monsters.

    So maybe put all that aside, maybe it just all boils down to the already stated reasons for why i think Rogue Legacy's core mechanics and level design are bad.


    If the foundation of the game clicks, so does the grind, i guess.

  13. Has La Mulana come up in this thread?

    Since this is generally now "the thread where Metroidvania games are discussed" i'm going to throw out a recommendation for that game, but... That's a game where people sort of need to know what they're getting into, it has a real sadistic streak. Lots of really cruel traps and difficult fights, but it also has maybe a few easily missed things and a bunch of fairly obtuse and complicated actual puzzles to solve. I mean, and the answers are there in the game, the clues are all over the place, but the game never tells you to look for them. It's that kind of game, it does not hold your hand at all and you can pretty thoroughly screw up a playthrough, but everything you need is in there somewhere.


    It all seemed very intentioned, it's a very well constructed and enjoyably devious game, but it's perhaps appealing for a narrower audience than basically every other game that has been noted in this thread.


    Available on Steam!

  14. Has anybody here mentioned that custom games are apparently coming with the august update? I didn't realize that was a thing Nintendo had confirmed until very recently.

    So the august update will have both party matchmaking and custom games.

    I'm assuming custom games will be run out of private lobbies, and party matchmaking is allegedly going to be a new playlist. I wonder how the presence of those will affect matchmaking times across the board. There at least seems to be enough people playing to probably accommodate these additional features.


    Also: Splatfest starts on the 17th, today, at 9pm pacific.

  15. So that Red Ash kickstarter has not been performing as well as one would expect of a kickstarter for a spiritual successor to Megaman Legends.


    Lots of accusations are being tossed around about how Comcept has mishandled that thing.

    Certainly, i don't think there was some grand misreading of the internet, there's definitely a lot of people who desperately want another game in the vein of Megaman Legends.

  16. One possibility to consider is that you're getting wrecked by elemental damage. The late game monsters start tossing around tons of elemental attacks, so elemental resistances are a huge factor in g-rank. Having armor that could protect me against the specific elements g-rank monsters were throwing at me made a lot of those early g-rank fights a total cakewalk. (Failing that, certain elemental food bonuses can completely negate a specific weakness, or offer around a 7 point buff.)

    Like armor skills, elemental resistances actually have thresholds. You can even gain immunity versus a given elemental blight at around... I think 20?

    Elemental resistances are huge though, at -10 you might be getting ohk'd at full health in excellent armor, while at 20 you could end up with barely a scratch.


    - I like to hit-and-run. 

    - I don't like slow things

    - I don't like getting close.


    Did you ever try the long swords? You get lots of mobility, lots of range, and relatively rapid attacks.


    Edit: Also, how about a Monday night weekly hunt?


    I might be interested in being involved with a regular group game here. My character's sitting at around early g-rank right now, the other group i was playing with kind of fell apart and i was probably just going to call it done.

  17. Seeing the way people are responding to this game and talking about this game gives the impression that it will suffer a spectacularly negative response when it comes out, and i'm saying that as a huge Megaman fan and somebody who thinks the game is actually looking pretty good.

    I think the issue lies with the fact that what IntiCreates and Comcept are doing with this game seems very evocative of the Megaman games IntiCreates' was making towards the end of their involvement with the franchise. Lots of dashing and lots of melee and lots of weird and gimmicky systems, i don't think that's what people wanted or expected from this kickstarter. Mighty No 9 seems like a fairly natural progression of what they were already doing with Megaman, and while their Megaman games were actually really great games, I think people generally wanted more of an old-school throwback out of this kickstarter.


    Anybody want to corroborate or refute that impression?


    Also, just... It really is ugly. It has such a barren and lifeless look. There's not really any denying it.

  18. Okay, so i guess i'm not buying into the notion that Rogue Legacy is a thing that was trying to be wholly different from Castlevania, then.


    The similarity in attack arcs with the larger claymore weapons in the metroidvania Castlevanias is clearly evident to me, the side dashes are evocative of the back dash mechanic, the use of a sub weapon mechanic and even the kinds of sub weapons presented in the game are also a clear allusion to Castlevania. The pogo hop is even functionally identical to the dive kick in Iga's games! I can't see it as anything else than a game that wants to be a Castlevania roguelike, and i think it does it badly. I had huge problems with how it generates its levels and expects you to engage with them, it presents some fundamentally broken questions, rooms that tease rewards beyond challenges that have no reasonable answer. I also thought its bosses were simplistic damage sponges, but more generally there's that unpredictable knockback that makes it difficult to set up successive attacks, ambiguous and ill-defined hitboxes, and a lack of greater combat nuance like what is present in those later Castlevanias. (Rogue Legacy doesn't give you any animation cancels to play around with, for example.)


    Options for advanced mobility are absolutely a thing that's present in the metroidvania Castlevanias, double jumps and back dashes and slide kicks and dive kicks and super jump uppercuts and all sorts of weird mobility options in combat. It's heavier in its feel, for sure, and that's probably down to personal preference, admittedly. For my own part, I hated the loose feeling of Rogue Legacy's jumping mechanics.


    It felt like I approached every enemy in Rogue Legacy the same way, and it became a question of endurance to avoid getting hit more than actually hitting new types of challenges. Co-incident with that being the primacy with which the castle was presented suggested to the player that grinding to improve the castle was the best progression. What other progression was available (fairy chests) felt unsatisfyingly limited (incremental improvement doled out too slowly).


    That's where Rogue Legacy finally broke for me and i decided that i kind of hated it. The way the game is structured does not reward skillful play, it rewards a grind.

    God dammit, i hate being so negative, i was trying to avoid taking another dump on Rogue Legacy.

    Griddlelol, bums me out to see that you've had a bad experience with SotN, i'd like to encourage sticking with it a bit more since it sounds like you're still really early into it, but i'm not sure that's going to change your mind based on what you've been saying.

  19. I played enough of Ikaruga on the GC to be able to s-rank the early stages and 1cc the game, but in the years since, I've gone back to the game multiple times and never been able to get anywhere even remotely close to that. 


    I think my love of that game has waned somewhat with the realization that it's virtually a rhythm game with how rigidly you have to adhere to your plotted route, and how prescribed-in-the-design that route can seem.

    Ikaruga is a beautiful and remarkable thing though, it's still a favorite. (I still use Ikaruga art as a desktop image!)

  20. I was honestly a little shocked at how good the solo game in Splatoon is. I went into it assuming that it would have just been a lazy "throw it in" the way the 1v1 local mode is, but it's definitely not that.


    It's probably the part of that game that is the most unmistakably a product of Nintendo, it's so evocative of the 3D Mario games in its level design and how it employs the toolbox of mechanics at its disposal.


    Those bossfights were especially impressive, yeah.


    Wouldn't mind seeing an even more fleshed out solo mode in a Splatoon follow-up, ideally without them lazily repurposing multiplayer maps for some of the stages. (Or at least doing it in a more interesting way.)

  21. This whole Castlevania conversation motivated me to dig up my copies of the DS games, and after messing around on old save files for a bit to refresh my memory on various details for the purposes of these conversations, i decided that i really actually needed to go and finally finish playing Order of Ecclesia. It was something i somehow had never really gotten around to doing before, and i still haven't done it quite yet either, because i started a new save and i'm probably less than half way through right now. I think Order of Ecclesia is a really terrific thing though, i'll probably stick some thoughts about it in this thread whenever i get done with it. One of the things that instantly stands out to me, though, is just how great it looks. I think it's one of the best-looking games on the original DS. (I love that early area where you're jumping across floating debris in an area where the water level constantly raises and lowers, while a polygonal scene in the background depicts a huge ship being tossed about in an intense storm.)


    I like SCIV a lot, and it's worth playing even if you don't like any of the sprawling, metroidvania titles. It's a laser-focused game, not an ounce of fat, and it also has a kicking soundtrack.


    People generally argue that the multi-directional whip sort of breaks Castlevania's old-school platforming action dynamics, and i'm inclined to agree, but it's still certainly a top-notch production. Man, and that soundtrack? Really hard to believe that the SNES sound chip produced



    Speaking of Order of Ecclesia, that has a



    I feel like maybe i should put together a few Castlevania posts in the music thread.


    Sno, I thought you said a while back that you thought Rogue Legacy only bore a superficial resemblance to Castlevania? If you did, I agree with you. The movement in Rogue Legacy doesn't feel like anything from any 'Vania I've ever played, and the (uninspired) appearance of the different zones seems derivative of any number of other games, not any location specific to Castlevania.


    I don't know if that's specifically a thing i said, but i don't like Rogue Legacy and i can probably buy into those sentiments. It's a game that clearly wants so much to be Castlevania, but can't quite square those ambitions with the nuance of its execution, it's very at odds with itself. It's kludgy and badly designed, and throughout it all, it faces you with locations and enemies that could not possibly have any less character than they already do. I could not believe the game was so glowingly received on Steam, i felt like i was crazy. Sensible, reasonable people like Rogue Legacy, i don't understand it. To each their own, i suppose.


    I thought it had good music though! So there's that.