Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by Codicier

  1. I'm doubt i'm alone when i say as long as you keep putting intelligent people with a unique perspective playing interesting games, i'll happily put up with the occasional annoying stuttering. Yeah it would be nice if it had perfect production but i'm just glad we get to see it.
  2. Episode 174: For I Have Sinned

    I'm find myself in a similar position to jhm42, caught unsure over whether or not to take the plunge for Rebellion. I've always loved the Sin's series, but now i find myself hesitating for the 1st time. The decision just seems much murkier than it used to be, there are so many good games out there now, many of which are often heavily discounted, and even old games have become a lot easier to get hold of. I don't even think its the bottom line costs,'ve been buying more and more board games recently and they certainly aren't cheap. It may even be as that EA executive a while back suggested, and that iOS and Steam sales have actually changed my perception of value for video games. This isn't a reflection on what the developers have accomplished in any way, it more that something has fundamentally changed in my buying habits. If I'm honest i had put it on the back burner and wasn't even seriously considering it until i heard this podcast.
  3. Note to other readers: don't listen to thumbs progresscast's when you are trying to sleep. My dreams were haunted by the image of a Womble with a blueprint. This morning i woke determined to find out whether such a thing actually exists, or if the the guys ramblings has somehow actually overwritten part of my brain's file on childhood television shows.
  4. As you can see, deciding to poke your nose through a portal late in the game is a interesting experience Sorry for the small image size but it was either this or filling the whole darn screen, can seem to get images to resize here (though I swear I was doing the bbcode right)
  5. Episode 173: Going Pro

    Blizzard have some history regarding the idea of keeping a recognizable silhouette for competitive gaming. In WoW they introduced a concept called transmuting which allowed people to completely change their character's gear's appearance, but restricted so it couldn't affect competitive PvP gear. And as Shadowtiger suggests, it would be pretty easy for a company to make skin changes a client side only affect if they wanted to go that way.
  6. I'm actually beginning to see some decent value in the portals in larger maps. The key for me so far has been to go in (relatively) early, IF & only if you get the invisibility spell.Then use cheap units to bait mobs away from their spawn points and grab them for the rewards. All the while moving a few similarly invisible settlers through and building up a few citys's in the corners of the map.(i'll post a pic later about what happens if you don't go in early). The key thing to remember here is that although the monsters are as hard as nails, they have no cities or magic to support them. I pretty much just used units as spotters before nuking mobs to the ground with the biggest spells i had. Once you have carved out a little kingdom there in the portal worlds there are some pretty nice rewards. Generally at the very least there is a lot of high quality resources in a very small area, and if your lucky there are a few extra rare one that give you special units. Think Black Minators are tough, just wait until you have a fully upgraded Golden Dragon. The obvious question is: why aren't you getting torn apart by the other AI mages while your army is off galavanting the other side of portals. The answer is: bribery & lots of it. I've found The trick with making peace with a AI is to remember that just peace isn't good enough. Splashing out the cash (or mana etc) to get 3-4 levels up on the diplomacy scale can seem eye watering expensive but my experience has been as long as you don't have troops to near their border or any major religious conflict they very rarely break the higher level agreements & even if they do, they have to do it 1 level at a time buying you a few turns to mobilize.
  7. Episode 173: Going Pro

    Just wondering, might traditional combat sports like boxing and the martial arts actually be the closest real world analog to SC2? Some of the ways the guys talk about SC2 seem to apply to the way I've heard the appeal of boxing explained. I think part of the appeal of both is the perceived prowess of the participants, think of the focus on the insane APM of SC players especially in wider gaming culture. Also the one on one nature of the both SC2 and boxing allow participants to be characterized strongly by their styles, to a extent that isn't possible in team games. on a entirely separate point, the 'cloaks for my zergling' point Rob brings up kinda has already happened to a extent with the Dawn of War franchise. As you play it more you unlock new uniforms for your troops, and while it's true this isn't technically the same i bet THQ will be looking at the metrics and trying to decided when they release Company of Heroes 2 whether they want to let people earn or buy alternate uniforms for their squads.
  8. Tribes: Ascend

    Just wondering if any of you guys are still Playing Tribes ascend and have any tips about someone unfamiliar with he series thinking of giving it a try out? Goodclass's to start out with, community places to look for guides, any & all info is appreciated.
  9. Those moments when I am ambushed or ambush the AI certainly do provide a pivot point where the tide of battle can change for the worse. Its another one of those little things that pushes me towards the sort of risk averse play that the guys talk about in the podcast. It does however encourage me to play a good mix of units a 'combined arms' approach, although its closer to a RPG group than a army. A couple of high resistance melee units backed up a high level healers is normally the backbone of any force. Also as Rob commented when a healer units hit the higher levels and pick up their are of affect heals they really can become game changers. A lot of battles seem to come down to one side's Warlock getting off a big spell & bursting down the other sides support troops. I'm not sure about it's longevity however, and a few interesting scenarios or steam achievements would certainly be very welcome. @2000AD The "Good" factions certainly do have their moments of triumph in the Warhammer world, but its normally not long until something goes wrong. I'd love just to see a Mod that improved the diplomacy options and hugely upped the spawn rate on the elemental from portals. It would be fun to fight to quell the invasion before turning on each other
  10. Just fired up warlock for the 1st time after having grabbed it in the steam sale (that price really did make it a no-brainer). Starting to get grips with it and so far so good, but not really in a position to comment too much on what the guys said in the podcast yet. However.. I'm a bit torn on this as the base for a Warhammer fantasy mod, Warhammer is just such a overwhelmingly Nihilist property that I always feel a bit unsure about any game set in that universe where you have a chance to do anything other than just delay the march of the evil powers and the eventual destruction of civilisation. In fact the only time I've seen a really good job done of this license is probably the Chaos in the Old World board game (where you were the evil powers carving up the world between you).
  11. Relaxing Strategy Game Suggestions

    Right, have grabbed CK2 (& Warlock) as part of the paradox sale. Also added the other suggestions to my watch list for sales, and will keep a eye out for them, while trying to resist splurging money on Sins: Rebellion, & frantically beating back the urge to start hoarding every bit of spare cash so I can justify getting a new ipad. In particular thanks to everyone who suggested the Imppresion Games city builders. Looking at them on GoG its remarkable how much better Zeus & Pharaoh have aged compared to many of their contemporaries, there's something about that bright and detailed sprite art that ages so much better than contemporary games that used 3D like dungeon keeper. Side note: I think im probably the only person who watched the E3 stuff & thought "yay! now i can play X-Com with a game pad"
  12. Relaxing Strategy Game Suggestions

    There's a argument to be made that all of the DoWs (& in particular DOW 2 Retribution) did big dumb action very well. While i'm not sure if I'd call it relaxing necessarily, but there are few better virtual punch bags in strategy gaming than a big old Ork waaaargh. It all comes down to how people deal with stress, and/or what's stressing you on a particular day. Some days I like the ability to immerse myself in a world where everything for once makes sense, where it's all about constructing a amazingly efficient empire/city/machine. Other days I want to blow up huge hordes of screaming green maniacs.
  13. Relaxing Strategy Game Suggestions

    Hmm that rings a bell Jaraknarn, I feel like I've seen Troy mention that one on twitter at some point. Zen Garden style city builders seem to be a recurring theme in the discussion here. I think i'm still more tempted by Tropico (because of its prettiness) but what I remember people saying about this was near universally positive so I guess its another one to add to the list, along with evil genius. Side note: A quick check of GoG reveals this which seems to fit the description you give of it. So I assume its the same thing with a expansion pack bundled in.
  14. Books, books, books...

    Was half way through writing a reply about favourite Culture ship names when I heard on the BBC the sad news that Ray Bradbury has passed away. Pretty darn sad about it, although he did have a pretty good run (age 91!). So ladies and gents, favourite works of this great author? Personally its "Something Wicked This Way Comes", although it was the collected Martian Chronicles I read first.
  15. Three Moves Ahead 171 - Fun with 3MA

    @cosmonautzero I think what they were pushing at was something along the line that when in D3 you customize your skill set to the challenge at hand it changes your character in relation to the world. Where as in D2 your choices changed the way you as a player interacted with the world because you were forced to take on some problems with sub-optimal tools rather than always having the optimal tools to chose from. I personally like a lot about D3 but as i approach lvl 60 on my monk i'm having less and less fun, every time i bump into a new pack i just pick a new skill set and hell mode starts feeling like normal mode.
  16. Relaxing Strategy Game Suggestions

    Rebellion are a weird company, I think they must be the only games company which started off adapting a big IP (Judge Dredd) and then ended up owning the company that produced it (2000AD). Anyway, after a bit of a google it seems Evil Genius was one of 2 IP's Rebbellion grabbed when Elixir Studios closed down. The other IP? That was Republic: The Revelution Which I must say wins my all time award for most disappointing game I've ever purchased, I remember at the time the game was hyped pretty strongly, and young fool that i was i fell for the marketeers charms. This was despite it going through a very public development hell for a couple of years. It was a totally impenetrable game for me. It had one the worst UI's designs i have ever encountered, which combined with a bad manual and lack of tutorial to cause me to giving up in utter frustration and physically throw my copy in the bin after a couple of days. Did anyone else try this very un-relaxing game?
  17. Three Moves Ahead 171 - Fun with 3MA

    @Donk my word that Strumovik video is disorientating. Do you think you'd still feel the same way about those achievement's if they happened in a social vacuum? I know personally for some reason beating a tough player feels more satisfying than beating a equally tough AI.
  18. Three Moves Ahead 171 - Fun with 3MA

    Bit of a slippery topic this one, but its interesting listening to writers & designers attacking it from opposite ends of the spectrum. For use in reviews i think Tom's 100% right that it is often a lazy fall back, but I'm as sure that trying to define fun in a more academic as shorthand for a certain kind of game experience isn't worthwhile. Think it's a bit of a shame Julian wasn't also around for this panel as I'm pretty sure I remember him quoting Ralph Koster's A Theory of Fun a few times on the GWJ podcast & I think possibly on 3MA itself. Now certainly its not the be all & end of writing on the subject but I would have loved to hear what the guys thought of some of the assertions Koster makes, particularly his attempts to narrow the definition of fun. He then goes to clarify a bit by saying .A interesting thing about this is how it relates to when a game becomes to easy. Often we assume: no pressure = easy, but what this moves the emphasis to not a lack of pressure but a lack of anything new to learn. To try and apply it to what the guys where saying about simulation games, you could say sims are a type of game where a significant part of many players experience is a Aesthetic Appreciation of the beauty of the model/system behind it. In the discussion around boardgames there has already been a codifying the language surrounding the sort the experience players have with the whole "Eurogames"(elegant systems) vs "Ameritrash"(fun) debate. Of course those terms are both hugely broad, but I think its interesting that in a medium (boardgames) where the mechanics are seen as in the primacy is seemingly closer to defining different types of enjoyment than video games. Anyway those are a few initial thoughts looking forward to seeing what a few other people think as everyone digests the episode.
  19. Relaxing Strategy Game Suggestions

    Urgh tutorial hand holding >_<, now there's a sin that has rightly been lambasted many a time. @Rob & Nappi What's the sound/music like on Tropico? I can imagine it being either supremely chilled out, or supremely annoying.Because to tell the truth though Tropico 4 has been on the edge of my radar for a while. The main thing keeping me from going for it is that my pc is not the most sprightly system out there, and Tropico looks like it needs a bit of horse power. The same goes for Anno 2070. @Juv3nal I honestly find the way Ascensions implemented on the iphone a bit fiddly, but i did have a lot of fun with Neuroshima Hex Puzzles for reasons similar to the sort of solitaire play you talk about. Having a very small cost of failure did it a lot of favours, some puzzles certainly weren't easy but i always knew at worst i would loose minutes of work and not hours.
  20. Relaxing Strategy Game Suggestions

    Dungeon keeper was a old favourite, and games like it do have a nice feeling of smooth gradual progression. Part of the problem here is me, I'm a instinctual min-maxer. Give me a game with a lot of complexity, room to tweak variables, and I can't help myself. Might give evil genius a go when I finish with Eufloria (which has been excellent so far), how well has it help up to the passage of time? Any idea if its Is worth also considering one of the Sims franchise? I remember Tom Chick doing a excellent write up of Medieval a while back
  21. Hitman: Absolution

    @ Rodi & PiratePoo What I'm trying to get at is when I've had to call someone on this sort of thing I try to concentrate on saying that the act is bad, and not start demonising the person who does it. Otherwise they just entrench their views. The outside pressure absolutely needs to be there, but it needs to try and reach people through empathy and not logic.
  22. Books, books, books...

    He certainly does play the role of devil's advocate with some skill, as well as showing genuine respect and empathy for Nixon and his supporters. Partly I think this must come from the way he identifies the inability to do so as one of the main failures of liberal politics in the later half of the 20th-century. I think I will get around to Before the Storm sooner or later since I enjoyed Nixonland so much, although its availability on this side of the Atlantic means that perhaps it is not as high on my priority list as it would be if it was easier to get hold of.
  23. Books, books, books...

    Just finished off Rick Perlstein's Nixonland. Although it can at first seem a bit of a imposing tome, I'd recommend it for anyone with even a passing interest in politics. What made the book work for me was Perlstein's focus on the personalities not just the politics. In Nixon you have a fascinating anti-hero and he's ably supported by a ensemble cast that has a fair few familiar names. Gore, Romney, Bush, Regan,Cheney all make appearances and of course there is the ever present Kennedy clan. After a while its not just the names that seem familiar, the strangest thing is how at the same time so little and yet so much has changed since Tricky Dicky's day. I was drawn to the book by a fascination with the mythology that has developed around Nixon's part in the 1960 election, Perlstein takes that even and shows us how Nixon moved inextricably from that low to the heights of his two victories and down again to the mire of Watergate dragging US politics with him. I think the highest praise I can give it is that after reading this US politics started to make a warped kind of sense to me, and that although I may not have approved of much that Nixon the politician did, it gave me some sympathy and insight into Nixon the man. Think I may go for either Wolf Hall or possibly I might go totally in the other direction and try some Mark Twain or Scott Fitzgerald.
  24. Hitman: Absolution

    The big problem that we face here in the UK that many of the efforts to deal with some of the more archaic attitudes to race, gender, and sex have been heavy-handed and handled in a very top-down bureaucratic way. It is created a significant backlash who rally around the idea of "having an opinion gone mad" which Lad culture has fed off. If there is a nihilist view behind it I think it's a very shallowly held one. Of course there are outright asshats so horrid you avoid them like the plague, but they the easy people to deal. The difficulty is the edge cases, when you find yourself sitting with close friends or family and thinking "did I just hear what they said right?" you don't want to think badly of people you care about. You know the sort of thing people say."My mate Jim is a good bloke but it can be a bit of a dirty old man, but he doesn't mean anything by it.", then you find yourself thinking ' yeah he generally is a nice bloke even if some of the things he says about women make me squirm' and maybe if you know Jim well enough one day when he makes comments you say something try and reason with him a bit. Remind him about people he cares about and how he would feel if someone else acted that way towards them, and maybe if you're lucky he changes a little. I don't think it gets us anywhere if we try & tell people what they should think, ultimately change comes from within not without (forgive me for going psychology 101 there ). Of course the problem with this approach is that it needs a two-way communication, and at times the Internet can be pretty much one way broadcasting of views. Or to put it another way: Hate the game, not the player!
  25. Hitman: Absolution

    Thanks again for that link to Brendan Keogh's article, to had seen it on twitter but hadn't got around to it. I think he makes a lot of very valid points, in particular he highlights that it is not any of the elements on their own that are necessarily problematic. It's when you put them all in one place, and aim them at a certain audience that it starts toget messy. My instincts as to where the blame should be laid for this tells me that perhaps we should be looking fire up the corporate ladder than IO. To me Square Enix feel like a far more natural fit as culprits. The most frustrating part of this is of course that in many ways this advert has been more successful than they could have ever hoped. They are going into E3 as the most talked about game, that what people say about them is universally good doesn't really matter. So just remember folks every time this is mentioned on twitter a Square Enix marketer gets his wings.