Posts posted by Sorbicol
2 hours ago, Arathain said:
I don't entirely understand what you mean by this, although I think I have the edges of it. There's a dialogue in the first DoW2 campaign that has stuck with me as being very Warhammer indeed. Assault Sergeant Thaddeus, the youngest squad leader of the group, complains of feeling increasingly emotionally drained and deadened after a fight, so that he only feels truly alive in combat. I paraphrase strongly but two other veteran sergeants say something like "Oh, that. Don't worry, that's just the last of your humanity being burned away." This is from Tarkus, a calm, almost robotic tactician, and Avitus, who can only really feel anger and rage. I loved that they took a moment to show just how messed up a Space Marine really is, even as the game exalts you as heroes.
Sort of I think. Sorry I don't think I explained myself very well. At its core, Warhammer and 40K have always been, well, very British. Stop and think about 40K a little - the far future of humanity is phenomenally bleak with only the shining light of the all powerful Emperor holding back all the powers of darkness, while making sure all the little people know their place and get eradicated if they don't comply - oh and if they don't then the overwhelming powers of chaos will consume them. Given the time period when 40K was being created, that's an allegory for the political situation in the UK during the 1980s with Thatcher's conservative government. OK it's taking it to an absolute extreme and stretches it almost to breaking point, but that's more or less where a lot of 40K comes from. However, in spite of everything it was always with tongue firmly in cheek and a general acknowledgement that the bleakness of the 40K universe really shouldn't be taken all that seriously.
My issue with DoW2 (which is an excellent game) is that it takes itself and the Space Marines far too seriously. None of the levity, or the knowing self awareness of just how ridiculous the Space Marines actually are is missing. When I played 40K back in the day the emphasis was always that the Space Marines were the elite of the elite and only when into battle when all else had failed - it was the teeming masses of humanity through the imperial guard that did the bulk of the fighting and dying so that the Emperor could survive. All that fighting and dying and sacrifice so one dude in a golden throne life support system could be kept alive, and they couldn't let die because if they did ships could not navigate the warp. It's basically taking the p**s.. All the best GW games have kept that rather irreverent tone (Although I do think that it's much easier for Bloodbowl to do that given the setting) and the worst are the ones that take them selves way too seriously. The mechanics of the game and how well they work are almost - almost - completely incidental to how good the game actually is.
Warhammer to me has lost a great deal of that and it's much to it's detriment. Then again, I was playing the wargames and space hulk and bloodbowl way back in the late 80s / early 90s, so it's probably something Warhammer hasn't really had in a very long time and I'm just being overly nostalgic every time I come back to a GW based video game.
Ahhhh Warhammer. I really enjoyed this episode thank you all, although I must admit the lip service paid to Bloodbowl (a game doing XCOM long before XCOM was even a tinkle in Julian Gallop's eye, let alone Firaxis) was a little disappointing. It is still just about the greatest game that Games Workshop ever came up with. There are, and have been quite a few great Warhammer games but other than Bloodbowl I think I've ever really played one that captures the very essence of what Warhammer is and what it means to those gamers "of a certain age".
Some of that, which I think Fraser was trying to get to in some of his comments, is the Cultural Impact of Games Workshops over here in the UK. I'm an old school Warhammer player, and I mean Old school. The first Warhammer game I got involved in was Warhammer Fantasy Battle, second edition. That was purchased with my Brother, sometime in the mid1980s from Hamley's Toy shop on Regent Street of all places. Anyway, I digress - Unfortunately for my Brother I was a little too young to fully grasps the tactical and strategic nuances needed to play it at that time (when it was much more of a war game than a hero RPG with some extra units thrown in simulator that it is now) but I enjoyed it, enjoyed painting the miniatures and meant D&D never meant anything to me (and many many more legions of British geek adolescents either). That led me to Warhammer 40K: Rogue trader, Adeptus Titanicus, Epic and then to what is still GWs other best games, Necromunda and Space Hulk. It was - and probably still is - the defacto non-computer based role playing game(s) that everyone this side of the Atlantic defaults to playing. There was a thread of social commentary running throughout all of GWs games - a very 80s one admittedly but considering current world politics is becoming much more relevant again - that it just about still retains in 40K. I can't speak for the fantasy version any more though having not touched it in a very long time, certainly long before the Age of Sigmar reboot.
To me the games based in that Universe have always worked best when they have that ideal front and centre - it's something Dawn of War just about had (and DoW 2 lost) Bloodbowl has in spades, and has always been sadly missing from the Space Hulk games. I only played the Space Marine Demo even though the actual gameplay was lacking it felt like Warhammer 40K to me. It's something I look for specifically in GW based games, and no matter how good the gameplay mechanics are, it's never going to be a Warhammer game if it's not there. It's that reverence to the Universe that GW have created that makes a game a Warhammer game to me - the gameplay can be as solid as you like, but if it takes itself too seriously (like DoWII) then, to me at least, it isn't a Warhammer game. Otherwise it's just a game set in the Warhammer universe.
I don't believe the focus on Hero units has ever served the games of GW well, board or video which was always clearly a decision based on their bottom line. Warhammer 40K and Fantasy Battle were once excellent war games that, if someone were allowed to, could be excellent strategy video games using the old rulesets (at this point I admit I've not played Total Warhammer, mostly due to my ambivalence towards Total War as a series). Most of all, I would love to see Necromunda as some sort of XCOM style strategy game with a persistent gang, tactical TBS missions to gain influence over the city slums by holding or losing territory across a strategic map. That would be quite excellent, it's a shame Mordheim hasn't really been able to carry that off at a fantasy level which is what I think it was trying to do.
Looks like FD are considering some fairly substantial changes to ships and combat as part of the beta they are currently
which looks to be beefing up trading ships a little so they are no longer made out of tissue paper, and additional slots to Military craft so that they can take advantage of the Experimental shield changes they are proposing.
Nothing yet no. Which is a shame really but I could see those with HOTAS having a very real advantage to anyone playing with a game pad at the high end PvP level.
there are a few interesting things in that trailer, including what looks like an asteroid base which you can land at (19seconds) and a mobile station under engine drive (a few people are speculating it might be a generation ship) at 50-52 seconds. It also seems to be hinting that the Federation / Empire war is coming. Although that might just be for dramatic purposes.
Ha interesting watch I can see some transport missions where I am at the moment that'll bring in a million or so for a 100-150LY round trip so I'll take some of those on next. I'll get 700k minimum for "Exploiting" the community events, that'll help more an a little. My next foray into combat will be on a high spec fighter of some description with much reduced insurance costs.
Cheers. The 2 exploration community events will take any old data so I've exploited them a little to make up for my insurance costs the last couple of days
looking at just running some some passenger missions for a bit. I could go exploring, just need to put a better fuel scoop on I think.
Made a mad dash to the community event selling consumer items in Tchernobog (I think) last night in an attempt to recoup some of my insurance costs since my restart. I was 120ly away, made it to within 2 jumps before the event finished and I was left with nothing. Irritating but I thought I was pushing my luck making it there in time. In fit of pique I traded up my well equipped Vulture for a less well equipped Asp Explorer. I may have needed to think that through a little better but still. I'm now dangerously close to my insurance limit and lacking all the decent kit to make a decent exploration vessel. I now need some 'get rich quick' schemes so I can get my asp properly kitted out for exploration. Is rare trading still viable or am I better off making friends with some factions and doing lucrative missions instead? At the moment I'm probably best set up as a weakly fire powered multi-purpose ship, but with a advanced stellar scanner and detailed surface scanner. Should I just start pulling in exploration data instead? This is my ultimate goal in elite since I started playing it really - just getting a decent exploration vessel together and then go and explore the great unknown.
Many suggestions where to go from here greatly appreciated. I suspect the answer is partly 'do whatever you like' but I'm really not sure and wouldn't like to go exploring and find myself stranded somewhere in the middle of nowhere very quickly. Would the other 2 community events be a good option? Do you need to explore specific regions for those events?
Having been away from Elite for the best part of a year, and having threatened to return to it frequently the last month or two, I finally fired it back up again over the weekend. I spent a good hour or two just sat in my cockpit working out what all the new missions and factions and stuff were all about, I still don't understand what declaring for a galactic power willdo (so I haven't) and I've cursed just how much harder combat has become which had cost nearly 1.5million in insurance costs so far. I also picked up the Horizons expansion because clearly you miss out on a hell
of a lot if you don't have it.
Questions. Does it matter if I declare for a power or not? What do you get out of it?
secondly, the engineers. Worth bothering with?
This thread on the official Paradox Stellaris forums is causing something of a kerfuffle. I think it highlights one of the major issues with Stellaris, in that it has some good ideas (of which Sectors are one) but the implementation is so poor that it causes major gameplay issues, as well as being something that paradox seem more than happy to take a view of "we're right and you're wrong".
Some of the comments on the thread are complete unwarranted it must be said, but others are, to me, completely valid. It's something to me endemic of Paradox games - that they do not explain their mechanics terribly well and when they are criticised for it, they don't react terribly well to that criticism. I know I've mentioned before about how I've repeatedly bounced off the CK2 UI because I've never understood what it was I was meant to be doing or, more importantly, why.
Stellaris also suffers from this. While Sectors themselves are a neat idea to reduce Player micro-management requirements, it seems moderately clear to me that paradox intend them to be more than just a micro-management tool. I think they are also there to provide some political machinations to your empire and ethics divergence as well. however in practice they just don't do that and in terms of micro-management relief, the AI is so poor that it actively hinders the player's attempts to play the game. To me that thread highlights all the reasons why I find Stellaris specifically, and Paradox collectively such a frustrating thing to deal with. Don't get me wrong, Stellaris is the best space 4x (ish) game I have played in a very long time (It is a much better game than Endless Space for example) but what it feels like it is designed to be and what it actually is are very far removed from each other, and it's something that Paradox don't appear to see. Or be willing to consider.
I haven't pre-ordered Civ VI, mostly because Beyond Earth was such a disappointment that I wanted to be sure that it was a good Civ game before taking the plunge. I think I've made the right choice given the comments about the AI and how a cultural victory work. Still, once it's been patched or expanded I'm looking forward to it. Unstacking the cities is such an obvious idea for a game like Civ and it sounds like it's been well implemented. Something to look forward too in the New Year.
The problem I seem to have now is that unless you spend that mid game fighting and expanding, you are completely buggered by the time the end game crisis roll around. At the moment it seems that you are going to get the Unbidden more likely than not, and that's where I'm getting crushed. By that time in the game I can field a 30K ish fleet tops. The unbidden arrive with 5 fleets not one of which is under 80K. I've tried everything I can think of, but if the unbidden arrive I'm screwed. It would help if the FE's would engage properly, but so far I've only seen 2 awaken and then spend most of their time twiddling their thumbs while the unbidden eat everyone. I'd love to know quite what the "I'm fielding 100k fleets but 2400" tribe on the Stellaris forums are doing to get that much fleet capacity by that time in the game.
There are so many good ideas in this game I'm loath to leave it at the moment. But my word it's so badly implemented in places it's painful.
Well I've been playing Stellaris a lot since Heinlein dropped and I have to say that by and large it doesn't really feel like much has changed on the surface. Oh sure there are the guardians and wars in heaven and what have you, but almost none of the underlying problems with the game have been addressed - sectors are still a great idea with terrible implementation, the mid game is as dull as ditch water still, and the end game crises still feel very circumstantial. All that said the level of customisation around races means that you ever play the same game twice and i you treat it more like CK2 than Masters of Orion, then it builds one hell of a story of your fledgling empire's rise to galactic dominance. Or not. Some of the AARs on the Stellaris forums are fantastic reads. It also feels incredibly circumstantial too - despite nearly 60 hours of game play since Leviathans dropped, I'll still not seen half the content from about 8 starts. Make of that what you will.
It needs a hell of a lot of fixing under the bonnet still , which is why I was disappointed that the bank's update planned for next year appears to be Paradox ignoring the known problems with the game and just concentrating on adding (admittedly great sounding) content. All that said though I am genuinely enjoying the game and can easily see make returns to it as more and more content is added. I just hope they don't stop addressing a lot of the issues which stop this from being a really great game instead of just a pretty good one.
Ha thanks Michael. I have to say I enjoyed the Amplitude episode just as much as this episode. If you can keep that up then please take as long as you need!
Sooooo, after your little discussion at the end of this episode about the irregularity of episodes over the summer and that everything is 'back on track'....... we're still waiting for the next episode? It's been a couple of weeks now - Civ VI has come and gone in that time
Or is my podcast app not working?
Chris's last kickstarter update was an admission that the kickstarter for AI War 2 is, unless a lot of people suddenly get very interested, going to fail. However I would still pledge as it'll give Arcen a good idea of how many people are interested and reformulate their plans accordingly.
This episode, to me, is you guys at your very best. 3MA always soars when you are talking to intelligent games designers talking about the intelligent games they are making and asking intelligent questions. Please please please can you do this more often!!
I admit Arcen games are fascinations I don't really play - 50 minutes in AI War back in 2011 is as far as I've got, but I've backed AI War 2 because I think it's a game that deserves to be made. I think that Stars beyond Reach was the one game they had that really piqued my
interest, I hope it sees the light of day at some point.
As as for the end of episode stuff - I have no objection to an after dark episode once in a while. More interviews with maybe less well known indie efforts wouldn't go amiss either, as would follow up episodes for things like the Stellaris Henlein/Leviathans DLC update, or even XCOM2 post expansions.
I've purchased Leviathans and I'm looking forward to getting back into this later this evening. Been meaning to do that for a while with Stellaris and I'm really hoping this DLC and the update go a long way to sorting out the mid game issues The game had at launch.
It's also a far cheaper option than getting Civ VI or BF1 tomorrow. Hem.
I've been playing a little with the Shifters DLC, which makes some significant changes to how winter works, which given the game a whole New lease of life. I'm looking hard at the Tempest DLC, but with the imminent release of Civ VI My resistance to buying that before the end of the week is being tested to the limit. That would do me for any further 4x to the end of the year at least I expect.
That's sounds very interesting Micheal. I look forward to whatever it is!!!!
Very much so. So far I've resisted pre-ordering. But it's been a close run thing. Most Civ releases benefit from a patch or two in any case. It does look really good though.
The alien hunters DLC makes the early to mid game significantly more difficult - and circumstantial. An alien ruler in a non-timed mission or terror mission is relatively easier to deal with. Get one on a timed council mission though and it's a total nightmare. You will lose people, either because the alien ruler gets them or you can't evacuate them in time. Forget rescuing / taking the VIP hostage though.
However, if you get through it OK and retain the new weapons, it makes the rest of the game significantly easier. A sniper in the Icarus suit makes a mockery of the final mission.
Never the time to play XCOM!!
Seems to be only streamable from that soundcloud page unfortunately. They do have another podcast though, sort of snore general discussion, that i can get on Downcast. That episode hasn't cropped up on it yet though. You could download the soundcloud app I guess?
I've been playing this again a fair amount the last could of days, and really enjoying it. However I only have the shadows DLC - I don't have shifters which makes significant changes to the 'Winter' phases of the game. It's a game of exploitation to be honest - how well you do is ultimately down to how well you understand how your faction works and how well you exploit its strengths. My last game I went with Broken Lords, and by the end I was generating so much Dust I won a economic victory without trying to because I was earning about 50k dust per turn.
These guys have a podcast on where the game is now and what they expect from the new Ocean based DLC.
The conversation is a little dry in places, and O don't agree with everything they say, but it's good summary of where they game is now. In of the guys is very active on the Games2Gether forums, and he's just won the faction design contest for Endless Space 2 so it's not quite a bunch of ransoms as it were. Worth a listen but I'd love to hear Rob / Frasers opinions. Like we all voted for about 6 months back!!
First full expansion announced. Probably about time I got back into Stellaris.
in Strategy Game Discussion
I'm just nearing the final stages of my first serious campaign of Civ VI, playing as the Sumerians aiming, more or less, for a Scientific Victory.
Like you I agree the game now has a lot more systems in it that are quite a lot to take in. The city and districts system in the main one I've struggled with a little, not so much with the concept of it but with recognising what a good placement for a district might be and when to concentrate you efforts. It strikes me that this is a method of forcing the player to consider city specialisation in a way Civ hasn't really done before. By and large I don't mind that too much although it isn't always immediately clear what would (or would not be) a good placement for a district, and future consideration of where to place neighbourhoods, for example, needs to be considered at the start of your city placement even though they are a late game mechanic. I do like the balance between housing and amenities as a replacement for unhappiness when managing your city populations - that feels a like a nicely balanced system (once I'd got my head around it) that doesn't feel half as arbitrary as population unhappiness did.
Unlike Civ V this game clearly does not expect you to know what victory you want (although playing to your Civ's strengths is clearly still a factor) and it certainly gives you a lot more opportunities to get a feel for the lay of the land before picking a condition to aim for. That said I certainly get the impression that some victories are easier to achieve than others - a culture based Civ is probably going to struggle slightly to win anything other than a culture victory unless they are really trying.
This is very much my feeling of what they have done as well - there is a ot more in this game to explore than there was in Vanilla Civ V that's for sure.
The AI in my game been a little disappointing I have to say - it appears incapable of upgrading units at all (I still see some level 3 warrior units meandering around when I'm rocking mobile infantry and modern tanks, and that civ is capable of building it's own tanks) I've also had a couple of instances of Civ with whom I have maintained good relations throughout the game suddenly just declare war on me when their crossbowmen and knights don't have a hope in hell against my tanks and helicopters and bombers etc. It definitely still needs some work. I also very much dislike that you get excessive warmonger penalties when you are attacked and take city in retaliation (i.e, forcing the AI to surrender) - that needs to be sorted out. I can understanding taking a hit if you raze a city, but occupying one when you are not the aggressor should really shouldn't carry any penalty at all.
All in all I've quite enjoyed it, there is plenty to explore and it feels a lot more polished than the last couple of Civ games at release. I also need to remember how to get to bed before 2am again!