• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About itsamoose

  • Rank
    Zombie Thumb
  1. I recently jumped back into the SP campaign of andromeda after the changes, and while a number of improvements have been the game still feels like it doesn't really have the same spark that the original trilogy had. The game starts quite strong, but quickly the whole thing starts to feel empty. My actions feel obligatory, and ultimately inconsequential. I find myself more often than not bumbling into main quest objectives, and the character interactions feel forced and inorganic. It seems to me like the conventional wisdom of game design was applied here, almost entirely to the detriment of the end result. To some extent a lot of the issues people see are the result of a rushed development, but after the recent fixes I don't think more time in the oven would have solved the core problems present.
  2. I'm also quite looking forward to destiny 2. Destiny in recent months has become my game to unwind with at the end of the day, and I'm glad to see a lot of the arbitrary restrictions removed from some of the content. My big concern though, and I've seen no indication this will change, is the incredible emphasis destiny places on random loot drops and immutable currencies. I recently discarded something like 50 exotic shards simply because I has no use for them, despite being an incredibly rare material. Otherwise, I'm really into a lot of the changes both to class designs and and equipment, as well as the broader experience of playing the game. In a lot of ways this feels like the game bungie has wanted to make all along. Also a bit of a side note, the game only coming to the blizzard launcher seems like a much more consequential move to me than it's being made out to be. It might be a one off thing, but at this point it seems like this is the first real sign that big publishers are starting to pull away from steam. EA already jumped ship a few years ago, and I wouldn't be surprised if Activision were going to do the same in the years to come.
  3. In terms of emergence, it might be more useful to think of games not as systems and mechanics, but as rules. For example: Be the first person to push the button is actually 2 rules at play--order and pushing buttons. We might see "first" and "push the button" as individual mechanics, and the interaction of the two could be seen as a system. Both systems and mechanics are either collections of rules or describe interactions based on rules, but emergence is still possible without such organization. For example, consider a the following two rules: 1. Boys like Girls 2. Girls like Robots Neither of those two rules describe what the game might be, what actions the player might take, if those rules can interact with one another, or how those rules might be organized. Those rules imply a number of concepts in the game (namely boys, girls, robots, and feelings) and the emergence is then a product of the interaction of those rules, or in other words things present but not necessarily defined.
  4. From a purely technical perspective, the answer is 2. So long as at least 2 systems are present in a game, and those systems are implemented in such a way that they can interact with each other then emergent interactions are possible. Really all you need are 2 rules with the possibility of interaction with one another in a way that isn't prescriptive. For example, the ability to press and buttons being pressed isn't an emergent interaction since one directly influences the other, but the ability for a ball to get knocked into a button such that it is pressed is since the ball pressing the button is just a logical consequence of the two rules interacting. You could say all you need is one, since rule can interact with itself(such as physics impulses), but I wouldn't necessarily go that far because that rule's core functionality would necessarily contain internal interactions. The result in this case might not appear prescriptive to us, but it's execution is entirely determined by explicit functionality. To put more of a point on the premise, what do you mean by "emergent stories" in this context. Technically a rocket jump in quake is an emergent story, although a limited one, but I get the feeling this case something particular is being driven at.
  5. I've been thinking about Clyde's religion analogy, and I think that is a fantastic way of approaching the subject, or at least thinking about it. Much like religion, gender exists across various cultures and times, with a basis in the natural world with perhaps similar themes throughout but the dogma being inconsistent and tendencies being parallel. Also Gender it seems, much like religion, is more a matter of will than a matter of fact and it's expression subject to the whims of the day. For example singing and dancing were once seen as gentlemanly and masculine in the US, but are now seen as effeminate. Also it might explain my aversion or malaise in regards to the topic, but that is more of a personal thing. I have nothing more to add at this time, I just wanted to mention I really like that insight.
  6. This is usually something I find is a weird dynamic in any conversation about gender, and something I've been thinking about lately, mainly in the difference between scientific gender and cultural gender (for lack of better terms). In essence, the scientific definition of gender exists for the purpose of objectivity in experimentation-- for the purposes of any experiment a "male" is an organism with an XY sex chromosome, and a "female" is one with an XX chromosome. That's not to say that any differences must or will exist based on that distinction, but that that distinction is a useful and ultimately necessary tool for biological experimentation. I think that this hard lined definition, which exists for a distinct purpose alone, and explicitly for the purpose of discrimination in biology, for many people then becomes the basis by which social concepts associated with biological genders are also defined. In that case, again in the course of experimentation, different discrimination can and would apply to the various subject groups. This is why every serious scientific study will start with a definition of terms just like a legal document, in order to preserve objectivity in the methodology. I don't want to get too far afield here, since this is sort of a different topic than masculinity, but I think it's the primary failure of most discussions I've had on topics like this that the thing itself isn't defined. For example, from the first couple of posts here it seems like Clyde views masculinity as a thing that is, or is done, whereas your view seems to be that masculinity is a perspective of a thing (assuming I'm not reading too far into the posts) which is a discussion worth having. That's not to say that one of those is right and the other isn't but rather that an agreement of the definition (or at least the parameters of the discussion) is warranted before the discussion can be had in a way that can be expounded upon. Then again my background is in the sciences, as is my manner of thinking, so perhaps this sort of exercise would ultimately unnecessarily limit the discussion to a particular viewpoint or create that same undesirable scenario where one thing is right and the other isn't.
  7. Given my information may be out of date, but it was my understanding that the XYY chromosome as being linked to a sort of "super male" genetic archetype has been lately debunked. Not only do individuals with this chromosomal anomaly exhibit similar testosterone levels than XY males, but in general relative concentration of testosterone hasn't been linked to aggression in the way one would expect. On the other hand, fluctuations in T levels have been shown to result in mood swings, which are most common in anabolic steroid users. As people use these hormones their own bodies produce less, and when they go off their bodies they have an abnormally low T level (for the individual) which has been linked to aggressive response. In general though, testosterone is most strongly linked to seconds sex characteristics such as facial hair, body odor, musculature, and so on. It might be that aggression is typically associated with these aspects (as it has strong ties to mating behavior in all mammal species) which is typically something males of the species do. Also touching on the point of behavioral science, it is important to note that individual behaviors are the result of specific motivations more so than biological processes. The reason I bring this up is that there is a tendency to ascribe behaviors to biological processes and ultimately marginalize the effect of stimuli on those responses.
  8. I still play a couple times a weeks and I'm generally enjoying the new mechanics and cards available. I've seen a lot of new interactions with cards and mechanics that make the game more exciting, but my one reservation is that the game seems to become and even more solitary experience. With all the new card combos possible, particularly with respect to quests, the game more often feels like you and your opponent are racing to fulfill some goal rather than playing against each other. The quests aren't designed in such a way that avenues for engagement even exist for the opposing player (save perhaps for the rogue quest) which can lead to situations where you don't really need to consider your opponent's plays. In other words, the new stuff has improved what hearthstone was good at before, but also makes it's detriments that much more noticable.
  9. To be fair, doesn't valve have the right to determine what they think is a game? Just because you have a storefront, doesn't mean you have to sell everyone's products in it. What is so wrong with Valve determining what a product they are willing to sell should be, and make their rules accordingly? While it might seem like valve is intentionally silencing people, what they are proposing really is a watered down version of what every other storefront requires--and a more democratic one at that. While there exist a demonstrable strain of abuse in it's execution, Valve's system might be the most open of all the major platforms. Apple regularly prevents games from being sold on their platform due to it's subject matter, and developers sometimes have their games pulled off the marketplace without warning for any reason up to and including Apple just felt like it. I won't claim to know their intentions, but Valve's system seems to be a distinct and exacting response to this, where the users are able to have some say in the market's function. I know this is a pretty unpopular idea around here, but there is a lot of good that comes out of that system. We tend to focus on the bad, mostly because it's particularly appalling, but for every Zoe Quinn or Briana Wu there are a dozen or more developers who can run their businesses and feed their families due to this exact direction, and they are worth considering too. Maybe valve's changes will lead to certain games not being sold on steam, but in the long run this sounds like a wonderful thing to me. Not every TV channel needs to show the same types of content, and not every online marketplace needs to sell all the same things. After watching Sterling and Bain's videos, it's clear to me that when valve says "fake games' what they are referring to specifically, are more akin to art forgeries. Not games made with store bought assets or simplistic mechanics, but those that are primarily born of another's work without credit. Most games made with Unity today use the same plugins and technical features, but it doesn't sound to me like this is what causes valve to consider them "fake games". Also on the point about their influence, let's remember that valve is staffed by some of the most intelligent people in the industry who spend all day thinking about these issues. I very much doubt Sterling and Bain told Valve anything they didn't already know, and their influence is likely far less than their egos would lead them to believe.
  10. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo don't have this problem because they effectively have a top down approach to allowing games onto their marketplace. Just as an example, here are the two processes we went through in getting our game on PS4 and Steam PS4: - Get registered as a developer with sony - Get Devkits from sony to develop on their platform - Get license from Unity to be able to deploy and publish games on a PS4 - Submit game for a cert process - Release game - Any patches need to go through another cert process, which includes the game being perfectly functional with any combination of patches installed. Steam: - Get registered as a developer with steam - Get approval to be on the marketplace - Release game - Patches are released at the developer's discretion Valve does take a lot of flak for attempting to democratize that system, but there is value in that expansion. This process does ensure quality, but it's often the reason things come late or even not at all to the consoles such as the case with Diablo's seasons feature or that situation with Phil Fish. While there are a lot of games that make their way onto the marketplace that shouldn't, it also creates a space for games like Stardew Valley, Undertale, and others to get out to the public, or any other games by creators that aren't equipped for a full cert process. Hell even getting access to a devkit, or perhaps even approval to develop on the platform can be a bit of a hassle and to some extent the amount of paperwork involved can discourage people from the entire process. What valve hasn't, or at least hasn't been willing to do in my view is take these so called fake games off their marketplace once they're discovered, or put any kind of restrictions on pricing for games that don't meet some kind of standard.
  11. It's not you, destiny has changed a lot and not necessarily in ways you'd expect. They throw a lot of stuff at you pretty early, and most of that won't be necessary until way into the late game. For the most part you only need to follow the exclamation points for story and playlist stuff, best place to look at at the bottom left of the screen when you bring up the director. Most of the changes are to perks on exotic weapons and the economy, neither of which really matter until you've done just about everything else. I'd say just pick playlist you like and go for it--the rest will fall into place soon enough
  12. She does make some assumptions regarding Bioware's motives that she elucidates on somewhat in the video, and they are somewhat sketchy, it's more the last couple of sentences I find interesting. This particular criticism of MEA is one I've seen get a lot of attention, and I think that passage effectively describes why this has become a sticking point of a lot of the game's criticism when other more glaring issues exist. There is a sense I've noticed around Bioware games in recent years that there is some malice assumed in the development proceedings, and while this is true of almost any fan base, Bioware seems to be a unique version of it. Ultimately her argument boils down to Bioware's attempts at inclusion are poorly handled and that is creating a distrust in fans that is causing otherwise open minded people to reject any inclusive sentiment in all it's forms.
  13. This might not be the exact right thread for this, since it touches on social issues around gaming recently more so than MEA, but it's something I've been seeing more and more of, particularly in relation to this game. I came across this essay in response to MEA's visual issues (particularly Sara Ryder) that I think goes a long way in describing the extreme reaction people have been having to the game itself. The whole thing is pretty long, but really worth listening to, and I think she hits on something here I've been noticing in the response to MEA but also games generally. If you don't feel like watching the whole thing her position is summed up pretty well by the last few sentences: I'm not sure if there is anything in particular that can or should be done with regards to any of these topics--I certainly wouldn't have the answers if they do exist--but I've found this to be a particularly profound insight into modern social trends in video games.
  14. For those that haven't been keeping up wit Hearthstone, the new Journey to Un'Goro card set will be coming out soon, and if you play in the meantime you can earn card packs that will unlock once the new series comes out. I'm incredibly excited about this new set, new quest and adapt mechanics are being introduced which I think should help to slow down the meta and make the card pool more dynamic.
  15. To be fair, the original trilogy was made 10, 7 and 5 years ago respectively, and ran on machines that had 1/16th the ram by teams that were at their largest half the size of Andromeda's. Those projects were also far less ambitious, and for their time pretty significant steps forward. If I recall correctly, facial animations and in particular the eye shading was a pretty big deal. Back in the 2000s a lot of techniques were used in game development that are no longer acceptable, or at the very least in a higher def environment show their flaws. One particular example is that if you start your single player campaign before connecting the servers, the game stops trying to connect and you can't do the apex missions. Now you think that if you go up to the terminal and try to do an apex mission in this unconnected state, a connection would be attempted, but instead the game tells you to go back to the main menu and wait for the connection to complete. You can break a feature of the game by going through a menu too fast, there's just no excuse for that. After having spent around 15 hours with the game, my biggest problem with it I think is that the team seemingly failed to consider the specifics of the game they were designing. It feels like at a certain point they just started wholesale carting things over from mass effect that didn't really fit anymore given how different of a game this is. For example, the 3 ability structure that has become common in many games (most notably destiny) is built around having specific pairs of abilities, and most importantly a superpower or defining one. Then the favorites system seems to indicate that the game wants you to swap abilities around, but throws in a global cooldown on all the abilities when this happens and ultimately discourages this kind of gameplay. This favorites system also doesn't have guns as a part of it, so it's not really possible to create the wildly varying play styles that existed in ME3. The combat system seems to value momentum, encouraging you to dodge around the battlefield to avoid damage, but then all the AI opponents use hitscan weapons and are able to change their aiming direction just as fast as you can move. I even had a moment when I last played where I was up on a cliff, jumped off and hit my jump pack right before landing, only to have the game warp me back to the position I jumped from. I have still managed to have a fair bit of fun with the game so far, but the game is far too at odds with itself for me to really become immersed in it, and I think this is the source of a lot of the hyperbolic takedowns that have been coming out of late.