Valorian Endymion

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About Valorian Endymion

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  • Birthday August 18

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  1. Episode 463: Classic Year in Review: 1994

    The thing I most remember about the first Lords of the Realm, is how broken sheep where, I mean - everything you need was wool and the merchant to show up, because the profits would allow you to hire mercenaries, with them you could easily conquer neighbor counties easily, skipping the early game, even when it was no longer enough, you mostly like have several counties which would allow you to rise proper armies. Still, the castle construction and sieges were fun. My shoutout would go for Might and Magic: World of Xeen, which was a compilation of MM4 and MM5, one of the best game of the franchise from the early history arc.
  2. Episode 461: Three Kingdoms as a Setting

    Very good episode! One thing that maybe help the setting to feel so unique, is that very few strategy games (until now, even now that something quite rare) are so character/staff based, where each character (not all, but most of them) feel unique and not just random names you are assigning here or there. This character driven design often give to strategy game a sense of drama, which is rare. Fun fact, there is a somewhat old pc game, which tries to borrow a bit from Dynasty Warriors and mix it with some Age of Empire/Empire Earth style of RTS: Rise and Fall - Civilizations at War, it was I think one of the last game form Stainless Studios, directed by Rick Goodman (Empire Earth), the game features a quite unusual set of Factions: Rome, Egypt, Macedonia/Greece and Assyria, and the design tried to make them kind like in a Koei game, with some focus on begin fantastic, however it still trying too much to be "historical", this lead to faction design with very mixed result. Anyway, the gameplay was most an RTS with the typical Empire Earth zoom and heroes, however, you could for a short time take control of one hero and play it in very zoom in even further and play it an very limited imitation of a DW game, unlike a true "musou" game (the term often used to describe a DW style of game) heroes felt very underwhelming, it lacked the flavor and style, and while you are fighting several unit at once you attack felt weak, most time felt that you are just bashing enemies shields and seeing the HP goes down. Still, walk around an RTS map like in third person game, climbing stairs (in sieges), boarding action (on ships, but I never see it by myself, only on screenshots) or just exploring a bit those building you or your enemy laid around, was cool. The problem was, like I said, the faction and hero design was inconsistent, units still designed (most of them) like in an average RTS (or in other words, more historical), while heroes themselves shift in extremes, Assyria had the most fantastic designs, with if memories didn´t fail me, their hero holding a huge anime scythe, however you had the Romans which look very "default Romans" with Julius Caesar look very normal, but still hilarious seeing him mow down people with a bow or by ordering literal air strikes (I think that was his special power) and Germanicus, however looked very "germanic" with even a huge anime hammer. Macedonia/Greece had a very normal Alexander and Achilles as heroes, which, again if memory didn´t fail me, was a very normal design. Cleopatra goes around with two tiny daggers and a bow, Ramses was there too, but I have no recollection how he did look in the game.
  3. Episode 460: Looking Ahead to 2019

    So about the potential different between the Romance or the Record modes on Three Kingdoms, there will be some narrative differences - Here is a quote from Total War latest blog about Dong Zhou, which will be 12th faction, which you unlock by defeating him in game. My guess, is that some characters will have different events playing for them, the overall thing narrative might don´t change that much, but the focus will be some characters. I also remember hearing about units and heroes having different armors in each mode (or at least some pieces, from what I could understand the game will use a sprite system akin to medieval, where units and heroes change looks depending on armor/weapons equiped). Anyway, About Phoenix Point, I do like the monster/alien design, however units looked quite generic/bland falling too much on the "realistic" design, I don´t know if the game will have something like xcom 2 customization, which something I would miss a lot, having lots of generic soldiers isn´t the same once you could by hand create tons of OCs, also the impact/tension is lessened a lot. But still I am curious.
  4. Episode 455: Classic Year in Review: 2003

    I bought Master of Orion 3 in a shop, I don´t remember exactly when, the game came to Brazil, so I suspect maybe one year later at least or less (back there, some games might take a while to get here, if they get or manage to find someone do distribute them) but clearly wasn´t some simultaneous launch how you have today, since I remember reading reviews about the game before I bought it. Aside from over ambition, Master of Orion 3 was also hurt by bad design ideas - specially, they drop almost all of the classic factions of the game in favor of "more realistic" ones, which might appear as a nice idea, but the result and execution was bad - first they literally killed (or reduced the role) of some of the classic factions in a literal side note in the manual, second, the so "more realistic" factions, while had some nice ideas, felt very flat, I mean you had thing like "living rock in space" or "creatures which exist inside gas giants" which look great, but how they play? aside from some minor bonus and the ability to colonize this or that kind of planet, they play EXACTLY like everyone else! The result was you having really strange stuff such as the same "creatures which exist inside gas giant" researching guns, recruiting troops or building ships (the manual kind made some vague explanation for this, but still...) or the "living rocks in space" going in strike or revolt or maybe boarding a ship or building a shop.... ect... so the over exotic faction design (after all they where meant to be very alien), which would require almost unique rules to better represent, clashed with the universal rules of the game, making if feel more bland. While someone might say lot of space 4X fall in this in a way or another, it was rather funny for MOO3 due the high claims it made, also later games had better faction design (Endless Space) or faction design creations tool (Stellaris) which alleviate the problem. This along with the tons of literal spreed sheets in the game didn´t help thing at all.
  5. Episode 447: Tactical Management Games

    While as ironman game xcom 2 might don´t work very well, I feel they maybe, especially with War of the Chosen tapped in to something big, with features such as increased character customization, the photobooth and the bond system (even if very light) and mod support, allowing to a much higher that you would expect level of self-expression. In my own campaign, I kind turned my xcom2 in a "anime light novel simulator" spending a lot of time customizing each character with unique background (even blood type) creating pairs, downloading haircut and new class (and somehow along the way there was even some magical girls). But in end I didn´t even play ironman, however, even without it, I found the game much more fun, since while the first xcom had some customization, it was so limited that didn´t encouraged much. I am curious if we might see a xcom 3 or something and if they keep pushing in that direction.
  6. Episode 436: To Infinity Engine and Beyond

    Was thinking about what Cameron said about, how BG1 feels better that the second game, I think one reason has to do with balance, enemies, party combinations and chance play up different between higher and lower levels. But even before that, on thing, that BG end sharing with the early SSI games and other early CRPGs, is that the curve of difficult, kind play inverse to what we believe, it should work - instead of begin easier and them getting hard, what happens is phenomenon where, in truth, the game start harder and them get easier, the reason, specially for those early games, was simple because they where often 1 to 1 translation of tabletop rules, and in this game, the level where you are mostly going do die early one was the first one. But once you reach a certain threshold (which might chance for game to game), you start to getting more and more powerful and so going faster and faster in the game (this is more true for other early Rpgs that BG however, the reason is that BG tend to have a higher control when you level up, while in old gold box game you might reach max level very early on) That said, specially for AD&D, lower level adventures, often play in a slight better rhythm due often enemies begin melee only (very few early monster might be magic user of have special abilities), average Thaco and CA aren´t very high, so any small modifier for player might play a huge role (an early +2 weapon, might pace a lot easier, when you are just fighting enemies with at best have CA from 7 to 5), lower HP means the combat don´t last that much and by last, specially in BG case, this all allow you to mix and match party members more easily. Now, skip forward to BG2, higher level encounter are by default more slow and require a lot more plan ahead, now party composition plays a much higher role and in fact, some character can became a lot less useful despite begin cool or having anything interesting, monsters are more likely to have specially abilities and magic user might have one hit kill spells*, which might require you to have spell or abilities to cancel them. This all, sometimes make me wonder, how much BG 2 kind requires you to almost plan so much stuff ahead, that you might need read a whole faq even before you play, to just avoid ending in a dead end impossible combat or have a key character in your party leave you with no replacement. * I often found that battle with magic user in the second game to be annoying, due all those different protection spells that often require lots of different kind of dispel magic spells you need have.... Party composition is a lot harder, since between the limitations of alignment and and scripts where X character might not like Y character (which again might thing you might need to know before even playing) added with the party composition need to fill certain roles, leave you with little room to maneuver (and also might need you to plan your main character based on your party, which requires you to know all possible characters and when and where you can find them). Now why some rpgs avoided of this kind, try to avoid turns (or similar systems) is a very good question, I guess a lot have to do with some people arbitrarily decided suddenly that turns are bad for a vague to no reason or sense (mostly to bash jrpgs, despite wrpgs using them) and this might lead to a false necessity, which lead to the paradox of having a game with lot of options but no time to deal with any of them. Fun thing is, I have been playing some of the goldbox games and despite them begin in turns, I did find them kind more faster that would be if in real time and a lot I suspect have do to with the fact, that in turn base, area spells can be used to maximum effect, where in real time, where you often stumble in to combat, you often can´t use them, to everything begin to close or moving too fast.
  7. Episode 435: Omnia vincit Roma

    I suspect that sometimes, the reason Rome is chosen for a setting, maybe have a lot of simpler motives, specially in newer movies - I would not be surprised, if people trying to ride on the success of 300 (and Gladiator), simple figured out that the easiest way to make a low budget epic movie, is simple take advantage of all Roman related wardrobe and props of other movies left around (add a couple a reenactors and their stuff if needed) and other stuff hanging around, choose a random forest or park and quickly shoot a movie about romans fighting gauls or celts (with the advantage that you might don´t even need spend money on locations or buildings), with the advantage the filming crew can get away with entire battle scenes without a single horse* (unlikely in a medieval movie, where lack of horses would be felt strange even to audience unfamiliar, but in a roman period, the audience might not find strange, despite begin inaccurate). * I will never forget that documentary about Alexander The Great, where they tried really hard to imitate the 300 aesthetics, without a single horse, it got really strange seeing the actors trying to make the slow motion moves and not a single phalanx or cavalry. Now about the games mentioned: Rome: Total War - I have vague memories about the mod mentioned, but since it shared the same name was the more popular one, for some reason I never played it. Centurion: I have memories of this game, played a lot on the Sega Genesis, even rented several times.... it was bad, that diplomacy system was not very good, sometimes you managed to convince people to join you peacefully, other times I don´t think there was anyway which made the hole thing pointless. The battles, to be fair, where curious, in one hand it had (or appear to be) even some mechanics related for how far the voice of you general could reach, but also didn´t appear to make much difference, also I remember that I could win every battle using the same exact commands. There is three more Roman related game I would like to comment: Warrior of Rome II (Original title: Caesar no Yabou or "Caesar Ambition"*) - This was a very early RTS for genesis made in Japan, the plot is a bit strange, but the game begin with you (Caesar) begin send to Asia to supress a rebellion by the order of the Senate, several maps later and you figure that you have been tricked and the guy you where after, was also send to Asia to suppress you, from that point I think you after the Senate, but I never managed to get that far, the game was really hard and a bit slow. It did feature several concepts ahead of its time, such each unit having stats which where improved as you use them - as example, the more a unit walked, it speed stat would improve, even the sprite would change, like a foot unit became a cavalry unit. Other promotions I remember, where unit getting a bow (if their ranged attack got high enough) or a red cape (if their attack got higher). * Despite the name, this have nothing to do with the Koei historical games. Ryse: Son of Rome - If you guys think that Centurion look to much Hollywood, feast your eyes on this ! http://www.crytek.com/games/ryse/overview Serious, the best summary of this game was something I saw on the Total War Center Forums - "It look like the Imperials are fighting bandits on Solitute", which should give a hint of how innacurate the game is. Oh, this was a console game, but there is a Pc version too (on Steam). There is a old Playstation 2 game called Shadow of Rome, I don´t know the detail, as I just watched a stream, but you play as both a Legionary turned gladiator (which was the more action and combat part) and a small kid related to Caesar (the more stealth part) and you must solve mystery of related to Caesar death. The last one is just a curiosity - but... there is a hentai VN, which was vaguely (and emphasis on the vague term, there was lots and lots of artistic freedom) based in roman period - Tears to Tiara, the game was a mix of tactics game and VN, where you defend a fantasy Britain against fantasy Rome. The game got a sequel, where you play as fantasy Carthage.
  8. Episode 419: Europa Universalis IV in 2018

    Tributaries: their main deal is that now, you can play with some country around Ming, without the constant fear of Ming deciding to ruin your ironman game at any moment. Which does not mean that you are safe, because what Tributaries really do is protect you from Ming but not from other people around. States: yeah, they aren´t perfect, but I don´t mind them much, it easy to keep them in check most of time and don´t think much about. Institutions/Eras: I really like those, this one made much easier and less annoying to play with countries outside Europa and still have a chance without having the deal with the older confusing westernization mechanics. Which mean that the game can generate those emergent gameplay moments in a much richer way (specially for Ai controlled countries) . I have games where "Granada and friends"(AI) hold off Spain, Mali (AI) manages to beat up France and Spain, Poland and Lithuania win against Russia and many more, since the Ai can´t just steamroll as in the past, but things aren´t so easy either (research penality still a thing you have do deal). The New "Here is what going on in this place" Screen: I love this, much like with was said, it give you a much better idea of what is going on. Cradle of Civilization: One thing I really like is the new events, they make really cool playing with those countries.
  9. WJ6 Team Seeking

    What I'm Doing: Illustration (anime style), Pixel Art, 3D Model, some knowledge on Visual Novels (Ren´py and Tyranobuilder) Contact Info: PM Time Zone: -3 gmt Portfolio: https://www.artstation.com/avantharis
  10. Episode 414: Classic Year in Review: 1997

    Lords of Magic main charm it was the adaptive music, where in battle, the battle theme was split in three main theme - neutral, losing, winning and as the battle unfolds, the music would change in a rather fluid way, this along with the voices units made the game quite unique. I have many memories of battles going badly, until I managed to do something and suddenly the music changed from the losing to winning fanfarre. One battle, things start so bad (it was a against Balkoth, the main villian of the game) that the music skip right to the losing theme - everything was going bad, my units where dying but my main character managed to kill Balkoth and this caused the battle to turn in my favor and the music exploded to the fanfarre. Birthright it was very example of the 90s over ambitious game design, as Arasmo said, it was a adaptation of AD&D campaign set, which features rules for players leading kingdoms and armies, think something like table top of version of a Paradox game and a Total War game, the the adaptation was very, very faithful and if the studio behind didn´t closed (I think) or Sierra lost the rights to AD&D games there was plans do add the other part of the setting.
  11. GOTY of the Year

    For me would be: 1: Danganronpa v3 and Total War: Warhammer 2 2: Nier Automata 3: XCOM War of the Chosen 4: Granblue Fantasy 5: Muv-Luv 7: Lost Dimension 8: Blue Reflection 9: Endless Space 2 10: Romance of the Three Kingoms 13 Fame and Strategy
  12. The talk about suddenly R2-D2 having a voice, remember something I heard about the new pokemon movie... where for some reason, Pikachu suddenly speaks in english. https://en.rocketnews24.com/2017/11/15/pikachu-speaks-english-in-newest-pokemon-anime-movie-freaks-out-audiences【video】/
  13. Episode 413: Myth

    Very good show! I used to like Myth 2 a lot, even if weirdly, most my memories are from frustration moments... maps such as the one where you chase the Baron or the Stairs of Grief and that D Day sytle map (this maps it the example of a nice idea, that simple make no sense in context, like, I got with all that explosive, they might have some cannons, but... no one talks about either before or after and how the monsters could use it? I remember this bothering me a lot when I first played), but maybe the blame was more in me, since I might, back there, I did not really catch one the whole "sometimes you should give ground" plus my attempts to not let a single soldier dies, might caused something like Rob had when he tried xcom 2 in Ironman Mode. You guys talked about the narration, my version, however was localized for Brazil, so I didn´t got the original voices, but thankfully, in comparison to other localization of the period, Myth II had a pretty good on, at least the narrator was good, even if the rest of the voices was very weak or weird (the Dwarven units kind sound like a kid trying to imitate someone from Scotland, the Archers had one of the voices begin a local slang that made no sense in context of the game, but that said, the rest of the units/character had pretty good voices). I think the reason we haven´t see a new Myth style game, its that put together a heavy physics simulation on top of modern graphics in that scale plus an AI and scripts, while not impossible, is very trick - the original games had the advantage that while for the period, their graphics where impressive, they might be simple enough to make the simulation not so heavy, but today - have several objects (maybe high detailed) running/clashing/bouncing around in a heavy dense mesh terrain and other objects might be very hard on performance.
  14. Episode 412: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

    Very good episode! One thing which I did loved about xcom 2 and found that war of the chosen, plus mod support helped a lot was the customization - I found myself, even before war of the chosen, already creating several unique (and very anime like and I really mean it, at one point slipped out of control, and there was a bit of everything, from senpais to idols to magical girls*) characters, giving each one a personality, backgrounds, ect... and even go so far as giving each one a tarot-themed (both major and minor arcana) nickname. With war of the Chosen, I could push this even further, with bonds I could now do in-game OTP (one true pairs) with many of my OCs, the photobooth I could even spend more time that would be reasonable - taking photos of their missions, pairs and upgrades (when ever I changed their armor I would upgrade their photo). * When I figured how to get the Madoka Magica Mod working. One the previous games, doing all of this was much possible, on xcom 1 due models begin very limited I could never flesh it out the way I did now, in fact I even looked at my old xcom 1 screenshots and find out that I most run with whatever character I had. Meanwhile the original xcom, you often end with all characters looking the same. Another aspect of the Resistence Ring, is that it give you a way to get back on track even you start to fall behind, since there is some missions (and cards), which help reduce the avatar progress, something that helped me a lot when I need time for a break (due character begin wounded and tired). Also I would agree, that I would love the options of sending your character to the factions, so they could become the newer classes, since I had a lot of original character I never used the factions here very much. Spoiler
  15. Episode 411: Total War: WARHAMMER II

    One minor thing that is noticeable better is music - not that the previous games had bad ones, but here you can notice much better tracks, many of them with a very LORT inspiration or chorus (or even some lyrics?). On the subject of factions, I would agree that the Lizardman geomantic web is the less noticeable, but their armies are a lot fun to play - even the feral version of most their dinosaurs units are deadly, specially against skaven (I see that myself, when I attacked a single stack of lizardman with two skaven stacks - let me tell you, four feral units caused my massed Skaven force to scatter to four corners). The High Elves (much like the Dark Elves) armies are very fun to play and their units are the most visual impressive. The High Elves strategic ability is ok, I see the AI use it against me twice. The Dark Elves on the other hand, have this several minor abilities aside for the ones which you guys covered, there is also "surname" stuff (which you can give to agent or lords(?) when they reach a certain level). By last, the Skaven are very good to play too.