Bjorn

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About Bjorn

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    Great Axe of Social Justice +1

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  1. Dark Souls(Demon's Souls successor)

    It's a separate area that you have to take a portal to reach. Being Dark Souls, it is of course potentially cumbersome to reach and there is a minor chance of breaking it. You'e said you're in the Duke's Archives. Did you receive a Broken Pendant from an enemy that you killed near the beginning of the Archive?
  2. Divinity: Original Sin II

    Somewhat surprising me, we are still playing the hell out of this, and I've started up a solo game as well I'm enjoying it so much. My previous comment about mods still holds completely true. I started up a solo game using 4 characters, and within a few hours was already somewhat getting bored/annoyed with it. There were things I enjoyed about it, but the biggest annoyance is having to maintain gear for 4 characters. Even with the trader refresh, I was just finding it annoying keeping everyone kitted out. Every level matters a lot in OS2 (gear has levels, and vendors always sell gear equal to your level), and having gear that is 3-4 levels out of date is a big deal. So I started again, but this time with the intention of seeing how well I could manage a solo character game. And it's tons of fun! Navigating combat that was balanced around 4 characters with just a single character is hard as balls and changes every single thing about combat. You have to think about how you're approaching/starting every combat, how you handle each turn, kite enemies, abuse line of sight and the environment, and use environmental effects to block or discourage enemies from taking certain paths to you so they waste their action moving. I really kind of wish there was yet a higher difficulty option that would bring this kind of combat experience to the 2 player game we're in as well. I elected to play on Honour mode, which only lets you have a single save and the game autosaves if a character dies. A party wipe deletes the save. I do have a second non-combat character who is my thief and barterer, and so that he can come in and resurrect me in the event that I get killed. But I'm liking the single save slot, as it forces me to just deal with every decision I make and not consider rolling back a couple of saves to do something different.
  3. Missions that made you quit

    Yeah, it's one of the most out of place difficulty spikes I can think of in a game. Like, I've played lots of hard platformers where part way through I just decided it wasn't for me, but that specific jump just feels out of place in that game.
  4. Missions that made you quit

    The final section of Cave Story+ suddenly jumps up in difficulty to a ridiculous degree, to the point that I tried it a couple of times, watched a youtube video to see if I was missing something obvious, and promptly quit and uninstalled. It's not quite the same in a roguelike, but chasing unlocks against Hush in Binding of Isaac RB/AB ended up being what broke me on playing that game. Unlocking stuff through challenges is part of the fun of going back to that game, and there are a bunch of unlocks associated with beating each of the major bosses with specific characters. But Hush requires a speedrun to reach (30 minutes to reach about two-thirds of the way through a full run), and is one of the biggest damage sponge bosses in the game. Hush was the second boss with character specific unlocks that required a speedrun to reach, and beating my head against that with the more challenging characters just destroyed my desire to ever play it again.
  5. Divinity: Original Sin II

    This is a copy of a bunch of stuff about this that I put in the thumb's readers Slack. We've been playing local co-op in Divinity: Original Sin 2 the last couple of weeks, and it's a lot of fun, but this game is also just full of all sorts of really bad design decisions, like, to a shocking degree. I'm not usually one for modding games, but mods on this feel almost required to fix some of their decisions to improve general quality of life. Mod 1: Move Speed - This has no balance impact at all, it's just the default speed you run around out of combat. When you need to backtrack, or run around town to vendors, it's dumb to waste a bunch of time just because the default walk speed isn't faster. Mod 2: Unlimited carry weight limit - We're both running mages, which means no strength, which means shit ability to carry things. In a game that has about 18 bajillion different crafting ingredients, potions, grenades, etc., and the main way to organize your inventory are a bunch of bags that all look identical, the starting weight limit is just infuriating. Especially when all it means is more wasted time ferrying goods back and forth to town to sell instead of just carrying it all in one trip. Unlimited carry weight ALSO means that I can organize inventory by carrying an ornate chest, regular chest, wooden crate, metal crate and barrel along with a backpack so there's no guessing which backpack has the class of item I want in it. Mod 3: More Tooltips! - There's a button to highlight things you can pick up or interact with (typical for a top down/isometric RPG), but, it doesn't actually highlight everything. This mod makes it highlight everything. It just literally makes that button do what it should have in the first place. Mod 4: Free PetPal - Talents in OS2 are rare and almost entirely combat related. Except one. PetPal, which lets you talk to animals and unlocks a lot of funny conversations and a few quests. This is less of a big deal when playing a solo game with 4 characters, but when doing co-op with 2 Lone Wolves, whoever takes PetPal is just taking one for the team by giving up a combat bonus to have access to extra content and conversations. This just gives PetPal to everyone. Mod 5: Trader refresh - Vendors only refresh on level up or once per IRL hour. Which means if you really want to craft something and you're missing an ingredient, or both of you need the same skillbook, or whatever, you have to wait or you need to run around the map visiting multiple vendors to find the thing you need. This speeds that way up. It's a bit game breaky in a multiple ways (you can craft endless elemental arrows to sell for infinite money), but overall it's such a nice QoL improvement it's so worth it. If you're running with 4 characters, I really can't imagine not using this, gearing everyone would be a much bigger pain in the ass. Mod 6: Elemental Weapons (specifically daggers, but there are a few other mods for other weapons) - This gets to my single biggest complaint of the game. WTF were they thinking with their armor system? It's dumb af. It discourages mixed damage teams, particularly in a Lone Wolf pair or a 3 to 1 damage mix in a four character squad. For anyone reading this who hasn't played OS2, every character and enemy (more or less) has two armors, physical and magic. Armors are basically an extra HP bar. In order for physical attacks to damage health, physical armor has to be depleted. For magic to damage health, magic armor has to be depleted. In order for status effects to proc, the associated armor has to be depleted (and status effects are the bread and butter of combat in OS2). What this means is that running mixed damage groups just doesn't make any sense, because you're both having to beat down two different armor bars, and you're not helping each other proc one another's statuses. It just makes bunches more sense to run the same kind of damage. (There are some caveats here, there are some fights where you might have enemies that don't have one type of armor, there are enemies with very high physical or elemental resist, so being focused on one side or the other has potential downsides, but as a general rule of them, the exceptions don't justify the general added problems that a diverse damage team causes.) The weird thing is that it seems like they knew and almost solved this problem, but didn't quite get there. If you're running a physical damage team, there are 3-4 magic schools (out of 8) that are good to take. Necro, Poly, Summoning and Hydro all have some very good synergy with physical damage teams, either because their abilities are physical damage as well, or through buffs/heals. But if you're running an elemental wizard squad, there's no synergy from the physical skill sets at all. Scoundrel and Warfare skills damage type is based on equipped weapon, but there aren't any elemental weapons that actually fit with those classes skills well. So, a solution to this is to mod in elemental melee weapons. In this case I went with Elemental Daggers to be able to create a kind of Electric Assassin Rogue. And it's a perfect class for me in so many different ways. But it wouldn't have been possible without the modding support of the community, and it absolutely fits with the rest of the design of the game. There's a genuinely good game here, but it's like it needed just some more time and thought put into the armor system and they way that elemental and physical skills play off one another (or don't, as the more general rule is).
  6. Got my first victory in Unexplored last night! And on Hard no less (been doing Hard to chase some Achievements, as a lot of cheevos are what you use to unlock new starting gear/options/purchases). This game continues to delight and please me. I ended up assembling my first ever Steam guide because of this game. It has an incomplete wiki and detailed info was scattered around forums, reddit and some google docs a player had assembled. I just put it all together in one place and added my own notes.
  7. I started Unexplored this weekend, jonesing for a new roguelite, and I'm so far quite enamored with it. It scratches that fast paced dungeon dive, die and restart itch very well. Austin Walker sold me on it after I saw his top list of 2017 games. My impression (after still not having made it to the third level), is that this just really good and refined. I was initially not into the art style when I saw it in screenshots, but actually playing it, it's a great style that boils things down to just like symbols that convey information really well and quick. It's also got a lot of really great little quality of life things that I haven't seen altogether in a game. You can make it so that you auto-drink potions, and set the threshold that you drink them. You can set how you pick up items, if it's an auto vacuum, or if you need to stop and click on each item. Items that you already have stacks of (potions, rations, torches), always auto pickup. Many weapons have both passive and active attacks (if an enemy runs into your sword, it will do 5 damage, but if you actively swing your sword, it will do 8 damage). Unlocking achievements unlocks ever more things to buy in the opening store, and your starting gold is related to how much gold you had completed on the previous run. So it's got that good hook that even a failed run can serve a purpose.
  8. I had the exact same thought the first time I took out the judo mech. It's a strange decision to not have that work, but clarity of UI and expected consequence is almost certainly the reason. There are possible situations where no outlet exists for a unit to be moved to. In which case, one of the units should probably just auto-die (which doesn't feel particularly OP given that it requires having a very specific setup to happen).
  9. Subnautica: Sleeping with the fishes

    If I have a complaint about this game so far (and at this point, I'm pretty deep in and its my only complaint), it's that I'm starting to get a little lost on what to do. I'm slowly tracking down the last few upgrades to gear that I want before I dive deep, but some of the cave systems I've found seem pretty confusing, and there's not a good way to map them. Which, the lack of a map is both a blessing and a curse it seems. I took the Cyclops out for its first long venture, and it feels like it's mostly too much of a pain in the ass? Slow, cumbersome, surprisingly weak if attacked. I mean, a mobile food source and storage is nice, but the sea moth generally gets the job done, and the extra faffing about I did with the cyclops on running back and forth probably ate up about a round trip to the main base.
  10. Subnautica: Sleeping with the fishes

    LoL at "tiny base" I manage to build an extra room or two on most trips back, so I now have a somewhat sprawling multi-story main compound. I've burned a couple of hours just scavenging quartz so the whole thing can be glass walled barring one tower of rooms that dedicated to reinforcements so it doesn't spring a link. But yeah, I completely agree with that. And it's especially true when I've built small scout bases (entirely for scanner rooms to speed up finding the rarer resources) in particularly inhospitable areas of the game. The sea creatures in this feel more alien and threatening than the alien monsters from many other games, despite often also feeling like many of them could be oddities from our own seas. The use of color and sound and bioluminescence all contribute to that feeling of other-worldliness.
  11. Subnautica: Sleeping with the fishes

    "The Blood Kelp Zone: This ecological biome matches 7 of the 9 preconditions for stimulating terror in humans." (If you click through the link, you can listen to the dispassionate computer voice read that to you). When it comes to the terror elements, I have generally found them manageable. You can almost always hear something bad before you see it, so you know when you've crossed over into something's turf. As long as you save frequently (and aren't playing on permadeath mode.....fuck that in this game), the monsters are really only as threatening as monsters in the runaway style horror games, where the initial shock of finding them gets you, but after that they're just something to be managed and approached.
  12. I've certainly enjoyed ITB a whole bunch, but I can say I don't think it has the staying power that FTL did. It's mechanically so, so good, but it lacks that sense of narrative hook and emergent moments that FTL had in its best times.
  13. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    The empty solitude of it is a selling feature for some people (me included), but I can understand how that doesn't work or click with everyone. I enjoyed the run to each colossus (and keeping an eye out for fruits and lizards). When I played it, I remember thinking how a less confident game would insist on having throwaway minions to chew through that added nothing other than hollow action for action's sake, and the empty world made for a better experience than needless fodder.
  14. I've only done one (failed) run with fire, but so far they feel like the squad that most desperately needs to add on additional equipment. Everyone else I've played feels perfectly capable of a 4 island victory with just their starting gear. On that one run, I even got the Chain Lightning gun on my Prime, but then splitting points between another weapon still left them overall underpowered, and thus the eventual loss.
  15. Subnautica: Sleeping with the fishes

    I started to play this recently, and this game is my jam in so many ways. It's stunningly beautiful, like easily just one of the prettiest first person games I've ever played. It manages to mostly be relaxing, punctuated by moments of stress, fear and anxiety, ala Don't Starve, which is pretty much exactly what I want out of a survival game. I don't want to have to worry about dying at every moment in a game, but I also don't want a game that feels like it has no risk at all to it. Discovery is so good in this too. Like, it captures the awe of discovering something alien in a way that Mass Effect only wishes it could. There was a moment walking through an alien structure where I was reminded at how poorly ME: Andromeda managed to handle those same moments.