ilitarist

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About ilitarist

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  1. Duelyst

    Funny story. Tried to play Duelyst today. I even had an account a long time ago. The game told me I have to link the account to Bandai Namco account. Bandai Namco bought the developer company. So I tried to do it. And I can't. Turns out Bandai Namco does not allow for accounts for many countries. They just cut them off - not even like Android apps that are not available in story but you can still use (Nintendo does that). They check IP and just refuse to register you without any proper explanation, it looked like a generic overloaded server error. I went to check the forums and turns out they claim there are some legal problems and there were few players in some countries so they violently cut them off. Most noticeable country was Russia. It indeed got the law that you have to store Russian citizens data on servers on Russian territory and it seems they've concluded that it would be too much bother to do that. However, lots of other countries are cut off including my own Belarus. They also blocked new accounts from China. China! I didn't spend any money on that F2P game but I've checked if they gave any refund to affected paying customers. They didn't. And for some time Steam allowed you to buy stuff for the game while you couldn't run it. That's a very curious behavior on the part of publisher. Meanwhile some of Bandai Namco games, like Dark Souls, work just fine.
  2. Episode 418: They Are Billions

    I understand Troy's love for PvE last stand games. Those are strategy game that actually have a story, an arc behind them. You're always trying to be ahead of the curve. Even if it's not hard the last wave is the biggest one you see, there's an excitement. All of the tower defense games, Infested Planet, That Starcraft 2 Mission, XCOM (more or less), many military city-builders. Because all those grand strategy and 4X never work in terms of ending. For every Civilization game that end with a dramatic spaceship start from a besieged city you have a hundred games that have actually ended with a small fight on turn 350 and win through science or culture after 50 eventless turns. And if it was a multiplayer game than everyone will probably realize what's happening around turn 360, write "gg" and leave. Or those Total War winning condition. If you ask me to have 50 provinces than I've become the unstoppable juggernaut when I had 20; my 50th province won't be Rome or Judea or whatever, it will be Somewherestan in a middle of nowhere which I'll casually capture mopping up remains of some broken empire. Again, in Paradox games the game end when you decide it ends so they have that advantage (until Stellaris came and made actual winning conditions the most boring thing). Saw a good counter-example recently. Disciples 2, an old game in style of Heroes or Warlords. Its campaign is basically PvE. You have to get to a specific point and usually murder some strong army. There are other factions on the map but they sort of don't have any objective, they're just there competing for resources. The capital of any faction usually has insanely powerful guardian, you can't hope to beat it without something spectacular. So your strongest army beats their strongest army and depending on difficulty level they can produce new ones but never as strong as the ones you've beaten because units in this game levelup. So no one can lose until you win: you need to levelup powerful armies to reliably beat whatever comes out of enemy capitals even after they're humiliated. And then you plunder the map to get artifacts and potions to get enough strength to fight mission objective. Usually you don't have lose objective and thus loss becomes anticlimactic and the game in general feels like busywork. You know what happens every time after 2 mission and most of it is a grind. Seems like controlled environments like this tower defense are the best answer to strategy game story structure problem.
  3. Episode 417: 2017 in Review

    I think Rob greatly underestimated Age of Wonders 3. In some episode he mentioned that Endless Legend was the only truly great 4X of later years and I'm quite surprised by it, especially with EL being broken and unpolished in so many ways. AoW3 was rough when it came out but now it's one of the best 4X people do not notice. It's also similar to TW Warhammer so try it if you burned up on this. What differentiates this game is the character each map has - it's full of important structures that make you want to place cities as if you were playing Civilization. It's randomly generated landscapes are memorable and important. You can modify them by end game climate change spells. You fight neutrals in their huge monster dens and incorporate them into your powerful cities. Expansions added 2 new victory types - Seal control (basically have to keep strong monster spawn points for a long time; the idea is that even scratching an army sitting on those points makes it vulnerable for neutrals to take over) and sort of Diplomacy victory (you have to become the most popular guy with couple of races - not playable factions but races like elves and cat people - and build wonders for them). It has deep tactical battles. It has lots of competitive elements like global quests and diplomacy contest and global spells - usually 4X is all about fighting or allying but here you can get into a war of magical attrition. Try it now that it's a final version.
  4. Episode 415: Endless Space 2 Revisited

    The problem with pirates is that it means you are pushed into a militaristic way early on AND AI can't do anything about pirates. As someone mentioned when you beat pirates you now have a great fleet and other factions are probably still struggling fighting off those guys. So military victory practically begs to be won.
  5. Episode 355: Stellaris

    Now won't be a good time. Waiting for 2.0 patch looks like the right idea.
  6. It's always nice to hear Doctor Bruce warmly greeting you. Dominions is still Dominions I understand. I'm glad it exists.
  7. Episode 415: Endless Space 2 Revisited

    hexgrid, ES2 is much better in that regard. Maybe too good in fact. There's so much choice it doesn't feel like there are important ones. Plus exploration is much more important and random. Feels more like Civilization 5 where you're reacting to the environment. Maybe more so due to resources. There are 2 of those in early game and you'll probably only find 1 of those nearby and it would mean you'll concentrate on specific ship modules, for example. As for tech they did good. There are few linked techs and you always have a lot of choice. There are techs you take no matter what but no tech you're required to take ASAP. Most of undoubtedly useful stuff is turned into tech tiers - i.e. after you research N techs of specific field you get bonus like better detection of anomalies, defensive buildings, economic upgrades etc.
  8. Episode 415: Endless Space 2 Revisited

    Surprised by universal acclaim of Endless Legend. The game is gorgeous and innovative but, like Endless Space 1, it felt like a basis for a great game. And they never delivered. Those maps are beautiful but they never made them functional: I could only look at them in schematic mode, and even then it's hard to see anomalies and many features. UI is broken in many regards. AI is bad. But you're right about solitaire feel being one of the biggest problems. It feels more like a simplified Anno game sometimes than a 4X. Or a Colonization game where you rarely care about other colonies. It's a common problem in 4X games that you don't care about other people other than the size of their armies, but here they're complete black box. At least they have personalities. But you don't care about their resources (it's more convenient to trade on the market), you don't have about their tech outside of the power of their military (and it's mitigated by the power of military not being as defined by tech as usual, ground troops have separate pseudotechtree, many modules are found through exploration), combat plays by some arcane rules so it's hard to do something about countering their armies apart from adjusting your kinetic/energy attack/defense ratio. Those huge dividing quests sort of help, as well as special planets - those are nice, those give a galaxy some structure. Still, even in Civ5 I often think "this guy sells me Ivory and it helps my happiness so I have to maintain those relations". I don't think there's anything apart from military considerations forcing me to maintain peace. Maybe few of those political bonuses. They were supposed to add something to help this, but I rarely saw those agreements. The most interesting interactions with other empires come when you get several of those planets and you get lots of new citizens with a specific ideology. And their quests start to trigger. So when Cravers attack you it may also mean that you'll have to somehow handle that planet eating population, keep them from spreading, send them to frontier or something. It's more interesting than Stellaris where it's rarely beneficial to move your populace: here it's a huge part of the solitaire. My other problem with ES2 (as well as EL) is what Rob mentioned - even when systems work they feel like systems. You don't get the feeling of progress. It's a narrative story, your people are changed by the quest story and inclusion of new people with different ideas. There's no feeling of progress or change with the times. Techs are interesting and unlock new stuff like market trading or planet destroying, the economy goes into a singularity phase so you have to change your playstyle... But it's boring compared to Civilization or Stellaris where you feel everything changed. Really only numbers change. In Stellaris you may end up with genetically modified race of galactic overlords facing interdimensional invasion. In ES2 you fight other people same way on turn 200 as on turn 30 but with bigger ships and numbers.
  9. Fantastic episode. Nice to hear Troy. I'm glad Rowan and TJ had brought some sanity asking to explain what the game is before talking about; also asking if it's playable today. I've heard some heretical laughter after TJ mentioned that Rise of Nations is better than Age of Empires 1 and 2. This is not something that can be tolerated. RoN is love, RoN is life, it made all the other RTS obsolete including Civilization.
  10. Not even listening to strategy game podcast can shield me from sport games. "I work with engines for living" "I think average gamer will easily understand that engine management game unlike the game about hockey" - Michael, with a straight face
  11. Episode 409: Field of Glory II

    I'd like to thank Consul Kaiser for bringing a connoisseur humor to the podcast. Also Rob & Troy description of all those autogenerated battles reminded me of a possible perfect game mode of daily challenge. The one where you turn on the game every day, get your new tactical puzzle and see how dumb you are compared to real cool dudes. I think that's what Dyelist had done but I didn't like that game in general that much. Also there was something like that in Desktop Dungeons but it wasn't a good fit for that game.
  12. Right, you're better not mix strategy games.
  13. Episode 408: Tooth and Tail

    Liked the music and the story of the game. But I don't really dig this pixel-art. It looks exactly like a budget thing. And there's no nostalgic feel or anything about this game. Don't like it at all. Only played the campaign and it felt like I do not learn anything really. I reroll the map till the script gives me something that is winnable. All the choices are made for me and after I see what each unit does the game plays itself. I can only move my army forward. Sometimes I move artillery alone and spot targets for it. That's it. I don't get it. Maybe I don't get tactical RTS in general. I love Rise of Nations but it's all about economy. I love XCOM and it's all about war but it's tactical and turn-based. Oh well. Can't see this game really becoming a hearthstone: even though mechanics are simple it all seems... uncontrollable. Too much mechanical skill. EDIT: Also, Sacrifice is a very different game. There your character has various spells and it doesn't have map control focus.
  14. Rowan is spot on about schizophrenic games not knowing if they're supposed to be savescummed or ironmanned. I don't like Darkest Dungeons that much but they're right about making XCOM clone with clear iron man goal. XCOM2 has infuriated me with it not being sure if its iron man or not. I've completed XCOM1 once on classic and then on normal Iron Man, and normal Iron Man felt great - intense, rewarding. Then I tried XCOM2 and was utterly humiliated. Devs idea is probably that player has to complete it once without Iron Man and replay on Iron Man. Because you have lots of things you can't anticipate: some missions may have sudden boss fights and those bosses need special tactics - see the Matrix hydra thing which clones itself after getting damage which will definitely screw you on your first try. On the other hand lots of mechanics only make sense in Iron Man - those mimics are useless once you replay mission and know where they hide, and you don't need all those abilities that help you suffer less from losses. And in empire building games there are sometimes very few ways of restoring after a lost war, like in Total War you either constantly expand and win every battle or enter a death spiral. Glad some devs know they have to make a choice. About guard AI: Dishonored had guards who noticed their colleagues are missing. They took over patrols so you couldn't just remove a single guard who interferes with your plan.
  15. Episode 405: Lords of Waterdeep

    That was a very nice work at the end by the Wizard in the end. Praise! Praise! I still play Armello from time to time with friends and it looks like a boardgame properly developed to be played on PC in multiplayer. LoW does not, so I'll listen to Fraser here.