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Posts posted by Gaizokubanou

  1. Screwy camera killed the game for me.  Every time move your camera around it's rotation changes.  To see this, just swing your camera in clockwise circle and watch it start to tilt on its own.


    And this is coming from a $120 backer... I really wanted to get some money's worth out of it.

  2. I would be interested in a semi-regular "patch/update/mod" show. It would be interesting to see if all the post release patches for Rome2:Total War have improved the game significantly, or is it still a game to avoid. I'm sure there's a plenty long list of strategy game that have been released in recent years and have seen significant post release/review changes. 


    i *still* plan to back to Elemental (or whatever they're calling it these days) and see how it eventually ended up. 


    Rome 2 is functional but because they didn't get rid of army stance mechanic and that combined with open map makes it pretty average at best (combination of those two make army movements in campaign REALLY annoying, as AI will just send stacks on marching order deep into your land and it just becomes this awful chasing game).  If you are craving for Total War system and played all other TW games to death then it's worth picking up on sales, but otherwise avoid.

  3. I got Endless Legend this Steam winter sales and already put 71 hours in.  Sounds great right (or that I have a problem lol)?


    Well it is and it isn't because I really enjoyed those 71 hours but I'm also pretty certain I'll never play it again until major expansion hit.  Compare that to CiV which I put at least 200 hours before expansions and after that, 500+ online and probably another couple hundreds offline (competing right there next to EU4 and HoI3).


    The endgame problem that Troy mentioned is very very forgiving-ly put.  On normal speed game (which is set to 300 turns max), if you are alive, you are almost guaranteed to completely break the economic balance somewhere between turn 130 ~ 160.  Earlier if you use custom faction like customized Broken Lords.  How does the economy break you wonder (if you haven't played it)?  So like in any other good builder games you build stuff, which in this game is all about the FIDS (food, industry, dust, science just like in Endless Space except we also get influence points somewhere in there).  You get more FIDS and with that you get to build more stuff... hence your empire grows!  That's great, core aspect of any empire builder.  The problem is that in this game your growth is exponential because of how late game tech are balanced, how population growth is designed, and you don't really have a good FIDS sink to begin with.


    In all Civilization games, population growth is followed by food demand increase (usually 2 food increase in consumption and unimproved grassland gives 2), but your source of food is limited to the tiles around the city that are worked by your citizens.  And thus the growth is fairly well managed with more techs and improvements allowing a city to support more citizens per tile (like a max level grassland farm is 5 foods in most civ games), but still there is some hard limitations to it.


    In Endless Legend, your citizens don't work the tiles like in Civ games.  Instead, all districts-exploitation tiles are auto-worked and citizens are instead assigned to any of the 5 FIDS (very similar to how specialists work in Civilization games for those who haven't played Endless Legend yet).  Early on the workers provide modest FIDS output.  But around Age 3 (that's 16 techs researched, with each tech taking something between 4 ~ 12 turns) you begin to accumulate enough techs and buildings that make both your tiles and your workers a whole lot more efficient.  Put a good hero to govern the city and it's even more so.


    So how does that exactly break the game unlike in Civ games?  Because remember how the workers work?  They work like cap-less specialists from Civ... so it means that there is no actual hard cap on city's growth because every growth and its food consumption can be matched by less than 1/4 worker so with every growth, you have more room to grow!  Amplitude did get the time right so at least it takes longer to grow but that's not a huge problem because again, 1/4 or less cost so you can just assign more workers to match the increase in time (also given how the combat works in this game and how abusable it is for defenders to stall out and the AI is abysmal at this game, much more so than ones in Civ games).  Put this on top of Broken Lords' dust-centric mechanic and it breaks even further because workers no longer cost you any maintenance and you can tunnel vision super hard into dust production which really brings this problem to the forefront.


    Then the tech imbalance also chips in there.  You end up with so many techs that are all about making your tiles better, which is fine and all but they do that too much (hence balance issue) that by Age 4 you don't even have to think about what tiles to put new districts or cities on because every tile will more than pay for itself and are multi-functional.  Gone are the choices of "ok this city needs more food for growth so I'll pick this food rich spot".  Every tile will produce enough FIDS of all variety and if the region is missing out on any single element (ice and desert are often short on food for example), no problem because you can just use your workers instead.


    So you get all this FIDS that let you generate more FIDS... to top off this problem, the game doesn't really let you spend your FIDS on anything... the way combat works, you don't need that big of an army.  So reaching mandatory threshhold is kind of an easy task.  So basically all this exponential growth is there so you can better fund your exponential growth.


    Ok so that's bit of theoratical reason how the game breaks, so let me give you specific example.  Keep in mind that population wise the value proposition is similar to CiV, in that 10 pop city in Endless Legend is similar to 10 pop CiV in value that it provides in the context of the game (minus the exponential economy problem I mentioned).  With customized Broken Lord faction, by turn 120 ish on normal (again, 300 turn max) I can settle a brand new city and bring its population to 10 ish with all buildings built in a single turn, every turn.  By turn 180 it's 30 population, so on.  Growth is so ridiculous that by 220 ish i can fill out a pretty large region with district.  That is the entire section of the map becoming a giant city.  The 220 turn example is bit facetious since I would have won an economic victory long before that point but just to highlight the problems.


    Again, Age 1 and 2 are really good (minus the combat, it's just straight up awful compared to CiV.  And not in that 'unpreditable gamble' ilitarist, it's completely predictable and just bad because your army position boils down to 'are you in range to fight or not', and gone are the cool considerations in CiV like protecting resources, choke points, etc.).  But game just breaks past that point.


    For me the weird bit about 3MA podcasts on Endless Legend is that so much of the game really boils down to Endless Space...  But to be fair, I suppose the hexagonal map with sprawling city does go a long way (even though functionally it ends up similar to Endless Space because as Rowan Kaiser pointed out in earlier podcast, Endless Legend doesn't have any of that "compete for every tile" that Civ games have, so in the end each region pretty much ends up as a single node, just like the ones in Endless Space).


    All that said though, I would still recommend it just because how good those first few games felt.

  4. As to the bit at the end about RTS games making a bit of a come back and how much Rob has been playing Grey Goo (which looks great) I'd also like to add that Eugen is creating a base building/resource gathering RTS called Act of Aggression in the vein of their older Act of War games, and another SciFi RTS is close to release called Etherium which isn't looking too shabby either.


    Thanks for spelling out Grey Goo, I had hard time figuring out the title of that game from podcast audio alone as the game isn't that big on search engines yet.  Wow it looks fun, it's that slightly slower paced old school RTS that I haven't played in a while, with touch of modernization to get rid of UI and other outdated stuff.


    Also thanks on the heads up on Act of Aggression because I really enjoyed Act of War (would play it now if it wasn't for that silly 2gb ram limit and stuff) and pretty much all of Eugene's games have been good to great thus far.

  5. On the subject of map variety: it might be important to know that the variables (units) involved in a game of starcraft are static between expansions/patches. A game of Dota will see less than 10% of variables available to the players in that given match. Some Lords (Pudge, Vengeful Spirit, and Timbersaw to name a few) will completely change the movement of the opposing team, as their positional abilities necessitate an altered strategy. No game of starcraft is going to be without the possibility of a marine or zergling showing up. IMO that means that a Lords Management game can get away with having one map, and an RTS probably shouldn't.


    I think that is an inaccurate comparison.  If you want to compare heroes/lords selection in LoL/DotA2 to anything in a game of Starcraft 2, much better comparison would be opening build order (decisions you make before any scouting information could be gathered), which changes the mid-game response of the opposing player a lot.  Sure every terran builds them marines, but building one in your base is radically different from building one at a rushed proxy rax.

  6. What a cool interview.  Although none of the answers were particularly surprising, some details were nevertheless very intriguing.  Like the opposition against unlimited unit selection for Starcraft 2 within the development group.  Given the relatively conservative final product it's not to surprising to hear that the development was gripped with fear from deviating too much from the original Starcraft, but still to think that even the limited unit selection had to be fought to be removed is still very interesting to hear.  It just wasn't surprising because during SC2's esport slump during late 2013 and early 2014, I've read even crazier things in fan forums about how Starcraft 2 should embrace Starcraft's unit path finding, particularly the bad ones like the Dragoon's.


    Now that I typed it, I wish they went in bit more into about changes regarding unit pathfinding because while it's new, it's also very different from Warcraft 3's formation path-finding.  I suppose Starcraft 2's lack of more strict unit role (WC3 felt like it had relatively stable formula of melee-range-casters with air units doing their own thing on top) makes it unsuitable for WC3's formation but still to completely forgo any sort of formation keeping must've been conscious decision in a game where pathfinding should be a pretty critical design decision?

  7. It's part 11 that's on Gamersgate.  The sad part is that it's the version without a major patch called 'Power Up Kit', which adds new features and fixes lategame AI.  Otherwise really superb game and is currently a major source of reference for myself with how it handles city/military management all in single screen (something that other RotTK games don't do and hence in my view ends up being worse games for it).


    However, how that game handles 'debates' is largely debatable at best.

  8. Spot on Gormongous, Rome 2 definitely had notably weak general system out of the series (although I think it was weaker in Empire where you just buy a general for 1k and be done with it).


    I really enjoyed Medieval 2's system where generals had this cool mix of both random traits and player decisions made naturally over course of the game... like maybe you really want to loot this newly captured city but are you willing to dent the good honor of this perfect icon of chivalry?  Really cool how well that dread-chivalry scale tied in with actual meat of the game (fighting over cities) without feeling like it was hamfisted in there.


    Come to think of it, Medieval 2 was just a really really good Total War game.  Too bad I hear that lot of guys behind it are fired or left CA.

  9. I think 4Xs are too large in scope to pull off good leadership model without it becoming a distraction.


    Core issue with generals/leadership is that about half of commanding is dealing with other human beings, while even the best RPGs have difficult time simulating good social interaction.  So much of wargaming has been about dealing away with all that 'messy' social elements of real authoritative structure, so to see a good depiction of that, the genre should probably look at RPGs to avoid retreading lot of game mechanical evolution that took place in regards to social interaction.


    Then on top of that, the actual strategy aspect would have to become relatively hands-off to ensure that all that RPG-like management actually carries meaning beyond being stat-sticks for armies that you control.


    Just an idea, but if anyone here remembers the "general camera" in older TW games... a cool approach of older leadership modeling would be to take control of battles at such view, assign 'officers' with certain behaviors to armies (that also have their own behaviors) and instead of controlling the army directly, you would send out signals that your army then would react to.  Signals would be things like drum beat, flag motions, smokes, messengers, etc. and yes those would suck so most of actual work would be done pre-battle phase via management and during battle at best you would make tiny adjustments.


    Apologies for my rambling.

  10. It would be great if there where more game that explore this period or use it as base, because outside from the strategic and tatical elements, on the visual you not only have this first early part where heavier armor was still in use but quickly becoming discarted as the uniforms became more elaborated, until a moment where you have this combination of leather/cloth and breastplates, helmets and a fell half plate armor around, with massed melee and pike formations. Not to forget that battles where much bigger and complex.


    I think closest we got to this in high budget production is probably Shogun 2 Total War (before that Medieval 2 as it had pikes and early firearms, but played really clunky), but that game represents drastically different cultural look so yeah would be nice to see more western pike&shot stuff.

  11. This game is just so cool and I'm glad one of my favorite podcast talked about it.


    And bit on tangent side of the topic but that moment that Rob talks about where your mind is still in that 'game' mode... I totally had those back when I was hardcore into BF2.  Everytime I saw a flag pole I just really wanted to dolphin dive into nearest object that could provide cover.