Akalabeth

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Everything posted by Akalabeth

  1. This format is enjoyable, just so long as it's not all the time- maybe one in every four episodes. I would rather have more content than wait for people to say all get on the same page with a particular game for a show. Also, thanks for the reference- made me look up that Rimworld article: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/rimworld-code-analysis Interesting read- I think the code has been changed since the article, but not before the predictable backlash against the female journalist.
  2. Game has a cool look.
  3. Episode 216: Lost in Space

    4X games do come up in later podcasts along with some of Rob's opinions. I found the episode entertaining myself, mostly because I enjoy hearing people angry about stuff. I don't know if this podcast addresses it but I've heard that MOO3 was such a failure because a critical piece of the game was dropped/not completed, specifically some AI governors or somesuch that would help run the empire. Never played the game myself.
  4. One point of note, I think the idea of the Mandalorian being a grey character who always does good but still gets by is- kinda off the mark. (Warning, some spoilers) Maybe that's the intent of the show, but- I think it largely fails, mainly for one incident in the first season where Mando's ship was getting striped for parts by Jawas and Mando whipped out his rifle and proceeded to kill about a dozen of them. And in the end, when the situation was reconciled, there was no harsh feelings. Similarly- there's another episode from season 2 where a passenger is carrying precious cargo, and another character is basically destroying that cargo on the way, and the show makes it all out to be a joke- the passenger never gets mad, and in the end the cargo seems as plentiful as it was at the beginning. Basically you can't take the shows seriously because at certain points it just blatantly disregards life and that disregard is not meant to judge the offending character whatsoever. The characters do bad but there are no consequences. Instead it's supposed to be a big joke or a laugh. It's very inconsistent and bizarre in that way. As for ethics in video games. Triggering topic it seems given some of the replies. The whole point of a game, ANY game, is to give the player interesting choices. Making those choices ethical is simply another way to infuse interest into the choice. It's valid and worthy of discussion. And even if ethics are not factored into the choice at all, it should still factor into that game. Why? Because if the intent of a given game is to create a believable and interesting world then real world concepts like ethics and morality should factor in the design. If a designer wants their world to be believable, they can make the non-player agents in the game react along ethical lines where appropriate. This has been around even in the very earliest 4X games. When you wipe out a civilization, everyone hates you. Even when you conquer too much of the world or become too big, everyone starts to hate you, which factors into ethics like greed and so on. There's also that herbalist from Ultima IV who is blind and you can cheat her by underpaying her, but if you do then later in the game when you ask her for help she'll tell you you're a thief and to get out- that's ethics in games as far back as 1985. I will agree also that the most interesting part of a 4X game in my experience is the conquest. And more recent games, like civilization which focus on all other sorts of gameplay are less interesting to me as a result of it. I don't want to sit around watching things get built, I want to explore and send expeditions. I think also a failing of a game like Civilization is that it's not really about civilization, it's about regime. And when the regime falls, the civilization disappears- while in history we've seen many countries which were conquered and then reborn years or centuries later. The spirit of the people in a given area survives.
  5. I've really enjoyed these episodes with Bret. Very cool to get an academic perspective on some historical aspects of these games and the different definitions or categories of empire, states and so on. Would be cool to have an episode with him based on the fall of empires, with a look towards how different empires have broken apart (not just rome). Though- maybe that's too tangential to video games since I'm not sure how well the fall of empires is really modeled in video games.
  6. I really appreciated the Academic perspective on states, nations and so on. Very cool.
  7. Three Moves Ahead 538: Hell Let Loose

    Is the discord server really only available at the 33 dollar (cdn) pledge level? That’s more than all of my streaming services combined
  8. Interesting sounding game though the podcast had quite a lot of people talking over one-another. Maybe could've been a bit more organized in that regard.
  9. Three Moves Ahead 513: 2020 in Review

    I don't know if anyone told Rob Zacny but regarding mission ranks for Valkyria Chronicles - the rank is ENTIRELY based upon how long it takes you to finish the mission. If you play the game careful, trying to preserve your soldiers, you will never get S rank. If instead you take fast movers, and just bum rush the objective- S rank. It's one of the reasons I felt sour on the game after I finished it. Vehicles, Scouts and Engineers are king in that game and taking anything else feels like a waste of time because you're not rewarded for it.
  10. Why is there mouse clicking in the background the whole time? Family member on another computer or is one or more of the guys doing something else at the same time.
  11. Three Moves Ahead 500: Origins

    Shucks, at first glance I thought this was going to be a show about Origins Systems. Haven't listened to it yet, but sure it'll still be good
  12. Episode 411: Total War: WARHAMMER II

    The episode seems to work for me. Both listening from the website and downloading the MP3. 3MA content seems to have a slowed down quite a bit lately though-
  13. Pretty sure they've mentioned At the Gates, maybe in the last episode? But their comments were pretty disparaging.
  14. Don't know the exact radio message, but the helicopter guy complaining about darkness at 6pm- vietnam is near the equator so they wont have long summer days like up north in Canada. Looking online, daylight is going to end between 530 and 620 depending on the time of year-
  15. Three Moves Ahead Episode 480: 1999

    I don't remember the player ship being that bad in XWA. You just need to switch constantly between manual and auto-targeting. Maybe lacked for variety. Too bad it never got the sequel that was suggested by the cliff-hangar ending. Oh and the Death Star Run was a big pain. Remember being stuck on that quite a long time. Does JA2 start any differently than the first one? I tried to get into JA1 a couple of times but going into battle with nothing but pistols and running out of ammunition was not exhilarating.
  16. Three Moves Ahead Episode 480: 1999

    You also gotta wonder how many people are willing to tell you their life story at the drop of a hat. That's another thing about Ultima IV, you could talk to everyone but most wouldn't have much to say and some even would tell you to buzz off and break off the conversation. There needs to be a balance. In Morrowind, the NPCs literally felt like computer terminals that would spew out information on a given subject. Though personally I wonder if I simply didn't care to read a lot from games after a certain age. I remember reading every tech description in Civilization 1 but by the time Civ 2 came around, I had zero interest in reading the tech descriptions. I don't know if it was the aesthetic, or the content, or just a change. But well after that I did play games like Baldurs Gate that required some reading but not a huge amount. Thing about BG1 also is that the city itself felt too big, and it was annoying to move around. So ultimately the problem for me might just be a sense of my time being wasted, or at least time being spent on activities that aren't worth the investment.
  17. Three Moves Ahead Episode 480: 1999

    Not sure why publishers get all of the blame for closing a company, but said company gets zero blame for selling to the publisher in the first place. Also would need to disagree about the voice acting. While I enjoyed playing earlier games like Ultima IV where they had some reading, when you get into a Morrowind the text is so large and so generic from npc to npc that the world just feels lifeless. Would rather have more limited voice acting of an Oblivion or an Arx Fatalis over the huge text count of other games. For 1999 I would have to rank Freespace 2 first. X-Wing Alliance was a good time also, though not as good as Tie Fighter it did still have some great stuff going for it. Homeworld was also jaw droppingly amazing and HW and FS2 are two gaming experiences I will never forget.
  18. Designer Notes 29: Steve Gaynor - Part 1

    I think this guy's talk about QA is pretty relatable in that playing games that are knock-offs of other games really illustrates some of the things that makes the superior game superior. On Console I played all of the Gears of War games but afterwards played other games like Inversion, Binary Domain and Quantum Theory- and while those latter three games had some good stuff in them, some things they were missing like Gears of War's reload mechanic really drove home how great that mechanic is because in the other games as your guy reloads you're just sitting there doing nothing at all for a second whereas in Gears you can stay engaged and gain a buff.
  19. Episode 470: Total War: Three Kingdoms

    Not episode specific, but anyone else noticed 3ma is bumped off the top google results? I used to go to the podcast that way but now some African music group has bumped 'em off front page along with some sort of science gizmo - at least for my search results.
  20. Anyone else bugged by Rob's pronunciation "Em-per-rat-er?" I always thought it was "Em-peer-a-tor" Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe it's regional, or maybe it's common mistake vs knowledgeable nerd. Don't know
  21. Never heard of Star Crusader but another space flight sim from the era is Renegade Legion: Battle for Jacob's Star. I've yet to play it as I'm not savvy with dosbox, but from reviews I've heard it's okay if not up to the standards of Xwing & WC (It's actually from 1995 so should probably better mentioned in the subsequent poodcast)
  22. Negative press for X-com?
  23. Huge fan of all the X-Wing games (except XvT) but one thing I only realized much later is that it wasn't even Lucasarts who made the games but rather Totally Games, developers of other titles like Secret Weapons of the Luftwaft. Have to say my opinion of Lucasarts dropped after knowing that. The other game I played that they actually developed was Dark Forces, which to me was so reliant on recycling things from the movies that it ended up falling pretty flat. Literally all the enemies in dark forces (except the Dark Troopers themselves) are just anything they could take from the movies, whereas the X-Wing and Tie Fighter games added so many new craft, many of which have since become canon. Lucasarts is supposed to have a great pedigree in adventure games but I've yet to delve into any of those titles. I've tried several times to get into Master of Magic but find it very difficult with the graphics and interface. Though I can still easily slide into a game of Master of Orion 1 with no qualms whatsoever. Jagged Alliance 1 is another game I simply can't get into, I don't understand why paid mercenaries don't have proper guns at the start and I need to acquire these through the missions themselves. I understand that it's for the progression but thematically it's bonkers.
  24. Episode 326: State of the RTS

    Map Control, Co-operation and Tactics can apply to pretty much any team-based multiplayer game. Those aren't useful comparisons. Development of Assets? Do you actually "develop" assets in RTS games,? You build assets yes. And together those assets collectively can be a different form, but if I want to upgrade a Space Marine how many options do I really have? And how free am I to create assets as I wish or do those assets have pre-requisites to be built? Do I need a barracks before I can build a garage? And in terms of the core gameplay concept, an RTS game is not about asset management, it's about Economy. Build an economy through asset creation, expand an economy through exploration and map control, win through destruction of the enemy economy. There is no economy in your traditional Lords Management. In a game like Dota 2 there's passive gold collection but the collection of additional gold and XP requires resource collection either from NPC mobs or enemy players. Being efficient in gathering resources is dependent on map cycling, which is more akin to cycling through a multiplayer FPS map collecting power-ups than it is collecting lumber and stone from static resource points. So yeah I still maintain that drawing a line of comparison between Lords Managements and RTS is an erroneous one. Is it just because DOTA started as a WC3 mod? But WC3 is not a traditional RTS from the outset, with its heavy focus on heroes. I think part of it is that people correlate the decline of the RTS with the rise of the Lords Management, and figure there must be some causality, but did the RTS genre ever have the same number of players as the mainstream Lords Managements? I kind of doubt it.
  25. Episode 326: State of the RTS

    This episode is ancient, but are the podcast peeps still of the opinion that RTS players have gone to Lords Management? Or that RTSes have suffered because the rise of Lords ManagementS? RTS games are about micromanaging multiple units in a battle, but if you actually play a Lords Management, the characters that require you to play multiple units are among the least popular in the game (at least in Dota2). I'm thinking Visage, Chen, Lone Druid, Broodmother, Naga Siren, Arc Warden, Brew Master, they're all bottom 10 in most played. To me the Lords Management is more like an Action RPG, like Diablo, than an RTS. EDIT - Why was M-O-B-A replaced with Lords Management? Who uses that title aside from the podcast on this site? What an uneccessary mouthful of words.