Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Posts posted by Roderick

  1. I read some of that over here:


    But at the end of the day, it's still a gross overreaction by extremely rabid fans who should know, after, you know, 25 YEARS OF THIS, that Blizzard takes its time making games, and doesn't announce things until they're done. And even I, a rather casual Blizz follower, had gotten the memo that they wouldn't be discussing or announcing D4 at Blizzcon. The fact that Diablo Immortal is made by another team makes it only more plain that it in no way hampers D4's development. So just ignore it. But then, of course, if you're in the Blizzon bubble, it'll be a lot harder to. You've paid top dollar to have all your Blizzdreams come true, and when they don't, there's only Blizzappointment and Blizztering rage left to turn to.

  2. I couldn't find a good spot to plunk down my [half-in-jest] rant against the new Loot Treasure Goblin amiibo, which brings me to opening this Blizzard topic. General Blizzard stuff can go here, for which this is the prime season! Blizzcon just came and went, and it brought a ton of useless controversy and at least one neat announcement.



    This isn't your typical slap-some-textures-on-a-model-and-call-it-4K upgrade. They're really taking their toolbox to War3 and updating levels to suit current developments in that one MMO thing that no one's heard of or played. So: yay! Let's visit modern-day Stratholme in The Culling!


    I'm a liiiiittle worried that the upgraded models and everything might start to clash with the extremely saturated greens of the grasses and other cartoon stylings. World of Warcraft is colorful too, but loads in tons of atmospheric fog and sheens and whatnots. This is still a ways from releasing, but from this trailer it sometimes feels as if it might go ahead and hurt my eyes.



    This upgrade couldn't have happened to a more worthy game, though. Warcraft 3 is AMAZING. I feel the RPG-y strategy gameplay will still feel rather modern, though, not so much its graphics. It took this uncomfortable position where it was Blizz's first 3D strategy game, and it came out in a time (2001) when it was kinda OK-looking, but already then you could tell that it wasn't going to age particularly well. It wasn't until Starcraft 2 that they hit that quality bar. If any game in their library was begging for a visual overhaul, it was War3. So, 2019! I'll probably play it.


    Diablo Immortal

    People got so pissed at this, apparently. But why? You can just as easily pretend this doesn't, or will not, exist. I do it all the time with the millions of uninteresting mobile games in the world. That doesn't drag me down. And odds are Diablo Immortal is at least going to offer something actually good. Not some trillion-character-sprites-collectathon, but an actual goddamn game that you might have to pay for. All loot, no loot boxes.


    D4 will be a ways off, of course. Actually, I don't have a clue what I would expect from Diablo 4. The current Diablo ("3") is such a complete package... it's so quintessentially "Diablo" that I wouldn't know how to improve on it. You could make it different, of course. Make it more MMO, more persistent, or just create an entirely different set of combat mechanics just because you wouldn't want to do the same thing again. Which is probably exactly what they'll do. Whatever, it'll be great once it arrives in 2022 (highly educated guess).


    Some cool shit for Overwatch

  3. OK, I didn't find any Diablo 3 topic to plunk this in, so I'm just doing it here, since it's at least Switch-related. Blizzard have announced this atrocity to go with their Diablo 3 for Switch release:




    Now, first of all, it's, well, not really ugly, if you're into this chibi-no-textures style, but it looks nothing like its video game counterpart. Amiibo are usually not stupid funko pop wannabe shit, they try to at least resemble what they want to represent. Which is:




    I'd love this guy as an amiibo! But that's not even what grinds my gears. You want to know what does?


    Well, here is it.




    Do they mean the treasure goblin? Is Blizzard unaware how their own creatures are named? Have I ended up in a bizarro alternate universe?

  4. So, well, but, in reality, this topic has probably scared everyone, including myself, into getting a little more active around these parts. I've been having a ball actually engaging with the topics I used to only read a little more. TAKE THAT, dying forum! Have some QUALITY ACTIVITY.


    [I am SO reaching that delicious 10,000 posts count.]

  5. I'll be reading that Nadia write-up. Finished Dragon Pilot, and it finishes strongly! Very satisfying show, in the end. Light and breezy, with some terrific design and animation work by BONES.


    [edit] Read you article, Gormongous. I've not seen Nadia, but that intro sure is enthusiastic. About Anno: I never had a weird relationship with him, as a fan, like the one you describe others as having. It feels very familiar to me, I've seen it in many fandoms, especially the ones that I feel take it too far. Why would one make assumptions about a creator, or foster anger towards them based on a perceived slight? I was knee-deep in Evangelion in my teens, it meant a lot to me, but I didn't even consider projecting anything on its creator(s), if I even was aware of them in the first place. I directed my full attention to the text at hand - the show itself.


    [Until I'd had my fill. I rarely linger in fandoms after I'm done watching, even moreso nowadays. I haven't been as fanatical about anything as I was about Pokémon and Evangelion back on the cusp of adulthood. The closest thing I experience now is a brief infatuation I indulge in, like a plaything.]

  6. That's a perfect example of local variations in language! You live way up in the North, I'm from the South. Staalblauwe lucht is a very common expression there.

  7. Somewhat unrelated (because I'm sure RDR2 is a super swell game in its own right), but after experiencing Breath of the Wild, I don't know if old school open world games will still do it for me. BotW has a refined elegance of gameplay systems that I've yet to see elsewhere. Without being able to put into words exactly what it did that was so next level, you kind of just feel it was.

  8. I feel it's warranted, in this case, to butt in. RDR2 is that rare game that you almost can't avoid in daily life - it's even on TV in mainstream talkshows here in the Netherlands. The big gaming sites have been holding RDR-weeks and other bullshit. Feels like you HAVE to have an opinion on it, somehow.


    (Note: I'm relatively interested in the game, but certainly not gonna buy it in the near future. I have enough to play and from what I see and hear it's hardly a must-play. Even if it's, like, arbitrarily, 20% better than RDR, it's still 'just another RDR, but better'.)

  9. Is Vietnam teetering on a political knife edge, Dosed? Feels that way from your words. What a nasty turn the world has taken. What the hell is up with all the rampant nationalism and the sudden desire to have nigh-autocrats take reign to purge and cleanse and close borders? Good lord...


    Dutch winters are quite varied. I'd imagine they don't differ all that much from British winters. We have lots of crisp days (we call it a 'steel blue sky'), off-set by weeks shrouded in grey clouds. Some winters are wet and sloppy, other frosty. It rarely dips below 5-10 degrees centigrade, though depending on the wind it might feel a lot colder.


    Winters are fine. I just need to get used to them nowadays! Currently I started a Jan van Haasteren-puzzle (of a wintry scene, coincidentally) to ease my mind a little in the evenings, and it works like a charm. I might set up the Christmas tree a few weeks early, just to get some light and luster into the room.

  10. Purchased it yesterday and played the first two levels. It hasn't grabbed me as I had hoped [after listening to the podcast], but perhaps that's due to these being tutorial levels, effectively. One thing that strikes me so far is that I don't want for space. I make nearly every room as small as I possibly can, so the whopping three additional plots of land I purchased in level 2 were quite nearly useless.


    What's the benefit of making a really nicely large and well-decorated GP's office, or any other room? Is it just to add prestige and probably increase the happiness of staff and patients? I don't know if that'll outweigh the (presumably) more dramatic scarcity of space surely to come in later levels. Wards, sure, those can house more beds. But I'd say it's better to have four small GP's offices rather than a singly huge one.

  11. Same here: allergic to cats, but love seeing them frolic around. It's quite an ordeal when I'm with friends who have an adorable persian.


    So, ever since a few years I've noticed, much to my surprise, that the shift to wintry times is weighing on me quite a bit. We're currently enduring the first real cold and sun-deprived week in the Netherlands, and it's affecting my mood. I'm staying chipper, but I feel it gnawing at the fringes of my mental state. A pervasive sense of mild dread and tension. I hope it'll pass next week, when I'm used to grey skies and fell winds again.

  12. Finished Xenoblade 2: Torna - The Golden Country! Though it didn't have the stupendous scope of the original, I must say the END GAME of Torna was much improved. The final boss was actually fun instead of a tedious grind, and the (obviously long) closing cinematic was neatly emotional. Overal, ended the game on a high note and glad I finished it.

  13. OK, I have now played enough Mario Party to say something definitively on it.


    The board game mode is really good, but also really classic Mario Party. Play it once or twice and you'll have your fill for the next year or so.


    The co-operative river mode, though, is superb. If you've got four players ready to go, that's the one to do.

  14. Yesterday's commute to a game evening on the other side of the Netherlands proved a great opportunity to listen to some 3MA (always a good companion on the road, by the way, especially late at night).


    So, the immediate thing that struck me was the remark at the beginning that at least the American contingent of strategy connoisseurs on the cast didn't seem to know Theme Hospital all that well. So, yeah, it might've been a European / British thing rather than a worldwide phenomenon? I don't know how true this is across the board, but I had always assumed Bullfrog games were top of their class globally. This is the first time I heard about Hospital being a relative unknown.


    The thing I loved about the game, back then, was the construction of the hospital and seeing all the weird and humorous ailments and diseases flocking in. Good to see that aspect wholly preserved. One thing that would always happen, though, is me rather quickly growing tired with the game, usually after building a hospital or two, three. I'd invariably lose my appetite having to start from scratch. I wonder if that's still the case with Two Point Hospital, or if I'm now old enough to perceive and appreciate the more strategic layer apparent in the game, such as the hallway flow you mentioned in the show. Might keep it fresh.


    Looking into the future: the Two Point developer is apparently poised to make more 'Two Point' games, obviously looking back at the old Molyneux catalogue of sims. I doubt they'll be going for Dungeon Keeper though, since it already has a rather good successor in the Dungeon series. Theme Park, too, barely needs an update with all the rollercoaster tycoons and sims available. So, what's next? Two Point Populous? Two Point Magic Carpet? Two Point, GULP, Black & White?

  15. Episode 4 is out, and it was another good'un!


    Chidi's grocery store breakdown after the explanation of Jeremy Bearimy ("The dot is where nothing never happens.") is especially brilliant. So good to see that character let his shirt down. LITERALLY. (Dude is RIPPED, by the way.)


    Jeremy Bearimy demonstrates a really good aspect of the show: how it's a constant struggle for Michael to put the unknowable of the hereafter into human terms, often using mundane examples ("It's Tuesday. In July."), and the comedy that can be mined from that.

  16. With Civ (the only series I've primarily played in your list), I always found un uneasy balance between domination/war victories and others, which are theoretically pacifist. I say theoretically, since they may still entail the occasional skirmish. These different victories sometimes seem to be completely different games. The pacifist victories are races against the other civilizations and often capped by a rather unsatisfactory moment where you've beaten the others and are rewarded by a screen appluading your achievement. The rush of building towards something fizzling out. War victories are more dramatic, I find, finding a way to best your opponents, though they too suffer from a weird-feeling endgame. There's often a decisive moment where you gain the upper hand, and then the rest of it is just mopping up what's left.


    But I digress.


    I wonder if a true pacifist strategy game won't feel very different. How can you engineer tension and excitiment and a natural darmatic arc without conflict? Would it entail rousing a sense of conflict, the threat of it, which would trigger a lose state as soon as it become reality? So that you have to do everything you can to avoid it?