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keithburgun

Administrator
Staff member
#1
I barely have time to play games these days, but I'm slowly working my way through learning Stellaris. I haven't REALLY gotten super into any of the Paradox strategy games, largely because most of them lack win conditions, but also because they're fucking complicated. I think the complication of Stellaris is good, and it does have Civ-like win conditions. In some ways it feels like a combination of a Paradox game with a Civ-like 4X.

Things I like:
- Randomized tech tree - this needs to be in every game that has a tech tree
- Very complicated - necessary for all strategy games!

Things I don't like:
- Feels kind of tedious to play, like I gotta move so much shit and do so much shit even early game. This is probably because I don't know how to use the menus and stuff right properly
- While it IS complicated, it gets this complexity in a super inefficient way of just being menus upon menus. It would be cool if it leaned more on emergent complexity.

With that said I'll probably be playing online at some point pretty soon, if anyone wants to play with me let me know!

Other than that I'm also (sort of) playing Divinity: Original Sin. It seems like an RPG that *isn't* made for babies, like a continuation of the 1990s era western RPGs, which is cool. But I'm not exactly sucked in, and I don't really have time to GET sucked in, either, which is unfortunate.

Technically I'm still playing League but I haven't played a match in 6 months. :(
 

Nachtfischer

Moderator
Staff member
#2
I'm (still) mostly playing Gwent. It kind of hits a card game sweet spot for me between enough randomness to ensure long-term variety, but also being skill-based enough to very rarely make me tilt due to some RNG outcome.

On the side I've been playing a bit of Prismata again since its Steam launch. It's still very good, but the "0% hidden information" policy still feels oppressive to me personally. Also I wonder how long it will survive in terms of player base given how niche it is.

In terms of single-player I've played my share of Into the Breach, which I really like, but I kind of feel like I'm "done" with it after ~10 hours. Also I looked into Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun recently since it was free with Twitch Prime. It's super polished and definitely one of the best games from Germany I've ever played. I still wouldn't spend money on it though as it's nothing new at all. Basically a modern Commandos clone. If you're looking for that kind of thing, I highly recommend it.
 

Nomorebirds

Moderator
Staff member
#3
I've actually been feeling a bit overwhelmed by games recently.

I still want to beat Nier: Automata. I played several hours of it, and it's kind of a slog, but I hear everyone thinks its a slog at first and then it gets better and is ultimately "worth it" (which I would say is pretty subjective, I'm at least interested in seeing it through though). This is low on my list, but it's kind of nagging at the back of my mind. Also Breath of the Wild is in the same boat here, I want to "finish" that as well someday, but low on the list.

I played a bit of Into the Breach but I had a similar reaction to Nachtfischer unfortunately. I really like it, but it just didn't grab me that much. I beat it a few times, unlocked a few things and now I don't really feel a pull back to it. I am also struggling to find time to play games at all though, so this might just be a symptom of that, it's a lower priority than playing games with friends.

Speaking of playing games with friends, I just started playing Monster Hunter World, which I kind of adore. I mean, I think the theme is pretty problematic (killing these dinosaurs that were just minding their own business, super anti-vegan messaging as well, like glorifying eating meat which just feels weird), and mechanically it's just like a slowed down Dark Souls with a tiny bit more emergence (which is good execution-wise, but not that interesting system-wise). The thing I like about it is that it's basically a co-op match based game. You and some friends gear up and then go out on a mission where you work together to overcome a challenge, and I'm loving this kind of thing recently. I am 100% in on co-op games these days and like very uninterested in competitive games.

Also Sea of Thieves just came out, which I'm playing for free with friends thanks to XBOX GAME PASS FREE 14 DAY TRIAL. It's like a really barebones sailing simulator, but it's pretty fun as a social experience. Again, co-op = super awesome. That being said, I'm glad I got to try it for free, because I can't imagine it holding my interest for very long at all. My attention is mainly being split between 2 different groups of friends right now, one that wants to play Monster Hunter and one that wants to play Sea of Thieves. Just not enough time in the day, but hopefully once this 14 day free trial is up that won't be a problem anymore.

Haven't had a chance, or really that much of an interest in playing Heroes of the Storm recently even though that's been my regular game for the past year or two. I'm just really falling out of love with competitive games. That being said Nachtfischer is making me want to play Gwent a bit more, which has definitely been the most fun I've had with a CCG maybe ever, but yeah no time at all!
 
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#4
I play a limited number of games at any one time. Right now I have 4 games I play and probably a few will soon be on the cutting block

Turn Based strategy game (multiplayer)

Chess. Chess manages to be the most played and studied game on the planet. It's also one where a program that for all intents and purposes is god can show you all your mistakes. I wanted to play a classical game just to see what it's like to play old games. It's useful to see how much game design has changed in the past 200 years since the game was properly standardized. It's facinating to play this game and have the computer analyze your position after the fact.

Some highlights

bxf5 Blunder : "lost forced mate sequence position now +10" (I was white and won the queen but of course computers only see w/l)
1.Nf3?"innacuracy bet move was D4" (D4 D5 C4 E6 Nf3)
1. E4 E5 2 nf3 Nc6 3 bc4 nf6? (innacuracy best move was Bc5)

Chess pieces actually are more interesting than one might think at first.

Pawns are cool peices and create a lot of dynamics in chess they are the "worst" piece but they Can't move backward, capture in a way that isn't how they move and can Promote into queens. This is a lot for the most common peice on the board.

Knights break all the rules of chess, of course nobody notices because knight moves are ingrained in them but still Knights are the only peice in the entire game that isn't strictly worse than a queen.

Rooks and bishops and queens are the boring peices that do the stuff you need them to do.


The king is an interesting win condition. It permits players to sacrifice peices in order to gain a position to strike at the enemy king.

The absolute disaster is the horrific draw rate, crazyhouse peice drop rule solves this and makes the game very hard to play properly

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: In some sense I consider sports to be interesting Game*'s especially Combat ones. BJJ is interesting to me because the real world doesn't limit you the same way strategy games do. You can constantly improve on new techniques and strategy, but you have to know the underlying physical laws that make up the real world. Mostly biomechanics and physics. Also it's nice to exercise in a way that is a game* rather than as a pure experience.

Prismata; game with the best hotkeys of games I play. A lot of thought went into the hotkeys and the way the game was structured. The game is hard to master and hard to learn. It's amazing how a game with nothing but a random dominion style bank can create so much variety with just that one mechanic. It also is secretly a eurogame so if you can actually math out things properly I can lift the veil from you and show how much of a eurogame mata really is.






Singleplayer

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup: The best designed roguelike ever. The variety in game play is vast, and the difficulty is really great. IN spite of this high difficulty the game is very possible to get 90%+ win rates on if you play well. The game has great hotkeys and has a great structure. It's main drawback IMHO is that you basically only die in teh first 5-6 floors and you spend the next hour with a completely won game. Watch demise or ultraviolent4 on youtube and you can see how good they are and how rarely they die late.
 

keithburgun

Administrator
Staff member
#5
I do like Stone Soup, but I feel like there's so, so, SO much downtime. It's actually incredible how little my input is actually required to play that game. like 95% of the inputs I make are just utterly obvious.
 

Nachtfischer

Moderator
Staff member
#6
I do like Stone Soup, but I feel like there's so, so, SO much downtime. It's actually incredible how little my input is actually required to play that game. like 95% of the inputs I make are just utterly obvious.
Doesn't it have that fabled "auto-explore" button that you simply hold down a lot of the time? :D

Personally I've been playing a bit of PUBG and Fortnite on my phone for research purposes. Honestly they're pretty crappy and direct PC ports. There's probably still room for an actual mobile Battle Royale type of game (which is probably not a third-person shooter with virtual buttons).
 
#7
I don't usually buy early access titles but I've been playing My Time At Portia which is a weird hybrid between Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, and Dark Cloud. It features farming like Harvest Moon but it isn't the primary mechanic -- crafting widgets and knicknacks like in Dark Cloud seems to be more the focus of the game. Overall I'm decently pleased with it despite a few balancing speedbumps with mandatory missions on the in-game calendar.

The festival system in HM and AC was absolutely critical to my enjoyment of both games (to the point where I strongly dislike Friends of Mineral Town for removing certain festivals from the original Back to Nature) so I'd like to see the developers add more of that while this game is still in early access. Having consistent festivals during the year helps the player form a better mental model of the passage of time, which keeps them future-minded and looking forward to the next calendar milestone. In Portia there are four seasons and perhaps 2-3 festivals across the entire year, which is a bit too sparse for my taste.