ahoodedfigure's forum posts

#1 Edited by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -

@geraltitude: Thanks. I think it's kind of weak and unfocused to start. Probably should get a rewrite if I ever try to talk about this sort of thing again.

@mento: How long you been a mod? :)

@bollard: Hey, there's that old frog icon. :)

@thatpinguino: Thanks. We'll see. Like I implied I wouldn't mind having a place off-site where I could maybe control things a bit better, but then I'd be losing anybody who didn't want to follow me over. Not an easy decision.

#2 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -

Thanks. Been thinking about getting back in, or at least transfering to a different place. Feel like things have changed a lot here, though, and that a lot of people who read my blog have moved on to other places. Still, if I wind up not being able to write professionally about games, at least I could just write about them anyway since I think about them often enough. How's by you?

#3 Edited by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -

@hailinel: Wow, that long? I don't know how major the shift was, it still looks similar to what it was when it started to me, but I haven't really payed too close attention. I tend to just let big releases wash over me and I catch up with them when I can afford them :)

I'm willing to give the Bureau a fair shake if I ever get my hands on it, sure. But this from an X-Com fan who hasn't even played the rebooted property that displaced the Bureau, and haven't used the desura key for Xenonauts yet. Closest I got was playing Shadowrun Returns, but that's not quite as in-depth a squad game as I think we're talking about here.

@wandrecanada: I tend not to notice Warhammer products, maybe I was burned by the memory of spending all those bills on the miniatures back in my misspent youth, but I'll keep an eye out for that one. What makes you feel that it's close to X-Com?

Also, my post is damned old, but thanks for resurrecting it anyway :)

#4 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -

Based on what you've said I'm not too interested in Inquisitor :)

I did download a demo for something called Underworld Gold, but for some reason it's giving me malware vibes, so I haven't tried it yet. About the closest thing to an RPG I've been playing lately, as far as what many of us would define as an RPG, would be King of Dragon Pass. I've revisited old stuff but that's the only "new" one, really.

#5 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -

@BisonHero: Didn't know they did that. Another reason for me to stop avoiding drones half the time. I tend to think about offense first. Hell, maybe that's part of my problem :)

#6 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -

@BisonHero: I've been lucky once in a while with the stealth ship, but even putting a ton of scrap into stealth and engines only goes well with a good weapon and a pre-igniter or something. It dies early very often, and if I get far it only works up until the boss, where I'm pretty much guaranteed to die. At no point was I able to afford shields, but I'll definitely spring for that chance if I ever get it. Even the titanium shielding thing only allows systems to last some of the time. And yeah, even the wimpiest beam is a real killer. I dread any ship with drones, but that goes for just about anything, especially the boarding drone that causes a hole, runs around punching people, can't suffocate, AND is instantly replaced if you kill it, since as far as I know the enemy has ample, or maybe infinite, drone reserves.

@AmatureIdiot: The starter Engi ship is pretty good. I think I got far with that one before the Zoltan ship sorta dominated my replays. Like you say, you need weapons or a decent supply of drones. I was doing really well once until my drone reserves tanked and I was basically helpless, jumping away from encounter after encounter. The starter and the Zoltan have probably been my overall best, the starter because it's balanced, the Zoltan because it has an insane advantage that feels like stealth-plus at times.

#7 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -

@TruthTellah: It's funny, of all the ships I've unlocked I STILL haven't gotten the first ship's alt. You're probably right that unlocking stuff before normal at least gives you a better selection to choose from. I think I have... 4 ships total and 3 alts, at least on one of the computers it's installed in. I think the first ship is fine for what it is, you actually have all the basic systems in place. My pet upgrade is the interior doors, because I use them to flush out fires and asphyxiate invaders, so I feel if my first few encounters allow me at least that much then I'm a step ahead of the meat grinder.

@ArbitraryWater: I know I probably yammer about Spelunky too often but I feel like that game has spoiled me.

And yeah, the stealth ship is fine if you manage to dodge everything. Shields are way too expensive to be practical unless you get a massive scrap yield.

#8 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -

@NaDannMaGoGo: You make a good point that you sometimes choose the way you lose. I've had situations where I had to choose between an upgrade, repair, or refuel. If I balance it out then I just die a bit more slowly. You also make a good point, one I keep forgetting, that there IS an easy mode, which I never tried, out of pride I guess.

I won't quite go so far as to say it's bad design, but it's not what it could be. The enjoyment I got out of it when things did go right told me that sometimes things are on target, but there seem to be just enough variables that it feels like things get snatched out of your hand in a way that doesn't feel that hot. I'm OK with a bit of suffering, and some of those near-misses have wound up being quite rewarding when I manage to survive, but I feel like it could be better.

@TruthTellah: Early on, my success rate did go up. I think my feeling is that it's plateaued, though. Like the upper bit of the parabola where it planes out and there's not much of an increase in survivability. I'd say one of the unlocked ships, the one with the special shield, increased my survivability quite a bit IF I manage to get extra crew and upgrade the weapons before the beam can't penetrate stuff anymore.

And yeah, there are tons of tactics. One of my best was combining boarding with stealth, actually. I think that was the furthest I got on the boss, until it jumped away with my boarders, killing them. The drone spam is a bit ridiculous-- I can't quite see how to get past that without cloaking, and even then the longest cloak doesn't last enough. I did make it to the stage after that, but by then I lacked the hull points, went to heal up, and lost because the ship outpaced me.

#9 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -

@TruthTellah: Sometimes it goes fine, even when fate's against me. I sorta smile bitterly and start up again. But I guess it feels that even a good effort is about equal as a bad one sometimes; I like games, in general at least, to reflect my input a bit more, rewarding me when I figure it out. Intellectually I get what you're saying, but I find in practice, given my reactions to some of the games of FTL I've played, that I like it when a game feels slightly more solid and figure-out-able than where it is right now. Like, even if I die a lot I feel like I'm going somewhere overall.

You're right it'd be good on a mobile platform, as long as the beam mechanics were fairly easy to get with your finger. Sometimes placing those is very very precise to get the best effect.

#10 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4240 posts) -

Played a lot of FTL. At the start I enjoyed it, I was unlocking things and running into impossible odds and dying like you're supposed to in games like this. But what's remarkable is how much luck plays a role in this game. Unlike a game like Spelunky, which has tons of random elements which become predictable when you see how they work and fit them together, FTL's randomness doesn't really calm down. Many games in, I'm still blindsided by an event that puts me in the middle of a battle with multiple drones plowing into my shields before I can even charge my weapons up, or puts me up against a ship with a shield level that my weapons just can't break through no matter what I do. So many of the basic encounters depend upon you finding a store that sells weapons, having the scrap to be able to buy one, and then having the scrap to upgrade the weapons generators in order to be able to cut through the slowly increasing level of shields from enemy ships. Some starting weapons loadouts are doomed to be obsolete after 1 or 2 sectors, meaning if you're not lucky enough to run into a weapon, you're pretty much fucked. That, and the end boss disobeys some of the rules you learn throughout the game. Maybe the roguelikes this game was styled after have bosses that do that? I don't know, I've never gotten to the end of a traditional roguelike. It doesn't feel as smooth as roguelikes I have played, though, whether or not you'd consider this to be a roguelike at all.

There's a lot to enjoy: the text choices, when not cheap, are fun and add a lot of atmosphere to what is a fairly static presentation. When luck is on your side, or you succeed despite your lack of luck, it feels like a triumph. And the miracles and good strategy that turns a possible defeat into a victory are rewarding, as well as the sense that you're actually PROUD of your crew for surviving, even if it was really just you telling them what to do.

I can't say I regret my purchase of FTL, but I feel like it needs finer tuning to allow for more ship configurations to at least make it a decent distance before being annihilated. If it was just difficulty I wouldn't even mention it, but it seems to be difficulty coupled with being randomly slapped upside the head, which for some folks isn't so pleasant. I still do play it now and again and once in a while I unlock something new, though many of these newer configurations seem more challenging to get right, and so many designs seem to suggest that moderation in all things (i.e. getting shields for the shieldless, etc) that you're sort of picking your own handicap a lot of the time. If I ever beat the game, I'll let you know.

Any questions you want to ask about the game, feel free. That includes players who are wondering about others' experiences.