Eurobum's forum posts

#1 Posted by Eurobum (244 posts) -

@cretaceous_bob: Is there even a secret sauce to be found? Big games can offer all of the sauces, wonderfully varied and numerous and they aren't secret either. The rest is just a matter of where the compromises end up.

Consequences for instance are a wonderfully ambivalent thing, as a player I want choice, but I also want the right choice, meaning I don't want to be stuck with a "wrong" choice or with a wrong decision for a hunded hours. This means that the choices have to be somewhat obvious, arbitrary and viable, thus they aren't really choices at all: does it matter if I pick mace, sword or axe or does it matter if I select "Yes." or "Maybe" from the dialogue wheel? Isn't that exactly what we get in RPGs like this.

Even the choice and the ability to kill at random is a somewhat moot, not because of a sense of morality or fear of retaliation. Tragic NPC deaths and murders are actually sad, but mostly because one is left deprived of the stories that NPC could have told or quest he or she could have offered.

When it comes to choices we can't have it both ways, we are stuck! Stuck with either fake choice epics or real choice short/repeatable Spelunky-likes. Scaling difficulty was implemented to give the player choice... to go anywhere and do anything, rather than to make the game easy. You could spend 50 hours in Skyrim not having killed more than a handful of draugr, just by avoiding that tomb symbol on the mini map.

My hope is that multi core processors will allow for a simulation of a dynamic world along with the main game in the future, for moving people and animals rather than scripted and respawning ones. It has been done before in games like Stalker, Pirates! or Mount&Blade and it is wonderfully entertaining. Even Skyrim already has a more or less elaborate routine for every NPC, nomadic caravans and occasional funny clashes of scripted encounters and wildlife.

#2 Posted by Eurobum (244 posts) -

Quick and dirty summation. Averages for number of Book pages (200 page) times reading speed (10page/h), movie length (1.5 h), well, turns out books and games take about the same time to finish - about 20 hours. So one would have to spend at least 2000 of about 5840 annual waking hours, with this challenge.

It could be a good incentive to read more and not to get into idiotic competitive, collectable, addictive games, which basically erase time and personality. And you could cut corners with short indie darlings and audio-books.

#3 Posted by Eurobum (244 posts) -

Guess what on a website about video games, video games in general will be (hopelessly) overrated. Any kind of group-think, consensus or discussion may put a game into an appropriate critical context or paint a completely false picture, overestimate the importance or overemphasize the praise for a title.

There is such a thing as overrated games, in other words a runaway success with critics. In the same way the Oscars overrate some obscure and/or possibly undeserving films. Though honestly GiantBomb's policy of full disclosure, during the deliberations is a pretty good method to keep things in check.

#4 Edited by Eurobum (244 posts) -

@joshwent: The challenge is to figure out what you want, which often includes things like curiosity about the internet hype and the desire not to be swindled. Naturally there is a great deal of ambiguity.

Discounting Early Access games seems strange indeed, though it appears to be a kind of price adjustment. The initial price of Prison Architect was a bit high for early access.

#5 Posted by Eurobum (244 posts) -

Not knowing what happened to him kind of bothers me. Part of me hopes it is just like those alleged pr0n-star deaths, just a cover up for a new appearance and identity. Then again both drinking and blood pressure are massive risk factors for the most common sudden deaths, stroke and coronary. I certainly would want to know if Ryan maybe had a terminal condition, he knew about, which enabled him to say fuck it, I don't care if you judge me, I'm not going to feel self-conscious. Like that guy who always worried making rent and his financial future, who once he got a cancer diagnosis, felt a sudden relief knowing his savings would be enough for the rest of his life. He finally stopped worrying. It all makes sense, maybe too much sense for the statistical and simple senselessness of life in general.

#6 Edited by Eurobum (244 posts) -

@robo said:

That was a Glitch (Medieval-style robot race) town. It was generated and used to be inhabited before someone decided to wipe them all out a while ago.

A glitch char could repopulate it with spawners pretty easily (and at no cost if u dupe them), but it's a sisyphean task to replace all the stolen furniture.

#7 Edited by Eurobum (244 posts) -
#8 Posted by Eurobum (244 posts) -
@karsh said:

Apparently my desktop BSODed in the middle of the night. This is a first for this desktop and I've used this thing for years.

I'm going to take some time to investigate because I'm kinda freaked out now. Server will be back some time this afternoon.

Thanks for hosting it, I had a lot of fun playing yesterday. The web interface really is boss. And it's working again!


Also, I borrowed a Sandstone statue from the Museum, sorry. But once I fed it to the 3D scanner I can't seem to be able to craft it from the printer or the bench.

#9 Posted by Eurobum (244 posts) -

A note on why this is happening. Activision had "had $4.3 billion in cash and cash equivalents at the end of March, but $2.7 billion is held offshore and would be subject to U.S. taxes if repatriated, according to company filings." [Source]

So they took approximately 4.6 Billion in loans, in order to not pay tax now or ever, going from a most profitable company to one that is ravaged by debt (at least on paper). Vivendi was happy to dump them as the price and success of Blizzard is likely to have peaked or maybe they just needed cash.

For the new investors buying an indebted company is very attractive as it still may increase in stock price, even without massive profits.

Personally I never quite understood why exactly it's better to pay to the banks rather than the tax man, I guess the answer is that you get a much better deal. All that money that ended up in France, in turn "Laid low by struggles at its main telecommunications unit, Vivendi has begun selling off stakes in various companies to pay down debt and help refashion itself into a leaner media company." [Source]

Another thing I'm ignorant about is whether or not it is legal for banks to both lend money to and hold shares of a company like Blizzard. Still the question remains on how these guys cash out the profits, they probably spend and overcharge the expenses in countries where the tax rate is low, in countries with outsourced development studios.

#10 Posted by Eurobum (244 posts) -
@english said:

To me the ideas of delaying and manipulating the player are aspects that define most of today's MMOs, not just EVE. They are always focused on making building your character take time, and making rewards and accomplishments slow or difficult to acquire in order to make them meaningful and keep players engaged.

You mentioned "meaningful" a couple of times, saying slow progression makes things have a meaning, I think we have to specify what this meaning is. For EVE the < 2700 SP/h ( < 2 Mio SP/month) progression rally makes time a 3rd in-game currency and you trade it in for either a PLEX or your subscriber fee. I'd say this kind of progression gives you a coupon, a reward rather than meaning. It's even possible to sell and buy spent time in a sense, when you buy a 'used' character with the skills that you want.Eve players are not just paying rent for the servers or their time in a virtual world, they literally invest time and money into the promise that skill training will pay off some day. I'm not saying that this will never happen, I'm just repelled by the unusually long term of that investment, the troubled history, and the risk, the EVE bubble may indeed burst. A promise is what sells any product. We find out if we were lied to usually some time after that, even though it may take a proper investigation and a even more time to admit that we were tricked. Also, we may never find out.