thomasnash's forum posts

#1 Posted by thomasnash (681 posts) -

That's a pretty good rendition of Ciri! I dunno if that's what you were going for, but it is.

#2 Posted by thomasnash (681 posts) -

I agree that there are ways about the way consoles are presented - convenient, futureproof (to an extent), unobtrusive, inexpensive (ish) - that allow them to retain a huge market - especially considering the market for gaming PCs probably overlaps with the console market to an extent.

I think maybe the question gets asked because from a business standpoint, you do have to ask those questions; what happens if suddenly our entire market sit down and decide that they would get more bang for their buck with a pc. It's especially important here because the segment of the market most likely to do that kind of thinking and analysis over their purchases is probably the section typically thought of as evangalists for the technology - people who hoover up info about games and tech.

I think it's more a what if than a when kind of question though?

#3 Edited by thomasnash (681 posts) -

@the-nanomachines: I generally see brand new games on this generation going for between £40 and £50 (on the Game website right now, The Witcher 3 is listed at £45, which I believe is the same as on release day. Batman Arkham Knight is listed at £50, although they are calling it the "limited red hood edition" or something (exclusive pre-order bonus). Amazon is generally around £40 though (Arkham Knight on amazon UK at the moment is £38.50).

I generally think of £45 being the "new" price point, so eurogamer are definitely stretching a point. £40 is last generation's price! I will admit that the Playstation online store is pretty gougey, with Arkham Knight listed at £55. I guess that's your reference point?

#4 Posted by thomasnash (681 posts) -

@zevvion said:

I really don't understand the uproar over this. It's emotes. You don't need them. Don't buy the CE. Problem solved?

I think the point is that they do want the emotes, but to get them they need to buy a lot of content they already own.

It does seem like an odd decision to only make this content, which seems like it will only be interesting to the game's biggest fans, available to people new to the game (with the CE bundle).

#5 Posted by thomasnash (681 posts) -

I'm not sure I would even when there are properly developed games for it. If it becomes more than just for games, whatever that could be, I might be more open to the idea.

#6 Posted by thomasnash (681 posts) -

@veektarius: I agree, I think they've been pretty positive about a lot of stuff. Even Jeff seems to be excited about some stuff!

I think a lot of why they seem more cynical is because they focus a lot on the business reality of this stuff (although I have nothing to compare it to really, maybe all games coverage is like that). This maybe makes it seem like they're always trying to pull back the curtain?

#7 Posted by thomasnash (681 posts) -

@shmoodow said:

So given that there seem to be enough bobbleheads to imply 13 skills, and in the crafting thing we saw that there were ranks in the science skill (but much lower numbers), would having, say, 5 ranks per skill and two tiers of points again, one every couple of levels for perks and a few per level for skills, really be that much of a difference? I mean, in previous Bethesda Fallout games, the important part of skills wasn't whether you had 36 or 37 lockpick, but whether you had 25 or 50 lockpick so you could open different safes. You could still have skill checks in conversations the same way as 3 and new vegas, but it would be like needing rank 2 barter, rather than 40 points in barter.

Anyone with me on this?

Probably right, now that you point it out. I suppose really it comes down to increasingly taking dice rolls out of RPGs, doesn't it? Like, in the original games, a 67 skill in lockpicking meant a 67% chance of picking a lock of a certain difficulty (for example, numbers pulled out of my ass), and this applied across all skills (no idea how stealth worked for them though - not very well as I recall!).

People hated in fallout 3 that point and shoot didn't mean point, shoot and hit (understandably), so it's not desirable to have dice rolls there. Similarly, with lockpicking, hacking etc there's a minigame now, so the same restriction applies to some extent, so those skills really just become a method of gating access. Maybe you allow for more gradual decreases in the difficulty of the minigame itself. I feel like in the past they did this with lockpicking, but maybe not with science as it might be trickier.

Speech checks definitely stand out as something which is mechanically the same in old and new Fallouts, but which has had the RNG element removed (actually, did fallout 3 use an RNG for speech checks? It's been a long time!). That fits in with a whole other trend of exposing these systems in RPGs rather than leaving them under the hood.I believe inn older fallouts (likewise infinity engine games) there would be no warning you were about to get a speech check.

There are other areas - stealth, repair etc - where more mathematical systems still make sense (distance at which you can be spotted, amount of durablity restored etc) but obviously having separate systems for these is silly.

I guess a lot of it comes down to people want to feel like their character progression has an immediate and direct relationship with their progression through the story - rather than it being a sort of preparation for a probability based number game. When it comes right down to it, I'm not sure I've ever felt the RNG has added to my experience in and of itself (maybe XCOM).

And, to sum up my ramblings, there are definitely things involved in bringing Fallout to the first person that warrant the excision of the random element, and the only things that do suffer, suffer minutely. I'm coming round to the idea, really.

#8 Posted by thomasnash (681 posts) -

I just don't think that this is true if you account for the history of storytelling. At least up until the time of Shakespeare, drama was written to a general pattern - or rather, two general patterns; Comedy or Tragedy - that allowed people to know what to expect. And I don't mean in a general sense; you would know that a new tragedy meant something bad happening at the beginning, things beginning to go in a positive direction in the middle, and then everyone dying at the end. This is still the basic structure of tragedy, cf breaking bad. This is still sort of true with Hollywood genres today. It's very easy to guess the entire plot of most romantic comedies because the structure is very familiar to us, and if you apply the structure to what you learn in the opening moments of the film you will usually be pretty close. This can be seen from the ancient Greeks to at least Death of a Salesman.

You seem to be mistaking a very small cultural tradition in storytelling for an element of storytelling as a whole. Yes, familiar aspects to story-telling comfort and engage the listener. This is why we have "genres" as a whole. A "genre" is, after all, stories that are the same as other stories you have previously heard.But the very fact that stories change over time is proof that invention and surprise are an inherent part of storytelling.

The invention of the "mystery genre" as a whole is hinged ENTIRELY on surprise. This is why the genre was a runaway success and heroes like Sherlock Holmes are some of the more enduring and iconic literally characters of all time. The character is the same, but their adventures are new and surprising.

I will admit that I was using a broad brush! But, and perhaps I didn't make my case particularly strongly in this regard, I wouldn't say it's a small cultural tradition, so much as it's a feature of a great many cultural traditions!

With that said, you are perfectly right. My argument falls apart a bit probably from the C18th, when novels became more prominent, and stories began to focus more on individuals and their circumstance. I suppose that the lit crit thing to say would be that concern about spoilers is related to an increased prominence of the concept of the individual self as a unique being.

#9 Posted by thomasnash (681 posts) -

@cmblasko said:

Consolidating perks and skills seems fine. I'm happy as long as I can build my character and specialize him/her the way I want.

This. I get why some people dislike seeing streamlining (because it's easy to do poorly) but sometimes this works better and achieves the exact same effect.

I guess I agree, but I do wonder if it will achieve the same effect?

The way it worked in the "old" system was essentially that there were 3 tiers of specialisation. Your stats determined what type of character you would play in the first instance (shooty, bashy, sciency). Then with the skills you could either spec further into that type of character, or mitigate some of it's deficiencies - although obviously you would be capitalising to some extent on your stats whatever happened. What you achieved with perks was then another layer I guess - a very specialised character might have access to perks that allowed a few different sorts of playstyle based on your skills. Does any of this make sense? I am certainly presenting an idealised version of the system, but I feel like that is the way it supposed to work at it's core - 3 levels where you have a choice between taking a narrow focus, or spreading your skills out - or buttressing areas you had neglected.

So for the player, you might spec heavily into Perception and Agility, so as to be a gunslinger type character. With your skills, you further specialise in that direction by picking small guns, and sneaking because you're not an honorable gunslinger - but you also choose speech to spread you skillset out a bit. Now when it comes to choosing perks, you will generally have a choice - do you pick perks that you have access to because of your high skills in guns and sneaking to become a very efficient killer - or do you pick a perk that gives you a boost to science. Every choice is a little more diluted though - you can never be a super science nerd just through perks.

I feel like rolling skills into the perks takes away at least one of those levels of choice? Like, you can still roleplay a guy who is naturally good at talking to people, but wants to be a demolitions expert, but you can't be someone who is naturally quick, has dedicated his life to throwing knives, punching people and patching up his scrapes - but has picked up a little bit about bombs along the way.

But obviously we don't know that's how it is yet, so don't take this as a "Fallout 4 is trash clearly what are you an idiot!?" sort of post...

#10 Posted by thomasnash (681 posts) -

@pcorb: The Babadook would be pretty good regardless, but for a lot of people, knowing the fates of the characters in advance would strip the movie of a lot of tension. Sure, the scares and the atmosphere would be the same, but if you knew right off the bat whether you need to worry about these characters or not, your investment in the characters would be altered.

I've not seen that Movie, but I would argue that in the case of movies and tv, then things like suspense, atmosphere, emotion etc are products of more than just the story, and any halfway competent set of filmmakers will create something that has those effects for most people regardless of how much knowledge they have going in.

Film is very good at bypassing the "thinking" part of ourselves in various ways, and the whole art of cinema is based around that. This is going to come across as needlessly snooty and inflammatory but I think the mania that spoilers inspire nowadays is a sign of how artless a lot of our popular media is - however enjoyable it can also be.

@slang_n_bang:

Don't be stupid.

One of the core elements of the way stories are constructed is surprise. The work is CREATED with the ASSUMPTION that the audience does not know what is going to happen.

When you spoil something for someone, you are breaking it for them. It's that simple. Something was designed tow work a certain way, and you are breaking it.

Anyone who is too stupid to understand that telling your friend what's inside his christmas present before he unwraps is breaking the concept of a wrapped present is just an idiot who doesn't deserve to participate in civilized society.

I just don't think that this is true if you account for the history of storytelling. At least up until the time of Shakespeare, drama was written to a general pattern - or rather, two general patterns; Comedy or Tragedy - that allowed people to know what to expect. And I don't mean in a general sense; you would know that a new tragedy meant something bad happening at the beginning, things beginning to go in a positive direction in the middle, and then everyone dying at the end. This is still the basic structure of tragedy, cf breaking bad. This is still sort of true with Hollywood genres today. It's very easy to guess the entire plot of most romantic comedies because the structure is very familiar to us, and if you apply the structure to what you learn in the opening moments of the film you will usually be pretty close. This can be seen from the ancient Greeks to at least Death of a Salesman.

But probably more telling are the various oral traditions we have knowledge of. The way myth was incorporated into the Greek and Roman storytelling tradition is telling. What they seem to have wanted were stories that everyone already knew, but told in new ways. Both England and the USA have very similar traditions in their Folk Music - stories which get repeated and changed slightly in the telling, but have at their core the same mythological route.

As a brief aside, I saw an interesting interview recently with Kenneth Branagh talking about his recent film of Cindarella. He was asked why he was choosing to make such a straight adaptation of the story. His reply was that he felt there are some stories that as a society we just need to act out every now and again - things which in themselves help inform and are ingrained in our culture. I think he was getting at something similar to how the Ancient Greeks thought of tragedy as catharsis - that by reenacting the story of Elektra, and sharing that cathartic release as you see some element of your culture performed in front of you, it reaffirms that in you and the rest of the audience.

Anyway. Obviously I'm not saying that surprises aren't pleasant, but I don't think they are all that central to the process of telling stories. And, of course, the shock of the new can always be found in places other than the story itself.