haggis

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haggis

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#1  Edited By haggis

I like to collect but don't obsess. So it's easy for me to ignore them. I typically enjoy them most in open-world games, because the collectibles are a good reason to go exploring. Most of the time, they could be better objects. ME3's upgrades, for instance, never made sense--why would these upgrades just be laying around? I like it when they are objects that tell little stories that flesh out the world, because those gamers more likely to go on treasure hunts are often more interested in backstory.

If the objects are going to be a benefit, it ought to be unusual and convenient--but unnecessary. I liked the Fallout 3 bobbleheads, for instance, because they granted some unique modifiers that were cool but not necessary. As opposed to New Vegas's snow globes, which really only gave you money--not very compelling.

Mostly, though, if a game is linear and doesn't let you go back and revisit areas, it's probably best to leave collectibles out altogether, and give gamers other reasons to replay the game.

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haggis

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#2  Edited By haggis

@Seppli said:

@haggis said:

@Seppli said:

That's definitely what Bethesda has to figure out and get right in their games, how to build character and gameplay progression to keep the game challenging and interesting, whilst avoiding ludicrous difficulty spikes. I hope they'll nail it one of these days.

This is the problem facing all RPGs. No one has come up with a solution for it yet, and I'm not sure many are trying. It's near impossible to pull off. The easiest solution (and the one I'd prefer) would be to have permanently high-level areas and no difficulty scaling at all--but that works against the open-world aesthetic, and it's difficult to communicate to the player where they should and should not go. The current solution--moderate difficulty scaling--results in extremes at the high end, where the game becomes ludicrously easy, and a muddled middle where a badly-rolled character suddenly starts getting his ass whipped. But if the game tried to hold your hand too much in character creation, everyone would complain about the game being dumbed down.

Basically, there's no solution. Everything is a compromise. It's just a matter of whether you can live with Bethesda's compromises or not.

A little tweak to classic Elder Scrolls progression could make things a lot more open, and easier to balance. The seperation of combat-relevant progression and tradeskill progression - at least make them draw from seperate currency pools. I guess only hardcore roleplayers might be miffed at such a thing a little, but this way it's much easier to predict a character's relative strength by his level and finetune balancing/scaling much more tightly.

That's an interesting approach. Some of the trade skills have combat-relevant aspects along side non-combat aspects. It might mean splitting smithing (the most obvious example) into two different categories. But yeah, I think that would generally make prediction easier. As for hardcore roleplayers, I think they've been miffed with the direction of Elder Scrolls for awhile now, so what's one more change?

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haggis

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#3  Edited By haggis

@Seppli said:

That's definitely what Bethesda has to figure out and get right in their games, how to build character and gameplay progression to keep the game challenging and interesting, whilst avoiding ludicrous difficulty spikes. I hope they'll nail it one of these days.

This is the problem facing all RPGs. No one has come up with a solution for it yet, and I'm not sure many are trying. It's near impossible to pull off. The easiest solution (and the one I'd prefer) would be to have permanently high-level areas and no difficulty scaling at all--but that works against the open-world aesthetic, and it's difficult to communicate to the player where they should and should not go. The current solution--moderate difficulty scaling--results in extremes at the high end, where the game becomes ludicrously easy, and a muddled middle where a badly-rolled character suddenly starts getting his ass whipped. But if the game tried to hold your hand too much in character creation, everyone would complain about the game being dumbed down.

Basically, there's no solution. Everything is a compromise. It's just a matter of whether you can live with Bethesda's compromises or not.

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haggis

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#4  Edited By haggis

@Mageman said:

What gives, it's kinda bizarre that in some states it's as high as 18, even 16 is kinda pushing it.

Most states have exceptions for minors engaging in sex with each other, and so the age of consent is mostly about adults having sex with minors. It has little to do with religion and more about power imbalances and maturity--ie., whether a fourteen year old would be capable of saying no to a 21 year old pressuring them for sex. Most people recognize that as a general rule of thumb, it's not a good idea for early teenagers to be having sex with adults, and the law provides a stopgap in case things go wrong.

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haggis

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#5  Edited By haggis

@MURDERSMASH said:

@Azteck said:

The always-on DRM is making me seriously dislike the game already, which sucks because I loved SimCity 4, and a lot of what they are attempting to do with this game sounds great but I just cannot get behind that form of DRM.

Well, have you played the game, and has the "DRM" directly affected your enjoyment of it?

I would argue that it's not actually DRM, because it's not put in place solely to restrict access to the game. Sim City is built around online, multiplayer client-server architectures, which is completely different from, say, CD keys, or Ubisoft's Solidshield Tages SAS software which is a completely arbitrary restriction designed solely to attempt to enforce copy protection.

I agree that there should be an offline-only single player mode, but I think it's disingenuous to call Sim City's online architecture "DRM".

I agree. I don't get the sense from what I've heard from people playing the beta that it's intrusive. And it makes sense, given what they're trying to achieve, to have a connection going. I'll be interested to hear details, though, as more people play the beta.

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haggis

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#6  Edited By haggis

@MURDERSMASH said:

It's fantastic. It runs smooth, looks great, and has incredible music. The UI is LIGHT YEARS ahead of the previous Sim City games, especially in terms of giving you the information you need to improve your city. The building options, whole totally different, actually end up working a lot better once you get a hang of how it all works. I especially like the modular city services buildings (police, fire, education, etc.) Instead of spamming schools and what-not all over the place to cover it, you can just build a single one near the center of town, and expand the services with modular add-ons as necessary. Schools are great, because you can extend the coverage by simply placing bus stops around town.

This sounds like exactly what I was hoping for. I love the idea of modular buildings--it makes so much more sense. I'm not surprised by the music, though--SimCity has usually had great music.

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haggis

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#7  Edited By haggis

Well, I guess some people liked it. Honestly, I thought the game was a bit of a mess. I don't think it was terrible, but it wasn't by any means good. Adequate, mediocre. I thought it tended toward dull and tedious. But terrible? I guess not. I'm not sure why this is much of a surprise, though. Maybe Klepek ought to stop judging games so harshly before them come out?

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haggis

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#8  Edited By haggis

Eight different opinions ... well, wait, they're not different opinions, they just happen to be opinions that restate what we already knew Patrick Klepek thought from his post last week. Yawn. How about a discussion, you know, with some disagreement? Instead, we're getting a lecture. And not one that's terribly compelling.

It's interesting that the only opinion that diverges here was written by someone anonymously. That is, they were afraid to disagree with the women in the article. I think that's pretty telling, right there.

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haggis

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#9  Edited By haggis

@TobbRobb said:

Only as far in the point that I feel younger people are more likely to be aggressive or ignorant in their answers. But that isn't a fact in any way, if a 12 year old makes a good point, I'll read and agree. And I know kids under 10 who are more mature than some adults. So that's definitely a thing.

This. It's definitely a probability thing. The younger the poster is, the less likely they're going to handle disagreement with any kind of maturity. But it does depend on the individual.

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haggis

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#10  Edited By haggis

Well, shit, I cared about Corvo. Not a lot, mind you, but enough--and reading through the game content, using the Heart quite a bit (which I realize many people didn't do), you learn quite a bit about Corvo, the other characters, Emily, and the Empress. It's not as well-developed as I might have preferred, but it's definitely there. It may have been a mistake to have so much of this submerged beyond the top layer of gameplay. Using the Heart meant giving up your power for the moment, which made using it awkward.

I'm wondering how many people who didn't connect with Corvo didn't use the Heart much, or didn't bother to read most of what the game offered for backstory. I suspect it's probably a rather high percentage.