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Slag

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#1  Edited By Slag

Didn't Jeff just specifically ask that people don't do this kind of speculation in the Mario party chat the other day? (screenshot from reddit)

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I totally get the appeal of speculating. It's fun, I do it too in private with friends. But I think we should respect the wishes of the staff. If it helps them get who they think is best, it helps us as fans too

The site's old enough and we've seen enough new hires now over the years, that I have full confidence they'll get somebody good next time they make a hire.

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Slag

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Haven't been online at GB in a good while, but just wanted to offer my congratulations to @jeff!

you guys will be awesome parents!

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#3  Edited By Slag

@bladeofcreation: no problem, happy to share what I experienced

single player right now, they plan to have 2 player (not 4 player like OS2) co-op at launch

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Slag

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@rorie: So I played this at PAX East.

Seems decent, I don't think it's anywhere near as grand as Divinity: Original Sin 2 though and it doesn't appear to be trying to be. I think basically what they wanted to do is get another game out quickly on this engine, without having to make a ton of new assets or story content. Most of the assets look reused, or only altered slightly.

What they seem to have done is take Original Sin 2's combat and tried to fit it more into Divinity: Dragon Commander's gameplay loop framework. The loop seems to be you go to main base (in this case the Lady Vengeance) consult with your commanders and make a narrative choice that results in a tactics mission. Go do the mission, and then back to the ship for another choice. So a much higher % of time in combat, basically zero exploration, no side quests and dialogue choices. There might be shopping and gear, but that wasn't viewable in the demo. Your choices lock you out missions and other paths. So while there maybe 70ish missions (I believe that's what the dev said) in the game, you might only have access to say... ~30 in a given playthrough due to your choices. Definitely meant to offer some replay-ability.

Mechanically the fights seem little different from OS2 save for one major change. Each Side goes all at once. So no more turn order. They really need to overhaul the UI as it's very unclear what units have gone and which ones haven't in the demo build. Also each fights seems to have objectives that are more important to the win condition that are different than just "kill everything". For example the mission I ran involved saving hostages spread across the map before enemy units killed them, with enemy reinforcements being summoned every "X" turns.

Also it's pretty tough. I cleared OS2 on the second highest difficulty with minimal problems and I failed this demo. I got further than everybody else who was in my row of PCs, but there were some surprises in the fight that I frankly was ill prepared for despite crushing the initial objective. It might be a game where you have to play fights multiple times just due to the unpredictability of some of the scripted events, resulting in trial and error.

Narratively it seems... odd. All the playable protagonists (Lohse, Fane, Ifan, Beast, Red Prince, Sebille etc) are back from OS2 and it seems to be a quasi-sequel (the staff was coy when I asked about this)to a version of the events of Original Sin 2 that we seemingly didn't play. The player character is not viewable and is some standin for a create a character. The Player character appears to be canonical "godwoken", or at least is treated like he/she is. The other characters seem to just call you "commander" though.

Seems like Malady and Lucian will be the focal point characters of the plot, with an emphasis on Malady's past and her motivations.

I think I'm going to enjoy this game, but I also think it's a far less ambitious game than D:OS2 and will probably be received as such by players.

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@rorie: I can’t verify atm, but I believe Uplay now lets you import your steam friends list. I had a ton of friend requests from current Steam friends of mine in Uplay when i played the Div 2 beta.

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#6  Edited By Slag

Assuming your budget allows this (especially since you just bought a TV), I definitely would .

I've got a PS4 Pro on a 1080p tv and I notice the difference in that versus base Ps4 just even in simple things like load times and frame rates.

a Xbx is an even larger jump in performance than PS4-> PS4 Pro and you have a Tv that will actually benefit from the hardware. Not to mention the Xbox, in your case, is your primary gaming machine.

Really comes down to what you can afford but if you can, I do think the machine provides meaningful benefits and it sounds like something you'd personally get a lot of use out of.

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@lentfilms: You did a wonderful job again!

I don't have anything new to add about what your wrote in your blog I already commented on, but you did a really great job getting game footage and making everything fit together nicely. your music choices really complemented the pacing and way you delivered you shared your thoughts.

That must have taken you a ton of time to do.

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#8  Edited By Slag
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Re: what you said in the spoiler block

that's exactly my thought too. Thought it was a neat way to accentuate that nature of the game

Personally I really like the 3D art direction they are going for. Maybe a little heavy on the bloom, but I like overall aesthetic.

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#10  Edited By Slag

Drastic change is required at this stage to have any real hope. User engagement appears to be practically nil these days and a wiki that isn't even the front page of its' own site is doomed to fail imo.

I think at this point it's 100% clear that user side of Giant Bomb is dying a torturous death from lack of engineering resources/focus and frankly has been for 6-7 years now since the sale. I don't fault that decision as I'm well aware that the banner ad market never really recovered and it's clear where they make their money these days. Quests apparently were a failed attempt to monetize the wiki as well.

Thus I think it's in the best interests of both components of the site to separate. That's only been made more starkly clear with the new redesign (again I don't blame them, you want to invest in what works for your business. Throw good money after good. The gang is real good at the personality stuff). The Personality aspect of the site is probably hindered by weighed down by even having to spend mental focus thinking about anything other than that. GB clearly makes almost all their money off subs who come for the video and audio content and probably gets a far greater ROI for their time when they focus on what they do well. The wiki is something that is a living breathing database that needs constant attention to remain viable, now more than ever in the era where 3k + games get released every year just on Steam alone.

Couple options I've pondered whether they would help or would even be possible

  1. Sell the Wiki to an outside party-
    1. Might be unpalatable for sentimental, legal, economic reasons
    2. Positives might be it might be able to use the business model of a different company better (able to fund it through Patreon using donation drives ala Wikipedia etc) that wouldn't be viable at CBSi
    3. Maybe Twitch or somebody big who uses the API wants it. I dunno
  2. Make the wiki and user blogs/lists/reviews part of GameFaqs instead of Giant Bomb
    1. Gamefaqs is basically the database aspect of the CBSi game sites already, this sort of thing is their sole focus
      1. Release Data and Genre data are already present in the GameFaqs pages, guides are too obviously. Something GB's wiki once sort of had. A lot of the content is pointlessly duplicative in their current states. It never made sense to me that I'd have essentially consult gamefaqs to fill in blank release dates here.
      2. Gamefaqs community seems to be considerably larger and more active than GB's, much larger pool to recruit and continually find new editors.
      3. the Wiki would likely enhance what they already try to do over there and fits with their core mission better than GB's
      4. Their business model is already focused on text based content
      5. Gamefaqs already has plenty of user reviews and active forums. Blogs and whatnot would likely fit in well over there
      6. The Wiki would likely get more regular attention over there and basic upkeep/refresh needs would be more likely to be met.
    2. Some potential Downsides
      1. Probably an unbelievably massive project to try to integrate the two databases
      2. Gamefaqs probably has a different philosophy about to handle information. May be incompatible with existing info in the wiki
      3. Gamefaqs existing community would likely clash socially with what remains of the Gb community. (there's been subtle and not so subtle digs at them by some users here over the years)
      4. Jeff may not be allowed to be involved or not want to be involved with it anymore. Not many people have his breadth of knowledge or expertise. His involvement with the wiki is hugely beneficial even if it's just in an advisory capacity.
      5. gamefaqs leadership may not want the wiki
      6. I'm sure there's tons of challenges that I'm not aware of, since I don't work there or know anybody personally at either place.

Whatever happens to the Wiki whether it stays here or something else happens, I think for it to have any chance to revive it needs these things bare minimum

  • It needs to be front and center on its own site. You can't expect people to use something or know something's there that's not even the focus of its' own site.
  • It needs constant engineering focus, to change with the times. Video games themselves change and the wiki needs to adapt with them. There will always be new challenges and new ways to sort information. Some examples of the changes to video games since the GB wiki was launched, subscription services like Gamepass, PS Now, PSN+ etc. The flood of indie games hitting Steam every year making it impossible for a handful of active contributors to keep up. New genres like Battle Royale games. Thus a wiki must be able to accommodate such new challenges and most critically do so in a timely manner. A wiki cannot thrive on autopilot. It can't have engineering fixes to core features take years to address, same goes with editorial decisions.
  • On that note, it needs to be reliable. I've learned tricks on how to not lose my work, but there's plenty of times I've lost paragraphs I've typed due to CSRF token issues and/or other glitches. Or seen associations break etc. That's extremely extremely frustrating.
  • The editors need to believe their efforts are going into a project that is active and successful. Nobody wants to spend hours putting info (for free no less) and research into a dying endeavor. Maintaining editors' passion and goodwill is essential to keeping a wiki alive. These people are volunteers, if they aren't happy and enthusiastic they likely won't contribute much.
  • It needs constant engagement with staff, who oversee and try to direct activity to fill in areas where information is incorrect or incomplete. A staff who actively use, like and promote the wiki and communicate with users on a frequent reliable basis. To provide guidance about things like Style guides and set examples on how pages should be built. Also to settle disputes, we haven't had too many edit wars here that I know of but a lot of successful wikis do have to navigate things like that. When the wiki was rolling we had things like tasks and a functioning point system to help making editing more fun and focused.
  • A monetization model that supports it financially. Maybe that's patreon, I doubt it's banner ads. Whatever it is, A wiki needs staff and staff costs money.
  • Probably looser standards when it comes to allowing indie game makers to fill in their own pages. While pages absolutely shouldn't be ads, to be frank with the flood of games released now the bigger issue is manpower to just even fill pages. I think that's true for any wiki. It wouldn't perhaps to be so horrible to harness some of that desire to let game professionals fill in some of their own pages (at least initially). Maybe a new wiki could be used in a way akin to IMDB and be a place where professionals can make their own personal pages to network etc.
  • It needs to have value to the user/editor beyond just being information. At Gb probably the main benefit the wiki currently provides is the List function (which is fun!). But it'd even more useful if it was tied into more systems that provide value to enthusiasts (like guides, achievement tracking, collection tracking, backlog tracking, how many hours to complete a game etc etc). Be a tool for them to be selfishly interested in improving because they themselves are using it.
  • If it stays at GB , it's probably going to a consistent promotion campaign to win people back over, and it will probably need that for at least a couple years. A fullblown Relaunch event to start and then keep it rollin. Not only would these changes have to be made and shown to be durable over a long period of time (so that people trust it's going to continue), but you'd have to get people to even notice you are addressing it somehow.

EDIT: I forgot to add the above isn't intended as a personal criticism of anybody. I know there have been plenty of folks who put in absolutely herculean efforts into the wiki and still do, especially some of the mods. Running a website with as a broad of focus as Giant Bomb is just a really hard thing to do, even harder with such a small staff. Times change too, what made sense in 2008 may not make sense in 2019.