The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    NV is the one I didn't play, and it wasn't developed by Bethesda GS; instead, it was developed by Obsidian, which was founded by and comprises key people from Black Isle Studios, the developer of FO2; Obsidian's CEO was the director of the original FO. So I am not surprised that it felt more like the others.

    About the time sink aspect, yes, it looks like people sometimes forget that a long book isn't necessarily better than a short book. But hundreds of play hours has become one of the trademark features of Bethesda products, so they probably will not give up on it.
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    NV is the one I didn't play, and it wasn't developed by Bethesda GS; instead, it was developed by Obsidian, which was founded by and comprises key people from Black Isle Studios, the developer of FO2; Obsidian's CEO was the director of the original FO. So I am not surprised that it felt more like the others.

    About the time sink aspect, yes, it looks like people sometimes forget that a long book isn't necessarily better than a short book. But hundreds of play hours has become one of the trademark features of Bethesda products, so they probably will not give up on it.
    The comparison I would use is that of a sandbox. Bethesda games have always been referred to as a "shallow sandbox" - you can roleplay in them, but you largely have to make up your own story and the stories presented in the game aren't terribly deep. Mostly the focus is on there being lots of area to explore, with the lore behind said areas being very much secondary. Essentially, there's a handful of really cool areas in each game along with a ton of filler content. This is also true of the other game series that I mentioned earlier (Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Shadow of War, etc).

    Over the years, the teams for these games have been growing bigger and bigger. Some of this is due to the demands of graphics - it takes a lot of work to keep up with the Joneses when it comes to graphical quality. I'm generally okay with that part. However, the other thing that is happening is that the games are growing bigger. The size of each game grows over the previous versions of the franchises, in an effort to offer more than their competitors. More minigames, more lands to explore, more "features" that they can put in an advertisement. Base building! Nemesis system! Ship Combat! Fortress conquering!

    ...And yet, at the end of the day all their doing is expanding the area of the sandbox. It's still painfully shallow, and when you try to dig in you hit rock bottom within a few minutes. And expanding the width of the sandbox doesn't help - you're merely turning it from a play area into a desert. There's still a bunch of areas of Fallout 4 that I never saw because the world was too big and there wasn't enough meat to the game to keep me interested in exploring it.

    They need to find a balance between shiny features and actual game content that matters.

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    The comparison I would use is that of a sandbox. Bethesda games have always been referred to as a "shallow sandbox" - you can roleplay in them, but you largely have to make up your own story and the stories presented in the game aren't terribly deep. Mostly the focus is on there being lots of area to explore, with the lore behind said areas being very much secondary. Essentially, there's a handful of really cool areas in each game along with a ton of filler content. This is also true of the other game series that I mentioned earlier (Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Shadow of War, etc).

    Over the years, the teams for these games have been growing bigger and bigger. Some of this is due to the demands of graphics - it takes a lot of work to keep up with the Joneses when it comes to graphical quality. I'm generally okay with that part. However, the other thing that is happening is that the games are growing bigger. The size of each game grows over the previous versions of the franchises, in an effort to offer more than their competitors. More minigames, more lands to explore, more "features" that they can put in an advertisement. Base building! Nemesis system! Ship Combat! Fortress conquering!

    ...And yet, at the end of the day all their doing is expanding the area of the sandbox. It's still painfully shallow, and when you try to dig in you hit rock bottom within a few minutes. And expanding the width of the sandbox doesn't help - you're merely turning it from a play area into a desert. There's still a bunch of areas of Fallout 4 that I never saw because the world was too big and there wasn't enough meat to the game to keep me interested in exploring it.

    They need to find a balance between shiny features and actual game content that matters.
    What bothers me about Fallout 4 is it needing to "install" visual basic for ten minutes every time it runs before it will start.

    Other than that the graphics are often wonderful, there are motorways/freeways in some places with strangely fuzzy graphics you can fall through, but apart from that it's very pretty. The weapon and armour crafting is alright, but I really dislike the defending places aspect of the game, when random enemies spawn in for no reason. That's "whack a mole" at it's worst, and that was known as a very annoying "game" when it came out (I remember reading about it in Byte where Jerry Pournelle was very scathing of a PC version in the 1980s).
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    About the time sink aspect, yes, it looks like people sometimes forget that a long book isn't necessarily better than a short book. But hundreds of play hours has become one of the trademark features of Bethesda products, so they probably will not give up on it.
    Books are a bad example because even a short book will likely take several hours to read, while costing only a few pounds (or equivalent in your local currency). Games are far more expensive when you buy them new, so people expect the amount of entertainment they get out of them to be more than you'd get from a book.

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Return on investment is a weird thing. For a book it might seem like a bad one, and it can be if you read it only once. But I tend to re-read books as I rediscover them. I let them get lost in the pile, so when I find them again, I can enjoy them anew. And a good book is usually read until it comes apart, then gets replaced with a new copy.

    Same with games really. But while I'm paying more for the games, the time spent playing them and stretching the cash spent on them is... hard to say. Random encounters, even if you've seen them before, if they occur in a different order, make it seem like a new game. It might be a shallow sandbox, but if the castle you build is a bit different each time? Then you can spend many, many hours in that sandbox. I spent about $80 on Skyrim total, and doing the math, it works out to something like 13 cents per hour I've played the game. That's value for the money.

    Now, you might not like that, might want huge deep choices and epic adventures and the like. Okay, fine. Mods are the building blocks on that solid foundation of a sandbox. Delve deep into the underground, or wander through a mysterious new castle that's dropped into the world overnight.
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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    TIL: if a bobby pin is about to snap you can simply abort the lock picking attempt to preserve the pin. This also rerolls the solution, but hey thatís good enough. Especially when I seem to be really short on bobby pins for some reason. Maybe itís the mod affecting how often bobby pins drop as loot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haruspex_Pariah View Post
    TIL: if a bobby pin is about to snap you can simply abort the lock picking attempt to preserve the pin. This also rerolls the solution, but hey thatís good enough. Especially when I seem to be really short on bobby pins for some reason. Maybe itís the mod affecting how often bobby pins drop as loot.
    This also works with logging out of terminals after 2 wrong guesses. Sometimes I'll brute force them this way if I'm not feeling like doing the puzzle.

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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    The terminal game stops actually being a game after a little bit. At least in NV. Once you click all the "remove duds" strings there are usually less options left than guesses.

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    Of course the easiest brute force is save game, try four options, reload and repeat until success.

    Honestly I always enjoy the minigames myself.
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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    Quote Originally Posted by Triaxx View Post
    It might be a shallow sandbox, but if the castle you build is a bit different each time? Then you can spend many, many hours in that sandbox. I spent about $80 on Skyrim total, and doing the math, it works out to something like 13 cents per hour I've played the game. That's value for the money.

    Now, you might not like that, might want huge deep choices and epic adventures and the like. Okay, fine. Mods are the building blocks on that solid foundation of a sandbox. Delve deep into the underground, or wander through a mysterious new castle that's dropped into the world overnight.
    I feel like hours of gameplay should be judged without the influence of mods. Skyrim is a decent enough framework on which to build, but it certainly wouldn't have had the lifespan it's enjoyed without mods to change things up.
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  11. - Top - End - #251
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    I do agree, but Skyrim was a game where the modding was part of the equation from the start. We knew we were getting the CK before launch, even if it took a few versions to arrive. So mods were a selling point to the game.
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  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balmas View Post
    I feel like hours of gameplay should be judged without the influence of mods. Skyrim is a decent enough framework on which to build, but it certainly wouldn't have had the lifespan it's enjoyed without mods to change things up.
    Eh, I still played like 150, 200 hours of Skyrim on Xbox 360 when it was first released. I got my money's worth and then some.
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2019-03-04 at 07:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    The terminal game stops actually being a game after a little bit. At least in NV. Once you click all the "remove duds" strings there are usually less options left than guesses.
    I believe thatís based on your Science skill? I have noticed that there seem to be more words and less special characters at lower skill levels.

    I used to brute force terminals too. But after a while I kind of started to enjoy the minigame. It requires just the right amount of time and thinking, in my opinion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haruspex_Pariah View Post
    I believe thatís based on your Science skill? I have noticed that there seem to be more words and less special characters at lower skill levels.

    I used to brute force terminals too. But after a while I kind of started to enjoy the minigame. It requires just the right amount of time and thinking, in my opinion.
    Yeah, it seems to be based off of your skill, but since the terminals are skill locked behind arbitrary skill levels it doesn't matter. A "really difficult" terminal is easier than the easy terminals at the beginning because you've got to have your science up high enough to even attempt it. And while "having better character skills makes tasks easier" is the whole point of character skills in RPGs, it does make the mini-game not much of a game. Which is too bad, because I liked it too at the beginning.

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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    The terminal game stops actually being a game after a little bit. At least in NV. Once you click all the "remove duds" strings there are usually less options left than guesses.
    Wait there are remove dud strings? I never knew about that, I just tried passwords, logged out before I could get locked out and retried until I got through.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Wait there are remove dud strings? I never knew about that, I just tried passwords, logged out before I could get locked out and retried until I got through.
    Clicking on a closed bracket pair in the same line (so e.g. <> or [.?><(] would both work) will randomly delete a dud entry or reset your number of tries.
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  17. - Top - End - #257
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    They can also give additional attempts by resetting the total.
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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    Quote Originally Posted by Triaxx View Post
    They can also give additional attempts by resetting the total.
    Which is why I always try 1 shy of maximum tries, then hit all the dud removals.
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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Wait there are remove dud strings? I never knew about that, I just tried passwords, logged out before I could get locked out and retried until I got through.
    You poor fool....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Which is why I always try 1 shy of maximum tries, then hit all the dud removals.
    The game liked to troll me by removing all the words I already tested first, eating up those bracket pairs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigoDragon View Post
    The game liked to troll me by removing all the words I already tested first, eating up those bracket pairs.
    Yeah, but it was better than "Oh, look, you've reset your number of tries from 4 to 4!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Which is why I always try 1 shy of maximum tries, then hit all the dud removals.
    This is my strategy as well. I really hated getting the allowance replenishment when I still had 4/4 guesses, preferring to waste a dud if I had to choose between the two.

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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    So... Bethesda was giving away copies of Morrowind GOTY edition. Which reminded me I hadn't played that game in a while. So after throttling their launcher into giving me my game, I promptly installed OpenMW and will be using that from here on out, like a sane person.

    Now that I have done so, I'm wanting to put in a few mods. For now, I'm looking more at bug-fixes and quality of life and especially graphics. I'd rather the graphics be more... I dunno... more 2012ish than 2002ish. I don't demand FO4 level shiny, but I'd at least like F:NV level shiny. And, at least in theory, this is a thing done very easily in OpenMW because OpenMW naturally supports bump-mapping so you don't have to do it the hacky way that MCP does. However, that also means it is incompatible with anything depending on MCP or MGE.

    So does anyone have any suggestions on stuff I'd probably want to include?
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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    This is not the right thread for Morrowind, but here you go.

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    So I started up a new character on Fallout 76 and I have come to a fascinating discovery...













    It's not a very good game.
    Whether loved or hated, all characters die. A minority opinion holds that the righteous ones are really just Put on a Bus until the head writer's son gets back from his coffee break.

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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    So... Bethesda was giving away copies of Morrowind GOTY edition. Which reminded me I hadn't played that game in a while. So after throttling their launcher into giving me my game, I promptly installed OpenMW and will be using that from here on out, like a sane person.

    Now that I have done so, I'm wanting to put in a few mods. For now, I'm looking more at bug-fixes and quality of life and especially graphics. I'd rather the graphics be more... I dunno... more 2012ish than 2002ish. I don't demand FO4 level shiny, but I'd at least like F:NV level shiny. And, at least in theory, this is a thing done very easily in OpenMW because OpenMW naturally supports bump-mapping so you don't have to do it the hacky way that MCP does. However, that also means it is incompatible with anything depending on MCP or MGE.

    So does anyone have any suggestions on stuff I'd probably want to include?
    I haven't modded Morrowind in a while, so I can't say what is and isn't available anymore. I don't remember the names, either, so I'm not entirely sure why I'm doing this...

    I remember there being a pretty amusing mod for a talking greatsword. Lilarcor, based on the Baldur's Gate 2 sword. It upgraded in quality based on the number of kills you made with it (so it could work as a starter sword and still keep up later on). As is proper for Lilarcor, it doesn't know how to shut up, but its commentary is pretty funny. Or, at least, struck me as funny five years ago.

    There was also a really interesting house/store mod based around Ebonheart. You put items of yours in the chest, and (if they were vanilla items), the game activate display versions of those items so that it looked like you were displaying your wares. The shopkeep you hired then would sell this gear for you.

    The other one I can think of off the top of my head was this series of little figurines you could buy. If you used a soulgem with a matching soul trapped in it, you could then use the figurine to summon a temporary version of that creature that would level up with use. Granted, I mostly found it a primarily as a means to keep score, but it was fun having a figurine of Almalexia.

    Quote Originally Posted by kinglinus1 View Post
    It's not a very good game.
    A disappointment, definitely. I do think there were a few worthwhile ideas there, but they screwed up the implementation of virtually everything.
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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    Quote Originally Posted by Calemyr View Post
    A disappointment, definitely. I do think there were a few worthwhile ideas there, but they screwed up the implementation of virtually everything.
    Indeed. Loaded it up over the weekend for the first time in over 3 months for shiggles and not even 5 mins in I'm getting buildings only partially rendered/loaded in (I can enter them through the nonexisting bits), and the ground providing a lovely strobe effect with its flickering. So glad to see how much they managed to fix things /sarcasm
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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wookieetank View Post
    Indeed. Loaded it up over the weekend for the first time in over 3 months for shiggles and not even 5 mins in I'm getting buildings only partially rendered/loaded in (I can enter them through the nonexisting bits), and the ground providing a lovely strobe effect with its flickering. So glad to see how much they managed to fix things /sarcasm
    Bethesda, do you not realize that most game companies improve their game series's over time?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kinglinus1 View Post
    Bethesda, do you not realize that most game companies improve their game series's over time?
    Really? I'm having trouble thinking of examples.
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    Default Re: Fallout IX: Nuclear Cash Cows Go MMOoooooo!

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    Really? I'm having trouble thinking of examples.
    Listed in the order I think of them, not according to any kind of logic:
    • If we ignore the blip that is Absolution, the Hitman games have steadily increased in quality since the first installment.
    • Mario Odyssey is considered by most of the people I know who are into Mario games to be one of the better entrances in the series, but I don't know enough about the series to make a judgement on how quality has progressed over time in general.
    • Mortal Kombat's mechanics aren't getting any worse and the graphics are getting better as technology improves, so I guess that counts as improving quality over time?
    • The Witcher 1 was almost completely unplayable, Witcher 2 was decent but beside the story was nothing special, Witcher 3 is one of my favourite CRPGs of all time.


    There are probably others, but I can't think of them off hand.
    NB: While I never mean to offend anybody, sometimes the unfortunate combination of Aspergersism and the inherent difficulty of reading a situation through uninflected text over the internet get in the way of that goal. Please feel free to point out any social faux pas, inappropriate joke timing, etc.

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