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Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: June 04, 2021, 06:33:46 am »
So, after all these years... What is, in fact, the question you've been asked the most in interviews?

General Discussion / Re: roguelike games
« on: March 28, 2021, 06:09:10 pm »
Been playing some more Noita and... it's such a weird game. It's combining genres in odd ways. Like, it's a Falling Sand game, mixed with a roguelike a la DCSS... mixed with Worms, of all things? DCSS and Falling Sand is a great mix, makes it much more immersive than pretty much any other roguelike I have ever played. Worms and Falling Sand is also a great mix, things get silly and out of hand very easy. But Worms and DCSS are just... fundamentally opposed.

There's two ways to play the game. The first one is a straight action roguelike that takes maybe 2-3 hours per run, with a fair amount of chaos from the way the physics, the wand/spell crafting, and the "perks" combine with each other. You will likely end up killing yourself all on your own, and that's ok. I recommend just playing the Daily Practice Run (after you've tried the default mode a few times), which starts you deeper in the mountain. You will skipp the first one or two biomes, which are kind of repetitive.

Then there's the "long run" approach, in which you spend 2-3 hours "farming" the main path until you become a minor god, then you "sequence break" and go explore a world that is ridiculously large compared to the default areas, with secrets laying on secrets everywhere. The exploration is genuinely fun and inventive, forcing you to exploit the perks and spellcrafting to its limits, and rewarding the observing player. The problem is that the reward for exploration is death way too frequently. You will often unlock spells and perks (for that run and all future ones) that will kill you if you don't know ahead of time what to expect. Or you will find monsters with "cheap" skills that will kill you out of nowhere. Bam, you just lost a ten hour run. Want to explore some more? Gotta grind for a few hours before you can try again. You can check the wiki ahead of time to make sure you avoid the most common pitfalls, but that just kills the desire to explore.

Anyway, I currently have a love/hate relationship with this game.

General Discussion / Re: roguelike games
« on: March 11, 2021, 08:54:24 pm »
There is a thread specifically about Hades. Hades is great, although itís a rogue-lite more than a roguelike, with heavy focus on the story. If you enjoy Dead Cells, you will likely enjoy Hades too. I think it is overall the better game, but itís definitely easier and less wacky.

General Discussion / Re: roguelike games
« on: March 11, 2021, 04:18:31 pm »
I have tried a couple of roguelikes lately, so it is time to bring this thread back!

The first one is Dead Cells. I thought they oversell the "metroidvania" part of the game. You unlock the mobility abilities relatively fast, they persist across runs, and for the most part none of them change the way you approach combat, which is the main draw of the game.

The combat itself is pretty good though, and the variety of weapons with their movesets, combos, and critical conditions is remarkable. While some are just slight variations on one another (e.g. slightly slower but stronger weapon, or changing the critical condition from attacking enemies with this or that status effect), some drastically change the way you approach combat (e.g. a sword that teleports you to the other side of the enemy you attack, or sandals that deal massive damage when you push enemies against a wall, and that's before looking into ranged weapons or skills). It really puts other ARPGs to shame in that department. An interesting thing it does is that the game drops weapons with higher stats as the run goes on, so you have to choose whether you would rather keep the weapon you already have, whose moveset you might prefer or that comboes with the rest of your equipment, or the new stronger weapon.

I am not a huge fan of the artstyle, but that might be because I am playing on the Swith in handheld mode. The artstyle is just not very clear, which is bad in a game that is balanced around the player never getting hit. They try to fix that by putting a giant exclamation mark on top of enemies right before they attack, but it's not an ideal solution either.

A couple more interesting things they do is that you have a lot of control over which biomes you visit on your way to the final boss. You can even choose the bosses you fight on your way there, although they are tied to the biomes you visit. That means you can avoid areas when your gear just isn't adapted to the enemies there. This is not something modern roguelikes do very often, it changes the way you approach the game. On the other hand, you unlock new equipment for future runs as drops from specific enemies, so you are still encouraged to visit all biomes regularly.

Another interesting concept is that the game rewards you for clearing areas quickly. This works great to give players an incentive not to comb every inch of every level, so the game keeps running at a brisk pace... or would, if it weren't because the rewards for combing every level are stat increases which boost your damage exponentially with each one you find, while the reward for clearing levels quickly is equipment which will likely be obsolete by the time you reach the final boss. It's a shame they didn't commit to the concept a bit more fully.

Has anyone tried Noita yet? It sounds interesting, I can't justify buying it yet but it's on my radar.

Tried Noita. It's... interesting. It's the least roguelike-feeling roguelike I have ever tried. I think they came up with the systems first, and the gameloop after. As I said in my earlier comment, the spell-crafting is fundamentally broken, so the only way to keep the player "honest" is by killing them often, so they are forced to make-do with new spells.

The reason why I say it feels un-roguelike is because of how... unfair (?) it feels. Stuff will kill you from the edge of the screen, explosives are sometimes hard to tell from the background, and there is a general chaotic energy to the whole proceedings that makes it so that your death is not always really your fault. You will rarely get one-shot (except for some moments where the devs are clearly trolling you), but situations in which you lose 30-50% of your health without much you can do about it are frequent. Especially when you are going straight down into unknown territory - your horizontal mobility is pretty bad, so it is hard to dodge enemies shooting at you from below. Or maybe I am just bad, I don't know.

That being said, trying to make OP spells is fun, the spell variety is astonishing, and there is a genuine sense of exploration to the game that I haven't seen in any other roguelike. I would recommend going in as blind as possible for that reason, although some mechanics are not explained very well, if at all. I just wish it took less time in every run to reach the point where you start having enough spell components and good enough wands to really start spellcrafting. The first 3 biomes or so, in which your spell options are rather limited, are fairly repetitive, and it makes experimenting with the many spells that come with "side effects" a much less appealing proposition when you're risking losing an hour or more of progress from some unexpectedly lethal combination of effects.

Other Games / Re: In defense of Monopoly
« on: March 08, 2021, 04:56:40 pm »
Yup. Could even say 12pm forum time.

What time zone is that? I have everything set to local time right now.

I believe it is EST? At time of writing this, forum says it's 4:56pm.

Other Games / Re: In defense of Monopoly
« on: March 07, 2021, 03:22:42 pm »
Yup. Could even say 12pm forum time.

Other Games / Re: In defense of Monopoly
« on: March 07, 2021, 10:30:27 am »
Someone rename this thread:  "The Necro Wars".  Then everyone immediately shut up and let the games begin.  See you in 2 years.

I shall reclaim my title.

*marks March 7th 2018 on Google Calendar*

pacovf, you joked about doing it.

I actually did.

Man, imagine if I had actually noted it down on my calendar, then missed posting on the thread long enough that someone else managed to ninja me. That would be stupid.

...see you March 7th, 2021.

Nothing I could say today would change the meaning (if there is any) of this post. So I will say nothing.

General Discussion / Re: Maths thread.
« on: February 23, 2021, 08:15:32 pm »
What I was trying to convey (and, I believe, what Cuzz tried to convey earlier) is exactly the same as what ConMan said. We are discussing notation only, not what the statements refer to. I did not have to look up anything, I was describing common usage in which "f(x)" is often used in the place of "f" because it can be useful to do so (as you have done yourself in some of your posts and ConMan demonstrated in his). Math is written by humans for humans [citation needed], abuses of notation are bound to happen even in the most rigorous of proofs as long as the meaning remains clear in context.

I did point out that I did not know if the common usage had been formalized, because it is important to distinguish between proper notation and shorthand for when shorthand becomes ambiguous. One example of shorthand that ended up formalized is the Einstein summation convention. It seems you have encountered a shorthand you're not used to, and are naturally confused. But the meaning in the examples you gave is absolutely clear from context.

General Discussion / Re: Maths thread.
« on: February 23, 2021, 05:04:36 pm »
I donít like ďthe graph of f(x)Ē either, but in most cases itís clear what they mean. Itís the same as when someone says ďthe graph of x^2Ē, for example, which is also iffy notation but saves a lot of words / formulas.

I find the other example you bring up much more clear cut though. While ideally we would write f=O(g), the truth is that very often g ends up being something like x^2 or n*ln(n) or whatever. I find it nicer to write f(x) = O(x^2) than f = O(x^2), although in both cases the intent of the writer is completely clear. Specifying the variable is even better when you have functions of two or more variables, as Cuzz brought up earlier.

Ultimately, when enough people use a given shorthand, then you just end up having to learn it. This is not the worst case of notation abuse by a long shot. However, I would expect the writer to become more rigorous for contexts in which the distinction between the function and its output is not obvious, such as if you have functions of functions or whatnot.

General Discussion / Re: Maths thread.
« on: February 23, 2021, 01:07:04 pm »
Well, if you want to be super rigorous with notation, then f(x) = x^2-25 is not a function definition either, itís an equation for variable x, which you might be able to solve if f was defined earlier. The notation for defining functions is different (and clunkier). f(x) for f is a frequent abuse of notation where it avoids more cumbersome notation, although it is true that it is used unnecessarily in some cases.

Itís been a while since Iíve had to do super formal maths, but maybe part of the confusion comes from thinking that ďxĒ necessarily refers to some specific number/object. Thatís only sometimes true, for example in a set of equations. Maybe the concept of ďdependent variableĒ, as Cuzz puts it, is the right term when ďxĒ is not meant to represent a specific object, but rather to let you speak about rules that convert other from a given category. I do not know how formalised that notation approach is, but in effect is what people do in most of the cases youíre complaining about.

Other Games / Re: Celeste
« on: January 31, 2021, 06:19:21 pm »
Ah yes, the well-known adage that al games are made better with a hookshot. Hence why I expect great things from Silksong too.

Other Games / Re: Hades
« on: December 22, 2020, 06:56:48 pm »
Kinda hard to talk about the game without spoiling things. Half the fun is discovering the plot, and the new mechanics that keep being revealed surprisingly far into the game.

The only thing I was disappointed by was that it was so good during the "main game", my expectations for the post-credits content was similarly sky-high, but then it was just more of a slow drip. Which would have actually been pretty good if I had played some more after credits just for the fun of it, discovering the few things still hidden as cool small additions.

Other Games / Re: Hollow Knight
« on: December 08, 2020, 02:59:35 pm »
I started the Path of Pain and though it wasn't too bad. Then I got to one specific corridor and now I'm on my 286th death.

Were you just keeping track of this? That would be so demoralizing to me.

Other Games / Re: New Paper Mario announced!
« on: October 28, 2020, 01:24:05 pm »
Got it and played through it. Overall I think it has some really strong points (mainly humour, charm, boss battles), but it is dragged down by a combat system that gets old halfway through Chapter 1.

The "sad" part is that the battle system would have been enjoyable if it was a bit less puzzle-like and a bit more RPG-like. The fun part of boss battles is that you're trying to figure out a way through the battle space that maximises damage to the boss, minimises damage to you (for some fights), and sets up the next turn. Because you're not certain you can do all, you have to choose what is more important, and there's a risk-reward aspect in how much time you want to spend looking for an optimal solution risking that the time runs out and you end up doing nothing at all. It's great, and I wouldn't mind seeing something similar in other games in a more mature form. By comparison, regular battles *always" have a perfect solution, and they are balanced around that. Missing the solution doesn't just mean you can't clear the battle (meaning you will be taking damage, and a hefty amount at that), but also reduces the damage you deal and the money you get at the end of the battle! If it was balanced around the idea that you're not expected to perfect-clear every encounter, because there isn't always a solution, you would reproduce some of what makes the boss battles fun.

Sort of related to the battle issue, it would have been nice if the accessory system was deeper, a la TTYD. How about choosing between an accessory that gives you extra ring moves, or another one that reduces damage from enemies in the farther rings? Or between an accessory that stuns foes that are moved 2 or more times, or another one that increases the damage of your attacks depending on how much time you had left? There's a world of possibilities there, and experimenting with accessory combinations would have helped keep battles fresh throughout the game. Not to mention they would have been a great reward for exploration, which is essentially non-existent in Origami King (the game is very linear and has essentially no sidequests). I mean, I enjoyed finding Toads more than I though I would, but the only gameplay rewards for exploration are consumables and a handful of HP up upgrades.

There are other comparatively minor things I could complain about, like the lack of interesting puzzles (mostly due to Mario's very limited moveset; only one chapter even attemps to have good puzzles, although even there the game is quick to point out the solutions), fixing Not-Bottomless Holes being pure busywork, Olivia not being a great choice for main companion, or the hamstrung structure of most chapters (compared to the wacky variety in TTYD or SPM). Chapter 1 in particular was so boring I was tempted to abandon the game altogether; luckily it picks up towards the end and stays engaging after that point.

Anyway, I am sounding very negative, but that's only because the bad parts (mostly the battle system) really hurt what would have otherwise been an amazing game. 

General Discussion / Re: A joke thread
« on: July 26, 2020, 08:23:47 pm »

Other Games / Re: New Paper Mario announced!
« on: July 23, 2020, 08:46:58 pm »
I would like to play it, but the reviews imply that the combat system is a bit hit-or-miss. I'm also very busy at the moment, so not much of a choice either way... Would be happy to hear any opinions on the game though, let me live vicariously through you :p.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: White and PoC cards
« on: July 10, 2020, 09:06:17 am »
This is quite a bit more open to interpretation than male/female. I am definitely not going through all card art to check, but off the top of my head, Margrave is clearly Asian to me, Harem has both white and PoC, Spice Merchant is at least as ambiguous as Lookout (but you've said White for the first, PoC for the second). I guess you did this kind of quickly as a springboard for discussion. I doubt that even after a careful second pass, the conclusion will change much.

Other Games / Re: New Paper Mario announced!
« on: May 16, 2020, 04:59:35 pm »
Iím excited, and cautiously optimistic. I loved TTYD, and enjoyed SPM, although I didnít 100% either. I hear mostly bad things about the two that came afterwards. Reddit seems mostly concerned about this one not being an RPG either (something about Mario and Luigi taking over that niche in Nintendoís mind), which would hurt because it removes XP as one of the key motivations for fighting enemies. However, the snippets of world and story we saw look promising!

And of course, my usual concern of me only thinking that TTYD is great because I played it when I was much younger, then magnified by nostalgia. In which case this would never be able to measure up against that idealized version of TTYD.

Other Games / Re: Hollow Knight
« on: April 24, 2020, 04:41:50 am »
The seer says "None of us can live forever, and so we ask those who survive to remember us. Hold something in your mind and it lives on with you, but forget it and you seal it away forever. That is the only death that matters. [pause] Huh, so they say!"

And just before vanishing, she says "Don't remember us, Wielder. Don't honour us. We do not deserve it... Aahh... I'm sorry... Light... Radiance... I... remember you."

I took this to mean that, while the Radiance infected the dreams of Hallownest's bugs because she was mad about being forgotten, the reason why she was still alive in the first place was because she was never completely forgotten. Because of the seer. I would have taken the first statement as metaphorical, but the way her last words were phrased, I tend to give it more weight.

Other Games / Re: Hollow Knight
« on: April 23, 2020, 11:15:03 pm »
I think that it was mainly the fact that the Radiance was the god of the Moth tribe.  The moths probably still worshiped the Radiance and not the Pale King, which he didn't like.

I think, more than not liking it, it's more about their/her worship giving power to the Radiance? I sort of understood it as her saying that if the Moth tribe had truly forgotten the Radiance, she would have disappeared completely.

Other Games / Re: Hollow Knight
« on: April 23, 2020, 04:07:43 pm »
So after two years, I bought it on the switch and played through it again because of the quarantine. Took a lot less time to complete the game the second time around (25h to do *everything* except godhome and the successive levels of Grey Prince and White defender). Then it took me 13h to complete the first 4 pantheons (no bindings though). The Hall of Gods allow bosses to be harder than in normal gameplay, since you can instantly retry bosses without the bench run. Itís kinda surprising that bosses that used to feel almost impossible to me (NKG, Watcher Knights, Failed Champion...) now feel trivial.

I still donít think I will do the pantheon of Hallownest, just because of how much of a time commitment it is. Especially if I do bound runs of the other pantheons first...

Dominion General Discussion / Re: RIP IRL
« on: April 16, 2020, 01:31:38 pm »
Unless you have an experiment in which the Many Worlds interpretation offers different results from the others, that interpretation is as good or bad as any other. In practice, the results of observing a quantum system are random (with the exception of entanglement and so on).

General Discussion / Re: Maths thread.
« on: April 11, 2020, 01:08:27 pm »
Thatís how I understand it as well.

Other Games / Re: Outer Wilds
« on: April 05, 2020, 04:12:16 pm »
It`s on PS4, XBox, and PC (Epic Store now, but can wait until June if you want it on Steam). The game recommends you use a gamepad, but it should be playable with mouse and keyboard just fine, some things will even be easier. The main thing the controller is good for is travelling around in 0g, but the basic autopilot and "match velocities" buttons cover 95% of your space-faring needs.

Other Games / Outer Wilds
« on: April 05, 2020, 01:21:50 pm »
Iíve just finished this game, and itís sincerely one of the best games Iíve ever played. Itís a game about exploring a toy-sized solar system, discovering the ruins of a long lost ancient race, and a series of mysteries that reveal the close relationship between them and the many strange phenomena happening all over the place.

Itís hard to talk about this game and how good it is without giving anything away, but because the whole point is the exploration and discovery, any ďspoilerĒ I give will take something from your enjoyment of it. The gameplay is unlike anything Iíve played before. The closest might be the Myst games, if you had a focus on exploration instead of obtuse puzzles, but with a similar feel and atmosphere, although more lighthearted and funny. Itís also not a hard game by any means, with a tremendously useful spaceship log that records your discoveries: you always have access to all the info youíve collected, and it also points you in a few directions that might be worthwhile to explore. But just pointing to a random astral body, landing, and walking for a bit will uncover something, the game is dense with content. And information is the only thing you need: there are no unlocks of any kind, and you could technically finish the game within 20 minutes if you knew how to (and in fact you will). The planets and moons are themselves very imaginative even before you find any ruins, and make for unforgettable vistas.

If youíre looking for a unique ~15h experience during these trying times, I canít recommend this game enough. Itís beautiful and clever, and will leave you thinking about it for a while. Itís also cheap for the quality youíre getting. There are a couple snags in a couple puzzles that involve waiting (the ďtime skipĒ feature is a bit clunky), and one or two locations that involve manoeuvring that is a bit more precise than what the controls allow, but those are literally the only complaints I have for a game that would otherwise be perfect.

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