@KoboldCoterie@pawb.social
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KoboldCoterie

@KoboldCoterie@pawb.social

Kobolds with a keyboard.

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KoboldCoterie,
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I consistently get far more hours of playtime per dollar spent with indie games I buy for $5-$15 than $60 AAA games. (I say $60, not $70, because I haven’t bought anything at $70, and don’t intend to start.)

If they want to charge $70 for games, maybe release them in a complete state and don’t include microtransactions and offer post-launch support for a decent period of time. Their ‘Video games haven’t changed price since the 90s! The price isn’t keeping up with inflation!’ argument is a crock of shit because in the 90s, you bought a game and that was that. There’d maybe be a $40 expansion a year later that roughly doubled the content in the game. There were no $60 games with $150+ of day 1 DLC.

KoboldCoterie,
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I have a difficult time with this announcement from Capcom specifically, because the only AAA games I’ve consistently gotten 300-1000+ hours from have been Monster Hunter games, and I really don’t want the enshitification to claim MHWilds. If it releases at $70 and without excessive microtransactions, I’ll have a really hard time not buying it at that price. On the other hand, if they do have those microtransactions and a $70 price tag, I’ll probably just ignore it, as much as I’ll hate doing so.

KoboldCoterie,
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Hours per dollar isn’t a great metric for all sorts of reasons

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, because I’ve been using that metric for many years to gauge how much I’ll spend on a game. If I’m only going to spend 20 hours on it, I’ll spend $20 or less. Part of that comes from the sort of games I play, but if I spent $60 on a game and finished it in 20 hours (‘Finished’ as in done playing the game, including whatever post-story content or multiplayer is engaging), I’d feel pretty bad about that purchase.

KoboldCoterie,
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Part of it, I think, comes down to the sort of games I typically play… if I’m buying a AAA action game, it’s something something like Sekiro, and I’ll absolutely expect to get my hours : dollars value out of it. (Incidentally, I played Sekiro for 62 hours after buying it for ~$48, so that one worked out fine.)

And to be clear, I’m not here for useless padding, either. If I lose interest before reaching the end of a game, it doesn’t matter if there was 60 hours of content there - I’ll judge it against however much time I spent before getting bored and uninstalling it. I’m also not against short games… I often prefer short games, but I also won’t pay $60 for them; I’ll check the estimated playtime and wait for an appropriate sale. I’m absolutely not advocating for every game to be 60 hours long.

There’ve definitely been games that I didn’t get my 1 hour / $1 from, and were still happy to have played… Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons comes to mind. I paid $15 IIRC and it’s over in 3 hours, but that stuck with me for a really long time. That’s my equivalent to going to see a movie (which I also do incredibly infrequently); it’s a “waste” from a purely monetary perspective but sometimes that’s okay, and I’m willing to splurge. I’ve seen 5 movies in a theater in >10 years, for the record. I would not consider it a good use of money, generally speaking.)

KoboldCoterie,
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Halo is a great example, actually, because even though Halo 1 is a relatively short game (I guess normal by FPS standards but in general it does not take long to beat, even on a first playthrough), I got way more than 60 hours of playtime out of it. Easily hundreds. A game doesn’t have to have a long storyline or whatever to offer a lot of play time. Sometimes having replayability, post-game achievements that are fun to work towards, or compelling multiplayer, for example, is all it takes.

KoboldCoterie,
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I strongly suspect that we just prefer different sorts of games. I wouldn’t expect 1 hour per $1 from a modern AAA FPS, but I also wouldn’t buy them anyway for the most part, so that doesn’t really affect my purchasing habits at all (nor would I factor into their cost analysis as a result). All of the FPS games I’ve bought lately have been $10-$15 “boomer shooters”.

KoboldCoterie,
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Anything upcoming that you’re particularly excited about?

KoboldCoterie,
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Really dependent on which mythology’s dragon you become. That aside, being a dragon in modern day would probably be very hazardous. Better hope you’re a small enough dragon to not cause much property damage while figuring out your new body, and to stay mostly undetected, because otherwise you’re likely to end up dead, or in captivity somewhere in fairly short order.

KoboldCoterie,
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Maybe they’re all secretly traps. You can’t change back from being a dragon; if you choose flight, you just start floating upwards and can’t come down; you’re not immune to your own poison breath; courage just makes you incredibly over-confident in your own abilities…

KoboldCoterie,
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It’s pronounced ‘concussy’ and I’ll die on this hill.

KoboldCoterie,
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This isn’t a competitive game, so it’s not pay-to-win

Yeah, that’s not how that works. If you’re paying for an advantage in performance over players who are not paying, it is pay to win. “Winning” is not a term exclusively reserved for PvP.

The article also doesn’t address the presence of nProtect, which is still in place, and is one of the most cited reasons for negative reviews on Steam.

KoboldCoterie,
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Yeah, I was super psyched about Helldivers 2 but those two items combined with the ridiculous number of crashes on release was enough to make it a hard pass.

KoboldCoterie,
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Palworld even goes a step further by making it pretty undeniably clear that you are in fact mind controlling them, given you can capture humans and make them work for you just like Pals do. They can be violently opposing you one moment, and turning their guns on their friends to defend you the next.

It’s not like Pokemon is all perfume and roses, either, though. The game puts a nice veneer on it, and the player operates on the pretense that they’re cooperating with pokemon and forming bonds with them (through mechanics like Pokemon Amie and the camp scenes and whatnot), but then you’ve got things like the historical war where humans used pokemon to fight actual life-and-death battles, and the whole thing with Slowpoke tails being delicacies, and some suspicious foods in a world where all of the animals are pokemon…

Really, I appreciate Palworld’s approach a lot. If we’re going to be committing acts of animal cruelty and functional slavery, I’d at least rather the whole thing isn’t whitewashed, and at least the Pals in Palworld are fighting actual life-and-death fights, not the equivalent of a world-endorsed dog-fighting ring where we’re making animals near kill each other on the regular just for entertainment and sport.

KoboldCoterie,
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Maybe the sweet spot would be somewhere in between. I think Palworld is a step in the direction I’d prefer, at least, but based on some of the internet discourse around this topic it’s clear that that doesn’t apply to everyone. I think if they actually spent some time giving us a bit more exposition about the whole situation it’d be a little more palatable. If they ever implement PvP (which is on their roadmap), it’d be neat to be able to align with or perhaps join the NPC factions, or apply their ethos to player-made guilds, and be able to play as the equivalent of the Free Pal Alliance or the Syndicate. Or, alternately, some alternative to Pal Spheres… imagine for instance if there was a real alternative to capturing Pals, and if someone wanted to take the moral high ground they could actually avoid the things they find objectionable, while still playing the game.

It’d be the Pokemon equivalent of being able to play a character who was opposed to the Pokemon League as a whole and aimed to dismantle the whole system, rather than participate in it, which I’d find compelling.

KoboldCoterie,
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You either end up with amorphous meaningless blobs (see Mickey Mouse or Sonic, who have been in so many settings that they are practically meaningless today)

Or Mario, who goes from battling the giant turtle that kidnapped his crush to going go-carting or playing sports and board games with him on a title to title basis.

KoboldCoterie,
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I loved Sonic SatAM. Totally had a crush on Sally Acorn when I was a kid, and almost nobody even remembers who she was, now. It had some surprisingly heavy themes for a kids’ show.

I think the juxtaposition of the kids’ show (or game) aesthetic against the more adult themes is fun; I wish more games would do that. Undertale did a great job with it, for example.

KoboldCoterie,
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That’s neat, I’ll give it a look! Haven’t read any printed Pokemon media.

KoboldCoterie,
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What made it so neat, though, is that that twist isn’t something that’s directly shown to you, but rather a dawning realization that you experience at some point during the game, and which every player will have at a different time.

KoboldCoterie,
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Elon should be first in line to demonstrate how safe and side effect free this technology is!

KoboldCoterie,
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For what it’s worth, if you customize the difficulty of your game (which you can do at any point, including after reaching the 40s), you can change most things, including resource drop rates and how much effort it takes to mine them, xp rates, Pal encounter rates, capture rates, etc.

I had a similar experience as you; by the time I hit 42 or so, I had the capture power maxed out, and most eggs were not giving me anything interesting, and I had the whole map revealed, so exploring had lost its luster and I was not enjoying the thought of grinding out another 6-8 levels to start being able to tackle some of the harder challenges in the game; I set the XP rate to x4, and doubled the resource rates, and it pretty much solved the problem for me.

Obviously if you’re playing on a server this isn’t an option, but if it’s just your own single player game, consider trying it; you might find some settings that smooth it out for you.

KoboldCoterie,
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There is a fairly nice base location near the center of the map that has ~6 coal and ~6 ore nodes, and is on a plateau making it functionally immune to NPC raids. I found it completely accidentally; there’s the 3 wildlife sanctuaries around the outside of the map and they all face inward at different angles, so I was trying to triangulate where they were “pointing” to see if it was leading somewhere. Turns out it was leading to a sweet base location.

This is noteworthy because there’s 4 resources (ore, coal, sulfur and quartz), so you need a base with access to 2 of them if you want to have all 4 generating passively.

KoboldCoterie,
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For anyone not aware:

When we blew in Nintendo cartridges, we weren’t cleaning dust off of them that was causing the problem; we were spitting in them just enough for worn down connectors to work a little longer. Not intentionally, obviously, but that was the end result, and why it worked.

KoboldCoterie,
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This one feels a lot riskier to me. Palworld works because so many people are fed up with Pokemon games having gotten progressively lazier for years. I don’t think anyone’s fed up with Hollow Knight, and Silksong is (theoretically) still coming at some point soon. If this doesn’t play and feel every bit as good as Hollow Knight, it’ll just be a bargain bin knockoff.

KoboldCoterie,
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Palworld really didn’t do anything revolutionary.

What they did was, whether intentionally or accidentally, capitalize on dissatisfaction with the stagnation of a genre. If Pokemon Legends: Arceus had been the Pokemon + Breath of the Wild game a lot of folks hoped it would be, Game Freak could have capitalized on that instead, but it wasn’t, they didn’t, and here we are. Palworld also had the force of an internet meme marketing the game for them, which IMO was a huge factor in its success.

KoboldCoterie,
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There’s a lot of monster collecting RPG games out there, and I will say that recently there’ve been a few more original ideas, but by and large they’ve mostly just followed the Pokemon formula, because it was “safe”.

Just a few that come to mind immediately, but there are lots. Not that they’re all Pokemon clones, but go watch a few trailers and you’ll see very Pokemon-style battle systems, monster capturing systems, and general presentation present in some degree each of them.

Palworld isn’t really part of that genre, but it takes the key parts of it and does something which is original, even if the component parts are not, and that’s really what the we’ve been asking for and not getting for quite some time.

KoboldCoterie,
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In that context, “Semi” means half as in once every half sexual, or twice per sexual. See: Semi-annually, for an actual example of this.

KoboldCoterie,
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As things stand, the ROG Ally is one of the best handheld gaming PCs, the Steam Deck aside, particularly if you are after a portable powerhouse that is rocking Windows 11

Literally no one is looking for that. Some people might think they are, but they are misinformed.

KoboldCoterie,
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Yep, the functional sleep is the singular feature that makes the Steam Deck stand out, in my opinion. Not that it isn’t a nice piece of hardware otherwise, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not unique in any other respect. The fact that you can use it like you would a Switch or something is the thing that sets it apart, and none of these upstart competitors seem to understand that.

KoboldCoterie,
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Palworld is basically what I wanted Pokemon Legends: Arceus to be (minus the guns, obviously). The game has issues, which I mostly chalk up to early access woes, but it’s a great case study in how to do an open world creature collector game.

KoboldCoterie,
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“We were in development hell for over a decade – Chex Quest actually started off as an English port of this little known Japanese Famicom game Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, but the technology for sentient chex men just wasn’t there at the time so the license ended up going to Nintendo,” commented the developer.

Imagine if Super Mario Bros. 2 in the US had actually been released as a Chex-themed game. How history might have been changed.

KoboldCoterie,
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The problem with this sort of thing is that, for some reason, AI-generated conversation just feels hollow compared to human-written conversation. It’s a weird thing, because I honestly can’t really articulate why that is, but hearing an NPC talk about some event as written by a human has a heightened feeling of importance compared to hearing an AI-generated text about that same event. Maybe it’s because when it’s human-written, we subconsciously know that someone cared enough to spend the time to write it specifically, so it must be important in some way.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out when it’s actually implemented in real games. If the AI NPCs were given specific plot points that they were supposed to hit to move the story along, how do they prevent situations where the AI just never gets to it, or where it doesn’t have the feeling of importance and the player just glazes over it? If it’s just used for random NPCs whose dialog isn’t really important to the narrative, how do they avoid it just becoming background noise that we don’t pay attention to or care about?

KoboldCoterie,
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I definitely never said they shouldn’t use it, just that it’ll be interesting to see how they address the problems with it. Like it or not, I think we’re likely to see AI in a lot of games in the coming years, with some good and some hilariously bad implementations.

More than dialog, I’m interested to see how generative AI could be used in other facets of game design. Think for instance of a horror game that intelligently analyzes your reactions and uses that to zero in on the things that really scare you, then generates more of that.

KoboldCoterie,
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I hate to say it because I hate YouTube, too, but they’re getting pretty close to being as good at hosting streaming as Twitch is. The fact that full-length streams can just be saved straight to the user’s YouTube channel, with chat and everything else intact, is a pretty rad feature.

KoboldCoterie,
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It’s only really a problem when you can’t buy the exact amount of points you need to make a purchase (which granted is most of the time). There’s legitimate reasons for using a “points” middle-man, though - for example, in a game where you can earn premium currency while playing, but also buy it; if you were making purchases directly, rather than buying the points you need, you wouldn’t be able to buy something using both earned and purchased currency; it’d be all or nothing.

This is definitely a very small minority, though, and 99 times out of 100, I agree with you, it’s a scam.

KoboldCoterie,
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What if I want to buy something that costs 1000 points, which equates to $10, and I have 300 points in-game? I want to use those 300 points, but I want to cover the rest with $7 of real money. If they only list two costs - $10 or 1000 points - I can’t do that, but if they let me buy 700 points for $7, I can do it.

KoboldCoterie,
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In my opinion, the fact that so many of these competing devices run windows just ruins them out of the gate. The fact that you can cleanly suspend and resume games on the Deck is its best feature by a mile, and I’ve yet to see any windows-based device manage to even come close to doing that reliably.

KoboldCoterie,
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Seriously, 27 hours from when it first happened to report it to users? Especially when most of that intervening time was spent recovering things? That’s stellar. We’re lucky to hear about corporate breaches in 6 months.

KoboldCoterie,
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Might as well be titled “List of AAA games I played in 2023”.

KoboldCoterie,
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I prefer playing characters as little like me as possible. If there’s a non-human option, I will always take it. The further from human available. Weird alien race? That’s my jam.

If I have to be a human, I’ll often play a female character because it’s the furthest from ‘me’ I can get within those constraints. I’ll also usually play a character of a race I am not, for this same reason.

KoboldCoterie,
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If they’re interpretting ‘roguelite’ as single-session games with meta-progression between runs, then VS qualifies. I wouldn’t have called it a roguelite personally, but I can at least see where they got it from.

KoboldCoterie,
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Noita is just fantastic. It’s mind-blowing to realize for the first time just how expansive the game is. Like, a new player can definitely “win” the game without even seeing 95% of it, or knowing it’s there. It’s not until you get curious and brave and start exploring off the “easy” path that the sheer scope of it is apparent. (This was absolutely my experience.)

KoboldCoterie,
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Latest update even makes it playable fully with a controller very nicely. I’ve been enjoying it on the Steam Deck. It’s surprising how well it works, considering the complexity of the game and its controls. (It was playable with a controller before that update, but they massively re-worked the default control scheme to be much better and more efficient.)

KoboldCoterie,
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I’m unclear if you’re familiar with the Marathon IP, and just discovered the new game they’re making, or if you’re just discovering Marathon as a whole, but if it’s the latter, you might be interested to find out that there were 3 games in the Marathon series already, released back in the 90s, around the same time as Doom / Doom 2, and they were incredible, as one of if not the first FPS with a heavy focus on storyline over just run and gun shooting. What’s more, you can play them for free, through this open-source engine that runs the original map files, and has been endorsed by the game’s original creators.

KoboldCoterie,
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Based on what we know of the new game (which isn’t much), it appears to be a sequel of sorts that takes place well after the events of the original games, as far as storyline or theming goes, but the gameplay looks like it’ll be quite different.

KoboldCoterie,
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Honestly I’d just love to see a modern re-imagining of the original trilogy. Same story, same basic level structure, just give us a modern 3D engine and some alterations to make the ship generally feel larger and to follow modern design philosophies.

KoboldCoterie,
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Still takes like 20 headshots to down someone.

I think this is largely dependent on build and weapon. I’ve been playing a stealth / throwing character and throwing knives kill almost anyone with a single headshot, as do revolvers. If I try to use an assault rifle, though, I can empty a clip into someone’s face and they’re still standing.

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