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tal

@tal@kbin.social

Trying a switch to tal@lemmy.today, at least for a while, due to recent kbin.social stability problems and to help spread load.

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tal,
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It might be nice if auto reviewers included a "privacy rating" for a vehicle based OK whether it broadcasts anything via radio (e.g. cell or tire-pressure systems can be used to identify someone). It's not just auto manufacturers, but anyone who wants to set up a radio monitoring network, if there are unique IDs being broadcast.

I don't know how a reviewer could know whether there's a way for a manufacturer to gather logs during maintenance.

tal,
@tal@kbin.social avatar

AGI is not a new term. It’s been in use since the 90s and the concept has been around for much longer.

It's not new today, but it post-dates "AI" and hit the same problem then.

tal,
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VS Code is going to require a newer version of glibc than Ubuntu 18.04 comes with. One does not simply upgrade glibc.

One might have an application-private newer build of glibc and set LD_LIBRARY_PATH to the directory containing it prior to launching VS Code.

tal,
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Text-based-games and MUDs are not the same thing. There's a considerable library of text-based interactive fiction out there.

tal,
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Valve was fined €1.6 million ($1.7 million) for obstructing the sale of certain PC video games outside Europe. However, the company pleaded not guilty.

Wait, outside Europe?

Some countries make it illegal to buy certain video games. If Valve can't geoblock sale of them outside Europe, how are they supposed to conform with both sets of laws?

I remember that the EU didn't want country-specific pricing inside the EU, and had some case over that. That I get, because I can see the EU having an interest in not wanting it creating problems for mobility around the EU. But I hadn't heard about the EU going after vendors for not selling things outside Europe.

tal, (edited )
@tal@kbin.social avatar

But retail law attaches to a location, not to citizenship. Why would the EU be mandating sale of things in other regions? I mean, it's not like the US says "if an American citizen is living in the EU, then vendors operating in the EU must follow American retail law when selling to him".

EDIT: Okay, I went looking for another article.

https://www.gearrice.com/update/steam-cannot-block-the-activation-of-a-game-depending-on-the-country-of-purchase-europe-confirms/

Steam specifies in its terms of use that it is prohibited to use a VPN or equivalent to change your location on the platform. Except that it takes the case of the activation of a game given to you by someone and sent to your account. Following Europe’s decision, this should technically change and it would be possible to change region in Steam directly to buy a game then activate it in France. Valve has not made a comment at this time.

Hmm. Okay, if that is an accurate summary -- and I am not sure that it is -- that seems like the EU is saying "you must be able to use a VPN to buy something anywhere in the world, then activate it in Europe". Yeah, I can definitely see Valve objecting to that, because that'd kill their ability to have one price in the (wealthy) EU and one in (poor) Eritrea, say. Someone in France would just VPN to Eritrea, buy at Eritrean prices, and then use it in France. The ability to have region-specific pricing is significant for digital goods, where almost all the costs are the fixed development costs.

thinks

If that is an accurate representation of the situation, that seems like it'd be pretty problematic for not just Valve, but also other digital vendors, since it'd basically force EU prices to be the same as the lowest prices that they could sell a digital product at in the world. I don't know how one would deal with that. I guess that they could make an EU-based company ("Valve Germany") or something that sells in the EU, and have a separate company that does international sales and does not sell in the EU.

I mean, otherwise a vendor is either going to not be able to offer something in Eritrea (using it as a stand-in for random poor countries), is going to have to sell it at a price that is going to be completely unaffordable to Eritreans, or is going to have to take a huge hit on pricing in the EU.

I'm a little suspicious that this isn't a complete summary of the situation, though; that seems like it'd create too many issues.

EDIT2: Though looking at my linked-to article, it seems to be that the author is saying that that's exactly what the situation is.

tal, (edited )
@tal@kbin.social avatar

The EU is preventing price discrimination within the EU.

They do have that requirement as part of the Digital Markets Act, but I don't believe that that's what the case here is addressing. That is not what the article OP posted or the article I linked to is saying: they are specifically saying that what is at issue is sales outside Europe.

EDIT: I am thinking that maybe the article is just in error. I mean, just from an economic standpoint, the EU doing this would create a major mess for international companies.

EDIT2: Okay, here's an archive.ph link of the original Bloomberg article:

https://archive.ph/JuM0z#selection-4849.212-4863.277

In the contested arrangement with Valve, users were left unable to access some games that were available in other EU nations.

Yeah, so it's just that these "mezha.media" guys mis-summarized the Bloomberg article.

15 Underrated Indie Games (youtu.be)

The AAA gaming space can often lack innovation, so people usually turn to small indie studios for something fresh. Whether it’s for unique gameplay design, beautiful aesthetics or satisfying combat, these 15 overlooked indie games stood out to me. This is my top 15 list of underrated, hidden indie gems for PC that I enjoy more...

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I think that that's a sheep.

EDIT: The top comment on YouTube says "goat mommy is Crimson Acid from Paradise Killer".

Newegg Introduces Graphics Card Trade-In Program (www.techpowerup.com)

Newegg Commerce, Inc., a global e-commerce leader for technology products, today announced the launch of Newegg's GPU Trade-In Program, allowing customers to trade in an eligible GPU device and receive a trade-in value credit toward the purchase of a new qualifying graphics card also known as a graphics processing unit (GPU)....

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Though then you have to screw around with selling on eBay. Worth it for some, not for others.

tal, (edited )
@tal@kbin.social avatar

If you have an Nvidia card, I understand that it's a significant performance improvement.

I mean, I wouldn't do what he's doing myself, but I also don't have a lot of sympathy for people who feel entitled to pirate the mod. Someone can go out and do their own free, open-source mod to do DLSS if they want, or they can just buy his, and Bethesda announced that they were going to put out an update with native DLSS support anyway, so everyone is going to wind up with support at some point anyway at no cost. He's just providing the option to get functionality sooner at some cost.

There are a shit-ton of people who make free mods for Bethesda games, and nobody is gonna complain if people use those for free.

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Development costs now are about 100 times more than they were during the Famicom era, but software prices haven't gone up to that extent," he explained. "

Number of copies sold has gone up a lot.

tal,
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I like the "expansion" model, where there's a series of large DLCs, maybe half or more the size of the original game. A developer makes a game. If it does poorly, that's it, and they don't do expansions. If it does well, they make and sell expansions until sales fall off.

That lets people get more of what they want if it's good, doesn't force all of the money to be put in place up front, but also doesn't constantly shovel ads in your face.

I could hypothetically imagine microtransactions that I like, but in practice, I haven't seen anything that looks either appealing or cost-effective. Frankly, the smaller the value of the item, generally the less cost-effective it seems to be.

The only significant "small" item I'd like to get -- that no developers seem to provide -- is more music in some games. Like, GTA or Fallout: New Vegas radio stations.

I will concede that for people who play MOBAs or similar online games, where a single game is played an enormous amount, and they stare at the same character for ages, that buying cosmetic items for that character might make sense, to keep the visuals from getting too stale. I don't really enjoy that genre, but if I did, I could see that being worthwhile.

The only times I can recall DLC content really being memorable was in the expansion form.

I'm also a little annoyed that Steam doesn't have a way to let one (optionally, on a per-title basis) be notified about new DLC for titles that one owns. I think that that'd help encourage expansions, which otherwise might not get as much attention.

tal,
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Valve’s “fake Windows Linux device that just runs Windows games without paying Microsoft money – how is this not a violation of Windows TOS”

Valve uses a build of WINE called Proton, not Windows. Microsoft's TOS terms apply to Windows. They don't have anything to do with software that's simply able to run the same binaries.

EDIT: Ah, I looked at your comment history, and it appears to just be trolling, so I assume that this wasn't a serious question.

Payday 3's launch is another great advert for not making your game 'always online' (www.rockpapershotgun.com)

You can already guess the third sentence: the servers have been a disaster at launch, with players forced to queue for long periods just to play alone, if they can manage to play at all. It currently sits "Mostly Negative" reviews on Steam - that's 31% positive after almost 19,000 reviews....

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Setting aside the online/offline issue, I think that there's a fair argument that this shouldn't happen for online games either.

If it's not the case already, I'm kind of surprised that there isn't a "server engine", the equivalent of what a game engine is for the client side.

I would guess that an awful lot of what game servers do is reinventing the wheel.

Matchmaking and lobbies aren't a new problem.

tal,
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It is possible to get a USB power station. The Deck can charge at up to 45W.

I wish that power stations acted more like "external batteries" (would automtically be flipped on by devices when their internal batteries get low, will be charged after their internal batteries are charged), but even as things are, they do let one extend battery life on portable devices dramatically.

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It sounds like the issue the regulator had was something specific to cloud game streaming, and Microsoft addressed that.

The CMA had originally blocked the acquisition over cloud gaming concerns, but Microsoft recently restructured the deal to transfer cloud gaming rights for current and new Activision Blizzard games to Ubisoft.

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The Steam Deck is more expensive.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Microsoft-SVP-00001-Xbox-Series-S-Game-Console-512-GB-SSD-AMD-Zen-2-3-6-GHz-10-GDDR6-SDRAM-RDNA-HDMI-1440p-Controller-HDR-Capable-DTS-Dolby-Atmos-Sea/1861650659?from=/search

Series S: $274.95

https://store.steampowered.com/steamdeck

Steam Deck: $359.10

And that's for the low-end Steam Deck. The nicest one is $519.20, almost twice what the Series S runs.

tal, (edited )
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I mean, I would rather have a Steam Deck too, but then we're getting into how much people value openness versus price, and that's definitely not a constant; some people aren't going to care much about openness.

That said, if I were trying to compare Valve's offering and Microsoft's offering, I'd probably compare a desktop PC running Steam to the XBox, as they're more-physically-comparable in terms of what they can do; the Series S doesn't have one having to pay for mobility. If one were comparing to a mobile console, then sure, the Deck is a legit comparison.

I still would say that the XBox Series S is going to be cheaper on the low end, though, than a desktop PC. You can get a $279 PC that can play games and a comparable controller, but I'd bet that it'd be more-limited than a Series S.

That being said, Microsoft sells the XBox at a loss, and then makes it back by jacking up the price of games:

https://www.pcmag.com/news/microsoft-says-xbox-consoles-have-always-been-sold-at-a-loss

As VGC points out, Wright was also asked if there's ever been a profit generated from an Xbox console sale, which she confirmed has never happened. To put that in context, Microsoft has been selling Xbox consoles for nearly 20 years now, including the original Xbox, the Xbox 360, Xbox One, and now the Xbox Series X and Series S. In all that time, every single console sale cost Microsoft money.

The reason game consoles end up being profitable is through a combination of software, service, and accessory sales, but it's still surprising to find Microsoft has never achieved hardware profitability. Analyst Daniel Ahmad confirmed that the PS4 eventually became profitable for Sony and that Nintendo developed the Switch to be profitable quickly, so Microsoft is the odd one out.

We know that consumers weight the up-front price of hardware disproportionately -- that's why you have companies selling cell phones at a loss, locking them to their network, and then making the money back in increased subscription fees. I assume that that's to try to take advantage of that phenomenon.

If you wanted to compare the full price that you pay over the lifetime of the console, one would probably need to account for the increased game price on consoles and how many games someone would buy.

Now, all that being said, I don't have a Series S or a Series X, and I'm not arguing that someone should buy them. I have a Linux PC for gaming precisely because I do value openness, so in terms of which system I'd rather have, you're preaching to the choir. I'm just saying that I don't think that I'd agree with the above statement that the Deck is as cheap as the Series S.

tal,
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I'm a little fuzzy as to why the first-sale doctrine exists for physical goods but not for digital goods. It seems to me that any reasonable economic rationale should affect either both or neither.

tal,
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modular thumbsticks

Hmm.

So is this modular thumbsticks akin to the Microsoft Elite controller, where you can put taller or shorter stems on or different tops?

Or is it like the Thrustmaster eSwap Pro, where you can remove the entire mechanism beneath, and put something else in (like, say, a more-expensive-but-immune-to-drift Hall Effect thumbstick)?

tal,
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What is Microsoft even making money on these days?

googles

https://www.kamilfranek.com/microsoft-revenue-breakdown/

Azure, Office, and (still) Windows, apparently.

Only 8% of revenue is gaming. They sure do went to grow that.

Microsoft documents leak new Bethesda games, including an Oblivion remaster (www.theverge.com)

Remember that these were estimates from more than three years ago and before Microsoft completed its acquisition of ZeniMax in March 2021, so there’s always the chance that some of these plans have changed dramatically or been scrapped entirely. But they may provide an early look at some of the games we can look forward to...

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The Fallout 3 remaster (fiscal year 2024)

If you consider that A Tale of Two Wastelands -- where people forward-ported the Fallout 3 world to the Fallout: New Vegas engine and ruleset -- was successful, that could be pretty solid. I still think I'd forward-port Fallout: New Vegas to the current Bethesda engine before I'd forward-port Fallout 3, though. Fallout: New Vegas was a better game.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallout:_New_Vegas#Tale_of_Two_Wastelands

Tale of Two Wastelands

Tale of Two Wastelands is a total conversion mod for Fallout: New Vegas that merges the entire content of Fallout 3 and its DLC and New Vegas into one game. The mod implements features introduced in New Vegas into Fallout 3, such as the Companion Wheel, crafting recipes, and weapon mods. Players can freely traverse between the two games on a single save file, keeping all of their items and their progression between game worlds.[76][77][78][79]

Also, most Fallout: New Vegas mods worked with Tale of Two Wastelands, which was pretty cool.

tal,
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Heh. Porting Skywind to an Oblivion remaster might make sense.

It'd be interesting to see Tamriel Rebuilt ported to Skywind ported to this Oblivion remaster.

Need some kind of automated migration tools to help.

tal,
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It's not as critical for Bethesda's series, because the stories don't intertwine, but one good reason to update some series is that the games span a really long period of time, to the point where only players who grew up with the series will have played the whole thing. Otherwise, players can only play the later games in a series.

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It’s a major historically cross platform franchise, for one thing.

Also, there aren't a whole lot of game developers that do Bethesda-style games.

I haven't played any Mario games in a long time, and I don't know what they look like after consoles went 3d. But go back some decades, and they were side-scrolling platform games. There were lots of other side-scrolling platformers. The Mario series was a particularly good series, but it had lots of competition.

tal,
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Maybe Valve should take another crack at the console market.

I mean, you can just plug a PC into your television. Flip on Steam's Big Picture Mode. It's pretty similar, just that you don't have to buy your hardware from Valve.

tal,
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Well, there's that The Outer Worlds game that was billed as being kind of like Fallout. I was kind of disappointed with it, because some of what I'd call its weak points were really part of what make Bethesda's games for me. Bethesda has interesting perks that really alter gameplay, and The Outer Worlds has pretty bland perks that slightly bump stats. The Outer Worlds is, strictly-speaking, open-world, but there's no reason to really retrace steps, so it functionally feels a lot more linear. Bethesda focuses on you wandering around the world and just stumbling across interesting things, and The Outer Worlds has little to stumble across other than in cities. Bethesda has interesting weapons that operate significantly-differently, and The Outer Worlds has a few weapon classes that all operate in about the same way, including uniques, aside from several "science weapons".

However, it did get a good Metacritic score, so I expect that there were people who liked it. It was also pretty bug-free. And it is kind of in the same vein, but just didn't have what made me really enjoy Fallout titles.

More-broadly-speaking, I guess that you could call any open-world games a little like Bethesda's stuff. The Grand Theft Auto series, Saboteur, probably the Assassin's Creed series (though I've barely ever played those), the Mafia series.

EDIT: Hmm. Fallout: New Vegas and The Outer Worlds were both done by Obsidian, and Microsoft apparently acquired them as well five years back and rolled them into Xbox Game Studios, so from a standpoint of people on other platforms (well, I'm on Linux, but can run the Windows releases via compatibility software), I can imagine that The Outer Worlds doesn't make things less frustrating, even if one does really like it.

tal,
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Honestly, there are very few games I have seen that don't work on Proton today. You might need to update to the latest experimental or use the GloriousEggroll build of Proton, but I don't even bother checking ProtonDB any more.

I will say that one of the games I really would like to run on Linux, Command: Modern Operations (and its predecessor, Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations) does not run on Proton. But aside from that...

tal,
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Hmm. I'd think that a desktop would probably be most-comparable to a console (well, okay, other than portable consoles).

And the price difference isn't that high these days. It used to be enormous:

Go back to the NES, which came out in 1983:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_Entertainment_System

Introductory price: ¥14,800 (Japan) US$179 (equivalent to $530 in 2022)

Compare to the IBM PC (which, frankly, lacked a lot of game-friendly hardware) and came out in 1981:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Personal_Computer

Introductory price: Starting at US$1,565 (equivalent to $5,040 in 2022)

The Mac came out in 1984:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_128K

Introductory price: US$2,495 (equivalent to US$7,000 in 2022)

The Apple II in 1977:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_II

Introductory price: US$1,298 (equivalent to $6,270 in 2022)

So the NES -- in inflation-adjusted dollars -- cost about what an Xbox Series X or PS5 cost.

But nobody is spending $5k-$7k on a typical desktop today. And certainly not on one with comparable hardware to the existing consoles.

Starfield’s Giant Pile of 20,000 Potatoes, Explained by Game Developers - IGN (www.ign.com)

But we weren’t just impressed at the audacity of someone going through all the trouble of gathering that many potatoes. Digital Foundry’s John Linneman called the clip “mind-blowing” because all of the potatoes “have physics.” But what does it mean for something to “have physics”? Why is everyone fussing so much...

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“Is the engine consolidating potatoes below the surface?” he asks. “Did the player bulk up the pile with sacks or something so they didn't need quite so many potatoes? We need an investigation.”

I don't think so. I could believe that they're consolidating things from a physics standpoint if they have some way of computing that they aren't gonna be individually moving -- that'd be clever -- but I don't see any reason to make that extend to rendering polygons to represent that.

tal,
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I loved my Dualsense too, and then the left stick started drifting so badly, it’s completely unusable now. It’s only about a year old, too

I really think that something changed with a major potentiometer manufacturer in the past few years. I don't recall stick drift on a PS2 controller that I used for many years, but I've seen it on a number of controllers from different vendors recently.

Only thing I can think of other than recent hardware problems is that maybe the controller hardware imposed a certain amount of deadzone at one point in time and stopped doing so in newer gamepads, and that masked the drift.

tal,
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I would guess that any platform-exclusive game is going to have some level of that, just because you've got fans of Platform A and fans of Platform B. And Starfield was purchased by Microsoft specifically to have an X-Box (well, and PC) exclusive, so...

Go back to the 1980s, and it was "Mario sucks" or "Sonic sucks".

I play games almost entirely on the PC, so the Starfield acquisition (as well as the other recent acquisitions by Microsoft or Sony or whoever that have been driving the antitrust concerns) haven't really been on my radar, but if I had a popular game coming out on my platform and then someone paid to ensure that I didn't get it, I'd be kind of irked.

I did use a Mac, many years back, and I remember being annoyed when Bungie -- then a major game developer for the Macintosh, in an era when the Mac wasn't getting a lot of games -- was purchased by Microsoft in 2000. Halo did come out for the Mac, but Halo 2 didn't, and I imagine that a lot of people who were on the Mac then were probably pretty unhappy about that.

By Microsoft's standards, Starfield is a giant leap backwards for accessibility (www.eurogamer.net)

I'm enjoying Starfield so far, but when we're talking about having the right tools, the biggest problem a lot of players will face comes down to the limited accessibility settings the game comes with. This was a worry for the accessibility community during the buildup to Starfield's arrival, as gameplay trailers, interviews with...

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From the off, I discovered that Starfield has unintuitive UI, with menus that are cluttered yet lacking in useful information and detail. For example, when you pick up loot or a new weapon, item details don’t appear automatically, so to make an informed choice as to whether to keep what you've just found, you have to head into your inventory menu to check the details there. Traversing menus is a huge part of Starfield, from managing inventory and ammo types, through fast travelling, to reading your quest log. However it’s often frustrating to navigate and understand.

That may be a legit UI criticism, but I don't see how it's an accessibility issue.

For example, if you remap the buttons for shooting, aiming, throwing grenades or scanning to face buttons, players cannot then rely on having simultaneous control of the reticle to accurately direct the trajectory of those actions. For many gamers moving their right thumb back and forth between aiming with the right stick and then pressing a face button is fatiguing, especially in an FPS. Actions such as sprinting and melee are accessed by stick clicks, which are impossible buttons for many disabled gamers to press. There are so many actions to map though, therefore you’re always going to have actions that aren’t easily accessible and need to be mapped to stick clicks anyway.

I mean, okay, but I don't see how this is a step backwards. Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 do the same thing.

As for "especially in an FPS", I'm not sure that there are many (any?) games in the genre that act differently. checks Halo seems to do the same "left stick push to sprint, right stick push to melee".

I don't know whether Starfield supports controllers with additional buttons beyond the standard XBox controller buttons. That might be an option for some. But I don't think that what it's doing is particularly unusual.

The biggest issue with the controls is the constant use of the D-pad. During fast-paced gunfights, it’s quite challenging to quickly swap weapons without dying, and this stops many players from switching between the vast plethora of laser, ballistic and energy weapons available to use. You’re able to swap weapons through the pause menu, but this isn’t the ideal solution as it breaks immersion.

I mean, okay, but having the pause menu seems like it's better than what most shooters provide. I mean, I don't play a lot of console shooters, but I don't believe that many have a different way of switching weapons.

checks

Yeah, Halo uses the D-pad too. Maybe you can remap it, but then, you could remap it on Starfield too.

I mean, I can believe that there are accessibility issues, but I don't understand how the ones he raised are them.

The only point that I really agree on is that VATS, present in the 3D Fallout games, probably was a solid way of helping people who had trouble aiming aim, and Starfield not having it could legitimately prevent some people from being able to play it who could play the Fallout series.

I'm also kind of surprised that given that they did a whole article on accessibility, they didn't mention colorblind accessibility. That's a very common form of disability, and it's something that game designers can legitimately normally work around. It doesn't look like Starfield has colorblind accessibility options (though it's possible that some of the UI was intrinsically designed to be more-friendly to the colorblind).

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A number of comparisons were to Halo, which is a Microsoft game.

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For example, did you know if you sleep with a companion, you get an XP boost?

I mean, you did in Fallout 4.

https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/Lover%27s_Embrace_(Fallout_4)

And in Skyrim:

https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Lover%27s_Comfort

It's not a massive boost, though.

Factorio meets Teardown in new building game your GPU will fear (Abriss) (www.pcgamesn.com)

You take the brutalist, mechanical efficiency of Factorio, combine it with the glorious destruction of Teardown, and add maybe a hint of comedy and catastrophic glee from Kerbal Space Program, and you get Abriss, an amazing new building game just launched on Steam. With high levels of detail, individually modelled bricks,...

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I mean, that's not the game publisher who made the claim, but the article author.

Starfield FOV and Optimization Mods Are Already Out on Nexus (wccftech.com)

As most PC gamers will have noticed right away when launching the game, there is no Starfield FOV (Field of View) slider in the game's settings. This is unfortunate since the default setting appears to be 75, which is lower than preferable, especially for those who experience motion sickness when playing in first-person view....

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I suspect that you can change it, but only in the INI file directly; that's been the case in past Bethesda games.

https://steamcommunity.com/app/377160/discussions/0/364040166679749039/

Or with a mod.

Critics are mostly positive on Starfield, but not unanimous: From 10/10s to 'cold, lifeless, and uninspired' (www.pcgamer.com)

Starfield is here, and after dozens of hours floating in space our reviewer Chris Livingston liked it—but didn't love it. "Starfield is Bethesda's biggest RPG ever, and it shares even more DNA with Skyrim and Fallout 4 than I expected—but it ultimately falls far short of the greatness of both of those games," he wrote in his...

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That means there are still more reviews to come—but with 97 reviews already collected on OpenCritic, there's already a wide spread of reactions,

Now I'm kind of curious. I wonder what a typical spread is.

Be interesting for "meta review" sites to give a standard deviation of scores. Maybe normalize the score for each review source first.

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Ehhh. I think it would be doable. I'm not saying that it would be worthwhile, but I don't think that it would be technically not doable.

From an engine standpoint, they already had an open world for exteriors. Doing the same thing in 3d should be viable.

Separate interiors just lets you devote more memory to an interior because it doesn't need to compete with the exterior. It's an optimization, reduces resource consumption so that you can use that elsewhere.

People have gone back and modded Skyrim to make the closed cities open, and have kind of the same issue:

Open Cities Skyrim should not produce a significant change in your frame rates and performance. Due to the liberal use of occlusion planes in the mod, the game will not render anything on the opposite side of the city walls in any given location. So your viewing content will be limited to roughly what you'd see if you were in the closed city worldspaces. The closed city worldspace system was NOT devised by Bethesda to improve frame rates. It was devised to conserve system memory on the XBox 360 and PS3. You're playing on a PC.

If you are either (a) willing to reduce interior complexity/quality or (b) aren't resource-constrained because you're willing to have fat system requirements, you can avoid loading interiors separately.

As to Bethesda's ability to rip out the guts and change things...from a purely-technical standpoint, going from Fallout 4 -- a single-player game on an engine with a lot of legacy weight -- to Fallout 76 -- a multiplayer game -- was a pretty drastic technical change. I would not have wanted to be the one to do that. Decisions about single-player/multi-player permeate internals all over the place.

By comparison, what would they need to technically do to fly to a planet? Having support for some kind of better lazy loading/preloading stuff. I mean, a planet is gonna have to have a texture. Create a billboard for any structures you put on the surface, and then progressively load them as you zoom in. I dunno if the engine does dynamic level-of-detail stuff in the Z plane today (I think yes? When you're on some of the elevated structures in Fallout 4, I think I recall models way down on the ground being lower-detail), but even if not, I doubt that adding that would be that hard.

I think that a better question would be...how much would it add? I mean, there's an immersion factor, but is doing reentries honestly that much fun?

I've liked open-world space trading games, so I was pretty hopeful when I played Elite: Dangerous, but I wound up kind of disappointed. It's pretty, and maybe if you have a VR rig, it's a good example of something that can create an immersive experience around you. But a lot of elements of the game seem to be aimed more at creating a visual experience than there because they're really great for gameplay. Which for me, at least, was neat at first from a novelty standpoint, but kinda didn't buy me much in the long run.

I mean, I assume that most of the interesting stuff going on is probably gonna be on the ground. I guess you could create some kind of reentry game (flying around storms or something?) but I'm not sure how fantastic of a concept it'd be. My question would be more "what would it buy the player in terms of gameplay to have another few minutes spent doing reentry per planet?"

I'd be more interested in how the character/trait system compares to earlier Bethesda games, how the combat mechanics work, how the dialog with other characters works (a sore point for many in Fallout 4), the kinda meat-and-potatoes Bethesda stuff. Bethesda's had configurable "houses" in Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, and while I felt that there was potential there, I never really felt like the game really took advantage of it; I'm curious how the customizable spaceship plays into this. How well do the new procedural elements work with the static stuff? How readily-modded is the game?

tal,
@tal@kbin.social avatar

The first few companions of Constellation I met were disappointing, too: a pleasant man, a pleasant woman, and another pleasant man. They were all extremely nice and agreeable, but that's not really what I'm looking for in a follower. Where were the weirdos Bethesda is so good at creating? Where were Starfield's versions of Nick Valentine, or Cicero, or Curie? Even Vasco the robot is kind of a bore—wait, didn't Bethesda used to be great at making entertaining robots?

Actually, this was a complaint I had about Fallout 4 -- that a large percentage of the NPCs seemed unhinged in one way or another. Nothing wrong with that to a limited degree, but Fallout 76 had more people who were just living their lives, and acted more like I'd expect ordinary people just put in difficult situations to act.

As the hours pass, travel starts to feel somehow both too fast (I clicked a location on the map and now I'm already standing on it?) and too slow (do I really have to watch the same docking cutscene every single time I visit a space station?).

I'll give decent odds that they're using that to cover up loading of the interior.

tal, (edited )
@tal@kbin.social avatar

I mean, Danse may be weird, but he's not insane. I'm talking about characters who have a completely bizarre view of the world.

I'm talking about stuff like Codsworth retreating into his inner world at the start of the game, Pickman the serial killer and blood artist, Lorenzo Cabot being driven insane by the mysterious serum, Tinker Tom being a paranoid conspiracy theorist, Captain Ironsides trying to fight China with the USS Constitution, Kyle shooting his brother, the Mechanist, or Kent Connolly with the Silver Shroud obsession. The characters in Dunwich Borers. Hugo. Kasumi Nanako thinking that she's a synth. Malcom the cannibal. Theodore Croup.

Fallout 1, say, had some pretty unusual characters, but it didn't use insanity to the extent that Fallout 4 did.

tal,
@tal@kbin.social avatar

And I get your meaning here,

Yeah, and reading over my original comment, I can see where you are coming from, because I was just responding to a snippet about characters being unusual, not insane, and was kind of going off on a tangent. Not everyone who is weird is insane.

It's just specifically the insane bit that has bugged me.

Hancock is unusual, a kind of hardcore anarchist/libertarian. But he's not what I'd call insane.

Father has a worldview that has driven him to do some pretty extreme things, but he's not nuts; you can see how, from his position, what he's doing is a reasonable approach.

It's the characters where they just don't act the way that a regular person would, to the point that they'd probably be unable to function in the present-day world, much less in a post-apocalyptic one.

And while I agree that adding quirks can make a character more memorable, I don't think that making memorable characters it requires mucking with their head.

Abernathy Farm has a collection of pretty "ordinary" characters in Fallout 4, but I think that they're reasonably memorable; they have a personal tragedy and some grievances.

Whereas the Children of Atom have a lot of people who have a pretty bizarre worldview, yet most of them just blur into each other for me, aside from a few characters who stand out for other reasons.

Not Fallout 4, but in Fallout: New Vegas, I think that Veronica Santangelo was a pretty interesting character, but she was maybe one of the most "normal" people in her Brotherhood of Steel bunker.

Jake Finch running off to become a raider with the Forged at Saugus Ironworks is a storyline that I have no problem remembering, but he wasn't insane -- just an ordinary person in a pretty brutal environment.

Billy in Kid in a Fridge, where a kid gets trapped in a fridge at the time of the war, ghoulified, and then you take him back to his parents who were also ghoulified and happy to see him. Everyone there was sane, just in a weird situation.

tal,
@tal@kbin.social avatar

I was gonna say that it matters on laptops, and I don't know if I'd say that most people playing games are doing so on the desktop, but the actual quote is more reasonable than the title:

In notebooks, it matters greatly. In desktop, however, it matters, but not to everyone.

tal,
@tal@kbin.social avatar

I've seen people experimenting with using insulated flex duct out of a PC case exhaust out a window.

I would imagine that one could hypothetically have an intake, a case that seals well, and just have one of those window vent panels and route outside air in, through the PC, and then back outside.

tal,
@tal@kbin.social avatar

I'm not so much of a hardware person though

I'm sure that someone's done an emulator.

googles

https://arcem.sourceforge.net/

tal,
@tal@kbin.social avatar

Whether you call a slice of potato that's been battered and deep-fried a potato cake, scallop, or fritter can start fights.

Huh.

If a scallop is a fried slice of potato in Australia, I wonder what the shellfish called a "scallop" in the US is called in Australia?

tal,
@tal@kbin.social avatar

The US doesn't normally permit trials in absentia.

Apparently this is not a universal norm, and some EU member states do. Apparently, based on this article, Russia does as well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_in_absentia

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