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Reply 3940 of 4152, by newtmonkey

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Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory
This is probably the worst game I've ever spent time with, outside of clearly broken stuff. It is barely an RPG, and instead is just an ultra-linear, annoying, real-time squad shooter with no strategy or tactics.

The game constantly wastes your time. Dialog goes on and on and gives you the illusion of choice, but 99% of the options have no effect whatsoever. The game tells you that disobeying a superior is an act of treason, but you can back-talk superiors all day and nothing happens. The game is a PC-only release, but dialog is tediously displayed one sentence at a time (as though it were a console game meant to be played on a living room TV), and the game actually slowly types the text on the screen; in effect, you need to click twice on every single sentence to advance dialog.

The game has no manual saving, and instead autosaves every time you sleep in between missions. If you fail a mission, you have to reload from this point, which means you need to walk slowly over to the computer to get your mission (and double-click through every sentence), walk slowly to a vending machine to get your mission loadout, walk slowly over to R&D to get whatever gadget that want you to test (and double-click through every sentence), walk slowly over to the tram to head to the mission area, and then redistribute consumables between team members since the game will just load a single member with all the healing items. If you fail again (certainly possible thanks to severe path-finding issues), you need to do all of that all over again, plus of course redo whatever parts of the mission you did before dying.

You can instead choose to generate a new clone, but you only have a limited supply of these and can't rely too much on them.

I got to mission 4 and could not take it anymore. Four missions of walking through boring corridors shooting either robots or people in boring real-time combat. It's a dungeon crawler.

Ember
I dunno if it's just because I'm playing this after Paranoia, but I'm liking this tablet to PC port. It's an RPG with real-time combat, with some decent exploration. It's not amazing, but it's competent.

Reply 3941 of 4152, by DosFreak

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DosFreak wrote on 2022-03-12, 17:44:
Make sure you aren't judging graphics requirements based on using fullscreen. Switched from fullscreen to borderless on my 1080t […]
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badmojo wrote on 2022-03-12, 09:41:
newtmonkey wrote on 2022-03-11, 03:49:

Elden Ring

This looks great and I'm looking forward to it. My daughter's been loving it - she nor I usually persists with difficult combat which is why I've never bothered with the Souls games, but it's a lot of fun apparently. I'll need to wait for the price of graphics cards to come down before I try it though.

Make sure you aren't judging graphics requirements based on using fullscreen. Switched from fullscreen to borderless on my 1080ti and gained 30fps. Think I remember reading somewhere where the devs weren't going to bother fixing fullscreen which is hilarious since that's what the game defaulted on for me. Now I'm playing at 50+fps at 3840x1600. Had to use Elden Ring FPS Unlocker to get ultrawide resolutions as well. Sigh, the laziness of console devs never ceases.

What annoys me about this game is I'm never going to remember if I cleared a place or not. Since I'm too weak I'm running around with the horse discovering locations, I guess when I'm strong enough I'll go back and slowly go through and get everything.

Oh Golberg Steam Emu works fine with this game if you don't like the Steam requirement. 😀

Going back now to each area, finding everything and marking areas where I'm too weak. Have a feeling I'll still be too weak when I finally do this to the last area as well and I'll probably be expected to grind which I'll never do so thinking may be cheating time then.

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Reply 3942 of 4152, by Tetrium

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-02-12, 06:46:
I definitively agree that 128 MB RAM wasn't common in 1998. But I don't think 64 MB was too far fetched for someone who bought a […]
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leileilol wrote on 2022-02-10, 19:59:

Same happens for RAM too. Loads of "128mb common in 1998" out there when the real common number's 32mb (sometimes with a marketing-pushed 64mb upgrade later into 1999-2000) - and that's at least for the US! Sometimes this possible 'proof' would be an ad/review for a Falcon Northwest system no one could buy (and also often had SCSI drives).

I definitively agree that 128 MB RAM wasn't common in 1998. But I don't think 64 MB was too far fetched for someone who bought a new PC at the time. Here's an ad for some Alienware computers from Computer Gaming World #170 (page 287) published in September of 1998.

cgw_170.jpg

The most affordable PC from that ad (1899 USD) had 64 MB RAM while their absolute high-end machine (3699USD) had 128 MB.

Joakim wrote on 2022-02-12, 06:56:

64 Mbyte was a lot from what I can remember, 128 was extreme and 256 was absolutely absurd.

Hehe that high end machine was soon to be obsolete with the dual voodoo 2 s in comparison to a GeForce 256. Well spent money! 😀

I got my first ever PC in januari 1999, mere weeks before the release of katmai.
I bought it at a then popular PC store in The Netherlands called Mycom. They had basically 3 options for RAM. 32MB, 64MB and 128MB and I took the 128MB option.
Rest of the hardware was Deschutes 350MHz, ASUS P2B (rev 1.10 but it did support Coppermine), Soundblaster 128 PCI and Diamond Viper v550 (TNT1 16MB AGP). And a Quantum Fireball 6.4GB HDD.

128MB was probably not very common, but it was definitely available back then. And online I've seen people with even more RAM back then (I still remember one player on MPlayer who had a whopping ±400MB of RAM back when I was playing Total Annihilation online, which was an absurd amount back then!).

Last edited by Stiletto on 2022-03-26, 22:41. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 3943 of 4152, by leileilol

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A lot of those ram-loaded OEM P2 PCs skimp on the graphics too. Going into 1999-2000 more of them just started to vaguely refer to their bits rather than who makes it or what exactly it is (or even if it's AGP or PCI), and that vagueness carried into spec sheets on Cnet etc.

and if you were building PCs then as well as being into games, there were also a lot of big important games coming out around this time as well, so that RAM budget would be allocated to those. 😀

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Reply 3944 of 4152, by TheMobRules

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DosFreak wrote on 2022-03-26, 01:00:

Going back now to each area, finding everything and marking areas where I'm too weak. Have a feeling I'll still be too weak when I finally do this to the last area as well and I'll probably be expected to grind which I'll never do so thinking may be cheating time then.

One very important thing is that weapon upgrades are way more important than stats when it comes to weapon damage. So it's usually better to prioritize survivability and pump lots of points into vigor and endurance first, with just the basic STR/DEX/whatever requirements for the weapons you want to use, as long as you keep upgrading them. Stat scaling won't be of much help with low level weapons and without enough vigor you'll be a glass cannon near the end of the game.

Also damage type is really important, for example for enemies that seem to be "hardened" or made of rock you really want some kind of weapon that can inflict blunt/strike damage such as a mace or hammer. I kept wondering why my fully upgraded longsword did little more than chip damage to the gargoyles until I tried a morning star (enhanced with magic grease) and wrecked them in just a few hits. So even if your main weapon does slash damage it's always worth it to keep a backup for blunt damage. Many enemies are also really susceptible to different status effects, bleed seems to be very effective on humanoids and other "fleshy" things for example. Frost is very useful too, once it procs it will take a good chunk of the enemy's HP and they will keep taking increased damage while frostbitten.

Reply 3945 of 4152, by badmojo

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DosFreak wrote on 2022-03-26, 01:00:

Going back now to each area, finding everything and marking areas where I'm too weak. Have a feeling I'll still be too weak when I finally do this to the last area as well and I'll probably be expected to grind which I'll never do so thinking may be cheating time then.

I picked up Elden Ring today and had a preliminary play around. Intro stuff was nice, a strong Lord of the Rings vibe which is fine by me. I'm playing on PC but using a controller and that seems to be OK but modern controllers are new to me and I find them confusing at the best of times, but all of the various attack instructions had me totally overwhelmed - I fear I'll never learn it all and the combat, of course, is quite difficult. I was also in a rage about all of those freaking messages and ghosts that kept popping up all over - these are generated by actual other humans via the interwebs I'm told and that is a deal breaker for me. There was an option to turn that shit off though fortunately.

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Reply 3946 of 4152, by newtmonkey

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badmojo wrote on 2022-03-26, 10:29:

I picked up Elden Ring today and had a preliminary play around. Intro stuff was nice, a strong Lord of the Rings vibe which is fine by me. I'm playing on PC but using a controller and that seems to be OK but modern controllers are new to me and I find them confusing at the best of times, but all of the various attack instructions had me totally overwhelmed - I fear I'll never learn it all and the combat, of course, is quite difficult. I was also in a rage about all of those freaking messages and ghosts that kept popping up all over - these are generated by actual other humans via the interwebs I'm told and that is a deal breaker for me. There was an option to turn that shit off though fortunately.

I could see it being very overwhelming if you haven't played the Dark Souls game, but in essence the controls are pretty simple:

B: Roll
R1: Attack
L1: Shield
dpad: use whatever item is assigned to each direction, shown on the bottom left

That is all you need to use for most battles if you are playing as a melee type character. There are other types of attacks, etc., but you might as well ignore all that until you get the basics down.

General tips:
- Learn to roll toward enemies rather than back or to the side, you can roll through most attacks
- It's a good idea to always keep your shield up when exploring; on that note, it's worth looking into how you can get a 100% physical defense shield ASAP, if your class doesn't start with one
- You don't have to fight every enemy, especially in the open world
- The game pushes you in the direction of a boss that would probably be VERY difficult to fight early on. Just know that you can can explore all over the world and get a bunch of stuff done, before you have to actually beat him. (There is even an alternate path around to explore the world beyond him)

Reply 3947 of 4152, by bjwil1991

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Playing Donkey Kong 64 yet again. Doing some stress test with a new stick since the original one in the controller stopped working after I cleaned it.

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Reply 3948 of 4152, by Tetrium

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bjwil1991 wrote on 2022-03-26, 14:32:

Playing Donkey Kong 64 yet again. Doing some stress test with a new stick since the original one in the controller stopped working after I cleaned it.

You reckon the memory module could have gone defective due to ESD damage?

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Reply 3949 of 4152, by newtmonkey

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Ember
I'm about eight hours into this. It's a really basic, easy RPG, but it's good enough that I've become somewhat addicted. It's clearly heavily inspired by Ultima VII (down to the inventory system, though the inventory is MUCH better here), and you even play as a sort of Avatar-esque demigod. You can save anywhere, and can rest for 8 hours anytime outside of combat to full HP/SP, so you are really never in any danger. But you know what? I'm fine with it, not every RPG needs to be difficult.

The exploration is pretty good. The game shows you where you need to go for the main quest, but you're free to explore the somewhat open world to find cool stuff. The maps are pretty large, and if you just follow the main story you'd probably miss out on half of the content in the game. It reminds me a lot of Ultima VII here, how in that game you could just walk off the roads into the woods and come upon an abandoned shack or whatever.

Combat is realtime-with-pause, but it's pretty simple. You have a three-person party, and combat runs pretty much automatically (like Ultima VII, again). You can move the characters around, tell them who to attack, and use special abilities, so it's a bit better than the combat in U7, but no where near something like Baldur's Gate or Pillars of Eternity. It works fine though.

The story is not really that interesting, but the writing is okay. It was originally a mobile/tablet game, but the PC port is pretty good. It's got the modern conveniences you'd expect, like in-game maps, a quest journal, etc., so it's pretty effortless to play. We'll see how it holds up later on, but so far I think it's a pretty good choice if you want to play something breezy in between more complicated RPGs.

Last edited by newtmonkey on 2022-03-28, 13:48. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 3950 of 4152, by badmojo

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newtmonkey wrote on 2022-03-26, 12:04:
General tips: - Learn to roll toward enemies rather than back or to the side, you can roll through most attacks - It's a good id […]
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General tips:
- Learn to roll toward enemies rather than back or to the side, you can roll through most attacks
- It's a good idea to always keep your shield up when exploring; on that note, it's worth looking into how you can get a 100% physical defense shield ASAP, if your class doesn't start with one
- You don't have to fight every enemy, especially in the open world
- The game pushes you in the direction of a boss that would probably be VERY difficult to fight early on. Just know that you can can explore all over the world and get a bunch of stuff done, before you have to actually beat him. (There is even an alternate path around to explore the world beyond him)

This is good stuff thankyou, I had another play tonight with a more open mind and it's an exceptional world, great voice acting, etc. The re-spawn thing doesn't bother me too much and there's certainly never a dull moment when wandering around. The controls are very nice too - very responsive and well animated.

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Reply 3951 of 4152, by newtmonkey

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badmojo wrote on 2022-03-28, 10:56:

This is good stuff thankyou, I had another play tonight with a more open mind and it's an exceptional world, great voice acting, etc. The re-spawn thing doesn't bother me too much and there's certainly never a dull moment when wandering around. The controls are very nice too - very responsive and well animated.

No problem! I hope it helps you enjoy the game.

The difficulty of these games gets a lot hype, but they are actually quite fair. For example, even if you die, everything you've accomplished is retained (items you've picked up, switches/doors you've unlocked, etc.). A viable tactic is some cases is to make death runs into difficult areas to grab items, since you'll hold onto them even if you're killed.

The Rune loss upon death seems like a big penalty, but you end up earning so many runes later on and from bosses, that it's not a big deal.

Reply 3952 of 4152, by newtmonkey

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Ember (PC)

I ended up finishing this tonight.

Ember is a decent RPG that excels in exploration, has somewhat enjoyable combat, and a story/world that ends up being pretty interesting toward the end.

Ember has a pretty large world including several towns and one massive city. Although the main quest is extremely linear, the game is full of optional quests and content to find; some side quests are shown on the map with a question mark, while other quests require traveling off the well-beaten path to explore on your own. Although the side quests never go much beyond your typical fetch quests, they can be enjoyable to seek out and follow.

Combat is alright. It's all in real-time, but you can pause at any time, and can also set the game to automatically pause at certain times (low HP, etc.). It feels like a mix between Baldur's Gate and World of Warcraft, but there really isn't much to it; keep healing, and keep doing damage. You can customize your equipment with runes, which give you special attacks/spells to use in battle, and finding good combinations of runes that work well together is where most of the strategy lies here.

The story isn't anything great, but it's written well and there were a few interesting characters here and there. The game takes place in your typical fantasy world, with elves, dwarves, etc., but there are some nice twists. The biggest twist to the world is that all technology and magic runs on elements called "embers," and it turns out that these embers are actually living things on the verge of extinction. That's where you come in, as a sort of demigod-like character brought back from the dead to save the world (you are a bit like the Avatar in the Ultima series, actually).

The game is not very difficult on normal, but there are some tough boss fights toward the end of the game. You'll never get stuck in an unwinnable position, as you can always redistribute your ability points, and the game has a crafting system that allows you to inexpensively create very helpful potions. If you hate crafting (I'm not a fan), you can pretty much ignore it completely, as you find more than enough equipment and items just through exploration and following the main quest.

I did mostly everything I could find, but didn't explore all of the outdoors maps completely. Overall, I enjoyed the 20 hours or so it took to complete the game, and would recommend it as a breezy diversion between more complicated games.

Reply 3953 of 4152, by DosFreak

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Whenvever I see Ember I think of the books and tv show The Magicians. Worth watching if you like a darker Harry Potter.

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Reply 3954 of 4152, by newtmonkey

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DosFreak wrote on 2022-03-29, 20:22:

Whenvever I see Ember I think of the books and tv show The Magicians. Worth watching if you like a darker Harry Potter.

I looked it up, and it does somehow look similar. Must be the lighting!

Reply 3955 of 4152, by newtmonkey

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Baldur's Gate
Playing through Ember put me in the mood for more (better) real-time w/pause combat, so it's back to BG!
I had put BG aside because I was getting frustrated with the Cloakwood area, what with all the spiders and wyverns... but actually, it turns out that I was one screen over from the end of that chapter! The mines were not bad, but the boss there was pretty annoying/tough; he teleports around the room rapidly, and if you give him a chance, he'll start running through a bunch of powerful spells (fireball, lightning bolt) that will be one-hit kills for weaker party members. He also once summoned what seemed like a dozen enemies at once, filling the entire room. Anyway, the solution was to split everyone up, move my boots of speed to my fighter, and slap a potion of resist magic (or whatever it's called), and just have that one character race around the room following the guy, getting hits in whenever possible.

I also started experimenting with backstabbing with my thief for the first time. Much easier to do here than in Pool of Radiance, that's for sure. I wonder if a fighter/thief would be as powerful here, as it is in some of the higher level Gold Box games.

That got me through Chapter 4, and now it's (finally) time to explore Baldur's Gate. I definitely plan on completing this game (for the first time) this year, and am already thinking of replaying it in the near future-maybe with the Enhanced Edition (just to compare), and probably will play the game "as it was meant to be played" with making only a single character and then seeking out the "canon" companions.

Reply 3956 of 4152, by badmojo

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I skeptically downloaded and tried out this DOOM ray tracing mod for prboom yesterday and instantly fell in love with it. I was going to post a screenshot but there's really no point - it's the real-time lighting that makes it amazing so a picture doesn't give you any sense of it. It's the most fun I've had with DOOM for years - I've already finished episode 1. I just followed the install instructions on the github page, including DLSS and the high-quality FLAC music suggestions, and it worked like a charm. My only complaint is that the damage feedback isn't working yet but I assume that will come.

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Reply 3957 of 4152, by dr_st

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badmojo wrote on 2022-04-03, 06:00:

Looks stunning, although I am not sure I wouldn't get a seizure from all these fast light and shadow bounces.

The comment in the video - "The first three episodes of Doom (1993) are available" - suggests that custom support is needed for every map? That would be difficult to scale; however from the resources under ovrd\mat, it seems that it is done on a per-texture, not per-map basis, which means that once the ktx2 files are computed for all the textures in a WAD, it will just work with any map using only those textures? That should be good enough.

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Reply 3958 of 4152, by badmojo

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dr_st wrote on 2022-04-03, 07:27:

The comment in the video - "The first three episodes of Doom (1993) are available" - suggests that custom support is needed for every map?

Yes I'm not sure about that side of it - I just chucked my Ultimate DOOM WAD in and it all seems to work fine, including Thy Flesh Consumed. I also tried DOOM 2's WAD because you never know your luck, but that threw an error.

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Reply 3959 of 4152, by appiah4

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I kind of feel iffy about it; the way RT is implemented in this reminds me of the early DX8 games where excessive bump mapping and lens flares made everything look like shit..

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