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Reply 2900 of 3002, by clueless1

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newtmonkey wrote on 2021-04-09, 02:19:
clueless1 wrote on 2021-04-07, 23:46:

Kingdom Come Deliverance

I'm a little over 12 hours in and I feel like I'm just at the beginning still...

Thanks for posting your impressions. I'll have to give this another shot. I love the focus on historical realism, but the on-rails intro really soured me on it. I've heard that it opens up a lot once you get through the introduction, but also read that the introduction is VERY long.

It took me about 10 hours to get to this point. I was really not happy with escaping Skalitz on a horse. In general, the horse controls are rough. Normally when walking, the mouse controls direction facing and movement. On a horse, it just swivels your head around. You can only move the horse with WASD. The tricky part is LSHIFT is for galloping and double LSHIFT is for fast gallop. Once you're galloping, you lose your pinky's ability to steer left. I've been managing this by slowing to a trot briefly when I have to steer the horse left. There's probably a better way (like using ring finger for A) but there's not enough horseback riding yet that I've felt like I needed to improve the mechanics.

Also, there have already been a couple of time-based quests that force you out of free exploration. Well, you *could* fail the quest and still explore, but I don't like that option. 😉 But there are big sections where free exploration is fine. The Quest Log is really thorough and fun to read through. The Codex is so massive, you could spend several hours reading through it if you wanted to. This game has WAY more positives than negatives for my playing style so far. Really having fun with it. Currently almost 17 hours in and about 30% done with the game. At least based on main quests completed out of total main quests. That would put the total gameplay at about 55-60 hours.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
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Reply 2901 of 3002, by newtmonkey

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clueless1 wrote on 2021-04-10, 14:48:

It took me about 10 hours to get to this point...

Yikes! I was expecting the intro to be a few hours long, 10 hours is a bit much for me. I'll put it on the backburner for now, to revisit during a slow work period.

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Realms of Antiquity (PC)
I was able to spend another hour playing this Friday night and am still really enjoying it. I've leveled everyone up twice, but haven't yet found a trainer to spend my skill points. Combat is still fine (definitely better than, say, any Ultima other than possibly Ultima V). I just got through exploring an underground crypt full of zombies and skeletons, and the skeletons were definitely resistant against slashing weapons; I had to take them down mostly with a mix of attack spells, my rogue (who has a blackjack in one hand), and the rare critical hit from my other characters (who have only slashing weapons). I'll probably invest in secondary bashing weapons for my party for any future undead encounters.

If I have any complaint about this one, it's that it seems very linear to start out—to the point where the map seems artificial and sort of takes me out of the game. Lots of straight pathways on the map leading from one location to the next, with impassable mountain ranges on either side. So far, it's been the worrying pattern of 1) arrive at town and learn about a quest, 2) go in the only direction available to the quest location, 3) solve the quest and go to the next town, 4) repeat. If not for the lack of "boss" encounters, it would feel a lot like playing a 16-bit console RPG. I understand based on reading other's impressions that the game opens up shortly, however.

Another minor complaint is how spells are handled. Each spellbook you find has certain spells written in it, and in order to case those spells you need to equip the spellbook. There's no way to examine a spellbook to see what it contains (outside of equipping it), so you have to either remember it yourself or takes notes. That also means that you need to hang onto multiple spellbooks to maintain access to all the spells. It's already become annoying with only four spellbooks, so I'm worried about the nightmare it could become halfway through the game when you potentially have a dozen different spellbooks to juggle.

[EDIT] With regard to linearity, I was wrong. I actually had missed a cave in a mountain range that provides access to another area of the world map, which definitely opens things up even early into the game.

Last edited by newtmonkey on 2021-04-12, 07:45. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2903 of 3002, by clueless1

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newtmonkey wrote on 2021-04-11, 07:55:
clueless1 wrote on 2021-04-10, 14:48:

It took me about 10 hours to get to this point...

Yikes! I was expecting the intro to be a few hours long, 10 hours is a bit much for me. I'll put it on the backburner for now, to revisit during a slow work period.

To be fair, maybe it was somewhere between 5-10 hrs. I'm a pretty slow and deliberate gamer. There are numerous cutscenes to watch through that flesh out the plot and there are opportunities for exploration that can significantly increase that time.

Speaking of which, the scenery and world design are incredible! I find myself going on lengthy detours exploring the woods. IRL I love hiking through woods and the woods are so well designed in this game, with just enough interesting discoveries to make, that it's hard to stay on the plotline. Just this morning, I was getting ready to go find a charcoal burner's camp (a main quest) when I noticed a question mark on my map with "unexplored location" pop up. It wasn't too far out of the way, and in the end, it was an herbalist in the middle of a wooded area with amazingly realistic trails leading in different directions that I just HAD to explore. I found some mushrooms and shot a hare with my bow and grilled them all on the charcoal burner's campfire. I slept in an unoccupied bed around the campfire, woke up, had leftover grilled hare and mushrooms for breakfast, and am now going to locate the second charcoal burner's camp. I did come across a funny glitch in the game. While hunting hares in the charcoal burner's camp, one of the hares ran into the stream and continued running at full speed underwater for several seconds. Must be a rare Bohemian Aquatic Hare.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
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Reply 2904 of 3002, by RandomStranger

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I went through the whole KDC in 106 hours and I don't think the prologue took me 5 hours even by losing all my money on dice poker and harvesting all the weeds in Skalitz to sell them and have money to buy the charcoal and whatever else.

Anyway. Currently I'm replaying KOTOR 1. I'm about 14 hours in, light side (though I chose my name to be Lord Revan. It makes some mildly funny dialogues), on Dantooine, just about to enter the starmap dungeon.

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Reply 2905 of 3002, by appiah4

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antrad wrote on 2021-04-10, 01:43:

Playing Heart Of Darkness from 1998. What an incredible surprise. I wouldn't even know about it if I wasn't browsing through abandonware few years ago.

That is an Eric Chahi game right?

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 2907 of 3002, by kolderman

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Finished a game I started in 2003 and only restarted this year - Need For Speed Underground. Finished almost every map on Medium, except the drift tracks (which I suck at), and a couple of circuits and drags. Still think it holds up well today as one of the great racing games.

Reply 2908 of 3002, by RandomStranger

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kolderman wrote on 2021-04-14, 09:49:

Finished a game I started in 2003 and only restarted this year - Need For Speed Underground. Finished almost every map on Medium, except the drift tracks (which I suck at), and a couple of circuits and drags. Still think it holds up well today as one of the great racing games.

It was recently that I also gave it a shot. Until now I never played the game on a PC on which the frame rate could go above the high 30s. It's insane how differently it controls at 80+ fps. As shameful as it is, I could barely handle a stock Eclipse in the first quick race I played.

Edit: Also that made me realize that a lot of game that are considered difficult while I always thought of as easy was because my frame rate was right in that window where the controls don't suffer much, but gives me more reaction time as if I was playing them in some pseudo slow motion mode.

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Reply 2909 of 3002, by kolderman

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RandomStranger wrote on 2021-04-14, 09:56:
kolderman wrote on 2021-04-14, 09:49:

Finished a game I started in 2003 and only restarted this year - Need For Speed Underground. Finished almost every map on Medium, except the drift tracks (which I suck at), and a couple of circuits and drags. Still think it holds up well today as one of the great racing games.

It was recently that I also gave it a shot. Until now I never played the game on a PC on which the frame rate could go above the high 30s. It's insane how differently it controls at 80+ fps. As shameful as it is, I could barely handle a stock Eclipse in the first quick race I played.

Edit: Also that made me realize that a lot of game that are considered difficult while I always thought of as easy was because my frame rate was right in that window where the controls don't suffer much, but gives me more reaction time as if I was playing them in some pseudo slow motion mode.

Be sure to play with a nice force feedback wheel too, something else i didn't have back in the day.

Reply 2910 of 3002, by appiah4

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I've found Underground 2 to be vastly more enjoyable to Underground, which is a fairly unpopular opinion I think, but still..

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Reply 2911 of 3002, by Dimitris1980

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Loom Dos CD

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Reply 2912 of 3002, by badmojo

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clueless1 wrote on 2021-04-10, 14:48:

On a horse, it just swivels your head around. You can only move the horse with WASD.

I use a mod to stop that annoying head swivel - easy to install from memory. I also use a mod to fix the save system, which I objected to.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 2913 of 3002, by clueless1

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badmojo wrote on 2021-04-14, 20:31:
clueless1 wrote on 2021-04-10, 14:48:

On a horse, it just swivels your head around. You can only move the horse with WASD.

I use a mod to stop that annoying head swivel - easy to install from memory. I also use a mod to fix the save system, which I objected to.

You know, if they just set up a double-tap of W to gallop, that seems like it would solve the problem. Having to double-tap LSHIFT seems silly. Takes the pinky out of its ability to steer left. I'll look up the mod you mention, thanks.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 2914 of 3002, by badmojo

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Soz I was being lazy, this is the horse mod:

https://www.nexusmods.com/kingdomcomedeliverance/mods/269

And this is the save mod - the first mod for this game on the nexus I note! (/1)

https://www.nexusmods.com/kingdomcomedeliverance/mods/1

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 2916 of 3002, by newtmonkey

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Wasn't in the mood to play anything that requires 1) extensive note taking or 2) reflexes, so...

The Witcher III (PC)
I am having a really hard time getting into this game. The graphics are beautiful, and I typically like this kind "down in the dirt" gritty fantasy stuff (and in fact really like the original Witcher stories)... but I feel strange playing an RPG where you control a specific character with a personality, etc.

It also does a couple things that I find annoying about a lot of modern games. First is how it handles its content, and second is non-interactive cutscenes.

The Witcher III, much like any open-world game released in the last 15-20 years or so, is chock full of quest markers, side content markers, quest checklists, points of interest, etc. This definitely helps make it easier to pick up a game you've put on hold for a few months, but when I'm actually playing it I feel like I'm just following google map directions to a worksite while being bombarded with popup ads and notifications. I know you can turn these things off, but the game doesn't seem to be designed so that you could realistically play it that way. It ends up feeling less like exploring a world and figuring a game out, and more like putting X amount of time into making Y units of progress. I might see if I can turn optional map markers/icons off and just track the main quest, and do my exploring organically in between mandatory quests.

The Witcher III is a great looking game and the cutscenes sure do show that off! Having said that, we probably don't need a cutscene for every single thing. After defeating a gryphon, the game played a cutscene of Geralt and Vesemir sitting there talking about what to do next—surely this could have been a single line of dialog spoken by Vesemir as I walked over to my horse? I am not 100% against cutscenes, and appreciate a good cutscene as a reward for clearing some obstacle or whatever, but a cutscene just to tell me to basically "go get your reward for completing the mission, then meet me at the inn" seems like a waste of time and resources. Anyway, it's a minor complaint, but it sort of rubbed me the wrong way.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Special Edition) PC
I've been playing this game forever, but typically just do a single quest or two then put it on hold for a year 🤣. This suffers from the "just following directions on the map" issue I mentioned above, but it seems somewhat less odorous to me since the vast majority of content in the game is optional. I must say that the interface is terrible and was clearly designed with living room TVs and controllers in mind first and foremost—it even impacts gameplay, as the interface gets "stuck" on selections even when using the mouse, forcing you to back out of the menu or use the keyboard to change the selection. The in-game map is also completely useless; simply a giant gray blob with icons all over it, none of which are labeled, that does not show roads or anything other than rivers and mountains. An NPC tells me to go to Riften, so I bring up the map but then need to sloooowly scroll all around (there is not zoom to fit option of course), placing my cursor over every city icon until I find it.

Leveling up is not really any fun. You get to choose to boost either your health, stamina, or magick, and then get to use a "perk," most of which couldn't be more boring (+XX% to this or that or the other thing). I don't really feel like I am getting any more powerful as I level up, perhaps because the game scales up to your level to some extent.

The dungeons are really bad, mostly just straight lines from the entrance to the exit. 99% of the loot you find is randomly generated based on your level, so you don't even have the excitement of finding some awesome sword or whatever in a cave.

Having said that, the game excels in the design of its villages/towns/cities. It's always fun to arrive at a new settlement, talk to the people, do some shopping, and seek out quests. The settlements also all really have memorable (but not simple) layouts that give each place its own feel. It doesn't hurt things that Skyrim still looks good to this day (in most situations).

Reply 2917 of 3002, by RandomStranger

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badmojo wrote on 2021-04-14, 20:31:
clueless1 wrote on 2021-04-10, 14:48:

On a horse, it just swivels your head around. You can only move the horse with WASD.

I use a mod to stop that annoying head swivel - easy to install from memory. I also use a mod to fix the save system, which I objected to.

There is nothing wrong with the save system so there is nothing to fix.

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Reply 2918 of 3002, by badmojo

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RandomStranger wrote on 2021-04-15, 04:59:

There is nothing wrong with the save system so there is nothing to fix.

.../mods/1

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Reply 2919 of 3002, by badmojo

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newtmonkey wrote on 2021-04-15, 03:59:

I know you can turn these things off, but the game doesn't seem to be designed so that you could realistically play it that way. It ends up feeling less like exploring a world and figuring a game out, and more like putting X amount of time into making Y units of progress.

I'm with ya and agree that turning them off isn't really an option - I think the size of the world makes this impossible. An older game like Gothic 2 doesn't hold your hand, but then it's a tiny world in comparison. In saying that I don't really have time for wandering the world anymore so I don't mind quest markers!

Life? Don't talk to me about life.