Gameplay analysis:

The game lends itself very much to counterstrike turtle and flank tactics.

Very limited options to mitigate damage: there are really no effective means of dodging besides holding down AWSDspace, and the exponential scaling of weapons and armor makes armor fairly hit-or-miss on whether it’s actually effective. Plus weapons are either hitscan or AOE. Either take cover or stay out of sight when you move.

Damage crippling: you lose weapons and mobility options when you take damage. Taking damage is AWFUL and getting the jump on people, all equipment equal, sets the scales permanently in your favor.

Movement penalty: you’re only accurate if you’re standing still or right next to your target, and the weapons are all effectively either snipers or shotguns, so you can either snipe or sneak.

Radar: just kidding, you can’t sneak. Radar jammers only prevent you from showing up some of the time. You can still flank, but you need to have either coordinated help or uncoordinated enemies.

Pretty cool game. Really robust, well-made system, imo. I don’t like counterstrike, though.

Being able to make your own robot is cool and all, but this is game is less about crafting and more about evolution.

Specifically, the manga version written from Asuna’s point of view gives much more depth to her character and much more meaning to the construction of Aincrad as a 100-floor Tower. Being from an elite family is no longer a simple plot device for Fairy Dance. It gives her the perspective to look at the Tower as a caricature of reality, one where some fight for an unclear goal and others follow for fear of being those left behind. It makes the one-year age difference between her and Kirito the difference between gaining entrance to a prestigious high school and not having prepared for exams yet. (The same difference in the States would be between getting a perfect score on the SAT and not having taken it before.) Finally and most importantly, it gives her a reason to return to the real world. It is the Refusal of the Call that makes SAO: Progressive rise from a pile of burnt-out plot devices to become a story with real meaning and empathy. Aincrad is no longer “just a game,” but a prison. Asuna now represents a normal person rather than a love interest and contrasts with Kirito, who seeks the world of Aincrad out on his own terms. Granted, only two chapters have been released, so this celebration may be premature, but these developments alone make the remainder of the story so much more meaningful that I can’t help but be excited. In specific, I’m waiting for the moment that Kirito suggests that he and Asuna run away. That single exchange means so much more when you understand where each of them are coming from.

also someone please explain to me the difference between categories and tags in wordpress

So I forked out $5 yesterday for Dysfunctional Systems (and $10 for Hate Plus) while purchasing textbooks. It is really, really good. It probably only has around 2 hours of playtime if you play through both branches of the one choice in it, but honestly, that was a better two hours spent than any movies I may or may not have watched over the summer.

Main points of reflection:

The choices didn’t change the story’s events, per say, but they changed how each character dealt with them. Playing both paths, I was reminded that I should never not try just because I think it’ll end in failure; I’ll be better for it even if it does.

The ending of episode 1 was that catastrophic failure we all make at some point searching for our path in life, not just a metaphor for it. It was literally Winter’s.

We comprehend very little the full implications of nuclear weaponry, or any other modern dilemma, for that matter. The “true fusion” bomb was to a nuclear bomb what a nuclear bomb is to a conventional bomb. This was written to let you think that what little more you knew than Winter did was significant. This was written to let you feel the same thing Winter felt when she experienced how much more serious it was.

i went to see the garden mesa

and upon arrival saw

they worried not for class nor status

nor the masses caste below

So, let’s start with a survey. Who thinks Cube World’s alpha is worth $20?

Now let’s have a different survey. Who thinks Cube World’s alpha is worth €15.00?

I see a lot of comparison to Minecraft and the like, as well as a lot of rebuttals saying, “Just because it has cubes doesn’t mean it’s Minecraft!” The comparison goes a bit deeper than that, though, in that both have infinitely generating worlds and completely open-ended objectives. The point is that in both games, the players are given a sandbox in which they may tell their own story. In Minecraft, this entails building. In Cube World… do rewards actually exist outside of character progression? Personally, I probably won’t buy it because, as appealing as the idea of an infinite world to adventure in is, I don’t really see an opportunity for me to leave my own stamp on that world. If the character creator were a bit more flexible, a la 3D Dot Game Heroes, I might consider it. I think that maybe in its attempt to distinguish itself from Minecraft, it leaves out the more important RPG elements of personalization. Maybe I just can’t get past how personal building my own house is. Now, I haven’t actually played Cube World yet, so I can’t say anything for sure, but honestly, the people who actually enjoyed Cube World aren’t doing a very good job of telling people why. Rather than telling people not to compare the two, they should list Cube World’s advantages because people are going to compare, and without their input, Cube World is going to lose.

continue:

at some point i need to do a post on proper communication
a lot of the time in the gaming community i see suggestions being given with too much ego to be taken seriously
e.g. during the warframe event people would enter the chat saying “why are you chatting, get to work”
all this really does is say “im good and youre bad”
if you really want people to work, you should make a party and work with them
the same is true of comments telling people not to compare minecraft and cubeworld
if you can actually list enough positive attributes to set aside cube world as a different game, then you wont need to tell people not to compare
taking the high road is for dealing with your enemies
talking to them is for making them your friends

Let me explain to you what it means to stand in another’s shoes:

It is sitting down in your mother’s chair and noticing how much harder the cushion is than yours,

Realizing how many more hours she spent alone at that table than you spent present.

continue:

wordpress’ interface has been kinda buggy for me lately so eh. i tried to write a post about how the warframe mission rewards shouldn’t be taken away upon mission failure until they ironed out all of the bugs, but it ended up being a rant about how inconsiderate people in the community are.

Today, a friend and I had a brief interchange about the mod system in Warframe, where he remarked that he now had more control over what modifications he could make to his equipment. I’ve made clear before my opinions on the matter, but I do acknowledge that many people play games for control because the game of life produces slow, uncertain rewards for each action we take. Indeed, in a game like Cosmic Break, where your performance is highly dependent on how lucky you are with gambling, dissatisfaction is taken for granted.

On the other hand, from a storytelling perspective, to give the “reader” complete control of the story, you would have to give him a diary and not tell a story at all. I’ve played games for a long enough time that I generally play games for new experiences rather than for the satisfaction of clearing objectives. In Cosmic Break, with every new thing I get from the lottery, I spend hours piecing together robots that don’t even work just to see how they don’t work. I’m drawn to the feeling of discovering something that works, not the feeling of satisfaction I get from using it, and that is why I hold the opinions that I do.

Don’t get me wrong; Cosmic Break is incredibly dissatisfying not only because you have no control over how well you do, but also because you have no control over how you earn control over how well you do. To some degree, randomization of items dropped from enemies has always annoyed me for this reason. It’s bad in normal MMORPGs, but Cosmic Break just takes it to an absurd extreme. (Borderlands, on the other hand, has a field day with it because the stats on the items themselves are randomized, not your chances.)

Back on topic, I don’t think there is a perfect degree of control a player can be given. When a game depends on the player’s skill or luck, it is more random, and it is likely to both frustrate and amaze the player memorably. When a game depends on leveling up and calculating your endgame stats, the player is given more control and a clear reward for their efforts. Trying to find a universal standard is like trying to compare Borderlands to Sim City with disasters disabled. It all depends on what kind of game you want to make and how you want to enjoy it.

As a side note, this is the reason a friend of my friend and a diehard PSO fan dislikes PSO2. He couldn’t get used to how the bosses had random AI algorithms and how the game was no longer heavily dependent on planning and patterns. (In fact, he was such a control freak that he wouldn’t even let me heal him.)

As another side note, I suspect that Destiny has a loot system similar to Borderlands given that Bungie appears to be emphasizing adventure and atmosphere. Random generation of events is fun, too.

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