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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
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Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 2688 (Senior)
User ID 13410
 
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News Comments > LEGO: The Hobbit Announced
2. Re: LEGO: The Hobbit Announced Nov 25, 2013, 22:21 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Creston wrote on Nov 25, 2013, 21:35:
I thought Lego LotR was the best so far, so definitely interested in this, even if I haven't watched the movie(s) yet.

The first one was pretty bad. There were a handful of scenes which appeared on screen EXACTLY as I had imagined them while reading The Hobbit as an eight year old, but beyond that the movie just was not any good. Given that they're turning a brisk 300 page children's book into 3 3-hour movies, the filmmakers have had to rely on a LOT of padding. All of the padding is generally poorly written, but more importantly it destroys the pacing of the story. It is literally about 25 minutes into the film that Gandalf finally shows up on Bilbo's porch. Likewise, they seem to have wanted to include more action scenes in order to rouse the audience from the slumber induced by the glacial pacing, yet these scenes are shot so as to show off 3D effects as opposed to generate actual excitement. If you take the film Fellowship, there were really only three major action scenes (Weathertop, Moria, the Breaking of the Fellowship) but all of them were quite thrilling because you could see what was going, they were well choreographed, brutally violent in a way designed to illicit excitement, AND didn't look like a cartoon. In comparison, the action of The Hobbit, mostly invented for the screen, is all blatant CGI shots with a focus on 3D effects: maybe impressive if you're in elementary school, but very distracting and suspension of disbelief breaking if you are not. Disappointing film. I may go see the new one, but not if I'm buying the ticket, lol.
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting
68. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 25, 2013, 14:59 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Krovven wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 05:32:
Basically all turn-based games I've found have to resort to AI cheating to increase the challenge because once a player knows how the rules work, they will beat the computer every time. You can see this in everything from Civ to XCom.

Encounter design, encounter design, encounter design. For some reason, CRPGs of the past 15 years or so have had utterly terrible encounter design. Combat in a system like AD&D is compelling ONLY with properly designed encounters. The truly baffling thing with modern cRPGs is that there are literally 15 year old DMs who can make encounters and dungeons which are light years ahead of what you see in a cRPG. It's almost as if modern designers have never actually played DND, or another similar system. Designing an orc cave in which every room is filled with 5-6 identical orcs is utterly crappy dungeon and encounter design, yet that has been the standard from BG1 on, at least with regard to non-boss/set-piece encounters. A well designed encounter however, of the sort you're average 15 year old comes up with or that existed in the Gold Box games, can be challenging and memorable, even when, as you say, you've figured out how the system work. Who has played Pool of Radiance yet doesn't remember the troll and ogre encounter in the Slums? Or the encounter with 40+ various kinds of Hobgoblins on Sokol Keep? In the latter, who WASN'T on the edge of their seat fighting a desperate battle that required pulling out all the stop just to have a CHANCE of survival and victory? What about the Kobold King Throne room? I hate to keep harping on the Gold Box games, but as far as turn-based CRPG combat goes, they really are the pinnacle, even 25 years later. If those encounters I just mentioned are all things you've never played, then you've really never experienced proper RPG combat, something of which the Infinity Engine games are a very pale comparison -- unsurprising given that the IE was initially going to be used for an RTS, NOT an RPG.
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting
53. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 23, 2013, 00:52 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Creston wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 23:27:
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 21:56:
mellis wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 21:45:
Pfft. At least Project Eternity remains pure and untainted.

By going with realtime with pause...?

Is it RTwP? I thought they had said from the get-go it would be turn-based?

Nope, Project Eternity was confirmed as real-time with pause fairly early on. IIRC, abilities will likewise be on cool downs, similar to what you see in an MMO.
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting
50. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 21:57 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Task wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 20:09:
And yeah it is entirely possible to do both, as it has been programmed efficiently in other games.

What other games? The track record of selectable real-time/turn-based combat modes is NOT good.
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting
49. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 21:56 Scottish Martial Arts
 
mellis wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 21:45:
Pfft. At least Project Eternity remains pure and untainted.

By going with realtime with pause...?
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting
41. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 18:32 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Krovven wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 18:04:
Real Time with Pause has worked just fine for some of the best RPG's in PC gaming. Baldurs Gate, Icewind Dale, Dragon's Age, and many more.

Great games -- well, except for Dragon Age -- to be sure, but the real-time with pause combat system held the IE games back significantly. The mage duels of BG2 were the only encounters where you caught a glimpse of tactical complexity. Imagine what BG2 would have been like with ToEE's combat engine.

And likewise, I draw issue with your second paragraph. You're correct that you can do all of those things, but does that actually enhance gameplay when you're dealing with combat systems that support only the most rudimentary AI? How does quickly fixing every mistake you make make for more compelling gameplay when the AI can't do the same? One of the chief complaints about the games you listed is that they were piss easy; the same can't be said about the Gold Box games.
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting
38. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 17:54 Scottish Martial Arts
 
PHJF wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 17:16:
...have to watch helplessly as a bad situation becomes near hopeless?

You say that like it's a good thing? Having an AI do something a) I couldn't have prepared for and b) while I'm entirely unable to react isn't what I consider fun. Every encounter in Enemy Unknown started with the enemy interrupting my turn (whose fucking turn is it?) and moving to cover.

You cut out the first part which is important: "to make the best decision possible or...". The tension that such situations build is that you never know for certain what the full consequences of your decisions are going to be, and that likewise you'll have a few seconds where you just have to live with those consequences. You don't have perfect knowledge of the battle, and as a result you can walk into an ambush with what you thought was a sound move. You watch as one guy get's killed and another seriously wounded, kicking yourself saying "why didn't I see that coming?" But then it's your turn again: you're in a bad spot but you can ask yourself, "what do I do to get out of this?" Then you come up with a plan and execute. Some of the plan works, some of it doesn't, the enemy has its say, and suddenly the situation is changed for the next turn, demanding that you make new decisions.

What's compelling about this kind of gameplay is that you analyze the situation, make a decision, than find out what the consequences of that decision are. You now find yourself in a new situation, which needs new analysis, which leads to new decisions, which leads to new consequences, which in turn leads to a new situation. It's a continual loop of analysis and decision making, made all the more rich by the copious tactical options which turn-based games provide, where you never know for certain how things are going to turn out, and thus it's always compelling to hit that end turn button, even if things are so tense you've got every digit crossed in the hope things go according to plan. To my mind that is damn compelling gameplay, almost like the difference between, for example, a horror movie which builds an atmosphere of dread and suspense, rather than just repeatedly showing you some gore.

As for the enemy interrupts to find cover in XCOM, I'm not sure anyone actually liked that or thought it added anything to the game.
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting
36. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 17:04 Scottish Martial Arts
 
dj LiTh wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 16:59:
I suppose neither of you played Xcom Apocalypse? That game did have many short comings but its combat system was pretty awesome. You could have your standard turn based system which was just the same as any other previous Xcom game (1&2) or you could play Real time /w pause. It gave you the best of both worlds. I remember it to this day for that feature alone, the rest of the game meh.

So yes, it can be done correctly and it can appease both camps if done right.

You might want to replay Apocalypse sometime. It was not as clean a split as you seem to be recalling -- it most certainly felt very different from the first two, even in turn-based mode. Likewise, Apocalypse was a pretty garbage game, and the combat system wasn't helping in that regard.
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting
34. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 16:53 Scottish Martial Arts
 
PHJF wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 16:25:
You guys are fuckin nuts. I've played through the Icewind Dales like a million times. Turn based just isn't remotely visceral enough for combat involving small unit counts. There's too much of a sense of detachment and there's no sense of urgency.

So was the new XCOM game insufficiently visceral for you? Did you find yourself detached from the outcomes, feeling no pressure to make the best decisions or else have to watch helplessly as a bad situation becomes near hopeless? A game can be visceral and immersive, or not, regardless of the combat system used; it comes down to how the game is designed, not which system is used. What can be said for certain however is that real-time systems MUST present the user with a limited tactical toolkit lest they run into paralysis by analysis with the action unfolding around them. Personally, I find those moments in a turn-based system in which you watch the enemy turn unfolding, only to uncover you've made a grievous error and are going to pay for it, to be VERY gripping. "Oh shit, how am I gonna get out of this one now? Well it's my turn again: time to figure something out."
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting
30. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 16:12 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Creston wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 13:46:
Combat was so inconsequential in Torment that I was fine with just turning it on and watching my guys wade through the enemies in 10 seconds. I mean, when you're playing a character who literally CANNOT DIE, the entire raison d^etre for combat kinda goes out the window anyway. (Something that Prey never understood, apparently.)


TNO couldn't die, but that didn't mean that death was setback free. PST's focus was definitely on its adventure game elements, but I guess I'm unconvinced that the best approach to a game with a non-combat focus is to make combat crappy, easy, and boring. If you really don't want to focus on combat, then why even include it?
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting
29. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 16:08 Scottish Martial Arts
 
dj LiTh wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 13:37:
They should honestly have both as an option to the player.

I'm guessing you never played Arcanum? Tandem real-time/turn-based combat systems have a TERRIBLE record. Someone else mentioned Fallout: Tactics yet that game's "continuous turn-based" mode was just about unplayable. Trying to create a combat system with two separate modes based on entirely separate design paradigms is a lot like creating an OS with two different modes based on entirely different UI approaches -- you get a schizophrenic mess where the competing requirements of one mode detract from the other, and vice-versa.
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting
18. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 13:19 Scottish Martial Arts
 
vrok wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 13:07:
RTwP is and always has been a complete disaster. TB is the only way to go for a proper party-based RPG.

QFT. You can still salvage a decent game out of RTwP, but the combat is invariably much weaker than it could have been. Couple that with cRPG encounter designers who never seem to have played an RPG -- "I know we'll make a cave, and this cave will be filled trolls, just trolls." -- and the result is games with the potential for rich combat but actually delivering something pretty weak. At this point we have a whole generation of gamers that doesn't know any better -- try convincing your average Dragon Age fan to install DosBox and play Pool of Radiance -- so it's awful hard to break through the background aversion to turn-based as "slow, boring, and not immersive."
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting
17. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Combat Voting Nov 22, 2013, 13:16 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Creston wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 12:20:
I dunno, Torment seemed to run fine with real-time with pause. I like turn based in a more strategic game like Wasteland 2, but in Torment, where combat isn't the main focus, I'd rather just get on with it and get it moving.

Yeah but NO ONE speaks kindly of PST's combat. Invariably it's "great game but terrible combat." Real-time with pause is an abortion born of the era in which RTSs were taking off, and suddenly turn-based was "old", "outdated", and "the produce of technological limitations". Nevermind that real-time systems, even RTwP systems, have dramatically fewer tactical options lest the user be overwhelmed with complexity, and that even with pause functionality, grafting turn-based rulesets onto a real-time combat systems plays hell with balancing and how things are "supposed" to work. Likewise, the people who do speak so fondly of IE game combat, never seem to have played a Goldbox game. I understand the notion of wanting to deemphasize combat, but if that's the case is the answer to really build a garbage and trivial combat system? Or is it to build encounters where combat isn't the default and highly encouraged solution?
 
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News Comments > Warcraft and Warcraft II Coming to Modern PCs "In Some Form or Fashion"
31. No subject Nov 11, 2013, 18:15 Scottish Martial Arts
 
dj LiTh wrote on Nov 11, 2013, 17:34:
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Nov 11, 2013, 10:27:
Uh, in WC2 the two sides were IDENTICAL until castle phase, and then bloodlust was the only significant difference between Horde and Alliance.

And why is this a big project, Blizzard? WC1 works great in DosBOX, and WC2 still works out of the box, last time I checked.

Actually no, thats not true. Units that were the same tier had different hp and different attack damage. In WC1 it was identical, so check again.

Sorry, you're the one who is misremembering. Here are the unit lists from WC2 to include theirs stats:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/pc/199259-warcraft-ii-tides-of-darkness/faqs/1871
http://www.gamefaqs.com/pc/199259-warcraft-ii-tides-of-darkness/faqs/1874

Note the IDENTICAL statistics between equivalent units. The ONLY difference between sides was with spell casters and the Ranger vs. Berserker, all of which only became unlocked in the Castle tier. Everything else is identical. IDENTICAL. This in fact was one of the reasons I preferred Red Alert at the time: two VERY distinct sides with unique playstyles.
 
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News Comments > Warcraft and Warcraft II Coming to Modern PCs "In Some Form or Fashion"
25. Re: Both work fine now, remaster them? Nov 11, 2013, 17:28 Scottish Martial Arts
 
JohnBirshire wrote on Nov 11, 2013, 14:15:
I replayed both about a year ago for nostalgia, had no problem whatsoever with them. They work fine now. If they want to "remaster" them with some updates, more modern UI's, widescreen support, etc, great! But just "making them work" is unnecessary.

I'd just settle for making them available through digital distribution. Again, they work fine as is. I still have my disc copies, but I would imagine a lot of people don't. Given that they're both still great games that have held up well, no reason to keep them unavailable for purchase.
 
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News Comments > Warcraft and Warcraft II Coming to Modern PCs "In Some Form or Fashion"
8. No subject Nov 11, 2013, 10:27 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Uh, in WC2 the two sides were IDENTICAL until castle phase, and then bloodlust was the only significant difference between Horde and Alliance.

And why is this a big project, Blizzard? WC1 works great in DosBOX, and WC2 still works out of the box, last time I checked.
 
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News Comments > Fallout 3 Turns 5
72. Re: Fallout 3 Turns 5 Oct 31, 2013, 14:53 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Beamer wrote on Oct 31, 2013, 14:46:
The most popular shows on television are all fart jokes, dick jokes and laugh tracks. There's no way Fallout 3 is half as juvenile as Two and a Half Big Bangs.

And how many people do you know that aren't ashamed to admit they like that crap? I don't know if you noticed, but the most popular and talked about TV shows these days aren't The Big Bang Theory or CBS Police Procedural #409, it's stuff like Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, or Boardwalk Empire, i.e. shows that don't go out of their way to insult their viewer's intelligence. Summer action movies still do big business, but then the target audience for your typical Marvel movie has an average age of 10 or so. The bottom line is that video games are pretty much the only medium which doesn't have an alternative to the half-hour network sitcom or the summer action blockbuster, and the reason why that is is that the gaming press has no critical faculty -- their only standard is "am I experiencing some form of enjoyment?" -- and that gamers themselves are all to willing to lap up garbage so long as there is a visceral thrill or two.
 
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News Comments > Fallout 3 Turns 5
71. Re: Fallout 3 Turns 5 Oct 31, 2013, 14:47 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Likewise, I think it's very telling that no one is really trying to dispute the arguments made by Shihonage or myself. Instead, it's just devolving into "well, like, there's no objective standards for anything, and that's, like, just your opinion, so, like, quit being a mean ol' elitist."  
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News Comments > Fallout 3 Turns 5
69. Re: Fallout 3 Turns 5 Oct 31, 2013, 14:41 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Prez wrote on Oct 30, 2013, 19:51:
So, so true. Elitists are sad.

What's even more sad is grown men who don't see a problem with liking things that are clearly juvenile. Frankly, the complete lack of critical faculties, and the complete embrace of stupidity as being par for the course, are the reasons why the non-gaming world thinks gamers look more than a bit foolish when they start talking about how their sub-moronic hobby is art. Gaming, for the most part, is no more intelligent than a summer action movie, and it's gamers steadfast refusal to be critical of stupidity that keeps it there.

"But that's like, your opinion, man."
 
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News Comments > Fallout 3 Turns 5
61. Re: Fallout 3 Turns 5 Oct 30, 2013, 15:14 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Orogogus wrote on Oct 30, 2013, 14:36:
It's kind of unbelievable how much you've destructed your more-or-less argument that normal, sane people thought Fallout 3 was bad. Holy crap.

Well when it comes to video games, its long been apparent that normal, sane people think they ought to be stupid and never assume that the audience has any intelligence. If Fallout 3 had been a movie, no one over the age of 12 would have been caught dead saying they liked it, just like no one says that they like Michael Bay movies: that shit is stupid, and anyone with any taste isn't afraid to say so. But with video games, stupid reigns supreme, and anyone that suggests that we should aim a little higher is clearly neither normal nor sane.
 
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2688 Comments. 135 pages. Viewing page 7.
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