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Real Name nutshell42   
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Signed On Jul 11, 2007, 21:21
Total Comments 219 (Novice)
User ID 41973
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News Comments > Napoleon: Total War Next Month
15. Re: Napoleon: Total War Next Month Jan 15, 2010, 07:28 nutshell42
yeah, the thousands of dead bodies on the battlefield are the hallmark of a kiddie friendly title. There might be mods that "fix" it, I know darthmod always tended towards the dirt and blood end of the spectrum but because I never understood that need for rivers of blood I never checked.

You can destroy farms. Going in England from full farms to no farms meant a population decline of 10%. That's 2.5 million dead a year. In the early game when not all villages have become towns that's a pretty useful tactic. And you do starve out cities. That's why the siege ends after a few turns, the same as in M2TW.

I really don't see where M2TW had any system that goes beyond that. You couldn't even destroy farms and city walls. And it's not like it was harder out of the box. I've yet to play a battle with loss ratios of less than 4:1, most are 5:1. ETW is a lot better in part because everyone's got a gun and in part because the battle AI has finally reachieved the lofty "heights" of MTW. I.e. it takes all its troops and marches them in your general direction. Army composition's improved, too.

My mind's a bit sketchy on what exactly was in M2TW vanilla but I do know that ETW's certainly more complex. Research's completely new, as are sea battles. Diplomacy and trade goods were in M2TW but utterly useless while they're quite important now. The game's biggest problem is that the nuances don't matter because money's to easy to get.

But money abundance is the easiest imbalance to correct in a mod and there's no raving plagues because there were no worldwide plagues in the time frame.
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News Comments > Napoleon: Total War Next Month
11. Re: Napoleon: Total War Next Month Jan 14, 2010, 20:23 nutshell42
Prez wrote on Jan 14, 2010, 17:37:
Empire easily was the best TW since the original Medieval.


Rome unmodded was just a disaster and Medieval 2 uninspired.

Don't agree.

Admittedly my posts on this topic tend to be more confrontational than they probably should be. That's mostly because the ETW haters generally state it as fact that everyone hates ETW so I just can't resist giving them some of their own medicine. =)

Let me elaborate:
Rome was a huge step forward engine-wise. But the 3 Roman factions approach just wasn't realistic and didn't work either. The Egyptian armies from The Mummy Strikes Back were a joke and battles were laughable (the kill rates especially. Oh and that your archers shot your own troops in the back. And the overpowered cavalry. And probably a lot of other stuff I've forgotten)

M2TW was a big step forward but the AI was perhaps even worse than in RTW and there really wasn't any step forward gameplay wise from Rome. Only the Castle-City split and I didn't like that mechanic. But quick AI mods helped that's why when I was looking for a disparaging term I came up with "uninspired". =P
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News Comments > Napoleon: Total War Next Month
9. Re: Napoleon: Total War Next Month Jan 14, 2010, 19:23 nutshell42
Medieval 2 vanilla was inferior to RTR, too. As was Rome to medmod. So mods are better than the next vanilla game for the hardcore. That's nothing new and I fail to see how it makes Empire inferior to the earlier games. It's AI certainly doesn't fail as miserably as those of M2TW and RTW. And not even whatshisname's excellent AI scripts for M2TW could cure the AI's totally broken approach to diplomacy. I know it's called Total War but just War all the time gets old.

And I'm sorry that those damn 18th century guys decided to wear stuff that wasn't dirt brown. Didn't they know that real is brown? Let me guess, you like lots of bloom, too? I on the other hand feel safe in the knowledge that my redcoats would blow your ragged band of rabble to hell and back.

Last but not least, increasing movement speed without Empire's zone of control doesn't work. You can just bypass stuff leading to a siege fest (because any army that doesn't guard something specific is wasted). I know, I've played some mods that do it. You might argue that at least for Medieval 2 that's realistic, but it's not really fun because sieges have always been the weakest part of the series. The huge (by genre standards) units simply aren't convenient in the confines of cities. The pathfinding and AI problems don't help.
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News Comments > Napoleon: Total War Next Month
5. Re: Napoleon: Total War Next Month Jan 14, 2010, 16:20 nutshell42
WTF have you all been playing?

Empire easily was the best TW since the original Medieval. Rome unmodded was just a disaster and Medieval 2 uninspired. Empire needed 3 patches to get into working condition but that, too, is no different from their earlier titles.

The AI's vastly better than Rome or M2TW (still weak, though), the new town/city system cuts down on the micro management quite nicely and the zone of influence of your troops means that it no longer takes 23 years of marching to get from Paris to Rome. The sea battles are fun if sometimes chaotic but there are few things more satisfying than your 100-gun ship of the line disintegrating a frigate with a broadside.

The game desperately needs a balance mod like Wes' (?) medmod for M(1)TW because it's far too easy but I see how all the stuff going on might overwhelm a newcomer so I'm cutting CA some slack here.

The really good mods generally need time anyway so I'm waiting till mid-year before I'm gonna start looking for one. =)
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News Comments > Op Ed
4. Re: Op Ed Jan 14, 2010, 14:24 nutshell42
Perhaps the best Starcraft game you'll ever see.

With English commentary by the incomparable NukeTheStars. If you want a shorter game, try the other ones in the series. =)
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News Comments > Alpha Protocol 2 Hints
7. Re: Alpha Protocol 2 Hints Jan 4, 2010, 15:45 nutshell42
I've got high hopes for Alpha Protocol and Obsidian.

I bought Knights of the Old Republic 2 when the community "patch" (you could call it an expansion although admittedly the content's been there all along just not accessible. Let's settle on DLC) came out and that game had so much potential it oozes out of its pores.

Lucas Arts shoving it out of the door after less than 12 months in development was a crime against humanity. And it also more or less marks the point when the great Lucas Arts of old died and they stopped publishing anything but crappy Star Wars shooters.

Sega delaying this one made my day when they didn't announce it.
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News Comments > OnLive Presentation
29. Re: OnLive Presentation Dec 30, 2009, 19:55 nutshell42
It doesn't matter whether the controller itself has an input lag.

What matters is the overall lag you get from the game.

Even the better games are all above 60ms, the 30 fps crowd is by and large in the 150ms range. If those 80ms limit OnLive to sales figures like GTAIV or Halo 3 I think they'll be able to live with it.
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News Comments > OnLive Presentation
23. Re: OnLive Presentation Dec 30, 2009, 16:30 nutshell42
80ms is better than what console games give you. You can whine about console input lag all you want but fact is that millions of people don't give a shit.

Certainly enough for this to be a success if they can actually keep their promises and somehow get the ISPs and publishers on board.
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News Comments > Mirror's Edge 2 & Battlefield 3 Clues
14. Re: Mirror's Edge 2 & Battlefield 3 Clues Dec 2, 2009, 08:37 nutshell42
I'm a sucker for the art style but the game is crap.

Your parkour whiz hangs on small lamps protruding a few cm from the wall, the physx implementation is so bad it's ridiculous and the game suffers way too much from "read the script".

So I try to jump a wall, do a 180 and jump again to reach a ledge. And I fail. Spectacularly. So I think I suck. Then I try it again a few feet away, apparently where I'm supposed to, and suddenly I manage the most spectacular jumps known to man.

Often the mechanic of shit turning red where you're supposed to go is used too late for you to follow it at a full run. This ruins the flow. You have to stop and look for it then build up speed again. Tomb Raider managed to get more of a flow going and they didn't advertise it as main goal of the game beforehand.

Overall I bought the game for $10 and I'd say it's worth 8-9 (the artwork alone is worth the original $40, unfortunately you have to play the game to see it, that roughly quarters its value, minus a bit for really bad cutscenes - I like animated ones but these were just bad) so for 5 it's not a bad buy.
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News Comments > Armada 2526 Trailer
4. Re: Armada 2526 Trailer Nov 13, 2009, 08:56 nutshell42
What's so bad about the vid? It's crap as a trailer but I now feel like I have a basic understanding of the look&feel of the game.

Looks interesting. I hope it provides meaningful diplomacy. That's where most 4X games fall flat. Even in GalCiv2 I never felt like any diplomatic agreement actually meant anything. A Europa Universalis in Space would be great. Even though their AI is pretty much crap the relations, peace resolve and badboy system means that there's actually a point to diplomacy.

Back to Armada. Those real time tactical battles look promising. The graphics aren't all that great but fleets look sizeable (my main problem with GalCiv is that you'll often conquer the galaxy with less than 2 dozen ships in total) and simultaneous ground battles is certainly an interesting idea.

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News Comments > Machinarium Demo
4. Re: Machinarium Demo Oct 1, 2009, 20:04 nutshell42
One word: Awful!

Can I add another...bunch of words?

You have to do the usual search the screen for useful items crap (e.g. the magnet on the very first level) but this game really jumps the shark because the screens are full of crap (looking great btw. The art style's definitely a big plus) the usable items hard to discern and the fucking cursor only changes if those hard to spot icons are additionally within the reach of your arm.

Combine that with the need to telescope your robot and I just want to shoot whoever came up with that crap. I'm gonna look for my ancient Day of the Tentacle instead.
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News Comments > Mass Effect 2 Trailer
47. Re: Mass Effect 2 Trailer Sep 28, 2009, 17:35 nutshell42
I think she's got lots of potential.

Biotics in Mass Effect were often portrayed as borderline (or outright) crazy, terrorists, sect members, schizophrenics. If Subject Zero isn't your typical "plays badass but has heart of gold and will become a girl scout if the PC is just nice to her" bitch but instead they really try to depict a "special" chara in a realistic fashion it would have real potential.

They're trailers are (almost) always geared towards the drunk fratboy crowd so the trailer doesn't worry me.

But Mass Effect's story is a collection of some of the lamest cliches in sci-fi and I've often said that I love the cinematic presentation but the story itself is crap. *That* worries me.
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News Comments > Alpha Protocol Delay?
8. Re: Alpha Protocol Delay? Sep 28, 2009, 14:11 nutshell42
Sound's great.

KotOR2 was on the edge of greatness with cuts and bugs ruining what had the potential to be better even than the original.

I've never played Neverwinter Nights 2 but from what I've heard it was a bugfest as well.

Alpha Protocol from what I know has a lot of potential but once again there is some important stuff missing and previews remarked that it was buggy, which in the world of game previews (i.e. cheerleading) means it's borderline unplayable.

If SEGA gives them the money to polish the title for the next 8 months I believe it could be something great. OTOH SEGA are masters at botching promising titles.
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News Comments > The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom Announced
1. Re: The Settlers 7 Announced Sep 22, 2009, 14:03 nutshell42
How were the games from 5 onwards?

I loved Settlers 1 split-screen multiplayer (my first multiplayer experience so this is nostalgia talking). Loads of fun, especially the tricks you had to come up with to conceal your massive attack on the guy right next to you (unless you got a gift from the gods, aka toilet break. Only sissies pause the game when they have to go). =)

I tried a demo of one of the later ones (5?) but I missed the roads and traffic jams of the first one and the scale seemed so small compared to the first ones layer of fortresses and watchtowers.
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News Comments > MechWarrior Legal Conflict
25. Re: MechWarrior Legal Conflict Sep 4, 2009, 16:17 nutshell42
Stop being asstards.

1. The designs stolen from Macross were some of the best and most iconic Battletech mechs. Suddenly pretending that the Warhammer was ugly is juvenile.

2. Looking cool is the whole point of the mechs. There's nothing remotely practical or logical about putting yourself in a 30ft high target. Mechs will never rule any battlefield that's even close to reality and that's fine. They're fucking cool anyway.

3. HG are dicks but FASA stole those designs wholesale and rightfully lost the lawsuit. If they didn't have a license for the use in the new game then they were idiots.

4. They did come up with some nice original designs and they can do the same for the Unseen. Some of the previous replacement designs were childish but the focus of the Battletech timeline had shifted and there were other Mech designs. I have no doubt they can do high quality redesigns of Warhammer&Co
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News Comments > New Mass Effect 2 Character
9. Re: New Mass Effect 2 Character Aug 14, 2009, 20:28 nutshell42
Imho Mass Effect's story was pretty shitty. "The machines will kill us all" #439 and more or less one large cliché orgy.

But the presentation (as in pacing, use of cut scenes, balance of talking and shooting) of said story was top notch for a game (with some exceptions. The deaths were done pretty forgettable. Just some static talky talky. No real emotional impact for me. Wing Commanders cheesy space funerals were more effective imho). The gameplay as a whole was pretty great.

The long elevator rides and unskippable cut scenes are two strikes however. And the DRM with limited activations was a dealbreaker for me until recently (just "bought" it for 8€. At that price I look at it as a long time lease)

If the sequel gets rid of the DRM (or Steam's ridiculous euro prices -- 45€ instead of $20 what are they smoking?) I'm gonna buy it at launch even though Thane looks like a douchebag.
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News Comments > PC Gaming Alliance Grows
30. Re: PC Gaming Alliance Grows Aug 13, 2009, 04:19 nutshell42
It never crashed for me, but I'm sure there's people where it crashes like crazy, so that sucks. Some people play Fallout 3 for 24 hours straight, and I can't play for 30 minutes without it crashing. PC gaming sucks sometimes.

And it's Microsoft's fault for not providing a stable plattform across the board.

Remember when they announced GfW they said it would include console-style Quality Assurance. Had they actually gone through with it it might have been the killer feature for GfW. Instead they released the Shadowrun suckfest.

PC gaming could be almost as easy and reliable as consoles. All it would need would be a plattform owner that gives a damn.
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News Comments > World Supremacy Revealed
1. Re: World Supremacy Revealed Jul 13, 2009, 15:13 nutshell42
Microsoft Excel: The Game.

Oh well, you could probably say the same about Space Empires and I loved #4 =)
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News Comments > Blood Bowl Movie
5. Re: Blood Bowl Movie Jun 18, 2009, 19:44 nutshell42
Some of us like turn based games you know.

It's not like there's a shortage of mindless action games with lots of stuff blowing up.

And I also like how Blood Bowl forces you to choose between the likely-to-succeed and the important.

It has the side effect that the fun and interesting stuff happens at the end of turns unlike other TBS games where you have to force yourself to complete the turn because you've already done everything that was interesting.
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News Comments > Empire Total War Patch Next Week
11. Re: Empire Total War Patch Next Week Jun 18, 2009, 19:24 nutshell42
Hopefully this will finally solve the three major fleet bugs:

-The Untouchables-
Selecting some fleets, especially in harbors, will crash the game. *The* reason my first campaign is on hold and that I haven't launched another one. They said it's fixed so this patch is a major win in my book.

-The Flying Dutchmen-
Sometimes fleets end up on land when changing theaters. Disbanding seems to be the only solution.

-Schrödingers Tradefleets-
Sometimes trade fleets on resources end up in superposition and are either there or not depending on the constellation of Orion in conjunction with Venus and the time of day.

Apart from that:
Imho the AI is the most competent one since Medieval. It's not brilliant by any stretch of the imagination but the campaign AI manages to gather units in stacks and doesn't waste its troops (if there's one problem it is its unwillingness to end wars against other AI nations. By mid game everyone's still in 40 different wars that stopped having a point 20 years ago) and the battle AI mostly succeeds in taking all its troops and sending them in your general direction.

Neither is good by any definition but given the sheer incompetence of the Rome and Medieval2 AIs it's a big improvement.

The campaign plays a lot better. Bigger movement range for units means no more decade-long trips across Europe. You can intercept enemy armies so it's no longer a complete siege fest. Taxes are centralized and minor unrest is crushed by local troops (i.e. it just costs you some money) so you don't have to check every single province. And I like the tech system, as well as the interceptable trade routes. Although some values for income, taxes and unrest need tweaking, but that's what mods are for. Especially large empires are a lot easier and a lot more fun to manage.

Sea battles are fun. Grape shot and chain shot's too ineffective though. At least it was before the last round of patches.

I like small land battles (always been a sucker for muskets) but imho managing large armies of musket wielding troops isn't that much fun. Autoresolving anything above 10 units per side, unless it's a desperate situation. Oh and cannons are too useless.

Better than M2TW. Whether I'm gonna like it more or less than RTW will depend on the upcoming mods. Probably the most well rounded TW game since Shogun but at a higher complexity level.
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219 Comments. 11 pages. Viewing page 9.
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