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Real Name MisterBenn   
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Signed On Jan 2, 2011, 16:34
Total Comments 338 (Amateur)
User ID 56105
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News Comments > Path of Exile Status, Packs, and Patch
11. Re: Path of Exile Status, Packs, and Patch Dec 3, 2013, 12:33 MisterBenn
Yeah I am still loving this one, I can't get enough. I'm up to I think $80 or $100 in purchases (almost entirely spent on stash space here too!) - it's unlike me to lavish that kind of cash on a single title but I am in the curious position of feeling happy to award the developers for having a wholesome philosophy and for all the fun they've given me.

The network / netcode issues still need to be mentioned, the desync problem remains in place and there is no plan to work on it specifically. I'm pretty sure it's a business model issue, the bandwidth consumption is aggressively streamlined in order to support the free to play model. Some things like the position of the player, mobs and bosses are predicted and actually synced with the client many seconds apart in some situations - as a resync happens you will frequently see that you were attacking thin air or you were a screen away from where you thought you were and being hit from all sides without defending yourself. Part of playing Path of Exile in the permadeath leagues is to accept that this WILL bite you at some point and it WILL leave you wanting to uppercut your monitor across the room!

The biggest strength of the game is that all parts of your build are modular and you can mix and match your favourite parts to come up with something noone else has. It's a min-maxer's wet dream! I made a novelty build using the notoriously bad Searing Bond skill combined with lightning warp totems and it ended up surprisingly viable. It's level 74 currently, it doesn't really have enough stopping power to push into the hardest end game maps but I was able to solo almost all of Merciless difficulty. I made a quick video: Searing Bond Scion. For now it's parked while I experiment on the next project.

If you are looking for an ARPG where you really have to embrace all the game mechanics and really think about how to design a strong character there is no better choice for me. Because they keep releasing new build-defining uniques and revisiting the balance of skills and abilities over time, it remains fresh and there's always something new to experiment with.
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News Comments > Saturday Safety Dance
7. Re: Saturday Safety Dance Nov 30, 2013, 15:55 MisterBenn
Examples like Lavabit and Silent Circle have show that you will get prosecuted and/or run out of business if you don't hand over full access to any public communication you host while on US soil. I imagine the rules are the same here in the UK. Why bother with claims like this that can't possibly be true? It just indicates that you are not even trying to be sincere.  
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News Comments > Steam Autumn Sale
71. Skyrim Mods Nov 28, 2013, 18:57 MisterBenn
Here is my lightning / shader setup for Skyrim

Ultimate Lighting Overhaul
A shader mod based on SweetFX. I tried many of them and this has a fraction of the resource drain, my system is not cutting edge and there is almost no noticable difference. I haven't played for a few months but at the time I checked out all the shader mods available and this was miles away my favourite. The emphasis is on natural colours rather than a stylised or cinematic style. They have totally succeeded at that! The different weathers and times of day use colour palettes which are so natural and convincing, it really blew my mind and I frequently stop to admire what they've done. I know a lot of people say things like that but I am really into this stuff and this mod really stands out to me as being exceptionally well done.

An environment mod that actually adjusts world spaces this time. It makes sure that lights in game actually emerge from light sources (invisible sources would flood lights into the centre of rooms in vanilla) and it adjusts the radii of light sources to be what you would expect. Some additional lamps and lights are placed around time to adequately light them up under this system.

Climates of Tamriel
Everyone knows this one, the definitive weather mod. Awesome with no downsides.

If you haven't tried those out I couldn't recommend them more. One of the best features of Elder Scrolls is the allure of the environment and these mods help that atmosphere a lot. Clearly these are aesthetic mods although the lighting does make indoor / sneaking gameplay different and imo far better.
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News Comments > Steam Autumn Sale
57. Re: Steam Autumn Sale Nov 28, 2013, 09:36 MisterBenn
Acleacius wrote on Nov 27, 2013, 15:35:
Now I have to keep checking back every 8 hours for the Flash sales!

I haven't put this to the test, but the thing I read on Steam yesterday said if an item is on your wish list Steam will email you when the product is "heavily discounted".

I put Fallen Enchantress Legendary Heroes on that list, it's 50% off now and the DLC is too... once a daily / flash deal comes up I will buy the whole set. I tried vanilla Fallen Heroes a while back and thought it was my favourite of the new fantasy 4x games by a long way but felt it needed more content and bug fixing... now is the time I believe!

Edit: Why can't I quote properly?

This comment was edited on Nov 28, 2013, 10:37.
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News Comments > Path of Exile Launch This Week
8. Re: Path of Exile Launch This Week Oct 21, 2013, 22:04 MisterBenn
I still think this game is magnificent! Haven't got bored of experimenting with builds yet and it's getting a shake up with the Scion class and rejigged skill tree that other characters can't traverse the centre of any more. Can't wait to experiment with trigger gems to automate some of utility spells too.

Yeah the currency system is a curious one but I think it works really well. It's definitely easy to burn through your currency with a few bad rolls and we've all been burned by RNG somewhere along the line, but the strong currency sinks have done a good job to stabilise the trade value of the various orbs over time.

Beyond about level 80 there are definitely diminishing returns in terms of what you can do and what value you can get out of it, I presume they will extend level caps at some point. In throwaway comments there has been talk of producing a further act each year while the game remains popular enough and they are releasing significant new content in 4 month intervals in sync with new leagues that run for the same amount of time.

It's not the flashiest ARPG around but the graphics are absolutely adequate to my eyes and the visual design is great in places. Net lag and desync still stalks players too, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to Diablo fans looking for something new.
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News Comments > Ian Livingstone Leaving Eidos
4. Re: Ian Livingstone Leaving Eidos Sep 30, 2013, 23:16 MisterBenn
Man I loved those as well. I don't think I had any gaps when there were 20 in the series... do you guys remember the Sorcery Epic quadrilogy too? Those were my favourites I think.  
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News Comments > Grand Theft Auto Online Microtransactions?
4. Re: Grand Theft Auto Online Microtransactions? Sep 23, 2013, 20:57 MisterBenn
I don't recall where now but before the release I read a news item mentioning openly that there were microtransactions this time round.  
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
12. Re: Out of the Blue Aug 16, 2013, 14:38 MisterBenn
Diversionary tactic: I see that Worms Clan Wars came out. Despite being a PC only release it's built on the Revolutions engine that was multiplatform and I read that the things I hated in that (30fps for worm animations and movement, input delay) are still in which is a big disappointment. It's also very similar to revolutions from what I can see.

If you have a recent Worms title I would suggest skipping this. If you care about PC titles being optimised for the platform or the physics and feel of the game being snappy then I would skip it too. If your social/family group loves the series then I suspect the magic recipe is still in there somewhere underneath the bullshit additions but for me this again is not the killer title that the series needs to make it essential again.

Edit: also interesting to note that Team 17 closed down their public/support forums. It's necessary to go to the steam forum to discuss your problems now. I guess they got/fear another backlash...
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News Comments > Brain Overclocking Headset
13. Re: Brain Overclocking Headset Jul 5, 2013, 17:10 MisterBenn
SpectralMeat wrote on Jul 5, 2013, 12:25:
Cutter wrote on Jul 5, 2013, 12:19:
Next will be the penis overclocking model.

I am sure ones this comes out the modding community can whip that up

I read on a benchmark site that pushing 10 cycles per second and beyond can lead to significantly reduced lifespan and in some cases units had to be retired early due to burnout...
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News Comments > Magic 2014 — Duels of the Planeswalkers Released
2. Re: Magic 2014 — Duels of the Planeswalkers Released Jun 26, 2013, 22:35 MisterBenn
Some of the past decks were a bit stupid (a goblin charge deck when none of the others are set to counter it, Jace's mill deck is slow and boring every time) but overall I love the game. I'm still playing 2013 and I've bought them every year since the series started, for about UK£7 a year you can't go wrong IMO.

I bought the game then downloaded a scene release and extra modded decks last year so for me deck variety and card unlocking wasn't a problem. Most of the DLC is not necessary but extra decks for a small cost during the year I don't find a problem at all. It's diluted from the main Magic experience but there's still a lot of gameplay there for the money if you don't mind that; I'd recommend it without hesitation.
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News Comments > Scrolls in the Black After One Week
3. Re: Scrolls in the Black After One Week Jun 21, 2013, 12:25 MisterBenn
I've watched a couple of the TotalBiscuit videos of gameplay. It could be interesting, combining the collectible cards and deckbuilding of MTG with a hex based, "attacking down lanes" system with a resemblance to M&M Clash of Heroes. The presentation is stylised and quite clear without being gorgeous, potentially there is quite a lot of depth in the gameplay although the action did strike me as a little on the slow side. You'll have to get engrossed and spend time grinding free cards or purchasing microtransactions if you are hoping to be competitve I imagine, like a lot of collectible games.

I agree the game is basically released now, it seems as though the release has been quite smooth though and if it's making money already it's another victory for keeping development costs under control. As for the game, I can imagine people liking it but I will probably stay with DOTP for the moment unless I hear that this game is gaining serious traction.
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News Comments > Worms Clan Wars Announced; Beta Testers Sought
5. Re: I've Got the Latest News Jun 21, 2013, 10:28 MisterBenn
I wonder whether that means it's a PC only title or whether it's just that PC will come first. I really hope the former... I felt that that disappointing parts of Revolutions was down to being a port.

The menus in Revolutions were horribly consolised; for example rather than being able to drag your team members around in the roster to reorder them, you have to click through about 8 screens of options adding and removing worms. All those screens were animated to slide in and out of the screen, it was agonising!

The feel was a bit off as well, the worm animations and some types of scrolling were rendered at 30fps and others were at the full 60. Also the pacing of turns has never been as snappy since Armageddon, all the zooming and scrolling around just hold the turns back a little bit to me.

Of course friends+worms+alcohol is a recipe that to some extent cannot go wrong, in a group like that the technical details frequently don't matter. However to me the pinnacle of the series was when the gameplay was at its most sharp and concise and that the last couple of iterations' graphical fluff and ported engines have lost sight of that. If Clan Wars actually is PC only I really hope Team 17 will seize the opportunity to give us a title well tuned for the platform, then yet again they will see me part with my money...
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News Comments > Saturday Previews
2. Re: Saturday Previews Jun 8, 2013, 16:05 MisterBenn
A bit rough this early on of course but I can see some of the ta/sa tradion in the unit/building/gui style. Still don't know how seamless they will make the multi planet combat... it seems like a lot for one player to manage, perhaps that side will shine in team games.

In Spring RTS I recall 8v8 team games on Desert Siege with teams having about 4 economy/air players building up to superweapons and 4 people who went unit heavy and fought the front lines... perhaps multi planet team games will establish "formations" or player roles in an equivalent way. Could be amazing. I think they would be wise to provide modes to fight on a single flat planet in the traditional way too, I think many people would be ecstatic to get an updated TA of any kind, let alone the planet combat stuff.
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News Comments > On Sale
17. Re: On Sale Jun 1, 2013, 23:30 MisterBenn
Oblivion then Skyrim boosted the accessibility and polish of the Elder Scrolls series, and if I was getting someone interested in the series it would probably be Skyrim I'd use to indoctrinate persuade them. There's no doubt that some of the older game mechanics and options fell victim to the streamlining though -

  • Character stats: they did away with the primary stats the series has had up to date, just the derived stats remain now so there's no longer a distinction between strength and endurance, intelligence and wisdom and so on.

  • Character stats screen - completely gone, you just have hp/mp/fat on the level up screen now.

  • Spellmaking gone.

  • Magic - mysticism tree gone, teleport spells, levitate gone.

  • Armour - clothes under armour gone, medium armour class gone.

  • Enchanting - Enchanted item value/rarity used to affect enchant capacity

  • Item durability and repair gone.

  • Number of armour pieces got compressed down, these used to be cuirass/pauldrons/gloves/greaves/boots/helmet

  • Sorry for leaping in (and using bullets ), this thread reminded me of the pain of losing some of these!! It definitely is a shame that some of these were lost but the lore and exploration are always great in Elder Scrolls, they always do those bits well. Also I never thought after Morrowind that they could recapture the magic of Vvardenfell landscape in a sequel (and Oblivion's landscape being a bit of a bland, giant meadow didn't disuade me) but I have to admit that Skyrim made me eat my words. Many parts of Skyrim are awesome and varied and I feel like the landscape area they created has its own character which is distinct from previous titles but stands confidently in its own right.

    Anyhow, Morrowind has given me the happiest of my RPG gaming memories and if you are happy reading your conversations that I would recommend it to anyone. I would have thought that there would be some self-contained gameplay overhaul mods that do for the gameplay what Overhaul does for the visuals by now. A few years back it used to be Wakim's Gameplay Improvement Mods, probably there is a successor now. If I know the mod community they've probably integrated all sorts of new skills or gameplay effects now, they've have more than 10 years!!
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    News Comments > "Major" Path of Exile Patch Next Week
    9. Re: Jun 1, 2013, 10:15 MisterBenn
    I am still playing the ass off this game and loving it. I have to agree that the monetisation really is as ethical as they promised, if you are playing for any length of time then you probably need more tabs to give yourself breathing room for all the loot, but that's it really. I just bought another £20 pack this week out of respect for all the time I've spent in game; I just got some premium tab upgrades, a weapon effect and I've saved the rest of my credits for now. I never read any stats for how much cash this game has been spinning, I really hope GGG consider it a success.

    A free respec will be awesome for me, I parked a dual wand power syphon build in act 2 merciless because he wasn't doing enough damage to be safe - he can get a rethink and a new lease of life now! And my pure evasion ranger is starting to come together - the planning and executing of different builds is the best thing about this game, it keeps you making interesting decisions about what direction to go in throughout the levelling process of your character.

    This patch should enrich the build making further - everyone knew that stacking life was the best primary defence in the game regardless of build type (CI builds being an exception) and this patch seeks to make other defence types be on a par. Monster damage will be down a bit, effect of life nodes down a bit, and armour / evasion / energy shield nodes will get boosted. Should lead to more variety of builds.

    Also they're putting in the long-requested option to specify loot allocation for parties. Loot will be immediately free for all, or permanently allocated to players if you specify. I've waited for this one for a long time, I'd happily blend with public groups for more fun and variety during the levelling but I never wanted the hassle of guarding against loot ninjas and staying vigilant for the good drops for hours at a time, I am too old for that shit!

    BTW if any of you play in the standard league, I still have free shit to give away from my dead guys. Rares/gems/etc from a couple of 50/60s, some of it's quite good! Let me know if you are interested.
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    News Comments > GRID 2 Trailer; Track List
    9. Re: GRID 2 Trailer; Track List May 15, 2013, 12:13 MisterBenn
    I don't think I ever played the first GRID and I agree that me and my wheel should wait for something else. The last good racer for me was Shift 1 with the overhaul mod, that had good presentation and feeling of speed along with good enough physical to replay a lot. It's a shame the menus were so fiddly and the game modes were a bit lacking really.

    I was never that fussed about online racing. What I really want from a racer outside of physics and a career mode, is a party mode that lets friends compete against each other on a single track. Between races list the best times and let the next player select their control scheme preset and which ghost to race against. Some games let you approximate this in a manual way but with guests who don't know the game there should be a friendly screen to make it all foolproof.
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    News Comments > Op Ed
    17. Re: Op Ed May 15, 2013, 12:00 MisterBenn
    I haven't seen the need to go to Metacritic for anything in a long time. Even with the law of averages, I concluded long ago that 90% of user reviews are people with some kind of agenda, one way or the other. Even the professional reviews are of questionable value. The biggest releases control the review process before release, and get reviews from many casual sources like newspapers that rate out of 5 or 10 and never give bad reviews so your can get a pile of 90s and 100s included in the metascore. Most publications only award scores in the 80-100 range anyway unless there are incredibly exceptional circumstances.

    Rather than go to aggregate sites I would suggest getting a source or two that you learn to trust and go straight to them. Most importantly, wait for the game to release and watch the truth on some gameplay videos.
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    News Comments > GRID 2 Trailer; Track List
    4. Re: GRID 2 Trailer; Track List May 15, 2013, 11:32 MisterBenn
    There are a few gameplay videos on YouTube, I looked a couple up since my G25 has been gathering dust for a while. The physics are definitely at the arcadey end of the scale, you have incredible tyre grip and you can correct huge mistakes during corners without mishap. On one vid a guy overshoots a fast corner on to grass and gets round the corner anyway, only losing a small amount of ground on the guy ahead, it seems quite hard to crash out. Also there's no cockpit view, having said that there is a decent bonnet cam and I always got on well with those.

    Unless there are some options in there for more sim style handling then this one will probably satisfy more for action rather than simulation, but the presentation is great and there's lots of content so it's probably not impossible to enjoy.
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    News Comments > EA's Exclusive Star Wars Game Rights
    48. Re: EA's Exclusive Star Wars Game Rights May 7, 2013, 11:51 MisterBenn
    "You’ve never heard of EA? … It’s the publisher that can run a franchise into the ground in less than 12 parsecs."

    Sorry, that was the last one left by the time I got here. If they do manage to release a good Star Wars game, can I reserve "That thing's operational!" ?
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    News Comments > Skyrim Development Ends; Bethesda on to "Next Adventure"
    49. Re: Skyrim Development Ends; Bethesda on to Apr 15, 2013, 19:08 MisterBenn
    After a lengthy break I just bought the Skyrim DLC and remodded the game and got playing again. It plays better than ever now the game and community content has matured. I probably also agree that this engine has gone about as far as it can, let's hope for genuine progress here.

    As for the next ES game, I would predict that Summerset Isle or Valenwood would be the next setting as you can't go wrong with elves. I think getting most of your game's lore from Khajiit or Argonians would be a bit offputting for some people. I'm not ruling out a return of the Dwemer!!!
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