What games are you playing 2: The revenge

seitora

Well-Known Member
Danganronpa V3

FINALE

What

Well. I'm not quite sure how to interpret this. I mean, I realise it's meta. I'm just not certain how much of it is how the franchise creatives actually feel about the fandom or burn-out on producing the series, and how much it's just them trying to throw a curveball at us by being meta.

It at least clears up a lot of the inconsistencies from the last two chapters. And to be honest, I didn't like how Chapter 5 implied that Despair basically won, wiping out all the victories of Makoto and Hajime and crews to the point that only 16 people ever survived. But this is even less kosher to me.

Anyways. Given this is the 53rd iteration of Danganronpa in-universe, I wonder what that means for Shirogane revealing all of this. Assuming that she's telling the truth, which I will here because that's the rabbit hole I'm going down right now. But I seriously question that. Why would she reveal they're all essentially in a reality show? Either the production team decided to really change things up hard for this 53rd show, or Kokichi really threw their entire script off with his antics, forcing Shirogane and Team Danganronpa to improvise hard, to the point that their narrative fell apart. That, and Kiibo losing his ahoge enough to break everything so rooms that weren't supposed to be discovered were.

That said. For this ending to happen, there was no way Kaede could survive to the end. Kaede would have been a great protagonist, and a strong female one too. But she would have thoroughly led everybody into the 'Hope' camp. For this 'reality show' narrative, rebelling like this was the only ending that could have been satisfying to us in reality (though of course not to the in-universe audience!). Kaede would have ended the show in a win for Hope, and Season 54 would soon be in production. It took somebody not that confident, like Shuichi, to really turn things around.

Although...if Kaede's death was following script, that must have hurt the in-universe audience numbers. Kaede is probably most people's waifu. My assertion in the first chapter that it was weird nobody considered the real murderer coming from the other side of the door and the hidden room having a second passageway seems to be prescient, at least. It would seem the writers wrote themselves into a corner with that, as all 15 people in the first trial would have to not think of that, and only by omitting the possibility could they bring it down the road here.

Also, so Tsumugi framed Kaede for Rantaro's death. I never quite caught that his skull should probably have been opened up by a shotput fall from the book's height, but I did notice that the blood splatter on his one hand was rather odd, because if his death was instantaneous that blood splatter made no sense whatsoever. However, since I write these posts up at the end of each chapter, I forget some things, and that's one of those.

Anyways, I'm sure I'll have a lot more thoughts to follow. That's just my initial assessment.
 

chronodekar

Obsessively signs his posts
Staff member
Like I said, you'll either love it or hate it. Or like me, be torn in-between. Feels ... very much like a cop-out. A cop-out we (as players) shouldn't be too surprised to see. ... And yet, I am. A bit insulted too, I think.

-chronodekar
 

Knyght

The Collector
Completed Gravity Rush Remastered. It feels like ages since I played a game where I just enjoyed running around a city (or flying in this case) so I’m looking forward to the sequel and the upcoming Spiderman.

I do feel bad for all the people I kept throwing into the air with me though. Wrong place, wrong time.
 
Just played Yakuza 0. Took me just shy of 80 hours to finish it. It has consumed all my gaming time since it was released. With the occasional hour or so break to get in a run on Dead Cells when the grind got a bit tedious.

Have never played a Yakuza game before and went in blind.

Holy shit, that was amazing.

The side stories are GTA level absurdities, but the main story is actually a really good crime drama. I suppose it's best described as Shenmue on steroids with GTA sensibilities regarding the side missions.

I never thought that answering a phone could be so epic or that buying a dirty magazine from a vending machine could be so tense.

I'll definitely be picking up Kiwami when it is available. I'm hoping they'll port Kiwami 2 and if Kiwami and 6 do as well as Yakuza 0 apparently has it's pretty likely.

Not sure I'm gonna bother with 3, 4, and 5. Depends on who into Kiwami I get. I have a PS3 so I can get them without a PC release.

That said, I hate the dancing and karaoke mini-games. I'm not averse to rhythm games, but I didn't like how the prompts didn't move at a consistent pace in the Karaoke game, and I just disliked the mechanics of the dancing game.

I did manage to get the hostess from the dancing mini-game, and it was worth it for her epic "party" stat, but didn't do any more than I had to for either of those games beyond that.

Also, I've always hated Fantasy Zone, but you never actually have to play it.

Most of the other mini-games are well worth the time.
 
I really want to like the Tomb Raider Reboots- I beat the first one and tried to play the second, but I just feel... dirty, after playing it. Like, I'm enjoying the game/gameplay, still enjoying the game/gameplay, and then I get a nice little cutscene that reminds me that somewhere out there someone with a snuff fetish is definitely jacking it to this game and I just feel vaguely ashamed for playing it all over again.
I read this reply before, but it really just kind of hit me when I saw it again that pretty much all the Tomb Raider games are like this. They just didn't have the graphics power to fully realize it.

I remember wincing playing the first one when she died a particularly nasty death from time to time. That was half the fun of playing the series.

They kind of lost me around TR5 or so, so I'm not sure if they moved away from it in the later titles until the reboot when I picked up the series again.
 
Currently playing Dead Cells on stream. Will probably try out The Last Remnant when I get tired of DC.
You don't "get tired" of Dead Cells. I've had it since it was released in early access and I still play it on a fairly regular basis.

It will wear you down eventually, but I'm willing to bet you'll keep coming back to it. It's like classic Doom in that regard and is one of those games that I'll probably leave installed indefinitely and continue to come back to on a fairly regular basis.

It's a great game for that sort of play as a run will usually take 45 minutes to an hour once you get a handle on the gameplay loop and upgrade your stuff enough.

Plus it has mod support. It's limited right now as you can only run the game with one mod at a time, but the devs have said they have plans to expand it in the future.

A lot of the current mods are cheats, rebalances, and troll mods, but there are a few that actually make the game harder and at least one conversion mod that adds new content and replaces levels.

If you decide to mod it, be wary of "fast attack" and "no cooldown" mods, as they also affect certain enemies and traps. Fast attack mods make the final area before the last boss considerably harder.

It's also not really done yet. It's a fully playable game with an "ending" of sorts, but there is obviously content missing. The boss cells that open certain doors when you complete harder difficulties have a door in game that needs a Boss Cell that isn't available in the game in its current state. There's also a large door near the starting area that is currently inaccessible but obviously has some purpose that will be realized in future content releases.

The "final boss" isn't in the game yet from what I can tell. I suspect that an area or two will be added in at a later point as well.

Pro-tips:

Focus on unlocking the starting gold and health potion upgrades, the scrap items perk, and the random starting gear. These should be your first priority, though you'll have to unlock a few other blueprints to meet the requirements.

Don't unlock every blueprint you pick up. Just the stuff that seems interesting to you and that you think you might use. You can break the door to get out without spending your cells. [Also useful for when you want to start spending cells on the Smith.] This means you'll get fewer junk weapons and the stuff you actually want will show up more often in drops and merchant inventories.

Unlocking everything actually makes the game harder because there are so many junk items.

I recently started a new game and have no intention of unlocking the majority of the blueprints.

If you find a scroll, especially a rare scroll. Head straight for the exit. If you die holding it you'll have to wait until the RNG gods smile on you again to get it back.

Don't worry about the timed doors. You only ever need to reach them once. Most of them just have some gold, some cells, and a scroll or two. A couple have blueprints, the Prominade and Ossuary. You'll get just as much, if not more, by clearing areas, and will end up with better gear as most levels have at least a couple of free weapons and chests.

Challenge runes are almost always worth doing. These are the runes that show up in the floor sometimes that aren't for the Ram Rune, so keep an eye out for them. You just use the "use" button while standing on them to activate them. They give a scroll of power, a bunch of cells, and a random necklace. They are always just trap platforming challenges and are not particularly difficult, especially if you have more than one potion charge.

Necklaces also drop from elites usually. Though, sometimes you'll get a random colorless L class weapon from them.

If you manage to find a "Poison Heals You" necklace in the first area, take the sewers route. All those nasty poison pools suddenly become free health potions.

As soon as you get the spider rune, go to the graveyard by way of the sewers and get the key from a hidden wall rune in the main underground area. Take the key to the other end of the surface area and get the blueprint you'll find behind the locked door. It allows you to pick categories for specific weapon types from merchants.

You can unlock all the mutations if you want as they don't show up randomly.

When you're starting out, don't dump all your scroll points into one stat. Pick a main stat and try to keep it double the other two. The enemies scale with you as you level, but also have a minimum level. You can probably get away with dropping Tactics or Brutality once the health boost drops below what you'll get with Survival if you manage to get that many scrolls. Tactics and Brutality will eventually stop giving health boosts, but Survival will always give you more health.

Keep mutations in mind if you're going to drop one, if you're going with a Tactics Build it still might be worth it to keep putting points in Brutality if you're using Brutality Mutations to boost damage.

A shield is often better than a second weapon. They block a considerable amount of damage even without parrying, and some of them also have passive damage reduction like necklaces do.

Spend as little of your coin as possible on merchants until the later areas. You want to gear up as much as possible in the Clock Tower, Forgotten Sepulcher, and even the Castle if you can get away with it.

Turrets are broken as hell. Tactics is the most powerful main. They can rip bosses to shreds and allow you to focus on defense while they do the work.

Also, magnet grenades are the best crowd control in the game, but aren't very useful against bosses. The are really great for dealing with small annoying flying enemies. Ice Spell, Electric Whip, and Throwing Knives also work really well in dealing with flying enemies.

If you're using magnet grenades, pair them with damage over time such as weapons with poison cloud or fire grenades. Two magnet grenades don't work very well as they don't do a lot of damage on their own.

Pick turrets or grenades and don't mix them unless you want to use both cooldown mutations. That can work as a build, but I've found they are more effective if you go with one or the other.

Once you get to the harder difficulties, remember that there are merchants in certain areas that sell an extra potion charge. Be sure to keep some gold aside for that. It is the only way to get extra healing beyond what you start with in the third and fourth difficulty tiers and is especially important in the fourth as health drop items can be contaminated with malaise and potions are the only way to reduce malaise contamination even if they aren't.

Take longer routes and clear levels. Go through the sewers or prison depths rather than the more direct route through the ramparts or ossuary. It actually makes the later areas harder to take a shorter and more direct route. You'll end up with more cells, better gear, and more money taking longer routes.

Finally, there are three runes and a bow blueprint hidden in the starting room. The three runes are how you get the starting weapons again once you unlock the random gear upgrades. They don't show up in the random gear rotation and it's the only way to get them once you unlock the random starting gear. There's an achievement for finishing the game with one of them in your inventory.
 
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Just beat Dead Cells this morning. It took a couple of tries, and almost a liter of La Fin du Monde. but that feeling was amazing.
I got the 4th Boss Cell about an hour ago.

I was putting off going for it until I finished Yakuza 0 and spent most of today trying. Well, a good bit of last night and today.

I had them before, but this is the first time since it's been out of early access I've done it. I started a new save when it came out of early access.

I don't think I've played a game that made my thumbs so sore from playing so much since the 90s.

Still have a few blueprints I need to hunt down, but I've got the one that's the worst of them to get. It's a crappy mutation one in the castle that you need the 3rd Boss cell to obtain because you need to use one of the 3 cell doors to get it. Plus you need to get three keys from three different levels using the keys from the prominade. Not really worth the effort for anything but the sake of getting all the scrolls.

I really just need to wait for the RNG gods to smile on me to obtain the last few. Not going to unlock them, but just for the sake of completion.

I also still need to max out the smith. I've got the + and ++ bars filled, but still need to fill most of the S class bar. I've got about 300 in that one, and it goes to 8k.

Now I'm gonna try and finish the Dead Cells x4 mod. It quadruples the number of enemies and ramps up scaling. It also quadruples the amount of cells you get.
 
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Karnath

Well-Known Member
I am never ordering a game from the square store again. They shipped my CE of DQ11 late, and it has now been held at the US border for the last 3 days.
 
Skyrim VR.

I have played Skyrim in VR before using a program called VorpX, and that was cool. It wasn't quite "right" though in a lot of ways. Scale was somewhat off, and various oddites were present from taking a non-VR game and basically rigging it to run in VR. It was also only controllable with a gamepad.

My game is only lightly modded as it's my first time playing through it in real VR. Mostly stuff to make it look better and additional armors and weapons.

Most Skyrim SE mods work with Skyrim VR.

Mods that affect menus don't work. This includes perk mods. So, no Ordinators and no SkyUI, which also means no MCM. Other than that, pretty much anything goes as far as I can tell.

Motion controls do make a pretty big difference, even if they are a bit strange at first. Melee combat kind of sucks, it's overpowered and you can just high speed smack enemies with melee weapons until they die. There are settings to mitigate this, but it never really fixes it.

Bows and magic are lots of fun to use. Bows especially. This more than makes up for the melee combat being weak.

The sense of scale is pretty neat. Dragons are more intimidating when they actually look about twenty feet long and nine feet high. The various castles and mountains are far more impressive when they look like the size they should be.

There's still a lot of places I haven't been, but where I have been has been consistently impressive. Cozy bars to vast mead halls are equally impressive in their own way. Huge statues and monuments, deep forests, vast plains, and various flora and fauna are all quite a sight to behold. Even lesser enemies like wolves, spiders, and skeevers are more impressive in VR. Wolves actually look like they might weigh a couple of hundred pounds, skeevers look like two foot long rats, and even the smaller spiders look considerably bigger than you probably expect just from seeing them in 2D on a flat screen.

Skyrim does a really good job of giving a sense of place. Though, some interactions kind of mess with that. Opening containers requires a button press in what is clearly a relic of it being a console port. For the most part, the interactions make sense, but you can see where some elements are just normal game controls that were ported over to VR. Nowhere is this more apparent than the menus.

They aren't hard to use, and the favorites system helps a lot. A lot of the complaints about the menu system are a bit overblown as it isn't hard to do anything in them. They just seem dated and not optimized for VR very well. They are functional and nothing more.

Weirdly, in the VR version of Skyrim you can't grab and manipulate bodies. You can do so for pretty much any other physics object, but not bodies for some reason. Dunno why. You can move them around with a shield or telekenisis, so doing that one DB quest is still possible. Though the more common use for needing to move bodies is looting bodies that have ended up under other bodies.

Skyrim VR is impressive and gives a full game in VR experience that we don't see enough of, and it's not a FPS. It is well worth buying again regardless of how many times you've bought it in the past if you have the hardware to run it. This is one port that was definitely justified.

I would not say that it's worth buying VR hardware just for this, but if you already have VR, this is an absolute must buy.
 
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Shirotsume

Well-Known Member

Antimatter

Well-Known Member
taking a Monster Hunter World break, fired up some Crash Bandicoot Warped from the Nsane collection.

This was my first ps1 game back in the day, still a lot of fun, and way easier than crash 1 or 2 were.
 
lol, you know exactly why.
I do actually. They forgot to disable this for the desecrated corpses and the physics freak out when you try to manipulate them by grabbing them.

Weirdly, telekenesis works fine, but if you physically grab them they go nuts and jump around like crazy.

Yes, I also know what you're talking about. That doesn't seem to be the case though. Bethesda has not fucks to give about how pervy or sick you want to be in their games. You can turn them into literal porn if you want. Though it's a bit trickier in Skyrim VR apparently due to how the player model works and the fact that you kind of need to do it in 3rd person for it to be comfortable and not look weird.

There are better VR programs for that sort of thing anyway. One example would be Waifu Sex Simulator. It's free, and is literally just an offshoot of MocuMocu Dance that got turned into porn.

Fallout 4 VR has body manipulation in it that works fine. This is just Skyrim being weird and Bethesda being lazy.
 
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Been playing Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville lately.

It's a bit like Fire Emblem set in a zombie apocalypse, but with no visuals of seeing your characters fight the zombies (which sucks). You start each map in a new city with 5 buildings that you've reclaimed and built a wall around - and most or all of the other grid squares (most of which are buildings) have zombies in them. To reclaim another square, you have to kill the zombies in it, and then set someone to reclaim it by extending your wall around it. Consequently you can only reclaim squares adjacent to yours, but you can reclaim as many as you want at a time.

Each action you take requires time - you can set the timescale, but there's no reason not to have it on the fastest setting - usually measured in days. That includes making things, producing food, chopping wood, researching, building new structures or reclaiming them, scouting the map, killing zombies, etc. You can do as many things at the same time as you have survivors to do them, but each square can have only one task being performed on it at a time.

When you start a new game, you create your personal avatar - who is immune to the zombie disease - and you will carry this character to the end of the game. I don't remember the first map well, but you can take up to 3 other survivors from one map to the next. You do not have to take the same 3 survivors each time.

Each survivor you acquire has skills: Defense (fighting ability), Scavenging (affects the speed of scavenging buildings and the rate of food and materials production), Building (affects the speed of reclaiming structures, building new structures, and reinforcing claimed structures), Engineering (affects the rate of producing various items at a Workshop, the rate of researching new tech at a Laboratory, and a number of map-specific events), and Leadership (affects survivor management, and trade and interaction with other factions).

Each survivor requires a place to sleep - so the number you can have depends on the number of residential structures you've claimed - and food. Farms of various kinds produce food passively, with each farm claimed or built increasing the food production depending on its size, but you can increase the food production at a given farm by assigning someone to actively work it. Your survivors can die if they are badly injured enough or run out of food and starve (and the game has permadeath), and you start each map with only 1 farm - not enough to feed 4 characters without someone actively working it - and 50 stored food. You can also acquire food by scavenging.

Each new map begins under the "fog of war" - you only have information about the buildings you've claimed and the ones you've actively scouted, and most of the map cannot be seen at the start. Scouting is generally quick - quicker if you have a high Scavenging skill or certain items equipped - and reveals information about the grid square you've scouted, as well as revealing more of the map. Grid squares can have Food, Materials, recruitable Survivors, zombies, or events - or any combination of these, including all of them. Each thing can be dealt with one at a time - that is, you cannot Scout, Scavenge, Fight AND Recruit all at once, but must do these in sequence. Reclaimed buildings will retain their Scavengable materials and food, so you can have a low Defense scavenger work safely inside your base if you choose. Recruitable squares will sometimes automatically go to the recruitment screen if you reclaim them, but sometimes they won't - its usually best to recruit first, with whoever has your highest Leadership skill. Reclaiming structures consumes Materials - some maps have very limited supplies of materials, so watch out!

Each survivor recruited will have a primary job reflecting their highest skill, and you can reveal the skills of new survivors before recruiting them by holding the cursor over their portrait. The way to understand skill levels is that anything can be done with any skill level, but a higher level of the relevant skill will make it happen faster. So you can have a Soldier with 0 Building reclaim a structure, but it will take a long time. Fortunately you can swap assigned projects without penalty if you do so while the game is paused, so a useful strategy if you have a cleared square and no available Builders is to have your Soldier start the reclaiming - cleared buildings that have not been claimed will eventually refill with zombies.

Clearing structures becomes more dangerous as the number of zombies inside increases. The longer a structure is untouched, the more zombies it will have. Once scouted, it will appear on the map with a color tint attached reflecting how dangerous clearing it will be - the color scale going up the danger level is Green-Yellow-Orange-Red, with gray meaning it's cleared. Survivors with higher defense will clear the square faster, and are less likely to be injured or bitten in the process. More survivors can be tasked with clearing the same structure, reducing the danger level (this can also be done with Scavenging). The further the structure is from your base, the higher the danger level for your survivors (this can be reduced with certain items, skills, and researched tech).

Occasionally a "mass" of zombies will appear in a grid square adjacent to your base - these are dangerous masses of zombies, and they will eventually assault the nearest bit of your base. Placing a survivor on that square reduces the danger that they will successfully overrun that square - potentially to zero if the survivor has a high enough defense (reinforcing that square can reduce the danger further). Several days will pass between the appearance of a mass and the attack, and when the attack commences you will be given some options for how to deal with the attack (provided the danger isn't 0% and there is a survivor in range to defend the space). If the assault succeeds, you will lose that square and have to clear and reclaim it. Each of the options you are given if the danger isn't 0% will have different chances of success - the more costly methods (like using up extra ammunition or sacrificing a weapon) have higher success rates. If the danger is 0%, you lose nothing at all.

There are also Hordes. These are much larger masses that appear at a distance from your base and slowly approach before attacking. Masses and hordes can be attacked directly - attacking a horde stalls its approach, but an attacked mass will still eventually assault your base - but this is much more dangerous than simply defending the nearest square, and requires better equipped and more numerous survivors to accomplish. Hordes are more dangerous to assault than Masses.

The final zombie type is Roamers. These will never assault your base, but they will assault any survivors you send outside of your base to a square near them - most of the time the attack will simply force your survivor to flee, but they can be injured or even bitten during these attacks. Attacking them successfully will remove them from the map, but this is the most dangerous group to attack. Each zombie group is represented by a different icon on the map, making them easy to distinguish.

Each survivor can be equipped with a weapon and an item. All weapons will grant at least +1 to defense - more "weaponlike" items will grant higher bonuses - and the bonus they provide will increase if the equipped survivor has a relevant Perk (Firearms Training gives bonuses to equipped guns and crossbows, for example, whereas Hand to Hand Training requires they not have an equipped weapon to use). Some weapons have bonus effects - hunting rifles and crossbows allow you to hunt on certain squares for bonus food, sledgehammers and chainsaws grant bonuses to the Building skill, and things like baseball bats and golf clubs grant the Recreation Perk, increasing the happiness of that survivor. Equipped items also grant bonuses - these can include chemistry sets for Engineers, backpacks for Scavengers, toolboxes for Builders, and even vehicles that reduce the danger of operating at a distance from your base. Clearing grid squares with a survivor equipped with a firearm will consume ammunition - which can be replenished by trading, scavenging, or in a Workshop - whereas melee weapons do not, but they tend not to grant as high a Defense bonus.

Items also include pets and young children. Pets will grant bonuses of their own - all grant the Pet Owner perk, increasing happiness, but dogs can grant defense bonuses as well (cats grant other bonuses). Children by contrast reduce all of your survivor's skills - as some of their time is taken up looking after the kid - but eventually the kid will grow up (they become usable survivors at age 14), and they will already have a high level of whatever job their guardian had. So, for example, a kid assigned to a Scavenger will start out with a high Scavenging skill when they grow up. Skills can be increased by use, by items, by weapons, and through use of a School grid square. As their skills increase, you will eventually get the option to learn more about that scavenger's life, and each time (it happens 3 times) you will be able to select one of 3-4 Perks for that survivor. These can have stacking effects for their job, their equipped weapons or even other perks, and some are much more useful than others. "Crafter", for example, occasionally grants bonus item production when the survivor is assigned to a Workshop, whereas a Builder with "Artist" will grant bonus happiness to the group when you assign them to reinforce a grid square (the idea being that they make that area aesthetically pleasing). These perks activate mostly at random, but many others are continuous or otherwise controllable.

The skill cap for survivors is base 10 of whatever their primary job is - anything further is dependent on equipment and Perks. Any skill other than their primary one can only be learned very slowly, and too much time spent on it will cause them to change jobs to favor the new skill. Your avatar, however, is special, and can have up to 10 in every skill.

Tech research at Laboratories is key to improving your survivability and preventing a lot of catastrophes. Survivor Management, for example, allows you to learn more about your survivors - gaining their backstory events and perks, and helping to manage their mood - and acquiring this will unlock more tech on your tech tree. The tech tree gains more tiers as you progress through the campaign, unlocking more and more useful tech. The time each tech requires is dependent on the Engineering skill of whoever you assign, items they may be holding (some grant bonuses), their Perks, and the tier of the tech being researched. Occasionally the game will throw you a curveball: a drought, for instance, will dramatically reduce the food production at your farms for as long as it lasts, and this can be countered by having researched Irrigation ahead of time. Some maps will also offer civil amenities - if you reclaim a Water Treatment Plant, for instance, you are guaranteed not to have survivors come down sick with waterborne diseases. Not all maps have these amenities (the maps are randomly generated, and they change if you reset a stage of the campaign), but the later ones tend to have all of them.

The game has lots of random events that will occur, and you can influence these events to one degree or another based on what you've reclaimed, built or unlocked. If a structure catches fire, for instance, you can put it out safely if you've reclaimed a Fire Station or a Water Treatment Plant, but otherwise your only option is to let it burn out - destroying whatever structure was on that grid square, if any. There are also special events that can occur, and these are often story-related.

Each map will have at least one other faction, and can have as many as 6 (I think). They will start out with some claimed squares, and will slowly grow in all viable directions as time passes. You *can* reclaim squares they occupy, but this tends to piss them off - they will start attacking you if you do this, either conducting raids to steal your stuff or sending soldiers to attack your grid squares and potentially injuring or killing any survivors on that square - so if there's anything you really want near them you want to claim it as early as possible. Reclaiming a square adjacent to their base will prompt them to demand you turn it over to them - you can turn them down politely if you have a high enough leadership skill on your main survivor, but otherwise your options are to either agree or give them the finger (which angers them). Each faction has a Defense level, which can be increased or decreased depending on your interactions with them (this affects how dangerous it is to attack them) and a Reputation level, which affects how likely they are to attack you, whether you can trade with them, and whether they are amenable to an alliance. You cannot trade with a faction if your reputation is below 50%, and alliances are only available at 100%.

Most maps require you to either eradicate or ally with all the factions present. Beginning an alliance attempt requires you reclaim enough structures to unlock a City Hall - building that allows you to define the kind of settlement you've built and set ongoing policies. After you've done that, you can then begin seeking the friendship of other factions. If you prefer to eradicate them, you can attack at any time, but usually you cannot leave a map until you've built a City Hall. Each faction has their own missions, and you must wait at least a few in-game days between interactions with a faction. Trading with factions can gain you reputation by offering to pay more in trade than you're getting - they appreciate it when you do that. Any and all of your weapons, items, and resources can be traded. There is also a wandering merchant - Gustav - who will randomly appear on most maps. Trading with him will prompt him to leave, but he will return eventually. Befriending Gustav is potentially very useful, but getting the most out of it requires a lot of time. You will gain more from trades if whomever you send has at least 5 Leadership - this will allow you to ask if the faction really needs anything specific, and that trade good will be worth double. You must ask the question each time you trade, as it can change from one trade to the next.

The story of this game is surprisingly deep given how shallow a lot of the gameplay is - the end goal is to reach Vancouver (I think - I've just reached it myself in my first playthrough), with the added goal of discovering a cure for the zombie virus along the way and spreading it around to save humanity. There are *lots* of potential branches you can take, and special story events that are easy to miss - I missed a number of them on this playthrough, and they affect the ending you get.

Some tips:

1) Reclaim a Laboratory and/or Workshop as early as possible - the former is more important, as it unlocks new tech, but ammunition production doesn't consume anything but time and is available without any research the moment you reclaim a Workshop.

2) Scout as much of the map as possible as quickly as possible - any idle survivors should be scouting on each turn - but focus on pulling back the fog of war until you've unlocked Improved Scouting or equipped a survivor with Binoculars. These will turn Scouting into an AOE, revealing more structures around the one you specifically sent your survivor to.

3) Focus on choke points like bridges, and remember to reinforce them with one of the various unlockable Watchtower types. Having a really long border can really leave you scrambling to defend it, especially on some maps and especially in the early game when you don't have many survivors.

4) Check the map carefully for squares that allow you to produce materials. If the grid outside the map is Forest, you can send survivors there safely to chop wood - but if it's Hills, you must find a Park to gather materials at. You can very easily run out of materials on some maps, and this will leave you unable to reclaim more structures or build anything, so avoid repurposing park squares on a Hills map if at all possible, as the factions on these maps will also run out of materials to trade after a time. Make sure to seize these squares as early as possible on such maps.

5) Check the survivors' character sheets to find out what relationships they have with other survivors, and manage those where possible. Assigning someone to the same task as another person they dislike can cause fights, but assigning them a partner they like will give a happiness bonus, and some relationships can even end up with pregnancies and children being produced.

6) KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON YOUR FOOD PRODUCTION. This can be crucial in the early game, and it's absolutely necessary to seize nearby farms ASAP to ensure you don't suffer an early defeat. Additional tiers of farming research will increase your max food cap, as will any Warehouse squares you acquire. If you have a positive food income, it can be very valuable for trade as it automatically replenishes.

7) Click on one of the resource icons on the main map (the Ammunition icon, for instance) to open up your inventory. I beat at least 8 maps before I figured out how to do this, as I did not see any explanation for how to do this in the tutorial. The inventory screen will allow you to review what you known about other factions, your settlement policies (if any), and make use of any special items your Engineers have researched and built. Traps, for instance, can be set in infested buildings, and will slowly clear them of zombies over time, and Bait can be used to lure Hordes to to other faction squares (potentially allowing you to reclaim them without angering that faction) and Roamers away from areas you want to send your survivors to.

8) Try to have as many Hospitals as you can, and clear survivors off them once they recover from any injuries they take. Survivors recover faster from all ailments in Hospitals, and any occupied hospital square will not be available to a survivor who is suddenly injured or falls ill - they will go to a house instead.

Final thoughts:
The game can get very repetitive, especially in later levels. Each tech option must be researched again on each new map, and managing survivor happiness can get very difficult and complicated on later levels - but failing to do so can cause serious problems. You can potentially softlock yourself on some maps by destroying your ability to acquire more materials, requiring you to reset the map and try again. I didn't have to do that, but it was a near thing; although resetting that map may have granted me a Park square, solving my problem entirely.

And the game has a few... issues that I might call bugs. My avatar got married to another survivor at one point, and I brought her with me to the next map. Next thing I know, my character sheet lists her not as "Spouse" but as "Nemesis" - meaning we hate each other! I know marriages can turn south in reality, but in game it's a bit jarring to suddenly have your spouse turn on you.

That said, I'm looking forward to at least finishing the game. I would probably enjoy a subsequent playthrough now that I understand some of the mechanics better.
 
Having tried the final map, I felt I should add an addendum.

The end of this game is basically impossible to finish with the "Good Ending" unless you follow a really convoluted path. And that's all I have to say about that.
 

Antimatter

Well-Known Member
Picked up Divinity: Original Sin 2.

Already restarted once. I love how many ways you can go about this game.
 

chronodekar

Obsessively signs his posts
Staff member
Ohh!!! Nice! I picked up Divinity 2 for my PS4 and have been playing it for the past few weeks now.

Initially started making a new character and collected a party, but dumped that when I realized that using one of the pre-made cast would get you more unique dialog. I decided to with Fane, the undead. My party consists of the Red lizard, the bearded assassin (Ibu - something) and Loshe, the woman who gets randomly possessed by a horror from beyond.

I'm playing Fane as a ranger. He has a crossbow with really good strikes. Not sure how he's doing it, but a lot of the hits are criticals. Must be the other equipment, I think. The Red lizard is playing with a single handed weapon (mace/sword, depending on what I find most powerful ATM), Ibu as my two handed expert, usually a spear or axe. Loshe is dual weilding wands.

Just finished the first arc yesterday and am on a boat.

The journey's been fun so far. I've explored most/all of the island. Escaped Fort Joy, kind-of by accident - basically walked out the front gate! Which was really surprising when the game notified me that I finished that quest! There are, I think 3 ... 4 ... multiple routes you can take, now that I think about it. The one I first discovered was a boat underground. Some of the magisters defected and were smuggling out innocents, but got caught. I rescued them and got that option. Then, in a room nearby there is someone doing some weird experiment - he has a piece of equipment that Fane can use to rip faces off. But it was a hard battle. It wasn't until MUCH later that I discovered that the sewer pipe behind him would lead outside the fort. A few flights upstairs into the fort, is a big-wig. The guy called Orewald - you hear him talk in the act's beginning movie writing a letter. Apparently, he was in the middle of a secret court proceeding. When he asks what were you hoping to accomplish by interrupting, an actual response option goes like "didn't mean to, just hoping this is a way out for my escape". I killed him, but didn't realize you could use the vines in a spot behind him to escape.

Hmmm... another way to escape is just teleporting out - but the path leads back to one of the above three. And then there is a passageway which leads into the dungeons.

All in all, I was puzzling over the best approach to escape when I discovered that I could lower the drawbridge. Decided to explore and "won" the quest. :D

Outside, I met up with Amadia who told Fane his sad back-story and what happened to his people. And now he's a God-woken, but don't advertise the fact! There were a few quests and side activities to do here. Let's see ... one was to rescue a dragon, to aid a guy called Gareth and get some equipment to silence an enemy called a Shericker (can't spell it). There is a puzzle area from the Tyrant, which you can cheat using teleport - it's a lot of fun. There are a few points where you meet some burning pigs or burning people who've been cursed with flames. I ... killed a few of them before I realized that you can heal them all using the Bless ability. Something I strongly recommend you do.

Oh, that reminds me - for the initial play-through, get the Pet Speaking ability. You can select it right at the start, character selection. It lets you talk to animals and is super useful!

I should get back to exploring the ship, eventually.

-chronodekar
 

Antimatter

Well-Known Member
Oh man, the fight the torture guy, that was a great quest.

I hit a roadblock there with a custom MC, was way underleveled/geared for it. Rerolled as Fane and because I had the lizard magisters leg, I was able to trade it for the faceripper and bypass the entire fight.

I was dumbstruck that was even an option.

Currently still in fort joy, planning to kill every minister there for the xp/gear. Way better geared this time around, though doing things in a certain order produces different results. Game thought up everything though, as some game breaking things are actually allowed.

For example, roll an undead or fane, and loot some deathfog from the ship before it goes down. Watched someone use that, and some creative positioning, to assassinate the bishop and hammer while they were confronting the lizard magister outside the main gate.

Game actually has special dialog if you did that, and special rewards.

Supposidly the game is full of stuff like that. Anything within the actual game mechanics doesn't count as an exploit, and often results in special circumstances.
 
Still playing Skyrim VR.

Some of the coolest stuff I've ever seen in VR. Lots of areas are more impressive than you might think. Some of the creatures and set pieces are a lot more impressive than Flatrim. Stopping the cult from resurrecting the Wolf Queen, fighting Giants, getting dragged into the sky by Meridia, etc...

There are the places you'd expect would be impressive, Blackreach, Evergreen Grove, the Throat of the World, etc... However, some of the other more subdued areas are really cool in VR. Taverns, random cliffsides, the giant mudcrab, caves with interesting interiors, narrow bridges, glacier canyons, etc.

Dungeons are really fun to run around in. I've modded the game to remove the fake lighting and darken things up a bit. No ENB, so I can use Night Eye. That helps the atmosphere a lot.

I've put in several quest mods, Falskaar is very cool. I also have AHO installed and that was neat too.

Haven't done much of the main quest. I pretty much went to High Hrothgar to get the shouts and haven't done any more than that yet.

I did join the Thieve's Guild and murdered someone to start the DB stuff as well.

I have several companions, but don't like to drag them along for those stealth heavy questlines, so I'm going to finish them up first and then go pick up the companions to do the rest.

Bows are super fun to use in VR, I did tweak an ini setting to change the rotation because it was a bit off otherwise. Magic is also a lot of fun. There's no reason to use Melee at all to be honest.

It's not worth buying VR to play this, but if you have it I stand by what I said earlier. This is a must buy. It's some of the most impressive looking environments I've seen in VR yet.
 
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I've also set up Fallout 4 VR.

I'm not actively playing it, I just installed it, set up my mods, and got through the opening sequence up through getting everyone to Sanctuary. I want to finish Skyrim first.

I had gotten a short way into it when I first bought it, but didn't mod it and really just ran around to check things out and make sure everything was working.

It's...odd.

For starters, the DLC is not included. I don't mean you have to buy it again, I mean that it isn't officially available at all.

You can take the DLC files out of a regular Fallout 4 install and run them in VR, but you'll need patches to get everything working properly. There are missing textures and other issues otherwise that kind of break some of them otherwise.

Atomatron cannot be finished in VR. There's an issue with using the workbench to build your robots. However, the game is basically just the GotY edition, so you can actually play through the few segments that don't work in VR using regular Fallout 4 using the same save file.

As I understand it, Bethesda has no plans to fix this, but the mod community is working on it.

You do want to install the DLC if you're modding even if you don't plan on playing any of it because a lot of Fallout 4 mods require them.

Also, there is no script extender and as I understand it there aren't plans to support Fallout 4 in the near future. That's less of an issue with Fallout than it is with Skyrim, but it does mean that some mods will flat out not work.

Guns are fun to use. Mod guns need VR patches to fix their orientation.

Scoped weapons are a bit weird. You bring them up close to your face and your view switches over to a scoped view. It kind of works but feels a bit strange.

It's also not optimized as well as Skyrim VR.

So far, of the two, Skyrim is a better VR experience, but Fallout 4 is still good enough to be worth it thanks to the modding community. Bethesda seems to have basically abandoned it in favor of Skyrim.

You can see where the lessons they learned from the faults in Fallout 4 VR were carried over into Skyrim VR.

Of the two, I definitely recommend Skyrim VR more. It's more polished and the VR is implemented better. However, if you have the hardware it's still worth a buy. Especially if you're sick of Skyrim.

However, I will say that of the two, Fallout 4 needs mods a lot more to make it an experience worth playing.
 
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Out of curiosity, are there any games that you would say warrant buying VR to play?
Elite Dangerous if you're into that type of game.

If you're a driving game or flight sim fan, VR is definitely worth the investment.

Star Trek Bridge Crew for hardcore trekkies.

There is no universal "killer app" right now. There's a lot of stuff that is worth checking out if you have the hardware, but doesn't justify buying it on its own.

However, as a whole the amount of stuff available does justify it.

Though, the new iterations of the Oculus Rift and Vive are probably going to be released within a year. So you may want to wait a bit if you haven't made the jump yet.

There are also some new contenders throwing their hats in the ring. Paxis VR has an 8k thing coming out with modular design that has 200° FOV. Star VR has a similar unit with lower resolution. These will be expensive though. Most current VR has about a 110° FOV.

Also, wireless options are on the horizon, though they will be expensive at first. I'm not talking about Oculus Go here either.

I've said before that I don't recommend investing in VR for the average consumer "right now". We've passed that point and it's now worth it for consumers. There are a lot of control and comfort options, plenty of software, and the hardware needed isn't nearly as expensive as it was.

Be aware that you may need to upgrade your PC to run VR. It is a lot more demanding than regular games. Check into that before you go buying VR hardware.

Also that you may need to develop "VR legs" before you can spend long periods of time in VR comfortably. People who are very sensitive to motion sickness may never be able to be comfortable in VR and should definitely try it before they buy it.

As of right now, VR is worth the investment though for gamers. WMR isn't that expensive and you can find it for around $200 during sales with a 1440p resolution. With free 3rd party software it will run all Steam VR and Oculus games. Oculus will run Steam games. Vive is the most limited of the bunch, but can run most Oculus games with free 3rd party software.

Having room scale VR is nice, but you don't really need to move around much. You just need enough room to swing your arms about without hitting anything while standing or sitting in place.

Also, Oculus Go is a neat toy, but it is not for gamers. It will run some VR games, but is extremely underpowered and is a standalone unit that doesn't connect to a PC. It's a step up from cell phone based VR, but is nowhere near as good as PC based VR.
 
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