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Buttons:

Been keeping up with the blog…

Killing Dragons… I had a similar reaction; killed it ’cause it was there but felt a little bad – it wasn’t attacking me or doing harm beforehand, and Cassandra said something after that kinda reinforced that. But Bull was so excited we’d killed a Dragon! Even though he wasn’t in my part when I did it; that was a little weird. But it felt good that everyone seemed to acknowledge how awesome I was when I killed it! Woot! Except that no one said anything when I killed the 10 others… that was weird.

Minecraft… neighbor got it for his son, Little Buttons already had it, neighbor bought us a copy for the 360 so little Buttons could play it with him and his son. I’ve been dodging this thing for 6 years and now its in my home. Based on McP’s description on the blog, I have to suggest you’re playing it wrong. One plays minecraft not for the game itself but for creative mode. So you don’t have to mine/chop/craft everything you want. If you just want to recreate Penn Station and not a hut, use creative mode. That being said I think the sensation of a chore varies much more than one would expect person to person.

Games as food/90 hours with filler/filler in general…

Well, honestly I think you’re fixating too much on this one dude’s comment. What is filler for some may be a healthy meal for another. Think about the variety of non-main quest content in the game. Collecting empty bottles, collecting shards that can beef a stat, collecting warden stuff, companion side-quests, random NPC side quests, closing rifts that gives you combat experience and loot. Collecting minerals and plants that can aid with potions and/or armour. Some of it ties into the core loops (minerals, loot) and some of it doesn’t at all (collecting bottles) and the rest is spread along the spectrum. For some people, the only thing that would be considered ‘filler’ might be collecting the bottles. For other people, ‘filler’ might be anything that doesn’t feed into the core gameplay loop (things that don’t add contribute to player gameplay enhancement). And for this one guy, it seems like it’s anything that’s not the main story and/ maybe companion quests. I personally never really think about filler as filler, I think of it more as ‘stuff I choose not to interact with’. In my experience with DAI, I went past my usual threshold as I waited for the war table at the end, when I engaged with content I wouldn’t normally. Is that me engaging with filler? For some it might be; others not.

In the end, everyone’s allowed to make up their own mind, but even then, who’s to say that that given person should be considered the median by which everything’s measured. Are we the median? You two write and think about stuff a fair amount, but the majority of it stems from a starting point of ‘we’re the median’. I don’t know if this guy thinks he’s the median or not, but you’re taking his critique of the game from a standpoint that starts as him as the median. Maybe he knows he’s not, or maybe he doesn’t, but I think the point came down to; oh, now that me (McP) and F O’L have experienced all this as well, it’s clear this guy wasn’t the median. Mystery solved; he’s a skewed data point. Personally, that’s what I thought he was from the beginning.

I stuck with Borderlands the PreSequel until I got to the end boss which I didn’t have enough level-up to beat. So, in a rare move, I put the controller down and am considering myself done with it. Then I turned my attention to Batman Arkham Origins which was still unfinished and, today, finished it. Now I’m going to try finishing TLOU on the PS3. I’ve started Pillars of Eternity on the PC. On the XBone, I’ve got to decide what to try next. Neighbor’s already started AC Unity so I might fire that up so he and I can do co-op.

Butch:

Well, yes. I did say that it wasn’t such a deal as the game got accolades and (apparently) sold well.

But I still think that critiquing a game based on what’s in it is very valid, and shouldn’t be dismissed as “Hey, if you don’t want to interact with it, don’t, so there,” because, as I said, a lot of players don’t “choose” and it’s lazy assed development. Throwing the kitchen sink into a game so there’s something for everyone CAN (doesn’t have to but can) lead to a muddy, sloggy, diffuse mess. It also means that the vision of the developer doesn’t really matter, because everyone will pick and choose and leave it at that.

Back to food: When I go to an expensive restaurant, I want to see/taste the vision of the chef. I don’t want to get a pile of ingredients and have them say “ok, fix any meal you like.” If I wanted to cook my own food, I’d’ve stayed home.

When I play a game, I want to experience the ideas of a group of artists. That is, developers. I want to wrap my head around how they are using a game to convey fun/story/mood/whatever. YOU’RE the professionals. YOU’RE the artists. Don’t hand that over to me. I can’t design games for shit. Devs should pick the game they want to make, the story they want to tell, the experience they want gamers to have, and have the guts to stick to it.

Ok, rant over.

Again, I urge you to start TLOU over or leave it be. There’s no way you can pick that up midstream and have it do what it’s supposed to do. Sure, you’ll be able to analyze level design and where the enemies are and how many molotovs they give you etc but that game is NOT about that. At all. Killing clickers is the worst part. Don’t wreck it for yourself. It’s too good.

Do the Batman games deserve the praise/hype they get? I’m still at that point in my gaming life where pretty much anything licensed makes me a bit nervy.

Feminina:

I don’t actually follow the game press hardly at all, so I rely on Butch’s translation. If he says everyone in the world is complaining about filler, I buy it. Ha.

I do like to imagine that it turns out it was just one guy, and that he’s all sad right now: “this tiny blog I’ve never heard of is totally picking on me just because I don’t like looking for bottles!”

I have to argue with Buttons on one point, though–were the bottles supposed to be EMPTY? The horror! I always assumed they were full. In my world, I’m going with them being full, anyway…my Inquisitor wouldn’t have been nearly as interested in them otherwise. My Inquisitor needed a stiff drink from time to time.

Just something to take the edge off traveling with people who bicker constantly and only want to romance her when they’re Blackwall.

Butch:

http://kotaku.com/dragon-age-inquisition-has-a-filler-problem-1667277518

That would be the very talented Patricia Hernandez of Kotaku, who is a very good writer.

Re the whole “Well, interact with the game how you want” bit, I give you the next to last paragraph in this article written by a very, very knowledgeable player:

I can’t deny it: I’m playing through many of the sidequests inside of Inquisition. *But that’s because it’s hard to fight the compulsion to be a completionist, not because I always think the mission design is good.* On the contrary: much of the filler flattens the world of Thedas—the juicy conflict between mages and templars will get reduced to a mission where I have to kill a certain number of either factions, likely both, while roaming around whatever map I find myself on. *Filler is disappointing in Dragon Age because it detracts from the richness that normally defines Dragon Age.*

(*Emphasis* mine).

See? People eat what’s on the plate. Even when they are very, very savvy about what’s going into a game, and even when it’s not just making them bored, it’s making the rest of the game worse.

There’s other articles on this. We’re not alone.

The bottles are full. You put them in your cellar. Wouldn’t do that with empties.

Feminina:

My bad, assuming it was a guy. Sorry, Patricia Hernandez! For assuming, not for picking on you about the bottles. Because that’s just what we do.

You’re wrong about the bottles! The bottles were amazing! Without the bottles I never would have made it through 100 hours of Solas and Vivienne snarking about peoples’ lack of education and class!

We need a gender-neutral equivalent of “guy.” Maybe follow DA’s neutralization of “sir” by spelling it “ser,” and just spell it “gey”? Heh. Yeah, I can see that catching on.

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