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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some minor Horizon Zero Dawn location and mechanics discussion

Butch:

Went tallneckin’. Not the beer kind, the robot kind.

Did the one where it was surrounded by killers and a corrupter. 

That was some fantastic level design. Tense, lots of ways to approach it, the boom boom boom of the tallneck making everything more tense, the sneaking, tactics….

Not much theme, but DAMN that was a great level. I’m saying level, but you get it.

NOW I’m out of everything. I’m down to hardpoint arrows. I gotta go back to meridian.

But DAMN that was good.

Though….did you find the killer’s plans? I found them, and they just said “override tallneck.” So I thought I had to override it to read them. So I overrode it, went back, and they still said “override tallneck.” Did something fail to reveal itself for me? Or was that their whole plan?

It’s like that scene in the old Bill Murray movie Meatballs when they are doing a track meet, and a kid asks for coaching on the high jump and he says “Try to jump……..very very high….”

“Try to….you know….override the tallneck…..”

Feminina:

Ah, I thought that might be the tallneck to which we were referring! Yeah, the corrupter and all those guys lurking around, while the tallneck marches inevitably past…I love how they’ve worn deep grooves in the ground where they walk .

Tallnecks are the best.

I don’t remember any killer’s plans! Maybe I missed looting someone. Obviously I killed everyone in sight, and I thought I’d gathered all the loot, but I may have been careless. Hmph.

In any case, I have no wisdom to impart regarding the message. Maybe the plan was to override and then corrupt the tallneck? Corrupting machines seems to be their thing, and a corrupted tallneck could do a heck of a lot of damage crashing around the countryside.

I kind of hope we don’t have to fight one…I like them too much. “Let’s not quarrel, tallnecks! We’ve got a great thing going, you walking around and around and around for a thousand years and me stealing your map data and admiring you. We don’t want to mess that up.”

Butch:

Tallnecks kinda are the best. Such a common mechanic, so cool.

You didn’t miss much re plans. They were just these purple sparkly things in focus. I said “Whoo hoo! Neat!” I scanned them “brrrrrrb override the tallneck.” So I did, came back, “brrrrrb override the tallneck.” They were just kinda sitting on the table. No datapoint icon, no nothing. Odd.

Dude it never occurred to me they’d be corrupting it. That’s fucking awful.

But I did wonder what the corrupter was doing there all by itself. Well, without a ton of corrupted machines around it.

Tonight Mrs. McP has her last class. Good time to go to Meridian, check in on the hunters, get that awesome sounding sling you mentioned (if I have the right stuff, which I won’t, because I never do), maybe do some…I dunno…story…maybe…..

Feminina:

Story? What’s that again? Ha. I was actually following the story last night…I was in the area, seemed silly not to.

Remember, if you’re in Meridian and you don’t have the right machine parts, there IS that merchant who sells machine parts. I think I bought a bellowback heart from her or something. You know, if you don’t feel like going on a hunting expedition to get a sling.

Gotta spend shards on something.

Butch:

See, I’m also terrible at shard management. This is mostly because the inventory screen is so icky. I keep forgetting that each square has a limit, so I’m looking at my inventory, I see chillwater, I say “I need that, can’t sell that,” and I forget the next five squares are ALSO chillwater, which I can sell, as that’s a lot of chillwater. So I think I’m poor, and I have to hunt watchers for their three shards apiece, and then, about once every two weeks or so, I remember I’m really quite rich.

And then I promptly forget again and start unintentionally hoarding fire kiln root.

So I’ll screw it up. I’ll buy a charger heart or some shit, then I won’t have enough shards for the cool thing. Then, a week from now, I’ll forget WHY I bought the charger heart, I’ll THINK I’ll need shards, and I’ll sell the charger heart, and then I’ll go to buy the cool thing and I won’t have a charger heart.

I know I’d do this. I know myself well.

Feminina:

I too tend to forget why I was saving things, and sell them, and then think I need something else and go hunting for it…inventory, man. An endless vale of tears.

Butch:

The inventory screen in this game leaves a whole lot to be desired. Other games have not exactly nailed the idea of a complicated inventory screen (the bugaboo of any open world game with loot and crafting), but even games that do not have good inventory screens did better than this. TW3 was a mess, but at least everything in that mess had its own picture and number. Sure, you had to scroll all over the place to find that nekker heart, but at least you knew what a nekker heart looked like and how many you had. This game? Nope.

Feminina:

Yeah, it’s not great. I mean, it has a sort of nice, clean, stylized aesthetic that is pleasing to the eye, but as a functional system rather than a decorative one…meh.

I wonder if maybe it’s meant to kind of deprioritize the admiration of loot, reducing it purely to the utilitarian level of “what does this do for me?”

The fact that they use these rather abstract symbols for everything, almost like the symbols one would see for forms of money, suggests this to me. Which is fine in theory, because that IS all we really care about and maybe the game is just trying to say “we know all you care about is what this item can do for you, so here’s what–now get back to playing!”

Except in practice the symbols are not distinctive enough to be easily read at a glance, so you have to scroll over every single box (“is this a watcher lens or a glinthawk heart?”), and it’s hard to keep any real sense of what you have.

Though I do appreciate the fact that for some items, the “what it’s good for” text is just “selling for metal shards.”

Thanks for confirming to me that THIS at least is something I can just sell without fear I might need it later!

Butch:

I have no trouble with utilitarian. I don’t need pretty flowers. But I would like a screen that makes it clear what shit is and how much of it I have without having to interpret too much. Games should be for playing, not trying to decipher spreadsheets.

I get it in spirit, and what they were trying to do with things. But it’s annoying.

That tip about some things only being for selling is rather handy. But, on the other hand, I like that other games have a tab with recipes. It would be nice to see everything all lined up, so you know “Ok, that needs fatty meat…oh shit, so does that…hmm” instead of having to click through every single damn potion, every single damn upgrade (which is in a different tab), etc, to make sure you aren’t using all that meat/wire/blaze/whatever up before you need it to make something else.

Irksome.

Feminina:

It’s true, inventory management is always hard to do well, and I can see how this seemed like a good take on it, but it really doesn’t particularly satisfy.

Now, if we had some brilliant ideas about how to design the perfect inventory management screen, we could probably rake in the dough.

We could offer a free Mysterious Weirdos T SHIRT with every purchase.

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