What games are you playing?

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Ezekiel:
First boss in Bloodborne and already the lock-on camera is showing how poor it is for giant bosses. Why did they never fix this?

Edit: Bloodborne is too hard. I'm starting to feel like I wasted my money. Every other enemy and both available bosses are overpowered and I still haven't found the tool kit to upgrade my weapon. I don't remember the beginnings of the Souls games ever feeling so hopeless.

The 1st boss is to show you that you're not supposed to used the lock-on camera. Bloodborne fixes just about everything wrong with the Souls games like shield controls being tied to the archaic lock-on system by just plain removing shields altogether and other things that didn't work (like magic too). Bloodborne has no shields so you don't need to rely on lock-on anymore. Shields were the real villain of Souls . Plus, now you have visceral attacks that are so much better than the riposte from previous games; you don't have to look up a FAQ to see which enemies can and can not be visceral attacked like you had to with Souls and the riposte (so it wasn't worth doing or getting good at before). The whole beginning hour or so of the game is to show you can't play it the "easy" ways that prior Souls games allowed for (shields and magic).

If you ever got good at any of the faster action combat games, Bloodborne is a breeze outside of the occasional hunter battle and obviously the occasional boss battle as you'd expect. Normal enemies are just as trashy as any Souls mob, you can stun-lock like all them by mashing R1 and only have to dodge away if you run out of stamina, then rinse and repeat. Of course, the rally system makes the game much easier. Either way you go whether you dodge the attack, mash R1 or if you fail and get hit, mash R1. It's not nearly that hard.

Phoenixmgs:
The 1st boss is to show you that you're not supposed to used the lock-on camera.

Possibly, although I've used the lock on camera for most of the game.

I think one thing you could say just as easily is that the cleric beast is to show you that your character has much more mobility than in a souls game. Quickstepping (the animation your character does when you dodge while locked on) is incredibly fast and costs almost no stamina, so you don't need to stand right up against the boss staring into his crotch all the time. You can be moving all over the arena, you can lurk out of range of an attack and then dart in to get in a few hits yourself.

In fact, I almost feel this is the biggest weakness of bloodborne relative to the souls games. In souls games, if you wanted to dodge you often had to completely nail the timing or even rely on iframes. This is particularly apparent in DS3 where a lot of enemies have tracking during their attack animations. In bloodborne, you can often just rely on being out of the way. Not always, but often, which makes the few times when you can't more jarring because the game hasn't really taught you to use timing in the same way.

I also found myself locking on quite a bit, unless I had to be careful about where I was dodging, running through scrub enemies that I didn't need to square up against, and larger bosses where free movement helped in gaining better positioning (Cleric Beast, Ebrietas, ROM, Amygdala, Bloodletting Beast for examples).

I also remember some enemies having more and/or different kinds of poise than others, which made trying to mash through with R1 foolishly futile. For example the Brain Trust creatures that hum and cause frenzy, and have some kind of hyper armor during their grab attack that makes dodging a necessity without a heavy weapon.

In a way Bloodborne is easier than Souls because evading is quicker and more effective, on top of parrying being much safer in general. The trade off is losing the pure defense of a shield, which works well for this game but I'd miss it if it wasn't in Souls. I like the dynamic they add as far as deciding when and what kind of attacks are best blocked vs evaded.

I've been playing 2 new games pretty frequently lately.

Vermintide 2
GREAT game, I liked the first one but I hated its lack of content and it's extremely rng loot system (Where the game rolls dices to decide what loot you get). This game I like a lot, the graphics are stunning, the gameplay is improved, the loot is plenty and the new career paths and skills each career has gives the players more options and variety.

Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition
My first FF game, I haven't played any of them before because they seemed really weebish and FFXV is no exception. Luckily the game looks stunning, the story is pretty interesting and the combat looks and feels really great.

I'm just annoyed at this point. My weapon barely does any damage to either boss. If there was a supposed to be a blacksmith somewhere, they were too easy to miss. The werewolf is too big for the camera, even if you don't use lock-on. Farming for healing items so that I have enough for the bosses isn't fun either.

I got two other PS4 games over the last couple of days. I think I'm gonna play Until Dawn and more God of War III instead of this on my next day off work.

Ezekiel:
I'm just annoyed at this point. My weapon barely does any damage to either boss. If there was a supposed to be a blacksmith somewhere, they were too easy to miss. The werewolf is too big for the camera, even if you don't use lock-on. Farming for healing items so that I have enough for the bosses isn't fun either.

I got two other PS4 games over the last couple of days. I think I'm gonna play Until Dawn and more God of War III instead of this on my next day off work.

Cleric beast? You can stagger it by damaging its arms, and then hit its head to bring it down for a visceral. Try to stay up close, as a direct headshot up close may be enough to stagger it for the visceral. So shoot, dodge (if need be), etc. And if I remember correctly you can only do a viseral once per recharge when it begins to heal the arm damage you do to it.

What type of weapon are you using? You can upgrade your weapon with bloodstones. You do this in the Hunter's dream.

Currently playing the Dragon Ball FighterZ

evilthecat:

Phoenixmgs:
The 1st boss is to show you that you're not supposed to used the lock-on camera.

Possibly, although I've used the lock on camera for most of the game.

I think one thing you could say just as easily is that the cleric beast is to show you that your character has much more mobility than in a souls game. Quickstepping (the animation your character does when you dodge while locked on) is incredibly fast and costs almost no stamina, so you don't need to stand right up against the boss staring into his crotch all the time. You can be moving all over the arena, you can lurk out of range of an attack and then dart in to get in a few hits yourself.

In fact, I almost feel this is the biggest weakness of bloodborne relative to the souls games. In souls games, if you wanted to dodge you often had to completely nail the timing or even rely on iframes. This is particularly apparent in DS3 where a lot of enemies have tracking during their attack animations. In bloodborne, you can often just rely on being out of the way. Not always, but often, which makes the few times when you can't more jarring because the game hasn't really taught you to use timing in the same way.

I should've said the Cleric Beast is to show you the big bosses are easier without lock-on vs not using it at all. Most action combat games "feel" right because of iframes and Bloodborne is no different, the dash and dodge have iframes (dodging through boss attacks purposefully is a legit thing you can do in Bloodborne). Whereas a game like Monster Hunter World has a different feel to it because you get very few iframes on the dodge unless you get a certain skill. I can't really comment on the tracking of DS3 because I've only played DS1 (and Bloodborne), which had so little tracking you could slowly circle strafe enemies for an easy backstab.

hanselthecaretaker:
I also found myself locking on quite a bit, unless I had to be careful about where I was dodging, running through scrub enemies that I didn't need to square up against, and larger bosses where free movement helped in gaining better positioning (Cleric Beast, Ebrietas, ROM, Amygdala, Bloodletting Beast for examples).

I also remember some enemies having more and/or different kinds of poise than others, which made trying to mash through with R1 foolishly futile. For example the Brain Trust creatures that hum and cause frenzy, and have some kind of hyper armor during their grab attack that makes dodging a necessity without a heavy weapon.

In a way Bloodborne is easier than Souls because evading is quicker and more effective, on top of parrying being much safer in general. The trade off is losing the pure defense of a shield, which works well for this game but I'd miss it if it wasn't in Souls. I like the dynamic they add as far as deciding when and what kind of attacks are best blocked vs evaded.

I should've specified not using lock-on for the big bosses. You can stun-lock probably well over 90% of the enemies with the Kirkhammer, not the hammer part (which would make perfect sense) but the short sword part. The whip did as well but it did shit damage. The hunter axe did too with massive range for a melee weapon, you could really spam that charged sweeping attack IIRC. I forget if I stun-locked the brain enemies as they require sneaking up on and there were so few of them from what I recall. Even like the higher tier normal enemies like the werewolves and brain sucking / mind flayer enemies could be easily stun-locked. Bloodborne isn't a hard game but I'd say it's harder than a Souls game just because it forces you to play it with a much more risky playstyle due to it not having the option of using shields or magic. It forces you to play a Souls game in the "fun" way basically.

Fun is subjective. I like both games and haven't gotten tired of either yet, but I'd probably get bored of Bloodborne first because it does force you to play a certain way more, whereas Souls you can play however you want.

I appreciate freedom in games more than a rigid design formula that funnels you into playing how the developers intended.

Fast RMX
Bayonetta 2 (Switch)

hanselthecaretaker:
Fun is subjective. I like both games and haven?t gotten tired of either yet, but I?d probably get bored of Bloodborne first because it does force you to play a certain way more, whereas Souls you can play however you want.

I appreciate freedom in games more than a rigid design formula that funnels you into playing how the developers intended.

I barely used magic in the Souls games, but the fans have been saying for years that the spells have gotten more and more underpowered, so I don't get what he's talking about. I also have been using shields less and less since Dark Souls II, because they aren't that useful anymore. I prefer dodging. He doesn't know my playstyle. I wish he's stop talking to me. "Getting good..." Ugh...

Anyway, I started over and beat both bosses. My weapon is still underpowered. I'm wondering if I missed the main toolkit. Overall, I like this game, though. It has interesting level design and art.

My god, the AI is dumb as bricks. Alfred won't climb up the damn ladder to help me fight the guy on the Gatling gun.

I'm trying to justify Kingdom Come Deliverance, but its just so tedious and slow. Bugs and glitches aside(I had this one last night during a duel, jumped off a rock to try and get a good hit and I started floating. And just kept floating. Momentum carried me in mid air about 1/3 of the way across the map. Thankfully the horses in the game are magic and appear suddenly when you call them...) its slow and boring. The pickpocketing and lockpicking is near impossible to do, archery is a lost cause, and the AI is derpier than a mailpony. You can be in a duel, loosing badly, run away, the bandit will forget about it, and then you can sneak up behind him and stealth kill him, and take all his stuff.

Real shame too. Hell Fallout 4 feels like more of an RPG than Deliverance.

Ezekiel:
My god, the AI is dumb as bricks. Alfred won't climb up the damn ladder to help me fight the guy on the Gatling gun.

I got lucky for that one, on my second attempt I dodged when Djura charged at me and he fell off the roof and died lol.

Having said that, yeah sometimes I've noticed NPCs summons take a while to catch up if you run off, but never had them refuse to climb a ladder. Wonder if it's glitched for that particular encounter.

What weapon are you maining? I went with the Saw Cleaver and Rifle Spear occasionally for its reach, but have also dabbled with the Threaded Cane and Ludwig's Holy Blade. The DLC apparently has some unique additions too but I haven't gotten it yet.

hanselthecaretaker:

Ezekiel:
My god, the AI is dumb as bricks. Alfred won't climb up the damn ladder to help me fight the guy on the Gatling gun.

I got lucky for that one, on my second attempt I dodged when Djura charged at me and he fell off the roof and died lol.

Having said that, yeah sometimes I?ve noticed NPCs summons take a while to catch up if you run off, but never had them refuse to climb a ladder. Wonder if it?s glitched for that particular encounter.

What weapon are you maining? I went with the Saw Cleaver and Rifle Spear occasionally for its reach, but have also dabbled with the Threaded Cane and Ludwig?s Holy Blade. The DLC apparently has some unique additions too but I haven?t gotten it yet.

another fun with to deal with that fight is to get him near the edge of the roof then use a gun with knockback to send him off the roof. just have to remember to go to hunters dream then go back there to get the items he drops

Now that I think of it, when Djura died for me I did have a summon, and he never followed me up the ladder. I wasn't really paying attention as to why though because the fight was over so quick. Maybe the space is too small and they don't allow summons? They should alert you if that's the case though, like "I cannot follow you up there." or something.

Having to farm for blood vials is so fucking dumb, Jesus Christ! None of the Souls games were this grindy.

hanselthecaretaker:
What weapon are you maining?

The saw cleaver, threaded cane, pistol and torch. I'm fighting the first chalice dungeon boss and still haven't gotten to upgrade. My attacks barely do any damage until the bleed effect. WHAT IS GOING ON?

Ezekiel:
The saw cleaver, threaded cane, pistol and torch. I'm fighting the first chalice dungeon boss and still haven't gotten to upgrade. My attacks barely do any damage until the bleed effect. WHAT IS GOING ON?

Okay. Go back to the hunters dream.

Go up the stairs, past the doll, and walk into the building.

Go to the far end of the room, where Gherman was when you met him.

Turn right.

The bench in front of you is where you upgrade your weapons.

I didn't find myself needing to farm blood vials all that much, they drop all over the place, but if you are going to farm them the quickest way is to go back to central yharnam or the great bridge and kill the brick trolls and werewolves in the area. The basic enemies become less likely to drop after you've farmed them a bit, but the bigger enemies consistently drop stuff.

Also, congrats on choosing the cane. It's a really cool weapon noone uses. How are you levelling stats?

hanselthecaretaker:
I got lucky for that one, on my second attempt I dodged when Djura charged at me and he fell off the roof and died lol.

If you just start unloading your gun at him when you get up the ladder, you'll pretty consistently stagger him off the building after 3 or 4 shots. It works especially well if you're using the blunderbuss as it's very unlikely to miss.

evilthecat:

Ezekiel:
The saw cleaver, threaded cane, pistol and torch. I'm fighting the first chalice dungeon boss and still haven't gotten to upgrade. My attacks barely do any damage until the bleed effect. WHAT IS GOING ON?

Okay. Go back to the hunters dream.

Go up the stairs, past the doll, and walk into the building.

Go to the far end of the room, where Gherman was when you met him.

Turn right.

The bench in front of you is where you upgrade your weapons.

Damn...

I didn't find myself needing to farm blood vials all that much, they drop all over the place, but if you are going to farm them the quickest way is to go back to central yharnam or the great bridge and kill the brick trolls and werewolves in the area. The basic enemies become less likely to drop after you've farmed them a bit.

Well, I just went through the first area several times so that I would have 20 vials to fight the chalice dungeon boss with, almost killed him and then died with no vials remaining. Now I have to go through that area several times again because I have no currency. So grindy. I'm not even gonna bother upgrading until I beat that boss, because now I'm just pissed at myself for not seeing the workshop. I checked the storage to the right of it a few times and the table at the back, but not THAT table.

His delayed attacks are annoying...

Edit: Done. Not really sure what I'm supposed to do now, other than continue through this (optional?) dungeon. Taking a break.

hanselthecaretaker:
Fun is subjective. I like both games and haven?t gotten tired of either yet, but I?d probably get bored of Bloodborne first because it does force you to play a certain way more, whereas Souls you can play however you want.

I appreciate freedom in games more than a rigid design formula that funnels you into playing how the developers intended.

I was mainly referring to hbomberguy's Bloodborne video about "fun". I do think the "Bloodborne aka 'pro' Souls" playstyle is the most fun because it's the playstyle that is mechanically the most sound. The magic doesn't feel satisfying from the just visuals of the spells themselves (and variety) coupled with the really basic mechanic of casting, just lock-on and press a button. The shield's controls are on the clunky side with them being poorly balanced (at least DS1) along with the riposte/parry being not worth the risk. And, the DS1 bow (not sure if they improved it) is probably the worst bow controls I've ever experienced in a game. I'm all for open-ended gameplay if all the playstyles are done well, I freaking love Arkane's games and they're all about being creative and experimenting with how far you can push all the game's systems.

Phoenixmgs:
The magic doesn't feel satisfying from the just visuals of the spells themselves (and variety) coupled with the really basic mechanic of casting, just lock-on and press a button.

I mean, there is magic in bloodborne, and it's kind of really, really strong, but you only get access to it mid way through the game rather than it being available from the beginning. Also, you get a gun and with the right investment your gun can actually be pretty good.. so maybe the concept of being able to deal damage at range isn't so tainted in bloodborne as in dark souls.

Still, I played a magic hybrid DS3 character using the heysel pick as a primary weapon and had a blast using mostly farron flashblade and soul greatsword as replacements for the pick's strong attack and casting homing soulmass on myself when I had the space. The idea that sorcery means just sitting around locked on and casting soul arrow over and over certainly isn't true any more.

Miracles are also quite dynamic because even the direct damage miracles work best at point blank range, hence why you can use talismans to buff your poise so you can run up and lightning stake stuff to death. It still requires timing, and it's still quite satisfying to pull off.

Pyromancy I've never really tried, but it seems much more suited to a ranged caster character, especially given the stat investment required, so maybe that's where the sit back and cast the same spell over and over gameplay went.

evilthecat:

Phoenixmgs:
The magic doesn't feel satisfying from the just visuals of the spells themselves (and variety) coupled with the really basic mechanic of casting, just lock-on and press a button.

I mean, there is magic in bloodborne, and it's kind of really, really strong, but you only get access to it mid way through the game rather than it being available from the beginning. Also, you get a gun and with the right investment your gun can actually be pretty good.. so maybe the concept of being able to deal damage at range isn't so tainted in bloodborne as in dark souls.

Still, I played a magic hybrid DS3 character using the heysel pick as a primary weapon and had a blast using mostly farron flashblade and soul greatsword as replacements for the pick's strong attack and casting homing soulmass on myself when I had the space. The idea that sorcery means just sitting around locked on and casting soul arrow over and over certainly isn't true any more.

Miracles are also quite dynamic because even the direct damage miracles work best at point blank range, hence why you can use talismans to buff your poise so you can run up and lightning stake stuff to death. It still requires timing, and it's still quite satisfying to pull off.

Pyromancy I've never really tried, but it seems much more suited to a ranged caster character, especially given the stat investment required, so maybe that's where the sit back and cast the same spell over and over gameplay went.

I know there is magic in Bloodborne but you don't get access to it until at best mid-game so you probably aren't building your character's stats for magic (unless you looked through FAQs beforehand). So you might dabble in it during your first playthrough but most likely won't really try it until doing Chalice dungeons or NG+.

I can only speak of DS1 as I've only played that and BB. I did do a dex/faith build so I was trying out magic and the lightning spear was really good (made several boss fights a joke) but again mechanically it wasn't "fun" to use, it really did feel like dropping the game down to easy so-to-speak. Pyromancy, I tried a bit of, IIRC you couldn't throw out the fireballs that far, they had a range basically (like your character's throw range I think). The sorcery, again I tried out seeing how the spells looked and stuff, and it was mainly sending out little blue magic orbs basically. Improved magic in the sequels isn't really going to sell me on playing them, I find the Souls games to be overall average games to a bit above average. I personally would love a Soul games that basically survival horror environmental puzzle game; basically eliminate like 90% of the normal enemies (keep the tension up by not having them around every corner), make getting through dungeons much more about getting past traps and doing environment puzzles like ICO/Last Guardian, and of course keep the boss battles at the end of every dungeon. I really like the level design and atmosphere of the games but everything else I find pretty average like the core combat system. It's funny how ICO influenced Miyazaki with the Souls games and I would want them to be more like ICO.

Going back through Transformers: War for Cybertron. Planning to follow it up with Fall of Cybertron and then Binary Domain, one after the other.

Have actually gone through the first two WfC missions so far. Made a wrong move and fell off a ledge during the first mission, at the part where you get ambushed by a group of Autobot snipers, which slowed me up just a bit. Entirely my fault, though, for not watching my footing. Got the Energon Bridge reactivated, so now it's time to invade the Autobot capital city, Iacon.

Ezekiel:

evilthecat:

Ezekiel:
The saw cleaver, threaded cane, pistol and torch. I'm fighting the first chalice dungeon boss and still haven't gotten to upgrade. My attacks barely do any damage until the bleed effect. WHAT IS GOING ON?

Okay. Go back to the hunters dream.

Go up the stairs, past the doll, and walk into the building.

Go to the far end of the room, where Gherman was when you met him.

Turn right.

The bench in front of you is where you upgrade your weapons.

Damn...

I didn't find myself needing to farm blood vials all that much, they drop all over the place, but if you are going to farm them the quickest way is to go back to central yharnam or the great bridge and kill the brick trolls and werewolves in the area. The basic enemies become less likely to drop after you've farmed them a bit.

Well, I just went through the first area several times so that I would have 20 vials to fight the chalice dungeon boss with, almost killed him and then died with no vials remaining. Now I have to go through that area several times again because I have no currency. So grindy. I'm not even gonna bother upgrading until I beat that boss, because now I'm just pissed at myself for not seeing the workshop. I checked the storage to the right of it a few times and the table at the back, but not THAT table.

His delayed attacks are annoying...

Edit: Done. Not really sure what I'm supposed to do now, other than continue through this (optional?) dungeon. Taking a break.

You should also have the workshop tool now to infuse blood gems. IIRC it was right after the Gascoigne fight. I did the same for the chalice dungeons, if you meant taking a break from them. The early ones don't yield much of use and they don't scale with NG+ like the main game. They are probably best to return to once you're ready for the end game; at least that's what I did and it wasn't too bad overall.

The root chalices with offerings are basically an elaborate set of farming areas if nothing else. They are procedural and people are still sharing them trying to find various types of gear. The fixed (non-root offline) dungeons are the only ones sort of tied to the main game's story, and a most challenging trophy (just getting to it more than anything) is waiting at the end, along with a slew of high level gems.

Once you start upgrading you should have no issues with finding enough blood vials. I had a few hundred of them stored by the end of NG, and they lasted through most of the chalice dungeons. By that point though you don't even need to farm them because the deeper dungeons yield so many blood echoes you'll be able to buy hundreds more within minutes.

Phoenixmgs:
I can only speak of DS1 as I've only played that and BB. I did do a dex/faith build so I was trying out magic and the lightning spear was really good (made several boss fights a joke) but again mechanically it wasn't "fun" to use, it really did feel like dropping the game down to easy so-to-speak.

I don't want to drag this conversation out, but it's tangentially relevant since it got me to play DS3 again.

I totally agree that magic in DS1 was not well integrated with the game and didn't really match the strengths of the system. I do think it's a lot better in DS3, and if you haven't played DS3 I would thoroughly recommend it. They learned a lot from Bloodborne, without losing the whole Dark Souls "feel", and to me it's the best of the Soulsborne games.

For example, lightning spear works a bit differently now, in that the best way to use it is to literally stab people with the spear. It adds a bit of a new dimension to playing a miracle caster, in that you really want to get up close and use your miracles like a strong melee attack. There's a bunch of new sorcery spells which work that way as well, and are generally super satisfying and effective. The whole hanging back and spamming soul arrow thing is still possible, but it's actually kind of underpowered in DS3.

Statswise, you've always paid an incredibly heavy price for going magic, and in DS3 that's even more true due to the change to attunement and the need to split your estus between regular healy estus and ashen estus to recharge your focus points (mana). If magic wasn't a bit powerful, there'd be no reason to use it.

Phoenixmgs:
I personally would love a Soul games that basically survival horror environmental puzzle game; basically eliminate like 90% of the normal enemies (keep the tension up by not having them around every corner), make getting through dungeons much more about getting past traps and doing environment puzzles like ICO/Last Guardian, and of course keep the boss battles at the end of every dungeon. I really like the level design and atmosphere of the games but everything else I find pretty average like the core combat system. It's funny how ICO influenced Miyazaki with the Souls games and I would want them to be more like ICO.

So I really disagree, possibly because I hate forced platforming sections so I'm biased, but also because it's been done. There isn't much new you can add in terms of environmental puzzle mechanics. Prince of persia worked because the emphasis was strongly on how your character moved around the environment.

Dark Souls combat system isn't very complicated (although again, DS3 improves on it by adding weapon arts, increasing enemy aggression, making the poise system more dynamic and fun, and generally making the whole thing smoother) but the emphasis is very much on feel. There is no cancelling out of actions, once you've pressed the button you're locked in. The difficulty in dark souls is that without having intimately memorised everyone's movesets (which a few players have, but I certainly haven't) you're often making estimates or gut judgements about timing. Unlike a lot of action games, there's very few reflexes involved and a lot of thought (albeit not necessarily conscious thought) goes into the whole process of combat. This is also actually why I disagree (at least partially) with that hbomberguy video about Bloodborne. The point in dark souls is that you do have multiple ways to block an attack, but you have to make decisions about which one is best for the situation you're in. You can go through the game only dodging or only blocking with a shield. Heck, I personally enjoy not using a shield myself, but by relying on one method you're probably making some sections harder for yourself than they need to be.

I'm sorry if this sounds vague and wanky, but I think that's kind of the point. The appeal of Dark Souls combat system is so visceral and so on the level of feeling for me that it's difficult to explain.

The counter attack feels so cheesy cheap. I did it for the first time ten minutes ago and am doing it to every other enemy now. It's SO EASY.

StarCraft, LoL , Bioshok

Ezekiel:
The counter attack feels so cheesy cheap. I did it for the first time ten minutes ago and am doing it to every other enemy now. It's SO EASY.

You mean health regain? Yeah it's easy until you get knocked around by hordes or staggered because there's no poise. What's worse is some enemies still have it, so there's not much you can do besides dodge or parry.

evilthecat:
I don't want to drag this conversation out, but it's tangentially relevant since it got me to play DS3 again.

I totally agree that magic in DS1 was not well integrated with the game and didn't really match the strengths of the system. I do think it's a lot better in DS3, and if you haven't played DS3 I would thoroughly recommend it. They learned a lot from Bloodborne, without losing the whole Dark Souls "feel", and to me it's the best of the Soulsborne games.

For example, lightning spear works a bit differently now, in that the best way to use it is to literally stab people with the spear. It adds a bit of a new dimension to playing a miracle caster, in that you really want to get up close and use your miracles like a strong melee attack. There's a bunch of new sorcery spells which work that way as well, and are generally super satisfying and effective. The whole hanging back and spamming soul arrow thing is still possible, but it's actually kind of underpowered in DS3.

Statswise, you've always paid an incredibly heavy price for going magic, and in DS3 that's even more true due to the change to attunement and the need to split your estus between regular healy estus and ashen estus to recharge your focus points (mana). If magic wasn't a bit powerful, there'd be no reason to use it.

That definitely sounds better, just stabbing someone with a lightning spear sounds so much cooler.

So I really disagree, possibly because I hate forced platforming sections so I'm biased, but also because it's been done. There isn't much new you can add in terms of environmental puzzle mechanics. Prince of persia worked because the emphasis was strongly on how your character moved around the environment.

Dark Souls combat system isn't very complicated (although again, DS3 improves on it by adding weapon arts, increasing enemy aggression, making the poise system more dynamic and fun, and generally making the whole thing smoother) but the emphasis is very much on feel. There is no cancelling out of actions, once you've pressed the button you're locked in. The difficulty in dark souls is that without having intimately memorised everyone's movesets (which a few players have, but I certainly haven't) you're often making estimates or gut judgements about timing. Unlike a lot of action games, there's very few reflexes involved and a lot of thought (albeit not necessarily conscious thought) goes into the whole process of combat. This is also actually why I disagree (at least partially) with that hbomberguy video about Bloodborne. The point in dark souls is that you do have multiple ways to block an attack, but you have to make decisions about which one is best for the situation you're in. You can go through the game only dodging or only blocking with a shield. Heck, I personally enjoy not using a shield myself, but by relying on one method you're probably making some sections harder for yourself than they need to be.

I'm sorry if this sounds vague and wanky, but I think that's kind of the point. The appeal of Dark Souls combat system is so visceral and so on the level of feeling for me that it's difficult to explain.

Environmental puzzles don't require platforming, most of ICO/Last Guardian puzzles don't involve platforming. The unique thing about them is that the puzzles have this organic feel to them that really no other game has. I think that would mesh perfectly with the level design of Souls. Stuff like Sen's Fortress and the Gatling gun section in Bloodborne. Or expanding on that part where the dragon blocks your path in DS1.

The Souls games definitely needed to up their combat depth and it looks like they have to a degree at least. It's part of the reason I would like to take out like 90% of the enemies because I don't feel the DS1 and even Bloodborne combat is THAT good to carry all the time spent in combat the games require. I think Monster Hunter (from playing World right now) does the "deliberate" combat better than Souls, you have to be really on point and not mash buttons too quick or you get stuck in animations a lot. Another thing is that moves require a specific amount of stamina so you can't dodge with just a sliver of stamina (like Souls), you gotta wait until you have enough. With DS1 and BB, you could just mash R1 stun-locking enemies until you run out of stamina, then dodge away after a fraction of a second getting just a sliver of stamina (which doesn't fly in Monster Hunter). Thus, the stamina system really isn't something you actually have to manage but merely acts as a DPS limiter.

Not always into racing games, but Gas Guzzlers Extreme looked interesting and was cheap enough for me to give it a try. Not half bad, a good mix of arcade car combat and a bit of hicks-sploitation style.

Also felt my Xcom bone itch, so picked up Xenonauts in a humble bundle. Many things I like (it has just about all the stuff I liked about classic Xcom but with a much more bearable yet still tough AI), and a few things I don't (like being unable to send my aircraft out on patrols in areas reporting alien shinnegans.)

omg retro - I re-installed Age of Empires 2 as my 7 y/old found the box and wanted to play - got the Conquerors expansion - lots to do ... now as soon as the kids are in bed ... AOE2 time ... lol

Got a bit tired of the very opaque and differing information presented in Cataclysm DDA, so I downloaded the latest PeridexisErrant's Dwarf Fortress pack for some good clean Fun. Or a "boring" ride on the catastrophe curve. Either way is fine with me.
That didn't happen though. Never found the incentive to actually install and set it up.

I was also considering creating a new char in Titan Quest Immortal Throne to finally beat that pesky Typhon.
Imagine my surprise when I learned that they "recently" released a new expansion! Ragnarok! That I've got to get.
Have to honor my Viking ancestors you know. Now to find a store that sells it without any DRM...
So that puts that on hold as well.

I've started tiding the time over with just continuing and old char in Torchlight II, Mapworks.
Grinding those sets and such.

I use commute time to play Ace Attorney. In the last two months I have been re-playing the whole series (except for Investigations), and I'm right now at Dual Destinies.

Went back to The Witcher was after playing Kingdom Come: Deliverance for a while. A few pages back in this thread or another I ripped into TW3's menu system as being too cumbersome and bloated, but after spending more time with it it's not too bad. There's a lot there for sure, but at least they explain the new stuff rather well.

I'm torn between the two games as to which I enjoy more. I like how smoothly TW3 plays, and it's definitely a better made game, but somehow also feels more bloated and tedious than KC:D's more grounded and realistic approach; at least after about half a dozen hours with each. The combat is sleepwalk-simple in TW3, and while spells will certainly spice things up there are just so many of them to keep track of and find ingredients for that I can see it becoming a chore.

The original game wasn't nearly as deep in that regard but I feel it's a big reason why it took me about four years to finish. I'd take months-long breaks from it where I felt less compelled to play, but ironically enough I still consider it one of my favorite games overall. It cohesively felt like an exceptionally detailed and charming adventure. TW3 seems like CDPR's best game yet by far, but I need to be in a certain mood to get into it and really enjoy it. I'm getting there though, because I think the attention to detail will win me over.

KC:D will probably be put back on the sidelines, simply because I've been waiting to play TW3 for far longer and might as well finish it first.

Just finished Shadowrun Returns and Dragonfall on mobile and adored the heck out of those games. Trying to find something similar, bought Baldurs Gate II but finding it hard to get into on mobile

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