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Alan Stock

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Everything posted by Alan Stock

  1. I thought the first half of this was an interesting look at some of the inherant design issues in Overwatch, its a pretty negative video overall but some fair points.
  2. To be fair, new Zarya can be really tough to deal with, especially for newer players who don't realise how the bubble mechanic works. Now when she has a pocket healer if she uses her bubbles just on herself in corridor maps like Kings Row she is really scary. In OW1 it used to be that you'd try not to shoot her bubble but it wasn't too bad if you did. In OW2 she's so much tankier and can afford to stay out and use the bubbles more, so a lot of players are still just piling into the bubble and making her mega charged, without realising if you're going to do that you need to follow up and actually kill her. I learned my lesson pretty quickly in OW2 after watching a few good Zaryas get team kills on max charge.
  3. I have to agree, the healers lineup is really good in this game. I always used to play healer mainly to fill but now with reduced role queue times I'm finding myself going healer a few times just to get quick games, and then just sticking with it for ages because healer is so fun. With Lucio, Ana, Kikiro and Zen there is always someone fun and mechanically demanding to play whether you're acting as main or support healer. Mercy and Brig I play in certain circumstances but I find Moira boring. With only 1 tank to worry about healing you can concentrate more on healing the DPS and using abilities/outputting damage, especially if your tank is a self-healer, which makes healing more fun in OW2 than just constantly having to top off your tanks. I haven't been playing comp but teams are starting to balance out better in quick play, even though they have removed visible player levels they're still tracking your skill level and doing skill based matchmaking from what I can tell. As a result I've been having some very tight games in role queue quickplay lately which has been fun, and general teamwork/player skill has definitely improved over the week - which is a sign of the matchmaker doing its job. Re: Doomfist, I've only seen him once or twice out of the many games I've played. I tried to play him once and he seems ok if you have the backup, but unfortunately my muscle memory is still on DPS Doomfist and I keep rocketpunching into the forward slam, multiple times leaping off cliffs to my doom . He probably would have felt fine if we hadn't known his DPS form, its just so unsatisfying to punch a squishy into a wall and they survive with half their health bar intact!
  4. Enjoyed the Visual Novels episode, I'm a fan of the genre myself but like Matthew I am mainly into the detective/Zero Escape type stuff. So it was good to hear about the broader genre with recommendations from Lucy and an insight into subgenres like dating sims. I also could never face the prospect of starting Higurashi because of its insane length, and the graphics always put me off. But I hadn't heard about this graphics mod for it Matt was talking about, if anyone has a link to it or instructions on it that would be great.
  5. Yep, they're side by side at the dinner and I'm sure we get something mentioned about it in the chat. Watched episode 9 tonight, good stuff.
  6. I take it you're watching via VPN, or are you outside the UK? Apparently its going to be months until we get it here, good to hear its continuing strong though.
  7. I wouldn't bother. It does pick up but it doesn't dramatically change its pacing or style.
  8. The voice actress for the lead girl in the English dub in the original game also did the character in French, and she's a French actress, so its as authentic as you can get. Presumably the boy was different for each language as he's really young. I thought the English voice acting was really good in the original. I don't think I ever wrote up my thoughts for the original on here. I picked it up on PS Plus last year and really enjoyed it. The world was gorgeous and atmospheric, I loved the authentic feeling setting, one which we don't see much in games. And the characters were believable especially the main girl, yes the boy can be a bit annoying but their relationship was generally quite endearing. As for the gameplay it was decent with the rats and light/darkness creating some interesting and visually appealing puzzles. I just felt the level design although fine was a bit uninspired and more could have been done with the gameplay. It was very by the numbers stealth and environment traversal outside of the rats. I'd give it an 8/10. The sequel sounds like more of the same but a bit better, so I think I'll wait for it to drop in price and play it next year or something.
  9. Cool, thanks folks. I'll get Horrified ordered and let you know how we get on. Mysterium was one of the ones I checked out but was a little unsure of, but will add it to the potential list for next game.
  10. Sombra is pretty good now, she can assassinate most dps and healers solo if she gets the hack off out of stealth. You either have to headshot her to force her to relocate, or have a team buddy who can help to fight her off. When I'm a healer against Sombra I usually pair up with a DPS if I can. What I've noticed though is that most players actually end up getting less value from her than an ordinary DPS because they spend so long flanking around and hacking health packs etc, in the meantime the other DPS are getting kills or doing a push. Orisa wins my award for most indestructable character, if she's backed up by a healer she is insanely hard to kill. She has damage mitigation on cooldown, projecticle deflection on cooldown, and can use the javelin to stop close range tanks like Rein and Zarya from getting in range. I've seen Orisas surviving for like 5-10 seconds solo against a whole team focussing her, which is pretty insane when most characters would be deleted in half a second. Genji hasn't been too bad for me in general but I did run into a really good Genji the other night and he just ruined us. Still, even without stuns you can scare him off with certain heroes like Brig, Winston, or a good Mcree or Widowmaker can make his life miserable.
  11. I was thinking about picking this up for Halloween to play with my sister and her husband. It has quite good reviews but was wondering if anyone here has played it and can give their opinions? We are looking for a cooperative cheap or mid-price board game with a fun theme that isn't one of the classics, doesn't have very complex rules (or in turn too simplistic), has an hour or two playtime and doesn't require a load of setup. This seemed like it fit the bill, and most others that also meet those requirements cost a crapload (£70 plus). And we wanted something with a board and figures rather than a pure card game. I have my greedy eye on Gloomhaven for us to play in future (the others love D&D) but hopefully the digital version will fufill those needs at a much cheaper price - that game is insane in price and pieces! Any other co-op board games meeting those general criteria (especially price) also most welcome! Cheers. PS some other ones I was looking into were: - Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition (too expensive) - Arkham Horror Final Hour (mixed reviews) - Escape: The curse of the temple (too stressful) - Spirit Island (too expensive)
  12. Whilst some of your complaints will continue for some time in the game, the good news is the quality continues to climb with Heavensward being quite a step up in storytelling and other elements. Unfortunately the difficulty will always be a breeze up until the newer expansions, which does suck. I do recommend looking into the hard modes for bosses in Realm Reborn and future expansions as those are actually hard and scale you down in level to match, so you can get a sense for what the combat's like with some challenge. Overall though the game just gets better and better as you go on - enjoy!
  13. Just a reminder that when queuing you can play skirmish, but best of all custom games, which are all madness but fun. There's one which puts like 30 players onto a square, and you cycle through heroes when you get a kill, and you start with full ultimate charge. Total madness. Want to get 20 kills with one high noon? Now's your chance. Had a go on wrecking ball last night. I was worried he'd be a bit crap being the main tank but he's so disruptive it actually works as long as your team is capitalising.
  14. I've played some Brig now on new Overwatch. She's definitely way more squishy and her shield melts in seconds. But overall she plays the same, you just can't get too gung ho unless you have backup. As for your footage, overall its good, you are sticking with your tank, chucking out armour packs when needed and getting in the fray without overcommiting. What I would change is to use shield bash more proactively, its only got a 3 second cooldown and so I use it for repositioning or getting ahead of teammates a lot. Secondly you're maybe erring a bit on the side of passiveness, as long as you aren't alone you can get away with a bit more aggressiveness especially against squishies. As you self heal when attacking, you can really mess up solo or clumps of squishies, its just a case of having teammate support or popping up your shield if you start getting low. This probably won't work in comp but in quick play I often bypass the enemy tank and go straight for their healers if for example there's a Mercy tailing a Zarya. Brig is great against Mercy and Lucio especially.
  15. Mixed feelings on the last episode, here's some long general thoughts: It's been quite a good series, not without its faults but the show has a great world, visuals and sound. We have some good actors and characters in a plot which managed to create some fun mysteries. What's also nice is that although its a prequel, most casual Tolkien fans like me don't know much about what happens before the Hobbit or can't remember. And its set ages before so we don't know much about the characters and the fates of those outside the LOTR canon. Definitely think this has been worth the watch even if it does have problems.
  16. I've had the shredder bit stuck in my head for the last few days (it hurts). I don't mind though, its amazing. I watched the web series again and it has more dread and icky stuff, it also gets very random and weird, even more so than the TV show by the end. I'm amazed they managed to make something longer and more coherant from this, and yeah the writers they brought on definitely seem to have helped in that regard. As the creators said, you can't just have a 25 minute musical number for each episode so you need other stuff to actually do that fits the tone. The TV show also has a lot more funnies, its witty and clever, and they've managed to flesh out the barebones characters of the trio into something more concrete. I'd say the web series has more of a visceral impact but the TV show is good in its own way and its really entertaining.
  17. They took out Bastion temporarily because he was broken in one of the modes, same with Torb but I saw him in matches tonight. My account finally got linked so I can access all the heroes but still in a queue for cosmetics getting enabled (8000 and something in queue). Push is hard on quickplay, its the ultimate death for teams that trickle in. The Stay as Team option is a bit annoying because the option to do it is removed once play of the game starts, giving you about 4 seconds to process and register for it. I also can't seem to find an ingame leaderboard after the match, which kind of sucks for tracking your own progress. Anyone? That aside its been quite fun, although the queue times suck in the late evening with 3 mins+ even for DPS. The good thing is that you can play Skirmish etc in the meantime and on PS5 the loading times are really fast. I had a go on the new healer but didnt really jive with her, her healing abilities are kind of unsatisfying although the knives seem quite fun. Reinhardt is even better fun now and I've been enjoying some old picks like Junkrat, Zenyatta and Hanzo. As for teammates so far in Quick Play they have been quite good, its clear there are a lot of decent returning players all mashed in the low levels with the noobs. As for the Battle Pass, I'm up to about rank 15 after two nights play, I think there's like 70 or 80 ranks and you get about 50 days to do it, so it might not be super terrible if you play regularly. The offerings though are really crap, a few decent skins and emotes/play of the game, but that's about it. All the rest is useless sprays, souvenirs, weapon charms etc. Apex's battle pass is cheaper, more generous and has a much better ratio of good to crap content.
  18. Personally I get burned out playing too many turn based games at the same time, but if you like them then go for it. Try a different kind of sub-genre maybe?
  19. I don't play this game but found this article about the rise and fall of Iridium mining interesting and cool. Very Eve Online in its scope and amazing the structures that players have made to become mega-farmers. https://kotaku.com/no-man-s-sky-waypoint-update-indium-farm-fast-units-1849648956
  20. Good read. I was quite surprised to see so many people returning to sims to relive their careers or try out new things they can't do in the same job in real life. One thing I'd be interested to read about is research into chore-like games, not just in the sim field. There are so many games that use the hook of mundane repetition and factory worker style consisteny. And people from all walks of life get hooked. For some its an escape from stressful and mentally taxing real world jobs, for others its a way to relax, and for some its the satisfaction of a job well done or maintaining that consistency. Take building-based survival games for example. People will spend hours and hours chopping down trees, gathering materials or smashing rocks. MMOs are another big example, grinding the same challenges or areas again and again in the hope of a reward or just to optimise runs. Gatherer/Crafting professions in RPGs can be incredibly repetitive as well. I've met people who will sit all day in a town square bashing out the same item. Some use macros or bots to help but others are happy to just manually do what's essentially a grind job. Most recently I have been enjoying Hardspace Shipbreaker, in which you are tasked with dismantling spaceships and salvaging its metals. And once I reached a certain point where I was comfortable with the systems and got through the unlocks, it became like a real life job where I was just doing the work, and that's where the shine wore off. But conversely I loved Snowrunner which has plenty of repetetive tasks, but for me its the atmosphere and satisfaction of pulling off the routes that make that compelling.
  21. I'm pretty sure now in Ranked it only bumps or reduces your rank after a set number of wins/losses. If I recall its something like 5 or 10 wins to go up and 20 losses/draws to go down. Check out the little tutorial thats in the ranked screen, same as the one that pops up when you select Ranked for the first time. I had an all-evening session on this the other night. Basically its still just Overwatch. I do like the 5 team size/one tank change a lot. I only played Push once but it was a nice mode. Aside from that its just a patch for Overwatch 1 with some slight improvements, so I can't see myself investing huge amounts of time into this given the stupid number of hours I already sank into the original. I will keep playing and give the new and reworked heroes a shot though, and maybe I should try ranked as quickplay is just chaos with everyone at such low level. Annoyingly although I've managed to link accounts now, I'm still getting the issue of none of my Overwatch 1 progress or cosmetics appearing in Overwatch 2, which is happening for loads of people. Blizzard say they are slowly working through every account to get them fixed. In terms of unlocking heroes though I already had about 2 thirds of the roster unlocked after maybe 4 hours play so its hardly egregious. I just balk at having to pay/mega grind for the newest heroes. The game is still quality but it is dissapointing to attach a 2 to the title and basically have exactly the same game. Other online shooters like Counterstrike don't really evolve either so that's fine, but I am a bit baffled as to why the higher ups at Blizzard thought seperating the PVE stuff and other features from the multiplayer would be a good idea. Anyone can hop into this and immediately go, yep its just Overwatch with a bit of shiny paint, and never come back to it again. I'm curious as to whether it will get a second wave with free to play and a newer audience, otherwise I can see attention in this quickly dropping off until the PVE stuff arrives.
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