Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dust 514: Meaning crushed into a first person spread sheet manipulation program?

There's a weird see-saw of values in Dust 514. Maybe it applies to alot of PVP first person shooter games, I dunno.

But like being killed is supposed to be a big deal.

And yet even in a heavy suit you are essentially paper thin and will just pop at the slightest breeze of bullets (never mind how you'll get behind a corner but lag means you're actually still out in the open (ie, you started running behind cover maybe a half or quater a second latter than events seem to depict)).

So when it gets to the point where the other team (because they actually team up) keep blasting you and then they park a sniper over your side so you spawn, run out, then die anyway - well, what is it? Are we supposed to think it's a big deal to get killed? If so, it's so big a deal that actually it's just shit gameplay.

Or we retract - say it's not a big deal? Well then the whole thing becomes an esoteric exercise.

It's like it could really do with some in between ground, instead of being a hard binary between continuing and dead. Like maybe some kind of retreat option (maybe at a certain level of damage a retreat button becomes available) - it'd still count as a defeat inflicted by the other guy. But your character wouldn't have actually died - thus preserving the idea that continuing to live matters.

Maybe you'd say that respawning is like a retreat - but you are depicted as dying to do so.

Maybe you'd say it doesn't matter - except it does. Drain all the 'big deal' out of it and the whole thing is essentially a first person spread sheet manipulation program.

Oh wait, spread sheet manipulation....Eve....

Maybe you have a point....

Monday, June 24, 2013

Is 'cloud' the new executive speak to justify any old thing?

They tried it with sim city, saying 'it uses cloud functions - can't just do single player!'. And yet someone showed it could do single player off line.

What's up with microsoft and X-box "oh, were doing the AI in 'the cloud'! So need to be online all the time". Seriously no, you aren't doing AI in the cloud. AI processing is far easier to run than processing polygons.

Say 'cloud' and pretty much everyone will just take whatever you say next as having to be the case.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dungeons and Dragons Next: Here cometh the incoherance

There's an interesting nuance in D&D next - they've included coup de grace rules (which really only apply to PC's since most monsters die at zero HP), probably out of legacy design habit/simulationist habit.

The thing is, it intersects with clerics being able to heal team members for one HP as a swift action, basically for free.

This further intersects with monsters probably not wanting PC's to keep getting back up on one HP and hitting them.

IF monsters actually use coup de grace on downed PC's, it makes a huge difference to how combat pans out. Win Vs TPK, different. Just try running the one combat with monsters doing coup de grace and monsters never doing CDG.

And WOTC seem utterly clueless of this discrepancy.

I presume WOTC want to make a combat system which, whilst emulating genre a certain amount, is also fun in a wargame/boardgame like way.

If they keep playtesting their boardgame design as if coup de grace isn't there, it's a major design fail. It's massively incoherant. Imagine tucking a rule away in chess that, just because it makes sense, rooks can also move on diagnals. But then running all your playtests based on rooks moving in straight lines? Your playtests would be failing to actual test the game you've written!

It reads as a major suck - I can imagine it - go to a game, knowing the monsters could have picked off a PC here or there, maybe killed the whole party because of it. But nah, were supposed to ignore the coup de grace rule and also tell ourselves it was a battle played to the fullest of the rules and the enemy didn't fight with one hand tied behind their back.

Why bother rolling dice when you just ignore significant enemy powers, eh?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dust 514 : First mil' sp is the deepest...

Okay, I heard this said on their forum and maybe to a degree it's true - the first million skill points (after you leave battle academy) is the hardest. After that you've probably invested in both the armour skills (unlocking the slightly better basic armour plates and basic repair) and shield skills, as well as maybe putting assault rifles to three or so and using the GEK rifle.

You'll still run into tough stuff, but it's probably mostly a co-ordination thing - the other side actually uses mikes and keeps together as a group, heals the heavies, etc. When your own side likes to run in various random directions at once, you are usually fodder for a co-ordinated group.

It's also worth going into the explosive tree if you want to try out anti shield grenades or AV grenades - which are really just anti vehicle landmines which apparently float toward vehicles (but are useless against people).

Also I enjoyed a bunny hopping enemy today who bunny hopped into the path of his own grenade and died. Mostly dudes stay on the ground in this game, thankfully.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Stutter Dust 514 - crappily shaken like a polaroid picture

This just in - a character being able to move from left to right faster than I can move my own hand (let alone my whole body) from left to right so as to screw up sniping aim is crap. It's crap when you try to drop a whole lot of other physics principles in (eg, your car hits the merest bump and has to spaz out everywhere) and make it all look serious, then have this really, really bad physics screw up what the game is really about!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Dust 514 / Eve seems to be under DDOS attack

Dust 514 resides on the same server Eve - that server seems to be suffering a DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack at the moment.

I wonder if such an attack is still in the area of amateur theatrics, or has moved on to organised extortion from various criminal groups?

Even their front pages are gone, unable to provide that service. Still able to get updates from the developers through twitter.