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panbient has recently been playing Grim Dawn, Space Pirates and Zombies and The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

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Grim Dawn

21 days 6 hours

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown

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panbient Avatar
panbient commented on
4 Days ago
A Way Out “doesn’t have anything to do with the EA sh*t going on,” says director Josef FaresA Way Out “doesn’t have anything to do with the EA sh*t going on,” says director Josef Fares
panbient Avatar
Yes... this is precisely what the game industry needs. More failed TV / Movie egos still hung up on their exes...
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QDP2 Avatar
QDP2 responded to panbient's comment in
1 Week ago
This 19-year old spent $13,500 on microtransactionsThis 19-year old spent $13,500 on microtransactions
panbient Avatar

I agree with most of what you said.


But in my experience the 'other side' of the addiction coin that few people want to address is the fact that most addicts are compensating for something they feel they're lacking internally by latching onto something externally. Especially when what they latch onto isn't even a physical thing, it's not like getting hooked on a drug that causes physical withdrawals when you try to stop. This is literally collecting the most sophisticated flashing lights.


Is that really about saving time? Or more about having a flashier light than the next gamer and the anxiety some might feel if they appear inferior in an environment where a few extra dollars can make them superior?

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QDP2 Avatar

In games like LoL, DotA, CS:GO or Overwatch you're entirely right, there is no benefit to paying/gambling for the virtual bling they offer, be it looked at inside or outside the game. Also as you say, there's no negative symptoms for stopping video-game investments (unlike drugs). I'm definitely not trying to argue a gaming addiction is anywhere near as bad as drugs, only that it won't stop a gaming addict from also falling down that trap too.


Sense of value is definitely a problem with influences for younger generations right now. Games ask for large constant investments of time to be able to earn/maintain rankings desired by the players. Leaderboards and rankings ask for players to invest as much as possible to do as well as possible and show off their achievements to other players. It's a very easy trap for people to fall into, deciding they'd rather invest their time into games than work.


The micro-transaction-riddled mobile games, MMOs and EA-titles do try to offer you cuts in the menial tasks lengths. 'Pay for this and you'll be able to get to the content you want sooner!' is the argument they keep ringing, and it inevitably works for many who don't have the time or control.


I suppose procrastination isn't a problem to dwell on nowadays though; people who want to delay work will find a way whether or not the games tempt them into investing time on them instead. Be it in games or books, on Facebook or YouTube, distractions are in abundance either way.

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QDP2 Avatar
QDP2 responded to panbient's comment in
1 Week ago
This 19-year old spent $13,500 on microtransactionsThis 19-year old spent $13,500 on microtransactions
panbient Avatar

People like this are why addiction rehabilitation is an actual thing.


EA didn't make him into an addict and nothing about loot boxes specifically targets or exploits individuals considering they're offered to the full audience. This just happens to be what he got hooked on. If loot boxes in video games didn't exist he would have gotten hooked on one of a whole number of other things.


Or do you really believe that no one under a certain age can get their hands on scratch lottery tickets or alcohol or tobacco or weed or whatever? Do you blame the blinking lights of a casino for the broke gambling addict? And if he started at 13 as he said... where are his parents and why aren't they getting any of your fury?

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QDP2 Avatar

Having been hooked on loot boxes in the past (and have friends who are still hooked on loot boxes) I can say this is not the case. Sure, they can drain money; but that doesn't make them an exclusive drain to many people my age. Many will get hooked onto more than 1 medium, especially those with poor resistances.


EA isn't directly targeting people like Kensgold (no company/analyst expected this level of investment from people when loot boxes began to exist), but they are still happily benefiting from it. They can see the stats and know people are still falling down this pit, yet they continue to set the traps. From an addicts perspective, micro-transactions in games only makes it harder to resist. The more temptations being offered, the more likely you are to succumb to something. The publics decided to draw the line with money, saying that there should be a cap for how much someone can spend on a title. I think everyone here can agree that is a fair argument.


Nobody wants to question the other side of the addiction coin though; time. Games want to drain your time just as much as your money; be it through mobile pop-ups, game content delays, daily rewards, time-restricted content, grinding paths, and so on. From the 70's 'just 1 more level' to the modern 'got to win a round today', games have always wanted to hook you. The more time spent in 1 game, the less time you spend in others. Time invested gives players an increased sense of value to that specific game. With larger time investments the games rewards feel like greater achievements.


This is how companies improve your perception of their titles, so you'll more likely buy the DLC and sequels. It may not be as large a problem as gambling (there's a limit to how much you can spend on DLC) but the core philosophy is the same. An influence we've grown to expect in all titles. Gaming companies are built on shady experiences, but the truth remains: they're supplying something we want. We wouldn't invest if we didn't want their content. I too am avoiding SW:BF2 on the basis that I'll either get annoyed at the imbalanced P2W cards or I'll spend more money than I should on the game. Micro-transactions have become yet another price we've got to consider nowadays when it comes to the cost of a game.


EA have become a target with their stupidity, but this extreme example shouldn't hide the corruption around it. We shouldn't ignore all the tossed rocks from other companies just because EA decided to try and commit a daylight homicide.

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panbient Avatar
panbient responded to TsunamiWombat comment in
2 Weeks ago
Destiny 2's XP scaling is gone, but it now takes double the XP to earn a loot boxDestiny 2's XP scaling is gone, but it now takes double the XP to earn a loot box
TsunamiWombat Avatar

Why are people so knee jerky about being expected to pay more money for a product they've already paid $60 dollars for?

panbient Avatar

Would you expect to get a concert performance for free because you bought an album?

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panbient commented on
1 Month ago
Overwatch League team manager fired after sexual assault accusationsOverwatch League team manager fired after sexual assault accusations
panbient Avatar
I'm not trying to defend this guy. Really I'm not.

But what's happened to due process over the last couple of weeks?

Zero tolerance for what exactly? An accusation that hasn't been proven in court yet?

Again, not saying this guy is innocent. Just saying WTF is going on?
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panbient Avatar
panbient commented on
1 Month ago
Torment: Tides of Numenera's sales have been "disappointing" - but why?Torment: Tides of Numenera's sales have been "disappointing" - but why?
panbient Avatar
I'm one of those many with this game sitting on their wishlist. It's still on my radar, but it never seems to ping high enough whenever I do have the disposable money to spend on a new game.

And when is that price change / sale actually supposed to happen? I'm still seeing it at $50
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Matt Purslow Avatar
Matt Purslow responded to panbient's comment in
1 Month ago
Destiny 2's mute player is an ill-advised throwback that pushes you out of the worldDestiny 2's mute player is an ill-advised throwback that pushes you out of the world
panbient Avatar
Did Master Chief ever speak in Halo? I honestly don't remember. But the silent protagonist works for Bungie games. It's an effective tool to allow the player to insert themselves (should they have the imaginary inclination to do so) into whatever player character the game provides. And that's kind of the crux of it, the silent protagonist is a player character rather than a traditional story character like Geralt.Reply
Matt Purslow Avatar

Master Chief is pretty chatty in Halo. In fact, I'd say his dialogue is essential to the story Bungie tells: one of its core pillars is the relationship between Chief and Cortana.


Personally I would have liked some dialogue in Destiny, if only to emphasise the bond between Guardians and Ghosts at the very least.

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panbient Avatar
panbient commented on
1 Month ago
Destiny 2 has major crashing issues for AMD Phenom usersDestiny 2 has major crashing issues for AMD Phenom users
panbient Avatar
No Man's Sky had a similar issue with 'missing' processor instruction sets and were able to release a patch to address the crashes on lower end processors.

Main difference in this case is that Destiny 2 is requiring a set of "Supplemental" instructions which are not present on any version of the Phenom II chipset. With NMS it was a more advanced set of instructions (SSE4.1) while the most advanced Phenom's only had a minimal version of the instructions (SSE4.a).

As for not seeing the issue in the beta. I figure it's entirely possible within the beta where they're generally primarily concerned with functionality rather than final overall optimization (which is where those instructions sets come into play).

And at the same time, there are no Phenom II processors that won't be 7 years old by the end of the year. That's not exactly an unreasonable timeframe for upgrading if you want to fancy yourself an enthusiast who 'needs' to play all the newest games on release.
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NathSB Avatar
NathSB responded to panbient's comment in
2 Months ago
Here's where Xur is in Destiny 2 today, and what you should buy from himHere's where Xur is in Destiny 2 today, and what you should buy from him
panbient Avatar

I have yet to meet any gamer who only has a single platform.


A clear preference? Absolutely. Self-imposed gaming limits though? Not so much.

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NathSB Avatar

I only own a PC.


I never owned a console growing up, so I never got into console gaming. Now I just find it clunky and awkward, and most of the games I want to play are on the PC anyway, RDR being a notable exception.

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Shadowized Avatar
Shadowized responded to panbient's comment in
2 Months ago
Dota 2 just had its worst three months since 2014Dota 2 just had its worst three months since 2014
panbient Avatar
As far as my personal experience goes the biggest issue with DOTA is the matchmaking (still), and it's a two factor issue.

First as a casual player I only play with a friend who's an old school veteran - so we join as a duo. His player level is somewhere around 90 now and mine was nearing 30 last time I played.

We've had matches where the entire opposing side are all level 60+ and we get crushed. We've also had matches where the entire opposing side are all single digit player levels and the two of us alone can dominate the entire match.

Neither instance is fun.

And that doesn't even touch on the toxicity, verbal diarrhea, and straight up anti-Peruvian racism that permeates just about every match I've had in the last year (though admittedly a substantial amount of that is due to my friend's own frustrated mouth - you can't force maturity). The Peruvian issue (and it is an issue) is the other big factor.

For whatever reason there's a very substantial Peruvian population ignoring the South American server Valve has setup and instead choosing to play on the US East server. So you end up in matches with a direct language barrier, and even if you're polite about it "Sorry, I only speak English or French" you get insulted. It's entirely possibly to end up in matches where the only way to communicate with your teammates is by pinging the map. All while either needing to mute the entire server or just ignoring the incessant crap that flows in the chat area.

Again, not fun.

And given the multitude of options on Steam why would I tolerate those hassles and keep returning for way more frustration than fun?Reply
Shadowized Avatar

I've played Dota since the TFT days and only this year has it truly become something that I've grown to despise and it has nothing to do with the game or even the community, It's entirely the fault of matchmaking and you're right about the language issue.


Valve did try to "fix" the language issue in Jan/Feb of this year IIRC, I forget what the exact update was called but basically they were testing pings on-top of all the other matching parameters (hidden mmr, visible mmr, language preference, and behavior score) to try and give you teammates who were in a similar ping proximity to you+server. For me it was fantastic as I was getting English speaking teammates and high quality games for the entirety of that initial implementation of the feature.


Unfortunately a couple weeks later Valve "tuned" the feature a bit, and eventually disabling it entirely due to quite a few Eastern-Euro players who live very close to Russians not wanting to be teamed up with them... Which is exactly how every other player feels when they get paired up with a team of players who don't speak their language. I mean... Communication in a team based game? You're asking for too much! /s


of course I realize Matchmaking isn't the only contributing factor to the decline in playerbase, performance problems with Reborn are still largely unsolved for players on lower end PC's as well, but I think Valve's are their own biggest enemy when it comes to DOTA. Their company hierarchy, and IMO their communication policy sucks because it allows Issues like this to remain under the radar for years until enough people complain that it hurts their bottom line.

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panbient Avatar
panbient replied to 9 questions on the DG2: Defense Grid 2 Review
1 Year ago
DG2: Defense Grid 2 review snippet Does the setting of DG2: Defense Grid 2 feel original?
As original as any other post-apocalyptic / dystopian future in a sci-fi game.
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panbient replied to 12 questions on the SimCity™ 4 Deluxe Edition Review
1 Year ago
SimCity™ 4 Deluxe Edition review snippet How hard is it to make money in SimCity™ 4 Deluxe Edition?
The underlying economic model isn't super complex. Industrial zones create jobs, Residential zones provide housing, and Commercial zones maximize the profits from the Industry. Just don't spend all your money at once while the game is paused.
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1 Year ago
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II review snippet How does Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II compare to other Warhammer 40K games?
It's a departure from the earlier Dawn of War titles in that there's no base building at all in the single player campaign. It's all about controlling 4 hero units / squads in a cover based RTS.
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panbient replied to 4 questions on the Drox Operative Review
1 Year ago
Drox Operative review snippet How does Drox Operative run on your PC?
It's an older title as such it runs fine on my old system (2010-ish). The game also runs fine in Big Picture mode but the text is a bit small on a TV. Steam Controller is functional as well but this plays better with mouse and keyboard.
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panbient replied to 7 questions on the Grim Dawn Review
1 Year ago
Grim Dawn review snippet Does Grim Dawn feel grindy?
It starts feeling a bit grindy after the 2nd playthrough. But for the most part the action is fluid enough that you don't notice it. Very rarely find myself staring at cooldown boxes rather than the action on screen.
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panbient replied to 8 questions on the Dungeon of the Endless Review
1 Year ago
Dungeon of the Endless review snippet Why does Dungeon of the Endless feel retro?
It absolutely does not feel retro. This is a modern tower defense game with heroes added to the mix and a novel room / power mechanic to control the rate and difficulty of the mobs. The pixel art style is definitely 'neo-retro' looking but that only seems to make the game feel more modern to me.
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panbient replied to a question on the Battlestation: Harbinger Review
1 Year ago
Battlestation: Harbinger review snippet What are gamers first impressions of Battlestation: Harbinger
Absolutely. It's basically FTL + Space Pirates and Zombies + somehow relaxing. Also plays nicely with a Steam Controller / Big Picture mode.
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