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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:55 pm 
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Maybe it's just a sign of the times. Maybe I'm just getting old and cynical. Or maybe my meds are making me see ninjas on the lawn. I dunno. But I've got a sinking feeling even my games are trying to nudge me into being a good little spendaholic consumer these days.

Take SSB4 for example. I finally* managed to actually play the game this month, and one thing that stands out is the trophies. All of the Super Smash Bros. games award you trophies as random drops, and SSB4 does too... but mostly, you get gold. Which you use to buy trophies. In a shop. Complete with a nice 3D rendering of shelves with little price tags and neat boxes with fake advertising logos splashed onto them. Don't even get me started on the real advertising in the game! Buy the DLC! Buy an amiibo! It even nags you with a "do you want to receive ads" popup every time you start the game!

It's not just SSB4 either. Hyrule Warriors has a Flash banner on the main menu. And the entirety of Breath of the Wild's gameplay revolves around buying things. Want armor? Show me the rupees! Out of arrows? Be prepared to do some legwork, 'cause nobody ever has more than 15 in stock at a time! But don't worry, half the NPCs in the game are now shopkeepers, so you'll always find someone within easy walking distance! Guaranteed to be 50% more fun than mowing the lawn!

I came here to kick ass and chew gum. But now the gum is $9 per pack and my boots only last twenty kicks before I need to buy new ones.

I'm going to go check out Lizard.

*after a full year of downloading, more than a hundred bucks in bandwidth fees, and two days of "installing", AKA "you don't have enough space to install this, but we're not going to tell you how much you need and you can't change the install device without re-downloading all 13 GB, so you'll have to sit there copying everything else off onto a USB stick, which takes hours and has an 80% chance of failing for no reason whatsoever, so you really will need to sit there and press 'retry' every two hours, no you can't play games while you're doing this why would you even think that AND GUESS WHAT NOW YOU HAVE TO DO IT ALL AGAIN FOR THE MANDATORY DAY ONE PATCH HAHAHAHAHA I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU THOUGHT WE WERE ACTUALLY COMPETENT" but that's another rant entirely.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:38 am 
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I'm going to make an NES game with online capabilities and the only way to get new items is with loot boxes which cost real money.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:25 am 
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Rahsennor wrote:
the entirety of Breath of the Wild's gameplay revolves around buying things.

First I've heard of this. Maybe you're playing it wrong? I haven't played it myself, but I've seen a bunch of videos, and it doesn't seem like rupees are even as important as gil in a classic Final Fantasy game. The whole theme is living off the land.

Either way, it seems to me that a game in which your character buys stuff with in-game currency is not quite the same thing as a game in which you yourself buy stuff with actual real-life money. I think there's a meaningful distinction to be made there.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:38 am 
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I remember having a Smash Bros marathon at a friends house. My friend Alex spent 2 hours explaining his trophies, and the rest of us kept asking "can we just play the freaking game already?!"


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:41 am 
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Boy, would you hate Animal Crossing series, in which one of the goals is to "complete your catalog", or have touched one of everything that the shop sells.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:37 pm 
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Yeah, i feel BotW is lending a lot from the survival sim hybrids and crafting oriented mmo:s (minecraft, rust, etc) and just making it even more casual.
Since no other zelda leaned on this aspect, it might be that some don't play it like that, which would throw you at the shop systems' mercy.

Yeah, armour upgrades are a rupee sponge. But a lot of the good stuff is found; not bought.


Arrow farming, early:
-find a couple of bow riders. Run around in circles two-three minutes. pick up all missed arrows.
mid-early game:
-kill lizfalos in the climb to zora's domain for substantial drops of magic arrows.
mid-game
-southwest of hyrule ridge, there are like five, six bow riders in one spot. ups the risk, might need some stamina, but replenishes arrows very quickly.
late-game:
kill lynels for massive drops of magic arrows.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:13 pm 
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93143 wrote:
Maybe you're playing it wrong?

Knowing me, probably.

I will point out that the only thing you can get by 'living off the land' is healing/buffing food, and that the game has more shops than every other Zelda I've played put together. This is also the first Zelda I've been forced to buy more than one or two things in, so it feels even more jarring.

93143 wrote:
Either way, it seems to me that a game in which your character buys stuff with in-game currency is not quite the same thing as a game in which you yourself buy stuff with actual real-life money. I think there's a meaningful distinction to be made there.

Agreed, but in SSB4 it's completely gratuitous, and a distraction from the stuff that's actually fun. There's no reason for it to be in the game at all besides shameless promotion.

psycopathicteen wrote:
I remember having a Smash Bros marathon at a friends house. My friend Alex spent 2 hours explaining his trophies, and the rest of us kept asking "can we just play the freaking game already?!"

Hahahahaha. I guess SSB4 is aimed at him not me then.

tepples wrote:
Boy, would you hate Animal Crossing series, in which one of the goals is to "complete your catalog", or have touched one of everything that the shop sells.

Haven't played Animal Crossing, but its presence in Smash is one of the things I find annoying about it, so you're probably right.

FrankenGraphics wrote:
Arrow farming, early:
-find a couple of bow riders. Run around in circles two-three minutes. pick up all missed arrows.
mid-early game:
-kill lizfalos in the climb to zora's domain for substantial drops of magic arrows.
mid-game
-southwest of hyrule ridge, there are like five, six bow riders in one spot. ups the risk, might need some stamina, but replenishes arrows very quickly.
late-game:
kill lynels for massive drops of magic arrows.

Oh. I must still be early-game then, because I can only handle the first option, and it's still much slower and more tedious than selling Luminous Stones to buy them instead.

What order are you meant to do things in this game anyway? I've climbed every tower, been everywhere but the castle, got most of my armor to three stars and cleared Vah Medoh. Am I missing something vitally important to success?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:10 am 
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I'm a big fan of functional economy in video games, but there's a very strict separation between one that supports the natural progression of the game, and one that's included merely to pad out the experience of the game (which is what I'm guessing the thread is touching on).

One really great example I think is the classic Dragon Quest formula, where every time you are able to make it to a new town, you'll find stores that sell better items than the previous one, but for a bit more money, so you'll have to fight enemies to build up enough funds to invest in those, allowing you to sell your old equipment in the process for more money, and the process repeats until you are close to the end of the game. If you focus on a strong party which relies a lot on equipment you'll have underpowered characters until you build up an economy to get their gear up to par.

Despite the games being very grind-heavy, I find this to be a very fun mechanic that keeps me engaged, unlike the more "modern" grinding approach that we see in stuff like MMOs, but now also infecting every other genre. I can't really point out exactly what makes the difference between "the good example" and the one that I find disgusting, but I guess it's a subtle idea of realising when the economy suits the design of the game, and when it is added simply to fake some kind of constant, miniscule progression that essentially adds nothing to the game.
I have never played the Monster Hunter games, but I feel like they are based entirely around this concept. Do they fall into the former or the latter category though?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:20 am 
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What order are you meant to do things in this game anyway? I've climbed every tower, been everywhere but the castle, got most of my armor to three stars and cleared Vah Medoh. Am I missing something vitally important to success?


I guess no particular order, but i think the game does play against you a bit this way. The first thing i did was get to each of the towers, and it caused the difficulty curve to be a bit rollercoaster-like.

For what it's worth, i still buy arrows from time to time, i'm just not as dependent on the stores for resupplying.

I think that you "ought" to have the master sword by then, (never breaks, gets recharged instead), different sets of armour for different conditions, and also be able to craft armour, weapons and arrows from the ancient junk you scavenge from rusted guardians and the smaller sentries (AND the larger guardians - but it is basically futile to do this before you can craft those ancient anti-guardian arrows).

Crafting gear still costs rupees beside crafting materials. I think that was kind of unnecessary.

You also ought to have a good stack of protective potions against elemental damage. I don't particulary like this, but it is what it is. Basically, ranged vs ranged combat is clunky and disorienting, so it often comes down to a "drink a potion to guarantee a win", which is tedious micromanagement.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:05 am 
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The only thing I ever used rupees for in BotW was opening the faery ponds and getting gear (in particular, one for enduring the cold, and one for enduring the heat on death mountain - the rest is pure vanity). Sure, the game has a ton of shops, but I don't recall ever using one. It's similar in just about every other Zelda game, too. You buy the rings in Zelda 1, and otherwise the only stuff I've bought is "collectibles" like heart pieces. Even Link's Awakening allows you to steal the stuff you need.

As for progression, the only real structure after the intro plateau is beat all four "divine beasts" and get the master sword, all of which can be done in any order you want, and then head to the castle. Or you could just head straight to the castle whenever you feel like it. I'm not a fan of modern open world games, but I do love an open ended structure such as this.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:15 pm 
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Sumez wrote:
I have never played the Monster Hunter games, but I feel like they are based entirely around this concept. Do they fall into the former or the latter category though?

I've only played Tri, but I don't see it as having much of an economy at all. You can't buy the good stuff outright, you have to gather materials for the smith to forge new gear with. You still need money as well, but by the time you've taken enough hunts for the RNG to give you all the rare drops you need you're pretty much guaranteed to be swimming in it.

You can gather or craft nearly all of the consumables, too, which is very convenient. Really, the only 'bad' grindiness in the game is getting the right random drops. That and you need to bring your A game on every single hunt, which can get exhausting if you're not up to it, but I imagine that's what keeps the diehard fans hooked.

FrankenGraphics wrote:
I think that you "ought" to have the master sword by then, (never breaks, gets recharged instead), different sets of armour for different conditions, and also be able to craft armour, weapons and arrows from the ancient junk you scavenge from rusted guardians and the smaller sentries

How many hearts do you need for the MS? I spent most of my orbs doubling my stamina gauge so I could climb/glide around enemies instead of dying to my awful reflexes all the time.

I've been to Robbie's, but I can't find enough gears to craft any of the armor. I've got enough of everything else, bar rupees, to forge the entire set, but the RNG seems to hate Ancient Gears. Or is there some way to affect which kind of part you get from searching?

FrankenGraphics wrote:
Crafting gear still costs rupees beside crafting materials. I think that was kind of unnecessary.

Seconded, thirded and fourthed. Dang that shit is expensive.

FrankenGraphics wrote:
You also ought to have a good stack of protective potions against elemental damage. I don't particulary like this, but it is what it is.

I have two-star Snowquill, Rubber and Flamebreaker sets so I switch armor for the elemental protection and brew heat/cold resistance potions instead. Immunity > resistance and less cooking chaos at the same time.

FrankenGraphics wrote:
Basically, ranged vs ranged combat is clunky and disorienting, so it often comes down to a "drink a potion to guarantee a win", which is tedious micromanagement.

Maybe it's just because I die immediately to Lynels anyway, but ranged vs ranged combat in my experience is generally a case of "do I have enough arrows to whittle that thing's health down?" I'm nearly always at the top of the nearest available structure, thanks to climbing everything in sight, so they can't hit me or even see me, but aiming with a thumbstick is impossible and everything has way too much health. It's boring and fiddly and no fun at all, but the only other option is to charge in, get mobbed and die.

Unless it's fire/ice and I use the opposing type of arrow, which I tend to do even at point-blank because I don't need to aim and it only costs one arrow instead of twenty.

Sumez wrote:
The only thing I ever used rupees for in BotW was opening the faery ponds and getting gear (in particular, one for enduring the cold, and one for enduring the heat on death mountain - the rest is pure vanity).

What about Hylian plate? Elemental immunities? Undodgeable instakill lasers? Is 'not dying to everything in sight' vanity now too?

Sumez wrote:
Sure, the game has a ton of shops, but I don't recall ever using one. It's similar in just about every other Zelda game, too. You buy the rings in Zelda 1, and otherwise the only stuff I've bought is "collectibles" like heart pieces. Even Link's Awakening allows you to steal the stuff you need.

That's the way I usually play Zelda, but I have no clue how you managed it in BotW. It's like trying to pull a no-sword run in LoZ, only worse, because at least there you get real upgrades in dungeons instead of consumables, and you can farm any of the things that are consumable by killing low-level monsters instead of ones that use the stuff you're trying to obtain against you.

Sumez wrote:
I'm not a fan of modern open world games, but I do love an open ended structure such as this.

It's definitely an improvment over the strict linearity of the last 3-4 games. For all that weapon durability and continual rupee-hunting piss me off, it's been a long time since I've played a game that has real free exploration and makes it actually fun.

This thread seems to have been derailed into talking exclusively about BotW, so here's something else I found in SSB4: the online spectator mode promotes gambling.

This is not cool.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:31 am 
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Rahsennor wrote:
What about Hylian plate? Elemental immunities? Undodgeable instakill lasers? Is 'not dying to everything in sight' vanity now too?

I don't even remember anything with that name. Most of the armors in the game had very specific use and never really "generally" good, so I would just play most of the game with the default blue shirt that you get early in the game, as that's the one with the highest armor rating, and occasionally some of the gear you'd find in the big labyrinths which increased my attack output.

I don't recall ever dying to everything in sight, aside from maybe the first hour or so after leaving the plateau. Once you get ahold of the combat and a few extra heart containers, the game is really easy.

Quote:
That's the way I usually play Zelda, but I have no clue how you managed it in BotW.

I have no idea what you'd even spend the money on in BotW?! The inventory in all the stores is practically useless.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:26 am 
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Sumez wrote:
I don't even remember anything with that name. Most of the armors in the game had very specific use and never really "generally" good, so I would just play most of the game with the default blue shirt that you get early in the game, as that's the one with the highest armor rating, and occasionally some of the gear you'd find in the big labyrinths which increased my attack output.

Oops, guess I got the name wrong. The plate armor you can buy in Hateno. Has the highest defence of anything I've found so far. Champion's tunic would be higher but upgrading it involves chipping dragon horns and it doesn't have a hat or pants to go with it.

Sumez wrote:
I don't recall ever dying to everything in sight, aside from maybe the first hour or so after leaving the plateau. Once you get ahold of the combat and a few extra heart containers, the game is really easy.

Are we even playing the same game? Regular enemies can knock six hearts off in one hit and take enough damage to break weapons as fast as you find them. Guardians can soak up an entire inventory of normal weaponry without dying and one-shot you regardless of what you're wearing. In any other game I'd say I'm grossly underlevelled, but the closest equivalent is buying better gear and you just said you didn't do that...

Quote:
I have no idea what you'd even spend the money on in BotW?! The inventory in all the stores is practically useless.

Armor, arrows, sidequests, Great Fairies... it'd be shorter to list the thing you don't need money for: food.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:38 am 
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How many hearts do you need for the MS?
13!

I think gears are a less common, yes. Scavenge every dead guardian you see, and do a lot of dungeons.

You can one-shot guardians with the anti-guardian (not the real name) arrows you can craft at the tech lab. Also found in some chests.


Else, this game is just a lot about anticipating moves and not getting hit. i'm not too good at it, but feel that's key.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:54 am 
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Rahsennor wrote:
Guardians can soak up an entire inventory of normal weaponry without dying and one-shot you regardless of what you're wearing.

What are you even doing fighting Guardians without the Master Sword? I can't think of any in the game that can't be avoided completely. And with the exception of an incredibly well timed shield parry, they are practically impossible to kill without the Master Sword, and super easy with it (yeah you can use ancient arrows, but they are rare). As long as you are only fighting one at a time, their lasers are easy to dodge. As for fighting multiple at a time... that's just something you should never do.

Lynels is another thing you shouldn't try fighting until pretty late in the game, but apart from that most things aren't really too dangerous, and fully healing food items are super easy to stock up on.

Quote:
In any other game I'd say I'm grossly underlevelled, but the closest equivalent is buying better gear and you just said you didn't do that...

I said I'm using the default blue shirt and upgrading that at the great faeries. It had by far the highest defense rating of anything in the game, and kept me well protected throughout the game. I agree, it really does sound like we are playing two different games. :)


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