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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: World of Warcraft Classic
« Last post by Marco on May 20, 2019, 08:01:53 AM »
Most of those are "people don't remember or didn't experience how much weird stuff in classic has been smoothed out", but there are some interesting other categories of bugs.

From the department of "private servers define my intuition of what classic is", a lot of people have been watching streamers having an easy time in low-level dungeons and concluding that damage from elites must be too low.  People who have done actual research (using archival footage of classic) have concluded that the damage is fine.  Cree and I once went into Deadmines as a warrior/paladin duo at level 20 and either finished or got almost to the end; the idea that classic is hardmode is overblown.

From the department of "really tiny things define my sense of immersion", there are people advocating for the return of moonwalking.
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: World of Warcraft Classic
« Last post by Piralyn on May 20, 2019, 06:47:59 AM »
I find some humor in the "This is how it is/was and not a bug" blue post

Quote
As we’ve discussed before, the nature of WoW Classic sometimes invokes different memories for different players, and this leads to certain misconceptions for some about what is or isn’t working as intended.

The following is a list of commonly-reported gameplay in WoW Classic that is not actually a bug, and is working as we expect it to:

    Tauren’s hitboxes and their melee reach is slightly larger than other races.
    Being critically struck while using /sit to sit does not cause abilities like Enrage, Blood Craze, and Reckoning to activate.
    Using the “Automatic Quest Tracking” option does not auto-track newly accepted quests. (It instead will start to track an existing quest once progress towards an objective is started.)
    Warrior health Regeneration is working at the expected rate.
    Quests objectives and points of interests are not tracked on the map or minimap.
    Completed quests are marked on the minimap with a dot. (and not a “?”)
    Feared players and NPCs run fast.
    Standing on top of other players while facing away allows spells and attacks to be used.
    Creature respawn rates are much slower than in Battle for Azeroth.
    NPCs which offer multiple quests may inconsistently display them as a dot or a “!” on the available quests list. They were inconsistent in 1.12, and we’ve reproduced the exact inconsistency they had back then.
    Quests that are too low level for do not show up as a “!” in the game world.
    Available quests do not display a “!” on the minimap.
    On level up, the message: “Your skill in Protection increased to 15” was added in 1.12.1, and we’re intending to keep that.


We appreciate all of your feedback!
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Finished playing...
« Last post by Marco on May 19, 2019, 09:42:26 AM »
Sometime in the next several months Square Enix will release a remake of Final Fantasy VII. Hopefully by then I won’t need time-wasters. Unless the reviews are glowing beyond measure, I don’t plan to visit the Final Fantasy series again.
I'd say the original FF7 dodges most of your criticisms, but the remake sounds like it will change a lot.  The graphics of the day couldn't really communicate oversexualized characters, but the remake has modern visuals.  The story of FF7 was pretty accessible (though it had its cringeworthy moments), but the remake will havepretty rewritten the dialog and added voiceover work.  The mechanics of FF7 were quite easy--or at least contained lots of opportunities to overpower the story fights--but the remake is redesigning the combat system.
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Finished playing...
« Last post by Winston on May 19, 2019, 02:26:02 AM »
Final Fantasy X

Disclaimer: I did not play this game to the end, for reasons discussed below. This review is based on what I experienced until I decided to quit playing it.

A few months ago, I posted my review of Final Fantasy XV. I was still looking for something to occupy my time during my convalescence. A friend of mine recommended Final Fantasy X on the basis of its story. I’ll start with my immediate impressions.

It must be said: This is a clunky game. It’s a port of a game published in 2001 to modern gaming systems. It was strange to play a game for which the right knob on my PS4 controller did almost nothing at all. There’s no way to change camera angles; you take the view the game gives you. Switching between targets during combat is not intuitive.

Since it is an old game, I’m willing to let that slide.

In my FFXV review, I made a big deal about the blatant sexism of the character of Cindy. In FFX many of the female characters show a lot of skin, but so do the male characters so I’ll let that part slide as well.

However, I’m not going to give a pass to the character of Lulu. She’s modestly dressed compared to most of the other female characters, except for exposed cleavage. The issue I have is the game’s focus on that cleavage: many of the cutscenes have the camera pointed at Lulu’s chest, cropping out her face; Lulu’s “victory dance” at the end of combat has her flaunting her cleavage at the camera.

Lulu is a popular subject for fan costuming, so I may be overreacting; if female fans have no problem with Lulu, I probably shouldn’t either. Still, it bothered me that one of the most powerful characters in the game is presented as a subject for adolescent ogling.

An observation instead of a criticism: I was startled to see how many of the game elements of FFXV were also present in FFX: chocobos; potions names and effects; victory music at the end of combat. It make it clear that the Final Fantasy series has traditions of its own.

Let’s get to the game itself. You get to choose your viewpoint character’s name; the default is “Tidus” but I picked “Artax” (which in retrospect was a mistake). Tidus is a successful Blitzball player in the city of Zanarkand. After a confusing introduction that reminded me a bit of Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2, you find yourself 1000 years in the future. Through a few info dumps, you learn that you’re part of a team of characters whose goal is to defeat the monstrous creature Sin.

There are open-world elements to FFX, but basically it’s a linear story from your arrival in the land of Spira to the final confrontation with Sin. As you engage in combats you gain skills and stats, as is typical games of this genre.

This leads to my first frustration with the game: the Sphere Grid. Instead of the standard skill trees in similar games, the abilities and improvements for your character are unlocked by navigating a visually confusing circular display. As you win combats, you gain different kinds of spheres. You navigate between nodes on this display by gaining “sphere levels”; you activate the nodes by using special spheres dropped by most of the monsters you fight.

Here’s a much better explanation of the system:
https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Sphere_Grid

Even after I understood how to use the Sphere Grid, I had two problems with it. The first is that it was all too easy to “lose your way” among the concentric circles. This cause me to waste sphere levels as I tried to navigate a character’s location on the grid, only to find out that I headed in the wrong direction.

The second problem is that sections of the sphere grid, with more powerful abilities or opportunities to navigate to other character’s skill set, are blocked off by “key spheres”. These are extremely rare and do not drop randomly. By the time I stopped playing FFX, I had activated all the characters’ spheres within their areas of the sphere grid. Without the necessary key spheres, I could not improve them further (not even basic stats like hit points). I accumulated sphere levels with no way to spend them.

Another issue I had with FFX was with the difficulty of the late-game boss combat. I played the game in Easy mode (as always), but there are increasingly more combats as you continue with the game that, realistically, can only be won by consulting a hint guide or by failing a lot until you learn the appropriate strategy.

The latter sounds acceptable; after all, someone must have done this before writing a hint guide in the first place. The problem is that the game punishes failure. If you lose a combat, the game is over. You can always restore to the last save point, and there are save points before every major boss combat. But restoring a game forces you to watch a three-minute unskippable cinematic before you can play again.

This means that, without a hint guide, late-game combat becomes “glasschewing”: You lose, spend minutes restoring the game state, fight the boss to the same point as before (which can take several minutes on its own), only to wipe again if you miss some important strategic concept for that battle.

When you reach a stage where only a hint guide can move you forward, you’re not really playing the game anymore; the hint guide is. That’s when I lose interest. Now that I think of it, that’s when I stopped playing FFXV, when I could only progress using hint guides.

But in FFXV, the Uncharted series, the Tomb Raider series, Horizon: Zero Dawn, even God of War, I didn’t need a hint guide to get to the end of the story. I only needed guides for the optional content, though I may not have realized it at the time. FFX required me to have hints to get to the end of the game’s story.

What of that story? My friend was right to say that FFX’s story is better than FFXV’s, without question. The problem is that while the story is better, the writing is awful. In the cutscenes, characters say the same thing over and over again, they repeatedly state plot points that are painfully obvious even to players unfamiliar to any of the conventions of the fantasy genre, and they whine incessantly and repeatedly about the same issues. I’ll give the game credit: both the male and female characters do the same amount of whining.

Perhaps this dialog sounds better in the original Japanese. Or perhaps it’s pitched to a very young audience. I discount the latter, because of the difficulty of the late-state combat and confusion of the Sphere Grid; I don’t think six-year-olds could deal with those game elements.

Or perhaps I’m underestimating six-year-olds. It would not be the first time!

Final (fantasy) verdict: Final Fantasy X served its purpose, to occupy my time during long stretches when I couldn’t move from my easy chair. At $15, it was priced reasonably for a time-waster. But I can’t give the game an enthusiastic recommendation.

Sometime in the next several months Square Enix will release a remake of Final Fantasy VII. Hopefully by then I won’t need time-wasters. Unless the reviews are glowing beyond measure, I don’t plan to visit the Final Fantasy series again.
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: World of Warcraft Classic
« Last post by Winston on May 18, 2019, 11:54:05 AM »
* There will be at least one RP server in Classic.

Out of curiosity, did they mention whether Blizzard would be enforcing RP guidelines the way they did back in vanilla Wow? Would someone with a name like Hrneeduud be forced to change it?

On a side note: Will it be just as hard to find Mankirk's wife?
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: World of Warcraft Classic
« Last post by Glognar on May 18, 2019, 08:25:33 AM »
Played a little last night with my new hunter!

Having a quiver with arrows sure brought back memories!

Glog
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: World of Warcraft Classic
« Last post by **andius on May 17, 2019, 10:53:48 AM »
Blizzard did a press event for classic.  wowhead has a roundup here.  I don't plan to watch the interviews, but from the summary I noticed:

* Retail and Classic can not be used at the same time by the same account.

I think this is the wrong decision--retail and classic are different games, and I can play WoW and Overwatch at the same time.  There may be a technical reason which isn't easy to change.


Classic is just a different server with a different game mode and rules not a different game and you pay to play one character at a time.
If you paid extra for access to classic I could see you being able to play both at the same time. If you want to play both at the same time get another account :)
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: World of Warcraft Classic
« Last post by Marco on May 17, 2019, 10:24:55 AM »
Blizzard did a press event for classic.  wowhead has a roundup here.  I don't plan to watch the interviews, but from the summary I noticed:

* Retail and Classic can not be used at the same time by the same account.

I think this is the wrong decision--retail and classic are different games, and I can play WoW and Overwatch at the same time.  There may be a technical reason which isn't easy to change.

* The old mount system (Cheap training, expensive mounts) will be in Classic the whole time, it won't change to the updated system from 1.12.1.

Interesting mostly because it means 1.12 isn't synonymous with 1.12.2.  (I believe everything else in 1.12.1 and 1.12.2 is bugfixes.)

* Conversations have already started about Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King servers, as long as there is a demand in the community.

* Servers will have new names, to not create confusion from retail.

Probably the right decision, but it may make it harder for people who played together in vanilla to find each other.

* There will be at least one RP server in Classic.

* Content beyond Phase 6 (Naxx) is a possibility, "anything is on the table. This (Classic) is a love letter to our fans.". Blizzard isn't planning on it right now, but if the community wants it, they can talk about that.

I think adding raids beyond Naxx would count as fouling the waters, so I'm guessing that the person being interviewed was simply talking about BC and Wrath servers.

Also, a while ago Blizzard revealed that they have developed a restricted form of sharding called "layering" which will be used to handle the initial overload at classic launch.  Layering will separate populations of players within a server like sharding does, but without some of the weird phasing we can see in retail (particularly at zone boundaries).  wowhead has an article about layering here.
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Battle for Azeroth
« Last post by Kharvek on May 16, 2019, 02:32:52 PM »
Johnny deleted like five Doomhammers
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Battle for Azeroth
« Last post by Piralyn on May 16, 2019, 02:10:58 PM »
Can you really trust a dude who would trust Doomhammer to JOHNNY?!
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