Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby ThePointForward on Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:16 am

cavs4872 wrote:Funnily enough, there's a daily spin wheel that is exactly like the one in 2K... they were definitely inspired.

Take Two owns both 2K and Rockstar. There are more parallels between NBA 2K and GTA Online.
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Andrew on Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:35 pm

Yeah, the similarities in the push towards "recurrent revenue" mechanics in both games is no coincidence.
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby [Q] on Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:42 pm

I dunno, I don't have a problem with the casino as they give you free chips every day to play with. Plus the daily Big Wheel spin also gives you more free stuff which I've received free chips from as well. I don't mind the whole casino as it's very upfront in what it is. If I play blackjack and wager chips I pretty much know exactly what I'm getting myself into because I have previous experience playing blackjack and gambling in real life plus other games.

My problem with stuff like my team or Ultimate Team or loot boxes is that there are so many possibilities and everything is left up to chance so that the possibility of you getting exactly what you want is much lower than you would think, but they don't really explain very well exactly what kind of odds you have of getting something really good
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Andrew on Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:40 pm

[Q] wrote:My problem with stuff like my team or Ultimate Team or loot boxes is that there are so many possibilities and everything is left up to chance so that the possibility of you getting exactly what you want is much lower than you would think


Whereas what, you have a system when you're at the virtual casino? ;) It's not like gambling isn't a game of chance as well, in this case with odds set by the developers that can give the house an even bigger advantage than in reality if they so please. With that being said, I agree that the odds should be displayed in MyTEAM (they are in Ultimate Team, now). Even when you buy a real pack of basketball cards, the odds of pulling the rarer inserts are displayed on the pack.

Like Jim Sterling points out, it's a mode where you can use real money but can't cash out real money. As noted, you don't have to use real money and Jim acknowledges that as fair play, as do I. But the fact that you can does make it a predatory mechanic, especially for people who may be recovering gambling addicts (or have addictive personalities in general), or kids who don't know better. There may be some freebies, but it's not designed not to make money. It's not like NBA 2K doesn't have methods of giving away VC and MT, but it's done in the hope that you'll get hooked and buy the former so you can keep tearing open virtual packs. In either case, you can just play with house money, but that's not what they're aiming for.

The problems don't lie with people like us who will say "Yeah, I'm not spending any real money on this" and don't, it's about the people who can't control that impulse who are being targeted. And sure, we can be cynical and say that's on them, a fool and their money are soon parted, and all manner of things that lack empathy while holding everyone else to a higher standard than we hold ourselves. People get into a bad spot in their life and fall victim to vices, and then try to kick their habits. As Jim has pointed out in various videos on the subject of loot boxes and gambling mechanics, a lot of recovering addicts play video games to get that same rush, only without financial stakes or danger to their health. Now there are games that will target that vulnerability and open up avenues for them to spend/lose money in new ways. And yes, capitalism and all that, but the ethics are still rather shady and unconscionable.

Again, I think it's bizarre that we complain about gambling mechanics in any other context in video games, but make excuses for literal gambling. It's no problem for people who abstain from microtransactions, but that's not the only people who play the games, and not who's being targeted here. I think it's scummy to prey on the audience like that, and I don't think the "honesty" of it being actual gambling makes it any less scummy.

Look, I'm not anti-gambling as an activity, or against its representation/depiction in a video game meant for adults. Like I said, it'd be a weird line to draw in a game like GTA with everything else you can do. I think as long as you're not pumping real money into it - especially if that's something you can't afford to do - no harm, no foul. But that is something the game invites and what they're counting on, which is going to target vulnerable people and kids who don't know better; kids who can get their hands on a game they're too young for easier than they can get into a casino, and potentially end up sticking their parents with a huge credit card bill. The fact that it's openly gambling rather than loot boxes and so forth doesn't make it any better than the person who admits they're a jerk, and thinks it justifies them continuing to be a jerk because "at least I'm honest".

If nothing else, and putting all ethical discussions aside, it just strikes me as strange to criticise something in a video game for being like gambling, but then not criticise actual gambling in a video game.
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby [Q] on Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:50 am

I agree, it does seem petty or even a bit hypocritical to criticize loot box mechanics but not actual gambling. I guess my point was that at least in blackjack or an actual gambling mini game, I know the possible outcomes: I win money or lose money. I can control how much I out at risk but it's fairly transparent. I think part of the issue has been that people have identified something's just not right with loot box or trading card mechanics and in an effort to ban them, they've associated it with gambling which is still taboo in a lot of places in the world. There are definitely differences between them which we've pointed out but yeah it's just strange to try to compare the two which companies are definitely using to make more money off of gamers.

I acknowledge that just because I don't have a gambling or loot box addiction doesn't mean the company could prey on others that do. I know those are real problems. It's a shame that they try to prey on people with addictions or on unsuspecting children who don't know any better. Overall the problem with that is the greed of the company and the lack of Goodwill in that department.

Not sure what the long term fix is or what will happen but it will be interesting to see how this gets dealt with in the future
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Andrew on Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:42 pm

I suppose it depends on how many regions end up banning it, if at all. I'd like to think that Jim Sterling is right about the bubble bursting at some point.
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Lamrock on Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:32 am

I have more of a libertarian view on this. While I have to take my own opinion with a grain of salt due to gambling not being a problem for me or anybody I'm close to, I still think adults should be able to make their own decisions on this.

As such, I don't think legislation should be made to ban loot boxes. Even if we get a gamer in the white house, the vast majority of legislators know nothing about video games, and the regulations will more likely than not be poorly written and biased in favor of large publishers. Gaming already finds itself in the crosshairs (no pun intended) whenever Republicans need to pretend to care about the latest mass shooting, and the loot box issue could end up making certain game mechanics illegal and increasing the barrier to entry for smaller developers.

But to think of the children, I do think that having gambling mechanics in an E-rated game makes no sense. It would never happen, and most people don't care about the ESRB, but assigning M ratings to games with lootboxes could help. It would be a disincentive to put these kinds of mechanics in games marketed to children, and at least put a dent in the problem with relatively little downside.
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby [Q] on Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:08 am

Sure, most normal adults are able to make their own decisions but that doesn't change the fact that microtransactions can be predatory.

In fact, I remember reading about a responsible adult who made the decision to get a rare skin for Apex Legends and was willing to pay for it, despite the 1 percent chance of getting it in a loot box. They have a "pity timer" that guarantees it after 500 boxes, so it cost him $500 for that skin.

I agree it's problematic when congressmen have no idea what they are talking about when they try to butt in on different topics like this. When it comes to video games, concussions, football, guns, or other hot topics they try to take a stand but are often influenced by big money corporations backing them with a certain message and using them as puppets
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Andrew on Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:38 pm

The thing is that there is already legislation on activities or products that adults are freely available to partake in or consume, as well as age restrictions in the first place. I can't speak for casinos in the US, but wherever there are poker machines here in Australia, warnings about the odds of winning and phone numbers for people with gambling problems are clearly posted, much like the warnings on packs of cigarettes. There are a lot of laws and regulations that are intended to protect people from their impulses and bad decisions, which I believe is important to have in a healthy and empathetic society.

I also agree that how it's regulated is a touchy issue, especially with how video games are scapegoated. The idea of stating that any game that utilises gambling mechanics must be 18+ would be a deterrent. It would be difficult to prevent cases from slipping through the cracks as underage gamers would no doubt end up still playing the game, much the same way people get hold of alcohol and cigarettes even when the law says they're too young to purchase them. It doesn't mean that you don't try to address the issue, though.
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby ThePointForward on Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:20 pm

I'm just gonna add that the GTA Online Casino fell under Czech legislature that was in place for a while now, it's general gambling regulation and Rockstar simply doesn't have an online gambling license.
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Lean on Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:52 am

Won the NBA championship with the Timberwolves in MyCareer in NBA 2K19. I may be missing something, but the championship ring ceremony didn't trigger on the first home game of the following season. :lol:
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Andrew on Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:46 am

It definitely should trigger, unless the devs have something against the Timberwolves. ;)
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Lean on Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:03 pm

Probably because Leftos was trash-talking my character after the loss to the Lakers in the regular season. :lol:
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Lamrock on Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:25 am

The WipEout Omega Collection is free on PS Plus, and after being a casual fan of the games on PSP and PS3 I decided to give this one a try. It's a remaster of WipEout HD and WipeOut 2048 (which nobody played because it was a Vita exclusive), and even though I've already played HD, it's absolutely hooked me. Arcade racers are one of my favorite game genres, but there really hasn't been any standout ones on the PS4. There's been such a dearth of these games that garbage like Horizon Chase Turbo gets praise.

WipEout HD is a masterpiece. The dozen tracks are quite short, but are difficult to master, especially on higher speed classes. The game is easy to pick up, but learning the tracks and getting used to the advanced mechanics is essential. The moderate skill ceiling leaves a lot of room to improve, but unlike something like Gran Turismo you don't need to quit your day job to master it. The higher speed classes are terrifying at first, but it doesn't take long to acclimate. Playing online is a blast if you can find a game. The series also apparently has a surprisingly deep backstory. The Zone mode where you try to survive as long as you can in a ship that's constantly speeding up is challenging but fun, but I'm not a huge fan of the new modes added in the Fury expansion. More content is more content though.

There's also 2048, which is fine but I'm not crazy about. The graphics are great, but the game isn't well balanced and the wider, longer tracks make lower speed classes a chore to use. I'm only halfway through the campaign though so maybe it'll grow on me!
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby [Q] on Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:50 am

I've seen you playing that online. I heard there's a VR component to one of the games. Is that true? I'd imagine you can race in first person point of view with it. My buddy might be interested in the game if that were the case
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Lamrock on Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:16 am

There is! I don't have a VR set unfortunately, but I've seen people claiming it's the best way to experience the game. I could only imagine...
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby formx on Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:38 pm

First post in idk how long.

I decided to pick up PES 2020 on PC the other day. Been playing the MyClub mode almost exclusively, it's very easy to build a great squad without spending any money. Konami often holds special events during the week that allows you to get a lot of points to use towards acquiring players.

Here's my team.

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The game feels slower than 2019 but I feel movement is a lot more fluid and the finesse dribble feature puts the dribbling aspect on par with FIFA.

Fouls are stilled called pretty infrequently, but regardless still a great game.
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Lamrock on Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:10 am

I picked up The Outer Worlds every day. Was excited because it looked like Fallout: New Vegas but skeptical because Obsidian's games often have poor roll outs. But the mid-80s Metacritic score convinced me that the game would be at least decent, so I went for it.

Even though it takes place in a new universe, it may as well be called New Vegas 2. The gameplay, writing style and quest structure are nearly identical. However, they took just as many ideas from Borderlands, in terms of the storyline, weapons and vibe.

But in spite of its lack of originality, it's more or less what I wanted. My main regret is not choosing the game's equivalent to New Vegas's hardcore mode, instead opting for the Hard difficulty instead. I mostly did this because I didn't want my companions to die but unfortunately the game is just way too easy. The enemies can be bullet sponges, but the game doesn't really cap your healing items and enemies don't tend to one shot you, so combat is more a matter of being patient. Having multiple options for how to complete quests is nice, but there's usually little reason to choose an evil option unless it's just for the hell of it. (as an aside, RPG's should almost always reward being evil, so that being good requires some sort of tangible sacrifice) Skill checks are shown in the dialogue screen, so if you see something like (Persuade 25) before an option, you know it will work for you. Perhaps the biggest complaint is that the same button used to open doors and pick stuff up also draws your gun. A big immersion breaker, and something I expect to be addressed in a patch.

On the other hand, it's still a lot of fun. The characters are well written and likable, even if they all kind of look the same. Going to different planets, talking to people and raping and pillaging is always fun. While not among the best on the system, the graphics and load times are pretty good and I've yet to run into any bugs (!). I think I might have more fun on a second play through on a harder difficulty, this time not worrying about companions, and trying out some of the other options.
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Andrew on Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:08 am

That's good to hear it's turned out well. I didn't end up pre-ordering it as I admit I was a bit turned off by it becoming an Epic Store exclusive, but I haven't ruled out getting it; especially with the positive reception I'm seeing.

Incidentally we have a topic for it if you want to get some discussion going: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=106754
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Lamrock on Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:10 am

That's right! We do have a thread - I even posted in it. My bad. :lol:
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Andrew on Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:44 pm

No harm done, it hadn't been posted in for a while and had slipped down.
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Lean on Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:22 am

Luigi's Mansion 3 is probably the best-looking game on the Switch.
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby cavs4872 on Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:08 pm

Lean wrote:Luigi's Mansion 3 is probably the best-looking game on the Switch.

Great game. At first people were critical of the lighting (which can be adjusted in the settings), but now it's the "slam move" because it's too obnoxious and overpowered (especially for someone as wimpy as Luigi -- I guess that makes it all the more funny).

The online ScareScraper mode is something else; reminds me a bit of Overcooked. Oddly difficult for a 2019 Nintendo game (since they've tended to soften up in recent years), but essentially the premise is you and up to seven other players (four Luigi's and four Gooigis) have to tackle 5 or 10 floors of the ScareScraper in a certain time limit, with the challenge varying by floor. It can be capturing all the ghosts, acquiring a certain amount of money or rounding up four Toads. There are obstacles like false doors and rugs that can trap you (and will take a lot of time to be freed from unless a teammate saves you), and certain powerups and hidden treasures you can acquire.

There is little to no room for error; Nintendo even uploaded a video to their YouTube channel that the devs couldn't beat it. If one of your teammates doesn't know what they're doing it might as well be curtains; it's more ideal for a Skype group with someone delegating and directing traffic (hence the Overcooked reference), or if you're playing with strangers you need to stay away from your teammates so you're not doing the same thing (though like I said, teamwork is acquired for freeing other teammates, and you all also have to stand on a platform to open a door).
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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby Lean on Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:48 pm

Interesting. I think the best way to play it is with actual people on the couch with you, that way things get coordinated well (then again I played couch-coop Overcooked with friends before and I thought it was overwhelming :lol: ).

Along with Luigi's Mansion 3, I'm also juggling between Ni No Kuni (just beat the story earlier), Daemon X Machina (just imported my save file from the demo and I thought you'd start over but with the equipment you got from the demo, but I think it puts you where exactly you left the demo off and I don't actually remember what happened by the end of the demo :lol:), and then I'm still playing NBA 2K19's MyCareer. I'm on my player's second season and I'm at 91 overall, currently in the All-Star break. My player will compete in all of the events. Would there be some sort of bearing if I win all these events?

Also prior to the All-Star break, my character almost had a perfect game against the Jazz (I think). Missing only one free throw:

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Re: Games you're playing right now, and my freetime's demise

Postby cavs4872 on Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:07 am

Purely speculation, but you may get more fans/endorsements for winning the ASW events.
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