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41  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] Steam revises refund policy! (in a good way) on: June 14, 2015, 02:26:38 AM
In case folks are wondering how this Steam refund policy works with gifts:

*Engy 9 kindly gifted me Wolfenstein: The New Order. Too motion sicky for me even on 100 FOV setting.

*I went to Steam Support, searched for the game name.
*Chose "The game is not what I expected" (something like that)
*Prompted me to click a checkbox that "gives the original purchaser of the gift the option to request a refund"
*Then you're prompted to then notify that gift-purchaser he may request a refund. Steam won't automatically notify that person afik.

Here's the text:
Request a refund for a gift
Gift purchases may be refunded by the purchaser if you agree to the refund. If granted, this product will be removed from your account.

Check the box below if you agree the purchaser can request a refund. Read more about our Refund Policy.
*Allow the original purchaser of this gift to request a refund

Now you can let the original gift purchaser know they can request a refund through the Support site.

So I think that's pretty cool, but I confess the process wasn't exactly intuitive to me. I was worried it was a Catch-22 scenario where "the gift purchaser no longer owns the game," and "the gift recipient didn't spend money on the game and so has no refund to ask for," and the game once installed "is no longer a gift."  icon_razz Thankfully, they resolved the Catch-22...

Update: Later last night Steam popped up a pop-up window informing me I'd given permission to the person gifting the Wolfenstein game to get a refund for it. You click a button to confirm you read the notification before Steam closes the pop-up window.

I still think what's not-intuitive is the process/wording. It's not simply looking for a button labeled, "I want to return this game for a refund," it's digging through the Support section and choosing "this game isn't what I expected." I'm not sure most folks would even know the actual refund request option is sort of hidden beyond that choice. I'd either word it differently or put "What we mean is 'REQUEST REFUND'" in big neon letters in parentheses.  icon_razz
42  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Post Your Steam Summer Sale Loot Here! on: June 14, 2015, 02:23:14 AM
OK on Wolfenstein, I didn't understand how gifting works with the new Refund Policy. If you go into Steam support and click the "it's not what I expected" option, you're prompted to click a checkbox that allows the original gift-buyer to request a refund. The original gift-buyer spent the money, so that's the person that can get a refund if you don't want/can't play (my motion sickness case) the game.

I'll mention this in the Steam refund policy thread. It wasn't what I'd call an intuitive understanding on my part.  icon_smile
43  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Post Your Steam Summer Sale Loot Here! on: June 13, 2015, 03:12:30 PM
-Infested Planet (overhead squad of space marines vs. thousands of aliens, by one-man dev team)
-Wild Frontera (strangely languid wild west twin-stick shooter)
-Anamoly ("reverse" squad/tower defense game from a few years ago)

Pondered Pillars of Eternity, but in retrospect I never enjoyed Baldur's Gate and its ilk (even though I did get that and Icewind Dale in the day) as much as my pals did. I support everything isometric though, so...

Turn-based Valkyria Chronicles is on sale but I find the videos puzzling, and not sure it's something I'd like or not.

And a certain Engine kindly gifted me Wolfenstein: The New Order so I could test whether playing it made me motion sick even at the full (100) FOV. And I confirmed this morning that it made me debilitatingly (is that a word?) ill after 5 minutes of play this morning.  puke

It's the thought that counts though!  icon_biggrin And at least I know that Killing Floor 2 remains the only FPS I can play for long periods with no motion sickness whatsoever. I'm not sure why. It's frustrating to be able to play that for hours on end, no motion sickness (and I'm constantly running, spinning, moving backwards, going in circles in it); and everything else FPS makes me sick in 5 minutes or less. Sorry, I digress...  icon_smile
44  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: E3 Games you care about on: June 11, 2015, 04:32:06 PM

Quote from: forgeforsaken on June 11, 2015, 03:23:46 PM

Basically the stuff we don't know about yet is what I'm interested in finding out about.
This reminds me that what I'd be most excited about is something original, no Roman numeral or number in the title, that creates its own successful genre. Whereupon said game will get lots of sequels with Roman numerals and numbers until the originality is metaphorically beaten to death, while other devs/publishers frantically attempt to copy it until the newly created genre becomes tiresome and oversaturated.

But that first game that starts that inevitable process -- I hope there's at least one game like that at E3.  icon_smile
45  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: E3 Games you care about on: June 11, 2015, 01:19:22 AM
Maybe XCOM2 and Star Wars: Battlefront.

E3 has a site that lists all the games/products that will be at the show:

If the FOV slider moves up high enough (per Killing Floor 2's 125%), Space Hulk: Deathwing (Warhammer FPS) might appeal to motion sick-prone me:
46  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Marvel + Netflix = Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Jessic Jones, Defenders on: June 10, 2015, 03:03:05 AM
Hmmm, THAT guy seems familiar...  icon_cool

DAREDEVIL Season 2: Jon Bernthal Set as The Punisher

*By the way, Transformers and "writers room" is an oxymoron -- they can make $1B on every horrific sequel because international audiences devour everything CGI, no writing is necessary -- and I'm utterly mortified/mystified Daredevil losts its showrunner to such a Thing.  Roll Eyes
47  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] XCOM 2 on: June 09, 2015, 01:11:39 AM
XCOM 2's Exciting Modding Potential
Either day-and-date with XCOM 2’s November launch or soon thereafter, Firaxis intends to release a full suite of modding tools – an Unreal Development Kit (UDK) and the editor the developers use to create content – that will enable modders to run wild with XCOM 2. “It's yours now; do with it what you want.”
“People will see the gameplay source, all the scripting,” he promised. “This is the code that makes the game what the game is. Here's the editor and all the assets that went into this game.”

That’s all music to the ears of modders and fans of modding alike – especially since XCOM 2 will have Steam Workshop integration to make browsing, downloading, and installing the mods talented people create a one-click process.
When asked what kind of XCOM 2 mods they expect to see, the team had a few ideas:

“We don’t have free-aiming. That will be one of the first mods, and that certainly will be fine,” said Solomon. “Maybe somebody will bring back time units,” he mused. “I'd be fine with that.”

Art Director Greg Foertsch had some words of encouragement for map makers: “If you want to make a completely static level, you can. If you want to make a basically completely procedural level - which is basically what our levels are in the game right now, that's 100% doable. It could be narrow; it could be square. It could be super big. And, again, it's super flexible. There's really no limit – you can do whatever you want. You could literally make an Enemy Unknown map.”
48  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: ARK: Survival Evolved on: June 07, 2015, 01:05:26 PM
Destructor asked me about it. While Killing Floor 2 (due mainly to its FOV slider going to 125%, and a couple helpful tips from GT folks here) doesn't give me motion sickness at all, most FPSs do, so I've steered clear of this. I guess I'd need to know if it has a wide FOV slider setting. Or, I dunno, if this is strictly PC maybe FOV is less of an issue for the motion sicky like myself?

While I've played lots of Early Access titles, I wish Steam would like categorize such titles into stuff like:
-"Polished and Seemingly Bug-Free, but Far To Go on more Content Volume/Variety" (I would put KF2 into that category -- imho it needs at least one more boss in the mix and still maybe another level set or two before I can fully recommend it, just from a variety in the repetition standpoint)

-"Dev Not Sure What it Wants Game to Be so It Keep Tearing the Game Up from the Skids and Remaking it Into Something Else (DieselStormers comes to mind)

-"Essentially Abandoned/Dead in the Water (titles where, say, a key programmer quits and development has stopped but Steam insists on continuing to sell the game anyway -- see Recruits).

Some games are in Early Access so long that by the time they "launch" per se it seems like most of the player-base has moved on. And after getting burned on Recruits, I'm not sure I want to support tiny 2-3 person dev teams where in most cases one person's departure essentially dooms the game.

While I've bought my share of Survival games, I don't generally understand the appeal of dying of thirst, starvation, freezing, overheating, bankruptcy in a game. I worry enough about money, food, survival in real life - I don't want that in a game. I want to have no worries of that nature in a game at all.  icon_smile
49  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] XCOM 2 on: June 06, 2015, 01:52:42 PM
IGN set up a wrap-up page of all its XCOM2 details this week:

XCOM 2: Everything You Need to Know

I do question how useful this "IGN exclusive everything" is to Firaxis marketing-wise. Wouldn't you want to reach out to a bunch of gaming news sites, including some of the few remaining PC games-focused sites (Rock, Paper, Shotgun; or PC Gamer, for example)? Oh, what do I know.  retard I know they tossed out a press release for the masses.
50  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] XCOM 2 on: June 05, 2015, 05:24:57 PM
IGN's last couple updates this week:

XCOM 2’S Procedurally Generated Maps
‘So,’ we said, ‘How do we resolve this problem?’” [hand-crafted maps in XCOM EU eventually becoming predictable] The answer is what the team literally calls “the plot and parcel system,” and what DeAngelis refers to as “a big quilt.”
Here’s how the metaphor works: imagine a map in XCOM 2 as a quilt, with holes where a pre-constructed modular building will be placed – those are the parcels. The holes are big, small, and medium-sized, with a range of unique buildings that could fit into each size. These buildings, and the holes in which they’re socketed, are the parcels of the system.
The plot portion of that system comes into play in the space between our buildings. At the risk of mixing our metaphors, think of the plots as the connective tissue that links one parcel to the next. The plots could be a street, or a park area, or train tracks, or a river bed, or an empty tract of land, et cetera. When you begin a mission, the map reaches into a bank of options and fills it up.
Each chunk of each plot will be procedurally generated from an appropriately themed bank of around 20-ish possible dioramas, and so on so forth. This is how XCOM 2 will generate a near-endless supply of maps, and how you’ll likely never play the same one twice.
For the first time, your squad will not only be tasked with exterminating the aliens in the area, but secondary mission objectives which will cater to the procedurally generated settings. “It might be blowing up one of these buildings to spark the resistance,” Foertsch said. “It might be hacking a workstation, or protecting a device. All these different things you can do that can show up and in dozens of different buildings and areas. And you don't know what you're going to get.
I read it as they still wanted their artists to handcraft things like buildings and structures, but give the map tech enough sense to choose from a pool of those when generating a level, and then stitch them together with pathing, roads etc. in a way that's "randomized but makes sense."

Why XCOM 2 had to be PC Exclusive
*Don't expect this to pacify console-only players any more than PC-only players when devs explain why title X "has to be console only."  icon_smile
A focus on PC was the only way to make the XCOM 2 that Creative Director Jake Solomon and his team envisioned when they sat down to talk after completing Enemy Unknown. “When we looked at what we wanted to do with the sequel, we had all these very, very ambitious goals,” said Solomon. On his must-have list were high-fidelity characters and environments, better-looking destruction, physically based rendering, and the crown jewel he’d wanted to get into Enemy Unknown but couldn’t: procedurally generated maps. “To do that, we had to use all of our studio expertise … and our expertise here is PC. That's our home, and that's where we're really comfortable.”

Focusing all of Firaxis’ efforts on the PC made logistical sense to DeAngelis, too. “Internally, with a relatively small team for the size of the game that we are, to be able to say we can focus on our platform that the studio has a pedigree for, and that X-COM: UFO Defense has a pedigree for, as PC-only... it just made a lot of sense, and that's how we wanted to dedicate our time.” XCOM 2 runs on a heavily modified version of Unreal Engine 3.5 (Firaxis’ customizations are too extensive to easily move to Unreal 4), which in some ways has been rewritten to the point of being “unrecognizable,” and it’s much simpler to make that work on one platform than three or more at once.
As for the chances of XCOM 2 making its way to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at some point in the future, Solomon wouldn’t rule it out, but it won’t happen any time soon.

“We're certainly not opposed to that, but I can assure that's something we're not even discussing yet,” he said. He added that the PS4 and Xbox One would likely be technically capable of running XCOM 2, but developing all of these features for multiple platforms simultaneously would be impossible for Firaxis to do.
They aren't disclosing sales. IGN's piece alludes to some Steam sales estimates being very strong etc., but it reads kind of as conjecture to me.
51  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] XCOM 2 on: June 03, 2015, 06:50:08 PM
They posted a "Rewind Theater" point-by-point commentary on the trailer w/ Solomon and producer DeAngelis:

XCOM 2 Reveal Trailer - Rewind Theater

Couple notable points made there and elsewhere:
-You can now call in the Skyranger aircraft in anywhere on a map (anywhere it has room to hover) for evacuation to complete the mission, rather than have to reach a fixed set of "exit points" on the map by foot. I guess if I read it right, the Skyranger then still has to reach a perhaps randomly placed evacuation point to complete the mission.

-A badly injured troop must be carried out by another troop (carried to the Skyranger), and the other idea is you want to carry out dead troops (if you're playing Iron Man mode or aren't willing to reload a savegame) to at least retain their equipment/weapons.
52  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] XCOM 2 on: June 03, 2015, 03:26:38 AM
IGN's promised next part, though the "Why X-COM 2 Had to be a PC-Only Game" answer isn't promised until Friday.

XCOM 2: Welcoming Our New Alien Overlords
Firaxis isn’t going into detail about its new version of XCOM’s strategy layer just yet, other than to say that territory control will be important. From what we see in the trailer, in which the Avenger flies out of the canyon where it was concealed and off to parts unknown, we can surmise that it will move from region to region as XCOM attacks vulnerable alien targets in hit-and-run strikes. “The idea is that you’re inspiring people by actually taking the fight to the aliens and their New World Order,” Solomon hinted.
First of all, we have a new team of battle-hardened XCOM soldier classes that are similar to Enemy Unknown’s, but distinct. The Sharpshooter shares a lot of DNA with EU’s Sniper, but can also specialize in using a pistol as a primary weapon instead of a last resort. The Ranger is the evolution of the Assault class, still specializing in close combat with shotguns and the like, but now comes equipped with XCOM’s first lethal melee weapon: a machete-like blade. The Grenadier? He (or she) blows things up, much like the Heavy.

The Specialist replaces Support, and uses a hovering drone called a Gremlin both in combat to stun enemies and buff allies, and out of combat to pull off tricks like long-range hacking. There’s also a fifth mystery class that Firaxis is saving for reveal closer to launch.
With Firaxis’ new system, we’ll see maps drastically change each time we encounter them, drawing from a large pool of components like buildings, roads, and different types of terrain to create battlefields that look good, are more destructible than ever (including by fire that spreads, acid that melts through floors, and exploding barrels), and offer well-placed cover. And, because the maps are procedurally generated, the AI has been made more procedural to allow aliens to navigate and fight on them. All of this together has the potential to extend XCOM 2’s replayability dramatically, and to make each of our experiences unique. “That’s the thing that I’m personally very excited about,” Solomon said. “When you have those moments, and you’re like, ‘This would have never, ever happened in Enemy Unknown.’ That’s what we’re going for.”
Well I could paste in the whole thing, you should read it instead.  icon_smile

Squads are still limited to 4-6, so old school fans griping about that being too small will continue to gripe.  *Fist Shaking*
53  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PC] Steam revises refund policy! (in a good way) on: June 03, 2015, 03:13:49 AM
Hell froze over, or it's April Fool's Day?

Steam Refunds
You can request a refund for nearly any purchase on Steam—for any reason. Maybe your PC doesn't meet the hardware requirements; maybe you bought a game by mistake; maybe you played the title for an hour and just didn't like it.

It doesn't matter. Valve will, upon request via, issue a refund for any reason, if the request is made within fourteen days of purchase, and the title has been played for less than two hours. There are more details below, but even if you fall outside of the refund rules we’ve described, you can ask for a refund anyway and we’ll take a look.

You will be issued a full refund of your purchase within a week of approval. You will receive the refund in Steam Wallet funds or through the same payment method you used to make the purchase. If, for any reason, Steam is unable to issue a refund via your initial payment method, your Steam Wallet will be credited the full amount. (Some payment methods available through Steam in your country may not support refunding a purchase back to the original payment method. Click here for a full list.)

Where Refunds Apply
The Steam refund offer, within two weeks of purchase and with less than two hours of playtime, applies to games and software applications on the Steam store. Here is an overview of how refunds work with other types of purchases.

Refunds on Downloadable Content
(Steam store content usable within another game or software application, "DLC")
DLC purchased from the Steam store is refundable within fourteen days of purchase, and if the underlying title has been played for less than two hours since the DLC was purchased, so long as the DLC has not been consumed, modified or transferred. Please note that in some cases, Steam will be unable to give refunds for some third party DLC (for example, if the DLC irreversibly levels up a game character). These exceptions will be clearly marked as nonrefundable on the Store page prior to purchase.

Refunds on In-game Purchases
Steam will offer refund for in-game purchases within any Valve-developed games within forty-eight hours of purchase, so long as the in-game item has not been consumed, modified or transferred. Third-party developers will have the option to enable refunds for in-game items on these terms. Steam will tell you at the time of purchase if the game developer has opted to offer refunds on the in-game item you are buying. Otherwise, in-game purchases in non-Valve games are not refundable through Steam.

Refunds on Pre-Purchased Titles
When you pre-purchase a title on Steam (and have paid for the title in advance), you can request a refund at any time prior to release of that title. The standard 14-day/two-hour refund period also applies, starting on the game’s release date.

Steam Wallet Refunds
You may request a refund for Steam Wallet funds within fourteen days of purchase if they were purchased on Steam and if you have not used any of those funds.

Refunds on Bundles
You can receive a full refund for any bundle purchased on the Steam Store, so long as none of the items in the bundle have been transferred, and if the combined usage time for all items in the bundle is less than two hours. If a bundle includes an in-game item or DLC that is not refundable, Steam will tell you if the whole bundle is refundable during check-out.

Purchases Made Outside of Steam
Valve cannot provide refunds for purchases made outside of Steam (for example, CD keys or Steam wallet cards purchased from third parties).

VAC Bans
If you have been banned by VAC (the Valve Anti-Cheat system) on a game, you lose the right to refund that game.

We are unable to offer refunds for movies on Steam.

Refunds on Gifts
We are unable to offer refunds for gifts after they have been redeemed by the recipient.

Refunds are designed to remove the risk from purchasing titles on Steam—not as a way to get free games. If it appears to us that you are abusing refunds, we may stop offering them to you. We do not consider it abuse to request a refund on a title that was purchased just before a sale and then immediately rebuying that title for the sale price.

How to Request a Refund
You can request a refund or get other assistance with your Steam purchases at
Good to know, though in a recent modest Steam buying spree I've been pretty happy with almost everything.  icon_smile

And maybe it'll reduce some of that "I buy it, it's 30-40% off a week later" pain.

Though I can't help thinking a million malicious types are already devising ways to "game" the system, so to speak.  Roll Eyes
54  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] XCOM 2 on: June 02, 2015, 01:27:18 PM
IGN guy's been tweeting about his interview. fwiw, he said Firaxis made it clear it has no plans for a console version of this:
Not according to what Firaxis told me. It wasn't "nothing to announce yet." It's a flat-out, emphatic "no plans."
55  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] XCOM 2 on: June 02, 2015, 01:58:39 AM
Steam posted the official press release, mostly the same info, just maybe a bit more color here and there:

2K Announces XCOM® 2 in Development at Firaxis Games

New York, NY – June 1, 2015 – 2K and Firaxis Games today announced that XCOM® 2, the sequel to the Game of the Year* award-winning strategy title XCOM®: Enemy Unknown, is currently in development for Windows-based PC. Developed by Firaxis Games, XCOM 2 transports players 20 years into the future, where humanity lost the war against the alien threat that has established a new world order. The secret paramilitary organization known as XCOM is largely forgotten, and must strike back to reclaim control of Earth and free mankind from the aliens’ rule. XCOM 2 is currently scheduled for release in November 2015. The game will also be coming to Mac and Linux via Feral Interactive.

In XCOM 2, the roles have been reversed, and XCOM is now the invading force. They are hampered by limited resources and must constantly evade the alien threat in their new mobile headquarters. Players must use a combination of firepower and stealth-like tactics to help XCOM recruit soldiers and build a resistance network, while attempting to expose the evil alien agenda and save humanity.

XCOM 2 will introduce gameplay features such as procedurally-generated levels, which will make each experience unique to the player, as well as offer a much deeper level of modding support. Additionally, XCOM 2 will offer a variety of new content including five updated soldier classes, increased soldier customization, more alien and enemy types, evolved tactical combat and more.

“Firaxis proved they could reimagine a beloved franchise with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a Game of the Year award-winning title,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “With XCOM 2, the team is breathing new life into the series by adding an epic narrative and challenging players to overcome near impossible odds.”

“The feedback from the passionate XCOM community played an important role in the development of XCOM 2, driving us to push the visual, gameplay and replayability boundaries of what a strategy game can be,” said Jake Solomon, creative director of XCOM 2 at Firaxis Games. “We’re thrilled to implement long-time fan requested features such as procedural levels and modding support, as well as adding more of what makes XCOM great like new aliens, enemies and soldier classes.”

For more information about XCOM 2, visit, where the game is featured as the IGN First title for the month of June. In the coming weeks, IGN will reveal exclusive details about XCOM 2, including gameplay impressions, in-depth analysis of alien and enemy types, new soldier classes and combat tactics, story-focused insights and more.

XCOM 2 will be available for PC and is currently scheduled for release in November 2015. XCOM 2 is not yet rated by the ESRB. For more information on XCOM 2, please visit, become a fan on Facebook, follow the game on Twitter using the hashtag #XCOM2 or subscribe to XCOM on YouTube.
I'm sure Solomon will have funny stories of how many times interviews with him about XCOM EU began with "Why doesn't this have randomly generated levels?"  icon_smile The boilerplate answer was usually "it looked terrible when we tried it early on," though I always wondered if, "then our artists essentially have nothing to do" was a hidden concern.  icon_smile Very eager to learn more in tomorrow's interview about the procedurally generated stuff.

From the non-gameplay launch trailer, looks like perhaps one class will be melee-focused (swords of some sort etc.) and maybe one will be a specialist in deploying mini-drones?
56  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] XCOM 2 on: June 02, 2015, 01:33:46 AM

Quote from: Turtle on June 01, 2015, 03:50:38 PM

Also, it's crazy that they're going PC only in this day and age. But, I wonder if the sales on PC was so strong that they justified it. The studio is also saying they'll have strong mod support this time.
While I'm sure Firaxis will never cough up numbers, perhaps it was the opposite -- maybe mediocre console sales didn't justify the multi-platform development costs.

The other PC-only appeal was probably SteamWorx modding integration, and it sounds like they want to more specifically support and encourage mod-creation this time around.

I thought the multiplayer in XCOM EU was pointless, and essentially nobody seemed interested in playing it regardless of platform. I hope a PC-only version means perhaps co-op would be the table (if it has MP at all), now that worrying about cross-platform MP compatibility isn't a concern.

I'm mainly excited because I'd assume the game wasn't enough of a sales blockbuster for 2K to want to pursue it any further publishing-wise. Never had any doubt Firaxis would want to do more, but it's like your favorite film director wanting to do a sequel but waiting nervously to see if any studio will bankroll it.  icon_smile
57  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Mad Max Returns in Fury Road on: June 01, 2015, 05:05:13 PM

Quote from: USMC Kato on May 28, 2015, 08:00:15 PM

I hope the studios move fast on the sequel(s), with George Miller at the helm.  Miller is 70 years old right? Hope he keeps working on movies he loves like Mad Max for as long as he can.
In interviews, George M. seemed to indicate he had at least some basic ideas for a couple follow up films, but acknowledged how well Fury Road does at the box office will determine whether he can do that or not.

Clint Eastwood just directed his most financially successful film ever (controversial or not) in American Sniper ($350M domestic, $543M globally), at age 84. Robert Altman did memorable movies into his 80s.

George Miller is a relative spring chicken.  icon_smile

As for Fury Road's box office, it's done reasonably well but not maybe "great" for a $150M budget movie. Though fine for a film 30 years since its predecessor with no easy property (book bestseller, comic book property etc.) with a built-in audience.

It's made just shy of $281M globally at this point. Considering some of the junk that gets OK'd for sequels, that should be plenty more than enough and certainly its final take will be much more than that.
58  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: How the gaming market is changing on: May 29, 2015, 05:28:40 PM
I thought I'd be an iOS gaming junkie but about the only things I play anymore are Spelltower and Freeway Solitaire. I echo all the comments about touch and swiping just not working for me in most games.

While I empty my wallet for Steam regularly, my main complaint is more and more the service itself is not some repository for "good" games. It's a gargantun landfill of games, many of them excellent, lots of them horrendous messes that probably have no business being carried on Steam. But now Steam just buries us in Curators, Tagging and other desperate efforts to filter its stinking decay of terrible PC titles and lackluster mobile ports and sometimes fine/sometimes not console-to-PC ports to try to unearth gems and undermarketed/underappreciated titles.

Steam regularly feels to me like someone came into my computer room and dumped several garbage cans of games on my floor and told me to sort through them to find the gems. Most of the time, with no playable demo to help me figure it out.

I'm waiting for someone at Steam to leave the company, drag a bunch of colleagues with him/her, and try to create a "better Steam" when it comes to newer titles. I realize GoG to some extent is maybe more what I want -- an online store focused on "good games," not on carrying everything in God's Creation.  icon_razz

59  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Killing Floor 2 (more zombie massacre-ing) on: May 28, 2015, 01:07:00 PM
Couple peeks at new Volter Manor level. Has a nice mix of environs interior and exterior, and ranges from an underground basement lab up to 2nd level balconies and stuff.

60  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Killing Floor 2 (more zombie massacre-ing) on: May 27, 2015, 07:52:56 PM
Patch 1, which at least adds a new map:

KF2 Early Access Content Patch 01 is now live
The first major content patch for the Early Access version of Killing Floor 2 is now live. This includes:
New map - Volter Manor
Collectible items added to existing maps
8 new Steam Achievements
Bug fixes and balance tweaks
And, as a very special extra, all owners of KF1 will now get the "classic" Briar and Masterson characters, with the original voice actors!
Still digging it, though imho needs more maps and more bosses (which devs have promised are being worked on, but no eta) to improve replayability. Still have yet to suffer any motion sickness playing it, which I find baffling given how many other Unreal-engined games are debilitating for me -- I know it could be the FOV setting but there have been FPS games I adjusted FOV on but still couldn't cope with playing. Not that I'm complaining.  icon_smile

I've gotten Support (shotguns) to L5 and Assault (assault rifles) to L2, haven't progressed with the others.

My MP observation is that with no friendly-fire it's hard for anyone to make fellow players miserable per se (yay). It can be less fun if players want to run off and "lone wolf" it. It seems very much at its best when you're all sticking together and informally helping each other.

I hope they'll consider an optional mode that forces you to fight in the general vicinity of the latest activated vending kiosk. As it stands (per the original game), people tend to dash to it, and then dash back to their preferred environs. In most cases, to back outside; or to a larger interior space that has more room to roam. This has the effect of players essentially skipping vast portions of a given map. Of course "the player is always right," so I only suggest as an optional other mode.
61  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] Invisible, Inc (formerly Incognito) on: May 25, 2015, 02:24:17 PM
I'm getting back into it but this just in... I still suck at it, even at the Easiest difficulty. After the first non-tutorial mission, I find it tough to get both ops out safely. It's fun though, and just the amazing ways things can go wrong, or that you can salvage a successful escape when the situation seems completely hopeless is a real blast.

Though as with Door Kickers this seems like a game I appreciate, admire, am happy to support and yet, may never really be "good" at.  icon_smile
62  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] Gauntlet on: May 23, 2015, 04:15:04 PM
Interesting blog post from Arrowhead. Sounds like they're gonna turn Gauntlet upside down, though it's arguably a bit late to try to "fix" it, to put it mildly.  icon_razz

Gauntlet -- It's Alive!
Gauntlet fans,

I know that you have been in the dark for a while now, possibly thinking that we were concentrating all our efforts on other things.

I am here to tell you that this is not the case and that the team has been tirelessly working on the game. We have big improvements and a few new features coming up for Gauntlet! Something which we know a lot of you were crying out for.

I can’t tell you too much right now, but if you keep watching this space we will be releasing little teasers and tidbits of information over the next few months.

In truth, we were never fully satisfied with how Gauntlet turned out. So, rather than just fixing little things here and there, we have been working on the core of the game to turn it into what we originally envisioned.

This will mean a free major content update for the game, including improvements to the Campaign and the Colosseum as well as a brand new game mode. I’m pretty sure I was allowed to tell you about the game mode…

Additionally, Arrowhead is taking over management of the Gauntlet online communities from now on. You can talk to us directly on the Gauntlet Steam forum,  Gauntlet’s Facebook page and @playgauntlet Twitter.
63  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: May 16, 2015, 04:49:34 AM
Official post on expansion and the new DLC etc.


HELLDIVERS: Turning Up The Heat is a free content update for HELLDIVERS accompanied by the release of the Reinforcements 2 DLC.


    Increased rank cap from 25 to 27.
    6 new trophies.
    New environment: Volcanic planets, full of dangers.
    New Bug type: The Bug Impaler
    New Cyborg enemy: The Cyborg Hound
    New Illuminate enemy: The Illuminate Obelisk
    Three new objective types: Repair and Fire Artillery, Disarm Unexploded Ordnance, and Geological Survey.
    New customization outfit: The Volcanic Camouflage set.
    New perk: Strong Arm, allowing you to throw further.

To celebrate the release of the expansion, we are releasing the HELLDIVERS™: TURNING UP THE HEAT EDITION Bundle for $19.99 – This bundle includes: HELLDIVERS Game plus the new SPECIALIST PACK including the Specialist Uniform (helmet, armor and cape), LAS-12 ‘Tanto’ ultra compact laser SMG, and the Close Air Support powerful strafing run Stratagem. Available for a limited time only.

In addition to the free content of Turning Up The Heat, HELLDIVERS also adds 4 more Reinforcement Packs for those in need of EVEN MORE DEMOCRACY.

Each Pack is available separately for $2.99 and the DEMOLITIONIST, HAZARD OPS and PILOT Packs are available together in the REINFORCEMENTS PACK 2 for $5.99

HELLDIVER Specialists are highly trained offensive support operatives. They specialize in the use of Stratagems and supportive fire. They are specially trained to receive enhanced air support. The Specialist Pack contains:

    The Specialist Uniform (Helmet, Armor, and Cape).
    LAS-12 ‘Tanto’: An ultra-compact laser SMG with extremely limited range. The short focused beam is very powerful to compensate for the short engagement envelope.
    Close Air Support: An ‘Eagle’ delivers a powerful strafing run followed by a pair of anti tank missiles. Effective at damaging almost all targets it does however have the drawback of being slightly unpredictable.

HELLDIVER Demolitionists are experts at tearing things down and blowing things up. They are rumored to be uncareful when handling explosives, though this is most likely just their familiarity with explosives being misinterpreted. The Demolitionist Pack contains:

    The Demolitionist Uniform (Helmet, Armor, and Cape).
    MG-105 ‘Stalwart’: A light machinegun based on the AR-19 ‘Liberator’. It’s very powerful when used in sustained fire, but the initial recoil is often hard to handle resulting in unpredictable spread.
     REC-6 ‘Demolisher’: A remote Explosive Charge capable of destroying both objectives and heavily armored enemies. The user can decide when to detonate the charge by pressing the detonator. Often referred to as a Satchel Charge.

The Hazard Operative HELLDIVERS are trained in chemical and biological combat and protection. Sometimes shunned by fellow HELLDIVERS for their use of inhumane warfare, many a Helldiver is happy to have them on the mission when it comes down to life or death. It’s not like the enemy is Human after all.

    The Hazard Ops Uniform (Helmet, Armor, and Cape).
    AR-14D ‘Paragon’: A heavy semi-automatic rifle firing rounds similar to the AR-20L ‘Justice’, but without the penetrating capabilities. Instead the rounds are hollowed out and filled with a neurotoxin causing targets hit to become slow and sluggish.
    TOX-13 ‘Avenger’: A high pressure liquid projection weapon similar to the FLAM-40 ‘Incinerator’. Instead of projecting flaming napalm, this weapon sprays a very potent neurotoxin resulting in slow movements and irreversible brain damage.

The Pilot HELLDIVER is specially trained to operate the wide arsenal of vehicles available to the HELLDIVER troops. Especially trained in the use of the EXO-48 ‘Obsidian’ Exosuit, Pilots are some of the few that are given the honour of using this heavily armed monster. Though they prefer to use vehicles they are still HELLDIVERS and very formidable troops on foot. The Pilot Pack contains:

    The Pilot Uniform (Helmet, Armor, and Cape).
    AC-5 Arc Shotgun: A further development of the Arc technology, the AC-5 fires a wide, short range cone and damages everything covered by the static discharge. The charge up is much faster than the original Arc Thrower but the discharge is not quite as powerful.
     EXO-48 ‘Obsidian’: A powerful exosuit with two double autocannons. The firepower contained in this walking monstrosity annihilates light and medium infantry, and the two magazines allows for both maximum firepower or conserving ammunition. The only downside to this mech is its distinct lack of anti-tank capabilities.
64  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie]Captain America 3 on: May 16, 2015, 04:39:30 AM
They don't yet seem inclined to mush Daredevil and Agents of Shield directly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe any time soon, especially given that Netflix Daredevil's MA rating (and I obviously love the show) is way out of synch with Marvel Studio's cinematic PG-13ness. I mean, Ultron may get dark but it's still Candy Land next to Netflix' Daredevil and I'd just as soon DD keep its own style and grit, and not get watered down/censored/sanitized to "fit" with the cinematic universe.  icon_smile

Just Jared posted a bunch of photographs from the Civil War outdoor filming in Atlanta, including Cap, Falcon and a certain well known villain from the comics. Spoilers for fans who prefer not to know about such things. So I put the link below in the spoiler brackets.  icon_smile

Photos from the Captain America Civil War Set
65  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Mad Max Returns in Fury Road on: May 15, 2015, 07:58:05 PM
Oh, and I think this is one of the few big summer films I'd recommend seeing on 3-D ... or at the very least would say "don't be afraid" of seeing this on 3-D.  Bring your own!  It's for the most part incredibly bright and colorful, so I think on most screens it can overcome that habit of 3-D projection feeling too dark. Miller supposedly supervised the 3-D conversion closely and I can recall several specific sequences where stuff really jumped off the screen.
66  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Mad Max Returns in Fury Road on: May 15, 2015, 01:37:37 PM
I found the movie awesome, and somehow both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time.  Bring your own! It is like someone jabbing a giant adrenaline hypodermic in your arm.

I clapped a bit at the end, but the rest of my audience either shuffled out in benumbed silence or stayed and kind of murmured amongst themselves.

I find some reviews recite plot points better left discovered. Not that we're talking complicated plot, just the story has some intriguing developments.

And this is hilarious:
Don't Talk: George Miller and The Toecutter
67  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Mad Max Returns in Fury Road on: May 14, 2015, 08:27:48 PM
Got my ticket for a 7 p.m. show. It's actually the same AMC ETX theater I caught the Avengers double feature in. Which means nice picture but ear-splitting Dolby Atmos sound (I  prefer IMAX as it's crisp but less loud and not quite as headache-inducing).  icon_smile

From the seating chart, doesn't seem like a large crowd as this is sort of a stealth, "soft" Thursday evening show, not to mention pricey.
68  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie]Ant-Man on: May 14, 2015, 08:25:20 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on May 14, 2015, 07:18:51 PM

yellowjackets aren't bees
You got me. Maybe we'll get bees in the sequel...  Bring your own!

But my bad joke doesn't work so I'll remove it.
69  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Mad Max Returns in Fury Road on: May 14, 2015, 04:51:56 PM
I maaaaay try to catch a show tonight.  icon_smile
70  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Job stuff] So....I did it on: May 11, 2015, 09:48:41 PM
What if you get hired for ALL those jobs? High five! Don't spread yourself too thin.  smirk
71  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] Invisible, Inc (formerly Incognito) on: May 11, 2015, 09:46:05 PM
I picked this up during Early Access. While I had some fun, I too haven't revisited it in quite some time. I did reinstall it after getting the new PC, and hope to get back into it at some point.
72  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie]Captain America 3 on: May 11, 2015, 08:55:05 PM
Not sure this Sebastian Stan Instagram image tells us much....  icon_smile

First Look at Bucky Barnes in Captain America: Civil War

I was re-reading an interview with the Marcus/McFeely writing team prior to CA Winter Soldier's release, and was struck by them explaining they were happy they weren't forced to insert a lot of Avenger's references. Iron Man/Tony Stark is mentioned a couple of times in passing, and that's about it. Of course people wondered why Cap couldn't just call in the A-Team to remedy the whole shebang in a few minutes. But like the comics, the idea is the members have their own problems and lives to deal with between the group battles.

Focusing on Steve's story meant they had some room to breathe. They could have stuff like the moments with elder-Peggy, and the quieter moments here and there, and something like Zola's Algorithm isn't rushed. I guess I just worry with 17-20 or however many characters in CA: Civil War, those types of moments might not fit.

Obviously though Cap 2's one of my faves, and the same directing and writing duos are behind Civil War, so if anyone can pull it off hopefully it's those gents.  icon_smile
73  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Mad Max Returns in Fury Road on: May 11, 2015, 04:33:18 PM
Reviews embargo lifted, and many seem "blown away" by it though I don't think most "mainstream" critics have gotten to screen it just yet. Thus the latest trailers have breathless "I was blown away!" comments by Joe Schmoe Jr.  icon_smile

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Reviews Say the Film Is Mind-Blowing  Bring your own!
*Keep in mind Collider's Weintraub never met a movie he didn't think was "f***ing awesome!" Not ever.  smirk Still, people seem over the moon about it.  icon_smile

*Most do say this doesn't feel like it's part of or sequel to the other three movies, no matter what you may have read. It seems like it's own reimagined thingie.

Some theaters are doing reasonable hour Thursday evening shows this week (7 p.m.), and some sticking with the 12:01 a.m. Friday debut variety.
74  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: May 10, 2015, 03:48:16 PM

Quote from: Clanwolfer on May 03, 2015, 02:03:40 PM

So I picked this up, fired it up for Vita, and... I don't get it?

I tried my first mission - a couple other Helldivers joined my mission on the last objective, we held out until there was about 20 seconds to the shuttle and they both quit, then the connection died at 10 seconds left and dumped me back to the main menu.

Did I get griefed? Are the servers just bad? I don't understand...
If the host player quit (it's client-server based, afik), then you should get a "migrating host" message. While that should transfer to the next remaining player for the game to continue, I did often find the game just dropped instead.

Griefing (another reason I quit playing, as it became more and more common) generally is more a case of some knucklehead joining the game, killing the players and then leaving. This doesn't leave the remaining players any way to reinforce (a "live" player has to call in reinforcements in co-op; in single player, you get a few opportunities to "reinforce yourself") unless someone friendly joins and does that. Helldivers seemed to have massive loophole exploitations for griefers, and I didn't find the Reporting tool helpful on those. imho (and others) the game desperately needed more pre-release testing than the presumably moderate internal Arrowhead testing that was done.

I'm one of the few other Vita players here. I think most if not everyone else is PS4, and a few PS3.

As I blabbed, I don't like the campaign design (which shuts off entire factions/map zones from play), ran into more and more griefers/trollers aft initially good experiences, inviting cross-platform friends essentially wasn't possible, etc., I quit playing some time ago, and plus I'm enjoying some PC stuff for now. I'll probably log back in Helldivers soon to see how the update is, and eventually see the new content.

The official site has a couple videos up about new objectives and enemies (the fast-moving hounds sound fun) due in the upcoming "Turning Up the Heat" content update.
75  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [WWII history] World War II planes fly over Washington monuments on: May 08, 2015, 06:03:29 PM
Dang it, I should've taken the day off to go see this myself in D.C.... drillsergeant

World War II planes fly over Washington monuments
76  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Marvel + Netflix = Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Jessic Jones, Defenders on: May 08, 2015, 05:52:18 PM
Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple/Night Nurse) re-signed for Season 2, also available for the other Netflix/Marvel shows:

Rosario Dawson Returns to Hell's Kitchen in the Netflix Original Series 'Marvel's Daredevil' Season 2 & More
Marvel and Netflix are proud to announce Rosario Dawson will reprise her role as Claire Temple in the second season of  the Netflix Original Series “Marvel’s Daredevil,” coming in 2016, as part of a larger exclusive TV deal that will also allow her to appear in any of Marvel’s other Netflix original series.

More on
If you've watched the whole DD Season 1, you know...
Spoiler for Hiden:
Dawson's character essentially disappears after seeming to have a fairly major role the first few episodes. I assumed maybe she had some other work lined up, but I guess maybe the storyline just didn't call for her character much after the first few. Sounds like they have bigger plans for her.  icon_smile
77  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] Ex Machina on: May 08, 2015, 03:46:50 PM
So I saw it. While it's thought provoking sci-fi, I think it requires some patience from moviegoers that's in short supply these days. I think maybe 4 or 5 of us were at the 7:10 p.m. show. While I didn't fall asleep, if you don't have patience for watching two people talk for long periods, you might take a pass.

Also a chance to see Oscar Isaacs before Star Wars presumably turns him into a box office X-Wing pilot star.  icon_smile

My take on the movie's conclusion is something like:
Spoiler for Hiden:
I've nested the spoiler in case you accidentally clicked on it.  icon_smile
Spoiler for Hiden:
You can't attempt to create androids with human-like minds, without also instilling -- whether your programming meant to or not -- the human "need for freedom."

So if you just want to create an android to be your in-home servant, probably you should shoot a little lower on the Artificial Intelligence spectrum? That would be my thought.

I guess the ending is also saying she never really had any feelings for Gleeson's character -- he was essentially just a pawn to enable her to escape. Am I right?
So certainly I give it a thumbs-up. Just don't go in expecting an arthouse Terminator or something.

Since most of the film is almost claustrophobic (it would probably make a fine stage play), it should work well on TV later on.
78  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] Ex Machina on: May 07, 2015, 07:09:05 PM
I maaaaay try to catch this today.  Bring your own!

Or I may run home to get some Killing Floor 2 in tonight.

I'm sure one of those experiences would be more enlightening than the other, right?  smirk
79  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] Wasteland 2 on: May 07, 2015, 06:56:44 PM
Confirmed Da Big Update will be free for all owners of Wasteland 2 on all platforms (PC, Mac, Linux):

Eurogamer interview w/ Brian Fargo (ostnensibly about console ports, but talks in depth about GOTY improvements/enhancements):
We’re very happy to announce that the Game of the Year Edition will be coming as a FREE UPDATE to all owners of Wasteland 2 on Windows, Mac or Linux. Whether an original backer, a late backer or someone who purchased the game later on, we will be providing Wasteland 2 Game of the Year Edition as an upgrade to your PC version of the game, available to you when it launches in late summer of this year!

Wasteland 2 Game of the Year Edition will include a huge set of improvements on the original game. Wasteland 2 will be making the jump to Unity 5, the latest version of the Unity game engine, and benefits from updated environment textures, completely redone character models, and Physically Based Rendering for more impressive lighting. We’ve added a ton of new voice-over to enrich the game’s cast of characters, including your trusted companions.

The Game of the Year Edition also provides major updates to gameplay.

One feature we’re very proud of is our new Perks & Quirks system, which we’ve teased a little bit previously with Eurogamer. In the GOTY Edition, you’ll be able to customize your squad of Desert Rangers with over 80 Perks & 20 Quirks, which let you fine-tune your characters throughout the game with unique bonuses and trade-offs. For instance, with Way of the Squeezins you’ll become a little bit dependent on that special sauce, but gain some short-lived combat bonuses; Raised in the Circus will make you more nimble in combat, but you can bet there’s a downside or two to looking like a clown.

Our fans have also pointed out that one feature they loved in previous RPGs is the ability to do more finely targeted attacks. Well, we’ve been hard at work on that too. Our new Precision Strike system lets Rangers target individual body parts on enemies to gain the edge in combat.

Wasteland 2’s Precision strikes will tend towards less random and more reliable. With Precision Strikes, you’ll be able to inflict debilitating status effects on your enemies to turn the tactical tide. For example, aiming for an enemy’s torso will reduce their armor value, letting you hit them harder with your other squadmates, and firing on their head (or CPU, as the case may be) has a chance to stun or even send them into a psychotic state where they won’t be able to tell friend from foe. With Precision Strikes the battlefield becomes much more dynamic and chaotic.

Finally, to improve on the gameplay experience and ensure the above features are fitted in seamlessly, we’re also overhauling game balance, item drops, and reworking the majority of combat encounters throughout the game. You’ll need all your training and smarts to master the new dangers of the Arizona wastes.
80  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie]Captain America 3 on: May 07, 2015, 05:16:37 PM
Can't keep the cast straight in that wall of text. Here's more of a list.  icon_smile

-Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America)
-Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man)
-Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow) [no "baby bump" now  icon_smile]
-Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier
-Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon)
-Paul Bettany (The Vision)
-Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye)
-Don Cheadle (Jim Rhodes/War Machine)
-Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlett Witch)

-Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man)

-Chadwick Boseman (T'Challa/Black Panther)
-Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter/Agent 13)
-Daniel Bruhl [role TBA; presumed to be Baron Zemo-bj]
-Frank Grillo [Brock Rumlow/Crossbones]
-William Hurt [General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross]
-Martin Freeman [role TBA]
So that's 16 people there (Spider-Man makes 17, though who knows if that's substantive or just a mid/post-credits teaser), though obviously not everybody's going to get equal screen time.

If they were, and Cap 3 ran 2 hours 20 minutes (around the two Avengers' films run time), take maybe 10 minutes away for opening and closing credits, divide by 17, that's about 7.6 minutes per character. Completely unscientific and useless calculation, mind you. icon_razz

Completely stumped as to what role Martin Freeman could play.  confused
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