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1  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CNN - Obama to announce that Osama Bin Laden has been killed on: May 05, 2011, 06:33:49 AM
Oh fuck off Flatlander.  I guess it's time to leave this place to you Americans to cry amongst yourselves.
2  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Starfarer on: May 04, 2011, 11:24:47 PM
New forum at the developer's website.

Current manual.
3  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Rift on: May 04, 2011, 09:36:37 PM
Cheers mate!  Yeah, it took some doing I tell ya.  I've been playing the hell out of Rift like no other game in a long time.  For reference my /played is something like 5 days and 4 hours. smile
4  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama 1, Osama 0. on: May 04, 2011, 09:07:24 PM
Msteelers - I do apologise; I somehow merged your post in my mind with that of someone else's in the same thread.

I won't bother commenting any more, chiefly because Purge is standing up for himself, but partially because at least one comment in this thread has made it clear that some people don't welcome debate on this subject at all.
5  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Rift on: May 04, 2011, 08:50:53 PM
YES!  I've only gone and bloody done it!  I finally hit the level cap in a MMORPG (apart from Guild Wars which doesn't count)!  Me, with one of the worst cases of gaming ADD I've ever known!  I cannot overstate what a huge personal achievement this is for me.

If I wasn't sitting down I'd need to sit down now! icon_biggrin
6  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: May 04, 2011, 07:02:10 PM
That's vile.  Quite funny though!
7  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Rift on: May 04, 2011, 06:54:03 PM

Quote from: jersoc on May 04, 2011, 06:40:21 PM

well my guild randomly disbanded and no one knows what happened.

Did you finally convince them that Rift is shit? icon_lol
8  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama 1, Osama 0. on: May 04, 2011, 06:50:29 PM
While I don't necessarily agree with what Purge is saying, it's depressing to me to see a respected member of this community being attacked just because he holds a different opinion to most of the rest of you.  In fact I find it extremely distasteful.  Maybe I'm reading his posts differently to the rest of you, but what he's saying doesn't seem to be trivialising 9/11 at all; he's just saying that things like 45,000 Americans dying each year because of a lack of health insurance is the larger crime.

Msteelers - in the very post that you quoted, Purge clearly says that he doesn't agree that 9/11 was staged.  All he said was that it isn't beyond plausible.  What's wrong with saying that?

Again, perhaps it is I who have misread Purge's posts, in which case I'll be happy to be corrected.
9  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Starfarer on: May 03, 2011, 11:03:32 PM
I'm happy to disappoint you.  icon_mrgreen
10  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Rift on: May 03, 2011, 10:44:44 PM
No server transfers just yet, although word around the campfire is that they're coming.  If I recall correctly Trion hinted at it in a recent podcast.
11  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Starfarer on: May 03, 2011, 10:40:47 PM
Wow!  Just played through the tutorial and first mission (score: 77%) and it was fun!  Combat really is like playing GSB but with direct control, and the whole thing is much more polished than I expected it to be.  The interface is pretty and the sprites themselves are impressively detailed.  Sound is pretty good.  There are lots of little touches that I like.  I like how you hit the right mouse button and your shield slowly deploys around you.  I like how other ships have directional shields.  I like that fighter combat is exciting and that fighters themselves aren't horribly overpowered as they tend to be in many other games.  I like the beam weapons!

That was just so much fun, and to think - this is only one aspect of the game that we're seeing.  I can't wait to see what the rest of the game will be like, and apparently it will be completed some time this year.  Since I've already paid I don't know whether to keep playing or wait until the next major milestone or two.  I wonder how far apart each build will be released.

For those wondering, control is WASD and mouse.  You select your ship from the tactical screen (the "warroom") and then use WASD to steer and thrust forwards or backwards.  Then as with Naval Field (for those who played that game) you get firing arcs with each weapon group you select, so combat becomes a matter of keeping your enemy inside the arc while you pound him, while simultaneously managing your other weapon groups (for example using your point defense to hit fighters), your "flux" which is essentially an energy gauge that stops you having your shields up and firing all weapons all the time, and keeping your ship out of harm's way.  It sounds like a lot to manage at once but it becomes second nature after a while, and mercifully any weapon group can be set to auto which is particularly useful for point defense.  The mouse is used to aim within your weapon arcs.

All the time you have the rest of your fleet doing the same thing.  I didn't delve too deeply into the options here but I noticed you can give your other ships orders like search and destroy or repair and refit, then from my experience of the first mission you can happily leave them to it while you concentrate on your ship.  You can also switch command between ships at will.  The pacing is just right for me; not so fast that I feel overwhelmed, but slow enough to feel like it's capital ships pounding each other.
12  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Starfarer on: May 03, 2011, 10:02:04 PM
CeeKay you are a wanker.
13  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CNN - Obama to announce that Osama Bin Laden has been killed on: May 03, 2011, 09:38:23 PM
Flatlander, I'm really not seeing what you're seeing.  I've been reading the Independent, and therefore Robert Fisk, for years and I've never seen him so much as pigeonhole a country, let alone outright hate one.  Your reaction in this thread is a prime example of why I don't feel comfortable discussing things like 9/11 on this forum.  I'm sorry to say it but too many Americans are still not ready to have a rational debate on that and similar subjects.  I remember Metallicorphan here getting a proper drubbing on either this board or OO for even daring to suggest that the US government's explanation of 9/11 may not be 100% accurate.

Also, as Hepcat said, it is the job of a journalist to seek truth in any matter.  It's what they do, and we should be thankful that there are still some left who don't just repeat government press releases and do all their investigations via Wikipedia.
14  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Starfarer on: May 03, 2011, 09:27:25 PM
15  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dungeons of Dredmor on: May 03, 2011, 08:37:49 PM
La la la not listening la la la.
16  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Starfarer on: May 03, 2011, 08:36:10 PM

Quote from: Aganazer on May 03, 2011, 06:45:51 PM

Also, you must see S.P.A.Z.

I am literally not even going to click the link, you git.  Remind me about it again in a few months! slywink

Arkon, the developer says the requirements aren't really known even to himself but he's endeavouring to keep them as low as possible.  Other than that, I got nothing I'm afraid.

In other news...bought and installed.  I shall probably give it a spin after my daily dose of Rift.
17  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elemental: War of Magic on: May 03, 2011, 08:23:25 PM
For what it's worth...the 1.2 patch is finally here and this is the changelog:

The following changes were made in Elemental: War of Magic patch 1.2.  The focus of this patch was to improve the UI, memory use in large games and stomp out any remaining bugs.


New Features/UI changes:

Raze city no longer requires a tech and is available right off the bat for all of your cities.

Prestige penalty for multiple cities has been broken out in the Other category on the city screen (instead of being a part of the base prestige number).

In the city breakdown the amount of buildings is listed (so it will say Study x3 if you have 3 studies in that city).

Added a new game option to adjust Movie volume.

Removed the city idle dialog, replaced with a report item notification in the event list.

Pioneers/sovereigns cannot build/found cities in other people's territory

Since spells are capped at level 5, you are no longer given the choice to keep going up in spell level once you reach that max.

Custom sovereign starting appearance is randomized (so you don't start with the same model every time).

You are now able to select a tile under a unit without moving the unit.

Balanced resource placement (more variety, better distribution).

Added a blue highlight representing the range of a spell when in spellcasting mode on both the strategic and tactical map, so the user can see how far they are allowed to cast the spell

Added tooltips that hover underneath the spellcasting cursor that explain why a spell can't be cast on that tile (with no tooltip shown if it is a valid target)

The strategic map spellcasting mode now uses the same wand cursors (with support for an invalid cursor) that the tactical map mode uses

Removed the Refined Diplomacy techs.

Added gold as a tradeable resource for fallen and changed horses to wargs for them.

Added the champion ablity "Diplomatic" which gives +1 diplomatic capital per turn.

Hooked up a list at the top of the city HUD to show the enchantments that are currently on that city.

Added an info button where spellbooks are displayed (such as on the custom sovereign screen) that will show all the spells that spellbook gives.

When improvements are auto-upgraded they no longer make the upgrade noise (which can be deafening when a bunch do it at once).

Auto-upgrades won't spam the event list with the "new building" messages.

When casting a targeted spell on an army (such as imbue champion on a stack with more than one valid target) a dialog is presented to allow the player to pick the unit he wants.

Players can now earn achievements in single player mode if auto-login is enabled.

Min defense on armor has been removed.  Previously armor never absorbed less than half the units defense value, now it has the possibility to absorb the full range (though weighted to the high end).  So every attack can do damage.

Increased the casting cost for Return and Teleport.

When a pioneer founds a city, any remaining units in its army are now automatically stationed in the new city.

When a sovereign founds a kingdom/empire, the popup explaining what they are doing now includes a checkbox asking if the user wants to station their sovereign in the new city, where if they choose to not have it selected, the sovereign moves to an adjacent tile like before.

The events for "improvement built" and "unit finished training" start out temporarily expanded, for a short period of time.

Faction Power Wnd entries now have a tooltip telling you how each player feels towards you.  (ex. At War, Neutral, etc..).  Also, if you are at war with them, an AtWar icon will be displayed.

Unit info cards reworked to show more meaningful data, have the data fit better, etc.

Added an event list entry when there are enemy units in your lands.  Clicking on the event will cycle through the enemy units in your lands.

Added a new tactical Air 1 spell, Wind Shield.  Gives all allied units +5 dodge vs ranged attacks.

Removed the Blink spell.

You can now recruit Janusk directly from his opening dialog (instead of him talking to you and then sometimes running away).

Empire can now claim refugee camps.

In the default formula for calculating the hit point bonus from level and constitution (10 + level * .4 * constitution), made 10 data-driven, can be set with the <GlobalHitPointsBonus> tag in ElementalDefs.xml.

Changed the code that takes the A_Influence player ability into account for the max radius and influence power of improvements to not divide the ability value by 100 when adding a radius and power bonus, so that an ability of 1 now means a 1 tile increase in radius, instead of none (since it would be rounded down from .01 to 0).

Added  4 new maps.

When you select an army on the main map, it now only shows the spellcasting action if the leader can cast spells, and if selected, only the leader casts the chosen spell.

Improved ZOC performance large map save game used to take 30s to update the ZOC at the end of a turn, now takes 4s.  ZOC is no longer cleared every turn and re-calculated; now the objects update the ZOC nodes as necessary, but the graphics and environment do not update until the end of the turn.  The ZOC Calculator now tracks which tiles have changed ownership so it only does the end of turn updates if something has actually changed.

The global resource pool in the main UI now reuses entries wherever possible, instead of recreating them for each refresh (performance improvement).


AI is more careful with their sovereign.

Fixed an issue that kept AI champions from being able to cast spells in tactical combat.

Fixed some bugs in tactical AI code that were causing it to think enemy units were friendly units.

Added code so that AI units will try to cast a heal spell on themself before resorting to trying to escape.

Added code so that the AI can determine the best spell to use based on AI xml weights in the spells themselves.

Added AIData and AIPriority tags to all spells, so we can tweak how much the AI cares about them.

Fixed an issue with the sovereign not going out to pickup goodie huts.

Bug fixes:

Fixed memory leaks.

Reduced memory consumption (especially in the late game) by releasing unneeded textures instead of retaining them indefinitely.

Fixed bug where conquered cities that had caravans that called that city home would end up with messed up caravan counts.

Fixed a bug where player ability penalties on resource production weren't actually being taken into account.

Fixed the effect of the "Call of the Titans" spell, which gathers all your unstationed units and transports them to a specified tile.  It will now skip units without an attack (ie. pioneers, caravans, boats).

Fixed bug where particle glow effect would remain on the map after getting a goodie hut until you hit the turn button.

Fixed delay in tactical battles with mounted archer units.

Fixed bug where sometimes particles would remain on the map from a destroyed factions cities.

Disabling Janusk advice does not disable his creation in the game.

You are now able to select a tile under a unit without moving the unit.

Limited improvements (like the faction specific Beacon of Hope) won't be counted as being built until they are completed.

Fixed Titan's Breath (thanks to Heavenfall and Kenata).

Fixed an issue that was keeping the AI from casting spells in tactical battles.

Fixed a bug in spellcasting where non offensive, defensive, or terraforming spells were now checking that the spell target was valid when deciding if the spell could be cast.

Fixed the Fallen Ambassador (so it now correctly gives diplomatic capital).

Fixed a bug in the main city context wnd where it would use the AI's cached version of the battle rank for display, causing it to often not match the city HUD and other screens.

Fixed a bug where dispelling Guardian Ward (and any other spells that involved a city-target summon modifier) would not kill the summoned unit.

Fixed a bug where killing a unit summoned on a city would not cancel the enchantment that summoned that unit, keeping the spell from being cast on that city again.

Fixed lighting on shields in unit design screens (so they won't appear black anymore).

Fixed an issue that caused units to lose their custom portrait after a few turns.

Units now fade out when they get killed on the main map.

Units now fade out when they get killed in tactical battles.

Fixed a bug where improvements in FOW still played their particle effects.

Fixed a bug with lifesteal that caused the caster to lose hit points.

Fixed a bug with units getting stationed over end turn not showing up in a cities context, and ensuring the new city founding behavior shows the most updated city context when all the shuffling of units is done.

Fixed bug where, when founding a city, you could see the pioneer either die on top of the city while it was being built, or the pioneer's graphic would stick around for a turn if in cloth map mode when the city was built

Fixed Grip of Winter and Greater Grip of Winter to correctly apply a chance of taking effect (previously they always caused the victims to lose their next turn).

Fixed the Arrogant weakness so it correctly makes recruiting more expensive instead of less expensive.

Fixed the custom faction tech granting abilities so they work correctly regardless of the factions allegience.

Fixed an issue that can cause massive recruit costs when the player has to many recruit cost reductions.

Min radius now takes into account the player's influence ability so that their influence zone won't shrink when going up to the next level.

We will allocate more memory before saving (so that you don't OOM while saving and corrupt the save).

Fixed bug where action entries used for a combat ability would always trigger that combat ability when clicked, even if reassigned a different action when being reused, caused by some entry info not getting cleared out.

Fixed bug where dragon breath effect (and any other attached spell effect that isn't a projectile) would play throughout the entire battle once triggered, floating on the tile where it was triggered.

Fixed bug where casting a spell from an army with a spellcaster leader on the main map, with the army selected instead of a particular subunit, would cause every unit in that army to cast the spell.

Fixed bug where, if you finished researching all spells and reached the max spell level, it would start automatically researching non-existent spell levels beyond the max spell level.

Fixed bug where the dragon's breath sfx would occasionally not play until the target unit took damage, causing the attack itself to be silent and the attack sfx to linger long after the attack.

Fixed bug where killing a unit in a tactical battle that had tactical modifier effects from spells on it would cause it's stats to get recalculated using a function with auto-killing logic in it, so that the parent unit would immediately be set to be destroyed, causing bugs like the sovereign dying and immediately ending the game, because no retreat or battle-finishing logic was reached.

Fixed a series of population and prestige-related bugs that conspired to cause cities to have negative population and huge power ratings.

Fixed crash on closing a game that had a tactical battle in it.

Fixed bug where some unit clean-up stuff in the player was not getting called when a unit died, so that the player-wide abilities of dead champions would remain until something reforced an ability value calculation, players would hold onto a pointer to the dead sovereign spouse, and military might and power rating wouldn't be recalculated.

Fixed a crash when exiting a game with any shards owned by the local player.

Fixed a potential deadlock when a unit is removed from a player, caused by some UI refreshes taking place while the unit critical section was being held onto.

Fixed crash when killing an enemy sovereign.

I'm not going to be in any hurry to test it, but I'd like to hear impressions if anyone else has a shred of interest left.  Particularly with regard to the suicidal sovereign bug.  You know, that massive game-killing bug that prevents you from playing the game properly but which Stardock has consistently failed to acknowlegde despite my several attempts to raise it with them on their own forum.
18  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Starfarer on: May 03, 2011, 04:59:57 PM
Goddamn.  I just watched the dev combat video.  My wallet hates you, Aganazer!

I'm going to need this game, and I'll be buying it as soon as I can sneak my credit card past my girlfriend.  It looks like GSB, yeah, only with a big old game built around it.  Not to discredit GSB which I really enjoyed, but Starfarer looks like it takes pretty much every element of the game and makes it into just one element of many in itself.  It looks like the kind of game you won't mind sucking at because it's just so damn fun to play.

Edit: Reading the FAQ it also sounds like a Mount & Blade in space!

Edit edit: I'll be buying this tonight.  Impressions to follow.  Can we get Aganazer temp-banned please?
19  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CNN - Obama to announce that Osama Bin Laden has been killed on: May 03, 2011, 03:11:15 PM
There's an interesting and - I warn you - somewhat challenging piece in today's Independent from Robert Fisk, you can read it here.

To give context, Fisk is the Independent's Middle East correspondent.  He has lived there for a large part of his life and is an undisputed expert on the region.  What he doesn't know about the Middle East isn't worth knowing.
20  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Starfarer on: May 03, 2011, 01:30:48 PM
That looks really interesting.  Are you going to take the plunge and give us impressions, Aganazer?

(Note: correct answer is 'yes' slywink)
21  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: A Game of Thrones: Genesis on: May 03, 2011, 10:52:59 AM
Really?  Didn't Cyanide make that real-time Bloodbowl-like game a few years ago, Chaos League?  Apart from the fact that it used Starforce I don't recall any serious problems with the game.  Not sure if I've played any of their others though.
22  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Rift on: May 02, 2011, 05:22:37 PM
Fuzz, that's a rather far-out hat your mage is wearing!
23  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Star-Twine on: May 02, 2011, 06:40:47 AM
Universal Sandbox is available free as long as you don't want to build your own simulations.
24  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Rift on: May 01, 2011, 10:05:16 PM
As soon as I hit 50 I'll be trying another calling, and probably the other faction too.  One more level to go!
25  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Star-Twine on: May 01, 2011, 06:35:01 PM
Well my wishlist is almost as large as my backlog right now so I probably won't buy it any time soon, but I'll probably play the demo over the next couple of days.  I'll be sure to post impressions when I do.
26  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Star-Twine on: May 01, 2011, 04:11:00 PM

Quote from: baelthazar on May 01, 2011, 03:58:39 PM

Don't look at Universe Sandbox on Steam then. Just don't do it.




I must have that!  I wonder if it has an ambient soundtrack too.
27  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Star-Twine on: May 01, 2011, 09:07:11 AM

Star-Twine is a strategy game with ambient sounds, unique visuals and a virtually infinite number of levels to play on.

Battles unfold on three-dimensional maps where you, a small point of light, must build structures to extract energy from the threads that make up the world. Energy can be spent on new structures, each with their own unique abilities.

The enemy AI builds while you build and reacts to your play-style. This results in challenging battles that require strategic insight and quick thinking.

Just some little indie thing.  Nevertheless, space setting + ambient soundtrack = almost certain purchase from me, I guess.  Sigh.  It's about 7 on Gamersgate at the moment.  That's only 0.00168% of the price of this yacht!
28  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Rift on: May 01, 2011, 07:16:22 AM
Jersoc why do you play MMORPGs when they clearly make you so angry?
29  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Cyborg Rat , Mouse Controller for gaming? on: April 30, 2011, 04:37:21 PM
This is what I use, the Sharkoon Fireglider.  It's the first mouse I've ever owned that approaches a "proper" gaming mouse, and I love it.  The DPI button is handier than I expected it to be, and it's nice to finally have a mouse with more than the standard three buttons too.  The supplied software makes the mouse extremely customisable.  You can customise the weight too (there's a thing underneath that opens up and allows you to add/remove weights) but that's more a gimmick than anything really.

And it only cost me 25!  It's one of the best-value peripherals I've ever bought.
30  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Protogalaxy on: April 29, 2011, 09:24:36 PM
Hahaha!  Screw you, Bael!
31  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Protogalaxy on: April 29, 2011, 07:15:13 PM
Heh, nah, not really.  I do still think it's the lesser of the major DD services though, so it still gets on my tits when people proclaim it as the second coming.
32  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Protogalaxy on: April 29, 2011, 06:23:01 PM
And also for those harbouring a completely rational hatred of Steam!
33  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Rift on: April 29, 2011, 04:52:29 PM
Well said, Fuzz!
34  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Royal Wedding...Why? on: April 29, 2011, 02:43:15 PM

Quote from: Cortilian on April 29, 2011, 01:48:39 PM

My wife woke up at 5AM this morning to watch this.  In our bedroom.

Stupid TV.

That's precisely the reason I have banned TV from the bedroom.  My girlfriend watches enough shite as it is; there's no way it's going to invade the room where I sleep as well.
35  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Cyborg Rat , Mouse Controller for gaming? on: April 29, 2011, 01:13:20 PM

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on April 29, 2011, 12:39:28 PM

Never heard of this so had to look it up. Yikes, way too cool for me.  icon_wink

That looks horrible.
36  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fate of the World on: April 28, 2011, 06:21:22 PM
I never played it mate.  However it does remind me of Armageddon Man (a.k.a. Global Commander), did you play that?  Awesome game.
37  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fate of the World on: April 28, 2011, 02:40:25 PM
CeeKay if you just click through tutorials as fast as you can and not read anything, you're not going to get anywhere with games like this.  Noob! icon_razz

Blackadar, if it helps the game takes about ten minutes to learn how to play...but yeah, it's very deep and learning how to play it well does take a while from what I've seen.
38  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fate of the World on: April 28, 2011, 09:46:12 AM
A little more info; here's how a couple of turns play out.

Starting the second mission which "unlocks" the whole world rather than just the two regions from the first mission, your first priority is to recruit agents for each region.  You need at least one agent in a region to read its reports, and depending on how involved you want to be, there are plenty of charts and things for you to pore over as well as an extensive in-game wiki.  After recruiting your agents and noting any hotspots, it's time to start dealing cards.  For each deck in each region you need to play the top card in order to unlock the rest of the deck.  For example, if you want to be able to start welfare programs and influence which sectors a region's population focuses on, you need to play the top-level card, "regional welfare office."  These cards take five years - one turn - to complete, and from there on you will be able to play the rest of the cards in the deck.

So the first turn of a game is spent recruiting agents and unlocking those decks.  You don't begin with a great deal of money - enough to hire at least one agent for each region and play a few cards - but as the turns tick by and the funding comes rolling in you get a lot more cash to play with.  After the first turn is over and the news reports start coming in, you can start focusing your attention on the regions that need it most.  Before you start a new turn you're advised of the global change in emissions and temperature followed by any regional crises and whether your support has increased or decreased in any regions.

Starting a new turn you can look at individual news reports for regions, which are broken down by category and will handily show you at a glance why your support is increasing or decreasing.  For example, an item coloured red (for bad, obviously) will mention severe storms in the region, with a darkened heart in the corner showing that the region is blaming you for not taking pre-emptive action against freak weather.  Or maybe you played a card in the previous turn to improve health in the region; in the next turn you will get a green news item mentioning health is improving in the region, accompanied by a bright heart in the corner showing that your action led to increased support for your office.

As I said last night, it becomes a balancing act.  You just can't afford to recruit loads of agents and play loads of cards in every region, so the trick is to achieve the winning conditions without losing too much support - and therefore funding - and in most scenarios without letting the world melt or something.  It's fun but it's very involved; there are something like nine or ten regions and going through all of their reports and taking appropriate actions each turn, along with always trying to achieve your long-term goals, is very time-consuming.  It's not really a game you can play for half an hour at a time.

At the current sale price I think it's a steal.
39  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fate of the World on: April 27, 2011, 11:19:58 PM
This is on sale at the moment so, inevitably, I bought it.  The recent positive review by Alec Meer (of RPS) on Eurogamer tipped me over the edge.

After having played only the first four-turn introductory mission my intial impressions are pretty positive.  Calling it a card game does it a disservice; the cards are just a way of allocating resources, or more accurately taking actions that affect the regions you have influence in.  At the start of each five-year turn you hire agents in your regions.  Each agent allows you to play one card, and they all (agents and cards) cost money.  Some cards remain in play until cancelled, others are one-shot.  An example of a one-shot card is one that unlocks cards further up its respective tree - cards are split into five or so decks.  Cards that remain in play do things like placing emphasis on commerce or industry in that region.

Each mission has win and lose conditions.  The win condition for the first is to get some population happiness index above 0.7 in Northern Africa and Southern Africa, and to lose you have to fail to do this within four turns.  Certain cards have a direct affect on the index, but each turn stuff happens in your regions that will require your attention and force you to spend resources dealing with it.  Ignore a civil uprising, for example, and the region descends into chaos and war, and your popularity there plummets.  Lose too much influence in a region and you will be banned from taking any further action there and will lose funding, thus impacting your ability to continue your work elsewhere.

So basically, as far as I've seen, the whole game becomes a balancing act.  You can't just go around playing all the "good" cards (not that there are many cards that do wholly good stuff with no side-effects) because you'll run out of cash or won't be able to deal with crises that will inevitably lead to a loss of popularity.  From an educational point of view, Fate of the World seems to be designed at least partially to demonstrate the difficulty that real-life nations face in balancing environmental concern with more immediate concerns such as famine, drought, war etc.

It's a very interesting little game, more fun than I'd expected it to be and I'm looking forward to playing the next mission.  Oh, and later on you apparently get to play missions that involve destroying the world in fun ways. smile
40  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Rift on: April 27, 2011, 09:40:23 PM
Yep, that's how I usually justify it to my girlfriend. icon_biggrin
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