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  #301  
Old 01-23-2019, 02:49 PM
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Resident Evil 2 also comes out this week! And I'm knee-deep in Children of the Zodiarcs ATM! And, most importantly, most of my free time this week has been spent with the most important video game of all: shoveling my damn driveway.

It's near the top of my queue, though!
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  #302  
Old 01-23-2019, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JBear View Post
And, most importantly, most of my free time this week has been spent with the most important video game of all: shoveling my damn driveway.
The good news is I had Johnny bury a rare drop in your driveway, so if you're looking hard enough, you'll find your reward!
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  #303  
Old 01-23-2019, 04:45 PM
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It's out of EA! Join us, JBear!
Believe me, I tried in Discord.
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  #304  
Old 01-24-2019, 06:41 PM
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Today's daily is a great opportunity to build a Barricade/Body Slam deck... as the Silent. She's always wanted to weaponize her block, and now's her chance!
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  #305  
Old 01-26-2019, 07:48 PM
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How many Catalysts is too many Catalysts?



It's a trick question.





I wasn't sure this run had gas in the tank after I took the kite (+1 energy per turn, discard 2 at the start of each turn). Definitely the worst energy relic in the game. Turns out it doesn't matter how many cards you get to keep when you're killing everything on sight.

A deck like this looks like it came out of a daily, but no, that's just a standard asc 7. Give that seed a try.
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  #306  
Old 02-02-2019, 05:04 PM
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Can you post the decklist? I'm curious what the other cards are.
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  #307  
Old 02-02-2019, 06:49 PM
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Everything is upgraded because I took the "upgrade everything but you can't ever heal again" event, so just pretend I typed + after everything

Adrenaline
2x Burst
Corpse Explosion
Malaise
Blur
Bouncing Flask
4x Catalyst
Crippling Cloud
Dash
Footwork
Noxious Fumes
Acrobatics
2x Backflip
2x Deadly Poison
Deflect
2x Dodge and Roll
Poisoned Stab
5x Defend
Neutralize
Strike
Survivor
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  #308  
Old 03-14-2019, 11:33 PM
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I finally started playing this tonight!



*retires undefeated*
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  #309  
Old 03-15-2019, 06:37 AM
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JBear please download the life-changing googly eyes mod.

Actually, I guess you need to do vanilla runs before you can properly appreciate googly eyes, but still download it before you forget about it
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  #310  
Old 03-15-2019, 07:08 AM
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Alright, now that I've had a chance to sleep I'm going to try to put some thoughts in order. I'm sure everyone with 300 hours into this game is eager to hear the hot take of someone with less than 3! (You're getting it anyway.)

I booted this up for the first time last night after midnight just intending to try it before going to sleep, expecting to lose quickly, but then just kept... winning. Which isn't a bad thing, mind! (Well, it was bad for my sleep schedule, but that's always fucked anyway.) I understand that this game has some kind of ramp-up mechanic to keep things challenging, so presumably I'll keep winning until I find my appropriate difficulty bucket or whatever, and that seems cool.

Also, while I technically went into this completely blind, I have played two games that were obvious inspirations for it extensively*, so few of the concepts were new to me. The big innovation it seems to offer over those other games is the attack telegraphing, which is very neat and really lets you plan and strategize in a way that I enjoy, although not modelling an enemy "hand" does remove some of the hand manipulation interactions that those other games had that I enjoyed. I also get the sense that the deep well of relics (I think that's what they were called?) is going to add a lot of fun/replay here as they bounce off of each other and make each run unique in a Binding of Isaac type fashion, which is neat.

The other differences that StS offers are a bit more subtle. I'm not convinced that the map adds a whole lot? An individual choice between, say, a mini-boss or a campfire is an interesting decision, but otherwise it feels like I'm usually making decisions between similar-looking paths without enough information to do so intelligently, so I think just offering me a choice of 2 things after every encounter would have worked just as well. Also, for better or for worse, StS seems less prone to extremes. In those other games, I could usually work towards a certain end and be very successful, but here it feels like pursing a high card draw deck or a high energy pool or a small focused deck all hit ceilings a bit more quickly. I'll admit that I don't have enough experience to make that judgement yet, I guess, but I have trouble picturing the kind of ridiculous decks I could make in those other games where I draw my whole giant deck in one turn or get my deck size down to 6 amazing cards, etc. I did get some pretty good card draw in my one game, mind.

Anyway, I really enjoyed my first game of it and look forward to seeing how this next character plays, so maybe I'll come back and re-read this post 300 hours from now and laugh at how stupid it was!


* - Now that I have finally played Slay the Spire, I think I'm ready to evangelize Dream Quest and Monster Slayers again. I knew that Slay the Spire was widely recognized as the refinement of the ideas presented by those two games, so I felt a bit sheepish pushing for them given that, but now that I've actually played it I'm not convinced of that? I think it might just be different, and I still think those other two games are both worth playing.

Dream Quest is admittedly a pretty tough sell, since it looks like poop from a butt (seriously, it is the ugliest game I've ever played; I promise that whatever you're picturing, it looks worse) and has some very rough edges, but I still really dig it as kind of a... pure experience. With nothing else to rely on, it lives or dies on mechanics alone, and those mechanics are very compelling, enough so that they clearly inspired these two other games! And given that, it's a dang shame how it's languished in obscurity, so maybe kick the guy a few bucks and see where these ideas first came from?

Monster Slayers, on the other hand, is just... good? Like, so far I would easily say it's just as good as Spire, and it arguably looks even better (I say arguable, because I think Spire makes a deliberate style choice with its art that I dig whereas Monster Slayers is a lot less interesting-looking and perhaps a bit too edgy, but more polished). It has a bunch of different character classes to choose from (plus a bunch more with the cheap DLC pack), each of which play very differently, and offers a big challenge, a ton of replayability, and a fun meta-progression unlock tree where you can buy perks that apply either globally or to specific classes. It also has a map that feels a bit like Desktop Dungeons where you're slowly expanding outwards and revealing nodes and trying to plan your level-up heals at the correct times to stay alive as you fight progressively higher-level monsters. I really enjoyed my time with it (I beat it with all classes, IIRC), and I think that folks who like Spire would like it too, and I think it's different enough to make it worth a separate purchase, especially if you also enjoyed Desktop Dungeons.


ETA: OH, and one other big difference: card upgrades in StS seems to all be binary? Those other two games allow most cards to be upgraded a second time, but here I was bummed when my [card that allowed me to temp upgrade my whole hand and gave me some block] got less useful as the run went on and more of my deck was already upgraded.

Last edited by JBear; 03-15-2019 at 07:39 AM.
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  #311  
Old 03-15-2019, 08:00 AM
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A few thoughts:

1. Don't count your chickens until they've hatched. Finishing the base game isn't too hard, but beating the heart (which you briefly saw at the end of your first run) is a whole other bag of chips.

2. Yes, the relics are hugely important to the game, not only in making it replayable but in making it interesting in the first place. AFAIK most experienced players will generally pick routes on the map with the goal of maximizing the number of relics they obtain because of all the cool synergies that they open up. Which brings me to...

3. The map itself might not seem super integral to the game, but it gets more important once you start in toward the "true" ending. Even without that, I prefer having the map rather than a simple choice after each battle because it makes me gamble on how much I want to overextend myself. Do I fight both of those elite enemies without resting in between? Is it worth sacrificing a rest site to hit up the store to spend all this money I'm carrying around? A huge number of my deaths come from being too greedy, ie seeking out all the tough fights and not hitting enough camp sites (or not actually resting when I do).
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  #312  
Old 03-15-2019, 08:45 AM
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I'd appreciate keeping the spoilers to a minimum. Nothing here was too bad, but to get out in front of it, no more talk about "beating the heart" or the "true" ending in posts directed at me, please. I enjoy discovering these things for myself!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
The map itself might not seem super integral to the game, but it gets more important once you start in toward the "true" ending. Even without that, I prefer having the map rather than a simple choice after each battle because it makes me gamble on how much I want to overextend myself. Do I fight both of those elite enemies without resting in between? Is it worth sacrificing a rest site to hit up the store to spend all this money I'm carrying around? A huge number of my deaths come from being too greedy, ie seeking out all the tough fights and not hitting enough camp sites (or not actually resting when I do).
I still think you could get most of that by making the decisions in isolation, or maybe just previewing the next node in each direction after the decision. The map just feels... janky (edit: anemic?) in a way that nothing else here does, and the art doesn't help matters. I guess maybe I'll feel differently later! But right now the first decision in each new map in particular felt really unsatisfying, where I'd spend 30 seconds examining each branch, decide they all looked about the same with roughly the same distribution of nodes, and then just pick one largely arbitrarily or just based on the first couple of nodes. Hopefully there are some relics that interact with the map screen in interesting ways? (Please don't actually answer this question.)

Last edited by JBear; 03-15-2019 at 09:11 AM.
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  #313  
Old 03-15-2019, 09:26 AM
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A couple of more thoughts:
  • Potions are also a difference from those other two games, and I am still Bad at Potions. My 3rd relic (IIRC) shut off my ability to collect potions, so I just sat on my remaining 2 until finally blowing them both on the last boss. Since I was essentially able to ignore one of the game's core mechanics (great for a learning run!), and one that was new to me besides, I may have to unlearn the bad habit of ignoring that part of the UI and get a feel for the appropriate time/pace to use them. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is going to burn me in the future!

  • There's no confirm prompt for pressing Y to bin your entire hand! I did this no fewer than 3 times over the course of the run, and missing an entire turn in this is huge! Fortunately I had the relic that doesn't discard for the last time it happened, which helped mitigate the damage somewhat, but still, I was very frustrated! It has been recommended to me that I play with a mouse instead, but using a mouse from my recliner is not especially convenient. I don't suppose the community that brought the Googly Eyes mod thought to make a QoL mod to add an end turn confirm prompt?
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  #314  
Old 03-15-2019, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
Now that I have finally played Slay the Spire, I think I'm ready to evangelize Dream Quest and Monster Slayers again. I knew that Slay the Spire was widely recognized as the refinement of the ideas presented by those two games, so I felt a bit sheepish pushing for them given that, but now that I've actually played it I'm not convinced of that? I think it might just be different, and I still think those other two games are both worth playing.
I haven't played Monster Slayers, but this is a fair assessment. Dream Quest is much more of an exercise in optimization than Slay the Spire. StS gives you opportunities to remove or transform cards, and you'll take them for sure, but it's nowhere near the degree of deck tuning that Dream Quest allows/demands. For people who love creating insane combo turns in games like Dominion (not a video game), Dream Quest is the way to go.

Slay the Spire forces you to cobble together a deck from what are usually less-than-ideal choices. Dream Quest will have you refusing many and sometimes most of the cards you're offered, but if you try that in Slay the Spire, you'll get pummeled by the elites. Your starting deck needs help in the worst way, so you'll always take something from the first cards you're offered.

And part of that is that Slay the Spire has very few truly bad cards. To some extent, this can be attributed to the fact that each character has a unique set of cards. In Dream Quest, there are some characters who will never take a single spell or who never want more than one skill in the deck. In Slay the Spire, every card you're offered is relevant to the character you're playing (though not necessarily to the deck you're playing).

Also, as much as people complain about it, the secret boss in Slay the Spire is way less bad than Dream Quest's, who goes out of his way to break the rules of the game. Thank you for never putting my turn on a timer, StS.


EDIT: btw, JBear, you should use mouse instead of controller for this game
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  #315  
Old 03-15-2019, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by JBear View Post
But right now the first decision in each new map in particular felt really unsatisfying, where I'd spend 30 seconds examining each branch, decide they all looked about the same with roughly the same distribution of nodes, and then just pick one largely arbitrarily or just based on the first couple of nodes. Hopefully there are some relics that interact with the map screen in interesting ways? (Please don't actually answer this question.)
This will absolutely change when you learn the game more and get closer to the ascension level (difficulty bucket) that matches your skill. Even just one or two different nodes tends to make different paths really different if you know the game well and are playing on the razor's edge.
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  #316  
Old 03-15-2019, 11:26 AM
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Just pick the path with the most bosses so you can get the most stuff, and switch paths if it's going poorly.

Also only play the Robot. Robot is love, and Robot is life. Don't be fooled by Soldier Idiot and Green Poop's lies, they're poopy and suck and I hate them
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  #317  
Old 03-15-2019, 11:34 AM
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I agree that the Defect is the most fun, but the Silent is a close second. Ironclad's a little dull, IMO. Only problem with the Defect is that runs tend to be longer, which can be a drag.
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  #318  
Old 03-15-2019, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
Monster Slayers, on the other hand, is just... good? Like, so far I would easily say it's just as good as Spire, and it arguably looks even better (I say arguable, because I think Spire makes a deliberate style choice with its art that I dig whereas Monster Slayers is a lot less interesting-looking and perhaps a bit too edgy, but more polished). It has a bunch of different character classes to choose from (plus a bunch more with the cheap DLC pack), each of which play very differently, and offers a big challenge, a ton of replayability, and a fun meta-progression unlock tree where you can buy perks that apply either globally or to specific classes. It also has a map that feels a bit like Desktop Dungeons where you're slowly expanding outwards and revealing nodes and trying to plan your level-up heals at the correct times to stay alive as you fight progressively higher-level monsters. I really enjoyed my time with it (I beat it with all classes, IIRC), and I think that folks who like Spire would like it too, and I think it's different enough to make it worth a separate purchase, especially if you also enjoyed Desktop Dungeons.
Well this is fortuitous timing! It was apparently just announced yesterday that Monster Slayers is coming to Switch next month!

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  #319  
Old 03-15-2019, 02:03 PM
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Monster Slayers looks OK (it's hard to tell what's happening in that footage), but the name is just unspeakably generic. Not that "Slay the Spire" or "Dream Quest" are especially descriptive, you know, but at least they're distinct.

If you want me to play Monster Slayers, please write lots of words about it thanks.
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  #320  
Old 03-15-2019, 02:10 PM
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I'm still looking for something low key and turn based to play on the Switch from time to time (Sheppy didn't really grab me) so if there are no realtime elements I'll likely just buy Monster Hunters, though don't let that stop you from writing many words.
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  #321  
Old 03-15-2019, 02:25 PM
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Don't let this stop you, but Slay the Spire is already out for Switch.
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  #322  
Old 03-15-2019, 02:38 PM
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What? When?
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  #323  
Old 03-15-2019, 02:39 PM
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Don't let this stop you, but Slay the Spire is already out for Switch.
It's been announced for the Switch, but it hasn't been released yet.
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  #324  
Old 03-15-2019, 02:41 PM
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Okay, yeah. I was thinking it was like summerish?
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  #325  
Old 03-15-2019, 02:49 PM
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Oops! I was fooled by a very convincing store page, though I guess the absence of a price should have tipped me off. (and on closer examination, it sure does say "This content is not available to purchase in Nintendo eShop yet.")
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  #326  
Old 03-15-2019, 03:42 PM
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I think I've already been away from Monster Slayers too long to spend that many words on it, given my trash fire of a memory. I will say that I didn't think that trailer was very good. It feels much more like a direct successor to Dream Quest than Slay the Spire, iterating on and improving many of its ideas and giving it all a much-needed coat of paint.
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  #327  
Old 03-15-2019, 03:43 PM
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Honestly, "Dream Quest with a coat of paint" was all I needed to hear
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  #328  
Old 03-15-2019, 03:57 PM
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FWIW, I wasn't thrilled with Monster Slayers. It's been a while, but I recall my main complaint was that it overemphasized the metaprogression aspect of unlocking power-ups between runs. Also, while there were some interesting decisions on how to build your deck, the moment-to-moment gameplay of playing out each individual turn in a battle often felt rote and simplistic, with a blatantly obvious right way to play it.
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  #329  
Old 03-15-2019, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thraeg View Post
FWIW, I wasn't thrilled with Monster Slayers. It's been a while, but I recall my main complaint was that it overemphasized the metaprogression aspect of unlocking power-ups between runs. Also, while there were some interesting decisions on how to build your deck, the moment-to-moment gameplay of playing out each individual turn in a battle often felt rote and simplistic, with a blatantly obvious right way to play it.
I'll agree with that first complaint, but I love meta-progression unlocks so that shit's like catnip to me. I completely disagree with your other complaint, though; I don't recall turns feeling rote and simplistic at all. Certainly no more so than Slay the Spire.


And speaking of Slay the Spire!



That's the Silent in the bag. I enjoyed this second run a lot more, so I think Silent's playstyle agrees with me more; I felt pretty danged unstoppable after about the half-way point. Next up is Cyclops man!
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  #330  
Old 03-15-2019, 09:26 PM
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Holy shit is it actually taking you 3 hours to complete a run of the game?

ETA: I don't want that to come off as too harsh, but that's like twice as long as my longer playthroughs have been. I also lose a lot more than you, apparently.
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