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Favorite PC game features.

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Favorite PC game features.

Postby MrDvAnt » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:23 pm

I'm interested in hearing from a variety of gameplay styles on this issue. Think of one of your favorite PC games or even one that was just "ok" but had a great feature that you enjoyed and tell me about it.

Examples are, well done economies, interesting research trees, certain customization options, and things like that. Most interested in hearing about features from RTS, Strategy and world/city building games as well as RPG.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby jdidds » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:49 pm

I love the Fallout series, starting with 3 and NV. I've never played the earlier ones.

Just something I love about wandering about and scavenging supplies. Though, out of the two, I think 3 is the superior. Gives me a better feel for an apocalyptic world. NV has many great features though.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby Hazgarn » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:17 pm

Fallout and Oblivion, both, for several reasons, but above else for modability. I've got a tendency to go nuts with mods. I love being able to tweak a game to better fit my play style. Even if the end result is a crippling degree of bizarre realism...
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby imawolfrawr » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:29 pm

Diablo 1-3 and borderlands 1-2 both have the multiplayer feature that gives better drops, gold and scaled difficulty based on the number of players. I.e. 2players nets more rewards that single but 4 players gives even more. Gives more reason to play with others instead of just single player.

Sorry for any spelling or grammar errors, I'm on my phone.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby tehkory » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:45 pm

-Open-roam exploration that lets me -feel- what it's like to be X. That lets me live it. Examples: Zafehouse Diaries(for truly living the zombie apocalypse), UnReal World(Iron Age Finland).

-Systems that have a style that consistently reinforces the immersive theme even through game mechanics: FTL(it isn't 'realistic,' , but it is complete and thematic, fulfilling the Star-Trek Sci-fi Captaining feel), Banner Saga(even though this is a weak example, the resource-and-renown decision making was fun, as was the constant battle to keep people from starving), Insanity(in Eternal Darkness) and GTA V including the Trevor character(his obvious sociopathic insanity made it never feel out-of-character when suddenly I was on a psychopathic rampage. That was just -Trevor).
-Ammendation(is this a word?): This includes anything as little as menus(see: Fallout series), to the entire art style. But I think the game mechanics just -barely- eke ahead of art style as the 'main' means by which we interact with/absorb a game.


-Asymmetric balance in multiplayer, with factions that have both different goals -and- different means of reaching them, while still requiring both to conflict. This is probably rarer in PC games, and more common in board games, though you -will- find it in the Dominions series and Conquest of Elysium series.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby Hawkwind » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:47 pm

Bulletstorm's dialogue and characters. They actually sounded like soldiers and how men work when without womens.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby radioactivejesus » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:50 pm

Hawkwind wrote:Bulletstorm's dialogue and characters. They actually sounded like soldiers and how men work when without womens.

Jerking off in the port-a-shitters twice daily?
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby MarcusSaint » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:57 pm

I really enjoyed the first and second Fallout. Even enjoyed Tactics to a degree.

The third just wasn't the same. Or NV for that matter, but they are still decent games.

I like how it's more third-person viewing in Fallout. Those ones where you're first person screen viewing.... meh, gets me sick.

I also enjoyed Sid Meier's Pirates!

Other than that, I don't play too many games. :?
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby MrDvAnt » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:58 pm

Thank you everyone, these are very good answers thus far.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby Rivean » Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:04 am

I've always been a great fan of RPGs, and storytelling in general. Right off the top of my head, the best games I can think of are Planescape: Torment and KoTR 1.

But that's really not helpful to anyone because if you were to distill any advice out of studying those games, it would be 'Write the most awesome story ever'. But other than this, things I've enjoyed in the past, in no particular order:

a) Companions, and meaningful, interesting companion interaction, either through companion quests, loyalty missions/ratings, etc. Dragon Age: Origins (which is vastly, in my mind, superior to the sequel) did this well, with gifts, quests, and romance options. It's a fairly standard feature in Bioware RPGs these days.

b) The buildable/expandable castle/homebase for the PC in Neverwinter Nights 2 (was it one? I forget) was fun. It's similar to the idea above, where you're developing you're relationships with people, here you're developing your fiefdom/headquarters/spaceship/whatever. Also, in the same game, since your stronghold does come under siege at some point, what you did with it does become relevant. That having been said, I think the same age old problem of meaningful and impactful choices (should I build X or Y?) and playability (the choice was meaningful - and you made the wrong choice, now you're in a much harder spot and/or screwed) apply here. Because designers don't want to let you decide yourself into shit creek, they make it so that the choices don't REALLY matter, and you'll end up in a good way no matter what you choose. I don't have a solution to this problem, but it's one of the things that detract from my experience.

Also, I think that this sort of feature has usually been handled by way of 'spend gold, get upgrade'. I seem to remember that NVN2 (or 1, whichever it was) had a slightly more interesting way of doing it but I don't recall exactly. I suggest making proper quests for this sort of thing, with interesting story lines that result in unique improvements.

c) I'm a giant fan of semi-secret side quests that only present themselves if you've been paying attention and following the clues. An example comes to mind from DA:O again, where a series of codex entries led you to find some sort of Boss Revenant who dropped some pretty cool armor, but which you would not otherwise encounter unless you were reading the clues and were using your brain to find where the next piece of the puzzle lay.

d) I'm a fan of alternate endings, but this is problematic because for a game of any length (and as an RPG fan, I like long games) I essentially have to go through hours of the same thing just to experience what are essentially minor differences (even for the most dramatic ending change) in the overall game experience. 90% of my second playthrough will still be the same. It's the same problem with companions too - using DA:O and sequels as an example again, there are tons of interesting and fun conversation snippets that you hear between your companions as you go through the game world, but these snippets are not by themselves enticing enough to go through every area multiple times with all possible party combinations. I simultaneously want all the everythings, and feel cheated for not having gotten them, and resentful that the designers expect me to go through five hours of gameplay for 10 minutes of audio dialogue if that. :P

e) For RTS games, aside from the usual balance and fine tuning issues that need to be sorted out, I think what really works for me is that the units, and consequently, the factions have a personality of their own. One of the things that the Starcraft series does very well is that not only are the main characters in the campaign memorable in and of themselves (thank you, HOTS final cut scene - we've been waiting for that to happen since 1999), but everything from the SCV to the Siege Tank has its own sense of personality, not to mention functionality. (This is probably why I didn't enjoy the zerg so much, methinks - their units all seem the same to me, because from an IC sense, they are)

f) Now that we're talking about Blizzard - having awesome cinematics will always make a game around 10x more memorable. I still remember all of Diablo 2, all these years later.

g) Still speaking of Blizzard - their recent addition to RTS single player campaigns (Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Storm) do an excellent job of switching things up and doing creative things with mission/level design. The campaign rarely ever got dull or repetitive in game play, which tends to be a problem for me with RTS games - and was more of a problem for me in the original Starcraft.

ETA:

h) Interesting game mechanics are always a plus. From the two games I mentioned in the outset, PS:T used death as a means of progressing the story forward - which was very interesting but is perhaps not the best example because it wasn't used all of the time. More relevant might be KOTOR1's Light/Dark meter, and the alignment based features that the game unlocked based on which side you were on and how far.

i) Similar to the above, I approve of decision based alignment (rather than, as in old school RPGs, I choose my alignment at character creation) and I like it if the alignment matters in significant ways - opening different quests, equipment, positions, sub-classes (i'm a bit skeptical of these but they can be fun) etc. The same idea applies to alignment with factions - should be decision/action based, and must have meaningful impact in the game world.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby MrDvAnt » Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:30 am

Another good answer. I loved PS:T too. It was one of the few that kept me interested in the actual story rather than just the character development. I was really excited about the castle building in NWN2 myself but thought it could have been done a bit better. All the rest was good too, very good insights into the WHY of those games all being very popular. Thank you.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby Hawkwind » Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:27 am

When you complete the game on Extreme, you get the achievements for all lesser difficulties, I love that feature.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby BoogtehWoog » Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:43 am

MarcusSaint wrote:I really enjoyed the first and second Fallout. Even enjoyed Tactics to a degree.

The third just wasn't the same. Or NV for that matter, but they are still decent games.




I recently started a Fallout series playthrough. I had a stellar time with Fallout 1 and 2, then I got to 3 and absolutely could not stand it. It was a very pale imitation of Fallout.


As for my favorite feature of PC games, it would have to be their moddability. So many great things have been accomplished thanks to the power to mod games on PCs.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby MarcusSaint » Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:29 am

BoogtehWoog wrote:
MarcusSaint wrote:I really enjoyed the first and second Fallout. Even enjoyed Tactics to a degree.

The third just wasn't the same. Or NV for that matter, but they are still decent games.

I recently started a Fallout series playthrough. I had a stellar time with Fallout 1 and 2, then I got to 3 and absolutely could not stand it. It was a very pale imitation of Fallout.

As for my favorite feature of PC games, it would have to be their moddability. So many great things have been accomplished thanks to the power to mod games on PCs.

That's what's so great with Fallout and Fallout 2!!

Replayability :mrgreen:
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby Zargen » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:31 pm

Recently i reinstalled fallout new vegas. All the dlcs and about 20 active mods. It keeps me very entertained. Very hard and hardcore mode on as well...obviously. i love brutal and "realistic" games. Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead is good. Unreal. Dark souls. Dwarf fortress. Depth has always been the major selling point to a game for me.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby Hazgarn » Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:02 pm

Hardcore mode and Survival crafting were two of my favorite things about New Vegas.

Hunger, thirst, and sleep area always the first mods I install for Fallout 3 and Oblivion. I love feeling like I'm part of the world I'm playing in, and that's hard to do without basic needs like that providing a certain rhythm to your play. You can try to play it out yourself by eating or sleeping regardless of need, but somehow it's just not the same. :/

And Dwarf Fortress. Don't get me started on Dwarf Fortress.

(I think it actually might have been Zargen who introduced me to Dwarf Fortress through the forums back in the day... :evil: )
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby Zargen » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:18 am

Dwarf Fortress has been updated after 2 years. By the way :D

Recently in my DF exploits. I got ambushed by a vampire on top of a roof. Roof collapsed. We both get knocked up. I woke up first and cut the bastard's head off. Drank his blood and became a vampire.

Later on I get ambushed by goblins. After killing all his cronies I seized their leader by the throat with my teeth and shook him around until he died.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby BoogtehWoog » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:47 am

Zargen wrote:Roof collapsed. We both get knocked up.



:o
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby MrDvAnt » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:21 am

BoogtehWoog wrote:
Zargen wrote:Roof collapsed. We both get knocked up.



:o


You beat me to it. :p
Was it the roof of a frat house?!
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby Real » Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:57 pm

Dwarf fortress exploits you say... Most of my time has been spent with Masterwork playing orcs, and sometimes kobolds. Prepare for a saga.

--

Well, there was the time I built a seaside port town of orcs on the surface of a biome that rained blood and attached a pier to a "battleship" that had ballistas built into the side, positioned toward the spot where invaders would camp. This had very mixed effectiveness (blunt damage...?) but firing volleys of ballista bolts at elves has always proved great for producing entertaining combat reports.

I designed the workshops to endlessly produce a colossal surplus of cloth and liquor which we would "ship" with the seaside markets. I'd spend all the money on wood for raiding, iron for the ballistas and bullets for the civs. Every single orc was in the military except the kids, and they would all walk around with flintlock pistols or muskets. The few times someone lost it, the issue was dealt with very quickly. This form of law seems to work well in DF. A curious side-effect; bullets deal blunt damage as well and any foes that would siege us just had all their bones broken, and they would crawl away leaving their weapons. There was -rarely- a death among the enemy forces but except elves, mass gunfire took care of all invaders, forcing a rout but wasting an incredible amount of lead (money).

It ended when I tried to build a minecart track to transport booze being mass-produced in my tavern to my liquor vault, conveniently located right next to the markets. Doesn't sound like something that ends a fortress? Earlier that day the master cook had his arm torn off by a ghostly baby, the stockpiling didn't work correctly with the minecarts and I wasted hours of work, I got annoyed, and spawned a lava source at the top. All died but one orc who was sitting on a Frodo-style ledge outcropping with lava all around him. A spark lit him on fire and he leapt off it into the lava.

--

I managed to carve out a life for some kobolds in a cave once. This was hardcore. After many tries, the method that worked was sending in an excavation team of competent carpenters with a bunch of wood and training barghests for war to protect against inevitable death. To survive properly with a cave base it's necessary to block off the map edge from where you live to prevent roaming mobs. Even when I did succeed, they all got killed by a drowspider but the walls were mostly done and the next was the true embark.

We ranched every sort of cave animal (there was a great silk farm) and because I had set the cave generation to make vast hills and tunnels with water features I set up a lot of agriculture as well. There was a big clay wall with a wooden grate/gate that blocked the way. (I was still new and foolish; wooden grates block nothing worth worrying about) The first time a forgotten beast showed up, it was...a carapace-covered moth with spines and a single glowing green eye and, a new feature for me at the time, it had plague blood. After the fight I started getting spammed with "x has bled to death" and I knew it was only a matter of time...troglodytes finished the job, but at that point the ghosts were the biggest problem and it was almost a mercy that they weren't being literally scared to death anymore >< (I'm reminded at this juncture what a morbid game DF is)

--

The orc cave embark was far more glorious and never met a real end; FPS death claimed it. Can't complain. The original embark was pretty easy, we brought copper scimitars and owned all the wildlife. They set up the wooden fortifications and we abandoned with one casualty. I made an entire city inside the walls of the caves, there were no proper buildings in the vast cavern, just agriculture and a market. There were windows and individual homes hollowed out all around the open space and it was set up so everyone could look in at the orcs milling around doing their stuff in the main cave.

Early on I set up a heavy military, deciding that half of all the orcs would be full-time soldiers. I carved all the way down to the lava sea and made a pump stack (whoa the iron) that drew it all the way up to a "lava fueling station" that would use levers to operate iron floodgates and power all the forges and smelters on my blacksmithing floor. Combined with the training, we destroyed everything, slew giant troglodyte ambushes and fought off even drow (with moderate casualties).

There was so much excess that I built a big colosseum with all sorts of gold statues and would stage fights with captured invaders and wildlife against my soldiers. It doubled as a tavern and all the orcs on break would hang out and watch the fights. Bored one day I tested out sorcery and trained a dreamwalker into a full sorceror, gave him a wraithblade and decided on pain shards above the other types. I gave him no armor, just the blade against a troll. The odds of this 1v1 were slim.

I put him in there, uncaged the troll and it rushed him but he started firing the shards from the wraithblade. The second one hit the troll, it just paused. Then it started running away, the sorceror spent all thirty (!) shards on it, by which point it had passed out, then he rushed the troll and impaled it through the head with the sword. Wow, I was sold on sorcery.

Never saw HFS but since SOI and Atonement weren't around I would send out my best orcs on patrols allll the time to fight cavern wildlife and trogs, thinking nostalgically of wilderness trips from the RPIs :oops: . It became a nightly thing and we acquired so much random crap and the temperature was so weird because of my lava pipe that my FPS dropped to between 8 and 14. It was a sad day.

Anyway, I went on longer with this than planned. I love that game, though. When people mention it, I can't help myself.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby Zargen » Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:19 pm

What mod do you use?
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby Real » Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:57 pm

Masterwork, though an earlier version than this:
http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?PHPSESSID=88ecdb1f8ea4f0b97f570ad85b82857a&topic=125633.0

(Breach the caves, they're leveled like a dungeon and there are underground ambushes/sieges)
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby Kayube » Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:46 am

I'm a big fan of detailed character appearance customization.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby Songweaver » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:39 am

Meaningful dialogue trees that allow me to develop my character as organically as possible, while having an impact on the overall story and world around me. As opposed to being tunneled down a specific development path, well-written dialogue and well-designed dialogue variables that are called up later for dynamic conversations do a lot for my immersion in a story-telling game.

Telltale's The Walking Dead (Seasons One & Two, both) does this very well, as does Telltale's The Wolf Among Us. Hard Rain did a decent job of this as well. And of course, Bioware's always improving their dialogue systems (which are probably the most streamlined in Dragon Age 2 and the Mass Effect Series).

Beyond that, story intangibles are really a lot of the draw, as well as an interesting and tactical combat system. Some older games managed these two pre-requisitves very well, such as Planescape: Torment, Baldur's Gate 2, the Quest for Glory series, Knights of the Old Republic 1 and Dragon Age: Origins. In terms of newer RPGs, not even anything Bioware's done holds a candle to The Witcher 2, in my opinion. And I do love me some Bioware.

I'm also a big fan of the old TSR Goldbox series. Complex turn-based combat is more interesting to me in an RPG than live-combat, when done to an absolute perfection. That's probably why my next buy is going to be Divinity: Original Sin.
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Re: Favorite PC game features.

Postby Eru » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:00 am

Songweaver wrote:That's probably why my next buy is going to be Divinity: Original Sin.


Great game to pick up.
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