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Tycho / 1 week ago

There were many possible configurations for this strip, but ultimately we decided that the version which was most pure should reign.

One of the immediate repercussions of breaking CoD own and rebuilding it is that there’s less game.  When I have a choice, I like Domination and Kill Confirmed as modes.  I vastly prefer Kill Confirmed over TDM, and have from the moment of its inception.  Part of it is that I have greater success in Kill Confirmed.  That might be all of it, actually.  Let me start over. 

I had a conversation with a designer from Magic: The Gathering about how “mana screw” keeps the best player from winning every time, and how this was okay.  He said the game was more interesting competitively as a result of this “design flaw.”  I can’t speak to any of that, I guess.  Conceptually, I guess I’ve thought of contests between parties as a kind of sieve with winner shaped holes we used to determine the best player.  The philosophy enunciated by an actual designer of the game, on the other hand, makes it sound more like competition has a quantum component; not a sieve, but a particle accelerator…?  Ultimately, Kill Confirmed suggests that, no - kills aren’t points.  Kills might be points, and they are more likely to be points if you travel around with your friends and help each other.  And that’s my whole thing.

So when the game came out and didn’t have Kill Confirmed, I shrieked and tore at my garments.  But then it just showed up in the menu over the weekend for some reason, in the earliest Christmas on record.  There’s another mode that got dropped in with night-vision goggles and minimal HUD that is essentially my nightmares made flesh, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I played Gears for a very long time precisely because it was terrifying.  One of the main things that happens in a round of Gears is that a few people whose nervous systems are jacked on I think meth spring toward you off the strange angles of the geometry like the Hounds of Fucking Tindalos and make your inside parts your outside parts.  I appreciated the artisanal, animal fear manufactured by the scenario.  I was bewildered in this Night Vision mode all the way up until I became a hissing opossum of insensate violence.  Maybe this isn’t a good review.  It’s not Kill Confirmed, so it loses points immediately.  But it didn’t cost me anything to try and I’m glad I did.

Our premium Ryan is down south in conference with the Bright Lords, there to secure our interests in the Wracklands.  As such, I’ll be playing Luigi’s Mansion from 2-4pm PST because that’s literally all I want to do anywaySee you there.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 2 weeks ago

I was talking about it on Wednesday a bit, this network horseshit I was trying to manage with Xbox Parties, and the censers and assorted warlock crap I discovered to resolve it.  But I didn’t stop being mad.  So now there is a strip about it also, in the same way you might place a poultice against an infected gum I hope that it will draw the poison out.

At least part of the ritual is just something like a folktale among Xbox users, they even discuss it directly; it’s fascinating.  When calling support, players were often putting their Xboxes in suspend instead of performing a full restart. “Clearing the Alternate MAC Address” became a shorthand on the Support team, because this menu option guarantees a full restart which users can’t avoid.  Thus was it writ upon the ancient scrolls.  But… I did restart it.  Fully, from the menu.  It didn’t work.  And I shouldn’t have to do it anyway!  Not because it’s difficult to do, I can push a button.  I shouldn’t have to do it, nobody should, because it should work.  Put the Party up in Azure or something!  God.

I am VERY excited to begin Luigi’s Mansion 3, a fact I have repeatedly stated, on account of Dark Moon’s primacy among all games everywhere.  I’m only fifteen minutes or so into it, and I’ll be checking it out on the stream with my friend Morak at 2pm PDT.  He played it for hours and hours last night with Kara in co-op mode, and once I’ve unlocked it, I’ll bring him in.

(CW)TB out.

Gabe / 2 weeks ago

Modern Warfare

I bought the new Modern Warfare long before all the Blizzard controversy. Personally I thought they made a terrible decision when they banned Blitzchung and and even worse decision when they lied about the reasons in their PR bullshit after the fact. I have been a Blizzard fan for decades but I think it’s very clear that this is not the same company it used to be.  With that said, I think that there are a lot of people at Activision/Blizzard who are just trying to make cool games and they have nothing to do with these stupid business decisions.

I’d like for THOSE people to know that I love the new Modern Warfare and I appreciate all their hard work. I’m a huge fan of the back to basics feel and the return to more interesting map designs. I know some people liked the three lane run and gun style of the past few Call of Duty games but I’ve always been a fan of maps that have hidey holes and verticality. I see a lot of complaints about “campers” which reminds me of my days playing Quake 20 years ago. I laughed at people who complained about camping back then and I think it’s just as ridiculous today. It’s like British soldiers getting upset because colonists would not line up in an open field and march at them until they died. You are mad that other people are being clever.

This is the best Call of Duty game in years and the people who busted their asses to make it deserve to hear that regardless of (or maybe especially because of) how fucked their company is.

-Gabe out

Tycho / 2 weeks ago

Last year, Call of Duty was like three different games on one disc - three separate experiences with three separate progression systems.  That’s one way to do it.  It was like having access to three distinct buffets simultaneously, yet still being bound by the volume restrictions inherent to a finite creature.  I tried a bit of each, and loved Blackout - I think Blackout is probably the best BR there is.  Kiko still plays every week.  I had the same kind of fun with the regular multi that I usually have, which is a fair amount.  It’s just something I do with my friends, like, I dunno.  Pickleball.  It’s a place I go to do a thing.

Last time we were leveling up and choosing a League or DOTA style champ - this year, it’s broken way, way down.  At some level they had to understand that they had built so much scaffold around the core every year that painting themselves into a corner was imminent, and what they did this time is break the whole thing apart with sledgehammers and truck away the debris.  They went way, way back.  I like the heavy feel, the double-click sprint, and the back to basics vibe.  Love the maps, also.  I understand it has a single player campaign again, but I haven’t seriously played through one since I think Black Ops.  I can’t even remember.  If I played through this one, it would be to earn player models for multi.  I’m not saying this is good or bad, I’m just saying that’s where my time goes.  But I’m pretty sure I’m not playing the campaign.  I’ve said it for years: I can play modes that earn me multiplayer XP that expands my options for play, or I can play modes that don’t.  And… I don’t know why I would do that…?

Keek, Gabe, and myself were playing last night as we would have a million years ago, except for a couple - let’s say four - small differences.  Technically, I think I said, “Guess that’s what happens when your children are cats,” but beyond that it’s basically correct.  This strip doesn’t show the hour I spent working on my network so Gabe could join my fucking Xbox party, nor does it include the portion when my fix inexplicably stopped working the next day and I just started trying random shit I saw on YouTube that fixed it.  In the end, as commanded by a kindly British gentleman, I went into the Blu-Ray section of the settings and cleared the cache (“You must do this three times”) and then I released my alternate MAC address or something.  It was some hedge wizard shit and I deeply resent the fact that it worked.

Getting into some shit now as we approach the Season 3 finale of Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team, as always, we start at 4pm PDT sharp on our bountiful stream zone.  See you around.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 2 weeks ago

I’ve played through the intro of Outer Worlds, and came away impressed and just generally warmed by the experience.  It’s unfortunate that it sounds so much like Outer Wilds.  Every time I type it, I’m like… is it the other one? At least they’re both amazing; it’s not like there’s one you need to avoid.  I advocate wholeheartedly for this newly christened Outerverse in its entirety and I think it’s standing on firm legs.

But the strip is from before I played it!  So that’s why it is how it is.  Except now I installed Disco Elysium because it just came out and now I don’t know what to do.  Historically, you wait for a couple patches to begin an Obsidian game, but…  Gah!  I don’t know which hotly anticipated (by me) RPG to play first.  Someone wake me from this nightmare.

It’s probably best if I don’t go into too much detail on the middle panel, because I haven’t cleared it with all participants, but I should emphasize that I felt terror throughout, the terror an insect feels in the shadow of a God’s heel.  I felt like an atom realizing at some level that there was such a thing as a galaxy.  Also, I think we discovered the energy web beneath the Earth’s crust!  Welcome to my TED talk.

We thought that…  I don’t know what we thought.  You kinda have to figure out what your deal is, you don’t always know, and about twenty years ago I guess we were trying to figure out if our deal had a frisson of subservience to a reptilian matriarch.  Or any matriarch, really.  What really happened that she put her foot on my sternum and tried to claim me, but a person’s chest is poorly suited to use as a platform.  She ended up twisting her ankle and it hurt for months after that.  I’m not sure what the moral of all this is, except to say that some stories are very hard to explain to your doctor.

(CW)TB out.

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