The Currently Playing & Random Game Thoughts Thread (March 6 to 12)

Thank you, @Zloth for taking over this thread while I was gone.

I'm pretty much all about Dying Light 2 right now. I really want to play more Total War: Warhammer 3, but that will mostly be in co-op mode. I've done what I wanted to do in single-player. I might still try the chaos factions, but just glancing at their units, they don't really fit my playstyle. I love artillery, and only Khorne has it, but Khorne is a hectic faction to play, and I'm a "slow and steady" guy. Co-op-wise, I'm trying to get my son to do the portals so he can experience them, but he's having issues getting his faction ready by the time the first portal arrives. I told him that it may seem boring, but that we were going to start a new Kislev game, and that I wanted him to be the main faction and to ONLY have Kislev instead of trying to expand his territory. It's a tough squeeze that way, too, but it's much easier if you aren't out conquering the world.

I tried a few more demos this week, but didn't find anything that really captured my interest. I had high hopes for "I am Your President", where you play as the US president, but it's hard for me to play political games because they always want you to be either radically liberal or radically conservative, and I'm not either of those. I have both liberal and conservative opinions. Anyway, I've always found it hard to role play as characters that are too different from myself, so I didn't really enjoy it.
 
I just finished up the Annihilation Line campaign DLC for Terminator Resistance, and am now finishing up my play through of Alan Wake Remastered on Nightmare. I'm basically killing time waiting for my uploads of the first two rounds of Monster Energy Supercross 3 250 West career on Realistic to finish processing to 1440p. It's been 5 days since I uploaded them, and they're still stuck at 1080p. So it looks like I'm going to have to try recompressing them, this time using Lanczos 3 vs Bicubic resizing, and 30,000 instead of 20,000 bitrate.

I've never seen YouTube take this long to fully process mere sub 15 min videos, so I'm starting to worry they have a filter now that somehow detects resized videos. If so, a sharper resize filter and more bitrate may be the only way to deal with their 1080p processing, which doesn't use VP9 compression unless your channel has TONS of views.

That said, Annihilation Line is a great DLC, for those whom may have thought the base game had insufficient challenge, you should try it. Alan Wake Remastered however doesn't really have enough of a visual upgrade to make it really catch your eye. I continue to enjoy Alan Wake though, and Remedy's Quantum Break was pretty good too. Never cared to play Control though, and given some of the complaints I've read about it's gameplay, I really don't get why it was so hyped up. I've never been a hype train passenger.
 
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I just finished up the Annihilation Line campaign DLC for Terminator Resistance, and am now finishing up my play through of Alan Wake Remastered on Nightmare. I'm basically killing time waiting for my uploads of the first two rounds of Monster Energy Supercross 3 250 West career on Realistic to finish processing to 1440p. It's been 5 days since I uploaded them, and they're still stuck at 1080p. So it looks like I'm going to have to try recompressing them, this time using Lanczos 3 vs Bicubic resizing, and 30,000 instead of 20,000 bitrate.

I've never seen YouTube take this long to fully process mere sub 15 min videos, so I'm starting to worry they have a filter now that somehow detects resized videos. If so, a sharper resize filter and more bitrate may be the only way to deal with their 1080p processing, which doesn't use VP9 compression unless your channel has TONS of views.

That said, Annihilation Line is a great DLC, for those whom may have thought the base game had insufficient challenge, you should try it. Alan Wake Remastered however doesn't really have enough of a visual upgrade to make it really catch your eye. I continue to enjoy Alan Wake though, and Remedy's Quantum Break was pretty good too. Never cared to play Control though, and given some of the complaints I've read about it's gameplay, I really don't get why it was so hyped up. I've never been a hype train passenger.

I really liked Alan Wake although I haven't played the remake or Quantum Break, put off by the talk of the long cut scenes. But I really liked Control. Story wise its fun and unique, but the gameplay is also very solid even if it gets a little bit repetitive by the end. There's one particular sequence that was just amazing. One of those levels that sticks with you for how great it was. Its definietly worth a try, still looks amazing too even without RT.
 
But I really liked Control. Story wise its fun and unique, but the gameplay is also very solid even if it gets a little bit repetitive by the end. There's one particular sequence that was just amazing. One of those levels that sticks with you for how great it was. Its definietly worth a try, still looks amazing too even without RT.
Control seems monotone color wise, and repetitive in both gameplay and game world. I've also read a lot of complaints about having to replay long, difficult segments if you die. As far as RT goes, I don't have a GPU capable of it, but it looks to me to be a game that RT is largely pointless for and wasted on. Sorry, just my take.

That said, PC keys for Control are going for less than $5, and Steam's rating on it is Very Positive, so I may try it. I'm not sure I can take Steam reviews seriously though quite honestly.
 
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I've been playing a ton of Risk of Rain 2 the last few days. Really an excellent game and probably gets a place among my favorites of all time. I'll probably try to get to something else tonight, though, as I've not had a relaxing singleplayer gaming session in a little while now. I've really been trying to get back to God of War, but I've been having a lot of fun with Final Fantasy 14 recently so it is somewhat on the backburner.
 
Control seems monotone color wise, and repetitive in both gameplay and game world. I've also read a lot of complaints about having to replay long, difficult segments if you die. As far as RT goes, I don't have a GPU capable of it, but it looks to me to be a game that RT is largely pointless for and wasted on. Sorry, just my take.

That said, PC keys for Control are going for less than $5, and Steam's rating on it is Very Positive, so I may try it. I'm not sure I can take Steam reviews seriously though quite honestly.
Definitely worth a try for little to no money. I thought it was a better game than Alan wake, no accounting for preference though.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
I've never seen YouTube take this long to fully process mere sub 15 min videos, so I'm starting to worry they have a filter now that somehow detects resized videos.
The 9 minutes 1440p video I posted on the 3rd got processed to 1440p (link is towards the end of last week's topic). Maybe their queue got lost and left your video off?
Never cared to play Control though, and given some of the complaints I've read about it's gameplay, I really don't get why it was so hyped up. I've never been a hype train passenger.
I loved it! I got bored with Alan Wake, but Control kept me entertained from start to finish. The Alan Wake DLC was kinda weak, but you might enjoy that part a lot more than me.

I don't remember any long parts that I had to repeat to get to a boss. I remember some short ones where I tried to do some optional boss too early and had to repeat a lot of times, and I remember one difficult spot in the main quest that took several tries as well, that took maybe 45 seconds to get to from the save to the battle. Maybe 45 seconds counts as "long" to some folks? It certainly was frustrating - but I was playing on Hard difficulty, I asked for it.

Ray tracing is just eye candy. Games that need it for some reason will use all the old reflection techniques to make sure everyone can see them. For the rest, it's just coolness - and occasionally shooting your own reflection a few times.
 
Hey, @mainer I should have played more Dying Light 2 before recommending it to someone on the basis of easy parkour. i'm about 28 hours in at this point and the parkour is definitely not easy anymore. I've quit twice in frustration today. Still loving the game, but the parkour definitely becomes more challenging.

Of course, I'm epically bad at parkour. You probably wouldn't have nearly as much of a problem.
 
The 9 minutes 1440p video I posted on the 3rd got processed to 1440p (link is towards the end of last week's topic). Maybe their queue got lost and left your video off?
I loved it! I got bored with Alan Wake, but Control kept me entertained from start to finish. The Alan Wake DLC was kinda weak, but you might enjoy that part a lot more than me.

I don't remember any long parts that I had to repeat to get to a boss. I remember some short ones where I tried to do some optional boss too early and had to repeat a lot of times, and I remember one difficult spot in the main quest that took several tries as well, that took maybe 45 seconds to get to from the save to the battle. Maybe 45 seconds counts as "long" to some folks? It certainly was frustrating - but I was playing on Hard difficulty, I asked for it.

Ray tracing is just eye candy. Games that need it for some reason will use all the old reflection techniques to make sure everyone can see them. For the rest, it's just coolness - and occasionally shooting your own reflection a few times.
I'm not sure the 1440p processing problem can be chalked up to a mere lost queue, because the same thing happened when I tried to re-upload one of them. At any rate, I don't know why, but when I recompressed one of them with 50% more bitrate and the sharper Lanczos 3 resizing, this time it processed to 1440p in a relatively short time. In fact despite being a 50% larger file, it seemed to if anything process to 1440p faster than the time my videos have been processing lately. The new bitrate and resize filter also add a lot of clarity, so I think I'll stick with this formula.

I've already played the American Nightmare DLC, and didn't care for it at all. It was far too arcade for me, it just seemed silly. I've always felt the gameplay in the main game is interesting and unique though. It gives you that fight or flight feeling, especially on Nightmare, and I like the many ways you can take out enemies, including luring them into broken power lines. Sometimes you're just plain better off evading them though.

From what I've read, Control has no difficulty settings, and is said to be balanced to the player. I'm assuming that means it adapts accordingly if you do noticeably well or poorly. However I have read you can create your own difficulty settings in Assist Mode, but I have no idea what that means.

As for RT, I thought literally everyone knew it was eye candy, and is most noticeable in reflections, and lighting and shadow effects. And as well that it is often not worth having on due to worse performance or not enough visual benefit to be worth it. I also know DLSS changed a lot of that, but the jury stills seems out on whether it will be truly widely adopted by devs, especially since the global impact of COVID. In short, I was merely implying Control doesn't seem to be graphically rich enough to begin with to benefit a lot from RT.
 
That said, Annihilation Line is a great DLC, for those whom may have thought the base game had insufficient challenge, you should try it. Alan Wake Remastered however doesn't really have enough of a visual upgrade to make it really catch your eye. I continue to enjoy Alan Wake though, and Remedy's Quantum Break was pretty good too. Never cared to play Control though, and given some of the complaints I've read about it's gameplay, I really don't get why it was so hyped up. I've never been a hype train passenger.
Man, Quantum Break could have been really cool, except for the 30 minute full episode cut scenes. I want to play a game, not watch a TV series.
 
From what I've read, Control has no difficulty settings, and is said to be balanced to the player. I'm assuming that means it adapts accordingly if you do noticeably well or poorly. However I have read you can create your own difficulty settings in Assist Mode, but I have no idea what that means.

I just checked the menu. In assist mode there are sliders for damage taken, health and energy recovery speed, toggles for an invulnerability mode and one hit kills and aim assists. I didnt use it, been a couple of years but I thought there was standard difficulty mode as well. Apparently not according to the menus in the game, which is weird.
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
They were put in back in August 2020.
However I have read you can create your own difficulty settings in Assist Mode, but I have no idea what that means.
Sheesh, I had forgotten, too, and it was only last summer! It means custom difficulty settings. You can make Jesse take less damage, scatter more ammo around, fine tune how accurate you need to be, and so on. Control Is Taking It Easy In Next Update - Game Informer

In short, I was merely implying Control doesn't seem to be graphically rich enough to begin with to benefit a lot from RT.
I'm not following that? All it takes is a window pane, or a shiny floor? Doing it in Minecraft seems a bit silly to me, but it wouldn't go completely to waste.
Man, Quantum Break could have been really cool, except for the 30 minute full episode cut scenes. I want to play a game, not watch a TV series.
I might. It's not looking like really good game play between the long cutscenes, though. There's just too many other good games out there.
 
I've continued playing Spiritfarer with my daughter. It's still a bit of a struggle to get her to go to the next quest point, but we're managing and she's still having fun with it, which is the most important part. We did have a problem this morning when we got to a part that needed some platforming skills. The game so far has had very little platforming, at most needing a somewhat well timed double-jump to a higher platform that even my daughter can usually pull off given some time. However, we just unlocked a skill to use ziplines and there's an area where you have to jump from zipline to zipline and if you fall you have to start all over again.

I just hope there isn't anything mandatory in that area, as my daughter gave up after a bit and I don't think I can get her to return. Though I suppose I could always play the game without her just to go through that area if it turns out to be necessary.

I also played some more of the head-to-head campaign of Warhammer 2, where I'm playing as Settra. I got myself into a two-front war, managed to deal with one front, made peace with a few of the enemies on the other and then made the mistake of thinking I could bait one of the rogue armies into attacking my two armies and a garrison. The mistake being that this rogue army apparently starts with lightning strike, meaning it was able to attack one of my armies without allowing reinforcements. So I lost my main army stack, then had to spend a few turns putting some more advanced units in my secondary stack before being able to kill the rogue army, which luckily just hung around my territory.

Meanwhile, two of my settlements were taken by one of the remaining enemies, including my port city, lowering my already low income even further.

It's going to be a challenge getting everything back. My friend on the other hand is doing very well, which is a bit of a problem since I killed his starting army and took one of his settlements at the start of the game, so there's a decent chance he'll come for me and I probably won't be prepared when he does.
 
Though I suppose I could always play the game without her just to go through that area if it turns out to be necessary.

Did that quite a bit when my kids were small. Played the entire Mario Kart campaign one time to unlock all the races for them, and I'm not a big Mario Kart person.

In other news, for reasons I won't get into I was up almost the entire night and decided to play my old Cathay campaign that I had finished and work on clearing Chaos and their other enemies from the map. The portals don't open anymore since I finished the game, so it plays just like Mortal Empires, and I really enjoyed it. When the campaign ended, I was at war with 21 factions, so I have a lot to do.

I also cleaned up my C: drive. Now I can put stuff on it again. Yay.
 
Hey, @mainer I should have played more Dying Light 2 before recommending it to someone on the basis of easy parkour. i'm about 28 hours in at this point and the parkour is definitely not easy anymore. I've quit twice in frustration today. Still loving the game, but the parkour definitely becomes more challenging.

Of course, I'm epically bad at parkour. You probably wouldn't have nearly as much of a problem.
Thanks for the update. It's still on my Steam wish list, but my caution has been turned back up a notch. My reflexes aren't too bad for an old guy, but I think my biggest problem with parkour (and QTE's as well), is that I just mentally defeat myself before I start, convincing myself that I'm going to miss a crucial keystroke and have to repeat the sequence. They're fun when you succeed, but frustrating when you have to repeat them too many times.
 
Thanks for the update. It's still on my Steam wish list, but my caution has been turned back up a notch. My reflexes aren't too bad for an old guy, but I think my biggest problem with parkour (and QTE's as well), is that I just mentally defeat myself before I start, convincing myself that I'm going to miss a crucial keystroke and have to repeat the sequence. They're fun when you succeed, but frustrating when you have to repeat them too many times.
Games are a little easier if you can get past that mental block that you're going to fail.
 
I stayed up far too late yesterday playing Warhammer 2, continuing my Direfin Vortex campaign. I killed off the high elves (or rather, weakened them to the point that others could wipe them out) and then did a few sea wreck battles to get the last bit of infamy needed for the last verse. My legendary lord and starting hero are now both max level, which I have never done before, so that was nice. Pretty much all of my units are at least rank 7 as well, except the expendable stuff that's there to slow down the enemy while the rest of my army shoots at them from a safe distance.

I quit right before the battle for the last verse. I put both of my armies near each other, but apparently this rogue army also has lightning strike, so I won't be getting any reinforcements. According to the autoresolve I will lose, but I don't see anything too problematic in the enemy army. It'll mostly depend on whether I can prevent their units from reaching my ranged units and whether I can get one or two good hits with my most powerful spells.

I also cleaned up my C: drive. Now I can put stuff on it again. Yay.
I got a warning yesterday that the drive was almost full. I cleared some stuff from my downloads folder, but I'm still only at 3 GB free.
 
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only at 3 GB free
Ouch. Pretty certain you need more than that for Windows & the drive to work well—but I'm not up to date if NVMes are different.

Things like downloads, backups, caches, temp usage, and Windows Update all need headroom. I can't find a recent credible article, so hopefully one of our experts will chime in, but meantime aim for 10-15GB free.
 
Ouch. Pretty certain you need more than that for Windows & the drive to work well—but I'm not up to date if NVMes are different.

Things like downloads, backups, caches, temp usage, and Windows Update all need headroom. I can't find a recent credible article, so hopefully one of our experts will chime in, but meantime aim for 10-15GB free.
I have no idea what things are like in this generation of Windows, but you used to want to have something like 1.5-2x your amount of RAM available on your HD for the swap file.
 
I got a warning yesterday that the drive was almost full. I cleared some stuff from my downloads folder, but I'm still only at 3 GB free.

Apparently when I went from Windows 10 to Windows 11, it saved a bunch of folders for me in a folder called "Windows.old". It had my Documents, Downloads and Pictures folders in there as well as the old version of Windows. Just deleting that freed up about 150 GB.

Ouch. Pretty certain you need more than that for Windows & the drive to work well—but I'm not up to date if NVMes are different.

I've seen people say 10 percent, but that doesn't make sense to me. I don't know why how much you need free would depend on how big your drive is. I've also heard that keeping too little free space on an SSD causes it to do more rewrites and shortens the lifespan of the drive (not to mention makes certain processes slower). In any event, I always keep at least 50 GB free.
 
Thanks for the update. It's still on my Steam wish list, but my caution has been turned back up a notch. My reflexes aren't too bad for an old guy, but I think my biggest problem with parkour (and QTE's as well), is that I just mentally defeat myself before I start, convincing myself that I'm going to miss a crucial keystroke and have to repeat the sequence. They're fun when you succeed, but frustrating when you have to repeat them too many times.

I didn't have any problems last night. I think maybe I'd played too much this weekend. There really isn't a lot of opportunity to "miss a crucial keystroke". The vast majority of parkour can be done at your leisure. You can take as much time as you want. I've been failing occasionally of late, but some of that was not understanding the limits of certain parkour skills. The good news is that there have only been a couple of places where I thought failing was punishing. One was when you had to travel (untimed) to a certain area, and there were several difficult spots, and if you fell on any of them, you went back to the beginning. But that's very much a "me problem" as I tend to get frustrated easily, and when I get frustrated, I get worse at parkour.

I do have to note that it's easier if you are playing co-op, which I am, because when one of you arrives at your destination, the other one can teleport there.
 
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I love hapless achievements like this :)

Got this yesterday in Dying Light 2.