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Waypoint |OT| video games...are good

Hella

Member
Oct 27, 2017
14,999
I'm confused about the structure of FF14. Do you have to do every single quest to progress the story? Is it just a linear story like if it weren't an MMO? Why would they design it that way? It makes no sense. It's an MMO! Content will naturally become outdated. Imagine not being able to follow the main questline in Battle for Azeroth if you haven't completed the main questline of every previous WoW expansion.
In short, yes.

You can see its structure here, but mind spoilers--it lists quest names and quest givers.
 

Nora

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,913
Actually WoW and Destiny have the problem of you literally missing out on plot points if you come in late because of revamping old quests and zones (well I've never gotten far enough in WoW or Destiny to have this problem) according to this video.

FFXIV, while it requires you to get through 250 hours to get to Shadowbringers, at least has the advantage of preserving its narrative intact. Every story quest, dungeon, trial, raid from 2013 (and well the original 2010 release's cutscenes are preserved on YouTube and wikis) until now is still playable, whether it relates to the main story (or not).

It works sort of like a TV series, every 2 years there's 50 hours of story in the expansion, and every 3-4 months, there's 3 hours of new story quests + whatever ongoing raid (the Yorha raid just released two days ago).
Sure but that's a huge problem for anyone coming in now and it's only going to be compounded the longer the game goes on. And also the vast majority of players don't care that much about the grand overarching narrative. Every expansion has a fairly stand-alone story anyway. It's just baffling to me that they designed FF14 this way.
 

FaulPern

Member
Dec 1, 2017
245
Switzerland
Sure but that's a huge problem for anyone coming in now and it's only going to be compounded the longer the game goes on. And also the vast majority of players don't care that much about the grand overarching narrative.
To me it's like catching up on a long running series. They're able to build what a lot of developers dream of building, a fully realized world and develop characters over time (and not just in pre-release development schedules) and experiment with design and writing that I see in TV or book series but not in games often.

What they also do in those story quests and dungeons and trials is teach the player MMO mechanics gradually, like avoiding tankbusters, stacking for raid-wide damage, etc. so that non-mmo veterans (especially their japanese audience that don't have access to WoW) can handle those MMO mechanics.
 

SilentMike03

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,478
I think what Patrick said was the first and only warning before they started jumping between discussing different quest outcomes, character fates and post-ending epilogues, all while joking about Brad spoiling things on the Bombcast. It was a weird one.
I'm not super interested in TOW, so I wasn't very worried about spoilers. Then they started talking about the epilogue and even I was like WTF. Like it's been out less than seven days, damn.
 

Young Liar

Member
Nov 30, 2017
848
Because of the TOWorlds discussions on the Bombcast and almost every games person I follow on Twitter have basically spoiled ~the first big thing~ you do in the game, I just decided to ride out and listen to all of the latest Waypoint Radio's critique of that particular section of the game. It's good stuff, and since I don't plan on playing the game until later during the holidays, I'll probably forget some of the specific details they bring up. In fact, I don't even remember that they brought up post-game stuff!

What I will do is play it before Disco Elysium, so I'm not spoiled by that game's apparently transcendent writing!
 

snausages

Member
Feb 12, 2018
2,606
Sure but that's a huge problem for anyone coming in now and it's only going to be compounded the longer the game goes on. And also the vast majority of players don't care that much about the grand overarching narrative. Every expansion has a fairly stand-alone story anyway. It's just baffling to me that they designed FF14 this way.
I mean yes and no, they are all separate chapters in a sense but the different expansion stories are sort of weaved in gradually so that it's not really like starting a whole new story each time. Shadowbringers story 'starts' somewhere at the end of Heavensward. The end of Stormblood sets up the next unannounced expansion and this structure makes it worthwhile to see how it all develops.

It is a problem though and it needs an edit which lets people just mainline the story critical stuff, duties and trials to learn mechanics and a faster levelling curve.
 

Sabas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,923

Rob was up on breakpoint, down on outer worlds, ???? on death stranding. Take your bets now.
 

TheMrPliskin

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,041
I was not expecting a Death Stranding review from Rob. Looks like there should be some good discussion on the podcast tomorrow then.
 

sonicmj1

Member
Oct 25, 2017
123
Austin is in the worst of it right now. Just non stop fetch quest bullshit.
The early part of 2.x is rough and bad (much in the way that all of ARR to that point is rough and bad), but as it went on it became the point that I started to trust in what the game was doing in terms of storytelling. And I kind of want to get into (tagged) specifics, because everyone's been dancing around it. If you don't want to know the story, don't read.

The base Realm Reborn campaign is the most trite sort of chosen-one hero tale, a non-stop parade of fetch quests and chores that allows you to earn the trust of everyone you meet and bring the whole gang together so you can take on the Evil Empire and save the day. But after you have repelled the bad guys, the story continues, and everyone has to figure out how they're going to handle the peace. Though other threats and issues come up over the course of 2.x (which are paid off further down the road), the key question is what you and the three nations of the Eorzean Alliance are going to do with the momentum built up after everyone teamed up for this big military operation. And the world finally starts pushing back on you, because you and your friends fuck up bad.

You start spending more time with the main gang of heroes, the Scions, as they start to take the lead in organizing the unified front. Though the biggest, most pressing threats have been addressed, there are a number of persistent problems that need to be tackled. The Primal gods keep popping up and wreaking havoc, there are dark cloaked figures linked to their repeated summoning, there are stubborn neighbors in the north who won't join the Alliance and are fighting a war against dragons, and the Empire could come back at any time. The Scions decide the best way to handle these problems is to put together an organization under a unified banner that can help bring the might of all three nations of Eorzea to bear.

That's a wonderful thing, in theory. The problem is that the three nations all have their own shit to deal with, and only so many resources they can spend on things when they've just spent lives in a war, there's a persistent refugee crisis, and things still need rebuilding. So the Scions have to look elsewhere for funding and manpower. Fortunately, they find that through one of the trade guild leaders of the sultanate/oligarchy of Ul'dah, willing to contribute some of his fortune for the cause. All well and good, because who wouldn't want to pitch in fighting the good fight against chaos and bad things?

What the Scions fail to appreciate, to their great detriment at the end of this arc, is that these resources come at a cost. The more problems they try to tackle at once, the more they're stretched thin, the less they can supervise, the more they have to delegate to people more beholden to the man with the purse strings than the purity of the cause. And he's more interested in domestic power politics than creating some pie-in-the-sky utopia. You gradually begin to realize the plot unfurling in your midst, but it's too late to prevent what's coming. When it all comes to a head in a massive sequence of cutscenes at the end of the patch, the Scions are scattered to the winds, pariahs in the land they had saved.

This is not the greatest story itself, nor is its delivery without flaw. Heavensward is a significant step above it. But it worked very well for me when I played through it back in March this year for a few reasons.
- While you're drowning in dozens of quests, that multiplicity of plotlines gives you the sense of spinning all these different plates, showing how your group would be distracted from the fatal flaws in the organizational structure they built.
- You're spending more time with the Scions, who start to get some real development, establishing character arcs that will develop over the rest of the series.
- The world transitions from a straightforward place pitting good against evil to a complicated political map where factions with different interests jockey for power. As a result, unlike in ARR, you can't solve every problem by being the strongest, most special individual in the world.

Heavensward builds a lot on those last two things with its story. The character work is a huge step up from the base game, and its thousand-year war between a regimented theocracy and long-lived dragons rings truer because bringing about change is appropriately messy and complicated, though not impossible. Unlike ARR, it's actually excellent.

I felt a lot like Austin when I was blasting through the base game, unsure why I was playing so much content that was just bad. I'm not sure if it was "worth it" to make that journey, but having made it, there are actually green pastures on the other side of those mountains.
 

Minishdriveby

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,647
When's the pod gonna hit. I feel like everyone is chompin' at the bit to listen and read opinions on Death Stranding ASAP. I know tomorrow but like midnight, morning, or noon-ish?
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,724
When's the pod gonna hit. I feel like everyone is chompin' at the bit to listen and read opinions on Death Stranding ASAP. I know tomorrow but like midnight, morning, or noon-ish?
Seems like midnight PT? We’re 4.5 hours from the onslaught.

torn between wanting to hear their thoughts and my curiosity about seeing what the fuck this thing is for myself, as someone who is largely an outsider to Kojima

I’ll probably end up listening even if I save the review for after I finish it myself; I keep putting off some of the GB coverage and may catch that too, just to know a base level of what I’m getting into.
 

Brakke

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,388
I just hope this displaces the FFIV discourse, by now the only thing less interesting than playing FFIV.
 

KingKong

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,206
The metaphors dont sound any more incoherent than something like Mother! (actually it sounds a lot like Mother!)
 

Sabas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,923
can't believe waypoint was the only thing stopping austin unlocking his true potential

 

darfox8

Member
Nov 5, 2017
92
USA
Listening to the Waypoint podcast, where Rob talks about the metaphors in Death Stranding... he describes them as heavy handed but some of them are pretty well done. And then listening to the Beastcast where it seems like they either didn't pick up on these or they just disagree on them. It makes me realize the level of critque that comes from the Waypoint crew, and I'll say specifically Rob, is really good. Different strokes for different folks ofcourse, I really enjoyed the convo on the Beastcast, but it feels good to hear about the actual content of the games.
 

Brian Damage

Member
Nov 1, 2017
7,102
UK
Listening to the Waypoint podcast, where Rob talks about the metaphors in Death Stranding... he describes them as heavy handed but some of them are pretty well done. And then listening to the Beastcast where it seems like they either didn't pick up on these or they just disagree on them. It makes me realize the level of critque that comes from the Waypoint crew, and I'll say specifically Rob, is really good. Different strokes for different folks ofcourse, I really enjoyed the convo on the Beastcast, but it feels good to hear about the actual content of the games.
Didn't they explicitly criticise the game's themes/metaphors for being shallow and unnecessarily hammered into you for the entire game? Between 24-25 minutes in they start talking a lot about how the game presents its narrative and such.
 

darfox8

Member
Nov 5, 2017
92
USA
Didn't they explicitly criticise the game's themes for being shallow and unnecessarily hammered into you for the entire game? Between 24-25 minutes in they start talking a lot about how the game presents its narrative and such.
Yea they had such a harsher take than Rob I was surprised. Kinda would expected Rob to be harsher...
 

Hella

Member
Oct 27, 2017
14,999
I dunno, I got the distinct impression that the Beastcast was--in spite of saying the opposite--approaching Death Stranding as 'the game after Metal Gear Solid' rather than its own thing. There was a lot of "DS does this, but Metal Gear did this" going around. I enjoyed the discussion a lot but I do think their expectations were kinda off-kilter to begin with.

Rob being positive surprised me too, but I think he backed it up really well. The way he describes the whole, er, walking simulation makes it sound really compelling in its own flawed way. And actually, what he ends up saying largely mirrors GB's impressions, with the key difference being that he fundamentally appreciated the mechanics, vs. GB who, overall, seem to scorn those same mechanics.


These hallmark releases in gaming are so fascinating, even to someone that hasn't played it like me, because it's rare you get such a wide spectrum of players having an intense discussion around a single game. The zeitgeist is gud.
 

Garlic

Member
Oct 28, 2017
943
EIther quiet the keyboard or get a full-time folly artist like an old-time radio serial, don't half-ass this shit
 

Hella

Member
Oct 27, 2017
14,999
I'm glad Patrick has spoken about how reviewing games works, over the last, uh... month, maybe? It's been very valuable to hear that playing games off the clock is unpaid, mandatory overtime (I'm paraphrasing, but basically that's it), because honestly that's not something I ever considered--or heard about--before he mentioned it on Waypoint Radio. Which is really striking to me since I've listened to so much gaming podcasts over the years, namely Giant Bomb's stuff. Maybe I heard it before and just forgot, I dunno.

It's silly, but I never considered the human cost of game reviews. Especially in this age of GaaS.

This has given me a very different perspective on the whole "should reviewers finish games" debate. Like, I don't know that I would have said "yes, they should finish games" previously, but I now feel confident in "no" camp. It just makes the "yes" camp seem... Insular? Entitled? Selfish? Shortsighted? Something like that.


I long for an age of gamer discourse that does not revolve around scores and winning.
 

Brian Damage

Member
Nov 1, 2017
7,102
UK
I'm glad Patrick has spoken about how reviewing games works, over the last, uh... month, maybe? It's been very valuable to hear that playing games off the clock is unpaid, mandatory overtime (I'm paraphrasing, but basically that's it), because honestly that's not something I ever considered--or heard about--before he mentioned it on Waypoint Radio. Which is really striking to me since I've listened to so much gaming podcasts over the years, namely Giant Bomb's stuff. Maybe I heard it before and just forgot, I dunno.

It's silly, but I never considered the human cost of game reviews. Especially in this age of GaaS.

This has given me a very different perspective on the whole "should reviewers finish games" debate. Like, I don't know that I would have said "yes, they should finish games" previously, but I now feel confident in "no" camp. It just makes the "yes" camp seem... Insular? Entitled? Selfish? Shortsighted? Something like that.


I long for an age of gamer discourse that does not revolve around scores and winning.
For all the obsession with reviews and as transparent as the process has become, many users still don't really care how the sausage is made.
 

Patapuf

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,118
I'm glad Patrick has spoken about how reviewing games works, over the last, uh... month, maybe? It's been very valuable to hear that playing games off the clock is unpaid, mandatory overtime (I'm paraphrasing, but basically that's it), because honestly that's not something I ever considered--or heard about--before he mentioned it on Waypoint Radio. Which is really striking to me since I've listened to so much gaming podcasts over the years, namely Giant Bomb's stuff. Maybe I heard it before and just forgot, I dunno.

It's silly, but I never considered the human cost of game reviews. Especially in this age of GaaS.

This has given me a very different perspective on the whole "should reviewers finish games" debate. Like, I don't know that I would have said "yes, they should finish games" previously, but I now feel confident in "no" camp. It just makes the "yes" camp seem... Insular? Entitled? Selfish? Shortsighted? Something like that.


I long for an age of gamer discourse that does not revolve around scores and winning.
The important thing for reviews is the reviewer giving context. If one still sees reviews as partly a buyers guide, i think this matters more than the completion %. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and those show that you don't have to have played through all of a game to have a good discussion. The discussion does tend to be better if the people talking have seen all of it though. Especially if the narrative is an important part of the game. Most of the discussion i've heard around Disco Elysium is pretty bad because most people have only played a few hours and are unsure how things will play out.

Games do come in many forms though, there's not really a good review formula that fits all of them. For example, i'd say that you want to have played through all main endings of Nier Automata if you want to review it since that game is built for the payoff you get (or not) at the end. Whereas with other games , the gameplay loop at hour 10 is the same as in hour 50 and there's no worthwhile narrative to consider.

Then there's systems that seem great at hour 10 but come apart at hour 30 or vise versa... etc.


I'd be interested to hear how the reviews in the book market work. Books aren't as long as games, but they are quite a bit longer than the usual 2 hours a movie or an album is. Is more money paid out for longer books? etc. Though regardless of ength, the main issue with reviewing games is that even if games were 2 hours long the, pay still looks abyssmal for most people.
 

Altairre

Member
Oct 25, 2017
506
I'm glad Patrick has spoken about how reviewing games works, over the last, uh... month, maybe? It's been very valuable to hear that playing games off the clock is unpaid, mandatory overtime (I'm paraphrasing, but basically that's it), because honestly that's not something I ever considered--or heard about--before he mentioned it on Waypoint Radio. Which is really striking to me since I've listened to so much gaming podcasts over the years, namely Giant Bomb's stuff. Maybe I heard it before and just forgot, I dunno.

It's silly, but I never considered the human cost of game reviews. Especially in this age of GaaS.

This has given me a very different perspective on the whole "should reviewers finish games" debate. Like, I don't know that I would have said "yes, they should finish games" previously, but I now feel confident in "no" camp. It just makes the "yes" camp seem... Insular? Entitled? Selfish? Shortsighted? Something like that.


I long for an age of gamer discourse that does not revolve around scores and winning.
That thread is really disappointing, with all the "BuT It's YoUr jOb" and "yOu'Re jUst PlAyinG gAmEs lul" arguments that are being made in a really shitty way usually implying that reviewers are lazy and half-ass their job. The "lazy devs" argument is not allowed here but "lazy reviewers" is totally okay apparently.

You also see how little people care about labor issues because when you bring up the awful hours and poor pay all you get is "well I hate my job too and I still do it". I'm miserable and that does not mean we should maybe think about improving things but that you should be miserable too. It's garbage. I also linked Austin's Three Houses review a couple of times in response to some of those people and asked them why they would not consider that a valid review (since Austin didn't finish it) but none of them responded. Gotta get in those hot takes though.
 

mnz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,694
Give me a Beached Thing shirt with a BT on the beach. Sunglasses, surfboard and all
 

Out 1

Member
Oct 25, 2017
163
I don't want to engage with whatever is going on in the review thread, so I'll just say it here: Rob's take finally sold me on Death Stranding. that, and Heather Alexandra's beautiful review on Kotaku.
I managed to avoid most trailers and marketing around the game, but now I guess I'm not going in completely clean