Eighteen microblogging bits from ActivityPub. Mostly yelling at Lies of P and threatening to quit a lot.

Microblogging Journal through 2/12/2024

1,667 words.

Microblogging Journal through 2/12/2024

Dispatches from @ultrviolet@gts.endgameviable.com:

Monday 02/05

  • 10:20 # Since I’m uploading Lies of P videos at a slow trickle, I’m trying to write some descriptions for the videos. For some reason, I like to put a lot of technical details into Souls-like video descriptions, so I can read the path of my progress and lookup where I found certain objects. (In Lies of P, it’s pretty linear so there’s only one path, but still.)

    • 10:30 # Someday I’d like to work out a way I can connect recorded videos and video descriptions with my blog in an automated way. It’s a challenging problem because I record videos and maintain the video description YAML files on my gaming PC, but my blog is on my MacBook. It’s an insane plan but I think I need to write an api service that can store video indexes in a remote database, something I can read and write with command line tools from Windows or MacOS. Then I could build something into my blog that displays an up-to- date list of videos recorded. Ah well, maybe someday.
  • 10:55 # There’s news of a Death Stranding 2, which I find somewhat disappointing. I feel like Death Stranding should stand alone as a one-off, never-seen-before, never-seen-again game in the pantheon of games. I can’t imagine anything good coming from forcibly trying to continue a story that had a perfectly satisfying ending already. But I’ll probably buy it anyway, play an hour, be disappointed that it doesn’t re-capture the same magic that everyone already knows is going to be impossible to re-capture, return it, and move on with my life.

  • 21:29 # Got to Walker of Illusions in Lies of P. That’s pretty much it for me probably. Unbelievable b.s. fight. Just straight-up trolling the player. Congrats to NEOWIZ for stealing my money I guess.

    • 08:39 # This morning I remain mad at how unfair the Lies of P Walker of Illusions fight is and have crafted a completely sane plan to study the previous recorded videos frame-by-frame to learn the tells and precise millisecond timing of every attack pattern and combo.

    • 09:21 # The Walker of Illusions fight gets under my skin and triggers my White Whale reaction for this reason: It’s a bit of a trope at this point for older gamers to give up on a game and say “oh this was made for younger players with faster reaction times, older gamers can’t possibly even compete without accessibility slow-down options.” Well, I’m an older gamer and my reaction time is still well within human averages. The fight isn’t hard because the attacks are fast (even though they definitely are), it’s hard because there are so many different kinds of attacks, there are long chains of combos with different rhythms, and there’s very little down time in between to even respond. It’s not a test of reaction time, it’s a test of patience and pattern recognition, and I need to prove that to all the older gamers out there who might think they’re too slow and give up on newer Souls-like games.

    • 09:35 # Also it annoys me when I keep hearing older gamers throw around this thing that it’s scientifically proven that reaction times slow down as you get older so concessions must be made. Which is technically true. But: https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/jn.00072.2022 According to that page, the slow down in reaction time from age 20 to age 80 looks like less than 50ms, which is about 3 frames at 60 fps. I’ve never seen a single- player game with attacks that begin and hit in 3 frames. The point is… on average, it’s probably a lack of patience that causes older gamers to give up on faster games, not lack of reaction time. Anyway this has been an unsolicited rant that nobody wanted.

Tuesday 02/06

  • 10:20 # On another topic, everyone’s excited about Steam Next demos again. This happens like sixty times a year now I think. The demos all look the same as the last batch of demos to me. Every new game looks the same as a previous game. Game development seems like it’s pretty close to commoditized at this point. It’s like there’s a “Make A Game” program you can download and in it, there’s a list of checkboxes you can select that’s like “Third-person camera or first-person camera or top-down camera or isometric camera?” “Survival game or roguelike or soulslike or platformer?” “Enable ladder climbing or not?” “What is the name or your experience currency?” “What is the name of your resources?” And then you click a “Make Game” button, import some 3D assets and artwork, and then you put it on Steam. I know it’s not that, but it sure feels like every new game is just a copy of a previous game with slight modifications. It’s always been like that, but it’s just that now there’s a dozen every day, instead of a dozen every year. I know I’m supposed to be excited for the exciting future of gaming and all that but it’s really exhausting. New games just aren’t that special anymore.

  • 10:29 # That being said, I did try a couple Souls-like games from Steam Next; Morbid: The Lords of Ire, and DeathBound. They’re okay. It’s a commendable feat to go through the work of building a working game and publishing it on Steam, and if you can afford to do that without getting paid much, it’s probably a fun project to work on. But they aren’t better than replaying one of the Souls games you probably already own.

    • 10:32 # Incidentally, it’s really hard to write something good about a product that’s actually not very good, but is still a commendable and presumably earnest effort. You want to convey, Hey, great job! You did it! Keep up the great work! But at the same time I can’t really pretend that I’m going to actually play these games for more than 15 minutes. I guess that makes me a monster. Oh well.
  • 20:35 # New computer glasses are on my face. I can finally read a computer screen at a normal distance. I can even read the text in all the games that don’t have a font size selection.

Wednesday 02/07

  • 10:16 # By the way, after all the whinging and moaning I did about the Walker of Illusions in Lies of P yesterday, last night I was able to defeat it after a methodical process of learning the attack patterns well enough to perfect block most of them while tanking whatever hits got through… enough to survive long enough to chip away at the health bar until it was dead. 27 tries in the end. Reward: Nothing whatsoever. No achievements, no cool weapons, just a Quartz. Super unsatisfying victory, as most of these next-generation Souls- like boss fights typically are. Just an unsavory chore completed. Can’t wait until this game is over.

Thursday 02/08

  • 10:56 # Got through the Corrupted Parade Master last night in Lies of P, the reincarnation of the first boss. (There’s a lot of recycled enemies in Lies of P. Enemy variety is almost non-existent throughout. There’s basically 3 types of enemies in the whole game. Puppets, robots, and monsters.) Thought it was going to be another annoying 20+ attempt fight but I found a sufficient opening for the massive damage Pistol Rock Drill after he flops around on the ground, and it ended up being an average difficulty 7-attempt boss. No achievement, no loot, no nothing. Super rewarding, as always. I think there’s stuff going on with the story but I have zero investment in this world. I’ve invested enough time in the game that I need to get to the end just so I can check a box.

  • 21:06 # Ha got to the second Black Rabbit Brotherhood fight in Lies of P. I’ve said this a few times before (once in the first Black Rabbit fight, in fact, which was plenty of b.s.), but this is probably the end for me. It’s definitely the end for tonight. A fight with such a huge firehose of b.s. aimed at the player, with a 100% randomized outcome, is really not fun, has never been fun, and will never be fun, especially when it takes like 10 minutes per fight. Such a waste of my game-playing time.

    • 09:36 # I’m trying to think of some ways they could have made the second Black Rabbit Brotherhood fight even more random and unfair and trolly to the player. The only thing I can think of is that they make all three of the bros. attack simultaneously from the beginning with no breaks THEN have the fourth one appear and also attack constantly, instead of being nice and having the first three take turns. I’m trying to think of any boss in Souls-like history that has been so random and unfair. Maybe that one dual boss in Code Vein?

Friday 02/09

  • 10:01 # I got a decent answer to “Why does game music sound like it isn’t mixed to be very stereo anymore?” from ChatGPT. This question was prompted by the Lies of P music sounding like it’s mixed to be 100% mono in my headphones. I keep thinking something is wrong with my audio somewhere.

    • 17:12 # Ah ha. I traced through all my audio connections and found that I was converting all my game audio to mono my accident. Whoopsie.

Saturday 02/10

  • 18:08 # The curse of the second Black Rabbit Brotherhood boss fight has been lifted. 54 deaths total. Just over 5 hours of total time taken in 3 days. The epic reward is … a Quartz. The player trolling continues even after the end of the fight. Whoever approved that boss fight design should not be working in the game industry, they should be bullying children on a playground.

Also I forgot to write it but I also got through the Door Guardian, which, surprise, surprise, I also hated.

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