Battle Royale/Apex Legends – just not that fun a jogging simulator?

There just isn’t much point to collecting gear – sure, some people will get a lot of leverge from it. But if we look at the numbers, particularly given only one squad can win at the end, most people will get wasted and all that gear gets wasted as well.

Like imagine if it counted for something – say an addition to character experience. Each party member that gets, say, armour, every party member gets some more XP at the end of the match. The same goes for other gear.

Now the game of running around and looking in buildings isn’t just a jogging simulator that maybe will matter latter. Getting gear would actually gain more points and greater  advancement.

Or something, so it’s not just pointless busy work.

“But I’ll get the good gear and I’ll winzorz because of it!”

It’s a gamblers argument – that the next pull of the one armed bandit will pay off.

It’s okay to have a gamble there. But without any actual persistent advancement it’s just jogging until you probably lose. After all, not every squad can win, can it. So picking up objects over and over – what’s the point? It’s not actually doing anything.

Personally I’d also prefer something more than just a bit more XP. But the game is stuck in the idea of not having any mechanical benefits granted, only cosmetic.

Battle royale (and Apex legends as one example of it) doesn’t seem that fun in the end. Lets job around the map poking in nooks and crannies for things that wont matter. Granted, a lot of people gamble, so maybe gamblers gunna gamble, eh?

Edit: Interestingly I’ve heard a similar complaint made here. But then again as I understand it that youtuber has continued to play it and so have I. But in the end it’s a jogging simulator – you play to jog around a landscape, you need items in order to try to stop others from letting you jog. Is it fun as a jogger? Well you get to ride zip lines and free fall with a jetpack – so extra jog there. But the reward structure of the game doesn’t really hold, so maybe you’ll have your jogging fun for awhile until you’ve jogged most of the map then move on.

Tomb of Annihilation – a mid play Reflection

I don’t think they put together much of a hex crawl. With hex crawls you find places on the map in almost every hex. You may even return to them for various reasons. Maybe there are some empty hexes, but generally just between actual locations.

I think WOTC would have done well to present rough idea of TWO locations out in the grid – and nearby, like two or three hexes away from port Nyanzaru. Each location, when found, would then present information as to another two locations (sure, eventually you’ll run out of locations so some of the latter ones can reveal other locations already known about). This presents the players a choice, which when engaged presents them another choice, etc. Soon enough you have a map filled out with locations, or areas to explore in to find locations and possibly interactions between locations – ie reasons for PCs to actually go back to a place.

That or fill a whole bunch more of the hexes with actual locations. That’d be preferable, but for page count reasons the dual linked locations probably works more.

‘Ella Enchanted’ made me think

That 2004  movie staring Anne Hathaway.

I missed most of the start before finding it in the TV guide. The premise struck me – a girl born with a ‘gift’ of obediance. She has to do whatever she’s told. It sounded horrific to me – and so my rubber neck drew me to it. It’s set in a whimsical fantasy universe and has a bit of the vibe ‘The princess bride’ has.

Now I’d kind of seen this engaged before, in the old ‘Gargoyles’ cartoon, where a character suffers a control spell (rendering him automaton like), and then the means to cancelling that spell is lost forever. The solution? One of the good guys who had managed to get control targeted on her commands the character to obey his own will, forever. So he obeys her, but in doing so, obeys himself. Effectively the spell is cancelled.

Here, in a climactic scene where the villain has told Ella to kill her love (and not tell anyone), with the blade held over his back, she instead commands herself to not be obediant anymore.

And I thought it very striking that all that time she had suffered others ordering her about, it was because she would not command herself.

“Geez man, it was a fantasy rom com, why are you thinking about it so much?”

Because it shows what you can get away with if you just stick with a few of the regular conventions. It’s a wolf in sheeps clothing, philosophically.

Oh, and yeah, the link at the start? I’m guessing google will spider this and hopefully find my other page. Hope it wasn’t off putting.

Book excerpt: The judging eye

Oh god, the fourth ‘prince of nothing’ book is coming out (actually, the prince of nothing was the first three books…not sure what to call the next three). The excerpt…it gives a sample of religious fervor, yet it never just goes over the top in that fervour? But at the same time, lives are snuffed out almost asthe dot is placed on an ‘i’. Scott Baker is horrible as author (not a horrible author, horrible subject matter…no, interesting subject matter, but horrible issues…gah, you know what I mean!!!), in that the fervor he writes about is somewhat understandable, with nuances you can empathise with – and it makes you realise how emotionally close you can feel to hell. Assuming you’d designate these belief executions as hell or such.

These books break my heart, honestly.

I suppose your supposed to rave about books you read, rather than describe how you lament upon reading their contents. I would describe the prince of nothing books more as a personal journey you may or may not deign to take, rather than entertainment. Still, some people seem to find them simply as entertainment, so hey, I might not be the best guy to listen too. The main guy, Khelus, kicks ass with a sword, plucks arrows from the air like a man might pull a book from a shelf, and is cool like quenched steel. Step in – it’ll be entertainment.

Dofus adds extra challenge layer to combat

I got the usual advertising from dofus recently (having played it once). But this one was interesting – they added random challenges to combat. Scroll down on this page and you’ll find the details.

What I find interesting is that on top of regular mmorpg combat, they have these extra conditions that you can fulfil if you wish. If you fulfil them, extra treasure. If you don’t, regular treasure. And reading them they would seem to change how you’d play out a combat a fair bit.

In terms of mmorpgs it seems a really good idea, where combat was often just repeating the same sequence over and over. This seems to vary it, and also seems quite easy to implement – your not changing the environment to add challenge, your just adding some extra conditions to the combat code. Also it slightly spurred my imagination somewhat, thinking why you might have the ‘zombie’ challenge is because the last fight gave you a wounded leg. Of course it didn’t in directly described mechanical terms, but at the same time, such a piece of imagination does fit the situation. And that’s cool to me 🙂

Here’s hoping mmorpgs do what they usually do, copy good ideas, and copy this one 🙂

Though I have to say, I’m playing grand chase at the moment. Kind of like medieval metal slug, or super smash brothers, I suppose. That’s quite challenging just with its regular set up – I’ve been meaning to post about this mmo’s great qualities at some point.

Newstopia, episode 9 (aired 26 nov)

It’s hard to review newstopia as it’s a sort of fast paced collage. What stands out to you? There’s a stab at token funding of electric cars at about 1:16, but the movie ‘Australia’ gets a jab before that, and even before that Heather Mills McCartney, and lamo police training actors (just run through the damn capsicum spray and wack him, for christ’s sake!)

Not that it stops there – the wave of small jokes is kind of like a continual carrier wave of amusement to quickly pay you off for plonking your arse down and focusing. Hell, all entertainment really needs to maintain a carrier wave to assert its ‘definite’ enjoyability. Sadly, focus actually is a resource that is spent, not something that’s on tap for free.

But yeah, moving on you get a piece about global warming, bank collapses and less fuel/cars being bought. Then some deliberately spurious footage of a super car (carrier wave!). The whole thing ends in a bit of a lame dog eat dog pun. It essentially ping pongs the ideas involved back and forth a bit in front of you with a thin trail of absurdity there to keep it something you want to do rather than typical ‘you have to deal with it, like it or not’ news.

In some ways I’d describe it as being like ‘Behind the news’ for adults. You know the ABC program ‘Behind the news’ (Also called BTN) that describes current news for kids/young teens, explaining the base situation more and rounding it out in a, again, well paced environment.

Is that a slap or a accolade? God knows!? I just write this stuff!

Then there’s a piece on the Lemur hosting the APEC conference…with extreme prejudice, apparently. I think it was Lemur, anyway. Newstopia has a sort of running gag of taking real, horrible events that don’t get much (if any) time on the regular news, then spin some humour after them. However this piece rather quickly got onto some light hearted gags about the chaser team dying horribly. So I don’t quite know what event Newstopia was bringing to my attention. Little overbalanced, that one. Anyway, at a entertainment level its an interesting one – I think MiCallefs muttered line at the end is both a compliment to the chaser team and perhaps self depreciation about his ratings? I don’t know. Curiouser and curiouser!

Oh, I do like the next bit about political jargon language. I’ll get political and ‘edgy’ for a moment. I’d love a sketch where you see some caveman bellow loudly when a sabre tooth tiger appears, alerting all the rest of the tribe to the danger. Then see a politician sent back in time, observing the sabre tooth tiger approaching, and going into allot of diplomatic bullshit words, entreaties, bargaining, then his bloody death…wow, could almost light a cigarette after that one! Perhaps showing that chart where you see mans evolution, from ape, through various figures rising up to straight standing homosapiens. Then the estimate diagrams for what it’ll take for us to survive – the figures collapsing over again, becoming more like the caveman. Seriously, words are dying – their used by politicians like they have some inherent meaning to them. But it’s just like crying ‘Wolf!’. The meaning of the word dies because it’s not inherent – there actually has to be a wolf demonstrated to be there.

Okay, long moment, but it’s over now! Zimbabwe! A parody of the ‘Australia’ movie, it comments on Zimbabwe’s political situation and does a rather good example of how with the right emphasis and spin, you can make a brutal dictator look the heroic protagonist! And hell, why not – history is written by the winners…assuming they can spell. Or decide to write any history at all. Hmm, I suppose any arrising conflict actually kills the very assumption there will be history after it at all. Anyway, a must see!

The next bit with the ‘false bottom’ joke, is something I mentally skip. Really, tacitly accepted rape in prisons by state and populace alike isn’t funny. If we want prisoners randomly raped, we should make it a clear out and out law that they must be raped, or get rid of rape in prisons entirely. Well, get rid of rape everywhere…but as you can see its a big issue, so getting explosive about one joke wont do much except tire me out in the long term.

And then Jessica the teen school girl is back! I was wondering when she’d turn up again, after a previous appearance. She’s actually a pretty dead on rendition of a teen girl. Though I have to say, if she saw a sabre tooth tiger I bet she’d yell ‘FUCK!’ really loudly. I hope the program doesn’t just use the Jessica character as a kicking bag and recognise that the directness is atleast a form of honestly and clarity.

The next thing about drug testing

Micallef “How do we know there’s no need to test them? There might be more need if we tested them more frequently?”

“What, they might need to be tested more frequently if they were tested more frequently?”, said with a disparaging grimace.

Damn, this is what I’ve seen over and over in various forums. You say something that makes sense and then the other person makes an absolute dogs breakfast of the logic and then looking at the dogs breakfast they made they look at you as if that’s what you wanted and are you stupid?

Then there’s man in time. I’m always a little skeptical about the man in time segment – I always think the bit of footage before it is a bit of easy filler. I almost expect to hear them add a voice in over the back of it self referencing that. Anyway, made me laugh – short and punchy one this week.

Oh, and I love the little mechanic they use where Micallef introduces something they will show ‘latter’ in the program, and they cut to a ‘sample’ of it. It’s not going to be shown latter, it’s just that small bit. But it really cuts straight to the chase of the setting of an interview and the primary gag of it. Brilliant bit of design, that one!

Then there’s the obligatory bunnings warehouse joke. Tis good! BUT when they pan out with the multiple images, it always reminds me of the ‘Alert, not alarmed’ campaign where they pan out with multiple images of potential terrorism. I’ve been waiting SOOOO long for them to tie the two together! Will it ever happen, or will my heart be broken?

Ah, there’s more, there’s more. But I’m becoming tired, sleepy, a little despondent and wondering how the potato plants are doing in the back yard. Hope this informed you and helped discuss it all a bit. The episodes rush by so fast on often deep topics, it seems a shame they don’t get further investigation.