August 04, 2011
I'm beginning to get played out on Master of Magic. Considering how much time I've put into it, it's a testimony to the rich game play that it hasn't happened long since.
So I'm thinking it's time to try something new. I got onto the Microsoft PC Games site, wondering if they might have an updated version of "Pandora's Box" which doesn't run full-screen at 800*600 resolution. (On my 16:9 display, the aspect ratio is so wrong that the game is almost unplayable.)
Please note that I'm not looking for suggestions for games I "might want to consider". Just don't go there, OK?
The one thing that looked interesting to me was Spore. The Microsoft games site lists the fact that games have DRM, and this one didn't mention it. But I just looked at the Wikipedia article about the game, and it said that when the game was first released back in 2008, there was a big controversy about the fact that it used SecuRom.
It also said that there was a non-DRM release of the game. The version on the MS Games site says its release date is June 14, 2011, which makes me think it's a special version created for the MS Games site, which I gather is DTO. (True?)
So does anyone know anything about it? Just how much did they include in it? The description mentions "Spore's unique Creator tools". Does that mean they bundled things like Spore Creature Creator into this version of it?
Posted by: metaphysician at August 04, 2011 08:54 AM (hD30M)
Posted by: Boviate at August 04, 2011 10:22 AM (RPpft)
To quote the previous: "Apparently it just doesn't have much depth or strategy.".
It has cute/great graphics, no real strategy.
Posted by: Mixie at August 04, 2011 10:58 AM (PZbQA)
where the key point is:
"You get three total "activations”. This means the game can be placed onto three computers. This can be three different computers, or the same computer upgraded three times. Every time you try to run the game on what the server thinks of as a "new” system, one of your three activations is consumed. This means your relationship with the game is directly affected by how often you upgrade."
Posted by: azizhp at August 04, 2011 11:43 AM (wOzPT)
I'd like to take the opportunity to mention that World of Warcraft still deserves your attention. It's lightweight, it's got no invasive DRM (since you have to be online to play to communicate with the game servers), and the game is basically three to five diferent games in one, depending on your preferences:
- you can Quest, which follows very detailed storylines about teh world and the major events, you get to be a major player. This is "solo" game play - you can go into Dungeons - these are for casual group gaming (3-5 people), and the software allows you to find a group automatically so theres minimal social outreach involved - you can go Raiding - this is a more active social group thing where you join Guilds and go on large 10 or even 25 person missions - you can fight other players in Battlegrounds (large group) and Arenas (one on one) - you can do your own thing, which is any combination of the above
Personally I am a solo player with some dabbling in dungeons as needed to advance quest storylines. I play anywhere from a few hours a week, to a few hours a month depending on real life etc. Some of the people I know just log on to go "farming" for minerals and other consumables that they then sell on the auction house, gaining gold that they can then spend on vanity stuff like cooler weapons and mounts.
at any rate, if this is something you'd like to explore, I (like everyone else) have a few codes for you to play teh game for free for a couple of weeks or until level 20, which should be more than enough for anyone to decide if its something that works for them. The free trial makes it pretty painless.
Posted by: azizhp at August 04, 2011 11:54 AM (wOzPT)
Master of Magic just does a darned good job in being a lot like the old Civ games, but with a bunch of variety (especially in the interaction of different elements - X might not seem like a good idea, but in Y situation with Z spell cast on it?) Others have tried to mine the same lode, but generally they're spectacular failures.
I have trouble with the game just because, well, it's -really- old and the interface gets to me. Cutting-edge for fifteen years ago (maybe not even that, heh...) I can live with crap graphics - even Dwarf Fortress! - but the interface is king (...Dwarf Fortress... ;_
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at August 04, 2011 12:23 PM (j42B4)
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at August 04, 2011 12:23 PM (j42B4)
What I was thinking is that it was a lot like some of the world-builder games I used to love so much, like Sim-City, Sim-World, Sim-Life.
Having no narrative is fine. I don't want one. Being free-form is nice, too.
I am aware that Spore had dreadful DRM when it was released. But I see a couple of hints that the version Microsoft is offering (3 years later) is not so encumbered. It looks like a compilation of a lot of earlier releases, hoping to milk a game for more sales after the initial feeding frenzy has ended.
That's what I'm hoping, anyway. Ah, heck. It's only $20; maybe I'll risk it.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 04, 2011 12:40 PM (+rSRq)
( not that I can think of many games that have. . . )
Posted by: metaphysician at August 04, 2011 01:22 PM (hD30M)
Posted by: BigD at August 04, 2011 01:52 PM (1VXek)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at August 04, 2011 02:17 PM (PiXy!)
Posted by: Anachronda at August 04, 2011 05:11 PM (6fER6)
I too, never had much luck or fun playing Spore. Too tedious and like Anachronda above, you'd finally get the DNA you want and the stage would end. Strange game design.
The only game that ever came close to MoM in my mind was 'Dominions 3'. (I know, DWL!, I'm sorry.) Now THAT's a grognards game. In fact- I have an extra copy of the game (manual and CD) and would be willing to send it to you at the cost of postage-
Posted by: Gothmog at August 05, 2011 07:50 AM (089tw)
Played it myself, and honestly, it's not that great. The closest it comes to a 4X game is the Civilization stage, and it's so dumbed down it's more like Risk than Civilization, with the exception of city management, which is needlessly complicated by its own attempt to be simple, strangely enough. You have only five buildings you can actually add to a city, one of which is the "town center" that essentially counts as the city itself, and another being a gun emplacement that can only be located on the edge of the city. That leaves three buildings that change the city's productivity, morale, and population limits: a factory building, an entertainment building, and a residential building. While this seems simple enough, they went one step further and decided these buildings also need to produce auxiliary functions depending entirely on their exact location with regard to one another and the town center, mostly to keep players from minmaxing. There are also several different city layouts that are randomly chosen when a city is built, so if you were hoping to be able to build a fleet of ships ASAP at your new harbor city, but it gets a layout that's nearly impossible to add factories to without causing the population to riot, you're SOL.
The Space Stage is the deepest one, if only for the fact that you can terraform planets yourself by building a custom ecosystem. Unfortunately, that gets boring pretty fast, and then it becomes nothing more than a MoO3 style "spreadsheets in space" adventure, without the Galactic Adventures expansion pack.
It does have really cute visuals, though, and everything from the critters to the vehicles to the buildings to the planets are actually fully customizable. You can even search online for other players' designs to use yourself, if you don't have time to design your own City Hall, and there are some really nice ones... I found a really amazing building that looks like a grassy green hill floating in the air, with a waterfall cascading off the side of the floating hill and terminating in a lake at the bottom, and downloaded it to make into my entertainment-type building. The game can also be set to use randomly downloaded creatures from online as alien races or competitor species, which pretty much ensures that everything in your game is going to look like some variety of human genitalia and be named random combinations of four-letter words that only children under the age of ten find entertaining.
Posted by: Tatterdemalian at August 05, 2011 08:29 PM (4njWT)
Posted by: Tatterdemalian at August 06, 2011 05:19 PM (4njWT)
Posted by: metaphysician at August 06, 2011 07:56 PM (hD30M)
It's pretty much standard issue for all Will Wright games since "The Sims." It works in most Sim* games because there's no serious threats you have to deal with, except the ones you decide to cause yourself. Not so much in Spore, especially in the "Civilization" stage, where most players find themselves getting wiped out repeatedly on Hard mode until they learn to judge the speed their craft can move, and from that which battles they'll be able to affect the outcome of and which ones you're too late to reach anyhow, while the game is paused and nothing is moving. It's got a lot more in common with "Starcraft" than "Civilization" really.
Posted by: Tatterdemalian at August 07, 2011 10:26 AM (4njWT)
Posted by: Mauser at August 07, 2011 11:37 PM (cZPoz)
Enclose all spoilers in spoiler tags:
[spoiler]your spoiler here[/spoiler]
Spoilers which are not properly tagged will be ruthlessly deleted on sight.
Also, I hate unsolicited suggestions and advice. (Even when you think you're being funny.)
At Chizumatic, we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.
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