murder ordained

Andromeda is about as good as the original Mass Effect and that’s not good enough.

Been thinking about Mass Effect and Bioware games in general. Ultimately, I think Andromeda is comparable to the original. It’s hard to gauge because of familiarity, time, weight of expectation, yadda yadda yadda, but I think Andromeda is about as good.

And that’s fucking awful. Where’s the progress? Sure the shooting is better, but if I was playing for the shooting, I’d play something else. BW should make dating simulators, because character stuff is the only thing they’re good at.

RPGs are so damn stagnant right now. Fallout 4 had some nice mechanical bits and bobs, good environmental storytelling,  but in terms of RPG stuff, it was a huge step backwards from New Vegas.

The old “look to the indies for innovation” chestnut just turns up a bunch of attempts to recreate old Bioware/Black Isle games. Torment took pretty much everything innovative from the Numenera mechanics and tossed it out the window to squish it into generic CRPG shape.

The last couple of Shadowruns at least managed to step away from the template a little in terms of structure. Having a neighbourhood as your base and keeping the stories grounded there is refreshing after so many jet-setting adventures. The fixed locale was one of the things that made Dragon Age 2 the most interesting entry in the series. It’s a shame the game was so rushed, because more resources in that area could have made it something special. 

Ultimately, I think the major issue is that they’re all laser-focused on murdering everything. Sure, there may be stealth or talky options, but they’re an aside, a temporary relief from the violence. All of the best RPGs I’ve played recently have been ones that shifted that focus, however slightly. The Witcher 3, for example, has a huge amount of filler fisticuffs, but the bulk of the actual missions are investigation and hunting. It’s subtle, but it feels fundamentally different from being dumped in a location with a bunch of things to kill and some objective at the end of the clearly-marked murder maze.

Heck, the Souls series, which is about as fighty as you can get while still being vaguely RPG-adjacent, feels more like a dungeon-crawling RPG experience than any isometric RPG of late because the exploration of the dungeon, player awareness and so on is so vital. But folks don’t recognise it as “gameplay” because there are no buttons to push.

Shadowruns Dragonfall and Hong Kong, despite really simple, stripped down mechanics, actually feel like tabletop Shadowrun because the missions are about your team going after set objectives in heist-like scenarios and the shooting is the result of everything going hilariously wrong.Years ago, one of the RPS crew called Mass Effect “Guns and conversation” and they nailed not only ME, but so many RPGs. Some dialogue and a moral quandary at the end of a bunch of pre-ordained murder doesn’t make an RPG. Yes, it is about player choice, but it’s about player choice in how they deal with situations, not about whether they’re gonna be an angel or an arsehole at the end of the killing.

That’s what I want to see RPG devs doing. Using the latest shiny tech to give players a bunch of interesting options in how to deal with situations in interesting environments. Where are the games that do what Vampire: Bloodlines, or Fallout: New Vegas did, but better?

I was gonna write a toot on Mastodon, but it turned into seven, so I compiled them here.


anonymous asked:

Andy, this isn't going to help anyone. Burning the american flag means you're burning a symbol of self-government, equal opportunity, freedom of speech, and a belief in progress for America. It does not mean you are against cops who wrongfully shoot people. You do realize that the protesting for this that has been hapening has come with looting and atempts to kill cops right? I don't think this is what we need to stop unjustified cops from shooting people.

Before I jump into this even further: do not even dare to take such a familiar tone with me like off anon we are friends. If we were actual friends you would know better than to use my real name on my blog anymore considering my stalkers and you would have brought this up with me on skype. Any further messages you send me using my name or this familiar tone you think is fucking okay are going to be ignored.

As for what you said I can not actually believe you think that stance is an okay one to have and I can not believe you are saying that the small portion of looters (there were only 20-25 reported to have been looting and the other protesters worked together to shut them down to avoid escalating the situation) and the even smaller portion of those who escalated violence against the already violent police members (this one I have not even heard of this entire two month long deal and I have been following the news religiously so part of me is under the assumption you’re either getting your information from the police or are making it up) are a more important focus than the hundreds who are being harmed and the ever growing number of ones being murdered.

Regarding your continuing of prioritizing a flag over real lives other tumblr users have said it better than I ever could:

So basically we shouldnt burn the flag because it represents all of the privileges afforded to White people. […] We [PoC persons] didnt start out with no damn freedom, justice and the right to happiness. Get that through your head. We [PoC persons] have a right to be angry, and have all the right to burn that bullshit ass flag that has brought nothing but pain, terror and death to uspostracialcomments

Yes it is a symbol. But the shootings that have been occurring are people. Their country hasn’t protected them. Those that were supposed to protect them are killing them. Take that outrage about the burning of that symbol, and put it towards getting them justice. You care more about the burning of a symbol, than innocent lives loss. What does that say about the country that that symbol represents.hungry-horny-feminist

“ "but the flag is a symbol of all the good things that america represents. freedom,justice and the right to happiness; ALL THE IDEALS WE STARTED OUT WITH BUT SEEM TO HAVE LOST ALONG THE WAY. i still believe we can get  someday and i hope you do too.” 
you know; colonization, genocide, enslavement, xenophobia, sexism, classismbe-blackstar

The ideals we started out with really aren’t that different from today and the fact that white people are more concerned about a Jo Ann Fabrics creation than actual human lives proves tf out of that. The flag has ALWAYS been more important than Black lives.dopenmind

The false representation of that freedom that comes with that flag is apparently worth more than the masses of young black men and women who die simply because they exist.srizzzzler

Do you ever think that maybe, just maybe, the way we keep losing the “good ideals” and end up with the bad ones might have something to do with the fact that we pledge allegiance to a flag rather than to each other or to those ideals?
Do you ever think that maybe the better world you talk about might be a little bit easier to get to if we got rid of this idea that something can embody just the good parts of the United States of America and remain completely untouched by ongoing travesties like colonialism, genocide, slavery, segregation, and state violence?
I mean, I’m not sure what part of the problem-solving process is to ignore everything that’s wrong and shout about all the things that are—or COULD BE, maybe, one day—good. I’m not even sure how that helps.
Maybe part of the problem is that for so many of us, a symbol is enough. The promise of equality for all is enough. The belief in truth, justice, and warm sweaters for puppy dogs at Christmas—or even the belief that we believe in those things—is enough.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident” are words. Industrialized slavery of a scope and form the world had never seen was an action. Acting like the flag is only a symbol for the words, that the flag only stands for the good the United States has… mouthed… and not the deeds we have done is not the route to a better world. It’s how we got here. It’s how we stay here.
If you honestly believe we can do better, why don’t you act like it? Hold our flag to a higher standard than “WELL OUR ANCESTORS SAID A BUNCH OF NICE THINGS.”boo-author

This country began with slavery, genocide and colonialism of people of color. That is what the American flag stands for. This country has not ever been for freedom and justice. Its been for the success of rich white men at the expense of everyone else.sourcedumal

Disrespecting and defacing a symbol of our country is no where near the abhorrence of the prospect that our government does not punish, and thereby ordains the murder of its citizens. Burning a flag is a fucking symbol, taking lives is not.thecandybomber

and finally…

That thing where a certain group of people are more outraged over a piece of polysynthetic fiber than the horrific loss of Black life in this country.“ @redphilistine