Diecast #248: Car Talk, No Man’s Sky, Warframe

By Shamus Posted Monday Mar 18, 2019

Filed under: Diecast 60 comments

It’s a bit of a weird one this week, I’m afraid. Paul and I both bought vehicles and the resulting conversation ate a third of the show. On the other hand, we’re giving away a free copy of a game, so maybe that makes up for all the car talk. Details at the end of the show / show notes.



Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Show notes:
00:00 Shopping for Vehicles

The thing I forgot to mention is that the new car has about double the fuel economy. Our poor minivan was a bit of a lush, and keeping it fueled was enormously expensive. By my rough estimate, the new car will save us about $1,000 a year on fuel alone.

17:52 Broken Peripherals

I’m too lazy to take photos of the new keyboard in situ, but here is one lifted from the store page:

Given how much of my day I spend typing, getting a new keyboard is a pretty big deal for me. I’m still in the early phase of keyboard adoption where I’m making a lot of mistakes.

The new KB is just different enough from the old that it’s taking some time to adapt. I’m used to a double-height return key. The backslash isn’t where I expect it. I’m used to a gap of empty space between the function keys and everything else. The new keyboard has a new (to me) key that seems to behave like a right-click, and that’s a little weird to my way of thinking. This extra key means the space bar is a little narrower, and I’m not crazy about that. The right control doesn’t work unless you also hold down FN, and I have no idea what that’s all about.

Instead of a user manual, it came with a piece of paper directing me to the website. That’s fine, inasmuch as I’m into saving trees and it’s not worth printing a full manual for a simple keyboard. Except, the website is long goneThe scrap of paper indicates this unit was made in 2014. and there’s a domain namewww.eagletech.com squatter on it now. So that’s disappointing. I’ll probably never know why the right Ctrl key behaves this way.

This is the first time since the early 90s that I’ve had a keyboard with clicky-clack mechanical keys. I forgot how loud these things were. It’s really nice for typing, but it’s obnoxious for gaming. The loud clicking is really distracting when you’re trying to immerse yourself in a game.

Also, I forgot how nice it is to have a keyboard with some weight. My last keyboard was a bit light and could gradually migrate to the left during a vigorous gaming session, but this new one is rock solid.

26:40 No Man’s Sky

For those who are new to the site, here is my take on No Man’s Sky a year after release and here is what I thought about it last summer after the NEXT update.

45:47 Satisfactory


Link (YouTube)

50:35 Warframe

Fun story: I was playing Warframe while listening to this part of the show. In the middle of the part where I complained that the game summoned the Wolf of Saturn Six during a mission, the game did it again. This time it did so during a low-level early-game mission. I was running away from this end-game boss while listening to a podcast where I complained about exactly this problem.

Like I said on the show, I couldn’t take more than two hits from this guy, I had nothing to slow him down, and it took me several minutes to knock a tiny 5% off his massive health bar. And that was with my best loadout! This time I had a low-level frame and some weak weapons, so defeating him was a physical impossibility.

This really is like having Arthas show up in Westfall, running around one-shotting lowbie players. That’s just atrocious game design. It’s really confusing for new players who don’t understand what this guy is and have no idea why they’re suddenly dropping dead in the middle of this supposedly low-level mission.

Shamus, maybe the designers are trying to motivate you to level up enough to fight this guy?

Leveling in this game is pretty slow. It would take months of focused play to reach the level where a fight with this guy would make sense. By that time, this event will be long over.

So maybe you’re thinking that it might be fun to get together with a few friends, equip all your best gear, and gang up on him? Wrong. You can’t fight him at will. He just shows up randomly. Given the way this game is designed, you don’t usually walk around with your best gear. Even if you’ve got gear to deal with him, you probably won’t have it equipped when he shows up.

The designers could have saved themselves a ton of money. Instead of wasting time modeling and animating this boss, just add a heart attack feature to the game. Once every four dozen missions, your character keels over dead, you fail your current mission, and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s functionally the same but a lot easier to implement.

The punchline? He doesn’t even drop anything amazing. Even if you persevere and spend an hour chipping away at that gargantuan health bar without getting murdered, the odds are he’ll drop one-forth of the blueprints for his weapon. According to the wiki, on average you’d need to fight him ~40 times to get all the blueprints. Since you can’t fight him at will, I don’t think that’s possible even if you play around the clock.

The entire system is so stupidly broken and nonsensical I can’t even tell what the designer was trying to do.

1:04:46 Free Key for Overload

If you’d like a key for the Descent-like Overload, then send us a question for the showThe email is in the header image.. To avoid getting spammed, let me make some rules:

  • You’re only eligible if your question is actually used on the show, so there’s nothing to be gained from sending the same question 10 times.
  • This also means that there’s nothing to be gained from sending in random nonsense questions.
  • They key I have is for Steam, so ideally you’ll have some sort of Steam account.
  • Please mention in the message that you’re interested in the Overload key, just so I don’t send the key to someone who doesn’t want it.
  • This is probably obvious, but the key will be sent to the email used to send the question. So don’t use a bogus / disposable address or you won’t get your prize.

 

 

Footnotes:

[1] The scrap of paper indicates this unit was made in 2014.

[2] www.eagletech.com

[3] The email is in the header image.



From The Archives:
 

60 thoughts on “Diecast #248: Car Talk, No Man’s Sky, Warframe

  1. KotBasil says:

    Jeez, Warframe. Great game… with thousands of annoyances. But remember IT’S FREE(tm).
    Sorry, it’s kinda rant-y. I really like style of Warframe, but can’t play it, because I hate the bloated mess it is now.

    1. Gargamel Le Noir says:

      I don’t think on this website you can legally call anything under 10000 words a rant.

      1. Paul Spooner says:

        I’d accept a 2000 word rant if at least 30% of the punctuation marks were exclamation points. But I quite agree; 35 words and zero exclamation points is no rant sir!

        1. Blue-NINJA'D says:

          You call that a rant? That’s not a rant – that barely qualifies as a complaint!
          A proper rant has to use fonts to emphasise its points! Be unreasonably angry! OMFG DO YOU EVEN CAPS LOCK OR USE ABBREVIATIONS!!

          I mean, come on – there’s no swearing, no hyperbole (which is literally the worst thing ever, by the way) no implication that anyone who disagrees is stupid, none of the standard indications of a proper rant. It’s pathetic and my dog could do better!!

          Its even spelt and punctuated properly!!!!

          I tell you, what passes for a rant these days makes me sick…sick, I tell you!

          (etc)

    2. Kylroy says:

      I feel like Warframe demonstrates the inescapable perils of freemium. Even in their well-executed, not-overly-mercenary version of it, the fact that someone at some point paid real money for every individual part and system in the game means they can never, *ever* get rid of *anything* without having to issue refunds…so stuff just piles up. Six years of stuff so far, and while the game entertains me, I dread to think what it will look like in another six years.

    3. Redrock says:

      I mentioned it before, but I think it bears repeating: for me, Warframe’s one huge redeeming feature is that it’s not just freem but it’s free and available on the Nintendo Switch. I’m not big on looter shooters (at least this modern MMO-y kind, I’d kill for a proper Borderlands sequel), but having a sleek third-person shooter-slasher on the Switch is, frankly, amazing. I play it several times a week, while on the PC I booted Warframe up exactly once.

  2. N/A says:

    The Wolf is basically another Stalker, to be honest. Sometimes you’ve just got to outrun him, but Warframe’s community means you can semi-reliably expect there to be some high-level player with a tricked out set of mods prepared to throw down with him and save you. I wouldn’t normally call that good design, but it IS a design that fits the reality of Warframe, so… ehh?

    1. Kylroy says:

      Doesn’t the Stalker go away after killing everyone once, though? The Wolf never leaves, and chases players to the ends of the map.

  3. Joe says:

    Better vehicles than food. I find food talk particularly boring. As for keyboards, I only have one. The spacebar doesn’t always work. I just have to proofread my words before pressing send. Even then I sometimes get caught out.

    1. KotBasil says:

      Who_needs_spacebar_when_you_have_underscore?

      1. Geebs says:

        butCamelCaseIsMoreEfficient

        1. Lino says:

          But.it’s.more.annoying.to.read

          1. CrokusYounghand says:

            Want to know what is worse than Space key that sticks?

            Backspace key that sticks.

            1. Lino says:

              Oh no… The HORROR! And yes, a Ctrl+Z will undo the damage in an instant, but just imagine the unexpected horror from this happening – it’s like seeing your life unravel before your very eyes!

  4. Mr. Wolf says:

    I absolutely hate having to shop for new keyboards and mice. Any other part of the computer you can make a reasonable guess based on it’s stats, but until you literally get your hands on an input device there’s no way to tell if it’s the right one for you.

    Personally I was recently in the market for a new mouse, but invested in a soldering iron instead. Though I still curse Logitech for discontinuing everything based on the venerable G5 chassis.

    1. Ciennas says:

      And now I’m picturing keyboard and mice peripherals as I do the Wand Scene from Harry Potter

      “The Wand Chooses the Wizard”

  5. Hal says:

    It’s funny that you mentioned Arthas and Westfall, because WoW had a long tradition of world bosses and other high level monsters who wandered a zone.

    The most well-known example from the game was the Fel Reavers, which wandered about Hellfire Peninsula, which was the introductory zone for WoW’s first expansion (Burning Crusade.) It was a pretty common story for players to be adventuring through the zone when they are suddenly obliterated by this massive enemy that had slipped past their radar. And it was an act of catharsis to return at higher levels to crush them in return, but they dropped nothing interesting; a small helping of cash, nothing more.

    So that Warframe boss, while kind of a dick move, isn’t unprecedented either.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Destiny 2 did this to me early in the game. I started playing late last year, soon after the launch of Black Armory and there are now a few endgame level minibosses connected to that season spawning in certain spots in EDZ (the first map of the game). Not that much of a problem since death is cheap and they don’t chase you around but it was annoying one time I was doing a quest or looking for a chest (I don’t remember exactly) too close to one of them.

    2. Kylroy says:

      The thing is, with the exception of two open zones, *every* mission in Warframe is instanced. Belaboring the metaphor, the WoW-equivalent would be having a raid boss storm into your 5-man dungeon, wipe your party, and then block any hope of further progress. Fel Reavers and similar mobs could be dodged, and were never directly between you and where you needed to be; the Wolf of Saturn Six basically tacks a deadly bullet sponge boss onto whatever else you were trying to accomplish in your mission, and relentlessly murders people until he’s dealt with.

    3. djw says:

      Everquest did this too, except far, far earlier. Most of the “advanced newbie zones” (level 6-20) had a few giants that would wander around and curb stomp anybody who got too close.

      I don’t think they dropped anything exceptional either, but high level druids would often camp them anyway for XP and pocket change. That mitigated a lot of the problems, but incidents could still happen if the druids kite path brought the giant through a group of lowbies.

  6. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I do not understand why so many people are infatuated with mechanical keyboards. To be fair I never actually owned one but recently my boss, again demonstrating his utter lack of comprehension of our actual working condition, has ordered a batch of mechanical keyboards because “we spend a lot of time typing and they come highly recommended” and we are slowly replacing the old non-mechanical keyboards as they give up the ghost. Here’s the problem, there are around 15 of us in the room typing almost constantly over 12 hour shifts while also having, often heated, conversation with the callers (I’m working in emergency services), with just a few of those the noise is awful and on top of that the microphones pick it up a lot.

    1. Chris says:

      It is one of those things you have to own to love. Before you can live without but as soon as you experience them it’s impossible to go back.

      As for the noise,I stopped noticing it a long time ago. And nobody else sits next to me so that isn’t a problem either

    2. Echo Tango says:

      The main benefit of those keyboards, is the tactile feedback, that lets you know that you definitely pressed the button. With the mushier keyboards, you have to slam them down at maximum force, to ensure you hit the key. On the other hand, the force needed for most mechanical keyboards is pretty high, so I don’t think you save much finger fatigue.

    3. Philadelphus says:

      It’s also good to keep on mind that a mechanical keyboard does not necessarily sound like a world championship tap-dancing dance-off, it’s just that a lot of them do. There are switches specially designed not to click, for instance, and some people (like myself) put little rubber rings under the keys to make them even quieter.

      It sounds like the loud clicky-clacky ones are definitely wrong for your workplace, but if you separate the necessary “mechanical” aspect from the incidental “noisy” aspect you might find them to be better. Just a possibility.

      I personally got a mechanical keyboard (Cherry MX Brown switches) for my computer a few years ago now, and while I do kinda prefer it over non-mechanical ones, I dont find it such a huge difference that it evokes the “I can never go back, d’you hear me? NEVER!!” kind of responses I’ve read.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        Huh, I actually did not know that, I equated mechanical keyboards with clicking, I’ll keep that in mind.

    4. Nessus says:

      If you are ever considering a mechanical keyboard of ANY kind, the VERY FIRST and NON-NEGOTIABLE thing you should do is get a switch tester. Your boss probably just blind ordered a bunch of cherry blue switch boards, as those get the most meme love out of the three switches that commercial prebuilt boards come with. Blue switches are deliberately designed to make noise, and a lot of tech people will tell you they’re the best for typing because, well, they think they’re Randian iconoclasts and take pride in putting their petty desires above the integrity of their work environment.

      When it comes to sound, you actually have A LOT more options once you get out of the pre-built arena. If you’re buying a board off Amazon, you’re only getting a choice of like 3 switches, maybe 4 if you’re very, very lucky. When you start looking into kit boards there are dozens and dozens of different switch models to chose from.

      I just spent the last half-year or so going down the MK rabbit hole. I never would’ve done that if the only ones I’d ever encountered were just the prebuilt ones. To me, the thing that got me interested was the idea of customizable layouts, and ortholiniar boards in particular (i.e. boards where the keys are laid out grid-style rather than in offset rows). I had no idea that was even possible before, but had long been kind of curious.

      I love my current board, and will never go back (as long as I can afford otherwise) but that’s because it’s customized exactly to my tastes*. The only reason that’s possible is because I was willing to spend half a year building it at a cost of around $200. An amount I’d never willingly pay even close to for a prebuilt board, mechanical or otherwise. I personally feel like mech keyboards are a very no middle ground, in for penny, in for a pound thing. If you’re interested one, go all the way: buy a mega-switch tester first, then look for a QMK-compatable kit that ticks as many boxes on your list as possible. If that feels like too much hassle or money, don’t trouble yourself at all, as the middle ground of prebuilt commercial MKBs IMO don’t really provide enough “better” for the high cost difference compared to ordinary membrane boards, but DO provide too much opportunity for confusion. That middle ground is an area of the market that both encourages and punishes lack of knowledge on the part of the buyer.

      *For any MKB grognards that are curious: XD75RE, Aliaz w/ 35g springs (springs lubed, but not sliders), DSA caps in dolch/carbon hybrid colorway w/ stem spacer washers used to create mild pseudo-sculpting, steel plate w/ butyl rubber deadening, milled aluminum low profile case (orange anodizing, to match the caps) w/ Silverstone foam deadening. Key layout is weird AF, but makes sense for the things I use it for most.

    5. default_ex says:

      They are certainly a lot better than a membrane keyboard for lots of typing but only if properly cared for. I have owned a WASD V2 for almost 4 years now. When the switches start to dry up I can really feel the strain in my hands. Freshly oiled however I can type all day long without feeling any strain. I keep a syringe loaded with a silicone based oil with my key cap puller, once every couple months I pop up the caps, vacuum debris out and give each switch a drop of oil. Even the better membrane keyboards feel like a toy now. Too flimsy, too light, keys feel squishy and my typing accuracy plummets. Getting used to it was a bit of a pain though. With a membrane keyboard your having to press almost all the way to the bottom of the key to register a key press but with a mechanical that point is about halfway down. The first half of the spring compression is nice and soft but that last bit takes considerable effort that you don’t notice until you have experienced it for hours on end.

      Noise can be minimized. One thing to get your boss to look into are o-rings for the keys. They are small silicone or neoprene o-rings that go between the switch and the key. Silences a lot of the click sound of the key.

  7. Geebs says:

    A keyboard that can’t type Q or A is basically the world’s most literal QA problem.

  8. John says:

    Cars! I love cars!

    Shamus, your received wisdom regarding American and Japanese cars is out of date. For one thing, American cars are much more reliable now than they used to be. They have to be. They’ve been competing with Japanese cars for decades at this point. I believe that the latest JD Power survey has Chevrolet as the third-most reliable car brand in the country at the moment. For another, all cars are basically computers now. There’s no particular DIY advantage to buying American. Anyway, I hope you enjoy your new car. I’ve rented Versas in the past while traveling with my family. They’re a little cramped for me–our family car is a Nissan Sentra, which is slightly larger–but I admire their practicality. I’ve had a much more pleasant time with two adults, a toddler in a carseat, and the accompanying luggage in a Versa than in any number of so-called crossover utility vehicles. Crossovers baffle me. They take up more space than sedans, hatchbacks or wagons, use more gas, and cost more money, yet somehow seem to have less useable cargo space.

    Paul, 120 horsepower is toward the lower end of the scale for car engines. Shamus’ Versa Note, a sub-compact hatchback, probably has around 110 hp. My Sentra, a compact sedan, has about 130. Nissan’s mid-size sedan, the Altima, has about 190, and the full-size Maxima has 300. Of course, for something as small as a motorcycle–I’m assuming you didn’t have some immense touring bike, as I don’t think that Yamaha makes those–120 is a lot.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Good to know! Yeah, I just looked, and Wikipedia says the 2003 Yamaha YZF-R6 tops out at 115 bhp, and will go from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds. The Maxima takes 6 seconds, even with nearly three times the horsepower.
      Compare that to the new bike I just got, the 2004 Honda Rebel 250, which has an order of magnitude less power at 16 bhp. I don’t think I could make it pop a wheelie if I tried. Much less scary, and a lot easier to ride around town.

      1. Will says:

        Rebels were the cruiser bike of choice at the school where I got my motorcycle endorsement (I think they used small Katanas for guys looking to ride sport bikes). Gutless and reliable. It makes them great for tooling around the neighborhood, but freeways and highways are a little dicey.

    2. Kathryn says:

      Last time I was car shopping, in 2011, for a mid- to full-size sedan, the American cars all had one major thing in common: every single one of them assumed the driver was 6′ tall. (Looking at you in particular, Ford. The bottoms of the Fusion’s windows were so high I could barely see out.) Being 5′ tall, I went with a Hyundai.

      My first car was a Chevy (second was a Honda; the Hyundai is third. It’s just about to hit 100k miles, so probably another 6-7 years before we replace it), but I can’t see myself ever going with an American car again unless they make dramatic changes in their ergonomics.

      (And don’t get me started on car seats…not only do they suck if you’re short, they are all designed around terrible posture. If you actually have your shoulders and chin back where they’re supposed to be, and you are short and slim, you will need a cushion behind you. My husband’s car is the worst for this. It feels like sitting in an eggshell; my shoulders are forced forward and my chin is forced down to my chest.)

      1. Echo Tango says:

        In lots of vehicles, you can remove the headrest, which will usually cut out a large portion of the curved-forward shape. I got lucky, in that I found a vehicle that had minimal forward-curve in the seat, so that I can actually have my head pointing up towards the road.

      2. Boobah says:

        …the American cars all had one major thing in common: every single one of them assumed the driver was 6? tall.

        As someone who is six feet tall, I can assure you that this is not, in fact, so. While test driving a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee (their big full size fit-a-whole-family SUV) it became apparent that it wasn’t possible to sit upright without my head resting on the underside of the ceiling.

        Still way better than a Chevette or Omni, admittedly. The Chevette was merely cramped, while I couldn’t signal a left turn in the Omni because my knee was in the way.

    3. methermeneus says:

      As someone who actually fixes cars for a living, may I just say that you’re right and wrong. American cars are far more reliable than they used to be, but they’re still crap compared to Honda and Toyota. Since Suzuki and Nissan/Infiniti also have some problems (Nissan isn’t too bad; just make sure you get it looked at often enough to catch any problems early) and sometimes lump Hyundai/Kia in with Japan (they’re Korean brands), people put Japanese cars in general at about the same level of reliability as American, but Honda and Toyota are really in a class of their own. Also cheaper new, but that doesn’t really help if you have to buy used. Honda and Toyota are also by far the easiest cars to work on these days. (Note that I’m saying Toyota and Honda, not Toyota/Lexus/Scion and Honda/Acura. The brands made by a single manufacturer have many similarities, but Scion has some very different cars, and Acura and Lexus tend to have “luxury” features that offer extra points of failure to little benefit as well as sightly different parts or decorative features that make them annoying to work on.)

      I will say that the Versa is a little cramped to work on, but nothing stands out as particularly annoying except the rear trailing arms getting in the way of the brake pin bolts when taking them apart (a common problem for Nissan). As for maintenance issues, so long as your mechanic doesn’t mess up the oil plug and you don’t mind the serpentine belt chirping on cold days, it’s probably the most reliable car Nissan’s come up with.

  9. Steve C says:

    I like tough random fights like Wolf in games. You said the same thing back in this post about WoW. You may not understand what the designer is trying to do. The designer is attempting to engage players like me– It is to turn something that can be monotonous into something exciting. You don’t like it, fine. You are in the very small minority though. This is based on how every random group I’ve played with has wanted to stay and fight one of these assassin spawns.

    It would take months of focused play to reach the level where a fight with this guy would make sense.

    I do not agree. Not at all. A week of casual play is all that is needed. I’m baffled by your continued assertions on how power is gained in Warframe. Leveling a full set of gear from zero to max takes less than 20mins in a single mission. A mission that can be run in a group or solo. The very first boss mission drops Rhino- a tanky warframe that handles all mission types. Lastly, power is based on mods. The necessary mods are easy to acquire. (So easy other players will give them away for free if you don’t have something like Serration.) The rare expensive mods (like Rivens) aren’t necessary.

    1. Shamus says:

      You’re asserting that you can solo Wolf with a standard frame and without any special weapons or mods. That doesn’t make any sense to me. I ran into him with my Valkyr. I’ve got 700+ health and 1,500+ armor, and the Wolf was wrecking my shit. Sustained combat with him was impossible.

      My melee weapon does almost 2k on a spin attack, and a single attack wouldn’t even knock a single pixel off his HP bar. Really killing him would take a LONG time, because you have to use hit-and-run.

      Do you always run around in a 4-person group with your best gear? I don’t, because I’m leveling stuff. Solo. I don’t group up unless I have a good reason to, because I like hunting for hidden goodies and I like being able to pause the game.

      I get that 4-person groups of high level players are eager to fight this guy, but that doesn’t explain why he’s showing up in my level 20 solo mission while I’m wearing new gear. It’s crazy.

      1. Steve C says:

        I’m asserting that this idea of High level players / Low level players / etc doesn’t exist in the game. Not after the first week. Not in the way that you are describing. High mastery is a breadth of equipment, not a depth of power.

        High mastery players have played with a lot of different things. As a player who’s played for years I’ve definitely got more weapons, mods, frames, etc than someone who’s been playing for a few weeks. Your damage output and survivability will still be comparable to mine. My high mastery rank simply means I have more gear collecting dust in my storage locker. That’s all it means. There are other benefits of high mastery rank but they are convenience based, not power based. (Like a higher daily rep cap.) High mastery players often have more game knowledge though and that can translate into power.

        I’m saying that your Valkyr is not any different from mine. Not in the way you seem to think. It is not like WoW where there are heights you haven’t seen yet. Even comparing Prime vs normal Valkyr is the difference of 1 forma for free plus 100 armor. It is not a huge difference. I’ve put 1 forma into my Valkyr Prime. If a player has put 3 forma into a regular Valkyr then it will be more powerful than my Prime version. (And Valkyr is a frame I use a lot.)

        This is youtube video of Valkyr fighting Wolf. That video has a lot of dislikes and rightfully so as he’s doing it badly. Any player with a rank 10 or higher Valkyr should be able to do what this video depicts. Note that this player is facetanking and not using hit-and-run. Which is fine. Hit-and-run shouldn’t be necessary and wasn’t necessary for this player.

        Groups of players of any level stop to fight assassin type spawns like Stalker, Zenuka, G3 or Wolf. They are fun fights and drop unique loot. I know you don’t agree that they are fun. However everyone else is in the same boat power wise. You did not get unlucky either. These assassins are coded to spawn when players are using their lower level gear.

        I don’t, because I’m leveling stuff. Solo.

        You can level stuff solo. It is an incredibly slow and inefficient way of leveling gear most of the time.* Kills given by other players apply to your gear if you are within Affinity range. Your squad kills stuff, and you gain xp for it. That xp is split across all the equipment brought with you.

        BTW I never run around with my best gear unless I’m intending to do some twinky fight (like the Profit-taker) in a prearranged group. 99% of the time I join random matchmaking. I use whatever brand new thing has been recently added to the game that I don’t even know if I like it or not. Whatever it is typically ends up forgotten and never used again once it hits 30.

        The biggest difference between mastery ranks is; A low mastery player has to focus on putting their resources towards the things they care about. A high mastery player can be very flexible and not worry about it.

        *(Solo stealth farming being the exception.)

        1. Shamus says:

          I see this player is basically constantly using two expensive abilities and yet never runs out of juice. I use Hysteria once and then I’m done for ten minutes because I don’t have any way to recover more. I’m sure there’s a mod / weapon combination being used here, but I don’t have anything that would make this remotely possible.

          That video kind of shows what I’m talking about. I get that my Valkyr is the same as the Valkyr of a MR20+ player, but the equipped mods are where the power comes from and you don’t get the REALLY good ones until the late game.

          1. Steve C says:

            Well I’d be more accurate to say that player is not using anything that is both 1)hard to acquire and 2) matters. For example he has Prisma Shade. Which is hard to get. More importantly it is completely useless and inconsequential in this fight. That is par for the course though. That’s what high mastery gets you. He is using Hunter Munitions though and that matters. That is easy to acquire though.

            From the video the only two things he is dealing damage with are Nikana Prime and his standard #4 ability Hysteria. Nikana Prime is a perfectly adequate melee weapon. It is not easy to get anymore and worth 50p total due to that fact. It is nothing special. (Broken War is straight up a better melee weapon for comparison and I know you have that.) The Nikana is doing 40-162 dmg a hit in the video which is nothing. So that just means he’s using a single thing- Hysteria- the #4 ability of Valkyr. Which is just melee and melee mods (and definitely no Rivens). He’s also using Warcry. But it is worthless in this fight since it doesn’t affect Wolf.

            I can tell from the video that he’s not using the hard to get/expensive/good mods (like Maim) due to the lack of red crits, his attack speed etc. Nor is Hysteria particularly well modded from the damage he does to the regular lvl 35 Grineer mooks. For comparison the damage numbers I’m seeing is what a well modded Hysteria can do vs level 135 Grineer. Still I can’t knock him too much. He is fighting on Helene on Saturn and that’s all that is needed. Regardless he is using nothing special. In fact, he sucks. It would not surprise me if he has forgotten to put melee mods onto his Hysteria (Talons). You can definitely out perform this guy. I want to stress he’s using a sub-optimal build.

            He’s getting his energy from either 1)Rage or 2)Hunter Adrenaline. You might not have Rage but Rage is not a very rare mod. Hunter Adrenaline (a common) is the better version anyway and it is available on Earth right now. Players will have those spare to give away free. He’s also using efficiency and/or duration mods like Streamline and Continuity. Since Hysteria is a toggled ability they both basically the same thing- reduce energy cost. However this is far too much regeneration and unnecessary.

            Note that spamming Hysteria (toggling on and off) like he’s doing does nothing useful. More likely Wolf is dispelling it and the player is reactivating it as assassins tend to turn off abilities. Natural Talent is helping more than the efficiency. I doubt you have a copy of this as the drop tables were changed relatively recently. However it used to be trash and players would have 100 copies. Not necessary though. I personally don’t bother with it on my Valkyr build. It is better to stay in Hysteria. However I have to admit it is particularly useful in this video.

            Other rare/expensive gear he’s using is Arcane Strike (melee dmg) and Arcane Fury (melee speed). The low damage I’ve covered. And his attack speed is pretty standard. You need to bind melee to the scrollwheel to really take advantage of attack speed. He’s not getting any real advantage out of the special things he is using.

            Health and Energy consumables are a thing that exist. They should be on everyone’s gear wheel and bound to a hotkey. (5= energy and 6=health for me). They were not used in this video and aren’t very useful for Valkyr. Still always good to have.

      2. Shamus says:

        For the record, I’m not calling you a liar. I just have no idea how what you’re saying is possible. Are you sure your loadout doesn’t include some rare mods / exotic weapons?

        1. King Marth says:

          Energy is probably the big difference. Valkyr works well with the Rage (rare) or Hunter Adrenaline (common but event-only, of course) mods which give you extra energy each time you take damage, which she can then use to get health back with Hysteria. With Streamline for power efficiency and Continuity for power duration (because increased duration decreases cost-over-time, which is slightly more discoverable now but never spelled out), and maybe Flow for an increased energy pool, then you use a fraction of the energy cost.

          I know the biggest turning point in power for me was when I got the Fleeting Expertise mod, which drastically increases energy efficiency at the cost of decreased power duration (which doesn’t matter on many fire-and-forget abilities). The Energy Siphon aura also gives a slow tick of regenerating energy, plus Energy Restore items are craftable with some basic resources. Zenurik’s energy dash has made that the near-mandatory school for many players, and Focus is definitely something where being around for longer just makes you more powerful.

        2. Steve C says:

          I think my first reply was eaten by your spam filter.

          My loadouts often include legendary mods and exotic weapons. (Exotic does not = good.) Primed versions of Flow, Continuity, Reach, Pressure Point etc. These are definitely more powerful than regular versions. Only because they can be upgraded 10 times instead of the standard 5 times. I would not recommend new players worry too much about primed mods. They don’t have the endo to upgrade a regular mod to max anyway. (However if the NPC that sells them (Baro) happens to have the prime versions in stock then they should definitely be purchased. In that case it is better not upgrade the regular ones.)

          Things like Arcanes are very good too. I use them. I don’t worry too much about them though. (Other players shouldn’t either.) There are other better options for most general play. Where the rare/valuable and exotic stuff like this is useful is either in general convenience or in very specific ways in very specific builds. For example there are specific chroma builds that benefit a lot from certain arcanes. Useful against Eidolons and Orb fights. Which are specific boss fights. In other words exotic gear useful in super specialized ways. Or useful in a general way by reducing the number of consumables used. (Consumables that are incredibly cheap to make.)

          and you don’t get the REALLY good [mods] until the late game.

          That is just not true. There’s no great mods waiting until later that you haven’t had the opportunity to get yet.* What it comes down to is the sheer quantity of kills and the combined probability of all those drops over time. For example when you kill 1000 guys there are 1000 chances for a rare to drop. That adds up until a player has everything that can drop from kills. Then it’s just things like mission rewards and special event rewards. Higher level enemies do not have better drop rates. They just take more time to kill- sometimes.

          A good example of how my “special” stuff benefits me over a new player is that I use Helios Prime as my sentinel. It passively scans things for me. It is no longer available and has to be traded for. Regular Helios is still available though. I also believe Taxon (the starter sentinel) is straight up better. Not having to stop to scan things is very convenient. Therefore I’m trading power for convenience. I can and do make that trade in other ways due to all the options I have available. That’s the benefit my larger loadout provides me. I can half-ass it without the kind of consequences a new player would experience.

          *Well I suppose Rivens. Except I have never ever equipped a riven. I’ve never felt it necessary to deal with that fiddly system. I strongly recommend newer players stay away from it. Their time and resources can be better spent elsewhere. It exists just as a sink for high level players who want the best of the best. I’ve never seen the point of worrying about all the little bonuses that can be squeezed out of rivens since you can hit the damage cap without rivens in multiple different ways even with a 75% damage penalty. If you can already do 2 billion points of damage in a single attack, I feel it isn’t worth the effort figuring out how to do more damage. Just do what is fun.

          1. Shamus says:

            You keep telling me that I’m wrong about everything and that I should be more powerful than I am now. I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t have any of the stuff you’re talking about, and I’m not NEARLY powerful enough to stand toe-to-toe with the Wolf for more than a few seconds before I’m dead. Where are you going with this? Are you trying to convince me I can beat the Wolf? Or am I supposed to be glad when the Wolf shows up for a RNG LOL murder because somewhere out there, players with better gear are having fun fighting him?

            You claimed that getting a Rage mode isn’t that hard, but I’m MR9 now, I’ve killed a LOT of dudes, and I don’t have it. You’re gainsaying my appraisal of the game without making any concrete suggestions. What’s the pro strat here? Be more lucky? Wait for people to give me more stuff for free?

            Fine. I’ll go do that. In the meantime, the Wolf will murder me whenever he shows up, and that’s some really annoying bullshit that makes no sense.

            1. Steve C says:

              I’m not saying you are wrong about everything. I’m saying that you are wrong about the expectations you are placing on the content you haven’t experienced and expectations on what other people have done in game. There isn’t some gated content of sheer power that you don’t have access to. Warframe is not like World of Warcraft.

              I’ve made suggestions in the comments of previous diecasts. The strats I suggest is to 1)Play with groups. 2)Take note when they do something you can’t replicate 3)Ask how they did it. Odds are high that you can do it too. And if you can’t because of some mod etc you don’t have, it is very likely you can acquire it easily once you know how to acquire it. Knowing that something exists is the hard part in Warframe.

              A good example is that video I linked. If you were playing with him, you could have asked “Hey how did you do that?” He would have answered “Rage” and you’d be armed with enough info for a google search. “Rage” is the shorthand to describe the mechanic “that converts a percentage of Health damage received into Energy.” It is also the name of *the lesser* of two mods that provide this ability. I named both because you could have had either already. The better version is a common on Earth. A concrete suggestion I’m making is that you should go back to Earth and get this mod now that you know it exists (assuming you want it.) If you can’t be bothered (and there will be many things like that in Warframe) you can probably trade for it for cheaper than you expect. And this applies in general.

              A common mod from a common event on the starting planet is the type of power you are missing and are expecting to see later when you “get to the endgame.” It isn’t in the endgame because there isn’t an endgame to speak of. You just need to know to grab the stuff you are missing. It is not surprising you don’t have {specific thing}. There is a lot of content. A newer player can’t have possibly done it all and gotten it all due to the sheer number of hours involved. I’m attempting to convince you that other players do not have better gear. It is that they have more of a selection.

              The more I’ve heard about your issue the more I believe the root problem is playing solo. Solo is hard mode. Not just because you don’t have the aid of a squad. It also results in: Less xp. Less kills. Less drops due to less kills. Less revives and therefore more lost xp to deaths. Most importantly you will receive less information. A very good source of information is the mission summary. Seeing that comparison is useful. It gives strong hints when you should ask questions. It’s how I learned. The community is quite good at helping. Belonging to a Clan would help. For lab sold blueprints if nothing else. If you were playing in random PUG squads, it is very likely you would have made in game friends by now. They could help too. People pay it forward in Warframe.

              An example is a Squad Energy Restore. If you were playing in a squad you’d see them put down fairly frequently by other players and could ask what they are. If you’ve never seen one placed by a player then it is doubtful you’ll ever know they exist. You’ll never kill enough guys to find a lucky drop either. They are sold for credits. You just need to see one to know to buy one. You won’t see it solo. Having it means you never need run out of energy again.

              The pro strat is to figure out where you have room for improvement (mission summary screen in squad) and then learning what you are missing (chat + wiki). Then focusing efforts on acquiring that specific thing you need most.

              1. PeteTimesSix says:

                I think Shamus is just falling into the classic trap of thinking that bigger numbers are better, and that if you can’t do something it must mean your numbers aren’t big enough. Which happens to everyone, I still build all my zaws for red crits even when I *know* there are superior options…

                The thing is, big numbers are easy. For example, a typical Serration + Split Chamber + two elementals + vital sense + point strike + gunslinger build (all of which are incredibly common mods) will put you pretty close to the maximum amount of damage you can squeeze out on most primary weapons in the game. Warframe is kind of like, say, Dwarf Fortress in that often the difficult part is knowing *which* number you have to make bigger, or if youre using the entirely wrong set of numbers, or if this is actually a multiple choice question and the answer is none of the above.

                The difference between a newbie and a veteran isnt access to late-game superpowered rare mods (though there is some of that too, to be fair), but the knowledge of a bunch of previously-used tricks that can be reused to solve new problems as they come up. An example would be knowing about what [Shattering Impact] is good for (which is a common mod that on the surface looks pretty underwhelming), that Lephantis’s damage cap means a lot of bullets is much better for killing it than one big bullet when the Hemocyte rolls around, or that Nova’s antimatter drop is good at causing a lot of damage in an AoE at the *exact* same game tick. Thinking outside the box will get you a lot more bang for your buck than another +27% power strength.

                At the risk of sounding pretentious, its kind of like learning a new programming language: the first few weeks (or months) are spent yelling at whichever lunatic came up with this ridiculous nonsense that breaks every convention of other, more sensible languages, but eventually it starts to click and the weird internal logic unique to it starts making sense. The problems never really go away, but they become integral to the whole thing, inseparable without destroying some of the uniqueness that makes it special.

                Not to say that I’m defending the silliness that is the Wolf just randomly showing up though, and Im not just saying that because Im bitter that the twit is yet to show up for me even a single time in the last four weeks.

                …I still havent gotten all the components of the Brakk, and the Grustak Three assassin squad has been around for literal years now.

      3. King Marth says:

        Curious, I’d have expected Valkyr’s godmode to let you chisel the guy down; I believe her talons are pre-supercharged, and the important melee damage mods only go up to rank 5, so that’s about as good as you can expect. Looks like he’s an Alloy Armor type, similar to the Bombard, so Radiation damage would be your best bet… apparently he’s immune to all status effects, so Corrosive won’t even chip away at that armor.

        Solo is the big handicap here. While solo play is supported on the technical side by how it permits actual pausing, the game design completely ignores it, throwing the same difficulty at you whether there’s one or four Tenno to deal with it (except when they scale down enemy spawns by player count, often making the mission harder due to fewer enemies providing fewer e.g. survival life support drops). Still, any group mission will become a frantic speedrun, so all I can do here is let you know that you’re not alone, just about every update has the solo players pointing out what got broken this time.

        Good news, though: The Wolf’s previously-tiny spawn rate is set to crank higher and higher as the event goes on, and due to this event being synced across all platforms, everything about it is set in stone! Yeah, I don’t think we’ll be getting any more cross-platform stuff for a while.

        The Wolf would be neat with any degree of control over facing him, but one of Warframe’s strengths is that there’s so much game that you can route around the parts which you don’t enjoy, and that isn’t an option here. The only thing you can do to opt out of the assassins is to abort mission when they show up, which isn’t a good solution even when it’s rare enough that it doesn’t meaningfully interrupt you. Having the occasional piece of game outside of your control (SimCity disasters!) can help keep it fresh, but that needs a very light touch.

        It’d be a shame to lose this offhand analysis, but I foresee a break from Warframe in the near future. Maybe you’ll come back to point out all the mistakes they keep making sometime next year.

    2. Syal says:

      The designer is attempting to engage players like me

      At the cost of players like me. Unbeatably overleveled monsters that are directly in the way of level-appropriate quests are pure frustration. The biggest nail in the coffin of my Final Fantasy 15 run was when I got to a level 30 main quest dungeon with a level 50 griffin sitting in front of the entrance. The fight took over an hour and my only feeling at the end of it was “what a terrible design decision”.

      You can make a trinket for players to carry that will draw dangerous monsters if they want them. Don’t just put them on main roads.

  10. Hal says:

    Your keyboard reminds me of a long-lost design that I miss.

    My old Compaq Presario came with a keyboard where the space key was split in two: One half was still the space key, the other half was a second back space key. (I can’t recall which was which now.)

    I loved this design. It did, of course, take some getting used to, but since you don’t need both thumbs for spacing, you could correct mistakes just a little bit faster with a little bit less hand strain. When you’re writing papers for school, that adds up quickly enough.

    I’m not even sure how to find a design like that anymore.

    1. Nessus says:

      Also this:
      https://kprepublic.com/collections/ktec-series/products/xd60-xd64-3-0-pcb-custom-mechanical-keyboard-kit-underglow-rgb-gh60-60-programmable-mx-alps-stem-split-spacebar-type-c

      And if you want the most flexibility in a non-split board (with better ergonomics than a normal board), this:
      https://kprepublic.com/collections/ktec-series/products/xd75re-xd75am-xd75-xiudi-60-custom-keyboard-pcb
      I’m typing this post on one of these, and I highly recommend it.

      Those are kit parts though, not pre-built boards. Links are just the PCBs; you’d need to buy switches, caps, plate, and case separately. The XD75RE has hot-swap switch sockets though, so it goes together like Lego: no soldering needed.

  11. Grimwear says:

    I’ve been driving my 2005 Toyota Corolla since I bought it new and I’ve had no complaints. The worst thing I’ve had to replace was a drive belt and a radio. It isn’t fancy but does exactly what I need it to which is get me from point A to B. I’ve had no big issues with it and this includes it surviving in Canadian winters where we can hit -20 Celsius or lower easily. To be fair I do bring it in yearly for maintenance/make sure it’s winterized but I’m happy to pay those costs for just how well the car has served me. I’ll admit I don’t take the greatest care of my car as I should (I’ve never once plugged it in when I leave it out in the cold) but I have never once had a problem having my car start for me.

  12. evilmrhenry says:

    Some early LCD monitors still had burn-in issues; on my first LCD screen you could see a ghost Windows taskbar. I wouldn’t worry about that today, though.

  13. Shamus that right-click key is actually the VK_APPS key aka the context menu key.

    I never use it as on my keyboard like yours it’s hidden behind a function switch “FN” key.
    Ironically you can press Shift+F10 in Windows and most programs and have the same menu open, making the FN+APP combo kinda pointless.

    This is why my next keyboard will have standalone APP and Mute and Play/Pause Next and forward and Calculator keys.

    Another issue of mine is that I wear out the pain/print on keys, I need injection moulding or re-legendable keyboards (you can put pre-made or self-printed inlays into clear top keys).
    Any other key coatings I wear out within a few months, and I’ve avoided backlight keyboards due to that (I’ll wear out the paint and end up with a blob of light instead of letters).
    I also dislike most backlit keyboards as they all bleed light around the keycap bottom while I only want the legend to be lit.

    1. evilmrhenry says:

      I actually have calculator/play/pause/mute/etc keys on my keyboard, but I never use them.

      Calculator is bound to Ctrl+Alt+C through Windows, and that’s a pretty easy combination to hit by feel.

      I use Winamp for music, and have bound Ctrl+Win+A/S/Z/X to play/pause, stop, previous, and next. Similarly, an easy combo to hit.

      1. I don’t know about Winamp (not sure the new version supports it even), but Foobar2000 supports the media keys so if it’s the only media player being used the play/next etc media keys will be sent to it. (assuming you have Windows 10, can’t recall if the same occurs on older Windows)

  14. MechaCrash says:

    On the topic of Satisfactory as a zen sort of game, something that I noticed is that if I want to listen to a podcast, I still need to be doing something with my eyes and hands in order to focus. But most of the things I would do that require my eyes and hands also require the parts of my brain that I need to listen to a podcast. The game that I’ve been using for that is Stars In Shadow, a space 4X in the Master of Orion 2 vein. A huge caveat applies, though, in that the save I play when listening to stuff is one that I technically won a long time ago (I voted for myself for Galactic Leader and controlled a supermajority just by myself, you know how it is) but elected to keep playing. So I’m just using my fleet to grind the other two space empires into dust, and it’s engaging enough to keep my occupied, but doesn’t really require me to think.

    I also went through pretty much the entire Adventure Zone backlog while grinding out gathering and crafting in Final Fantasy 14.

    1. Droid says:

      If you like Greek history, I can recommend Hegemony Gold: Wars of Ancient Greece for this exact reason. Getting to the point of basically having won, but “just having to carve up the rest of the map, because why not?” only takes slightly longer than the tutorial / demo part of the game, and after that all you have to remember is to use all your gold and all your Macedonian recruits, and you can have fun blobbing all over the Balkans, Greece and Asia Minor.

  15. default_ex says:

    When it comes to cars. It really doesn’t matter whether it’s import or local. They are all designed by sick, twisted and sadistic engineers that compete with each other to optimize the coefficient of knuckle busting maneuvers required to repair the vehicle. If the engineers decisions don’t bust up your knuckles enough, a higher up comes in and lectures them to ensure every mechanic learns and/or invents a new swear word each time they turn a bolt. Also, what idiot at Dodge/Chrysler thought it was a good idea to put a thermostat on the bottom of the engine and then rotate it 45 degrees about the roll axis of the car to ensure it falls on your face if you put it in the block or onto the ground if you put it into the thermostat housing. Or the dude at Buick that thought it would be funny to bury a bolt so that you need a 24″, 12″, 6″, and two 3″ socket extension bars to reach it. Or the people at Ford that thought, “hey, our spark plugs stay in the engine block a little too well, let’s make the cylinder walls thinner”. Mad props to the engineer that figured out putting the spark plugs on top of the engine away from the super hot exhaust manifolds was a great idea, dude deserves all the beers. In fact take those beers from his buddy that thought nylon chain link timing belts were at all a good idea, that is the dumbest thing I have ever seen in an engine.

    I really need to spend less time working on cars. It’s really making me start to hate cars. Why couldn’t someone bring me a nice 70s Chevy to work on, so spacious of an engine compartment. I could literally climb in next to the engine and start wrenching on it.

  16. Rollory says:

    I’ve been thinking over this podcast since I listened to it. My initial reaction was “that’s total BS, these guys have no idea what they’re running their mouths off about”. Then I thought: no, there’s lots of things in NMS I object to, maybe they have a point.

    So I thought about it.

    And the conclusion I’ve come to is that you have no idea what you’re running your mouths off about.

    Two examples. First, mining with the “little dinky laser” and how you’re still doing that in the late game. No, you’re not. If you are you don’t know what you’re doing and aren’t thinking about the options available. The correct (player-time-optimal) solution is: scan down a trade post, land, buy craploads of stuff from the terminal and/or the ships stopping by, then run off and do whatever you wanted. Five minutes buying and you’re set for hours. This particularly applies to the exocraft, which you described as needing to fill up on gas every two blocks. Well, not really; if you have a couple thousand fuel stashed in inventory you just slap the refuel buttons when you need and keep going and you basically don’t even notice. Your objection will be “but there’s no gameplay benefit to that choice”. On the contrary; there’s the choice of preparing beforehand or living off the land as you go. I once did a 5-hour drive across a planet to a specific location (long story why but it was necessary and unavoidable). Every time I saw a big red crystal I’d zap it with the rover’s mining laser. That mostly was sufficient to keep me going without ever needing to stop. I prefer filling up beforehand but I like knowing I can manage without.

    An alernative to the trade post option is to set up a refining industrial center at your base. You can essentially produce resources for free, in large quantities; set stuff up to run in your absence, stop in just to grab the resources and restart new batches. No mining necessary except at the very start.

    Second, the whispering eggs and the monstrosities. You say there’s no gameplay purpose to how these spawn. You’ve totally missed the point: the eggs refine in a recycler to nanites, which are the “real” currency of the game (you practically trip over credits in the hundreds of thousands every time you turn around in this game). The point of the monstrosities is to provide a challenge in gathering the eggs, and they’re exactly correctly calibrated for that. I also note you talk about “when you’ve killed them all” – um, no, you don’t and can’t. They keep respawning every time you kill them. They stop respawning after a certain time has gone by with no combat. Don’t make untested assumptions.

    Also you talk about multiple things that you say have been added, that I know for a fact were in the game at launch. This is at least partly Hello Games’ fault; they’ve gone out of their way to avoid explaining what is in the game and how it works. Nevertheless you’ve overlooked quite a lot.

    I could give lots of other examples but these really stood out to me. There’s lots of gameplay choices and tradeoffs in NMS that you seem to have totally missed because you start off by assuming they’re not present. While that is an excellent way to get the results you want, it doesn’t guarantee correctness.

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