Weekly "What are you playing?" thread #56 (#14 in 2024)

What are you playing currently?


Previous Iterations:


I'm aware the dates aren't exactly right but I like to keep things refered to their planned date. They are still weekly after all.

#1 --- 043 - [07 Jan 2024] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #43 -- mayflyalt :marseyblowkiss:

#2 --- 044 - [14 Jan 2024] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #44 -- lc

#3 --- 045 - [21 Jan 2024] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #45 -- lc

#4 --- 046 - [28 Jan 2024] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #46 -- lc

#5 --- 047 - [04 Feb 2024] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #47 -- lc

#6 --- 048 - [11 Feb 2024] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #48 -- lc

#7 --- 049 - [18 Feb 2024] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #49 -- lc

#8 --- 050 - [25 Feb 2024] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #50 -- lc

#9 --- 051 - [03 Mar 2024] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #51 -- lc

#10 --- 052 - [10 Mar 2024] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #52 -- lc

#11 --- 053 - [17 Mar 2024] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #53 -- Ninjjer :marseyloveyou:

#12 --- 054 - [25 Mar 2024] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #54 -- lc

#13 --- 053 - [17 Mar 2024] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #55 -- Ninjjer


I'm aware there are previous weekly or so megathreads and I'll eventually add them ( green = official, red = fake, yellow = misc, blue = losercel)

#0 - [22 Jan 2023] - some1 should make weekly vidya threads marseytf2spy

#1 - [28 Jan 2023] - Weekly "Whatcha Been Playing" Thread #1

#2 - [4 Feb 2023] - Weekly "Whatcha Been Playing" thread #2

#3 - [11 Feb 2023] - Weekly Gaming Thread #3

#3.5 - [13 Feb 2023] - [Weekly Gaming Thread 2] You will own no NFTs of video game microtransactions and you will be happy edition-- dramamine

#4 - [18 Feb 2023] - Weekly ‘What're You Playing?' thread #4

#4.5 - [20 Feb 2023] - Welcome to the new weekly vidya thread! Week 1 - 2/20/23 -- robotron2084

#5 - [25 Feb 2023] - Weekly “What're You Playing” Community Thread #5

#5.5 - [2 Mar 2023] - So, what do you dipshits play all day? -- horned waifu shill

#6 - [4 Mar 2023] - Weekly ‘What're You Playing' Thread #6

#7 - [11 Mar 2023] - Weekly ‘What're you playing?' thread #7

#8 - [18 Mar 2023] - Weekly ‘What're you playing?' Thread #8

#9 - [25 Mar 2023] - Weekly ‘What're You Playing?' thread #9

#10 - [1 Apr 2023] - Weekly ‘What are you playing?' Thread: #10: Whooaaaa Those are some HILARIOUS patch notes edition

#11 - [8 Apr 2023] - Weekly 'What are you playing' Thread #11

#12 - [15 Apr 2023] - Weekly ‘What are you playing' thread #12

#13 - [23 Apr 2023] - What're you playing thread #idk

#14 - [29 Apr 2023] - Weekly ‘What Are You Playing' thread #14

#15(1) - [6 May 2023] - Weekly ‘What're you playing?' thread #15

#15(1).5 - [10 May 2023] - marseyg*mer Gaming Thread - What are you playing this week? -- cynic

#15(2) - [13 May 2023] - Weekend ‘What've you been playing?' Thread #15 -- he fricked up the ordering here I'll just go with it

#16 - [20 May 2023] - Weekly "What Are You Playing?" Thread #16

#16.5 - [28 May 2023] - Weekly “What are you playing” thread -- carp

#17 - [3 Jun 2023] - Weekly “What have you been playing?” Thread #new one

#18 - [10 Jun 2023] - Weekly “What are you playing” thread #18

#19 - [17 Jun 2023] - Weekly ‘What're You Playing' thread #19!

#20(1) - [24 Jun 2023] - Weekly ‘What Games Are you Playing?' Thread #20: Modern Warfare III

#20(2) - [1 Jul 2023] - Weekly ‘What're you playing?' Thread #20: Summer Salestice -- same reason as above

#21 - [10 Jul 2023] - Weekly ‘What're you playing?' Thread #21: loli_esports forgot got chudded edition -- basad

#23 - [15 Jul 2023] - Weekly 'What Games Are You Playing?' thread #I think it's actually 23 -- should be 22 but I'll go with his ordering

#24 - [22 Jul 2023] - Weekly ‘What Games Are You Playing?' thread #24: Lot of stuff coming out all of a sudden, feels like

#25 - [29 Jul 2023] - Weekly ‘What games have you been playing' thread #25

#26 - [5 Aug 2023] - Weekly ‘What Games Are You Playing' thread #26

#27 - [12 Aug 2023] - Weekly ‘What Games Are You Playing' thread #27

#28 - [19 Aug 2023] - Weekly ‘What Games Are You Playing' thread #28

#29 - [26 Aug 2023] - Weekly ‘What Games Are You Playing' thread #29

#30 - [2 Sep 2023] - Weekly ‘What Games Are You Playing' thread #30

#31 - [9 Sep 2023] - Weekly ‘What Games Are You Playing' thread #31

#32 - [16 Sep 2023] - Weekly ‘What Games Are You Playing' thread #32

#33 - [23 Sep 2023] - Weekly ‘What Games Are You Playing' thread #33

#34 - [30 Sep 2023] - Weekly “What games are you playing” thread # 34

#35 - [7 Oct 2023] - Weekly “What games are you playing” thread #35

#36 - [27 Oct 2023] - Weekly “What games are you playing” thread #36 -- tulpa

#37 - [26 Nov 2023] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #37 -- losercel

#38 - [03 Dec 2023] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #38 -- losercel

#39 - [10 Dec 2023] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #39 -- losercel

#40 - [17 Dec 2023] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #40 -- losercel

#41 - [24 Dec 2023] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #41 -- losercel

#42 - [31 Dec 2023] - Weekly "What games are you playing" thread #42 -- losercel

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Final Score: (10*1+9*2+8*1+7*3+6*6+5*8+4*0+3*1+2*0+1*3)/(1+2+1+3+6+8+0+1+0+3) = 5.96 :marseynice:

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Game to Discuss?

This week let's discuss Lethal Company. While no longer FOTM, it had a brief but strong period where it seemingly took over the internet (or at least my friend group). In it, you explore abandoned "Moons," searching for random garbage to sell to the eponymous company, while avoiding all sorts of horrifying creatures. Discuss below in the pinned comment.

carp, capy, geto, donger pin please :marseybegging:

Reported by:
  • Arran : You can tell this neighbor neurodivergent. Words words words
EFFORTPOST Age of Empires 2 :marseyredcoat: :marseyshah: - Hidden Cup 5 Tournament Drama :marseytrophy: :trophy: :carptrophy:

Greetings Dramatards :marseywave2:

This drama has many convoluted facets, so I'll try my best :marseybeanannoyed: to make it make sense

CONTEXT: WHAT IS AGE OF EMPIRES 2? :marseycrusader2: :marseycrusader:

I think amongst all games I've ever talked about, I believe that Age of Empires (AOE) is one of those ubiquitous games which requires little introduction, you know one of those ever present games for those growing up in the 2000s. It was a universal code of law that any family home (even lower class poorcels) of whichever friend you visited for a playdate or sleepover, and had a family computer :marseytypinglaugh: present in their abode, had one of the big jock games installed - NeedForSpeed Undergound, the Sims (1 or 2), Fifa/Rugby or Age of Empires. It was one of those titles even non-g*mers were aware of or had played, and would likely be one of the few titles they may ever play in their entire lifespan.

Well while the original Age of Empires 1 got released in 1997, it would be its sequel - Age of Empires 2 - released in 1999, which truly propelled the franchise into infamy. It's basically a Real-Time-Strategy game, which takes place broadly over the Middle Ages time period. For a while in the early 2000s, it was considered one of best RTS multiplayers, but in places like South Africa with very little in the way of internet support infrastructure, there was little capacity to engage with an international audience and playerbase.

Additionally, the golden age of RTS games seemed to have waned drastically in the period after 2005-2008, and the Age of Empires 2 game did not have much capacity to updating its limited netcoding from many of the original CDs released as far back as fricking 1999. Yet even with such an ancient and antiquated multiplayer-matchmaking system, by as long as 2009, almost a decade after AOE2's release, there was still many multiplayer matches played, with some of them uploaded on the earliest parts of young Youtube.

Many people here probably have never even heard of the software GameSpy, which was a suite of software included into many many games sold via the CD-ROM format, where support software like Direct X was usually included into many CD-ROM physically sold copies of games, as it was assumed that many 3rd world shitheaps would not have the internet to download much needed Graphics driver support Software.

For virtually every game with any level of online multiplayer component, every CD-ROM copy of that game CD contained GameSpy, a software which acted as a server hosting for matchmaking multiplayer games in many many games. According to GameSpy themselves, they supported over 800 games within their lifespan operation.

Yet GameSpy was very very flawed, and 3rd world shitheaps like South Africa would always get the short end of the stick when it came to server hosting, or just having dedicated matchmaking fonts for a specific nation that wasn't Europe, America or China.

By 2012 Steam had improved to such a degree, that many people saw the benefits of having a steam account be able to install your entire library on any device or computer you owned. Additionally steam's servers and netcoding completely blew stuff like Gamespy out of the water in terms of convenience, and actually working in 3rd world internet. Additionally internet infrastructure like fiber was also becomming commonplace, allowing dungheaps that weren't Europe, China or America, to actually be able to compete against foreign strangers at pings lower than 50 000.

In 2012 something else also happened, a company called Hidden Path Entertainment would acquire the licensing to work on rebooting Age of Empires 2 - a game which by this stage was 13 years old, and yet still held a vibrant yet small cult following on its very very antiquated multiplayer. They would fully integrate the whole netcode of AOE2 within Steam's online infrastructure, and update much of the graphics to be able to scale up to (by then) modern widescreen LCD monitors.

While it may seem like comparative little effort when held against newer reboots we've seen in the last few years, like for example the stunning Command and Conquer reboot back in 2020

There was a large amount of resolution upscaling problems which had to be overcome in the ancient AOE2. Back in 1999 most people played with CRT monitors which used fricking projectors to light onto bended black screens, the image which the PC's graphics processor was crafting. But by the time 2012 rolled in we had LCD screens with much much larger resolutions.

Back then, the richest strags would brag with resolutions of 640 x 360 something, or even the coveted 800 x 640 :marseyscream: :marseyscream: :marseyscream: Oh my God :marseycumplosion: :marseycumplosion: :marseycumplosion: :marseycumplosion: :marseycumplosion:

And thus spreading the view properly from the ancient AOE2 engine, to properly display on modern 720 or even 1080 resolutions was a surprising undertaking. As a small humerous anecdote, many of the best players on voobly or GameSpy still gaming original AOE2 would fricking play on their ancient CRT monitors, simply because it was easier to see in the ancient CRT monitors, than a modern LED LCD LGBT screen with the fuzzy maximum resolution spread thin over fricking 720 pixels :marseythissmall: :marseythissmall: :marseythissmall: :marseytiny4: :marseytiny4: :marseytiny4: :marseytiny3: :marseytiny3: :marseytiny3:

So come 2013, with Age of Empire 2 HD Edition being released April 9, it would be a major game changer, and would reinvigorate life blood into the Age of Empires 2 multiplayer sphere, and even introduce the Age of Empires games to people whom had been too young to play the originals like I did way back, or whom did actually fricking own the originals back in the 2000s, but literally used their original CDs until they chaffed and eroded into dysfunction or because by 2012, few gaymers even had CD-ROMs in their fricking Computers anymore.

Regardless, for many millions, they experienced the fantastic single player of Age of Empires 2 for the 1st time, and for many more gaymer boomers, it was a callback to more innocent nostalgic times. The core gameplay and RTS balance of AOE2 seem to have aged like the finest of wines, and many would comment that it was easier for new players to get into, when compared to the more "hardcore" Starcraft 1 and Starcraft 2 which was also in RTS discussion around the same time as the release of Age of Empires HD Edition, but was considered to be much much much more micro intensive to be more competitive (aka require exceptional multitasking and juggling of multiple units in your army simultaneously to stand a chance).

While AOE was and could also be more micro-intensive, and the elite pro-gaymer scene would also have a high-ceiling, for many normies, AOE, especially Age of Empires 2 was seen as a much more easy RTS to get into, when compared to Starcraft.

Now it needs to be said that while the causal multiplayer and singleplayers newcomers to Age of Empires 2 HD edition had good things to say about the game allowing people to run the old game on modern hardware easily, the pro-multiplayer scene, especially the old-guard GameSPy supremacists were divided, and game the 2013 release mixed reviews.

"HD Edition received mixed reviews, with aggregate review website Metacritic assigning a score of 68 out of 100 based on reviews from 20 critics. Critics agreed that the HD Edition changed very little from the original game, though Steam Workshop integration was widely praised." Many RTS reviewers were also unimpressed with the game, as there was no change to the original formula of the 1999 game - this criticism itself would age poorly, as many players PREFERRED the lack of change from the 1999 game, with no bullshit and nonsense added to dilute the game.

Yet over time, both steam and user-scores would increase the HD Edition's score. Other criticism from the GameSpy playerbase was the fear that the multiplayer userbase would be split between the old GameSpy ecosystem, and the new Steam framework, which proved to be a true prediction, others were just stubborn. Additionally, the 1st 6 months of Age of Empires HD Edition was beset with bugs and errors, especially multiplayer bugs, like most multiplayer games often are. Yet as the Steam version of AOE2 gradually improved, and gained more and more casual players, it would eventually ensure that AOE2 HD Edition would become the dominant multiplayer version of AOE2 entirely.

By 2014 two additional happenings cemented Age of Empire 2 HD Edition's place in the international RTS's community's mind. By 2014, the 1st expansion for AOE2 in 13 fricking years!

The Forgotten Empires Expansion was based upon a popular mod which has since 2013 been created by very professional old fans of AOE2, and had included custom new factions. The expansion pack was developed by the team that created the mod with the assistance of SkyBox Labs.

2nd - by 2014 Gamespy would officially close its support and servers. "In April 2014, Glu announced that it would shut down the GameSpy servers on May 31, 2014, so its developers could focus on work for Glu's own services. Games that still used GameSpy are no longer able to offer online functionality or multiplayer services through GameSpy." :marseyitsover: :marseyitsover: :marseyitsover: :marseyitsover: :marseygiveup: :marseygiveup: :marseygiveup: :marseygiveup: :marseygiveup: :marseypills: :marseypills: :marseypills: :marseypills: :marseypills: :marseypills: :marseypills: :marseypills: :marseypills: :marseypills: :marseypills: :marseypills:

It felt for many that gaymers were living in a new Golden Age of Age of Empires, that a new reinvigoration was taking place, but things would move on at the speed of greased lightning on 9 June 9 2019, Microsoft revealed the gameplay trailer at Xbox E3 2019, where they showcased a massive MASSIVE reboot for Age of Empires 2 having been in the works since 2017, with the original rebooting team of HD Edition, and fricking even the creators of the Forgotten Empires mod and expansion. Compared to so much AAA slop and trash releases by modern companies like Ubisoft and EA, this seemed unbelievable, pretty much everyone (in my circles) expected this to flop like flapjacks, especially as Microsoft wasn't as known for gaming excellence in this genre :marseydisgusted:

Well guess what dirtbags :marseysmug2: :marseysmirk2: :marseysmirk2: :marseysmirk2: it was a monumental success like no other reboot before or since. Not only was there massive graphics overhauls, including destructible buildings, much clearer units and user-interfaces - there was also quality-of-life improvements which Age of Empires 2 players could never even begin to dream of, including the ability to reseed farms automatically, improved unit pathing, and a fricking tech-tree more easily accessible whenever :marseytrollcrazy: :marseytrollcrazy: :marseytrollcrazy: :marseytrollcrazy:

A lot of players who've been gaming on Age of Empires 2 - Definitive Edition for the past 2 years are often shocked at how much the graphics are improved over HD Edition when they go back just for curiosity, and even more shocked when they are reminded just how used they have gotten to the endless flotilla of quality-of-life improvements, much better User-interface, and metric shitload of bugs improved- and most of all the massive massive massive amount of improved faction balancing since.

Any strags still playing AOE2 DE, I dare you guys just to take a gander at the basic graphics of current AOE2: DE, and 2013's AOE2: HD - it is vast.

The point is if any strag gave half a darn about Age of Empires 2, or even Age of Empires 1, at any point in their lives, then in 14 November 14 2019, they had one of the grandest of Christmas holidays. As word spread through the grapevine of gaymers, about how good AOE2 DE actually was, and the initial mass of bugs and multiplayer errors were being ironed out, Age of Empires 2 - Definite Edition would take 2020 by fricking storm, and propel AOE2 as likely the most popular RTS in current present. A small and hardcore cult following would develop in the next 4 years, which blew even the Voobly and GameSpy days of the previous two decades, completely out of the fricking water :marseyakbar: :marseyakbar: :marseyakbar: :marseyakbar:


With the improvements of Steam multiplayer-interfaces, modern internet in 3rd world shitheaps like South Africa, and a greater participating population globally in Age of Empires Definitive Edition, there were a newly massive revamped popularity in not just playing Age of Empires 2 online, but also in spectating it.

A lot of people whom had played AOE2 online, and became exceptionally good at it, also became aware of a subset of players whom were even more so fanatically good in their ability to play the game.

(for many whom had not played AOE2 since literally 20 years ago these commentated games would be like watching black magic as people saw for the 1st time pros doing shit like building houses as fricking walls)

One of the earliest dudes who began their careers as a streamer commenting on games which he found interesting was T90. You see since 1999, Age of Empires had the ability to reccord any games played, and thus streamers/podcasters would mine the records of online games to look for interesting games or games played by exceptionally skilled players, and comment upon them in "real-time" as the recording played as if they were sports commentators, giving feedback to their Twitch-stream audiences about the nuances of play happening. T90 would begin with humble origins on the early days of AOE2 HD Edition about 8 years ago, and manage to make a financially viable career as a host and commentator on Twitch where he would regale his ever steadily growing audience on particular games he found interesting.

With 2020 and the explosion of Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edittion onto the gaming scene, so too did T90's stream also explode in popularity beyond anything even he and the earliest strags following envisioned. T90 had tried to imitate the much more gargantuan E-sports events such as League of Legends, CS-GO, Call of Duty and Overwatch which would in 2020 still dwarf even Age of Empires 2 at its height by a factor of several hundred to several thousands in viewership. Yet T90's rags to riches story would continue slowly upwards as T90 would even manage to secure sponsorships from companies such as Redbull

In 2022, we would get one of the largest viewership peaks for AOE2 and RTS games in general, at that moment in time, ever. Which again would be the smallest of small-fry when compared to turbo gaymer normie popular online games like League of Legends.

But the RTS and AOE2 ecosystem was completely balkanized and cut off from the rest of online gaming, so no one playing AOE2 gave a shit whether AOE2 was even fractionally as popular, compared to yeasteryear, AOE2 was in the most golden :marseycoin: :marseycoin: :marseycoin: :marseygolden: :marseygolden: :marseygolden: :carpcoingold: :carpcoingold: :carpcoingold: of its Golden Ages yet, and didn't seen to be stopping.

Compared to any online game still supported, the Definitive Edition developer-team seems to not be able to go 6 months without either a massive overhaul or major Expansion, all of which had included new single-player content such as new voiced campaigns, designed by the very guys who made the Forgotten Empires mod, and all received very well by the userbase.


At one point in his sponsorship deals, T90 managed to think out an idea which would prove to be very popular with his own fanbase, and the Age of Empire 2 playerbase in general - Hidden Cup. The idea was that the top pro-players would compete under pseudonyms, and have there be two prize pools during the competition. The 1st would be the staggered prize pool for the pro-players themselves, competing until a semi-final and grand-final match would take place live in front of live audiences. The 2nd prize-pool would be the draw of the Hidden Cup Tournament - namely for spectators and players to guess whom which player was, and those most accurate would win a smaller prize if they had managed to most accurately guess which of the 16 competing finalists were whom.

For this to make sense, it needs to be explained that compared to many other online games, such as FPS and shooters games, there are wildly divergent personalities which become apparent in the different playstyles of specific different players in Age of Empires; many people neurodivergent enough to waste their lifespan away in actually watching other turbo autists playing Ago of Empires 2 online ,instead of actually just playing the game themselves, have become adept at noticing patterns of behaviour unique to individuals, and personalities being very specific and vibrant when it comes to the competative management of their empires in the online conflict :marseysoypointsnappygold: :marseysoypointsnappygold: :marseysoypointsnappygold:

As a few examples, one of the slowest players in the top bracket of the game is 38-year old Daut, whom is also by far the very oldest as he is by the far the player whom has played AOE1 competatively online since the fricking 1999 release for nearly 25 fricking years now. What makes the man unique is that he was a very slow APM - or Actions-Per-Minute, when compared to pretty much all of the other young-buck pro players inhabiting the top-100 scene. You see in order to be the best of the best, you need to be able to multitask your entire fricking empire, consisting of sometimes controlling 200 unites walking in chaos upon the map in Age of Empires, and requires the unique skillset of multitasking on a scale not seen in other games like FPS shooters

What makes Daut unique however, is that his incredible game-sense, 2 decades of experience, and makro strategy allows him to go toe-to-toe with people so fast and APM-oriented, that on normal circumstances average players would be destroyed by opponents with superhuman multitasking capabilities. The most famous meme in the entire game, and especially the Hidden Cup tournament, is that whenever a castle is denied (the most powerful structure buildable in the game), then it's "Daut Confirmed" because of his reckless tendency to attempt to the structure in hostile circumstances when opposing enemies with vastly superior APM talent capable of denying him able to build the powerful game changing structure.

Here is Viper (the best player on the planet prior to this current Cup), in a state of shock when looking at statistics of pros, and discovering that Daut only had an average of 12-APM at a previous tournament. Meaning he only committed 12 Actions per minute, like ordering military units about, or directing civil units to build or create things, a rate of actions so low, it is below even the most moderate online player for AOE2 - demonstrating his unique style of play and incredible game sense is of such a caliber that he is still able to meet players which on paper should trash him with mikro speed.

Because of this uniqueness which Age of Empires 2 has in terms of its economic aspects, instead of just pure turbo-neurodivergent ultra fast APM :marseyschizotwitch: :marseyschizotwitch: :marseyschizotwitch: clinicalness like Starcraft 1/2, there is a much greater degree to which individuals have their personality shine and be different, and thus the concept of Hidden Cup, where specific players are to be guessed from their gameplay by spectators, makes a great deal more sense than in any other online multiplayer game that I am aware of.

The 5th such event, Hidden Cup 5 took place two weeks ago, but it took me till now to fricking finish the whole thing, because RTS games in general tend to have much longer matches than that of other genres, with the average lasting 35minutes, to 50 minutes games for long protracted games. A stark comparison to shit like CS-GO where matches can finish within 30 seconds easily, with an entire opposing team wiped out not being uncommon. :marseydead: :marseydead: :marseydead:

THE DRAMA OF HIDDEN CUP 5: :marseylibations:

Ok so very long boring story slightly shorter: the entire Hidden Cup 5 Tournament was very well received in general with a level of play and skill higher than ever before; the 16 anonymous finalists would compete under pseudonyms made up of in-game hero-units of real-life historical figures, with the main draw of the event being the commentators of T90 and the spectators trying to speculate upon which hero was which fames pro-player, with much speculation upon who is who, and whether any new blood had entered this anonymous tournament to upset everyone's predictions.

All was pretty great, EXCEPT the grand-finale final match; which was vast and massive disappointment to many many spectators, especially since it being the most viewed of all of the matches in the entire tournament by a large margin. Ok so there's only 3 names you guys needs to give a shit about for this story. The Viper, Hera and Lierry - the 3 pro-players in the recent Hidden Cup tournament.

For the past 5 years and more, the Viper has been considered the most powerful player player in the entire game by a large margin, he had won 3 Hidden Cups previously, and multiple tournaments, and as far as I know had retained the largest fricking :marseychessknight: :marseycheckmate: ELO score (the ranking score used in AOE2 matchmaking to match people of equivalent skill for fairness) for 6 years straight, all because of his superhuman and astronomical degrees of multitasking and that APM we've talked about, many peeps would come close to dethroning him every now and then, but on average he was the most infamous player neatly because of the sheer gulf of his skill, and that of even the closest competition.

For a long while now, Hera, generally considered the 2nd best player for many in the AOE2 fandom, had attempted to dethrone the Viper definitively in a Hidden Cup, yet remarkably he had come 2nd or 3rd in so many tournaments.

Now to lend context to understanding this drama, about 3 years ago in the 2nd Hidden Cup tournament, a lot of people had actually failed to speculate whom the Viper had been due to him playing abnormally passively and safely, and never showing his own hand, not out of any subterfuge, but because in his own words in an after-game interview, he was still finding his feet in the new maps and challenges of the Hidden Cup. Because of this he had not shown his usual infamous level of superhuman supernatural ultra high skill ceiling, and it was the most misscalled Hidden Cup, as absolutely no one, including spectators or commentators failed to accurately identify who in the frick the Viper was, as everyone leading up to the grand-finale final-match of Hidden Cup 2 played with equivalent skill. People did however correctly identify one of the anonymous 2 finalists as Hera due to his specific clinical playing pattern

Yet in the greatest upset in the grand-finale, the Viper would r*pe and thrash Hera in the most one-sided showing of skill shown throughout the entire fricking tournament. It was shocking at the time, because the Viper had NOT shown this level of inhuman play at any point prior to the finale, he had played magnificently, but not to such a superhuman level. And 2nd because Hera had played to the highest degree of skill possible. Hera did everything right and played to the highest level of skill in the game, but Viper was just such a level of magnitude better.

I mention this background because the grand-finale between Hera and the Viper was fought tooth and claw and nail, and yet Viper could r*pe poor Hera into oblivion despite his Herculean and forlorn efforts. Even though so brutally one-sided, it was clear that both men were giving their all in this final stretch of the tournament, and the added actor of showing just how unbelievably far the skill ceiling can rise after a whole tournament of high-level skill, was enthralling itself.

Fast-forward 3 years later in Hidden Cup 5 in 2024, and the one-sided assraping was a much MUCH less satisfying conclusion, and a great source of dissatisfaction for different reasons. This time Hera had substantially improved, and Viper had gradually scaled down the intensity of his commitment to such high levels of play - some said that viper had suffered a painful injury this year, which made his capacity to play on such a mentally and physically draining degree not possible - others sad that the Viper no longer desired to even defend his topspot as he had already achieved victory in 3 previous Hidden Cups, and had no longer something to prove, and was also subsequently tired after playing for many years at such an intense degree.

Many predicted early on that Hera might actually finally steal the crown from Viper, after such long effort, and behold he would finally do so in Hidden Cup 5.

Viper would fall out in the semi-finals, with many many accurately predicting him due to his playstyle, leaving the two players Hera and Lierry to compete in the grand-finale. This was a source of monumental excitement as every single player taking a spot in the 4 semi-final positions would only obtain such after the most vicious competition ever yet witnessed so far in any Hidden Cup or any other AOE2 tournament witnessed ever before - absolutely everyone of the 4 semi-finalists only got there through tooth and claw.

And thus the sheer mediocrity of the grand-finale would be such a source of contention through the usual above-average politeness in the AOE2 online community.

You would have the usual polite and generically positive and appreciative comments top voted

Yet other comments and spectators would voice their disappointment.

"there were games in hidden cup 5 longer than the entire final o_O"

Oh yes there were games going over 90 minutes, including one of the most spectacular where two players were literally going at it against one another, until they LITERALLY STRIPMINED EVERY FRICKING PIECE OF WOOD AND ORE ON THE MAP, and thus one finally surrendered after literally running out of resources in a ratrace for scraps. Yes that's right, the entire match of 5 games in the grand-finale took less time than a few of the longer games :marseyfacepalm: :marseyfacepalm: :marseyfacepalm: :marseyfacepalm:

"Hera was in his head for sure, couldn't wait to tap out"

"Hera's gameplay channel has uploaded his PoV for these games. Hera definitely had the civ selection figured out for the maps played. Hera did believe that he was out picked on Bay and Arabia, but those maps didn't come up."

"yea that's all true, but he still tapped out to easily. Even T90 was shocked at the first tap out"

Many of the commentators noted that that Lierry, the other finalist against Hera was likely very very demoralized in facing Hera, and many believed that he gave less than even a token effort into facing Hera in the grand-finale. This is in direct stark contrast to the one-sided beating Viper gave Hera in Hidden Cup 2, 3 years ago, as Hera fought like a lion even against an unstoppable force. In contrast it appeared as if poor Lierry had the very fight taken from him, and had not even displayed a fraction of a spark :sparkle: :sparkle: :sparkle: of the brilliance and talent and strategic effort which he had showcased throughout all of the qualifiers, and all of the previous tournament games - it was as if facing Hera alone was so daunting to the man, that he didn't even have the heart to face such an unfair and unequal opponent, I know how that feels.

Computer games somehow have the capacity to have gulfs of skill even more monumental than physical sports like Rugby and Cricket, between professionals, and even then certain sports like like Tennis tends to be internationally dominated for years on end by a top-level prodigy, like Novak Djokovic currently is. Facing off against such insurmountable odds is often itself demoralizing.

"hera singlehandedly ruined watching competitive aoe for me this year. there's no point watching - me and a friend had two tickets to hidden cup but didn't show up because we had an opportunity to go to some tourist locations in fort lauderdale with friends instead - my friend jokingly said 'hera will win it all anyway' and after watching this - yeah. what's the point of watching when one guy dominates so totally? I'm happy for him in that he has mastered this classic game, but plain and simple no one is on his level - that's lame for the average viewer

T90 engagement farming and getting pseudo-salty about 'low' (read: less than last time) viewership numbers was just the icing on the cake"

The one-sided assraping being a feature of the finals seemed to have been a commonplace for many peeps even prior to the events of Hidden Cup 5, yet HC5 seemed to have been extra disappointing due to Lierry in all but words, just throwing in the towel, ESPECIALLY after such a short match lasting barely 65 minutes holy hells - thus is can be understandable why peeps have some ire.

"still watching but honestly for a final I expected more... first 2 matches they rolled over"

Now there are 2 sources of mixed feelings for this Hidden Cup 5 final. One is that Hera after such grand effort after half a decade finally obtained his dream for obtaining world supremacy, especially after being beaten by Viper so many times before. Hera would have a post-match commentary where he discussed how he had dreamed of winning a global tournament, since as far as 7 years ago, and finally obtained his dream - Hera is in a strange way the underdog story here as he had been rooted for in defeating Viper for a long loooong time now.

T90, the Caster Host and commentator for the tournament, would also reiterate that he had come from humble means - where 8 years ago he had attempted to start a career by casting to paltry viewership of 50 chodes in the original AOE2 HD Edition, and that it took 8 years of long long hard work to get to the point where products like Redbull would sponsor the event, and any level of success could be imagined. Thus many was apalled at the negativity when the dual stories of underdogs of Hera and T90 reaching their dream (cup-winner and professional-caster) would be tarred by negativty in the comment sections where peeps spoke of their disgust and dismay at the mediocrity of the grand finale

Especially compared to the magnificence of the entire tournament, INCLUDING the fierce fighting for 3rd place Bronze, where the previously discqualified Viper, from the semi-finals, would fight tooth and nail for Bronze, to a much greater and more entrertaining degree than the grand-finale, which was a wet fart in comparison :marseyfart: :marseyfart: :marseyfart:

"While Hera is simply unplayable right now, I have to say Liereyy clearly felt he was beneath him and didn't play to his own strengths. His Semifinals against Viper was an insane performance with confidence, great micro, aggression, etc... we didn't see any of that in the finals. He tried to play it safe when that's not his strength and got punished for it."

"eah, I had a feeling the guy choked. Liereyy is a great player"

"I think he knew he was playing Hera and psyched himself out." :marseywtf: :marseywtf: :marseywtf: :marseywtf:

"To me it felt like he gave up before the matches even started. Called the GGs way too early as well. Yeah he likely would have still lost the same games but sometimes all it takes is one good fight to swing things"

"Hera touched on it in his video about the finals and he explained Lierrey has a tendency to play all his hard maps and civ matchups first, which can contribute to making his lost series more lopsided. Might have been misplaced humbleness but Hera estimated it would have been 4-2 if he had started with the easy civ wins instead."

"Yeah, this was the most lopsided final of any AOE2 tournament I have seen. Which is nuts since Lierry beat VIPER. iirc Viper has been a finalist in every tournament T90 has organized except this one." :marseyshook: :marseyshook: :marseyshook: :marseyshook: :marseyshook:

"POILERS AHEAD - my opinion:"

"Imo Liereyy had a combo of bad luck and psychological defeat here knowing (assuming) who his opponent was, even though HC is supposed to hide the players

I'd like for HC to NOT have the players have any prior practice on the maps, from having heard his after-talk Hera (a VERY analytic player) got a MASSIVE lead simply by having been able to play (study) his opponents on these "new" maps beforehand, which I think nullifies both the hidden aspect and the introduction of new maps

Hera himself said he knew EXACTLY who ALL the players were, just after round 1. That and having already played the maps I think makes the hidden aspect a bit gimmicky (no offense to anyone).

Still a very entertaining event, but I think there's room for improvement."

:marseyhesright: :marseyhesright: :marseyhesright:

Some dramatards in the comments :marseyxd: :marseyxd: :marseyxd:


"That ackward moment when the third place match is better than the finale."

"t was pretty weird how Lierreyy did so well against the viper who beats ACCM, who gave Hera his hardest (although not THAT tough) series, and then just completely lays down to Hera. I think Lierreyy had the confidence to beat Viper but not Hera because he seemed like he let the pressure get to him and was just a different player"

" I think of it like Lierreyy wishing on the Monkey's Paw that he gets to beat Viper in a tournament. He gets his wish, but at a cost to his reputation.

I remember when Lierreyy was up against Viper in King of the Desert in 2019, and he did okay despite losing. Lierreyy still deserves respect for getting to the finals, because this tournament isn't for chumps. The intimidation has to be a huge factor."

"yeah, Lierreyy still had a heck of a tournament! He played amazingly except against Hera and I think his nerves got the best of him there. I just was kind of disappointed because I felt like we saw a different player those first few rounds and I thought the final was gonna be EPIC! Hera still probably wins it but I thought Lierreyy was gonna give him a few tough games the way he was playing"

"Also, these tournaments have to be a major mental grind. It's hard to be on your absolute A-game for that many days straight which Lierreyy would of needed to compete with Hera. I almost wish there was a day break in between the round of 8 and semis and then another day off before the finals."


"I'd like to see Lierreyy put up more of a fight in some of those games, especially against the mongols. If nothing else, at least to wear Hera down and make him earn the victory. That being said, getting into a bad position, knowing it's Hera, and then having to deal with a slow and painful defeat while you're constantly being raided really sucks.

Either way, Hera is looking like he's getting into the position where Viper was several years ago: nearly untouchable, which can make tournaments a bit stale. It just kinda annoying that his play-style is so clean because it's the messy games that are fun to watch.

tl;dr: Hera games are so clinical it's like watching a professional surgeon perform a simple autopsy. Mechanically fascinating, but so ridged & clean that it's kinda boring to watch."


"No taking away from Hera and Lireyy 🫡, but from a spectator perspective, I found this set more interesting than the final.

4-0 and 4-1 sets, where most games end in feudal, aren't really the ideal.

Imperial age shouldn't be a treat. LATE imperial should be the treat.

Remember it's Age of Empires, not Age of Village."


"Yeah I've essentially given up watching F1 since it's just the Verstappen show.

I like Hera, I've used his build order guides to some success and his videos are helpful, but I understand watching the same person win can get repetitive. But, it's also pretty cool to see how well he plays and his game play isn't that boring."

lots of semi-fights about the toxicity of AOE2 fans not being happy for Hera finally reaching the top after much work, with two camps forming, one disliking the negativity, the other voicing their boredom with such one sided events

"I think that Lierry was way too early to resign. He didn't even try and play on to see if he could do anything. He was already a defeated man when he woke up today. I was supporting Alexios because I like the Byzantines and it was just pain to watch, you could see he was just nervous and knew he was going to lose, same with his first set in the round of 16. Look at his first match against Guiscard and then look at his semi-final match, it's night and day. It was disrespectful to the great tournament hosted by T90 and I think as an entertainer that Lierry should know better." :marseyindignant: :marseyindignantwoman:

Lmoa poor Lierry :marseydepressed: :marseydepressed: :marseydepressed:


"Liereyy is not an entertainer, but a competitor. And as someone being in a competition, sometimes it's just not your day and sometimes you are mentally beaten. Both happened to him yesterday. This is not the nost beautiful thing to watch unfortunately, but completely normal." :marseysad: :marseyrain:

""Do you think Lierrey suffered from a "Hera" effect , similar to the "Viper" effect back a few years ago? Would Lierrey have performed better if the finals had been recs, and he didn't know who he was up against ?""

Also to finally conclude this :marseywords: :marseywords: :marseywords: there was extra reason for drama that the Tournament ended so limply; a bunch of yanks organized a watch-party in florida, with drinks and shit and hype, and the WHOLE FRICKING GRAND-FINALE ENDED IN 65 MINUTES :marseylaughpoundfist: :marseylaughpoundfist: :marseylaughpoundfist:

can you imagine booking several hundred miles to watch for a highly anticipated finale-only for the fricking thing to end in an hour, and the post match-commentary being longer than the whole butt match itself hahahahahaaaa

Anyways that's all I've got, good night :marseywave2:

@Losercel if you dont pin this eat dirt

The Empire has fallen. Billions must die

Been replaying ME trilogy after 5 years. More of a slog than I remembered it to be

Pol did not like baldurs gate 3


i'll buy overpriced indie soundtracks but actiblizz :marseylaugh:

Fallout 4 protagonist now officially participated in the day of the rake

Such a weirdly unnecessary connection to make. Thinking that making sure he isn't the shooter is important is also very telling of Bethesda's writing

If you've never seen the into before it's at 50s in here






Like are they just r-slurred or?


Localization is one of easiest jobs today, you just put the game file text file into some translator and then compare the text done.

But because it's so easy they need to find an excuse

Localization isn't just about translating words; it's about adapting the game for a global audience. Think cultural nuances, idioms, and regional flair. A good localization makes players feel right at home, wherever in the world they are!

In Phoenix Wright they changed sushi to burger but animation of sushi's wasn't changed.

Nah! Preserving the vibe is key. Jokes, references, and even gameplay elements might need a little cultural remix. It's important to find that sweet spot to make sure players get the intended experience without feeling like something got lost in the process.

It's 2024, not 1976. World is pretty globalised there ain't any exclusive jokes left.

Each language has its unique structure and cultural context. Our teams work to ensure the narrative and dialogue maintain coherence and emotional impact. It's not just about words; it's about capturing the essence of the story in a way that resonates with the target audience.

Ai does this just fine

🚫 Cultural Sensitivity in Characters

Character design and development must be culturally sensitive. What may be acceptable in one culture might be offensive in another. Localizers play a crucial role in ensuring that characters are relatable and respectful, avoiding stereotypes or other references that could be perceived as negative in specific cultures.

So now they are talking so localizers are just propaganda bureau


If you forgot doc boycotted the game for a long time.

Consume the canibus chud

High-key doc is being sus rn, frfr not bussin


He been playing that series since 1991 and wage slaving for 20 years without family (staying true to bushido) and his yes laughing is so sad


You can pick a real place to fortify (even your house). It's like zombieshit meets the real world

Video playthru

It's over New Vegas bros

We sit in a darkened auditorium. You, me, that HBomberGuy, countless other youtubers and "had it on cd-rom" hipsters.

Todd Howard strides back and forth on the brightly lit stage. He stares intently, menacingly, triumphantly. He is nude and erect, his body is oiled and glistening. Clips from Fallout the TV series are projected behind him.

He brings the microphone to his mouth and begins to slowly stroke himself. "Ok frickos, you want real Fallout. Huh? You smarmy pieces of shit. Here it is. There's the camera, we got Grognak, we're even gonna stop here for like 30 seconds to point out the goddarn circuit board. That's real Fallout. To millions of normal people who didn't pirate the game, real Fallout is being reminded of shit they have vague positive memories of."

He moves faster, stalking. His strokes intensify. "B-b-but T-t-todd, dats not how the Brotherhood of Steel works, der supposed to be noonced. Black Isle, Black Isle, Black Isle. Frick you and your edgy little content ghetto. Non-bankrupt companies have good guys, cash-flow positive companies have relatable hero origin stories. Mr. Bill doesn't come to shit heel bloggers for his ROI. He comes here, to Big Money..."

"ooo, ooo, ooo. Todd sucks, Todd Sucks, Todd sucks."

He faces the crowd. His eyes gleam. His muscles are tight and his repressed lips break into a broad sneer. "Suck on this b-word. I killed it. Retfrickingconned! UgggghAAHHhh" His muscles spasm, his stroke are hard and hectic. "My pen Muuughhh is like the finger of God eeAAghhhh effortlessly erasing 12 years of your fricking Uggggghhhh BULLSHIT!." His erection releases a spurt of ejaculate that lands on the stage 3 feet in front of him. He gulps air like a nearly drowned man, his glare in unfocused... Slowly his breathing begins to normalize.

"FRICK YOU!" He hurls the microphone into the crowd. He stomps off the stage.

Bethesda Poohbah says not reconned:

/r/fnv doesn't give a shit:

fellow g*mers....rate my setup
Rimworld 1.5 update and new DLC OUT!

i want to frick the glasses mascot girl

!g*mers SKIP WORK NOW!

rate my setup g*mers :platyking:
:marseyitsover: for sonybros
:marseyhappening: SLAY THE SPIRE 2 OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT TRAILER :marseyhappening:

I want a African JRPG

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