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Chris Avellone

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Everything posted by Chris Avellone

  1. Hypothetically, that may have been the intention, yes. Palpatine has always been my favorite Sith Lord because (at least in Episode 1 and 2) he's... well, subtle, and watching him pull strings is a lot of fun, both in the movies and in the books and comics. Chris
  2. Thanks - but between Michael Chu, Kevin Saunders, Ferret Baudoin, Tony Evans and John Morgan, we all deserve credit. I suspect Paper Mario will steal the crown, though.
  3. You cannot have a romance with Mira, although it's pretty obvious she thinks a male PC is hot - she just won't do anything about it. And before we corrected various scripting bugs, she used to have the same opinion of female PCs, which sparked furious debates here at work as to whether we should fix it or not.
  4. In the Expanded Universe, it's shown in several instances that using the Jedi to wage war frequently causes them to question the Jedi code and their duty to an ailing Republic (which is the state of the Republic during the Mandalorian Wars) - and many of these doubts result in Jedi deaths or their fall to the dark side. Many of the Clone Wars graphic novels deal with this, notably the one-shot "Jedi" issues with Yoda, Mace, Count Dooku, and Quinlan Vos. And even those who remain on the path of the light side still find their faith tested when the pressures of war begin to weigh down on them (Shaak Ti). Since TSL takes place in the EU, we felt that was a fair take if we wanted to explore the effect of war on the Jedi. But you're right, it's not movie canon - still, we take Yoda and Mace Windu's view on war: it is not the Jedi's place to wage war, it's to prevent it in the first place, as Mace says, to be "keepers of the peace." Yoda realizes the Republic (and the Jedi) have already lost when he says the Clone Wars have begun in Episode 2, and he knows nothing good will come of it. We felt this was an interesting aspect to try and examine in the Sith Lords. From our standpoint, anyone in touch with life and harmony around them (as Jedi are) who are thrust into a battlefield environment are going to meet some tough challenges, both physically and psychically (as Aton and HK-47 suggest in their backstories). A true Jedi can pull through... but much like the Clone Wars, perhaps it will end up that only two Jedi will survive the entire conflict (Yoda and Obi-Wan), and the rest will die or be corrupted as Vader was. It may be that war itself isn't to blame - it's just a crucible where it's easier for one in touch with the Force to fall to the dark side. Just some thoughts.
  5. It has to do with the choices you make before then. Though I don't know exactly how it works. It may be that you have to be at least 2/3 DS to aquire Hanhar. <{POST_SNAPBACK}> Although it was always our desire for Hanharr to become a Jedi (and wookiees can become Jedi in the Expanded Universe, there's at least 2 examples I can think of), a recent decision from George Lucas around Episode 1 and 2 time made it clear that wookiees cannot become Jedi, so Hanharr's outta luck. Well, except for his rage power.
  6. There are three different dueling areas in the game.
  7. / Begin amnesia rant. This isn't much of a rambling, but after reading the Gamespot review (and I don't get how this keeps popping up), your character DOES NOT HAVE AMNESIA. Really! I know it's crazy, but trust me. / End amnesia rant.
  8. / Designer Ramblings: New Cast There are reasons why we didn
  9. / Begin PC-Causality Events In K2, we made an attempt to make some events more PC reactive-dependent. I'm not sure exactly if those last three words belong crushed together like that, but hopefully they should give you a sense of what I mean. These aren't everywhere in the game, but we tried to have events triggered on the player's dark side and light side gains, no matter where the player is in the galaxy - when the player hits a certain amount of light side and dark side points, these events will advance the plot (or reinforce it). We weren't able to do this as much as we'd like (they're hard to pull off and usually have to be hard-coded), but we have some key events that are triggered by the player's actions rather than having them triggered off of some polygon you step onto in the game world. The intention with this was that we thought it would make the PC feel more special if it was more obvious that things were occuring, not because you hit a linear trigger, but because you were the one who set the fuse to the explosives through your actions or through a change in your personality. / End PC-Causality Events
  10. / Begin Echani rambling: The "Echani" were mentioned in Kotor1, and they are also the people responsible for the fighting styles used by Palpatine's Imperial Guard (at least as it's explained in the Expanded Universe, most notably in Crimson Empire, I believe). The Echani rely heavily on hand-to-hand combat and personal shield technology, and they had their asses handed to them by Revan during the Jedi Civil War, because, not surprisingly, there weren't many people able to face Revan across a battlefield and survive the encounter. With little to go on for K2, we decided to expand the culture with those elements in mind, and even have a member of the Echani be able to join your party - which is responsible for much of the new hand-to-hand fighting feats and animations you'll see in the game, as well as potentially new powers. Echani are a culture that communicates through battle, and there are many fighting rituals they use when dealing with their own people - and perhaps your character as well. If you wish to gain influence with them, engaging them in sparring matches or combat can earn their respect, their trust, and perhaps more. The greatest among the Echani are said to be able to read their opponent's moves so well they can predict the path of a battle several seconds, sometimes even minutes in advance, by gauging their opponent's fighting style, heart rate, and their movements in combat. In many ways, the Echani see combat as a rapid dejarik game, calculating feints, attacks, and dodges with a speed that few can surpass. More on the Echani will be present in the game, but I wanted to talk a little about their origins and their current ties to the Expanded Universe. / End Echani Ramblings.
  11. Passed on from Ferret Baudoin (NWN2 lead designer and all around good-guy), in case any of you are in the SoCal area and want to ask NWN2 or Kotor2 questions in a forum where we can't get away, or just say hello:
  12. /Begin Romance Thread Romances are a little different in Kotor2, I just wanted to warn you guys. We provided more romance options in K2 (you can choose who you want to romance, and sometimes the romance problems don
  13. /Begin Rambling I don't know if you've ever played Fallout, but if you haven't, you should. One of the best role-playing games ever made. In any event, one of the many cool things about Fallout (which may have been done in previous games that I am ignorant of) is that the choices you made with each city you visited in the game caused a different splash screen at the end of the game, describing what happened to the locale in the future as a result of your actions. The same sort of effect is present in Kotor2, though it does not only apply to planets and their people, but it also extends to your companions as well, depending on how you treated them or how horribly you broke them to your will - if they survived at all. Splash screens didn't mesh with the Star Wars aesthetic though, so we had to pick a different means of displaying the information within the genre aesthetics. In any event, I wanted to let you guys know so that aside from: Your character's gender, your character's light side/dark side leanings, the 4 different answers to your questions about what happened in K1, you ALSO get variations based on how you solved each planet and how you dealt with each of your companions, so the permutations can get extensive. In any event, it's all done in the name of replayability - hopefully, each person who plays the game should have some key experiences that are different, and get a different perspective on the story (and beyond). /End Rambling
  14. /Begin Designer Rambling. You may encounter characters from K1 in K2. In most cases, you'll soon find they have very definite reasons why they are not level 20+ if you ask them - whether because of war wounds, behavior core damage and battle scars, memory wipes, and other unpleasantness that has crippled their attributes, skills, and in some cases, their knowledge of certain events. Part of this is for story reasons, and the other reason is that we can't have level 20 characters join your party for balance reasons. It's a pretty common RPG convention, but there are explanations for why T3 is no longer a walking nuclear warhead with 20+ ultra powerful droid items to choose from. /End Designer Rambling.
  15. All of those things factor in in different ways, all in the name of replayability. Some of the divergences will be subtle, others will be a little easier to spot.
  16. More designer ramblings, this time on Influence. In K1, you would have the options to speak to your companions about their past or current problems, and these would usually be governed by a pop-up message ([Carth looks worried, perhaps you should speak to him]) or by leveling up. In K2, we removed the leveling and "so and so looks worried" triggers and incorporated the same mechanic into Influence - instead of pop-up triggers, we've given you a few choices: 1. The amount you can learn about a companion's past, present, or even future problems depends on how much Influence you have with them, not level. So the more time you spend with a companion either crushing their spirit or helping them, the more options this will open in dialogues with them. 2. Influence is not gained simply by doing good and evil acts - it depends on the companion's personality. Some respond better to displays of strength, loyalty, betrayal, or other personality traits that don't always fall neatly into good or evil categories. 3. Influence markers will appear in companion dialogues when you make certain choices - these will be marked as [influence: Failure] and [influence: Success], and they'll let you know when you either have or don't have enough Influence to get an answer about a specific question about a companion. 4. The more influence you have with a companion will also begin to have an effect on their alignment (this also depends on the companion - some companions, no matter what your influence is, will not be subject to this alignment shift). In some cases, it will also begin to have an effect on OTHER companions, and they may start getting pissed off in a major way. 5. Some companions are very hard to Influence, and it is difficult to gain maximum Influence with all companions over the course of the game. This is done for replayability reasons. 6. You can only gain Influence with companions who are in your party. 7. And lastly, because some people just hate this crap, you don't ever have to speak to your companions at ALL and your Influence with them will never matter - whether you want to plumb the depths of their personality is solely your choice, and the game will not force it on you. However... 8. If you do, almost every character has rewards for completing their internal or external Influence companion quests, and it can prove worthwhile in the long run. Anyway, enough ramblings for now.
  17. By now, I've gotten some lists from fans as to the number and types of characters that have been mentioned in various interviews. Just some designer ramblings: 1. You're probably already aware of this, but depending on whether you go light side or dark side, your companion selection changes. 2. The same thing is true with your PC's gender. 3. In addition, not only will you have the companions, but there will be points in the game where you even switch off to NPCs who are not in your party to accomplish various tasks, just for variety. So technically, you end up having a pretty large selection at different points in the game. Some of these things we did to seperate the gameplay experience for male, female, dark and light for replayability, other times we did it because it felt right to do in the situation. Hope you guys enjoy the game when it hits the shelves.
  18. That datapad screenshot needs some context - I wouldn't jump to any conclusions based on that.
  19. Hypothetically, you may be able to have a wookiee join your party. If you do, one difference between wookiee companions in K1 and K2, is the ones in K2 have the ability to enter a "Wookiee Rage," Chewbacca style, make the screen flush blood-red and then proceed to rend through any opponents they encounter. Don't forget to use it if your wookiee friend is in a tight spot. Other than this one wookiee, however, you won't encounter any others that made it off Kashyyyk in K2 - and you certainly won't encounter as many as it looks like you're going to encounter in Episode III.
  20. Unless of course, you don't start with a lightsaber, and not all your companions could use one or would have access to one. Your character may be a Jedi/Sith, but I wouldn't agree that the game has a Jedi focus at all - and T3 may violently object to such comments.
  21. Some time will pass in K2 before you can get your lightsaber. This is done intentionally, to make you feel like you earned it - and once you have it, it is one of the best weapons in the game. We felt that by working at finding the pieces to make one, it would end up being a much more personal quest when it was finally in your possession. So if you find yourself struggling for it, keep it mind that it will make when you get it feel all the sweeter. What we wanted to avoid was the excess of lightsabers that showed up in Episode 2 and in K1, which we were worried would diminsh the blade's uniqueness as well. So we opted for making them rarer and cooler, and we hope the overall effect will come out well. Anyway, more rambling - all done.
  22. More ramblings, some differences with the security skill from K1: 1. There's a lot of locked containers in K2. Usually you can bash them open instead of opening them with security, but if you bash open some containers (not all), you'll end up damaging the contents, so be careful - having a high Security skill can make it so you pop open containers without damaging them. 2. Security tunnelers will be in this game, like in K1, but there's only one level of them - whenever you have a locked door or container highlighted and you can't open it with your security skill, try to use a security tunneler on it from the Items menu - it can help boost your skill temporarily. Also, Demolitions makes for an added use in the game - basically, you'll be encountering melted doors and containers that can only be opened with Demolitions, so characters with a good enough Demolitions skill can blow open sealed doors and containers, provided they have mines. Anyway, just wanted to give you guys a heads-up on some more of the gameplay mechanics. Chris
  23. One other thing - once Mira joins your party, you can start constructing rockets at the workbenches, too. And you'll also start finding rockets as random treasure as well. More rambling (and thanks to Kevin Saunders for reminding me), Chris
  24. There are no Krath in the game or mentioned in the game. The reasons for this are pretty simple - apparently, while it was okay in TOJ and K1 (I believe), the word "Krath" seems to mean something pretty bad in French. I have no idea what it is, but it was sufficient to flush it from the game.
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