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Everything posted by 500MetricTonnes

  1. I don't have particularly high hopes for this, but I'd be willing to give it a try. I'm certainly not-preordering it, though. And as for having people who worked on DA:O working on this...well...I suppose it could go either way. I really didn't care much for DA:O's combat (cooldowns...BOO...HISS!!!). On the other hand, Gaider and Laidlaw aren't anywhere near it, so I guess it can't be too terrible...
  2. Yes, the Sith Emperor is basically just Palpatine + Nihlus + POWER LEVEL OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAND!!! My favourite example of his "characterisation" is in Drew Karpyshyn's Revan, which states the Emperor had decreed that no slave could ever be granted freedom, and the children born of slaves were also considered slaves. Just to let you know that this incredibly complex villain is, in fact, evil. The whole idea of Revan being split into two reminds me a bit of The Nameless One and The Transcendent One from Planescape: Torment.
  3. And imagine Obsidian getting to make KotOR3. According to one interview I read, the game would be able about the Exile and Revan taking on the Sith Empire. There would be a scene where the player character is carrying around pieces of HK-47, sort of like what Chewbacca did with C-3PO in Empire Strikes Back, only HK-47 would be shooting at people and making insulting remarks all the while. Unfortunately, we'll never get a chance to see this game. And now I've made myself sad. Where's the booze?
  4. Being male, I used to play exclusively as male characters. But when I first played Dragon Age: Origins, I found that playing as a female character was simply more interesting, because the game lacked any female characters that I liked, so it fell to me to create one. In general, I prefer playing as characters who are as different from me as possible. Roleplaying as myself is just boring.
  5. You speak the truth. If there were any justice in the world, Bethesda would be kept far, far away from Fallout. If there's any Obsidian game I'd like to see remastered, it'd be KotOR2.
  6. So would releasing the game on consoles. I suspect you don't actually understand what Obsidian is trying to do here. . Yep, but even if PoE had a $100 Million budget, I'd *still* prefer it to look like Baldurs Gate 2 instead of....Dragon Age Inquisition, or Witcher 2, Or Dungeon Siege 3 or whatever the graphics whores value in their RPGs these days. 2D graphics generally age far better than 3D graphics, as the main factors that affect image quality are resolution, colour depth, and the artist's skill. With 3D graphics, there are far more things that affect how the game looks, such as polygon count, texture resolution, lighting, shaders, etc. If you ask me, the graphics of BG/IWD/PS:T still hold up today, whereas the graphics of a game like NWN look horribly dated by comparison. Also, I don't have a particularly high-end PC, and I can't really afford to get a new one. The fact that PoE doesn't have the graphics of something like The Witcher 3 is a good thing, if you ask me. (Although my issue with the graphics of games like Dragon Age and The Witcher is mainly to do with the artistic style. The developers have all the graphical capability in the world, and they squander it on rendering a bunch of dirty wooden huts and shanties by a swamp)
  7. As one who utterly loathes cellphones and refuses to own one, I find that a tablet has all the features of smartphone without the irritating phone bits. Seriously, if I had a hammer, I would smash every single cellphone in the world.
  8. ME1, at least, had Charm and Intimidate being skills that you put points into that was partly independent of your Paragon/Renegade score, so you could have a Paragon Shepard that could intimidate people, or a Renegade Shepard that could Charm people. ME2, in keeping with its massive de-RPG-ification of the gameplay mechanics, made Charm/Intimidate entirely dependent on your Paragon/Renegade score, essentially encouraging you to go fully in either direction. Those who played a "Paragade" Shepard would find themselves unable to use Charm or Intimidate in many situations. As with KotOR's full LS/DS bonuses, you were really being punished for playing a character with nuance. Of course, one key aspect of "moral choices" is making the player care about the choice and the possible outcome. This was one of my big issues with games like Dragon Age 2 or The Witcher. The writers were hell-bent on making certain that there was no dividing line between the "good guys" and "bad guys" (because that is "stupid" and "childish" according to present thought), and the result was that I found both sides so loathsome and despicable that I simply didn't care about either one. (It also didn't help that both Dragon Age 2 and The Witcher have absolutely awful protagonists). "Morally grey" (god, I hate that term) choices aren't inherently more interesting than black and white ones.
  9. "Once or twice?" That happens to me all the bloody time!
  10. During the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise, we stopped in Ocho Rios, where I was able to get some rum at prices far, far less than what I would pay at home.
  11. Remember that woman from Event Horizon that had no eyes? That's what I imagine the Exile seeing should he decide to pursue the Visas "romance" (inasmuch as KotOR2 features "romances"). "Where we're going, we don't need eyes to see..."
  12. You know it's impossible to LARP in a video game right? The as you can't have the LA part of LARPing i.e. Live Action, as in being in field, dressed as a wizard, arguing with the fat guy trying to be an elf. I assume he meant "I pretend to do what my character would do, even though the game isn't enforcing adherence to that particular role." Sort of like how some people "role-played" as a guard on Oblivion, standing in front of a gate for eight hours a day, despite the game not recognising their "role."
  13. In English, we call romance novels "bodice rippers," because they supposedly involve the male lead tearing the clothes off of the heroine before taking her to bed. Often they're called Harlequin Romances, after a major publisher of romance novels. Romances in games, if a game just has to have them, should be about the character, not player wish-fulfillment. Deionarra's unrequited love for The Nameless One in PS:T is there to illustrate what a complete and utter bastard the Practical Incarnation was. It wasn't there so Deionarra could be the player's waifu. And if you want to talk deranged wish fulfillment, there's no better example than Talimancers. The Tali'Zorah thread on BSN was like some Lovecraftian abomination from beyond the veil, a 10,000 page monstrosity that utterly destroyed the sanity of any mind that tried to comprehend it:
  14. As the site states, RPGCodex "Doesn't scale to your level." A certain level of vitriol and acerbic behaviour is just part of the culture. If you can look beyond it, there's some fantastic in-depth discussion of RPG mechanics to be found there. While I'm not a member of their forums, I understand perfectly the level of hate they have for BioWare. I used to post semi-regularly on the BSN back when DA2 was released, which was one of the worst games I'd ever played. It was beyond frustrating to try to express one's criticism of the game, only to be labelled a troll or to be dismissed as "Elitist! Purist! Can't accept change! Just nostalgic!" At some point you just want to point out why a certain game is rubbish without being shouted down by fanboys.
  15. And that's exactly the kind of sentiment that poisons modern gaming. Why on earth would you not expect to be able to die from looting a chest? You should absolutely expect to die from looting a chest. Instead of games teaching us to be careful, manage our resources, come up with tactics and strategies, expect the unexpected, we get Skyrim-esque hand-holding where we know that it's perfectly alright not to care about the traps at all, because there's no chance that they'll kill you right away anyway. If they are about to kill you, it makes sure to warn you repeatedly, so you have all the time in the world to eat fifteen cheese wheels. I'll take "anticlimactic and boring" gameplay that actually matters, over suspension-less hand-holding, affirmative action no-child-left-behind casualisation where nothing matters, any day of the week. Precisely. If you cannot fail, you cannot succeed. A great many modern games will do everything in their power, short of making you completely invulnerable, to prevent you from failing. Regenerating health in shooters is a good example. This is getting a touch off-topic, but I think part of the problem is developers' insistence on making games akin to movies and focussing on delivering a "cinematic experience." Unfortunately, this approach fails to take into consideration that games are an interactive medium, with the possibility for the main character to fail. Consider the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark: - Indy is chased by giant boulder. He stumbles and falls. Indy is crushed into a fine paste. - The scene starts again. Indy runs from the giant boulder, but falls into a spike-lined pit and dies. - The scenes starts again for a third time. Indy outruns the giant boulder, avoids the spike pit, and finally escapes the tomb. Success! Now, would this scene have anywhere near the same impact as the one in the original film? No, because the constant repetition, due to the fact that Indy can fail, completely destroys the pacing. So in order to maintain the "cinematic experience," the developers can either A: make the game so easy that failing is next to impossible, or B: yank control away from the player altogether and make the setpiece into a non-interactive cutscene. Which leads us directly to games like Mass Effect 3, which so desperately wants to be some Hollywood sci-fi epic, with Hollywood-level voice talent, sweeping camera angles, and the obligatory sad piano music during those oh-so-poignant moments where beloved characters nobly sacrifice themselves for the cause. It almost feels ashamed of being a game, with the actual gameplay being little more than mindless filler between cutscenes. There's a reason why so many of us prefer older games, and it's not "nostalgia" or being "unable to accept change," so some people might claim. No, it's because the older games offered depth, complexity, and most importantly, challenge, thus yielding a sense of satisfaction when that challenge was overcome.
  16. Back when I first played the game, I remember getting immensely frustrated with one of the Final Seal battles (the one involving the Marilith and Hive Mother, etc.). Since I was still rubbish at the game, relatively speaking, I finally chanced upon a solution: Skull Traps. Loads and loads of Skull Traps. With my mage PC and Edwin in the party and with several Project Image spells, I was able to cast around 36 Skull Traps between rests. So I laid down around 72 Skull Traps where each of the guardian spawns, so in the end there were literally hundreds of Skull Traps floating about. So I turned the key to unleash the guardians, and suddenly...FWIIIIIISSHHHHH!!! The game slows down to a crawl as all the Skull Traps start exploding, killing most of the guardians instantly. The only one to survive the initial explosion is the drow cleric Ameralis Zauviir, since she has 95% magic resistance, but the sheer volume of Skull Traps eventually did her in. I then summoned up a golem to clear away the remaining Skull Traps, after taking absolutely zero damage. It just goes to show that there is a solution to everything in this game, no matter how absurd or time-consuming.
  17. He was not objecting to moral complexity. He was talking about suffering from a case of what TVTropes calls Darkness Induced Audience Apathy, wherein nearly every character is so despicable or unlikeable that it becomes impossible to care about anything that happens. Some works can do moral complexity without verging into "I don't care what happens to these people!" territory, like in Obsidian games. But The Witcher is so unsubtle about its themes that it becomes intolerably obnoxious. During the first few hours of TW2, I kept wanting to slap the game in the face and say, "Yes, yes, TW2, I get it - humans are monsters. Now will you PLEASE put a sock in it?" I won't deny that The Witcher games offer deeper choices than "Save the orphange" or "Burn the orphanage to the ground and relieve yourself on the ruins". But it doesn't do anything to make me care about the choices...something not helped by the fact that Geralt is such an awful, dull protagonist. As a general rule, if your game's main character's sole facial expression is a po-faced grimace, I probably won't enjoy it.
  18. As difficult as it is to believe, there are some of us who are immune to this series' charms. (I think Shamus Young encapsulates my feelings on The Witcher perfectly) With so many "old school" RPGs being released, I have little desire to play some heavily-actionised AAA RPG, especially one that embodies almost everything I hate in fantasy settings.
  19. Neutral Evil is basically "do whatever is necessary to advance your own interests, regardless of who has to suffer." If that means working with someone, go right ahead. If it means murdering someone, then so be it. To a Neutral Evil character, other people are merely tools to be used for your own purposes and discarded when they are no longer needed. Think Kreia from KotOR2 as an example of this mindset. Fun thing I just learned about Throne of Bhaal: If you left Jaheira in her cell in Irenicus' dungeon, and you summon her in ToB, she'll remember what you did and attack you.
  20. I believe the original BG2 scaled some encounters to your level - at a low level, the Temple Ruins contained Mummies and Skeleton Warriors, at a higher level it would contain Liches. Likewise, going through areas at high levels would often cause Iron Golems to be replaced by Adamantite Golems Other points for the OP: - You are not "railroaded" into killing the Cowled Wizard during Renal Bloodscalp's quest. You can simply say "No, I'm not doing this." Sure, you won't finish the quest, but there's nothing forcing you to complete it. And keep in mind that you are doing a quest for a thieves' guild, which means you're likely going to be asked to do some morally-dubious things. "Railroading" is something like KotoR2 having my Exile go off with Mira despite the fact that there's a bounty on Jedi and she identifies herself as a bounty hunter. - IWD did feature Beholders, in the Trials of the Luremaster add-on. And it gave no hint that you would be facing them, either. - It was unclear whether you killed Kangaxx, or just one of the Liches guarding his bones? I don't want to spoil too much, but the real Kangaxx is much more than your run-of-the-mill Lich.
  21. Maybe. You'll never get me to admit that the writing isn't terrible though. Suit yourself. I personally find the writing far more memorable and enjoyable than anything else BioWare put out since then, with the possible exception of KotOR and the first Mass Effect game. Note: Gromnir died horribly just seconds after this screenshot was taken due to having six Horrid Wiltings simultaneously directed at him. Chain Contingency for the win!
  22. If you don't want to fight the golems, just have your cleric cast Sanctuary, then have them run in and grab the loot while your party members remain out of sight. And if you think Iron Golems are bad, just wait until you encounter Adamantite Golems, which can only be hit with +3 weapons or better, and have 90% resistance to all forms of physical damage.
  23. Most BioWare games post BG2 follow the exact same plot: - "The evil menace (Wailing Death, Sith, Reapers, Darkspawn, Fade Demons) is coming to kill us all!" - Begin the opening tutorial section, typically involving a few temporary party members. (Endar Spire, Eden Prime, DA:O's origin stories, Neverwinter's academy, etc.) These temporary party members usually end up biting it - The first major area is visited, and the player meets his first real party member (Carth on Taris, Alistair at Ostagar, Kaidan on Eden Prime). This character is often the Nice Guy With A Troubled Past (see below) - The evil menace deals a major blow (Eden Prime is attacked by Saren, Taris is wiped out by the Sith, the Grey Wardens are wiped out at Ostagar) - The main character then joins an elite group (Jedi, Spectres, Inquisition, Grey Wardens, etc.) dedicated to combating the evil menace - Now the sandbox is opened, and the player must go to four locations in order to collect the plot coupons needed to continue (info on Saren, Star Maps, Grey Warden treaties) - Prior to the final battle, the SHOCKING TRUTH is revealed: - The final confrontation with the villain, often involving a BIG CHOICE of some sort. And, of course, you will always meet the same people: - The Nice Guy With A Troubled Past (Carth, Anders, Alistair, Jacob, Kaidan). This character will be widely hated by a large portion of the fanbase, who will consider him "whiny" - The Damaged Bad Boy (Zevran, Thane, Fenris) - The Sweet, Innocent Girl or Perky, Upbeat Girl (Tali, Aerie, Merrill, Sigrun, Mission, Leliana, Liara) - The Tough, No-Nonsense Warrior Woman (Jaheira, Ashley, Aveline, Cassandra, Samara) - The Haughty Ice Queen (Viconia, Morrigan, Miranda, Vivienne, Velanna) - The Grizzled Veteran (Zaeed, Canderous, Wrex, Sten, Keldorn) - The Bloodthirsty Psychopath (Korgan, HK-47, Shale, Jack)
  24. Compared to the old system it certainly does have more depth. Back in Oblivion you could just raise all your skills to 100 and receive the full benefit of said skill. Now you actually have to decide how you spend your limited perks. With Skyrim two characters with the same level and the same skills raised could skill be radically different characters based on how perks were spent. With Oblivion's skill system everyone turns out the same (Skill wise). Not so with Skyrim. So yeah, the skill system is definitely more in-depth with Skyrim. If you completely ignore the major/minor skills and the soft cap on character levels major skills impose and the fact all combat skills have damage modifiers based on their respective governing attribute, sure. In Oblivion attributes are part and parcel with the skill system so you can't just ignore that and say Skyrim has more depth. Saying two different archetypal chars in Oblivion with 100 in a skill without considering attributes is like saying two different archetypal chars in Skyrim with 100 in a skill are the same without considering perk selection. Perk selection was added to try and fill the customization gap they made when they gutted the attribute system. Two characters of the same level with the same skills can be just as different, if not moreso, in Oblivion as they can be in Skyrim. Skyrim does to an extent let you make poor choices just as its predecessors, you can be a warrior who puts all his points in magicka and skills 2hers, just as you can decide to ignore you're +5's to strength and level up +1's to int/willpower/personality in Oblivion. If you only look at viable level up selections, which is what matters, Skyrim and Oblivion are similar. The major difference being that in Oblivion and Morrowind what you actually do on a level by level basis matters in how you level up your attributes whereas having been dumbed down to health/stamina/magicka in Skyrim they do not, its a choice of 10/10/10 no matter what you do. The level-by-level differences in Oblivion/Morrowind add both depth and flavor. What you do, and when you do it, in game has a direct impact on what your character eventually becomes. This also inherently increases the differences between two archetypal chars of the same char and skill lvl as neither two would have done the same things in the same order to reach the same outcome even when the end skill and character level totals are the same. http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Oblivion:Leveling#Raising_Attributes Example 1 illustrates my point. What 3 attributes the player decides to pick make each character different on a level by level basis even if they're going for the same archetype. The differences between optimal and sub-optimal-but-viable skill ups and attribute selections make the effective difference between characters even more pronounced at higher levels. Even if you decide to lock attributes and health/stamina/magicka selections, such that both chars make the same selections in order to focus more on skill differences. Such as always pick Str/End/Spd and always level H/S/M at a 2/2/1 ratio, the fact that the order in which you gain your skill ups in Oblivion matters makes for greater differences in characters. So no, Skyrim does not have more depth in its skill system than Oblivion. Keep in mind that Oblivion's skill system was completely buggered from the start. Major skills increased faster than minor skills, and you levelled up by raising your major skills. Every time you gained a level, you would get an attribute increase; which attributes were increased and the amount they were raised was dependent on how how much you had raised their related skills. Unfortunately, if you played the way the game intended, that is, choosing your major skills to be the ones you used most frequently, then you would level up far too quickly to get any significant attribute boosts. Since nearly everything in the game levelled up with you, that meant that you might actually be getting weaker than everyone else with each level you gained! The solution was to pick as your major skills the ones whose increase could be controlled, allowing you to postpone levelling up until you had raised your minor skills high enough to get the maximum attribute boost. The fact that the levelling system does the exact opposite of what it's supposed to do tells me that Bethesda completely lost the plot between Morrowind and Oblivion. Skyrim "fixed" this problem by completely removing attributes and major/minor skills (sort of like how Mass Effect 2 "fixed" the flaws of its predecessor by completely removing features such as the inventory). Of course, it's still possible to make yourself weaker by levelling up if you raise your non-combat skills enough to trigger the level scaling mechanism. Level scaling is really the worst "feature" ever to grace the RPG genre.
  25. I remember when I first played BG2...I had not played the first game and I was largely unfamiliar with the Forgotten Realms setting. As a result, the game would continually make references to people, places, deities, events, and so on that I was utterly clueless about. It wasn't until I went back and played the first game and read a few Forgotten Realms novels (the quality of which were...debatable) that I really started enjoy BG2. As for the comments about how "cheesy" the writing and characters are, while others might surely disagree, that's exactly the reason that I enjoy it so much. Modern fantasy has this tiresome obsession with "gritty realism," and it's a breath of fresh air to have some humour and levity in the genre. I'll gladly take Minsc's silliness or Edwin's arrogant smugness over Anders' melodrama or Fenris' angst. I even find characters who are widely disliked, like Aerie or Anomen, to be vastly preferable to other RPG characters I could mention (*cough* *cough* Geralt *cough*) And the inventory system, I never really had a problem with it. I honestly don't know why developers have largely abandoned the grid system: Every item is represented by an easily-identifiable icon. Your entire inventory is visible at once. Equipping an item is as simple as clicking and dragging. If this were a modern RPG, the inventory would likely be one big list that you'd have to scroll through just to find something.
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