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Everything posted by Fredward

  1. So predating the Engwithans we have Eora, adra (right?) and a natural soul cycle. Souls are energy that when embodied can have thoughts/experiences/personalities etc and these can either strengthen the soul or degrade it. In this sense it's a nice, healthy self-contained system into recycling. An implication here is that it really is self-contained, the energy/souls on Eora is what it's got, there isn't someone or something frequently creating it out of nothing and injecting it into the system. The Engwithans got a solid handle on how stuff works and got really bummed about there not being a great architect or engineer or own personal god to supply them a raison d'etre, finding a natural cycle to be too impersonal, too incidental of an explanation they decided that the best way to fix this existential angst is "Us! But MOAR!" And so the gods. Natural, working system vs ravenous overexploitation and the dangers thereof in the name of some abstract human need recurs elsewhere and invites some obvious parallels. SSS show what the Wheel is to the gods now, I think. Galawain is your crazy survivalist uncle living in a shack in the woods but beneath the rickety shack he has a blast proof bunker with a generator. Kazuwari is the whole reincarnation cycle writ small, you can even call him out on this that he cycles the souls in Kazuwari and the struggles strengthen them meaning they get to be better snacks for him. You can eat more from a fat soul than a weak one and still have it be functional for recycling. And he'll even mention the Watcher would make a good snack based off what their soul has been through. It's easy to upscale this to the whole system, right? He called my Watcher a parasite for eating the souls when the opportunity arose and that's particularly funny since the gods so eloquently display that the only difference between a parasite and the gods is scale. We already know the gods have redundancies in the form of "In case of emergency break Godlike" but Galawain was being extra prepped which explains why he gets so very pissy despite being all about that seeking slaying and surviving supposedly. One interesting thing to consider is whether the natural cycle would have resulted in the continuity/cohesiveness of a soul through time as the current system has or whether that's a byproduct of the gods prepping the dinner table. All of the gods are implicated passively in this out of necessity and most are active in this system which's only goal now is self-perpetuation. Berath's insistence on everything having an end is necessary because otherwise the gods can't eat, when Magran or Galawain throw down a challenge it's because either you die and they get an early lunch or you become more tasty later, when Wael obscures he ensures the venality of the system isn't common knowledge, when Hylea is all "OOOoooohhh humans cute!" she helps them thrive and by thriving they make for a better crop. Since they really do seem to just be upscaled humans I have zero doubt that they're not this honest with themselves, possibly they can't be this honest with themselves, and they've constructed a bunch of narratives about how they're actually helping, why what they're doing is necessary and actually good and the system they benefit from is what's best for everyone and not just fundamentally and inescapably self-serving. This may or may not also double for social commentary wrt certain systems.
  2. Waaait, when was I supposed to get the Godseed quest? I gave Llen her manuscript and then I helped Tayn with dispersing Wael's secrets. What's the trigger conditions and how juicy is the lore?
  3. So in my perfectest of perfect endings I would help the VTC under Castol, have killed one of the major pirate leaders and face the remaining one at Ukaizo (preferably Aeldys though it's not THAT important), Pim would take over and Onekaza would remain as a figurehead. This is the goal with the current save as I couldn't get it on my old one. I tested the factions I'd be facing on the older save (with everyone but the Huana since it was too late to help them): - when I helped the VTC I faced the Huana - when I helped the pirates I faced the VTC - when I helped the DTC I faced the pirates In terms of animosity I had one bar with the Huana (I don't remember what I did to warrant this tbh, it couldn't have been something major. Maybe dumping the dead lady into the fire) and one with Rauatai and none with the rest. In terms of quests the only time I didn't do what the pirates and the VTC wanted is when I ****ed over the slavers but at least with the pirates that could at least theoretically be what they want and I made sure to make Aeldys the leader in the end anyway. I lowkey sabotaged the DTC on the reg. I don't think I ever went against what the pirates wanted except with Remaro, if he counts. Does the DTC final quest remove any enemies but the pirates? Since it weakens both the other parties? Or has someone faced a different faction at Ukaizo with the DTC? So if I want to help the VTC and face off against the pirates the only thing I can think of changing, and that I am willing to do, is make a deal with the pirates wrt the Gullet since I'm not helping out Crookspur. But I'm not even sure whether that'd factor into the calculations. Oh, and I can give the tablet to the DTC this time. Anyone get a VTC vs pirates ending and more or less remember the decisions leading up to that point? Would be very helpful.
  4. Boo! Hiss! I actually don't have strong feelings on this. Romances in PoE2 felt weird (lacklustre in some cases, fanservicy and OTT in others) and if that's the result of the devs not really wanting to do it it's better to leave it out.
  5. I wanna play a orlan psion/bloodmage, I realize this isn't a particularly synergistic or powerbuidly idea but I'd still like to hear some tips wrt loadout or spell and ability selection if anyone's got some. I haven't played the game since before the first DLC came out so any handy new items would be appreciated. Also stat distribution, how much con would you suggest for a bloodmage? Pros: - never not gonna have something to cast - won't feel compelled to take vaprous wizardry which means I won't have to take the Casque which means I won't have to walk around with an injury ALTHOUGH that'd tie in with the self harm thing. - orlan + wizard + cipher = many specific dialogue options which is nice - has the self buffs from a wizard and some (meaning pain block) healing from the cipher - probably really good CC if I was into that Cons: - I dunno if blood sacrifice counts as taking damage but probably which'll interrupt focus buildup - loses out high tier spell slots, I'll miss the wizard's especially
  6. I saw someone on Reddit pairing it up with Lifegiver and he said he liked it. But yeah, since it stops regenerating focus when it's damaged I also thought the intuitive pairing would be a backline spellcaster. I'm just having trouble picking one. And then a lesser one considering whether or not I wouldn't be better off just taking a pure class instead of mixing it with psion.
  7. So is the Psion worth anything? I really like the idea of a pure psychic but the slow focus regeneration and the loss of soul whip is making me leery.
  8. I like killing him because I love that this isn't your mamma's redemption arc, yay forgiveness is good etc meta-narrative. The DoC is the kind of person who, partly because of who she is and partly because of what she had been made into, retreads the same ground, development as a mobius strip. Her brand of personhood and how it expresses itself is incompatible with basically any society anywhere so she's always out of whack and needing to reconcile herself with the monstrosity people (rightly, with the penchant for murder and all) tell her she is. That will never change and I like that it's not the writer not being able to write an evolution for her but rather choosing to create a character in this way, which you can tell by her endings. If you keep her from killing Harmke that drive expresses itself in another way, if she does she seems to realize her own doomed existence and chooses and ending off the beaten path. So she kills Harmke in my headcanon but I overwrite it with some bitterness because that is a veeery good breastplate. Also, does anyone know if the person who wrote the DoC also wrote Verse?
  9. Elf lifespans in PoE is only like 310 right? I mean, don't get me wrong that is absolutely a lot comparatively speaking, but it's not insane. The thing that always bothered me with the insanely long ones (1000 to 2000) is that they pretend it doesn't matter. Either these people are kinda dense if you're going on 800 and their skill/knowledge is comparable to a 45 year old person, or there's a hard cap on skill/knowledge their lifespan waaay overshadows (in which case why not branch out to new stuff?) or the creators really didn't put too much thought into what such a staggering amount of time really means. I mean imagine dating/marrying an asari, they live for a millennia. That means a person's entire lifespan is analogous to a dog or a cat for them. How does that effect the relationship dynamic? Is there some part of asari culture that implicitly deals with their longevity in comparison to members of other species they often choose for mates? We humans can still semi-comfortably accommodate decades long periods in planning, how would it be different if that was centuries? It should be more than "This elf is tsundere cuz he old yo."
  10. Probably cuz I'm thinking through it as I'm talking to people. ~shrug~ So where I am now is somewhere around Minsc is a) a one-dimensional character but b) if that was all the writer really needed him to be then he can still be considered a successful character. I can also say that c) successfully crafting a one dimensional character like Minsc probably requires less skill/talent/focus/experience/intent than a lot of Bioware's more recent offerings. This makes me think that d) when people say Minsc is a better character than Sera they're prooobably comparing raw end states, Minsc is pretty straightforward A - B kind of character, he's either funny or he's not. Sera on the other hand is more complex, intended to be a fuller person and this results in a lot of places to get hung up on the character ie she's annoying, she has a bad haircut, she's narrow-minded and responds aggressively to people suggesting she maybe try to broaden her horizons a bit, her accent isn't always easy to parse, she's childish etc. Since readers/gamers are so varied characters can always fail e) Minsc happens to fail for me since I don't find his shtick funny for very long, and while people might get hung up on Sera's characteristics and dislike her as a person and conflate that with being poorly written (this is a different issue I have with people who often consider "I really dislike that character" as being synonymous with a badly written character), she can also absolutely fail as a written character*. What winds up separating BG2 characters from modern Bioware ones f) is an ambitiousness that BG2 characters didn't/couldn't have, they can still fail but there's fundamentally and purposefully more there which I think matters even if more work = more opportunities for failures. * - I see Sera as being created with the intent of or giving the players something to respond to in the shape of the common man's response to world shaping events. You occasionally hear people bemoan the lack of commoners in high medieval fantasy type settings. It's always nobles saving the world or otherwise wealthy, learned people. Well, Sera's as common as it gets. The one thing that makes her special or noteworthy from the really truly unworkably common man is that she has a strong, if basic, sense of right and wrong. So what happens when you introduce existential concerns like gods, mythological figures and whatnot to someone who doesn't have either the education or the mental predisposition to really grapple with these concepts? You get someone who vehemently rejects it and circles the wagons around what she knows. What do you get when you introduce nuance to moral considerations with someone who has a strong, but basic, conception of it? You get someone who murders the noble rather than let you continue teasing out the threads of the situation. Keep things simple. Let the baddies stay bad. This is not, like really not, something commonly explored in fiction. Usually when an ingenue gets exposed to the facts of the world it goes with a gentle sense of blooming horizons and enlightenment. Is Sera blooming? No, Sera is definitely not blooming. Does the character fail because she never develops beyond this mindset, yeah maybe. There's a slightly adjacent discussion to be had there about what a reasonable degree of influence the PC should have on the core of who a NPC is but w/e. I feel like some people are gonna read this and see "Ah, this character I like is better than the character you like because of its inherent depth and such and the fact that you can't see that just means that you, sir, are a dumb-dumb and only truly refined gentlepeople such as myself can get it. So there." I can see how that would be a conclusion but it's genuinely not what I was trying to convey.
  11. I like this as a metric more than I like memorability. Characters crafted with the purpose of evoking specific responses from people who interact with them. Maybe have to guess the author's mind a bit but not much cuz if the character is that obtuse it probably isn't very good, has room for subjective interpretation since the author can know that not everyone will respond the same way to a character and work with that knowledge and you can still evaluate a bit ie a good Minsc is probably easier to do than a good Solas. No lol. There's a reason he didn't show up on my list. Both Fenris and Dorian feel a little bit too much like some exaggerated aspect of Gaider he wrote as self-therapy, though Dorian has some more redeeming qualities.
  12. Yeah but so? You can trace archetypes all the way back to our collective Jungian shadowplay, that doesn't mean every iteration is qualitatively equal. I feel like two entirely different forms of evaluation are called for when you ask "Did this character form a mould other characters would go on to be cast in?" vs "Is this character well written in comparison to more contemporary examples?" If you were to criticise Gandalf wrt Potter and the response to that critique is "Yeah well Harry wouldn't even exist without Gandalf" it's just sidestepping the conversation, regardless of whether or not it's true (which is isn't necessarily). EDIT: Is very entertaining and fun to be around the required characteristics for a well written character? Or just a well written comic character? If it's the latter how does it compare to a well written character in general? Cuz when I look at Minsc what I see is someone with a developmental or intellectual disability with a hamster. He's flat and static and there's not a lot of complexity. He's not a good character. He's a fun and amusing caricature. You can say Tali failed cuz her hook and development failed to get your attention and thus she's poorly written, but for the bulk of BG2's cast the attempt wasn't even made.
  13. Vivienne doesn't get the credit she deserves and Tali has a solid, coherent arc that spans three games and is less fawny than Liara. Aveline is a character type I almost always dislike but they make her jive in DA2. Out of curiosity, what is it exactly about the three you mentioned that make them so exceptional?
  14. - Oghren - Leliana (factoring her appearance in the subsequent games) - Morrigan (same as Leliana) - Alistair, kinda but only if you make him king. - Isabella, especially with Aveline - Aveline, especially with Isabella - Anders - Solas - Iron Bull - Vivienne - Sera - Mordin - Morinth (soft spot for her) - Tali
  15. Companions aren't up to snuff when contrasted to whom, specifically? I'm honestly curious. Bioware's more recent offerings.
  16. I've been hearing the hype about BG2 for as long as I've been gaming and when I finally got around to it I was (probably inevitably) let down. Some things were good, the city and the Underdark come to mind. But Irenicus covers the basics in terms of character motivation and personality, the fact that it makes him a standout says more about how games often treat their villains (ie 2 dimensional motivating obstacles) then him being some incredibly nuanced masterpiece. The companions also aren't up to snuff when contrasted with some more contemporary examples. You can't compete with nostalgia.
  17. I've done that about two times, my religion is wasn't high enough either time so I don't know what that unlocks but my character just saw an eyeless face that smiles and then wakes up with the camp gone as if it's never been there. No one died and I got that camping "good food, better company" or whatever. I dispersed the souls as Wael suggested.
  18. Nah, the imps get enough **** that I figure if one who got lucky ever manages to bring retribution sweeping down from the north it's just karma.
  19. I thought this would be more annoying than it wound up being tbh. Deadfire has a genuinely impressive sense of place and I think these linguistic tics and the expressive architecture that play a big role in that.
  20. What sub 60 IQ retard doesn't consider that the skillchecks in contexts the dialogue obviously sketches as dangerous and IN IRONMAN might have ramifications?
  21. I do, I was expecting them to reject me when the option came up but seeing as how we're getting a DLC that involves them I'm hoping the Watcher has the option to join. No, I don't care if it's purely a text thing and has no gameplay ramifications. Also, anyone know which spellcasting classes get to join? I was playing a wizard at the time so naturally enough the option to ask was there. Also, guesses as to what stars are gonna wind up being in this universe?
  22. I'm pretty sure he's supposed to creep you out, it's like he wearing a person. Doing the math of whoever is in front of him and having his meat suit respond accordingly. I've considered Atsura under three different lenses, 1) intelligent psychopath 2) somewhere on the autism spectrum 3) a true adherent to the philosophy he espouses. None of these need to be mutually exclusive, it's entirely possible that he's some degree of all three. It's easy to see Atsura's behavior as an adaptive behavior of autism, I didn't notice the ciphers before and that's a nice catch. The thing with autism, especially on the more severe end of the spectrum (like you'd expect someone as mechanical Atsura to be) is that it's more than just being bad or not recognizing or engaging with social cues it's a more fundamental lack of inclination or ability to understand or why should want to accommodate these things. They don't grok the inner lives of others, which would make a relatively subtle behavior like manipulation difficult. This is complicated by the fact that every interaction he has with the Watcher is couched in him wanting something from them, social adaptation or manipulation? I guess we could get into a deep discussion about whether there's a meaningful difference but let's not. It'd be interesting to see him interact with someone he has no possible present or future use for, if he's still trying to appear 'normal' I'd be more inclined to think he's being adaptive. The philosophy thing (we're transient so why don't we embrace that transience, turn it into maximum efficiency to serve something with the potential to be permanent?) I can only see as an in addition kinda thing. You find plenty of people really devoted to their guiding philosophies but you don't really see an anti-natalist extend their devotion to the intuitive behavior of murder. It's one thing to believe something, it's another to have that fundamentally overwrite your personhood. Which leaves intelligent psychopath, and I keep adding 'intelligent' to that since most psychopaths (ie the kind that are in a situation that calls for an official diagnosis) aren't, they have below average IQ. Probably at least partly because of this they generally do obvious things for immediate benefit but I have no trouble imagining Atsura genuinely believing his philosophy, aligning himself with it in word and deed (though mostly deed in this case since his words are whatever he needs them to be) and employing his underlying psychopathy to be better at it than any 'normal' person would be. But yeah that's my 2c on the character.
  23. I was going to go with the pirates led by Furrante, with my philsophical justification for this being that my Watcher was trying to avoid a consolidation of power since that leads to Bad Things. Mostly I just wanted to be a pirate though. Decided to be a pirate until I took the ghost ship instead. I don't support the Huana. I know they seem to be under the impression that they're changing rapidly but from an outside perspective, nope, not nearly enough. The justification for keeping the majority of the population in amazingly ****ty conditions collapses with the Wheel, it's one thing to accept your role as dirt based off an accident of birth if you can be 'sure' you'll get a better life next time around but that's gone now. I don't imagine it'll happen soon (hegemony yoh) but the Great Ruparo Uprising will definitely be a thing I think. The queen's insistence on casting every revelation and challenge in a religious light also put me off considering everything I brought her should have been making it clear that the coming world has less space and need for gods as we know them, not more. I largely agree with Castol when he asks whether the resurgent Huana will be a leadership of ignorance or expansionism. The Huana wound up being the ones to face me at Ukaizo, that's too bad because despite the differences of opinion I didn't really wanna kill the queen. Reduced to a figurehead would have been preferable and I think she's wiley enough that she would have adapted to the role and found some means to exert leverage anyway given enough time. I wanted to face off with Aeldys as Ukaizo so that the leadership of the Principi would go to Pim, cuz if I were to rank them as threats it would be Furrante, Aeldys ---------------------> Pim but meh. Aeldys directionless anarchism is preferable to the Deadfire in the longterm over Furrante's focused malice and ambition. I don't really have a good reason for not going with the Rautains. If you support them their takeover is ruthless and efficient. I guess I'm just put off by the rigidity, lack of imagination and militarism. So I went with the VTC under Castol. I like him on a personal level, he's a bit nerdy, capable of playing the game but surprised by that ability and actually caught off guard and not the hard edged Cerseis that surround him, I appreciate his willingness to support/recruit pariahs like Pallegina (in my game) and Flaune based off merit and, most of all, I like that he's the only one who seems to get the real, revolutionary value in luminous adra. Everyone else is in it for the money (Alvari), for the hedonism (Aeldys) for the motherland (hazanui) for A motherland (Furrante) or for cultural pride (Onekaza, which leaves Castol who seems to be the only who really groks that the implications here are a lot broader than just what happens to the Deadfire. The fact that if you combo his ending with Eothas inspiring that they're apparently poised to surpass the Engwithans is good too considering how that's wound up. Almost everyone winds up okay with the ending too, Rautai loses their storms and didn't get kicked out, the Huana lose their queen but seem to be mostly okay regardless (specially since I didn't recruit Maia), even the pirate benefit from the increase in trade. Anyway, I was/am kinda concerned about how much space the ending leaves for a sequel. Considering the large qualitative differences between an empowered Berath + Rautai ending vs inspired academics + VTCastol it seems like it'd be hard to accommodate the possibility of either (plus all the rest) in one game. But I suppose if you give enough distance either in time or space you can abstract it into just the big issue of: borked reincarnation.
  24. Props to whoever wrote him, really pulled off the intelligent psychopath thing.
  25. Basement sacrifices are passe, all the with it covens do it in the attic now.
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