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Everything posted by Ginthaeriel

  1. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not really posting to get anyone riled up. I'm just sort of talking to myself out loud. Well, maybe the question I asked sounded rhetorical, but it really wasn't. I wasn't stating that everyone who played RPGs needed to improve their lives... rather, I pondered. I guess my ponderings were wrong then, given your example. Maybe, to take the discussion another way, the person who likes RPGs like them because they've accomplished everything possible in their own lives. Perhaps they no longer *can* improve in reality, because they are the best already, or have everything they want. And so, to sustain that uplifting feeling of self-improvement, they play RPGs. I don't know. I'm just trying to figure out the significance of Azarkon's theory that RPGs are fun because they give us the sense of achievement. I apologize if I sounded preachy. Honestly, I don't want to get anyone to quit CRPGs. If anything, I'm looking for someone to convince ME not to quit CRPGs. I think you're absolutely right. I think I am misguided. The thing is, certain... conflicts in my own life have put my idea of what is "my fun" in jeopardy, and indeed, has made me start to challenge a whole lot of other things about myself. That may sound really, really emo, but... hmm, I suppose I don't have an excuse. I am being whiny, emo, pathetic and annoying. Oh well.
  2. Posted by Azarkon Agreed. Now that I think about it, you're absolutely right: I can remember even when replaying PS:T for the third time, I would try and develop TNO to the max- turn him into a god. I would try and recall every single stat boost I could nab along the way, save copper like a miser, and plan out my character so that he could hand the Transcendant One's ass back on a platter. But... as I've said before in my original rant... isn't "min maxing" just mathematical masturbation? "Wow! You managed to crank out as much Base Attack Bonuses possible from a system with limited sets of rules! Now run along and play some Sudoku." I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, that's the argument on which my theory for the addictive quality of MMORPGs rests (I believe I've written something pertaining to that elsewhere) but that's neither here nor there. Needless to say, I am pretty condemning of MMOs. The problem is, I fear that the same reasons that I condemn MMOs may apply to my favored... or, maybe even soon to be ex-favored, genre too: CRPGs. The last thing I want to be is a hypocrite. I was going to respond to all those points by saying that I feel entertainment is most certainly NOT a waste of time. We have only seventy years in this life, and then we die. Any accomplishments we make are going to be forgotten, give or take a few centuries. The best thing we can do to be happy is to entertain ourselves. In fact, perhaps in that way, entertainment is LESS of a waste of time than work. But I digress. My original point was that CRPGs were NOT worth the time investment, given the entertainment that is gotten in return. It's like spending fifty dollars on a mcdonalds hamburger when you can get a kobe beef filet mignon for five cents. Hm. That was quite a stirring bit of rhetoric, but I am afraid it has not yet destroyed my doubts. The statement that RPGs "have soul" is a pretty obtuse and vague statement itself. Going back to the idea that RPGs are fun because they appeal to our inherent desire to grow and develop... isn't that kind of already existant in real life? Reflex games and sports appeal to our more violent, aggressive urges now that we as a species have evolved beyond the need for hunting for food. Books, adventure games, and so forth appeal to certain emotions and sensibilities that cannot be brought forth in our normal, everyday lives (such as the thrill of a new romance when one is already married)... but self-improvement? Isn't life itself the ultimate RPG, after all? Self-improvement is certainly not lacking in our everyday lives- pick up new habits, dress better, eat better, take better care of yourself... Isn't it kind of sad to think that one can pride themselves on how much time it took them to get a level 26 paladin, but neglect their real life duties? Isn't it frightening how MMORPGs are the games that people die playing after nonstop 24 hour grinds? Isn't it scary that these are the games which need to have disclaimers that you shouldn't forget your real life duties? Maybe RPG gamers are stereotyped as "nerdy" or "loserish" because the idea is that we lack the ability to improve our own lives, thus we turn to improving the lives of an imaginary character in a game, with definable progress. You can SEE the level of your character going up digit by digit, but you may not see how your own life improves. If entertainment fills up what is lacking in our own lives, and RPGs give us the sense of accomplishment, development and growth... does that mean that our lives are lacking accomplishments, development and growth? Do we escape to RPGs because we are stuck in "Level 0" in reality? Because that's really scary.
  3. I've been a CRPG gamer my whole life. But recently, I've come into a crisis of faith. I've been thinking in dangerous, heretical ways. Please listen to my thoughts, and tell me what you think. I'm afraid that there is some truth to them and that I've actually wasted years of my precious life. If you must, flame me, but know that I'm not being a troll. ----- CRPGs are a waste of time. They're incredibly fun, probably some of the deepest games written or made, and a great form of entertainment that can suck up hours of your time... but they're still a waste of time, not even worth it for the immense entertainment value they provide. Why would you play a CRPG? For the story? You're better served reading a book. For the gameplay? What kind? Stats twinking? Minmaxing? Mathing it out like a geek on your character sheet? You're probably better served doing actual math because you aren't making anything creative here... just a beefed up, souped, soulless monster that you use to reduce an imaginary number called "HP". Tactics? You're better served playing RTS's, or Chess, which have far more layers of complexity and depth. The ability to roleplay? Are you kidding? have you seen the kind of RPGs that are coming out these days? Furthermore, if you really want to build a character concept and live out a story and let yourself be immersed by it, you'll be SO MUCH better served by PEN AND PAPER ROLEPLAYING GAMES. Not only do you do your eyes a favor, but you actually have a bit more social contact. That's at least a little less nerdy that sitting alone flirting with... Aerie. Or perhaps you could *gasp* even WRITE something for a change! Do you play them for the pretty graphics? You're better served with an action game. CRPGs have a massive bundle of things that make them fun, but they're all mediocre. Every facet is trumped by some better medium. Yet the price is high: CRPGs (especially MMORPGs!) eat up ridiculous amounts of time. Think about the 200 hours you spent on BG2, Morrowind or Obsidian, or the countless more on WoW, and think about how that could have been better spent. Let's remember why we play computer games in the first place: for entertainment. Wouldn't hacking away for an hour in Prince of Persia or God of War, sniping away in Counterstrike for thirty minutes, or unwinding with a mission in GTA be much more effective in that measure than having to play for three hours in an RPG before you actually crank any REAL fun out of it? Seriously, does anyone else consider the fifteen minutes spent picking up all the "phat lewt" that the monsters dropped in that dungeon a fifteen minutes wasted? Say what you want about delayed gratification, but I really don't think that applies to computer games. Suffering is stupid when you're shelling out 49.99 for it. Better games, better books, better stories are abound... maybe this entire genre is a failure in the first place, which may explain why it's had a lot less ups than downs, and why it's languishing and failing today. *puts on asbestos suit and runs for dear life*
  4. The people who lambast Alignment for restricting roleplaying, tebd to also like Planescape: Torment for its deep roleplaying aspects. That makes no sense though because the Alignment system basically WAS planescape: torment. All the planes, all the characters... everything was built around the alignment system. You even had lecturers placed in the game (civic festhall) to explain how important the alignment system was and how it tied into everything in the game. Vhailor for example, was specifically written as a character to epitomize lawful neutral. Nordom's entire personality was based off the fact that his alignment was the opposite of his race's natural alignment, and the same could be said for Dak'kon and to a lesser extent, Fall-from-Grace. The only options for TNO's personality were based off the alignments themselves... and he still managed to become a pretty deep character no matter how you played him. Seriously, "Truth: I don't know my name" vs. "Lie: Adahn"? They had to label your responses, categorize them so you knew exactly which response made you more lawful and which made you more chaotic. I'm no big fan of alignment, I do agree that it more often than not, restricts character development. However I don't think it's necessarily BAD. I think if done right, it can work really well, especially in your cheesy good vs. evil classic heroic-myth style campaigns that you have to play every once in a while. The real world is morally ambiguous and gray enough, and choices in your boring day to day life are conflicting and difficult to make anyways. Why would you want to carry that excessively into your entertainment? There's a reason why your boring old good vs. evil plots are always so popular. It's escapism. I'm not saying that morally gray/ambiguous games without alignment are bad, though, far from it. They're usually the deepest games with the most character development. I'm just saying that alignment isn't a TOTALLY useless thing.
  5. Lady Alvane is April in her golden years, if you watched the Epilogue at the end of TLJ1. You see a grey old crow reminisce with her about their "adventures". So basically in TLJ1, April of the future saves April of the past through that secret door. What does this mean? My best guess is that Kian Alvane will become April's love interest (taking the ending of TLJ1, it's obvious that April will come back from the dead somehow, unless Ragnar Tornquist decides to break the canon of the last game... which he might) and they will eventually get married, thus his last name will therefore be taken by April. Thus becoming "Lady Alvane".
  6. Isn't this thread just an excuse to list every single female character in the Star Wars EU, whether canon or not, and beyond? I mean, the number of writers, fans, and more importantly- shippers- in the SW fanfiction world is so immense that every single female character's love life has enough fempreg lesbian slashfics on fanfiction.net to make them ALL mothers, in one way or another.
  7. The whining from that one party member ought to do the trick. Although PnP players are vicious in terms of acquiring power, they are equally loathe to lose it. Watching them draw straws to figure out who gets their brains sucked out is probably going to be a riot. Think Head of Vecna. And if worse comes to worse, you can just dock their xp for bad roleplaying. Game, set, match. If a GM really wants to control his players, he'll play their desires against each other. I was actually semi-sarcastic when I said "Now THERE'S a moral quandary!" I mean, after all, we are talking about people who are using the brain matter of sentient beings as tools. Morality has pretty much gone out the window.
  8. Damn! If only saintfrancisnudecenterfold was still around, then the forum wouldn't be cancelled! Actually it probably would anyway. The spam fest that the PNJ forums were recently couldn't have been much worse than the faux-intellectual, Eng Lit 101, sparknotes flamefest that it was when saintfrancisnudecenterfold was still there. We'd be yelling at each other about idiotic things like whether you could actually translate Beckett's absurdist and existentialist themes into a... CRPG about superheroes. Hm, I guess that's not that different from spam after all. But still, it was fun! Well then again, so is praising the awesomeness of ninjas, I suppose.
  9. Not to interrupt the excellent discussion going on here, but what if in Gromnir's campaign, he were to trap the players in some combat related situation that drained all the Player's brain batteries, to the point where if they were going to survive, they could either stop relying on their psychic technology... or scoop out the brains of one of their companions to power their equipment? Now THERE'S a moral quandary! Maybe harvesting the brains of a fellow teammate might be all it takes to get them to start fighting against "the system"
  10. So, NVIDIA is gonna team up with these AGEIA guys, to make upgrading a computer even MORE expensive?! Game publishers are trying to trump one another in whatever category they're focusing on, not necessarily just graphics. Back when the whole computer graphics technology was still mired in the bogs, games actually developed more sophisticated gameplay to trump one another. Then 3d acceleration kicked in, and the whole thing has been snowballing it's way so that game developers need to keep up with the graphics landslide to get competitive market share. But how much better can graphics get? Seriously? They're so good that they're indistinguishable from real life... except for the crap animation. I'm thinking that the next "tech wave" benchmark that games will have to compete with is how good their physics are, until the physics are spot on perfect. Then? Then I dunno. Hopefully games will go back to improving and sophisticating their gameplay and, hopefully, at that point games are beautiful enough to be considered art so that more people will focus on the freaking STORY... but that's just wishful thinking on my part I suppose.
  11. Just mess up the campaign as much as possible. Have your characters kill themselves, make love, "accidentally" shoot the NPC heroes in the back, etc. If the characters aren't even the characters you want to play (since it's all randomized) then you probably don't hold any connection to the character in the first place, so why would you care if the GM's "uber leet PCs" can wipe the floor with you? Get your character killed as fast as possible so you can have an excuse not to play anymore. I don't see why you can't have fun with this. It's such an absurd situation, why don't you look at it as a comedic opportunity? See how far you and your friends can push this guest GM.
  12. But, Over 40% of the predicted human proteins share similarity with fruit-fly or worm proteins, so insects are people too! Actually, human beings also share 50% of our genes with... a banana. http://www.wasdarwinright.com/homology-f.htm So bananas are people too! Except then the chimpanzees will eat them. And if they're given human rights, then they're subject to human laws too! So they will be guilty of murder! w00t! Take that you damn, dirty apes!
  13. Oh see the thing is for the next few months I'll find myself with an obscene amount of free time and little to no responsibility. I would never dream of starting up an MMORPG again had it been a few months ago... In fact, that's why my RL friends are starting up FFXI again as well. So in terms of the "real life", that's not an issue. Not until around August at least. I want to get them to play guild wars instead but they're being stubborn. It's infuriating. Well, my friends aren't *insisting* that I play it, but they have been bugging me about it. I don't think our friendship is in jeopardy here (THAT would be a ridiculous reason for losing a friend: refusing to play the same MMORPG as them. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a nerd, but I'm not THAT much of a loser). And I guess it *could* be fun playing with them... I just wish it was a different game! EDIT: One that doesn't have a black hole money vortex aka "monthly fee".
  14. How many times have you heard someone who plays an MMORPG complain about it to no end? I know I have, that someone being me. I used to play Final Fantasy XI, see, and that is one of the most frustrating games I have ever played. Thirty minute ship rides with randomly spawning monsters on board that could kill you in one shot, hours looking for groups that usually fall apart, fighting the same stupid crabs ad nauseam for sixty levels in horridly dangerous areas where chains of monsters could rape you in less than sixty seconds, insanely inflated prices... ugh. But I kept playing until level 50 because of my linkshell. I suppose I have only myself to blame because of the fact that I introduced some of my real life friends into that linkshell, thus when I wanted to quit, I really couldn't because my friends who were still hooked into the hopeless treadmill didn't want to leave, and I would feel like I was abandoning them. The thing about MMORPGs is they have an insidious way of addicting you through conditioning: they give you little, meaningless, virtual rewards that feed your ego and make you feel you didn't waste that 15.99 that month because you managed to get the <insert l00t here>. Meanwhile, they keep getting your money, and the more money you spend on the game, the less you want to quit because you'll feel like you've thrown it all away. It's very much like scientology. The problem is, once the game DOES break you from this habit, players tend to stay for the "social aspect" AKA they can't abandon their friends without feeling like a jerk. On one hand, MMORPGs with friends can be extremely fun on the friendship alone, on the other hand, is it worth the frustration? What would you do? What are your opinions on this subject? The reason why I'm asking this is because the newest expansion for FF11 has just come out, and my sadomasochistic friends want to play again, and that means that they want ME to play again. Even though I loathe this game with an unbridled passion. Even now I can hear the addiction rationalizing with me, "Hey, they improved so many things with the patches, and since now everyone is playing WoW the economy would probably not be that messed up... c'mon... give it a try..." Then I realize just how unhealthy it is to be hearing voices in my head. Anyways... anyone have any experiences similar to mine? I don't want to let down my friends, but I also really don't want to waste another damn dollar on this game. What would you do in my shoes?
  15. Personally, I think that PS:T and FF are both RPGs. They're both in the same vein. They are, however, quite different from Baldur's Gate games, which are also RPGs too. I think the difference is not in some clear cut category, but rather a scale. A spectrum of linearity/flexibility in plot: Linear<------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->Non-Linear Final Fantasy games--Planescape:Torment--Baldur's Gate Games--Arcanum--Fallout 2--Fallout The difference is how much the player can change in the central plot, and not anything to do with sidequests. The Elder Scrolls games are probably very linear in terms of plot, but very non-linear in terms of sidequests, which I guess you could call the "story", since you experience those through playing. But in terms of the main narrative, the Elder Scrolls games are VERY inflexible.
  16. Hmm... That was the impression I got from lurking on the Codex boards. Well if they really are just hackfests when it comes right down to it, then never mind. Thanks for the info.
  17. The Gamespot review criticizes Dreamfall for having a story that didn't tie up it's loose ends very well. Well didn't TLJ? I mean, you were basically spammed with all these cool cultures and characters, and didn't have a clue about what happened to them after the game ended. Did Brian actually survive the Vanguard's attack on that Arcadian City whose name I cannot remember? I mean, TLJ must have had one of the worst endings relative to the rest of the story in the history of games, or even narrative fiction. I know for one thing that the top reason why I want Dreamfall is because TLJ left me hanging so badly. I'm glad to hear that the puzzles are less complicated/obtuse. I know hardcore adventure game fans prefer mindbenders, but I personally did not care much for the rubber ducky puzzle, which annoyed me to no end. *sigh* I really can't wait for my copy now...
  18. I know that it's an indie, I really don't care about the graphics and I know that it has all sorts of great dialogue options and story lines and freeform choice and whatnot... It's supposed to be a "classic" RPG with all the elements that are sorely missing in RPGs these days. But I've slogged through the Avernum 4 demo for like... a week... and it seems like the game is nothing but just constantly casting Icy Rain on goblins left and right. It feels like Temple of Elemental Evil, which I also could not bring myself to even scratch (I shelved it a little after I got myself into the temple... I still need to try and get myself to finish it... though it has a sophisticated implementation of 3E combat that is really smooth, is it really just more of the endless slaughter that I've seen so far? Not to mention that 3E combat in itself is quite boring ad nauseam) Is there some sort of mindset you have to get into to enjoy these games, or are they really just hackfests?
  19. I'm tired of playing Freespace 2 over and over again Plus, EVE Online's graphics show that, if anything, a good spacesim is pretty badly needed. Anyone concur?
  20. If you find some of my arguments irrelevant, then I'd like you to point them out to me, so that I can refine my ability. I definitely have problems with succinctness, and I would appreciate if you could help me in that regard. Even a single word response, and perhaps a sentence to back up why that particular argument is "irrelevant", is enough. And besides, surely my particular brand of what you label as "mental auto-eroticism" is better than the one line smiley spamming glurges that are so rampant on the board?
  21. Again, I'm talking about High Fantasy, a genre which I think would have existed with or without Tolkien. Just not his particular brand of "Tolkienesque" high fantasy. Exactly, but the nature of the literature: being an epic fairy tale-- would still exist in spirit. The flavour would be different, but I think the "flavour" is really inconsequential when compared to the literary merit of the meat and potatoes of the genre. I am in total agreement. But High Fantasy, the non-Tolkien fantasy, would definitely come out. What I
  22. I know. I don't expect my statements won't be targeted by others, indeed, I am welcoming it. By all means, rip my posts apart: I have only much to learn from my mistakes. As I said: But you've never actually targeted any of my statements. You quote me but don
  23. And is there anything I've said that disputes that? I did infact say that Robert Howard can be seen as the father of Sword & Sorcery if one looked at contributions by High Fantasy as the development. I wouldn't go that far however. Michael Moor**** proposed "epic fantasy" for Howard's tales. "Sword & Sorcery" was a term invented on the spot to be used to cover stories ranging far greater than simply Conan. Define "Arcane" then. I see the more complex, ritualized high magics prominent in Tolkien as more embodying "arcane" than the magic in Conan.
  24. ...And yet you yourself are a practitioner of the same exercises you deride in others. If "t's impossible and fruitless to even try [sic] and predict..." then why do you predict how things would turn out in the first place? Well, my predictions were rather broad, nearing obvious (if Tolkien did not exist, Tolkienesque would not exist. But High Fantasy would probably still exist, because of the fact that the genre was so steeped in past western traditions, and that at the time, there were so many other fantasy writers), and backed up with a whole slew of reasoning and evidence. And even then, I can come to no conclusion other than two very, very general and vague facts. What others are proposing here though, is a complete reimagining of the very details of the literature and its developments, which as I said, is impossible. Also, I'd like to inquire how I'm in any way "deriding" anyone? I'm simply putting forth my own observation that it's rather fruitless to work through such a totally hypothetical situation. Well, I didn't actually start this thread, so I think you're kind of talking to the wrong guy here. Frankly, I don't see how I'm being arrogant for trying to answer the question to the best of my ability. I never claimed I had a crystal ball, and I am certainly not saying that my word is law. I've opened up my line of reasoning to plenty of possible criticisms, and I've tried to counter every point. I'm only trying to engage intellectually at the topic. If you think I've said something wrong, then please, tell me where: I am constantly seeking to improve my knowledge and understanding of things. At least I am attempting a stab at the question at hand with the only two answers that I feel can actually be argued at any length with the evidence and the facts at hand. I mean, you COULD say that if Tolkien never existed, a sudden new era of romantic fiction would arise, but I can't imagine any way you could prove it. When did I try and devalue Tolkien's contributions? The same argument: that had a person not existed, another would take his place to deliver the same innovations, has been made for just about every single great figure in this world. From Einstein, Bohr, Euler, Newton... no one is devaluing their achievements, but that doesn't mean we can't hypothesize can't we? Hopefully it's a discussion where we can learn something from.
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