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Everything posted by Wistrik

  1. I've been gaming for 20+ years and have forgotten more bugs than I can remember, and none seem particularly legendary, but here are a few I can recall. Ultima IX - falling through the floor (you and certain items); dead guards spinning in place and zipping around the map in Wrong; triggers not firing properly if you don't walk over them just right (running could break lots of things). Oh, and watching 'dead' skeleton bones travel vertically up an elevator shaft to join other bones three levels higher... creepy. Oblivion - crashes while exiting to desktop most of the time; has a chance of crashing to desktop if after selling stolen loot you switch to the fence's goods and try to buy back items. Hitting vertical edges just right when jumping can launch you 2 to 4 times higher than normal. As guild master you can still be kicked out of a guild. Countesses sometimes use a citizen's rumor and end up talking about themselves in a funny way. Beggars switch back and forth between beggar and non-beggar voices all the time. If you manage to kill Mehrunes Dagon before entering the Temple of the One, he melts (and is replaced by another copy for the temple cutscene!). Elite (old 3D game on C64) - if you were behind a space station when engaging the docking computer, it would attempt to fly you through the back of the station to dock. Baldur's Gate - the humorous bug of being able to pickpocket scalps from bandits, and related goofs. Diablo 2 - Blizzard's coding goofs such as drawing spell effects twice instead of once per frame, and the star-shaped pattern of Static Field after a certain patch. NWN2 - gliding orcs For the most part I've avoided some of the more serious pitfalls, mostly because of reading reviews and forums posts before buying/playing most of my games.
  2. Dragon Age - check; the only game I plan on getting 100% assuming EA doesn't pull any DRM stupidity. It's the only CRPG I care about in 2009. Interesting to see Seeker on that list. Logic Factory hasn't done anything in something like 10 years. I played both their earlier games; they dance to a different drum for sure so their games are always unique. Lots of Adventure games to drool over, but I'll pass if they're too cartoon-like or feature real-time combat (I play Adventure games to get a break from hack-n-slash.) Diablo 3... only if singleplayer is balanced properly. I'm going to wait for reviews (several of them) before I decide. I already play Titan Quest and it looks better than what little I've seen of D3. I had to modify Diablo 2 quite heavily to remove the annoyances. Secret World... I've given up on MMOs but if this does indeed come out then perhaps the team will finally produce the third installment of the Longest Journey saga. Dreamfall ended with a cliffhanger or three. Except for replaying older classics, I'm done with 2D games. It's just too enjoyable to run around in a 3D world.
  3. Hmmm... is all I can say. WoW is my current MMO but it's a love/hate as usual because Blizzard is the designer and we go back a decade (as business/customer). WoW appeals because: - Fantasy setting involving dwarves, elves, humans, and all sorts of creatures both plain and fantastic; something the D&D/Ultima/Bard's Tale player in me enjoys being part of. - I can solo from 1 to 70 (current cap) without ever setting foot in an instance (area designed for groups) - Professions, both primary and secondary. - Talents that let me choose how I want my character to develop. - Many races and classes to choose from. - Simplistic but usually beautiful graphics consisting of height map and 3D object meshes. It can't compare to more detailed or modern 3D games, but it's better than many others. - Larger world than any singleplayer game I've every played. - PVP - many, many people love fighting each other, and Blizzard also loves it. I hate it but I'm probably in the minority (I'm on a PVE server). - Mounts, both land based and flying, to speed travel. - Can build reputation with various factions, often with material rewards. Things I don't like about WoW and thus will never abandon singleplayer games: - Blizzard's narrow view of what constitutes an MMO, and as such they require grouping for much story-related content. (MMO stock definition is that groups are optional and decided upon by the players, not the developers.) - To go with the above, Blizzard's idea of "epic" is something like the movie 300, where a group of soldiers does something against a much bigger foe. My idea of "epic" is something like the Matrix, where I kick butt all by myself (I enjoy soloing lower level instances for this reason). - Reliance upon other players for game content (aka dynamic content). Take other players away and the game world feels rather spartan, with very little you can interact with (aside from killing everything in sight). It's certainly not like Ultima 7. - It is largely up to players to police each other, such that I play like everyone is a potential enemy until they prove otherwise. - The large world is a quilt of zones, rather than one big contiguous place. Still tied to singleplayer roots in this regard. At any rate, Blizzard has a good core design (leveling, random loot, PVP) that people enjoy, but Bioware and Lucasarts have skills I appreciate also. If they manage to produce an MMO that doesn't have some or all of the gripes I have with WoW, I'll consider switching. (I've enjoyed the Star Wars universe as well, and have played several Lucasarts Star Wars games over the years. I also enjoy KotOR.)
  4. Now that Intel is getting ready to release Nehalem, I'm waiting for that and it's motherboards to mature before I decide about video. Odds are I'll go with a GTX 280. By the time I'm ready, the price and die size may have been reduced. My current rig is adequate for what I'm doing, so I'm willing to wait and see.
  5. WoW again... Echo Isle Various characters, all played solo which means I'll reach 70s in blues and greens and will be fortunate if I ever see purple. I hate PVP so no welfare epics for me (I'd rather earn them in instances anyway). The game is a love/hate thing because I hate having to group for anything after decades of solo action, and the drop rates on common beast parts like boar snouts is laughable; killed 30+ murlocs tonight and apparently all but 8 were finless. At 70 I can solo most 5-man instances up to level 60, as long as they aren't like Uldaman in requiring multiple players to interact with certain objects. I play hunters predominantly (dwarf/gun, night elf/bow, and draenai xbow at the moment) because they are good for soloing, but I'm also learning to enjoy paladins for soloing and buffing random players.
  6. I voted no sale. If they're still behaving like the Chinese government when it comes time to release Dragon Age, I'll have to pass on that game as well. It's getting ridiculous. Jay's post makes me think someone in upper management has been handing out frontal lobotomies. Sorry Jay, but I don't lose discs. That's a lame excuse to slap us with online activation, especially online activation that must be done every time the game is installed, for a limited number of times. Thankfully there are plenty of games out there that don't have this crap in them. Of course that'll change once EA buys everyone out. Well Bioware, it was nice knowing you. I don't recognize the current outfit carrying your name. It's like you've become Candlekeep in Chapter 6 of your own Baldur's Gate: a bunch of doppelgangers. I'm posting the rant here because the ME forums are being heavily edited and controlled by Bioware's militant moderators. Sorry folks, no criticisms here! Now everyone sing along with Barney... It's a shame too because I generally like Bioware's games. Heck, I have most of them. This new trend is unfortunate.
  7. I'll always remember Feargus as that frightened animal trainer in BG2's promenade. That's where I first "saw" him.
  8. I'm currently 40, with 41 arriving before the USA gets a new Pres. "Over the hill" is when I can no longer play computer games.
  9. Yes, I think I saw every episode at least twice when I was a kid. Let's hope the moon remains in Earth's orbit this time. (BTW, they never addressed the issue of the broken surfing on Earth after that happened, since the only remaining tides were solar.)
  10. I remember tentatively buying a copy of BG1 after reading reviews. I didn't do any pnp D&D but I had played SSI's Gold Box series for years (had every game mapped out in detail on graph paper). The result is that BG1's "personal initiative rounds" and hokey pause system was jarring and ruined all sense of tactics and strategy that I'd come to know. Thus I started rolling maximized characters. People repeatedly suggested using auto-pause to play "turn-based", but this was hideous due to every character having their own round, rather than there being one round for the entire combat zone. At any rate, I finally adjusted, albeit grudgingly, though I still don't play any modern CRPGs without maximizing stats and whatever else I can do. I used to love playing a mage in SSI's games, but now I play fighters mostly, because they function and survive better in real-time combat. Black Isle started with Bioware's game engine, so they could focus more on game content, and this they did. Scripts for example are much tighter and less prone to glitches. Bioware was effectively able to build BG2 on their existing engine, but they still didn't manage Black Isle's attention to detail when it came to internal data. Thus we have a fan-made BG2 Fixpack addressing thousands of data-based glitches, but fixpacks for Black Isle's games are degrees of magnitude smaller because those games have fewer bugs. However, Black Isle faltered somewhat in level design, as many of their maps are mazes designed to fill every inch of the available map space, rather than resembling anything practical. This hasn't been much of a problem for Obsidian, thankfully. With NWN, Bioware initially designed a campaign that seems to cater more to multiplayer than to singleplayer. Playing in singleplayer one is faced with having to explore in three or four directions to collect as many quest items, repeatedly for the length of the campaign, whereas in multiplayer you can group with three other players and each only has to find one quest item, thus suffering far less from the FedEx effect. Ignoring the multiplayer bias, the game's OC suffered from Bioware's typical inattention to detail, with sloppy dialogs and buggy scripts, which after all this time they still haven't fixed, despite their much-hyped ongoing support for the game. To their credit, they did introduce two expansions, which have proved to be of higher quality than the OC. That's the extent of my experience with Bioware games. I have KotOR but haven't played beyond the very beginning (getting off the ship). Sci-fi CRPGs aren't my cup of tea (but I love sci-fi FPS), and the camera system drove me nuts after playing NWN. I have no desire to play Jade Empire, and even less desire to bother with the PC version of Mass Effect. I'm really looking forward to Dragon Age, I just hope Bioware has cleaned up their act when it comes to bugs - every developer produces bugs, but Bioware always seems to create enough for several developers. (Actually nowadays some developers have become extremely lazy in this regard, relying on unpaid fans to produce the bugfixes which the developers then incorporate into future patches. I should get into game development because then I could be paid to produce a beta-quality public release which is then fixed by willing volunteers who'll come up with every excuse to explain away my ineptitude and laziness. ) Despite bugs and whatnot, I've enjoyed both Bioware's and Black Isle's (and now Obsidian's) games. They appeal to different moods; some days I enjoy playing a chatty game (PST, BG2, NWN2), and other days I'd rather just plunder and destroy alone or with silent companions (IWD, NWN, BG1). They certainly aren't the only games I play though, as sometimes I feel like playing an adventure game or an FPS game.
  11. Stuff like that is always exciting. When I worked for a former employer a truck carrying silos went by and next thing I know the internet goes down and the phone goes off the hook, at the same time as a loud noise. I looked out the window and saw our telephone hookup mast sliding across the lawn. The silo had hooked the overhead line and ripped the mast right off the wall. Good times.
  12. I've been playing NWN2:MotB since I'm late in getting it. Tried my hand at fixing a few glitches with the toolset so now I get to play it again and see if they worked. Also thinking about writing a module since the learning curve isn't as steep as I thought it might be.
  13. The King of Crossroad Keep With my queen to my right, and my peasant girl to my left. re: Assassin's Creed shots Wayyy too blurry. My eyes aren't what they used to be yet I see things much sharper than they're rendered in that game. The third shot looks good though.
  14. In no order other than how they pop into memory... NWN2'2 forced companions, and resulting contrived/fabricated conversations. I love the campaign but the party system makes me want to kill someone. (MotB is a vast improvement in almost all respects. I love that campaign.) AOE II's Trebuchet bug: unpacked trebs counted as nothing in the engine so the AI would happily build more packed trebs. Lost count of the number of times I got waylaid by 8+ trebs on a map that supposedly allowed 2. NWN's multiplayer-supporting OC that left my singleplayer game feeling like a massive Fedex campaign (in multiplayer you'd get two or three buddies to grab the other items so you'd only need to go to one location). BG2's mage battles that always ended up with mage vs. mage while the other classes stood around waiting for counterspell. It's nice being able to topple mages easily in MotB, despite the power they can throw around. Any FPS game with time limits, especially on maps that happen to be tilted 45 or more degrees and I have to fight gravity and the camera, as well as the clock. Ugh. Bard's Tale: Thief of Fate: great game but getting a fresh group to level 3 or 4 was a hair-pulling exercise. Step step step... You are ambushed by 8 level 4 hobgoblins... death... reload. And that was just the city streets. Ultima V's underworld critters: first time in an Ultima game that I couldn't kill everything (except the King) without dying once I reached level 8 (the limit). It was quite a change back then. Ultima VIII, the arcade game. Thankfully I didn't get around to playing it until after Origin disabled the moving platforms and a few other annoyances, but there's still enough bugs to bring me to tears while trying to play. Dreamfall's camera control was unlike anything I'd ever encountered, but once I got used to it I liked it quite a bit. The Longest Journey doesn't support current versions of DirectX so I can't for example enable FSAA to make it look better at it's unchanging 640x480 resolution. FSAA breaks certain necessary interface functions. The developers know what the problem is but won't take the time & money to address it. Thankfully Syberia is slightly newer and doesn't suffer this limitation. It's stuck in 800x600 but I can max out quality settings (with nhancer) and make it look very nice. Those are the ones I can remember. Most games I've played have been decent, and thanks to game reviewers and developer forums I've managed to avoid the lemons. As to BG1's Friendly Arms ambush: yeah it got me the first time, but after that I got smart. Wand of Magic Missiles and guards are your friends in that encounter. He drops quick every time I play now.
  15. I just recently got MotB, but since it's been several months since I last played NWN2, I created a new character and have been playing through the OC. Now I'm all patched up for when I take my character into MotB for the first time. (Sorry Elanee, were you talking to me?) The spell fixes are awesome. I've been wanting to make a warlock but held off after reading the patch preview notes.
  16. I'll echo Pidesco's comment. A couple of my work-mates seem okay with Vista. One guy enjoys the control it gives him in regards to controlling what his kids can do with the computer. If I was to get Vista, I'd take the lesson I learned from XP and get the Ultimate edition (I have XP Pro). However nothing I currently run requires an upgraded memory space or a native 64-bit code environment, the two main reasons I'd ever consider Vista. Time will tell, but with XP's SP3 coming up and official support continuing for another year or two, I might end up skipping Vista like I skipped Windows ME.
  17. I've played a lot of games since getting my first computer in 1983, and in CRPGs there were many different rule sets. Heck I didn't get into D&D rules until 1990 when a friend introduced me to SSI's wonderful Pool of Radiance. PoR was a blast, and I replayed it more than any modern CRPG, or any modern game for that matter. It had attacks of opportunity, though I don't recall if they were called such back then. Basically if someone was moving away from you, you got a free attack at their back. It also had a skill called Sweep available to fighters, that let them have a chance to, in a single attack, hit one small creature per character level, starting at level 2, though it was modeled as multiple attacks in the same round, due to engine limitations. I miss that skill whenever a modern CRPG pits my fighter against a bunch of kobolds or goblins. It was great for clearing out the trash so you could focus on the bigger enemies. When Baldur's Gate came out I was excited about the story and the fact this was a brand new CRPG based on D&D rules. For a long time I was frustrated with Bioware for their bastardized real-time combat, but it grew on me after awhile. (SSI's Gold Box games, such as PoR, were entirely turn based.) Once games started including more Autopause options (especially Enemy Detected), I didn't mind it so much. Moving on to IWD2, I love the game for the story and similar gameplay. Yes the rules are a bit different, and it took me awhile before it all sunk in, but I adapted. The only gripe I have with the game is that the translucent text bubbles lag the screen, but that might be a driver issue. I haven't loaded the game since installing latest Nvidia drivers, but I have noticed they fixed NWN's Shiny Water issue so I can enable it again and not see odd outlines around certain things. By the same token, I enjoy NWN and NWN2 (party issues aside), again because of the stories and gameplay. I don't care that Bioware has decided to make their own rules for Dragon Age. It could turn out to be a very good thing, for all we know. After all, many older games didn't buy into TSR's D&D rules, but they did derive from them somewhat, and they were successful (Ultima series, Bard's Tale series, etc.) I understand some people are passionate about the rules, but to me the story and gameplay are more important. A game could adhere 100% to the rules and implement most of them, yet fail to be fun if the story is uninspired and the gameplay is frustrating. That said, I've modified the Baldur's Gate games to bring them closer to the D&D 2E rules, just for kicks. Bioware fudged a lot of things for "balance". Rather than write intelligent NPC AI, they invented invulnerability bubbles and whatnot so BG2 ends up being a mage war most times, while the other characters stand by ("Naught but air!" "Something's not right here!" "I hit, but no effect?!") waiting to collect the loot. On that basis I much prefer magic in the IWD series. It's still powerful, but it doesn't make other classes seem mostly useless while in combat. Stacking in NWN wasn't an issue most of the time because I modified the 2DA to allow more things to stack (within reason). Why? Because I'm a virtual packrat and because I dislike games that give us limited storage space and yet throw gobs of items our way (this was never an issue in SSI's older games). The only time stacking proved to be an issue in NWN were those occasions when a quest item happened to share an item class with everyday items, and the script checking for a quest item wasn't capable of detecting it when it was flagged as stackable (even if it wasn't part of a stack). A good example is the mirror shards in HotU. Anyway, I'd only say use of a certain version of rules is a mistake if it horribly breaks the game, but I don't see that as being the case in IWD2 at all, or the other game's I've played. In fact it's a lot of fun playing IWD2 immediately after finishing IWD, and seeing old friends (Orrick the Grey, etc.) and places once again.
  18. I'm watching not just processors but also motherboard chipsets and memory, for a hopefully nice computer when I'm done. The Intel QX9450 at Anandtech: http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel...doc.aspx?i=3184 The Intel E8500 at Anandtech: http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel...doc.aspx?i=3251 Intel's X38 chipset findings: http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3239 Memory and how tRD can provide better performance than a fast FSB: http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3208&p=4 That's just a few things I've been keeping up with lately.
  19. Fired up NWN2 today for the first time since last August and was greeted by a few patches, and a new camera/controls system that threw me for a loop. However I got things back to the way I prefer them so all is well. Performance has been improved quite a bit. I'm playing at 1920x1200 with character/environment shadows for the first time since the game's release, and still have more FPS than I had before (when I played at lower resolution). Also helps that I have a newer X-Fi sound card so 3D sound is more reliable. Still can't enable water reflection or FSAA without too much of a performance penalty. I've ordered MotB despite the "hunger" mechanic (AFAIK it can be disabled if I find it too annoying). Mostly looking forward to once again having control over who's in my party. Spent most of the last week replaying Star Trek Elite Force, and playing for the first time Star Trek Elite Force II. One fun part of playing older games is I can crank up settings with nhancer for super AA and other stuff I couldn't have dreamed of doing on the computer I originally played them on. Had to disable stencil shadows in EF2 though; that game's got nothing on NWN2 when it comes to character shadows. Was reading up on LucasArts' The Force Unleashed, which has some sweet gameplay elements, but alas is limited to console systems. People can contact LucasArts if they want to see a PC version, but it has to be done via the contact info on their site; they don't monitor their own forums. However, I don't want a PC version if it's just a lazy port from console and I end up having to deal with a gamepad-preferred interface. Edit: added url for Force Unleashed site.
  20. Dang, another one bites the dust. When people were posting on the forums about the performance hitch bug many were experiencing, IL responded that they hadn't sold enough copies of the game to warrant producing another patch, even though they knew what the problem was in the code. As to how the game was... It's something of a Diablo 2 clone with a few World of Warcraft features thrown in (especially with Immortal Throne installed), done in 3D but with a constant overhead view. It's very beautiful at high resolutions with all options maxed out. It can be a click-fest, and some battles have you using all of your character's abilities. It likes to spawn uniques that are sometimes several levels higher than surrounding creatures, which can present quite a challenge if you're at the bottom end of the leveling curve. Regarding leveling, it's pretty good, but I found myself replaying areas a bit to keep ahead of the curve, and that's after doing full clears. Still, it's not as bad as Diablo 2 was in this regard, prior to Blizzard adding the /players command. The subject matter is interesting to me as well, being centered around Greek mythology, a subject I enjoyed in school and in various movies. You get to visit places like Sparta and Athens earlier in your travels. It's been a refreshing break from the usual dwarves, elves, and so forth. If you like character customization, you might not like TQ. You're limited to either a male or female character, and can only select the color of their clothes starting out (and name). You can purchase various dyes in-game, but these only affect the innermost clothing you start the game with. These are the outward limitations though. The skills your characters can learn provide quite a potential variety of gameplay. My current character is a Stormcaller.
  21. This character is the source of some entertainment in the game from guys who apparently can't get a date in real life and enjoy telling me how cute/hawt I am. I modeled her after a friend I once had and the resemblance is rather accurate. She's pursuing Tailoring and Enchantment. The trades are a lot of fun and I enjoy them more than questing most times. Some of the things I've fished from the water have been entertaining too. I'm looking forward to what the new expansion will bring, though it's going to take me ages to reach level 80 at the rate I'm going.
  22. One of my new friends fishing with me. I've met quite a few friendly types in recent days, and it's fun helping folks out when I'm able. I even got mail (!) from an NPC I did a quest for a few days ago. The game has nice little touches that make it come to life. I'm having a blast.
  23. WoW + Expansion (with another expansion on the way). It's great being able to run (or swim) for hours traveling across a continent. This world is huge and there aren't any loading screens. I wish NWN2 could have been like this. Though the graphics up-close aren't as nice looking as NWN2's graphics, the overall atmosphere is far more immersive. I just tamed a level 19 Matriarch Moonstalker saber cat. Tough battle for a level 19 Hunter because not only did I have her hitting me until she was tamed, but I also had her "pet", a level 17 Moonstalker Runt saber cat, getting his hits in. I couldn't heal or do anything without canceling the taming process. Thankfully I converted her just before dying, so all I had to do was fetch my corpse and call for my new pet. Sad to say that's not the first 'quest' I've completed by taking advantage of corpse-retrieval, and I have a feeling it won't be the last. This game can be frustratingly difficult sometimes. I try to stay ahead of the level curve, but every now and then I get my posterior handed to me. Oh well, it's my first character and my first time through the game.
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