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Everything posted by Aristes

  1. I have a different point of view. Well... I agree with Dega that DA is not nearly so 'dark' as BG2. *shrug* I actually didn't think that BG2 was the soul of 'gritty/dark' literature. My different point of view is that I don't care. The character don't need to be dark or even 3 dimensional. Hell, folks constantly accuse Gogol of creating soul-less characters, even caricatures, and yet they are most compelling indeed. Of course, I don't equate Bioware with Gogol, especially as Gogol is much 'darker' than any Bioware game. Bioware crafts stories as the backdrop for their games. As long as I enjoy the game, I don't really care about whether the story is dark or not. On the other hand, where Bioware clearly tries to make social commentary, I am more willing to judge them. I find this true of the Elves, although at least there are a couple of areas that depict their suffering, even though these fall a little flat. As far as show but don't tell... I agree in principle, but I just don't see it happening. That's the problem with dialogue in the first place. The designers can't be subtle. If they want the majority of the players to know something, they are all but forced to beat them over the head with the idea.
  2. I don't know. The bandits at 11 or 12 were a tough bunch. I think I was just a tad higher level the last game, but not by more than a couple of levels. The hardest battles I had the last game were the in the Brecilian Forest, and I went there right out of Lothering. In fact, while I did end up beating them, I didn't even return until I was like level 14 to do so. The bandits, by the time I knew what I was doing, were fairly easy because you do line of sight pulls and whatnot. I mean, that's not even metagaming. Once I realized that I was going to have to run the gauntlet of archers if I fought the melee folks in the open, I started making them come to me. Also, once you get a handle on looking for traps everywhere, you get a leg up also. The point is, the bandits were plenty tough in the first run. I don't care if Vol or some other tactical genius saw them and dispatched them out of hand without even a second's pause, I thought they presented some tough fights. I did fpw on the That happened and even looking at it I knew something was up before hand. In the second run, they basically go down super fast.
  3. In fact, I have a comment or two about relationships in these games. I don't just mean the canned romances, but all the relationships. First of all, I used to like the relationships in games. Iolo the bard was a great buddy, and his dialogue was decidedly brief. As time went by, I grew more and more frustrated and impatient with the relationships. I'll freely admit that I've grown more and more impatient with dialogue in general. That's because the response that seems most natural to me is clearly meant to be insulting. I mean, if you want to be a 'good guy' in these games, you have a clear response, and it's usually both artless and shallow. For example: "My father is being held captive two houses down the street!" 1. If he's too weak to defend himself, then why should I care? 2. You poor thing, I'll save you! 3. What do you want to do about that? Now, I don't think the third option is 'less good,' but the NPC responses to such a choice are almost always as if it's a sign of indifference. It's not. I remember, somewhere a while back, Kaftan mentioned that choices that seemed like wry humor to him (not exactly his words, but to that effect) were taken as insulting or callous. I can see his point. I'm not really blaming game designers. They have to craft conversations that broadcast the tone of the choice so the player can make decisions. Fair enough. Nevertheless, as a result, I've read less and skimmed to the point more of all these dialogues. I just read to the gist and make the obvious choices. So, that's dialogue and relationships in general. Bring in romances. If I'm largely disgusted with dialogue in general, romances must be far worse. Not because I hate the writers or think they're doing a bad job. It's just that I could never see myself saying any of the options in the dialogue. I can't imagine professing my love within such a short amount of time and I can't imaging professing it in the manner the designers invariably choose to present it. So, I've largely ignored romances as best I could. Now comes Mask of the Betrayer. I thought the game rocked and I had a lot of fun. For a variety of reasons, I got far more into the romances in that game. I felt somewhat compelled to delve into the idiotic romances, and so I did. You might ask, why would I feel compelled to play a game a certain way? Good question. I've asked myself that since, but the point is, I did. Anyhow the romances still harshed my buzz. However, they did have a side effect. Special bennies for the player presented in game play. Now, I love exploiting games. Making love/sex into a minigame is disasteful, but giving me some advantage for winning that minigame all but ensures I'll play it. At last we have the cast of Dragon Age. If it were up to me in real life, I'd take up with Leliana. She's sweet. She's pretty. She sings well. In real life, I'd warm her tent. Of course, in real life, she might think I'm a fat trog and not give me the time of day, but you get my point. Still, her bennies (gameplay... get your mind out of the gutter) just aren't as good as Morrigan's. So, I'll give gifts to Leliana and try to get my influence as high as I can in order to try to find any side quests and the like, but Morrigan is my primary JNPC in this run, and I want every benefit I can get asap. So, I woo her and follow along with gifts to the Leliana. Now, my point is this, romance, for a sap like me, isn't better because of any of this. It adds virtually nothing to the story. It's just one more metagame consideration, and that's pretty much all it will be. What's the point? I don't know. I just wish we could have a game like Planescape Torment where I really did feel engaged in the dialogue. Of course, my fear is that I would not think the same way of PS:T if I played it for the first time today as opposed to the game I bought the first day of release years ago.
  4. lol That's it! No badge, no nightmare! I'm a total sucker for alternate endings. That's the only reason I finished painkiller and the max payne games on the hardest setting. I wanted to see the 'good' ending. Sadly, couldn't do that with Dark Corners because the game had that glitch and I didn't want to muddle through it to get to the end. In my second run, I'm wooing Morrigan. She's really terrible. I guess, with her background, it's to be expected, but I would avoid her like the plague in real life, hottie or not. Bad news you can see coming a mile away.
  5. It's really weird. I thought hard had some pretty tough battles, but Nightmare is so easy I'm wondering if mabye they mixed something up in the patch. The only thing I can think is that being warned of the fights makes a huge difference. I mean, for example, the fights against the bandits in Denerim. Now, I know Gromnir and Vol have been fighting over the bandits for a while. I hit Denerim second in my first game. I also hit Denerim second in my current game. In my first game, the bandits were a lot tougher. Now, to be fair, maybe it's because I have Wynne in my party this time as opposed to Leliana. however, I know my PC mage dealt out a lot more damage than my PC rogue, so that doesn't make sense. My rogue is marginally more resilient, but not by much. Some of the situational tricks don't work now, and I know how to handle my party's movement and use their abilities better. I'm really curious how it will work in the later areas, but I've had a much easier time of it, and that goes for the areas I did before I had Shale. There is no one thing that would lead me to believe that my party is somehow inherently better. Either the PC rogue is much better or I just learned the tricks well enough on hard to make nightmare not so bad. The only thing is, a lot of times the bad guys are virtually dead before my rogue gets to them and the rogue's share of damage, even with virtually the same party composition, is less than the mage's. I think Leliana did more damage on the balance than my current rogue, although he is getting to be more effective as I get more talents under his belt. This party even has the same healing tendencies that served me well during the latter half of the previous run. ...And before you think I'm bragging about how well I'm doing on Nightmare, let me be clear that I had my share of party wipes and ugly barely finished battles in the first run on hard. It's not like I really earned bragging rights. So I'm at a loss. I have a dirty little admission. I only decided to do a nightmare run because I thought maybe one of those hidden badges would be for completing a run on Nightmare difficulty the whole way. I'm a sucker for new badges, even for trivial things like using herbalism and the like. So I'm a wimpy sort of player who basically groaned and figured I'd try to do it for a potential badge and yet the difficulty seems less. I'm serious, someone should test the numbers to see if maybe they switched hard and nightmare or something. I originally thought control didn't last as long, but now I'm not so sure. Force field and crushing prison seem to last long enough. Crushing prison virtually assures that any white named person will die before the end of the spell. Only area effect stuns seem to be short, but I'm not even sure they're shorter than on hard.
  6. There was a big event advertisement for it in Flash Foward or Fringe. I don't know if that really means anything, but there it is.
  7. huh? I thought you could get in any time after Lothering. hmm. Dwarf players are the same as everyone else. You're a surface dwarf or something like that.
  8. yeah, it's not a huge deal but the guy in camp with a quest mark over his head really bugs the hell out of me. ...And I can say that the bozo with the quest mark in camp is fairly shameless. Not a big deal, but something that constantly intrudes on my 'immersion.'
  9. yeah... but... but... mages are teh awesome! That's my fave. Either that or an Space Ork hunting Eldar. I can see it now. Dragon Age in the 40k universe. Come up with a mod that does that, Gorth, and I'm all over it!
  10. The tunnel cruncher looks over the data and comes to the conclusion you're all doooooommmed.
  11. Yeah, it's not overt, and I tend to be pretty forgiving anyhow. I know some folks thought the Valley of Elah (or whatever the name) was anti-military, but I didn't see it that way. As long as it's well done, I don't refuse to see movies because they might present a view with which I disagree. The graphics look good and folks fighting against bad guys trying to destroy them is not an outrageous story. Anyhow, like I said, even if I don't see it in the theater, I'm going to see it on blue ray. To be honest, I might see it 3D. There's a huge imax theater in the high desert. It's not that long of a drive. The wife and I can go for lunch, an early movie, and maybe dinner before we return home.
  12. Who cares about hype? I mean, it's just a ridiculous to say you won't see something because of the praise as to say you will see something because of the praise. Frankly, I'm actually more likely to watch the film because Krezack and TrueNeutral were excited by what they saw. On it's face, from what I've seen, the story looks like the typical "western powers (mostly the US) are terrible and evil and anti-environment. Dunno. I don't tend to avoid most films because they might present opposing political views.
  13. I don't care about respeccing so much. I would be willing to install a mod that one of my fellow board monkeys creates, but that's probably it. On the other hand, I think one of the reasons they did the free DLC the way they did was to show how easy it is and train consumers to use it.
  14. AMEN! hehe Ahem, I think we should take a serious look at MC's 'men fighting in tunnels and wenching in taverns' game.
  15. How much are you going to charge, you rat bastard? Unless it's free, in which case you're a glorious bastard.
  16. I want the damned book and rope. Also, I have max ranks in find edible lichen and mushrooms and other such things. Wait, am I allowed to come? Who's going? I'll focus on spells and let others whack on stuff with swords and sticks and the like.
  17. I would add that I don't have any mods and will likely never have any. I had that error message before I had any DLC and I still have no mods. My game has crashed a total of twice in hours and hours of play. I'm not defending Bioware, since I'm perfectly happy that they have their feet in the fire on this issue. I'm just saying that I have this error message without any other problems in the game.
  18. Getting on towards the end of the Mage Tower. You know, t here were plenty of things that I missed the first time. It's so weird that a little foreknowledge makes everything so much easier. I sitll like the game. Shale does a great job tanking. I have Shale, Morrigan, and Wynne in my party. I've always been fond of magic in these games, so I find it hard to completely turn my back on it. I got to Wynne soon enough that I have a lot of room to decide her talent spread. I don't really care about any of the talents for other folks at this point. I can take the rest as they come. I'm thinking of taking Sten instead of Wynne. I'll have to see. I'm currently in the , so the end of the Mage Tower is close.
  19. I have had this error. Certainly before I downloaded Shale and the like. It hasn't caused me a problem thus far. The only thing I will say, ~Di, is be careful. I have first hand experience of folks lying about bugs. Consider the source. I'm not saying that's happening now, but it has happened in the past. I wouldn't take the specific problem, the error message for accessing the online character profile, too terribly much to heart. It's still a strnage error, though. If anything that you've mentioned happens to me, I'll be sure to post and pm you.
  20. I don't know. I think, in all seriousness, maybe I wouldn't mind being a cleric in the service of the tunnel. I mean, it's so completely alien to us. Your life is forever constrained by the stone. There's a small joke about 'falling up' in the Orzammar of Dragon Age, but I think the out and out fear of the outside would be terrifying to someone who had been underground his entire life. You could draw from different types of powers, such as stone, silence, and darkness. I see the cleric could have classic powers of healing and buffing, but he could also have the powers of scrying. He could speak with the stones to learn what has transpired and what lies ahead. He could see patterns in the darkness, giving him hints about what has been and what's to come. He could hear voices in the silence. etc etc so on so on One thing that I like about this idea is that it can be far more mystical/mysterious than the typical DnD core class.
  21. This made me laugh out loud. The gamer's nightmare!
  22. I'm a tunnel cruncher. I can't actually cast any spells or use any weapons, but I spend hours and hours discussing the chances other adventurers have of surviving upcoming encounters. This is a splendid idea, MC. I tip my hat to you, sir!
  23. You lush! However, getting drunk and seeing the film does sound like it could be fun. I had a friend overseas who constantly told me I should try LSD because it's so cool. I imagine, if I'd ever done it, acid would make the Avatar experience awesome!
  24. I have 23.6 gigs. Fallout 3, Torchlight, and Dragon Age. I don't keep all of my STEAM games installed all the time, though. I have a lot more that's not currently in there. For example, all of the halflife games, FEAR 2, the Max Paynes, Portal, Call of Cthulu, L4D, and a few others. I have to admit that I didn't understand Monte's joke. I wanted to laugh, but I just didn't. under. stand.
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