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Everything posted by Aristes

  1. Yeah, I've seen this AI exploit in other games. In fact, I could do it in Mask of the Betrayer. I just couldn't do it so consistently. I mean, if you have to take advantage of things like that in order to complete the game, it just seems like it would take forever to accomplish. I don't put that down because I firmly believe folks should have fun in the manner of their choosing, but it's not for me. That's why I'm toying with the idea of switching it down to a lower setting. It's great to prove your mettle, and physical endurance as the case may be, but that's just not my motivation. I mostly enjoy group tactics. I guess, if I want to solo somewhere along the line, I'd toy with an evasion build rogue, a two handed warrior, or an arcane mage. In fact, with a good number of pots, I think an arcane mage would be a feasible solo build. Of course, not having tried any of it, I would have to say that this is all blind speculation.
  2. I actually thought hard was perfect. I don't think that Nightmare is too terribly tough so much as I just think it does bad things to the mechanics. I mean, control is horribly nerfed. Well, a lot of the fun of combat is using control and the like. Nightmare doesn't make battles more complex as I reckon. It makes it simpler. I think I might actually slip the game down to normal at this point. I'd like to see, under regular circumstances, what some of these spells and abilities do. I think hard was good because it could be tough on the player. I know some of the battles were really tough on me. On the other hand, you could still count on control lasting a decent amount of time. On nightmare, you accidently catch one of your folks in a cone of cold and one of the bad guys resists and the ones who do get frozen are thawed waaaaay before your guy. There's a terrible exploit I don't know if folks have noticed. You can often pick off one or two enemies by shooting at them from a distance. Your sniper ranged folks with really good bows or a mage can do it easy. So, you hit one guy and then kite him back a ways. Once you separate him and maybe a buddy who came along, you dispatch them and repeat. I think of it as a bug. It just seems silly that his friends don't notice that he's taking arrows in the ear but won't come with him to find out from where. I don't really mind exploiting it, though, since most of the tougher battles stick you in a confined area where that's impossible anyhow. I will say that this bug almost makes up for my party approaching some of these battles by just walking up and standing around like idiots in front of an armed group of people who are clearly hostile.
  3. So, after I finally got myself around the free DLC, I noticed that I literally had things in my inventory. Red armor of the whatzits and a couple other things. Then I went and did the Shale stuff. holy Schmoly. There's some seriously overpowered stuff in there. Anyhow, I don't really find it much more difficult on nightmare, although I do notice a couple of things that are different. First of all, control simply doesn't work. You get a breath and an action. None of this placing long time control on enemies. The other thing is the mad spell resistance that even the one eye, gimpy, gap toothed minions have, let alone the bosses. Still, spells still rule as far as I can see. In many ways, I think my previous party with either three mages, two of whom are spirit healers, or two spirit healers and a rogue was better than my current build. Still, I might decide to do the same thing only making Morrigan a spirit healer. I doubt if I go for the arcane warrior thing again with this run, but I can definitely see where focusing on straight up damage and healing would be better than worrying about control which has limited efficacy. I'll try to sort out thoughts on that and put them in the tactics thread. There are huge exploits that I kind of guessed in my previous run that I actually exploit in this one, one of which I would actually consider a bug and would probably submit as a bug if I were a bug submitting person or whatever they're called. The game itself is remarkably bug free for me, but one exploit is so nuts in my opinion it would count. If I get around to the post, I'll put that in my tactics post also. I don't know how I'll like Shale, but I actually stuck a sword and shield on Sten. I've only had a couple of wipes that I can recall. Nevertheless, I have had a good number of wounds from folks getting knocked out. Some of them I could undoubtedly run the battle again and avoid, but I'll take my lumps. Anyhow, while I have been trying to avoid insane metagaming, I did buy out every pot and injury kit I could find because I knew how useful they'd be. I think I'll head to the Mage's Tower now. That's a lot of fun, perhaps the best in the game, and I can use the . I know a lot of folks hate Wynne, but I actually like the old broad. I mean, she has the body of a Greek goddess, but I still think of her as a maternal figure. Talk about an Oedipus complex.
  4. I'm currently finished with Lothering with my rogue run. I look forward to getting as much influence with Morrigan as fast as I can. Her dramatic intonations drive me batty, but she's not too bad if you have the dog in the party. I'm going with a different philosophy this time. I might dump Alistair for the dog and take Sten.
  5. I don't think Morgoth is an attention hound. He just doesn't want to be caught up in the popular movements. I disagree with the sentiment because it's no better to turn your nose up at something because other people like it than it is to embrace something for the same reason. Turning your back on something because it's popular doesn't make you more discerning or elite. It just makes you kind of silly and hypocritical. Anyhow, we've spent more time talking about Morgoth's comments than we have about the film. If you guys suspect he's after attention, he's hound who has trained his master very well. I like some of the things I hear about the film, though, so there's always a chance I'll get over my general indifference and see it in the theater. Last film I wanted to see was 2012, but that didn't pan out. It does help that I'll have a couple of weeks of free time and there's nothing else playing right now.
  6. I hardly ever see movies in the theaters these days and the one that manages to draw me probably won't be Avatar. It looks like it could have some interesting things in it, though, so I'll preorder the rental from netflix.
  7. I'm actually having an easier time on Nightmare than I did on hard. Probably because I know the battles? I mean, I'm early, so it will get harder. Still, I pack a lot less punch than my mage did, but I can get the baddies herded up and slaughtered like fat cows in a meat packing and cannery. I'm only now getting ready to go the A lot of fun in Rogue town. And I can pick my own damned locks and disable traps.
  8. That's so weird. You posted that link for me some time ago, but I wasn't at my desktop so I didn't do much with it. When I posted about the DLC just now, I remembered it and did a search and found it. I edited my post while you put in that information for me. This is one of the things I really like about the Obsidian forums. We might bicker or whatnot, but you're a helpful bunch. Anyhow, thanks for the new link, but while you were posting it I went and found your old link. haha
  9. I don't have any DLC. I'm not planning on buying it, even though I am always intrigued when I see folks talk about Shale. I got Oghren very late in the last game and I didn't adventure much with him. I did get a kick out of his 'silent killer' conversation with Leliana. I'm not complaining about anything anyhow. I don't mind taking Alistair with me. I don't even care about taking Morrigan with me most of the time. Let's face it, she's not the first mean and nasty person I've met. In fact, she could be a lot worse. Real life trumps video game in the bitch department. Sure, I would like to have more versatility. I'll probably even experiment with alternate parties. For example, is it feasible to use a combat mage as the main tank? That's an interesting idea in my book. How about one range, two melee dpsers, and a shield bearer? Having more options would be nice, but my gut instinct is that I won't miss the DLC very much. After all, I didn't purchase any for Fallout 3. *shrug* Now, if one of you cowboys convinces me to try the DLC, I might give it a shot, but I have a long standing policy of not buying myself anything this close to Christmas, so I would have to wait until after this run anyhow. What I'm hoping is that they combine a lot of stuff into a complete xpac and then I would find the idea far more tempting. ...But to get it just to switch Alistair for this Shale person? Naw. Not if that's all I get. EDIT: I went back to some link that Gromnir posted and started searching around. Apparently, I already had Stone Cold Pilot or something. All's I can say is that most folks will end up with Alistair because they didn't realize they needed to jump through so many hoops. I know I know. Some of you will turn on me like rabid dogs, but I didn't realize that I had to go and input codes on the damned webpage to get the content that was advertised as free with my game. Nice of them to include it, but I think EA wanted to sell it twice and the way it's set up, I'm sure some sucker will end up paying for that Stone Temple thing even though they already own it. Aw hell! Anyhow, thanks to you guys, I've got it now. Since he posted it in direct response to me, I guess I should thank Gromnir. Anyhow, it's downloading now. I might just use this new JNPC instead. Or I might go the Enoch route and take both. Dunno.
  10. I don't think it's impossible to use Wynne as your sole mage. Running my heavy handed healing party wouldn't work with only one mage stacked solely with healing. Now, I think you could keep Wynne healing heavy and try to branch out, especially if you get her early and pack levels on her. You could probably use her as healer almost exclusively, but that means you're going to need to spread all that damage out between three other people. I think it's cool to try different things, but I don't know if that's going to be a motive for the majority of players. From what I understand of the 'average gamer,' mostly based on things developers have said, the majority of folks will play once with at least either Morrigan and Alistair or maybe even both. I guess it really doesn't matter to me. I didn't take Morrigan with me most of the time, but I think I will this time. She has that massive magic thing going and I'll probably woo her. I might try to take the dog instead of Alistair, though. I think that could prove tough. I simply don't see how you can, without making life hard on yourself, go without Alistair. You can replace Morrigan easier with Wynne than you can replace Alistair with any of the others. I guess you could get to Sten ASAP and then invest him in sword and shield. Anyhow, I don't look down on folks for respeccing. Someone buys the game, why not try different stuff? Some folks probably want to refit folks in ways that make sense to them personally. Others probably just want to try different approaches. For my purposes, I can defintely see doing it in order to go through as much dialogue as possible with different members. You know, maybe take a party without a fighter or mage. Doing that would seriously require some gymnastics, I'm sure.
  11. I will say that taking Wynne as the only mage would seriously hamper AoE spells, which was also vital to my overall plan. I mean, you have to damage the bad guys in one way or another. You can do it melee, ranged, or magic, but you have to put down bad guys. My healing heavy party wouldn't work if there were only one healer at any rate. I did what I would think was very well, but it wasn't always pretty. In tough battles, I might cast three revivals. That's simply not feasible with one healer who can't deal significant damage out of the gate. That's one of the reasons that Oghren wasn't very useful for me. I didn't need another melee dpser and he was completely packed out by the time I found him. He didn't have a single sword and shield talent, if I remember it right. In this current party, I'll have a rogue and Alistair. I'll keep Morrigan simply because she's my only chance to customize her spell list. I agree with Vol that shapeshifting didn't play any role my former run, but I don't know that it's useless. I might be able to find a way to exploit it, but I don't really need it as long as I can stack Morrigan with some decent AoE and decent targetted spells. Sadly, I have to agree with Grom and MC. It's always better to be able to decide what folks do. I will effectively play it the way that Vol thinks is best, though, because I can't imagine I'll mod out and respec. At any rate, I don't give a crap how others play the game even if I did consider it cheating, which I don't. It's modding a game that was designed with modding in mind. I mean, hell, if I did put in a respec mod, I would probably respec my main all the time to try different approaches. Especially after my second run when I'm mostly trying to discover new or interesting things.
  12. Okay, I'm tired of all the Wynne hate. I did very well with Wynne on my run. I would argue that my healsgalore setup is very very effective. Granted, the battles take slightly less than eternity, but you can outlast some pretty ugly stuff with Wynne in there. She is definitely not crap. Of course, you will still need folks to put the baddies out of commission because she is an extremely weak dpser. I'll grant that. Still, I love Wynne. For someone so old, she's kind of sexy and keeps the fighting men on their feet.
  13. Yeah, Hurlshot, I have to admit that I fall into the same category. I killed her off because she wouldn't outright tell what the hell was going on, so I figured Morrigan was telling me the truth. If she'd worked with me at all, I would have spared her. I think the fighting thing is definitely MMORPG. lol Have you ever said to yourself or to someone else grouped with you, "Naw, we don't have to fight these guys. We can avoid them and still finish the quest."
  14. To get back to a discussion of approach and tactics, I decided early to focus on pots and abilities. So all my money went to potent health/mana pots and tomes of whatever. heh I had over 50 potent health potions by the end of the game. I think I had around 50 mana pots too. That's excessive, so think I'll maybe spring for some gear this time. That and my main will be a rogue, so I don't think I'll go through mana as quickly. The other thing is, my mage only ended up with 54% of the overall damage. I had Alistair in virtually every battle. I had Wynne in the majority of them. I had Leliana in probably a tad more than half and Morrigan in a lot of them. My mage and Wynne did a lot of healing, though, so if you consider the fact that a lot of the PC's time was spent in healing mode, which steals damage output, that means she was doing damned good damage when she was concentrating on dps. As an aside, some of her time was spent in her own forcefield spell because she drew too much atttention. Leliana, by the end game, dishes out some serious heat. You guys made the call on that. Of course, it also draws a lot of attention. She doesn't match the PC, but she does damned well for herself.
  15. Ha, MC, I'm probably older than you! Well... I don't know. You're pretty old. hehe Forty here, as of July. So you know this late night gaming and posting is going to kill me in the morning, which is fast approaching.
  16. I just finished the game. It was my first full playthrough, although I had previously played up to the village of lothering. Sadly, the character I created for my aborted run was prettier. Aw well, such is life. In regards to the most recent discussion, I don't care about the nitty gritty of the lore. I have nothing but contempt for the idea of memorizing these little details. I can't see how some folks dedicate their lives to reciting such weighty bits of information as the serial number for the Star Ship Enterprise and the like. I mean, I've watched Frasier so often, I know all the inconsistencies between the episodes, but I don't really dwell on them. All's I can say is that the lore and gameplay in Dragon Age meshed well enough that I didn't really care about the odds and ends that might not have matched perfectly. Hell, if anything bugged me, it wasn't the lore, but some of the situations. Thinking back over the choices, I can pick out a few that struck me as unrealistic. Some of the circumstances were outright ridiculous. However, the game itself was quite fun. Between the game I played up to Lothering and the one I just finished, I managed to kill over a thousand darkspawn. I don't think that's such an accomplishment, but it does give you one of those badge thingies, and I like those, so I figured I'd mention it. I kept over half of my army alive by the end, which was another cool badge. I know that I killed all those darkspawn because I didn't have a choice. It seems strange to get a badge for something that you don't have a choice about doing. On the other hand, saving my army was entirely incidental. It's not that I didn't care, or don't, it's that I didn't know how to save them. I guess I spared them mostly by remembering how idiotic the AI is about getting in my line of fire and holding off on my AoE spells. She pulled out with some funky mojo that was really harshing my buzz. I did kill . Frankly, that part and were real bummers. died. Next time, I think I'll do it the other way around. I managed to set foot in every area of the game, which I guess makes me a bit of a compleltenik. I didn't necessarily go out of my way to explore so much as I went out of my way to finish quests. Even so, I achieved the sidetracked badge late in the game, which leads me to believe that there are a lot of sidequests that I didn't see. Probably between 15-20% by my reckonning. Now, three of them were on my list but I simply could not complete them. That means there were plenty I either missed somehow or are associated with other folks. I only did two side quests associated with my minions. I did my run on hard without any mods that changed things either to make it easier or harder. In fact, I played it through with no mods at all. Now, I think I can safely say that I could probably probably finish it on Nightmare, but I don't think the game is too easy. In fact, some of the battles were ugly. Not ones I might have expected, though. The in Denerim was tough as nails. A lot of fight I could simply win by cheesing them. For example, if I knew that I was going to fight someone, I would often cast blizzard and/or inferno on them before the battle. I'm not talking metagaming here. Only an idiot sees a bunch of angry, irritated, or just plain pissed off armed folk and doesn't take action. I didn't need to play through the scenarios to know I was going to be attacked, so I didn't wait for a second run to through out my own brand of ugly. Likewise, I would often kite people all over the place. In the end game, I blizzard/inferno killed a bunch of the darkspawn bastards because they're so damned stupid the archers will stand in a line and not move after they've seen you. Could I have killed them by rushing in? Sure, the end game darkspawn hit the mattress so hard they've got a permanent 'Sealy' imprint on their bums. So, for the entire game, I think the hardest damned battles were all around those . Nothing like having my sorry backside beat down by tall, dark, and undead. Orzammar had some toughies too. That battle against the was harder than the final area boss battle for the deeproads. At least in my opinion. However, most fights went pretty well. That's good. If you enjoy games where you only win any of the battles by getting killed several times in the process, more power to you. I thought it was tough enough to be challenging but easy enough not to be frustrating. In that regard, my epic battles of killing the enemy of old age while my two spirit healers kept my side alive worked just fine. Yeah, crushing prison might be the bomb for other folks, but it just earned a beating for my mages. I relied far less on control and far more on administering an ol' skool beat down. Healing was the name of the game in my run. Unless nightmare is quite a bit different from what folks have led me to believe, I think the healing approach would probably serve even better there. I do think it would be interesting to try a combat mage/spirit healer tank, though. That could be tough but funny. I'll save that for the tactics thread. I'm going to play it again as a rogue at least and then maybe tinker with different ideas. I'll probably start a nightmare run, but I'll switch to hard (or even normal) for battle that frustrate me. I didn't think the ending was too drawn out and irritating, as some folks have said, but I will probably switch to an easier setting just to go through quickly. I'll probably even do an easy run assuming there's dialogue or party composition stuff I want to see after my second run. So, after my long winded, wall of text, fatigue induced rambling, I can safely say that this is a great game. Wonderful experience. I was not a huge fan of NWNx. I'm glad that Bioware came out with a wonderful single player game. I don't know that I'll buy any DLC, but I will definitely buy any substantial expansion or sequel they publish. Edit: I might have left a typo or two, but I literally put in the opposite word somewhere and figured I should probably fix it. After all, it was easy.
  17. It does play out the same way, ~Di. Thanks for sharing.
  18. I'm finished with having done everything on hard so far. I have some thoughts on that whole sordid affair, but unless/until I sort out those thoughts, I'll keep from posting on the subject. Suffice it to say that I wasn't happy with the outcome at all. I was simply unhappy with every choice. I achieved the easily sidetracked thing, which, when I checked on it, means that I've completed 75% of the side quests. There are two in the Brecilian forest I failed to complete, one of which I cannot finish. There is one in Orzammar that I cannot complete at this point, but will probably finish the next run. Other than that, I took and finished everything I could find. Mage Board. Irregulars. Chantry. My main is level 20 and the others are coming along also. You know, I just realized that I could have taken the dialogue items as a skill. Incredible. I'm a complete idiot. I wish I'd dumped herbalism and let Morrigan make my pots for me. Oh well, too late now. Rogue two weapon next. I'll take duelist and Assassin as a dw specialist. I'll take coercion for the win next time to get the dialogue down.
  19. I was worried about letting her live because I figured I might have to fight her later anyhow. On the other hand, I thought maybe, if I worked it right, she might be alive to help in the later fights.
  20. I just sprang . Afterwards, I killed It was a surprisingly ugly fight and I only managed it by a little bit of cheese. I kited her down the hallway and only her melee minions followed. She dishes out a huge amount of damage on hard. I was appalled. However, once she's out of the way, the rest don't stand a chance. I literally just pummeled the area with AoE spells. Fireball, because of the knockback, does have a bit of a control element and they went down like chumps. Now, here's the question, my friends. Should I
  21. I hit the tower third, but my main is a mage. The irony is that Wynne is much more useful to me as a healer. Crushing prison has not played a vital role in my battles. Healing and outlasting the bad guys has been the biggest advantage to every big battle I've done so far. In fact, that nasty spider, so I get what you're saying, Enoch, but I brought my own mage to this party. Frankly, the AoE has been more important than control by far for me. On the other hand, the control I use in most big battles is force field, which really is the bomb. That's only the second tier, though, and you can get that for Wynne pretty easy if it's part of your plan. Frankly, it's not the type of mage I'm going to miss. it's the mage period. My first run has been decidedly mage centered and I'm leery of coming up with a new gameplan. Of course, I'm also looking forward to the challenge of coming up with a new gameplan. As far as the weak proxy argument, Vol, I see what you're saying. It's perfectly valid. I guess I look at the codex and you can find those real world things in it, but it seems a bit sterile. Nevertheless, it is in there. Overall, I think using demi-humans as a proxy is weak in and of itself, but I have to admit that what I'm looking for is a more visceral sort of depiction of real world suffering within the game, and that's a bit much to ask of any mainstream developer. After all, they want to sell a product. It's insane to demand of the design team something that might not be economicall viable. On the other hand, they do a much better job of depicting urban suffering among the dwarves. Sure, it's still got that video game plastic sort of feel to it, but it's much more in your face than it is with the elves. That's probably what irks me so much. The elves complain more, but the dwarves have got some real urban ugly going down.
  22. I dunno. I think if the designers managed to shroud someone in mystery, you could create a race that isn't a human proxy. The problem is that the players wouldn't be able to sympathize with them in any meaningful way. They would be too removed. Also, they would need to have some motivation, and that would be quite difficult for the design team to convey unless some of the team is non-human. I mean, take for instance a non social society. Kind of like a bunch of human cats running around. Males only hook up with females to mate. Females only raise the young to the point where they are viable and they part ways. Give them some inscrutable motives and then call them non human, which would be somewhat true since human society is universally based on social structures, even if some of them are weird from the outside. Nevertheless, these humans socialized like cats will still need to take care of physical needs. Cats are kind of alien to humans in many ways, but they still need to eat. They still feel pain. And I'm assuming this non-human species will be intelligent. Maybe make them intelligent but not self-aware or something crazy? Good luck conveying that without it falling apart the second you try to explain anything meaningful about their society or lack thereof. There are things that are alien to humans that someone could use. Elves are basically humans with pointy ears, but the most interesting thing Tolkien did with them is make them sleepless. The dream awake idea is truly exotic. It's difficult for humans to understand. Even so, elves must have downtimes, right? Trying to make them entirely sleepless would be difficult to explain and genuinely outside our understanding. Likewise, the dwarves living entirely underground could be exotic, but it really always ends up being a veneer over a human society that basically lives in caverns and deals with the issue in entirely understandable and predictable ways. I honestly don't know that taking the time to really differentiate 'races' would be worth the hassle and most designers don't really want to do so. Better to use them, in Sawyer's words, are weak proxies for commentary on real life issues. And weak in every sense of the word, as the issues facing the elves are not nearly so disgustingly terrible as the things facing many real life peoples world wide. So, I think I've written a long navel gazing post. At least I'm self aware enough to realize it. heh heh edit: Sadly, through all the twists and turns, Gromnir editing in a comment while I was writing this. We essentially agree about keeping the mystery. In my mind, as I said, it's not worth it to the design team to try to take it any further.
  23. My point about orcs is that they don't easily fit into human roles like the elves, dwarves, and hobbits do. Readers and players can easily understand the 'demi' humans. For all intents and purposes, they really are proxy humans. Hell, I always thought that's why they are 'demi-humans.' Orcs and Darkspawn do not fit into any readily defined human role. Sure, some individuals are hellbent on causing suffering, but whole societies are not centered on it. There must be a real world payoff somewhere along the line. The Darkspawn and orcs, as far as I can tell, are motivated by pure hatred and that hatred is their sustaining motive for centuries and centuries. We've had some pretty ugly and hateful societies and movements throughout history, but all of them have had some motive beyond simple death and destruction. The orcs and darkspawn fulfil the bogeyman role. The Mongols (or Crusaders or whoever) were bogey men also, but seen from their perspective, the Mongols had very human motives. Orcs don't have that. Hell, if anything, they're the opposite. Individual orcs within the writing might have personal motives for gain, but orcs as a whole are only out for destruction. I don't know that I really care to duke it out over the orcs not being human proxies so much as I firmly believe that all of the other demihuman races are clearly humans with defining characteristics. Take the point off those ears or give dwarves a couple of extra feet and you've got folks who wouldn't stand out as human civilizations. Only their physical appearances and abilities set them apart. Psychologically, they're all humans.
  24. We can change the terms, but the concepts are still going to be the same. A generic DnD fighter can still function as a meatshield even though it's optimal to stick a shield and a one handed weapon on him. A generic dragon age warrior without shield talents and investment in some dex and sta will spend more time on his back than a hooker on a saturday night. That's assuming harder difficulties. I suspect that easier settings would make a two hander a viable person who primarily serves to take more damage than other members of the party. For simplicity, I think I'll coin the term 'tank' for that.
  25. They could do one thing to make me happy for all the races. Don't put them in decline. No running off to die in dwindling numbers. Make it a real horserace for survival between these guys. Make it mean something. Even the Witcher relies on the same old 'twist.'
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