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Everything posted by Oblarg

  1. I think it's stupid because an RPG is a fundamentally strategic game, and this is clearly changing the system to be less strategic. Note: "less strategic" does not mean "easier." What the system lost in strategic difficulty it gained in increased combat difficulty. However, powers really don't feel like a unique part of combat on a global cooldown system so much as just another weapon - in addition to your main gun, you can shoot a colored missile at the enemy every six seconds. Which missile you shoot depends on which enemy you're facing and how much damage you've done to them. It's really not strategic at all, and I think that's a dumb choice to make in a game claiming to be an RPG. Furthermore, from a purely subjective standpoint, I feel the global cooldown really makes the powers feel less, well, powerful. They're not as fun to use if they're forced into a rigid pattern of using them every time the cooldown is up, and it really cuts down on the feeling of variety when you're essentially restricted to one power against a certain set of foes, as often happened in ME2. As for the "broadened appeal" argument, I don't fully buy that - sure, a global cooldown system will appeal more to the CoD crowd, but is there any convincing evidence that the increase appeal to shooter fans outweighs the lost appeal to RPG fans? I doubt it.
  2. "Mistake," no. I'm simply noting that a global cooldown removes any element of timing from your ability usage. You hit a button every few seconds. Which button you hit is largely determined by which type of armor you want to damage. That's about all the logic there is to the power usage on the global cooldown. The challenge posed by long individual cooldowns is deciding at which point in combat to use your ability for maximal effect. Your complaint about this indicates that you're exactly the type of player to whom BioWare was catering with this change - you didn't make that decision, you simply used your abilities every time they were off cooldown. Of course, if you play in such a manner, you will be ineffective. This is certainly the intended design, not a bug. I'm saying it's a stupid design. I'm still trying to parse this sentence. It's not working.
  3. You're basically saying "I disliked the old system because I don't like strategy in my shooter." The new system basically reduces the fairly complex question of which power to use when (and, of course, if you act stupidly and blow them all at once you'll suffer for it) to the utterly mindless question of "which button do I press every six seconds?"
  4. What I'd really like? Alpha Protocol done right. Doesn't have to be the same IP, obviously, but a single-protagonist spy-setting RPG with the emphasis on narrative. I enjoyed Alpha Protocol, but despite how impressive the branching narrative was, the emphasis on the clunky combat and some of the flawed implementation really left it feeling like it could have been so much more. Here's what I'd like to see: Firstly, setting: A spy setting is cool. The problem with Alpha Protocol is it wasn't executed properly. If the player is a lone agent on the run, make the player feel like a lone agent on the run. Don't give the player lavish safehouses and spy bases and constant video contact with other agents. Leave the player in a dingy basement safehouse with a small list of contacts and a telephone. Make the question of "who can you trust" mean something - the choice of who to trust in Alpha Protocol didn't much change how the game played out. The characters sure betrayed each other a lot, but very seldom was Thorton himself double-crossed. This really detracts from the setting. Secondly, gameplay - Alpha Protocol tried to do too many things here. Designing levels such that they could be played either as a stealthy character or as someone shooting everything in sight simply lead to clunky gameplay. The focus should be narrowed - take away all the weapon classes except for pistol (since when do spies walk around with assault rifles?), and have stealth be the staple of most levels. Flesh out the stealth mechanics, and design the character skills likewise (how do you sneak rather than do you sneak or do you shoot). Which leads into character skills - as the emphasis of this sort of game would be in the narrative anyway, give character skills more goddamn relevance in the narrative. If you specialize in martial arts, give the player the option to disarm someone holding him at gunpoint where he otherwise could not. If you specialize in hacking, let that give the player the option to dig up information that would not otherwise be available for use in dialogue. Stuff like that. Nearly every skill should have some sort of relevance in the narrative. Reactivity to character skill is the defining characteristic of an RPG - limiting this reactivity to the clunky gameplay was one of the reasons Alpha Protocol didn't work as well as it could have.
  5. They *need* to get rid of that stupid ****ing global cooldown. Combat was so much more satisfying in ME1 because you actually felt powerful when using powers, rather than simply shooting a colored missile every few seconds.
  6. RPG mechanics are expanded from ME2 - good, but still not as nice as they were in ME1. Combat looks identical to that of ME2, right down to that ****ing Global Cooldown (ugh, **** that). Art direction is a bit less grimdark (hooray!), and though it's a bit early to call it does seem the soundtrack is less orchestral and bland than ME2's. The character animations and cinematics are really great, I'm not going to deny that. I hope the content is good enough to match, though.
  7. The beginning was promising, but it didn't really develop as I'd have liked. Again, there's too much orchestral stuff - keep it electronic, keep it futuristic. ME1 and Sins of a Solar Empire have the two best video game soundtracks of the past decade, I'd say. Nepenthe, I hope you're right about ME3's soundtrack being more like that of the first game, because the second game's music was just boring and generic, it left me completely cold. ME1's soundtrack, on the other hand, really stuck with me - it was unique, it was interesting, and it fit the atmosphere *so damn well.*
  8. The main question that video raised: what ever happened to the brilliant soundtrack of ME1? I've had enough of these pseudo-hollywood "epic" orchestral soundtracks. ME1's 80's electronic vibe was a welcome, refreshing change. It fit the atmosphere prefectly. The music in that video, however, was generic as hell. What happened?
  9. It's pretty clear BioWare wrote the plot of ME1 without any particular consideration for possible sequels, and then couldn't figure out any feasible way to have you defeat the foe as they were originally presented so they had to scramble to reduce them to a much less imposing enemy.
  10. My thoughts exactly. If they were planning this from the start, they could have at the very least given Shepard & Co. some better reasons for working for TIM in ME2 other than "herp derp Collectors!" Admittedly, it's a bit more coherent now - it's understandable that TIM would send Shepard to find a crew and attack the relay alone because he'd know that the Collector base is nearly-undefended, so that particular plot hole is closed. Unfortunately, it raises the issue of why Shepard is dumb enough to go along with the whole thing. After all, TIM may know these things, but Shepard (and his crew, which ostensibly contains some very smart people) does not, and I have a really hard time believing anyone with an ounce of sense would agree to TIM's directives of how to prepare for the suicide mission when without that information they simply make no goddamn sense.
  11. Get some of your friends at the Rotary-club to explain it for you. Anyway, let's get this out of the way once and for all; No, I don't believe there is an all-powerful NWO-organization which runs everything. I don't think the moonlanding was filmed in the Mojave desert, and I don't think little green men planted mini-nukes in the twin-towers. Ok? Republican or not, I'll back any candidate with half a brain who wants to stabilize the economy and put an end to the "unfortunate" habit of initiating undeclared wars. If that's madness, then I'm quite mad. J. Eliminating the fed and reverting to the gold standard will not "stabilize the economy."
  12. If you want to see this as some sort of quest to discredit your enjoyment of ME2, be my guest. It's not exactly beneficial to the discussion, though.
  13. There's a great Dwight D. Eisenhower quote that I think really emphasizes exacty how absurd the Republican party has become of late: Ah, if only he could see them now. They may still be stupid, but their number is certainly no longer negligible - indeed, they comprise pretty much the entirety of the modern Republican party.
  14. That's the thing, though; ME1, while far from perfect, had a respectable plot. It was not simply an excuse for **** YEAH SHEPARD SHOOTS STUFF. The shift in emphasis between the two games is jarring - you can see it everything from the plot, to the gameplay, to the art direction, to the soundtrack. It became less of a sci-fi adventure RPG and much more of a typical, bland shooter, except IN SPACE. In many ways, it's the same sort of "Awesome Button" mentality that defined DA2, except not quite as overt. I can't help but think this is largely a result of the EA merger.
  15. The evidence in the game is pretty consistent. It makes TIM look like he's lying, sure. Quelle surprise, there. 1) TIM is the one pushing the Collectors as the big bad. No one else (even the Alliance) is very concerned. 2) The evidence presented in game (running from Horizon, losing to NormandyII) suggests they aren't actually a huge threat, militarily. If TIM were an impeccable source that might be a problem, story wise, but he ain't. 3) They may be a threat in other ways. Ironically evidence suggests they may be more of a threat to large, mixed, concentrations of aliens (per the Omega plague) than large concentrations of humans. It isn't even (that) contrived that Shephard gets lead around by the nose by TIM. He spent most of ME1 doing random quests on the word of random people, potentially including such heights of perspicacity as being manipulated by a blue chick mafiosa into bumping off two rival underworld kingpins. It is still very contrived, however, that Shepard, supposedly believing that the Collectors are some sort of legitimate threat, goes about preparing for his "suicide mission" by gathering a load of squadmates and then solving their family issues, only for the final battle to pan out in just the right way such that having done this becomes important. That just doesn't make any damn sense - of all the possible thing he might need to do to prepare to fight a foe he knows very little about, gathering a big crew of specialists is not a very good way to prepare.
  16. I mean, yes, that interpretation works, but only if you accept then that essentially everyone in the game other than TIM is a complete ****ing moron. Not only for not seeing that the Collectors are a non-threat and being easily manipulated, but because the steps they take to prepare to combat what they obviously perceive to be a big threat are complete nonsense. This is why I have a hard time believing that this was BioWare's intention. It seems to me far more likely that the Collectors were just thrown together as a clumsy way to link together a game which is composed of largely unrelated character-oriented missions - it really doesn't feel like much serious thought was put into making the whole thing come together in any coherent way (evidenced by the completely contrived "loyalty" mechanic, among other things).
  17. A valid point, but I must ask again - if BioWare never intended the Collectors to be a legitimate threat to alliance space, why do so many of the characters constantly act as if they are? Lines about how they're going to attack Earth are the most grevious examples, but there are plenty of others. The game seems to constantly remind you that Humanity is in danger, when clearly that isn't the case. Well, that's questionable - as the Collector plan (making a human reaper) would never have worked unless they could target Earth, its really not clear that much needed to be done at all, unless somehow Shepard is convinced that human colonies in the Terminus systems are crucial to the well-being of the galaxy. It's a fairly minor issue, and again, the game doesn't present it as a matter of saving fringe colonies, it presents it as a matter of stopping the reapers. This seems much more like an oversight than an intended feature. If this is the only motivation, what need is there for a suicide mission? I can tell you what I don't do - I don't go gather a bunch of squadmates and solve their personal issues, because that's just about the most nonsensical form of preparation for the "suicide mission" that I could possibly think of. Keep in mind, a lot of the reason that Anderson and the systems alliance weren't willing to help you is because you agreed to work for Cerberus in the first place. Doesn't make much sense. This would be a great motivation to spend your efforts on gathering intel rather than squadmates. All of your preparations for the suicide mission would have been completely worthless against an enemy with a proper fleet (or even proper defenses for their only base). So, if you're arguing that not only was the Collector thread intended to be small, but that Shepard & Co. were intended to be too thick to realize that the Collector threat was small, then essentially they only succeed due to pure, unadulterated serendipity, as their preparations are completely and utterly moronic given the possible nature of the threat they'd have to face. So, essentially, not only do you have a foe who aren't a major threat to alliance space and who could not fulfill what is ostensibly their main plan (building a human reaper), you have a protagonist who does not realize this but still proceeds to only make preparations that would be useful when this is the case. I'd say this makes precious little sense.
  18. Yeah, the GOP is falling to pieces this election cycle, and honestly I can't say I'm too surprised. I'm not a fan of Obama, but anything is better than the pack of buffoons the GOP has put forward...
  19. I think you're missing my point. My point is not that the Normandy is inordinately powerful. My point is that the collectors are a non-threat. That was cinematics - the game makes it pretty clear the entire Alliance fleet is what kills the reaper, not the Normandy itself. That's my very point - the Collectors are not a serious threat to the system alliance. They could never do anything more than taking fringe colonies, despite the fact that at several points Shepard & Co. make it clear that they believe the Collectors would need to target Earth (or at the very least some larger worlds) to accomplish their goal. Now, whether this is a plot hole or simply writing every character as a moron depends on what you think BioWare's intentions were, but I personally lean towards the former. There's no way around the fact that the Collectors could never accomplish what Shepard and his team believe their goal to be, though.
  20. Apparently there is. If you turn over the base, you see a bunch of Cerberus ships show up at it. No debris, no IFF, ummm... I had always assumed that after the suicide mission IDI was able to replicate the IFF for Cerberus. Of course, that raises a whole slew of issues by itself - namely, if it's possible to replicate the IFF what sense does it make to immediately hook it up to your ship and rush through alone? Cerberus has resources - send through a probe and see what's there, perhaps, or send a ****ing fleet. Perhaps I could buy that course of action if there were some legitimately believable time constraint which forced immediate action, but there really isn't, especially given how apparently weak the Collectors appear to be (as I've gone over in all my previous posts).
  21. I absolutely detest any politician who argues for "big government" or "small government." There are no objective criteria against which to judge government size. "Big" and "small" are purely relative, and are not useful in determining what roles governments should fill. Any argument based on the logic that government should be "as big as possible" or "as small as possible" are useless by their very nature, as there are no external boundaries to prevent such logic from essentially arguing for totalitarianism or anarchy (the logical extremes). Any attempt to work around that essentially boils down to "government should be as big/little as possible while still fulfilling the roles that I think are necessary," which really is the key issue here. The issue of governmental responsibility is one that must be approached by deciding upon a specific list of roles which one believes the goverment is responsible for, and designing your policy such that those are fulfilled. You can get absolutely nowhere by operating purely off of these nearly meaningless abstractions of "big" and "small" government. Also, Ron Paul is a nutcase. I don't think anyone who wants to revert to the gold standard is a necessary figure in American politics.
  22. That's the thing, though - they were certainly a thread to the fringe colonies. I'm fine with that. But for all the strength their untouchable base of operations gives them, there's still absolutely no way they could logically attack any colonies in even lightly-defended space given their demonstrated complete inability to win any sort of pitched fight against an actual warship. If the plot had been written with this in mind, that wouldn't be a problem - unfortunately, the plot has everyone in the game acting as if the Collectors are some genuine threat to Humanity's existence. This leaves either the possibility of BioWare simply forgetting to give the Collectors the sort of force they'd require to fill their intended role (gaping plot hole) or of BioWare writing every character other than TIM as a braindead idiot (very questionable plot direction). Of the two, I believe the former is quite a bit more likely.
  23. You don't need any of the upgrades to beat the Collector cruiser, and none of the upgrades are "super-secret" other than the weapon upgrade, which even then only elevates your frigate to cruiser-class firepower. The Collector cruiser clearly lacks the strength to pose any threat to actual alliance space, which has been my point all along.
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