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About Althernai

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    (5) Thaumaturgist


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  1. I don't think magical items were that scarce even in BG1. From memory, right at the beginning, there was a Ring of Wizardry that gave a significant bonus to spell slots and very slightly later on (at the gnoll village), there were the Gauntlets of Dexterity which, if given to a character with average Dexterity, amounted to a massive bonus to both Armor Class and ranged attack. If those gauntlets exist in, for example, Pillars of Eternity, they would be an endgame item (which is part of the reason PoE was not as good as the BG series). And of course BG2 kicked this up several notches. Ther
  2. This is true, but the drawback of being part of such a large corporation is that you're at the mercy of some rather fickle forces to which you just aren't that important. Microsoft has a few products at the heart of its business (Windows, Office, Azure and to some extent hardware such as XBox and Surface) and the total revenue of stuff like RPGs is basically a rounding error compared to those. Today's executives may have a plan for Obsidian and inXile, but a couple of years from now, there might be a new set that wants to focus on something else and sees cutting RPGs as an easy way to get mone
  3. It's an interesting question, but keep in mind that this is not relevant for gaming on your local hardware and is not likely to become so anytime in the near future. Here's a slightly more technical article on the DotA2 bots: If you follow the link in the quote, it will take you to a site with detailed descriptions of the hardware where it can be found that in addition to the 128,000 CPU cores, they also used 256 GPUs (Nvidia P100s). So yes, the AI can beat humans... but it requires a decent-sized server farm to do so. Unless you play at a high enough level to get into e-sports,
  4. I agree with you regarding the state of the two games, but I disagree about the desirability of one compared to the other. Part of what made BG2 great was that its classes spanned a broad range of the passive to active ability spectrum. That is, it went from the Fighter, who could be played almost entirely by mere target selection, to the slightly more active Barbarian, Ranger and Paladin and all the way up to the Mage and Sorcerer who were pretty much useless when not being actively managed by the player. This introduced an additional difference between the classes and, more importantly, made
  5. I don't think the issue is that BG2 had a better story, but rather that it did not take itself seriously. It made no secret of the fact that it was an archetypal heroic adventure and its characters were cliches with a few humanizing twists here and there. In fact, a lot of its humor came from lampshading this and making fun of itself and the conventions of the genre (sometimes even breaking the fourth wall in the process). Later games (Pillars of Eternity, but also, say, Dragon Age) do not do this or at least no nearly to the same extent and, for the most part, their stories and characters are
  6. Interesting. This doesn't look like an RPG in the same style as the others, but I guess it could work depending on the extent of the story elements. I'll give it a try. Looks like there are a lot of people who like Shadowrun here. I agree that they are good games (in fact, good enough for me to back Battletech without ever being into MechWarrior games before), but they didn't strike me as that good. Maybe I'll take another look one of these days.
  7. I recently got a new laptop and have been playing through the list of Kickstarter RPGs that I either backed or otherwise acquired (usually by backing a related game). I'm mostly done with the ones I have and some of them are better than others (though none are terrible). My ranked list is below. Does anyone know of similar ones which are good or have an opinion on these? 1) Divinity: Original Sin (Enhanced Edition). This is the best of the lot and it's not all that close. It's not the first to try incorporating environmental effects in combat (e.g. an oil surface hit with fire will ignite
  8. The long loading times in PoE were specific to certain configurations and mostly independent of how powerful the hardware was. I ran into them with a pretty good SSD, a relatively new quad-core CPU and a fairly decent GPU; they persisted until one of the patches did something about them. The Core 2 Duo E7400 in the original post is really old and probably not officially supported by anything any more, but given that CPU improvement has greatly slowed (Core 2 was the last big change and Sandy Bridge was the last medium one), it might still work.
  9. Vancian casting has always had an uneasy relationship with CRPGs. Systems that used it either had to accept that some players would just rest all of the time and thereby make the game too easy or come up with progressively more convoluted (and usually more contrived) means of limiting rest which never really worked. Thus, I'm not too sad to see it go. However... getting rid of it does have the potential to homogenize the classes somewhat: if all spells are per-encounter now, they're probably going to be nerfed accordingly. I don't want a game where there is little to no difference between
  10. Indeed. SWTOR did a lot of things right, but sometimes they were undermined by MMO conventions and sometimes they just inexplicably did not follow through (probably because whoever was working on it ran out of time). It's really frustrating because about 80% of the work for a great game is there, but there's no way its potential will ever be realized. Also, the stuff about Revan and the Exile is just annoying. KotOR I and II went out of their ways to provide some relatively different endings depending on the player's choices only for this one to collapse all of that down to one rather stup
  11. While PoE certainly does surpass BG2 in balance, I don't think that makes it a better game. It would be one thing if they came up with something brilliant and new which allowed them to have balance and player rewards at the same time, but they only achieved the former by sacrificing the latter and on the whole the outcome was worse. The same goes with aiming at serious drama rather than self-aware humor (although that is certainly a topic for another thread). That said, PoE does fix a lot of the problems in the BG series, especially at low levels. The idea to add per-encounter abilities (e
  12. I disagree. There's no evidence that a well-designed game needs to be balanced beyond eschewing the corner cases. For example, consider Baldur's Gate 2 which had an average of at least one completely unbalanced spell or ability per class (some had more, a few had many more.. and you could combine them) as well as items which ranged from severely unbalanced to stuff which modern, MMO-influenced gamers would be unlikely to believe could be in a mainstream game. Despite this, BG2 was, in my opinion (and, if you don't trust that, also according to Metacritic), a better game than PoE. You are not w
  13. The Consortium campaign is doing much better on Fig than it did on Kickstarter -- it has collected as much money in a few days as it had during the entirety of the failed Kickstarter.
  14. That is true, but it's not about the absolute amount, it's about the trend. I've seen a variety of Kickstarter projects. Project Eternity went about as well as such a thing can go: it hit the goal within a day or two of the beginning, then there was a slow decline in contributions up until near the end of the project at which point it picked up close to (but not quite) the same amount as in the beginning. There are quite a few such projects, usually by famous companies or individuals. Less famous projects which are still successful usually either trend towards the goal linearly or pick up a su
  15. Thanks for the link. I'll try it, but given that the sequel has raised less than a third of the goal with only a week to go, I kind of doubt they'll get anywhere whether I back them or not.
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