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Everything posted by Sammael

  1. Heh. If Josh didn't like BG1 because of its piss-poor implementation of AD&D rules, then he is even nitpickier than I am. I loved BG1, and I thought it was lightyears ahead of IPLY's previous RPG offerings (Menzoberranzan and Stonekeep, both of which I liked).
  2. If you think BG2 and KotOR had deeper and more detailed NPC interaction, you must have somehow missed roughly 50% of the game. Even those who hate Torment generally agree that it had superb NPC interaction. By the way, you completely missed the entire Morte story arc, which is revealed in its entirety at the Pillar of Skulls (provided you didn't figure it out earlier, by virtue of having a high Int, Wis, and Cha). I can only presume that you skimmed the dialogues at the Pillar, or didn't have Morte with you at the time. Torment doesn't force-feed you clues, like BG2 does. It is a lot more subtle, which is why it is more to my liking. However, apparently Joe Q. Gamer obviosly wants to be force-fed with the story, which is why Torment failed commercially.
  3. Gee, it must be really hard to guess which game (or lack thereof) I was most disappointed with.
  4. I've heard that Bethesda was quite impressed with the Van Buren stuff they acquired, and that they may end up using a large number of elements from VB for their incarnation of FO. I also know that Bethesda has had extensive contacts with quite a few former IPLY designers (FO, FO2, and VB), and even wanted to hire them as consultants. I am not sure how it all worked out in the end.
  5. Transformers? <{POST_SNAPBACK}> You get half a cookie. You'll get the other half for naming the episode. :D
  6. Unbalanced? Try the last Might & Magic game (was it IX? I don't remember... I just remember how horrible it is). At about midway through the game, you can acquire a spell called divine intervention, which grants the benefits of resting, including spell regeneration. So, in a tough fight, just make sure you have enough mana (or whatever it was) left, and cast divine intervention. Rinse and repeat.
  7. Sarcasm... not appreciated... ^A cookie to the first one to name the cartoon that quote is from Alright, I'll bite into this topic. As many of you remember (yeah, right), once upon a time I helped develop and maintain a fansite for IWD2 (Icebound), which had the most up-to-date info on the game, including rules, storyline, dev quotes, and so on. During the game's development, I was quite active on the forums, discussing various aspects of the game with Josh and other devs. In one spoilerish thread before the game's release, I accidentally guessed a part of the storyline, and then asked the Overseer to ban me from the spoiler forums. Icebound staff received a copy of the IWD2 press preview demo (including the entire town of Targos), which impressed the hell out of me. And then the game failed to be released once... then twice... followed by the less and less frequent appearances by the devs. Finally, the game shipped, and I obtained a copy. And frankly, I was somewhat disappointed. A big part in my disappointment was probably my own damn fault, as I expected the game to be something which it was not meant to be. All things considered, though, the game could have been more. And you know what - Josh publicly admitted that. He is the only dev I can recall who came out and said that he was not pleased with how the game turned out to be. For that, he'll always have my respect. The rules were implemented fairly decently, and, what's more, the 2DA files allowed for the tweaking of a few rules which I did not find to be to my liking. Targos was still just as good as I remembered id, though I missed the 3D acceleration (which made the water look a whole lot better, IIRC). The game remained challenging throughout (I played on highest difficulty, non-HoF), but the middle areas just... didn't feel right. I've said this, and I'll say it again: Targos, the Underdark, and the Severed Hand were great. The Ice Palace, Fell Wood and surroundings, and Dragontooth? Ugh. Horrible. I was really surprised with the areas Dave Maldonado did - I enjoyed his work on Torment, but it just seems as if he couldn't quite make what he wanted with IWD2, and left those ideas half-finished. Maybe the programmers couldn't make his ideas work. Maybe he just experimented a bit too much. Who knows? And then there were the bugs. I remember several very annoying bugs, including a few "features," such as the accidental omission of decent armor from the game (somewhat fixed in the patch, but the armor still pretty much sucked), and the incredibly poor random item generation tables ("Would you like a returning frost dart with that, m'lord?"). Overall, I'd rank the game the same as the original. It has an edge, graphics-wise and rules-wise, but it doesn't have the required atmosphere, and there is way too much combat - at some points, there were so many creatures on screen that my game slowed down to a crawl - which 3D acceleration would have probabaly fixed, but they never got around to putting it in. In the end, I came to view IWD2 with certain animosity, considering that its development hindered the development of The Black Hound, and quite possibly nailed its coffin shut (even if BIS wasn't aware of this at the time). For this, I blame FU, and the corporate heads over at IPLY who encouraged the slam-dunk policy. IWD2 was supposed to be made in three months. An entire game! Then the dev team got another month extension, then another, then Josh pushed for the 3E rules, which certainly made the game better but took about two months to develop, then Vivendi screwed up publishing it on time, and so on. The rest is history.
  8. Actually, if you are holding a melee weapon, after the combat starts it automatically switches to third person. You can also use guns in third person, but the accuracy is... even worse than when in first person.
  9. 1. You can play in third person 2. The system has been simplified to the point where it doesn't even use dice pools anymore, just thresholds 3. Can't argue with that Overall, Bloodlines has a great story, great atmosphere, and great NPCs. Combat is terrible, it's buggy as hell, and the engine makes me feel like my computer is a 486DX2/66.
  10. Why don't you go to the Codex and check for yourself? You weren't banned there, were you?
  11. Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction. The subgenre's conception is attributed to William Gibson, who wrote a number of novels with a distinct style - set in a grim future, ruled by huge multinational corporations, and focused on computers and information technology.
  12. I do not have a favorite system. I have grown bitter and cynical, and all I can see in every system I read are its flaws. Well, not really, but all systems are flawed. I have a 50 page house rules document for D&D 3.5 (3.5.9), for example, and that includes limiting myself from just rewriting the whole thing to be more to my liking.
  13. Monte Cook's bard is very flavorful, but it makes the game a whole lot more complicated by adding what is basically a whole new spellcasting system. In my games, I use the 3.5E bard, minus the alignment restriction, and with Jack of All Trades feat as a bonus feat at 1st level.
  14. Actually, dying and coming back only triggers memories in one or two specific locations in the game, where you'll basically have a clear option of dying. Dying to a random thug attack in the streets of Sigil won't trigger any memories, IIRC.
  15. Duke Nukem Forever coming out in 2005? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
  16. The population for this poll is biased. You can't make a poll about game fan types on a roleplaying forum. Well, you can, but the answers you'll get aren't worth much.
  17. Vampire: Bloodlines Gothic 2 Command & Conquer Generals + Zero Hour Warcraft III + Frozen Throne Neverwinter Nights + Shadows of Undrentide + Hordes of the Underdark Mortal Kombat Trilogy
  18. What is this Invader Zim you speak of? On a completely unrelated side note, Oerwinde, where can I get a full-size image of Devastator from your signature?
  19. My overall attitude towards the bugs depends on their nature. I don't mind graphics glitches (people standing on air, parts of models showing through walls, textures not loading properly), although they do reduce my general opinion of the game. I don't mind rules bugs as long as they are not numerous, such as they were in ToEE. A large number of small bugs can be more irritating than one or two major bugs. Bugs that affect side-quests in RPGs are annoying, but since these aren't critical path, they can be somewhat forgiven, if they are fixed in a patch reasonably soon after the game is released. I've encountered at least one such bug in Vampire: Bloodlines, and it annoyed the hell out of me and made me break my character concept to be able to finish the quest. Game-stopping bugs that have a workaround (Sacred's water bug) aren't as annoying nowadays as they were in the days before the internet became so prevalent. Still, a game with a game-stopping bug pretty much assures that I'll never buy another product from that developer again.
  20. Whoever made the Jefferson account wins the comedy gold award. (for the record, it wasn't me, although I'm known for such accounts as "Smug-Looking Barrel" and "J.E._Sawyer")
  21. The default difficulty ("core rules") should most definitely be increased. I think three difficulty levels should be sufficient: *Easy (area effect attacks don't hurt friendly characters, party always wins initiative, fewer enemies appear, using boosts doesn't cost an action) *Core rules (as per Star Wars d20, with changes necessary for a CRPG; using boosts costs a move action, as per the rules) *Hard (AI cheats by exploiting the party's weaknesses, enemies always win initiative, more enemies appear)
  22. Except for that one lonely Gaulish village, surrounded by four Roman camps... The reference is probably lost on the Americans, where Asterix is not popular.
  23. Doubtful, really. The war was declared after Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to Serbia, demanding the right for their investigators to enter our soil and uncover the people controlling Young Bosnia (the organization Princip was a member of). This ultimatum was impossible to comply with because 1) we saw this as an act against our sovereignty (which it was, considering that Austria had open territorial desires in the Balkans) and 2) because Apis, leader of the Black Hand (which was behind Young Bosnia), controlled much of the government, including our king at the time (it was Apis who brought Peter I to power after Black Hand's orchestrated assassination of our previous king in 1904). So, I don't think diplomacy could have solved anything. Austria was bent on war (so were Germany and Russia, certainly), and a cause would have been found. Now, some theories say that Apis and the Black Hand were funded by both Russians and the British (or one or the other). While it seems plausible that Russia wanted the war and thus ordered the assassination, it is also likely that Britain wanted to make it appear as if the Russians provoked the war, what with a certain conflict between Britain and Russia that happened a few years prior...
  24. I don't know what you consider to be the 3rd Balkans war, as we do not mention such a thing in our history books.
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