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Posts posted by marelooke



    Since, I've been playing it fairly consistently over the last year since it's release.. and I haven't been battling the end-game. Hell, I've done one operation in all that time.

    What I have been doing is working my way through all of the different classes and seeing what all the storylines are like. I still haven't finished them all...

    Indeed, the game's not supposed to be a rush to endgame. I think a fairly big part of the "wow clone, lol" crowd just played it that way...



    Whether or not it's a rush to endgame (what is "endgame" anyway?) doesn't change the fact that if the endgame falls short then there's not much reason to keep playing a MMO, everybody gets tot their endgame sooner or later, and the vast majority of players gets there sooner rather than later (especially if "later" is 6 months to a year after release).


    While seeing all the class storylines is fun 80% of the content you go through while experiencing each one is shared for all classes of that faction. Also don't forget that classes are almost straight mirrors of the classes of the other faction, reducing diversity even further (iirc there are, or were, slight differences in the top tier ability, which won't matter before lvl40+ anyway and not at all if you aren't interested in ops/fps).


    The gameplay (combat mechanics, skill point system etc) are pretty much the definition of a WoW-style MMOs (even though WoW itself has now done away with the skill system, for the wrong reasons imo, but that's another discussion).


    On a personal note, I didn't skip a single quest and only one Flashpoint (Directive 7, which is a lvl45+ or so FP anyway) while levelling, if I levelled fast it wasn't because of rushing, it was because of playing a damn lot.

    Yeah, I don't understand the rush to level 50. This game doesn't start then... IT ENDS.

    I do have one lvl 50 doing endgame. I seriously doubt I add many more to that though, the FP's are nice, but the rest is just too damn dull.

    Can't say I rushed to 50, at least I don't think so. I just spent a lot of time playing on release. "Rushing" to me means skipping things or going out of your way just to level faster. I never do that on my first playthrough, I'm a terrible completionist. While levelling my Sorcerer (my first character) I did every quest I could find and I've done all but one flashpoint while levelling.

    Give me the storyline any time of day. And fortune has it the F2P system is fully aimed for 50+ anyway, so it's doesn't really bother me at all. Like paying $15 a month would bother me.

    I can understand paying for good stuff... but to be bored out of your mind. Seriously? Also, why would that make a bad F2P system?

    The inventory size limits are something I consider really severe, but I'm a terrible packrat, always have been and always will be. If you aren't and aren't a big fan of flashpoints or pvp then I guess it's a non-issue.

    I can understand paying for good stuff... but to be bored out of your mind. Seriously? Also, why would that make a bad F2P system?

    Assuming you were referring to my post when you said "bored out of your mind", I'm not. I actually have a fun guild to run operations with on a casual basis, the problem is there isn't exactly much to do outside that barring logging off and doing something else (or grinding flashpoints/dailies or starting a new character).


    Maybe it's just me, but for example EverQuest 2, despite all its failings (one of them being trying to be more and more like WoW in the last few expansions) has so much content there pretty much always is something you can dig up and chase after. I've played that game for over a year and I wouldn't even dare claim I even *know* about all the dungeons (let alone, factions, quests etc) there are (and I'm a pretty avid wiki/lore digger on the side), some things are just so far off the beaten path, just out there to be (re)discovered.


    If you compare SWToR to that, well, if you didn't skip things while levelling the only thing you can do once you finish up your class story is starting a new character really, because there's pretty much nothing you won't already have seen while levelling, there is close to zero room for exploration and discovery. Arguably I'm comparing a bloody old game with a bloody new one though.


    @Nepenthe (but certainly not just directed at you)

    Maybe your MMO experience has been limited to WoW and its clones (not surprising since pretty much every 'new' MMO is trying to "kill" WoW by copying it, an approach doomed to failure imo, but I digress), but there are still games out there where you can grab a bunch of guys/gals (or just go at it on your lonesome), pick an area and go explore stuff. *That* is what I want in a *good* MMO*RPG*, there is sadly even more of that in World of Warcraft than there is in SWToR.


    The "endgame" doesn't have to just be raids (or whatever le nom du jour for them is), the fact that dailies (or some variant thereof) + raids are pretty much the de facto endgame nowadays is just sad. Give me back some sense of wonder, some "dude did you know about this"?


    I realize this is probably hard to pull off in such high profile titles as every little thing will before long be mapped and turned into a guide, but really it doesn't seem like anybody is even trying. BioWare most certainly wasn't.

    And yeah, the general gameplay is just... bad. Something you have to trudge through for the stories. All in all, if it was made truly SP this game would become 5000% better than the MMO it is now...

    I will agree with you there. And yes the storylines I've seen are generally good.


    And as usual my post only contains my humble opinion, ymmv and it probably will.

  2. TOR was pretty average, they had some ridiculous queues.  The fact they went overboard on the number of servers was probably a bad way to begin, then took too long to consolidate.  Who knows how many subs they lost over the ghost town months?

    In all honesty I think they lost more people due to delivering a horribly unfinished and unpolished endgame. My entire guild kinda failcascaded after banging our heads against a broken boss in Karagga's Palace for TWO MONTHS, the game was released in January and in April or so that boss was *still* broken, in fact, pretty much *nothing* had been fixed by then. That's when our main tank (and guild leader) tossed in the towel. Pretty much everyone quit after that, me and one other guy kept sort of playing until the first major patch, which didn't add anything worthwhile to the game really, a few weeks later the Fleet was down from ~100 at peak times to ~7, which is when they merged servers the first time. I moved my character and let my sub expire.


    Came back to the game recently because a friend of mine picked it up because it's 'F2P' now (more like SubOrPayForEverythingAndThenSome, it's even worse than Lord of the Rings Online in this respect, if anything, consider it shareware). So yeah, since the 'F2P' limitations are stupidly severe I re-subbed for 3 months.


    So what has changed in those 8 months since I quit? suprisingly little. They got around to fixing the broken bosses (eh, yay I guess...), added one new flashpoint (Kaon was already out when I quit), two new raids (sorry, "Operations") and a horrible amount of daily quests (daily quests are the pinnacle of uninspired MMO design). Now the raids are well done, as are the flashpoints. And of course being able to swing a lightsaber, shoot lightning etc is fun as ever. But that's when the grind sets in, need better gear? Grind dailies. Want some item just for looks? Grind dailies or play on the $$ tombola. Wanna just explore? Eh, tough ****, nothing to see you haven't seen while levelling.


    SWToR's endgame is stale. It may fun for someone new to MMOs or die hard Star Wars fans, but I've been playing MMOs for a while and I'm not a big enough Star Wars nut to be blinded by that side of things, and really once you look past the setting I'm sorry to say it's a rather bland WoW clone certainly as far as the endgame is concerned (and arguably in a lot of other respects as well, not in the least actual gameplay mechanics).


    Now levelling is a different matter, the storylines are rather well done, unfortunately the class/companion storyline missions you care about are rather few and far in between meaning you'll spend a lot of time either running the same flashpoint over and over again for xp or re-doing the same quests you've done on other characters and quite a lot of these "shared" quests aren't exactly that great.


    Eh, guess I digressed a little bit from my initial point...anyway, that's my experience and my opinion, ymmv of course.

  3. I heard Feargus would be all for it but I dunno how they would top KOTOR 2. Maybe by making the final antagonist of the game the puppy you adopted at the beginning of the game or something.

    Topping KotOR2? I dunno, delivering a *finished* game would be a nice start. Sorry Obsidian, it's been so many years (nearly 10 according to WikiPedia) and I'm still bitter (which I guess only goes to show how much I cared).


    Much of the ending in KotOR2 didn't make any sense whatsoever with only the content available in the game (it did once I read up on all the stuff that was cut and available in the game files though). That I finished it (at least) three times in that state (light, neutral, dark) says a lot about the potential of the game (I think I only did 2 playthroughs of the first KotOR, light and dark).


    When I tried the mods that supposedly add back some of the missing stuff I couldn't keep the game stable, so I never played those much and given how BioWare has now utterly nuked, murdered, butchered and mutilated the storyline I can't say I have much interest in going back.

  4. Having worked as a consultant for quite a while I can say Steam's DRM is pretty terrible. It occurred more than once that I'd arrive at my hotel (no internet connection) and Steam would refuse to let me play any games due to some Steam update it'd detected the last time I had used it.


    That meant 5 days without any Steam games, and lo, by then most of my 'modern' games were on Steam. Good thing I always brought a book as well.


    So I started to buy games on disk again, only to be betrayed (well, the words that actually come to mind won't make it through the filter I'm sure), because half of them require Steam anyway (I'm looking at YOU Skyrim, among others), without prior mention. The same goes for Uplay (Far Cry 3) and Origin (Mass Effect 3) for that matter.


    Anyway, I still avoid Steam if it's an option, alas it very often is not (unless you consider pirating an option, me, I don't). And no Steam or Origin or Uplay is NOT a choice, out of them three I'll take Steam any day.

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  5. ...that wizard dude that keeps following me around, and so on.

    Calling Elminster "that wizard dude" made me rofl and cry at the same time.


    That said I sort of started my cRPG career with BG2 (I actually played a little bit of BG1 in a cybercafe which convinced me to spend my allowance on BG2 when released, ergo, I finished BG2 years before I did BG1) so it has a special place in my heart.


    The main thing that set BG2 above (many) later attempts at similar games is the way they combine a rather linear story with enough freedom to actually take a break from said story without it all breaking down into aimless wandering à-la Elder Scrolls ("OOOOOOH SHINY" *clear dungeon* "Right where was I, oh yes, saving the universe from impending doom, let's get back to that... Oooooh, shiny!" repeat ad nauseum). In BG2 each sidequest was again a rather linearly focused well told story in itself, quite often taking you around a few areas as well. It is quite common for sidequests to feel tacked on, tedious, awkward (why the hell am I doing this when I should be doing *main quest objective*?) or an afterthought, I can't say I had that feeling with most of the sidequests in BG2.


    DA:O got the main quest part nailed down, unfortunately there was only the main quest, the few side quests there were boiled down to picking something up while resolving a main quest. No Windspear Hills or Trademeet-style optional quests. You wanted a break from the main questline? Well, better hope you got another game lying around.


    Which brings me to a second "issue" I have with many "other" cRPGs: the strict division in "acts", "chapters" or what-have-you. Now my memory might be fuzzy but I don't remember actually getting locked out of any major sidequests in BG2 when you advanced the main story. Firkraag will still be there, there'll still be a blind Beholder in the Sewers and people will still be dissapearing in the Umar Hills. In the vast majority (tbh I don't think I personally know of any exceptions, then again I have only played a limited number of games available) of games out there you better make sure you have rounded up pretty much everything before advancing the main quest, this for me creates a kind of pressure to round up things before progressing that I can't say I think is very positive for the overall experience.


    This is what I feel is the main thing setting BG2 apart from other games and something that I can't say I've ever seen mentioned elsewhere as a strong point of the game (it obviously has others, and weaknesses, but those have been discussed here and elsewhere over and over already and obviously "de gustibus et coloribus non disputandum est").

    • Like 2
  6. Now, first and foremost, one person's fun is not another. Such is the way of things. So bummer, marelooke, that you didn't enjoy it. I can certainly see how if you didn't enjoy it/get used to it, it would make enjoying the story much much more difficult, if not impossible.


    For my own two cents, just speaking of my experience, I thought I would hate the timed dialogues, and I ended up loving them. I normally in dialogue heavy RPs do sit and agonize over my choices, trying to pick the "Best answer" whether from a mechanical perspective (what will earn me the most influence/get me the most XP, etc.) or a roleplaying perspective. I like usually to read and read and think about my options. At first the timed dialogues seemed like a horror--how could I know what to say, what if it was wrong, what if I wasn't roleplaying.


    Then I realized -- there really was no wrong answer. Yes, certain answers might gain or lose influence with someone, or otherwise take a new path down the plot I didn't want/expect. But then I realized that losing influence had its own advantages as gaining it and simply opened different avenues; the avenues themselves were different ways of playing, but they didn't make me bigger/better/faster/stronger, they didn't make me lose out on something --- or if I seemed to lose out on something immediately, I still gained in the long run. (Often pissing off one person pleased another and vice versa, and so on.) Or at the very least, the story that resulted that was very interesting.


    Also, once I realized Mike was going to be more or less a jerk no matter what you said (or to quote Yahtzee Croshaw, the "ponciest ponce who ever ponced past a poncing parlor"), I didn't worry too much about making the wrong roleplaying choice. ;) Mike has a distinct personality of his own, it's just about what sides you bring out in him.


    I also find that the moments you did need to stop and think a minute, they did give you a little more time. And I did find that once I got used to the system, I got better and better at making snap decisions and getting the result I desired most anyway.


    That the game also tends to default your answer based on past choices -- i.e., if your last answer was professional, the selected option to the next question will default to professional -- makes it easier. You can be guaranteed consistency at least (which has its own perks) -- if you're not sure what to pick, going with the "personality" you've been picking for the most part is always a fine defaul.


    Now there are rare moments you could feel like you screwed up -- usually in a few yes/no or arrest/kill scenarios where you accidentally pick one rather than the other. I noticed most of those they give you a little more time to decide, however. There was only one time when the choice was "go/stay" where it was really nebulous as to which answer matched the thing I wanted to say because of the way the dialogue was worded and I picked the "wrong" thing--but I just went with it and I still accomplished everything I wanted to.


    Even with the system's occasional flaws, I still ultimately felt freed by the situation rather than constrained, which is what I thought I would. It shifted me to a different way of thinking that does indeed mesh with the fast paced feel of the game that helps immeasurably with immersion. So I am very glad that I personally gave it a chance, and I'd like to see a similar system show up again in games with a similar feel. If anything, I'd want any obvious mechanics further removed from the player's view -- don't tell me if I gain/lose influence, just note it in the software silently and let me keep playing. Anything that keeps me from feeling there's a right or wrong answer improves my feeling like I can truly play as I want. Maybe show me when I've earned a perk for a certain kind of behavior, but that's it.


    I wonder if there'd be a way to make timed dialogues optional, but I don't know if that would really truly help to please both sides.


    Your reply has inspired me to give the game another shot, keeping the above in mind does give an interesting take on Thornton and how to play him. I at least might finish the game someday, which is nice because I really liked the concept.


    I'm not sure how making the timed dialogues optional would be an issue for anyone though: make the defaults the way the game was intended to be played by the devs and let people that dislike it turn it off. It's a single player game after all, who cares how others enjoy playing it?



    Pretty much.


    You can easily see it. No one based Fallout 3 for being buggy. But it happens for FN:V.

    Interesting detail; It's 80% the same freaking bugs due to that horrid engine...


    Should speak for itself, no?


    Pretty much this. Then again it's the same bugs that were in Oblivion and before that in Morrowind. Bethesda is very protective of its bugs and is very keen to see nothing bad happening to them ;)


    To be fair though I actually almost finished Fallout 3 before it got patched while I had to shelve NV for a few weeks before it was playable (in the literal sense, it would crash after ~10min, consistently) and I wasn't exactly alone. While this evidence is anecdotal at best I do think more people had more major trouble with NV early on (right now they're pretty much the same bug-wise and in fact a few of my F3 pet-peeves have been solved in NV). And let's be honest, neither Obsidian nor Bethesda have a reputation for bug-free games, having one work with tech built by the other was expected to be...interesting...at least ;)


    As to journalists slamming Obsdian harder than Bethesda, well, they write what they're paid to write... Suffice to say that I consider most "major" review sites to have even less credibility then a politician in an election year.

  7. Tried and dropped Afterfall: Insanity. Game looks good, story looks decent, but it just *feels* horribly clunky, then there are the "puzzles". Ran into this super annoying timed reactor puzzle and dropped the game there and then (turns out there are two more "reactors" hidden someplace that I totally missed due to the moving bag-o-potatoes that is your character, having to run stupid amounts and go through an annoying cutscene each reload didn't help any either)


    Oh and I also probably should finish PS: T, F1&2 and the IWDs (played all of them but never finished any of them). I thought back when I tried it first that PS: T's engine had aged really badly compared to some of the other games.

  8. So I havent played WoW in months, probably since around D3 came out (I still pay for it due to signing up for 1 year). I hadnt even purchased the MoP expansion until my wife got it for me 2 days ago because I just couldnt be bothered. I installed it yesterday but only logged in long enough to briefly peruse the new stuff. I couldnt even remember how to control my toon because now my muscle memory is tuned for D3 (WASD vs mouse click). I cant figure out why I cant overcome this inertia. Maybe its the end of an era after playing for 7-8 years? Meh.


    I quit early this year and haven't had even the slightest urge to come back, and as I recall I've been playing slightly longer than you have. That Annual Pass thing was a clever ploy, fortunately as someone with no interest in D3 I could avoid being tied up. :p



    Hypothetically, if I were to even try to come back, I think the attempt would burn out pretty quickly - my old guild, co-founded in 2007, no longer has the critical mass to even regularly do ten-person content: at its peak in 2008-2010, it was a fully fledged 25-person raiding guild. I have neither any inclination to attempt to rebuild (having quit any leadership roles at the end of LK) nor any drive to find a new home - which, aside, would involve paying the extortionate server transfer fee multiple times over as the old guild was the sole Australian/SEA guild on that US-Pacific time server. $250 to transfer them all? Good god.

    Mop seems almost built around burnout anyway. During Cata (the previous expansion for those who don't know) there was the issue that people felt like they didn't have enough to do. They fixed it by having all reputation rewards being based off daily quests, and had it so that you could do about 20 daily quests for one faction for 2 months, and not hit exalted.


    And there are Three full raids, with different levels of loot, and the "vault" boss is just a dunderhead that's parked out in the world. I'm sort of vacilating on it right now personally.


    I'm on the verge of quitting WoW, just kept playing for the raids and my guild basically, the rest I don't much care for. The MoP lore is uninteresting as is the atmosphere of the epxansion. It's well executed but it doesn't fit in the lore. Would have preferred to see some actual content (more Burning Legion would have made sense) instead of an expansion around an april fool's joke.


    The LFR system has imo destroyed casual raiding guilds, finding people that can be bothered to show up even half the time is proving next to impossible, basically the game is just continuing the decline it's been in for years, though I'm sure it will continue to do "well enough" until Blizzard finally decides to pull the plug. In my mind it all started to go downhill with the introduction of the LFG system and arenas, which destroyed the realm communities and battleground PvP respectively, everything added later was just adding insult to injury.


    That said, I've picked up Guild Wars 2, started out as Sylvari, so far the Sylvari lore seems to be heavily inspired by the Fae from EverQuest 2 with some typical Elf stuff tossed in with a slight twist. Started out as Thief, not quite sure if the combat system is for me. It seems to be rather erratic with the dodging etc, might just be practice though, weĺl see.

    Tried an elementalist first (big wizard guy here and all) but I'm getting rather tired of the lack of imagination MMO developers seem to have when it comes to mage-types, they are almost the same in every damn MMO and it's getting really really (really) old.

  9. Every time I saw a dream sequence in ME3 it made me think back to BG/BG2. Sure, those dream sequences weren't that great either... but at least you could interact in the dream on a more concrete level. Things would talk to you - and then you could talk back. In ME3, you're running around in awkward slow mo chasing a kid and it feels flat. Like, I'm not feeling anything but the contrived notion that I should be feeling disoriented. At least in BG/BG2, the dreams seemed to serve a fuller purpose instead of being intentionally vague.


    Or at least, I'd probably give anything to tell that kid to take a hike. I don't want to chase his sorry ass and I want nothing to do with the 'conduit' or any of that nonsense.


    The dream sequences reminded me more of the ones in F.E.A.R.2, attempting to set some sort of "tone" and utterly failing and just being annoying "WTF?" sequences instead.


    The ones in Baldur's Gate 2 served a proper purpose and weren't as much dream sequences as they were the villain talking to you/manipulating you from a distance while you were asleep. The fact that Irenicus is an actual important character in the game instead of a prop conjured up for the sole purpose to try and evoke emotion also helps imo.


    I don't think I had to replay all that much to get to the extended ending. It was only a few minutes of gameplay, if I recall.


    From what I heard changes started with the "Miranda mission", though how major I can't say as I too have trouble finding the motivation to go through this game again.


    OT: currently playing more Skyrim while installing Guild Wars 2, I hope it's better than current WoW which I'm about done with, MoP destroyed the last bit of enjoyable content in that game and if not for my guild I'd already have pulled the plug on it.


    Some of the bugs in Skyrim are starting to irritate me though, I'm often asked if I have fur coming out of my ears while I haven't been a werewolf for ages and vampire NPCs stopped recognizing me for a vampire since I turned into a Vampire Lord with Dawnguard, on top of that I'm often still asked if I fetch the mead for the Companions while I actually completed that entire questchain a while ago (they used to say something different but somehow ended up reverting to this)...

  10. Heh, the UI used to be way worse too, at launch I don't think you even had the ability to move everything and resize.


    You really strike me as the type who will get a bigger kick out of the sith storylines.


    I can't stand the Sith. They're just moustache twirling villains with no depth whose only purpose is to be as hand-wringingly eeeeeevil as possible.


    I was "forced" by my gulidies to start Sith (since they all wanted to start Sith for exactly the reasons you describe) and I must say that for the Inquisitor storyline at least I was pleasantly surprised. While the Sith are generally "evil" in their dealing with others there are more ways to deal with situations than just the "stupid evil"-way. It felt more like playing a Way of the Closed Fist character (for you Jade Empire players out there).


    I *tried* starting as Consular but the storyline at the start is just soooo cliché paladin-y, stupid good, I almost needed a bucket. I really hope it gets better later. I mean, sure you also get "dark side" choices while playing the "good guys" but especially early on for the Jedi Knight they seemed mostly like pretty puberistic "I'm gonna do that twilek I just met because it's cool to go against the grain!" style options. I found the moral choices as Inquisitor a lot more interesting than I expected, especially since I usually don't play evil characters for exactly the reasons you describe (too much nonsensical stupid evil and usually once you go "evil" you have to follow through with it everywhere, not so in ToR).


    That said it seems the Sith Marauder edges more towards the stupid-evil playstyle (from what I heard).


    Oh, and imho including PvP in MMOs is a mistake if you want to make them story driven, it requires making compromises in places that are critical to the PvE/lore crowd (like perfectly mirroring classes, caring about class balance etc, it kills diversity. WoW is a prime example).


    Personally playing through Dawnguard as a Vampire this time, grabbed a mod to keep access to crossbows. Yay for mods ;) Not too far in so far (2nd quest after the faction split) but seems okay so far.

  11. re: rebuking legion's death: it makes no sense because the geth are software, and are therefore made of code, that can be copied. legion therefore requiring "personality dissemination" is nonsensical to anyone with half a smidgeon of programming knowledge.


    This is probably why I didn't care. It made no sense at all, even if they are individuals, they can still be backed up and restored. The Geth's (and Legion and EDI's) personalities are software, not hardware.


    The entire Geth/Quarian arc was a bit of a disappointment in fact. Sure the Quarians might hate the Geth, yadda yadda, but a frontal assault with their entire fleet...really? Anyway, that was my personal feeling, I still enjoyed visiting Rannoch all in all but it was so...utterly predictable and some of it just failed to be convincing. I guess my expectations were just too high.


    It was done purely for emotional impact, and on that note, it worked (it was the only moment in the game that brought me close to tears, mainly due to the sheer magnitude of all the combined happenings in the scene), but logically it is a fail of galactic proportions.


    I only had that with Mordin, that scene was rather epic and a lone peak in ME3's storytelling (imnsho).


    My favourite characters were Garrus, Tali, Wrex, Mordin and Liara. The rest I don't really care about or certainly not as much. Kaidan/Ashley ruined it with that dumb scene in ME2 and while I haven't seen Kaidan in ME3 Ashley didn't exactly make a better impression there (also her appearance got objectified quite a lot more, which sort of annoyed me, guess they needed someone to replace Miranda's "DAT ASS" for ME3).


    There were some other fun characters but they were just that: "fun", not characters I really cared about (I heard Jack is supposed to be the Anomen of ME2 though, maybe I should look into that one day). A lot of them were just superfluous or even downright detrimental (Jacob, I sorta liked him, until all the clichés started hitting...).


    I think both Jacob and Vega were superfluous, they seemed to be there just to fill the "bro" role and as a previous poster already observed: Garrus fills that role way better. On top of that as a Turian he's just more interesting, we already know what humans and their civilization are like, Turians, not so much. Same goes for a few others, it seems like they just wanted to show off how good they are at character creation, resulting in a whole bunch of could-have-been-interesting characters that ended up not being worked out enough to actually be really interesting.


    I guess in general I just wish they'd stuck with less characters and given us more detail on them and their backgrounds.


    I also have to agree that their choice of journalist on board made no sense, there were already two you had prior contact with and as such already an emotional bond (in some sense). Using either of them would have worked a lot better (that is Emily Wong or Khaleesh al-Jalaani, if I spelled that right). Especially Khaleesh could have made for some seriously interesting dialogues I think. I also felt that she was severly underused, she only has things to talk about at 3 or so major points in the game.

  12. 2. Starkid

    Starkid is the Citadel itself. His purpose is to continue the cycle. He is the leader of the Reapers.

    So why didn't he activate Reaper's shortcut himself in ME1? Why did he need Harbinger's help? He IS the Citadel, why wouldn't he have full control of Citadel? Why can't he undo the changes Shepard make in ME1 and summon the Reapers in ME2?


    Because the head writer of ME1 bailed after the game was finished and a minor subquest writer took the helm and just ran with what he'd been doing, a minor subquest about a rogue human black-ops group conducting nefarious experiments in identical rooms on different planets while saying "I WILL DESTROY YOU! I WILL DESTROY YOU!" The most significant thing about Cerberus prior to ME2's announcement was that they were responsible for the "Sole Survivor" background for Shepard.


    Not that any of that matters in Mass Effect 3. All of ME2 and 3 was emergency-ass-pull plot maneuvering because they didn't have a full three act story planned out from the start.


    In the end, the narrative and atmospheric high point of the entire series was Ilos in ME1.


    Sad but true.


    Not that it matters anymore now that EA has taken the helm, anybody expecting anything actually worthwhile from BioWare anymore is just kidding themselves for old times' sake if you ask me. I've been there, but after DA2 and ME3...let's just say that I won't be buying anything from BioWare anymore until I've read reviews from a reliable source (iow, not any of the major gaming news sites funded by the companies they are supposed to review).


    ME3 was enjoyable, once. There is just exactly zero motivation for me atm to play through it again (even though I am slightly curious about the "new" "ending"). Seeing as I've played through ME1 4 times or so and about the same for ME2 they must have done something seriously wrong with 3 as I ended up even uninstalling the previous 2 in the series after I was done with 3 (was nearly done with ME1 playthrough 5 too...). The multiplayer thing was just a waste of time imo and it shows that they spent way too much time on that and too little time on the rest of the game. ME3 was a rushjob, they had a storyline to wrap up without any idea how, they had consoles to cater to and PC gamers can go to hell (or am I the only one that was really bothered by not being able to holster my weapon anymore?)


    I didn't once really feel the urge to really play the game, more like a "meh, let's finish it then". The only part I'd even dare call good about ME3 was Tuchanka the rest was mediocre at best.

  13. I finished the Dawnguard and Aetherium questlines of Skyrim. I'm comfortable saying I'm done with the game until Dragonborn comes out.


    Undecided on what I'll play next.


    Did you finish Dawnguard with both sides? On my second playthrough of Skyrim, this time as a vampire backstabbing stabby stab type (pickpocketing poisons onto people is fun!) rather than the stealthy archer type. (guess in the end they're not that different, though sneaking around sneak attacking stuff in broad daylight definitely is harder with daggers than with a bow ;) Anyway, was wondering if the Vampire side was worth it (at the very least story wise), apparently you lose (easy) access to crossbows (which I sort of liked) with really no other toys to play with instead (and toys are good!)


    Personally I ended up playing EVE after a WoW raid, because aside from the raids there's really nothing worthwhile to do in the game anymore.

  14. Playing through the New Vegas addon Honest Hearts right now. Not really impressed so far. The Father in the Cave story was interesting, but there seems to be no way to talk about it with anyone even though it sort of matters a lot, real bummer in my book :(


    Someone mentioned FEAR, now I have an urge to play through that again, was a really nice game in my book (the first one, let's not even mention the rest...)

  15. That's kind of the point though... :/

    Spy, not really getting the time.


    I can fully accept that you enjoy this aspect of the game but bringing up "it's a spy game" as a reason for the timed dialogues makes no sense at all to me. Or is it somehow acceptable for NPCs to stare at you blankly for minutes while you ponder a response (or go to the restroom, or whatever) in, say Mass Effect, but not in AP because it is a spy game?


    If you think all dialogues in all games should be timed then that would make sense and arguably be more realistic. I would, of course, still disagree because I don't need that kind of realism to invade something I do to enjoy myself. Which brings us back to my original point: I find the timed dialogues stressful and as such unenjoyable.

  16. and the timed dialogues (this pretty much was a total dealbreaker, unfortunately I didn't know before purchase) it was really hard to find a reason to keep playing.


    Maybe I ought to give the game another try but judging by the general reception I doubt much has been fixed since the original release so I dunno.


    The timed dialogue was a major point. It was setup to instil that tension and remind the player that in those situations, you don't get half an hour to consider your options. I thought it added nicely to the whole ambience of the game.


    Besides, it never actually takes that long to make a decision on conversation choice.


    For me it does, I often spend minutes to tens of minutes pondering a dialogue reply. I'm also one of those weird people that will "rehearse" a conversation I'm about to have with strangers in my head irl as well and will prefer discussing things in text over "by voice" because text allows me to research my answers better and make my point clearer.


    Especially if you've got a feel for the characters you're talking to and what sort of Michael you were playing. The timing never gave me grief.


    You don't when you just start out. If they wouldn't have used a savepoint system I'd just have (ab)used the save system to get around this limitation, alas, I can't so I canned the game. For me it just adds too much stress to the dialogues, I already have enough of that dealing with people irl, I don't need it also in a game.


    I guess I just have an odd personality but for me timed dialogues just don't work, at all. But to each their own.

  17. Probably that one:

    The main programmer on BG1 NPC Project is a beta tester on BG:EE, so the Enhanced Edition version should be up and running before long. But the others you won't see until BG2:EE is released anyway.

    It is a great mod that adds a BG2 feel to BG1 companions (even some romances).


    That sounds cool, companion interaction was one of the big things that were lacking in BG1 for me (and it was very noticeable since I played them out of order...). Overall it sounds like a cool project, BG1 in the BG2 engine, though dunno how I feel about changing the movies around.


    But if feel it's kind of expensive for a game I already own and I'm not exactly happy about having some company specific software forced down my throat by the shop either.

  18. Minigames should go die in a fire imho, the lockpicking in TES/F3 is probably one of the least bad examples (which might be why it's brought up constantly?) and I can actually live with it most of the time (there's areas where locks are so many it really gets annoying though, picking 4 master locks and a few others in a row isn't my idea of "fun").


    But that's the exception, many minigames are just annoying for multiple reasons, the infamous hacking minigame in AP comes to mind. But worse are the kind of minigames like they're found in the second Witcher game, obviously designed for controllers and just horribly annoying for kb/mouse players (though everything in that game was clunky for kb/mouse players, but I digress). And even worse are ones like the ME2 hacking minigame, which heavily depended on matching coloured blocks, pure awesomeness for the ~8% of the male population that suffers form some form of colourblindness (good thing it's actually source code, so one can match on structure, but that requires some coding experience). Or the bomb arming/disarming I saw in some other game (red and green wires...awesome...trial and error here I come...).


    Honestly I feel most minigames add nothing to the experience as the majority isn't even anywhere close to being realistic, usually they just detract and annoy especially if they can't be bypassed. I mean come on, raise hands, how many of you "cheated" on the Fallout 3 hacking minigame by just starting over instead of actually solving the puzzle the proper way every time? And how many just reloaded in NV for the very same reason? (though hacking was, thankfully less omnipresent in NV)


    That said I'm all for adding puzzles and riddles but those have the nice property of actually adding variety and not usually being all over the place unlike "regular" minigames.

  19. Tbh it depends on the kind of events. I think this is exactly what they were aiming for in Alpha Protocol with the timed dialogues and savepoints, forcing a fast decision that you're then stuck with. Personally I hated it and I shelved the game over it (I like to think decisions through, especially dialogue responses, but that's another subject)


    For other things it really depends, I've often found it annoying when things just depended on randomness, like lockpicking. I think it's fair game that if your thief cannot pick the lock and you try to force it there's a chance you'll break stuff in there. It still beats just not being able to access the chest in my book. But I dislike it when things stay random even if you have the skills for them.


    Case in point, in BG2 you could fail at picking a lock, but if your thief had the skills to pick said lock you could try again and eventually succeed, you can argue that having to keep trying is annoying, but this I could live with. Now assuming my thief has a maxed out lockpicking skill and due to randomness he fails picking a low level lock I'd be mighty annoyed if that would lock me out of said chest forever. Now I would be way less annoyed if I knowingly tried to pick (or force) a lock I didn't have the skills for and I could get behind that locking you out of said chest forever in that playthrough. I have pretty much the same feeling about social skills, if you don't quite have the skills and you try and fail it should lock you out, but if you did invest enough in said skill you should just succeed.


    Maybe I missed something and that's what you're aiming for, in which case I hope I at least clarified things for others reading the thread :)

  20. I'm starting to wonder if it's no longer possible to tell others what you like/don't like in an RPG without the DA series being mentioned. :biggrin:

    Which doesn't mean a whole lot (in terms of reference) to someone who hasn't played DA, btw.


    Thats true, for many the DA series has become a paradigm of how not to produce an RPG :)


    Which is in some ways a bit of a shame as DA:O had more than a few strong points and overall was decent.


    It was DA2 (and DA3 doesn't seem to be shaping up any better) that really brought out all the hate for the franchise and makes DA:O seem bad by association.


    To be fair DA 2 wasn't that bad, While I didnt like it as much as origins, I think the real problem is the fact that the game and main character looked like Bioware wanted to create backup Shepard


    While they'd been promising us all the time it wouldn't turn into Dragon Effect, which is exactly what it turned out to be: from the combat to the dialogues. It just was the final nail in the coffin containing BioWare's credibility, DA2 just embodies that fact which is why it is so vehemently hated.


    As for immersion: the constant spawning of enemies, wave after wave seemingly out of nowhere really killed that for me, turning an altready one dimensional combat system into a real chore. Suffice to say I've never finished my second playthrough. There is just nothing to suck you into the world, because as the OP points out: it's static, it's lifeless and there really is nothing to explore or experience outside of the main quest. Oh, and recycling the same dungeon twenty times didn't exactly help immersion either (and tbh, I'm not even sure whether that's an exaggeration).


    DA:O shares a lot of the issues with DA2, but at least the combat system worked, and there were some actually challenging and fun bossfights (Broodmother anyone?). But here also, not enough to do if you want a break from the main quest without starting another game, no areas to explore, no big sidequests (think Umar Hills style, for you BG2 veterans), nothing.

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  21. I really enjoyed that one too. The Imperial Agent is also pretty well done IMO.


    Jedi didn't capture my attention early on. I loved the first chapter of the smuggler arc and am loving Imperial Agent. Though I only have gotten to the part you get your ship. The smuggler arc seriously disappointed me later on by not being able to make me care about the villain. Act 3 picked back up, but it just wasn't the same anymore. Now I am a bit worried about the Agent arc :)


    Worst part about any story that isnt female smuggler? They aren't voiced by Kathy Soucie.


    Jedi Knight starts out really weak imho, with very "petty" dark side choices (and the light side wasn't much better) gave up on that pretty quickly. Inquisitor was good fun though, the amount of stupid evil wasn't even that excessive. Agent starts out strong but I've heard complaints about the later parts.


    As for myself, managed to finally pick up NV again and finished Old World Blues. Them scorpions, I still don't have a proper tactic for them (unless spamming stimpacks and abusing the AI getting stuck counts as a "tactic"), they don't seem to have a really weak spot that I can hit reliably and there's only so many pulse grenades I had access to...

  22. And I agree, rewards shouldn't be tied to some artificial morality system, although purely based om difficulty isn't always right either. If it makes sense that those you helped reward you with something very valuable, ok fine, but dont give out artifacts like candy, just because the quest required a bit more effort to complete.


    XP is very valuably I'd think. Something like (thinking really black-white for a second, just go with it, okay?) the good guy goes to hell and back, so gets loads of XP (cause he went through loads of effort) while getting relatively small rewards from the questgiver; while the bad guy just murders the questgiver and takes his stuff so he gets more gold and items but much less XP.


    That said, the more grey the moral choices are the better, I think KotOR2 made an interesting attempt in that direction.


    Wouldn't an evil guy generally not want to be an adventurer since that's a rather ****ty profession. Hitman, mercenary, enforcer, bounty hunter; those are all more likely ways of life for someone with the kind of skill set an adventurer would possess.


    Since we're talking about what a "real" bad guy would do and all.

    That's where the story comes in I'd think ;)

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