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Everything posted by nzmccorm

  1. I dunno if it's been mentioned but Tolkien specifically identifies Orcs as Asian grotesques in his letter to Morton Zimmerman. Zimmerman, Al Brodax, and Forest Ackerman proposed a film which would feature orcs as bird-monsters, and Tolkien took great pains to point out that no, Orcs were gross asian people. It's letter 210 in Tolkien's collected letters.
  2. The hammer comparison is faulty though. Hammers were not invented, visually and otherwise, as a representation of racist anxiety. The orc was born out of Tolkien being especially racist compared even to other chinless Oxbridge types. We've moved past the Golliwog and Golliwog-types in children's literature because we've accepted that it's messed up and racist. Holding onto the Orc is holding onto a racist cliche that we should have long outgrown and saying "It's different because XYZ!" is ignoring the fact that it's still a continuation of the same tradition of racist grotesque. That's part of what makes Eternity cool. It's stepping away from things like the Orc and it's interested in a fantasy world that actually looks and works believably rather than running on ye olde racial essentialism.
  3. Bioware themselves have acknowledged the successful RPG designs and elements in Bethesda games, and have promised to implement them in DA:I. Of course, they're probably just driven by Skyrim's unbelievable financial success, and seek to copy it, rather than any 'artistic vision'. But hey, even a financial motivation is bound to produce something better than DA2. Dude he's from Northern Ontario. There are like thirteen people who live there, all of whom are named Frank. Including the girl. I'm basically just impressed he can use a keyboard. I mean-- Sure. I don't like BEthesda's quality-over-quantity approach to quest design because I'm the kind of dude who feels tempted to do everything. So I can understand criticisms of that model. My dismissal has way more to do with Canadian regionalism.
  4. You can "L0L" all you want, but unless you offer something substantial it's just gonna make you look like an idiot. You know that, right? Like, you're hurting your own cause? Also you're from Northern Ontario sooooooooooooo
  5. Can you offer some kind of exposition of that because otherwise it just seems like you have a case of the grumpy dumpies. Even Skyrim offers you a panoply of possible player characters, gives you the choice of joining up with or dismissing a large number of groups or cities, lets the player grow through their direct experience and behaviour. Bioware games, on the other hand, are visual novels with fixed P;ayer Characters and bad combat bolted on. It's not role-play or story-play. It's story-telling. And that's boring.
  6. This is a Golliwog doll: It is a racial caricature based on the blackface tradition. There's a long-standing traidtion of this kind of blackface in literature. That does not make it not-racist and not terrible when it's imitated or reiterated. This is Tokio Kid: It is a racist caricature that's part of the tradition Tolkien based the orcs on. There's a long tradition of repeating this kind of caricature in fantasy lit. You can probably see a lot of points of comparison in the skintone, the fangs, the pointed ears, the coarse black hair... My point is that it's trying to staple some SO DEEP SO SERIOUS backstory to a literal racial grotesque. It's absurd when it's a blackface doll, and it's absurd when it's tolkien's racist take on asian people.
  7. What makes it ridiculous when it's a fantasy Golliwog if that's true? Tolkien's orcs are conspicuously and explicitly based on WW2 era propaganda and most of the material that's followed on has in one way or other imitated that. Hell, Blizzard's attempt at revisionist orcs doubled down on the asian angle. Seriously what makes the Orc less messed up than the hypothetical TTLY SRS take on the Golliwog beyond the fact that we're kind of used to the Orc?
  8. How is that ironic? Stun didn't say Greg Zeschuk was poor or anything. Because more money = better than, I guess? Because huge hyper-cautious corporations and people who deliberately choose to be as successful as possible in said corporations make the best decisions when it comes to fringe genres like role-playing games. Obviously.
  9. Just gonna throw this out there: Tolkien's races were largely based on existing ethnic groups. Dwarves were based on his take on Jews, Hobbits/Halflings on his view of rural england, Orcs on anti-asian stereotypes, and on and on. Suggesting an "alternative" version of Orcs that isn't racist is kind of like making Golliwogs a major fantasy race and acting like that's not messed up because you put a huge amount of work into taking them seriously and treating them fairly in your setting.
  10. I think it's more that they're blasted for changing things badly. After they gave up on their four-hubs game structure, the resulting games felt very disconnected and janky in terms of plot. When they tried something new by focusing on a single city over a long time, they came up with Kirkwall, which was terribly bland, never really felt like time was passing, and which never really felt like a living space. Plus there's the way that ME3's ending apes Deus Ex's. They're still leaning on cliche when it comes to narrative design. Which reminds me... they're also not changing the right things. They might simplify mechanics or place a bigger focus on action, but ME games still have very bland level design and their quest design still tends to be extremely linear with, at most, a binary choice when it comes to resolution. Quest design's the crux of it for me. Their quest design is pretty primitive and simplistic because it's about delivering the player to an ending with as few variables as possible. In that regard they're about on par with Bethesda, only with much less content.
  11. I'm fairly certain the Kickstarter campaign for Original Sin was supplementary to funds and work they'd already put into the game. I think overall, the budget for that game surpasses 4 mil. They haven't released hard numbers, at least, not that I know of. But this is right on. They had near-final game art assets from the start of the kickstarter because they had other sources of funding. It's a meaningless comparison.
  12. They haven't been stated explicitly, but Sawyer said over on SA that it should run just fine on weaker/older boxes. He also said that if anything'll be a problem it'll be RAM. e: Specifically he said that his personal goal was for it to run well on machines 5 or more years old, so I think a lower end but recent card isn't going to be a big problem.
  13. I don't think Bioware has a great track record when it comes to strongholds. If you look at how the Normandy works in ME2 or Vigil's Keep in DA:A, neither really shine. The Normandy is a constant stream of dull busywork in order to secure metal and upgrade the ship for the final battle, while Vigil's Keep is just a handful of dull fetch quests. Bioware as a company seems to be a lot more interested in telling stories than setting up strong core gameplay or doing mechanically interesting things, and while that's fine for people who like that, I think that the way they sort of bolt on RPG elements is detrimental to the overall game. When you've got something badly made like their stronghold gameplay or the MMO-Style quest design in DA:O sitting right in the middle of the game it kind of casts a shadow on what you actually do well.
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