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Stephen Amber

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Posts posted by Stephen Amber

  1. "Party based d&d epic play usually does. Did through Throne of Bhaal and Hotu as well. "


    Nah. Gameplay of all 3 were awesome.


    If you like half a dozen epic spells going off at once, yours and the enemies, basically a fireworks show confusing what even's going on then yea it's great.

  2. MotB's gameplay sucks


    Party based d&d epic play usually does. Did through Throne of Bhaal and Hotu as well. Adventuring at such high levels should be solo, as a 20+ lvl character should be self-reliant with ample resources. Or maybe a single cohort at different stages to advance the plot and assist with something especially difficult, such as a dragon. I didn't even finish Throne of Bhaal. The writing and dialogue of motb were good enough to make me keep going however.

  3. This is why Ibashed DA when it comes to people bragging about 100% MR. Having a character completely immune to something is just poor design unless its extremely rare and not gaming breaking. It's the same with BG2 vamps. They coudl deadly but if youa re immune to their level drain they were a completely a joke and you coudl wade into battle by multi clicking your entire party INCLUDING the mage and just gang rape them while you do nothing but watch.


    It wasn't so simple as that. Drain immunity was available, initially, only in the form of a level 4 cleric spell of short duration which could only be bestowed upon a single party member... the dwarf tank being the most likely candidate. Much later, when assaulting the vamp stronghold you might have an assortment of drain immune gear, but vamps are real threat throught a good portion of the game. Drizzt of course shows to help clean up the vamps and proves to be drain immune as well some how. hah.


    I chose disintegrate to deal with dragons since I nearly always play as wiz through these games and is natural to do so... don't care what the other party members do.

  4. For BG2 mindflayers I recommend mordy's sword since they can't suck the brains out of it. For the dragons disintergrate, but that would destroy some loot as well. Those dragons were a frickin beatch. Nwn would later change flayer brain sucking to intelligence damage... like it's sucking brains a chunk at the time. Weak. I prefered the fearsome BG2 flayers.

  5. It does feel nice sometimes but I'm under the impression that it costs a huge amount of money. Money that can be spent on other, more interesting content.


    The actor's guild/union, talent agencies, voice trainers and such have made it so. Hollywood's tentacles have fully inserted themselves into the lucrative gaming industry when it comes to voice acting work. Tentacles that try to suck and eke out as much revenue as they can...

  6. The point is that 'mages being overpowered wawawa' is one of the ludicrous arguments I've ever heard about fantasy games. Damn, it's magic, it better be 'overpowered'.


    The classic pnp argument being since they start out the weakest they can end up the strongest. Which really doesn't mean much in modern crpgs with re-loads, and 100 different saved games. Some of the old school dm's could be pretty anal about characters and death, allowing some sort of miraculous resurrection or demanding a re-rolled character, at his whim. A certain amount of attrition was assumed in the pnp game, with those rising to arch-magi status being relatively rare. And the raw amount of game time often precluded such lofty levels. Don't think we ever got beyond the low teens, after mega hours and several published modules. But that's ok, as the game play is better than at high to epic levels I think. Playing through Motb right now, and most of the time is spent watching my destruction crew go to work...


    Point being, high level magic is not so much a flaw inherent to the system, it's more of a flawed conversion to the crpg world.

  7. Bioware did have alot going on at the time, what with BGII/throne of baal, swkotor, and NWN all sharing development time. Not sure when work on Jade Empire started. And this was all before the Houston studio, of course. In those circumstances 5 years isn't excessive.


    But, in citing an extreme example of belatedness, one need look no further than Duke Nukem forever. A game that was never released and had a development cycle long and expensive enough to make John Romero blush.

  8. You can find a precedent for almost any sci-fi plot convention in the corpus of 20th century pulp fiction & sci-fiction. I'm talking just movies. Not books. Lucas drew plenty of ideas from writers like ER Burroughs and Aasimov in crafting Star Wars, but those are seldom talked about.

  9. The whole "savior shall mount the red dragon and lead us to victory" prophecy was pretty lame I thought. And it really wasn't that well explained... I might have actually dozed off a bit during the segments setting it up. The mesmeric quality of the 3d and banality of the dialogue combining to make one sleepy and unattentive. My fault maybe.


    Also, the dragons hatching and choosing soul mates was reminiscent of Dragonflight of all things!

  10. Ok, DLA was formed, I think, just before the release of NWN1, and their major project Wyvern Crown was released a good 4 or 5 years after that. Though DLA did recieve much support from Bioware via the premium mod program and internally, support the community lacks from Obsidian unfortunately.

  11. 3 years ain't nothing. Think of 3d Realms, the 12 years, and the mega millions of dollars they had to make a Duke Nukem sequel with and couldn't get it out the door. That's mismanagement...

  12. neither Monitor nor the Virginia were anywhere near as revolutionary as is made out in the US as the French (La Gloire) and the British (HMS Warrior) had already produced 'proper' ironclads prior to either.


    And when did those iron clads ever see action? That's the important thing... to prove effectiveness in actual use.

  13. The military maneuvers became the basis for modern strategy at the time as well.


    Artillary pieces and iron clad vessels. The artillary used would forshadow the huge pieces that dominated the battle fields of WW1, which was a contest of enchtrenchment and the mobility of artillary.


    The two iron clads of the civil war (monitor & merrimack) instantly made wooden vessels around the globe obsolete.

  14. I'm not really sure where Bethesda is being evil, as some folks have put forth. I understand when folks call EA and Activision 'evil' even if I don't always agree. But exactly what action put Bethesda in the 'evil' camp again? Was it when they took a dead IP and crafted it in their own style of game and made it very successful? Was it the radiant AI?


    I'd say at worst Bethesda has questionable design decisions and bad writing, but 'evil' seems a tad over reactionary.



    If I remember right, at one point Bethesda and Troika were both bidding for the rights to make Fallout3. Had Troika won, then obviously the original team would have made the game, which would have pleased the old school fans to no end. The design would have been different... maybe even isometric turn based.


    That is why Bethesda is evil to some eyes.

  15. Also, VERY, VERY interesting is that Interplay is COUNTERSUING Bethesda. Interplay said that they did disclose the Glutton Creeper deal with Bethesda and Bethesda suddenly terminated the deal with Glutton, which resulted in Glutton suing Interplay. Interplay wants that money back that they had to pay Glutton and legal fees from this.


    Hilarious. I didn't know that.


    Glutton Creeper had been working on a pencil-n-paper version of Fallout and Bethesda killed it.

  16. I'm not sure Red Queen was ever an "official" board related to Interplay or BIS, since I think it was Josh's personal board connected to his website.


    As I recall the original Interplay boards were threaded and I never posted there, but they had BG1, PST, Descent to Undermountan, Fallout 1 & 2 on it. And Gorth's link confirms it! The BIS forums seem to have went up around April 2001 (which seems to fit with my memory of it being around while I was playing Heart of Winter).



    Yes. Exactly right.

  17. Wrong. The old Torment, NWN, BG/BG2, IWD boards were Interplay boards, but were primitive to the point of having nothing like post counts... This whole thread is about post counts, something we didn't see til (I think) Red Queen Design and the "new" Interplay boards: the BIS boards, which opened up around the time Torn was announced. Bioware didn't start hosting their own boards til the legal acrimony twixt them and Interplay ensued, and they were basically booted from the BIS forums.

    Umm, given that I never ever posted at any "new" interplay boards i am curious as to how I amassed such a high post count... perhaps I have a doppelganger.

    Indeed the BIS boards did have post counts, but they were removed part way through its life, I believe to prevent spamming such as "The Dot Story" that some people might remember.

    The old old Interplay boards I seem to recall were orange and black in design and had a horrid interface. The BIS forums were not unlike these Obsidian ones in colour scheme.

    The BIS forum existed long before Torn was announced. I have no idea what Red Queen is. Something that came along after I left?


    Interplay were dropped as publishers of NWN long before NWN was released. BIS and Interplay had nothing to do with it so I doubt they hosted its forums. NWN was always at the Bioware forums. I'm not sure if the Bioweenies were "booted" from the BIS boards. They launched their own forum to coincide with NWN online content stuff as I believe was always their plan. Bioware was on the way up, and BIS, sadly, was on the way down.

    Bioware launched their forums on 17th October 2001. I know, because I made my account on launch day and that record is still shown at those forums.


    Not that any of it matters of course.


    Red Queen was Sawyer's personal board and not affiliated with any company, I don't believe. Started due to displeasure with all of the other forums, and was the most active of the boards for a time, til the summer of '01 or so and the improved BIS forums... then it dried up.


    And, yes, there was a lawsuit 'tween Interplay and Bioware. Interplay was the publisher for at least two years while NWN was in production/announced and had plenty to do with it. Doh.

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