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Everything posted by blueitem

  1. I'm not entirely sure these qualify as cheese, given that they're not really exploits, but here's a few: 1. Wizard's level 1 spell slicken is great. It's a large aoe that knocks down nearly everything, and with Aloth's absurd INT stays around for quite a while too. Abuse of it has won me fights I would otherwise not had a chance in, since you can lock down a good portion of the area, then cast a new one when the old one wears off. It stays relevant for quite a while too, it's still effective at level 7 on the 8th floor of the Endless Paths. 2. Defender mode allows for 3 engagement slots on a fighter. Given that (at least on normal), enemies stick to whomever engages them so long as another attacker isn't in melee range, this is useful for keeping all your squishies safe. 3. This one is well known from the backer beta, but a cipher's draining whip paired with a blunderbuss allows you to spam spells (I'm getting roughly 15 focus a shot). Also gives you some decent damage as well.
  2. Eh, some people like to have the phyiscal goods, either for aesthetics or so they don't need to alt-tab. That being said, I'm more boggled by how some of them can be much, much worse than most guides online, given that people are being paid to do them.
  3. But can't most stories be summarized in such a way? I mean, hell, with a three sentence structure and an insult at the end, I'm pretty sure we can make anything look horrible -- From what I recall of the second BG game, you are captured by an evil wizard, and have to track this "Irenicus" fellow down because he stole your "sister". Pretty sure that's the most generic fantasy plotline out there, and even worse they decided what you did in the first game with absolutely no care to your actual actions. But most players would agree that, if perhaps not the most original plot, that BG2's plot is at least enjoyable. Generally, the appeal of the Witcher games is that the fantasy world is really dark, there aren't any "correct" answers to problems -- a nice change from the common "you can be a saint or the devil" approach in many games -- and at least in Witcher 2 the combat is decent and the exploration isn't too bad (Witcher 1 had more of a problem in this regard, but it still wasn't unplayable, just fairly dull). And while I don't think the plots from the Witcher games are absolutely amazing, they are enjoyable and at least attempt some original things (for example, in an investigation in the first one, you can get completely conned by a character for most of the subplot if you don't come to the right conclusions, or you can figure it out and get the upper hand on them).
  4. This. Otherwise, working my way through The Secret World, excellent setting and some good writing, brought down by all the normal issues with MMOs -- I do appreciate it at least trying to be different though. Just got to Egypt, which has dampened my enthusiasm somewhat, I really liked the initial Lovecraft Country abandoned little town setting and, while I think that the Egypt zones aren't necessarily objectively worse, they're just not getting me on the same level. I have high hopes for the Aten cult though.
  5. I don't really understand the pillar people put romance on. Is there a reason it's so much more important than any other relationship? The ways the pro-side does this are fairly obvious, but the anti-side is a bit more sneaky about it, claiming that games just can't do romance because it requires emotional investment the player might not have, or it's impossible to be satisfyingly abstracted by the game system, etc. But wouldn't a lot of the logic used also mean that games can't do any significant relationship -- friends, rivals, parents -- because it also requires abstraction and assumed emotion attachment? And given that, at least in this type of game, the romance is entirely optional, even more objections fall away. Perhaps I'm missing something, and given how contentious this topic is I'm sure someone will fill me in soon enough :D Side note: Why is there an assumed connection that any romance content must be tied to sexual content? Ignoring Bioware for a minute (and especially CD Projekt Red), most of the romance in games I've played ignores the physical aspects entirely, and it's not like it's instantly regarded as "not true romance." I'm thinking of certain Final Fantasy games immediately, but I'm sure if anyone really cared I could come up with a decent list.
  6. Wow, some of you guys are a bit vitrolic yourselves about your dislike of romance in games, yeah? Personally, so long as the characters have a personality and a presence in the story, I don't have a particular preference as to what their relationship with you is -- although, admittedly, I would like some option for some them to stick around with you or you with them after the game. It did always feel strange that, even in supposedly the most tight-knit groups, most characters would go off their own ways at the end with very little in the way of farewells. However, since I do so enjoy playing the devil's advocate, I would like to try to refute or at least provide some counterpoints to the arguments against romance. 1. Unrealistic or not working as a system - This is certainly a valid point that there must be a certain level of abstraction to implement romance into any game. However, if we rely on this argument to disallow romance, we must also disallow most other relationships, as everything will have subleties that can't necessarily be adapted into a game. For example, in Endrosz's section on influence gain on page 11, the example given about why a romantic relationship should break could also be applied to a friendship or a more friendly rivalry, a mercenary relationship if the mercenary has a code of conduct, any relationship with any idealistic character, and so forth. The same would apply to the gifting system and any other relationship system I can think of at the moment. 2. Romance on a pillar? - Bioware seemed to get brough up quite a bit in respect to poorly written romances; however, I haven't read any complaints about any other relationships with party members in the game even though they are just as shallow. For as hard as Mass Effect pushes the "Sheppard and Garrus best friend forever" idea, in the first game most of your interaction with him was broken down into "Shepard, I want to do this morally questionable thing. Do you agree? Y/N," and the second game barely had anything with him if you weren't going on his romance path. This raises the implication that some people are putting different standards on romantic relationships than on others, which in turn raises the question of why this happens. The idea that jumps to my mind is that they percieve romantic relationships are more permanent or intrinsically stronger than other relationships, which doesn't seem to even hold up in the games themselves. Going back to the Mass Effect example, you don't need to be romancing Liara or your squadmate for them to be torn up about your supposed death in the beginning of ME2. Although this point does seem to be uneccesarily exarcerbated by the fact that most of the time in games (or movies, or literature, or anything with a limited runtime not focused on romance), when there is a romance subplot, it is usually presented very qucikly as true love as opposed to the myriad of ways a romantic relationship could start out and develop. 3. Wish fulfillment - It is hard to argue against that even the best written romance is still wish fulfillment in games where the protagonist's character is defined by the player's choices. However, in the same vein as the differing standards point above, why is this type of wish fulfillment disliked while the multitude of other things that should also qualify get a free pass? At the very least, in a game where you shape the player character so much, all other significant relationships to NPCs (even antagonistic ones) should also fall into the same complaint -- instead of "Wow, I'm in a relationship with this really loving person" it could be "Wow, I'm best friends with this awesome wizard," or "Wow, I just beat this person channeling the power of a god and proved I was stronger/right." Well, that's about it. Sorry guys, I tried to keep that relatively condensed but I wanted to attempt to explain my views a little. And because I feel like this post was maybe getting a bit too...passive-aggressive on calling people out, I'd like to end it with a concilatory note. Remember how amazing PS:T was? It barely had romances (mild flirts and Deinorra doesn't count because it wasn't really your romance) and it wasn't any worse off for it. So, despite my arguments for romance , I'm absolutely sure an amazing game can be made without it as well. P.S. I keep reading "promancers" as "pyromancers" and becoming confused and excited each time.
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