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What A Crock...

 

Just got through with KOTOR 2 and...jeeze.

 

1. Combat STILL Sucks.

Whereelse but Star Wars would one see a combat system in which the player is /surrounded/ (at distances of 2-4ft I might add) by staff or double sword wielding opponents and NOBODY HITS HIM! I mean 'dodging intelligently' is one thing. But half the time the blocking moves just /do not/ happen. And the result is that their strikes hit, you stand still or at most deliver 1-2 hits and gradually you reduce your enemies by means of HP attrition. Combat just doesn't happen that way. A Sword would be used like a scythe and MULTIPLE hits would be scored, by all sides. The only alternative being a _contempt of engagement_ by which the player literally runs away from or dodges enemies he cannot afford to lock blades with, tiring them out. The Obsidian folks need to head over to ARMA.com and look up a text called 'tactics' in which a master swordsman basically put ten novices on a soccer field and /ran them to death/. Only stopping to turn and attack when they did. Always cutting at legs and shoulders and elbows and wrists and knees 'on the way by'. Imagine the gymnastics of a Force Levitation/Teek enhanced warrior 'bouncing off walls' as an expansion to this.

 

2. Granny is a whole lotta nothin'.

Her words sound cool but, pardon the stereotype, they are so typically 'female' in being full of mystery and mystique that is 90% propoganda and 10% coverup for absent justification. I mean /come on/. She hates The Force yet never ceases to use it? She want's to make Exile strong but only 'admires him' to the point of discovering his weakness is 'fear'? Who went solo against three Jedi Masters without a mentor?

 

She had a kid yet went back to being a Jedi Knight (assuming she is Kae)? Even the -timing- is off because the construction of the Trayus Academy and the actions of Revan and Nihilous/Sion don't speak to a woman who spent 'long years' studying WITH the Sith, beyond the outer rim. Nor to a woman who could legitimately have 'taught' all those Dark Jedi Apprentices I had to beat.

 

Indeed, the very notion that she stayed behind to 'do a greater good' (preparing Revan's followon forces) makes ZERO sense. Because she let me slaughter them all (and no 'super Jedi' is worth 10 normal ones and 100+ Assassin/Commandos when you are fighting a WAR on multiple fronts). What's more, the notion of my 'strength' being what needed honing is absolutely unreal given it was her Apprentices which FURTHER WEAKENED the Republic in the Civil War.

 

To then 'run away from the consequences' (going on after Revan herself) is ludicrous as a function of my 'kindly vs. kinda killing her'. Talk about having a debt to pay.

 

Which brings us to her apps. The Sith Terrible Twosome are functioning purely for their own purposes, right? Wreaking havoc through a Republic already near Romanesque Ruin right? WHY doesn't she stop this? WHY does she allow yet more Jedi and other Force Races to fall solely in 'getting ready to' train the Exile? Why not send word to the Republic and let /them/ destroy the Trayus Academy since it's sole purpose seems to be producing sacrificial cannon fodder.

 

If the symbology is one of Granny being /scared/ of her ex-Apprentices because (her lost hand indicates) she can no longer monkeys-paw their existence as a function of control or prediction, what kind of a mentor is she that 'suddenly', at the end, she can see so far into the future as to predict what will happen THOUSANDS of years ahead? Indeed, what about Revan and Malak? If ever there was a screwup needing elimination Malak was it and he was no Sion.

 

AS AN ALTERNATIVE: I could take Kreia being Revan's -early- teacher (childhood and teens) before getting knocked up with TWINS (Nihilous and Sion) and either studying Sith Lore in such a way as to contaminate their souls. Or being so bitter about the Mandalorian Wars and the Jedi Council's refusal to take her back that she turned on her former doctrine and 'went Dark'. But even this requires looking at her character from a perspective YEARS AND DECADES before Revan's miniwar. Going back to the original Sith/Hyperspace conflict or even further.

 

Such a timestream event and bitterness over being turned away from help could have been _The Root Evil_ (Jedi callousness) of both these powerful, -young- (stupid enough to be tricked by words anyway) Sith Warrior's overwhelming abilities AND resentful-restraint towards her obvious weakness. It also opens up a whole new 'Reason For Wanting You...' justification in that yes, "Revan found me and told me of his plans..." Learning Sith Doctrine as a prequalifier towards moving into the Sith Empire itself.

 

But his charge to her to 'stay and stop the war' was itself overridden by the certainty of 'betrayal' that she didn't tell him of her sons and these ultimately became too strong for her to PREVENT the Jedi Civil War from happening. Such a simple twist of fate makes the whole notion of MILLIONS DYING for want of 'one man's education' a little less hard to swallow.

 

3. I _despise_ method acting.

Especially when it's 'just another phrase' for whipped white male syndrome. i.e. The Jedi Master's are so mercurially fluid in their 'core morals' to the extent that they react only in a way sufficient to emphasize the 'rightness' (vs. insanity) of the player character or Granny. In the Force Connection Stripping scene, this 'beyond the situational merits' over exuberance of displayed behavior makes their very stubborness in the runup to the Revan/Malak problem seems hypocritical as much as antithetical. Indeed, the entire Council Reconvened 'moment' seemed to have been done solely to contravene all that their attempts to learn from living in the Real World had done to open their eyes.

 

Which is less tragic (die wise 'too late') than outrageous (WHO are you?).

 

At which point the scene crafting comes across as making Granny look like she could kick the crap out of not just one but any THREE Jedi Master's (prestige class remember, level 16+) which makes both the -assumption- that /they/ can sever a Force Connection (why not her?) and the REALITY of her exposure of Exile to yet another 'foreseeable threat' idiotic. Because she herself is only present to confirm the weakness of the Exile as a _Sith_ whose power is based on Darwinistic theory of fitness to rule. Rather than to 'save the most to fight the last stand' (if Revan fails or needs help).

 

Given that I wanted ALL Jedi to 'have visions and see more than they say' as Kreia does, how is it then that:

 

A. Despite fearing the loss of connection themselves and disavowing all possibility of Exile's having been nuked before.

B. Despite facing a Sith Threat which ONLY Exile has seen and who would NEVER help them if they raped his mind again.

C. Despite _knowing_ that the Sith Threat would keep on coming, regardless.

D. Despite KNOWING that the 'Shadow Generator' (another technologic DEM excuse for what Exile -should- have done himself) was responsible for the Malachor V Force Outcome (breaking a Lucasian Rule about Magic and Tech I might add).

 

These Jedi Masters acted as they did? Again, the fact that Vandar was not even there and the sole female JM was conveniently dead, the only reasonable alternative is once again: white whipping boy biased. Such then makes it seem to me that the only rhyme or reason for male presence in general is to support the Female Mystique of a 'wanting a strong male to be weak'.

 

But that's not what being a STRONG FEMALE is about!

 

4. Nihilous Is Played By Tyson.

This is a creature which runs around sucking the life from whole PLANETS. And I beat him with simple dueling. NOT. Of course it doesn't help that his voice sounds like a cross between the notorious boxer and a droid. And that you put him on his knees with 'simple logic' TWICE. Before he finally dies. Galactic Vamp is a no-brainer, what a wimp. He couldn't even 'distract or lead astray' my followers! What kind of a Sith Lord is that? I _fully expected_ (given his world-draining abilities) to see Darth Nih to slaughter the Republic Fleet as soon as it exited Hyperspace. And EXILE to be the 'last man standing' who confused the hell out of him. As they fought like ordinary people.

 

5. Sion.

Cool Character, utterly ruined. Frankenstein and The Thing (Fantastic Four) plus Wolverine, all thrown into a blender. Unfortunately, he too is let down, as much by NOT BEING SEEN as the few pretenses for presence he puts in. I mean, what's the deal with kicking Granny's behind TWICE and then letting her live? Is this the Sith ascension process? If so, no wonder they are such wimps. Rule#1 to good horror characters is that they MUST be competent. And failing to kill someone old and incompetent in a 'loced room' environment. Followed by someone young and incompetent, ALSO in a 'locked room', throws Sion's character rep right out the door.

 

And HOW does Exile get away? /This/ is where you needed to have the 'crumbling talon fist' moment as Kreia's literal power through the force becomes obvious in her 'moving mountains' ability to use entire structures to crush Sion. Yet she is herself, both directly (character play and 'leveling up') and indirectly (losing her hand after saying she could handle it) left inexplicably weak in her most opportune moments.

 

I'm reminded of those old 'Captain America' serials they used to run at the Saturday Matinee's. You see junior slam his truck into a building or a wall 'with no survivors' one weekend. And then the seemingly impossible cliff hangar is resolved the next as the footage changes and he 'leaps from the door'. Except here, Krey doesn't leap from the swing of Sion's taking her hand. And he seems to 'see her just fine'.

 

I would add one other thing, particular to Sion. That is sadomasochism has no place in the SWU. First off because it spoils the sense of immersion (what, I score 'critical damage' and lop off YOUR hand and you grow another without even graphically showing it?). Second because no warrior goes into battle looking to get hurt and depending on the 'strength of his pain' to forge a bond the recreates himself. No. That's too ugly.

 

An alternative would be to have the pain Sion inflicts on /others/ be the means of his regenerative abilties. Like a constant-on Death Field. BUT if you do this, then you have to REMOVE both Death Field itself and Force Breach from the game to preserve the sense of 'surprise drama' (only X Y and Z can do it, and then in MUCH more impressive cinematic form.).

 

As is, Sion regenerates life, like Nihilous does. Like Kreia does. And there is no feeling of 'moral struggle' (beyond the words) by which you must adopt diifferent means to kill each. Sion as a full Jedi. Nihilous as a common man. Kreia as a Man/Jedi hybrid might work. But the scripting MUST change the exact form of 'recovered strength' by which you do so.

 

6. Exile is...??

Aside from rewriting most of what happened in the Final Battle at Malachor V and thus bringing into question yet again the 'true capability as much as culpability' (power vs. strategic competence) of Revan, the only words that come to mind are manipulated to the point of being pathetic. I mean, you fail the "Are you a Jedi or Sith Kreia?" SMELL TEST with me (not least because I don't remember you being Revan's teacher and I can't 'feel your presence or intentions' through The Force) and you will be booted off my ship in one heck of a hurry.

 

I mean, if you -want- the PC to be a coward. To fear what he has lost so much that The Force deems he must 'find it again in acting without it' (regaining the Self Esteem by which you connect the circuit like attaching cables to the proper posts of a car battery).

 

Then SHOW HIM AFRAID. Give him a voice which squeaks or is whiney. Give him a set of dialogue responses which, even for Light Side must BUILD FROM a set of least-evil response.

 

Let us /know/ his character as being weak. And then let us SEE him 'grow up'.

 

Again.

 

Such would have saved us the massively improbable 'Council's Judgment' scene. Wherein you punish the follower more than the leader.

 

And it would have justified MUCH MORE of the Nihilous/Sion 'solution' system.

 

In that a Jedi who can fight (with Jedi skills augmented by Echani and Mandalorian ones) _without_ The Force. Can defeat The Sith in a way that doesn't require him to 'talk them to death'.

 

In this, the Obsidian dev team blew mighty big chunks on the electrical engineering pop quiz. Because while Jedi are nominally 'positive pole' and the Sith are negative to the extent that they 'suck dry' the local Force Environs. _EXILES'_ special ability must be to 'achieve ground' or literally to shortcircuit the local Force from reaching through altogether. Like a Really Big Ysalmiri.

 

All the story elements are there: A catalyst empath able to form force bonds easily. A 'haunted' sense of responsibility for them that is like unto Ben Kenobi's sensing of the destruction of Alderaan (Final Scream moment, on a continuous playback loop). Leading to a man who 'just shuts off' BOTH sides of The Force as a means to keep the dead in their place.

 

If you MUST 'punish him' then do so as a function of the Jedi being 'mad' (thinking he did it deliberately because they can't reach far enough into his mind to read him) when his shunting of The Force left many Jedi to die, 'powerless' at Malachor. In what /looked like/ a treacherous act.

 

NOW. Imagine making the argument one of "And Kreia, herself stripped of Force Connection by her own offspring, reached inside my head and slowly taught me to 'grope for the light switch...". So that, when Exile felt the need to 'go covert' he could do so in a way that isolated Force Users. Either from themselves. Or from seeing him.

 

Such is NOT an 'echo effect' (dragging the pain around with you). Nor is it 'negative' in either a moral or energy sense. But rather like continually slamming your flattened palm into a pool of water to make outwards expanding waves until there is nothing left behind them. Where you are.

 

Since I was only exposed to the Shadow Generators in like the last 20 minutes of game play, I have /no idea/ if this is what they were intended to do but again, I don't care, I simply wanted Exile to be himself, not some cast off clone of Revan. Or some pathetic drip whose only purpose in the game was to serve as the vehicle for Kreia.

 

7. CALL THE ORKIN MAN!

'Cuz bugs abound in this one. Everything from freeze ups when certain things happen (the droid on Telos). To clipping and failure to 'evacuate' a room after a cutscene. To MASSIVE problems with the dialogue. Including No Sound AND Super Fast text replacement. I flat out lost the entire end dialogue with Kreia. Only getting the final text sentence from each of her responses to me. With no audio at all. And that's just nasty.

 

8. The Huntress and Hanharr.

Dreck. Again, 'the question' is not why they fight. Being SECONDARY CHARACTERS whom I meet late in the game, I could hardly care less. The problem is yet another Logic Bomb. According to Sith Rules, there are no mulligans. Period. Dot. For Kreia therefore to execute a Reanimate Corpse (or whatever) on Hanharr is against her own moral code of ethics (I obviously played LS, but it works the other way too) and those which she is attempting to 'Be Strong, I Command You!' impart to Exile. It also makes Mira look like a moron. I mean, she's already pardoned junior once and he came after her /again/. Time Two should be a cut through the spine and the heart to make sure it's for real. Hearing later that she is doomed to die on some farflung world anyway didn't make her little sparring fight with Wookie Boy any easier to handle as yet another 'Captain America Moment' (come back for number three, if we do it...).

 

9. Droids All Over.

I never got to talk to Bao-Dur nor find out about Goto and the Shadow Generators. I assume this is what they stitched together to make the endgame seem less unreal than it was. But if so, it truly was a poor attempt. As I've stated elsewhere, the notion that technology takes over for 'the blame and the redemption' is antithetical to the ideal of a lost man (or woman) finding themselves through 'good work'. Yet even more, the notion that a ship has even a partly functioning fusion core after colliding with or 'zero resistance' slipping into a world is kinda dumb and the notion that THIS, not Exile is the 'secret weapon' which Revan deliberately or otherwise used (Hey, maybe Revan DID 'do it on purpose' and left Kreia to help put Exile back together, not knowing that the Sith he picked up were in fact her kids) to end the war is an insult to Revan and Exile and all the 'character building' sophistry we suffered through getting them there.

 

At which point I want to make something PERFECTLY CLEAR HERE: Lucas uses droids because he can kill them without a ratings problem. If you have droids or /any other/ mechanization in-game, they should fulfill a similar purpose. They should _not_ however take over for the 'heroic sacrifice' moments in which a player, either as a character he assumes. Or as his principle 'actor' must succumb to fate or overwhelming firepower.

 

Because it is through VISION and Selective Sacrifice that Generals achieve victory. Both in setting the plot into motion (deliberately generating weakness to inspire attack at a particular point). And in removing obstacles that remain in the path of their strategic objective insight.

 

Lucas can't do this because he is limited in his 'family entertainment' MPAA restriction as well as personal creative intuit from being fully interactive with his creation (Han Solo surviving the carbonite as well as the deleted Millenium Falcon scene from ROTJ comes to mind here).

 

And the notion of the Jedi 'falling back' to bring out the psychopaths is nonsense. Do the cops 'fall back' from a serial killer expecting him to suddenly reveal himself as he continues to hunt? For men who refuse to go to war, these 'Masters' sure do think with a strangely conventional military perception of threat.

 

Obsidian needs to do a LOT better in structuring plotlines to accomodate TRUE LOSS (not save game redeemable) of a major character as being the driving ethic behind a motivation as much as plot-option change in the remainder.

 

10. I Miss Space Combat!

First things first: The SOLE time I got to play a turret game, I ended up with something like 20 Sith on my ship because the darn Y-axis on my mouse was totally hosed and I couldn't ESCape out to fix it. PLEASE set the darn thing so that back is up and forward is down! I know /no one/ in my circle of friends who plays otherwise.

 

What I would like to see is something like the Millenium Falcon scenes from ESB and ROTJ in which you have the ship doing it's thing 'twisting and turning' to avoid canyons or capital ships (hulked or otherwise) and YOUR ability lies in switching between all FOUR gun turrets. As a function of which side the enemy is attacking on (weak shields = protected side down) and how many guns you COUPLE to your gunsight. Yes, that's right, coupled. Especially with one man in a centerposition, you cannot afford to track only one set of guns like a B-17. You need to have an _independent set_ of optics. And track targets like a B-29. In which all tubes follow your gun director through a computerized laying/stabilization system.

 

Align Deflectors (when the hull bottom is protected by proximity to a capital ship and there are fighters above or flak turrets ahead) plus Decoy/ECM and Evade or Fly Straight keys would also add some thrill while the ability to engage capital ships as much as 2-3km long with _missiles_ would also impart more of a sense of adventure. I know this, I would have /far/ rather attacked the Ravager's 'Proton Core' bays from the outside than the in. That whole sequence just STANK of repeating the Star Forge quest (don't these hoseheads know better than to fight with their hangar doors/force fields open?).

 

ANYTHING to 'liven up' the fighter combat minigames.

 

 

CONCLUSION:

I liked K2, very much, when I first started playing. I _looked forward to_ finding out more about Exile. I /wanted/ to see a game which had the 'Star Wars Meets Aliens' sense of haunted house terror of anticipation that predominated the first level. I was even hoping that the character I 'first chose' would be the dead guy or at least the guy that /someone else/ had to rescue. As a function of running into a Main Boss Monster early on. It takes REAL GUTS to do this 'openly present enemy' type reversal of the normal buildup of a protag before the antagonist (or 'evil Guardian' if you prefer Campbell) character is introduced to initiate the hero quest or motivation change.

 

But the sophistication of K2's dialogue failed to expounding upon itself as a FUNCTIONAL character mystery (Professor Plum in the Arboretum with the Candlestick, but why?) in either holding the original sense of pending doom.

 

Or doing switch-hit perspective reimaginings of the 'what the player thinks is going on' through past:present:future scenario skippings as much as character switchouts (Korriban's funhouse was an okay attempt at this but it was centered too much on who MALAK was and left Exile seeming like an incompetent rather than a Driven Man. And it happened too late in-game to make it seem like a Force imparted test of readiness to resume the mantle of Jedi. Ideally, Kreia should force his "Long have I searched for thee, mouse. Art thou ready to be Jedi again? Decide quickly for not always will I be able to drive away all threats to you and the present is an enemy to those that must recall the past to find their future..." no later than the Peragus endgame.).

 

As it is, it is nothing. Not even a noteable improvement over the original which was itself so annoyingly 'goody goody' that it was vanilla flat. And given the time and expectations I invested in this game -hoping- that it would get better, such is the worse crime.

 

 

Thanks For Your Reading Patience- Saberist Out.

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Edit: looks like the quotes are freaking out again.

 

Whereelse but Star Wars would one see a combat system in which the player is /surrounded/ (at distances of 2-4ft I might add) by staff or double sword wielding opponents and NOBODY HITS HIM! ......

 

But this is Star Wars. Your point?

 

She had a kid yet went back to being a Jedi Knight (assuming she is Kae)? Even the -timing- is off because the construction of the Trayus Academy and the actions of Revan and Nihilous/Sion don't speak to a woman who spent 'long years' studying WITH the Sith, beyond the outer rim. Nor to a woman who could legitimately have 'taught' all those Dark Jedi Apprentices I had to beat.

 

I'll agree that Kreia's motivation doesn't stand up to rational scrutiny, but none of this stuff is correct. She isn't Kae, she didn't build the academy, and she didn't spend long years with the Sith. You're misremembering or misinterpreting.

 

Indeed, the very notion that she stayed behind to 'do a greater good' (preparing Revan's followon forces) makes ZERO sense. Because she let me slaughter them all (and no 'super Jedi' is worth 10 normal ones and 100+ Assassin/Commandos when you are fighting a WAR on multiple fronts). What's more, the notion of my 'strength' being what needed honing is absolutely unreal given it was her Apprentices which FURTHER WEAKENED the Republic in the Civil War.

 

No, numbers don't count in the war against the True Sith. If they did, Revan wouldn't have let his empire disintegrate. The plot's internally consistent, though I can't quite imagine how they'll portray this in KotOR 3. And Kreia has no interest in preserving the Republic.

 

3. I _despise_ method acting.

Especially when it's 'just another phrase' for whipped white male syndrome. i.e. The Jedi Master's are so mercurially fluid in their 'core morals' to the extent that they react only in a way sufficient to emphasize the 'rightness' (vs. insanity) of the player character or Granny. In the Force Connection Stripping scene, this 'beyond the situational merits' over exuberance of displayed behavior makes their very stubborness in the runup to the Revan/Malak problem seems hypocritical as much as antithetical. Indeed, the entire Council Reconvened 'moment' seemed to have been done solely to contravene all that their attempts to learn from living in the Real World had done to open their eyes.

 

This is going to be the first time I've ever agreed with someone who uses the phrase "whipped white male syndrome" non-ironically, but you're right. I can see Vrook learning nothing, but the other two are acting inconsistently.

 

 

These Jedi Masters acted as they did? Again, the fact that Vandar was not even there and the sole female JM was conveniently dead, the only reasonable alternative is once again: white whipping boy biased.

 

Vandar could die in K1, and so couldn't be present. Frankly, I think you read too much into the whole gender thing.

 

Except here, Krey doesn't leap from the swing of Sion's taking her hand. And he seems to 'see her just fine'.

 

That's not what I see in the scene. It looked to me like he just guessed where she might be. I don't think he could see her at all. (Though some argue that Kreia let him do it, to convince the Exile that the Force Bond could be lethal)

 

Aside from rewriting most of what happened in the Final Battle at Malachor V and thus bringing into question yet again the 'true capability as much as culpability' (power vs. strategic competence) of Revan....

 

Guess you didn't get all of HK-47's dialogs (not surprising since you played LS). Revan set up Malachor V for the effect it would have on his own forces.

 

According to Sith Rules, there are no mulligans. Period. Dot. For Kreia therefore to execute a Reanimate Corpse (or whatever) on Hanharr is against her own moral code of ethics (I obviously played LS, but it works the other way too) and those which she is attempting to 'Be Strong, I Command You!' impart to Exile.

 

But Kreia isn't a Sith; not really. She doesn't have to follow that code.

 

It also makes Mira look like a moron. I mean, she's already pardoned junior once and he came after her /again/. Time Two should be a cut through the spine and the heart to make sure it's for real.

 

I'll give Mira a pass on that one. What would she know about Force healing? For all we know Hanharr was totally dead when she left him there.

 

As I've stated elsewhere, the notion that technology takes over for 'the blame and the redemption' is antithetical to the ideal of a lost man (or woman) finding themselves through 'good work'.

 

Huh? The MSG is just a weapon of mass destruction, nothing more. It doesn't have any moral aspects beyond that.

 

At which point I want to make something PERFECTLY CLEAR HERE: Lucas uses droids because he can kill them without a ratings problem. If you have droids or /any other/ mechanization in-game, they should fulfill a similar purpose. They should _not_ however take over for the 'heroic sacrifice' moments in which a player, either as a character he assumes. Or as his principle 'actor' must succumb to fate or overwhelming firepower.

 

That's just silly. Some of Lucas' droids are expendable. Some are not. If R2-D2 had actually been destroyed in Ep. 4, I think it would have counted as a major character dying. And Lucas has people killed right and left in the films without ratings problems.

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At which point I want to make something PERFECTLY CLEAR HERE:  Lucas uses droids because he can kill them without a ratings problem.  If you have droids or /any other/ mechanization in-game, they should fulfill a similar purpose.  They should _not_ however take over for the 'heroic sacrifice' moments in which a player, either as a character he assumes. 

 

Umm, no.

 

If it weren't for R2-D2's stubborn, even "heroic" dedication to fulfilling Leia's request to find Kenobi and deliver the technical readouts of the Death Star, the entire Star Wars experience would have been cut short, down to about 10 minutes of blaster fire during which Vader simply pronounces "Hah! You laid your hopes at the foot of a droid?"

 

:thumbsup:

evil_twin.jpg
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Look, where did all this "Kreia is Arren Kae" stuff come from? There is a few coincidences, but no, Kreia is not Arren Kae! Handmaiden knew her about her mother, so if she came on board as Kriea I'd think she would know.

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10.  I Miss Space Combat!

First things first:  The SOLE time I got to play a turret game, I ended up with something like 20 Sith on my ship because the darn Y-axis on my mouse was totally hosed and I couldn't ESCape out to fix it.  PLEASE set the darn thing so that back is up and forward is down!  I know /no one/ in my circle of friends who plays otherwise.

 

You had lots of points I'd like to address when I have more time.

 

One thing I would like to point out is that your way of setting the Y-Axis is a tiny minority. Forward == up and back == down is the default way the mouse works on the computer. Leaving it that way works *for* the vast majority of gamers since flight-sim gamers are a minority even in the hardcore gamer groups.

 

Yes, it would have been nicer if you could set that mouse options separately for the mini-games, but Obsidian went with the one that would be more 'natural' for the casual gamer. Who is, after all, the bulk of the gaming crowd.

 

Oh, from an XP viewpoint, letting those Sith on the Ebon Hawk was a better value. ;-)

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Sorry to be unbelievably sarcastic, but wouldn't it just be easier to ENJOY THE FRIGGIN GAME!

 

It's a game. It's Star Wars. Realism isn't a priority. Although you seem to think the actual films could have been done better as well, so really I'm not sure why you actually bother with Star Wars, but anyway.....

 

If you really want decent explanations of the KOTOR plot, go on wikipedia.

 

Regarding Kreia, I really think you've missed the point. The important thing to remember about her is that she loved Revan more than anyone. And if she thought Revan's plan was to save the Republic by going to war then going away (cf wikipedia articles) then Sion and Nihilus (not the true Sith, according to her, just vandals, like Malak), then she would have them killed. She was never afraid of them as such.

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10.  I Miss Space Combat!

First things first:  The SOLE time I got to play a turret game, I ended up with something like 20 Sith on my ship because the darn Y-axis on my mouse was totally hosed and I couldn't ESCape out to fix it.  PLEASE set the darn thing so that back is up and forward is down!  I know /no one/ in my circle of friends who plays otherwise.

 

You had lots of points I'd like to address when I have more time.

 

One thing I would like to point out is that your way of setting the Y-Axis is a tiny minority. Forward == up and back == down is the default way the mouse works on the computer. Leaving it that way works *for* the vast majority of gamers since flight-sim gamers are a minority even in the hardcore gamer groups.

 

Hey, I'm a flight sim player too, but it still didn't bother me. It felt perfectly natural to work the turret control like that. You're not flying the ship, you're pointing the guns. Saberist is using the wrong control metaphor.

 

As for the Kreia=Kae thing, it's only plausible if you buy that Kreia's a lot older than she looks. Handmaiden has to be in her early 20's.

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maybe the force was "harsh" on him because he trained Anakin/Darth Vader and brought death apon millions. Plus if you worrie alot you tend to age faster and Im sure he was worried that vader would find him and luke

 

ps it was just a game, and I dunno about everyone else but Im kinda getting sick and tired of people continually pointing out the same things that was bad in the game.

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Greetings Alan C,

 

>>

But this is Star Wars. Your point?

>>

 

My point is that the kind of fighting I see would be appropriate for a Roman Legion Shield Wall. Swordwork as Batting Practice. But I want my Jedi to /dance/ the greatest dance there is. One which steps into and through the opponent rythms to /break them/. With the same grace and functional intimacy as two lovers courting.

 

I could _care less_ about which saber is 'better criticalled' because of a mod or an armband or some feat. With the Cortosis coatings and unreal inertial effects (weighted vs. weightless) of conventional swords that you're stuck with for most of the game, they've already rendered the blade into little more than a glowing stick. Leaving only THE MAN to prove that he is the true /weapon/.

 

Thus, what I _want_ to see is /tactical swordsmanship/.

 

And the simplest way to get there is through learnable katas. Katas which forego 'statistical combat resolution' in trade for a simple set of 'his cuts, my cuts, who wins depends on who has a cut left over when the other guy runs out'. At which point selecting a Kata which matches a threat type (i.e. the 'green/red/blue' Dark Jedi and Sith system of JKO/JKA, represented as held stance of a given melee weapon) determines whether you have strokes/cuts left over for the /next guy/.

 

In terms of never being trapped by a blade lock, a simple 'engage/disengage' key should automatically 'jump you back' from something bigger than you are so that you are always maintaining the THREE ABSOLUTES of swordplay: Facing, Spacing and Pacing. Through footwork and Force Teek.

 

That said, though they didn't go far enough, I actually liked the improvements to blaster combat in this one. At least half my bolts aren't hitting walls or the floor within 10ft of my muzzle. Even so they could improve both for range (most 5.56mm assault rifles are good for upwards of 350-400m, 7.62mm LMGs take that out to 800-1,000 and 'sniper' rifles can up the ante to over 2,000m). And firepower effect. Especially given that 'rapid shot' (autofire) engagements should function on a 'beaten ground' basis of a sited light machine gun wherein the enemy who chooses to pass through the linear fire convergence will take multiple hits from multiple weapons on MULTIPLE targets. So that the enemy doesn't die 'at my feet'.

 

If they can do it with grenades, they can do it with guns and unless you're a Jedi with active Force/Saber evasion and defense. Or a Mandalorian in terms of Armor, ONE hit should be enough. At least to knock you down.

 

>>

I'll agree that Kreia's motivation doesn't stand up to rational scrutiny, but none of this stuff is correct. She isn't Kae, she didn't build the academy, and she didn't spend long years with the Sith. You're misremembering or misinterpreting.

>>

 

If she isn't Darth Trayus (i.e. 'Betrayer') then who is she? I mean it's one thing to have an 'obvious evil' in your midst (and anything which puts the good of the 1-2-3 few ahead of the Billions With A B 'many' is clearly evil for the potential it chooses to sacrifice, IMO) but another to not do ANYTHING to illustrate her motivation as a function of giving the player something to look forward too in the story. Before 'giving it a twist' of hidden plot mechanic.

 

>>

No, numbers don't count in the war against the True Sith. If they did, Revan wouldn't have let his empire disintegrate. The plot's internally consistent, though I can't quite imagine how they'll portray this in KotOR 3. And Kreia has no interest in preserving the Republic.

>>

 

Strange, I worked with Visas to kill her Master. I used the 'Dual Strike' option to improve my killing ability against the lesser Dark Jedi. Even before these were available, I always upped my Armor and CONCENTRATED on the most dangerous foe I encountered. I would call these valid uses of massed force to deal with threats 'in detail'. Divide and Conquer only works when you 'have the numbers' to be the divisor, not the dividend.

 

Given that you are fighting across a battlefield in which 'creating a front line' is impossible due to the mechanics of hyperspace (lightyears worth of separation), IMO, the chief determinator of SWU combat success or loss is _presence_. Of a Jedi in sufficient spatial or time proximity to /sense/ the approach of threat. And the availability of ships to take him to the action. All of which is a function of military logistics which is nothing if not the study of NUMBERED warfare.

 

If you can't be there to hunt enemy-X because you are ten thousand light years away hunting enemy Y. You can neither kill nor stand against them. And though the 'True Sith' may be lone predators, like psychopathic serial killers, there is no doubt that their ability to _do harm on a massive scale_ rivals that of any army (Nihilous' pathetic end not withstanding, Katarr is a horrific 'ideal' for illustrating Sith Power.).

 

So the more /capable/ (good vs. great) Jedi who stand against the threat, the greater the likelihood that it will not be able to take them 'disappear, one at a time'.

 

Indeed, the whole notion of Revan and Exile's quest comes down to being a not so subtle metaphor for our own times with about a third the LS dialogue responses being on the order of: "Yeah, well, if we hadn't, you'd be speaking Mandalorian right now!" (the rest being either abject apologies "You were right, I was wrong..." or "I don't care, I'm evil!" oversimplified). Put Al Quaeda in for Sith and you have a justifiable militarism 'at all costs' motive to resolve. Yet it ISN'T resolved. Because the question of whether it was Revan and Exile striking out on their own or the lack of true support and oversight from the Council giving numeric 'spine' (less radical choices of sacrifice and extreme action) to their efforts via the full weight of The Order's Jedi is never made clear.

 

>>

This is going to be the first time I've ever agreed with someone who uses the phrase "whipped white male syndrome" non-ironically, but you're right. I can see Vrook learning nothing, but the other two are acting inconsistently.

>>

 

The problem for me is that I _did not_ want to have a tale about super-evolved 'not Jedi, not Sith...' warriors founding their own new class. I wanted a better explanation of what it is TO BE A JEDI. Insofar as I 'suspected' that the Council Masters were doing much the same thing as Kreia did with the clairvoyance, precog, mindreading and stripping etc.. After all, how could they not be if they had been the guardians of the Republic for over 20,000 years?

 

>>

Vandar could die in K1, and so couldn't be present. Frankly, I think you read too much into the whole gender thing.

>>

 

Maybe but if so I would like to see a non-white male or female be the hose head next time. It stands to reason that if you need real power to screw up, you have to be 'equal' in your POSITION with the 'other suits' being thoughtless, selfiish and passive-evil. i.e. if only the Establishment can screw up. Then a black female Jedi Master MUST BE present to suffer the consequences of a class biased assumption. Or you are effectively MAKING it a phenotype/gender "Too weak to be evil" alternative.

 

The alternative, given the intricate (up to the end of Nar Shadaa) plotline and the fact that all the girls get /great lines/ is to invest 'equal time' in developing the good guy's perspective, even if it is ultimately wrong. Such cannot be 'passive exposition'. The "We were so wrong..." element of the story doesn't allow ANY of the characters to DEFEND their POV. So that the /story/ can prove how they are right or wrong. Which only leaves vague character assassination vs. 'pedestalism' as the vehicle by which the designated good guys get to snub, humiliate and then butcher the designated victims in a fashion that ultimately makes their own POV seem less existential or overriding in it's wisdom than _obvious_ in it's manipulation of a shallow plot. Nothing worse than a hero who is snide because all his enemies are clueless if not deranged.

 

>>

That's not what I see in the scene. It looked to me like he just guessed where she might be. I don't think he could see her at all. (Though some argue that Kreia let him do it, to convince the Exile that the Force Bond could be lethal)

>>

 

It looks to me like she is hefting her sword to 'get ready for her own strike'. And he turns looks _the camera_ 'right in the eye' and says "I ain't that gullible any more babe..." Now maybe he should have taken her head. Indeed I frankly don't see how he /failed/ to do so, given the incredible pain of amputation and his attraction to it in a 'locked room, hungry tiger' sense. But especially when combined with later first-person character play that SHOWS how weak Kreia is (she more or less levels up as you do rather than being 6-8 levels higher up etc.) it again just 'demeans the monster' to have such a scene and not give even a proviso later on as to justification: "But he was my kid, not my apprentice!" being the obvious choice for a Jedi Kae transform.

 

>>

Guess you didn't get all of HK-47's dialogs (not surprising since you played LS). Revan set up Malachor V for the effect it would have on his own forces.

>>

 

And this is where K2 loses it's focus. Because the original game (however badly portrayed) was at least nominally an 'industrial all out attrition war' on a massive scale. Just like all the _Star Wars_ have been.

 

K2 was supposed to answer the question of 'why'? Why be an emperor in charge of an endless herd of sheep when you are a minor god in the things you can do on your own.

 

Given that 'True Sith' don't care about the human cattle that form an empire and only feed on their pain and suffering as a secondary consequence to pursuing a vampiric thirst for more and more Force. And how a 'one man' didn't turn the tide of a great conflict. But rather ended a more personal threat. Having descended to the level of self-banishment trying to find out what scars were in his own mind /after/ that War (PTSD 'healing'). All as part of a Force Driven vision quest to discover a new kind of Force Power by which 'inner strength alone' (area wide total Force Breach) a man could have the skill necessary to win against these dark creatures.

 

When Kreia and/or the Jedi Council finally had enough of an ID tag to Force See them over galactic distances. And they came ravening to the amassed power.

 

The difference (between K1 and K2) being that of JUSTIFYING all the 'mini quests' because they are relevant to finding the JM's and teaching Revan to 'find the light switch' of his on/off Force connection. Whereas the MQ's in KOTOR 1 were more or less sideshow attractions that did NOTHING to win the ongoing conflict at hand.

 

That is where storyline sophistication sets in. That is where Obsidian should have tried 'extra hard' to _make sure_ that the plot did indeed 'make sense'. As a function of explaining character values rather than simply inventing yet another quick-shot (DEM) 'weapon of mass destruction done it' excuse for what happened at Malachor V.

 

I mean /how much more emphatic/ can the _Jedi_ message of 'have a care what power you seek to exercise, lest your own moral choice become someone else's final fate' than to have at least half the deaths at Malachor V be a function of an empath spreading a death scream to all the people (friends, junior officers, 'everybody who liked and depended on me') on a building wave basis of pyschic disturbance for which he was the core of the ripple.

 

THAT is something to run from. To wander in total isolation seeking to avoid recollection of. Direct responsibility for all those deaths.

 

The Shadow Generator is just a Death Star. A Sun Diver. A Star Forge.

 

The words Vader once used come to mind: "The ability to destroy a planet is _nothing_ compared to the power of The Force." Which is of course true. If you consider that the loss of the planet is permanent when you blow it up with a Super Laser. But the manipulation/destruction of people on a scale commensurate to a Jedi plugging in his pain/fear stimulus into a Galactic Amplifier Concert Speaker System would be MUCH more 'useful' (Neutron Bomb effect) in it's ability to obliterate minds, if not lives.

 

Leaving all the gear behind for new owners.

 

Obsidian MISSED THIS! And thus they /blew chunks/ when it came to the final plot resolution.

 

>>

But Kreia isn't a Sith; not really. She doesn't have to follow that code.

>>

 

Kreia is never given backstory reason sufficient to be 'herself alone'. She mumbles on about her duty to teach. Then stands by while the needless slaughter of her students occurs. Indeed She does NOT teach Jedi Code morals but Sith based wisdom (who do you think Sion and Nihilous learned from? And all the others at the Academy?). If she has no personal identity outside the Exile (himself a faceless shadow who never develops either independently or through the eyes of others seeing his initial foibles becomes strengths). And she _certainly_ isn't Jedi.

 

Then only the /consequences/ (outcomes not processes) of her actions can be used to label her character mode. And evil for it's own reason is still _selfish_. Which is pure Sith.

 

The entire premise of Sith power architecture is based on a lie you know. From the power they exercise as individuals compared to the Jedi, it is absolutely clear that they did not lose a battle nor begin the Apprentice/Master system because they were -incapable-. But because they couldn't fight as a team without shredding each other. This makes them entirely too Mechwarrior 'Clanlike' in their egotism of single combattant motive and self-agrandized moral turpitude ("They're all out to get me so they all deserve to be my victims!").

 

Where such a hard and fast system allows for no 'adapt and overcome' flexibility of doctrine, inherent to TRUSTING others to be where you are not, cover what you do not see, it makes the entire notion of Passion, Power, Strength impossible to believe in. Totalitarianism of polarized opposing philosophies WITHOUT THE POWER TO BACK IT UP, is such a dead end, black and white, view of the world.

 

Absent believable justification, no matter how you cloak it in fancy dialogue.

 

Indeed, probably the greatest example of how Obsidian DID NOT emphasize the 'Power Of One' superiorities is exactly as I stated earlier: If the Nihilous was all that and a bag of chips, when the Republic Task Group popped out of hyperspace, he would have waved his hand and they would have ALL died. Right where they stood. Such is real power. Such is individual power. Such is RAW POWER.

 

Enough to make the notion of a large 'team' of organized defense against the Sith Empire seem unbelievable. At least not without a counterbalance (Exile) to 'turn off the switch'.

 

And -only- that degree of (Evil Power, balanced by Good Power) can make the notion of 'creeping evil' by individual psychopaths 'sufficiently strong' to justify the notion of why Exile's quest was worth all the betrayal and heartbreak that both The Force and Kreia created to form his 'unique personality'.

 

While upping the ante in K3 to allow for a donnybrook of BOTH mass-conflict (Revan's strategic insight purpose for being) -and- 'mystic evil' as Exiles' forte.

 

>>

I'll give Mira a pass on that one. What would she know about Force healing? For all we know Hanharr was totally dead when she left him there.

>>

 

Anger, Fear, Delight, Triumph _INSTINCT_. Dutch Schaefer stands, 'small boulder raised' over a fallen Predator who has just killed all his best friends and now itself lies trapped beneath a log weighing several thousand pounds.

 

And 'without further ado' he brings said primitive implement screaming down on it's head. No fancy dialogue or 'need for understanding' required.

 

(Underlying psychology: "You killed my friends. You reinforced the sense of my own mortality via the fact that 'if those I choose to hang with can die in an instant...' So can I. I _hate you_ for reducing my fancy morals to such a feral level of survivalist understanding. So now I will be brutal to you.")

 

Such being the difference between 'ordinary folk' who are too weak to have the option of exploring an evil. And those who, for purposes of testimonial resolution of conflict under the banner of 'know your enemy' greater insight. Are 'Forced' to act within the scripted bounds of a moral plot.

 

Why have someone be savage in the SWU then? _Because it's real_. And because it allows you to illustrate the difference ABSENT exposition. Between why some people are gifted with extraordinary powers and why some, with less naturally ingrained restraint, are not. Jedi as 'better people' from a silent-witness standpoint.

 

If Mira falls, even a short ways, it GIVES HER A REASON to come back in Episode 3. As a justifiable cliffhanger. As she stabs Hanharr, over and over and over. Her native Force Gift makes the 'rocks and pebbles shake'. So that you know that SHE is 'Exiles Pet Project'. And HER struggle (to live up to the Potential of Force gifting within her while avoiding the chewie chunks of Darkside degradation) can be the element driving K3.

 

All that passed into nothing when she basically walked off into the sunset after a largely unimportant, distracting, and STUPID (7ft tall vs. 5' nothin' = unbelievable) battle.

 

I guess what truly /pissed me off/ was the notion that 'this was important in this episode'. That some facet of wondergirl's personality would compliment Exile's within the Academy. Even though, before I finally found the Trayus Core access, I went back /outside twice/ (as Exile) and never found her on the way or waiting for me.

 

No character arc. No rise and fall of motive. No implication of a future struggle. Jeeze. I mean, she could have been the daughter of Old Mandalore. Come to wreak vengeance on the Jedi who betrayed her father. Only to discover that it was 'still Sith' who were doing in her people. SHE could have been the 'null' around which Kreia or Sion could not see. With Exile losing his 'gift' to become Jedi again. And her saving him from Kreia's overwhelming Force Powers.

 

ANY KIND OF PLOT TWIST to give it meaning.

 

As was, she and Hanharr come off as KOTOR 1 like Mission and Zaalbar in K1. Little girl and her teddybear demographic addons without a single functional reason for being there beyond 'airtime' fillout of gaming minutes and casting age group.

 

>>

Huh? The MSG is just a weapon of mass destruction, nothing more. It doesn't have any moral aspects beyond that.

>>

 

See above. DEM can be a positive or negative influence but if it's solely mechanical -as the driving resolver- of a JEDI based morality tale. Then it is both an abuse of a /very/ tired plot contrivance (yet another 'technology overwhelms man' threat device) and a denial of the more personal/intimate ideals of 'what it is' _to be a Jedi_.

 

In particular, if Republic tech is responsible for Malachor V then all that the Jedi Council did to Exile seems borderline sadistic as much as unnecessary. Whereas IF he had 'really done it and just didn't know...' THEN it makes sense that the JC would want his saber so that he couldn't be mistaken for a Jedi Knight the next time he went off the deep end. But would feel too bad to punish him for more than that, because his Force Connection was clearly broken, at the moment.

 

i.e. I have had _enough_ direct or implicit Jedi Bashing. Time to SEE what some of the 'more exotic Force gifts' (Exile sounds a lot like a latent Battle Meditator to be honest, in that he can reach out to minds and improve their abilities.) can really DO in the hands of a Jedi Knight. As is, you are seeing a case of Jedi always afraid of starting something lest they 'might make things worse'.

 

Yet never having any REAL proof of having /ever/ done so, with deliberate and planned intervention 'gone wrong'. Only the penny ante actions of a few who are not so much evil themselves as denied the resources and oversight to engage in anything but desperation gaming.

 

>>

That's just silly. Some of Lucas' droids are expendable. Some are not. If R2-D2 had actually been destroyed in Ep. 4, I think it would have counted as a major character dying. And Lucas has people killed right and left in the films without ratings problems.

>>

 

R2D2 is not a character because he can't die. Realistically, no 'living thing' could take a hit from a vehicle mounted weapons system _to the head_ and come back from it. R2D2 serves, at best, as a combined Fool and Messenger. Bringing out those elements of plot which 'only he can do' (flying trashcan, riiiight) to transition plot segments (action to dialogue and back). But never /contributing/ to the moral resolution of things.

 

Name a single major living 'good guy' character that has died in the series whose presence was 'thought to be critical to the outcome' of the overall plot at the time he croaked.

 

Heck, you can even take that qualifier out to most of the secondaries (Chewie, the security captain on Naboo etc.). Quigon is the only one who made the ultimate sacrifice and given how he died, it was chumplike and solely done to allow a 'lesser man' to replace him. Magnifying the false tragedy of 'nobody notices Anakin's issues' as a spoiled brat whose persecution complex psychoses eventually leads him to play out the Reinhardt Heydrich counterpoint to Sidious' Hitler, butchering half the galaxy for NO REASON.

 

Games can and should do better because they DO NOT represent fixed choices and 'artificial blindness' of character motivation or reasoning abilities.

 

As such, the only way you can make them dramatically involving is if 'bleep happens'. And for want of accident or overwhelming might _PEOPLE DIE_.

 

Indeed, if you don't make the overall game-winning process one of 'will we make it?' /tension/. As a function of 'which can I most afford to lose next?' FEAR of critical comrades dying. And having to 'play thru' choose to risk them anyway. Then all the supposed choices in dialogue are really just linearized shadows there to supply hollow drama for a fixed storyarc.

 

Which brings me back to petty words covering up for stodgy philosophic polarization. At the 'replay level', If you want to have X endgame resolution (if for no other reason than because your friend says he's done it) you had better _make sure_ that Y character necessary for that resolution stays among the living. But keeping Y character /alive/ may mean losing A/B/C characters, even 'YOUR' character. Such is the power of a god in roleplaying gamesmanship. Indeed, such is what makes an RPG 'more than a movie'. In that YOU get to give value to the characters YOU most identify with or achieve an outcome you most believe in.

 

True philosophy of personal values not stereotypes at work.

 

Such is being heroic. Because, rightly or wrongly, you make the 'tough choices'.

 

Absent this, all the "You had better be willing to be less kind..." (Visas and Atton and Kreia, over and over again) is just sophist nonsense that never achieves what it sets up the player to _prove_, 'right or wrong'.

 

Again, using the examples that I gave: Harrison Ford wanting to die inbetween Ep.V and VI (giving Luke and Leia a more satisfying and surprising ending). And Lando Calrissian and the Falcon NOT making it out of the Death Star. It is clear that Lucas is too frightened of his fanbase to do more than play 'sop to the saps'; killing ONLY non-living creatures (imagine if every droid soldier that was effectively cut in half at the waist by a saber on Naboo and the orbital battleship was in fact a human).

 

And only unimportant/non-reincarnative ones at that (every time C3PO 'dies' it is never a function of being melted down i na furnace. Only of being blown to significantly sized (reassemblable) sub components.

 

AGAIN, you -cannot do this- and have decent storytelling because ultimately, no matter how 'cute' or 'terrible' they are _just machines_. You can't have the sad with the bad with the good and the triumphant if it's ALL DEVOID OF MEANING because their deaths have no meaning. No permanent sense of loss.

 

And short of having the bad guys WIN (no matter what the hero does at the end, which would also be a commercial disaster for sales); the only way to have true triumph THROUGH tragedy is to avoid the use of machines as standins for moral concepts.

 

Either at the personal level of individual grunt soldiers. Or at the grand one of mass-casualty WMD killers.

 

I expected more from Obsidian. Their early dialogue certainly promised what they failed to come through upon.

 

What Droids Are Good For: Shielding and Heavy Weapons.

 

Nobody in the SWU movies of the OT/PT has personal shield generators or cloaking devices. By implication ("But that ship is too small to have a cloaking device!" and the Droideka Destroyer Models but not Battledroids having shield generators) they are beyond the reach of man-portable system design. Thus NOBODY should have them in this setting, 4,000 years earlier.

 

Similarly, look at the Repeating Blasters graphic of KOTOR. And compare them to these-

 

http://www.goingfaster.com/term2029/termwe6.jpg

http://www.goingfaster.com/term2029/termwe3.jpg

http://members.aol.com/M56SG/sg3.jpg

http://www.shadowsource.org/archive/gear/M56.JPG

 

Same basic '6ft stove pipe' design, fired from the hip because it is UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE to envision a human being able to life one up to shoulder sighting (the ONLY accurate long gun firing position for a host of biomechanical and weapon recoil/sightline reasons).

 

Now. You give that gun to HK-47 and nobody cares because he/it probably weighs 300-400lbs and can thus probably dead lift over half a ton just on the strength of the servos required for running along with the humans.

 

Similarly, you can have a 'backpack' shield generator that might weight 70-120lbs. And nobody will bat an eyelash. Because it's a MACHINE CARRYING A MACHINE.

 

Ahhhh, now can you 'envision' a -proper- role for the various automata in a HUMANIST story? An 'interface' as it were that allows you to MIMIC the actions of what we would assume required a tank-sized device?

 

It's only when you fail to envision a role that makes sense (augmenting personal armor with a droid shield generator for 'missions up tight hallways with no place to hide or dodge', providing autofire LMG for highly 'target rich/long range' environments of enemy force numeric advantagement etc.) and yet is LIMITING to 'and only that mission' by-class that you ruin the overall sense of immersion and continuity with the rest of the SWU environment.

 

Provided their capabilities are unique**; machines can make finding morals easier. But they cannot themselves represent moral choice.

 

As badly melded as 1 and 2 were. It's not impossible that KOTOR 3 could FINALLY 'get it right'. By following a few of the basics of decent storytelling and designing a Heroic Drama around which character based decisions drives the majority of the storyline.

 

 

Saberist Out.

 

 

P.S. Ramira, ChibiJulian, Jivin, Vashanti, Everyone. Many thanks. Plus or minus, 'opinioins of my opinions' are always welcomed...:p)

 

 

**(OTOH, only Force Adepts and _specifically_ Sentinels/Watchmen should be able to 'cloak' and should _Thief_ like do it for much of the games most critical intel gathering segments with incredible fidelity for line of sight, noise, volume air mass disturbance 'proximity alert' and general sensor type)

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Kaleb Bombassan,

 

>>

Regarding Kreia, I really think you've missed the point. The important thing to remember about her is that she loved Revan more than anyone. And if she thought Revan's plan was to save the Republic by going to war then going away (cf wikipedia articles) then Sion and Nihilus (not the true Sith, according to her, just vandals, like Malak), then she would have them killed. She was never afraid of them as such.

>>

 

You cannot truly love a man and not believe in what he does as a function of his own beliefs.

 

_IT'S_ _JUST_ _NOT_ _POSSIBLE_.

 

And given her contempt for the Jedi's pompous moralism, there is no possible excuse for 'allowing' Nihilous and Sion to obliterate whole populations of future Force Adepts AND the only 'trained' people who could possibly form the cadre element of those who would have to stop the True Sith if Revan failed.

 

Because she was his backup plan. His insurance policy against himself, but not his beliefs, failing.

 

Why? Because _Revan_ did not believe in letting the small overrule the large. Remember, in KOTOR 1, his established motives for joining the Republic forces were always for the 'greatest good'.

 

K2 merely warps those to make it seem like his fear of the Mandalorians was secondary to his fear of a coming Sith Invasion.

 

If you want to make me believe otherwise, then you need to explain, IN CONTEXT, who Kreia was, what drove her to 'befriend' (take as apprentices or join as an apprentice herself) the likes of Nihilous and Sion.

 

Because Revan NEVER would have.

 

Even more specifically, you need to tell me WHY she would think that not giving a few whispered words to a Republic Fleet intel operative ('Disciple' comes to mind) about the Trayus and even Telos Academies would not be 'a good thing' for destroying the cannon fodder level Sith grunt force even as they did unto the Jedi.

 

She clearly knew about both of them, albeit at different points in the game.

 

In the end, there is no justifiable excuse for her actions. Because Jedi, even 'morally faulted' (and playing Lightsider I seemed to do okay) or 'second rate' (powers and feats) compared to True Sith; these would STILL be a better resource of potential fighters to stop them than anyone else.

 

Given that it TAKES TIME (10-20 years) to raise those warriors to a level where even their base competencies are sufficient to be considered a Jedi Knight. And further given that all the 'drill instructors' who did that training were also being slaughtered (razing to earth the standing generation and sowing with salt the fields of the next).

 

Her actions could not be said to have been done for the greatest good. Even simply as a function of 'admiring' Revan.

 

Again, as I have stated elsewhere, the ability to work with what you've got. To forge alliances and 'kill my enemies by making them my friends' is probably the most relevant differentiator between 'good' (altruistically manipulative) and 'evil' (selfishly uncaring for any but one's own view, thus willing to let heaven fall or hell rise, so long as they don't interfere with one's own perception of reality).

 

Indeed, given the level of power politic and religion that Kreia was playing at , it doesn't /matter/ 'what your motivations are'. Because simple survival is always the ultimate baseline from which you can begin again to state your case, make your political moves, plot your conspiracies and takeovers.

 

And if she COULD NOT defeat Nihilous or Sion, on her own. Then what hope against an army of them, trained from birth?

 

IMO, Kreia, by not annihilating the Sith Serial Killers personally. By not slowing down the progress of the Jedi Civil Wars and/or establishing a 'hidden Academy' of her own for those dedicated to maintaining a belief system beyond the selfish.

 

Only proved how twisted and warped her 'love' for Revan really was. That she would try to create a mimic of the man rather than a continuance of his beliefs.

 

Given that even this is merely an older phantom shadow of the (OTT obvious from the get-go) 'frozen love affair' psychology being portrayed between Exile and Atris; I cannot even call it particularly unique or dramatically innovative as a function of what it contributes to the plot arc.

 

THAT being the worst offense of all: Pointless Expositional Storytelling.

 

 

Saberist Out.

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Fortran Dragon,

 

>>

One thing I would like to point out is that your way of setting the Y-Axis is a tiny minority. Forward == up and back == down is the default way the mouse works on the computer. Leaving it that way works *for* the vast majority of gamers since flight-sim gamers are a minority even in the hardcore gamer groups.

>>

 

Actually it's more about vectors to any trained pilot or 'motive/kinetic thinker'. (warriors and phaselines of all kinds) Where an arrow is pointed that is a push ALONG direction of travel, creating closure.

 

Where the base of the arrow is vee'd that is a retardation or retraction of motion maintaining current orientation or separation.

 

Thus, when I push forward to chase something and the 'on the horizon' (negative superelevation) and find that I am instead displacing negatively (in 2D space on a monitor) 'away' from them. I am in fact working against the psychomotor skills which are ingrained into a hunting/combattive mindset.

 

>>

Yes, it would have been nicer if you could set that mouse options separately for the mini-games, but Obsidian went with the one that would be more 'natural' for the casual gamer. Who is, after all, the bulk of the gaming crowd.

>>

 

Actually I _did_ go back and adjust, from the options menu. But IMO, as long as you treat the game like point and click with a mouse arrow rather than 'grab the grips and slew the hose the muzzle over them!' you are missing the immersive sense of controlling, not an interface. But a mechanical weapon.

 

Indeed, this is why I would prefer a setup that functioned like a B-29 optical gun director. In that, if I am going to move crosshairs _independent_ of muzzle swing, it behooves me to be able to see the gunfire arc out to hit targets not directly occupying my line of sight.

 

Since I am 'managing the weapons system' at that point, moving a centroid around makes more sense from the Windows Interface viewpoint.

 

>>

Oh, from an XP viewpoint, letting those Sith on the Ebon Hawk was a better value. ;-)

>>

 

No single soldier, without magic and/or active defenses (forcefields, mines, stun barriers, more sentry gun type miniturrets at his command) could take on that many equivalently trained (and far more current in their competencies) soldiers and win.

 

If only because the FIRST thing that forced entry teams learn is 'isolate and lockdown the escape mechanism'. Which means disabling the Hawk's engines.

 

The second thing they would do is 'make their own door' (create an unexpected breaching point to avoid channelizing defenses).

 

And the last would be to 'never to go where a grenade or DD has not slaughtered before you'. i.e. _Where you can't see_ and/or are caught transiting another chokepoint.

 

How disabusing of the notion of competent opfor is it to find an unused grenade on multiple corpses and ask yourself 'why didn't they pitch it'?

 

I want to win battles because I am smart. Not because the enemy are idiots.

 

And the entire Hangar Combat scene with all those Sith (why didn't they come pouring in like Storm Troopers from the very start and 'secure the facility' through lockdown of all it's entry/exit points if Sion wanted me so badly?) just began the long descent into totally broken immersion, IMO.

 

 

Saberist Out.

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what fun would the game be if you couldn't walk through an army of sith by yourself laying waste to them with your saber, and I got my light saber on my first planet after telos so I had it for the majority of the game. if you didn't like the game thats all good. but some people play video games to get away from reality. if everything was as realistic as how you want it your character would be dead as soon as its sees its first oponent that hits it wiht a sword or shoots you. man take it easy its just a game. and just because someones opinion of love doesn't match yours it doesn't mean that that persons view is wrong.

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Well, Saberist, I'm going to just respond thematically, since nested quotes would make this almost unreadable even if they worked.

 

The engine and combat mechanics: The KotOR games are not swordfighting games, nor were they meant to be. In an RPG, the character knows about swordplay, but the player does not. If you want tactical swordsmanship, look to the JK series. And adding long-range combat would have been just silly. Even if Obsidian wanted to just throw out the Odyssey engine and start from scratch with something like the Unreal engine, that just wouldn't look like Star Wars. Which is, you know, the point.

 

General storyline: Your main objection boils down to Obsidian not writing the story you would have. And you actually have a couple of workable ideas. But proclaiming that "K2 was supposed to answer the question of 'why'? Why be an emperor in charge of an endless herd of sheep when you are a minor god in the things you can do on your own." displays impressive arrogance. What K2 was supposed to be about simply isn't your call to make.

 

Having said that, I'll agree that the motivation for seeking out the Jedi Masters in K2 is very weak.

 

Kreia: I'll accept that it's possible for her to have been Arren Kae, though it's not very well supported by evidence. But to call her motivations selfish is preposterous. She's willing to die to further her goal of shaping the Exile. (Do Sith ethics permit that?) And if she considers herself expendable, how much more so would her lesser servants be? Also, she is a Darth Treya; there have been others. Kreia did not create the Academy. She found it, presumably after the battle of Malachor V.

 

The war against the True Sith: We can't argue coherently about this since we don't know what's going to happen in K3. But it's likely that this will not be "war" as the term is commonly understood. No fronts, no armies, no positions. DS Revan had armies of Dark Jedi. He deliberately threw them away. Therefore, armies of Jedi are not valuable. (The implication is that Revan developed new insight after K1, since before his reprogramming he had been attempting to create such armies.) Edit: possible alternative explanation -- DS Revan has gone over to the True Sith.

 

Gender representation: It's highly amusing to see the same arguments that feminists developed fall into the hands of whiny white males. Sauce for the goose, eh? Though as a white male myself, I'm kind of embarassed by this sort of thing. Thousands of years of male supremacy trickling out like this?

 

Sion: He couldn't really perceive Kreia, so couldn't kill her. But he guessed what she was up to. This explains why he didn't finish her off. When your assumptions start to give you trouble, it's time to reexamine them.

 

Malachor V and WMDs: Not really sure where you're going with that. Our last 'industrial all out attrition war' ended with the use of WMDs too. And the moral aspect of mass destruction doesn't change whether the means used is Force-based or standard technology. Either way, it's power, and death, and responsibility.

 

Mira: There's a lot of outright babble at the beginning of your reply. At first I thought you were on drugs when you posted it.

 

Anyway, which confrontation are you referring to? Under Jek'Jek'Tarr, Mira is justified in believing Hanharr dead. And at Malachor V, she can kill him at the player's option.

 

But no argument at all with the throwaway nature of the M5 sequence. The whole ending of the game is deeply compromised. (I presume you're up to speed on the cut endings... if not, there are plenty of threads and a restoration project)

 

Jedi bashing: yep, it's hard to not get the sense that the Jedi Order has failed in the KotOR games. But this is just like the films.

 

R2D2 and droids: Destroy his behavior core and anything you rebuild is a new droid. So yes, he can die. Sure, he took a shot to the head. But who says the core's in his head.

 

And bringing up the fact that nobody important dies in SW films is true. But again, not relevant to anything. Does this thread really need any more subjects?

 

I'm going to have to call BS here: "It is clear that Lucas is too frightened of his fanbase to do more than play 'sop to the saps'; killing ONLY non-living creatures (imagine if every droid soldier that was effectively cut in half at the waist by a saber on Naboo and the orbital battleship was in fact a human)." This completely muddles up two distinct concepts -- the death of a creature and the visual spectacle of its death. Lucas doesn't kill characters, whther droid or human. He butchers cannon fodder right and left, both droid and human. Due to ratings issues, the droids tend to die less cleanly than humans do. But that's just a tendency. Humans are dismembered too -- Luke, Anakin (twice!), Jango Fett, the bar thugs in ep. 4.

 

You seem to be simply assuming that droids aren't people. There's no evidence of that in the SW universe. Lucas certainly doesn't think so. The droids were originally going to be major characters. (Whether a droid is capable of moral choice or not is an interesting side-issue)

 

Personal shields: Good point that we don't see them in the movies, and so they shouldn't exist in the KotOR games. Blame BioWare, not Obsidian. They set this up in K1.

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What A Crock...

 

Just got through with KOTOR 2 and...jeeze.

 

1.  Combat STILL Sucks.

Whereelse but Star Wars would one see a combat system in which the player is /surrounded/ (at distances of 2-4ft I might add) by staff or double sword wielding opponents and NOBODY HITS HIM!  I mean 'dodging intelligently' is one thing.  But half the time the blocking moves just /do not/ happen.  And the result is that their strikes hit, you stand still or at most deliver 1-2 hits and gradually you reduce your enemies by means of HP attrition.  Combat just doesn't happen that way.  A Sword would be used like a scythe and MULTIPLE hits would be scored, by all sides.  The only alternative being a _contempt of engagement_ by which the player literally runs away from or dodges enemies he cannot afford to lock blades with, tiring them out.  The Obsidian folks need to head over to ARMA.com and look up a text called 'tactics' in which a master swordsman basically put ten novices on a soccer field and /ran them to death/.  Only stopping to turn and attack when they did.  Always cutting at legs and shoulders and elbows and wrists and knees 'on the way by'.  Imagine the gymnastics of a Force Levitation/Teek enhanced warrior 'bouncing off walls' as an expansion to this.

 

 

It's a game. Specifically, it is the D&D, excuse me, D20, game system. It was never intended to be realistic, just fun and easy to use. The flaws of the D&D/D20 system of have been argued since 1973. (This reminds me of the old AH vs SPI wargame design methodology debates of the 1970s. ;-))

 

Obsidian and Bioware before them were faithful to their source material: Star Wars. The idea is to have visually exciting combat with the flavor of the movies. To look cool, have fun, and not be tedious. To want something different out of a Star Wars game is to have unrealistic expectations.

 

It's bubble gum for the mind. After all, Star Wars itself harkens back to the space opera pulp movie serials of the 1930s and 1940s. Until you can have an SCA-type of experience in a game realism isn't going to happen. Verisimilitude yes, realistic, no.

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Another point that I feel should be made....KoTOR is set a long LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time before ANY of the movies(Thousand or so years if I remember correctly). Alot could have changed. Personal shields could have been done away with, technology could have advanced....The jedi order could have came to a new understanding that made them less than paper figures mentally. We dont know. We'll probably NEVER know.

 

The game is there for fun...if you dont like it, dont play it. MOD it, whatever you feel like doing. But complaining about it gets nothing solved. Come tomorrow you're still gonna dislike and like some things about that, and unless you change it then nothing will.(Unless there's a patch or something). And even then I'm sure there will be little gripes about it. You cant please everyone...

 

 

 

AND to my last point...um...theres hundreds of threads about people and their dislikes about the game..why make a new one to clutter up the board with the same problems other people have already stated? O_o

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Fortran Dragon,

 

>>

One thing I would like to point out is that your way of setting the Y-Axis is a tiny minority.  Forward == up and back == down is the default way the mouse works on the computer.  Leaving it that way works *for* the vast majority of gamers since flight-sim gamers are a minority even in the hardcore gamer groups.

>>

 

Actually it's more about vectors to any trained pilot or 'motive/kinetic thinker'.  (warriors and phaselines of all kinds) Where an arrow is pointed that is a push ALONG direction of travel, creating closure.

 

Where the base of the arrow is vee'd that is a retardation or retraction of motion maintaining current orientation or separation.

 

Thus, when I push forward to chase something and the 'on the horizon' (negative superelevation) and find that I am instead displacing negatively (in 2D space on a monitor) 'away' from them.  I am in fact working against the psychomotor skills which are ingrained into a hunting/combattive mindset.

 

>>

Yes, it would have been nicer if you could set that mouse options separately for the mini-games, but Obsidian went with the one that would be more 'natural' for the casual gamer.  Who is, after all, the bulk of the gaming crowd.

>>

 

Actually I _did_ go back and adjust, from the options menu.  But IMO, as long as you treat the game like point and click with a mouse arrow rather than 'grab the grips and slew the hose the muzzle over them!' you are missing the immersive sense of controlling, not an interface.  But a mechanical weapon.

 

Indeed, this is why I would prefer a setup that functioned like a B-29 optical gun director.  In that, if I am going to move crosshairs _independent_ of muzzle swing, it behooves me to be able to see the gunfire arc out to hit targets not directly occupying my line of sight.

 

Since I am 'managing the weapons system' at that point, moving a centroid around makes more sense from the Windows Interface viewpoint.

 

>>

Oh, from an XP viewpoint, letting those Sith on the Ebon Hawk was a better value.  ;-)

>>

 

No single soldier, without magic and/or active defenses (forcefields, mines, stun barriers, more sentry gun type miniturrets at his command) could  take on that many equivalently trained (and far more current in their competencies) soldiers and win.

 

If only because the FIRST thing that forced entry teams learn is 'isolate and lockdown the escape mechanism'.  Which means disabling the Hawk's engines.

 

The second thing they would do is 'make their own door' (create an unexpected breaching point to avoid channelizing defenses).

 

And the last would be to 'never to go where a grenade or DD has not slaughtered before you'.  i.e. _Where you can't see_ and/or are caught transiting another chokepoint.

 

How disabusing of the notion of competent opfor is it to find an unused grenade on multiple corpses and ask yourself 'why didn't they pitch it'?

 

I want to win battles because I am smart.  Not because the enemy are idiots.

 

And the entire Hangar Combat scene with all those Sith (why didn't they come pouring in like Storm Troopers from the very start and 'secure the facility' through lockdown of all it's entry/exit points if Sion wanted me so badly?) just began the long descent into totally broken immersion, IMO.

 

 

Saberist Out.

 

I don't think the immersion is broken for a Star Wars game. Star Wars itself has never attempted to be realistic, just a bit of fun escapism. R2-D2 and C-3PO running through weapons fire at the start of the first movie is a sign of that. If you a game that tries to be closer to the real world you might want to take a look at the Brothers in Arms game. You're never going to get want you want in a Star Wars game simply because of what Star Wars is (light, escapist entertainment).

 

Also, as someone that has done a fair amount of hunting and has things such as a Springfield Armory M1A in his gun cabinet, I would say that I'm not working against my motor skills. Obviously, YMDV, but for me, when I have my hand on a *mouse* I expect it to behave as a mouse. However, if I had my hand on a *joystick* I would expect it to behave as a joystick. (Which I would prefer for the mini-games.)

 

I think you would be a lot happier if you tried to meet the game on its own terms. Otherwise you just end up wishing that Josef Stalin was more like the Dalai Lama. ;-)

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2.  Granny is a whole lotta nothin'.

[snippity]

 

3.  I _despise_ method acting.

[snippity]

 

4.  Nihilous Is Played By Tyson.

[snippity]

 

 

Point 2:

 

Kreia addresses the point about using the Force in the game. Inconsistency, seeming or actual hypocrisy, conflicted motives. They all seem to be what Kreia is all about. It is these all-too-human actions and emotions that elevate Kreia about the stock Star Wars Sith Lord.

 

Point 3:

 

Like those that see TSL as wholly sexist, I think you are seeing/reading too much into the game. Your comments seem to be more of how you see the world than what the game is presenting.

 

In a way these varied reactions to the same subject matter show just how deep, ambiguous, and rich a story Obsidian strived for. Weep for its incompleteness.

 

Point 4:

 

Nihilius was extremely weakened because he needed to feed. He needed another Katarr (sp), but what he got was nothing. Given that the two were so alike it allowed the Exile to defeat him.

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7.  CALL THE ORKIN MAN!

'Cuz bugs abound in this one.  Everything from freeze ups when certain things happen (the droid on Telos).  To clipping and failure to 'evacuate' a room after a cutscene.  To MASSIVE problems with the dialogue.  Including No Sound AND Super Fast text replacement.  I flat out lost the entire end dialogue with Kreia.  Only getting the final text sentence from each of her responses to me.  With no audio at all.  And that's just nasty.

 

8.  The Huntress and Hanharr.

Dreck.  Again, 'the question' is not why they fight.  Being SECONDARY CHARACTERS whom I meet late in the game, I could hardly care less.  The problem is yet another Logic Bomb.  According to Sith Rules, there are no mulligans.  Period.  Dot.  For Kreia therefore to execute a Reanimate Corpse (or whatever) on Hanharr is against her own moral code of ethics (I obviously played LS, but it works the other way too) and those which she is attempting to 'Be Strong, I Command You!' impart to Exile.  It also makes Mira look like a moron.  I mean, she's already pardoned junior once and he came after her /again/.  Time Two should be a cut through the spine and the heart to make sure it's for real.  Hearing later that she is doomed to die on some farflung world anyway didn't make her little sparring fight with Wookie Boy any easier to handle as yet another 'Captain America Moment' (come back for number three, if we do it...).

 

 

Point 7:

 

Yep, it's buggy. Blame LucasArts for that since they are the ones that did the QA. Either LA botched the QA or completely ignored the QA department in order to get the X-Box version out for Christmas.

 

Point 8:

The fact you met Hanharr and Mira late in the game is a result of how _you_ played the game. You could have gone to Nar Shaddaa first after Telos. ;-)

 

Also, Kreia wasn't a Sith or a Jedi. She had her own agenda separate from either group. She simply used bits from each that she found useful. (You can even ask her in the game if she is Jedi or Sith.) Keeping Hanharr alive simply furthered the goals she had for the Exile.

 

As far as Mira killing Hanharr, she's not a ruthless killer. In fact Mira will tell the Exile that she hates what is happening to her when she is around the Exile. (Killing becomes to easy an option.)

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