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Hackmaster... now there's a RPG begging to be made into an indie CRPG.

Could be a fitness seminar. Hack those gluets!

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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To do this well there should be just one main love story plot for the entire game. At most two, to account for both genders. Bioware of today won't do this.

 

Or you can have a century-spanning story about body-changing, immortal posthumans, and have the main character's LI be a completely different person each time we see him/her(/whatever gender you assign to a disembodied consciousness who can freely change the gender of the bodies they inhabit) :p

 

Out there, somewhere, there's an indie Kickstarter waiting to be made based on that premise.

 

 

 

 

 

Finally I think most of us agree a well written Romance does enhance the RPG experience...

 

I don't play Bioware games for several reasons. One of the biggest reasons is their romances.

 

We are pretty good at creating game worlds now. We can do relatively realistic trees and humans and monsters. We can even do realistic physics and decent voice overs. But as soon as we try to simulate human relationships it falls apart like a house of cards. I can not identify with what they are saying, with how they are acting or even the goal of the relationship. It breaks my fourth wall (violently) and annoys me to the point that I start disliking the entire game.

 

So no, I really do not think romances enhance anything. In fact, I think your opinion would be better suited for the Blasphemous thread.

 

Hang on. Aren't you the mail-order bride guy? No wonder you can't identify with the way romance is presented in games. :p

 

It's going to be next to impossible to write a romance that people can seriously get into, with the current format video games deliver their content in. Unlike the rest of the game, for which suspending one's disbelief is more or less easy (I have no first-hand experience fighting darkspawn so I don't feel how contrived the presented experience feels), with romance it's much harder because most people have actually experienced romance IRL at some point, forever alone crowd notwithstanding. It's a subtle, prosaic and boring thing -from the outside- but also an extremely personal experience and any deviation from the player's internal expectations is going to burst immersion like the dot com bubble. But apparently, and judging from the huge success of romances in Bio games and the outcry when Obsidz decided to exclude them form PoE, some people can suspend their disbelief so effectively that I wonder if perhaps they were born without it to begin with.

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- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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and the outcry when Obsidz decided to exclude them form PoE

 

What outcry? There was some squealing from people that barely ran into double figures.

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Anyway, let me return to the campfire/ship and hear what my compatriots have to say, because they're damn mutes when we're at the pub. (which is another problem imho, interaction in the BG games was random, so while the dialogues were mostly the same between playthroughs, if, when and where they would occur could vary greatly, sometimes leading to really weird and hilarious scenes* or conversations happening at rather odd moments, like right before you get ambushed or some romance dialogue triggering on a graveyard)

It chaffed my hide when Nalia would complain "How are we helping the less fortunate..." when I was in the D'Arnise Hold HELPING HER on the quest to liberate the hold.

 

I do agree that forcing all the relevant dialogue to the hub felt unnatural. I believe it was Star Ocean 2(? and I know jRPG) that had the player's party break up and do their own thing when they hit town allowing the player to then find them if they wanted to have dialogue with party members, have some drinks, buy some stuff or whatever. Or the "Tales" system that puts up prompts that character dialogue is available. There should be some way to better integrate dialogue into western RPGs so character can offer timely or relevant banter (without having your companion's dialogue interrupted by another companion's dialogue which is immediately interrupted by a quest giver and then that is ultimately interrupted by exploding gibberlings).

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Hackmaster... now there's a RPG begging to be made into an indie CRPG.

 

Yessss. Yeeeeeesssss!

 

(Seriously, Advanced Hackmaster is a strong contender for "best iteration of D&D, ever", along with DCC and (by the beta maybe) Next.)

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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Yeah, and that supposed majority of people are people who would buy the game anyway. Conversely, the people firmly against it might end up not buying the game. Sure, that might not be a huge number, but then it only needs to be measured against the number of new customers who buy the game when they wouldn't have otherwise, a demographic which I think would be very very small indeed. So no, it's hard to see any possible circumstance in which that would be a good idea economically.

 

Okay but do you honesty think people wouldn't buy a major RPG just because there was mandatory but well written Romance? Are people that opposed to the idea of Romance which would only be a small part of the RPG experience anyway?

 

In a word, yes.

 

In more words, it doesn't matter how well a romance is written, it's impossible to make a character that appeals to everyone. A mandatory romance assumes everyone will react the same way to a given character, which is nothing but pure folly.

 

I have quit games outright after being presented by an unpalatable forced decision or characterisation. With foreknowledge I would not have purchased the game at all, but it's hard to discover the nature of said events without spoiling the game. Foreknowledge that romances are mandatory, on the other hand, will be easy, and consign the game to the do-not-play list.

 

 

P.S. Oh god, imagine ME2 had a forced Miranda romance. That's the worst example I can think of, of a case where the developers completely misanticipated the player reaction to their headline character.

 

It's important that the choices the devs make for you don't feel like annoying editorial interference. Those are the things that can make me quit on a game on general principle as well. Mandatory romance is a terrible idea. 

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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One doesn't see how being the unwilling recipient of an npc's affections could be any worse than the forced siding with Cerberus or the Grey Warden investiture of Dragon Age. Bioware has been stripping away logical choice from their games for awhile now, I don't see forced romances as too much of a deviation from this, and it would most probably please their fanbase, especially if they get to use the character creator on their victims sorry partners.

 

If the feature is unwanted simply do not buy the product.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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"Bioware has been stripping away logical choice from their games for awhile now"

 

Eh.. they have  more 'choice' logical or otherwise than the vast majority of RPGs. Amd. what do you mean 'for awhile'? Their newer games tend to have more choices than their earlier ones. LMAO BG1111111111111111111 You get to choose which map you go to and which direction. DEEP.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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"Bioware has been stripping away logical choice from their games for awhile now"

 

Eh.. they have  more 'choice' logical or otherwise than the vast majority of RPGs. Amd. what do you mean 'for awhile'? Their newer games tend to have more choices than their earlier ones. LMAO BG1111111111111111111 You get to choose which map you go to and which direction. DEEP.

I'm having that day of the year when I'm in full agreement with Volourn. Somebody's been sneaking to the nostalgia cupboard.
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You're a cheery wee bugger, Nep. Have I ever said that?

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"Bioware has been stripping away logical choice from their games for awhile now"

 

Eh.. they have  more 'choice' logical or otherwise than the vast majority of RPGs. Amd. what do you mean 'for awhile'? Their newer games tend to have more choices than their earlier ones. LMAO BG1111111111111111111 You get to choose which map you go to and which direction. DEEP.

I'm having that day of the year when I'm in full agreement with Volourn. Somebody's been sneaking to the nostalgia cupboard.

 

I blame Bruce's bossy thread for that.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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am hesitant to help bruce, 'cause we thinks bio romantic leanings is 'bout as appealing as a bucket o' rotting shrimp. nevertheless, the first step is to know your audience. this is an obsidian board. folks here is unlikely to be representative o' the Average Fan's (a mythical entity) feelings 'bout bio romances, but if you wanna talk romance in this place, you gotta recognize who you is dealing with.

 

what is the bestest obsidian game? has been polls done to death on this board asking that question. sure, some folks here Loathe ps:t, but your typical obsidian poster is a big fan o' ps:t... is almost akin to rpg codex fixation with first fallout game. so, if you wants to convince an obsidian audience that game romance is a good thing, might you not wanna point out the very real and integral romance contained in ps:t: ravel's love for the nameless one? is one o' the bestest romantic story arcs we has seen in a crpg to date.

 

"but that isn't what we mean by a game romance."

 

anticipate such terrible arguments and then destroy them. 

 

*shrug*

 

the biggest obstacle bruce faces is bioware and the expectations they has created. am recalling a story we read 'bout deciphering of mayan (maybe it was inca... don't care) written language. there were some handful o' experts here in the west that had written the definitive text(s) on mayan language. everybody who studied mayan language and culture woulds, by necessity, read those texts... were no escaping the insidious influence o' those texts, and those texts all turned out to be wrong in some key ways. eventually a cold war era soviet linguist/anthropologist comes along, and this guy'gal has been insulated from western texts 'cause of silly political reasons. he/she has never read professor longwind's dissertation on whatever. our soviet doesn't know that somebody has already come up with the answers to all the questions he/she is wishing to answer-- so he/she comes up with own answers. our soviet comrade ends up revolutionizing the understanding o' mayan language.  crpg romance and bioware crpg romance has somehow becomes inextricably linked, and bio approach is a dead-end.  gonna need to look at romance different.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

as an aside, am thinking a romance in which a so-called villain is the interest could be fun... if done by somebody other than bioware.

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I'm not a PS:T fan but I liked the character of Ravel and her story.

 

But it wasn't a Romance. It was a romance.

 

As you say, what constitutes Romance in games is now fixed, not least because it's commercially successful. Ironically, it might fall to other game genres to develop human relationships in a more credible way - although I've not played The Last of Us, is there not a father / daughter analogue in there (I'm immediately reminded of The Road).

 

And the bromance between male FPS characters might end up being more realistic than the frenzied fan service and diaper sex of Bioware.

 

As you say, Ha! Good Fun!

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I'm not a PS:T fan but I liked the character of Ravel and her story.

 

But it wasn't a Romance. It was a romance.

 

As you say, what constitutes Romance in games is now fixed, not least because it's commercially successful. Ironically, it might fall to other game genres to develop human relationships in a more credible way - although I've not played The Last of Us, is there not a father / daughter analogue in there (I'm immediately reminded of The Road).

 

And the bromance between male FPS characters might end up being more realistic than the frenzied fan service and diaper sex of Bioware.

 

As you say, Ha! Good Fun!

one of bio's greatest strengths is also a terrible weakness. bio does actual listen to fans. gaider and other writers/developers/designers looks for feedback from boards and elsewhere to discover what people want.  bio... listens. all you gotta do is read some o' the insipid and juvenile suggestions made at bio boards regarding romance to be understanding how bio romances coulds be so nightmarish and grotesque. bio Is giving folks what they want. 

 

*shudder*

 

​bio is creating a commercial product. is probable smart to aim to meet expectations. nevertheless, we cannot helps but feel cheated. "meet expectations" is not the goal o' any writer we know--is actual a scathing condemnation. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I'm not a PS:T fan but I liked the character of Ravel and her story.

 

But it wasn't a Romance. It was a romance.

 

As you say, what constitutes Romance in games is now fixed, not least because it's commercially successful. Ironically, it might fall to other game genres to develop human relationships in a more credible way - although I've not played The Last of Us, is there not a father / daughter analogue in there (I'm immediately reminded of The Road).

 

And the bromance between male FPS characters might end up being more realistic than the frenzied fan service and diaper sex of Bioware.

 

As you say, Ha! Good Fun!

That's probably because it's inspired by The Road, along with a few other post-apocalyptic tales -- All of them dictate their central premise around humanity's state of mind after the world has come to an end. if it wasn't obvious enough then one could simply look at Joel, who even looks like Viggo Mortensen's character from the film adaptation. What's rare though is, as you said, it chooses to explore unnatural ground, like a  father & daughter relationship with an open mind. To the game's credit it's rather welcome since it actually did it quite well as opposed to campyness of Uncharted.

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"Bioware has been stripping away logical choice from their games for awhile now"

 

Eh.. they have  more 'choice' logical or otherwise than the vast majority of RPGs. Amd. what do you mean 'for awhile'? Their newer games tend to have more choices than their earlier ones. LMAO BG1111111111111111111 You get to choose which map you go to and which direction. DEEP.

 

Oh one totally agrees that Baldur's Gate was not the revelation that many regard it as Mr Volourn, in fact I think it was a significant step back from the Ultima series in several ways, though obviously the combat was significantly better. However I felt that the search for Gorion's murderer, ones own identity and the strange business with the iron crisis was a logical response for a player. Well as logical as anything can be in a high fantasy setting such as the Realms, and the protagonist stumbles into it in quite a well constructed manner. Though I personally would have liked more options and less chokepoints.

 

The same goes for Kotor, Jade Empire and the first Mass Effect, they all seem to put one in a situation where the ensuing derring do is appropriate. However from Origin's onward i've felt very much that I wouldn't choose any of the options presented to me, and also i'm afraid to say that I felt this way with NWN, there's a scene in the last chapter where some character tells you that you're the only one who can save the day, and all I asked myself was why? There are Harpers, Elminster and the other god blessed etcetera, why should a random gent be the only solution? It felt a little too blatant and uncomfortable a form of ego stroking, considering I was just a dumb fighter with a warehouse of arcane trinkets.

 

Dragon Age 2 for instance, why would I side with anybody in Kirkwall, or stay there, or go to the Deep Roads when a fortune can be made in the city within a few days, or be attached to the strangers the game presents as my family whom I can't even talk to. I felt less like a player and more a spectator watching a farce about a homicidal bungler. However that's only my personal impression and everybody is free to see the games listed differently, variety and what not.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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"As you say, what constitutes Romance in games is now fixed"

 

Nothing is 'fixed'. Afterall, at one point turn based combat was 'fixed' and pretty much rpg had it. That obviously didn't remain 'fixed'. Things change. That's what the real world is about. Change whether you like it or not.

 

 

 

 "However from Origin's onward i've felt very much that I wouldn't choose any of the options presented to me,"

 

O RLY? Your choice would be to let the archdemon destroy the world? How is that any different than letting Sarevok getting his way?

 

Same with NWN. To let the tiem traveling lizard freaks get their way they'd enslave every race because that's what they do.

 

And, bring up Elimister is weak sauce because why couldn't he just go up to Sarevok and kill him?

 

I tell you why. The same reason he doesn't in pnp - it's the PC's story. Elminster doesn't even show up in NWN (nor does he make his home even near there) yet you conviently forget he is featured in BG *and* he knows what is up (bein friends with Gorion) and outside of mumbo jumbo wink wink platitudes he doesn't left a finger to solve a crisis he himself claims imust be stopped (despite being far from his home) yet you think BG is more 'logical' than NWN? Come on.

 

I like BG, btw,  but role-playing wise, it is BIO's weakest rpg BY FAR even weaker than overrated KOTOR.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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 "However from Origin's onward i've felt very much that I wouldn't choose any of the options presented to me,"

 

O RLY? Your choice would be to let the archdemon destroy the world? How is that any different than letting Sarevok getting his way?

 

Same with NWN. To let the tiem traveling lizard freaks get their way they'd enslave every race because that's what they do.

 

And, bring up Elimister is weak sauce because why couldn't he just go up to Sarevok and kill him?

 

I tell you why. The same reason he doesn't in pnp - it's the PC's story. Elminster doesn't even show up in NWN (nor does he make his home even near there) yet you conviently forget he is featured in BG *and* he knows what is up (bein friends with Gorion) and outside of mumbo jumbo wink wink platitudes he doesn't left a finger to solve a crisis he himself claims imust be stopped (despite being far from his home) yet you think BG is more 'logical' than NWN? Come on.

 

I like BG, btw,  but role-playing wise, it is BIO's weakest rpg BY FAR even weaker than overrated KOTOR.

 

Personally I wouldn't have joined the Grey Wardens to begin with, and why exactly is it the protagonists duty to combat the Archdemon anyway? It's just another Blight and will be stopped in the same manner as the others, it really is not my characters problem, he had no choice in becoming a Grey Warden and so owes the Order no loyalty. He had no home having been exiled from Orzammar, had no loyalty to the humans of Ferelden and had no personal stake in the matter whatsoever. I think it would have been logical for him to go and inform the Warden's of Orlais, or just wander off and do as he pleases, his background as a Duster thug certainly seemed to suggest that he wasn't a moral individual.

 

I'd forgotten what the antagonist was in NWN but my observation holds true, if they're such a threat why aren't any of the other factions who are far more potent than my character stepping up to deal with it? Khelbun has allready shown an interest at the start of the game, and wields the same god blessing as Elminster, to ignore this massive threat seems illogical to say the least.

 

In BG it is strongly implied that Elminster and whatever other omnipotent authority figures are testing you, and this is confirmed in the conversations he has with you. To my mind it is a little cruel, but since the character is a form of quasi deity such observation seems warranted. The fact that he is just a little late to Gorion's murder, and you meet him the next morning says that he was at least trying to reach his old acquaintance, rather than totally abandoning him. I agree though that generally BG is a weak rpg, not helped by the overpowered and generic setting of the Realms, and I personally do not particularly like it as i've stated.

 

As I stated previously Volourn, this is just my personal opinion however, i'm not attacking Bioware merely stating that their recent record of in game decision has not suited my thinking. Personally I think they need to involve the character in a far more realistic manner rather than just insisting that they follow the plot, the BG series did this through personal means but that is not the only method. Once again I apologise if my personal view feels like an attack against the company you obviously admire and like, but i'm afraid I still hold it. 

Edited by Nonek

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I still think the whole basis of "only a Warden can slay an Archdemon" because otherwise it'll just hop right out of its shell and go possess some other bloke (something along those lines), thus apparently transforming into a new one, to be ludicrous. It's a tired fantasy trope, where your character will inevitably draw the stick "of only one who can stop them" kind. It's tired, however, because realistically it takes armies of men to combat a threat on this massive scale. Instead of resorting to cheap plot devices like the Catalyst in ME3, or be too reliant on old fantasy clichés, I'd like to something more down to the earth in the future. I severely dislike Gerald in the Witcher, but I like the idea of how his character is very much passive towards things going on around. In general, that is -- Despite his formidable combat skills and ability to seduce any female creature in existence. He retains a certain neutrality to worldly affairs without seeming like he's just a spectator or nuisance like Hawke in DA2.

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^ It was just lazy writing by Bioware.

 

I liked the idea that how you conduct yourself in order to achieve your aim is flexible (bastard warden / good warden) but, still, it's lazy.

 

As Nonek said, the rail-roading into the Grey Wardens was clumsy and unconvincing. An old-fashioned Geas would even have been more palatable / convincing.

 

And if you can't be arsed to set up your plot with any real effort, why on earth should we believe the rest of the plot will be any more credible? (answer - it isn't).

 

No, Bioware dumped all the effort into the crapulous romances instead. And therein lies the rub - their fans are more interested with dating-sims than they are in credible story and plot. Ergo my reservations about romances in CRPGs. I'm not being remotely facetious when I say Bio should make the romance-centric CRPG Bruce suggests. Not only would it sell like hotcakes, it would also pin Bio's writers under a block of ice in the lowest circle of hell, doomed to crapping out mawkish tosh for eternity.

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I repeat myself, but DA:O would have been better as plain old Dragon Age, and the sole content change would be to delete all the origin stories and have you start as someone who's already a Grey Warden. I mean, no one complained about their Shepard being forced to be a space marine or whatever, because it was established as a a simple fact rather than being forced through clumsy railroading.

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No, Bioware dumped all the effort into the crapulous romances instead. And therein lies the rub - their fans are more interested with dating-sims than they are in credible story and plot. 

 

Hardly.  I thought the romances in Origins, anyway, were pretty slapdash.  Aside from Morrigan's which had some actual substance to it since it had a connection to the main thread of the plot.  And DA2 they're worse.  They get right in the player's face from the beginning, but redolent of a heavy time or thought investment they most certainly are not.

 

Therein, I think, lies the problem.  The squee faction, as I call them, don't really demand romances that are well-thought out or carefully crafted--they just want to bump uglies with their favorite character and have some cutesy crap along the way.  The rest of us tend to recognize that the romances represent such a small chunk of the game that we can safely roll our eyes and complain about the things that really matter (cliched story, implausible character motivation, etc).

 

I understand why you, Monte, a lovable troll under the bridge, might like to fight about romance, but for the rest of us that's already conceding half the battle to the squee faction by choosing to confront them on their home turf.

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