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Beta Call for Echoes: Tomorrow Belongs to Echoes in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #4
Wow, the BoA design community is just hoppin', ain't it? First Rhapsody in Blue, now this!

Your comedic timing, TM, is godly.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Beta Call for Echoes: Tomorrow Belongs to Echoes in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #1
4P|2i1 |=00l5!!11!!11

I \/\/0|_|1D 10\/3 70 B374 7357 |_|'|2 5C3|\|4|2i0!!11!!!11

If this is real, which I doubt, I've beta-tested Lord Putidus, I'm on Windows XP, and my e-mail is ahig321 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

EDIT: 6|24/\/\/\/\4|2, believe it or not.

EDIT 2: I've got jack in the way of design experience.

[ Friday, April 01, 2005 09:44: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
The Abominable Party-Building Topic in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #45
Speaking of Morog's sceptre, every time I've tried to use it, my mage's hit percentage has been absolutely atrocious. How exactly does one go about improving it?
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
The Abominable Party-Building Topic in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #33
I think pole weapons should be +1 level of melee damage with pole. Otherwise, this is great.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
The Abominable Party-Building Topic in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #31
Blademaster isn't more powerful, it's just that it's usually cheaper than your primary weapon skill, so you can get more of it for the same amount of skill points. Archery doesn't get assassination, so I have no idea how you do so much damage with your archer, but more power to you. With assassination, my fighter was getting up to the 450-550 range with Maximillian.

EDIT: So, yeah, lack of assassination may be why your archer does so much more than your melee character. Plus, a tank is useful just to absorb the enemies' attacks, and if it can kill stuff too, that's excellent. If it can do so efficiently, the rest of the party becomes basically unnecessary.

[ Thursday, March 31, 2005 11:04: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
The Abominable Party-Building Topic in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #17
Adlerauge isn't unbalancing if you also get Maximillian, which will restore your melee weapons user to his/her proper dominance. Mage killing is easy enough with a bunch of AP boosting items and haste, because my fighters can cover more than their line of sight in a single turn.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
The Abominable Party-Building Topic in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #11
Ah, Thuryl, but my casters have the ludicrously high amount of endurance it takes to get Magical Efficiency, and thus have, like, twice as much health as my fighters. It is true, though, that my priest is now about ten levels ahead of my mage, on account of not having any advantages.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
The Abominable Party-Building Topic in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #5
Thuryl, if you HLPM-generate your parties, why bother with the disadvantages? The HLPM, as I understand it, will spit out a level 40 party, regardless of whether all the characters have Sickness Prone, Brittle Bones, Elite Warrior, or Natural Mage.

While I'm kind of on the subject...

No Natural Mage, Thuryl? Gah.

EDIT: I would also really, really like to know how to do a singleton, and whether or not combat with one is always won by the skin of one's teeth, because, in that case, I just won't bother.

[ Tuesday, March 29, 2005 21:47: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
The Abominable Party-Building Topic in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #1
Good idea for a topic, Thuryl.

I've found building 4-person parties to be easy enough, but how in blazes does one carry off a singleton? I tried Drakey's warrior-priest configuration (Divinely Touched, Fast on Feet slith), but I got mauled by the goblins in Backwater Calls and gave up on that in a hurry.

In terms of advice...

I find that, at high levels, melee is the most efficient way to kill just about anything. Once my party goes through a lot of scenarios, I tend to accrue a substantial amount of AP bonus items, to the point where my two fighters can each attack three times in a turn when hasted. Dealing 400-some damage (Maximillian, Hidden City Spear) six times in a turn is something I can just never do with magic, and I'd rather use the spell points to bless/haste/radiant shield. If something is far away, Adlerauge usually suffices (especially three times a turn).

(Note: Even without the unbalanced Hidden City Spear, my pole guy was still doing about 250 a hit)

My high-level party has a dedicated mage and a dedicated priest, and I often feel the squeeze on my priest (i.e. too many things need fixing in one turn of combat). I definitely recommend having two characters with Heal at a reasonably high level, so that one of them can do that while the other removes statuses or blesses as needed.

EDIT: Also, being able to cast heal twice can help you avoid casting Divine Restoration, which is a major plus spell points-wise. Oh, and Radiant Shield is a life-saver once you get into higher-level scenarios and everything and its uncle can cast Control Foes. Super-powerful weapons and 10 AP are a huge liability when your fighters can get confused.

I use mage spells for about the same things Thuryl does, with the added qualification that Arcane Shield can be quite useful for my strategies as well (especially since my priest, who tends to be encumbered, often only has one spell per turn), because my fighters do pretty much everything. Create Illusions (especially at level 10 - thank you Canopy) is a lifesaver against archer-type enemies and enemies with powerful melee attacks, but spellcasters can clear them out in one turn, and still damage the party.

[ Tuesday, March 29, 2005 21:23: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Beta Call for The Darkness in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #38
I sent another report with a few things I forgot to include in the previous one.

Once the final sequence gets all of the kinks ironed out, this is going to be an excellent scenario, better than Bahssikava, IMO.

[ Monday, March 28, 2005 07:22: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Beta Call for The Darkness in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #34
My report is sent.

Yeah, like Imban said, e-mail me with questions.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Beta Call for The Darkness in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #22
Kel, my e-mail bounced it back. I don't have an alternate address...

Could you host it on the Pink and Pretty Page and just shoot me a link? I'll go register a Yahoo account in the meantime.

EDIT: a h i g 3 2 1 (at) yahoo (dot) com

EDIT 2: You might as well send .sit and .zip, because i've got access to both kinds of computer, with BoA on each.

[ Sunday, March 27, 2005 04:31: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Riddles in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #13
Thermodynamics. Entropy, in particular.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Beta Call for The Darkness in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #7
Name: Adam Higuera
E-Mail: a h i g 3 2 1 (at) hotm ail.com
Platform: Windows XP, and I have access to a mac.
Beta-Testing Experience: None, technically, but I know my way around a script, and I spotted a few errors in Canopy's script after it was released.

I think you should use the Beta Testing Center. Were I ever to release a scenario, I know I would.

[ Saturday, March 26, 2005 17:39: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
cehck tihs out in General
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #92
I think of high school as more of a screening process than anything else. If no one makes you try to analyze literature, do calculus, deconstruct historical trends, or translate Latin, how will you find out if you are good at any of it? Maybe someone like Thuryl or the Creator would discover and develop his talents on his own, but I think I would just sit on my behind and do nothing. That said, were there any way that I could get out of my state-mandated four years of English, I would jump on it immediately.

Personally, I think that high school in America is more about conditioning than anything else. It gives most everyone some sort of common experience to take with them into their later life. Everyone has to take US government, everyone has to take American Literature, and these help shape youth into good American citizens. Things like sporting events, school plays, school dances, and clubs are something that impact, however tangentially, the lives of every American teenager. In this way, the demos of the future have a kind of tenuous unity. Of course, the definition of "respect" as compliance with authority is another useful component of the American indoctrination (education) system.

BSC - Sports are chosen freely, if at all, in American high schools. Personally, I play American football, and it is perhaps the most enjoyable portion of my high school experience. Intellectual pursuits are all well and good, but sometimes I just need to put on a bunch of protective equipment and do my worst to someone else with the same equipment on (for four-second intervals, with twenty-second breaks in between - I hate running).

Finally, I am, at the moment, in favor of standardized testing, because, despite my sloth, generally antisocial nature, and complete practical ineptitude, I will most likely receive a few thousand dollars of scholarship money for having gotten a perfect score on the PSATs, as inapplicable to anything as they might be.

[ Monday, March 14, 2005 18:01: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Monster/Puzzle/Item Thread in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #45
Creature: Brain Beast

Has no physical attack (or is not made to use it with the script). Very weak against melee. Can haste/bless allies (induce them to a frenzy). Against enemies with low intelligence, will charm/confuse/paralyze. Against enemies with high intelligence, will drain spell points and do damage according to the number drained (a la Jutsuhi from Canopy), and possibly dumbfound. Will obviously be used with a few bruisers.

Creature: As yet unnamed (Life-Force Sucker).

Doesn't have a physical attack (that it uses). Instead, when it moves into a space adjacent to a character, said character gets forcecaged. The creature then proceeds to drain life from its prey until it gets damaged (by one of the other party members), when it will run away for a little while. Should always attack in groups one smaller than the party. If a singleton is involved, it will break free from the beast's clutches every 2 turns or so.

[ Monday, March 14, 2005 14:14: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Monster/Puzzle/Item Thread in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #32
On the subject of items for useless skills...

Scrivener's Revenge: A letter-opener looking melee weapon which does damage based on arcane lore (or rune reading, if possible - that's even more useless) and adds a few melee levels (because learned types hardly ever have strength or blademaster). I think a melee weapon for the more magic-oriented skills would make for some interesting tactics, because spell casters would all of a sudden be able to do damage in melee, but would still be weak enough to be in constant danger of getting slaughtered. This is as opposed to missile weapons such as Morog's scepter, which give your mage something to do when the situation doesn't merit using spell points, but don't really change what it tactically can and can't do.

t Thuryl - I haven't tried it, but it could be possible to give the item a special class, and then modify basicNPC to see if the item was equipped to who_hit_me(). Of course, this would only work with, like, a bracelet or something, because if it's a sword and it triggers part of a creature script when you do any kind of damage, that would just be kind of odd. So, if you wanted to make some sort of Bracelet of Wreathing your Attacks in Fire, or a Bracelet of Poisoned Weaponry/Magic/Any Kind of Damaging Item, it could be possible, it would just only work in your scenario. It would work better if there were some creature script call like what_kind_of_damage_did_it_do_to_me(), but I don't think there is.

[ Saturday, March 12, 2005 17:15: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Article - Rollick in Blades of Avernum Editor
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #31
Yeah, but, with a pre-made party, I wouldn't have had the joy of seeing "The strain of the Drake's magic on Q-money is visible ... Q-Money suddenly goes berserk and starts attacking you!"

Seriously, though, Thuryl's point is good. Since Bahssikava was essentially a gritty scenario, it probably would have benefited greatly from the additional drama that you could have provided (the scenario provides ample evidence that your storytelling ability is up to the challenge) by lessening the party's anonymity. I will say that I did like the way you got the sliths to thank my party by name, and the way that the tunnels encounter referred to my lead character by name.

[ Thursday, March 10, 2005 19:44: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Article - Rollick in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #31
Yeah, but, with a pre-made party, I wouldn't have had the joy of seeing "The strain of the Drake's magic on Q-money is visible ... Q-Money suddenly goes berserk and starts attacking you!"

Seriously, though, Thuryl's point is good. Since Bahssikava was essentially a gritty scenario, it probably would have benefited greatly from the additional drama that you could have provided (the scenario provides ample evidence that your storytelling ability is up to the challenge) by lessening the party's anonymity. I will say that I did like the way you got the sliths to thank my party by name, and the way that the tunnels encounter referred to my lead character by name.

[ Thursday, March 10, 2005 19:44: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Article - Rollick in Blades of Avernum Editor
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #27
Hate to play this card, but DreamGuy has a problem with the community's definition of linearity, and the community has a problem with DreamGuy's, so let us turn to the lieutenant arbiter of semantics, Merriam Webster (because my copy of the OED, although near at hand, is damned heavy).

The definition most applicable to the current debate is actually a definition of linear, but linearity is not included except as an abstract noun of linear.

So, without further ado:
quote:
4: of, relating to, or based or depending on sequential development.
Thus, a linear scenario is merely one in which there is a marked sequence of events, which clearly proceed from one another.

Because the argument about linearity seemed mostly to center on gameplay, rather than events proceeding from one another, Thuryl defined new terms which were more in terms of gameplay than of plot, and with quite a bit of panache, I might add. He isn't even disagreeing with you, DreamGuy. He simply said that some people like what you like (rollick - options), and some people like what I, a player and not a designer, like (grit - suspense).

Edit 2: Sorry, Thuryl and community, for going off topic like this, because the article really was excellent. I think it distills quite admirably the different kinds of scenario experience. Plus, it moved World War Lineariy back to where it belongs. Namely, a matter of personal preference.

Edit 3: Indeed, AL. Idiocy has been removed. Apologies.

[ Thursday, March 10, 2005 19:34: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Article - Rollick in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #27
Hate to play this card, but DreamGuy has a problem with the community's definition of linearity, and the community has a problem with DreamGuy's, so let us turn to the lieutenant arbiter of semantics, Merriam Webster (because my copy of the OED, although near at hand, is damned heavy).

The definition most applicable to the current debate is actually a definition of linear, but linearity is not included except as an abstract noun of linear.

So, without further ado:
quote:
4: of, relating to, or based or depending on sequential development.
Thus, a linear scenario is merely one in which there is a marked sequence of events, which clearly proceed from one another.

Because the argument about linearity seemed mostly to center on gameplay, rather than events proceeding from one another, Thuryl defined new terms which were more in terms of gameplay than of plot, and with quite a bit of panache, I might add. He isn't even disagreeing with you, DreamGuy. He simply said that some people like what you like (rollick - options), and some people like what I, a player and not a designer, like (grit - suspense).

Edit 2: Sorry, Thuryl and community, for going off topic like this, because the article really was excellent. I think it distills quite admirably the different kinds of scenario experience. Plus, it moved World War Lineariy back to where it belongs. Namely, a matter of personal preference.

Edit 3: Indeed, AL. Idiocy has been removed. Apologies.

[ Thursday, March 10, 2005 19:34: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Background Music in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #27
Sorry, Notus, I forgot that you aren't a native speaker of English. The thing in my first edit was not information at all. It was just me sharing a weird, irrational, and extremely unlikely suspicion.

It is true, however, that JV updates rarely, and that he still has not added add_dialog_pic or play_missile_animation, both of which the community has made it plain that it desires. It seems to me that a request for custom sounds, which may or may not be a lot of trouble to code, but which would certainly take up a lot of space on Spiderweb's server, will probably be either ignored or refused by Jeff.

As long as you don't try to make any money off of screwing with the application, he probably won't come after you legally, but he might force TM to take the offending file off the internet.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Background Music in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #19
Yeah, Notus, you might want to explain to TM exactly what adding custom sounds for windows would entail. From what I understood from one of those rebuilt editor threads (and it wasn't much, mind you), custom sounds for windows would require screwing with the BoA app itself, as opposed to the ancillary files. If it is not, in fact, possible for TM to add custom sounds for Windows without doing so, you should probably let him know.

Edit: After the recent linearity fracas, I've had the weirdest feeling, which I haven't been able to shake, that DreamGuy is in fact Jeff going incognito, that the community has failed some sinister Vogelian test, and that he will never update BoA again. Ever. Couldn't tell you why, though...

Edit 2: I don't know if I got this across completely in my last post. I heartily endorse the idea of background music. I don't know if anyone remembers, but Exile 1 for mac, way back when, had a MIDI version of a Bach organ fugue that you could have as optional background music. I've been pining for that in every Spiderweb game since.

Edit 3: Now that I think on it, the seeds for my crazy suspicion were probably planted when he got all upset about TM using (possibly) copyrighted google images.

[ Tuesday, March 08, 2005 12:20: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Background Music in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #10
I love the idea. Pray tell how you plan on doing it?

I ask because I figure a tolerable way to build up some sort of aptitude with cutscenes would be to make a music video, and I'd rather not have to "press play on Windows Media Player NOW!" to make it work.

Or, are you, perhaps, going to get Notus to make you a customized BoA app? In which case, naughty TM, but still go ahead.

[ Monday, March 07, 2005 18:00: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
Concentrated Linearity Debate (New Voices Welcome to Participate and Vote) in Blades of Avernum
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #39
A Deus Ex Machina is a previously unintroduced character who provides, by virtue of his/her deity, a resolution to the drama in a play. It is rightly regarded as a kind of cheating, because it bespeaks the author's inability to resolve the plot through conventional means.

Dei Ex Machinis are not, however, anything outside of the protagonist who advances or complicates the plot. The name for those is antagonists. Sometimes the protagonist's choices are determined by the antagonists' actions. In fact, it should be so a fair amount of the time, because drama is in the protagonist's responses to the antagonists, not in doing what he/she wishes, at his/her leisure.

Oh, and DreamGuy, be consistent with your objections. You whine first about how Bahssikava prevented you from doing what you always do (uncharming your character), and then complain that a lot of the combat required you to do what you always do. The latter objection indicates that even you think that combat, if you're left to do what you always do, is boring. So, how does the designer stop you from doing what you always do, unless he restricts you? (He adds special spells. But he still restricts you.)

No one here is calling Bahssikava perfect. Read what I had to say about it on CSR. However, its problems had less to do with choices or lack thereof than with the presence of filler and sparse present-tense plot development. Instead of crucifying Kelandon for refusing to implement some sort of sweeping movement to non-linearity in his scenario that would have necessitated the deletion of tons of scripts and the writing of tons more, why not take the bad with the good, say what he did well, and how he can improve his next scenario, in the context of what he already did well?

Edit: And if you want to call him lazy, why not actually open the folder and look at the scripts? It is a lot of work, and sweeping changes would have taken a lot of time. I, and others, would rather just have him release the scenario so I can play it already, instead of restructuring the whole thing at one indignant member's behest.

[ Monday, March 07, 2005 16:30: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00

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