Profile for Alberich


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Did you feel herded? (*spoilers included*) in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #18
Crypto - Good point - I had quite forgotten that. It may have been part of the reason why I was so keen to find the safehouse before I visited Alwan. I know I wanted to be sure to be able to get into it, and learn its secrets, before word got out that I had joined the Shapers, as I wwas sure it would.

I never dreamed (and nobody told me) that my rebel reputation would survive my betrayal of the safehouse and my choice to fix Moseh instead of killing him...particularly given the way GF3 worked; after you'd played a while and made the "shaper" choice a few times, the rebels went from, "Join us and do this," to "We'll give you one more chance to redeem yourself," to "Forget it, now. You're the enemy and we know it."

Slartyphobia - No. I'm not going to buy G5 because G4 wasn't enough fun, for me. More efforts to preserve the continuity, more loving craftsmanship, would have made it more fun for the reasons I stated.

I won't defend G3 here - I found it a little disappointing - but it did have a plot and I could understand how the characters were reacting.

[ Monday, March 05, 2007 04:58: Message edited by: Alberich ]
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Did you feel herded? (*spoilers included*) in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #15
SOT, I accept that, and I think you were answering Dr. Strange more than me, but what bothers me here is that I was trying to play along with the storyline, only the shapers weren't telling me what it was. If Jeff had added just a couple of lines to General Alwan - "I'm pretty sure you can help Moseh without the Rebels finding out, but other than that I want you to maintain your contacts with them, because we'll need you to spy on them later" - I would never have attacked the Rebel camps (until the end of the game), never found out the things I mentioned. The illusion would have been preserved.

(Alwan does say something like that very late in the game, right before I infiltrate Quessa-Uss, that he wants the Rebels to love me. And I played along with that - didn't attack any more northern rebels until after Alwan had infiltrated the area west of Northforge and was waiting for me to join him for the final assault. Of course, by then I pretty well suspected that I could do what I liked and it wouldn't matter, but I didn't push it. Likewise, I never stole much in any town I hadn't attacked, because I figured people would begin to notice their goods were gone even if they didn't see me take them. This is probably hogwash, but I was genuinely trying to play along.)

Of course, it would be better still if I really had the option of throwing off the mask and turning all the later Rebel encounters into hard fights (so, instead of duelling Salassar and getting permission to enter Northforge from Ghaldring, you break into Quessa-Uss, kill them both, and get the key to Quessa-Uss from Ghaldring's body) - I wouldn't have done that, but it would've meant something that my choices, my balancing act, led to infiltration. (And a "humdinger of a multithreaded storyline" would be better still, but I try to be reasonable.) Little details - like letting Archibald surrender to me and adding a paragraph to the end to say what happened to him afterwards - I don't think they'd add so much to the programming task, but they'd help me to believe the craftsman who put the world together actually cares about it.

That's important to me. Part of me approaches a storytelling game like a child being read a fairy tale...if you read me "Rumpelstiltskin" and you don't, for a few minutes, really care about whether the princess gets her baby back or not, then I feel like a fool for listening to you. Without the illusion - without the little chances to personalize it, to have my character do what he'd do and see the consequences - the guilty pleasure of spending a few (quite a few!) hours in someone's magical world begins to bring too much guilt and too little pleasure. I don't doubt that a lot of work actually went into the game, but it doesn't feel that way when the simplest continuity problems are so easy to run into.

(I also don't doubt that a lot of players here don't see it my way at all, and will be buying GF5, as I almost certainly won't. But I was curious as to whether anyone did.)
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Did you feel herded? (*spoilers included*) in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #8
Locmaar, that's not quite what I'm driving at. What helps to create the illusion in such a game is the idea that your judgments matter, have understandable consequences in the game world, and contribute to the unique ending you create. The first two games were good at that. (In both games, I committed very late or not at all, so I was able to keep talking to a lot of the participants for quite a while, but if I had gone another way, there were consequences.)

You're saying my decision to clear out the safehouse was misunderstanding about my role, on my part. Again, though, no one in the game world told me that I was supposed to leave them alive, or preserve the illusion I was cooperating with them, or that they'd be using me as an infiltrator once I reached Burwood. For all I knew, word was going to get around that I was a Shaper agent, and I might as well throw off the mask and start fighting now. And to be clear, the game didn't stop me from doing it - it just ensured that it wouldn't actually affect whether the Rebels trusted me.

After I headed north to Burwood, the Shapers told me that I could still infiltrate the Rebels. It didn't make sense; it wasn't convincing. (I mean, I probably would have gone the "infiltrator" way if I'd been given a choice, and never attacked the safehouse or the camp.) The same thing was true after I had killed everyone in the Rebel camp except Greta and Archibald. I figured my reputation with the Rebels would never have survived - that's not how it worked in the earlier games! - but it did, just fine. That hurt the illusion and thus the enjoyment. So did the fact that Archibald (who was not only a spy for the Shapers, but specifically joined the Shapers so he would not have to fight them) wants to attack me single-handedly even when all the Rebels are gone.

"To me it feels like being unsatisfied with your dungeon master for not being able to wrestle down four drakons with hands tied behind your back and get a reward from their father."

That is exactly the opposite of what I am complaining about. The game actually does let me get away with things like that, and it leaves out the kind of details that would make it convincing, as if the designer didn't care. It does not visit the consequences of my choices upon me, except for the big ones (shaper/rebel, canister/no canister, finish/kill the unbound), as I mentioned before.

I used to play live RPG's all the time and dearly loved them, but a DM with any skill who wanted to preserve something had ways of doing it that weren't so ham-handed. "Suddenly, General Greta becomes unkillable. But she's still killing you. And later on, she totally forgets you attacked, and she helps you." (Not that I believe CRPG's can, or should, be like pencil-and-paper games.)

At first I thought - having read the infamous "Jeff Vogel Hates CRPG's" interview - http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/763/763050p1.html - that the designer had, by losing enjoyment of the games himself, forgotten what made his earlier ones good. But the glowing reviews I see on this page incline me to think that I'm the one who's out of step.

[ Thursday, March 01, 2007 07:26: Message edited by: Alberich ]
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Did you feel herded? (*spoilers included*) in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #0
This is a comment on something I didn't like about GF4 as opposed to the previous games, and especially the first two.

I played as a Shaper turncoat (with Trakovite sympathies), and it seemed to me I was being "pushed" into a particular storyline, in which I keep infiltrating the Rebels.

After I'd been through the rebel safehouse and talked to General Alwan for the first time, I wanted to turn completely anti-Rebel. So I did things like killing everyone in the safehouse (the lady who tracks my reputation at Therile Colony said, "You seem tempted to the Shaper cause." And I wanted to say, "What was your first clue?") In the shaper camp at the north end, I killed everybody except Greta and Archibald. I tried to kill Greta too, but when I got her down to her last hit point, that hit point just would not go away (I grant I didn't save that game, but I did kill the rest of the camp around her). Yet, not only was I still the agent that the Shapers could use to infiltrate Rebel operations, but when I met Greta herself later on, she was ever so happy to see me. In the north, it was the same; I could wipe out all the Drakons north of Quessa-Uss and kill everything that wasn't Litalia in Derenton, yet Northforge was still open and friendly. (Possible bug: after I finished the duel inside Quessa-Uss, the female Drakon to the north still wanted me to duel her, on behalf of the guy I had already killed inside; in order to get permission to enter, when I had already entered from the west. I killed her anyway, and came back and killed all the others with her later, but Word Just Did Not Get Around. I was still welcome in Khima-Uss. I never destroyed that place because I didn't want the shaper agents there to start attacking me, the way Captain Archibald did.)

Now, if someone in the game had told me, "Communications in these mountains are really terrible. You can probably do this, this, and that without the Rebels up north finding out. But if you keep up your reputation with them, we can use you for undercover work..." - it would have been like a choice, infiltrate or fight (or at worst, infiltrate or fail). But instead it was as if God Almighty had ordained that, no matter what I did, the Rebels would not learn of it, and I could infiltrate; and Greta would survive to give me a friendly hello. (From what others tell me, the game also doesn't let you take the initiative and kill Ghaldring, but kills you instantly after 1 round if you try.)

Also, I wanted to do some small acts of kindness that my character would've done. Such as helping the reluctant merchant in the Shaper safehouse and the spy Captain Archibald to escape. Yet, once I started attacking the safehouse, the merchant wanted to attack me the same as everyone else. Even after I obliterated the Rebel camp where Archibald was (I carefully refrained from killing him - he wasn't that hard to avoid or escape), even when he was the only living thing in it, he insisted on attacking me. I grant, the game did let me help some refugees move north.

In short, I did not feel as if I was making a small part of the world's destiny, but rather as if I was being "herded" into a particular storyline, to which my choices were irrelevant (except for the big "A or B" choice, "Shaper or Rebel," and my ongoing decision not to use canisters). And that made this game less enjoyable than the others.

Another thing that would've been nice, that I haven't seen in any of them, is to let you affect the ending by some choice as to what policy your character would pursue after it was over. Suppose, let's say, you could've told Khyrik of your sympathy with Trakovite ideals, and this affects the ending - because you, as imperial administrator, have canisters smashed and ruthlessly suppress self-shaping, and build a faction among the Shapers to curtail the practice further...If the fifth game is to be the last, it might be an especially nice place for that.

Fellow players, what do you think?

[ Wednesday, February 28, 2007 08:25: Message edited by: Alberich ]
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Rooftop Club in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #1
It's not that much of an accomplishment. Using no canisters, however, was a sign of moral superiority in your character, whom I salute.
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Slartanalysis: Creations I in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #25
The accuracy didn't bother me too much, since for any serious fight I always had mass energize on, and they could hit often enough (I agree that the enduring damage wasn't making much difference). Their durability made a nice combination with the thorn spell, especially if I was in an area that had an essence pool (so I could make multiple kshyakks with essence armor, steel skin, and augmentation). In fact, that's how I killed the first iteration of Titan - just let him cut himself to pieces on the thorns. If I'd been a shocktrooper instead of a lifecrafter I would have liked them a lot less.
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Perfect cloak in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #2
* Fairly basic spoiler *

First, make the potion with demon's bile and mandrake tincture, on the anvil. Then put that onto the anvil with the shaped fiber cloak. K'chink!
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Quessa-Uss in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #2
*****SPOILER*****

When you win the duel, and Ghaldring comes in to congratulate you and send you on your way...what if you try to kill him? (I didn't have the power.) Does it let you tweak the ending just a little by having him die?
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Slartanalysis: Creations I in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #21
Once more, it seems no one loves a canister virgin. Kshyakks made a big difference as compared to the previous game - at least I wasn't stuck with cryoas and roamers (and trying to build other shaping areas way too late). At the very very end, it was a little like the happy time with my drayks in the first game.
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Geneforge Political Spectrum in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #61
I disagree completely with Jeff (and on this, if nothing else, actually agree with ET): self shaping is one of the major issues of the game, maybe the central moral issue. If you look to the future. As long as the decisionmakers are human, there is hope for the future, for moral progress (there's a new movie out about William Wilberforce; look him up to see what I mean). When the decisions are made by glowy egotists, there is none. "In peace, prepare for war; in war, prepare for peace."

Put me somewhere southwest of the Trakovites - my utter, utter, utter opposition to self-shaping is tempered by a willingness to make creatures, provided the creatures aren't so intelligent that I'd feel sorry for them at reabsorption. The Shaper idea of a Banned Creation List seems right to me. I'd put Serviles on it.
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
GF1 Sect question in Geneforge Series
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #14
Well, there is one more aspect. Each of the sects has a different idea of what you should do with the Geneforge - and since you are talking about it, you know enough to know that the Awakened are the ones who want you to use it to empower yourself. Whether that is good or bad for you, I won't say.
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Ever a peaceful ending? (If you post spoilers add a warning) in Geneforge Series
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #2
Each game makes some assumptions about the previous game - including that the war is still going on. Occasionally people in these forums express a wish that the series would end, finally, with peace. In this thread I offered some alternatives -

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=21;t=000028

If you want a game where a seemingly endless conflict can finally be resolved, you could always play this:

http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20070131/adams_01.shtml

...though I will warn you it only has a few hours of replay value.
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
G3 Greiner help needed in Geneforge Series
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #5
If that doesn't help, I know that I first killed the person who was responsible for the possession before I cured Grenier. He may be found by thorough exploration of the area to the east of Grenier's camp, and That Which Lies Below, unless my memory fails me.
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Your most amusing G1-3 stunts in Geneforge Series
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #77
Gorgeous! Thank you. (Though it would've been more poignant with a cold-hearted cryoa...)
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Your most amusing G1-3 stunts in Geneforge Series
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #63
"Oyroa in a Featherboa" -- Alorael's next nickname or Andraste's next art project?

[ Friday, January 26, 2007 07:56: Message edited by: Alberich ]
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Your most amusing G1-3 stunts in Geneforge Series
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #54
Well, there's always "boar," and there's an old word for "frost" that I will not utter here, but it's true, neither of them should be used on Dikiyoba. (I like Dikiyoba the way Dikiyoba is.)

("Dikiyoar" sounds like a nonsense syllable in a folksong..."Them rats ain't good for fertilizer/Feed 'em to the fish/'Cause they fought too long with our Stewboy/An' deeeeeelicious Vlish...Dikiyo, dikiyo, dikiyo, dikiyo, dikiyoooooooooar....")
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Let The Evil Creativity Flow! in General
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #18
I think Alorael has it right. The ideal weapon would be the magic TV screen from the "Mirror, Mirror" episode of Star Trek -- twist a knob or two, find the individual you want, and hit the big button to vanish him. Counterterrorism would be way different if we could do that...WMD, there are already plenty of those around, and there's nothing positive I could add to the world with another one. So my answer to the first question is "no," and my answer to the second is, "hand it over to the Air Force - it wouldn't be so easily stolen from them."

[ Thursday, January 18, 2007 14:39: Message edited by: Alberich ]
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Your most amusing G1-3 stunts in Geneforge Series
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #4
I think my most "interesting" stunts were actually planned for by the game designer, so they probably don't qualify. The fun for me comes in picturing a flesh-and-blood human being actually pulling this stuff off.

My personal favorite was beating the GF3 Shaper testing grounds with nothing but roamers - which I did by skedaddling when the enemies appeared, running back to the regen pools while my roamers concentrated on one enemy at a time, then running back with newly-created roamers to carry on the fight. I pictured the Shapers awarding me the "Supreme Order of Chateau Generalship" - or at least a commander's coin with the inspiring motto: "A true shaper knows when to lead from behind. And we mean, like, WAY, WAY behind."

But I think that's what you're supposed to do. (And it's probably been discussed when I wasn't lurking here.)
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Girls: would you prefer to lay eggs? in General
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #86
Crypto, well, presumably, we'd get weaker parental instincts to go along with it (or the instincts would kick in later) - in short, we'd be kreelies:

http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20040603.html
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Skull Suggests Human-Neanderthal Link in General
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #0
http://my.earthlink.net/article/top?guid=20070115/45ab0a50_3ca6_1552620070115-1419298527

When I read that headline, all I could think was -

"Hi, I'm a talking skull!"
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
War in Geneforge Series
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #33
This adds new meaning to the phrase, "I didn't inhale..."
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Has Jeff neglected the Eyebeasts/Gazers in Geneforge Series
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #23
Indeed, that was the idea - though I was also thinking that the eyebeast had developed armor protection for the stalks (the "eyebeast as flying coral" idea), so that the eyes are peeping out at you from a stony, standing, petrified forest.
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
I Need Math Like a Hobo Needs A Bath in General
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #34
I didn't take logs at the beginning, but only after I had squared and grouped terms. This sort of thing -

(x+3)^.5 + (x-3)^.5 = 3

(squaring both sides):

(x+3) + 2(x+3)^.5(x-3)^.5 + (x - 3) = 9

(grouping terms to get the fractional exponents together)

(x+3)^.5(x-3)^.5 = 1/2(9 - 2x)

As I mentioned, you could square both sides again; I took logs because I'm a little strange (my grandma always said I liked making life difficult).

log(x+3)^.5(x-3)^.5 = log 1/2(9 - 2x)

1/2 log (x^2 - 9) = log 1/2 (9 - 2x)

log (x^2 - 9) = log 1/4 (9 - 2x)^2

As I said, it was really an unnecessary step...but anyway, if you take it from there, it's easy to see it breaks down to a quadratic.

The big thing, for me, is working in fractional exponents instead of with radicals. It's conceptually easier and better preparation for calculus. For me, at least, it was easier to remember things like whether you can convert sqrt x / sqrt y into sqrt (x/y) if you wrote them as x^1/2 / y^1/2 .

And the properties of logarithms are good things to have in your toolbox, even if they weren't really needed for these problems.

[ Tuesday, January 09, 2007 21:12: Message edited by: Alberich ]
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Has Jeff neglected the Eyebeasts/Gazers in Geneforge Series
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #20
"I bring you a warning. Every one of you listening to my voice, tell the world! Tell this to everybody wherever they are: Watch the skies, everywhere! Keep looking! Keep watching the skies..."
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00
Has Jeff neglected the Eyebeasts/Gazers in Geneforge Series
Warrior
Member # 7276
Profile #18
No, not everything has to be power hungry - but juice it up with canisters and geneforges, and at the very least it will have a low regard for other life forms. Then put it in competition with the drakons and...do not feel safe.

Garrison, wouldn't you prefer to be walking through a forest, where the trees have little eyes that wink at you..then you pick one and, not only does gooey stuff get all over you, but you discover that the whole forest is a giant eyebeast who is now angry at you? Something like the grumpy apple trees in The Wizard of Oz, but with spells.
Posts: 63 | Registered: Tuesday, July 4 2006 07:00

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