Profile for malkav11


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Sci Fi Spidweb. in General
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Member # 8854
Profile #29
Actually, geeks are those carnival guys that bite the heads off chickens. Mmm. Chicken.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Recommend a Spiderweb game for a Newbie?? in General
Apprentice
Member # 8854
Profile #12
I'd say Geneforge. Less party management, for one thing. And the more limited numbers of spells and so forth make it less confusing as a newbie game. Plus each area has a discrete goal to work towards.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
GF 1 - Shaper Crypt in Geneforge Series
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Member # 8854
Profile #35
Hmm. I didn't really have a horrible time pre-Geneforge with two trios of Vlishes, one trio regular, the other Terror. And a regular Drayk. Though that *was* the Shaper Crypt, not the Inner Crypt, and I'd turned off the pylons.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Who has the REAL OLD Exile: Escape From The Pit??? in The Exile Trilogy
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Member # 8854
Profile #33
I have the Trilogy CD. It's on the stack. But surely you don't want me to do them out of plot order? :)
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Hintbook Questions in General
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Member # 8854
Profile #24
quote:
Originally written by Fractal:

Dikiyoba,
Foolish me! Bad memory. I haven't played G2 in a long time (about a year).
Is it just me, or am I the only one who truly cares about having a collection of enjoyingly written hintbooks?
EDIT:
quote:
Dikiyoba bets your hintbooks didn't tell you that. :P
If that is what Dikiyoba thinks, Dikiyoba is completely correct!

No, you're not. That's a large part of why I was even considering ordering the hintbooks - generally I rely on Gamefaqs or other internet walkthroughs unless no such thing exists for that game or I badly need pictorial references that Gamefaqs is unable to supply.

Having something I can refer to in my lap playing console games is also nice, but doesn't justify $20 for a guide. And is of course irrelevant for my computer games, where I'm sitting right next to the Internet or its local outpost at any rate. :)

But I've been known to buy a strategy guide without owning the game if it's sufficiently entertaining. Working Designs guides are a hoot. I just wish I'd picked up the Arc the Lad Collection guide when I had the chance.

Unfortunately, I like games better than guides and not starving to death better than games (although only barely), so I don't think hintbooks are in the cards right now. As a separate (precisely the same price) purchase in the future? One never knows.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Who has the REAL OLD Exile: Escape From The Pit??? in The Exile Trilogy
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Member # 8854
Profile #31
I'm profoundly grateful that the fact that my first Mac and first PC both came after the advent of the CD-ROM drive, thus making the vast majority of the software I ever acquired for either CD-based. Helps nostalgia ever so much.

And man...smaller spell list that's minus summoning and fields (my favorite ones), less friendly handling of locked doors, awkward item-information system....I'd never quite realized what phenomenal leaps in playability Exile III (the only one I played heavily) made.

I think I'm still hooked all over again.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
GF 1 - Shaper Crypt in Geneforge Series
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Member # 8854
Profile #32
So naturally it turns out that the very next time I enter Drayk's Vale I run right into the Crescent Shade. Cleared both areas. Not particularly hard for a post-Geneforge-use Shaper and his army of substantially enhanced Vlishes, Terror Vlishes and Ur-Glaahks. Although definitely nastier than anything else.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
GF 1 - Shaper Crypt in Geneforge Series
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Member # 8854
Profile #31
Thanks. :)
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
GF 1 - Shaper Crypt in Geneforge Series
Apprentice
Member # 8854
Profile #29
I definitely didn't miss the Crescent Thahd, as pretty much everything I killed in that zone was a variety of Clawbug. I explored the Drayk's Vale but couldn't find anything that looked like a Crescent Shade.

Whereabouts in those two areas would these creatures spawn if they're present on a given visit? If it's random I am so not bothering.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
GF 1 - Shaper Crypt in Geneforge Series
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Member # 8854
Profile #25
My Shaper went in at level 17 and while I didn't make it into the Inner Crypt due to being completely unable to find the Crescent Stones (advice would be appreciated), a phalanx of three Terror Vlishes and three regular Vlishes along with a Drayk made the experience quite manageable. Occasional battles that involved several of the tougher Glaahk, Drayk, and Battle Alpha spawns were slightly hairy, but I explored nearly the entire zone on my first pass. (And leveled twice.)
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Utility Programs in General
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Member # 8854
Profile #22
I pretty much never need to do anything that requires a full office suite these days, but I used to use AppleWorks when I did. I'll probably move to OpenOffice if/when I need to again. Unless it's at work, in which case I'll almost certainly be forced to contaminate myself with Microsoft's hideous favored child.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Who has the REAL OLD Exile: Escape From The Pit??? in The Exile Trilogy
Apprentice
Member # 8854
Profile #28
Playing Exile 1 again I'm realizing that honestly very little changed from 1.0 to 2.0. Graphics and the introduction of AP seem to be about it...it doesn't have any of the niceties of later Exile games, 3 in particular, despite now sporting the same graphics. E.g., old-school casting dialogues, old-school randomly-enter-words-from-responses-and-hope-you-strike-it-lucky
dialogue system, that sort of thing. I'm not sure how much I'm willing to put up with these things anymore. Avernum starts to look more tempting.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Avernum 5, May Update in Avernum 4
Apprentice
Member # 8854
Profile #66
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

Regarding the new traits available in A5, there is one word.

Chitrach!

I was hoping for a second word. Specifically, "muffin".
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Utility Programs in General
Apprentice
Member # 8854
Profile #2
The Mac default text editor is called TextEdit (a total stretch, I know). You also left off the default Mac mail application, Mail, which is what I use for my mail.

Other than that I can forgive your omissions, although the media player one is a little annoying simply because I use about half the things on the list and at least one that's not mentioned, depending on the media and the files involved. That is to say, I use iTunes to play my main MP3 library (which is also known as my CD collection) on my Mac, but if I want to, um...find... music, I do that on my PC and use WinAmp. But for movie files it's BSPlayer all the way. (On my PC). And if I really badly need to play movies on my terribly slow Mac then I'd use VLC or MPlayer. But I try to avoid it, because the poor thing really isn't up to doing it the way I prefer (full-screen). Oh, and for DVDs I use still other applications.

But the poll format only lets me pick one. Bah.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Jeff Interview at IMG in General
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Member # 8854
Profile #47
Oh man. Jewel of Arabia. I hadn't thought about that game in *years* and now I really want to play it again. And send the developers some money since I actually have money these days. Not a lot, but more than I had as a high-school student.

I got the impression that it was intended to be a series, but that must not have worked out. Too bad.

I will say - I'm very happy about a commitment to keeping the old games available to later generations, but there's a *big* difference between doing that and doing a ground-up rewrite like the Avernum series. I much prefer the former to the latter - Exile is just plain a different experience and although I'm not willing to commit to *disliking* the changes in becoming Avernum (I really haven't played them enough to have a viable opinion), it's kind of like saying that Ultima V: Lazarus constitutes keeping Ultima V alive for people to play. (Lazarus being a total conversion mod for Dungeon Siege. I imagine the plot's transferred for the most part and I'm sure they did what they could to preserve the experience, but playing a TC of Dungeon Siege is never going to be playing Ultima V as originally designed. Big, big play-style differences.)

Even new content is presenting a different play experience, although I'm not as inclined to complain about that. Ideally I'd prefer preservation efforts to a) present a basically bug-free experience, b) fix elements of the interface that were not user-friendly, and c) possibly upgrade the graphics. I don't get especially upset about fixing major glaring design faults, either, but then you start getting into issues of what people originally liked about the game, so it's risky territory.

Anyway. I look forward to Geneforge 5 and the "something different", whatever that may be. And I will certainly try whatever winds up happening down the road in terms of revisiting the old stuff. If I don't wind up liking it, it's not like anyone's holding a gun to my head and making me buy it, after all.

[ Sunday, June 03, 2007 19:38: Message edited by: malkav11 ]
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
SW sales poll in General
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Member # 8854
Profile #9
TM? Wha?

O internet acronyms, you exclude me again. *weeps*
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Strategy in General
Apprentice
Member # 8854
Profile #23
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:


Strategy is always limited in CRPGs, since at best they have only tactical AIs. At the strategic level they are all purely passive. In a sense they even have negative strategy, since the games are rigged to be beaten, instead of being designed to thwart the player. On the other hand passivity also eliminates most of the value of strategy on the part of the player. You can't cut an enemy's communications and supply lines, or take out its command center, because none of these really exists. Usually the only way your actions in any one area affect anything in another area is that your characters take stuff (like new equipment or spells) from the first area and bring it to the second.

I think things could be pushed a bit further in this direction without too much in the way of complicated intercoding. There's a third-person (usually) squad shooter called Freedom Fighters out there. The Red Dawn-style Russian invasion of NY scenario isn't anything in particular to write home about, and the squad-building and shooting aren't anything super special either (though solid), but it does do one thing which I find exceedingly interesting:

It gives you multiple areas to access at a time, which are interlocked in various ways. Generally there's one sensible way to unravel the interlocks to your best advantage, but it does create the illusion of multiple approaches to the scenario. For example, you might have a helipad, a barracks, and a building full of hostages. The barracks provides guards to the helipad (and presumably also the hostage building). The helipad is the fueling base for a nasty attack chopper that patrols the hostage building's area. So you can directly assault the hostage building and be done with that particular section, but you'll have a chopper and swarms of guards to deal with. Blow the barracks, and the other two sections become significantly safer. Blow the helipad next, and your route to the hostages is relatively trivial to clear.

Don't think it'd be especially hard to build a two or three area interlock setup like that in Blades of Avernum or other RPG scenario editor. (I mean, providing comfort with the scripting to begin with. Something I don't have.)

It's not the grand scale strategy that would be most pleasing, but it'd make a definite change from the entirely self-sufficient quests that tend to dominate the genre.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
The classics in General
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Member # 8854
Profile #5
Meh. I liked Realmz once upon a time, but I don't really feel like the versions inbetween my first flirting with the game and the last time I tried it (still some years back) were a firm step forward.

And while it's got a Windows port, it's not really a good one and I don't game on my Mac anymore. I never really played the other three.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Post here if you still play BoE in Blades of Exile
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Member # 8854
Profile #20
I can't say as I "still" play it, because I never really did back in the days of yore. But given that there are a heck of a lot of scenarios for it, and I would wager most of them have never been updated to the Avernum engine, it definitely has a place on my hard drive. It also means that while I don't think any of the Exile games have been entirely superseded by their Avernum counterparts, Blades is much less so than the others.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Why? in General
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Member # 8854
Profile #23
quote:
Originally written by Bandit Keith:

Kinda like the oldschool D&D Dungeon Crawl, which is the worst RPG concept ever. The entire premise is to go into a dungeon and kill a bunch of crap for little or no reason. I tried one of those once, but I found myself MST3King* my way through the bland, pointless dungeon. Throw in a bunch of flashy graphics, and you have a modern RPG, which is why a lot of them suck. Plot, that's what Spiderweb games have. Rich, deep(enough) plot. The kind that says, 'hey, I have a reason for having my character do whatever it is my character does.'

*Throwing in a lot of mocking commentary and jokes revolving around the sheer stupidity of what's going on for the sole purpose of keeping what's left of one's sanity through all the inane and idiotic crap.

Well, throw in enough flashy stuff going on, new areas to explore, and powers to earn, and I can go for a surprisingly long time. Honestly, Titan Quest has very little to it except killing many largely identical critters. But you do it with pretty graphics, neat powers, and physics effects. (It does help that the areas are custom built and not randomly generated like in Diablo, and there's a definite endpoint. I'm not one of those people who can work up multiple level 99 characters for each and every class in Diablo II. Yeesh.)

But I prefer a solid story and neat things to find out. And Spiderweb games have them in spades.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Hintbook Questions in General
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Member # 8854
Profile #9
Yeah, I wound up just buying the Geneforge Trilogy CD (and Blades of Avernum, since there's that discount for purchasing it alongside something else).

But maybe if I feel the urge I shall snag 'em later.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Who has the REAL OLD Exile: Escape From The Pit??? in The Exile Trilogy
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Member # 8854
Profile #21
I was just poking at the CD-ROM that came with the book Tricks of the Mac Game Programming Gurus. The book is immensely, woefully out of date these days, but the CD is a veritable time portal back to early Macintosh gaming. Not only does it have the lovely, primitive Exile 1.1.3, but it also has Realmz 2.0, Mantra, and a whole bunch of other stuff I remember quite fondly from my Performa-using days.

I do wish I remembered where I wound up playing with a copy of Exile II pre-overhaul. Maybe that's just what it was like when I tried it.

Boy that dates me.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Why? in General
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Member # 8854
Profile #19
They meld the things I found most appealing about the really old-school RPGs (things like turn-based combat with crunchy numbers and phat magical lewt, dungeon exploration, and so on) with actual storytelling. I really want to try and play, say, the old Ultimas, or the early Wizardry titles, or the Bard's Tale games, but I get hung up on the fact that you get like two sentences of story per entire sprawling dungeon. Without story, it's just grinding and I have a very low grinding threshold. Especially without pretty graphics or massive tactical depth.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Hintbook Questions in General
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Member # 8854
Profile #4
Heh, I know I don't *need* them. But there's a strong likelihood I want them. Especially if Jeff wrote them himself. :)

And I'm not asking for people to post hintbooks, I was wondering if Spiderweb had ever made a sample available. I could swear I saw something like that a long time ago.

[ Thursday, May 31, 2007 12:49: Message edited by: malkav11 ]
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00
Hintbook Questions in General
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Member # 8854
Profile #0
So I'm contemplating buying the Geneforge Trilogy CD (or maybe the Avernum Trilogy CD, since it's cheaper. But I think I'm more immediately interested in Geneforge.).

And I am intrigued by the thought of the hintbooks, but given that there are walkthroughs elsewhere online, and the hintbooks are another $20 that I'm not sure I can spare, I would like a bit of assistance with my decision. Specifically, I would like to know if there's a sample from any of Spiderweb's hintbooks available anywhere. I really don't care what game, I just want to have a general idea what I'd be getting in terms of writing and specificity of content and that sort of thing.

Also: I notice that the Exile Trilogy hintbooks, when bundled with the CD, get a further price discount but the Geneforge and Avernum Trilogy hintbooks don't. What's the reasoning there?
Posts: 26 | Registered: Thursday, May 31 2007 07:00

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