Saturday, November 18, 2006

Been a while since I posted, but there's not all that much to tell.

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First off, I'm currently engrossed in Neverwinter Nights 2. At first I really didn't like the game, as it's a lot less polished than the first NWN. The interface is fairly ugly, the icons for items and spells suck ass, and the camera can be a bitch at times.

BUT ...

There's sooooo many more variables for roleplaying in the original campaign (OC) compared to NWN 1. You can have more than 1 NPC henchman, they talk about stuff when cutscenes happen, you can have conversations with them, and you have to gain favour with them to advance their stories. I've already had problems with the crazy dwarf fighter guy, as he's always looking to fight people and bust some heads. Not kill everyone, just beat the crap outta them. He's still Neutral Good, mind you. And the tiefling rogue chick seems to be catty about the female elf druid who just recently joined the party. Sometimes it's hard to balance who to please.

There's also so many dialog options, much moreso than the in NWN 1, that you can actually RP your alignment a lot better. There's all the Bluff, Intimidate, Lie options, etc. I think I'm going to have some problems if my alignment shifts at all, since my Warlock character has to be Chaotic and/or Evil.

And onto that, I'm loving the Warlock. I made one for the tabletop DnD game my friends and I were playing, but he was only lvl 3 so he seemed very weak AND very "Johnny one-spell". The NWN 2 version has some of the Invocations, but others are modified and/or missing, but overall the game version is actually way better. If resting was actually enforced as it is in tabletop, no one would bother playing a sorcerer or a mage in NWN2. Especially at the low levels, you'd run out of spells in no time. My warlock just keeps standing there spamming Eldritch Blast, while the dwarf fucking butchers the enemies. The thief is pretty piss-poor for melee, as you have to control her to get the sneak attacks, and the druid is useless IMO. But the Warlock has some great Invocations, and they last for 24 game hours too. Stuff like +4 Dex/+4 Tumble, +CHA bonus to all saves, and the kicker:

Flee the Scene
- +1 attack/round, +50% movement speed, +1 to hit, and +1 AC to EVERYONE in your party for 60 SECONDS (10 rounds) !!

And when it wears off, just cast it again. Fucking ridiculous, I know.

Anyway, it's been pretty fun, and the graphics are very nice. A little sluggish, but nice. I haven't had time to fiddle with the toolset much, so I can't really talk about that. Though it is more like an SDK (software development kit) than like the easy to use tileset one with NWN 1.

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I also picked up the full version of GTA San Andreas, as I was working off a cracked copy, and I lost it when I had to format and re-install. Thing that sucks though is it's vers. 2 of the game, so my old savegames are incompatible with it. I have to start all over again. I could get the copied DVD from my friend again, as it wouldn't be much of a problem, but I think I'll redo it anyway. Now I know how the game works, and I can up my skills a bit more before jumping too far into the missions. It took me a long time in the old savegames to get my Driving skill to a decent level. Now I can boost it up early on and just breeze through the missions.

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Speaking of driving, I picked up a copy of Need For Speed: Most Wanted as well, cause Kofi has it. It's pretty cool, and the police chases are fucking exhilarating. It sucks that you have to unlock stuff by beating the better "Blacklist" street racers, but it does work to give the game a level of progression.

It's pretty fun, though I haven't played it all that much as NWN 2 has me pretty occupied.

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I also saw some /very cool/ screenshots and a video of the new graphics for EVE Online. Their new ship models and texturing are fucking nice. Plus all the things they are planning for their incremental updates named "Kali", look very nice, and add some of the things that the game's been missing. The first addition is called "Revelations I" and should be out soon. The one thing that looked nice off the bat was they are nerfing what was called "Insta-bookmarks", as they are a major source of lag in the game.

Essentially, the Insta is a bookmark placed /behind/ or /inside/ a stargate or station so that when someone has to "Warp within 15km" (the closest distance allowed), they appear right on top of the gate/station and can dock or warp instantaneously. Now, the lag comes from the database calls required for the Instas. Plus, some assholes were copying bookmarks during fleet engagements just so they could lag out the node, and make the fight unplayable for both sides. CCP (the makers of EVE) are going to wipe all the bookmarks near gates, stations and other celestial objects (moons, stars) I believe, and put a hard cap on how many bookmarks a player can have.

It all sounds good to me, as they are replacing this with the option to "Warp to 0km" for both gates and stations. Now players will be able to get around much more easily and safely, and won't have to worry about either spending inordinate amounts of time making their own Instas, or paying millions of ISK (credits) for a set of them for one region.

On top of that, CCP is adding hidden stuff in every system (I believe it's every system) for players to find and explore. Hidden asteroid fields, secret NPC pirate bases, etc. And some of them will be linked, so you might find one pirate base that leads to another, which in turn leads to another. And it's all going to be random. The secret stuff will change every so often, so you never know what might be out there.

It finally gives people a good reason to go exploring. Love it.

They are also adding the ability to salvage from wrecked ships, which will yield components that can be made into regular modules, or used to reverse engineer Tech 2 items. Hopefully, their Reverse Engineering (or Invention or whatever it's called) will allow people to get a hold of Tech 2 stuff for cheaper, as it's currently some of the most ridiculously expensive shit.

Kofi is playing it again, but I think that's because the Burning Crusade isn't out yet. I know once it's released he'll be WoWing it up to the max again, and he'll probably keep trying to get me to play. Guess it's understandable, really. WoW was his first MMO, so obviously he's got a lot of attachment to it. SWG was like that for me at the beginning. I still remember some of the fun my guildies and I had on planets like Dathomir and Endor. EVentually the game went downhill, and the people I knew left, but for a while it was a great game. I guess I liked the sandbox nature of it all, and the exploration. Player cities were probably the biggest thing for me, but they didn't turn out as good as they could have been.

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I guess it's back to the games for me. Now, I just have to decide which one.....

Decisions, decisions.

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