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161  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Combat Mission: Normandy thread on: April 21, 2011, 03:34:15 AM
Those recent gameplay vids have been nice, but graphically the game seems rather dated in comparison to some of the CM clones that are already out.   Graphics aren't everything, of course, but I've been playing a bit of Theatre of War lately and the environments look more real and less like a micro armor board setup then the new CM does.   CM's models look better, though. Really not sure about how excited I am about this game.
162  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I should have listened on: April 21, 2011, 12:47:31 AM

Quote from: rittchard on April 19, 2011, 10:17:01 PM

Quote from: Sarkus on April 19, 2011, 07:48:48 PM

Good luck.  I've tried to get into GRRM but it just hasn't clicked for me.  I made it through Game of Thrones last year finally after several attempts, but could not find the interest in starting book 2.  I think it's because it seems to mostly be about humans and their politics with very little of the traditional fantasy inclusion of other intelligent races, magic, and lore.

Normally that would be the case with me too, I prefer spells and magic and the like on top of my political intrigue and character interplay.   Most people tend to enjoy the characters, "epic" plot, the twists and the overall "darker," more "adult" direction he takes things.  Certainly he does some rather shocking things with his characters (or at least they were shocking at the time of the first book).

For me, though, it's as simple as I absolutely love his prose style.  Even during characters and plot points that I'm bored with, I'll generally find a sentence or paragraph that I just feel was written to perfection.  I've actually just stopped and reread sentences not for content but because I liked the way they flowed.  This really doesn't happen to me with any other author.  It's kind of like how some singers' voices just resonate well with you.  

That said, my patience with him started to wear really thin by Book 4, which I really did not enjoy much (too many new characters and characters I didn't care for), and the mind-numbing wait for Book 5 (which was originally supposed to take 1 years after 4 was split into two) had pretty much got me "over" him.  At some point it starts to feel indulgent when a writer takes 5+ years to put out a book he originally claimed would take a year, and then blogs daily about all the side projects he is working on and/or how many football games he watched.  Yes yes yes I realize he doesn't "owe" his readers anything and "art" has its own timetable, but seriously, at some point enough is enough.  

Luckily the TV show has really re-sparked my interest again, and it coincides nicely with the 5th book finally getting a release date (7/12).

From my perspective his structural style probably played a big part in turning me off to what was going on.  Having the story bouce around chapter by chapter to different character points of view is interesting and it also makes GRRM's plot shifts more impactful.  But for me, part of getting into a good book is getting into a "rhythm" of wanting to know what is going to happen next and not encountering natural "stopping points" where I can put the book down for the night or whatever.  GRRM's character jumps destroy any rhythm for me, especially when I'm not that excited about all the characters.  By the time I reached the end of Game of Thrones, the only character's I felt really invested in were Danys and Tyrion, meaning the other chapters were roadblocks to what I wanted to hear more about.

Anyway, maybe someday I'll give it another try.  But at a certain point you kind of just give up on a book/series that you've tried to read several times.
163  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Best Buy Planning Dedicated Games Department on: April 20, 2011, 03:02:12 AM
I read an article not long ago about how Best Buy was completely changing their approach to everything.  Their sales have been struggling and apparently focus group studies they did indicated customers wanted more dedicated staff, among other things.  And I'm sure BB will still try and push extended warranties and the like, as everyone else does anymore.

But I haven't been to the nearest one in quite a while.  
164  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I should have listened on: April 19, 2011, 07:48:48 PM
Good luck.  I've tried to get into GRRM but it just hasn't clicked for me.  I made it through Game of Thrones last year finally after several attempts, but could not find the interest in starting book 2.  I think it's because it seems to mostly be about humans and their politics with very little of the traditional fantasy inclusion of other intelligent races, magic, and lore.

But it is well received by many people, so perhaps it will work for you.   Have fun!
165  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Could Drought of Nintendo Games Mean Wii 2 Is Imminent? on: April 16, 2011, 12:58:06 AM

Quote from: kronovan on April 13, 2011, 02:27:16 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on April 13, 2011, 08:24:52 AM

now there are rumors of a Wii price cut to $150 bucks.  perhaps clearing the stock out? slywink

They may be clearing the stock out, but February's hardware sales numbers are likely more the reason. The Wii has now been relegated to 2nd and the PS3 is gaining on it.

Quote
Hardware sales
Wii - 454,870
Xbox 360 - 535,214
PS3 - 402,648
NDS - 456,732
PSP - 77,647
PS2 - 28,951

Wii's been #2 for awhile in the US, so it may be time for Nintendo to think about moving on.  But I don't know if throwing out something as soon as next year makes sense.  True, an HD console could lead to a bunch of port-overs of older 360/PS3 games, but that seems an odd move for Nintendo.  Instead a price drop makes more sense and should invigorate sales, at least in theory.

But the real motivation is that the Wii has been struggling in Japan for awhile, and despite it's high install base there it isn't generating a lot big software titles.   So it appears that in general the Wii fad has passed or hit its market saturation point in most of the world.
166  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Trip to Seattle in the fall - what's the best time? on: April 09, 2011, 07:57:27 PM
The Museum of Flight, located south of Seattle, is worth visiting if you have an interest in aerospace history.   Definately worth the relatively low cost of entry.  The Experience Music Project, located near the Space Needle is also something you might be interested since it covers music and scifi.  A more expensive proposition, though.  And depending on when you come, a lot of people like Bumbershoot, which is a music festival that run on Labor Day weekend.

167  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions! Mods! Live Action Fan Film revealed on: April 07, 2011, 07:16:23 PM

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on April 07, 2011, 02:01:49 AM

Quote from: Sarkus on April 05, 2011, 10:42:32 PM

Quote from: cheeba on April 05, 2011, 05:59:55 PM

Heh, it doesn't include the Cerberus network.

It doesn't look like you can gift the game either.

According to people on the official boards you can gift it.

How?  

I have no idea, but people who've gone through the process to claim their free copy say it can be done.

Edit: The Bioware PR guy says that if you follow the process then at a certain point you get a code for the free download.  You can then give that code to someone else if you don't want to use it yourself and it will allow that person to download the game for free from EA's digital delivery service.
168  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions! Mods! Live Action Fan Film revealed on: April 05, 2011, 10:42:32 PM

Quote from: cheeba on April 05, 2011, 05:59:55 PM

Heh, it doesn't include the Cerberus network.

It doesn't look like you can gift the game either.

According to people on the official boards you can gift it.
169  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale on: April 05, 2011, 06:59:49 AM

Quote from: baelthazar on April 05, 2011, 05:14:03 AM

Can I make an observation? Why is it that, for over a decade now, game companies have persisted in turning one of the most famous turn based games on pen and paper, into real time action fests? Even the vaunted Balder's Gate series committed this sin.

I would love to see another TBS version of D&D with all the new 4e skills and character customization options.

Because the publishers do not believe that the market for turn-based RPGs is big enough to justify their development.  So the hybrid action w/pause is preferred because it has the potential of drawing in action fans who don't like being limited by turns. 

It's kind of a self-fulfilling circle, but the biggest selling RPGs in recent years have been either first person hybrids (Fallout 3, Oblivion, etc.) or third person action hybrids (Mass Effect series, Dragon Age, The Witcher).  At this point selling turn-based only is going to be very hard.
170  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Gamestop Buying Impulse & Spawn Labs on: April 01, 2011, 08:24:00 AM
Brad claims they are getting out of the digital retail business not because it wasn't profitable (they claim to have made more money on that then any other part of their business last year), but because to grow it would have required it to become their primary business and that is not what Brad wanted to do.  So from that standpoint I can see his point.  He also claims to have done his work to make sure GameStop was a great fit, but I suspect the amount they are paying made other issues secondary.

It doesn't really matter to me personally, though, as Impulse has always been a minor player from my perspective. 
171  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The destroyer of threads thread - A Warning on: March 30, 2011, 07:13:11 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 30, 2011, 05:46:38 PM

Wouldn't it be hilarious if some started cross quoting stuff from that thread here?

If you ever do that again I will kill you.  Or at least report you.  ninja

(Honestly, I'm not sure someone shouldn't go in and delete that.  Seriously. And all this thread is doing is drawing attention to it for more people who otherwise wouldn't have cared.)
172  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions! Mods! Live Action Fan Film revealed on: March 27, 2011, 07:35:53 PM

Quote from: Turtle on March 27, 2011, 03:04:07 PM

A lot of people are attributing the changes to DA2 as some evil corporate scheme, or some deliberate attempt to piss off old timers, or some personal vendetta from the designer. The truth is DAO had issues and DA2 attempted to fix them. While not all of DA2's changes great, they still did fix issues with DAO and try something new. I think it's indicative that most people still bought and played through the whole game.

It's important to note that while Mike Laidlaw was officially one of the designers of the game, he actually did not take over that role until late in development.  The original lead left years ago and Brent Knowles lead development for much of the time until he transitioned out of that job and eventually out of Bioware altogether (his blog posts about why he left Bioware indicate he didn't like the direction the company was heading and didn't think they were going to continue to do the type of RPGs he liked).   So Laidlaw's impact on DAO was probably a lot less then his impact on DA2.  

As for most people buying and playing through the game, I'm not sure that's clear at all.  I've seen ZERO indication that the sales on DA2 are where they hoped they would be.  If for no other reason then that we haven't seen the usual PR announcements about large numbers shipped or sold.  The longer they are quiet about it, the more I think the game is going to be seen as a business misstep.  And while hard figures are difficult to find, a poll over on QT3 indicates that something lilke 20% of potential buyers skipped buying DA2 at launch because they didn't like the demo.  If that's even somewhat true, then the changes cost them sales.
173  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions! Mods! Live Action Fan Film revealed on: March 27, 2011, 04:30:53 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 27, 2011, 12:23:52 AM

I just realized I haven't touched this game for most of the week.  looks like my last save was made around 2am on the 20th.  real gripping game Bioware.

So you stayed up until 2AM playing it, but it isn't gripping?  Besides, we're talking about you, the guy who makes posts every day about yet another game you have decided to start playing.  I'm surprised you even finish anything!  icon_lol

As for the Gamespot piece, there was a minor mea culpa there about the not equipping your companions decision.  So Laidlaw is throwing some bone.  But in general he is coming across as being annoying confident in his own vision for the series.  Though not mentioned in this rather vanilla questioning, he admitted earlier that they basically rethought the combat even before DAO was released, which means they had come to conclusions about what they wanted without even listening to any feedback.  And if the former lead guy's blog comments are true, that decision was made further up the chain of command.  Meaning EA, in all likliehood.  As such, it's Laidlaw's job to do what his bosses want.



174  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Total War game coming: Shogun 2 on: March 24, 2011, 05:11:53 AM
Yeah, this is the best TW game in awhile.  There are some warts (though I haven't seen them), but it really does a lot of things right.  And while there are several "character" units, the nice thing is that you can put them in cities and they do many things without having to be moved around.  So you can focus on your military units turn to turn, plus decide which upgrades to focus on in your towns to improve your economy, military, or other things.

My current campaign, on normal difficulty, has been a lot of fun.  But those Shoni bastards are going down!  icon_lol
175  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Charlie Sheen - Fired by Warner Bros on: March 22, 2011, 06:00:15 AM
There's a pretty good chance that by the time filming rolls around for next season Sheen will have gone in and out of rehab.  Or be dead.  Either way, it's not the worst idea for CBS to want to see him given another shot for a show that makes them so much money.  And it wouldn't be the first time Hollywood decided to ride a messed up celebrity for all they can get before the inevitable crash.
176  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Hobbit finds a director on: March 21, 2011, 06:44:48 PM

Quote from: TiLT on March 21, 2011, 06:09:02 PM

Quote from: Scraper on March 21, 2011, 06:02:32 PM

I think the guy playing Bilbo is perfect. I think he will be able to pull the role off nicely. Also Nemoy would be great as Smaug.

I just wonder how they are going to work Frodo into this movie and however they do it I hope they don't destroy the lore. I can see Legolas fitting into the story during the wood elf section, but Frodo seems like a stretch. Unless the movie starts with Bilbo back in the shire telling his story to Frodo.

I've said it before, but I can't imagine them doing it any other way than having Frodo be the narrator for the story, reading from Bilbo's memoirs. Perhaps he's entertaining an audience, perhaps not.

Spoiler for Hiden:
That's exactly how it's being done.
177  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions! Mods Starting to Appear on: March 21, 2011, 06:38:32 PM

Quote from: Roguetad on March 21, 2011, 05:07:04 PM

Quote from: rshetts2 on March 21, 2011, 04:05:55 AM

ps: as a mage Fenric will never, ever, ever like you.  Dont even try! Even when he does seem to like you you get rivalry points.
Spoiler for Hiden:
By the time I finished Fenris's companion quest he was almost at full friendship for me (playing a mage).  I noticed several of the milestones in his questline awarding large amounts of friendship (15 points).  He was my best bud by the end of the game, including switching back to my team at the gallows for the final fight, after initially siding with the templars.
So it is possible...but he's my friend, and you can't have him Tongue

I wonder if one of the problems with "finding" Isabella has to do with having Varric in your party.  I didn't have him in my group, and I received a quest to go speak with him at the Hanged Man (after a certain plot point).  Entering the Hanged Man triggerred the Isabella scene.  I couldn't proceed to the next major step in the main story without speaking to Varric at the HM, so there's no way I would have missed Isabella.  I'm wondering if that event isn't properly triggerring for some people.  That would be a major bug.

You can't talk to companions except at their "home" so having Varric in your party shouldn't matter in that regard - you still need to visit the Hanged Man.  Unless the conversation isn't firing at all, but that would presumably impact the Varric development.  On the other hand, if you ignore quests and advance the main story (which is possible), then you can miss out on companions.   Not only Isabela, but also Fenris, for example.
178  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Total War game coming: Shogun 2 on: March 20, 2011, 07:30:28 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 19, 2011, 11:57:19 PM

Quote from: Sarkus on March 19, 2011, 06:35:51 PM

It doesn't matter at this point as I already bought the game yesterday after seeing Amazon had the digital version for $40.  I haven't actually played it much, though, as the Amazon dowload took over 12 hours (not an exagerration). 

I wonder how long Steam would have taken-  it's a Steamworks game so you should be able to download it straight from them after registering the key.

I would have tried but the way the Amazon thing works is that they don't give you your key until after you've downloaded the game.  Seriously, there is a link to a page that is attached to your account and the button to get your serial is greyed out and it says you have to download the game once to get access to it.  Makes zero sense to me, especially for a Steamworks game like this.
179  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Total War game coming: Shogun 2 on: March 19, 2011, 06:35:51 PM

Quote from: Razgon on March 19, 2011, 09:10:57 AM

Sarkus - I'm downloading the game right now, and I'll be sure to talk about the tactical game, since its always been one of my gripes. You may want to take my comments with a grain of salt though, since I can be kinda sceptical towards games, as I'm sure you've noticed in the DA thread ;-)

Btw - I hate you all for making me buy this! It just sounds too much fun!

It doesn't matter at this point as I already bought the game yesterday after seeing Amazon had the digital version for $40.  I haven't actually played it much, though, as the Amazon dowload took over 12 hours (not an exagerration). 
180  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions! Mods Starting to Appear on: March 19, 2011, 05:19:04 AM
There's an interesting post-release interview with Mike Laidlaw over on 1UP where he addresses the reuse of areas issue.

http://www.1up.com/features/dragon-age-2-afterthoughts?pager.offset=0

Quote
1UP: So while we're talking about development resources and decisions, I have to ask: Can you also explain the process of why the dungeon assets seem to get re-used a lot? That is one of the more prominent and universal sticking points from both reviewers and consumers.

ML: Absolutely, and I think it's a fair critique, and it's not one that I'm going to leave unaddressed, frankly. What we ran into was the situation where we had the ability to have more plots, more content, some side stuff that we knew would be optional, but we didn't have the assets to create entirely new levels for. So we took a long look at that, and said, "Is it important to have more content in the game, or is it important that the content be 100-percent unique?" So we tried to strike a balance, and tried to evaluate a good way to use this. I think the one thing that caught us a little bit off-side was, with the caves having much more interesting features than just "generic cave with left bend," -- you know, having things like collapsed or old masonry and so on -- is that end up probably creating a larger sense of repetition than we thought would originally occur. And the end result is something I look at and go, "Okay, I think that is a shame, and that is a fair critique, and something we can easily address in the future."

So basically he admits it was partly a lack of time issue but also suggests that they didn't think the environments were unique enough to be memorable to the degree that people would really notice the reuse that much.

181  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: March 18, 2011, 07:44:43 AM
Portal was a brilliant game, and definately worth getting in the Orange Box or even seperate for $20, but I'm still not seeing where they can possibly make this worth $50, at least to me.  I don't want 30 hours of Portal 1 or some variation thereof.  I don't care about the multi-player.  And that PAX clip makes me think they are too focused on humor, since that's really all it shows.  

But I'm still bitter they are doing this and ignoring HL2, so I'm probably biased.  icon_wink
182  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fallout: New Vegas Announced on: March 17, 2011, 11:19:25 PM
There's been rumblings for awhile that at least two more DLC are coming, possibly more.  We'll have to see what the details are, but the Bethesda "denial" is not exactly denying the general aspects of the rumor, just the specifics.
183  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Undergarment question {NSFW} on: March 17, 2011, 11:16:51 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 17, 2011, 10:13:18 PM

Quote from: Scuzz on March 17, 2011, 10:02:16 PM

Without pictures this thread serves no purpose...... retard

alright, here's a pic.  consider it russian roulette, do you dare click?

Spoiler for Hiden:

A red X is too sexy for this thread.  But at least its better then NSFW photos of RickFC and Teggy together.  retard
184  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Total War game coming: Shogun 2 on: March 17, 2011, 10:28:58 PM
I've seen enough positive comments (including from some people who are generally very critical of CA games, like Tom Chick over at QT3) that I'm downloading the demo.  But nobody seems to have anything to say about the tactical combat - it's mostly about better strategic AI.  I guess simply going back to mostly melee battles hides the flaws in the AI that the musket comat in Empire exposed.

Edit: So I played around with the demo and played through most of it.  It didn't exactly run great on my rig and looked pretty bad on the default medium settings.  I turned it up to high (with most other options off) and it still only looked ok.  Is the release version better optimized?
185  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions! Mods Starting to Appear on: March 17, 2011, 10:25:34 PM

Quote from: Roguetad on March 17, 2011, 08:23:03 PM

I encountered a very funny, unintentional story-banter disconnect while working on a companion quest in act 3.  If you haven't completed the game, please don't read this (unless you don't care).  It's about Merrill's companion quest resolution.
Spoiler for Hiden:
My group consisted of me (mage hawke), Merrill, Fenris, and Aveline.  We had just finished slaying her keeper, and killing off her entire dalish clan.  Her keeper allowed herself to be possessed by a pride demon to spare Merrill from the same fate.  She transformed into the demon before our eyes, and we had to destroy it/her.  Merrill then had to finish off her keeper and mentor by stabbing her.  As mentioned above, we then had to kill off her entire clan...to the last person.  None of them were bad or evil, they were just shocked and upset to learn of the death of their beloved keeper.  It was a very dark consequence to Merrill's use of blood magic and her obsession with the mirror.

I was expecting a cut scene to start immediately after the last dalish clan member died...nothing.  I thought maybe I had to move the group to the center of the village...nothing.  Weird.  She should be hysterical right now, sobbing, upset, inconsolable.  Nothing.  After feeling like the developers missed a major emotional plot moment, I decided to head out and move the group to the zone exit.  As we start moving, Merrill asks Fenris, "Why do you hate mages so much?" 

After laughing out loud, I yelled, "Are you kidding me??!!"  Come on Bioware!   


Spoiler for Hiden:
When I did that, Merril started talking about the clan as if they were still alive.  I don't know if it was just a random thing, but it really hit me that she had basically gone insane.  When I went back to Kirkwall and to her house, expecting something, there was no new dialogue from her. 

I ended up replaying the section because I didn't think wiping out the Dalish fit my Hawke's approach.  Luckily there is a dialogue option when you meet the clan outside the cave that allows you to leave without killing any of them.
186  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions! Mods Starting to Appear on: March 17, 2011, 07:25:18 PM
I finished the game last night, coming in at just under 44 hours of play.  On the whole it was a fun experience.  While I'm not that worked up over the combat changes either way, my biggest complaint was probably the random mobs that attack you on the streets all the way through the game.  It kind of works early on, but as the story progresses it makes increasingly less sense.  At the very least they could have tried and tied them to the choices you made.  There are other things, like the reuse of environments, that I didn't like either, but I guess I was lucky in that I never saw the same one back to back.

The ending is not that great and it really felt like an "all roads lead to one place" situation.  Since the ending makes clear that there is another chapter in a now overall story coming, they basically force you in that direction.  

That said, I am pretty impressed by the variation of things that can happen based on your choices within the game itself.  So while the end may be the same for everyone, your path can vary quite a bit.  Just reading around various spoilers I'm seeing all kinds of differences that could have happened.  Not only with events in the city, but with companions and with various DAO figures you may or may not come in contact with.  So I applaud the devs for that.

So I'd say it's a good sequel, but not as good as the original.  It's unfortunate that the series is going in a different direction then what was originally envisioned (in a number of ways), but it's still an interesting world that I hope I get to revisit again.

I'd give it an 85/100.

187  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions! Mods Starting to Appear on: March 15, 2011, 10:14:10 PM

Quote from: JCC on March 15, 2011, 08:55:03 PM

I've definitely cooled on the game in Act 2. With more play time, the game's flaws tend to get worse (stuck in same town, the repeated environments, etc.). The game seems to be getting more buggy and less polished in Act 2. For example, one of Fenris' companion quests in Act 2 can be started without him in your party. This results in a conversation where Fenris speaks despite not being there (and there is no model to show). Also a trigger at the end of the quest never gets triggered since he isn't there. Generally, it just feels like less care was taken for this part of the game than in the opening act. Also, to reach roughly the halfway point without any sense of a main plot or goal is kind of unsatisfying. I'm also concerned that I am hitting some bugs and not getting some companion quests since there are some that seemingly have none in Act 2 (unless they are going to appear later on). The feeling that this game was rushed seems to be increasing in Act 2. Still having fun for the most part, but it's definitely beginning to feel more like a B game, which is disappointing given how good DA:O and ME1 and ME2 were.

I'm in Act 3 and can say that Act 2 is generally not that good, at least until later and at the end.  One other thing I noticed was that the companion quests don't pop up until you start doing main quest line stuff.  I did a bunch of the secondary quests first and it felt like nothing was happening.  It turns out that you have to advance the main plot.  Remember, you will be clearly told when the main story line is ready to conclude the act and will have a chance to back out and take care of other quests you want to finish before they go away.
188  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 13, 2011, 09:20:31 PM

Quote from: TiLT on March 13, 2011, 08:35:29 PM

Quote from: Gratch on March 13, 2011, 08:25:27 PM

As for sites being "scared" to give DA2 a bad review... Roll Eyes

Don't be so dismissive of that. It depends on the site or the publication, but most seem reluctant to rate titles from the big studios low. It is well known that the publishers (may) punish what they consider unfairly bad reviews (what they consider unfair is obviously not what the public thinks) by limiting early access to review copies or not offering preview opportunities. They can even go to such extreme measures as to stop advertising with the publication in question.

The worst part? We, the public, rarely hear about it. It happens behind the scenes for the most part, and we don't really notice the ebb and flow of marketing money, nor who gets preview copies or not.

It's not a myth or a conspiracy theory. This happens, and there have been several cases of public outcry from journalists about it. Whether or not it applies to EA and Dragon Age remains to be seen, but Bioware has been honest enough about the polarized situation with DA2 so far.



Which is why GameInformer should be the most honest review source.  After all, they pay their bills with the subscription generated at GameStop stores - the advertising is pure profit.  And they are editorially independent, so even if the publishers want to pressure GameStop over a bad review it doesn't really matter.  Not that publishers like GameStop to begin with.  icon_lol
189  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Don't flame EA on forums..as you wont be able to play their games on: March 13, 2011, 06:12:32 AM
Up front let me say that I don't think your ability to play a game should ever be connected to your good standing on a message board.  That said, there is a lot more going on here then those reports suggest.

First, the guy wasn't banned for saying bad things about Bioware or EA.  He was banned because someone reported a post in a thread he started where he and another poster exchanged insults that involved words such as "retard" and "homosexual."  That thread was locked and the offending posts deleted by mods, though you can still see some of it quoted by other posters who responded.  This is not hard to find out since the guy created an alternate account and told everyone the username of the banned account.  Simply looking at his posting history from their makes it clear what actually happened.

Second, the only reason he can't/coudn't play his game (DA2) was because he had not installed it before he was banned.  Since Bioware wants the game attached to the same username as their forums, the banning prevented him from completing his game activation.  It also meant he couldn't log in, a requirement for DLC (but not the game once it has been activated.)  Had his game already been activated, he could have played all he wanted while waiting out the ban.

190  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 10, 2011, 08:09:02 AM

Quote from: Ridah on March 10, 2011, 06:02:55 AM

Does the game freeze up on anyone? It eventually unfreezes, but it's been happening a lot lately. At first it was just during cutscenes, now it's in gameplay.
 

I've had that happen, but for me disabling the high texture pack seems to have almost completely eliminated the problem.  However, my card is below 1gb memory size recommeneded for the textures, so no surprise to see issues.  Other people claim its a driver issue related to the beta drivers just released - which drivers are you using?  And yet others suggest it is internet related - in at least two occasions I saw it, I got a "connection lost to severs" message.  I've seen several Steam users report similar messages with the slowdown, though I don't have a Steam version of the game.

Here's my party - my warrior is using the demo promo 2H sword and wearing the Blood Dragon armor you get if you had DAO registered:


191  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 09, 2011, 09:03:37 AM

Quote from: Ridah on March 09, 2011, 08:47:47 AM

You guys keep mentioning the high-res pack. I have a DX11 card, can I achieve even higher res textures than I'm already getting? The game looks incredible to me and I have at medium settings...

There's a high res textures pack you can download (about 1GB).  If you have a Dx11 card then you should install that and put the settings on very high with the Dx11 renderer.  That will give you the best possible graphics, though at some sort of cost in terms of framerate.
192  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 09, 2011, 08:01:33 AM

Quote from: Daehawk on March 09, 2011, 05:12:19 AM

Now it's running but it's in a huge window. At the top is a standard windows bar and stuff at the bottom is being cut off.

EDIT: Fixed the window thing by going to DX9

It's an actual option in the configuration and it defaults to it.  You should still be able to run in Dx11 mode (assuming you have a Dx10 or Dx11 card) full screen if you click that window option off.

Quote
Also I customized my character and now my sister looks exactly like that chic from the opening video that in interrogating the dwarf..yuck. the original one was hot and easy to look at. Can I change this one? Not sure I want to stare at her the whole game. My mom is even hotter than her now. Sigh.

Mom and siblings are based on a couple of different templates.  The template used for your character is based on which of the preset faces you used as the basis of your character creation.  While you can't modify from canon Hawke, the first one right after him will give you the canon mom and siblings, with small adjustments to match what you did.

I admit that it was important to me that I use the canon Bethany.  ninja
193  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 09, 2011, 01:38:03 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 08, 2011, 10:46:57 PM

Quote
For instance, the rogue’s ability to pick locks automatically increases for every 10 points in their Cunning ability (simple locks at 10, standard locks at 20, etc

So, if they kept with the same types of locks that Origins had, that means you have to have a cunning of at least 40 to open all the locks.  Which, depending on your starting stats, means you'll spend close to 10 levels worth of ability points in cunning alone since you only get 3 points per level.  I think I liked it better when the game took into account cunning and lockpicking separately; now people ate just going to pour points into the classes 2 main abilities whereas in Origins you could spread out points more.

Well, rogues should be buying up cunning to begin with to help with crits, so its not like you are wasting the points just to open more chests. 
194  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 08, 2011, 10:37:59 PM
I like playing the loot game, but there is still plenty of that in this game.  Outside your main, that only thing you can't change on companions is their armor (and one keeps his weapon).  You still get to choose weapons and other stat boosters like rings and amulets.  It does cut down on a lot of stuff, I will give them that.  There are other simplifications that I'm not so sure I like, such as the end to crafting, but that's always been hit or miss in many games anyway. 

In the end, though, I play RPGs for the story and characters and choice.  The rest of it is extra icing on the cake when I get it, but I'm not going to pass on a great story just because some of the mechanics are not my preferred choice. 
195  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II - Impressions Incoming! on: March 08, 2011, 10:20:44 AM
So I've put in a good hour or so and gotten pretty quickly to where things are opening up in a way that is nicely reminiscent of early Baldur's Gate 2. Sure seems like an RPG so far.

Graphically it looks pretty good. I downloaded and installed the texture pack and enabled that along with high settings and Dx11 rendering. Hard to say what impact its having, but I haven't had any technical issues.

I created custom Hawke and ended up with default family apperance, which was fine with me since I liked the Bethany there. Since I'm a warrior, the brother didn't make it.

Things are a little railroady story-wise, but no more then BG2 and DAO were early on. You do have what appears to be a significant early choice, but I think it's the kind of thing that will longer term consequences.
196  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Blade Runner prequel or sequel coming? on: March 08, 2011, 06:16:07 AM

Quote from: metallicorphan on March 07, 2011, 04:25:20 PM

so any word from Ridley Scott on the matter or has he distanced himself from it,after the troubled BladeRunner production?

and his he still up for Alien Prequel?

His new Alien movie has moved into something a bit different, called Prometheus, but they are being somewhat vague about the links to the Alien universe.  It sounds like it could be viewed as an Aliens sequel but won't necessarily have any obvious links to that universe.  It's about to go into production, with a release next year.

197  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II on: March 08, 2011, 04:28:49 AM

Quote from: cheeba on March 07, 2011, 09:40:04 PM

Quote from: Sarkus on March 07, 2011, 08:35:02 PM

I looked at the latest Steam survey numbers and Dx11 was still a pretty tiny percentage, less then 5%.  I know there is a lot of debate about Steam survey numbers, but I don't know of any other source that is even half legitimate.

Where are you looking? What I'm seeing... here... is 5.6% with a DX11 card + Win7. But that's through May, 2010. Wonder why they haven't updated in a while.

If you look at More Info, you see that 7.22% have a 5770. Though don't you need Win7 for DX11? The 5850 is also DX11 and that's 4.48%. The next highest is the GTX460 and that's 4.46%. So it appears to me that plenty of people have DX11 cards. Obviously fewer numbers can run DX11 if Win7 is needed, but the cards are out there and have been for some time.


Yeah, the whole thing is pretty confusing.  If you click on the chart it says it's showing you Dx10 & Dx11 usage under Win7 and Vista, but then lists a bunch of cards where the numbers are different.  
198  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age 2 on: March 08, 2011, 04:14:59 AM
On the other hand, the reviewer at The Escapist gave the 360 version a good score and indicated he liked button mashing, so I guess it depends on the person.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/reviews/8701-Dragon-Age-II-Review

Not spoilerish at all, either.
199  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age II on: March 08, 2011, 01:55:27 AM

Quote from: Ridah on March 08, 2011, 01:27:50 AM

So the high res pack is to get around the arbitrary non-DX11 card limitations?

The official word is that you need a 1GB card and that the high res textures are geared towards the Dx11 cards.   

On the other hand, now that I've installed the game and run the config, I was surprised to see that it thinks my Dx9 card is Dx11 compatible, including letting me choose higher graphics settings.  Whether it actually works on those settings is hard to say and I won't know until tonight or tomorrow.
200  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age 2 on: March 08, 2011, 12:45:27 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 08, 2011, 12:26:30 AM

Ok, how the flying blue fluffy bunnies do you do something like that?  I'd say the console players have a righ to be ticked, you'd expect better QA from a company like Bioware

A lot of the anger has to do with the news coming out via people who got the game early and are already playing it on XB360 or PS3 rather the Bioware admitting this when they first realized it.  Their devs have been continously promising the feature in recent weeks, after all, but I guess they were out of the loop.  On top of that, Bioware is making no specific promises on how/when it will be fixed.

It's hard not to assume the worst in regards to the timing.
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