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4361  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] Troll Hunter on: June 09, 2011, 05:24:00 PM

Quote from: Crux on June 09, 2011, 04:15:34 PM

Trolls can smell Christian blood? Thank god I'm a heathen!

In this movie, that would actually keep you safe from what I hear.
4362  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii U on: June 09, 2011, 05:18:47 PM

Quote from: th'FOOL on June 09, 2011, 12:22:17 AM

Quote from: Jumangi on June 09, 2011, 12:10:08 AM

Quote from: th'FOOL on June 08, 2011, 10:06:50 PM


As far as power, we're really hitting the point of diminishing returns on graphics going past the PS3 and Xbox. I'm afraid that the more intensely detailed and graphics intense games get we'll be looking at longer dev cycles and higher game prices. The fact that it's going to run 1080p is going to be great, and suggests a more than adequate amount of power.

You realize that gets said all the time and shown to not be true. Just look at the demo Epic showed of what they can do with the latest PC tech with the Unreal engine. Thats a major step up in fidelity and what the next xbox/PS could do and would make the WiiU look like the curretn Wii does.

I don't think you understood what I said

Better graphics isn't the same as higher development costs. In fact, the opposite could be true. Today the developers have to spend a massive amount of time cheating with shaders to create effects that sort of look realistic without following the actual laws of physics exactly. Then they have to optimize, test, optimize again, and so on. Better hardware would reduce the need for cheating, allowing developers to go directly to the solution instead of trying to figure out a clever workaround and making it run fast in an already strained environment.

The 3D models made by graphics artists these days are much more detailed than what ends up in the games. Again they have to do extra work to make it run on a current console. They usually do this by creating a so-called normal map of the detailed model, unwrapping it, creating a far less detailed model, and then wrapping the normal map onto it. This tricks the player into seeing detail where there really is none (take a look at screenshots of humans in Doom 3 to see this at its worst), and is a very common technique today that we would be better off getting rid of (which won't happen with the next console cycle, admittedly. Still, they can reduce the use of this technique when the potential polygon count increases).

Physics are mere imitations of the stuff you learned at school. Once again the developers have to come up with clever ways to emulate real behavior. It has to be real enough to fool the player, but not real enough to bog down the CPU. Better hardware would reduce or eliminate the need for these simplifications, resulting in more satisfying and realistic physics and less bugs.

Unstable frame rates means the developers sometimes need to be clever to make the user interface and player actions and reactions responsive. This doesn't happen automatically. A stable frame rate removes a LOT of headaches for the devs, trust me! Having said that, companies like Microsoft guarantee you 60 frames per second in the code, even if the picture can't keep up and rendering of certain frames has to be skipped. Thanks to stuff like that, there's less to gain in this field.

The very, VERY limited amount of RAM on current consoles means the developers need to count every byte of data they add to the game and code memory managers and data streams that never go past the limit (or they might crash). Stuff they might like to add becomes very hard or impossible to fit into the limited space available, and compromises have to be made. See those crowds in Assassin's Creed? They probably all share the same animated skeleton because that stuff takes up a lot of RAM (and GPU once you start animating it. Duplication saves power here too). They are made out of a limited assortment of body parts too, because there's only so much that can be on the screen at once without bogging down everything. These algorithms have to be coded and tested, and systems have to be written to make sure detail is turned down for the least visible NPCs when things get hairy. This is not automatic.

There are many more examples of how the current limitations of consoles make game development harder than it needs to be. By increasing the available power you reduce the need to artificially simplify things, which ironically is harder than keeping them complex. Don't draw hasty conclusions based on the results you see on your screen.
4363  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: November releases on: June 09, 2011, 02:39:10 PM
Half of those games will be delayed to February/March.
4364  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LotRO Rise in Isengard launches 09-27-2011 on: June 09, 2011, 07:40:12 AM

Quote from: Blackjack on June 08, 2011, 12:51:26 PM

The level cap bump to 75 is interesting. I have had a difficult time getting re-used to the game when I've revisited. In part because at L 60-65, the number of hotkeys is insane. I've forgotten everything.  icon_razz

I agree with this. This is a large problem with MMORPGs today because developers are scared shitless about the concept of taking something away from the players, even when that might lead to a better gameplay experience. D&D 4th Edition solved this problem nicely. You get powers regularly throughout your first 10 (out of 30) levels, but once you get into the tens and twenties, you have to give up old abilities to get new ones. This means that sure, your high level wizard might not be able to cast Fireball any more at higher levels, but he's got other, better abilities to replace it.

If a MMORPG used this, you could keep adding new abilities to higher levels without ever ending up cluttering the interface. Let players visit a class trainer to swap between powers they have previously learned at a nominal price so that they don't risk gimping themselves with poor choices early on.

One of the worst parts of LOTRO is getting back into it after a break. I've got 6 or so fully stacked rows of buttons in my interface, which is way too much.
4365  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] Troll Hunter on: June 09, 2011, 04:27:47 AM
I haven't seen the movie myself, but I'd imagine it requires some knowledge of Norwegian trolls to understand what's going on, what with the stuff about smelling Christian blood and so on. Unless troll stories are more widespread than I imagined, that is...
4366  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PSN - Now coming back online on: June 09, 2011, 04:14:32 AM

Quote from: metallicorphan on June 09, 2011, 02:56:54 AM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 09, 2011, 02:23:22 AM

Quote from: leo8877 on June 09, 2011, 01:36:36 AM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 09, 2011, 01:28:58 AM

I got one game to start downloading, but errors managed to credit me with purchasing the second game, but then it took it off the menu before I could select the game for it.

I also signed up for the 30 day trial with no issues and no CC request.

I guess I'll email support for the second game issue.

Did you try the solution posted before where you have to navigate to a different path to redownload the game?  That might work for you.

Yeah, I found the steps on the website.  I decided to go with WipeOut and LittleBigPlanet.  I didn't care for Prototype when I rented it.  InFamous looks a little better, but I can GameFly it.  If I like both LBP and InFamous, I figure LBP would have a longer lifespan.

I have to admit i am not enjoying InFamous at all,looks like ass on my TV(Anti Aliasing or lack of),annoying 'sidekick',too much brown as well for the city,and those snipers on the roof when i am just passing by are nothing short of annoying....can anyone tell me if it actually gets any better,i am about 1-2hrs in

Most people seem to like the game. I consider it one of my worst gaming experiences on the PS3. Tastes differ.
4367  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Elder Scrolls V:Skyrim on: June 08, 2011, 08:09:33 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 08, 2011, 08:00:47 PM

Quote from: Ralph-Wiggum on June 08, 2011, 06:20:41 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on June 08, 2011, 03:25:55 PM

Quote from: Ralph-Wiggum on June 08, 2011, 02:14:31 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 08, 2011, 12:21:48 PM

The dude doesn't look like he's skating in 3rd person and fighting even looks good.  I may switch over.

I was grinning from ear to ear watching that.  Holy crap.  Can't wait.

Looks pretty good, but I'll reserve judgment until I have a better idea of how the scaling system works. I wish they had gone more towards the Fallout: New Vegas system rather than the Fallout 3 system.

I also hope that they were playing with some sort of cheat code enabled; if not, combat looks like it will be ridiculously easy in that the character wasn't barely being hurt by any of the attacks while dealing massive damage. If a dragon douses you with fire or a mammoth spears you, that should do some serious damage.



how do you mean scaling?..climbing the mountains?

I mean the scaling of enemies to suit your level. It was awful in Oblivion and better, but still not great, in Fallout 3. I thought the enemy scaling in Fallout: NV, which was barely noticeable, worked well.

He mentions that in the video.  It's done to meet your level, but also randomly, so you can wander into areas that are tough for you, but appropriately tough.

Whether the game scales enemies to your exact level, your level +5 or your level -5 doesn't really matter (it's all shitty level scaling nevertheless), so if what you just wrote is what he said, then I'm getting worried. If your description is true, you'll end up with another game where leveling up doesn't really matter as the world is always follows. An area isn't "appropriately tough" if it's just as hard for you at level 5 as it is at level 25. Merely locking the level of a dungeon the first time you get there is not an acceptable solution.

Is Bethesda somehow allergic to proper handling of levels? They made Fallout 3, which worked reasonably well but was still painfully apparent in its level scaling. Then Obsidian made Fallout: New Vegas which I can't tell if uses level scaling or not (in other words, they did it right). Yet Bethesda claims to follow in Fallout 3's footsteps even with New Vegas to show them how it's done.
4368  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Game of Thrones TV series starts now! on: June 08, 2011, 04:04:06 PM

Quote from: hepcat on June 08, 2011, 03:37:05 PM

Dinklage continues to own this show.  The two dimensional characters of the Queen and her son still continue to NOT impress me.  I'm hoping they aren't this "comic book evil" in the books...or perhaps there's more to come that will flesh the characters out and elevate them beyond a Rocky and Bullwinkle villain.  I'm holding out hope.

The queen is actually more nuanced in the TV series than in the books. They're not really evil, they're just very selfish and somewhat insane.

Quote
Also, just a thought, but if you're the leader of a barbarian tribe of feared warriors, try not to always look like you just came out of an audition for the Robert Smith story.

The eye shadowing is to reduce sunlight glare in the eyes, according to Jason Momoa (IIRC). He supposedly picked that up from real history and brought it to the show.
4369  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii U on: June 08, 2011, 01:06:48 PM
I'm sort of excited and sort of not excited about this thing. I can see several important advantages, and many potential pitfalls. First and foremost is the fact that we are very likely to get at least a Playstation 4 announcement before the Wii U is released, and that machine is going to exceed the power of the Wii U by a large margin. We're probably looking at a similar situation to the original Wii. In other words, the Playstation 4 is released, and maybe a new Xbox, both part of a new generation of graphical capabilities, while the Wii U operates at the previous generation's level (which is the current gen right now). It'll get outdated fast. At that point the big companies are likely to slowly abandon the console again, just like they did with the Wii, and it'll turn into another "only Nintendo's games sell" situation. All of this is long term of course, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Playstation 4 already by 2013. This gives the Wii U one year or so of being the big boy in the playground, but is it enough?

It's got some nifty advantages though, but these too may be stolen by Sony's and Microsoft's next consoles since they're so early in development yet. The screen on the controller is nifty and has a lot of potential for cool stuff, but its versatility is reduced because there's only one such controller for each console. I'm curious about the Wii U's 3D support. Sony and Microsoft are probably going to put a bit of effort into providing a solid 3D experience for their new consoles, so Nintendo should at least try to compete.

Does anyone know what kind of game discs we will be seeing? Are they a variant of the DVD format or something completely different (cartridges? USB sticks?). This could be important, as I believe hard drives will become far less important in the coming console generation with the advent of solid state drives.

The backwards compatibility with the Wii's controllers is cool and could be vitally important to Nintendo. a LOT of people already own these controllers, and that could be a decisive point for customers who are trying to decide between three comparable consoles. The interaction between these controllers and the new one also has some interesting potential, though that'll probably mostly be important for casual games (think golf, like in the presentation).
4370  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception!! on: June 08, 2011, 06:33:03 AM

Quote from: leo8877 on June 08, 2011, 02:46:48 AM

Quote from: ATB on June 07, 2011, 07:23:21 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on June 07, 2011, 06:07:12 PM

Quote from: Teggy on June 07, 2011, 05:53:38 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on June 07, 2011, 05:47:36 PM

Quote from: Teggy on June 07, 2011, 04:56:04 PM

Elena is back, that's all I needed to know. slywink
thumbsup


How am I going to get through the PSVita game without Elena to comfort me?

Looks like we'll have to be each others Elena.  tear
unibrow

I just watched the trailer (AGAIN) and noticed that Elena has a ring on her finger...did they get married!?

It would seem so. Apparently Nate had a ring on his finger as well in an earlier teaser.
4371  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: E3 2011: Let It Begin! on: June 07, 2011, 06:48:46 PM

Quote from: Jumangi on June 07, 2011, 06:41:58 PM

Well its Nintendo thats for sure. As someone who never got into the Wii I don't see how this gets me back into the Nintendo fold. Holding that controller while playing some hardcore FPS, action type games? Why would I want to be looking at a small screen on the controller and not my big HDTV? Eh whatever...

I can imagine a lot of applications for it. Imagine playing an Aliens game and having the controller screen be your radar, or any RPG where it can be the map. Since it's a touch screen, how about better FPS controls than what dual sticks are able to give us? The screen could show your ammo, health and other vital information in an FPS, leaving the TV completely free of UI clutter and thus improving immersion. I think developers will end up with some crazy and cool ideas for it that are much more useful and realistic than what, say, Microsoft is doing with Kinect (the most hyped and least useful peripheral in ages).
4372  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mass Effect 3 on: June 07, 2011, 06:34:02 AM

Quote from: Turtle on June 07, 2011, 05:40:37 AM

The problem with the voice command interface is that you're still having to manually point out where they should go. Just like if you were using a controller, you point at a spot and say the command.

Voice controls really won't take off until we see drastically smarter AI that can follow more general commands like "Flank right", "Careful advance", or even "Head over to that object/thing".

Same goes for using voice. Probably won't be handled well until we have AI that can understand full sentences.

I get the feeling MS was offering significant incentives for studios to implement these pretty simplistic uses for kinect.

That was the great thing about UT2K4. You could give your squaddies reasonably complex commands, such as (the words may be wrong here, it's been a while) "Alpha, attack the base", "Bravo, cover me!", or "Charlie, Delta, Protect 2". Each important location on the map could be referred to through a number, IIRC, which made it easy to send your team wherever they were most needed without having to look at a map or do any supporting actions with the keyboard or mouse.

It's the only situation in my gaming "career" where voice commands have felt useful.
4373  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mass Effect 3 on: June 07, 2011, 04:54:41 AM

Quote from: Caine on June 07, 2011, 04:34:36 AM

interesting use of the tech.  not a bad idea actually. 

Choosing conversation options with your voice is just a bad idea the way they did it here. You say one thing (and sound like a dork while doing so), and then Shepard goes ahead and ignores you while he says something entirely different. It works when you just click these options as you understand that they're just summaries, but when you actually say them out loud, expectations change.

As for commanding your team with your voice, it's a neat concept for certain games, but nothing new. I remember playing Unreal Tournament 2004 like that with no special equipment except a cheap microphone.
4374  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: June 06, 2011, 06:20:12 PM

Quote from: DarkEL on June 06, 2011, 04:49:11 PM



Does anyone even start to believe that these are real?
4375  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Star Wars Kinect on: June 06, 2011, 04:42:30 PM

Quote from: ydejin on June 06, 2011, 01:30:25 PM

Yeah, that looks like it might be pretty neat, or it might be awful.  We'll have to see how natural the control scheme feels.

My vote is for awful. People will wave their arms around a bit before they realize that:

1) They look like complete idiots.
2) There are much better Star Wars games that let you play a jedi.
4376  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Re: Found a bug? Let us know! on: June 06, 2011, 11:34:16 AM
"Mark all messages as read" doesn't work (at least not from the uppermost level of the forums, which is where I tested it). It returns the following error:

"Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again."
4377  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: X-Com Returns to the PC on: June 06, 2011, 06:17:16 AM

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on June 22, 2010, 04:17:00 AM

Quote from: TiLT on June 20, 2010, 04:49:55 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on June 20, 2010, 04:34:12 PM

It seems now to be shaping up like a pretty intriguing, small-squad (3-person teams) tactical shooter though I remain unconvinced the game really needed the XCOM name attached to it.

I would think the question isn't whether or not it needed the X-Com name, but whether or not it deserved it. Time will tell.

I can't remember where exactly but I read an article about the game saying this 'reboot' of the franchise is purposefully XCOM rather than the X-Com from the original so... different.  icon_wink

"No, your honor. As you can clearly see, our game, Dragon-AGE, has nothing to do with Bioware's Dragon Age. Anyone can see that!"
4378  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: I am buying a new boardgame in the morning... on: May 28, 2011, 09:40:38 AM

Quote from: MythicalMino on May 27, 2011, 09:31:11 PM

So, I have read through the rule book for Twilight Imperium (3rd Edition).

I actually have TWO groups that are wanting to play this. Problem is, I don't even know how to play it!! Any suggestions on really how to learn the game, and then teach the game to a bunch of other ppl? Usually, I set up a game and play solo a few times, but not sure that will really work with this beast....

I'm lucky in that I've always been the guy responsible for the rules in my boardgames, and I've got a lot of them. Absorbing and learning boardgame rules quickly is a skill you develop over time, and it definitely gets easier. For now, try setting up simple gameplay scenarios for yourself and perform some kind of important action to see how the rules work in practice. This will both allow you to discover what rules you don't remember, and will help you visualize how everything works.

For example, set up two hexes belonging to two different players, with occupied planets and all (don't forget a PDS or two). Give both players a fleet, then have one of them invade the other. Do the movement itself first, then the space combat, and finally a ground invasion. Confirm that you know what to do once ownership of the planet changes. Once you've done all this, give the relevant sections of the rules a re-read and see what you missed.

Do this for as many scenarios as you have patience for.
4379  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What is your favourite X-File Episode? on: May 27, 2011, 07:28:35 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on May 27, 2011, 04:52:25 PM

one my favourites is called Død Kalm,where Mulder and Scully are stuck on another Ship in the Norwegian sea,and they find they are prematurely ageing at an incredible rate and age decades within a few hours


That one obviously got a lot of attention here in Norway, to the point of having the newspapers hype it before it was shown.

I didn't like it. The portrayal of Norway was so hilariously bad that it pulled me straight out of the story and made me unable to take it seriously. It was next to impossible for a Norwegian to understand what they were saying (it was clearly just Americans reading Norwegian lines that they had no idea how to pronounce), there were Norwegian flags everywhere (okay, I know this is a common thing in the US, but except for flag poles, you'd be hard pressed to find our flags outside of tourist stands), and nothing but gloomy, old fishermen in what seemed like medieval taverns. It was fascinating in a "this is what the rest of the world thinks we are" kind of way, but that didn't really help. slywink

And to answer the original question: My favorite is Bad Blood. It had me hooked and laughing from the moment the fake teeth came off in the intro.
4380  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale on: May 27, 2011, 07:14:37 PM
Yeah. "Fair" doesn't come into the equation. If one game offers more value than another, why should we care whether or not it's a "fair" comparison? Being a budget title means people are willing to accept less polish, but they still expect it to be competitive. There's a reason why few indie titles try to directly compete in the genres of triple-A titles but instead go into their own niches where there's less competition.
4381  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Now with Saviors of the Queens! on: May 27, 2011, 07:26:01 AM

Quote from: Tscott on May 27, 2011, 05:40:17 AM

The patch for the GOG version is only 9MB.

That's because it's an actual patch and not a complete redownload of the massive file. Even so, I can imagine that the patching process takes a long time since it probably has to extract, patch, then repack the file. It's just bad design to use such large files to begin with.
4382  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Now with Saviors of the Queens! on: May 27, 2011, 04:24:38 AM

Quote from: Crusis on May 26, 2011, 09:59:00 PM

I just tried to launch the game on steam and it is now downloading a 9 gig patch. Are you freaking kidding me?

I think Steam simply patches things on its own end then uploads the changed files to its users. CD Projekt are to blame for this situation for shipping a game with a 9 GB data file. That kind of crap leads to all kinds of problems.
4383  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Uncharted to the big screen on: May 26, 2011, 09:13:19 PM

Quote from: Teggy on May 26, 2011, 09:08:24 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on May 26, 2011, 09:01:31 PM

Russel quits.  no details, but hopefully it's something like 'I want to maintain my crediibility, and with Wahlberg as Drake I can't.'

Or maybe it was like, "I want Drake's dad and crazy uncle" and the studio was like "the fans will hate that" and he walked. Bring in Spielberg!

Either way, we win! Even if that means no Uncharted movie.
4384  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale on: May 26, 2011, 09:11:46 PM

Quote from: rittchard on May 26, 2011, 09:07:32 PM

Quote from: TiLT on May 26, 2011, 08:56:45 PM

Quote from: rittchard on May 26, 2011, 08:53:30 PM

I guess regarding the pricing, can you give an example of a comparable game (for $5 as you suggested) if I want hack and slash, loot, multiple character classes and co-op multiplayer?

How about Neverwinter Nights? It's $10, but considering how much better it is, that shouldn't really be an issue.

Well... comparing it to old classic titles that were originally full priced games is really not fair either, is it?  NWN was developed an A-list (or at least a full price) title at the time it came out.  I'm thinking more along the lines of games that released as budget titles, like Torchlight (which released at $20 on PC and $15 on XBLA) or maybe Deathspank.  I can't think of any off the top of my head that came out with MP. 

Considering NWN's age, the comparison is apt. There's a reason why it's so cheap these days, yet even so it's an infinitely better purchase than Daggerdale. It also fulfills all the things you wanted from the game. If Daggerdale is to be a success, it actually has to compete against NWN. If it can't do that so many years later, it wasn't a good idea to release it in the first place.
4385  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale on: May 26, 2011, 08:56:45 PM

Quote from: rittchard on May 26, 2011, 08:53:30 PM

I guess regarding the pricing, can you give an example of a comparable game (for $5 as you suggested) if I want hack and slash, loot, multiple character classes and co-op multiplayer?

How about Neverwinter Nights? It's $10, but considering how much better it is, that shouldn't really be an issue.
4386  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: I am buying a new boardgame in the morning... on: May 26, 2011, 11:51:07 AM
Of those games, I've only played Twilight Imperium (all three editions with all expansions). If you want that game, buy it! It's really good, and the third edition was specifically made to feel complete without any expansions (in fact, most people were pretty surprised when FFG released one anyway). Just one thing: If you play without expansions, make sure you print the rule fix to the completely broken Imperial Strategy Card. It's available on the Fantasy Flight Games homepage. I have never played with the original version of the card, and I never wanted to. It's so horrible that I can't imagine what FFG was thinking when they made it.

In any case, I can't imagine a more epic boardgame. This is Master of Orion in non-electronic form.
4387  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Re: Forum slow today? on: May 24, 2011, 06:33:40 AM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on May 23, 2011, 08:46:40 PM

Stay tuned.  I've got some fixes coming up in about a week that should resolve this issue on a permanent basis.

Will this fix the issues I'm having with Tapatalk? 9 times out of 10 I can't even access GT through Tapatalk, though access through the web is unaffected. It just times out.
4388  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Now with Saviors of the Queens! on: May 22, 2011, 08:41:30 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on May 22, 2011, 04:14:03 AM

yeah, glad I'm playing a borrowed copy and didn't pay for this, I'd be ticked off otherwise.  I love how Aard knocks the knights with the shields to their knees and then you can't damage them.  Yrden doesn't seem to work as advertised either, I thought it said the sign was supposed to immobilize targets but they seem to be moving even when I can see they've tripped it, and I'll be damned if I've seen Axii work even on the least powerful enemy.

They all work, but not very effectively at the start of the game. Axii has given me breathing room many times, even if the enemies don't outright attack each other yet, at least they ignore me for a while. Yrden definitely immobilizes enemies for a few seconds, but I guess they get a save against the effect. I've not used it much, but I've seen it work against Nekkers. As for the Aard thing... you're still attacking from the front? It's not that simple. It also seems each sign has a level, and they may improve with use or something. I'm not sure how it works, but I notice my Axii sign is level 3, for example.

I'm loving how this game forces me to use tools I normally ignore in these kinds of games. I fought a couple of enemies last night that more or less forced me to be prepared. I drank a few potions that would help against their particular attacks, set up traps in recognizable places I would be able to lure them across, used oil on my silver sword and used my signs during the combat itself. It made a world of difference. A nearly impossible fight became easy with the right preparations. I've managed to play the entire game on Normal so far, and I'm some way into chapter 1 so far.
4389  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Now with Saviors of the Queens! on: May 21, 2011, 08:28:24 AM
It looks like the majority of the long cutscenes are in the prologue anyway.
4390  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Now with Saviors of the Queens! on: May 20, 2011, 12:55:39 PM

Quote from: Gratch on May 20, 2011, 12:50:10 PM

I know I'm probably missing out on many of the game mechanics because the damn tutorials would flash up so quickly during the prologue (often during the middle of combat) that I would accidentally click out of them before getting a chance to read it.  Yeah, yeah... RTFM! 

All the tutorials can be accessed from your journal at any time (hit J), as well as some more general gameplay info. I'd still recommend reading the manual, as the in-game help seems to skip some vital stuff (such as what each sign does.
4391  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Now with Saviors of the Queens! on: May 19, 2011, 07:44:15 PM

Quote from: Razgon on May 19, 2011, 07:42:39 PM

A thing to keep in mind, I only remembered at the end - If you are having trouble, the game comes with a gameguide, which will..well, guide you through how to do things in case you are stuck. For GOG owners, it can be downloaded the same place you get the game :-)

That same guide is available for the Steam version too. You can download the extras by going to Steam's tools section. I'm not going to touch the guide until I finish the game, unless I become truly stuck.
4392  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Now with Saviors of the Queens! on: May 19, 2011, 07:34:03 PM
I just completed the game's first true boss fight in chapter 1, and it was extremely challenging (normal difficulty). It also underlined one of the reasons why Dragon Age 2 failed so hard.

Both games seem to have boss fights against huge monsters that require attack memorization to win against. The difference is that where Dragon Age 2's boss fights could easily last 20 minutes where almost all of that time was spent slooooowly chipping away on the boss' hit points, the one I came up against in The Witcher 2 lasted about 3 minutes, tops. Pretty much every time I died, it happened in the first minute, which made replaying the battle much more appealing and reduced the annoyance factor of death considerably. The boss had a hit point bar, but the game more or less ignored it. There was never a need to chip away at hit points. There were instead smaller goals to accomplish during the battle, and completing each of these goals resulted in the boss dying. It never felt like a grind.
4393  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Arnie to Hollywood-I told you i would be Back!! on: May 18, 2011, 03:22:18 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on May 18, 2011, 02:40:27 PM

Quote from: TiLT on May 18, 2011, 05:16:21 AM

Quote from: leo8877 on May 17, 2011, 10:37:28 PM

Quote from: TiLT on May 17, 2011, 08:40:20 PM

Well, I guess he has now firmly locked himself out of his political career, which means he'll have to rely on his career as an actor from now on. Hooray! smile


Oddly enough he had this kid before he ran for Governator.

I don't really see what's odd about it. It's amazing that he's managed to keep it secret for so long though. The fact that he comes out with it now shows that he has no aspirations of continuing his political career.

I don't think there was much to continue anyways  icon_biggrin

Yeah, I agree. It's good that he's able to see the same thing, unlike many other politicians that go on far longer than they should have a right to.
4394  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Now with Saviors of the Queens! on: May 18, 2011, 03:19:16 PM
I think they're trying to add a bit more atmosphere to the concept of potion drinking in this game compared to the vanilla RPG style. Remember that a witcher's potions are poisonous to most people, and even witchers seem to have to concentrate not to die from them. I assume that's why you have to sit down and mediate, so that the poison doesn't overwhelm your systems. That, and downing a potion in the middle of a swordfight is ridiculous, something we only accept because it has been a standard in RPGs for ages. Even the 4th edition of D&D started moving away from the potion concept.
4395  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PSN - Now coming back online on: May 18, 2011, 03:09:35 PM
Must be embarrassing for Sony to have that happen right now. It's not a real security problem though, as nobody can use this to get into your accounts. They can just block you from accessing it with your old password, which means you have to use the new one you get via email instead. At least as far as I can tell.
4396  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Erase Selected Files Securely on: May 18, 2011, 06:09:28 AM

Quote from: Caine on May 14, 2011, 03:52:14 PM

There is usually a restore disc that comes with a new computer which should format and reset the system back to factory defaults.  I would check there if you want to go the full route. 

That's not good enough, as it won't really erase anything, except parts of the files that are overwritten by new one.

Eraser is a good, free tool for this purpose.
4397  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Arnie to Hollywood-I told you i would be Back!! on: May 18, 2011, 05:16:21 AM

Quote from: leo8877 on May 17, 2011, 10:37:28 PM

Quote from: TiLT on May 17, 2011, 08:40:20 PM

Well, I guess he has now firmly locked himself out of his political career, which means he'll have to rely on his career as an actor from now on. Hooray! smile


Oddly enough he had this kid before he ran for Governator.

I don't really see what's odd about it. It's amazing that he's managed to keep it secret for so long though. The fact that he comes out with it now shows that he has no aspirations of continuing his political career.
4398  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Arnie to Hollywood-I told you i would be Back!! on: May 17, 2011, 08:40:20 PM
Well, I guess he has now firmly locked himself out of his political career, which means he'll have to rely on his career as an actor from now on. Hooray! smile
4399  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Now with Saviors of the Queens! on: May 17, 2011, 08:28:29 PM
Well, I just finished the prologue in The Witcher 2, which took me about 4 hours. It was pretty damn linear, but I don't think that goes for the rest of the game. After those four hours, the game finally took pity on me and displayed "Chapter 1" on the screen. slywink

The production values are through the roof. The story itself is full of mystery and is pretty grounded for a fantasy story, not unlike A Song of Ice and Fire actually. The combat is very, very challenging, at least when you're up against groups of enemies. I went straight for the skill upgrade that allows you to parry attacks from all directions, and it has helped a lot. Parrying seems to be vitally important, but it seems to drain from the same reserve that you use to cast spells, so it's not truly safe to rely too much on. Rolling and dodging only gets you so far, as the enemy will recover before you have a chance to strike back, unlike with a parry. Enemies with shields are fearsome because they require you to wait for an opening or make one with a parry. If you're surrounded by enemies, you really don't have such opportunities. It seems potions will become very important to survive. Spells too. The one that gives you 30 seconds of physical protection has saved my ass numerous times.

The game does a lot of fade-ins and fade-outs between and during cutscenes. It can be a bit weird at times.

The comparison with A Song of Ice and Fire is interesting, as I was just talking to a friend earlier today about the way succession works in that setting and how bastards fit into the whole thing. Lo and behold, The Witcher 2 seems to dive into the same kind of theme with the same kind of issues.
4400  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Now with Saviors of the Queens! on: May 17, 2011, 05:59:12 PM

Quote from: hepcat on May 17, 2011, 01:44:19 PM

Quote from: TiLT on May 17, 2011, 08:47:17 AM

There's no bluffing, no planning, no trickery, no gambits, no clever moves.


and no need to even play the dice games if you don't mind missing out on some inconsequential quests, if the first witcher's use of the dice games set the precedent.   icon_wink

I kind of liked the dice games.  gambling is a game of chance and makes perfect sense in the game's setting.

But that's exactly my point! The game doesn't make sense in the setting since everyone talks about it as if it's a game of skill, with you hunting down better and better opponents in a game where there can be no such thing. It destroys the illusion that you're in a real, living world (though it's a minor thing, admittedly).

It also annoyed me to go through all those dice throws in the original Witcher against a computer player that cheated, in a game where nothing I did would improve my chances at winning, all just so I could finish every quest in the game. Dice Poker added nothing but frustration to the game, and was a puzzling game design concept from a team that should know the difference between random chance and skill contests.
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