Quote from: Morgul on October 07, 2010, 08:13:39 PM
Reason I ask is I need to work on intital adventure so I can know what to look for in initial miniatures, if you get what I mean...
I do, and I recommend you discard that thought for now, unless you're willing to paint miniatures on your own. The ones Wizards of the Coast sell are randomized, except for the hero packs I linked to above. Getting enough miniatures to be able to run an encounter without using substitutes is quite the investment and shouldn't be your immediate goal. Buy a few packs from a series of D&D Miniatures that you think look interesting and that are currently available for sale, and expect this result until you can build up a collection of several hundred minis. I'm at the point where I can reasonably represent most types of encounters with the minis I have, but it also means I had to buy a ton of them.
There isn't really a large focus on "modules", or scenarios any more. The ones I've heard about aren't very good either. Dungeon magazine (part of DDI) offers plenty of shorter scenarios for all kinds of levels though, so you could look there.
Honestly, I rather recommend making something on your own. 4th Edition is much simpler to do this for than previous editions, and it's hard to do the balance wrong with all the easy guidelines in the DMG.
You don't need to buy any miniatures or dungeon tiles, though they do make everything more "cool". A simple battlemap (which you can print yourself) and some dice or something else to represent characters and monsters is sufficient.
I myself tend to buy a lot of Dungeon Tiles and miniatures. I think it's very cool to present the players with enemies and terrain that actually look like what I'm describing to them, or even just placing a monster on the map and telling them "it looks exactly like this".
If you wish to get Dungeon Tiles, start with this one. It contains everything you should need for dungeon encounters. Two other packs (wilderness and city) are coming out in the next few months. Doesn't cost a lot either.
Miniatures is considerably more expensive to start out with. If you wish to go the D&D Miniatures route, you could do worse than to start with the hero sets for some generic PC minis, and then buy random packs for everything else. A new set just came out (for the first time this year) called Lords of Madness. It seems to have reasonable variety and a useful distribution of monsters.
I would strongly recommend a subscription to D&D Insider. It gives you access to ALL the D&D books (well, at least the parts with the rules. Fluff is left out) as well as the Dragon and Dungeon magazines and some very useful tools (Character Builder, which you should always use when making characters, and Adventure Tools which currently contains a monster builder tool).
Apart from that, it's a good idea to have at least the PHB and the DMG. The Monster Manual isn't absolutely required if you have access to DDI, but it does help. I also recommend getting a DM screen to speed up play and reduce the need to browse through the book during sessions.
Quote from: Morgul on October 06, 2010, 07:07:20 PM
Hell, level 1 mage.. 3 hitpoints and ac 8 or 10 it was pretty hard to see level 2..
I can be a pretty ruthless DM/GM in systems that encourage it, but AD&D never felt like it did. There was tons of ways to get instakilled, but it was never fun or memorable to have that happen to your character. In settings like Delta Green (using the Call of Cthulhu system) however, I have no qualms about killing characters and they mostly love it. They're lucky if half of them get out of a given scenario alive, and the others are usually borderline insane.
AD&D carries the weight of ancient and outdated game design principles. Gary Gygax had one hell of an impact on the industry, but he put the game system way before player enjoyment. Some scenarios (like Tomb of Horrors) seemed to be made mostly as power-trip material for DMs with sociopathic tendencies.
If you're an existing 4E player, you can just ignore Essentials. It's sort of like an optional 4.5, but it doesn't really improve much. Instead its focus is on bringing new players into the game in a simpler way without overburdening them with tons of options they won't need for a while.
The reason the Character Builder is taking a while to get these updates is indeed because Essentials changes things around, but it only simplifies them. The Essentials stuff will probably just be kept separated from the regular stuff in the tools.
Quote from: Razgon on October 06, 2010, 06:09:22 PM
Seriously - am I the only one who could scream and scream and scream if you woke up and saw that above you?
Let me help you with another pleasant image:
One evening while I was watching Deadwood in the darkness of my living room I reached out to take a sip from a large glass of water. As I brought the glass to my lips, something else touched them as well and started to wriggle against both my lips and my tongue. Instinctively I spit the water I had managed to get into my mouth back into the glass, along with a rather large harvestman (I guess that's what they're called in english) that had been halfway inside my mouth.
Made me look twice before drinking from a glass ever since.
Quote from: Morgul on October 06, 2010, 02:34:43 PM
I was also told to look into AD&D 4 by a old friend who knows me well... (I am one of those guys that didnt care much for 2 or 3).
Only the second edition of D&D has been called AD&D (though that itself came out in two editions). The "first edition" is lovingly called OD&D these days, while the other editions are simply called D&D.
Also, 4th Edition is very good, but also has some major differences from earlier editions. If you approach it with an open mind, you're likely to love it. If you're the kind of person who'll get upset because wizards no longer run out of spells within seconds at 1st level (as an example), you'll have issues with it. AD&D was designed with the Gygax mindset (punish the player), while newer editions use a more modern mindset (reward the player).
I'm not sure what to think of this. I don't see disaster in the same way as many of you. This thing seems to solve two issues people have with MMORPGs: It gets the games away from the expensive PC, and it makes them mobile. If they can keep the price low and can show the advantage to the consumers (and the game developers actually support the platform), it could very well turn into a success, even if it doesn't happen overnight.
Victory is mine! Just finished Overtime (took me an hour) and got the S ending. 47 survivors, and I believe I killed all the psychopaths. The credits got way more interesting music with this ending than with the C version.
The Overtime boss was one of the more interesting bosses in the game. Took him down on my first attempt, but it was a damned close call. I think I had one health left when he finally went down.
Spoilers for those who have reached chapter 6 (I think). You know, the one that changes things. If you're there, you'll know what I mean.
Spoiler for Hiden:
Man, those aggressive zombies really changed things up. I went from enjoying my leisurely trips through zombieland and instead dreading every second I spent outside the safehouse. The amount of zombies in general also increased drastically, which didn't exactly make things easier. Where I'd previously often been able to dodge zombies all the way to the exit from an area, they were now crowded around the exits to such a degree that I had to smash my way through. When followed by the aggressive zombies, that sure made for some tense moments.
Ended up at level 45. I might just restart to finish reaching level 50, but not yet. All in all, I really enjoyed the game for the 25 hours Steam says I've played it.
A little tip for those of you playing through the first time: If you reach a mission in the main storyline that you find frustratingly difficult, stop! It only gets worse from there. Enjoy exploring the city for your first playthrough and save the story for the second. The final bosses were certainly difficult enough at level 44.
I was expecting to unlock some alternate modes after winning the game, but it doesn't look like I did. That's a shame, but I still got plenty of value from the game.
I guess this is as good a place to point it out as any: The 360-version of Castlevania is supposedly more sluggish in framerate than the PS3 version, in case anyone hasn't decided which version to get.
Quote from: Xmann on October 03, 2010, 10:45:59 PM
ya the graphics indeed look "fine"....thats the problem.
nothing wrong with the game or gameplay itself. but someone asked about the graphics and to me they are nothing current generation
I guess it says a lot about the length of time the current generation of hardware has lasted when you've already forgotten what the previous generation looked like. The game is quite good looking on a decent PC. The cutscenes in particular look very nice.
You've been pretty thorough in your search for the problem, but I don't see any mention of RAM in your post. From my experience, RAM is the second most common reason why computers fail the way you describe (after the power supply). Have you tried scanning it? Tried removing all but one chip, then cycling between them to see if the computer works at any point?
So, I just finished the game properly on my second playthrough... sort of. I seem to have accidentally unlocked a secret mission after the credits at the end which will take me some time to complete. I did every single mission I was given over the radio in the game, as well as a few extra things (the only exception was the poker mission. I just didn't have the time nor the wish to play through a round of Texas Hold'em against three computer opponents. It just feels so random and unsatisfying, and you can play it for 15 minutes then lose everything in 5 seconds just because you had bad luck. And you get pretty much nothing for it anyway). Completing all those missions was extremely taxing, and I could never relax and play around. I always had to focus on the mission at hand or I'd run out of time. I'm currently at level 44, and I do feel a lot more powerful than in the early game.
The story, despite being cliché (on purpose), is actually very well told and executed. I was always looking forward to the next part. Some nice twists, though a few of them were predictable.
Now that I'm becoming a reasonably high level (25+), the psychopath fights are actually becoming fun and not at all too hard. Being able to dodge is vital though. It's almost surprising you didn't start with that ability, considering how vital it is. You really need it to defeat the guy on the motorcycle, for example.
The problem with that boss isn't that he's difficult, it's that he's so hard to read. You don't really get much feedback about when to attack and when to stay the hell away from him. Once you know how to do those two things, he's actually relatively easy.
How to defeat him (IIRC):
Spoiler for Hiden:
- There are three stages to the fight. Take your time at the beginning. This is the easiest part. Once you've taken him below a certain amount of health, the next part of the fight will trigger. - During this part he will take cocaine and become a raging maniac. If you've done certain missions the right way in another part of the game (befriended Steven Heck, I believe), the cocaine will be poisoned and he won't get its effects. This makes the fight MUCH easier. - When you see him take cocaine, RUN! Keep running. He's almost invulnerable when high, is faster than you, and can decimate you with his melee attack. NEVER attempt to fight him in melee. - He'll eventually fall over and teleport away. Don't attack! It's useless. Get into cover in preparation for the next part. - He'll be aiming at you with an SMG while three thugs attack you. These thugs appear at alternating sides of the room. The first wave comes from the left side (when looking at the stage), and the second from the right. Kill the thugs as quickly as you can. You have about 10-15 seconds. - The boss will appear on your level again. This is your opportunity! You only have a couple of seconds, so use them! Shoot at his head as much as you can until you see him snort his cocaine again. When he does, you should start running. Repeat this procedure until the next phase: - In the third part of the fight, once he's below 20% health or so, he'll stop teleporting and stop calling in thugs. He'll just be on your level. Once you've gotten to this part you shouldn't have any more problems as long as you're reasonably careful. He'll still alternate between running at you with his knife and shooting at you with his SMG. When he runs at you, you run as well. This is just as important as before. When he pulls out his SMG he's vulnerable, and this is where you should take your shot.
As you can probably see, it's really hard to figure out all of this on your own. I could barely touch the guy when I tried on my own. Once I looked at a walkthrough I took him on my first attempt without cheesing.
Not that you mention what point in the story your spoiler was going to spoil. Had to click to see. Thankfully it didn't spoil anything of much significance even though I'm not there yet.
A good way to take down psychopaths is to use knife blades in combination with painkillers (heals you and reduces damage you take considerably for a while). That might work that the battle you're in as well.
Man, trying to do everything is tough! I've gotten to chapter 2 on my second playthrough now and have managed to do every subquest I've heard about plus taken down a psychopath who wasn't advertised until he hit me in the back of the head, but several times I've reached my goal with only seconds to spare (literally!). The game suddenly got a lot more tense.
Ran into the first real bug I can think of so far. One guy I was trying to rescue told me to kill all the zombies in close proximity before he would join me. The only problem was that he was standing on the only two zombies nearby and he wouldn't move. I also had less than a minute left to get him to join before the mission was canceled, so it was a bit frustrating. I had to hit him repeatedly so he'd get away from the zombies and let them stand up, and by the time I had him on my team he was at less than 20% health. At least I got him back to the safehouse.
Just finished my first playthrough of the game and immediately started another. Got a C-ending, whatever that means. Ended up at level 23, and I now feel confident enough to actually attack psychopaths. Only killed one on my first playthrough, and that was only because I had stumbled upon a cache of assault rifles and shotguns just before. Zombrex becomes less of an issue on the second playthrough. You can gather at least four doses within minutes if you know what you're doing, and even more if you've saved up money from the first round. Since I spent my final few hours gambling big money in a casino, I have a bit of money stashed away for safekeeping.
My weapons of choice are now the bowie knife + boxing glove combo for small groups of enemies, and nails + MMA gloves for larger groups. Works very well. Trying to figure out a way to earn PPs fast, as I notice I'm not getting much at the beginning of a new game. At least I've already managed to gather a few of my choice weapons, two Zombrex and two painkillers before even handing in the first Zombrex dose.
My impression is that you're not really supposed to fight the psychopaths on your first playthrough. You just haven't got the skills or the combination items needed at the point unless you know exactly what you're doing. You later get access to a dodge skill that should help a lot, btw.
Leave the psychos alone and take your revenge when you start over.
Quote from: Teggy on September 29, 2010, 01:06:09 PM
Edit: regarding the file being corrupted/issue with backups - there are a lot of posts on the internet about this particular file (tcpmon.ini) being corrupted and also with people having the backup error, which led me to believe it was a Vista issue.
If it's a common issue with Vista, then that puts the whole thing in a different light. It's just that I do support for a large amount of Windows users at work, and I've never heard of issues like yours outside of harddrive failures. If you scanned the HD and the results were clean, you probably don't have anything to worry about.
In an unusual twist of events, according to the GameSpot review the PS3 version has a smoother framerate than the 360 version, which suffers from occasional hiccups during action sequences and cutscenes. It's the first time I've heard about differences between the two versions.
Quote from: Teggy on September 28, 2010, 11:16:20 PM
My wife has a Vista Home Premium machine. The thing is acting up (files corrupt over and over, refuses to create restore points) so I want to upgrade it to Windows 7. Will she have the same capabilities with Home Premium, or do I need to spend the extra money on Professional?
Home Premium is fine. However, there's one thing that strikes me as odd here: Windows shouldn't corrupt your files over and over. That sounds more like a problem with the harddrive to me. Are you sure this is a software problem?