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9001  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / "Best" prices for XB Live Points on: January 25, 2006, 12:37:45 AM
Considering that these points are equal to money, as they are used for microtransactions within live, I don't think you'll find any deals on them.

The best place to buy is online from MS for a rate of 1 point for about 0.0125.

That makes a 400 point game worth $5 USD.  That's geometry wars, joust, etc...

Honestly, I'll really only be buying the live arcade games using points.  Anything else is just a waste, even the really small stuff like the icons that are 30 points, that's about 38 cents for something I could just as easily whip up in my PC and upload.  That is, if they allowed such things.
9002  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What's the verdict on Planetside? on: January 24, 2006, 11:07:39 PM
Core combat included the caves expansion, which no one really bought or played.

I'm not sure what aftershock included, I think it added the mechs, but that may have been afterwards.
9003  Gaming / Analog Gaming / PnP vs. Board Games vs. Cards on: January 24, 2006, 11:03:42 PM
First, go to this page and download the Test Drive Rules 4.0, basically a free PDF that is pretty much the entire ruleset right there, including character creation.  The main things that are missing are more special case rules.

Savage Worlds is basically 1 book with just rules.  As a warning, they're based off miniature wargame rules, which is partially why they're so fast, so some things it does will seem odd to a pure role player.  They're also somewhat geared for more heroic action adventure games right out of the book, but tweaking is not only encouraged in the rules it's also the norm for the setting books.

The publisher has gone on record saying that they won't be printing fifty books for the same setting and making their settings too unweildy to use.  You'll need just the main rulebook, a setting book (or a setting of your own) and maybe an optional side book or pdf adventure.

The key reason why it's so fast, at least for the GM, is that everything's rated the same way.  Just 5 attributes and a set of skills that are rated in about 5 steps.  It's really easy to think up an entire stat line, and the stat lines take up about a paragraph instead of an entire page that D&D does.

As for the topic, the reasons why things are more popular are pretty simple and we've already covered most of them.  It's just a sign of the times too, with everything being so fast paced nowadays.  It's just easier to fire of a cooperative video game than to setup an RPG session.  That said, who knows what the future will bring.  Maybe a full VR system and thinking computers will help role playing come back big time with fully interactive GMed VR campaigns.  But it's somewhat doubtful it'll still be called role playing.
9004  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / How is the XBox 360 on a Non-HD TV? on: January 24, 2006, 10:42:18 PM
Anyone using a VGA adapter and know some affordable ones?  $40 for just a VGA adapter is a bit high for me.
9005  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 24, 2006, 10:33:22 PM
I guess we need to beware the India-Japan allliance!
9006  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 24, 2006, 07:10:28 AM
Aahzmandius, care to explain how you're playing both India and Japan on my server?
9007  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / The End of Booth Babes? on: January 24, 2006, 02:36:52 AM
That means no more virtual voyeur at the Singles 2 booth.  I still remember the crowd taking photos of the models just sitting around in really thin outfits for that booth.

I'm okay with this decision, the con was getting a bit too garish anyway, and who knows maybe it'll attract more female gamers/developers now.
9008  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / How is the XBox 360 on a Non-HD TV? on: January 24, 2006, 02:33:08 AM
Looks good to me, however I've seen it on my Dad's 40+ inch HDTV at 1080i and now I'm looking to upgrade.

It'll definitely look better than previous systems, however on a normal TV it's more subtle, perhaps better color quality and more objects on screen and stuff.
9009  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xbox Live 360 games, what are you playing? on: January 23, 2006, 10:42:38 PM
I should also ask, what are your favorite Live Arcade games?  How's Zuma?

I'm having fun with the Geometry Wars trial.

Oh, and do we have some general Live game day/night?
9010  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / GTOfficial x360 Live Gamertag List on: January 23, 2006, 07:09:45 PM
Add PicTurtle to the list please.

Not much there yet, but I'd like to see what and when everyone's playing.
9011  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xbox Live 360 games, what are you playing? on: January 23, 2006, 06:48:26 PM
Just wondering what's everyone's gamertags and what games are you playing on the 360 and Live?

I have the 1 month free trial on live, and plenty of games to rent in my area.  I'd like to see if I can get some games with fellow GT members here.
9012  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Why must I turn on my XBox 360 twice every time? on: January 23, 2006, 05:08:41 PM
If you send it back, keep your hard drive.
9013  Gaming / Analog Gaming / PnP vs. Board Games vs. Cards on: January 23, 2006, 05:05:38 PM
This is one of the primary reason I switched to the Savage Worlds generic RPG rules.  The lead designer says right inside the book that the system is designed for working dads who don't have time to do all the homework before a game.

With it, I can just whip up stats and abilities on the fly without having to come up with massive stat blocks.

Still, our gaming group has shifted towards board and card games anyway, which isn't a bad thing considering how high quality these games are nowadays.
9014  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / XB360 BC - What's Up? on: January 23, 2006, 04:21:05 PM
Backwards compatability is actually pretty complicated for them to do.  Remember that there is almost nothing the same between Xbox 1 and the 360.  The single PC processor has turned into an IBM made cell processor, heck, even the video chip brand has changed.

When they make a game BC, they have to write code that'll translate every hardware request that the software makes into something useable by the new system, and to make sure that the speed remains constant, they have to do it in low level code.  That means sometimes looking and plugging away at binary or assembly code.
9015  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Do you have a video game character crush? on: January 23, 2006, 04:17:03 PM
What, no love for Handmaiden?  Sure, she has no name, and sure she doesn't have that aura of exotic mystery that Visas has, but any woman who will strip down to lingerie to spar is definitely a keeper.

Also remember Visas has some really ugly empty eye sockets under that hood.  slywink
9016  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Star Wars - Empire at War on: January 23, 2006, 10:38:35 AM
Yeah, it's a bad idea to have a capship excell at killing fighters.  It's nice to have such a ship that can deal with fighters, but killing that many is bad balance and really undervalues the X-wing.

Have you experienced the stupidity that is the Tie Marauder yet?  It has an ability stolen from C&C that really has no place in a Star Wars game.  It can run over infantry with some speed boost attack.  No other tank can do this.

In a way, I'm waiting for the inevitable Star Wars mod for Supreme Commander.
9017  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Do you have a video game character crush? on: January 23, 2006, 07:00:59 AM
Actually, Doopri is asking about Etna from Disgaea.  Despite looking like she's 12-14, she's actually 1000 years old.  Tongue

April Ryan looks like crap in the CG movies, but in game she's a real looker (if a bit skinny).  However, I'm referring to the latest version of April from Dreamfall.  She's the one in black on the left on the front page of this site:

I should also mention the girl in the middle is Zoe, definitely good looking too.

Hopefully I'll finish me illustration degree soon so I can get a job drawing these beautiful game characters.  Tongue
9018  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 23, 2006, 02:55:46 AM
I'll reset my router, and everything else again just to make sure, it may mean I'll have a new IP but it's better than these connection issues.
9019  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Do you have a video game character crush? on: January 22, 2006, 07:41:24 AM
Ralph, you do realize that's actually Mr. Pacman after the operation, right?
9020  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Do you have a video game character crush? on: January 22, 2006, 06:08:10 AM
Not a crush, but one of my favorite female characters in a game is April Ryan from The Longest Journey.  If I met such a girl in real life, I would definitely ask her out.

Then again, I meet a lot of real women who are the same way in the animation program here (remember Spanish girl?) so I suppose I'm well off.
9021  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Oblivion - GOLD - Ships 3/20!! on: January 21, 2006, 06:47:54 PM
Because often times the specs aren't nailed down until the final build, when all the optimizations are in place.
9022  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 21, 2006, 04:48:23 PM
Are you two still fighting?  Don't you realize you're just wasting precious time as other civs pass you by?

Well better yet, let me know where you are so my Quechas can move in and show you how to do Ancient era warfare.

Neither my server or router crashed, most likely it's my ISP being weird at certain times of day.  I'll reset the server when I update the pbnotify software, maybe that'll help.
9023  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What's the verdict on Planetside? on: January 21, 2006, 04:46:19 PM
I didn't like the idea of "mechs" being in planetside.  They just don't fit in with all the other vehicle designs to me, especially considering planetside is more an infantry with combined arms support than giant robots stomping around.

Not to mention giant robots are just big targets

I'm wondering if they ever made it so that tanks receive an armor bonus from hits to their front?

I used to play as a tanker towards the end of my trial period and one thing I hated was how easy it was to damage tanks, and even worse, everyone was toting some form of anti vehicle weaponry.

That said, one of my favorite moments in the game was finally hooking up with a large coordinated battlegroup made up of all experienced tankers.  We must have had 15 or so fully crewed Predator tanks steamrolling the enemy bases.  Predators have three two crewed guns, one anti-infantry chaingun manned by one person, a two gun main turret, and the driver.  Both turrets could aim independantly, and at least one of the crew had repair skills on them.

So, we would roll into a base, take the outer area and knock out the defenses so the infantry could go in below.  Then we'd pull back, repair, rearm, and blitz the next base.

Of course, these moments are few and far between, you really need to get a large group of friends, or at least people you know who are organized to pull off something like this.

My second favorite moment was in one of the Terran vehicles, some sort of attack truck.  Medium speed, medium armament, an okay vehicle to support an attack with, but nothing frontline.  It was armed with a chaingun on top and a mortar launcher in the back.  Well the base we were attacking had massive air support and our own flyboys weren't online.  Thankfully, the front was along a swamp, with thick tree coverage, making it difficult for aircraft to strafe effectively.

My friends and I were driving along the road, towards the base when we see a fighter launching rockets at us.  The driver floors it and heads offroad into the swamps as rockets narrowly miss.  The chaingunner is firing back as we go into the treeline.  Then the damn aircraft follows us into the trees, still shooting at us with both rockets and its machinegun.  We're weaving inbetween trees as the fighter narrowly avoids them, yet still on our tail.  We reach the main battle lines and the damn fighter is still with us, then finally an AA missile streaks out and blows the fighter up.  Unfortunately, two enemy MAX suits have us in their sights and we're blown up as well.
9024  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / XB360 BC - What's Up? on: January 21, 2006, 01:10:18 PM
And there's another thing, developers do have an incentive to try and make their Xbox 1 games backwards compatable, or easily made BC.

Perhaps this announcement isn't so much them putting BC on hold, but a restructuring of the whole BC program to more quickly get newer games BC, or to work on some sort of kit to allow developers to make their own games backwards compatable?

I mean, no updates until at least march, that's about two months away, long enough for some serious development work on some sort of system for BC work.
9025  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / XB360 BC - What's Up? on: January 21, 2006, 10:17:15 AM
Unless the backwards compatability programming costs are really high, I figured that it would be cost effective to program backwards compatability.

I mean, game sales are game sales aren't they?  Any game sold is extra profit now, even Xbox 1 games.
9026  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What's the verdict on Planetside? on: January 21, 2006, 10:14:31 AM
I'd definitely play it for free, even with the advertisements (now also with sound).

Planetside was fun back when I played it, but not worth a monthly fee in my mind.
9027  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Funny thing is, my Dad got an xbox 360 before I did. on: January 20, 2006, 10:41:37 AM
Vivi is actually a play on both her first and middle name.  Jenevieve is her first name, Vi is her middle Vietnamese name.  We like calling her Vivi.

Well, I'm borrowing the system while my dad goes on Vacation for a while, although since he's giving me a key to hit apartment I'll probably keep it there to use the HDTV. slywink  Too bad none of the really bit games are due until march, woulda been fun to play it then.
9028  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Geometry Wars rawks on: January 20, 2006, 04:30:06 AM
I'm borrowing my Dad's xbox while he goes on vacation, can't wait to try all these arcade games.
9029  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Of Mice and Lamps on: January 20, 2006, 12:09:35 AM
Disney gave up it's legacy when they fired their traditional animators to focus on rereleases of old movies and merchandise.

Now they're trying to buy back a legacy that isn't theirs.

Honestly, I'd rather see Pixar independant or with another company.

Then again with Eisner gone, as you mentioned, Disney might get back to its roots in animation, and this time I hope they start exploring new stories instead of the same damn story every time.

The last original story they had (excluding Pixar stuff) was Lilo and Stitch.
9030  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Star Wars - Empire at War on: January 19, 2006, 07:26:25 AM
The ground combat was really unsatisfying.  Hopefully in the months since they finished this demo they've improved upon it.

Dreamshadow, I have to disagree with you about the balance not being simple rock paper scissors, at least in the ground combat.  Honestly it's just as bad as Age of Empires when you get past the graphics.  What's worse, it seemed like they couldn't decide between AoE style balance and special abilities or more C&C style placements and instadeaths.

I sent infantry in on a raid to attack the imperials first, then all my infantry were slaughter by those tie figher-like treaded tanks, not because they out shot the infantry, but because of some weird special ability that allowed them to run over infantry.  The rebel light tanks have no such ability.

And those light tanks?  Why aren't they more effective against infantry or AT-STs?  Why are they effective against the tie tanks?  I'd figure those quad blasters would do wonders against infantry, just as they would tear apart the tie tanks.  But for some reason they do less damage to infantry than my soldiers.

If they're going to have balance like this, they need to remove insta-death abilities like the speederbike's thermal detonator and the tie tank's infantry squish.  This allows commanders to focus on making sure the right units are engaging the right enemy, instead of having to micromanage every little ability.
9031  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Full Auto + Free Faceplate on: January 19, 2006, 07:08:16 AM
In your eyes, how is full auto turning out anyway?

I've heard good and bad things about the game.  Of course, the graphics are great, but what's the gameplay?

Is it racing with guns, or more twisted metal style arenas?
9032  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Indigo Prophecy on: January 18, 2006, 11:25:17 PM
The only saves are between chapters, if you exit in the middle of a chapter you lose all progress.
9033  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth 2 coming for 360 on: January 18, 2006, 12:35:11 AM
Full Spectrum Warrior and Brothers in Arms.  FSW really is a real-time strategy/tactical game but you command from ground level instead of from overhead.

Although BiA was billed as a shooter more than a strategy game, it certainly fits as a pure strategy game.  In fact, I'd almost have preferred it if I didn't have to shoot at all in the game.

Anyway, we already have RTS games on the consoles, just nothing like traditional computer RTS games.  That's not a bad thing either, as the traditional computer RTS games have been stagnating as of late.
9034  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Thinking of buying NWN Diamond and Indigo Prophecy on: January 17, 2006, 11:05:08 PM
Spoiler for Hiden:

Yep, the cyborg was just plain odd.  However, I think there was supposed to be a much longer endgame area where the cyborg would be explained and be more of an enemy.  Whereas right now it's just some random glowy thing who appears out of nowhere and wants to indigo child.

In the end, though, they really should have just cut the whole AI thing and left it to the orange clan.

I think they should have stuck with a more X-Files style of presentation.  That dark, mysterious, and urban style of horror instead of turning it into a flashy matrix-like ending.  Lucas could have kept most of how powers, but the last thing they should have done was allow them to fly.
9035  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers on: January 17, 2006, 10:06:11 PM
The game itself wasn't made to be a puzzle game, but the developers created levels that were basically puzzles using the game's mechanics to force certain outcomes.  This is the reason why people didn't like it.

What they're doing now is changing it from a real-time military puzzle game, into what it was first touted as, a real-time tactical game.
9036  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 17, 2006, 09:55:39 PM
My router crashed early this morning, probably around 4-5am PST.  I've just reset it and everything is working fine.

edit:  The IP address also changed, use: or
9037  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers on: January 17, 2006, 01:23:39 PM
Yeah, the original was just the same thing.  Round a few corners, spot a lone bad guy in a hard to hit location, find some complex way to kill him.  Repeat.

I figure it'll be the multiplayer that really makes this version.  For all the blandness of the original's single player version, there's nothing like a live human opponent calling the shots to keep you on your toes.

I should also mention that I did see some bigger firefights this time, and I think I saw an actual enemy element of 4 on screen moving together.
9038  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Interesting Japanese sales data 12/26 - 01/01 on: January 17, 2006, 12:35:25 PM
And not surprisingly, I know of several japanese fighting games that allow you to do just that.  Tongue
9039  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers on: January 17, 2006, 10:57:01 AM
I just saw an ad/demo video of the sequel to FSW, called FSW: Ten Hammers and I like what I saw.  The video was part of a side banner, but it was basically one of the developers going through some of the changes they've made to the game in response to all the player feedback.

They've gone back and made it more like the military version of the game, with more fine control over a squad and its elements.  If they actually deliver on these new features, it'll turn what was an interesting military puzzle type game into a more dynamic real time tactical game.

A running list of changes I can remember is:

Dynamic AI, no more scripted enemy placement and reactions.  Enemies will aggressively try to flank you if possible.  Of course they didn't show too much of this in the video since it was a small clip, but if Brothers in Arms could do it, should be easy enough for Pandemic to do it.

Ability to enter buildings, clear them, then fire from windows.  They only showed one particular building that they entered, but it was a short video.  The image was too small to see if other buildings on screen had ways to enter them.  Hopefully they'll make good use of this feature and make almost every building enterable, isntead of just a few arbitrarily placed buildings just to overcome some puzzle-like dilemma.

You can break up the four man elements into 2 man buddy teams for even more area control.  Definitely a much needed feature.  It always seemed silly to waste 4 men to cover a corner then two men could do it just fine.

You can fine tune where individual element members are covering.  Another nice aspect they brought back from the military version.

You can send 1 man ahead to scout for trouble, upon which he'll immediately return upon sighting an enemy.  Also much needed feature, I hated sending and entire element up into blind areas only to have the slaughtered just because I missed one angle.

More orders via a radial menu.

A precision fire mode, to take enemies out without having to flank them or use grenades.

Ability to order other elements while in control of the current element.  No more constant bouncing between elements just to accomplish a simple task.

Adversarial and cooperative online modes.  A big bonus in my eyes since the original was just screaming for an adversarial Vs. mode.  No mention of split screen though.  The coop should be a lot more interesting if they get the AI redone.  The adversarial mode should be great as I've always wanted to play a real-time tactical game where you're controlling an engagment between squads, not entire armies.

Multinational troops.  It's always good to see the fighting men of other nations represented, and not just as enemies.  The video showed some British troops.

More support, including armored vehicles and airstrikes.

Anyway, that's enough hyping of an unreleased game for me, but the changes they've made definitely shows they've listened.  It's up to the full release to see if they've pulled it off.
9040  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 17, 2006, 08:32:13 AM
I think what he was planning was to blitz your starting city and take it.  Sometimes people let their warrior run off to explore instead of keeping it at home to defend from early rushes.  With the way cultural borders work, you can't really get a look at what someone has in their city

For instance, I just encountered an enemy city's borders, Greece I think, most likely his first city.  I was seriously considering doing the early blitz, but decided against it.  I couldn't find a hill close enough to see into his city, and it just isn't my style to rush.  If I want to conquer him I'll do it with massive armies.  That's if he attacks me first... or looks like he'll attack me... or generally gets in my way.

Ah, it's nice to be an Aggressive/Financial civ.

Just build some military units now, kill his warrior, then quickly rush to his home city.  Most likely that warrior was his only unit and either has no defending units or he only just built one warrior to defend.

Knowing that he attacked you so early is a sign he'll do it again in the future, so knocking him out early is a good way to go...

Hm... maybe I should just attack that city, get rid of an enemy early, and I am an aggressive civ after all.
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