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161  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: STEAM weeklong sale: Total War series 66% off! on: February 11, 2010, 03:58:26 PM

Quote from: Dan_Theman on February 11, 2010, 01:33:56 PM

I never used the retrofit mod and so I'm not sure how it loads when you start it.  However, if it helps: the way to get Third Age to run on steam is to change the name of the Third Age folder to one of the Kingdoms campaigns (making that campaign folder called something else before hand like "backup Americas").  When you open up the game, click on that campaign (the vanilla name) and you'll have Third Age open up.  Only drawback is you have to switch names again should you ever want to play that vanilla campaign again.


Works perfectly on my Steam version of Med 2: TW Kingdoms. I was also able to get the Kingdoms Grand Campaign mod to work on my Steam version without any issues.
162  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bioshock 2 - Sea of Dreams on: February 11, 2010, 03:44:22 PM

Quote from: Turtle on February 11, 2010, 03:10:41 PM

Well, besides the minor issue of widescreen FOV (which the devs have confirmed again that they'll fix), it's a great game.

I'm a good bit into the game now, and every new area brings not only interesting story, but also drastic gameplay improvements.

Unlike bioshock 1, I find myself using a lot of the extra stuff beyond weapons not just because it's useful, but also because it's really fun.  The plethora of gene tonics adds a lot to the game.

Myself, I've kind of got a Pet build.  I have a bunch of gene tonics that boost hacking and the damage output of any security under my control.  Also, I have a gene tonic that  gives any turrets and sentry bots names when you hack them, and allows you to repair them using eve.  Combine this with the way these new bots are able to follow me everywhere, I almost always have fresh sentry bots covering me.  Although they're still just bots so against the big guys they get wasted, but with all the gene tonic upgrades they last long enough for me to really hurt the big enemies, and their gunfire does quite a bit of damage.  I've also got the upgraded Hypnosis, which allows you to completely befriend a splicer, much like hacking a sentry bot.

That sounds pretty cool. I've been working toward a melee/close quarters build with upgraded melee armor, maxed shotgun, and upgraded drill damage. I'm still fairly early though so I haven't been able to specialize too much.
163  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bioshock 2 - Sea of Dreams on: February 10, 2010, 11:53:03 PM

Quote from: The Grue on February 10, 2010, 10:51:48 PM

Why are people complaining about clicking on something that was put in spoiler tags?  If you are that sensitive to being spoiled, perhaps you should have had some self-control.  I could see if he didn't have it in spoiler tags.

Because he proceeded it by saying it wasn't a spoiler and anyone who had read about it BS2 would know about it. I've read about BS2 quite a bit (including multiple reviews), I'm playing BS2 and I can tell you that's a spoiler. Also, we had been having a conversation about Big Sisters in this thread that was limited to the first fight and I assumed (which is my mistake) that his "spoiler" that was labeled in all caps as "NOT REALLY A SPOILER" would be related to that. Had it been appropriately labeled as "MAJOR BIG SISTER SPOILER" then I never would have clicked on it.

Regardless, I felt it would be appropriate to warn others who had never seen or read about that bit of information in some random preview that his "NOT REALLY A SPOILER" was actually a "MAJOR BIG SISTER SPOILER".
164  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bioshock 2 - Sea of Dreams on: February 10, 2010, 09:42:57 PM

Quote from: Pharaoh on February 10, 2010, 09:36:14 PM

That's actually talked about in at least 2 different previews I can remember, and I've read it in reviews. There's a difference between major spoilers and "I was in media blackout and its new to me"  icon_confused

Yeah, but I wasn't in a media blackout. I read previews and I read a couple reviews and I never saw it mentioned so when I see it here and it's labeled as "not a spoiler" when it actually is, I felt it necessary to warn others.
165  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bioshock 2 - Sea of Dreams on: February 10, 2010, 09:06:31 PM

Quote from: jersoc on February 10, 2010, 08:24:05 PM


Spoiler for Hiden:
the REAL big sis is your original litlte sister from the intro. the rest are just the litlte sisters

Okay, I don't know what crack jersoc is smoking but that sure as hell is a f'ing spoiler. I thought it was going to be an addition to the discussion about Big Sisters that we were already having but it instead it's a massive goddamn spoiler.
166  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bioshock 2 - Sea of Dreams on: February 10, 2010, 12:20:10 PM
Forgot to mention how much I'm loving the sound as well. The water clanking on your Big Daddy helmet, the voices of the splicers, the music, it's all top-notch.
167  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bioshock 2 - Sea of Dreams on: February 09, 2010, 10:34:19 PM
I'm loving it so far (just finished my first big daddy fight). The combat is absolutely brutal and the various improvements have made the game even more fun then the original. Story is good so far, I'm anxious to see how things progress which is about all I was hoping for. I'm playing on Hard with Vitachambers off and it's really very difficult.
168  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 2009 NFL Season has started! on: February 08, 2010, 09:08:06 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on February 08, 2010, 07:13:29 PM

Quote from: Devil on February 08, 2010, 06:48:05 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on February 08, 2010, 06:32:36 PM

Quote from: Devil on February 08, 2010, 04:30:15 PM

Manning and Wayne also skipped out of post-game handshakes. Classy!

When Belichick does it, it's a crime against humanity.

I think people outside of New England do not like Belichick and the Patriots because of running up the score, constant information blackout, spygate, Brady special treatment by the refs, etc.  Not because he doesn't always shake hands after the game. 

OK - Everyone hates Belichick (why wouldn't you?). But I'm trying to figure something out:

I've been told, over and over again, about how classy the Colts are and I've heard how it's very unsportsmanlike to leave the field without a handshake to the winner.

Is it now OK to leave the field without a congratulatory handshake or is Peyton Manning not classy?

It was not a classy move.  But Manning's history says that it was an exception to his usual behavior. So some of the media might be giving him a pass this time.  Belichick's history going all the way back to his days in Cleveland means he doesn't get a pass with the national media I guess.  Personally I don't think anyone is obligated to shake hands with anybody except in hockey where both teams traditionally line up to shake hands.  When LeBron James didn't shake hands with the Magic last year after the playoffs I didn't have a problem with it.  There is nothing wrong with being enemies with the team you are competing against.  I'm sure Brees had other things to be worried about last night besides waiting for Manning to come shake his hand.

That about sums it up. Belichick is a jerk, plain and simple. So when he does jerky things people say "He's a jerk". Manning is an absolute class act. He didn't do the right thing after the game, but it's a complete aberration and he was extremely classy and respectful in his post-game remarks (something else Belichick doesn't do) so he gets a pass.
169  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: MS being sued over points on: February 02, 2010, 12:25:39 AM
I don't see how anyone is getting ripped off. I can see not liking the system or wishing there was a lower minimum purchase, but that's not being ripped off.
170  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bioshock 2 - Sea of Dreams on: February 01, 2010, 04:09:08 AM

Quote from: marcusjm on February 01, 2010, 02:54:26 AM

My problem with Bioshock 1, is that it is way too dark. I can hardly see anything anywhere.
Feels like I am shooting blindly at times.

Almost the same problem I had with Doom3 in fact.

That's an exceptionally weird complaint considering it had a brightness slider.
171  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age is looking good! on: February 01, 2010, 01:59:09 AM
Found a really dumb item. Its a sword that adds to spell power. I equipped Morrigan with it and she stopped casting so she could run in and melee with it. I changed her to her staff and she just switches back to the sword to melee. I had to take it away from her to get her to cast again. Useless.

Just change her behavior to make sure she doesn't melee. It should be called Ranged or Casting or something like that. Seriously, you can use a combo of the right tactics and behaviors to get your folks to do just about anything even without your intervention.
172  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mass effect 2 Launch and impressions (the REAL One) on: January 29, 2010, 03:12:20 PM
I think you get it when you talk to Miranda about the Normandy upgrades, at least that's when I first noticed it in the upgrade list.
173  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age is looking good! on: January 29, 2010, 04:38:03 AM

Quote from: Daehawk on January 28, 2010, 11:45:54 PM

For the love of the Maker why doesn't Wynne drink mana potions!!???  That fool old women gets me killed because once her mana is gone she wont drink a potion and keep healing. What a tard. I have to pause - take control of her - drink a potion - return to my character - unpause....and I still die because of it sometimes.

Why wont she drink mana?? Is there a setting Im missing. I have her tactics to HEALER.

PS Im a pure goody goody and took Morrigan. I could not woo the redhead chic.

They process their tactics from top to bottom. If the tactic for drinking a mana potion is #10, she'll probably never get to it because one of her other ones will activate instead. For all of my characters the first tactic was "Health < 25% -> Drink light health potion" and the second was "Mana < 25% -> Drink light mana potion. As long as I made sure I had enough potions before heading into a dungeon I didn't have too many problems.
174  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age is looking good! on: January 26, 2010, 05:54:22 PM
You know it's spelled "dwarf" right?
175  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mass Effect 2 Launch Impressions (Pharaoh made me do it!) on: January 25, 2010, 04:07:33 PM

Quote from: Chaz on January 25, 2010, 04:03:27 PM

Quote from: coopasonic on January 25, 2010, 03:57:27 PM

This is one of those cases where I'd REALLY like to see a new thread. 17 pages or pre-release babbling needs to be let go!


176  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Giving blowjob can be good for your health on: January 25, 2010, 03:45:15 AM

Quote from: Mithridates on January 25, 2010, 02:42:51 AM

Wow, everybody relax.  I find it irritating that rr mentions his "gay-ness" so much.  (Specifically I was thinking of his AI posts last year as he almost never failed to make a comment about the guys on the show.)  I guess I find it so irritating because I don't see the need to mention my "hetero-ness" all the time.  Since that's a large part of who I am, I guess I'll try to make sure to mention it as often as possible. 

I find it odd how ATB always gets shouted down for expressing Christian views even though that's who he is.  But rr needs to be furiously defended for being gay.  That's quite the double standard. 

Anyhow, I thought it would be OK to express my dissatisfaction.  I don't realize everyone would freak out and start calling me a homophobe and stuff.  I didn't bash rr for being gay- that's his business.  I just said that it sure seems like I hear about it an awful lot.  I'm still not clear what's wrong with that.

I'm sure you're just as irritated when people express their "hetero-ness" all the time and that you never fail to express that irritation when guys here drool all over women. Hrm, can't seem to find anything like that in your immediate posting history. I don't really think "homophobe" is the correct term for you, I think "hypocrite" is probably more accurate.
177  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] Legion on: January 24, 2010, 01:11:28 PM
There is nothing wrong with Constantine, that movie kicks ass.
178  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age Pretty Screenshot Thread [56k warning] on: January 19, 2010, 12:33:20 AM
Who knew they had hairspray and bump-its back then.
179  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 2009 NFL Season has started! on: January 17, 2010, 08:42:01 PM
It's a good thing Mike Jenkins isn't afraid to get beat (as reported by Troy Aikman earlier in the game) because that jackass just got beat.
180  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Gamefly - Yea or Nay? on: January 08, 2010, 04:31:04 AM

Quote from: Octavious230 on January 08, 2010, 02:30:14 AM

I hated it with a passion. Guess I didn't realize that I had to game the system which is dumb. I put like 40 items in my queue and every single one had a long wait. I always ended up getting some old game at the very bottom of the queue. Shipping times were terrible for me too. Never again.  thumbsdown

Why would you put a game in your queue if you didn't want to play it?
181  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Gamefly - Yea or Nay? on: January 07, 2010, 10:54:07 PM
Another reason I really like them is that it's really the best place to buy used games in my experience. You get the game, try it out, verify that the disk is in good shape and then when purchase you get a pristine box and manual shipped to you. If you get a new release you can also almost always choose the "Keep It" option and get the game for $10 less then people buying it from the store would.
182  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sony Station support sucks on: January 07, 2010, 10:50:25 PM
The latest response...

it looks as though this account was just used for trials, even PlanetSide was just on a trial basis so my question is are you positive this is the correct account? Is it possible that you logged in and consume it to a different account than you previously thought or was it indeed you only played PlanetSide up until the trial ended? I apologize I forgot to mention there are 3 total cd keys for EverQuest 2 on this account also and one was consumed on 8/3/08. I do not have much information on how long you played but when a CD key is consumed to the account it means that account was in use of EverQuest II as it went past the initial stage (meaning the user activated the trial from what we see). I hope this helps somewhat reply back if you have any more questions. If you are unsure if this is the correct account please give me more information as maybe we can find the correct one, ie cd keys or old emails.

Serious question, is their support based in India?

I don't even know how to respond to this as I can barely understand what they're trying to say. It's all probably more hassle then it's worth, I should probably just remove all my personal information from the account since it seems like it's been compromised at least once, but the support is aggravating me.

Quote from: Sparhawk on January 07, 2010, 10:00:37 PM

I vowed to never touch any sony station game again after trying to cancel my eq2 account. basically you couldn't cancel it online you HAD to call them adn you had to provide them with a ton of information before you were able to cancel the account. I guess a lot of people complained and they finally added the ability to cancel online. Any company that makes it difficult to cancel your account gets zero business from me.

Yeah, you can do it online now but it still takes almost 10 minutes to get through all their ridiculous survey questions. And they don't give you an option to not participate in the survey.
183  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sony Station support sucks on: January 07, 2010, 08:38:09 PM
This is cross-posted at OO:

So, I bought EQ2: The Shadow Odyssey during the Steam holiday sale for $5. I was curious and hadn't played an MMO for quite a while. I bought it expecting to have 30 days to try it out. I activated the game through Steams normal procedures, using my existing Station account. Now, I have never played EQ2 and I have not even used my Station account since canceling Planetside many, many moons ago. I confirmed this by searching my e-mail (which goes back to '04). Well, it immediately billed me $15.98 (I provided my card number, as it's standard to have to do so when signing up for an MMO even with a free trial). I contacted support and here is the thread that's followed (first contact is at the bottom):

Customer (godhugh soe)    01/07/2010 12:28 PM
Okay, again, I have never played nor tried to play EQ2 prior to buying a copy a week ago. How long was the 2008 subscription active? Can you provide me with the last 4 digits of the card used to open it? Was it a trial subscription? What e-mail address was used (I have searched my e-mail and have no confirmation e-mails or anything else regarding EQ2)? Was it ever used to play game? Were any characters created?

I would appreciate it if your support would take this more seriously and not provide flippant and unhelpful answers such as "it looks like your account was never compromised" when it certainly appears that it was. If you don't want to provide me with my 30 days, that's fine, I simply won't play your game and will eat the $20 loss ($5 for the game, $15 for this month), but I expect to receive answers to my questions regarding this 2008 EQ2 subscription.
Response (TSR Cayden N.)    01/07/2010 12:06 PM

according to our system you first tried initiated the game on 8/3/08 and it looks like your account was never compromised. If you have any other questions feel free to contact us back.

Your ticket number is: [removed] refer to this as it will help us to process your inquiry more efficiently thank you.

1.858.537.0898, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Pacific time, excluding holidays

Cayden N.
Technical Support Representative
Sony Online Entertainment
Customer (godhugh soe)    01/06/2010 03:52 PM
That is simply not correct. To my knowledge, I have not even used my station account since unsubscribing from Planetside many years ago. I even had to update my e-mail address as the stored e-mail was at least 5 years old. I certainly never tried nor subscribed to EQ2 in 2008. Can you please double-check your records and let me know when an EQ2 account was activated, by whom (what e-mail?), what username was used, etc... as I would like to know if my account was used without my permission? Also, I have canceled my EQ2 subscription at this time and am requesting a refund once more as I signed up expecting to be able to try the game for 30 days free.
Response (TSR Joseph H.)    01/06/2010 02:01 PM

Thank you for contacting Sony Online Entertainment LLC

Yes the Free Initial game time is for new accounts only. The account ( godhugh ) First had Everquest 2 on it back in 2008. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Your reference number is: [removed]
Thank you

Joe H.

Access your ticket trough go to the "Service History" tab and it will ask you for your station name and password, if prompted with a security issue click continue anyway or allow, after that go to the "Questions" section and you will see all your tickets there, click on the subject of the one you want to update or review and you are in the right place.
Customer (godhugh soe)    01/04/2010 12:05 PM
I bought EQ2: The Shadow Odyssey from Steam 5 days ago. It was supposed to come with a free 30 day subscription. I logged into my existing Station account and activated EQ2. This is the first time I have ever purchased or played EQ2. Instead of getting my free 30 days to try the game out I was immediately billed $15.98. I would like that money to be refunded and I would like to get my free 30 days.

I am currently awaiting a response from my last e-mail and very, very pissed off.
184  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Gamefly - Yea or Nay? on: January 07, 2010, 08:17:21 PM

Quote from: pr0ner on January 07, 2010, 07:06:11 PM

Yea for me.

And yes, I'm one of the ones who games the system in an attempt to get new releases (and it works pretty well I've found).

Ditto. I'm able to get games on or near release date pretty consistently. I keep use on of my slots for older games and the other for new releases. If I have to wait 4-5 days for a new release to ship, it's not a big deal as I always have something else I can play.
185  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: TV - Men of a Certain Age on: January 05, 2010, 07:39:21 PM
I tried to get people on OO to check this out back when it premiered, but was stonewalled with a bunch of "I hate Ray Ramano" answers. Good to see I'm not the only one who's really enjoying this smile.
186  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bayonetta Vs. Darksiders: Which game to kick off your new year? on: January 05, 2010, 12:49:12 PM
Neither. I've got enough stuff from the Steam holiday sale to occupy me until ME2 comes out.
187  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 2009 NFL Season has started! on: January 04, 2010, 01:08:17 PM
188  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Modern Warfare 2 Impressions [And official GT Review] on: December 31, 2009, 11:34:13 PM

Quote from: Chaz on December 31, 2009, 10:12:25 PM

I've only gotten akimbo with the P90, and I hated using rapid fire to get it.

I quite enjoyed it, though that was mainly in Hardcore. Rapid Fire + Silencer on the P90, with Cold Blooded and Ninja, made for a nice stealth kit.
189  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Official Rock Band DLC News, Impressions, and Comments Thread on: December 31, 2009, 08:58:27 PM

Quote from: The Grue on December 31, 2009, 05:36:28 PM

By the way, what ever happened to ChrisGrenard?  Was just on his DLC site, but I noticed he never posts here anymore.

He still posts on OO a bunch.
190  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 2009 NFL Season has started! on: December 29, 2009, 04:55:42 AM
Wishing good luck to the rescue crew that's on their way to Soldier Field right now. Gruden is pretty far up Favre's ass right now so it may take them a while to pull him out of there.
191  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Void on: December 28, 2009, 09:49:28 PM
Played this for 3-4 hours last night and got past the first sister and just had some brothers start roaming around. It certainly occupied my time, but I'm not 100% sure if I enjoyed that time (if that makes any sense). The mood is so dark and you always feel desperate for some color that it gets to be a bit much after a while. I am also a bit bothered by how slow I move, I'd really like to run a little bit so it doesn't take 5 minutes to get to the center of the mine.
192  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 2009 NFL Season has started! on: December 28, 2009, 07:48:21 AM

Quote from: disarm on December 28, 2009, 05:45:35 AM

Quote from: Devil on December 28, 2009, 05:40:19 AM

They are treating real, regular season, playoff implicating, season changing, games like it's week 3 of the pre-season and it sucks.

Throwing games. It is what it is.

it wasn't a playoff implicating, season changing game for the Colts though...they've already locked up their position in the playoffs.   that game, win or lose, wasn't going to change a thing for them.  that's why they pulled all their star players rather than risk injury in a game that doesn't make a bit of difference for them in any way other than attempting to set a record...

You're right, of course. However, not trying to win means you're throwing the game. Provide all the reasons for it that you want, they're still throwing the game. It may be what's best for the Colts (it isn't, but that's another topic) but it's a crappy thing to do.
193  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 2009 NFL Season has started! on: December 28, 2009, 12:31:28 AM
Cowardly decision by the Colts.
194  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dantes inferno demo on: December 27, 2009, 04:39:02 PM

Quote from: Starshifter on December 27, 2009, 04:16:34 AM

Wow.  That demo was a ton of fun.  Definitely reminded me of God of War.  Don't let the kids sit around and watch while playing.  Another definite purchase.  Visuals were amazing and really conveyed the feeling of hell or what I would imagine it to be.

Is it just me or does there seem to be a lot of good games lately?  Batman Arkham Asylum, Dragon Age, Bayonetta, Mass Effect 2 & now this one.  I can't keep up.  That's a good thing.

Guess that depends on your definition of "lately" biggrin

Batman: AA - 4 months ago
Dragon Age - 1 month ago
Bayonetta - terrible
ME2 - Not out yet
195  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Joined Facebook out of curiosity on: December 26, 2009, 04:04:41 AM
It's a fun site. I've found it a good way to keep or get in touch with out of town relatives or friends. It's also really easy to share pictures with them and the games are actually fairly amusing.
196  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains on: December 21, 2009, 08:40:34 PM
I've seen a cast list on a spoiler site and I'm pretty sure Fairplay and Hatch are not going to be involved in Season 20 (thank god). Russell and Boston Rob will, which is awesome.
197  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: OO off line for a short time on: December 19, 2009, 08:25:01 PM

Quote from: Gratch on December 19, 2009, 06:37:53 PM

Huh, I was getting a 404 error this morning trying to get there.

Been working all day.
198  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Most Anticipated Game 2010 on: December 16, 2009, 11:08:24 PM
Dead Rising 2 is number one, but Aliens vs Predator, ME2, Final Fantasy XIII, Bioshock 2, and Crackdown 2 are on the list as well.
199  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Official Rock Band DLC News, Impressions, and Comments Thread on: December 14, 2009, 02:42:45 PM

Quote from: Brendan on December 14, 2009, 02:14:27 PM

So, Harmonix just announced Green Day: Rock Band.

The game is an extension and expression of Green Day’s most-defining albums and key moments throughout their career to date. It will feature likenesses of Green Day members Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool, as well as select venues and art specific to the band's history. The title will be available globally in 2010 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Wii™ system from Nintendo. In addition, the track list will be fully exportable, giving players the opportunity to play the songs in Rock Band™ and Rock Band 2™ on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation3.

While I do like some of Green Day's music, I can't help but think this weakens the Rock Band brand - it's one thing with an absolutely iconic group like the Beatles (or, I would argue, the Stones, Zeppelin, perhaps U2), but Green Day's sort of a marginal choice for this level of special effort.

I imagine this will be more like AC/DC then The Beatles, which is how it should be.
200  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: So I ragequit Civilization on: December 12, 2009, 02:02:14 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on December 11, 2009, 10:45:57 PM

See, but I play as super-pacifist.  No wars, no fights.  I build up my culture and my knowledge and only attack barbarians.  Were they pissed because I wouldn't help them in their wars?  Who knows!  All I know us, right up until she attacked me, she was "Cautious" with me (not "Annoyed") and her co-conspirator was "Friendly" (not just "Pleased"!)  Drives me INSANE.

I'm going to guess you didn't keep a very large army, right? That right there opens you up to being attacked by militarily strong Civs, and it makes perfect sense for them to do so. They're trying to win and being able to assimilate your culturally strong cities, or at least prevent you from spreading your culture, would be a big help to them. If you want a cultural victory in Civ, you have to use a policy of deterrence and distraction. Your army has to be strong enough to make other Civs at least think twice or, if attacked, hold your cities for a prolonged period of time (until you can either get some help, retaliate, or the opponent gets tired and you can sue for peace). TiLT described the distraction method already.
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