Thursday, February 26, 2009

These monthly updates working for you?

They're going OK for me, in case you were wondering.

So, on to the big news of the month! Ossian's Mysteries of Westgate was announced to be released shortly. Whatever "soon" means, because it's certainly longer than two weeks from then. Of course, this spawned a series of "Yes it is!" "Do you think I'm an idiot?" responses. Personally, I think both are justified. I don't think anyone wants to see Ossian, or NWN2 as the case may be, fail because of this mismanaged debacle (not that the non-release of an Adventure Pack would spell doom for the game, but it's certainly not helping building confidence in the franchise or it's publisher...), even what little support pretending to be excited at this point people are mustering is, I'm sure, appreciated by the guys on the receiving end of the nonsense. Not to point fingers either. Oh, and don't take that the wrong way Ossian, I resigned to casual awareness a long time ago. Expecting excitement is a bit much, don't you think?

But on the flip side, the definition of something stupid is doing the same thing and expecting different results. This is why nobody likes a skeptic.

In other news, our BouncyRock project Shattered Dreams there's a new update out. Also, some setting information can be found here.


Monday, January 26, 2009

More Regular Updates?

You know, I'd imagine that there's some literary term for tricking people into thinking one thing when you read the title of something implying, through a question, that I have an answer or at least some controversy surrounding it, and the article in question is doing the exact opposite. As a more topical example:

Barack Obama Gay? he's not.

After all, newspapers do this all the time. But, regardless of my lack of knowledge on the topic that's what I did. I haven't really considered doing more regular updates and they will probably continue to be sporadic.

In any case, I've received several emails and questions as of late with regards to Subtlety of Thay. Will it be continued? Is it on indefinate hold? The answer to both is I can't really say at this point. I'd like to finish it of course, but working with this team has been a much better opportunity and that's pretty much the long of the short of it. If things change, I'll post it here. Sorry guys, that's the best I can do.

Moving on, with regards to the new project, the lack of information means we're dilegently working on it, every day. You may have noticed my good friend Elysius, despite a penchant for taking poorly written quizzes and sharing the results (I was an elf chick!), has been talking about the project a bit. So that's your information center until we're ready to start giving out some more regular updates, and maybe open a forum? Gaging the responses here guys, don't drop the ball.

Anyway, just to pad this out, the Academy of Modding Excellence is back in the delegating awards process. Their last round of awards, despite snubbing arguably the most physically attractive modder in the community, was a relative success. Question I have, though, is anyone looking forward to these?

Mod of the year is coming up also on the Vault, whereupon said exteremly attractive individual was also snubbed, and I know everyone is looking forward to that.

Finally, when are they going to have a "Most Physically Attractive" category in either of these categories?

Ah, well, one can dream I suppose.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Storm of Zehir Released

One thing I've noticed since starting a blog is that nobody comes here to read about news first, so announcing that Storm of Zehir was released seems like I'm telling you something you already know. Especially since it was released four days ago.

Of course, being as how you can't really mod for NWN2 and NOT be up to date with the patches and expansions and the like, I bought it. In some ways, I feel like I'm one of the few, and depending on the social stigma carried by saying this ("Oh, he liked Storm of Zehir..." *snort* "...I bet he's never read Nietzche." *drink douchebag Starbucks frappaccino while typing on laptop in Starbucks using their free wireless*) who, in case you couldn't tell from that fictional scenario (I also went to Starbucks the other day and got some bananna mango smoothie thing), actually does like SoZ. I also liked SoU the most, and while I look for my shrugging shoulder smiley, please continue to the next paragraph:

I haven't played it a whole lot, since time is precious and all, but it's a welcome change of pace for me. There seems to have been a certain formula followed by the NWN franchise, dating probably back to BG or some other overrated game. Ruffled your feathers there? Then at least let me say this: I tried it on Gametap not long ago, being as how I missed the golden age of CRPGs apparently, and rose tinted glasses folks. That game is passable at best, but that it's propped up as one of the pinnacles of CRPG gaming is a mystery to me, it just wasn't that much fun to play. But I digress, the point here being that read a lot of questionable quality dialogue, get a quest, combat through a long dungeon with the occasional dialogue encounter where you may make a skill check comprised nearly the entirety of the gameplay of the whole franchise. The only exceptions to that really are MotB and SoZ, both of which made better use of other gameplay elements.

Of course when a new gameplay element is added, people tend not to take well to it for deviating from the formula kind of explains the whole phenomena. Spirit Meter? Everything about SoZ? Alright, if that's the way it is...

So I'm sorry folks, we're just going to have to agree to disagree here. That there's no "Hey, tell me about your past..." option on the companions doesn't outweigh that there's an overland map that uses a dozen skills to influence a dozen different aspects of it. A lack of companion interjections doesn't offset the new "hey, their skills matter too and this is a huge improvement" factor we've got going on here; you did build your own party after all.

And perhaps I'm just not a hardcore/traditionalist when it comes to RPGs?

There are, however, a number of annoyances. I could easily see the load screens being annoying for the random encounters, the buff stripping of long term buffs when transitioning to the map, the slow movement on the overland map...

I'll put it to you like this, about five minutes in after you get to the shore, if you didn't like the before and during of that battle, you won't like SoZ. If you did, well there you go. As far as building goes, there's some new stuff in there we can make use of. If you're a builder I recommned playing with it some, the skill use is exactly what most people should be paying attention to as they do also, so few mods make use of skills in any way, and those that do are usually limited to dialogue skills.

Far as the BR project goes, building is underway officially. We'll begin to dessiminate new information pretty soon.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Wow, I have got to apologize!

Been over a month and I have been slacking. Well, not really, but as far as blog posts got I have been slacking. So you're probably thinking, what is the hold up?

Let me get this out of the way: Subtlety of Thay Ch 3 is officially on the back burner. I've been saying I was going to switch gears for a while now, and behold, I am not a liar.

Yeah, I know, it sucks. But it may work out better!

So what have I been doing? Besides monitoring the Vault, which is actually going really well far as my mod goes; did a much better job of testing and the like this time around. Over at BouncyRock we've been pretty busy with the Halloween mod and all, which I had a hand in and made my own little house which wasn't very good (but what do you expect? Look at the dates for SoT2 and that...)

But the real news here is BouncyRock is also going to be putting out a full module in the coming months, and not with the Halloween mod where everyone is doing their own thing, but a concentrated effort on a module. It's a collaborative effort between the BR team and some folks from around the community who have volunteer to work with us as a team.

So keep an eye out for updates on that in the near future.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

On the Vault

Click here.

Or don't, you could also use the search feature.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Beta Is Still Up

I was in a hurry yesterday, still continuing my playthrough but getting to a point where the DL would be available sooner rather than later over the weekend, and I not only screwed up the links, but neglected to mention it's on a different server. So my fault, here are the corrected links:

My email:
Bouncy Rock
The Citadel

Also, a known and corrected for future/final release versions issue is the enter scripts sometimes fail to fire if you enter an area with a companion. So if you're playing 3.0 try and enter all areas with the PC character and not a companion or weirdness may result (in which case you can probably exit/reenter using the PC).

It's fixed though, so no worries.

Anyway, I've been meaning to write a more substantial blog entery for quite a while, so here are my overall impression of my own mod, after playing through it with a Warlock from Ch 1 and a Druid from Ch 2:

The combat isn't really easy at many points, and pretty difficult at others even for the guy who made it, but never impossible; most notably the beetles in the catacombs, a certain thieves ambush, Deadwood, the city attack, and the final siege. The warlock had a harder time than the druid combat wise even though the druid was noticebly more poorly equipped just using a character builder, but the lack of speech skills makes avoiding/getting desired non combat results from quests more difficult. Elephant hide is almost as overpowered as Chilling Tentacles, one you can get from like level 6 and the other at like 11 though. People who don't like difficult combat are not going to like this mod at points. Hopefully the rest will make up for that for them, otherwise it is what it is.

It took me 22 hours to finish Chapter 2, and I know the most efficient routes for doing quests and my warlock had Flee the Scene in the city and Warlock Buddy. But I'm also a bit OCD about inventory management and hot buttons and all that, I like to have everything just so, so I adjust things frequently. So it's really long either way. Also there's a slew of other quests if you do things differently. How much content? I have no idea, probably at least 25 hours for the average guy on one play through for Ch 2 and at least 8 for Ch 1. That's over 30 for the whole campaign, easily.

I think if you just follow the flow of the quests starting with the House Locke quests you can get most of the sidequests. Some of them maybe not, but they're mostly marked with map pins and it's a matter of tracking down the right NPC or saying the right thing, there's nothing really hidden except for the easter egg item hunt; I put 15 items in the mod that are essentially worthless unless you find the right NPC who wanst them. You'll have to look for them. I wanted to do more but it's pretty tiresome actually.

There's a lot of loot, you'll probably be decked out. Thing is, a lot of it is situational and not super good. You won't be wearing +3 of much, there's maybe three +3 items and you can't get them all (I think a +3 STR belt, a +3 heavy shield, and a +3 chainmail is all). The rest is +1-+2 with some special powers or bonuses, there's also a lot of scrolls and wands to find. There's also a huge variety of items in the random loot and stores, so you probably won't be able to afford everything you want; also because of the combat challenge your companions will need some gear as well, hand me downs probably won't cut it for the most part. I'm going to exploit this, as most of the items are X/day or X/charges per use, so in Ch 3 there will be almost no stores and you'll need that stuff to get from one point to the next.

I went from level 8-11 in both play throughs. So the starting level for Ch 2 will be 7-9 and ending 10-12. That's not a bad spread, you get to spend a lot of time on levels where your character has a lot of options.

Alright, so that's what I got out of it, biased towards awesome as I am.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Beta Is Up

Though I haven't finished my two ongoing play throughs, figure it's a weekend and what the hell. The full beta is now up. Contact me at one of three places if you want in:

My email:
Bouncy Rock
The Citadel

From there I'll supply you a link and you're off. Of course, by downloading said you file you're implicitly agreeing to actually provide feedback and not just burn your weekend. If you want to do that, may I recommend frisbee golf?

Thanks everyone.