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.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ingdal's Arm Siege

Alright, so basically where I stand now fifty scripts later is the siege mechanics done and working, and the balance is getting there (it's really not easy!). The area is almost complete, meaning I have placeholder conversations and cutscenes but the texturing/placeables/whatnot is done and the bad guys after yelling "Test!" come to get you, then their boss's henchmen, then the boss himself. That's a huge bulk of it finished, and it was a phenomenal pain in the ass. That said, check out some screens:






I expect to have this last little bit done by tomorrow or Monday; it's just a few bark convos and a handful of cutscenes; frankly after how taxing scripting the damn thing was this will be easy. After which time I'll take a test run to make sure everything is working, upload it for testing and post the link liberally, and work on the finish touches (custom load screens are sounding like a huge hassle I really don't want to deal with right now, but that's the kind of stuff I'm talking about when I say finishing touches) as the bug reports roll in. Maybe it'll be on the Vault as early as next week. How exciting is that?

I had a comment from last blog (you guys don't like screenshots? Almost nobody said nothing! If a picture is worth 1000 words, I wrote 13000 words last blog!) from jameso asking me if after my break the mod got any bigger. I'm not really sure what s/he meant by bigger (what, like in file size? scope? which break?) but I'm going to guess in scope, so here's the deal:

When I plotted this joint out last year, I had it loosely planned out by chapter. Considering I didn't really know what I was doing at the time, it was all loose guesses and I stuck with it as well as I could. The first chapter, though shoddy and weak in comparison in my opinion to this second one, I broke where I wanted to. Here, however, it's another story. It was supposed to be longer than it is now as far as the storyline, but I went a little (lot) overboard with the sidequests in the city; there's just a ton to do there. It kind of ate up my energy and was taking way too long (and there's a lot left to do), and so I cut it short.

Then I was set to cut it off at the end of the city, but that was a bad ending to the mod so I tacked this siege battle on at the end instead. I decided to do that after my last vacation; so yeah, it's bigger than it is but smaller than what it is, if you follow me. This extra siege will probably take 30-45 minutes and I doubt anyone will get it on their first try, because it'll probably kick your ass. But you probably won't find anything like it in a single player mod for a while (hopefully, got to have something, right?), so I think it was worth the effort.

I don't know if that answers your question or not. If it was about file size, yeah it's another 50MB. There's about 600MB worth of mod, cleaned up the item override to about 600MB and the hak is 800MB. Once it's all zipped up and whatnot it's like a 300MB download, which is big but this mod is like 30-40 hours long; there's like 70 areas. Haven't timed it yet, but it's around there.

So, there you go. Thanks for giving me something to ramble about.

Alright, then, ah, keep an eye out for the final beta within the next week or so.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tick, tock

Hmmm, where do I begin today? It's been a very busy NWN2 related week. I guess chronologically? Why not.





Those are a few screens from the "evil ending" area. It's basically serving as a cutscene area. Pick the evil path, do it, go there, game over. So the evil ending is completely finished, and go me.

So, we need a "good ending" a.k.a. continue the mod. So I've begun that. Basically I'm going for a go to this area and defend a fort from a horde of demons and such. So in order to do that, I needed formations, arrow towers, catapult towers, etc. and an AI that chooses targets and attacks the towers and defenders. Basically what's going to happen is the assault is going to come in waves of 5, I don't know, squads at a time around the fort, and try and kill the commander. You have to defend the commander and suvive the waves...then something else you'll have to do that I haven't decided yet. Then the mod ends after a suitably epic battle.

Yeah, sounds like a big project, right? Well, it is. But I've made a lot of progress, highlighted in these screens:


Look, they move as a unit, see? They're in a "loose" formation there, but their formations change as they progress through the fort.


Oh, look, they knocked down the gate. Cool. See, they'll react accordingly based upon what's around them. If a gate blocks their path, they'll knock it down. If they're being fired upon by an archer's tower, they'll try to destroy it. If they see a defender, they'll try and kill it. All as a unit. Until the leader is killed, then they gain their own AI and act as individuals.

You can also see the catapult firing in the distance.


A dead archer's tower. There's three types of towers, archer, scorpion, and catapult. The catapults fire arrows at nearby enemies, and long range catapult shots at locations and they take a while to get there, but pack a punch, but they can't shoot things with catapult shots that are too close. The catapult shots are indiscriminate, though, so don't get too close. The scorpion chooses a single target at a pretty far range and fires a bunch of extremely accurate arrows. The archer tower chooses up to three targets and fires arrows at each.


Just an arrow/catapult shot, and a shot of the guys assaulting a tent. There's arrows flying everywhere when this sequence is running.


Tents serve as respawn points for the defenders (since you don't want too many objects fighting at once, you see. Kind of lame but the lag is a real issue.), spawing troops as they die. Those are targetted also by the attackers. There's several throughout the camp, so you'll want to defend those so they can distract the attackers from taking down the towers. Once those are gone, it's a leisurely stroll up to the commander.

Finally, I'm helping a bit with Misery Stone, found here. You know those fancy new models? The awesome looking areas? Custom music? I'm not doing any of that. I'm scripting a single encounter that needs a special AI.

That's it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I'm Back

And I have been for a few days, and frankly I thought you guys deserved an update at that point. And I would have, but it seems I'm fresh out of laundry and unpacking jokes. This, though, I can show you:





The area looks a little different than in those screens, because I populated with NPCs and did all the scripting for it and whatever. Additionally, I've finished up a few other things, which puts me precisely _____ far away from release. I'm really close is basically the, ah, main point I'm making here.

This area is a little superflouous to the mod. There's a few things I decided to move to it instead of somewhere else simply because I made it. It's more of a...hallway. Like say you have two rooms which both have something going on in them. You've got to connect the rooms. Well, you don't have to, could just jump between the rooms, but that's stupid. So my link to the next mod as it stood was stupid by association. This area is pretty much a fancy hallway is the, ah, theme here.

Also, check this out by clicking this link. You should, you know, try and do it. I'm going to.

So anyway, the vacation was good. Went to Disney, dodged a hurricane, came back here. Now I'm in the drivers seat, freshly rested, and motivated to get done. And on that note, it's back to the toolset.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ran out of Time

That's it, my wife is coming even earlier than expected: tomorrow.

So I'm out.

Anyway, I got pretty far, far enough to test some stuff if that's what you all want to do. If you're already down with me for that, I'm uploading a new one. If you want to get down, you'll have to get at me before tomorrow morning or you're at the mercey of whenever I feel like getting at you.

Take care, see you all in a few.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Couple of Days

It's the 29th today. Should be seeing my wife on the 3rd or so. Apparently it can be quite a process to make it to here from across the world. I don't remember it being that difficult when I came back from deployment. Basically I showed up at the airport in Bagram, Afghanistan, got on a flight and left. Of course, I took a three week detour in Germany, then went to Qatar for a few hours, then left.

See, when you're deployed, you don't pay taxes. So I jerked around for the better part of a month until the 30th on "official" business, went to Qatar for a few hours until the 1st of the month, then left 5 minutes later, netting me a whole month of tax free pay.

So yeah, I kind of scammed you tax payers. My bad.

Now here's something that's always kind of gotten me. Alright, so if you can travel the world in 24 hours, and if you're always going backwards through the time zones, is it the same day when you get back to where you start? You know what I'm saying? Because if you leave like Atlanta at 4, and travel 4 hours to Los Angeles, it'll still be 4 o'clock when you get there, which is kind of weird. So I figure if you leave Atlanta at 4, travel around the world in 24 hours, it'll be 4 in Atlanta. But will it be the same day?

Because Superman may have been right in Superman 2 when he spun the world backwards to reverse time if that's the case. Because if it works that way, you could travel around the world really fast, and get off of a plane like 50 years later and be really old, but it's still the same day! Weird, right? Of course, you'd probably be an idiot for doing that, unless like you really, really need to grow a long, white beard for some reason.

I don't think it works that way though. It's probably the same time the next day, which really offers you no time travel advantages.

So, with all that in mind, I'm going to completely switch topics. The "good" path for the main quest in the city is completely done, and the "bad" quest has a small section to add. I could be done with it tonight if I don't decide to play Civ 4 instead, which is looking likely.

So what does that mean? I'm probably not going to be done in a few days if I do my list and extras. I could just finish up the "bad" way and call it a day, but I'm not going to do that. Probably won't get a good test in that way either, and frankly the section can be failure prone and I'm doing a lot of new things I haven't tested past my computer (which, I learned from Ch 1, doesn't mean it works everywhere. This engine is...not so good I think). I built in some fool proof stuff that's a little cheesy in case it does and all of the journal entries fire regardless instead of being planted into the cutscene, so even if it fails you can still continue. Do you know how hard it is to start a cutscene in the middle of a battle? I've pulled out some stuff, but Chain Lightning, Weird, Circle of Death and a few other spells have a propensity to fail it for some reason...a lot of stupid delays in the damage scripts I think that keeps the player in a combat state despite scripts to clear that state. It's only a handful of classes that can cast these spells, and they may be beyond the level range of the mod, but better to be safe. So I leave them immortal, change their faction instead of dying, so you can talk to them instead of the death script failing and you being stuck, which is corny but a middle ground.

But it's good progress, the end is near.

Anyway, since I won't make my deadline I'll just wait and add another small section like I was talking about and do my list of extras. It's really not much, but with 4 days left, it's not going to happen. Plus there's been some new mods out so it's all good, right?

Monday, July 21, 2008

How many text tags can exist at once?

That's five.

Well, anyway, after pulling my hair out for the better part of the week, I've finally made some progress. As many of you know, or not depending on if you've been paying attention (and really, the literacy rates these days...) I'm on the last leg of the journey that is building a mod too big for one person to build. I expect to have the critical paths "done" by the end of the week. That is, if things go differently than they did this week. Because it was a huge pain the ass.

But, y'all cats will see why. You're going to trip.

In retrospect, I think I'm doing it the stupid way. The final (not really, I'll come back to that) quests of the mod modify the mod so much that I should have just made another mod with duplicate areas and just filled it in. Now I'm paiting hundreds of waypoints and spawning and deleting stuff every other cutscene. But screw it, it's already mostly done.

It's pretty wild though. Hopefully it doesn't suck because getting the thing to work properly has been a huge hassle.

Anyway, now back to what I was talking about two paragraphs ago, the "final" quest. See, the thing is, the city portion is open ended, so you don't necessarily have to do that one last, and when it's done you can keep going with sidequests. What I'm concerned about now is whether that's a sufficient "ending" to the module. There's two quest chains that are required to proceed to the third, and currently non-existant, chapter. So you could do those two first (well, probably not because you'll need a level or two and some gear to have a shot I think), and then do sidequests until it's done, which I don't think is a very satisifying ending.

So I was thinking about adding on the beginning of Chapter 3 as the ending of Chapter 2 instead, so at least it doesn't end on a diretionless sidequest frenzy. What do you all think?

Thing about that is, I got my wife's leave date, the 2nd of August. Which is great for the family here, but not so great for you all. I was originally projected to be the 7th. So I basically lost a week of time to finish this.

So bearing in mind that if I add an extra chunk, it probably wouldn't be out until September. I could probably get that done before she comes, but my list of "extras" wouldn't make the cut, which I want to do at least some of them.

I guess we'll see how much time I have left later this week and take it from there.

But what do you all think? Weird non-ending now, or a month delay for another 15-20 minutes for a better ending?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Vacation != Me

A little comparison operator humor in the title. Could be my lamest joke to date. Determing that may be my next poll.

In any case I'm back, fully fingered, mostly because I didn't actually light any fireworks this year, with the rest of that because being I'm not an idiot. See, last few years the cops have been hammering down on illegal fireworks, and in Wisconsin the legal ones basically are either snakes, sparklers, marigolds (kind of like sparklers, used to light better fireworks mostly), and 3 inch tall fountains.

So there's really no point in even bothering with that, I'm not going to lower myself to lighting sparklers just for the sake of lighting fireworks. I like to think I'm a better man than that. A man who appreciates a good mortar or finding a dud from the 4th on the beach and throwing it into a campfire.

Speaking of Wisconsin, and again bringing up brats, where I'm from there we have a brat fry basically every Sunday year round. Not "we" as in my family, but like going to the parking lot of basically any business establishment anywhere and finding a group of people cooking brats. Which nobody else in the country does, and I find that bizarre. I mean, they're good as hell and an any time of day type meal. Although here in Tennessee, they seem to like to sell either pit bulls or shoes in all of the parking lots. I'll leave that to you to decide which is better (hint: a brat fry).

I also managed to golf for the second time this year, which was a lot of fun. Not that I'm any good at it, ignoring that I did hit this beautiful 250 yard drive that split the fairway. I'm almost at the point where I can hit the ball every time without messing up and rolling it 50 feet because I topped it, but not quite past hitting 3-4 putts every hole.

In any case, I got back a few days ago, and rather than putting up a blog post like all "I'm back" and then talking about nonsense and then people are like "welcome back I guess" or "I like your blog follow this link to some kind of money scam I can't read because the site's in Spanish", I waited a few days so I could say something about my NWN2 campaign. Yeah I know, even I forget sometimes that's what this blog is really about.

Anyway, I've now finished all of the noble house quests, which basically leaves the last section of the main quest and I'm, more or less, done. I have a list of "extras" I want to add, like more companion interjections, some item hunt crap, maybe a pick pocket system and some consequence encounters from how you treat NPCs, but none of that is really critical and I'll do it as long as time permits. Because my wife is coming back for 18 days from Iraq in August, and this WILL be on the Vault before then (thank you again to everyone who's tested throughout, it's really because of that I can pop it out a week or two after the content is done). How much extra is directly related to how much time I have left after finishing the main quest.

Which should be quite a bit, even with an alternate "evil" ending I'm adding. There's one, possibly two areas to build depending on how far I want to take the main quest sequence, but most of it is spawning things and a few cutscenes, I expect to be "done" by the end of this week if things go well.

So that's pretty much that.

Really Late EDIT!!!!

I almost forgot about this.

So anway, I usually have a TV series I like to kick back and watch from time to time. Having seen Oz, Rome, Deadwood, The Shield, and waiting on The Wire, I'm in between shows now. I remember when I was a bit younger, they used to play anime on the Sci Fi channel Saturday mornings, so I've seen like a handful of them. I always thought they were kind of cool, but I don't even know what's good and what's not besides Ninja Scroll.

So I went on a little digging expedition to see what's what, and here's what I came up with. If you all have seen these joints, let me know what's good:

Boogiepop Phantom: The name is awful in pretty much every way imagineable, but these Japanese, evidenced by their RPGs, wouldn't know something cool if I kicked them in their collective asses (still mad I haven't gotten a letter from them like all: Hey Dirty, you're cool!"). It's supposed to be some Twilight Zone type horror stuff, though.

Elfen Lied: Another awfully named horror type joint. Not sure who exactly Elfen is, but he (or she, it's a bit androgenous) is apparently full of it. Um, not sure what to say here. There's a half naked broad on the box?

Gantz: See what I'm saying? Boogiepop, Elfen, Gantz, it's like they pulled their titles out of a Shining Force game. This is supposed to be like ultra nasty horror/action, which works for me. One of the things I discovered about anime is that they are big on using all of their blood red colored ink.

Gungrave: Well, this one comes in a blood red cube instead of a box, which again attests that they Japanese really like their cartoons bloody, or just have an affinity towards red. This one is about a guy that comes back from the dead to kill, which is awesome. However, they kind of dropped the ball by naming the hero "Brandon" instead of "John H. Gungrave" or something like that.

Hellsing: Well, this has nothing to do with Hugh Jackman, Andrew Jackson, Action Jackson, nor "Downtown" Willie Brown, though those last three may come as no surprise. Pretty similar though, guy fights vampires and whatnot. Looks a bit dull, but who knows?

Noir: This looks a little on the artsy side to me, but there's supposed to be a lot of killing popping off. Whatever, I don't know.

Serial Experiments Lain: Again awfully titled. Also about a 13 year old girl. However, it's supposed to be more horror themed and weird, which could be fun. What can I say, the Japanese even like their animated horror stars young. And there's also probably a lot of blood and other weird crap.

So, any input? I know somebody who reads this likes anime, don't be shy now.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I'm going to visit the family over the 4th, so I'll be out for the next week and a half.

Alright, that's all.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

4 To Go

The other day at my daughter's gymnastics class, which I don't participate in leaving me a good chunk of time to sit around and do nothing in a building that's not my house, I picked up this magazine they have. One of the things I like about my dentist is that he has Sports Illustrated and ESPN magazine; I'm not a real big sports fan, but it beats the hell out of Ebony or Redbook or the other BS that's at the gymnastics place. But I did check out this Entrepreneur (or something like that) magazine, which had Mark Ecko on the cover. Apparently the dude is a billionaire.

Then it occured to me that I don't have any of his clothes in my wardrobe, which, you'll note from earlier I have about an hour to kill with little to do, got me thinking why I don't, you'd, or perhaps I'd, think I'd like those kind of clothes being a big hip hop fan and all. But I don't really get in to those stupid urban/rapper clothing lines that much. And I figured out why: Most of these rappers look like they raided their grandma's old clothes box.

Seriously, look at these guys. I guess the last thing I want to do is take fashion advice from guys who wear diamond earrings the size of a marble, shiny tennis bracelets, and fur coats (dude, my mom wants a fur coat).

I do want to know how they keep their hats on, but can never keep on their shirts, or some kind of half-shirts like they couldn't decide what goes where even if it looks a little suggestive in a bad way.

Also, here's a hilariously misleading condom ad.

But on to the update:



Those are two areas I did this week to further the noble house quests. As the title suggests, only 4 more quests to go, then the two final stages of the main quest and that about does it. Getting very close now, and not much to talk about, hence my tirade above and below.

Now, more Baldur's Gate:

Last time, I had just left the prologue on my quest to find out why people are trying to kill me and succeeding in killing Gorion. Turns out this involves a lot of walking and stumbling in to things. Since the only thing I know about so far is a pile of loot to the north I can steal from Gorion's corpse, that's the first stop:


Then I stumbled into more things, like these guys:


Meet Xzar and Monteron, two mildly annoying guys. One is near worthless in battle, the other when scripted tries to hide in shadows constantly instead of moving to his waypoint (also, the pathing in this game is terrible, again I'll chalk that up to age because the logarithms used today may not have even existed or been too costly to use). Anyway, didn't know this when I said it's cool to come along, plus a full party is better than nothing.

Anyway, I told them I had to go north to the Friendly Arms Inn to meet some friends instead of going south to Nakresh like they want to. Hopefully, I thought to myself, I will find some sidequests and and a CGI(?) cutscene. And I wasn't disappointed.


After arriving in town and being nearly murdered again, I found some more friends, Jaheira and Khalid:


I'm assuming because there is no more space for companions, that I have a full party. That means sidequest time. The first one I found was from what appears to be a completely nude woman who lost her ring.


Obviously I accepted, as it seems simple enough and I haven't seen a game yet that punishes you for taking quests, often puzzling why a "no" option even exists because you can just ignore them anyway (luckily, many BG quests you just get from talking to a guy...but you can ignore them.) I did that, killed the hobgoblin who had the ring, but his corpse was sort of behind a tree so I didn't notice it and continued north thinking it was up there, where I found a whole new batch of sidequests, including some bandits who you literally scalp, which is kind of nasty.


I don't know why an innkeeper would want to buy a dead guy's filthy bandit hair, but I don't ask those questions.

A little further north I found a farmer who's son is missing, which I'm supposed to find. After a very brief time looking, I ran into one of these things.


Notice my party is a little smaller? Yeah, that's because these things can literally explode your guys into a spray of body parts. They don't just regular kill them. It lead to this screen:


That's my hand melting away.

So after a reload, I did manage to win but lost most of my party again. I just wanted to see if I could do it.


But, after careful consideration, I decided I'm in the wrong area because these things are a little strong for a level 1 party; even Xzar with his 4 hit points and no offensive damaging spells was having trouble. I think that's why he bothered me to go south to Narakesh. He was punished for it, because I'm evil:


I made him wear a belt that made him a woman. Then Jaheira started bugging me too about going there, and so did my journal:


Most of the quests end in "by the way, maybe we should go south to Narakesh?" So I caved in, lacking another gender bending belt.


And here I am at level 2:


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Baldur's Gate

First of all, I've got your Subtlety of Thay needs covered here. So don't even trip on that. I guess I should lightly touch on the poll options: You all suck. Not much support for neither the Wild West or Kung Fu. That's cool though.

See for my next project, during my break between Ch 2 and possibly continuing, which I'll probably pick it back up one day but I need to switch gears for a bit, I was puzzling out what exactly I wanted to do. I had an idea similar to Seekers where there would be a central "hub" level, and you could go open portals or something to unrelated, random plots in an effort to get out of the "hub", but since that's pretty much been done by Seekers, and nobody really seems to appreciate the brilliance in such an idea, I'm going to go ahead and take a pass.

My other idea was to put something in the Chult area, because jungles and such haven't really been done outside of Tomoachan, but the new expansion pack seems to have that covered really well. However, I thought they didn't really do justice to Thay in MotB (yeah, the Red Wizards are good natured...kind of forgot to put the evil ones in there...), so maybe they won't make jungles cool?

Nah, it'll probably be pretty dope, and there will probably be a lot of cool jungle themed stuff too.

But, that leaves me with my last idea, which I'm not going to go into other than it's going to have a mild Wild West theme to it. Could have been Wild West/Kung Fu! But you all messed that up. For shame.

Nah, I'm not mad. Kung Fu wouldn't have been that great because you can't really go Shadowboxing vs. Crane style when everyone's a monk with 3 animations. Plus there's no David Carradine head model. But there's definately going to be some Wild West overtones happening, and it's definately going to be a lot smaller a project than this one.

In any case, I was talking about how I got GameTap and downloaded Baldur's Gate. Well, I tried it with a character and realized I really had no idea how the AD&D ruleset worked and didn't like my poorly statted multi-class Fighter/Mage because I saw everyone gain levels while my character was still level 1, a few thousand XP away from level 2, and with 6 hit points, so I started over. But this time, I documented it.

So, let's go!

In any case, from my previous run through I just know that resting is a MFer without healing spells, and to avoid dealing with it I'll just play a cleric. I know they need Wisdom, but I basically hit reroll until I ended up with pretty high numbers across the board since I have no idea what the numbers actually do.

It kind of makes me wonder with all the hating on 4E, did the same thing happen when they went from AD&D to 3E? Because this is kind of insane, and the lack of explanations in the game didn't help matters.

So anyway, with that in mind I chose the first portrait I saw, and since he doesn't really look like that nice of a guy and more like that giant from Fearless, so he's definately evil, nearly as big, but probably not nearly as strong. After all the other things I filled in that I didn't know what they were, I got to the name.


Allow me to introduce you to "Crazy Legs" O'Hooly, only named so because O'Flannigan and O'Hoolie were too long, but dropping the "" around Crazy Legs would have just been silly.

So, off we went to the Inn. After freaking out (I'm evil, remember?) at the Inn Keeper about his lame joke, he didn't want to talk to me anymore. Until seconds later when I clicked him again and checked out the inventory. Couldn't afford any good armor and have enough left over for a weapon, so I left to go get some more money. That means random tasks for strangers, folks! Because I can't pick locks and depsite my gigantic size have trouble cracking open drawers and chests. Need a rogue. Or is it thief?

I did a few like finding a book in cow feed, delivering a sword pretending like I didn't steal it and intend to sell it, until I found this gem: The combat simulator 3000. It's cool, because basically this guys summons opposition, except they can't hurt you. So what did I do? Summoned as many guys as I could!


Then I tried to unequip everyone's stuff and give it to my character, but when they dump you out of that area they take all your stuff. Touche Bioware, touche.

Anyway, I also found this quest:


You all see that I got the Rat highlighted? A rat in the cellar quest? Are you kidding me?

I think I'm going to give them a pass though. Could very well be that this game is old enough to be the origin of the rat in the cellar level 1 quest cliche. I didn't let it bother me and killed the rats.

So finally I had enough money to buy some stuff and headed over to the Inn. Got tore up from the floor up (sorry I can't think of anything that works with geared up. Geared up to the weird up? I don't know.) and split, ready to find Gorion. Told him yeah, I'm ready to go. Then he died.


Then I met Imoen, who seems a bit perky (and really, her portrait doesn't look like a young kid like the game says she is, or is that just me? And does she call you gay when you select her?) for an evil giant to be kicking it with, but I'm not walking around alone and somebody needs to break into cabinets for me.

And that's the end of today's Baldur's Gate. Next time, walking around the woods, seeing graphics glitches, and possibly several ambushes as I attempt to rest.