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Real Name Paranoid Jack   
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Nickname Paranoid Jack
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
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Signed On Nov 5, 2001, 00:47
Total Comments 1760 (Pro)
User ID 11537
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News Comments > Evening Previews
1. AoC Mar 8, 2008, 13:02 Paranoid Jack
A good debate about the combat system in this thread:

Here's a good post from page 4. It's a damn long thread with quite a few trolls sticking their noses out from under the bridge....

"Hmm... where to start.

I too have game design experience, I only bring it up because you did. Though I have to admit I'm jealous of you working with Sid and Brian. Alpha Centauri is probably my favourite 4X game of all time. Anyhoo...

Let me try and tackle your points one by one.

Originally Posted by blindhammer
1. There are no auto-attacks.

This is cosmetic, really...

Nope. This is not purely cosmetic. I'll stick with WoW jargon since that seems to be both familiar to you as well as being familiar to a majority of the other readers of this forum. In AoC, since there is no auto-attack, we've essentially removed "white damage" from the game. Yes, there is still "white damage" from the weapons being swung, but now that damage is independent of class (since all classes in AoC that can use a given weapon are equally proficient in it's use) and based solely on the weapon itself and/or the statistics of the character that modify damage (i.e. high str increases melee damage for instance). From a class balance standpoint this is a godsend; now when trying to determine and balance class DPS hierarchies for instance, we can fully concentrate on combos (i.e. "yellow damage"), that's where all the balancing can be done.

From an item creation/balance standpoint, the elimination of "white damage" is also helpful. Now when we create a weapon, with some rare exceptions, we can again ignore the class of any potential user and just concentrate on the statistics of the weapon itself. For example, in WoW, one handed swords were usable by a great number of classes, but itemization of one handed swords had to take into account the varied use of one handed swords by the different groups of classes. Mages, warlocks, and some paladins were only looking for spell damage on their sword. Rogues looked for the highest dmg (probably combined with the slowest delay) for their mainhand to maximize sinister strike damage, while choosing the fastest off hand for the most applications of poison. Hunters looked for stats; +Dex, +AP, +Crit (I won't talk about melee hunters...). Tanking paladins wanted the sweet spot dealy of 2.0 to maximize the number of Reckoning hits they got. Mortal Strike warriors wanted the absolute slowest sword they could get to maximize the damage gained from AP. Etc, etc, etc. But now in AoC, by eliminating auto attacks, we've tied the "delay" of all weapons expressly to the speed of the attack animations themselves, which all classes use, so the only thing that really matters with the weapon is the raw damage it does. So now when we create an item we don't have to worry about offhand vs mainhand, rogue weapon or tanking weapon, etc, we just go ahead and create the weapon and then sprinkle in whatever bonus stats we want. So come loot time, we've gotten rid of all the rogue swords, or the hunter swords, or the int caster swords, or the tanking swords, it's now just swords. (Exceptions being of course some rangers and some casters who might take an inferior damaging weapon in favour of bonus stats granted.)

Originally Posted by blindhammer
2. When I attack with a Polearm, it does damage to all mobs in front! This is realistic!

While realistic, this is not new. All MMORPG's have AoE melee attacks...

Yes, this part of the combat system in AoC isn't truly spectacularly ground breaking. But it's definitely going to change the way groups interact with mobs. In standard MMO gameplay, we generally follow the pattern of: 1) Pull, 2) CC, 3) Assist maintank/main-assist and then kill each mob individually in a specific order. Yes there exists AoE melee attacks such as Cleave and Blade Flurry, and Whirlwind, but those abilities are (in general) on long cooldown timers and are not a staple of combat, but something we throw out now and again for flavour, or as "oh-s**t" burst damage options when things go bad. Now in AoC, with the combination of collision detection between mobs/players and this AoE cone melee attacks, things like CC and assisting the maintank/main-assist, and what not are going to be, if not more difficult, at least more challenging for groups. More interaction. More situational awareness required. More fun.

Originally Posted by blindhammer
3. I can swing in different directions!

From a code perspective, you're not doing anything new at all. All you are doing is providing a damage modifier depending on a mob's weakness or state. ..

Again, not revolutionary, but combined with collision between players/mobs, will change the pace of combat for all non-rogue players (who are used to doing the good old back attack dances from other MMOs). Now it's going to matter where you as a melee attacker are in regards to your party members and the position of the mob. Is this going to make or break most fights? No, but it's a nice addition to the genre. Now positioning matters for everyone, not just rogues and tanks. Now we as players have another option to play with and tweak to maximize our DPS

Originally Posted by blindhammer
Taunting / hate lists really are an extension of limited technology... EQ and AC used the same system but in a three-dimensional world... We've moved to the point where AoC has collision detection (technology has caught up) but it has kept the same system as EQ and diku muds, from what I have observed... If AoC really did have a unique combat system, they would eliminate all taunting and instead rely upon tactics and collision / blocking...

Yep, I'm not a big fan of hatelists/taunting but...

We're not at the point were truly adaptive AI can make it's presence known in an MMO (let alone a single player game), it's just too prohibitively computationally expensive. So we have to rely on dumb AI; essentially nested 'if' statements or even the case of MMOs and multiplayer games, a truly simplified system like a hatelist. You, as a game designer, know that you always have to balance fun versus features. Yes it would be really cool if we had intelligent AI/mobs that properly choose targets, but from a fun point of view, having the healer or mage die on every pull or in every fight... nope, not fun. So unfortunately there still is a need for dumb systems like hatelists and the ubiquitious taunt button/key.

Now, that being said, in AoC we can now have the opportunity to completely ignore taunting and/or hatelists in a lot of situations, expressly because we've got collision detection between players/mobs and the AoE nature of attacks. Now mages can hide out there in the back and lob the ol' fireball in there. And tanks can actually stand in front and *gasp* protect their friends who are behind them.

Is it perfect? No. But it's a step in the right direction.

Originally Posted by blindhammer
This is why AoC is generic. It's a boring system and an extension of code from 1991. And this is why I'm disappointed with the game. From a code-perspective, the combat system is pretty close to WoW... Again, this is no reflection of how AoC will be as a game. But, I don't find the system to be "revolutionary" at all.

I think you should take another look at the combat system and give it another think through. Yes, each of the various features of the combat system you mentioned are not all the different from things we've seen before, but the combination of all these features is going to fundamentally change the way most groups tackle fights in AoC. Situational awareness and positioning are going to be important for every single person in a party not just the 'rogue' players. Gone are the days of pulling mobs into the corner, and then autoattacking and watching TV. Gone are the days of pulling mobs into the corner and then playing whack-a-mole as you click the buttons on your hotbar as you cycle through the cooldown timers of your abilities.

Personally, I'm greatly looking forward too it.

I'm at a point were I can't say too much... and the servers are down for an update.

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News Comments > Age of Conan Trailer
3. Don't care about cartoon breasts... Mar 2, 2008, 12:35 Paranoid Jack
Edited to protect the not so innocent.
This comment was edited on Mar 2, 12:37.
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News Comments > New NVIDIA Beta Drivers
15. Re: Are all their drivers beta now? Sep 11, 2007, 00:26 Paranoid Jack
Damn, now you went and made him madd...

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News Comments > WoW Patches
13. D' oH! Mar 7, 2007, 22:06 Paranoid Jack
Any other Vista users having issues with the auto patches not installing properly?

Ah, well I was about to suspend my account again anyway.

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News Comments > UFO: Afterlight Q&A
6. Re: Well.... Mar 5, 2007, 09:52 Paranoid Jack

I ordered it from CD-NOW and got it in 7 or 8 days. The price was great with free shipping to boot. Via Hong Kong no-less. Had never heard or used them until now but I can honestly recommend their services now.

Great game so far and by far the best in the series. And to me far better than X-Com. Of course my nostalgia for the game may not be as great as yours.

Even more shocking is that me and Cheese are in agreement again.

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News Comments > Morning Tech Bit
28. My Daughter would say... "Like Whatever" Feb 19, 2007, 23:44 Paranoid Jack
"If MS really cared about PC gaming they would have offered a version of Vista that turned off most of the junk services to improve performance and free up RAM. Something funny I had heard recently was that the Vista business version was actually better performing out of the box than ultimate because it doesn't eat up as much in resources."

I guess you got a different version of Vista than I did. But then there are numerous version anyway, hehe.

I have an upgrade version of Ultimate on my system and it runs just as well if not better than my XP installed on the same hardware but in a Raid 0 array. It's fast and I have yet to see the RAM indicator go above 40% usage.

I installed this upgrade as if it was a full version by wiping the hard drives after swapping the SATA cable from Raid to normal SATA connectors inside the box. I would recommend everyone install it on a clean HD.

I had installed it previously as an upgrade on my XP Raid 0 set-up and it took two hours to install and had several issues. Since then I've only had a video glitch if the monitor goes into sleep mode.

I'm very happy with it. It's a nice improvement over XP. But if you don't need to update don't. Just like buying a car. If your happy with your old one don't go purchasing a newer model.

"BTW: Golem, stop being such a MS shill. Change purely for changes sake is not a good thing. Had WinFS and all the other significant changes promised actualy been included in Vista, then maybe you'd have a point. Right now, Vista is merely XP+DRM+aero."

MacD, I take it you haven't seen or used the OS yet? There is quite a bit more to it than XP + DRM + Aero = Vista. I have a friend with a huge music library of downloaded oldies and they all play just fine on his Vista Home Premium edition with no down-grade in sound quality.

But hey, believe what you will. Nobody, to include MS is forcing you to upgrade or purchase anything. Even if you trying playing the DirectX 10 card it won't float since there are no exclusive DirectX 10 PC titles out as far as I know. Hell I have yet to hear of any even in pipeline yet.

Again it all comes down to what you want or like.

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News Comments > Jade Empire: Special Edition Preloads
16. Re: No subject Feb 17, 2007, 11:37 Paranoid Jack
Damn Staunch, I would rarely buy a game if they went for $80 regularly. I've bought a couple CE's higher than $60 but usually I buy games here in California from $50 to $5 depending on their shelf date.

I guess if games were higher priced I would have to be much more selective. I just bought Brigade E5 which has some good round-based combat in it but the over-all game couldn't really justify a $40 price point. I bought it at $20 and feel less ripped-off since I've had numerous hours of semi-fun game-play already.

As far as Jade (PC) I'm just not sure I will be able to get into it. Would anyone say it (Jade X-Box) was better than KotoR? And why?

Not much of a Star Wars fan and KotoR just felt too shallow. I never got more than ten or so hours into it both times I tried. So I gave it to my brothers son.

I think if I am going to roll the dice and gamble on another game soon I would go with Stalker. At least it will be something fairly different for me. I haven't bought a regular FPS in years. Though I was temped to buy Prey for $20 the other day.
This comment was edited on Feb 17, 11:40.
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News Comments > Brigade E5: New Jagged Union Sequel
3. Re: NOOOO Feb 16, 2007, 20:09 Paranoid Jack
I picked it up for $19.95 since I love turn-based/round-based games and I am almost ready to set it aside. It really has a lot of frustrating features (for lack of a better word).

Who knows maybe the sequel will be much better.

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News Comments > Jade Empire: Special Edition Preloads
4. Re: Release Date Feb 16, 2007, 20:06 Paranoid Jack
$40? You mean $4? Or is there some CE version going for$75.95? After seeing the price of that Vanguard CE I nothing would surprise me...

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News Comments > Gears of War PC... Eventually
8. Re: Pass Feb 15, 2007, 00:37 Paranoid Jack
"Halo was a big seller on PC"

Huh? It was? What are we calling a big seller now?

I also agree and would bet big money on the fact M$ paid them for a specific 360 exclusive time frame. Then they will announce it is being ported over to PC and how close to done they are. But since Halo was a two year exclusive by the time Gears hits PC everybody will be yawning while reading that news flash.

Besides we already have R6V that has as good or better game-play minus the monsters. Plus GRAW 2 is coming soon which will most likely inherit a lot of R6V's game-play style but in the Ghost Recon setting.

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News Comments > Saturday Consolidation
6. Re: No subject Feb 11, 2007, 10:46 Paranoid Jack
What the hell? Did Tweakboy change his name or has fredrickson joined the hammiestudio club?

I think they are all one in the same.

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News Comments > Evening Q&As
1. STALKER Feb 10, 2007, 13:03 Paranoid Jack
I was hoping the beta coming soon to Fileplanet was actually the single-player but it makes more sense that it is the multi-player component.

After reading their emphasis on reality in physics I am looking forward to this beta. Though I doubt they will capture the feeling of team based games like RvS I am still hopefully.

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News Comments > Sunday Previews
20. Re: Well... Touched A Nerve? Feb 5, 2007, 10:47 Paranoid Jack
I guess we... the poor idiot regular people... will never understand or know the sheer brilliance of the writers covering the games industry today.

you could always just cry yourself to sleep.. that may work for you

either that or grab an uzi and go postal - i mean, its about fucking time someone stood up to those goddamn games industry writers!!

Huh? I'm sorry didn't know you write (review/preview) games for the industry. Didn't mean to offend or hit a nerve. Or are you saying you disagreeing? Because from where I sit 80% or so of games reviews/previews are not very well done. But don't fret there will be no crying here.

Hope you can say the same after buying S.T.A.L.K.E.R.. And I would have been right there with you. Not going to beta test until I sample it via a demo. Then maybe. But still not going to be any crying. Just my normal sarcasm.

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News Comments > Sunday Previews
14. Well... Feb 5, 2007, 02:11 Paranoid Jack
It's not just the media whores on the net either. CGM or what is now call Games for Windows spent a whole preview article about Stalker reviewing their trip to the real-life Chernobyl and about a paragraph of that was rehashed info about the game that we have all know about for more than five years now. I kid you not...

I guess we... the poor idiot regular people... will never understand or know the sheer brilliance of the writers covering the games industry today.

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News Comments > BF2142 Beta
1. BF2142 Beta? Feb 2, 2007, 20:48 Paranoid Jack
Oh, I thought they were announcing that it had finally reached the beta stage. My, bad!

Well hopefully it will soon...

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News Comments > White Council in Gray Area
7. Fred is Dead? Sweet! Feb 2, 2007, 09:49 Paranoid Jack
I was going to right down his address and ask if we had regulars visiting the site who could go by his address and beat the snot out of him for the years of retarded trolling & spamming he has bestowed upon us all.

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News Comments > Neverwinter Nights 2 Patch
12. AI the Achilles' Heel Jan 31, 2007, 10:14 Paranoid Jack
"Finally, the AI is still horribly stupid."

Everything you said was spot on. The AI was the killer for me. I put the game aside a week or so after release in the hopes that one of the patches will address the AI issues.

It's a D&D game so it is actually a turn-based game run in real-time with pause. I think they could have avoided the single-player AI issues if they would have allowed players to go full turn-based as soon as combat begins. Or have settings which allowed the player to determine when they wish the game to switch into TB.

As it is when switching between AI to puppet like control it seems you always lose a turn or two as your party members just sit there and the game adjusts to the changes in control scheme. Or at times they just sit there even after repeatedly issuing orders for them to attack or cast.

Most definitely some broken AI that should have allowed a better transition between the AI controlling and player control the party members.

Other than that the game was good. I enjoyed what time I spent playing but I still feel negative due to the fact I don't wish to continue on with the AI in it's current state.

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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
2. Re: Vista wow. Jan 30, 2007, 10:12 Paranoid Jack
After seeing the price tag and reading so many negatives I think we got another PS3 on our hands.

No seriously. I read the upgrade version will not install on a wiped hard-drive so you have to put it over the top of XP. Not a good idea for those who can manage anything else.

Also the word is still out but some say M$ is attempting to keep you from migrating your Vista copy from an old machine onto a newly built one. If that is true they are nailing their own coffin shut as we speak.

Did you see that the Korean government has advised their citizens to avoid Vista for at least a year? Funny shit...

This comment was edited on Jan 30, 10:12.
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News Comments > Site Seeing
10. A Shill or a Shithead? Jan 30, 2007, 09:55 Paranoid Jack
"I think tweakboy is a shill"

His comments are all short, mostly stupid, and usually off topic. Besides his link there isn't much of an advertisement. But maybe he is growing into his roll?

I did notice Awesome Spume never posted a response after I pointed out tweak & him both used the same sig. So like fred-zeph I think there are a few people with multiple personality posting disorder. I have grown accustomed to just skipping their posts...

As far as STALKER my dying flame of hope has rekindled though ever-so slightly. I wish they'd drop the dots too, lets start a petition.

The previews sound just like I imagined the game four years ago minus the vehicles and other axed features. They mentioned it doesn't feel like your typical FPS and that is my biggest worry. Not that I want it to play like your typical FPS. I just don't want the character movement to feel awkward which is what I gathered from watching the videos for all these years.

I have to assume a demo will be put out before or slightly after the release. Either way I think I am most likely going to take a wait and see approach. Unless there just isn't anything exciting on my hard-drive at the time and then I may jump off the pier before reading some user reviews and message boards.

This comment was edited on Jan 30, 10:03.
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News Comments > Age of Conan Movie
2. Nice Jan 23, 2007, 21:52 Paranoid Jack
I was thinking LotR Online was the best looking (as far as over-all graphics) MMOG so far but after seeing that tease in 720 I am thinking Conan is looking even better. Hoping the game play is tight.

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1760 Comments. 88 pages. Viewing page 43.
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