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User information for Tra'Hari Vandaette

Real Name Tra'Hari Vandaette   
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Nickname Tra'Hari
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Homepage http://
Signed On Sep 22, 2002, 05:08
Total Comments 32 (Suspect)
User ID 14537
User comment history
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
19. Draft == probably not Jun 2, 2004, 12:28 Tra'Hari


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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - NWN: Hordes of the Underdark
1. No subject Dec 2, 2003, 14:13 Tra'Hari
I'm totally going out to buy it today/tonight.

Mmm, epic levels...

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News Comments > Gold - NWN: Hordes of the Underdark
20. Re: hmmm... Nov 18, 2003, 11:20 Tra'Hari
Epic levels (and all the feats that they entail), new prestige classes, two henchmen (with interaction between them a la BG, and the possibility of PC/henchman romance)... There are some craft skills, such as for weapons and armor, and so you can make mithril weapons, etc. There are dye kits for your armor so you can customize the look of it.

And, as with Shadows of Undrentide, the new prestige classes, feats, and skills will be available in the original campaign... which means I will probably play it through... again. Maybe a Shifter.

So, uh, yeah, I'm really, really excited, if you hadn't noticed. But then again, I liked NWN and Shadows of Undrentide quite a bit, so I'm eager for this sort of thing that lengthens my NWN experience with Cool Stuff.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
55. Yep... Oct 23, 2003, 18:21 Tra'Hari
...still anti-Gator, spyware, adware, whatever.

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News Comments > NWN Gold Edition Announced
19. No subject Oct 11, 2003, 17:38 Tra'Hari
...I'm _still_ playing the NWN OC. ToEE is amazing, but as soon as somebody reminded me of NWN, I was totally back into it. Since you can use all the new stuff from SoU, the OC has a whole different character. At the moment, I'm on my way to becoming a Shadowdancer.

All told, I've been playing NWN off and on for a year now, and when Hordes comes out, I'll probably be playing it for a year more. Level 40? 6 new prestige classes? Two henchmen? Henchman romance? I want.

At this point, NWN does look somewhat dated, but even when it was out, I found the texturing to be rather amazing. For example, BioWare snuck in the BG logo on a book in a bookshelf. It's clearly discernible among the other books.

Geometrically, it errs on the side of simplicity because you spend most of the game zoomed out. The lighting is gorgeous, and I really dig the way the grass blows in the wind and moves as your character walks through it.

I'd be inclined to agree with most people that offer the BG series as the pinnacle of the genre... except that there are a couple of glaring flaws that I can't forget.

Here's the one thing that trumps most of the positive feelings I have for BG/BG2: it uses 2nd Edition D&D which, quite frankly, is ass. It was fine at the time, and I did enjoy it. However, now that 3E is out, I can't look back without shuddering; I'll take a 3rd Ed game over a 2nd Ed game any day of the week.

I also can't forget how much of a nightmare trying to make an ideal party was. In BG2, were they _trying_ to make it impossible to play a non-evil party? Viconia, Edwin, Corgan... they're all uber powerful with _extremely_ high stats in their class' prime requisites (respectively, Wis 18 (!), Int 19 (!!), and Con 20 (!!!)).

Most importantly, they're _not multiclassed_, unlike most if not all of the good or neutral spellcasters (Nalia, Aerie, Imoen, Jaheira). Multiclassing just cripples their progression so you're left hurting when you need the high level spell smackdown.

Don't get me wrong: I had a blast while playing them. But as a result of these problems, they had little or no replay value for me. That, combined with the above, means that I have a hard time regarding either as the paragon of RPGs as most people seem to.

Of course, NWN's got its flaws, too, even once you just accept that it's basically the arcade version of D&D (which is a valid approach, but different from the approach taken by ToEE or the BG games). I have two problems with NWN that dwarf any other I could mention:

[1] XP. There ain't enough of it. Kill an extremely challenging dragon, and get 500 XP. Kill a boss with little effort, and get the same. Even if you solo it and do damn near every side quest (which is what I do these days), it's often still not enough to get up to level 20. Very frustrating.

[2] Treasure. With a few exceptions, NWN doesn't handle it very well at all. There are way too many containers, and each container has way too little treasure. Boss treasure, for the most part, is unsatisfying. (The exceptions are those cases when they check what you have Weapon Focus in, for instance, and spawn a magic item of that type.)

Now if you wanna talk Planescape: Torment... that's a whole other issue. THAT game's brilliance outshines the stars.

- Tra'Hari

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News Comments > Play Mysty For Me
6. No subject Oct 9, 2003, 00:30 Tra'Hari
I don't really care one way or the other about this, but I do wish that people could say nice things about good video games without resorting to denigrating other ones. He's not really doing that there, but it's just something that crossed my mind. And it's also late, so I am tired... otherwise, I would have deleted this by now.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
18. Re: Spiders Oct 7, 2003, 12:19 Tra'Hari
You're pretty awesome.

I feel the same way.

Go Blue!

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News Comments > Temple of Elemental Evil Patch Plans
12. Re: Patch Oct 3, 2003, 22:02 Tra'Hari
This is newsworthy because there was some uncertainty as to whether or not there would be an official patch.

Fans don't have to negotiate contracts, but more importantly, fans don't have to send their patches through QA. Regardless of what the scope of the changes you're making, it has to go through QA. It's also worth noting that this is an engine that was used for a previous game.

That aside, I was impressed that they did release a patch this soon, and with a lot of cool stuff (new craftable items, for instance). They didn't fix some issues that I wish they had, so because of that and because I'm concerned about potential conflicts with the official patch, I haven't installed it. It's awfully tempting, though.

Actually, there's a lot of impressive stuff that the community made. Someone hijacked Craft Rod and turned it into a Forge Arms and Armor skill, allowing you to craft masterwork items.

I also think the people at Troika are mature enough not to be annoyed that fans have patched the game. Why _should_ they be annoyed? It's a different process entirely.

It's also worth noting that there has been plenty of official comment about the bugs on the part of Troika, on a couple of forums and in the developer chat that recently took place. The gist of it is that they would have liked another month, but that in the end, the bugs were theirs. To that I say, fair enough.

In fact, a couple of the development team members (Huy in particular) went so far as to encourage people to post their saved games with demonstrable bugs in them so that the dev team could take a look and make the appropriate changes to the current build. That's a very impressive level of community interaction. In this regard, Troika has been exemplary.

- Tra'Hari

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
17. No subject Sep 16, 2003, 13:17 Tra'Hari
This Diebold electronic voting machine thing is scary; it's really, really, really easy to tamper with and remove all traces that it ever happened.

Want to change the number of votes? Go for it. It's in a little table. If you want to purge the log of any reference to your access, delete the relevant log entries.


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News Comments > etc.
27. Re: No subject Sep 11, 2003, 13:53 Tra'Hari
Don't be so paranoid. They're only trying to curb theft. You won't end up on a government list to have your property ceased and your children turned into robots. The caribou will be ok too.


Yeah, I find likening Valve to Big Brother kind of absurd. I wonder if whoever drew that comparison has even read 1984, as it seems absolutely ridiculous to compare the two.

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News Comments > etc.
24. Re: No OotB Sep 11, 2003, 13:49 Tra'Hari
Yeah, dammit. I want someplace ask why in the name of God's green hell today is labeled "Patriot Day." If Google doesn't acknowledge it, it doesn't exist!

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News Comments > etc.
16. Re: No subject Sep 11, 2003, 12:37 Tra'Hari
Note: it says an internet connection is needed, not an ACTIVE internet connection.

Here's the FAQ question that implies that you do need an active connection, but only if you use Steam functionality (presumably multiplayer and automatic updating):

Do I have to be connected to the Internet when I play Steam games?

The short answer is yes.

All Steam-enabled games require you to be connected to the Internet in order to play.

Note: some Steam-enabled single-player games (such as Half-Life 2) purchased at a retail store will allow offline play until the user decides to play online or enable other Steam functionality. From that point on, an Internet connection will be required.

There are plenty of ways that this probably won't be a pain in the ass (connect before you run the game, disconnect after it authenticates; don't use Steam; there'll be a workaround; etc), but *shrug*
This comment was edited on Sep 11, 12:44.
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News Comments > etc.
15. No subject Sep 11, 2003, 12:36 Tra'Hari
Blah blah.

You know, on some level, I'm already unsympathetic to a cause as soon as someone starts a petition for it. I've become jaded as a result of people starting all kinds of misguided petitions for stuff they feel is unfair or for stuff they just want. It's tiresome. So, I hope you'll forgive me if my attitude on this issue is "who cares?"

As for myself, I am always connected to the internet, so it's not an issue for me.

I suspect that they will have some option for those people who don't have a readily accessible internet connection. For instance, isn't this only if you use Steam for your updates, and not if you simply download patches manually? If your connection isn't readily accessible, then are you going to be playing a lot of multiplayer? Chances are, no; playing multiplayer over dial-up is a hellish experience, and I can't imagine that it'll be any more pleasureable with a high end game such as Half-Life 2. In that case, you don't need to use Steam.

And of course, details are still murky, things are subject to change, patches, etc etc etc. Like I said, I wouldn't be surprised if there ends up being a command line argument -noinet or something along those lines that'll disable single player authentication.

Lastly... I don't have a pre-order, but I think you'd be bloody crazy not to buy the game over something as minor as this. If they required your SSN, I would no doubt join you in expressing consumer outrage, but I don't see it as being that big of a deal.

- Tra'Hari

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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
10. Re: No subject Sep 10, 2003, 15:58 Tra'Hari
Yes, but the market decides this by no longer buying your product not by stealing it.

I haven't seen any compelling evidence that the drop in CD sales has anything to do with music piracy. It's far more likely that with the increasing availability and popularity of video games and especially DVDs, people are spending more money on other things. DVDs were among the most rapidly adopted technologies, and this was fairly recent; I wouldn't be surprised if there was a direct correlation.

I'm sure it hasn't helped that CDs have remained at a fixed price over the years. It seems to me that spending $18 on a movie that you've seen before is more likely to pan out than spending $18 on an album from which you have only heard one or two strategically selected songs.

The bottom line is that the RIAA fighting what the consumer wants, which is not how you win customers over. The consumer wants to be able to get what music they want and when they want it. They don't want to shell out $20 for something they may or may not like, and they don't want people telling them what they can and cannot do with their music.

Since the RIAA has proved reluctant to provide consumers with these options, consumers are resorting to other means (legal or not) that _don't_ involve the RIAA. Hence, the dinosaur analogy. The RIAA aren't taking the hint and adapting, though, and are desperately trying to put the cat back in the bag using scare tactics.

It's worth noting that that CD sales have fallen even further since this rash of lawsuits, which could be indicative of some people getting sick of the RIAA's crap. Of course, this might not be a trend in any larger sense, but even if it were, the RIAA's past behavior doesn't indicate that it is at all interested in what the consumer wants.

This comment was edited on Sep 10, 15:59.
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
8. Re: Congratulations RIAA! Sep 10, 2003, 15:30 Tra'Hari
Actually, technically, it is not stealing. According to the legal definition, it's copyright infringement, not theft.

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News Comments > MoH AA Breakthrough Demo
4. Re: Woot !! Sep 10, 2003, 15:28 Tra'Hari
If it doesn't require the original game to play, then it's not that big.

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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
3. Re: Congratulations RIAA! Sep 10, 2003, 14:10 Tra'Hari
Say on, brotha!

I think they should continue with the line of thought akin to "when you're downloading MP3s, you're downloading terrorism"; they could get the government in on it, but only as long as they can convince the government that Kazaa is harboring terrorism as well as weapons of mass destruction.

...shouldn't be too hard.

- Tra'Hari

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
5. No subject Sep 7, 2003, 13:56 Tra'Hari
I had a similarly strange experience as I wandered computer game stores yesterday. I saw boxes for Homeworld 2, and was surprised until I noticed 'PRE-ORDER COPY' across the top. I saw it for a couple of other games (their names escape me; I wanna say Jedi Academy was one of them, but that could be because I played the amazing demo), and it was very strange.

In other news, Best Buy had the shoddiest selection compared to one medium sized nearby GameStop, and a smaller GameStop.

- Tra'Hari

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News Comments > Tech Bits
1. No subject Aug 25, 2003, 18:03 Tra'Hari
Just an FYI about the Slashot post regarding MS: as it turns out, the evidence cited in support of MSN's search giving Linux short shrift is misleading.

The first set of links on the MSN search site aren't search results, but "Featured Sites," followed by "Sponsored Sites," and finally followed by their usual search results. Inferior design aside, it seems to be fine otherwise.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
19. Re: No subject Aug 7, 2003, 16:02 Tra'Hari
Did you read the article about the environmental report?

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32 Comments. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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