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User information for nutshell42

Real Name nutshell42   
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Signed On Jul 11, 2007, 21:21
Total Comments 226 (Novice)
User ID 41973
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News Comments > Mass Effect 2 Patch
24. Re: Mass Effect 2 Patch Feb 23, 2010, 09:26 nutshell42
nin wrote on Feb 23, 2010, 09:08:

What's Derek saying? I can't understand him - his helmet stays on all the time, even in cutscenes.

Especially as Liara kissed me right through it. By which I mean that her face went right through the helmet but it's great at stopping bullets, I'm sure.

Oh and as FemShep my hair was fused with the back of it. It appears that Bioware's pretty insistent on their vision of you as a bald, unloved douche-bag. =P
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News Comments > Mass Effect 2 Patch
23. Re: Mass Effect 2 Patch Feb 23, 2010, 09:21 nutshell42
Stop fighting kids. None of you is really at fault. =)

I understand how you might not notice that the "Mass Effect 2 Uninstaller" is talking about Mass Effect 1 instead. It's just not something you're looking for.

I also understand how Bioware could overlook that bug. It gotta be the most stupid Windows bug I've ever heard of.

That said I'm kinda disappointed that the patch doesn't fix the affinity issue that causes 10x longer load times on some dual core machines (especially as it's trivial to fix).

I also hope that we're gonna see a user interface fix some time, that enables the mouse wheel and double-clicking. Every time I have to use the scroll bars and little arrows to get to a selection and then go click accept I get the feeling that the game is laughing at me for not using a gamepad.
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News Comments > No PC Alan Wake
59. Re: No PC Alan Wake Feb 12, 2010, 19:14 nutshell42
Sepharo wrote on Feb 12, 2010, 18:29:
Microsoft is going to exclude its own operating system in order to grant an exclusive to its own console system for its own game.


Why do you pretend there's even the slightest bit of doubt about this being the case. MS hasn't published a game for PC since the Gears of War port in 2007.
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News Comments > Another Alpha Protocol Delay
22. Re: Another Alpha Protocol Delay Feb 7, 2010, 13:24 nutshell42
Conversations were like a poor mans Mass Effect (ie: dialog wheel but with less choices)

There are *no* choices in Mass Effect. You can say exactly the same thing either friendly, neutral or belligerent, or you can get some additional background info.

To be fair there are perhaps two dozen instances in ME where your dialog choice makes a difference beyond paragon/renegade points and most of those choices are without consequence.

Alpha Protocol otoh is from the people that brought us Planescape Torment and KotOR2 which had some of the best dialogue ever written for a game.

and enemy AI looked to be about as intelligent as a brick. Wouldn't be suprised if the entire game was restarted, it certainly would explain all the delays.

Enemy AI is a reason for more polish, not for a restart. It just doesn't interact with the rest of the game enough to require one.

Obsidian's one failing's always been their inability to deliver a finished game. At least in KotOR2's case that wasn't their fault (LucasArts gave them 11 months to make that game). If Sega wants to make sure this game's finished, more power to them.
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News Comments > Op Ed
15. Re: Impulse Top 10 Feb 3, 2010, 15:24 nutshell42
Imho the worst part about ME2 is the lack of loot. It's good they killed all the XYZ I-X crap in ME1 but they should have at least kept all the XYZs. That would have provided a meaningful number of weapons and upgrades that could've easily been differentiated so that every one has strengths and weaknesses.

Instead all you get is money. Don't get me wrong I immediately sold or gelled most of the stuff in ME1 but... I kinda feel like the kid you knew in school whose parents were loaded and who always got money for his birthday/christmas. It seemed so much better than your parents buying you crap you didn't want, but as you got older you realized how sad his situation really was.
The upgrade system certainly is streamlined but it's also 100% soulless.

It's also stupid that you can't select armors for your companions. In the first one you could make your team look like a crack commando unit. Now it looks like a commando unit on crack. There's just something slightly off when you ride to the rescue of a colony with 2 whores, a freak, a guy in a lab coat, a krogan who's rolled up the sleeves of his ammo and a turian who can't get anyone to fix his suit.

Call me crazy but I actually enjoy it.

You are crazy. If there's one thing that's worse than driving a weightless truck over the Himalaya straight out of a landscape generator, it's gotta be moving a cursor over the image of a planet until a diagram shows a peak.

But if you like that kind of stuff, more power to you. You might wanna try MS Excel I hear it offers even more action packed spreadsheets. =)

This is the worst mini-"game" I've ever encountered in an RPG. By far.

Having different languages would be nice but if I could avoid the KotOR effect (no pun intended) were each alien of a race had 6 different language tracks to choose from. 2 happy, 2 angry and 2 sad.

aBOYetah. Glook, glook.

Now the low wall and crate issue is not new. It plagued ME1 as well and over-all has a consolized notion of 'cover.'

It was not quite as bad in ME1. Mostly because in ME2 enemies will hit you with pinpoint accuracy at 5000 yards and all battles are fought at 10 because enemies don't spawn until you can check their dental hygiene.

Consequently, the chest-high-walls weren't quite as prevalent in ME1. But apparently there were so many chest-high-walls that Shepard got a chest-high-wall neurosis and now sees chest-high-walls everywhere.
The low point of ME2 for me was the prison ship (?) where you run through an area with lots of chest-high-walls (are there any other) and when the enemies spawn even more chest-high-walls fold out of the floor. That completely ruined immersion for me.

I find the interface quite easy to use and while the combat interface lacks a few bells and whistles (I'd like more direct control of my companions via the interface for example) it is on the whole better than ME1's.

What's better? The overlay is almost exactly the same with the difference that what used to be large buttons are now tiny and when you want to change weapons you have to wait for a dropdown to fold out.
And the non-combat interface sucks. You can't double-click entries (in the weapons selection, your console, the research interface, etc), the wheel doesn't work, and there's a infuriating cooldown after you've pressed something (most noticeable in the hacking mini-game). The whole thing is so clunky it screams 360 all the way.

Though it did bug me in the beginning that you had to hit escape to get to any menus for quests and party,

To my eternal shame, I did that in the first one, too. I disliked that you couldn't do that in Dragon Age. =)

Also apart from the missions, some of which are fantastic, the whole place seems quite dead. There's a lack of the small non-shooting sidequests that made the Citadel in the first one come alive. Liara's two missions being the only exceptions I can think of.

I'd also liked to see at least one major conversation. That's not a regression from the first (It didn't have one either afaik) and I certainly didn't expect anything like Planescape Torment or KotOR2 but at least one sidequest? Easily skippable for the kiddy crowd?

This comment was edited on Feb 3, 2010, 19:58.
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News Comments > Napoleon: Total War Next Month
20. Re: Napoleon: Total War Next Month Jan 15, 2010, 09:21 nutshell42
If you ever tried to starve out an enemy via capturing / destroying his farms you'd know that the net effect is 0 in terms of defensive capability of the enemy. If he doesn't surrender you face a battle which doesn't even simulate that the troops are starved, or explains where they got the magical amounts of powder and bullets = Or where they not defending against regular incursions over/under the walls via sappers and night attacks?

No different from M2TW and I think RTW. The results of sieging an opponent were minimal. That was done because it was just too effective in MTW and historically the sieging side often suffered just as much as the besieged.

In these times dry gun powder was the most viable asset of an army.

viable, I do not think it means what you think it means. =)

And the gun powder comes from powder kegs following the army on wagons. It was universal, could be stolen from the enemy and was easy to transport in large quantities although you'd have to take care that it was dry when needed. There really wasn't enough ammunition use for it to become the major headache it was e.g. in WWI+II. Gunpowder supply was a minor issue, large scale foraging reduced the food supply issue during the time period.

What I'd want from a mod is

  • less money.

  • less money, and perhaps a manpower system for smaller states.

  • a stronger emphasis on the experience of units. Finding another 100000 soldiers never was a problem for Napoleon. What killed him (figuratively) was that all his experienced soldiers had been killed (literally).

  • more influential generals (on morale, fighting spirit whatever). In MTW keeping your generals alive and getting them to 8* was crucial. An 8* general could turn rabble into crack units and his death would lose you the battle (I remember one miserable battle in the pouring rain of Northern France. I always hated fighting in the rain). They were thoroughly nerfed in RTW and never recovered. IIRC somebody once said about Nappy, "his presence is worth 50 000 men".

  • Massive rebellions. Again, in MTW if you didn't take care of your populace large scale rebellions would rip your country apart. In RTW you just could exterminate the populace every twenty years and in M2TW and ETW they do some rioting or write angry letters.

  • This comment was edited on Jan 15, 2010, 09:24.
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    News Comments > Napoleon: Total War Next Month
    16. Re: Napoleon: Total War Next Month Jan 15, 2010, 07:30 nutshell42
    The Advocate wrote on Jan 14, 2010, 23:20:
    The Napoleonic era was far less meaningful and had a lesser impact on the history of the world than the rise and fall of Rome and the Medieval period. Napoleon didn't invent empire building, nor did he invent broad scope warfare in Europe. In point of fact, it was his "tactics" that made wars genocidal stalemates for nearly 200 years! It wasn't until the Revolutionary War that the Colonials began to break away from that idiotic mindset in some instances.

    You should get over your ignorance of history before you start spouting off to others about getting over themselves.

    I really hope that was meant to be sarcastic. oO
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    News Comments > Napoleon: Total War Next Month
    15. Re: Napoleon: Total War Next Month Jan 15, 2010, 07:28 nutshell42
    yeah, the thousands of dead bodies on the battlefield are the hallmark of a kiddie friendly title. There might be mods that "fix" it, I know darthmod always tended towards the dirt and blood end of the spectrum but because I never understood that need for rivers of blood I never checked.

    You can destroy farms. Going in England from full farms to no farms meant a population decline of 10%. That's 2.5 million dead a year. In the early game when not all villages have become towns that's a pretty useful tactic. And you do starve out cities. That's why the siege ends after a few turns, the same as in M2TW.

    I really don't see where M2TW had any system that goes beyond that. You couldn't even destroy farms and city walls. And it's not like it was harder out of the box. I've yet to play a battle with loss ratios of less than 4:1, most are 5:1. ETW is a lot better in part because everyone's got a gun and in part because the battle AI has finally reachieved the lofty "heights" of MTW. I.e. it takes all its troops and marches them in your general direction. Army composition's improved, too.

    My mind's a bit sketchy on what exactly was in M2TW vanilla but I do know that ETW's certainly more complex. Research's completely new, as are sea battles. Diplomacy and trade goods were in M2TW but utterly useless while they're quite important now. The game's biggest problem is that the nuances don't matter because money's to easy to get.

    But money abundance is the easiest imbalance to correct in a mod and there's no raving plagues because there were no worldwide plagues in the time frame.
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    News Comments > Napoleon: Total War Next Month
    11. Re: Napoleon: Total War Next Month Jan 14, 2010, 20:23 nutshell42
    Prez wrote on Jan 14, 2010, 17:37:
    Empire easily was the best TW since the original Medieval.


    Rome unmodded was just a disaster and Medieval 2 uninspired.

    Don't agree.

    Admittedly my posts on this topic tend to be more confrontational than they probably should be. That's mostly because the ETW haters generally state it as fact that everyone hates ETW so I just can't resist giving them some of their own medicine. =)

    Let me elaborate:
    Rome was a huge step forward engine-wise. But the 3 Roman factions approach just wasn't realistic and didn't work either. The Egyptian armies from The Mummy Strikes Back were a joke and battles were laughable (the kill rates especially. Oh and that your archers shot your own troops in the back. And the overpowered cavalry. And probably a lot of other stuff I've forgotten)

    M2TW was a big step forward but the AI was perhaps even worse than in RTW and there really wasn't any step forward gameplay wise from Rome. Only the Castle-City split and I didn't like that mechanic. But quick AI mods helped that's why when I was looking for a disparaging term I came up with "uninspired". =P
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    News Comments > Napoleon: Total War Next Month
    9. Re: Napoleon: Total War Next Month Jan 14, 2010, 19:23 nutshell42
    Medieval 2 vanilla was inferior to RTR, too. As was Rome to medmod. So mods are better than the next vanilla game for the hardcore. That's nothing new and I fail to see how it makes Empire inferior to the earlier games. It's AI certainly doesn't fail as miserably as those of M2TW and RTW. And not even whatshisname's excellent AI scripts for M2TW could cure the AI's totally broken approach to diplomacy. I know it's called Total War but just War all the time gets old.

    And I'm sorry that those damn 18th century guys decided to wear stuff that wasn't dirt brown. Didn't they know that real is brown? Let me guess, you like lots of bloom, too? I on the other hand feel safe in the knowledge that my redcoats would blow your ragged band of rabble to hell and back.

    Last but not least, increasing movement speed without Empire's zone of control doesn't work. You can just bypass stuff leading to a siege fest (because any army that doesn't guard something specific is wasted). I know, I've played some mods that do it. You might argue that at least for Medieval 2 that's realistic, but it's not really fun because sieges have always been the weakest part of the series. The huge (by genre standards) units simply aren't convenient in the confines of cities. The pathfinding and AI problems don't help.
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    News Comments > Napoleon: Total War Next Month
    5. Re: Napoleon: Total War Next Month Jan 14, 2010, 16:20 nutshell42
    WTF have you all been playing?

    Empire easily was the best TW since the original Medieval. Rome unmodded was just a disaster and Medieval 2 uninspired. Empire needed 3 patches to get into working condition but that, too, is no different from their earlier titles.

    The AI's vastly better than Rome or M2TW (still weak, though), the new town/city system cuts down on the micro management quite nicely and the zone of influence of your troops means that it no longer takes 23 years of marching to get from Paris to Rome. The sea battles are fun if sometimes chaotic but there are few things more satisfying than your 100-gun ship of the line disintegrating a frigate with a broadside.

    The game desperately needs a balance mod like Wes' (?) medmod for M(1)TW because it's far too easy but I see how all the stuff going on might overwhelm a newcomer so I'm cutting CA some slack here.

    The really good mods generally need time anyway so I'm waiting till mid-year before I'm gonna start looking for one. =)
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    News Comments > Op Ed
    4. Re: Op Ed Jan 14, 2010, 14:24 nutshell42
    Perhaps the best Starcraft game you'll ever see.

    With English commentary by the incomparable NukeTheStars. If you want a shorter game, try the other ones in the series. =)
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    News Comments > Alpha Protocol 2 Hints
    7. Re: Alpha Protocol 2 Hints Jan 4, 2010, 15:45 nutshell42
    I've got high hopes for Alpha Protocol and Obsidian.

    I bought Knights of the Old Republic 2 when the community "patch" (you could call it an expansion although admittedly the content's been there all along just not accessible. Let's settle on DLC) came out and that game had so much potential it oozes out of its pores.

    Lucas Arts shoving it out of the door after less than 12 months in development was a crime against humanity. And it also more or less marks the point when the great Lucas Arts of old died and they stopped publishing anything but crappy Star Wars shooters.

    Sega delaying this one made my day when they didn't announce it.
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    News Comments > OnLive Presentation
    29. Re: OnLive Presentation Dec 30, 2009, 19:55 nutshell42
    It doesn't matter whether the controller itself has an input lag.

    What matters is the overall lag you get from the game.

    Even the better games are all above 60ms, the 30 fps crowd is by and large in the 150ms range. If those 80ms limit OnLive to sales figures like GTAIV or Halo 3 I think they'll be able to live with it.
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    News Comments > OnLive Presentation
    23. Re: OnLive Presentation Dec 30, 2009, 16:30 nutshell42
    80ms is better than what console games give you. You can whine about console input lag all you want but fact is that millions of people don't give a shit.

    Certainly enough for this to be a success if they can actually keep their promises and somehow get the ISPs and publishers on board.
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    News Comments > Mirror's Edge 2 & Battlefield 3 Clues
    14. Re: Mirror's Edge 2 & Battlefield 3 Clues Dec 2, 2009, 08:37 nutshell42
    I'm a sucker for the art style but the game is crap.

    Your parkour whiz hangs on small lamps protruding a few cm from the wall, the physx implementation is so bad it's ridiculous and the game suffers way too much from "read the script".

    So I try to jump a wall, do a 180 and jump again to reach a ledge. And I fail. Spectacularly. So I think I suck. Then I try it again a few feet away, apparently where I'm supposed to, and suddenly I manage the most spectacular jumps known to man.

    Often the mechanic of shit turning red where you're supposed to go is used too late for you to follow it at a full run. This ruins the flow. You have to stop and look for it then build up speed again. Tomb Raider managed to get more of a flow going and they didn't advertise it as main goal of the game beforehand.

    Overall I bought the game for $10 and I'd say it's worth 8-9 (the artwork alone is worth the original $40, unfortunately you have to play the game to see it, that roughly quarters its value, minus a bit for really bad cutscenes - I like animated ones but these were just bad) so for 5 it's not a bad buy.
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    News Comments > Armada 2526 Trailer
    4. Re: Armada 2526 Trailer Nov 13, 2009, 08:56 nutshell42
    What's so bad about the vid? It's crap as a trailer but I now feel like I have a basic understanding of the look&feel of the game.

    Looks interesting. I hope it provides meaningful diplomacy. That's where most 4X games fall flat. Even in GalCiv2 I never felt like any diplomatic agreement actually meant anything. A Europa Universalis in Space would be great. Even though their AI is pretty much crap the relations, peace resolve and badboy system means that there's actually a point to diplomacy.

    Back to Armada. Those real time tactical battles look promising. The graphics aren't all that great but fleets look sizeable (my main problem with GalCiv is that you'll often conquer the galaxy with less than 2 dozen ships in total) and simultaneous ground battles is certainly an interesting idea.

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    News Comments > Machinarium Demo
    4. Re: Machinarium Demo Oct 1, 2009, 20:04 nutshell42
    One word: Awful!

    Can I add another...bunch of words?

    You have to do the usual search the screen for useful items crap (e.g. the magnet on the very first level) but this game really jumps the shark because the screens are full of crap (looking great btw. The art style's definitely a big plus) the usable items hard to discern and the fucking cursor only changes if those hard to spot icons are additionally within the reach of your arm.

    Combine that with the need to telescope your robot and I just want to shoot whoever came up with that crap. I'm gonna look for my ancient Day of the Tentacle instead.
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    News Comments > Mass Effect 2 Trailer
    47. Re: Mass Effect 2 Trailer Sep 28, 2009, 17:35 nutshell42
    I think she's got lots of potential.

    Biotics in Mass Effect were often portrayed as borderline (or outright) crazy, terrorists, sect members, schizophrenics. If Subject Zero isn't your typical "plays badass but has heart of gold and will become a girl scout if the PC is just nice to her" bitch but instead they really try to depict a "special" chara in a realistic fashion it would have real potential.

    They're trailers are (almost) always geared towards the drunk fratboy crowd so the trailer doesn't worry me.

    But Mass Effect's story is a collection of some of the lamest cliches in sci-fi and I've often said that I love the cinematic presentation but the story itself is crap. *That* worries me.
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    News Comments > Alpha Protocol Delay?
    8. Re: Alpha Protocol Delay? Sep 28, 2009, 14:11 nutshell42
    Sound's great.

    KotOR2 was on the edge of greatness with cuts and bugs ruining what had the potential to be better even than the original.

    I've never played Neverwinter Nights 2 but from what I've heard it was a bugfest as well.

    Alpha Protocol from what I know has a lot of potential but once again there is some important stuff missing and previews remarked that it was buggy, which in the world of game previews (i.e. cheerleading) means it's borderline unplayable.

    If SEGA gives them the money to polish the title for the next 8 months I believe it could be something great. OTOH SEGA are masters at botching promising titles.
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