It’s pretty good. Something of a Bioware clone. Efficiently delivers the standard action-rpg experience. Some voice acting is bad. Overall, though, I felt good about the presentation, and always felt as though any reasonable action I could take in a given situation was decently covered. Steam clocks my playthrough at 20 hours, although some of that was spent paused and pondering a couple branches. I will replay half of the game, changing faction, so it’s likely about 20 hours, for a $20 rpg with okay depth and reactivity. If you just wanted the quick & dirty opinion piece, you can stop here. The rest of this is going to be in-depth about what impressed me, and this is your only spoiler warning.
The mechanics of the skill system… are kind of awesome. The three skill trees actually synergize. The technomancy ability to charge your weapon with electricity can be specc’d out to up critical hit chance, and so can your basic combat talents, and further in the renegade section, for anyone facing away from you. The only skills not available to you after the prison escape are the capstones of each tree. Everything else is available instantly… but at the lowest power. Every level, you get 2 points to spend. And every point has weight. There are a few pre-reqs that are a little… underwhelming. I didn’t really want to upgrade, for example, MP recovery rate before upgrading the power of the damaging attacks. I never did put any points into throwing sand in anyone’s face… but it was still a pretty nice, quick maneuver that worked just fine on anybody without glasses or stormtrooper helms. The system also avoided the question of item power. You never got more effective health potions (they can call them infusions, I don’t care, it’s a recovery consumable), but the renegade tree let you make them more potent. Or upgrade your “homemade grenade”… which was faster at knocking a squad of soldiers on their butts than anything else at my disposal, and gave a precious second to buff up. Because these consumables never went bad, and weren’t crazy-hard to build, I actually did use them. Which tends to not happen in this kind of game unless the combat is particularly dire. Generally, if I was having trouble in a fight, I wasn’t using half my abilities. And the game has that perfect option: You hit one button, and it almost pauses the action, letting you target, give orders, and activate any of your abilities. You can have a few hotkeyed, but it was generally better to use the menu, just to plan another second or two, and be quite sure you have the right target.
Separate from the skill system is a feat listing. You get 1 feat point per level… and almost nothing is that cheap. Unlocking the crafting options was the most helpful. Every chapter or so, you’d get to access another tier of moddable weapon, and be able to fit it with slightly better mods… with quite a list of options to arrange as you like. You could make your weapons gain extra damage when buffed, or more crit damage, or a bit more defense. Your armor gave some tradeoffs with damage mitigations, regeneration, and I… went with the Techwarrior mods for the electrical resistance. Sure, most foes do physical damage, but who wants to have no defense against the guys who fling lightning? The system gives the player a lot more than you… could need. Early on, you will scrounge. Later on, you can recycle components you’ll never use into stuff you might like, and have enough health boosts, grenades, and ammo to gun down an army. Other notable feats allow for more xp from combat and more loot. Your reputation as a good guy or an ass also grants you a couple free ones. Bad guys get a slight boost to wound chance and critical hits. Good guys get 50% off at the shops. So, you can buy whatever you like at the shop… if you needed anything. And didn’t want to wait to find the free stuff. Great guys get +50% companion health and damage. You only really get 1 npc follower at a time, with very brief exceptions. And this is the difference between your friend being able to keep 1 of the 4-5 enemies off you… and being able to hold out against half of them until you’re free to help clean up.
Now… I like these systems. The feat system is perhaps the least impressive aspect. You’ll get most by the end of the game, so you’re mostly picking the order, and none of them (except the crafting) are actually necessary. The thing I like about this is that it’s got no direct connection to your combat abilities. The +10% boosts to combat xp seem like a lot, but I don’t think the difference is going to total even one level over the course of the entire game. The looting bonus seems great, but in the middle of the game, not only do you have a ton of resources, but you can farm enemies. I think, outside the crafting (again, seriously, I quite liked that one) only the option to recycle primitive components was worthwhile, and then only because a lot of what I made used up my leather… without touching a ton of cloth I had no earthly use for.
Outside of combat, you have the usual adventure gamer system of quests and side quests. There were a lot of potential problems with the conversation system, as you select one of usually three very short phrases, and having your character expand on the concept. Frequently, this sort of thing leads to massive frustration as your character says something very different from your expectation. M:WL avoids this by putting a lot of effort into making the hero sound intelligent. Most other characters are not so snappy. There is a fair bit of reactivity to your choices, although a lot is… rather on rails. Only a few of the things you did in the prison matter outside of it. But then, it’s a prison break plot. After that, the game opens up dramatically in scope, in side-quests… and then, after you choose a faction and depart the city… you are back on rails. The game advertises a high degree of reactivity, with everything you say mattering… I’d qualify that some, as most of the payoff is in how a few dialogs play out.
You can never fully forget that this game is more of an indie title than AAA. The romance sub-plot was… thoroughly perfunctory. “Oh, I’m less horrifically maladjusted as a person now. Wanna… date?” “Eh, sure.” The final assault, running with the general to have a “chat” with the leader of the guild/nation… the general doesn’t have a nicer weapon than the usual salvage clubs? Some of the enemies have tasers, or guns more dangerous than the PC’s nailgun. (Which is solid enough with a few skill points.) I don’t care if he’s not a good fighter, the man should have something to swing that might not be an embarrassment in an armory.
Still, I’m incredibly impressed by what is present. Because, while it has clearly achieved the minimum necessary in several categories… it doesn’t fall farther. Yes, the companions could have some more dialog, and discourse, or react to one another in ways that would allow you to bring more than one along at a time. But that would be quite a bit more expensive. It scales geometrically with the number you bring, and the budget for this title capped at one. So we get to hang out with our choice of not-quite-trustworthy oddball, and hear them interject when it’s not entirely inappropriate. The zones are broken up by doors and ledges that not only allow for subtle terrain loading (more helpful on the consoles than my PC) but also teleport your companion to you, and are skippable cutscenes. It’s easy to get your companion pretty lost otherwise, because they stop moving when you sneak… so as to avoid screwing up your chances at ambushing most of an area. AI’s functional, although, if you bring the technomancer, and she’s getting ready to fire the shockwave… DODGE. The game makes her take longer on that for your benefit. They can’t make the AI smarter on the cheap. It can’t stop an attack queued if you finish a foe before it gets back to its feet… but they can give you warning for the one attack that’s friendly fire. Keeping your buddy AI from getting stuck if you stealth over half a map and then stand up. But it can move them to you when you go through a door. Cheap solutions to thorny programming problems.
These clever dodges combined with a system that very cleverly expands the scope of your abilities without the linear scaling issue of the usual RPG… a combat system that is fluid, modifiable, and tactical… with a reason to bother, as you are outnumbered and can be staggered… a plot that’s fairly sharp, and not quite as predictable as I’d imagined… and you have a game that’s about half as deep as the average Bioware game, with a lower price tag. A good buy, with the only caveat being some rather lame voice acting in some of the tertiary cast. And a terribly shrill potential love interest. Still better than ye olde Resident Evil.
I found myself offended by something I am reading. It’s a seemingly minor thing, just a question. “What is [the world] for?”
“What is it for?” That’s 4 words, 15 characters, and might be the most efficient way I’ve been pissed off by anything in my life. It sounds so bloody innocent, to be pondering the theological implications of a world to live in. And yet, it perfectly encapsulates a very simple flaw.
I’m going to tell you, but it is going to require an example first. You have a hammer, in a world with no nails. You can look at it, and wonder what it is for… this part could be used to pry bark off a tree, perhaps. It doesn’t have great weight for throwing, but fits in your hand fairly well. And then you strike it against a rock and get sparks, and cook your food with the fire you start with that. Handy thing. Nice and shiny, if the light catches it right.
But you’re already seeing that hammer being used for the “wrong” purpose. And thinking this example is silly. But this is a world with no nails. That hammer is a rock. Iron ore. Picked up from where a glacier left it.
Does that change in context change the purpose of the tool? No. Purpose is synonymous with motive. It is a rock. To assign it purpose is to anthropomorphize the inanimate… or to assign it your purposes, your motives in placing or crafting it… and expect the world, and other minds in it to think as you do.
The rock doesn’t care if it’s a hammer, a firestarter, melted for ore, or thrown at a baby. It’s a rock, and to assign it motive is as absurd as arguing with the elements. And when it comes to a debate with thunder, it is a Thor point.
To personify the driving forces in a complex world is to build gods and spirits. Superstition… worthless superstition.
The question that must be asked in its stead, when you have a hammer, in a world without nails… is “What can I DO with this?” From this question, imagination and context matter. You can build a house, sharpen a spear, hunt for dinner… and if the rock is big enough, you can stand on it and see farther. If it’s the size of a planet, you take some smaller rocks and build a place to live on it.
This works for worlds, tools, and even lives. If you ask what your life is for, you may find that you are a hammer in a world without nails… doomed to rust. But if you ask what you can do with your life… you might become the whack-a-mole champion, and with practice… be a magnet, generating electricity.
That’s the choice. Plead with Thor, or create the lightning. Ask better questions.
Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
Well shit, I fucked up good. I transferred the domain to a new host and webserver, and in doing so, forgot to take a decent backup before my domain transferred over. Unfortunately, the latest backup I had was from April 2011. So a bunch of posts have been lost. I can probably restore a few, if I can remember which ones they were, but some will be lost forever.
Ingredients: 1 lb dry pasta
2/3-4/3 cups cheese depending on taste and budget.
pepper to taste
salt to taste
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons flour, but when I say three I really mean 5 or 6.
3 tablespoons butter (for real)
any spices you like to taste. curry works well.
Boil a fat pot of water and dump the pasta in. Macaroni shells are classic, but I usually just use penne. pene? I don’t know. This will take longer than you think, start boiling the water 10-15 minutes before starting the sauce. Grab a deep frying pan ( I think what I use may actually be a dutch oven, but whatever. If it walks like a frying pan, and talks like a frying pan…) and put the butter in the bottom. Turn it on high. You have a limited window of time in which to melt the butter. Don’t rush, and measure 2 cups of milk into a microwave-safe container. Microwave it for 2 minutes. When the butter finishes melting, whisk in the flour. You should have a good rue (rew? roo? I don’t speak french) when you’re done and if you timed it right the milk will finish just as you finish wisking. Pour the milk in as soon as the butter and flour is ready, so that you don’t burn the milk pouring it in. Wait for this to start to thicken, then add the cheese, salt, pepper, and other spices. Once this tastes good and has thickened to where it feels right, take it off the heat and stir the noodles into it. Either enjoy like this or bake it at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Quite a while back I purchashed a 1 gram sample of Diclofensine (not to be confused with Diclofenac, which is an entirely different drug all together) – an SNDRI (triple reuptake inhibitor) stimulant/antidepressant. I wrote a 10 day report on my use of the drug, and entirely forgot about it, until I stumbled across it. I decided that it’s probably worth publishing since there is very little information about the drug on the internet. I documented my use and stored it in a notepad as I was intending on cleaning it up and publishing it, but never got around to it. So today, I have polished it up, and will post it here.
Diclofensine – Report of Use
Day 2- 30mg. Still not feeling anything. Will continue like this for about a week and see if I can obtain any amphetamine, seeing as the drug is a SNDRI.
Day 3 – 44mg. Still not feeling anything. Feeling a massive down tho, probably due to the SSRI and SNRI effects of the drug. Hoping constant application of the drug will cause improvement in mood.
[I do not remember drinking alcohol that night, but the hangover would most likely be from that. I probably did not document that due to the fact that I was incapable of comprehensibly updating the page.]
Day 4 – 40mg with 5mg heavily cut phenazepam. Doubt the phenazepam made a difference. Had a hangover all day. havent noticed the diclofensine yet.
Day 5 – Still nothing noticeable. Took 45mg.
Day 6 – 45mg again. Feeling normal SSRI effects of the drug. Thoughts, and emotions are becoming numb. Ignoring people because my feelings for them are muted. Isolating myself from other people.
Day 7 – 45mg – I find smoking a cigar, taking pregabalin or other drugs makes me slightly more social but this drug makes me want to withdraw. Forcing social effects is difficult unless other drugs are involved. Probably have about 7 days of the drug left. Not ordering more. Going to wean myself off with duloxetine, and then stop taking antidepressants entirely. Abuse potential for this drug has yet to be seen.
Day 8 – 55mg – feeling fairly depressed today and im not sure why. Didnt take the drug for about 36 hours after the previous dose though, which may explain it. Althought it seems to be going away, I still feel remnants of depression.
Day 9 – slept all day and most of the night. Felt depressed until dosing with the drug. Feeling a slight dependence to it, but I’m also realising my concentration levels have increased dramatically.
Day 10 – final dose. Nothing spectacular happened after taking almost 100 mg of it. The drug is residual for several days afterwards. Causes my norepinepherine to massively spike without an NRI present. Finished drug, started duloxetine.
In conclusion, this drug is useful if you’re in need of a good antidepressant that can also help with low dopamine levels. However, it is not particularly useful in its job. Possibly a larger sample with a longer time frame could have given me more data to work with. Unfortunately obtaining this drug is reasonably expensive, and thus getting several grams of it to fully test it would be costly and probably not worth it. It is unfortunate that the testing and use of the drug was not completed by the medical scientists responsible for the creation of the drug, as it would be interesting to see a detailed report on the effects of such a drug.
And there we have it, my report on the drug. Unfortunately I can not remember more of my experience as it was taken about 7 months before this article. I can’t say I recommend taking this drug, but I also think that it really could be useful if taken for the right reasons. Note that this is a research chemical and may cause all sorts of body problems, as it has not been fully lab tested. Buy and use this drug at your own risk. That is all.
Hey kids! This is Billy. Billy is 16, the captain of his highschool football team, and the lead singer of his church choir. Say hi to the people, Billy! Oh, you can’t hear him out there, but he says hello.
Today, Billy is going to pick up his number one girl, Jezebel. Jezebel is also 16, the lead cheerleader for Billy’s team, and inferior, because she is a girl. Say hi to the people, Jezebel! You can’t hear it, but that’s okay, because we don’t care what women say.
Billy and Jezebel are going for a picnic in the park. Then they’re gonna watch a movie and go back to Billy’s place for bible study. But be careful, Billy! She’s pretty and does your homework for you, but she’s also a vessel of sin. And you know what sin leads to? Quiet, Jezebel, the men are talking. That’s right, Billy, even though you didn’t say anything. Sin leads to TEEN PREGNANCY.
Teen pregnancy is a problem sweeping the nation. You see, when a man and a woman love each other very much, they get married and, once a month, they do something boring and unpleasant until the woman gets pregnant. Then they sleep in seperate rooms and, nine months later, a baby is born!
But sometimes, a foul woman convinces a man to do this thing outside of marriage. As Satan inspired her to do this, she can use foul magic to cloud a man’s mind and make him agree. (Sometimes she’ll try to put an evil ward on the man which she purchased at the drugstore, but this is so evil that most men can resist.) When this happens, the woman gets pregnant with sin. We call this TEEN PREGNANCY.
Women who get teen pregnant are outcasts, wandering the earth in search of good Christians to feed on. They are shunned by their loved ones and spat on in the street, assuming it isn’t a Sunday, when it isn’t right to spit. Their unholy lust can only be sated by cruel acts of debauchery and sin, or removed by marrying a man and being purified by God’s love. God’s love can also be obtained for a nominal fee at any participating church, but it should be noted that most women spend all their money on shoes and weird bottles that turn up in the bathroom, so this is usually not an option.
Uh oh, it looks like Jezebel is trying to fill Billy’s head with lies. Don’t listen to her, Billy, she’s trying to- my word, young lady, such language! You see what Satan’s influence does, Billy? Run! Run away from the harlot! Hah, I’m just the narrator, what’re you going to do, throw that at the fourth wall? Wait a second, that camera’s expensive, don’t do it you little-
We here at Bob’s Educational Corner would like to sincerely apologize for this. Good night everyone!
I want to put you on a pedestal,
so that I may sing to you high praises,
but I do not have the voice.
I want to tell you the greatness you bring,
so that I may know the joy you bring me,
but I do no have the words.
I want to pull you near and hold you tight,
so that you may share the peace I have found,
but I do not have you.
It was a warm spring day in 1935 when a meteorite crashed into the square of a small Norwegian farming village. Eyewitnesses described the event as “dramatic” and “delicious”. A local newspaper ran the following headline: “Errant Goose Strikes Jgsrdnklstgn, Transforms Into Fireball”. Three days later, everyone in a 50 mile radius with a vowel in their name was dead.
While one would assume the loss of 34% of the area’s population would cause a panic, or at least a musical montage, the townsfolk remained resolute. Residents soon discovered that the errant space rock produced a mysterious substance. When rubbed on the skin, it produced a pleasant numbness, and when ingested, it produced a pleasant hallucination, most often involving Matt Lauer, who was at that time Prime Minister of Florida.
Within a year, Jgsrdnklstgn began exporting an ointment made of the space cream, which they called “Icy Hot”, after a Scandinavian word for “Prime Minister of Florida.” Ever since, Icy Hot has been a mainstay of medicine cabinets world wide. But what is it really? Where did the meteorite come from? And why does it whisper in our ears at night, telling us to kill?
We began our search for answers in Anaheim, California, home of the world’s second largest bowl of pudding. There, we located Herbert Gaurklestinkglktarg, who served as Icy Hot’s head of R&D from 1977 to 1998, when he was forced to retire and join the witness protection program. He agreed to answer our questions, under the condition that his identity remain anonymous.
Bob’s Educational Corner: Thank you for meeting with us.
Herbert Gaurldestinkglktarg, now William Streiss of 753 E. Terrace Lane: Let’s make this quick. It’s time someone knew the truth.
BEB: The truth?
HGnWSo753E.TL: Yes. Icy Hot isn’t from space at all. You see, it’s actually made out of people.
BEB: What, really?
HGnWSo753E.TL: Yes. I remember the day I found out. A lone man was running down the street, screaming at the top of his lungs, revealing the awful secret.
BEB: Are you sure that’s Icy Hot? It kind of sounds like Soylent Green.
HGnWSo753E.TL: This interview is over!
Armed with this new information, we obtained a tube of Icy Hot from a shady fellow in a dark alley, and analysed its chemical structure in the lab. While the bulk of the cream is common heroin, like that available at any grocery store, over 9% was a compound unknown to modern science.
We quickly took our findings to a local witch doctor. After consulting with the spirits, as well as reading tea leaves and conducting a credit check, he informed us that the mystery substance was indeed not of this world. In fact, he added, it was so foreign to our planet that it did not even exist. Visibly shaken, he grabbed a nearby bottle of absinthe and locked his office door, refusing to answer any questions until our investigators got bored and left.
The secret of Icy Hot remains elusive. Repeated calls to Icy Hot’s CEO, his wife, and his children have gone unanswered. All written requests for information have been met with automated responses thanking us for our interest in the product and offering fabulous coupons worth over 20 dollars in savings. Rest assured, however; despite these setbacks, we here at Bob’s Educational Corner are dedicated to finding the truth. Thank you for joining us tonight, and remember to tip your wait staff.
A thousand pills and counting.
seeking sanctuary of an altered reality
time moves slowly, chemical reactions create a new life
reality is out of grasp
silent creeping sobriety sets in
despise everything you’ve let yourself become
A chemical distraction, fade into darkness
spare yourself from light.
the light that burns like a raging fire.
reality out of grasp again
make your way through fantasy
an alternate reality; forget who you are
sink into ignorance. bliss in which is found.
Two thousand pills and counting.