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Synergy

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About Synergy

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    Curiouser and Curiouser
  • Birthday July 1

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    Male
  • Location
    Kirkland, Washington, USA
  • Real Name
    Douglas

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  1. Ooh. I have been waaaaaaaaaiting for this!
  2. Synergy

    The Grand Spiderweb Poll, 2017 Edition: Demographics & Favorites

    I see I didn't respond quickly enough, alas.
  3. Synergy

    Starbucks and Slavery

    I can't say I'm expecting much from Mr. Wheeler, Slarty. I'll be amazed if he does the right thing. I think in the scenario, Obama gets to play good cop to Wheeler's bad cop, while their intention is to effectively hand the keys to the internet to Comcast and the like. But sufficient public pressure can force a hand, because he's still a man with a personal ego, who might not want to go down in history as one of America's most despised. It's possible.
  4. Synergy

    Why radical politics is scary

    America was formed through "radical political" actions. Over issues more trivial than a number we are sucking up today.
  5. Synergy

    Starbucks and Slavery

    I don't deny that they've done a pretty good job of putting a lot of us over a barrel, so that we have limited ability to "vote with our dollar." Believe me, I empathize deeply. Which is why it's becoming less and less hyperbolic to refer to the current developing socioeconomic situation (in America in particular) as neofeudalism. But it should be clear to anyone paying attention that in American politics, our representatives represent the corporations and banks. Witness the gutting of Dodd-Frank (the legislation that sought to protect us against Wall Street financial abuses), the "personalization" and influx of money into politics through the badly-titled Citizens United ruling, and just this week, Congress passing some dubious, if not sleazy last page legislation giving banks the privilege of gambling with federally insured money, and a tenfold increase in the amount individuals can donate to national parties. Huge numbers of Americans have made clear they want the internet to remain unadulterated by corporate control in unprecedented write in campaigns and demonstration in favor of Title II - regulating the internet a public utility. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is only now starting to show signs the FCC might actually be listening to the population after initially thumbing his nose, essentially, at even the President's plea to do so. That is a hopeful sign. It takes mass direct effort by the populace to interject itself into the process. Our representatives aren't doing $@*! for us. I respect the efforts of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. That's a very short list.
  6. Synergy

    Starbucks and Slavery

    Because a threat to profits is the only thing corporations really respond to at this point, and "our" elected representatives represent corporate interests, not that of the citizens. If we want to change corporate behavior, we have to hit them directly—stop funding and rewarding their bad behavior with our money. Nothing gets their attention faster. It may be that nothing else gets their attention at all.
  7. Synergy

    Starbucks and Slavery

    The most powerful vote we have today is with our dollar. Some might say it's the only vote we really have left.
  8. What Jerakeen said. Daze is actually very useful throughout the entire game, depending on how you want to use it. I use Daze later in the game to ensnare large groups, especially in the many outdoor encounters with numerous foes. It is very effective at holding off swarms you know can only move one space the next turn, while your other PCs take care of business. Slow is unpredictable and I rarely use it. I like dealing with a sure thing / known quantity. Slow is most useful for dehasting a big nearby group of foes.
  9. There are several dungeons where you use boats. If one of the boats winds up somewhere you can't access it later and you really want to, you can always use the "resetboats" cheat, but you'll lose any boats you bought in the game and send them back to their original towns where you can buy them again. I could see this problem happening, for instance, if someone is in the habit of carelessly using the "backtostart" cheat when they've finished a dungeon...or even in Dharmon.
  10. You can kill Ssss-Thsss, the lizard king at any time you're able. Just don't report that you did it to King Micah before you visit Fort Remote and do the Fiery Pack quest for the commander there first. Almost every town lets you steal four things where you are seen, before turning hostile. Almaria gives you unlimited thefts, so loot everything in sight if you feel so inclined. The Randomizer Items List for the game will tell you the thefts permissible for each town. There are all kinds of tricky ways to optimally loot in friendly areas. In stores or barracks where the people and guards walk around, if you open the doors, eventually they will walk out of the room out of sight and you can steal some very valuable things this way, even early in the game getting steel armor and such and extra cash for spells. If you are patient, you can loot all the gold, iron and armor in the shops in Fort Draco, for instance. You can go into fight mode and split up your party to put all PCs out of sight where there are tight spaces (singletons and duos have an easy time looting—you have to get more clever with a full party of four).
  11. Armor, Speed and Invulnerable potions/elixirs are very useful in a pinch in this kind of battle. I often forget to use any anyway. Speed potions are especially nice at key moments. I made sure to get my fighter, then magical PCs up in skills to be able to cast Adrenaline Rush. The power of a quick multiple three punch up front attack is formidable—you can clear out a lot of the battefield before the battle even begins. Using Adrenaline Rush is an awesome thing. With Drath, that meant taking out the other undead around him very quickly, then of course it was down to the grind of endurance and repetition focusing on him and his somewhat annoying summons. Most of these fights with summons require just taking out the boss as quickly as possible and try to control or ignore the summons while you do so.
  12. What Randomizer said. I use them to keep my PCs levels balanced normally, so they all tend to level up at the same time. But it's nice to keep at least one or two on each PC to give at least one of them the option of doing a quick level up in the middle of a situation where you have run out of spell energy. It's a wonderful, and especially gratifying little exploit.
  13. I just replayed this on Torment with a party of four and like you guys, forgot to drink the invulnerable punch when I got to Drath. I managed to avoid using any invulnerability potions too. But I did have a tank priest up front who could stand next to Drath and absorb anything he dished while my ninja strong melee fighter whacked at him, being healed or rebuffed by my tank priest who had massive endurance, intelligence, hardiness, some resistance and armor. I also had haste at level 3, so I could induce battle frenzy fairly often. My other two PCs were a strong mage with a minor in priesthood and a strong priest who stood far enough away to avoid most of the trouble. Icy Rain and Daze at higher levels (2 or 3) are invaluable for making summoned monsters immobile/ensnared, even if they don't do damage. I used them for crowd control when necessary. Still, Drath is one of the two or three hardest fights in the game until the very end. He has an insane number of hit points on Torment to whittle at. I'm just now getting to the end of the game and am killing Thantria off, because she knows too much and I don't like being anyone's [censored]. She appears to have an insane number of hit points too. Oh yeah, if you decide to duel Kyass, it's also a super challenging grind. Also, I'm not afraid to use "combatsave" from time to time when I am really proud and pleased how I have proceeded to a point and don't want to have to start all over if it suddenly goes horribly wrong or I hit the wrong key.
  14. Synergy

    What do we have to look forward to aside from remakes?

    I, for one, am very pleased Jeff bothers to upgrade/remake his classic games. I like to revisit old faves, and he keeps getting better at crafting many aspects of the gaming mechanics and removing much of the pain, like the multiple dungeon trips of the early versions. I consider the bottomless junk bag to be metaphorical. It represents all the trips you would actually have to make to one place to round up all that equipment you can sell off, but hate to have to slog through in real time—not that you are literally carrying 65 pieces of armor and weaponry all at once. I pushed Jeff heavily and, evidently, persuasively, for designing something like that while testing the Avernum game in which it was first implemented years back. (Was that Avernum 4?) The junk bag showed up in the very next version of the beta we were testing. You're welcome, or, alternately, send hate mail here. I like that my PCs don't have to sleep and go to the bathroom too. I can gladly bypass the tedious logistics of most hours of a day a real human would endure, and get on with the fun part of the game. I really love the outdoors mode of the first three Avernum games too. I have missed it terribly in the second trilogy. Meanwhile, the Mac version of Crystal Souls just wrapped testing, and I think I can confidently say, most will not be disappointed in the results. I've just replayed Escape from the Pit again, since I got the bug, and have enjoyed remembering what a great game it also is, and how much I appreciate being able to play it in an upgraded viable form. I greatly look forward to the remake of Avernum 3, which is epic in scale above and below ground. It was the game which ensnared me into the Spiderweb over a decade ago. I have very fond memories and visuals of playing it for many hours, and more than once. Ah, those brutal quests for the legendary items like the Ring of Endless Magery.
  15. I've reposted the original map jpegs + the entire map as a whole and updated the links. Everything is working in the original post, except I don't remember how I got the tabbing format to work in the coded part.
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