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Everything posted by Synergy

  1. 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.
  2. America was formed through "radical political" actions. Over issues more trivial than a number we are sucking up today.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The most powerful vote we have today is with our dollar. Some might say it's the only vote we really have left.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Randomizer, you did all the work on this items list...feel free to call it a Randomizer List. And, nice job. -S-
  15. Recommend: dual wielding for your fighters. Dispense with the shields and pole weapons entirely. By later game with quicksilver items adding action points, you can have two PCs dealing 8 strikes per turn without hasting and this is way more damage than poles can deliver. It's kind of insanely over-powered, if you ask me, but hella fun. Or you can have two magicians able to cast two spells each per turn. Or one of each. Knock yourself out. -S-
  16. It worked fine during testing on my 1.25 Ghz G4 in 10.4.11. -S-
  17. I'm outtie. I conclude that Salmon, another former member who habitually conversed in "charged" language, as is my natural style, was correct in assessing that SW forums have become needlessly control-freaky, and therefore, not fun. -S-
  18. Stareye, my only contention was with your belief that I have somehow been dominating this thread. Talking about escalating education costs and how that relates to an overall decline in what middle class Americans can afford is a personal philosophy? I find your use of the term "long diatribe" suggestive, considering that the two posts I made on the middle class were neither particularly long, nor diatribes. I am left wondering what you would call an actual diatribe. I have no problem with your response to the political thread you locked. I find your response to my minor contributions here puzzling. Topic drift is rampant in threads. "Trying to hijack" looks to me like a personal bias against me in context of what I actually contributed here. -S-
  19. The first switch you're pushed toward is the one to find the lost caravan in the Kva Lands. That's not very far into the game, and it's practically handed to you on a platter. It's hard to miss, once you know you're looking for a secret passage, and it's necessary to finish the quest. True, Jeff didn't make it part of the tutorial to point out switches, and usually doesn't. Because over the last several games secrets have been relatively easy to locate, I suspect that this time Jeff wanted to make secrets more subtle and tricky, something you will discover at some point—sooner if you are looking for them. -S-
  20. Four posts out of 719, and I'm dominating a discussion. Fascinating, Captain. -S-
  21. Synergy

    Politics R Us

    Let them eat cake, huh? -S-
  22. Oh Lilith, this is why we love you so. You help with the laughing. -S-
  23. Synergy

    Politics R Us

    Heaven forbid that one intentionally start a dialog on one of the two great taboos of polite conversation in mixed company: politics (the other being religion), but I find that I cannot restrain myself. I am fervent, personally, on behalf of the state of my own nation, America, and the dire path it is upon, and I know that under globalization and American imperialism, the situation is becoming convergent with many other farflung nations. I am fervent, communually, on behalf of the state of our planet. We're one world now and so intertwined, we are all in this together, like it or not. I was making some small stabs at part of today's great concerns in another thread discussing the gutting of the middle class in America, or more specifically: the increasing disparity of wealth between elite haves and the have nots. Anyone paying attention by now has encountered copious and ominous statistics laying these facts out plainly for us to see. We are the future, you and I. We are the ones who can choose to work to change all of these things. We actually do have the power to accomplish it. It merely requires that enough of us care enough to begin doing what it will take. I am an optimist through it all, but I am deeply concerned about our apathy, about my own apathy, because it feels like such a lonely, impotent effort in the present climate. I have hopes for a brighter future, if we survive a dimming present. I have faith in my fellow human beings to awake, to become aware, to do things we have done before, and things we have never done before. I'm going to post links to several striking commentaries on aspects of our current political/economic/social situation. The voices I tend to today find more honest tend to emanate from the left side of the spectrum, but I am not of any party. I think the two-party system in Washington is hopelessly broken. Our nation is not going to be renewed by either party. It's going to take you and me voting with our feet and dollars, and perhaps more. I don't doubt any one of these articles may generate stringent debate and controversy. This would be a preferable reaction to apathy. But I think it's a critical time for all younger Americans to dig into the meat of the nation we are inheriting. It's always healthy to inform ourselves, to challenge ourselves and what we think we believe, and to decide for ourselves what things mean, where the truth lies, and where we are going to align ourselves as a result. These are kind of lengthy editorial pieces. Those who find them engaging will press on. I am not implying personal agreement with all aspects of any of these articles, but I find them striking and compelling enough to stir up some serious examination for those who have interest in these concerns. I am curious to see what we are willing to look at in light of what they suggest and propose. This is big picture stuff, and despite my love of nitty gritty details, I am a big picture man at heart. For your consideration: An empire crumbles. Can we humbly see and admit that once-republic America, land that we love, is in fact, an empire in decline? "Is the World Too Big To Fail?" MIT linguist professor, Noam Chomsky, whether or not one agrees with his perspective on world politics, is to be commended on his courage since the 60's to call it as he sees it. I think he is one of the most intelligent, articulate, and truthful voices we (barely) have on the podium today. There are reasons most media shun giving him voice at all. One vision for "Saving the American Economy." The corollary: "What Happens if we Don't." This gets better as it goes, leading to a rousing look at distinguishing our "isms." "Socialism" gets kicked around a lot in present political dialog. But what we are staring down the barrel is fascism. Who's using that word today? It is oddly absent from our collective lips. These are just a few writings that have stirred me recently. There are many excellent minds at work fighting to have a voice redirecting our nation toward a viable and sane future. Some can be found on the internet. Unfortunately, I and many others conclude that nearly none can be found in government. It will take an effort of the masses of everyday Americans to effect the needed changes. No one is going to do this for us, because the ones elected to represent us are an integral part of the problem. They do not represent you and me any longer. They represent powerful elite, corporate interests. We can accomplish change before or after our land is in ruins and the great majority of us are reduced to impoverished serfs. Which do we prefer? Which will we choose? I am convinced it has come down to this. I see no other likely outcome or intervention. All discussion and contribution is welcome. The theme is what is the true situation of the nation, and what is our solution? -S-
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