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 on: July 25, 2016, 08:40:50 PM 
Started by Yoda - Last post by Daggerstrike
Hopefully this time will be the charm, Dagg.  Yeesh, can't catch a break. 

You know, in looking at all the crap that's been dumped on me in my life lately and several others, it's like... our lives are already shattered and we're trying to pick up the pieces and as we're picking up the pieces something else gets destroyed leaving more pieces to pick up and it's like Sisyphus endlessly pushing a rock up a hill.  Like, throw us a bone here, ya know? 

Thanks! We actually found one today. We are signing the papers tomorrow to make it ours contingent on financing. We won't close until end of September or start of October because I need to have a few paychecks to show and they haven't finished the house yet. So..that was easier than expected.

 on: July 25, 2016, 08:33:51 PM 
Started by Eusis - Last post by Ranadiel
So just got the true end in Nights of Azure...and at this point I feel like this is easily the worst Gust game I have ever played (yes worse than Ar Tonelico 3). I really can't even explain the why. Just the story and the battle system did not connect with me. I'm actually missing three trophies (besides the platinum), but I dislike the game to the extent where I cannot bring myself to slog through it for those three trophies anymore. >.>

 on: July 25, 2016, 07:45:43 PM 
Started by Agent D. - Last post by MeshGearFox
So cargo cult game design?

 on: July 25, 2016, 07:18:40 PM 
Started by glassjawsh - Last post by Aeolus
The Battle of Narshe (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BlackBelt)

Celes: "When I was a baby I was taken from my parents and forced to be a magic soldier for the Empire. It's actually pretty fucked up and scarred me for life"

Terra: "mmmk...but have you ever been in love?!??"

Celes: "WTF is wrong with you??"


- As you all know, during the Battle of Narshe you have to split your party up into 3 groups.  Since there are only 7 members right now, you are really only left with 2 choices on how you put them together.  Either 3-2-2 or 4-2-1.  I tend to lean towards using the 4 person "power party" in order to bull rush the attacking Imperial army with one powerful group and then use the other 2 to mop up anyone who gets past.

- No one is higher than lvl 14, so I feel like I'm on a pretty good pace as far as not over leveling.

- Group 1: (healer), (cause tools), (dispatch is quick and powerful) and (Rage?).  I put Terra in the back row and equipped her with both of the Earnings I've scrounged up so far in order to make her a more effective healer.  I also put Edgar in the back row because he'll pretty much exlusively be using tools for these battles and they have the same damage from the back.  I also made an effort to give Gau the strongest armor possible since he is going to be functioning as a tank here.  Cyan is only going to use Dispatch every single turn (and I'm not sure if that ignores row or not so I put him in the front to start).

- Group 2: (sort of ok at everything) and (healer)

- Group 3: (most powerful fighter, can just spam blitz' to get out of a jam) I put the genji glove on Sabin so that when he counters being attacked (due to also being equipped with BlackBelt) he gets two swipes. Incredibly helpful trait when you're in a group by yourself. It almost plays like there are two of him.

-  This strategy only sort of backfired.  I placed Sabin directly in front of Banon and had Locke/Celes block the path on the left side on the map.  Then I sent my "super party" down the right side.  Everything was going according to plan (murking fools, all day) until A) an enemy group snuck through and immediately KO'd Locke and Celes and B) I'm an idiot and had Terra (aka my only healer in the group of 4) equipped with a Rune Blade* that uses her MP to augment its attacks.  I was down to less than 30 mp before I realized what was goign on. 

- This mental gaffe necessitated the use of my only 2 tinctures to refill Terra's mp and forced me to have Sabin franctically run up and down the back row in order to stop 3 separate enemy groups from reaching Banon.  Thanks Zeus his Blitz' are so powerful and AuraBlast can usually oneshot enemies because otherwise I would have been completely boned.

- By the time I'd cleared the map of regular enemies I was down to 3 potions and totally out of tinctures.  Not wanting to risk depleting my main group of HP and MP they couldn't refill, I took a HUGE risk and had Sabin attack Rider (aka the goofball sprinting back and forth in front of Kefka)

The battle went exactly like this: Sabin AuraBlast for 320 damage. Rider attack for 48% of Sabin's health. Sabin counter for 150 x2. Sabin AuraBlast for 320. Rider attack for another 48% of Sabin's max hp. Sabin counter for 150 x 2. Sabin AuraBlast for 320. SUCCESS!!!   And there was much rejoicing.

Kefka was actually a cinch.  I just had Terra heal every turn and unleashed the other 3's most powerful attacks. It would have been MUCH better forsight on my part if I'd included Celes in the party of 4 instead of Terra so I could have ultilized her Rune skill to absord Kefka's Ice2 spell that he cast every other turn.  But ultimately it didn't end up mattering.

* This is ok for Celes and Terra to use because they have mp innately and it doesn't teach them anything new.

- Up next: The Part Where Terra Freaks Out

I generally throw Gau into a party by himself and have the other six split into two groups of 3. That way I have two power parties (Locke at this point is falling behind in the power curve and without Espers, he's never going to catch back up) and thus I can effectively choke points on the field and prevent anybody from slipping by.


If you look carefully, you can spot two locations that choke map in half about 45% of the way down.

As for Rune Blade, I either don't bother with it or stick it on Celes since it goes well with her Runic (Rune Blade has been a pretty nasty troll to players since FFV).

 on: July 25, 2016, 07:14:06 PM 
Started by Rapturous - Last post by ScottC
Going to be about an hour late tonight.  Stuck on the train back home do to some crazy weather in NY today.  Sorry about that.

 on: July 25, 2016, 07:01:26 PM 
Started by Eusis - Last post by Aeolus
Mana History!! Yup, I did me some reading and I think it might have been after you mentioned it here in the Journal, Mesh.

The neatest part about the lore presented (at least to me) is how it fleshes out a ton which was glazed over (if even addressed) in the earlier games. Coming from a background of Mana and reading the first 10 odd entries and how it explains the cycles of the Flammy, Moon Goddess and dieties give you as a player or fan cool insight into the scope of things. That is, unless I understood it wrong, it accounts for the continuity between the games without jeopardizing any part of the writing that could otherwise be considered plot holes or at worst total retcon. Sort of like if Final Fantasy suddenly explained why there are so many "Cids" and actually had it make sense so that "Cloud" and "Terra" were in fact part of the same history WITHOUT compromising what we've already come to learn about FFVI and VII (I cite this as example WITHOUT mention of Dissidia because that game is sort of the opposite of what I am talking about here.)

That aside, it also helps out the ending seeing as how I wouldn't have understood a freakin' thing about what was happening otherwise. Not that I FULLY got it anyhow, but I imagine once I go back to it and explore the other arcs and get more history it will paint a more full picture.

Yeah, no. The problem with this is that there really wasn't any strict continuity between the games until SD3 happened (there's like one small reference in SD2 beyond the presence of the Mana Tree and the Sword of Mana; whereas SD3 references a bunch of SD1's locations and brings back characters like Flammie, but is still mostly its own thing). While Legend does a lot to create a mythology/world lore and tries to tie a bunch of that back to SD3's game/setting (the Godbeasts are direct references to SD3's Godbeasts/Mana Stones; and then Sword, Heroes and Dawn all try to build off of the combination of SD3's and Legend's settings in increasingly clumsy ways).

That said, said mythology/world lore is important to actually understanding the themes/mythology of Legend in of itself (it basically tells you why you're collecting artifacts and trying to bring back Mana). It also helps to explain a number of the game's characters and a few locations (the Junkyard's initial inhabitance are fallen soldiers from one of the wars that took place in the backstory, and even that unique doll with the red eyes is a reference to a character that's heavily important to the lore but is otherwise generally not really referenced (but so important that Dawn's plot tries to build upon the character...badly), and that's not covering other people/assholes like the Wisdoms or that Magic Circle guy who also have ties to the mythology (the Wisdom's in particular is useful to know while doing Bud's Wisdom quest as it references a peculiarity about the Seven Wisdoms; and makes doing the quest easier to boot)). Or in short, this is one of the few games where referencing the Datalog is actually a good idea as the game ties itself to its pre-game events quite well.

 on: July 25, 2016, 06:31:43 PM 
Started by Agent D. - Last post by Aeolus
I wasn't using Ndir at all in this playthrough. I was using Ednir setsuna and aeterna and didn't have stop equpped because I didn't think it work on a boss.  So that dimension werewolf would just go around and one shot setsuna and aeterna.  I was stuck in a never ending cycle of casting life and dieing.  Once I tried stop with aeterna and took Ndir for provoke+paralyze it was easy.  But like I said I never really used Ndir until then because I didn't want too plus I never sat and grinded anything so I am only like level 25.  The yeti boss after him was the same way had to put in Kir just to use dispel to stop his self heal.  Once you have the right skills it's stupid easy again but still dnot like when games do that.

I don't mind switching characters but when the game almost requires certain skills and it's a little bit RNG to get those skills it's a bit annoying.  Even funnier you get Stop from a chest after the werewolf boss almost like the game was mocking me.

Yeah. Unfortunately, I'm kinda getting the feeling that this game just wasn't all that well made. Like it wants to pull a Bravely Default and give players a bunch of ways to break the game over their knee, but unlike BD, this game never really challenges you enough to seek any of them out. Or in short, the tools are way too powerful for the game they're in.

Not that the game's derivative-ness helps all that much either. Turns out it really was Chrono Trigger's gameplay with FFX's plot pasted over it and some kind of sudo-Materia system stapled on for good measure. Unfortunately, CT's gameplay was the game's weakest part (it was ATB with AoE-abilities in a game with non-controllable deployment against what was essentially fixed encounters), the FFX plot is pretty goddamn weak to begin with (there really wasn't much beyond Yuna's death march and Seymore's bullshit, the Crusaders die off on what's essentially Disk 1, the Church in a JRPG was evil all along, and the Al-Bhed and their forbidden/ancient technology saved the day) and again, Materia is just too powerful for this kind of game (it'd be like implementing a Job system into FFVI, suddenly Cyan, Shadow and Locke are completely redundant, everybody's taking up Summoner for the Mag Pow+, and now you have an all new form of grinding that the game didn't want or need). And of course, because of its derivative nature, the game doesn't really have its own legs to stand on and the whole thing just feels like it was cobbled together from better games, kind of a lot like Sword of Mana did with all of its systems cribbed from previous Mana games and thrown together over a butchered version of Adventure's plot, without any rhyme or reason beyond "that's how they were used before".

I guess you could say that isn't a straight up bad game, but its not really worth the $40 price tag either.

Also: Cyclone? X-Strike? Luminare? Dark Matter? Seriously? You guys aren't even trying.

 on: July 25, 2016, 05:20:01 PM 
Started by Dice - Last post by Dincrest
Regarding Nader and Perot- very true.  Nader's why Single Transferrable Vote would be a great idea.   

I've said it many times that I'm all in favor of third, even fourth or fifth parties.  But this article, though it comes off more as an angry rant, does raise some good points about building viable alternate parties from the grassroots level: http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/07/19/24362128/dan-savage-on-jill-stein-just-no

From the article:
If you're interested in building a third party, a viable third party, you donít start with president. You don't start by running someone for fucking president.

Where are the Green Party candidates for city councils? For county councils? For state legislatures? For state assessor? For state insurance commissioner? For governor? For fucking dogcatcher? I would be SO willing to vote for Green Party candidates who are starting at the bottom, grassroots, bottom up, building a third party, a viable third party.

 on: July 25, 2016, 05:08:45 PM 
Started by Jimmy - Last post by Dincrest
About 500 pages into Words of Radiance and keeping Guardians Inc.: The Cypher as my "palate cleanser" book. 

The former is... epic and the latter is a fun read, though there were a few little things that made me suspend my disbelief (like talking about "recess" during a high school day.  I can understand some high schools have a common "lunch 'n learn" free period mid-day, but recess?) 

 on: July 25, 2016, 05:05:30 PM 
Started by Dice - Last post by Hathen
Don't even need to look back that far. We had Nader. Or Perot if that's too small time for you.

And yeah, it's amazing how polarized the US is at this point that someone like Donald Trump is being considered a serious candidate simply because he's a major nominee. I'm sure part of this is the post-convention bump, but even then.

We'll see what happens after the DNC.

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