Friday, December 28, 2012

Dark Souls: Taurus Demon Hint/Walk Through

It's a small trick that's clever. Actually they give you the tip just before the Asylum Demon.

The thing is, when you come out of the tower onto the parapet, turn around and look next to the door. Hidden slightly in shadow, you'll see a ladder.

Apart from clearing the crossbow undead from the top, try leading the Taurus demon to the base of the tower, quickly climb the ladder and then - what can you do from the top?

Well, the answer is...*need some spoiler tags on blogger!*

Jump off and press R1/light attack, to do the dive attack the tutorial before the Asylum demon taught you.

You can actually do this multiple times - dive attack, run away, dodge his attack then run past him back to the ladder. Freak out that you're not going to climb it fast enough as you climb it, get to the top and stab him in the head again! And again!

And now you know!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dark Souls: Pretty fly for a white apology

Sorry to the dude out there - I thought the white thing on the ground was loot and just mashed the button. I'd heard of invaders and when your ghostly white self showed up, I went to try and fight you, rather than perhaps the assist on the boss battle you were expecting!

Not that I killed you, or even scraped you - quite the opposite!

But it may have been disconcerting!

I think I saw you again latter in another summoning circle.

I think I'll attempt the tauros demon thingie solo a few time more, in penance, before I consider accepting a summoning circle.

I didn't even know summoning worked that way - I thought you had to start it, not that someone else could make a summons offer itself in someone elses world?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dragon Dogma - from dusk till dawn!

I'm still early in the play of Dragon Dogma, and was trying to finish of the kill ten spiders quest out in this misty area which wont auto map for you. It's an interesting idea to have both the known world, yet also these hazy bits of world where the game doesn't hold your hand. Slightly daring game design, even, for what is an mainstream title.

Anyway, I faff around in it for too long. Even more interestingly the area I'm in is overgrown so the telltale signs of nightfall aren't so clear, so it sneaks up on me. I think this happens in RL to a degree as well!

So whispy ghost shade things jump on my head that I think wouldn't have turned up if I'd just left before - I miss my pawns dire warning about it or observation of what it does, because they slap it off pretty quickly and we defeat them. Then eventually making our way out of the twisting forest and back onto the more regular path - damn, it's just a barrage of wolves! Lucky the lantern lasts a fair old time! These guys gnawed down my pawns quite a few times, which is a funny mechanic.

Given that you can just go pick up the pawn and they get quite a bit of health back, but if you go down they can't save you. So it's like each pawn is kind of like a hitpoint that you can self heal, if you can just get over to them. Which seems fairly straight forward to do (except when they are in a bush and are hard to see!). But given the distance, it could have no wolves, or a bunch of wolves in their 'grab and chew' pose. And supposedly you can lose the pawns permanently if you leave them for long enough. I don't know how long long enough is.

Perhaps it's just the illusion of threat? Given the chance of various forces blocking getting to a pawn (and maybe killing you) are low.

And you can reload anyway.

On the other hand, I have been killed a few times in battle. Once an enemy starts hitting you, you actually suffer flinch animations from the impacts. Which is usually something the main character for some reason gets to ignore while the bad guys all suffer from it. Doom, I'm thinking of you!

Anyway, waves of wolves and slow, slow progress up the hill, so as to go down it again, then right and then the safety of the fort.

Basically, after a semi continious wolf fight, to the top of the hill, then the distance looks funny. I'm wondering if the dark in this game isn't as dark as I thought. Oh wait, that's right, when the dark isn't as dark as you thought, it's this thing called DAWN!

It was really weird to see dawn coming up - and a relief.

I basically bought this game because the night cycle was pimped with fear in the reviewers voice. And this is just an account near the start of the game! Really interesting! Might try and use something like it in table top roleplay!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

D&D 4e/5e Encounters Take Ten Damage - oh yes, we're playing already, btw!

I went to the D&D encounters program the other night. It had this section where you essentially get held and these monsters say a strange rhyme in your head, then...well, they ask you questions, but the start of my problem is that I thought they were still just saying some rhyme. And if you don't answer the question in ten seconds, you take ten damage automatically.

That's part of the problem of these heavily scripted yet not acknowledging it modules for this series - the scripted game just wont let you do certain things. So how about a cue for when were supposed to do something, rather than just go along with the script?

Most of us went down after a few unanswered or incorrectly answered questions. Wait no, we got to the end, we rolled initiative, then actually no, initiative doesn't matter (even a nat twenty +12), they go first. Drops me and some others. I'm not sure if there was a safety net built into that or if it could just TPK everyone.

The other thing is, this is thick with GM fiat. This isn't the game. It's not like it's part of the regular rules that you decided to play. How can you like this as being the game? I mean, if someone wrote an RPG which had this question and damage stuff in the rules, then for that RPG that'd be the game you set out to play. That'd be fine.

Here, it's obviously the author of the module sticking this thing in and...I don't know, I guess I have some scope to accept 'Oh yes, that's what I signed up for' when I didn't explicitly accept something. And this isn't within the scope of what I signed up for. It's clearly this interjection on the authors part. But I get the feeling I'm supposed to evaluate it as being part of D&D (as in the game - as in rules and such. Not the fluff). Well no, not the D&D I signed up for, anyway.

It's almost like they try and train you what D&D IS is various things that you didn't sign up for when you decided to join D&D. Yes, get your head around that! If this is 5e's direction - it's just back to the head hurting murky non game play of yesteryear. Gameplay who's tension was more about nobody knowing what the hell to do next at a basic procedural level.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

EVE online and transhumanist confusions?

I raised an issue I have with Eve online in a forum recently, in that when your guy dies, the clone replacement is not him. He's dead.

I wouldn't mind if the fiction was like Anarchy online, with some dualist mumbo jumbo where the soul herp derps over to the new clone. Or some gruesome fiction where a brain canister decapitates the person before death and flies the brain through space to the empty skulled clone, for implantation.

But as is, no, it's just the same guy, for Eve and apparently it's players.

I don't know if you're shouting at the screen right now how much it's still the same person. Let's look at the replies from the forum and if you can find yourself amongst them...

It's not really that difficult a concept; the idea of someone grabbing a mind recording and broadcasting it wirelessly isn't exactly a cutting edge sci-fi concept. Hell, the idea of forking a backup that you keep updated every so often is right in Eclipse Phase.
 There's some esoteric issues with this - exactly why does a recording of you constitute you? As I said in the thread, if someone uploaded your clone early and it stood over you, you could see it, as you felt your life drifting away - how does that constitute being you?

Not. That. Difficult. A Concept?

My gosh. It's not rocket science, after all. Just brain surgery. I like how it sort of talks down the granny glasses - unless I'm wrong somehow (funny how the responce makes me think that), it's really not the position to take.

This is a much less cut and dried situation than you're making it.
What are the terms of death? And I'm the one who decides them?

 Not to mention the 'army of me' - just upload 'yourself' to multiple clones. And the responce - I dunno, a strange theory of mind...

As far as an army of me goes: One, it's illegal. Two, some people do it to an extent, but fully cognizant duplicates of yourself don't like being sent on suicide missions, and you don't have any capacity to force them to do whatever you want, so it's a limited tactic. You could make a hundred of yourself to mine, but they'd still want a cut of the profit and if they get bored, they can just hare off. Also, they have all your intel, with all the risks that implies. Better to just work with non-duplicate individuals.
I get the idea that one might not cooperate perfectly with duplicates of oneself. But if they get bored, they'll just hare off? Am I right that this is a failure of theory of mind, or he knows his own mind and he would hare off from himself, bored with himself? Hell, people often make friends with people who are like them. What about someone who essentially IS you? I'm currently betting on a theory of mind failure as part of a 'make the situation fit the conclusion' rationalisation. If that's not too many 'ions' in a row!

Okay, so damn - it's hard to know there's such a need for philosphy or neuroscience education or whatever, until these amazing potholes show themselves!

Still, writing it as Eve fanfiction might bring traffic to it, which is a handy upside. Only prob is, I don't play Eve (I did a trial and as said, the death thing put me off worse than a corpse run). Still, people often write stories about things they haven't done! This would just be...writing about something I have done, which is something where people play a game about stuff they aren't doing! Not. That. Complicated!

Anyway, speaking of simple things, like the phantom of the opera's mask, Scott Bakker has a new web page to keep the world a front, as he plays a pipe organ deep in the underground of France. I think. With Canadians, who knows, eh?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

See what you want to so easy to see. And yet so hard.


A classic image to show the 'see what you want to see' principle, as well as showing how you can change what you want to see.