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About Parrhesia

  • Birthday 03/28/1995


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    ... and I'm not livin' life in monochrome

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    welcome back 2003
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    what the fuck is a jabber

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    Parrhesia's optimism is daunting. They wield their joy like a hammer.
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  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Radiant Dawn

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  1. Moved to the correct subforum. I would honestly say the emulator is more likely at-fault than the ROM, but if you want to try downloading another copy of the ROM, give it a shot. But no, there's no straightforward way to repair a ROM like a Steam install.
  2. Going back through the thread again and realising an old entry has had a significant update. I mean, the takeaway - do not play Age of Empires: Rise of Rome, or Age of Empires 1: Definitive Edition - remains intact. But there's now a way to play Age of Empires 1 without actually having to play Age of Empires 1. So when the Definitive Edition was announced, people had high hopes, but I think it was pretty clear that AoE1 DE was a tech demo for AoE2 DE, The Important One. DE1 had a lot of bumps in the road, DE2 significantly fewer. I don't think that is a coincidence, and I do think it was the right decision, insofar as one can tell without actually being in Microsoft studios. But a lot of people, realistically or not, had held out hopes for AoE1 in the AoE2 engine. Well, somehow, this actually happened. Return of Rome - along with adding the Romans to AoE2 - brought the whole package of 1 into the far sharper, far smoother, far superior AoE2 engine, and it's honestly a pretty seamless fit. They also made three brand-new campaigns in that engine. By the standards of new AoE2 campaigns, the Swindon-- sorry, the Akkadian campaign is... quite bad, but it still probably blows all of AoE1 vanilla out of the water. The others they added, a Roman campaign and, the third best-named figure of Antiquity, Pyrrhus of Epirus, were honestly quite good, and worth checking out. They're still, nontrivially, held back by... being Age of Empires 1 campaigns, in the AoE1 system, with AoE1 units. Faction balance is nonexistent and a lot of factions just don't have any natural unit compositions that feel good. I trained a lot of Improved Bowmen as Rome, for fuck's sake. A major thing dragging down the Swindon campaign is that the Sumerians are a genuinely awful civilisation; Pyrrhus' Macedonia, by contrast, just feels far better to use. That feels about where they're going to leave it, though they did also let users vote on some original campaigns to port over. For reasons that I genuinely cannot fathom, outside of 'it's the only campaign they were able to beat as kids' (understandably, because, again, the AoE1 campaigns were Fucking Terrible), the two they voted for were... the tutorial campaign, and... the Rise of Rome demo disc tutorial mini-campaign. They are complete nothings, but I beat them, got the achievements and got out. Anyway, AoE2 recently put out another expac, and it's back to, well, AoE2. My beloved Persians got a rework and a massive buff. But the Return of Rome was a curious little footnote, and if anyone did have some fond memories of AoE1, I think it's worth picking up and going through the old systems given new life.
  3. At least now you can uninstall and become the Man who Erased his Game. Extremely true. Though for whatever reason I was mainly an ArmorGames loyalist. Being reminded of all this made me check out an old site from my childhood, Orisinal... except, right, Flash is down. Alas.
  4. I've had an interesting experience with Battle Brothers. It's the kind of game that just claims me for weeks at a time, but only every once in a while, to the point where I always think I haven't really given it that much time or as much attention as it deserves, then I check and see I have 152 logged hours and the legendary company achievement. The two biggest saves were from relatively early in the development; I sank maybe 40 hours into an early release file, and my legendary company was pre-DLC (or maybe post-Beasts). I feel like the time will come when it claims me for another 25ish hours down the track, once or twice more. It just has such a delightful flow to it, the ebb and flow of running the company, searching for contracts, making regrettable hires, ranging out into the wilderness trying to find bandits and not finding any and swearing and reloading. Like Mount and Blade at its best, but all the time. It's just so, so smooth provided you never touch super-endgame content, ever, ever. Just do the crises. Ideally on Beginner/Veteran. Don't get fooled into thinking you need to pull off deranged Teutonic min-maxing, either, the kind of strats that those higher-difficulty things demand. And then, bizarrely, for such a punishing game, it's really chill. You can roll with the punches. Anyone sufficiently grognardy to sign up to a Fire Emblem fan forum should buy Battle Brothers.
  5. Hey hey! Always happy to see new blood around, as well as fellow Igrene fans. Hope you enjoy your time here.
  6. Yeah, the need to structure around that can lead to a few interesting issues. There's definitely a reading for Drums of War that could say it's an argument in favour of military junta. You can detail an overthrow of a bad system a whole lot better than you can get into how a new system shapes up. The alliance drama story is fantastic. Glad you're all still tight-knit! I know my father still keeps in touch with at least a couple of his old EQ guildmates, from his high-end guild back in that day (supposedly including The Allakhazam, though I take everything my father says with several grains of salt...)
  7. TLDR version. I have many thoughts about Simp, and I'll say them for topicality even though I still need to go out and acquire ...How??? at some point. But Ike covered all the like, actual facts, so I'll instead focus on my feelings. I'm hugely indebted to Simp of War. I adore OB64 but hate playing it. OB64 is a fantastic game with a lot of clunk, an absolutely horrific interface, bad translation, and completely broken core alignment system that requires wrestling with aforementioned horrific interface to tame. A playthrough takes about 80 hours and about 2.5 of those will be item-duping and then using Urns of Chaos, or else you will simply not be able to engage with the class system and will get the bad ending. Simp of War is like if OB64 had a merely poor interface. It arrived at a time when I needed it to. I played it basically on release. I was abroad in a foreign country, struggling to assimilate, in a very dysfunctional environment, sleeping either 2-3 or 12 hours a night and let me tell you that I fucking inhaled Symphony. I needed something to just sink my teeth into, and Symph was that something. And I played its like 20-hour campaign, then shelved it, content with the world. I will always be grateful for that time. And I do think, fundamentally, The Game Is Good. However. I can't pretend the replay was that great. It's still a pretty easy game, even on Warlord (which used to come with permadeath; which might work in theory, but the Preps screen is like pulling teeth, so it would get old fast). But the existence of the cruft they threw in... it just softens the gameplay loop. The peak time to play Simp was probably about three months ago. Pre-DLC and, pivotally, pre-enemy canto. Also probably on a challenge run where you simply do not use the Nephilim spells, but I'm not going to pretend I didn't abuse them. There almost isn't a midway ground between abusing them and using them normally, it's like fucking FE11 Warp. Post-DLC, hurling 10 maps into what had been a markedly tighter gameplay loop, Simp's campaign is just kind of flabby now. I know that, as above, my judgement is compromised by liking OB64 and by getting the game at a rough time, and also by it just being ages back, but I swear to God that Simp's campaign held firm for a lot longer in week 1, before the Monty haul of 10 DLC maps (in a 35-map campaign!) crashed in. The story-writing felt a lot more forgivable on day 1, even going down to the portraits. Before they were improved, they were just... pretty bad. Diana didn't look so much like a kinky muscle-woman as someone who had been burn-dodged into the Twitter idea of a Strong Female Character. But now they're actually competent, and... eugh, she's actually meant to look that way? And the story seemed bad, the writing poor, but in a way that seemed phoned-in, not completely incompetent. Then Legends came out, and put the lie to that. Yes, it seemed that Legends' maps really were trying to expand on... pff, these iconic characters? We can finally find out the deal with, with the fuckin' love story of general whatsherface and the Russian dude? Wow, finally! Oh, maps where we get the backstory of Captain fucking Antilles, my God! And they're a car-crash in gameplay as Ike said, and they completely fuck the experience curve. Also, man, there's some... there's a couple of telling moments. Abigayle/Zelos was not written by a well mind. So without Legends, it mostly just came across like they didn't care much and just wanted a couple of Big Moments (well, the metaphorical kind of big, their least favourite). Controlling red units for a map as you shitstomp through good guys, fuck yeah! Evil cults setting up child hunts, yeah, I played FE4 too, baby! And this reading of the game was also improved by the Bad Ending, which they very quickly patched out. Basically at the end of the game Arthas is like 'hey let me grab the sword' and if you haven't really been paying attention you could go 'sure, take the big power' and he ushers in the apocalypse and an eternal empire of darkness and everyone gets horrific endings fighting a losing battle in the hell war. I think it's telling that this came across as hilarious to me in the moment, and that I never went back to go get the good ending, until the replay a year or so on. But no, they actually cared, and this is what they came up with. And that's depressing, frankly! I still love Fell Seal, though I never did quite push through to the end of that second campaign. I wish I still loved Symphony of War.
  8. I'm not watching the 45-minute video. Sorry. I will risk some of this being brought up or expanded upon there, but that is too great a tax to engage with the point. I'm coming at this from the perspective of having lurked through a lot of efficiency discussion in the early 2010s, and sporadically looking through FEtubers and current meta discussions since. I know vanishingly little about the meta discussions surrounding the games that care more about unit customisation (13/14/16). It is fine and good, actually, that we have metrics used to measure units' quality. It is not an indictment on people who like Wil enough to use him (like me! This is not a hypothetical!) to say that Wil is fucking terrible, nor on people who don't care for using Jagens to say that, measurably, Jagens make the game go faster and easier. For everyone. When discussing units, 'efficiency' isn't about 'good gameplay', and it isn't just a synonym for LTC. It's just a principle of FE that units who are strong on the face of it will make things easier for anyone. Marcus is fantastic if you're rushing for objectives to clear them in 4-12 turns, but a weaker and less confident player will still benefit from using him over, like, Bartre. If someone really likes Bartre and wants to use him, fine! True champions win with their favourite Pokemon, etc. There's a reason that all units found their way onto the old tier lists (granted, FE12's tier list lumped about half the cast into Free Silvers, but have you seen FE12's cast?), not just the optimal ones. And it's worth discussing how these units will perform in normal patterns of play, not just how many shiny green numbers they have at the end. If you're going to use Bartre, then here, these are the things he can do. There was an era where people would assume, if someone was not using Marcus much and did use Nino, that they were just idiots who didn't know how to play the game properly. But we're talking, like, 2011. It was obviously stupid then, but it did stem from pushback against the GameFAQs of the late 00s that handed out a lot of terrible advice for actually beating the game. Someone who uses Nino is going to have a harder time clearing maps than someone who doesn't; use Nino all you like, but for fuck's sake, telling people you should? I remember thinking I must be a terrible player for leaning on a shit unit like Duessel, way back in the day. I was a terrible player, but Duessel's the reason I managed to clear FE8 anyway. Efficiency is a pretty fuzzy metric, and it can be improved upon. And yeah, evaluating unit choice within the context of a playthrough... gets complicated by the fact that they all have faces and, ideally, personalities; still, it's not like the skill of finding the right tool for the job completely goes out the window once units become anything but stat-blocks. I know that Rutger is a great boss-killer, but there is no chance in hell I'm deploying Rutger under any circumstances, so I need to figure out who else can do the job he does. And again, it's a universal issue, because no matter what you're doing, no matter how fast, no matter how completionist, ironman or not, everyone is looking to beat the same chapters. Frankly, I'd say this is a solution in search of a problem, but there isn't really an alternative solution proposed. Nobody is stopping anyone from talking about the teams they use after a game. I have made a complete campaign hack, and a constant throughout is people talking about the units they used and how they performed throughout. As for the unit performance chart, that literally doesn't work for most of the series. How many different ways to 'build' Dorothy are there? But if we're talking about what resources a unit needs to become strong, that's... that's literally the crux of efficiency discussions! Marcus needs 0 investment to murder everything at a time where your other units are weak, Nino needs multiple chapters of babying to get to that point at a time where your other units are strong, and most units fall somewhere in between. This is not some incompatible concept to efficiency. And circling back to the hack, discussions on unit viability in what is essentially an efficiency framework have helped inform unit balancing, making sure every unit can effectively perform their niche. Obviously that isn't something IS has ever particularly cared about, but I like the idea that all of my units have genuine strengths and reasons to exist, and that none of them are just complete liabilities. Some are obviously going to be better than others, sometimes significantly so. But if people are willing to put into words, 'Hesterine's movement advantage doesn't outweigh her terrible combat', then I can buff her combat and put her in a place where people actually want to use her as a unit, and those that would always want to use her because of her personality or her fancy new portrait or because they just like all cavaliers don't feel like they're being held back for doing so. An actual alternative framework I've seen a couple of times is framing units along the lines of 'strong without investment / strong with investment / fine without investment / requires investment to be fine'. Honestly, this does feel like it might be the best of all worlds.
  9. Yeah the two Queen's Wish games - soon to be joined by a third - is great, so if you're an RPG fan I'd go for them. Mathematically it looks like you can get the full sweep in a full playthrough (20-25 hours), if you reloaded right after making key decisions to make the opposite key decision... but given you'd need to play on the highest difficulty, and need to do some stretch goals that aren't necessarily on the highest difficulty, two is probably more realistic. Play them anyway tbh.
  10. Yeah I... spent a lot of my time with Q2 really wanting to like Q2 more than I did, and it just eroded that gradually over the course of the vanilla campaign before Reckoning calcified my negative feelings. I didn't like Quake 1 as much as Ike, though I broadly agree with his feelings (and certainly with its place in the historical record), and a constant low-level annoyance was the lack of a second proper Reliable, Workhorse weapon. The icing on the cake for Quake 1 would have been if it had invented the shock rifle. It didn't - because Unreal is the superior series - but Q2 figured it out! And before long there was the super shotgun back, and now the SMG, fine and good, the hyperblaster, the railgun, uh, more added in later... but nothing actually spectacular. There was a rocket launcher, and it was a good rocket launcher. But - especially in the expansions - enemies frequently jumped you from blind angles at close range, and encounters happened more and more frequently either in tight corridors or against erratic flying/jumping enemies, not the mid-range, mid-mobility settings at which the launcher excels. The thing I clung to throughout was that at least there was a sense you were nickelling and diming away at an enemy stronghold, running about the place activating various triggers to unlock the way forward in a way that felt more organic than just FIND THE RED / BLUE / YELLOW SKULL KEYS (though did sometimes involve that). And the flavour was fun; they had a great time inventing various bullshit Rube Goldberg machines to murder your fellow marines. Almost enough to make me go back in time to when I was playing single-player Enemy Territory and main the Stroggs over the Steve Blums. Almost. But Q2 Vanilla is just... progression at the start is slow and painful, and you're left with the shitty basic weapons for far too long. And then at the end there are nothing but swarms of needlessly bulky but not actually threatening enemies. Time to die is just huge on both sides (except on the handful of threat enemies that Fucking Vapourise the player). My thoughts soured as it became clear this running around was really just busy work, Gauntlet asking for more quarters as my life ticks down by a point every second. And then all the fun gets sapped out of the Reckoning. The gun progression is slower. Enemies are tankier. The fun Strogg flavour evaporates, and I was confronted, head-on, with the mush that is the Q2 Core Gameplay Loop. It's evidently salvagable - play Call of the Machine and Ground Zero and get the good parts without the bad. But Quake 2's makers did not understand what made Quake 1 good, and the Reckoning's makers did not understand any aspect of the human condition. Didn't help that the first fucking level crashed like four times, dumpstering our progress every time; and wiped my inventory twice, knocking me back to the fucking blaster and whatever weapon it deigned to hand out a second time. All this to say that Dark Souls 2 improves on the original in every regard worth tracking, and no, you don't sincerely enjoy Blight Town. But I have 100%ed a Q-game now and now I don't need to play Queen's Wish 2 on Torment for the alphabet, an experience I fear would have made me stop loving Queen's Wish. The Great Work continues.
  11. Honestly, minor bosses aren't even so much characters in themselves as they are invaluable in helping to set up the character of the nations they come from. You learn a lot just from the type of guy such and such a nation would promote. Pascal's existence makes the Black Fang clearly hypocritical in having ever claimed to be an 'honourable' murder-cult (the Fang, in general, feel like a writer's room divided hopelessly on what they're actually meant to be), Grado have a lot of professional military men in over their heads (Aias, Beran), while probably the ultimate example is Ridale. I fucking love Ridale FE4. He's the last of the Zyne recolours, with the most garish cloak. He shows up in like Chapter 10, fresh off a child hunt, raring to go. He's murdered so many children, thrown so many non-combatants into the gulag, he's so ready to go fight the Crusaders. Okay, no. More child hunts. "You've got to be kidding me." What a fucking legend. FE4's wildly hit and miss with its writing, but Ridale's like seven lines sell the sheer banality of the late-stage evil Empire better than anything else in the game. Obviously most don't really do a lot. There's a lot more... fuckin', uh... Zagans than Ridales, four or five Weissmans (Weissmen?) for every Schaefer. But they're still nice to have around, even the mediocre ones. If we're shilling hacks, I hurled in about three or four a chapter in Drums, for the most part. One of my favourite parts of putting it all together, honestly. I hope the series isn't moving away from them, and that Engage's fascination with recurring bosses is just a one-off aberration. I do think, 98% of the time, if you put someone down on the map they should be dead in the narrative; every other idiot teleporting away on 'death' was one of the greatest of FFT's many flaws, and was maybe even more grating in the Tactics Ogres.
  12. So far everyone's default class, with Protagonist as Life Cleric. Karlach and Gale are locks; usually Wyll has fylled, but Astarion was the locks guy, but then I brought in Shadowheart for the tail end of Act 2 (plot reasons) and gave her Sleight of Hand. Lae'vel even got a turn in alongside Karlach for a bit. Wishing you could access companion inventory without swapping them into the party. Also wish swapping was a little more seamless, though maybe it encourages it being okay to miss things more, which is fair. Also, glamour shots!
  13. Given that BG2 was absolutely, at the time of release, the best RPG ever made, and Larian's D2:OS was absolutely the incumbent best RPG ever made, it's perhaps unsurprising that BG3 is, yes, the best RPG ever made. I went for a half-dark elf cleric of Selune, because of misplaced nostalgia for NWN1 Hordes of the Underdark and for, of all things, the late-80s AD&D comics (going back through them is kind of funny because the first arc of four is melodramatic self-serious dogshit and they immediately fire the writer and kick on into an arc which is literally centred on jesters). This, hilariously, made me the anti-Shadowheart. I, uh, did not see any option for a non-Dark Urge custom character, so I'm the Dark Urge, and discovered this only after asking people what they thought about, um. A The Incident it turned out nobody else had experienced! Dark Urge is fun. I'm in the tail end of Act 2, pretty sure. The game's hit every note. It's got a fair few mild bugs, sure, but like, DA2 is my favourite RPG of all time, so that isn't a deal-breaker. None have been so severe that a quicksave-quickload doesn't fix.
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