Spoiler Warning S4E6: Troll Science

By Shamus
on Dec 7, 2010
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

93 comments

I’ll be honest, it’s been two weeks since we recorded this and I can’t even remember what it’s about. Jade Empire, was it?


Link (YouTube)

Okay, that wasn’t Jade Empire.

On the upside, we are getting to the good part of the game.

Enjoyed this post? Please share!

Footnotes:


2020202013There are now 93 comments. Almost a hundred!

From the Archives:

  1. Gandaug says:

    I was wondering when the next SW would play.

    Looks like it’s now!

  2. Michael says:

    I wonder if Salarians process information as quickly as they spout it. I had to back up the video and listen to Solus twice before I got everything he was saying.

    Also, does he speak in sentence fragments for the entire game? It seems like he has brain damage.

    • guy says:

      Salarians are short-lived but fast thinking and consider complete sentences a waste of their limited time. It’s in the codex.

      • Michael says:

        Complete sentences are a waste of time, but musicals aren’t?

        Solus may have to rethink his priorities.

        (I haven’t played either of the games, so I wouldn’t know any of the information in the codex. But it’s nice to know there is an explanation.)

        • Mersadeon says:

          The codex has everything covered. Even why there is ammunition now and why that is not a backstep in technology. It doesn’t even feel cheap or retconned or anything.

          And hey, Salarians were young once, too. Not as long as we were, but hey, we do lots of useless stuff in our youth. I am 18. I know. I do useless stuff all the time. ;D

          • guy says:

            I frankly hated the ammo change. The explanation makes some level of sense, but it has two problems:

            1. Although a higher rate of fire has obvious advantages, needing ammo is itself an obvious disadvantage, and it seems like a number of situations call for the old ammoless guns, especially ones involving fighting large numbers of unarmed enemies.
            2. The change occurred two years prior to the start of ME2. It doesn’t make sense that literally everyone swapped over in that time period

            The real problem I have, though, is that it made the game less interesting and more generic.

            • Dys says:

              What I always thought was, it would make more sense if the guns heated like they did in ME1, but if you HAVE clips, reaching max heat just causes a reload, not a cooldown.
              If you don’t have clips, it just works like ME1.

              Seemed obvious to me.

              • Irridium says:

                Or just have you press a button to let the gun cool down faster. Kind of like “venting” it so to speak.

              • Amnestic says:

                “You have to prove you’re not Ashley.”

                Damned Space Racists. I thought the worst part about that was that even if she dies she’s remembered well. There’s a radio broadcast on the Citadel where they misquote her “Animals” quote, where they say she said something like “We’re all just animals” as opposed to her actually comparing aliens to dogs. Even after I killed her, she gets good press =_=

                “And Archangel? Man, they should make a spin-off about his missions with his team, hunting criminals of Omega.”

                YES. That is all.

                Edit: Why is this in reply to that post? Silly blog! I thought I cancelled that.

                • Stellar Duck says:

                  In fact they should just make a game about being a low life noir detective on Omega and call it Space Cop. I’d play the hell out of that.

                • Internet Kraken says:

                  Uh, humans were the dogs in that comparison. Not the aliens.

                  Seriously the hate for Ashley is completley irrational. People misinterpret everything she says. Yet they all adore Tali, the one who wants to commit genocide.

                • James says:

                  Dude a Archangel vs Omega game would actually be badass, but not a DLC a full game we could called it Mass Effect 4 : Archangel’s Revenge or somehthing

          • krellen says:

            I disagree. The ammo change feels heavily cheap and retconned.

            • Blanko2 says:

              specially with zaeed saying he used a gun with clips ages ago.
              makes some sort of sense to use heat clips, though. i mean, on earth, guns already overheat, in a planet with a less dense atmosphere, or a higher base temperature, they get real hot, real fast, youd need some better way of venting that heat than just wind or whatever

              • Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

                I still support my idea of having a thing backpack that cools off the heat clips. Meaning that ME2 would count the ammo inside the current clip, but not the amount of clips themselves (because there would always be a cool clip connected to the backpack).

                Would add the tactical need to follow your current ammo, but wouldn’t make the nonsensical change from “infinite ammo” to “limited ammo” in-world. Also enemies wouldn’t drop clips like in Doom.

                Edit: I guess the last part could be fixed by starting missions with enough ammo to reasonably get through it, but that has certain problems since ME2 is not supposed to be a tactical shooter.

        • guy says:

          Eh, you’ll notice that Mordin tends to drop mostly articles and subjects, the first of which actually don’t exist in latin and presumably some other languages, and the second of which can generally be inferred. I tend to do the same when I’m taking notes. It’s not a function of the salarian language, since most of them actually use complete sentences. They generally all do talk about that fast, though. See Spoiler Warning season one on noveria for an example.

          In mordin’s case, it may just be a personal inclination, or it might be connected to his past job As a member of the Salarian Special Tasks group, a combined intel, biowarefare, and commando force that seems to be the most active arm of the salarian military Keeping messages short may have been encouraged to some extent.

  3. Jos says:

    Man, I kind of wish it was Jade Empire. I have this bizarre feeling you’d have more to say about that game than about Mass Effect 2.

  4. Bodyless says:

    Troll:
    If you read the message, then you would know that there arnt credits in the medic stations, you sell the excess medigel to cerberus.
    So you dont get a +0 medigel message like in ME1, but you sadly cannot stock up on medigel on the normandy anymore.

    PRO ME2: Quicksaving is a hell alot of faster now.

    Omg are you using a gamepad? i didnt notice by now but your aim… nc

    maybe i already mentioned, but the unmodded carnifax is a downgrade, because it only has 1/3 the ammo of the other pistol.

    • guy says:

      Eh, I generally didn’t run out of Carnifex ammo except for the occasional extended fights with animals, Heavy Weapons Guys, and never-to-be-sufficently-accursed snipers. Oh, and also occasionally husks.

      In addition to quicksaving faster, ME2 also autosaves more frequently. Not that ME1 autosaved frequently, since it seemed to average three a plot planet counting arrival.

    • Bit says:

      Although it is fairly balanced with the Predator alone, considering how the classes are made up it beats out the Predator simply because it’s the only real sniping weapon until Even for the Infiltrator, who has a designated Sniper Rifle, having the Carnifex as a backup to use with the Invisibility damage bonus is crucial considering the rifle’s low ammo count. The significance of the Carnifex’s sniping power is slightly negated when you get to pick up a Sniper Rifle of your own later on in the game, but considering that that’s half way through the core campaign, as well as entirely optional, it’s still better to stick with it throughout most of the firefight’s you’ll run into.

  5. guy says:

    Josh, you are bad at shotguns. Also, the punch button is bound to (f) by default, though you might consider rebinding it to a mousebutton and killing Krogan bosses via punching. It gets kind of hilariously effective once shepard has enough metal in her.

    In all seriousness, punch more. Here is a tutorial of proper vanguard strategy from someone on the SA forums:

    http://postimage.org/image/1ezm8hlac/

    Also, although Moridin is the best character, Archangel has the best recruitment mission, which basically consists of him being really badass while shepard is shooting fools. Come to think of it, that also accurately describes another charater’s recruitment mission that is also pretty awesome, and one that hurts my brain. Also agruably another one that makes sense and is okayish.

    I guess I’ll note that it really feels like Bioware ran out of time, money, will, or something shortly after finishing the first and third acts, leading them to conclude that second acts are for suckers.

    • Mersadeon says:

      Were is the line of the second act? Because if you mean the recruitment, you must be kidding. That part felt really good. But I think you mean something else.

      • guy says:

        I mean the recruitment is the latter half of the first act, and the final mission is the third act. There should have been at least one plot mission, preferably several, appearing after the band was all together but before the final mission. The game seems almost designed for you to not even have the full set at the final mission.

        • Mersadeon says:

          Oh, I understand. Yes, I agree, strongly. Even though I didn’t mind much because there was so much to like in this game, this part definitely felt not right. But still, even this part is better than most games as a whole ^^

    • Bit says:

      “Come to think of it, that also accurately describes another charater’s recruitment mission that is also pretty awesome, and one that hurts my brain. Also arguably another one that makes sense and is okayish.”

      I’m guessing that you mean Thane, Legion and Jack, respectively? Possibly switching Thane and Jack, but I never really liked Jack’s recruitment, personally, and the buildup in Thane’s, both to Nassana and Thane himself, is pretty bad ass.

      • Aldowyn says:

        Jack’s recruitment is entirely devoted to showing you how powerful a biotic she is, and how ruthless she is.

        Of course, then you get her and she’s not nearly that awesome and turns out to just be bitter and jaded.

        • Bit says:

          Thane’s on the other hand, is entirely devoted to showing you how bad ass and sexy he is. Then you find him, and he’s totally bad ass and sexy.

          Really sexy.

          Mmm, Thane…

      • guy says:

        Actually, Thane, Jack, and Samara. Samara admittedly only really does it for part of the mission. I really hate Jack’s, mostly because of the “Release thousands of mass murderers” button.

        Legion only does it for a small part of his mission and gets haymakered like a chump less than halfway through.

        edit: whoops, had them in the wrong order for a bit
        EDIT EDIT: wait, they were originally in the right order, I was just confused by the insult towards Legion’s recruitment mission, which is pretty awesome even though it is surrounded by the most stupid part of the plot (including the ending).

        • Bit says:

          Ah, Samara’s. To be fair, you said “being badass while Shepard shoots people” while Samara’s is more like “Being badass, then Shepard shoots people.” Although I suppose it would be fair to say that Samara is one of those characters that’s kinda badass all the time.

          And the “release every prisoner” button put me into stitches for a good ten minutes; it basically means that you can move about prisoners in their cells as you please with maximum security clearance, but with minimum security clearance, apparently the only thing available to you is to unlock every door ever at the same time. Best. System. Ever.

  6. Integer Man says:

    Good job. Mordin is mandatory and the single best quality of ME2.

    Who was that first character that was mentioned as a favorite character of all time? I guessed the spelling of it and Googled it on Bing but couldn’t find a hit.

    • Jos says:

      Jolee Bindo, the Neutral Good ‘Grey’ Jedi from Knights of the Old Republic.

    • Gale says:

      Jolee Bindo, the best part of the first KOTOR, or at least a strong contender. Elderly ex-Jedi who left the order when he decided that he’d rather live in a shack in a dark jungle infested with ravenous monsters than put up with all the self-righteous Light/Dark nonsense for another moment. Joins your party, says interesting things.

      At least, that’s how I seem to remember him. It’s been a while since I played KOTOR. I might be off on the specifics.

      …I’m going to go play KOTOR.

      • Halfling says:

        Personally, I always hated Bindo. He was the incarnation of Bioware’s misguided hatred for the way the Jedi Order operates. Throughout KOTOR it is quite obvious that whoever the writers in that game were they had a very poor grasp on Jedi philosophies and outlooks.

        I still loved it. But there was a distinct lack of respect for the Jedi Order. They just set up all the Jedi NPCs to be self righteous jerks and it always drove me nuts. Especially considering that the Jedi in this era were actually less orthodox and rigid then the prequel movie Jedi. But Bioware couldn’t be bothered to read Tales of the Jedi I guess.

        Anyway, mini rant complete.

        • Mersadeon says:

          Well, then don’t play KOTOR II, because that one is definitely… not very “respectful” of the normal morals of Star Wars. Everything is more gray, it’s more a “Pragmatic/Idealist/” thing than “Good/Bad” (and I liked that). Someone from the Kotor II Team said, he read ALL of the expanded universe, really everything, before he started working on this game. And I think he didn’t wanted it to be just Black and White, like in most Star Wars stuff. And don’t you mention those prequels – cursed be the word “midi-chlorian”!! ;D

          (Of course, KOTOR II wasn’t made by Biowere. Wasn’t it Obsidian?)

          • eri says:

            Yeah, Obsidian made it. That’s why the writing is about ten times better than anything in Knights of the Old Republic, the characters aren’t complete archetypes, there’s subversions of player expectations rather than pandering to them, etc.

        • Gale says:

          Yeah, pretty much. The KOTOR games have a pronounced streak of cynicism regarding the Star Wars mythology. Since I’m not exactly deeply enamored with it myself, that’s probably why I like them. After all, KOTOR 2 is, in the end, about a woman who hates the very concept of The Force so much she tries to kill it.

      • eri says:

        Knights of the Old Republic? Play Planescape: Torment instead. Best RPG ever made. Touches the foundation of the human condition in the most profound of ways. You’ll thank me about 40 hours from now.

        • Awetugiw says:

          I’m not sure I’d really recommend people to play Planescape: Torment. Yes, it has an excellent story and very good dialogue. Unfortunately the combat (of which there is still quite a lot) is terrible.

          The game is mostly a good interactive novel broken up by boring and annoying bits of gameplay. Make sure that if you recommend the game to someone you warn them of this, or they may end up ragequitting after their 100th or so death.

      • Integer Man says:

        Definitely needs to go on my Amazon wishlist. Thanks – that’s one more thing going for KOTOR.

      • wtrmute says:

        Elderly ex-Jedi who left the order when he decided that he’d rather live in a shack in a dark jungle infested with ravenous monsters than put up with all the self-righteous Light/Dark nonsense for another moment.

        It’s funny you should write this, because when you manage to pry Jolee’s backstory from him, what he say is essentially that the Council told him that getting emotionally involved with the people would lead to a bad end; he gets emotionally involved with his apprentice, she turns Sith and betrays him, and kills a lot of people because he couldn’t raise a hand against her. He gets real guilty about it, and requests punishment. Then the Council says, “You’ve already felt on your flesh the consequences of not following the millennarian Code, so I guess anything we did now would be redundant. You’re absolved.” Jolee couldn’t deal with being forgiven, so he exiles himself. So I thought it was very well handled — Jolee spews hate for the Order throughout the game, and at the end you figure out that he hates them because they did the right thing. Total perspective shift.

    • eri says:

      Absolutely agree that Mordin is a fantastically-written character, and real evidence that BioWare still at least kind of know their stuff. Not only is he simply fascinating, but he isn’t confined to any of the archetypes that tend to litter BioWare games, and they’re smart enough to put him in a supporting role… as much as I love him, he’d get tiring pretty quick if he had a bigger place in the plot. It’s such a shame he’s put into a patently idiotic story and surrounded by what are mostly flat and uninteresting characters, and a nearly-as-flat player character.

  7. Mersadeon says:

    You know why they call it the “plague”? Because they are on Omega. Nobody cares about investigating the disease to give it a real name, or even to know what it is. They just want to stay uninfected, and when that’s ensured, it’s not their problem anymore. Selfish, poor people struggling for life in a world of crime – they don’t care what that disease is, they just needed a catchy name for it. ^^

    Mordin is AWESOME. That singing? Oh my god, I love him. I want to ROMANCE HIM! Sadly, Salarians aren’t really into love and sex that much. ;D
    Seriously though, Mordin is really an enjoyable and well written character. I just hope you guys also get all dialog from Legion, because when I did my playthrough, I didn’t have enough missions left to get him to talk often enough.

    Also, I never went for Carnifex. I was a pistol-character, but I really prefer a slightly higher rate of fire and more ammo. I am always too cautious. But I mostly killed through my super-tech-powers. (I love being a Tech in ME2)

    Oh, and Edit: The Illusive man? Wow, silly name. In the german version, he is called “Der Unbekannte”, which means “The Unknown” (male, single person), and it really fits. And his voice fits better in the german dub. (But sadly, again, Tali has no accent in the german version. And me and my tiny self are very, very sad about that.)

    And more Edit! Yay.
    That special power that makes you teleport? It seems just SO useless. As Shamous pointed out: It’s like a “I wanna die now” – button, even with shotguns.
    And Archangel? Man, they should make a spin-off about his missions with his team, hunting criminals of Omega. That would be… I don’t know an appropriate word for that… Awesomenestest thing in the universe. Seriously, EVERYTHING about that character was written to make him look badass.

    • guy says:

      Hey, vanguard charge is pretty good. Admittedly, I combined it with Grunt’s/Jacob’s/Legion’s loyalty power to reduce instant death.

      • Velkrin says:

        Charge and Pull work extremely well together, more so if there is no wall in the path of the mook you just sent flying off into the background.

        I actually killed the boss of Grunt’s loyalty mission that way. You can imagine how hilarious it was to watch him slowly drift off into the background.

        You should really get Shockwave though. It’s extremely useful for removing enemies from their cover, and sending random mooks flying off into the background.

      • Amnestic says:

        Don’t the Shield powers go onto your global cooldown and are pretty long? I’d have thought you’d be better just hitting your Vanguard Charge to get your shields back instead and using a different unique power.

        • guy says:

          They’re a boost that can exceed the normal and have a duration of about three times their cooldown, and the boost is enough to charge into combat, shoot a number of fools, and reach cover with confidence.

          • BanZeus says:

            If I understand the theory, Amnesic’s strategy works better for the easier difficulties where a lot of enemies don’t have armor/shield/barrier and do less damage. On hardcore or insanity a 100% shield bonus is almost compulsory for many play styles.

    • Aldowyn says:

      That does sound like it would be a better name… but you don’t like Martin Sheen? (TIM’s voice) for shame!

      +1 to playing Garrus in a spin-off. I really don’t care if it’s an iPhone game, or a free flash game (like the Dragon Age game that you could play), but I really want to do all the stuff that happens to him, including the sad ending

    • BeardedDork says:

      I actually got a bug up my butt to figure out where the word “illusive” came from, so I went to an etymology webite and looked up both Illusion and illustrate, the first thing that I saw that made me laugh was
      from L. illusionem (nom. illusio) “a mocking, jesting, irony,”
      and then the less funny and more demonstrationg that “Illusive” is actually a word albeit an extremely archaic one
      illusive
      formed in English 1670s, from stem of illusion + -ive; cf. also illusory.

      the website used was http://www.etymonline.com

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Yay its back!

    And of course the cure is magical.Mordin made it.

    And really there is no strategy with health regen.If you survive any combat,youll enter the next one with practically full power.Sure,you have bullets,but those are minor in a game where you rely mostly on your skills.

    Oh,Rutskarn,no matter how much you try,THE plague wont replace THE bees.

  9. krellen says:

    Oh man, I’d almost forgotten this game in my recent replaying of ME1. That was a nice place to be. Now I’ll need to replay ME1 again.

    (Oh darn. What a fate.)

    • Avilan says:

      I am playing through ME1 for the first time all the way through, and all I can do is think about how much more awesome it will be when I get to import my character to ME2 and play a real fun game.

      …But then we like different games.

  10. Aldowyn says:

    First time I remember seeing that fast forwarding trick, but I haven’t watched seasons 2 + 3 yet. Neat, considering it would be annoying if we had to watch all that again because someone forgot to hit F5.

    On another note: The atmosphere seems much better to me in this game, at least most of the time. What you’re doing is actually quite a bit less impressive (3/4 of the game has you killing mercenaries), but due to the new cinematic feel of the conversations and the viscera of the combat, it feels a lot more dangerous and interesting.

  11. Christopher M says:

    Mass Effect 2 also feels “smaller” than ME1. In the first game, you explored huge open spaces, interacted with dozens of people on each major world, and generally did things “epically.” This time around, you’re walking through small buildings saying small things to a small number of people.

    I don’t know – I like the increased “heft” of your actions, but I also liked the sense of scale in the first game. Would that there was a perfect compromise…

  12. Ernheim says:

    I remember having to that last fight before the clinic about 5 times, and it’s become ingrained in my memory as one of the hardest fights. Being a fragile sniper + a whole bunch of melee guys + hardest difficulty = pain.

  13. Dys says:

    Anyone have a clue why Youtube causes my pc to hang, randomly and regularly?

  14. Bit says:

    I do understand why developers go for regenerating health; not all players would like to go scavenging around for mandatory resources after every fight, or go into the next fight unfairly crippled because they performed differently up to that point than the developer expected (come on, we all screw up once in a while.) But why do you insist upon having heath regenerate in battle, especially at such a rapid pace against such tactically simple enemies with invincible cover? It never encourage a shred of interesting strategy. I guarantee you, Josh could have beaten all of those battles at a distance with just his Heavy Pistol and SMG.

    • eri says:

      Playing on Insanity actually does make tactics (mostly ammo types, weapon selection and managing cooldowns) important, as enemies are far more aggressive and also do way, way more damage. It’s also kind of painfully slow going, so I don’t think it’s for everyone.

      • Aldowyn says:

        Maybe compared to normal, but if you’re good it doesn’t take that long. Except for the parts where it takes half a dozen tries. Hey, ME is probably the game that I’m the best at – normal would just be boring now.

      • Dude says:

        The only place where the hardest difficulty level is really a pain in the ass (if you’ve played through the game once or twice and know what’s coming, where to take cover etc) is the mission where you find Legion. Hoardes of zombies (yeah, nobody tell me they’re not zombies!) and those weird blue freaks whose entire right sides are giant testicles (nobody tell me they’re sacs!) and highly limited medigel (ie, useless squadmates) = disaster if you’re not a Soldier or, you know, an Infiltrator.

  15. Another Scott says:

    I’m wondering if all these extra comments are a result of switching to youtube… The last video-service-thingy had the adds at the start which may have chased a lot of people away, or maybe it just because all the comments people would make along the old videos have been allocated here?

    • Cineris says:

      I never saw any ads on the other site, although this could be because I use AdBlock, FlashBlock, BlockBlock, etc.

      I don’t know if the viewer counts are up, but I know I’ve been watching the Mass Effect 2 videos more than I have of the other ones simply because the time to fit in a 10-15 minute video is much more manageable than an hour long plus video. I also have a YouTube account that I could use to post a comment, whereas the other site I don’t. So those could be factors.

  16. Veloxyll says:

    That has always been my problem with cover shooters and regenerating health, it means that attacks have to kill you or you can just shrug them off. Which leads to a lot of needlessly cheap bosses.

    otoh woooo for the Salarian doctor!

  17. TSED says:

    Sorry, Josh. You probably read one of my comments about how charge recharges the shields.

    In my defense, I did say “once it’s maxed out” (which makes the recharge VERY fast) and, uh, if I actually sat down and talked about it I’d mention that you still use cover.

    Think of charge as a good way to pick off small groups, and not to charge into the main field.

    EDIT:: Oh, and yeah! Next game be Jade Empire! Please? PLEASE?

    • wtrmute says:

      I think I recall Shamus talking about doing KotOR or Jade Empire this season (or was it Baldur’s Gate?), but their capture software wouldn’t record anything, so no dice, unfortunately. Maybe in the future, though.

  18. sebcw1204 says:

    i’d just like to say i really like the hacking minigame in this game, it’s quick enough to not interrupt game flow, interesting enough to not become stale easily, and it’s just the right difficulty for a repeating minigame.

  19. Zaxares says:

    Josh’s experience with the Vanguard is EXACTLY why I do not use Charge. At least, not very often. It usually sends me right into the middle of a group of hostile enemies who then gun me down before I can reach cover again. Now, I’ve seen videos of expert Vanguard players, and I agree that it is simply awe-inspiring to watch them at work, but that’s not my playstyle, so the Vanguard was always a ‘meh’ class to me.

    I also found it amusing how Mumbles managed to compel all the guys to be nice to the Batarian. XD

  20. Neil Polenske says:

    @ 7:39

    “Ludicrous speed!”

    “Sir, perhaps you should buckle up.”

    “Ah buckle this! Ludicrous speed, GO!”

    See also: The Benny Hill Theme

  21. Markus says:

    Heeey, more new Episodes. I’m almost late to them.

  22. Astrolounge says:

    You know what the 7:40 mark calls for?
    The Backtrack Song!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3utQsGyE1U

    If you guys got Paw on one of these as a guest, my head would explode with joy.

  23. Kaithan says:

    Did Josh become one with the speed force for a bit there?

  24. […] those curious, the Elmo reference was first made in episode six of the Spoiler Warning season of Mass Effect 2, about seven minutes […]

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  1. By Mass Effect 2 LP with Aldowyn Part 3 | Mythgamer on January 31, 2013 at 1:15 am

    […] those curious, the Elmo reference was first made in episode six of the Spoiler Warning season of Mass Effect 2, about seven minutes […]

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