Knights of the Old Republic EP19: Is THIS the Sexbot?

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Oct 14, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 102 comments

Link (YouTube)

Around 13 minutes or so, we meet an NPC asking us to look into the disappearance of his son. It’s the voice of Neil Ross, who to me will always be the voice of the Narrator in the Leisure Suit Larry games. I associate this voice with innuendo, sarcasm, and dick jokes. It’s very strange to hear this voice talking for three whole minutes and not making one joke about screwing.

Speaking off-the-cuff, I commented in this episode that in KOTOR, the introduction zones of Endar Spire + Taris + Dantooine would be as long as all of Mass Effect 1. And then today I started wondering how far off / reasonable / hyperbolic that guess was.

By the end of this week we’ll be on episode 21, and (spoiler) we’re going to be on Dantooine until nearly the very end. If we estimate episodes are about 25 minutes longSometimes we run long, but then subtract a couple of minutes for the credits at the end of each episode. For the purposes of simplicity, I’m going to call it a wash. then Josh will finally get to the main “open” part of the game around the 8.75 hour mark.

Spoiler Warning season one is embarrassing in its crudeness and I never encourage people to watch it, but that clocks in at around 11 hours.

So maybe I was overstating things? Except, we’ve been skipping quite a bit of content here in KOTOR. We skipped the ages-long dialog-based crime solver quest. We skipped the Romeo and Juliet thing where you have to storm some guy’s house, which is a huge maze of mines and killer robots for some reason. We skipped all but the first of the arena fights. We only played one round of Pazzak. I think we only did one of several bounties.

On the other hand, we did a good bit of optional side content in Mass Effect 1. The idea of “side content” is somewhat nebulously defined, so it would probably be hard to get a proper apples-to-apples comparison that everyone could agree on. But still, I think my statement isn’t nearly as ridiculous as it sounded at first.

On the other hand, according to How Long to Beat, the Mass Effect main story (no extras) takes around 17 hours. The fastest time on the site was 12, about an hour longer than the Spoiler Warning play through, which included side content like the Moon. Also, Josh and Randy didn’t skip dialog, and most players skip at least some of it. So I dunno.

At any rate, they don’t make ’em like they used to.

Except for Witcher 3, in which case they make ’em like they used to, only moreso.



[1] Sometimes we run long, but then subtract a couple of minutes for the credits at the end of each episode. For the purposes of simplicity, I’m going to call it a wash.

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102 thoughts on “Knights of the Old Republic EP19: Is THIS the Sexbot?

  1. Majere says:

    I mean there’s kind of a difference between asking the cops to kill someone cuz they stole your TV and doing so because they murdered your daughter for kicks.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    This song explains how that droid functions:

  3. John says:

    For a Consular, Josh doesn’t seem to use his Force powers much. I don’t know why or how that still surprises me.

    The resolution to the Sandral-Matale feud is interesting, if only because it can end at least four different ways. It’s actually possible to reconcile the two families, which is what I try to do on a Light-side run. Unfortunately, I can never quite remember which dialogue choices will do it. I’m pretty sure that you can also trigger a blood-bath, but on a Dark-side run I generally prefer the option that leaves the elder Matale alive to pay me. Oddly, the Jedi never give you any flack about this quest, no matter how many bribes you take or deaths you cause.

    1. Supahewok says:

      You need to have a maxed out Persuasion to get them to make-up, otherwise the best you can do is get the kids to run away together. Even with a fairly high Persuasion, my Guardian couldn’t get them to make up last week.

      That’s what I get for trying to finally unlock HK’s stories, which I’d never done before. Fie Repair being cross-skill for both Soldier and Guardian, fie I say! I only actually managed to get the last one at Level 17 or so, right before I couldn’t put off the Leviathan any longer.

      1. John says:

        I’ve made my own sacrifices to that end recently. I saved nearly all my skill points for the first 8 levels–and as a 10-INT Soldier, there weren’t many–to dump into Repair as a Consular at level 9. My Awareness stinks. I think I ran into every mine on Manaan this week.

      2. Atarlost says:

        It helps to start with 18 intelligence. Also get that random visor from that random bin on Kashyyyyk for something like +4 repair and Lando’s ancestor’s belt for +3. That gets you +11 repair. You can also put up force valor to hit 23 int and kill the blind dude on Taris for an otherwise useless +1 int implant to hit 24 to get +14 repair. Then you only need to invest 6 skill points cross class. And you have a minimum of 3 per level so you can easily afford to do so while still maxing awareness and persuade.

        You’re pretty bad at actually fighting, but combat in the game is pretty easy. It’s easily doable without needing more stimpacks than you find naturally. Except the part about killing the blind dude. That guy is a combat monster. Still, 8 skill points isn’t unaffordable with 18 starting int.

    2. Henson says:

      The Sandrale-Matale quest will always stick in my mind for having one of the most interesting reactive choices I’ve seen. During the final confrontation, when the two fathers are arguing, very close to being at each others’ throats, you can basically say “go ahead, kill each other, do eet”. And instead of fueling the flames, this dialogue choice makes the two fathers realize just how out of control they’ve let this situation get, and calms them down. This was a big revelation for me at the time, that the game world could react in ways other than how I intended, and that dialogue choices could be a matter of choosing an action rather than a result.

      1. Supahewok says:

        It only works like that if you don’t taunt one of them first by saying the other had killed his missing son (which is a lie, you can find out the real reason and tell the first guy beforehand but I don’t think it changes anything). Do that, and everybody dies, with the droids turning against you.

        1. Syal says:

          You say that after they take that step back.

          1. Supahewok says:

            Ah, do you? That’s even funnier then.

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well Josh is using the infinite buffs,so no need for actual in combat casting.

  4. Henson says:

    I actually disagree with Josh that Taris should have been an extended action sequence. This game really needed the time to develop its surrounding world before the player gets to Dantooine and all the Jedi stuff is put front and center. It needed the time to establish the player as a regular Joe Shmo trying to avoid the hand of the powerful Sith before turning things around and making the player not-so-regular anymore.

    Sure, the length can be annoying on repeat playthroughs, but it really does serve an important role for the story.

    1. MrGuy says:

      True, but it could have served that purpose and been half the size.

      I think Taris is a classic case of not deciding on the purpose of an area before building it. It could have been a sort of railroady tutorial world that introduced some of the plot and setting elements, as well as some of the combat mechanics. It could have been an open world-y quest hub. It tried to be both, and consequently doesn’t (IMO) do either well.

      There’s some side content, but most of the quests are required, and given the main companions (Carth, Bastilla) you’re sort of shoved down the “light side” path to resolve them. There’s some setting establishing, but it wears out its welcome well before we’re able to leave. A quest hub where you have to do 90% of the quests isn’t “open world.” It’s the illusion of open world.

      1. Zombie says:

        Whats really sad about Taris is you can see places where they could cut stuff without having to sacrifice much. Like, why do we have to do things for the Swoop gang? Why couldn’t it have just been us getting to the pods, finding out the Sith took Bastila, rescuing her with Mission and Whats-his-face, and the stealing Davik’s ship?

        But whatever, maybe that just how things rolled in early 2000s RPG developers heads.

    2. Chauzuvoy says:

      I also feel like Taris serves as a really nice contrast to the opening of ME3. In Mass Effect 3 we’re instantly thrown into Earth being under attack before we have a chance to learn anything about it beyond “It’s Earth!” In KotOR we have hours of time getting to know Taris. It’s not exactly idyllic (which is also appreciated), but it’s someplace we’ve invested in. So when Malak blows it to hell, it actually matters to you. Especially the first time through the game where you’re not expecting it as much.

      KotOR goes a little bit overboard, but I think that’s more because of the mechanics. You don’t get your jedi powers until Dantooine, so the more you level up on Taris the less cool jedi stuff you get. But levelling up and building your character is one of the more interesting parts of an RPG, and NOT doing it means you’re statistically weaker and have fewer options, which makes the game harder and less interesting. And when it’s not your first playthrough you know you’re going to get cool jedi stuff once you get off Taris, so you really want to get through it and get on to the more interesting parts of the game. From a narrative perspective, having Taris be a big developed part of the game works better. But from a mechanical perspective, there’s so much stuff locked away until you’re through Taris that it’s aggravating.

      1. Alexander The 1st says:

        Incidentally, Taris works well because the devastation to it happens early, but not *too* early. Because when you mentioned this, it reminds me of how at the end of the game, Malak decides to pull an ME3 by trying to get you to care about the people at Dantooine – two planets after you get told about its fate off-screen, and a full two planets before that when you last interacted with that planet.

        “Do you recognize any of these people?” – No, no I don’t – because it’s been ages since I dealt with them, none of their names are portrayed, and they look like quite generic models of random NPCs on that planet. *And* I wrote them off two planets ago.

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Sure, the length can be annoying on repeat playthroughs, but it really does serve an important role for the story.

      This whole notion that all the games should be tailored to repeated playthroughs is so backwards.Yes some games should be made with that in mind,but not all of them.Not even the majority of them.Taris works very well on your first go,and thats completely fine.

      1. MrGuy says:

        Your general point is spot on.

        That said, if this ISN’T a game meant for repeat playthroughs, what is?

        The whole idea of the force having a lightside/darkside dichotomy implies to me that players will expect to do at least 2 runs – one light and one dark. And some might do a third seeing what happens if you stay in the middle.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          That said, if this ISN'T a game meant for repeat playthroughs, what is?


          As for this,and many other crpgs:Just because a game is designed to have multiple ways to go through them does not mean that it was designed so that majority of players have to see all of those ways.

          1. Thomas says:

            In the specific case of KOTOR though, it does feel like they were making it to play twice. I don’t think that’s the most interesting choice but I think it’s the one they made here.

  5. James says:

    So Mumbles you can ride the manta-rays in SWTOR on Alderaann and some other planets. its cool the first few times but they are little more then taxis and after the 1200’s time going from A to B it gets ooollldddd.

    1. Mumbles says:

      Awwww. Well I still think it’d be fun to make a manta-ranch.

      1. MrGuy says:

        Full of mantalorians?

  6. SlothfulCobra says:

    There was all sorts of Sith before this game, some people talk to you about Exar Kun, who had his own big ol’ Sith thing going on, including building the temples on Yavin IV. I think he had his own horde of mandalorians or something. He was only a couple decades before this game, and if you go look into his story (which I really don’t think is worth the effort) there’s all sorts of Sith artifacts that he runs into that are far older than him. Even though the old republic is the furthest back into the timeline in the Star Wars setting that anyone’s ever gone, there’s still a million bits and pieces referencing things that happened long before.

    I kind of like how there’s all these differing stories that don’t really line up with each other in the history of Star Wars. It gives everything a real lived-in feel, because all of the history’s so much of a mess, nothing really fits perfectly, and it’s all just a bunch of myths and legends that you can’t take too seriously. There’s a similar feeling with Marvel’s cosmic setting, where different writers have pulled the whole trick of revealing some ancient thing that is at the core of existence so many times that it’s hopeless to put together a complete picture of how the Marvel universe is structured, so you just have to roll with things as they come.

    1. James says:

      One of the stories is of the origins of the Emperor. (theres been a afew but this is the one featured in Bioware’s Works)

      So the first “Sith Empire” was ruled by a man named Marka Ragnos he lead the Empire into a “golden age” but eventually he died and was ultimately replaced with Naga Sadow who invaded the Republic, because thats what the Empire does ofc. The Empire predictably lost (it was kinda in a schism at the time aswell)

      The Empire retreated back to the outer rim and the remaining Lords of the Sith were offered sanctuary on a planet run by a Lord who had remained out of the war. and that Lord then promptly killed everyone and everything on the planet, and ripped the very force from it in a ritual. i mean everything, plants, people, animals. and became functionally immortal and invincible. and then traveled to Drummond Kas to rebuild the Empire. this took along time.

      KoTOR Relevent Spoilers

      Fast Foward while The Emperor convinces the Mandalorians to attack the Republic to “test its strength”. later he is encountered by Reven and Malek who find him, and the Empire on Drummond Kass he dominates them and has them search for the Star Forge to build an army to attack the Republic (Reven also planned to backstab him later in order to take control).

      Scroll Foward 300 years or so after KoTOR and the Empire begins its invasion of the Republic and the events of SWTOR reclaiming Korriban their ancestral homeworld amongst others.

      1. Thomas says:

        Urgh, not a fan of that spoiler text bit. It makes the war so much less interesting if it wasn’t generated by internal conflict and it makes the villains much less interesting if they weren’t incontrol of their actions.

        It removes all that PTSD-dark side undertones that people were talking about previously.

        And the thing is, the Sith Emperor manipulating the Mandalorian Wars is enough! In fact that makes him cooler, because if the Jedi Civil War was an inevitable economic, social and philosophical outcome of the Jedi fighting in the Mandalorian Wars then it means the Mandalorian Wars were a Xanatos gambit which fulfilled the emperors purpose if the Jedi did or didn’t fight. It allow him to take credit for the Civil War whilst retaining the independence and coolness of the Civil War villains.

        1. Chauzuvoy says:

          It also retcons one of the most interesting parts of KotOR2. That game talked about a hidden Sith empire beyond the unknown regions, and that Revan and Malak found the edges of it in the Mandalorian wars, and even suggests that the Mandalorians were manipulated by the Sith. And once he learned that, he did whatever was possible to make sure the Republic could survive the inevitable conflict. Finding the Star Forge and invading the republic in the Jedi Civil War wasn’t the result of the corrupting influence of the Dark Side, it was what Revan decided was necessary to stop the real Sith from destroying the Republic, which Revan decided was too weak to survive even the far less threatening Mandalorians. So he decided to toughen them up.

          Admittedly a lot of that is tied in with the themes of the second game about being forged through conflict and finding truth in adversity. But even if you drop the subtext (in other words, don’t bring back the character of Kreia) it’s still a really cool concept for the character. And they butchered it. And then they did even worse to the Exile. Just… SWTOR had some interesting story beats, but the places where it tried to connect with the original games were just universally awful.

          1. Thomas says:

            And alternately, keeping the dark side idea intact, Revan found the edges of the Sith empire during the Mandalorian wars and then, already being corrupted himself by the greatest corrupting factor of war, began to fight the Jedi Civil War in a deliberately brutal way to force the corruption of other Jedi and gather himself an army to deal with the larger Sith threat.

            Both interpretations being supported by KOTOR2 because KOTOR2 is a cool enough game to have multiple ambiguous interpretations which are all cool.

            And all of them are such much cooler than what SWTOR did.

      2. “…and became functionally immortal and invincible…”

        So where is this Sith Lord now?

        1. James says:

          During KoTOR? on Drummond Kass rebuilding and presumably planning his kill all life in the galaxy plan.

          1. Ah, I needed a name to look up.

            According to Wookiepedia, Lord Vitiate (aka the Sith Emperor) was eventually killed. I was asking because of the whole “immortal” business. It sounds kind of like he became a Sauron-type villain which set him up for defeat if key rituals were disrupted. Why do they always do that to themselves? It’s almost like a cry for help…

            1. djw says:

              Hey, Sauron almost pulled it off, if it hadn’t been for those meddling halflings…

            2. djw says:

              Also, according to Wikipedia he ruled for over 1300 years, which means that the ritual gave him an extra 1200 or so years over most mere mortals. I’m not sure you can really call a ritual that allowed him to die over a thousand years after his natural life span a “weak point”.

              1. Pyrrhic Gades says:

                In the words of the eternal Homer, “If he’s so smart, how come he’s dead”.

              2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                As elans dad puts it:“What do you think hes going to remember as he lays dying?That he got to live like a god for three decades!”People always tend to focus on that last moment instead of the long LOOOOONG time before that.

                1. MichaelGC says:

                  Like it!

                  There is no end. There’s just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

                  Words to live by.

                  1. Metal C0Mmander says:

                    Uh… You might want to finish the end of that order of the stick storyline. By the end they kind of changed the way we’re supposed to see that character.

                    1. MichaelGC says:

                      But there is no end! :D

                      To be honest I don’t know the Stick story at all – I’m pretty sure the only ones I’ve read have been via Luciferian links! I’m just a big fan of that sentiment in my blockquote – divorced of all context, really, as I reckon it has extremely wide applicability. (There’s a Discworld novel which makes the same point in the other direction – i.e. talking about how there is no real beginning; just a place where a storyteller chooses to start. Naturally this is at the start of the book! Can’t for the life of me remember which one it was though.)

                    2. djw says:

                      The rest of the story calls into question his judgement regarding his importance to Elan’s story line, but it doesn’t negate his earlier words of evil wisdom.

              3. I was mostly curious because if someone is declared “immortal” and hasn’t made much of an appearance to where they’re commonly known among the major players in a given fictional universe, I want to see the reason why they’re out of the picture. I figured “dead” or “sleeping” were the two major choices.

                And mathematically, it is a weakness, as 1,300 years is practically nothing when compared to infinite years.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Being immortal doesnt have to mean living for infinite years,but rather just as long as universe itself.And depending on when you reach immortality,1300 years may just get you to that point.

                  1. Thomas says:

                    If I’m born 10 years before the end of the universe, I’m going to tell everyone that I invented immortality inducing breakfast cereal.

                2. MrGuy says:

                  This also depends on what “immortal” means in your particular flavor of lore.

                  Some use the word to mean “I can never die.”
                  Others mean simply “I do not have a fixed life span, and so will never die of natural causes.”

                  In Tolkien, elves do not die of natural causes and do not age, but can be killed (for example, in battle). They are in some senses immortal, but not deathless.

                3. djw says:

                  I’m sure that he wanted infinity, and was in fact attempting to get that long a life, but other factors intervened to prevent that. The ritual enabled him to make a play for infinite life and power, so to call it a weakness seems a bit off.

            3. lurkey says:

              Nah, Darth Cthulhu is alive, well and fully prepared for the next expansion, having Nihilus’d a planet. Jedi Knight Mary Sue simply cut off one of its appendages so to speak, aka “Emperor’s Voice”.

      3. SlothfulCobra says:

        At first I was really ticked off that Bioware would cap off the series with an MMO, because I just don’t play those, but I have since deduced that it’s just as well, because a lot of the stuff I hear about the continued story is dumb.

        Especially how they retconned a lot of the KOTOR games, along with the comic, and they totally threw out the window all the tip-toeing around continuity that KOTOR 2 did. Blehg.

        1. I figured there was no way the game could be as cool as the cinematics they were releasing.

        2. Add the milking of Revan and by not playing it you may have saved some problems from throwing your PC out of the window.

    2. Josh says:

      Yes, but I was specifically discussing the Sith in the context of the development of this game’s canon. As I said, they established this other “hidden” Sith Empire working in the shadows in KOTOR 2, and then Bioware picked that up and ran it right into the ground with the atrocious Revan novel (incidentally written by Drew Karpyshyn) and all of the Revan nonsense in SWTOR.

      But when this game was being made it didn’t seem they ever had a clear idea of why Revan turned to the dark side (aside from, hey it’s the Force and it turns people evil for no reason because that’s how this universe works!) so the mention of the Sith “convincing the Mandalorians to attack the Republic” is a very strange non-sequitur that comes off almost like a continuity error; like someone forgot that the progression went “Mandalorians -> Sith.”

      Like I said, it could also have been a really misplaced reference to the Mandalorians fighting alongside the Sith in Tales of the Jedi (the series with Exar Kun), but that doesn’t seem to fit either. Or perhaps Bioware really did work out the idea that there was another, separate Sith Empire and then just failed to actually work it into the story aside from a few obtuse references.

      It makes sense in the broader canon now that we have KOTOR 2 and so on, but at the time you’d think your character would have interrupted and said “Wait what? What Sith are you talking about? They weren’t around!”

      1. Since the name of the thing is about to appear in the video I won’t strike anything out but there’s a chance some take this as spoiler.

        I always thought the turn to evil was made by the Star Forge. Toward the end game they explain it feeds off the dark side and that it empowers it to those using it. The story was then that Revan and Malak go on the war, rebelling against the council. Fight it, find the Sith Empire, learn about the Infinite Empire and Star Forge, go looking for it as the weapon to fight the Sith, they get corrupted and turn against the Republic. Then the rest of the stuff happens.

        What is not clear is when did they begin the search for the Star Forge. They vanish right at the end of the war by taking the fleet away and they begin the search at Dantooine. That should not happen after the end of the war, they would be relieved from the command of the fleet or their presence in Dantooine should have been known as last known location at least (being right by the council they should have sensed them). It doesn’t make sense if they do that from the start and it should be near the end, when the war hasn’t finished but they’ve already learned of the Sith. The bit I don’t quite get is that “If we go in there’s no way back”, which makes it sound like the definitive act of defiance to the Council, that would not have much sense as joining the war was it, or like it’s per se a step into the Dark Side. Considering the mission doesn’t give Dark Side points, I would say that from where they learned about the Star Forge they knew already it had a big corrupting power and would end in the Dark Side. Why is it the point of no return when they’re still a way from finding the Star Forge? I’d say because once they’ve unlocked the first Star Map they know following it to the end is an easy task and a temptation that meets their ends too well to ever want to resist it. It is before they know if there’s actually a thread to follow that they can decide to turn away with the thought there’s nothing to follow after all those years.

  7. Trickquestion says:

    Mandalorian artwork is actually a thing, though it was introduced after the canon reset by the Clone Wars cartoon. It’s a little blink and you’ll miss it scenery detail during the Mandalore arc but they established a consistent artstyle.

    1. Mumbles says:

      I really dig this. It’s almost art deco mixed with Dragon Agey art.

      1. LOL. It’s the Gernika by Picasso people rearranged with a Mandalorian added and “los fusilamientos del 3 de Mayo” by Goya in which they set the Gernika’s characters as the shot people and Mandalorians as the shooters in a style which name I can’t get in my head.

        Also, in the second, one of the Mandalorians is using the shooting rod from an X-Wing.

        That must be a joke, right? XD

        1. MichaelGC says:

          Blimey, well spotted! :D The art style – it’s not ‘cubism’, is it?

    2. SlothfulCobra says:


  8. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a brain surgeon training montage where with each transition more and more corpses piled up in the corner?

    1. MrGuy says:

      Just watch this on fast forward…

  9. John says:

    The very best part about this episode is when Shamus drops his voice to a whisper in order to talk about–SHH!–the sex droid. And he keeps doing it!

  10. Someonething says:

    Neil Ross voiced the Mass Effect Codex.

  11. Thomas says:

    You can totally seriously kill that Jedi council dude and steal his powers in KOTOR2 Mumbles :) Well okay not that guy, but you can do it to the condescending council dude, Vrook, and two of his friends.

    Not that I’m still trying to sell KOTOR2 to people of course ;)

    1. SlothfulCobra says:

      It’s weird how both Zhar and the Chronicler never show up when Kotor 2 talks about the council. And then there are all these other dudes all of a sudden. Vandar and Vrook are the only ones who made the cut, and Vandar gets killed offscreen.

      1. Supahewok says:

        Its stated in KotoR 2 that Vandar, Zhar, and the Chronicler were killed in the massacre on Katarr. Strangely enough, Deesra, the guy who tells you about Terentateks, survives, and comes out of hiding sometime after KotoR2 to rejoin the new Jedi Order.

        Zhar also gets name-dropped by Kreia a bit as one of Revan’s teachers, with a hint of scorn in her voice.

        Why KotoR 2 introduced the 4 new Jedi Masters (which includes Atris and the Jedi found dead on Korriban, who was supposed to be part of the game but had her bit cut when the dev cycle was chopped) over the old ones, I don’t quite know. Possibly, each of the masters were supposed to personify a failing of the old Order, and Obsidian didn’t feel like they had enough to work with for any of the old masters except for Vrook in that regard.

        Or maybe they just couldn’t get the voice actors back or something. Logistics ultimately trumps art in any commercial endeavor.

        1. John says:

          The Council in the first game is just the guys who run Dantooine. They’ll tell you that if you say “I thought the Jedi Council was on Coruscant” when you meet them. The Council in the second game is the real actual Jedi Council.

    2. Mumbles says:


  12. MrGuy says:

    You want the puns? You want the puns? You can’t handelorian the puns!

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      You cant force puns like that.They end up being fundamentally weak and quickly decay into nothingness.

  13. You become a Jedi even faster than one rises through the power structure of vampires in Bloodlines.

    Unless they changed the RPG rules somewhere, the only way to get as many powers & buffs as you get in VtM:Bloodlines so quickly is to commit massive amounts of diablerie (consuming vampires far more elder than your character).

    1. venatus says:

      I’m not the most familiar with the rules so I could be off base, but I thought that the going theory was that in bloodlines your sire was a much lower generation then most vampires meaning that your blood in the game is a lot more potent then most and giving you a bit of a shortcut to power.

      it’s still a stretch but video games always tend to let characters power up faster then the table top counter parts.

      1. Dovius says:

        It’s also possible that Caine is lowering your generation throughout the game, seeing as you run into him a bunch of times.

        1. djw says:

          Well, you run into a taxi cab driver who may or may not be Caine.

      2. krellen says:

        The PC in Bloodlines is 8th Generation, meaning the Sire was 7th. (The PC has a Blood Pool of 15, which is right in-line for being 8th Generation.)

        It’s likely that LaCroix is only 9th Gen, and had the Sire killed because having a 7th Gen vampire in his domain was too great a risk, and violating some oft-neglected part of the Traditions of the Camarilla was his excuse to get rid of them. (And of course, being 7th Gen, the Sire thought themselves above LaCroix’s petty principality.)

        There exist rules in the LARP version of VtM for “maturing” of blood – recently Embraced vampires cannot deliver any benefit from being Diablerised, nor can they themselves Embrace. The tabletop rules dispense with this because it assumes PCs have been vampires for a few years before play begins, but Bloodlines starts literally the night after the Embrace, so this could easily explain the rapid growth of PC power (as their blood “matures”), the extremely low-starting level of the PC, and the ending (at least the non-LaCroix endings where you are suddenly immune to his Dominate.)

        1. djw says:

          Been a while since I played, but I thought that you were stuck with only 10 points of blood in Bloodlines. Don’t the 8th gen vamps get 15?

          1. krellen says:

            If you play again and count, you’ll note the PC in Bloodlines has 15 blood points.

  14. Shamus (on homes built into hills): “It’s a cool look and it gives it a kind of outer-space feel, it’s built into the hill and bits of it stick up out of it!”

    Please tell me more about your theory that hobbits are from outer space. :)

  15. Viktor says:

    Mumbles, there is DEFINITELY Mandalorian art. Karen Traviss introduced battle chants and poetry(boring), meanwhile the Star Wars Rebels cartoons has a teenage Mandalorian who’s a graffiti artist/explosives expert. She tags things with the Rebel Alliance symbol and then when stormtroopers investigate, they symbol explodes. Because she’s the absolute best.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Just because a tribe is focused only on war doesnt mean they cant have great music:

  16. hborrgg says:

    Aww, did you earn dark side points for actually trying to get paid for all the nonsense you have to do?

  17. p_Johhnston says:

    I can get through a Mass Effect one play through in about eight hours doing 100% completion (or very close). Once you know the game pretty well it’s surprising how quick you can blow through it. The beginning area’s of Kotor take me a lot longer then that. That being said I didn’t really speed run them. All in all I do think Mass Effect is longer for an average play through by an average person, but not by as much as most people would think.

  18. Warclam says:

    Wow, you seriously can’t do anything to help the droid? Get it some robo-therapy or something?

    1. Metal C0Mmander says:

      Ah, robo-therapy! You’re a funny guy. Like Star Wars has therapy beside the Jedi and Sith cult like teachings.

      To precise I don’t know if Star Wars does have actual therapy it just looks to me like the kind of setting that wouldn’t.

      1. Syal says:

        That was Star Wars therapy.

        1. Metal C0Mmander says:

          So my point still stand. Robots aren’t force sensitive and thus can’t receive this kind of treatment for their mental illnesses.

      2. djw says:

        Robo Therapy = Mind Wipe in Star Wars.

  19. Joe says:

    Shamus, as a left-hander, I always use ambidexterous mice. I move the mouse from one hand to the other depending on what I’m doing. Games are usually played with the right, but some I can play with the left. It’s not confusing with enough practice.

    1. SpiritBearr says:

      I just use a right handed mouse… I think I just realized why I suck at FPSs on PC… And RTSs.. and MOBAs…and can’t draw with a mouse… I think I need to look into this.

    2. modus0 says:

      I learned to use a computer at school in the 80’s (before the awesomeness of being a Lefty was truly recognized), and everything was set up for the more numerous Right-handed people, so I just go used to having the mouse to the right of the keyboard, and using it right-handed.

      Though I have had a few occasions to switch, which felt weird due to the unfamiliarity. If I did it more, I’m sure I’d get comfortable with it.

      But then, I also broke my left wrist at age 12, and had to learn how to do everything I normally did left-handed with my right hand, so I’m more ambidextrous now (unless you want legible writing, I stopped using my right hand for that after I got my cast off).

      1. Trix2000 says:

        I had a similar situation growing up, though in the 90s rather than the 80s. Pretty much every mouse I encountered was on the right side, so I got used to using it that way.

        At this point, trying to use a mouse left-handed is actually really weird for me. Which is strange because I’ve always written left-handed.

  20. silver Harloe says:

    You Star Wars people are ever so luxurious in your whole “there was some canon, then it wasn’t canon, but we’re not sure how much of it wasn’t canon” positions.

    Star Trek people are completely used to the idea that novels and spin-off media don’t count. The Animated Series, made by Gene Roddenberry himself and featuring the original actors in the voices? Never happened. All the Star Trek novels: not a single solitary one of them was ever canon. Even the novels *based on movies* had additional details that were contradicted by later movies. Never-freaking-mind if you were into Star Trek based games like Star Fleet Battles or the FASA Star Trek RPG or any of the video games.

    The whole idea that secondary and tertiary products could even *start* to be considered canonical is very Star Warsy. All the things I thought were canon were destroyed in the early 80s. We won’t even comment on how the 2009 movie made literally *every* *single* *piece* of Star Trek media beforehand not happen (except, presumably, ‘Enterprise’, but that show was written off as non-canon virtually the instant it aired)

    Also: up hill. both ways. in the snow. Kids these days

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yeah but even if you look at just the core things as the series and movies,you still end up with canon that goes all over the place.

    2. Spammy says:

      Star Trek 2009 didn’t so much throw away the Star Trek canon as much as split it into two timelines, at least from what I heard. If I remember right, Star Trek Online started to run plot arcs in the prime timeline set after the Space Doom Wave destroys Romulus.

      Although Into Darkness seems to have made the alternate timeline diverge from the main one with events happening differently in the alternate timeline before the two diverged. I don’t remember the details but I remember some things about Khan not seeming to line up with his history.

      1. Matt Downie says:

        Original Star Trek timeline:

        “1996: Having cost the lives of over thirty million Humans, the Eugenics Wars, brought about in 1993 by a group of genetically-engineered “supermen” lead by Khan Noonien Singh, come to an end with their defeat.”

        So according to Star Trek TOS, our real lives aren’t canon.

        1. Thomas says:

          Whereas they are actually canon in Star Wars right? =D It takes place along time ago in a galaxy far far away which means it specifically exists in reference to our galaxy and our time.

          So we’re all part of the Star Wars canon, including this comment, George Lucas and the Christmas Holiday Special.

          That’s right, the Star Wars films are canon.

      2. Corsair says:

        From what I can understand all the crazy shit in Into Darkness was supposed to be a result of the butterfly effect from the destruction of the U.S.S. Kelvin – it seems to have essentially been The Battle of Wolf 359, 100 years early in terms of its effect on the Federation and the Alpha Quadrant.

  21. Zaxares says:

    Question. Is there possibly some technological reason why KotOR (and also the classic Bioware RPGs like Baldur’s Gate) had the whole “You must gather your party before venturing forth?” In later games, it might have been stuck in as a “Hey guys! Remember when you had to do this in games from your childhood? Doesn’t that make you feel nostalgic?”, but could there actually have been a legitimate programming reason to put that check in the early games?

    1. Matt Downie says:

      There technological reasons for not having the party split across different zones acting independently, and ‘realism’ reasons for not having people teleporting – so they came up with this rather poor solution.

      1. Zekiel says:

        Of possible interest:

        1) In Planescape Torment you trigger an area transition just by getting a single party member to the edge of a screen – all your party then transition, even if the others are miles away from the edge of the screen. This means you can sneak someone with high stealth through an area and take your whole party with you – or just run someone with high constitution and regeneration past a load of bad guys to get to the next area. Presumably therefore the check in other Infinity Engine games (like BG) was to prevent this kind of cheesing.

        2) In Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2 you can often have your party split across different levels of a house, even though you can’t see them all on-screen at once. Selecting a party member jumps you to their screen. (It is a minor source of annoyance to me that spiritual successor Pillars of Eternity, made with technology 15 years more advanced and running on far superior hardware, cannot do this.)

  22. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I suspect the thing with having to gather your party is to prevent abusing stealth as much as it is to prevent escaping from a combat gone sour.

  23. Pyrrhic Gades says:

    On the gathering the party thing before moving to a zone: The reason seemed obvious the first time I encountered it. It is so you don’t end up stealthing through an entire area with one guy.

    So it’s just another way to make stealth useless.

  24. Will Riker says:

    Wait, Chris, you’re a lapsed hipster? Does that mean you were a hipster before it was cool?

    1. MichaelGC says:

      I’m pretty sure there’s a paradox there somewhere! Either that or he now both is and is not a hipster. A Heisenbipster.

  25. skulgun says:

    It’s interesting the shift in RPGs between being able to attack anyone you want from Baldur’s Gate, and if you break the game too bad; to having combat only availiable when the game scripts you to. I suppose it’s easier for scripting, and the Jedi council probably doesn’t even have character attributes connected to their models.

    There’s a quest in Pillars of Eternity where you have to settle a dispute between two sentient beasts about who gets to be the chief of a hunter clan. You never get them to fight each other, so it ends up you have to kill one or the other. After that, there is no scripted option to kill both- but the game recognizes if you choose to do that anyway.

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