Knights of the Old Republic EP22: DJ Jedi La Forge

By Shamus
on Oct 21, 2015
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

139 comments


Link (YouTube)

Waaaugh ga graaaahu awagh gr gruuuh. Grah wuuuuuuhhh rowr. Graaaahu awagh rowr grah. Woough gruh aowu gruh gruh wuuuuuuhhh! Awagh rowr grah awagh groogh gruuuh rowr grah. Wuuuuuuhhh woough gruh aowu gruh gruh ngooooow. Hgaaaooowuh graaaahu awagh gruh gruuuh ngow awagh nguh wuuuuuuhhh awagh. Graaaahu ga graaaahu awagh groh gruuuh wuuuuuuhhh awagh rowr grah.

Translated:

These Wookie audio samples are too long.

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Footnotes:



A Hundred!2019There are 139 comments here. I really hope you like reading.

From the Archives:

  1. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Yeah I’m not getting the “whiny Mission” thing either. She’s the opposite of that upper middle class suburban emo teen stereotype. She’s got plenty of solid reasons to be whiny and angsty and yet she isn’t.

    Probably the only person in the crew less whiny than her is HK-47 who is basically maxing out Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs on this mission. Even Jolee Bindo complains more than her.

    Speaking of Jolee and HK, I’m a little disappointed. Its easier to grab HK and then head over to Kashyyk than the other way around. It takes all of five minutes assuming you have the money (and these days, I just cheat and hack myself a little extra so I can go ahead and get him, if I don’t already have enough for some reason.)

    And yes, in Dragon Age Origins, if you give money to the homeless elf, more of his buddies keep showing up. I’ve played the game through at least 6 or 7 times and I give him the money every time. Its funny and given the state of the Alienage I kind of feel like I deserve to be fleeced.

    In KOTOR 2, the homeless guy gets shanked specifically because you gave him money (which makes him a target for others).

  2. Hector says:

    Kashyyyk has a very strange format. I also just played this one on my pc. It’s fairly easy to do some 90% of the content in a single take. The other 10% is easily and accidentally permanently cancelled, which is too bad because it’s both useful and fun. While the game makes some changes to the world – which I like – it can also some unnecessary changes that hurt the player, and which could easily have been avoided.

    It’s also probably the single dullest zone in the game. The Shadowlands is ok, but it feels like it was only half done. There’s almost no life here, the dominating colors are brown and grey, and it feels like the concept of a savage predator-prey jungle was just completely forgotten. It’s a minor theme in the quests here but not really well expressed.

    • Benjamin Hilton says:

      I know what you mean. I thought it would be a great idea to wait until I was on my way out to finish the indentured trader quest so I wasn’t running back and forth for no reason. Needless to say, that didn’t work out to well.

      • That gets me everytime. I find the android, I scavenge his memory core, then I think “bleh, running back and back again is too long” and when I’m thinking “Yay! This time I’ll get this quest done, I don’t know why I never complete this” I find the traders gone/killed by wookiees, “Oh, damnit! That was why.”

        • Hector says:

          There’s another weird nuisance there as well – specifically, that there’s a quest you can still do later, one of which is almost certainly not unlocked when you first go to Kashyyyk unless you’ve done stuff in a weird order or because you know about it in advance. So you land at the nigh-empty dock, run through the empty tree bridges, then go down for that one quest, do it, run BACK through the whole affair, take off, and leave.

          I respect a smaller stage, but this planet needed a little more fleshing out. Also, the linear design was probably mandated by the limitations of technology at the time but desperately need some openness. Had it been the same size, but more spread out and perhaps with a couple entrance.exit points, the Shadowlands would have been a much more interesting stage., And adding just one or two more small quests along the way would have gone over very well.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          I didn’t even know you were supposed to be able to do that. I just assumed you were always supposed to come back and find they’d been killed or kill them yourself.

      • John says:

        There’s a second quest on Kashyyyk with a similar problem, which triggers when you loot a certain Wookie corpse in the Shadowlands. To complete the quest, you have to talk to a specific Wookie in the village, but if you carry out Chundarr’s orders he kicks you out of the village and Czerka guards won’t let you back in. On the other hand, carrying out Chundarr’s orders will allow you to complete the quest with Eli and Matton.

    • manofsteles says:

      I really understand you’re feeling that Kashyyk was half-done; but I still can’t pinpoint if the planet feels too small, or if the planetary quest itself feels half-done.

      The wookiee compound is really small and most of it is either empty or monotonous, with the tree passages being just as boring as a regular cave.

      With the planetary quest, it feels as if a lot of potential options were left out, possibly due to time? It feels weird that you can only side with Zalbaar’s brother or his father, with really no other options or dilemmas.

      No option to undermine both of them in favor of Zalbaar himself, no option to reveal yourself as Revan and call in an invasion of Sith loyalists, and no option to simply kill anyone and everyone, Zalbaar and Mission included.

  3. MichaelGC says:

    I don’t want to be that Wookie but there’re four As in ‘hgaaaaooowuh’.

  4. In this part I was crkacked up by the fact when the wookiees talk with all their grunting and growling, the text is something like “He attacked with his claws. GROWL that’s most dishonourable. grrrrr.”
    Mission’s quest happens in Tatooine, Canderous’ is in Tatooine, Bastila’s is in Tatooine, Carth’s in Korriban, Bindo has a friend in Manaan. The order of planets is designed for seems Kashyyyk – Manaan – Korriban – Tatooine.
    I don’t know where’s Juhani because I’ve never used her or talked to her; in the first play through she felt in the uncanny valley, like she’s too human like to see an alien but has just enough alien attributes to not be human, in the second I didn’t get that uncanny valley feel, but then it was the voice, which accent I kinda liked but hated, in the others I wanted to complete this or that character personal quest, in the current, when I planned to do it, because a mod I installed seems to have broken her conversations.

    • djw says:

      I think her quest wraps up: when a bounty hunter or slaver (or some such) shows up and you kill them (or sell Juhani to them). This (I *think*) can happen on any planet after you trigger it, and usually occurs in the landing area right after you leave the ship.

      • ehlijen says:

        Not quite. You meet the guy first by leaving the ship (like most of the quest triggers) and he leaves. To actually trigger the last part of the quest, you need to return to the ship via fast travel (there is no other way to trigger it to my knowledge). This has always ended up being on Manaan for me (I always ended up meeting him first there), I don’t know if it can trigger elsewhere.

    • John says:

      There are certain areas on each planet that can trigger companion quests. They’re usually near where you parked your ship. Once you’ve had enough conversations with a particular companion, you walk through a trigger area with that companion in the party and–lo and behold–the quest triggers. As best I can tell, the areas are:

      Dantooine: right outside the ship
      Tatooine: about half-way between the ship and the door to Anchorhead
      Kashyyyk: about half-way between the Czerka offices and the door to the walkway
      Korriban: by the guard station near the ship
      Manaan: in the long hallway outside the docking area

  5. Mike S. says:

    Not directly related to the episode, but I thought it was interesting in the context of KotOR (and of at least academic interest to silent protagonist fans): the latest upgrade to SWTOR includes a bunch of companion storylines using what they’re calling the “Classic conversation format”: Companion sidequests done in an explicitly KotOR style, right down to the way that dialog is handled.

    (I guess we can’t embed images here, but this is what it looks like.)

    I haven’t played it and have no idea how well it’s implemented. But honestly, I never expected Bioware to return to that format for anything. And the justification for using it is not unfamiliar: “The classic conversation format allows us to give you a much wider array of choices and potential outcomes, as well as more specific, complex, and subtle character reactions to your choices.” More details at their developer blog.

    Whether it’s possible to square the circle of attracting old-school single-player RPG fans to an MMO, I don’t know. Likewise I have no idea what MMO players who never encountered this style of play will make of it. But it at least strikes me as a laudable willingness to experiment with their format, and to try to attract people interested in the story side of the game.

    • djw says:

      Swtor has basically been a single player MMO all along though.

      If you start with Dragon Age Inquisition and turn the “MMO continuum knob” a little bit towards the MMO side of things you end up with Swtor. The games actually feel pretty similar, except that you have zone chat in Swtor.

      • James says:

        and the game-play is better, Inquizitions game play is MMO Lite, you get 8 slots on your quick bar and thats it, fuck you game i am a lvl 30 mage, i have like 15 spells available let me use them jesus.

        • djw says:

          I can barely map all of my Swtor abilities to the keys near wsad + the 12 number keys on my mouse (including a shift modifier). I like it this way, but I can see how it might be a bit much for some.

          I bet if Swtor came out today instead of three years ago you would just get 8 abilities for that too.

          • StashAugustine says:

            I think you could definitely cut SWTOR keys down, but eight seems rather low for the way the game works. That said there’s a lot of improvement you could make if you weren’t married to an MMO interface and forced to use real-time.

            • djw says:

              My point was that if they built Swtor today the abilities would be structured more like other games in the genre (Guild Wars 2, ESO, Wildstar, Dragon Age Inquisition) to force trade offs based on which abilities you can actually activate.

              I like the way Elder Scrolls Online did this (I’m sure others will disagree) where you can learn almost any ability in the game, but only put 5 regular abilities and an ultimate on your bar at a time. You get the flexibility to change out your abilities and your armor to switch from tank to dps or heals out of combat as needed.

              That said, I also like having crap tons of abilities available, provided I can remember the hotkey for *rarely used ability 53*.

              • MichaelGC says:

                Does that one summon a friendly VW Beetle?

              • James says:

                if inquisition was more like GW2 and i could change up skills on the fly, say i had thunder magic on, but run into a thunder elemental and i want to change to fire to deal with it. or from armor pierce to tank that’d be fine but inquisition has MMO combat without the flexibility and so it falls short on two fronts rather then just one.

                • djw says:

                  My main beef with Inquisition is the horrid tactical camera and the horrid companion AI that forces you to use the horrid tactical camera.

                  I’d like more abilities on my hotbar, but that is a minor concern compared to the rage I feel every time Varic charges into melee range to shoot people.

                  • James says:

                    god fighting dragons in that game is a tedious chore of micro management, your dense as fuck AI teammates are suicidal in there need to get killed by all the aoe’s, tanks seemingly refuse to pull aggro on anything, i sware i only go through by abusing Blackwalls natural complete invulnerability and being overleveled to buggery

                    • djw says:

                      Ditto. Although even with Blackwall you have to babysit him or he will charge away from whatever badass you need him to fight to engage a mook on the other side of the zone.

      • Mike S. says:

        I certainly played SWTOR as a single-player game (except for very rarely doing flashpoints with the three other people I knew on the server when we could coordinate it). But the MMOness of it frustrated me to the point that I only completed three and a half of the character storylines. (Though I may resub at some point to do the new content.)

        In particular, the lack of persistence in the world was frustrating. DA:I may have some MMO-like mechanics, but when I finish a quest it stays finished. The enemies don’t regenerate, the fortress stays taken, in at least one place the weather and topography changes and stays changed.

        And while it’s not completely absent, you don’t get as much obvious “I set off a giant bomb in the same room with a dozen guards, but since it was outside their aggro range they pay no attention whatsoever.”

        • StashAugustine says:

          They’ve definitely done a good job making it less fucking tedious to do the story missions (increased XP for class missions and planet main quest, auto-unlocked quick travel and taxi terminals, much faster cooldowns on quick travel, easy travel to ship/fleet with the strongholds) but there’s still a lot of MMO-ish stuff that kinda sucks. I do here the more recent expansions relied more on instanced content but I haven’t gotten beyond Makeb yet.

          • djw says:

            I’d like to see Swtor do a Guild Wars 2 style level scaling to make some of those vast planets worth visiting again.

            All of the planets have an extended quest area that you can get if you run through the regular quest line, but it is always pointless to do it because the mobs are always grey and the experience negligible by the time you get to it. (Possibly this would not be true if you did ONLY pve, but with regular pvp you will definitely outlevel every planet before you see the extended area).

            That makes a huge amount of content that they paid voice actors to voice completely pointless to play.

            As an additional benefit, it would make world pvp more fun, and less of a gankfest.

            • Mike S. says:

              Your wish is their command!

              Planet Level Sync

              We have added a new system to the game called Level Sync. What this system will do is that when you are on a planet, but above the target level of that planet, your level will automatically be lowered to that planet’s level. Ex: If you are level 60, and you return to Alderaan to do some Missions, your character will be scaled down to be level 32.

              While you are under Level Sync the following things are adjusted on your character:

              Stats
              Armor
              Weapon Damage

              However, while under Level Sync we will not take away any abilities or passive effects that you have. Also, while under Level Sync you will earn scaled experience. So if you are a level 60, killing level 30 mobs, you will gain experience appropriate for being a level 60 . This enables a player to go play any of the content in The Old Republic and get rewarded appropriately for their time investment. Did you miss out on the heroic area on Tatooine? No worries! Now you can simply head there and check it out without dramatically stopping your progression.

            • krellen says:

              The last patch did exactly this.

          • Zombie says:

            The new Knights of the Fallen Empire stuff is pretty awesome. It’s basically a single player story line, for good or for bad (it also has one of the funniest scenes in an MMO I’ve ever seen).

            As to not having a high enough level character, they have (and supposedly are selling, but I haven’t actually seen it in their store yet) a “get an instant level 60 character” thing. They gave out one for free, but I don’t remember if its for subscribers, or people who have been subscribed over the summer. I DO know if you subscribe after the expansion hits for real (its a 7 day early access thing right now for people who subscribed for the whole summer) next week sometime, you get all the expansions, plus the first 9 chapters of KotFE (Which is basically the end of the story content right now; I think their plan is to release a chapter every month) as part of being a subscriber.

    • It allows wider array on answers or to save on voice actors wages? I’ll take the cynical view if only to use my bad luck to make it turn to really be the good answer.

  6. manofsteles says:

    When I first played the game, my frustration with Mission and Zalbaar stemmed from two main sources.

    First, they were not very useful characters from a gameplay perspective; they both were simply placeholders until you rescue Bastila, and even my teenage self could see that and be annoyed. This was exacerbated by the alliance with the Canderous and the rest of the cast.

    Second, they are both stock characters whose personalities are relatively flat and uninteresting, and illustrate the difficulty of making such stark good and evil choices be interesting; at least with the HK-47 and most of his evil, his preferences are at least novel. Mission and Zalbaar’s companion quests tread old and worn ground, while wasting the potential of what could have been a great dilemma. I wonder how Obsidian would have attempted to structure such a quest (besides by adding a million bugs)?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Zaalbar is a useful meat shield early on.And mission is a good trapper.So they do have some uses on taris at least.Plus mission is fun.

    • djw says:

      Obsidian would have turned the Wookie into a psychotic killer that resents you for the life debt and wants to murder you over it. Also, he would be a slaver.

      • Josh says:

        And then the entire planet would be cut despite building up to it the whole game because “Whoops we agreed to an eleven month dev cycle didn’t we?”

        • Henson says:

          It’s more like, “Whoops, our publisher agreed to extend our dev time by six months but then reneged at the last minute.”

        • Michael says:

          To be fair, if I’m remembering Avelone’s comments on the subject. They initially got a 12 month dev cycle, but one of the execs extended it to 24 after they started development, what they didn’t do was get that extension in writing. So when there was a political shift in LucasArts, they watched half their production cycle vanish. I wish I could remember where I read that, though.

          • manofsteles says:

            I remember that Shamus once asked “Is it better to make a by-the-numbers-game and nail the execution, or fall on your face shooting for the moon?” with regards to Bioware and KOTOR versus Obsidian and KOTOR II. How does everyone think it would have gone if Obsidian not only developed KOTOR, but also had the more modest expectations and longer development time that Bioware had?

            I wonder because the first Fallout was made when expectations were much more modest, they built on the themes already established by Wasteland, but managed to make a relatively tight, gaming experience that wasn’t nearly as buggy or as ambitious as their later games, so we know that they haven’t always let their reach exceed their grasp.

            • Decius says:

              Fallout had some pretty serious bugs, but they were patched out pretty quickly. And most of Interplay didn’t survive into Obsidian. The number of people isn’t even a proper measure; the philosophy and style changed significantly.

          • manofsteles says:

            Addendum: If the comment about Lucasarts promising a longer dev cycle only to take it away, that certainly would take a lot of the blame off of Obsidian’s shoulders; however, the overall trend of their games suggests that overambition for them is the rule, not the exception.

            This seems to be true even going back to their Interplay days; Chris Avellone joins the Fallout 2 team and they launch a good game that is marred by rampant bugs, huge areas (New Reno alone was almost as big as all of the playable wasteland in Fallout), and content that either felt cut or actually was cut. This trend keeps repeating with games such as Neverwinter Nights 2 and Alpha Protocol. Even New Vegas had a lot of cut content, which may never have seen the light of day if not for DLC.

            What would their games have looked like if they simply dialed back their scale and ambition and focused on polishing the ideas that they could practically execute? Should they have gone the Bioware route and simply shipped a more modest but polished product, and then used DLC to more fully realize their ambitious ideas?

            • Gruhunchously says:

              For New Vegas, there’s a mod out there that ‘restores’ Freeside by removing the level barriers sectioning it up and re-integrating a TON of cut NPCs and scripted sequences. It changes the feel of the place to an almost staggering degree, and goes to show just how much ended up getting cut

              • manofsteles says:

                Yeah! And if not for DLC, the content focused on Ulysses would never have been released. I wonder if the fact that they seemed to have planned to have DLC from the beginning helped Obsidian from trying to make too much out of the gate?

                Neither KOTOR had a significant amount of DLC or expansions (at least on the scale of Fallout 3 or New Vegas). I wonder how much would have been improved if say, they saved Korriban for an expansion? That planet seemed to have the most cut prior to launch (and the restored content mod doesn’t add that much to it, if I remember correctly)

            • Decius says:

              New Reno had four major screens, about five minor areas depending on what you count, and maybe six questlines from memory. Shady Sands had two major screens, two minor ones, and one questline of similar complexity; Junktown had 2/1/1; The Hub had 3/5/4?

              In map size, New Reno isn’t much more than the Necropolis, and only a handful of quests ever touch it, many of which are of the “talk to three people” variety.

          • Zekiel says:

            I think there’s an article on Kotaku on this subject if I recall correctly.

      • Gruhunchously says:

        And they would have turned Mission into a bounty hunter who saved his life and thus incurred a life debt towards her. So he spends all his time conflicted between the the vow to protect her and his urge to kill her for inflicting it on him, while she just wants to get away from him.

    • MrGuy says:

      At least Mission’s setup with her brother has some interest in her being betrayed by someone she trusted and becoming gradually disillusioned as they reveal the degree to which her brother is a scumbag. Sure, it’s telegraphed where this will end up, but disillusionment is part of being a teenager, and her “last to believe it” approach rings true enough to me. They’re a little hamfisted about how they handle the reveal (especially with the ex-girlfriend-ex-machina here), but IMO it’s a little more interesting than a “stock” story.

      Zalbaar’s story, on the other hand, is really painful. We talk about his family, and how his brother was in league with slavers, which lead to a falling out. We meet his brother, who is doing his best “Yes, perhaps I am evil, but who will believe you, plucky heroes? Mwahaha!” They even throw off “I not only was in league with slavers as you believed, but I let them take our father the chieftain into slavery! Bwahaha!” Gee, I guess he’s kind of evil. Gosh, I hope we’ll eventually get the opportunity to bring that dude to justice! Wouldn’t that be nice! It’s one of those “moral choices” that boils down to the difference between kitten saving and baby murdering.

      The one interesting aspect to Zalbaar is the whole “Yes, my brother was clearly horribly in the wrong and I was provoked, but I did the wrong thing in anger by becoming a madclaw.” Unfortunately that gets buried yet another of the justifications for “why the people won’t believe you, plucky heroes!”

      A better story for Zalbaar would be if his brother WASN’T a horrible slaver and terrible villain. Let’s say Zalbaar came from an ordinary family and had a family dispute with his brother where, while he was in the right, he was a madclaw and got exiled (say, for example, his brother stole an inheritance from him). Have him want to find his brother to beg his forgiveness, but his brother was taken by the slavers. Zalbaar (and you) can lead a delegation to rescue his brother, and you can choose in dialogue how to resolve their relationship (Does Zalbaar expose his brother as a thief? Does his brother turn the village against Zalbaar once again? Do they make up?) This is one of those situations where, to me, lowering the stakes could have made for a much more interesting quest.

    • John says:

      Mission is great. She’s not much for combat, but there are other characters for that. (Once the PC gets off Dantooine, the game is very nearly solo-able anyway.) There is no mine in the game that Mission cannot disarm or–better yet–recover. There is no actually-pickable lock that she cannot pick. When I play Light Side, I always bring her along with me on Korriban. She’s ideal for tomb raiding.

      Zalbar has far fewer uses. He’s a very good meatshield on Taris and a passable one on Dantooine. After that, he really suffers for his lack of armor. As a skill monkey he’s inferior to both Mission and T3-M4.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I saw someone roll 6 18s in ad&d 2e once.He didnt know whether to be happy because of such a lucky result,or angry that he rolled such a lucky result for a one of instead of his multi session campaign he was going through at that time.

    • djw says:

      Doesn’t matter, cause he was cheating, unless you were using one of the alternative dice rolling techniques. Even with the best 3 out of 4d6 the odds of getting 6 18’s is 1.8×10**-11.

      (odds based on anydice.com calculation for 3 six’s out of 4d6, taken to the 6th power).

      • ehlijen says:

        That doesn’t mean he was cheating. 6 18s is a clearly possible result.

        He may have been cheating, it might even be likely that he did, but it is by no means an unquestionable fact based solely on the info given.

        • djw says:

          The odds of winning the Powerball Lottery are 1 in 175 million. People do win it, but usually not until ~100 million tickets are purchased.

          The odds of rolling 6 18’s with 4d6 keep three are actually worse than that (1 in 5.5 billion). You are right in saying that it could happen, but the odds are very much in favor of it NOT having happened. If you could roll the dice once every second it would take you 2000 years to get you to a billion rolls (3.1×10**7 seconds in a year), and that would just give you even odds of seeing 6 18’s on 4d6 once in that time. (to clarify, that is 6 18’s in one set of 6 rolls, obviously you will see way more than 6 18’s in the total set of a billion rolls).

          I think its fair to call it cheating if you didn’t see it, and even if you did see it, check the dice, because they are probably loaded.

          • Decius says:

            Even so, you don’t say that someone who won the powerball probably cheated without any further information.

            • djw says:

              I assume the consortium running the powerball lottery makes it really hard to cheat, and I assume (based on the money in the pot) that hundreds of millions of people will buy tickets. The odds of any one person winning are low, but the odds that somebody will eventually draw a winning ticket (after 100’s of millions are purchased) converges on 100%.

              Its not at all hard to cheat on dice rolling (I had a college roommate who used to do it compulsively) and I would be surprised if a billion characters have been rolled for D&D since the game was first produced.

              (Although, now that I think about it, if you assume 10 million people play D&D and they have each rolled 100 characters using 4d6 drop lowest I suppose its possible that one of those turned up 6 18’s. I suspect that estimate of the number of people that have rolled characters that way is a tad on the high side though. How many of you have rolled that many characters using that technique?)

              • Decius says:

                I think you overestimate the number of powerball ticket buyers by an order of magnitude, and I have personally generated in excess of 200 D&D characters, although the vast majority of those have been point-buy (and didn’t get used in any games).

                It’s still a very strong reason to roll the dice in front of someone, so that if you are exceptionally lucky you have a witness.

                • djw says:

                  The number of powerball ticket purchases is a matter of public record. If you scroll through the table you will see that the number of purchases on the date of the 567 million jackpot was 189 million.

                  Its much less than that most days, but even then the pot just rolls over until somebody wins, so to find the effective number of purchases for a given win you would need to add them up over several days (and you would probably get over a hundred million losses per win if you did that).

              • ehlijen says:

                It doesn’t really matter how many people play DnD or how many characters they’ve rolled up.

                Any given attempt to roll up a character can result in six 18s, and you’ll never know which one will until it happens. It could be the first character ever rolled, it could be no 36,455,777, the odds for either being the lucky one are the same.

                Unless you have actual reason to distrust a result, calling it a cheat simply because it’s unlikely is pretty rude.

                • djw says:

                  I agree that calling somebody a cheat is rude. However, some people do cheat, and if you never call them on it then they will take advantage of you. The odds in this case are so heavily weighted in favor of “its cheating” that I am willing to just call it that, even though there is a (I think small) chance that I am wrong.

                  • Daemian Lucifer says:

                    And heres the main problem with humans perception of odds.Unlikely things happen, thats a fact .Thats why they are called unlikely,and not impossible.

                    • djw says:

                      Nevertheless, I bet that you are not going to jump out of any airplanes without a parachute.

                      In any case, I have no a priori expectation of how likely it is that you would survive a plane crash. The only way I know to estimate that would be to make a list of people who survived and divide by all the people who involved in crashes. The odds are probably a lot better than the odds of rolling 6 18’s on “highest 3 of 4d6”.

      • MrGuy says:

        I agree with you that, this is on the scale of probability, “you witnessed something so unlikely that no one who’s ever played DnD is likely to have ever seen it before and no one is likely to see it again for thousands of years!” shooting completely fair dice.

        That said, not everyone uses brand new, Vegas-quality perfectly balanced dice. There’s a difference between “the odds are astronomically low that you used truly fair dice” and “you deliberately used loaded dice to cheat.”

        • StashAugustine says:

          I was playing an old wargame (Tactics II) with my brother when I was in like seventh grade or so and I got several bullshit lucky rolls which made my brother demand I test to make sure the die was fair. Turns out over a few hundred rolls it did actually have a noticeable bias towards sixes.

          • djw says:

            A friend of mine ran a “psychological” test on his class (which he couldn’t publish because he didn’t get permission for testing on human subjects first, but that’s a different can of worms).

            He asked the class to flick a penny on a table top so that it spins on its axis like a top, and then record how many times it comes up heads after 100 trials. I’ve never bothered to do this myself, but apparently the odds are not 50-50 (more like 80-20). A fairly large fraction of the class nevertheless claimed that they got ~50 heads.

          • Decius says:

            So, did you do a large number of rolls to confirm?

            • StashAugustine says:

              It was like two hundred or so which admittedly isn’t statistically significant but it was my dad’s copy of Tactics II and the die was older than either of us so it wasn’t unbelievable it might have been biased..

        • djw says:

          Fair enough.

          The college roommate that I alluded to above would cheat at Axis and Allies by rolling the dice, calling out the “result” and then picking up the dice before anybody could see them. He was relying on the fact that we couldn’t actually prove that he was cheating (because the results were possible) and that we would be too polite to call him a liar. When we finally refused to allow him to count any result the rest of us didn’t see he stopped playing with us. The dice were probably just fine.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        He wasnt cheating,he rolled in front of me.He just got stupidly lucky that one time and never again.

        • Fizban says:

          I used to roll extremely good stats all the time, until I figured out how I was accidentally cheating. How was he rolling? I imagine a lot of people do like I did, where you’ll grab all the dice at once, jiggle your hand, and then toss them back down without too much force so they don’t go flying off the table. If you don’t actually roll and bounce the dice around you’re basically just picking them up and putting them back down, so it can feel like you’ve “rolled” the dice when in fact you only changed one of the numbers. Do it six times in a roll and boom, a string of 16’s 17’s and 18’s.

          Now my players get frustrated when I demand they get those dice moving.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Again,if he was cheating,he wouldve done the same thing for his long campaign because those were his dice,the same ones he carried there.It was just stupid luck,nothing more,nothing less.

      • Bubble181 says:

        Eh. It really depends. I used to play with roll 4, keep 3, reroll ones, and I’ve seen more than one character with all-over-16-stats, and once a character with 4 18s. 6 18s is even more rare but hardly impossible.

    • John says:

      Dice-rolls are what statisticians call “independent,” meaning that the outcome of the roll you’re making now is not affected by the outcome of the last roll you made. The probability that the sum of three six-sided die is 18 is (1/6)^3, which means that it should happen about once for every two hundred rolls. The probability of six consecutive 18s is infinitesimal, or 9.8 x 10^(-15), for those keeping track. That’s so small that I’m not sure how to put it into plain language. But the probability of rolling one more 18 after five previous 18s is still just 1 in 200. The point, I suppose, is the absurdly improbable outcome gets more likely with each roll.

      • MrGuy says:

        Ah, conditional probability!

        This reminds me of a a joke a former stats professor of mine told (pre-9/11). Specifically, you should always bring a bomb with you when you travel by air.

        As we all know, the odds of there actually being a bomb on any given plane are very low. Therefore, the odds of there being TWO bombs on the same plane are infinitismal. So, if you always bring your own bomb, you’re obviously safer, because there’s such a low chance of there being a second bomb.

        It’s intuitively obvious that this reasoning is wrong, but it takes a minute to be able to articulate WHY it’s wrong.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Udina surprised me back in me1 when it turned out that he wasnt evil.Thank god me3 rectified that!

    • James says:

      yea sure in ME1 and 2 he was antagonistic and kinda slimy but he had his reasons, and was doing what he thought was right for humanity, after all the Reapers sounds insane on the face of it. but thank god they made him either comically stupid or evil in me3, i dont think we could handle ambiguity no sir.

      • djw says:

        To paraphrase Homer Simpson “I like my beer cold, my TV loud, and my mindless bureaucrats evil!

      • Mike S. says:

        I was hoping to be able to work with Udina in ME3, and disappointed when it didn’t happen. But he wasn’t cartoonishly evil. He considered Earth his top priority, which is understandable– he considered himself at the head of what was left of its civilian government in exile, and it was a defensible claim.

        It was pretty clear that the Citadel Council’s strategy was mainly to use the time the Reapers took to digest Earth to see to their own defenses. (Again, entirely defensible from their perspective, and a nice callback to Ashley’s bit about siccing your dog on the bear to buy time to escape.) The turians are already under attack, and the asari and salarians are barely returning anyone’s calls.

        Meanwhile Cerberus is able to punch at the weight of planetary navies, somehow. (This makes no sense, but is consistently true throughout the game. We can’t single out Udina as being crazy to believe it.)

        Cerberus is the only force with that kind of strength that has any interest in humanity’s defense. Shepard’s plan, “amass an alliance to build a deus ex machina” may be ultimately correct (at least from a certain point of view) but on its face it’s an even longer shot.

        Control of the Citadel would give Udina leverage he doesn’t currently have. Controlling the capital may not make him boss of the galaxy– though Mass Effect 1 treats it exactly that way in the Renegade “Council dies” ending– but it’s strategically important, and access to its resources could be used to extract concessions on fleet disposition and war priorities from the other Council species.

        More to the point, Udina is desperate. That’s something I thought the game got across remarkably well. He may be an officious jerk, but he’s also horrified at the prospect of being powerless in the face of human extinction.

        So the details of the coup are dumb the way everything about Cerberus in Mass Effect 3 is dumb. But the basic idea that Udina would risk working with a dangerous, treacherous ally to try to force the rest of the galaxy to treat Earth as something other than ablative shielding? I thought that was laid out quite well, given how little screen time he actually gets.

        • James says:

          it could have been brilliant writing and a genuine moral dilema, do we ally ourselves with x bad guy in-order to save all humanity. or do we stick to principles and maybe lose, but instead we got shepard is right™ and udina is evil™. alas thinking about what could have been just makes me sad.

      • MrGuy says:

        As we all know, it’s impossible to advance a pro-human agenda without being a moronic backstabbing teamkilling moustache-twirling jackass.

    • guy says:

      To be fair, Annoying Chantry Guy actually comes through for everyone in a big way towards the end of act 1. Though I am annoyed that there was no option to remind him that he actually has no authority whatsoever except by proxy from a vacant office, so we’re under no obligation to listen to him.

  9. Ledel says:

    I think the Czerka corporation are trading mascara and eye liner to the wookiees in exchange for slave labor. Their eyes just look so fabulous and pop against their fur, it’s the only explanation.

  10. Spammy says:

    It’s okay Shamus, I also like purple. Finally getting Saints Row The 3 was such a relief because I could make all the cars purple and no one could judge me because I was just being on theme with the Saints brand.

    Also I was really hoping that Josh making Zaalbar fight bare-handed was intentional.

  11. Pyrrhic Gades says:

    Somehow Czerka never came across as evil to me. Slavery just doesn’t work for me as a way to telegraph that something is evil. This game takes place not just a long time ago but 4000+ years longer than a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away – a completely alien time and place. Who am I to judge someone for slave trading? Slavery is the norm. I use slaves. Freeing them would upset the social fabric of the world.

    Only a Sith would free the slaves.

  12. Narida says:

    Yeah, the Wookiee squeals worked when it was a short response from Chewbacca to Han in the movies, but these extended conversations are weird.

  13. SlothfulCobra says:

    Aw, you cut out the bit where you have to argue with the parking attendant over whether you can leave your ship there.

  14. Dt3r says:

    What does it say about me when Rutskarn’s description of your a character being canonically shanked makes me want to play Unrest?

    • SpiritBearr says:

      I had it happen in my playthrough. Not much to say about it.

      • Lachlan the Mad says:

        I won that fight on my playthrough — it was the only fight I did win. Considering that, if you aim to do the right thing at every turn and don’t risk your family’s life, that priest is very likely to become one of the worst enemies of a unified Bhirma and rebel against the game’s other characters, I actually kind of would have preferred it if he died.

    • Decius says:

      Another character can literally die of stubbornness.

  15. Phil says:

    First three words of the latest Star Wars movie trailer: “Who are you?”

  16. Mersadeon says:

    I KNEW Ruts would bring up the optional Morrowind boss. I love that guy. And hated him back then. If I recalls correctly, when he comes to kill you (because he thinks you’re mocking him when you tell him “I’m going to give you a trillion septims”), he has a super-good luck ring that makes a good amount of attacks just fail against him.

    • Decius says:

      And even if you have that much (which isn’t impossible to get without console commands), you can’t give it to him.

      Considering that the other boss of the Tribunal expansion is widely regarded as a god for doing god things in public, it works.

    • Syal says:

      The ring’s not nearly that good, it’s just his base stats.

      And they put him directly in the path of, like, every quest in Mournhold.

      • Ringwraith says:

        Yeah, his luck supposedly comes from his amulet, but functionally it doesn’t.
        Still has a ridiculous Luck stat though (of 770), and topped off with the vast array of powerful enchantments on his gear, so is incredibly difficult to deal with. Often the best way to beat him is abuse the alchemy singularity to get your luck to similarly-high levels.

  17. Grimwear says:

    O god I feel like the site colours and layout have slightly changed! I don’t like change! In other news I do not mind the colours, like the addition of the avatar at the top, and nothing appears to be broken on my end. High five!

    O ya, I enjoyed the episode as well!

  18. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Im surprised that there isnt a real dj named jedi la forge.

  19. Sleeping Dragon says:

    Now, I’m obviously not encouraging looking for Chinese bootleg subs of Episode 3 but the subs that Josh mentions are referenced as “Backstroke of the West”, which is how the “Revenge of the Sith” title has actually been translated (this should already tell you everything you need to know about the quality of the sub). I think there are some highlight reels on youtube though posting to big a pieces will get you promptly shot down by Lucas (or Disney nowadays).

    The best thing about the sub is that it’s entirely genuine, not someone doing a riff of the thing. Personally I’m kinda surprised that this didn’t spawn some kind of cult following where this kind of “machine-and-back translation” subs for other movies would become insanely popular (could be because the thing was a bootleg of Ep.3, so Lucas did everything they could to kill it and it might not have gathered the critical mass of audience).

  20. lurkey says:

    Today’s post seems a wee too complicated for me to comprehend, but for some reason I keep imagining wookiees would do fantastic vocals for death metal bands.

  21. skulgun says:

    > now do extraordinary things with your very ordinary character

    Does anyone subscribe to this guy who used to comment here’s philosophy that anyone over level 5 or with a stat above ~12 is extraordinary?

    >So what have we learned so far? Almost everyone you have ever met is a 1st level character. The few exceptional people you’ve met are probably 2nd or 3rd level – they’re canny and experienced and can accomplish things that others find difficult or impossible.

    >If you know someone who’s 4th level, then you’re privileged to know one of the most talented people around: They’re a professional sports player. Or a brain surgeon. Or a rocket scientist.

    >If you know someone who’s 5th level, then you have the honor of knowing someone that will probably be written about in history books. Walter Payton. Michael Jordan. Albert Einstein. Isaac Newton. Miyamoto Musashi. William Shakespeare.

    >So when your D&D character hits 6th level, it means they’re literally superhuman: They are capable of achieving things that no human being has ever been capable of achieving. They have transcended the mortal plane and become a mythic hero.

    • Rutskarn says:

      This is an interesting article, but it’s worth pointing out that vis-a-vis my “ordinary people doing extraordinary things” comment, I’m still correct. An average-statted 2nd Edition character, even of a very high level, is still pretty average.

      All the things this guy talks about–stat increases, skill increases–do not happen for most 2E Dungeons and Dragons characters. Proficiencies are either binary or have a pretty low cap, able to be attained at first level. Stats are locked at level 1, and most bonuses (actually Balkanized into various percentiles) are very leveled out and generally don’t start looking “extraordinary” (read: anything but a flat 0) until 14 or 15.

      I’m also a little frustrated at the idea that a level six character is completely superhuman when most D&D characters attain that in a few hot months of work experience. I get that these characters would start out being specimens of humanity, but that’s kind of the point–I think I’d prefer a vaster gulf between novice and expert for heroic campaign play.

      But that’s sort of the rift DMs run into. Do you see your adventurers as basically scared-but-capable professionals or basically legendary heroes? Is their might a function of applied talent and ingenuity or is their might a function of inborn exceptionalism?

      The ironic thing is that 2nd Edition is flavored more toward the latter and built toward the former, and 3E is flavored more toward the former and built toward the latter.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yes.But d&d is basically a game about extraordinary people in an extraordinary setting.

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