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  1. Not exactly... Would a mod that adds 3 abilities per student be considered a big mod? Well this one would not be much bigger. Now, the amount of sorting inconvenience it would add if it was added in a series of actions... well that'd be something to behold...
  2. Pardon me for hijacking back the thread, but how much uncertainty are we talking about in here? For example, the exotic familiar mod adds nothing special to a character in itself. It technically adds a number of backgrounds, but in essence those don't have any effects that are not otherwise reachable. What would happen to characters with such a mod in their "universe". Which level of the conflict may cause trouble? 1) Will the system be able to simply strip the character of unrecognised data and pretend that "this data didn't happen"? 2) Does the addition of entries in itself disfigure the database to the point of resulting characters being unrecognisable without extensive effort? 3) Will Y2 mod be able to retrieve the data from Y1 mod if it knows that to look for? 4) Does the addition of entries beyond the mod's knowledge disfigure the database to the point of the mod being unable to find and retrieve his ancestor's data? 5) Should a pair of Y2 mods be able to cope with the above if the above is the case? Anyway, feel free to get back to poking legate for spoilers/revealteasing the players.
  3. You were the one who originally advocated a game mechanic with lore, and now you're telling me that I shouldn't mix them? I wasn't even planing in the first place! You see, these are two conflicting concepts: 1. Only a master can... 2. You don't have to be a master to... If there's a method in the world, there a method in the world. The game's own events and adventures "cap" our capabilities between those of a well developed kid and a non-magical grown-up. It never ever hints to the fact that in a the game's world exists a method that lets us reach crazy heights. Therefore, there's no lore reason for it to exist as a gameplay element. There's no gameplay reason for it to exist as a gameplay element either, it's not fun, it's not fundamental, and it's not even hard to fix (at least partially, anyway). Looping should be fixed, and if that fix conflicts with lore than the lore contradicts itself. And yes, there's an important difference between PnP and PC single player games. It's that the job of moderation has to built-in into the game itself. It should not be the player's role to watch his own actions and put a stop to them once they start leading down the wrong path of designer's plan. In a broader view of picture, the primary role of games is to LIMIT our mind's freedom and to give it a puzzle to crack. This is why we play games and not just spend our time daydreaming on a sofa instead. Whether that puzzle involves determining hidden intentions of a deceiver or smashing the face of a goblin, the game's primary task is to set obstacles on our way that stop us from simply "making it happen" and force us to "make it happen by the rules". The role of the rules subsequently, is to insure that "making it happen by the rules" is an interesting process. This, BTW is why game's rules will never accomplish the same effect as a living moderator. Engaging in a game of wit with a set of rules is not the same process as engaging in a game of wit with a living being. Set of rules cannot cover it's own loopholes in the process, which is why designer has to make sure that they aren't open in the first place, which in turn puts a heavier limit on imagination. It's grounding, but that's how it has to be, the rules can't afford to have loopholes.
  4. As a matter of fact, I've been thinking if it would be possible to mod-in such a thing into Y1. However there's a heavy dependency here, and I'm not sure if Y1 is suited for such complex schemes. Primary problem is a highly configurable action. It should be possible to implement a boatload of actions each representing specific result of interaction on "per student" basis (as in Mimic John Smith), but that'd make one heck of a mess, and Y1 is already giving us trouble navigating our lists. It would be better to create one ability (or rather a small set of them, representing different aspects of mimicry) which then runs behind the scene check on a list which determines the result based on target, but I'm not sure if that would be possible. I've been also wondering if that could be implemented as an ability that triggers a repeatable event (event\adventure interface) which in turn serves a a menu for choosing target and other specifics). However I don't know if Y1 can handle this either. And another problem is making it scale. I imagine it would be possible to introduce a new skill into the game. But would it be possible to keep it out of the normal skill inform routine? There's a number of occurrences in the game where one can learn a random skill that has not been "informed" yet. It's all good and well for general things, but it would seem rather bizarre to suddenly learn a supernatural ability which description makes a reference of you having it since birth. (And the way students are set, some of their abilities can not be "mimicked" "naturally", seeing how they may depend on physical build or even reputation). On the other hand, it IS a mod, with only one purpose in it, so a situation where a person installs it, skips the background, and then finds oneself in a middle of the forth wall mess-up shouldn't be a huge concern. The idea of mimicking other student's "tricks" and "specials" rooted itself into my mind when I was browsing their wiki pages. A lot of them have quirks that don't have similarly working "general" substitutes. They keep being described as outstanding in one way or another, or even outright "best" and "unmatchable". Which, I should note, is a mistake. Players should retain a feeling of being able to compete with any one of them as long as they set their mind to it. It doesn't have to be easy (and preferably shouldn't be easy), reasonable, or maybe not even in fact possible, but telling them that "Jon Smith is the best smith this generation will ever know", while being perfectly fine in a railed game with defined protagonist, is an obvious mistake for a game with such an unrestricted environment as we get in Academagia. Players on the other hand don't have a description attached to them, and their feeling of uniqueness comes from background, where it's few in numbers and far in between. Sure, you've been born during an astronomic event, and maybe you're kid of sky pirates who double up as famous heroes or something, but out-there in the school, best you can hope for to keep your self esteem up is that, while you'll never be "the best smith of the generation", you're one hell of a jack of all traits. Well, that added up into an idea of making a background, and following it up with in-game elements, tied to that background, and bringing the player up to par with all these oh-so-great students. Basically I'd like to add a background, describing the player's student's in-born ability to copy those around him/her within natural boundaries of a parodist, a skill set, uncovering his/her supernatural side as an ability to take that mimicry far beyond parody levels, an effective gameplay mechanic, which affects him/her based on which aspect of which character he/she is attempting to mimic, and maybe, once the rest is more or less done, a set of adventures, developing a story, building on the dynamics of student's unique perspective on his/her own personality. Buuuut that's one heck of an endeavour, aaaand I'm not exactly the kind of person to stick with the same interest long enough to accomplish such a feat. Still, the idea keeps returning to my head rather persistently, and the whole task isn't as gargantuan as the ones that usually tickle my fancy, so who knows...
  5. Would it be possible to chose targets at later dates? I've been browsing some student unique skills, and some of them sound to fun to remain out of reach (while no fun to fling at RANDOM targets). Also, I've been thinking, would it be possible to add a unique skill to a player that allows us to mimic some aspects of other characters? Say, like a costly background that allows us to "study" a character once per week and then mimic their special action a defined number (varies based on the action itself) of times during the week following that study. Will need some extensive balancing, but should be fun to play around with. Maybe throw in and extra action to that background to let us annoy people by mimicking them
  6. "Create Formal Invitation With a Finesse/Calligraphy Roll of 27 or greater, you can effectively seize Control of another student for two entire days. A properly created Formal Invitation . . . . . . and note that proper creation is very, *very* hard to manage . . . . . . is practically a command; when issued correctly, it can actually give control of one person over another for a few actions. With all the style and grace one can muster, a properly created formal invitation is a thing of beauty. When done absolutely perfectly, this invitation is impossible to resist. Interestingly, no one is ever offended from being ordered around via a formal invitation; they just accept that such a thing is done and move on accordinglly." I wonder why mail practice wasn't banned along with mastery if even a Y1 student can do the above. I mean, really, all it takes to perform an otherwise inhuman feat (how many real world irresistible documents do you know?) is a magical student with a bight head, right kind of spell and couple of right phemes?
  7. You know, you can keep +33 to enchant and 60+ DC worth on phemes on yourselve on a regular basis if you keep casting 6th finger slightly more often than 3 times per week. If there was a spell with similar duration that could stomach more bonuses to itself you could go beyond that. And if you want to build up a skill with no time pressure involved... In other words a Y1 student should be able to enchant a grandfather clock that can dance, run, sing, write, play chess at grandiose level, and even pass all Y1 exams for him, including the ones he doesn't need to pass, it could probably tackle the sphinx (both literally and with comparable knowledge), mask it's identity as Orso Orsi, and impart knowledge of gates on all innocent bystanders, but that's bound to attract the attention of authority and the student doesn't want his whaky spree to end. Besides, a world where "magic can build upon magic" is bound to have it's magical tradition adjust to that practice (common sense check here). In other words, it should be a common knowledge that mundane skill isn't worth a thing to a spell caster, and "mastery" is an obsolete concept. Doesn't look that way from the game though. In fact, surrounding area seem to have barely adjusted to a swarm of barely enchanted Y1 students running around. I never saw a 70+ DC locks on any important doors, and predators don't seem to be fleeing from the first sight of a wand-wielding kid. Which with 40+ SL magical NEWBIES should have become an instinct of all survivors by now. Furthermore, none of the kids bumping into me seem to have been doing it at 40+ SL of running, as I didn't need 10+ skill to dodge them, catch up to them or even plain and simple "take the hit". Should I continue, or is it clear enough already that the only person in the world to use this technique is the player?
  8. Short version: There's an implication that the chantry version is more or less accurate, except that the Golden City was already corrupt by the time Tevinter mages made it there. Shesh... they really did make an effort to make their monotheism look as revolting as possible... Long version - http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Darkspawn I'd be willing to bet that whatever information appears on the subject will make it into this page. That is, if I'd ever be willing to bet anything. That's the courtesy of the internet (one of them anyway...) - you don't have to pay for excruciatingly boring games and their milking DLC in order to legally learn their plot at least at "retell" level.
  9. I meant no aggression. Well, yes, I was getting a bit out of self control, but that's exactly because I was getting progressively stronger feeling that my question is being dodged. First answer doesn't even mention which relative part of content requires Y1 "history". Second DID have almost the same wording like the final, but it had it along with "old Characters will have the benefit (or, as sometimes happens, the drawback) of having experienced the Y1 content, depending on their completion, success or failure. That can change the Adventures in terms of their starting point, endings, or branches along the same- sometimes subtle, sometimes fairly dramatically, depending." which made me question whether "almost all content accessible" accounts for all the "sub-content" like "starting point, endings, or branches" or only for plain simple number of accessible adventures. Besides, it sounded a bit like "choose your own answer" kind of response. You know, how they say, a fool doesn't think before speaking, a wise man thinks before telling, and a politician thinks twice over, before "not really telling you anything". Well, that's the kind of answer I meant. Well, the third answer, came after I called out the sub content as a viable measure AND it actually sounded like something you'd get from someone trying to be informative. (again, no personal offence meant) So yeah, "this is my answer"... "At least at this time". So these are redundant I take it? In this case you might want to keep 'em in mind for the next time you go fixing typos. Just saying. Answers are better, so for what it's worth, thanks.
  10. Dunno about your "lists upon lists", haven't seen them, but the one example you mentioned is a different story. BW's games have been increasing the amount of that kind of content over the years, attracting the audience over the years as well. At the present distribution of their fanbase a decrease of volume of such content would notably hurt them in fact. Don't know who D.G. was arguing with, and what audacious claims the poster had made (though I vaguely recall seeing a similarly sounding topic, and if this is it, than, indeed, he was dealing with an outright jerk), but some of those arguments are disputable. The majority of majority (any majority, not just in this particular case) are calm and silent about the division by which they are classified as majority. They are content, they have no reason for passionate expression of their views and ambitions. In basic terms, "they don't give a damn". There's a term "silent majority" it exists for a good reason. Than, there's the "vocal majority" which is not the part of majority that is vocal, but rather the majority of all those being vocal. Sometimes it's the same, some times it isn't. It's views are rarely ever the same as majority, as, like stated above, the majority doesn't give a damn, or, more precisely, has next to no views (they have "passive views", so to speak). The majority doesn't always have things go their way, there are several examples of minority being on the bright side of the division, not majority. The division between rich and poor is one shining example of that. But in any even the majority is almost always content. When it isn't, the divisions soon resolve themselves. Examples of such "resolutions" are revolution and genocide. There are calmer dynamics of divisions, but these involves continuous although seemingly peaceful (any takeover, regardless of how "fair", IS an aggressive endeavour) redistribution of "privilege" (I'd use the term "assets", but this one will do). In a sense, what happened with BW's content "distribution" is an example of such dynamic. And while the shouts of parts of vocal society "give us and none else" are indeed egoistic in nature, those shouts cut very close to the real issue. Let's cut off briefly and study this example: There's a mathematical problem described as following. A competition is being held between two towns. For it to commence all the competitors need to gather in one place. The preparation costs are insignificant, and the only concern is travelling. The question is - where to hold a competition to minimize the travelling effort of participant? Solution. Total travelling effort=(Travelling effort of competitors from A)*(Amount of competitors from A) + (Travelling effort of competitors from *(Amount of competitors from Placing a meeting point anywhere other than between A and B is an obvious waste of travelling effort, so: (Travelling effort of competitors from A) + (Travelling effort of competitors from = Effort needed to travel from A to B Modifying the first statement: Total travelling effort=(Travelling effort of competitors from A)*(Amount of competitors from A) + ((Effort needed to travel from A to - (Travelling effort of competitors from A))*(Amount of competitors from =(Travelling effort of competitors from A)*((Amount of competitors from A)-(Amount of competitors from B)) + (Effort needed to travel from A to B) * (Amount of competitors from B) The factors shown in italic are constant. Total travelling effort=(Travelling effort of competitors from A)*((Amount of competitors from A)-(Amount of competitors from B)) + constant amount. It is now apparent that, if A has more competitors than B, travelling effort of competitors from A should be minimized. The minimum being zero. And the answer is - Hold the competition in the town that more competitors hail from. Back, to the present discussion. Reality gives us much more complex problems, bringing in extra towns (which is a calculable change), brining in extra coefficients to effort (which is an easily calculable change) and finally making those coefficients dynamic (which is the hardest complication). But the root of a problem is the same - who to give the extra slack to, in order to get the maximum total benefit. Granted, that's not the problem which vocal moronity has in mind, but they cut pretty close to the point. When deciding who to handle "privileges" to, the altruistic things to consider are: how many people will you please, and how much will it please them (the aforementioned dynamic coefficient). Egoistic view usually follows close to that, except it considers the value of "returning" pleasure, rather than the given pleasure. Ideally, it moves away from majority until, due to coefficients dynamics, the following balance ensues. (Size of majority) * (Appreciation of majority) = (Size of minority) * (Appreciation of minority) In case of more "sides" we simply compare more statements. The method is always the same - find the side with the greatest total appreciation, and keep feeding it until, due to dynamic coefficients, that stops being the case. This is the rule of both the altruistic distribution, and egoistic distribution. (Except in egoistic case you put the quotes to the words "appreciation", and get a different result) Any other distribution mechanic is neither altruistic, nor economically efficient. So yes, the majority has more "privileges", and that's how it goes in any altruistic scenario. You feed those who's need is greatest first until their need is greatest no more. Granted, not everyone in the world is an altruist, but the egoists follow close behind, and as long as potential for financial "appreciation" isn't dramatically distorted (it is distorted in our case, but not dramatically) the situation favours majority, and there's nothing to be "righteously furious" about in it. (There's a shit-load of ground for pretenders though, which reside on both sides of vocal society). Just how do you envision a character "role-playing" his affection with no suitable targets? I can see two ways. But one of them (being alone) is already an option, and another one is a case for lawsuit. Although, the game DOES write-out a number of "romantic" thoughts of the character, but if the development team is willing to go that deep I'd like to use this chance to request an option for the character not to display any "romantic" strings at all. If we get options like that, than the first logical option to request is this one - not being romantic at all. It's as close to the middle ground as one can get, AND it's an actual viewpoint to boot. Continuing the topic though, there are other concerns to consider. We "owe" a lot of social phenomena to our scientific development, or rather to social spread of practical application of our scientific development. The phenomenon this thread describes as "same sex pairing" is no exception. To avoid the long subject I'll make the explanation as short as possible. Standing against (keyword, AGAINST, not just "outside of") the society's views takes a lot of courage. The more of "them" and the less of "you" there is, the more it takes. Obviously, as more and more people "take up the position", the required courage threshold gets less and less. "Jumps", in which these thresholds move, depend on the size of persons (the ones attempting to cross the threshold) informational space. And once there's no more people to take the position at current threshold the movement halts. Point is, a lot of currently widespread viewpoints would have never become widespread without the existence of global communication (and, IMO, in the field of influence on society, internet checks-out as negative, but that's a separate long topic), and the one in question is one of those. I'm no scholar of Academagia's lore, but I've seen no evidence of global communication there, and a few hints to it's non-existence. (Correspond, for example, is described as being done through letters). In such an environment a lot of social phenomena seen in modern society are hardly believable, unless of cause they were dominant since the forming of society, or unless their society is considerably more forgiving than ours, which, in turn, judging by their methods of education, is also hardly believable. And, up to current point, we've clearly seen which viewpoint on the question in question is dominant in the world of academagia. Of cause it doesn't mean that such viewpoint does not exist there, but at the very least, few would be brave enough to be vocal or even open about it. (And there we have Bioware, who make unbelievable happen on a regular basis... And I'm not just talking about our current subject) Last, but MOST IMPORTANT, we have a game about a group of children (In fact, when I clicked on this topic's link, I though the topic "Same Sex Pairing" is about friendship progression and it's comparison to romance progression, or in other words, how detailed the friendship gets), sure, they are mature enough to cast magic, live away from parents, choose their own education and ... do research (???), but they also learn grammar, play bucket pranks, and as a group's average, look nowhere close to puberty. Should romance even proceed any further than holding hands at this point? Sure, maybe closer to year 5 some of them might be physically old enough to learn "how the flowers do it", but that's about it. Yes, I know, we already have flirting and things like "Voice of favours". But do we really have to push our adult urges any furtherer into an other wise, "kid's tale" themed environment? I definitely don't think so. Even if we do decide to break that unspoiled idealistic world, let's do it properly. These kids haven't even learned about sexual attraction yet, how the heck can they have a pre-defined disposition at this point? Right, they don't, and where do they find it? Same place we do - they mimic what they see around them and check if the role fits! (and that's the dominating reason why the whole topic is so polarized in our society) Although, to be frank, I'd hate to have to break away from a romance just because one of the kids found out that "they are of a different kind", but that's the only right way to go about a romance that started before puberty and includes a kid who's "different".
  11. All the MUA-HA-HA aside the control is rather disappointing. "Do you really need to cast that?" Spring into mind... 95+% of action you can order will be of no help to you. You can have a student work on a particular skill (might be worth having them work on compete, though not particularly, since the courses overall activeness depends on their collective merit, all you'll achieve is save THEIR time), build friendship with rare designated students, build friendship with random students, attack random students. It's really hard to find an action that'll forward your cause. Here are the most useful things I've found. -Have a student in a competing college use "unprovoked attack". That'll give him demerits and hold back the competing college's effort at the expense of some other student's health. -Have a student in your college use compete. Preferably control someone with compete at 3. A downside, is that the most potent controlling options are hostile, and you'll be spoiling relationships with your college. Still, even non-hostile options would be more time-effective than using compete yourself. -Control your clique, and see if they have any actions that benefit the entire clique. Also, see if you can get them to train skills which they cover in your adventures. Like above, though, all the most potent controlling action are considered being hostile. So, most of the time control is pointless, it's definitely better than wasting a period on compete though. (At a later months I mean, you can't have control early on) I also have a theory that repeatedly controlling the same character and getting 'em to skip classes for a long contiguous periods of time may get 'em in "trouble with authority" and maybe eventually expelled, though I've never bothered to do so, and I doubt this method's efficiency. Still, might be worth a try if you're getting bullied over and over again by the same character. Also, you could try to find a designated rival of your rival, and have him help you with your feud. Or, which should be more useful, find the designated friends of your friends and have an easier time getting them to join your clique. It's still going to take quite some time on your behalf, unless you're using hostile control on your friends. (which might be more time-effective if you need to control your friends for extensive time periods). On a side note, the description of "Formal Invitation" reminds me a lot of the concept of "presence" (a power of nobility to emanate an aura of authority, potent enough to elevate their asking and telling up to the potency of ordering or controlling). Any chance of seeing a similar thing in game? Should be a combination of etiquette/manners, grace/appearance, and discipline/self-control aspects of a character with high requirements in each of them.
  12. I hope none minds if I use some necromancy on this thread. From a few bits and pieces I've read here and there I've come to pretty much the same conclusion, only to have it negated by the Sphinx. The sphinx mentions a roll of Insight/wit against a DC of 13. I had my wit at 10. I was trying to find a reliable way to pass that roll. Among my spells was Asking the Universe which promises a 3 points bonus on all my actions and abilities. Matching wits with the sphinx is an ability. Well, 10 Wits +3 bonus vs DC 13 was NOT an automatic success. Neither in colour nor in practice. Either one of the mentioned abilities does not work as described, or the formula doesn't work as we suspect. My insight was either 2 or 3 at the time of this occurrence. We'll assume it was 2, just to be safe. I Don't have any chance of failure modifiers, but I do have a +1% chance of success. I also suspect that the stress bonus is limited by the rolling attribute (or maybe even by dominating attribute). Can't bring the numbers on this one, but I remember burning 8 stress points on a particularly difficult action and have it fail on me (about 3 consecutive reloads+retries, then I stopped retrying), even though the skill + stress was equal to DC.
  13. It's like asking computer students not to download "their" "works" from the internet. Which is perfectly reasonable. It's a school for crying out loud, why did we have to sleep through a beeping lot of classes of zoology or grammar if all we need to do to pass is some spell casting? It's our OWN skill that should be put to test, and skill at over-buffing isn't the only skill in (imaginary) life. As far as time frames go, could you show me an example that gives you +5 to all 6 exams with only 5 spells cast without a similar technique? 7 Only came into the equation because I was showcasing a tough case. For easier skill levels, with a bit extra stress, a good casting area, and a decent schedule you could get away with far less than that. And yes, we may have other activities in between, and since we'll be spending time on spell casting anyway, why not pump-up the stack and use that to squeeze in a few extra phemes for non-exam use? Like some stress removal, or stat buffs? That'd actually mean LESS wasted effort, since less build-up is wasted. OR you could take whatever study disciplines you want, buff up to +10 SL and never spend a day training them. I'm not saying that it's a great option or a reasonable option, but it's an option. That could have been a nice surprise... spoilsport. ;P Speak for yourself. I want a mandatory dispel before exams. Those buffs are circumventing the whole point of examination. AND I dislike bragging regardless of the source or form.
  14. Nope, I'm trying to compare the potential of Y2 characters and Y1 characters. Challenges difficulty is a bit different matter. So If I understand you correctly, Y2 skill levels should more or less resemble skill levels of a casual Y1 student, right? There, that wasn't to hard to answer, was it? No offence, it's just that getting this out of you was almost an exercise in stubbornness... That's what I've figured, still with all those "use pheme on item" claims in description of otherwise normal phemes I was beginning to doubt it. So what (if anything at all) do such descriptions refer to? Anyway, sorry about making you go through this "interrogation", I hope I'm not bothering you too much with it. Am I?
  15. Dissecting my own quotes from your responses, is kinda bothersome. >_< Do you mind doing it before they are all mixed up? Nope, one will almost certainly appear. So it's not a principal matter? Great! I imagine fairly easy for people focused on doing so. There are a lot of power leveling tricks the forums have uncovered. That was expected. What about people NOT focused on doing so? I'm trying to get a general idea of where to the Y2s land compared to Y1 PL and Y1 casual. The trouble with speaking about a disadvantage is that most of that is Player-perceived. New Characters in Y2 will have, for the most part, access to most all of the content. Y1 Characters certainly have the possibility of being more efficient, finding it simpler, or seeing more of it...but then again, depending on what your goals were in Y1, the reverse may equally be true. Almost all of the content will be available to new Characters. However, old Characters will have the benefit (or, as sometimes happens, the drawback) of having experienced the Y1 content, depending on their completion, success or failure. That can change the Adventures in terms of their starting point, endings, or branches along the same- sometimes subtle, sometimes fairly dramatically, depending. If that makes more sense. You're really starting to persuade me that you ARE dodging the question. The distortion of the final result caused by our perception doesn't cancel out the possibility of measuring the matter we perceive. Content CAN be measured. Written text by words or lines, choices and adventures by numbers. Which percentage of adventures and which percentage of text can't be encountered without a Y1 character? (Answer BOTH parts of that question, please.) I don't recall that the Enchanting system quite works like that- you first need an unenchanted Item, then access to certain Abilities to Enchant, and finally a Spell to add. It's the Spells which are Enchanted, and the Phemes you add are those required by them. If I remember correctly! Personally, I found it overly difficult in Y1. So I can't add "minuitae"'s bonus as a permanent item bonus, but I can change item's size or durability through appropriate phemes, right?
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