Monday, 15 April 2013

Solved One Eighth Of The Puzzle On Planet Nirn

Bruce Wilberforce finally boldly went to Fang Lair. Many wolves and skeletons and goblins wert slain, and all that. I enjoyed the architecture in this dungeon; you can clearly see this is meant to be a Dwarven mine, though there are a few defined structures which are useful landmarks. I managed to find the temple at the upper left and looted it most thoroughly. Now Bruce has a couple of Marks of Shield, which could be useful in a pinch.

Eventually Bruce found his way to the prison area in the lower left, along with a logic puzzle that seemed a little too easy to me, so naturally I solved it and didn't get savaged by spiders. Spiders suck by the way - they often paralyse on attack, which lasts quite long enough for me to get my face ripped off. Should probably make a Free Action spell or whatever later. The prison led directly to dungeon floor two. TWO FLOORS?!!

Floor two is very short - a long corridor to a small island in a lake of fire. No enemies to be seen, so Bruce opened a door and sees a FLOATING BLUE HALOED STICK THING which is obviously the staff piece he was sent to get. After nabbing it Ria goes blah blah blah then a bunch of fireballing wolves ported in, so that was kind of scary for a bit, but Bruce prevailed then high-tailed it back to town.

It was about this time I actually reviewed what Ria said, involving some kind of Ice Palace so I assumed it would be in Skyrim, resident frozen north of the Elder Scrolls world. Bruce bobbed around the region a bit trying to get information, then ran into the most helpful NPC ever: Torborn Ulrarsen. Not only did he immediately point out the locations of the Mages' Guild and nearest inn, he also let me know that somebody in town knew where the Ebony Blade was. The freaking Ebony Blade. So I immediately dropped everything to go look for it. In Arena fashion, the clue is only to find a map which leads to the artefact but I went along with it anyway.

You can watch the resulting playthrough here.

The Labyrinth of Sekaml was not only all the frick over in Morrowind but also dull as ditchwater. Looks like Arena's random dungeons are just random collections of rooms with optional rivers/tunnels overlaid on them. Also the entrance/exits locations are very predictable. After figuring this out, Bruce made his way quickly down to the map on the fourth dungeon level. Oh, this was about the time that Jagar Tharn decided to send all his minions after me, which probably spiced up the dungeon delve a little bit. Anyway, Bruce gets the map and tells him to go to some place in Elsewyr. Sigh.

Something something Rattirrogoth was just as boring as Sekaml's effort. In some ways I prefer this to Daggerfall's sprawling messes of dungeons, but it could have done with a little more thought. The Ebony Blade was reasonably easy to procure, not guarded by anything particularly dangerous.

Back in Skyrim, Bruce got a lead on the Ice Palace which will blah blah blah where the stick actually is. It's about this point that I decided to call it a day.

Aside from the fun in Arena, I also played a bit of Fable II because for some reason I still haven't finished it, despite it being the pack-in game for my Xbox 360. I continued whatever my latest save was, revealing a goody-goody generally-Skill-user with a wife called Emily, of course. A few hours of adventuring ended up with recruiting the Heroes of Strength and Will. I'm not too fond of the controls in Fable II... they're very woolly. Moving around has a weird lag time and getting stuck on stuff is very easy. In combat the controls are a little better - fluidly moving between targets is the engine's best feature, along with a hilariously satisfying melee / melee / Time Stop behind enemy / shotgun blast combo I found myself using a lot. Also dying has a near-meaningless penalty of some experience and a permanently disfiguring scar, which reduces your Attractiveness by 1 or something. I thought people loved scars?

Anyway I did the arenay-style thing with 10 rounds and only got perfect on 2 of them, mainly because everybody has a billion health and I was focusing on Skill instead of Strength, which seems to be a bad idea. Brutal Styles: Flourish allows you to expediently murder just about anything, whereas the Dexterous Styles afforded by the Skill abilities are great... if you're sniping, instead of in a mêlée. However the arena does give you a bazillion experience, so I bought a bunch of Brutal Styles - one of them allows ranged weapons to fire a lot more rapidly, which is actually pretty useful, though I'm not sure what the timing is on a rifle yet.

The Hero of Will area is quite well done, what with the whole choose-to-obey thing. It was certainly a level above the rest of the writing so far. The FMVs are also incredibly gorgeous, I forgot how good even 360 release games looked!

Oh also my character has two children, haha.

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