Sin Publica – Older Games – Wizardry 8 – Part One – The Characters

29 12 2013

For those who don’t know, the phrase “Sin Publica” means “Without Politics”.  This is one article that will be devoid of political comment or commentary.  If you are of the political bent, feel free to skip over this article.  Please note I’m not a frequent blogger… as a matter of fact as you can see, this is my first article in MONTHS.

Anyhow, this is going to go through a playthrough of an old game called Wizardry 8.  It’s the third game of a particular story series starting with Wizardry 6: Bane of the Cosmic Forge, followed by Wizardry 7: Crusaders of the Dark Savant.  All of these games follow several items in particular and the Ascension go through the process of becoming a cosmic lord, a being akin to a god:

1) The Cosmic Forge – a pen which if anything is written with it, it becomes true
2) The Astral Dominae – the key to life itself
3) The Chaos Moliri – the key to change
4) The Destinae Dominus – the key to knowledge

However, before we begin, we need a characters.  Since Wizardry 7 is pre-Windows XP and Wizardry 6 is Pre Windows 95, it will be a little harder to play a game from that far back, unless you decide to REALLY go retro, and bring the characters through both games.  Ergo, we start as (mostly) clueless adventurers who end up on a spaceship.  Also, please note my choice of characters may not be the same as what others may use.  I will however go through as someone who has been through a fair deal of the game.

Now there are a number of races, among them Human, Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, and Hobbit are the most familiar to people.  The exotic races are Mook (think wookie but have better speech patterns), Rawulf (anthropomorphic canines), Felpurr (anthropomorphic felines), Dracon (yeah, like a dragon), Faerie (small and with butterfly wings) and Lizardman (not a creative name, but effective).

There are several pure classes: Fighter, Mage, Priest, Psionic, Alchemist, Rogue, and Gadgeteer.  They are pure as in they really don’t branch outside of their classes that much, if at all.  Also here is the Bard, though it is in many ways considered a hybrid, it’s a pure due to XP requirements.  XP requirements of pure classes are typically smaller than hybrid classes.  Since I’m not going to make use of Music or Gadgeteering, or any pure class in general, these classes will not be included in the party.

There are several hybrid classes.  Lord (Fighter/Priest – Mace/Dual Weapon focused), Valkyrie (Fighter/Priest Polearm focused), Samurai (Fighter/Mage Sword Focused), Ranger (Fighter/Alchemist Range Critical Specialist), and Monk (Fighter/Psionic Martial Artist Specialist).  XP requirements for these classes are higher than pure classes.  Many of these classes are in consideration.

There are two classes called “Elite” classes.  They are the Ninja (Rogue/Alchemist Throwing Weapon Specialist), and the Bishop (Caster Class Hybrid).  They have the steepest XP requirements since they can become absolutely deadly at higher levels.

After looking at the races and classes I’ve made the following decisions, for role-playing and aesthetic purposes:

The first support character will be a Mook Ranger.  Mook for aesthetic and role-playing purposes, and Ranger since the other classes he is good for are pure classes (Psionic, Gadgeteer, Fighter, and Bard).  He’ll need help with speed, or a healthy senses boost to aid in initiative.

Since I have eliminated all other casting characters, the Bishop will be the sole caster.  Alas, since gnomes are poorly distributed in points, they are out of the running for the Bishop.  The choices are Human, Elf, and Faerie.  Faerie are the best spell casters of the bunch, bar none, but they are poor when it comes to equipment.  We’re not worried about carrying requirements for a bishop, but we would like some nice equipment to be available.  Humans are good as hybrid characters, scarily so, but we’re trying to limit the number of humans in the party to maybe one.  Ergo by process of elimination, we will choose the Elf, solid caster, and not quite as fragile as the faerie.

This leaves four other characters.  There should be at least two main line fighters.  The best choices for primary main line fighters are Fighter, Valkyrie, Lord, and Samurai.  Secondary choices would be Monk, Ninja and Rogue.  Rogue and Fighter, being pure classes are out.

The Valkyrie can be obtained as a recruitable player character (RPC) very early on in the first city we come across.  This must be taken into consideration.

Each member of the party will be an original class.  RPC’s can double up if need be.

One of the best aesthetic RPC’s is an android monk.  He has no latent psionic ability but can become a hand-to-hand destroyer.  He’s in the late part of the early game to early part of the mid-game.

Samurai can make use of an armor very early on in the first dungeon, the monastery, and come with two swords to begin the game.  And the Samurai RPC starts out very weak.

The Lord RPC doesn’t come until much later into the game.  Neither does the ninja RPC.

After all is said and done, I do like Samurai.  Critical hits are really good.  If we want dual-wield, the Lord is the better choice.  Another polearm would bring out a Valkyrie.

The frontline fighters will be a Rawulf Valkyrie, and a Felpurr Samurai, which make four.

The fifth will be a human ninja, more critical goodness.  There, we have our human.

The sixth is a choice between a Lord and a Monk.  Since the Monk has another casting ability possible, we’ll take a Monk.  That will be a Faerie.  We’ll make her a staff monk since hand-to-hand might prove dangerous.

So our six characters will be –

1) Rawulf Valkyrie
2) Felpurr Samurai
3) Faerie Monk
4) Human Ninja
5) Mook Ranger
6) Elf Bishop

Gameplay to follow.


As The Year comes to a Close

31 12 2011

And I battle the annual winter cough, my eternal nemesis a few last Quick Hits for 2011…

So many things have happened this year, and Skyrim is merely one of them.  Usama bin Laden, meeting his makers and his 72-year-old virgin, is top among them.

Many Democrats are retiring from Congress, as is being mentioned now on my friend’s radio show,DaTechGuy On DaRadio.  Barney Frank top among them in our state.

A major loss in very liberal, but brilliant men Steve Jobs of Apple and unapologetic atheist Chris Hitchens.  Another, more aesthetically pleasing loss in North Korean Evil Dictator, Kim Jong Il.

Occupods, the illegitimate children of Georgie Soros.  Make your own connections.

On a good note, I had no losses in my family this year.  Three from last year, was three too many.  Uncle Peter, Cousin Megan, and Mom, you are all greatly missed.

Mounting debt, and 1.2T more coming up for Obama’s foibles in the next couple of decades, ummm… years… no, wait… months.  Yeah, that’s it.

The Bruins win the 2011 Stanley Cup.  I should be rejoicing, being a fan of Boston’s sports, but for some reason it doesn’t excite me.

Diablo 3 and being selected for the Beta.  That excited me.  Looks to be good so far.

Elder Scrolls 5, Skyrim.  Only had it for a few days, but it looks good so far.  Still an amazing amount of content.

Peter’s show going to two hours.  And the upcoming new years festivities in Fitchburg and Tewksbury.

As Journey says in their song “Don’t stop Believing”, but prepared for the hard work to come!  Happy New Year!

Some really good news – Quick Shots – Post Election

5 11 2010

A great day nationally… locally… well definitely room for improvement.  A few bullet points

  • Looking at it from a positive point, 680 seats nationwide were picked up by Republicans.  This has NEVER happened in US history.
  • With the 60+ seat pickup of over 100 seats in play, the House definitely goes Republican.  This puts John Boehner as the likely new Speaker of the House for the next congress.
  • Our own legislature in Massachusetts is more Republican now, if albeit slightly.  The house doubled to 32 seats going GOP.  The Senate sadly went from 5 to 4 with the loss of Richard Tisei’s seat (who ran for Lt. Governor) to the Democrats.  Another 10 years of this trend, and perhaps there won’t be a liberal super-majority in both houses.
  • Redistricting will be taking place in the state soon.  Likely one district will be lost (due to population loss).  Sadly it’s the State Legislature who’s in charge, but… maybe, just maybe…

On the gaming front:  Mass Effect 2 continues to be the game of the moment.  Though for the end of the year and new year, the games to watch for me are, in order, WoW: Cataclysm, Fallout: New Vegas, Dragon Age 2, Diablo 3.

Quick Shots – Upcoming and current games

17 09 2010

I know I don’t blog much at all, even more infrequently due subject of the previous post, I’m going to make a few quick shots at some games that are coming up.

Fable 3 (Upcoming) – First Fable 2 is unavailable for PC and now Fable 3 is now delayed for the PC, but available for the XBOX 360.  I actually enjoyed Fable: The Lost Chapters for the PC, and am disappointed by this development.

Civilization V (Coming Soon!)- The hexagonal grid is going to be interesting as it comes out later this month.  Civ has been an addiction for a very long time, especially as it comes out later this month!

Dragon Age 2 (Upcoming) – Mature themed game not for the kiddies, just like it’s predecessor.  The game-play of the original impressed me greatly, especially how the story is tied in: a BIG thing for me and RPG games.

Starcraft 2 (Available now) – A lot of hubbub about how the network play has changed in this storied RTS.  Granted, as I don’t do LAN games that much, it hasn’t affected me.  Seems a fairly good balance, but I still can’t get that far even against a moderate AI.  So much for my strategic “genius”.  I like how they tied it in the campaign, which was of a good length in my opinion.

World of Warcraft Cataclysm (Upcoming) – Hmmm, I’ve gotten over how things didn’t seem to be part of the story, as I read further into it.  Blizzard is usually top notch when it comes to tying things into the story, especially with a series as storied as Warcraft.  A guilty pleasure I may try to go 30 days into again if it comes out.  Lich King had some really good story elements, so we’ll see if things continue in this expansion.

Diablo 3 (Upcoming) – Still waiting for it.  A huge change in game-play mechanics from Diablo 2 concerns me a bit, but risks sometimes pay off.  From what I’ve heard of Halo:Reach, it paid off big time.  Loved Diablo 2 but sad that it became so incompatible with Vista/Win 7.

Disciples 3: Renaissance (Available Now) – Disciples 2 was a huge thing for me some time ago.  Disciples 3 has some good elements via the demo, but the voiceovers (as it was originally Russian) is sorely lacking in quality.  I’m tempted if I do get the game to turn it off.

Possible Game to look into: Bioware’s Mass Effect 2.

Early Preview: Dragon Age – Origins

14 01 2010

This is my first review of a game in some time, and this one is a multi-platform game from Bioware, Dragon Age: Origins.  Little surprise, I’m doing the PC version.

Bioware has been known for going along with Atari and Dungeons and Dragons with Neverwinter Nights, so this had a lot going for it already.  The decision to break away from D&D was possibly a wise one, as it makes the the game surprisingly fresh.  The system appears to be less linear, and the voice acting that I’ve seen so far seems to be fairly good.  The graphics are great and it runs well on my now run-of-the-mill core duo system.  It’s too early to be certain but I think this is a great game, and will try to have a review after a full play-through.

Board Game First Impression – World of Warcraft the Board Game

19 05 2009

Finally something that my friend DaTechGuy can sink his teeth into:

This game has been in my closet for over a year, all but untouched, and finally got christened this past Saturday at my bi-weekly gaming session with my fellow gaming crew who I’ve been gaming with since we met around 2000 or so during the UMass Lowell Graduate Student experiment.  Well, I never got more than a couple classes under me, but I did find some new friends there.  In any case, the game in question is based upon the MMORPG World of Warcraft from Blizzard Entertainment.

It took quite awhile for all of us to get used to the game, and a very long time to set it up.  We didn’t finish the game, but at the end of the night, once we got into it, we all had the same opinion:  “Damn, that was fun!”

It’ll take a few hours to get into the game and get used to the mechanics of it, but it is first and foremost a TEAM game.  Faction vs. Faction (Alliance vs. Horde), and it is best suited for 2, 4 or 6 players, but is quite playable with 3 or 5 players too (though a bit harder).  You control one of eight classes, two of them faction specific (The Alliance’s Paladin and The Horde’s Shaman), but once someone plays a class, it becomes unavailable for the opponent (ie two warriors can’t play, since the character sheet has the alliance on one side and the horde counterpart on the other).  It takes a bit of decision making on what you will play, and how it’ll complement your teammate(s).

It’ll take awhile to setup, it took us about 90 minutes since we were going between setup and rule reading.  I think next time will be faster, and we may be able to get a full game done next time.

It does take a bit of strategy and a decision must be made, you have 30 turns to defeat an overlord (which you select at the beginning of the adventure), or if 30 turns pass, on turn 31, a Faction vs Faction fight takes place, where one faction must survive, or possibly, both factions fall at the same time.  A draw is ENTIRELY possible in this game.

One playthrough is not enough to make a rating out of it.  A second playthrough will be required, and it will take place the saturday after next, instead of the normal D&D adventure.  The DM and players needed a break. 😀

When we last left our Heroes – Second February Session

27 02 2009

This is the report of the second February session of my Bi-weekly dungeons and dragons session.  As to not bore our other viewers, a nifty link below will reveal the entire article to only those interested!  Click at your peril!  Additional warning, some graphic and disturbing content is listed within.

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