December 14th, 2004



Well, this is a good indicator that I should return the coat: today I opted to wear my leather jacket because it's warmer. Le sigh.

On the topic of Morrowind, and computer gaming in general, laurie_robey asked me last night, "What made you decide to try Morrowind again?" to which I answered, "Lack of anything better." What would be better? Well, that's a tough question. Last night, I was in the mood for Conan.

There are a handful of fantasy or SF character archetypes that I particularly enjoy playing, or have always wanted to play in an extended game, which are...

Warrior mage (currently doing with Theran in jamesbarrett's game)
Cat 'morph (done a little in laurie_robey's Star Wars, and in Jedi Knight/KotOR)
Jedi Knight (combined w/ cat 'morph above)
Starfighter pilot (done in Wing Commander)
Heroic rogue/Robin Hood type (never done)
Swashbuckling pirate/privateer -- either historical or space opera (never done)
Elf ranger/Legolas clone (never done)
Barbarian/Conan clone (never done)

Some of these can be done in computer games; Wing Commander probably gives the "starfighter pilot" experience better than most tabletop RPGs would, for instance. Most of the others you can shoehorn into other games, but it rarely comes off right. There is no D&D-licensed game where it's possible to swing from chandeliers, for instance. To my knowledge, there are no games were a blood-handed barbarian can carve himself an empire. CRPG's generally assume the "heroic quest" model, where you start by playing run-and-fetch-it, and then work your way up to "kill the world-threatening villain." You can put a Conan clone into that scenario, but it's not a comfortable fit. None of the dialog options are ever something that he would actually SAY!

Very few computer games have Robert E. Howard's flair for weird menace, either, but then who does? Most of them seem to stick with the rats - goblins - zombies - demons progression. I guess this is because the Disneyland school of monster population makes for easier programming than having lots of different types of people, with the occasional big, scary monster being the climax of the story.

The Legolas clone is certainly easier to fit in personality wise, but in actual play tends to be rather dull. Does he jump around, climb trees, and so on? No, he stands in one spot and shoots off arrows, because that's all the game has programmed in. Archers also tend to be less-than-stellar performers in most games because they do better against a horde of one-hit enemies, but most CRPG battles are a handful of three-or-four-hit enemies. When Legolas shoots an orc, it dies. When the CRPG Legolas clone shoots an orc, it keeps coming, with an arrow sticking out of it.

Oh well. Maybe I'm just incredibly picky when it comes to my escapist entertainment.

-The Gneech
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Speaking of '80s Alternative

From the "Songs I Never Expected to Hear on the Radio" department: would you believe "Moments In Love" by the Art of Noise?

I mean, even for the Art of Noise, that's not a pop kinda song!

Neat. =^.^=

-The Gneech
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