Lots to catch up on.NeverWinter Nights
I managed to take my second fighter one level higher than the first and win the game. In the process, I discovered something annoying; I still
couldn't get a +4 weapon, and when fighting in that bottleneck ("strange courtyard") I still kept getting "weapon ineffective!" messages. But something was somehow hurting the enemies, and I managed to kill them without dying.
Then I discovered that you can take your character online to a solo multiplayer game and play the most experience-rich areas of the final chapter to level up. It's not hard; it takes less than four 20-minute play-throughs to get your character up a level, even from 19 to 20! Then you can play the character in local solo play at the new, raised level.
But the ending was lame. There had been strong hints at romance with the main heroine/villainess (as well as with at least one of the henchwomen, which seemed odd; is polygamy common in the Forgotten Realms?), but the end didn't even mention her or, well, anything
. It was just one of those lame "the adventure continues!" bits, nothing more than an advertisement for upcoming supplements.
And believe me, NWN's cutscenes aren't made with 1/1000
the skill of any of Blizzard's cutscenes. They were simply lame.
Nonetheless after Christmas I went to Best Buy and picked up the Diamond edition of NWN (and Same & Max Season One
as well, but I've only just started playing that). I took it home and was surprised that it was only one disk; it was supposed to contain not only my original edition of NWN, but two major sequels and some additional campaigns as well. I chalked it up to improvements in compression algorithms, or the possibility that the original game had been pretty small; it was old, after all.
Yes, I'm an idiot. It was a DVD-ROM. I didn't figure that out until after I'd opened it up and put it in the CD-ROM drive with no reaction.
Now, my computer has a DVD-ROM. But like so much of the rest of the system, it's a cheap piece of shit. It hasn't worked since the second month after I bought the damned system. Sometimes it shows up on My Computer, but that's rare - and even when it does, it almost never actually works
. It doesn't open, or respond to the "Eject" command, or anything.
The girl at Best Buy was pretty rude when I tried to exchange it for a CD-ROM version of the same game; she copped a big attitude. I told her that I'd called and confirmed that it could be exchanged for the CD-ROM version, and she acted like she was a queen being asked by a commoner to wipe his ass. Unfortunately in this case the queen won, because there IS NO CD-ROM version of Neverwinter Nights Diamond. I went back to the customer service desk to tell them that, and they looked at me like I was a fucking bug. See if I ever shop at Best Buy again!
Anyway, it seems that I have a shiny $20 coaster until I buy a computer with a DVD-Rom...which will be never
, at the rate things are going.
Desktop Tower Defense
Is anyone else playing this? It's pretty damned addictive. If you haven't tried it, it's a free browser-based game
I played it a lot, never managing to win but (of course) doing better and better as time passed. Recently I made a breakthrough, and today I was able to beat it in Medium mode without losing a single life. Here's how the board looked at the end:
The trick is to use the cheapest towers to build most of your maze, and concentrate on upgrading key towers to the most powerful form. I first managed to win by upgrading Pellet towers to long-range Snipers; I'd ignored them at first because the game describes them as "cheap", but eventually suspected that this was misdirection. It was, and it wasn't. The thing to remember is that one upgraded tower does more damage for the money than two less-upgraded ones. If you pump up each tower all the way to the final upgrade, your firepower will be maximized. Also, placement is helpful. I concentrated my towers in the center, so as to be able to concentrate fire both on the land-based creeps and the air-creeps which sail right over the towers. Speaking of air creeps, I found that Squirt towers upgraded to the max were highly effective both against ground and air; one centrally-located maxed Swarm tower (air-only) bracketed by a couple of maxed Squirts was all I needed to handle the final two Air bosses. As soon as they'd passed I sold the Swarm and used the money to quickly max out two or three more Squirts. I didn't lose a single life.
A couple of other points: it's a good idea to have at least a couple of maxed Freeze towers spaced early in the line of flight (west and north) of the air creeps, but not too close to the edges. They freeze both air and ground creeps, slowing and damaging them; this allows your Squirts to take them out more quickly. Another good idea is to make sure that your areas of fire are not wasted. Many of the towers have an enlarged area of fire in their final form, and if much of that area is off the edge of the field, you're wasting potential attacks.
I noticed that it was possible to screw around with the creeps by removing a key tower, giving them a shortcut; they'd turn around and head towards the opening, which (of course) I plugged before they could reach it. Then they'd turn back, giving my Squirts more time to attack. But it wasn't worth it. The countdown timer is always running, so the next wave comes on and you don't get much of a benefit from having the previous wave run back and forth. Plus there's the risk that the new wave will actually make it through
I also tried a diagonal maze - a lot - but ended up feeling that it wasn't as efficient as the straight(ish)-line maze.
Almost forgot: my top score so far is position 234435 with 6882 points, no lives lost.
Whew! Long post!