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Posts posted by Lynx7725

  1. One thing to keep in mind: this is a totally optional DLC. That means whatever impact it has on ME3 will not be integral to the plot. It probably means little more than additional dialog/mail/news reports.

    Uh not quite true...

    The way the story is set up, it would be canonical that the Alpha relay is destroyed and the batarian colony was lost, and that Shepard is somehow implicated. This is possibly a major plot point when Shepard tries to rally support from batarians to oppose the Reapers.

    It's like the human councilor choice: you can choose in ME1 who becomes the councilor, Udina or Anderson, but Bioware has a default choice in ME2 and it does have an effect in ME2 as to whether you can be reinstated as a Spectre. Likely, this can snowball; as a Spectre, Shepard's choice at the Alpha relay is answerable only to the Council and can be deflected there (since the operation is not human -- neither Alliance nor Cerberus). But without Spectre status, Shepard is answerable for terrorism and mass-murder as a representative of the human race. With the batarians having an axe to grind against human, it is a potential big plot point to overcome in ME3.

    Similarly, the choices made by the player in this DLC may have an impact on this; for example making an attempt to contact the colony can be used by the defense to show intent. But Bioware can always set a canon choice and any player who did not have this DLC would have to abide by the canon choice.

    Interestingly, a plot hole I just realised.

    In ME2, the implication is that the Reapers did not start their trip to the galaxy until after the Collectors are dead. However, in a particular case (i.e., when you start on this mission right after Horizon), the implication can be that the Collectors are in the galaxy even as you work to deal with the Collectors -- recall that no matter whether you destroy the Relay or not, the Collectors are due to show up in the system within a hour.

    Overall, in terms of plot integration, the Arrival DLC is much less flexible; quite clearly meant to be done after you completed the Omega-4 mission. Bioware did try to make it more flexible, but the attempt instead highlights that it simply wasn't meant to be.

    There's of course a question of how Shepard knew about Reaper indoctrination from old Reaper items if you do this DLC early; there isn't exactly a lot of ancient dead Reapers floating around for indoctrination to be a well known effect, and it's really after the derelict Reaper that the devastating effects of indoctrination even from hanging around dead stuff is more known. How exactly does Shepard understand the risks of Reaper artifact indoctrination such that he can warn the doctor about this is a bit of a plot hole.

  2. It wasn't the choice so much that bothered me, just the fact that the doctor cut off your warning. Realism doesn't really factor into my enjoyment of this series. It's a trilogy about giant, sentient, life extinguishing machines and your quest to stop them and save basically all sentient life. These are games about choices, and I find that in ME2 especially, there are far less options for the moral high ground.

    That being said, I would have liked it that if you survived the multiple waves in the Artifact Rho room, you aren't sedated for 2 days and have time to warn the Batarians before the relay is destroyed. If you fail this objective, you run out of time and you can't stop their deaths. They could have kept the achievements the same so as not to tip anyone off. They are just two different outcomes based on Shepard's/the players ability. In a game that has so much emphasis on choice, it's unfortunate that the final piece of the 2nd act has essentially none.

    To be really honest.. it's a fringe system (so much so that when I initially looked at the galactic map I couldn't find the system....). Even with 2 days' warning, it's doubtful they can evacuate the system in time. Not to mention, it's a batarian system, they're more likely to drop in fleets to simply destroy the asteroid (and happily get the fleet annihilated by the appearing Reapers).

    Trying to convince the batarians, who have a racial prejudice against humans, that a human-initiated system-annihilating event is for the greater good might be waaay beyond Shepard's pay grade. :lol:

    If you allow for more time to stage an evacuation and then destroy the Alpha relay, the story becomes not ME; it won't be the type of choice that Shepard has to make. If you make it less time so that there won't be a sedation, it becomes unbelievable. Frankly, the basic premise is a bit weak either way.

    Anyhow, the way the story is written, it's impossible to save the colonists. If they don't die from the relay destruction, they die from the Reapers. As it is, trying to warn the batarians is really just a sop to Shepard's conscience -- they're dead either way.

    Maybe a better way is that instead of destroying the relay, Shepard gets a choice to disable it somehow. The whole point is to delay the Reapers; a Paragon choice may be to not kill the colonists (but leave them to die by Reapers... eh, Paragon?) but to delay the Reapers less. A Renegade choice drops the asteroid on the relay, killing everything in the system but delays the Reapers much more.

  3. Some spoilerish stuff/ speculation. For real this time. Don't click if you are particular about these things.

    You gotta admit, the way the good doctor went out... well, chunky salsa. Not exactly what I expect in our current climate.

    Plot-wise, I did the mission post Suicide Run, so Harbinger's appearance at the end made sense. But I understand you can do it immediately post-Horizon, and unless they did a special cut to cater for that, well the whole story didn't quite hang together very well. Did anyone do immediately after Horizon?

    One thing that continue to annoy me is why the Reapers want Shepard alive. Fair enough in the basic ME2 storyline, but if canonically Arrival is supposed to happen post-Omega-4, then seriously, if I am a Reaper, I'll try to pulverise Shepard with every overwhelming advantage I have.. So why are they so keen to keep Shepard alive?

    Ok, I'll rephrase it:

    Is it worth it purely for plot/characters/story?

    Too short. It does have a good plot twist, but it's mainly just setting up for ME3. It's ok value for money, but not great. Nowhere near SB good.

  4. In the long run--is it worth it? Shadow Broker is the only DLC that sounded worth buying, and is the only one I have.

    SB brings a lot of resources to bear. Arrival... not so. It does bring at least 2 more tech, but in areas which aren't exactly hot properties. Certain classes, notably Vanguard, would probably want those, but the rest.. not so much. In terms of minerals, it's a mix bag but you generally do better mining stuff anyway. Money does seem a bit plentiful, but not overwhelmingly so.

    As an infiltrator player though, I think it's quite fun. Might not be that replayable, but good while it lasts. And I always have fun popping humanoids, so.... :lol:

    EDIT: Oh and one other thing? In terms of renegade/ paragon effect, this one's fairly minor. Overlord had a complication in that it made a full renegade/ paragon run slightly easier, but Arrival doesn't do that.

  5. I've finished Arrival. No spoilers, just a couple of things to note about the DLC.... but spoiler tags anyway.

    You can finish it in one sitting. It's not very long, but it's fun to pick up the Widow again.

    You should look at the achievements before you do anything. One will impact the way you play through.

    I ran through it the first time with my maxed out Paragon Sniper. As it turned out, it's the ideal class for this, but I suspect any class can do it. As it is, the Infiltrator makes the DLC quite ridiculous amusing in areas.

    There are a couple of tough spots, mostly because of terrain, but generally quite ok. One of the achievement is related to this though, so I'm a little miffed as I got caught on terrain and costed me.

    There is replay value because I went through my first playthrough in typical Shepard style -- "things blow up around you, Shepard". I'm quite pleased with that one achievement this time round, because it does make it worth the while to replay it with another play style.

    Story-wise there's a bit of plot hole, but it ain't bad, and there are some foreshadowing, but again, not spoiling for folks here.

    I'll do a second run with my Infiltrator to get the missed achievements, and I think I missed one of the research. Here's a tip -- you need not bring the whole arsenal on this one.... :lol:

  6. Overlord IIRC had some non-specific dialog. A few lines, not many.

    Shadow Broker, can't recall any offhand.

    Not really bothered by the solo aspect. Then again, my fav class is sniper, so having no teammates doesn't hurt that much, or Dominate Engineer, who doesn't lack for companionship.... :lol:

  7. It's simply listed as "Zaku II" without any F/J/F2/FZ/etc. Just like HGUC version. Or maybe they haven't made their mind yet on what Zaku that is (but at least we know it's not Char's -06S).

    Eh, sorry about that, I read the title and it said -06F, but that's actually wrong -- the model is clearly an -06J, without the verniers on the legs and the backpack being different. So the armaments are correct.

  8. Yeah. This morning, I listened to the web chat Bioware did. They did mention some stuff for the DLC.

    Anderson and Hackett called in a few markers they had with Shepard to pull a "doctor" out from undercover. I'm guessing it's the doctor from the novels, but her name escape me at the moment. Since it's non-Alliance and non-Cerberus, can't expect Shepard to use Cerberus assets on that little trip...

  9. I feel the same. Great looking figure, but somehow doesn't look like her. (perhaps just the angle of the face?!)

    Nah. She just look too happy. Not the "I'll be happy to beat your face into the concrete" King-Kong Kusanagi happy. Doesn't have that hint of violence under the smiling eyes.

    EDIT: Hmm. Just need the eyes to tighten a bit, and the mouth to turn down a bit.

    I wonder how that navel manages to suck the cloth in though. IIRC, the hostler is a bit too high, IIRC it is more towards the belt level?

  10. Here's an interesting find:



    Note that this is not confirmed and might be just conceptual. Ah nevermind, it's conceptual only.

    I'm not so sure about this. Historically, real-life dual drum mag didn't seem to work right -- the physics involved are just too prone to failure. Practically, the size of those drums, I'm guess it's a 25rd clip, so it's not that much of an improvement over the 18rd drum (which is nice and compact). At least they might make it flat so that it can stand in for a bipod on the Stampede...

  11. Thanks, appreciate you linking.

    Spring loaded, so no air-works. Might not be tactically useful (complicates logistics), but yeah, a certain cool factor about it.

    EDIT: Actually, an interesting adaptation would be to get it shoulder/ back mounted, and use your body as a baseplate. One-shot isn't going to be a big factor in such a case. Accuracy is for nuts, but sheer surprise value should be interesting. :) Additional work might be to mod a carrier for normal Nerf darts -- get the canister up high, release the darts, and let gravity take over; area saturation attack.

  12. A foam mortar?!? This I gotta have!

    Can't watch the video at work but man, that's a big cat...

    I'll watch the video at home, but mortar-like effect, you can achieve with Longstrike or almost any gun. Can crank quickly through a six-rd mag with a Longstrike set as a knee mortar and get them into a 5'x5' target zone at about 10 yards or slightly more. (This isn't spectacular, but remember that a default Longstrike in direct fire is already losing accuracy/ drooping at this range...) Slamfire designs should be able to do this even faster, but the ergonomics make it a lot less friendly to set up. Real issue is the default Nerf darts are too light, easily dispersed by wind. And you'll also need either open space or a high ceiling -- I couldn't test more than 10 yards on the Longstrike as the arc was slamming rounds into the ceiling...

    There is a third-party product in the market that's more of a grenade, but it requires a nose-cone impact to trigger. In that sense it's like a mortar, only restricted to how far you can throw (it's foam-covered so relatively safe) and a bit more flexible than a mortar. It's not very good -- detonation reliability is a bit suspect -- but it's another dimension to the game.

  13. Yeah, my password was alphanumeric, so it had a decent amount of security strength in it. AVG actually updated itself today about 4 hours ago and I ran the scan 2 hours ago. It had run its regularly-scheduled scan yesterday evening. It didn't pick anything up. When I tried to purchase a game from Steam, it made me verify the account by sending me an e-mail and having me click on a link embedded within. I'm wondering if this was the culprit.

    If you suspect so, then run a Google search on the game and the link. You might turn up something.

    DH: thanks for the links -- I really should schedule in a deep dig for my system.

  14. The questions I want to ask:

    1) Is it possible someone just "guessed" or hacked my e-mail password?

    2) If not, is my computer infected and AVG is not picking it up?

    For (1), it depends on the complexity of the old password. A simple password can be guessed/ brute-forced, but that also requires very simplistic security on the provider's part.

    There is also a possibility that it isn't related to your account at all, just someone overriding their email headers to use your email instead. Trivial to do, but that two of your contacts have received a spam email from you is of concern. If possible, it might be good to get the email from your friends, and run a search on the contents -- if it is a virus/ trojan, it should be reported by now and in the media somewhere.

    For (2), a possibility. It depends on how well you keep AVG updated, after all. And AV isn't infallible, no matter the make -- there has been cases where the virus targets the AV....

  15. It doesn't surprise me that playing as a magic-oriented character is easier in DA2. It's just like back in DA:O. My first character, who I stuck with for quite a while was a Warrior type. Lots of problems in numerous battles being very close and frustrating. I roll a mage, and in combination with several other magic-oriented party members and a meat shield warrior, the game was absolute Easy Mode. In difficulty, the contrast was like night and day.

    I'm not sure whether it's strictly a Mage issue per se. I'm currently playing an archer in DA:O, and when you get 2 or 3 archers with a meat shield who can tank it does get quite straightforward. I think what the Mage does is to project a LOT of damage over range, such that just one or two mage in the party is already sufficient.

    In my archer run in the DA2 demo, the final boss fight was entertaining - Firestorm going off, Fireballs going off, Explosive arrows... lots of boom. :) It was quite amusing to start the fight with all the range explosives going off like 10 feet in front of you and killing all the starting mooks except for the boss and an assassin. The ability to project damage over range looks to be the important deal in DAO/2, it's just that the mage does it best with damage and also other effects (knockdown/ freeze, in the demo).

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