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Warframe - I'm not that hard up....

Warframe developers DE have been destroying the enjoyment of the game methodically - as if they are unaware that there are other games out there. I'm just here to inform you, DE - I am not that hard up that I NEED to play Warframe. There are THOUSANDS of games I can play. I can EASILY FORGET YOU.

I would LOVE to play Warframe - but there have been changes that absolutely cannot be tolerated.

Changing existing characters, equipment, weapons in a drastic and negative way. They call it "nerfing". I call it inconsistency and total disrespect. You have a character that you use for defense mission because he has the one ability in the game that makes it viable - and you alter that ability so that it doesn't work properly anymore - breaking defense viability. That isn't an optimization - that is DE trying to slow down the game progress because they are trying to stop people from getting to end-game.

Changing systems in a way that breaks weapons - with no tweaking to make up for the issue you just caused. This happened with Damage 2.0 and Melee 2.0 - they were highly anticipated "optimizations" that turned out to actually be gigantic nerfs. All of a sudden our weapons didn't perform as well as they were before - and DE just seemed to sit back and laugh about it. Before Damage 2.0 came out, they even released a couple of high performing weapons - which were promptly nerfed under the new Damage system. It was like a cruel joke.

The latest is removing stats from items and making them purely cosmetic. Who needs it, then? Why would I play an area a hundred times for a "cute" helmet that does nothing for my character's performance? Rhino, for example NEEDS the Vanguard helmet - DE didn't tweak the frames to give them the FIXES the helms provided - so if your a new player there are going to be some broken frames - like a slow Rhino (I mean so slow he is still in the third room while the rest of the team is at the end - and that is not exaggerating. Even a fully maxed Rush can't help Rhino - he NEEDS Vanguard).

I already thought these MMO's were bad because of the cash cow tactics - but this isn't even cash cow - it's throat cutting. I'm not playing a game where you are a weak, pathetic loser who can't shoot his way out of a paper bag. I'm not investing in a company (and I haven't) that cannot resist destroying it's own product - that makes no fiscal sense whatsoever.

THAT SAID - I haven't played since last September (when they killed Frost and Vaulban). And guess what folks - I am still alive and thriving! I actually found other games to play - some of them every day! I check in to see how much more insanity they can pile on every once in a while - but thus far nothing has changed in a positive way to make me want to start playing again. I don't know what the kooky plan is over there - but I have no interest in getting the shaft further shoved up my nether regions... seez ya laterz, lame, crippled Tennos...

Free to Play - My Buttocks!

I was not reslly into online gaming, except for Cityville and Mafia Wars - but as I became frustrated or bored with both of those I decided to try out some strategy games. I played Batheo, Crystal Saga, Chronicles of Merlin, Warflow - and after a while got thoroughly turned off. Why? Because at a certain point they all did the same thing - made it so hard to advance WITHOUT CASH PAYMENTS that the games became impossible and extremely bogged down. Batheo, Warflow and Chronicles of Merlin have different graphics - but its all the same gameplay and the same irritating problems - they all use the same tactics to get people to pay.

Starve you out.

Slow your advancement.

Impede you from upgrading.

Throw ridiculously hard battles at you out of nowhere.

Show you how a player who has half your levels can be twice as powerful - with CASH.

Change the game dramatically when you get to cetain levels, so you can harldy make a move without having to stop playing (like cool down timers that get increasingly punishing as you level up).

Forcing you to choose between prematurely levelling up or having no activity in your game play.

Crystal Saga does some of that - but they add on confusing levelling, impossible battles and low odds creating / finding certain items that will help you advance. You can always get past all that with CASH, though...duhh.

Now that I am more aware of the underhanded methods being utilized to extract cash from people, it will be hard to impossible for me to ever play these types of games - and I am going back into my shell over all this MMO stuff again. Cityville has new goals now anyway - at least I can keep doing stuff in that game, instead of just looking at the interface and not having anything to do for hours...

Game Testers still not getting their due in 2011...

First of all, I'm not a game tester - but I did spend a little time getting ripped in the past working for a small company that operated as a contract company for companies that were really cheap - too cheap to pay the measly sums that game testers already get.

I do look at the positions every once in a while - hoping they will get better, but it's been about 20 years since I did it and it's still the same. Game Testers are the security guards of the industry. Just like security guards, they do the most critical work in the company, yet do not recieve proper respect or pay. And now they are asked to be even more technical - it's not simply play through the game and report anomalies anymore - they are almost like Jr. Programmers; having to find and report hacker level bugs. They are required to work 24/7 if necessary - and cheap skate game companies won't pay them much more than minimum wage. Its shameful and a travesty. I'll bet you that the people in the HR department are getting paid well - and do they develop games? NO.

The kernel - the skeleton crew, if you will, of any company are the people who should be getting premium pay. The kernel of a game development company is the Game Producer, Designer, Artists, Programmer, and TESTER. If you have those components - you can make a game. So why is it that the Tester is getting left out of the loop? It is what happens when you let HR run your company. All of a sudden certain people aren't worth as much as others. HR goes by a pre-made formula, stamped in their heads at the collegiate level. They cannot adjust based on the individual needs of the company. Companies make the mistake of allowing those people to run them, when they should only provide a service. If they were capable of running a business - why are they working for you?

The first thing an HR department will do is set up your company to value their friends - college graduates - more than anyone else regardless of expertise. They will weed out people like the companies founders - who might have great skills, but do not fit their profile. You have given your company over to them and now all you get is whatever every other company gets. your company is going to be built without any individuality at all. Because Testers aren't normally degreed, the HR will and has ruled that they are not worth premium slaray - well no salary at all actually. They get paid hourly, which is dumb because Testers work around the clock anyway.

Because there is no game tester degree program, HR feels justified in paying these hard workers the minimum they can skate by with. And you - as the lazy company owner - has let them go ahead and perform this abomination. Why get your hands dirty and do the right thing? HR knows what they are doing, right? And it's more money to pay the programmers, designers, artists, etcetera - right? Who cares about the game tester - all they do is make sure a quality, polished product arrives on the shelf - and save your compaby from lawsuits, returns and abandoned customers? They only save you millions of dollars - so why are they worth paying properly.

Oh yeah - because HR says so.

Who is running the company - you or Human Resources???

I sure had a lot to say about Fable 4...

My post at Project Ego regarding ideas about Fable 4 - I thought since I wrote a freakin' novel it deserves to be here... (http://projectego.net/fable-4/comment-page-103#comments):

Like the consensus I liked Fable 1 / TLC (which I consider an add-on to Fable) the most. There are elements of 2 and 3 that I liked, but overall Fable was the best. I didn't mind the dog so much in F3, because it didn't require as much attention as in F2. In F2 the dog was a complete annoyance – didn't you have to feed it too? It's been a long time since I played F2, but I do remember that annoying, attention sucking mutt.

What I did like in F3 was the nice graphics and the guns. Yes, I said the guns. I didn't like the guns jamming after 4 shots (maybe that was just the guns I had) – but I did like them. I think they need to work on the guns zoom feature and in combat mechanics. For instance – if you don't specifically point at an enemy and fire the gun, why does it choose an enemy that is far away from you when there is one or two right in your face about to smash on you? I had one of a million hollow man ambush fights (at the Fort again and again) where I was trying to shoot one that was right up on me – I was even aiming at it and the game kept shooting something off-screen. I had to pull out a sword to hit that one particular enemy because the game would not let me shoot it! Additionally, there was really no use for a pistol over a rifle that I could see. The game explained one over the other depending on the type of shot mechanics (long range or close-up battling) but really – I just chose the most powerful (rifles) and let that be that.

I don't know because I really didn't concentrate on upgrading weapons – but they should think about taking away the jamming as you upgrade mastery or the gun itself. I have weapon mastery level 5 and my gun is still jamming – come on, that's ridiculous. And they should allow us (I said ALLOW, not FORCE) to make our own weapons, and especially hybrids – since we have to learn blacksmithing, why not use it?

Why are the melee weapons so weak in F3? In F1 and 2 the swords / hammers were devastatingly powerful. In F3, my default is a rifle, not so in F1- 2. Its because the swords and hammers are so freaking weak in F3 it's like trying to beat the enemies with a straw. My sword cannot back up a Balverine – but my rifle can. I don't have the killer 360s like in the previous Fables, that can devastate a group and keep them off of me – so the next best thing is my trusty steel hot lead pumper.

The next best thing to sword play to keep enemies off of you in F3 is magic – but try even the strongest enemy pushing spell (Force) and see how much breathing room is gives you with the Grey Balverines. tbc…

To continue: I agree with an earlier poster that the gauntlets are not necessary. The Hero is supposed to have innate powers, and be able to wield special weapons that nobody else can. The magic skill doesn't need to be bound to an device to justify the "passing down" theme of the game – the magic is a natural gift, or should be – not something handed down like a sword, axe, gun or blade; its passed down in the genes. So in that respect Fable 4 should make sense better than F3 did (or didn't).

Even at mastery the magic spells at that level of casting take too long. Your still going to be surrounded when the spell hits, depending on the enemy. A good example is at Worthington Manor (dlc) or Aurora area fighting those living statue things in the desert (they can really accumulate at the right spots). Hollow Men can accumulate, but only if your weapon is weak and you don't know to keep moving. Use any spell you want – your still going to have to roll out of there, even at master level.

What almost all developers are doing now is making the games so that the difficulty can never be surpassed., They call this "game balancing" or "keeping the game challenging". They have forgotten what makes a good adventure story, the struggle, the revelation and then the triumph. Its the triumph part that we are not getting and that bitter taste in many gamers mouth. Even if its very difficult or secret, gamers need at least some hope that they can get past the struggle phase. In the present state, there is very little if any reward, because all developers think about is "challenging the player". It punishes the player for advancing in levels or becoming more advanced than the game "thinks" he/she should be, in ignorance of the effort it took to get there.

There is the notion – well wouldn't the game become boring if a player were allowed to become "overpowered"? The answer is that the gamer had his / her enjoyment GETTING THERE. Becoming "overpowered" is a journey in itself, unless the game makes it too easy. The thing is, make it even remotely possible – maybe I don't want to over-level in my first run, but on a subsequent run I might play it that way. Developers forgot about replay – people want to replay, but most don't want the same game experience as the first time. So becoming super-powered should remain one of the options.

I could go on and on – but specifically what F4 should have is a better, more detailed map. You should be able to transport to a specific spot on that map. I could care one way or the other about the dog – maybe that should be optional. I would suggest being able to call animals ala Darksiders horse – and as a matter of fact, that is what the hero needs – a horse, or the ability to jump on one if needed. Magic should flow outward of the Hero and through everything he touches. He should be able to influence his weapons based on his magic. Combat should be more fluid, no more holding buttons to perform a flourish. Perhaps flourishes should be based on number of successive hits (combo) just before the death blow?

F4 should have a much larger kingdom – that is, based on what era they will be concentrating in. What is good about the series is that they cleverly leave it wide open – it never says your hero is to be greater than the last – it just says your the hero of that particular day. So it doesn't hamper them to make another game in which the hero could be vastly superior than other games in the series. That being said, and "Old Kingdom" prequel would flush out the series nicely. The Old Kingdom would be massive, because it is before the fall of the Kingdom (notice how Albion is sparsely separated). The question is – will Lionhead actually have the nuts to push out an epic game? Most studios have 2 epic games, the first and the last – and the rest are games that are just marketing players to buy the next game.

It is obvious by the story that the Old Kingdom had much more powerful heroes, Albion heroes are unaware until they "discover" that they are so skilled. The story of the Old Kingdom would have to consider that people are aware of Hero power and their value / purpose – it would be a totally different Fable indeed.

I think they should add summoning magic, and take it out of the bottle. Your summon could level up as your usage and stats like other weapons. They have to consider that because of how they added a face to the dark forces this time around. If there are dark spirits complaining about light – where is the light coming from? Must be light spirits that are powerful enough to balance. So it makes sense to be able to communicate with them.

Its time for the blind seer to be revealed, and Old Kingdom story can provide the back-story. Maybe F4 can finally tie all these disparate games together? Or maybe they just want to keep it mysterious?

F4 should have better "everything". The menu, the story, the rewards. It should also allow us to create the look and race of our character, as they promised since the first game. Lionhead, for example, offers in it's hair pack corn rows and afros – but where do they allow me to make a "Carl Johnson" (Grand Theft Auto: SA) ? NOWHERE – I can't get into playing the girls because she will have one particular look and your stuck with it – and it ain't the kind of girl I'm into. The Prince is not a character I would choose in a lineup either, but at least he's a dude I can buff out. F4 could go so far as to change the whole complexion of the races in the game according to your choice.The Hero you choose, or rather the look you choose for your Hero should have no bearing on his / her skills and abilities, Lionhead… if your listening. You know how these companies do it – they add races but they also add irritations that make choosing them a bad decision. Look at how irritating the Aurorans (minorities) are in the game – I just want to kill the whole city if I have to ear one more slow motion sentence out of them.

They should add options such as – Are you gay Would you like to turn off gay characters in the game? Would you like to have the lights on or off during "sex" (age check)? I'm not homophobic – but I am not gay either and I find it off-putting to be trying to make a friend and suddenly dude is asking for a date. If they don't give us that option, then add to the expression an easy way out. In F3 if you push anyone over to the date side, that's all they do is keep asking you for a date – I can't stand that, gay or not. Give us an out, Lionhead! They should add options for the controller as well. Let us re-assign buttons for goodness sake (whatever happened to that in games anyway?). The camera should be corrected so you can more easily see who you are fighting; in most games, clicking the R3 (stick) will spin the camera over the shoulder of your character – not in F3 – it just does a 1% zoom thing – totally useless. Let us pull in and out so we can see what the heck is going on. And let us use items, like foods, outside of battle.

Fix the freaking inventory! Why do I have to go to a Pawnbroker to figure out what I have? There's your weapons and clothing – but what about how many Toy Bows I have? How many Women's Pyjama Slippers? Show me an inventory! And when I need to buy something for one of my 15 brat children who now hate me because I was too good and too broke – how about providing it at the shops? It took me about 5 hours to find a Porcelain Doll – that's insane.

Fix the quest system! I had about 10 -15 fetch / gift quest that I completed in F3, and all I needed to do was return to the hirer – they all disappeared. How about letting US choose whether to cancel quests??? Think about that for F4 (or make a freakin' patch for F3). And fix the glowing hint trail too – any time I choose to go to Mourningwood (where the hippies are) it vomits me far away from the camp, and after 50 – 60 times fighting the same pattern of Hobbes and Hollow Men it really gets tired. The opposite way is just as bad – when I get quests from MourningWood to Bowerstone and choose fast travel it takes me on this convoluted path – when I got my bearings I felt stupid – there is a sewer right there in Mourningwood that gets you there in about 1 minute with no fighting whatsoever – but the game should know that too. Quests should always have precedence over jobs – but then again that should be your choice. And stop changing my current task without confirming it with me!

Dump the co-op MOANING in the game. As a singleplayer, I should be able to play the game without being nagged IN-GAME to go co-op. I shouldn't be nagged about Xbox Live either. I shouldn't have any weapons that require me to do things on Xbox Live in order to level it up – what does that have to do with the Hero's story? There should not be a Demon Door asking for me to bring a co-op player – I am playing a game, not recruiting Xlive players.

Ok I'm shuttting up now…

I think I've said enough for now. Just change it, fix it and make it better, Lionhead. Oh and make it for PC ON TIME this time.

The All Time Greatest Game Villian Bracket - So much HATERADE!

I cannot believe how mean, petty and hateful people are. Poeple are in the voting process, voting characters off because they hate RPG fans! I really got a wake up call to how many haters are here - that's one of the reasons I left IGN, too many haters in the forums. But to find all this ugliness coming out was a shocker - I had idea that there was so much anger towards RPG players.

Until I suffered flames, saw peole laughing and attacking RPG fans, I didn't take it too seriously - but once I started seeinf the outrageous voting, and taking to people about it, I found out that this is a serious problem. I have contacted all of my RPG related Unions and asked them to weigh in votes, there are plenty enough members in just one or two of the biggest Unions to make an undeserved loss into a win - and wipe the smiles off the hater's faces.

I made all of my choices based on the characters actual stats and abilities - but I faced a crowd of people who not voting for a character, but rather against certain fans and certain genres. For instance - Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles against Lavos from Chronotrigger, and Sephiroth from FFVII against General Ramm from Gears of War. They have Sephiroth and Lavos losing - not because they are weaker, but because they hate RPG fans. They are using the contest to spit hatred and venom at us, and we must strike back!

So if you read this in time, please go and vote for who really should win and cancel the haters little nasty game - see ya in the brackets!

Whatever happened to Plextor???

Plextor used to be the gold standard in read/write drives - that is until DVD9 came about, and more notably, Blu-Ray. Now, I don't burn Blu-Ray - I just don't have the time, but I burn DVD and DVD9 a lot. I have had this Plaextor drive for about two years and it's still going strong - but that isn't the problem. The problem is that it is only reading disks properly because I flashed it with Benq firmware! Before I flashed it, the drive would hardly read anything, the full capabilities of the drive had been pinched off by Plextor.

Oh and the worthless Plextor suite - just get Nero, it's much better (I don't use Nero either, but the tools are better than what you have to get from Plextor - at an ADDITIONAL COST. I don't think there is one DVD drive manufacturer besides Plextor that charges extra for the tools. What a rip - and very disappointing!

In the past, if you ponyied up the cash for an overpriced Plextor drive, the reward was that you virtually had no coasters. Maybe they improved since then, I haven't really been interested in finding out, but it seems that Lite-On has taken that crown, albeit at a much cheaper price. It's sad to see a company with such a venerable reputation go out in such a demeaning, dishonorable way - kind of like Nikon, still trying to sell cameras at "Nikon Prices", even when they have been surpassed by the likes of Sony because they just couldn't "get it" in the digital arena. I hope Plextor finally "gets it"... nahhh, who am I kidding - I could care less, as long as someone is making reliable drives that prevent coasters.

:P

Zombie Shooter 2 Claustrophobia...

So I am slogging through the last of my games that I am re-installing painfully after XP threw up in my face... and I came across Zombie Shooter 2. The last I recall I was up against a big nasty who had a HOMING MISSILE LAUNCHER... after trying to beat him 1200 ways I went to greener gamery. SO I thought I'd go ahead and play with it some more since it's beena long time and I needed to test it to see if my sorry-ass save worked anyway. Well, it did - and while I think Zombie Shooter 2 is a fun game and all - the one thing I noticed as my character was getting torn apart by dogs in a warehouse - is that this game doesn't allow you to breath! Not only are there waves and waves of zombies and other creatures that seemed to be ripped right out of a Hellraiser movie - but as soon as you step in a door you have about .002 miliseconds to figure out your surroundings and get to a good shooting spot. That warehouse, for example - you walk in the door and there is a low fence RIGHT THERE. It opens up to the right - but guess what, a horde of dogs and a big demon is coming from that direction. You might be quick enough to get the dogs, but that demon needs to be shrunk... To you left there may be a way out - but if there is it is difficult to navigate - 9 out of 10 times running the only way you can only leads to you being dog food. Scenarios like that play out over and over again, every time you walk into a place - you step in the door and you are instantly surrounded - no AIR!

Even so it's hard not to keep trying - that is until you get into an impossible situation - like a monster shooting homing rockets at you.

My PC forced me to use Windows 7!

For what is now a full week, I have been rebuilding my system after XP refused to act right. I cannot believe how much crap that I have accumulated over the years. I had made sure ever since XP came out, that I kept much of my preferences and software setup. only updating things as I could afford to...

So a few weeks ago, XP just decided it wasn't going to boot anymore. Usually when that happened, because I am dual booting with Windows 7, a quick trip to the boot.ini or BCDedit usually took care of it. But this time no configuration or fix would satisfy XP - it just would not boot. I have always been preferential to XP, even now I am highly upset that I don't have it - but what can you do?

Fortunately, I still had WIndows 7 on the other disk, so I had to put my whole XP installation in a folder and install WIndows 7 on the primary drive. So I am now dual booting WIndows 7 with Windows 7...

I started slowly setting things back up, and since I still had the Windows XP files I at least could recover my favorites, program preferences and most importantly, my game saves!

Regular programs are easy, just reinstall them. But what has had me sweating for the last week is re-installing games and retaining the saves - here is the process: (thank God that I have most of ny games on another drive instead of the Program FIles folder!)

1) Rename the original game.

2) Install the game to the same place as the original.

3) Copy (not move, in case something goes wrong) saves, profiles to the new installation.

4) Test the game to make sure everything is intact.

5) After everything checks out, erase the original game. Have to remember to use "Shift+Delete" or else Windows 7 will take FOREVER to recycle a game. That isn't based on size, but rather how many files, as it is indexing each file as it is moving it into the recycle bin - so a 1 meg folder with 100 files can take longer to recycle than an 8 gig folder with 10 files. Boy, I miss XP already...

Part three is the rough part - I have to track down the save file, which each game has it's own "special place" to place it. Some are in Documents and Settings/.../My Documents; others are in ...My Documents/My Games; still others are in the Public folder; and then there is the Local/Application folder, the Program Files folder, and the game folder itself. Each game has it's save in any one of those locations... and I had a LOT of games! The bigest problem is not only do you have to find the saves, then you have to match them up to the right place in Windows 7's totally different system.

So I have been spending the whole week doing these games, and as of today I have about 10 games left. I get through about 3-4 games per day if I am lucky - and that's doing nothing BUT installing the games. To put it in perspective, I have games going back to the last year of Windows 98, like Nightmare Creatures (I didn't install that but that's an example) , Empire Earth 1, Shadow Warrior (wouldn't it be nice to have a new Shadow Warrior?). They span all the way up to today's games, not to mention little stuff like Slingo, Reflective Arcade / Big FIsh / Oberon games like Riccochet and Hidden Object games I collected during the years.

One of the worst games I had to re-install was Call of Duty 5: World at War. That sucker has like 7 updates, and Activision never made an inclusive one, so you have to download all of them and step through them one by one until you get to the latest, that took me almost all day, including the other steps.

And Games for Windows places a whole new monkey in the gearbox. It also has a separate game save system, and the Games for Windows Live folder has several places it could be as well. And don't have games from the older GFWL, because there is more hunting. And then you have to place these in the new area in Windows 7's User folder, because it's set up different than the Documents and Settings folder from XP! But once you find it the game will pick it up. Games from GFWL were the only ones I had trouble with recognizing the save file. I had to also go through the rigamoro of making an offline profile that matched the one I had in XP - but even after that there are some games that I had to start over again. Gears of War, for example, recognized my profile but all my cogs are gone and it will only let me start at chapter 5 or 1. Basically that means I have to start over. Stupid if you ask me.

So I'm going to get back to this madness, and after this is over I get to put plugins in Photoshop - which is just as testing. The last time I had to re-install Photoshop I didn't even put someof those plugins back - because some of them took 40 - 60 minutes to install (try the Dreamsuite plugins). Those Dreamsutie plugins are the worst, they scan your whole life before they finish; I have to leave and do something else - like go shopping before they finish, and there's no way to stop it!

OK, I've said my peace and ranted my rant... back to the salt mine.

The "Gamer PC" Scam - this years greatest con game!

It just came to me to write about this. I think I wrote about my bad laptop experience earlier - well while arguing with HP and Intel they spouted "it isn't a 'gamer laptop'". At that time the term wasn't as prevalent an excuse to sell crappy hardware as it is now. Now it's a staple term. but what it really is is a scam. Intel has been selling off defective chips, usually in the integrated variety, and partnering with the likes of HP, Dell and Gateway to distribute these chips under the guise of "non-gaming performance". Those chips are not low powered - they are broken and cannot handle direct3D properly. But Intel cannot just throw them away, so they pawned them off on unwary consumers, with the help of big PC makers.

So if you try and load up anything involving direct3d you will have a serious problem, flashing graphics, artifacts, dropping to desktop, slow performance even on the most powerful of systems. I have a laptop that retails for $2500.00 and cannot run GTA: SA - a game that came out in 2004! And it's all because of Intel's integrated GPU (thank God I didn't buy that thing or I would really be pissed). These defective units are proliferating at an alarming rate, and much of the time without any disclaimer or notification of the errors.

In talks with Intel and HP, as I stated before their "excuse" is that it isn't a "gaming laptop". Intel actually ignored my complaint altogether and told me to talk to HP about it. HP admitted that the chip is flawed but didn't offer to do anything about it. that's because they know they purposely set out to sell people defective PC's, and called the "non-gaming" to cover their asses.

Someone has to make a determination of this, whether it be the FTC or some other authority. Someone needs to look into it and give us some resolution. It just isn't right to be able to sell defective hardware and get away with it because you have a lame definition of it. I am still looking into it. I don't expect much, but at least you who are reading have been warned.

Neverwinter Nights Platinum and GFW - a sad tale...FIXED!

I was playing Neverwinter Nights Platinum on my Notebook, great way to pass time on my graveyard job. I had logged in over 60 hours of play and was near the part where you get to re-enter Luskan and reunite with Lady Aribeth... Okay. So, I upgraded my Notebook to Windows 7, and hadn't played for a while because I was focused on optimizing my software for the new system. All my apps pretty much worked. So a couple of weeks later I remembered, "oh yeah, I need to continue my NWN game...". To my awful surprise, when I opened it, my saves were gone. I searched all over that computer and could not find a trace of them. I even used recovery software (r-studio) - nothing, nada, zip. What I DID find, though, was a lost of games I could "activate" under Games for Windows - one of which was... Neverwinter Nights Platinum!!!

Imagine my rage! This stupid ass GFW overwrote my saves, and then offered for me to "activate" a game that I already had installed! I clicked on that link, and I clicked on my installed link - both seemed to open the same way, and from the same file - but NEITHER ackowledged my saved game! To this day I don't know what happened to my save, but I definitely believe that GFW was responsible! That's 60 hours of play, not to mention some hard to get items, random lucky finds and specific plot stuff, based on my particular choices, straight down the toilet!

This is just another example of lazy inconsiderate programming. it should have checked first and then left my program alone - but NOOOO it just ran over it like a retarded monkey driving a Mac truck on critical mass day! RIDICULOUS!

UPDATE 8/19/2010:

I was still looking for a solution, when by happenchance someone with another game saved the day for me (Arch_Evil). In the Icewind Dale forum he made a post with the exact same problem - the post is locked now, but it's still veiwable at:

http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/icewinddale/show_msgs.php?topic_id=m-1-42945397&pid=256221

So it was hidden deep in the user folders in a folder called "virtual store" - all of my game data was there, darn it! Once I moved relevant files (saves, localvault...) and fired the game up my saves, characters, equipment and everything was intact! So now it's all good. But that doesn't mean MS is off the hook - where do they come off moving data to some obscure place like that??? RIDICULOUS!

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