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> Played Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines videogame, Got it off Steam...
Critias
post Feb 13 2010, 03:53 AM
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QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Feb 12 2010, 07:09 PM) *
sounds like a dice mechanic that was designed to get both GM and players to free form rather then roll...

It may not have been designed that way, but yes. You're right. That's the excuse they used, later, when asked about it.
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tete
post Feb 13 2010, 08:33 AM
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QUOTE (Critias @ Feb 12 2010, 11:57 PM) *
And that's precisely the problem. In the fluff/descriptors, they act like there's a world of difference between, say, a two and a five. In real life, you're looking at maybe one more success, on average. Part of the blame lies in the adjustable TNs they used to use, part of it lies in how their specializations work (if you ave a 4+ and if the specialization applies and if you roll a 10 and if you don't roll a corresponding 1 to take the 10 away, then you get to reroll that die for another chance at a success), and part of it lay in their botch roll (with every '1' taking away, compounded by NOT every '10' doing anything extra). The end result was just a fundamentally flawed die mechanic. The success/fail mechanic got even worse when one realized that damage came in dice, not levels (Potence notwithstanding), so that every attack gave you two chances to get boned by the flawed probability of their core mechanic.

In one game, a buddy of mine (playing a Toreador, coincidentally) emptied a double-barreled shotgun into a ghoul (who had no armor, no fortitude, and no ability to soak the damage). The guy was quick and nimble with a high Dex, spent some blood to get an even higher Dex, and had invested heavily in Firearms as his only combat skill -- he was rolling 12 dice to hit, against an NPC who was being blindsided by the attack (so no dodge, either). He rolled terrible, magnificent, handfuls of dice that were more than the most well-trained Olympic marksman has ever rolled. The end result was absolutely zero levels of damage dealt, after loosing both barrels. He reloaded and fired again with Celerity actions, once again let fly a thunderous barrage of d10's and buckshot, and once again did precisely dick-all thanks to their silly damage dice.

Ah, fun, fun. Good times.

Look both shadowrun and vampire were heavly influence by Tom Dowd if not designed outright by him. If your Toreador got so many success on the hit those would have added to damage. For range combat to hit successes transfer to damage dice, melee do not (why I have no idea but thats the system). 1s DO NOT subtract on damage rolls (they do subtract on to hit rolls). 10s either exploded or counted for 2 depending on edition for damage rolls. Ghouls do not soak lethal damage, shotguns do lethal damage to anything that isnt undead (which you pointed out). There by that ghoul probabl should have exploded by the rules. Now the rules are written pretty badly with poor indexing but honestly most of the cases people point to someone wasnt following the rules. I'm not saying your senario couldnt happen but its highly suspect with gobs of dice to not get one 5 (shotgun tn 6 with slug lowered by one for buckshot). A single 5 is all he needed to roll his bucket o damage dice from the shotgun. It is possible to miss, great shooters still miss. Heck I once saw a relatively low TN in shadowrun (8 or something) and the sharp shooter missed with 50 dice.

QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Feb 13 2010, 12:09 AM) *
sounds like a dice mechanic that was designed to get both GM and players to free form rather then roll...


Yes and no, it was intended to be that but combat was still really chunky and got in the way, but that may have been on purpose. Ars Magica being the prime example of why you would do that. What is known is that they ran into some of the shadowrun devs at gen con and pitched the idea to them, some of them signed on and they set out to design a system like shadowrun but with d10s.
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hobgoblin
post Feb 13 2010, 09:30 AM
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QUOTE (tete @ Feb 13 2010, 09:33 AM) *
Heck I once saw a relatively low TN in shadowrun (8 or something) and the sharp shooter missed with 50 dice.

iirc, a clue file claims someone managed to roll all 1s on 30 dice back in SR2, so yes it can happen.
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Wounded Ronin
post Feb 13 2010, 04:37 PM
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I'm having trouble with the quest where you must keep all the zombies in the graveyard. The closest I've made it to the end has been the 50 second mark so far. Around the 1 minute mark it seems like both gates have the potential to break down so quickly that even running back and forth between them I can't quite make it in time to finish the quest.

The scope wobble you get on zoomable weapons seems pretty extreme, as well. It takes me longer to aim a zoomed shot from the top of the mausoleum at the lower gate than it does to run all the way up and melee the zombies. I wonder if it's an error/oversight that they only gave you 4 rounds with the zoomable rifle?

According to a FAQ at Gamefaqs.com it's difficult but not impossible to finish that quest without Celerity, which I don't have, so I guess I'll have to keep trying.
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Critias
post Feb 13 2010, 05:50 PM
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QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Feb 13 2010, 11:37 AM) *
I'm having trouble with the quest where you must keep all the zombies in the graveyard. The closest I've made it to the end has been the 50 second mark so far. Around the 1 minute mark it seems like both gates have the potential to break down so quickly that even running back and forth between them I can't quite make it in time to finish the quest.

The scope wobble you get on zoomable weapons seems pretty extreme, as well. It takes me longer to aim a zoomed shot from the top of the mausoleum at the lower gate than it does to run all the way up and melee the zombies. I wonder if it's an error/oversight that they only gave you 4 rounds with the zoomable rifle?

According to a FAQ at Gamefaqs.com it's difficult but not impossible to finish that quest without Celerity, which I don't have, so I guess I'll have to keep trying.

The only guy I played all the way through with was a Ventrue (of all things)...so no Celerity there. He was a Firearms guy, then branched into Melee when I had the points later in the game. I remember struggling on that level, but I don't remember exactly what sort of trick I used to wrap it up... so, uhh, I know I'm not being much help, but I guess my point is just that it is possible without Celerity.

When in doubt, I handled most of that game's problems with a shotgun.
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Critias
post Feb 13 2010, 05:59 PM
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QUOTE (tete @ Feb 13 2010, 03:33 AM) *
Look both shadowrun and vampire were heavly influence by Tom Dowd if not designed outright by him.

Okay. So?

QUOTE
If your Toreador got so many success on the hit those would have added to damage. For range combat to hit successes transfer to damage dice, melee do not (why I have no idea but thats the system).

That depending on what edition you were playing, but yes, it was generally true (in later editions successes transferred to melee damage pools as well). This guy had a great big bucketload of dice for damage.

QUOTE
1s DO NOT subtract on damage rolls (they do subtract on to hit rolls).

Yeah, they do. The "rule of One" applied to every die roll, or at least it does in the three editions of Vampire I've played (I just flipped through the rulebooks to confirm it). It's not a bad house rule if your ST decided not to apply it to damage rolls...but as written, it applies to every die roll you make.

QUOTE
Ghouls do not soak lethal damage, shotguns do lethal damage to anything that isnt undead (which you pointed out). There by that ghoul probabl should have exploded by the rules.

Yeah, we know. That's why the player was so frustrated. That's kind of the entire point to the story, in fact.

QUOTE
Now the rules are written pretty badly with poor indexing but honestly most of the cases people point to someone wasnt following the rules. I'm not saying your senario couldnt happen but its highly suspect with gobs of dice to not get one 5 (shotgun tn 6 with slug lowered by one for buckshot). A single 5 is all he needed to roll his bucket o damage dice from the shotgun.

We were following the rules, thanks. It's just a fickle die mechanic, and this is one instance of it pissing on a player. In the end, he attacked the weapons dealer that sold him the sawed-off and the shells in the first place, convinced that the black marketeer had turned on him and was out to get him killed...and the rest of the coterie just played along, because it was really the best way to explain it in-game.

QUOTE
It is possible to miss, great shooters still miss. Heck I once saw a relatively low TN in shadowrun (8 or something) and the sharp shooter missed with 50 dice.

Right, but that's the thing. He didn't miss. He hit both times (firing both barrels each time), had 4-5 successes transfer over to damage dice...and then just couldn't roll high enough to inflict a single level of damage, despite doing shotgun base damage + shotgun base damage + transferred to-hit dice...twice, in one round.

d10's are fickle bitches. Their rule of one, and it not being counterbalanced neatly by their rule of ten, does nothing to help that.
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Wounded Ronin
post Feb 13 2010, 11:14 PM
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I remember one guy had a house rule that tried to copy the World of Darkness botch rules and apply them to Shadowrun, and I remember how it really messed things up statistically.
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Crusher Bob
post Feb 14 2010, 04:27 AM
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I think I finished that quest without celerity using the bushhook and blood buff (does the chalice refill when you bring down zombies?). From what I remember, there's more pressure on the back door of the cemetary (near the house), so you have to spend more time down there than at the front door.

The gates bend over time as the zombies pile up, so if you can keep the population down, you also keep the gates from wearing out.
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Wounded Ronin
post Feb 14 2010, 05:41 AM
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QUOTE (Crusher Bob @ Feb 14 2010, 12:27 AM) *
I think I finished that quest without celerity using the bushhook and blood buff (does the chalice refill when you bring down zombies?). From what I remember, there's more pressure on the back door of the cemetary (near the house), so you have to spend more time down there than at the front door.

The gates bend over time as the zombies pile up, so if you can keep the population down, you also keep the gates from wearing out.


Right, it's more common for the rear gate to break on me than the front gate. I don't think you can feed on the zombies. The thing is the whole cemetary is spawning zombies but I generally only see up to 4 at a time on the gate. So now the next time I play I'm wondering if I should spend less time killing zombies that look like they're a potential problem and instead strictly kill zombies actually approaching the gate. Seems like a gate can go down in like 20 seconds so it's more important to manage the immediate problem than kill excess potential problem zombies.
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Crusher Bob
post Feb 14 2010, 07:02 AM
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Since the zombies keep spawning, and they only start breaking down the gate when they are pressed up against it there's no real reason to just massacre random zombies. Knocking them down, while moving by can sometimes also helps, since a replacement zombie won't spawn, and they'll have to spend time getting back up.

I'm not talking about feeding on the zombies, I'm talking about getting blood out of the flesh-crafted thing (odious chalice?) that gets a blood point every time you kill something. If I remember right, you get it from the vampire in the ruined hospital.
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tete
post Feb 15 2010, 08:28 PM
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QUOTE (Critias @ Feb 13 2010, 05:59 PM) *
Yeah, they do. The "rule of One" applied to every die roll, or at least it does in the three editions of Vampire I've played (I just flipped through the rulebooks to confirm it). It's not a bad house rule if your ST decided not to apply it to damage rolls...but as written, it applies to every die roll you make.


I stand corrected. As I looked through VtM 2nd and Revisesd, VtDA and DAV and found nothing about it. We must have picked it up from one of the other lines or house ruled it as we still play with the werewolf 1e perception instead of dex for range combat for all oWOD.
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Critias
post Feb 15 2010, 08:49 PM
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QUOTE (tete @ Feb 15 2010, 03:28 PM) *
I stand corrected. As I looked through VtM 2nd and Revisesd, VtDA and DAV and found nothing about it. We must have picked it up from one of the other lines or house ruled it as we still play with the werewolf 1e perception instead of dex for range combat for all oWOD.

I mean, it's not a bad house rule, really. It probably would've helped mitigate some of their innately skewed probability stuff... but, yeah. I was playing on-line a lot at the time, with rotating STs (on talkers, chatrooms, BBS, that sort of thing), so we were sticklers for the rules. The best way to be impartial was to use NO house rules at all, so everyone was on "the same page."

WoD just strikes me as a game where...well...that doesn't work real well. They put a lot of effort -- a lot of effort -- into the look and feel and attitude of the setting, and not so much on the mechanics themselves, and the game developers even said so. If that's not a situation that's ripe for some house-ruling, I dunno what is. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)
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Wounded Ronin
post Feb 15 2010, 10:23 PM
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Well, I tried the cemetary quest again for another hour or so today, still no dice. The closest I got to the finish line was 40 or 50 seconds. The problem is around that time both gates are getting mobbed by close-spawning zombies.

I noticed that the pump action shotgun is less good at decapitating zombies than the .38. The pump action shotgun also causes a lot of problems due to its slow reload. Both the pump action shotgun and the semi-auto shotgun seem to miss headshots more than the .38, so the .38 might be the better way to go when there's a lot of zombies. One thing I noticed which is a pretty typical FPS engine fault is that it's very hard to score a headshot on a zombie from behind or from the side compared to from straight ahead. I also started to notice how a zombie can foul your frontal headshot if it raises its arms and charges at you since you might end up technically shooting it in the hand and not the head.

I wonder if I should try only meleeing zombies on my next attempt. Since the only time-efficient way to shoot the zombies is to shoot them in the head, and since this takes a second or two to do, maybe I can just run back and forth whacking them with the knife, especially seeing as you get random melee headshots all the time.

I didn't get the chalice. After all the time I spent exploring the map I cannot believe that I apparently missed an abandoned hospital. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/frown.gif)

A FAQ says the Colt Anaconda supposedly helps a lot with this level. Which I also don't have. Hmmph.

The perfectionist in me is causing my head to explode over this.


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Wounded Ronin
post Feb 15 2010, 10:56 PM
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I just watched someone play through what seemed like a modded version of the game on YouTube. I think it's easier than mine. But one thing I noticed is that apparently only some of the zombies attack the gate. Some of them attack the player. Since I don't have Auspex I don't think it would be easy to tell the difference, but if I could figure out which zombies were the white aura ones that only attack the gate, and only attack those, I might have more of a chance.

One thing is that towards the end of the time I ended up getting drawn into more protracted engagements with all the zombies that were apparently heading towards the gate. But maybe a lot of them were actually just heading for me. Maybe I can take a few seconds to see which zombies are following me and which aren't, and only shoot the ones approaching the gate, while strictly ignoring all others even if they're near the gate.

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8TjMPSgC28...C1&index=71
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Critias
post Feb 15 2010, 11:31 PM
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I'd suggest either (a) trying a different level/quest/mission for a while, to maybe get better gear or Disciplines or whatever as well as to provide yourself with a break from a game being hard instead of fun...and (b) look into some of the PC cheats, if you're the sort who indulges. You can just tickety-tack onto the console and give yourself a little boost, then change it back (via console) after this level, if it'll mean the difference between finishing the game and hating the game it might be worth it.
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Wounded Ronin
post Feb 15 2010, 11:47 PM
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QUOTE (Critias @ Feb 15 2010, 07:31 PM) *
I'd suggest either (a) trying a different level/quest/mission for a while, to maybe get better gear or Disciplines or whatever as well as to provide yourself with a break from a game being hard instead of fun...and (b) look into some of the PC cheats, if you're the sort who indulges. You can just tickety-tack onto the console and give yourself a little boost, then change it back (via console) after this level, if it'll mean the difference between finishing the game and hating the game it might be worth it.


Well, I'm in a situation where my last savegame outside of that quest might be a fair while back, and seeing as I haven't exhausted all ideas just yet, I think I've got a few playthroughs left.

Just now, I tried it again, using melee only (the knife, which is funny because my character didn't invest in the melee combat skill at all), and only attacking the zombies that seem to ignore the PC and instead head for the gate. I notice that with Blood Buff though it does almost the same damage as that other guy's fire axe.

This time I made it to 45 seconds.

Time to try it one more time and see if I can do better......

EDIT: 38 SECONDS! Just need to do a little bit better...

EDIT 2: 4 SECONDS! 4 FREAKING SECONDS! AHHHHHGHHHGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!
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tete
post Feb 16 2010, 05:08 AM
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Have you tried to go get the girl while he takes care of the zombies? Thats what I do with my social types. Also what disciplines do you have and at what level?
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Crusher Bob
post Feb 16 2010, 05:31 AM
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The ruined hospital is downtown, there a chain-link fence that you go past, and then sorta down underground. I think it's right next to where you originally started out downtown.

If you are going to use guns, You are probably better off switching between different guns rather than reloading, so you can keep shooting. And then reloading while you are moving to the other side to cover the other gate
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Wounded Ronin
post Feb 17 2010, 01:18 AM
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QUOTE (tete @ Feb 16 2010, 01:08 AM) *
Have you tried to go get the girl while he takes care of the zombies? Thats what I do with my social types. Also what disciplines do you have and at what level?


I haven't tried that one on account of not having a convieniently placed savegame. At this point having invested so much time and effort into the cemetary quest I kind of feel like I have to beat it. Since I came so close last time it must be possible. I keep getting a little more efficient each time. I'm refining my course through the cemetary to reduce lag time between each gate.

I'm playing a Gangrel, and I have exclusively been putting my EXP into Quickness, Firearms, Brawling, and Security. I haven't bothered to level up anything else, including the Disciplines, so I'm stuck with Fortitude (useless for this), Nightwing Ravens (useless for this), and that third power that lets you see thermal (useless for this). Hypothetically if I'd gotten the claws that might be useful but I didn't. So, actually, I've gotten within 4 seconds of success running around using only the knife and a melee weapons skill of 1. I guess it just goes to show you how skill levels don't make that much of a difference in White Wolf.

Since I made a firearms character for this my first run through the game, I think I ended up getting sidetracked for a while on this quest trying to go for headshots, which are basically too slow even with EXP invested in firearms.
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Wounded Ronin
post Feb 17 2010, 01:20 AM
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QUOTE (Crusher Bob @ Feb 16 2010, 12:31 AM) *
The ruined hospital is downtown, there a chain-link fence that you go past, and then sorta down underground. I think it's right next to where you originally started out downtown.

If you are going to use guns, You are probably better off switching between different guns rather than reloading, so you can keep shooting. And then reloading while you are moving to the other side to cover the other gate


Thanks for the location info.

Yes, I tried using firearms a lot in the beginning but had a lot less success. Basically the .38 is better for headshots than the shotgun (!) but even then the slow reticles and issues with the hitbox make it too slow IMO to go for headshots. I say this after many firearms-only attempts.

One aggravating thing was that even switching weapons instead of reloading is very slow. And it's not possible to finish reloading the pump action shotgun without pretty much doing it on your sprint over. I feel like they really tried to nerf firearms in this game.

EDIT: 2.93 SECONDS!!!! For some reason I want to scream "WOOOLVERRINNNEEEESSS!"
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hyzmarca
post Feb 17 2010, 02:13 AM
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It isn't that firearms are nerfed so much that early firearms are utter crap. As I stated earlier, the Steyr is the best weapon in the game and can potentially slaughter some very powerful bosses that require a great deal of effort to defeat without it. Even the Sheriff goes down hard if you empty a few magazines into him. Firearms won't really be useful until you get the Anaconda and the automatic shotgun. The .38 is just utterly worthless as a weapon and the pump action shotgun isn't much better.

Don't bother with headshots. Speed is too important. Go for the center mass and fire multiple shots.

The only problem with this tactic is that you're limited ammo capacity will become annoying in the last two maps, when you can't retreat and can only restock from fallen enemies.

QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Feb 16 2010, 08:18 PM) *
So, actually, I've gotten within 4 seconds of success running around using only the knife and a melee weapons skill of 1. I guess it just goes to show you how skill levels don't make that much of a difference in White Wolf.


Unpatched blood buff maxes out your physical stats. That gives you a melee score of 6 when using it. Remember, stats and skills are added together.

If you've been investing in firearms and perception then it will pay off in SMG accuracy. With a low ranged combat rating the SMGs spread like sumbeeches and can't really hit anything even at point blank range. With a high ranged combat rating the Steyr is as precise as a scalpel and the Uzi isn't much worse.
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Wounded Ronin
post Feb 17 2010, 03:18 AM
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WOOHOOO EJKJKEEGGAAAHHHAAA I COMPLETED THE QUEST!

Time for some pump-up music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADO_YYaUfgo...feature=related

Okay, so here's a rundown of what I did. This is without using any Disciplines (except for Blood Buff), as I didn't have any applicable ones, and with a Quickness of 5, melee skill of 1, and a firearms skill of 3 or 4.

I began to memorize the spawn locations of the zombies who will go after the gate. Basically, there are I think about 5 points that will spawn gatecrasher zombies per gate, maybe more, but if a zombie isn't coming from a gatecrasher spawnpoint I am more likely to ignore them, whereas if I see a zombie from a gatecrasher spawnpoint I'll kill it even as it's spawning.

The first gatecrasher zombie spawns near the top gate at the 4 minute mark. Once you finish him off you need to get to the bottom gate before 3:30 to get the next gate crasher zombie. Beyond that you kind of need to feel out a balance from killing off enough potential problem zombies where you are and getting back to the other gate before the zombies damage it too much. I don't really know the exact numbers but I started to keep a running mental count of about how many zombies I ought to kill per trip.

I found that when you're arriving before the zombies reach the gate and you can run in front of them you can save time by walking right up to them and shooting them in the head with the .38. The shotgun is too slow between shots and reloads. You can also shoot zombies in the head as they're spawning out of the ground, whereas you can't stab them right away. It's fastest to .38 zombies you can step directly in front of, but since it's very hard to get headshots from behind or the side if the zombies are already at the gate it's faster to knife them. The key to this is that the gatecrasher zombies WILL NOT ATTACK YOU NO MATTER WHAT. So you can get right up in front of them till you're touching.

You have more situational awareness in melee mode so I found that it's important to look around and gather as much about your surroundings as possible whenever you're not operating a firearm. Basically the key thing is to observe which zombies seem to be heading for the gate instead of for you. The real essence of this all is to prioritize zombies and as much as possible ignore all the zombies that aren't heading towards the gate.

I noticed that I ran slightly faster with Blood Buff, so I started Blood Buffing every time I ran for the other gate starting at around the 3:00 or 2:30 mark.

Anyway, the reward that I'd wanted for this quest, +1 to firearms skill, wasn't available to me because my firearms skill was already too high. Instead I got the stupid zoomable rifle with the Parkinson's scope wobble. So the final irony is that I got a crap reward for finishing this quest, which took several days and many hours of effort to finally accomplish.
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Critias
post Feb 17 2010, 04:26 AM
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Good job! Now go buy your Brawl-oriented Gangrel some friggin' claws!
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StealthSigma
post Feb 17 2010, 12:49 PM
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QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Feb 16 2010, 09:18 PM) *
I'm stuck with Fortitude (useless for this), Nightwing Ravens (useless for this), and that third power that lets you see thermal (useless for this).


Protean - Eyes of the Beast
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Wounded Ronin
post Feb 18 2010, 04:42 AM
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QUOTE (Critias @ Feb 16 2010, 11:26 PM) *
Good job! Now go buy your Brawl-oriented Gangrel some friggin' claws!


Maybe I ought to. My plan had been to be a firearms guy, but having just gone through the Warrens I feel totally starved for ammo. I'd have shot dead all the monsters in the Warrens on principle (usually when I play FPS games I play by the Shaka Zulu principle of never leaving live enemies behind me) but I didn't have enough ammo to even do that so I ended up sneaking past them all instead, which is always ridiculously easy compared to actually fighting. The ammo shortage is worse than in System Shock. Even buying enough ammo to shoot everyone right and proper takes most of my character's funds, and since my character is now poor, no ammo.

So I might have to get the claws just for lack of cartridges. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rotfl.gif)

As an aside, I'd experimented on a savegame with buying the claws back during the cemetary quest, but I found that they actually hurt you in that quest because when you've got the claws you start prancing slowly like the goddamned wolfman and can't run as fast.

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