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The Doctor

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    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
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  1. Sadly it doesn't look to be compatible with any of my working devices. BlueStacks to the rescue, hopefully. EDIT: Why install a shoddy Android emulator on a laptop to play KotOR when I could instead just install KotOR on said laptop normally? Genius, Doc. Genius.
  2. Death is very sad and all, but this one has shaken me a hell of a lot more than any other celebrity or public figure that I can remember. He wasn't just an actor or a comedian, he was like a part of the family. A part of everyone's family. He was that goofy uncle you may not see very often, but who could always put a smile on your face whether you knew you needed it or not. The world will miss him. Something fierce.
  3. Several elements of that laptop are better than my gaming desktop. Congrats.
  4. Glad to see Brazil finally get what was coming to them. Their performance yesterday proves exactly how poor a team they really are without Neymar scoring goals or Silva calling the shots out back. A shame, because they do have some great individual talent that just wasn't allowed to shine properly this tournament. The internet seems to have coined the match "The Belo Blitz", which I think ranks right up there with "The Orange Wedding" for Holland's defeat of Spain. Looking forward to the Netherlands v. Argentina game this afternoon. Barring any more pro-South American officiating it looks to be shaping up to be a good match. I want to bring up a discussion here though that's only half related to the World Cup itself. I wanna talk about the national anthems. Initially - in the group stages, I mean - I found the South American penitent for continuing the national anthem for a second verse despite the music stopping to be... well, mildly amusing, if a bit obnoxious. I wanted to watch a game, not a choir practise. But whatever. But as the tournament progressed I found myself bothered by it more and more, and I've finally come to find it not only obnoxious but outright disrespectful. To me, the World Cup - indeed, football/soccer in general - is about respect. It's about nations from all over the world coming together over something they all have in common, and where everyone is willing and able to follow the same rules, traditions, and customs as everyone else. That's why traditions like exchanging the flags at the start and swapping the captain's jerseys at the end of a match exist. That's why nations have ended wars and created new holidays in the name of the World Cup. Because it's important. And through showing this respect, you bring just as much honour to your nation (or club, or district, or whatever level you're playing at) as you do when you bring home the trophy itself. Now, I realise that Latin nations are fiercely prideful, and that a nation's anthem is a symbol to its people - something to be proud of in itself. But when you decide that your national anthem deserves more time than someone else's, you're deciding that your honour is more important than theirs. You're intentionally and willfully violating the rules and customs by which everyone else has agreed to abide in the name of patriotism. I find this incredibly disrespectful, both to the opposing side as well as one's own nation, whose honour you have now tarnished by violating the rules which you agreed to follow while representing it. I acknowledge that the crowd is an animal all its own, and there's little that can be done about them. And really it doesn't bother me that the fans continue singing. But when the players refuse to step onto the pitch upon the end of the anthems, they're willfully violating the attitude of respect that the world has come to expect of the Beautiful Game. I'm of the believe that it should be treated as delay of game - the entire team should be ordered to the pitch, and if they continue singing they should be shown yellow. Harsh, maybe, but all in all what the World Cup represents is more important than any single nation's pride if you ask me. I'm coming off a bit sanctimonious, I know, but there it is. Anyone else have any thoughts on the matter?
  5. You won't get an argument from me. As much as it pains me to admit, Mexico owned that match with little contest. It seems as though with the exception of Costa Rica, the round of 16 matches thus far have gone against the team that clearly played a better game.
  6. Poor Jara. That missed penalty is going to haunt him for sure. Chile were robbed, plain and simple. They deserved to win so much more than Brazil, who got through on luck more than anything. Such a shame, but man was that one hell of a game.
  7. So! I'm back, with a buttload of other recommendations from my own mod setup for my current playthrough. Once again, this is gonna be one hell of a post. The first thing I'll point you towards is Audio Overhaul for Skyrim 2. This mod is easily one of my favourites, because it addresses an issue you don't really notice in vanilla Skyrim until it's been fixed. Sound doesn't really behave properly. Sound doesn't really behave in any way, really, good or bad. It's just sort of... there. But with AOS2, sound effects actually reverberate, echo, change in pitch and volume depending on distance, etc. Even the videos available don't do this one justice. Definitely a must-have, IMO. Then there's the sound effects themselves. The vanilla ones are fine, sure, but that's all they are. Enter the Immersive Sounds suite. It changes the actual sound effects themselves, all of which are still subject to the changes made by AOS2 (provided you install the AOS2 patch included in the Immersive Sounds automated installer). These two mods combined completely change the soundscape of Skyrim, and make it a much more diverse and immersive environment. Two of my favourites. Now, another thing that never bothered me before I found a mod to fix it was the smaller towns and villages. Places like Rorikstead, Ivarstead, Dark Water Crossing, etc. I always knew where they were and what was there, but never really found anything interesting or notable about them. Then I found Expanded Towns and Cities. It makes both aesthetic and functional additions to several of the smaller settlements across Skyrim, including merchants and other assorted NPCs. The major walled cities of Skyrim are kind of barren as well. There are literally dozens of mods that enhance each of them, especially Whiterun. I myself use Atmospheric Whiterun, Dawn of Riften, Dawn of Windhelm, and Towns and Villages Enhanced - Solitude. I've listed them in order of performance hit, from smallest to greatest. There are plenty of others, though, if these aren't to your taste. Inconsequential NPCs adds several random NPCs mostly to the major cities, all of whom are - as the title suggests - inconsequential. They serve absolutely no purpose beyond filling the vast stretches of empty space across Skyrim. Add to that Immersive Patrols to add faction aware NPCs wandering the roads of Skyrim. So you'll run into patrol groups for the Imperials, Stormcloaks, Dawnguard, and several others. These three combined make Skyrim feel much less empty. All these new NPCs are pretty stupid, though. In fact, most of the NPCs in Skyrim are pretty stupid, bordering on brain damaged. The lead on the Unofficial Patches team created When Vampires Attack and Run For Your Lives - NPCs will now run to safety when vampires or dragons attack, instead of barreling forward unarmored and wielding an iron dagger. Town guards, mercenaries, and other warrior type characters will still stand and fight, but shopkeepers, nobles, etc. will run to their homes or the nearest public indoor space to escape the fight. A great immersive touch that also makes the field of battle a lot less crowded. So you're less likely to have the town turn on you because you accidentally shanked Nazeem while fighting a Master Vampire. Not that everyone in Whiterun hasn't thought of shanking Nazeem at least once. The vanilla game's equipment is cool, but after so many playthroughs it can get a little lackluster. The same ten sets of armour, the same dozen or so swords... it gets a little dull. I use Immersive Armors, which has a nice little configuration menu (assuming you're using SkyUI). With it you can set individually whether a specific set is available for crafting, in leveled lists, both, or neither. Combined with Immersive Weapons from the same author, and you've got dozens of new weapons, including several whole new types of weapon, to choose from. Add to that the Jaysus Swords plugin from that set there, which updates and fixes the now outdated original mod. Then there's Winter is Coming. which adds gorgeous bear- and wolf-skin cloaks, along with accompanying light, heavy, and cloth helmets. Then there's Functional Bags, that adds a set of portable storage units that reduce the weight of items places inside them and can be worn to reduce weight further. It relies on the mesh and texture files from Bandolier - Bags and Pouches, which needs to be installed but not activated. I'd suggest doing just that, as Bandoliers tends to clutter the crafting menu. Functional Bags feels more immersive anyway, IMO. There are a number of gameplay overhauls out there that make sweeping changes to how the game functions. Skyrim Redone, SPERG, and *gag*Requiem are the three most common. The reason I'm not linking to them, however, is because I personally don't care for any of them in their entirety - they all have a few things I like (with the exception of Requiem), and a few I don't (is the entirety of Requiem). Instead, I prefer to use a number of smaller mods to overhaul specific aspects of the game, and as a whole create the kind of experience I want. This part is probably the most subjective. You may not like the setup I use. I strive to make my Skyrim more immersive, but not necessarily realistic - I like mods that make combat harder and skill more important, but don't care for mods that add raw "survival" elements like cold weather or eating and drinking requirements. The bare bones of my setup is The ThirdRace Skill Overhaul, which overhauls and rebalances the skill trees while maintaining the tone and idea of the vanilla game. But it's entirely modular, so you can pick and choose which trees to use. Pick them all except Smithing, Sneak, Lockpicking, Pickpocketing, and Enchanting. Next combine Complete Crafting Overhaul Remade, Weapons and Armor Fixes Remade, Smithing Perks Overhaul (I use the Improved Vanilla Perk Tree), and Clothing and Clutter Fixes. Then, from the same author, Stealth Skills Rebalanced (Complete Full). Last install Enchanting Awakened, which overhauls not only the enchanting skill tree but the nature of the skill itself, offering three classes of specialisation each with its own strengths and new abilities. There's far more to it than I can describe here, so head over and check out the description for more detailed info on what it does. I've been using the Community Uncapper in every playthrough for I don't know how long now. The configuration file gives you control over pretty much any aspect of leveling up you could imagine, not the least of which the ability to level skills beyond 100. I've got it set up in a very specific manner that to explain properly would make this post twice as long as it already is. If you're interested I can help you through the rather intimidating and convoluted .ini file. Then there's Deadly Combat, which completely changes the way you look at combat and battle. It makes every fight more dynamic and interesting by increasing the importance of armour, blocking and stamina - even the lowliest of bandits can take down a level 40 player if you're not careful. There are several mods that add new creature and enemy encounters. The one I have the most experience with is Skyrim Immersive Creatures. It takes some rather significant creative liberties as far as "lore friendliness" is concerned, but that's easily forgiven because of the MCM menu that lets you pick and choose which of the new creature variants you can encounter. If some of them don't appeal to you for whatever reason, you can simply turn them off. Another similar mod is Monster Mod, which also adds new creature variants and encounter points but with different creative choices, as well as equipping several of them with new weapons. I have little experience with it myself, something I intend to change in the near future. Then there's SkyTEST, which alters the behaviours and spawn points of the vanilla game's creatures entirely without scripts, so its performance impact is practically non-existent. It tends to be somewhat sensitive in larger load orders and behaves better when installed manually, but if you're a massive immersion junky while also being a stickler for lore friendliness then it's the one you'll want to go with. There are lots of other mods that add new creatures and spawnpoints to the game, but those are the three that come first to mind for me personally. Dragons, man. Dragons in Skyrim were a huge disappointment. There are two mods that combine to resolve this. Dragon Combat Overhaul alters the way dragons behave in combat - their movement and flight patterns are less predictable, they gain new abilities to escape defeat, and they're generally smarter. Especially in groups - which can actually happen now, btw, when you also use Deadly Dragons. DD also adds new abilities, as well as allowing you customise dragons' attributes and make them able to both take and dish out more damage. Followers in Skyrim are really dull. Literally all of them. Even the vast majority of modded followers are really just new faces on the same boring old followers. There are a few exceptions. Vilja is a very popular one, but not one I'm fond of myself. Her voice work is mostly ported over from the Oblivion version of the mod, and is thus extremely dated. And it sounds it. My personal favourite is Arissa. She's easily the best follower for Skyrim there is. She's fully voiced by a fantastic voice actress with studio level equipment; she's got a unique equipment management system that prevents her from using one item when you want her to use another; and a unique "regard" system that functions similarly to the influence system in TSL. She reacts well to certain things you do, and poorly to others; and when her opinion of you rises she's more willing to help you carry items, talk about her past, etc. And if her opinion of you lowers she's less willing to help you out and may even up and leave you. She's also quest and location aware, and has dialogue specific to certain areas and specific points in the main quest. Arissa transcends the follower system, in my mind, and is a true companion character rather than just a pack mule. Can't express enough how much I appreciate this mod. The last thing I feel the need to cover are story and quest mods. Much like followers, there aren't a whole lot of truly stand out quest and story mods. And that's mostly because creating quest and story mods is crazy time consuming and requires a great deal of understanding of pretty much every aspect of the Creation Kit. There are a few, though, that really stand out as fantastic mods. The one I personally like the most is the Civil War Overhaul. CWO expands the civil war into an actual dynamic story with multiple courses and potential endings - and the best bit is that it does the majority of it by restoring original vanilla content that was abandoned part way through development, presumably due to time constraints. The other quest mod I'll mention is Helgen Reborn. It adds a new anti-Thalmor faction to the game that weaves a decent story into their attempt to rebuild the village of Helgen following the dragon attack. Some of the voice acting is kind of "meh" - one minor character has a really fuzzy voice, and another is voiced in a rather comical Arnold type voice. But I'm probably the most anal person on the Nexus when it comes to voice acting in mods, and I was able to play through it just fine. The rest of the mod is well worth the effort. ... I think that's about it. XD I suggest taking a look at the Nexus' Top Files list and see if anything else jumps out at you too. I have a whole host of other mods installed if you want any other more random suggestions. Let me know and I can[/i keep going. Probably forever, to be honest. But that's all for tonight.
  8. I'm still huge into Skyrim, and have been floating around the Nexus and its accompanying modding forums for over a year now. I'm pretty passionate about Skyrim as a whole, so this is going to be one hell of a post - I may not even finish it tonight, I just want to get it started or I'll never bother. I apologise in advance. But not really. You'll want to lay the groundwork first. Download and install the Nexus Mod Manager if you haven't already. Though any mod manager will work, I find NMM far better than the likes of Mod Organizer. You'll also need BOSS. There's also LOOT, which is still very much an in-testing program and not recommended for active load orders. Then you'll want SKSE for a wider script framework that a lot of the best mods out there depend on. There are two versions: the stable 1.6.16, and the 1.7.0 alpha build. The former is more stable, obviously, while the alpha version has a few new features, not the least of which the incorporation of the Skyrim Startup Memory Editor. I personally recommend you go with v1.6.16 for now, and install SSME separately. It's dead easy, and far more stable than SKSE 1.7.0 in my experience. Also be sure to grab Wrye Bash for creating a bashed patch once you've got all your mods installed. Now. You definitely want the Unofficial Skyrim Patch. It's an invaluable mod that repairs literally HUNDREDS of issues with the vanilla game. You'll also want the unofficial patch for Dawnguard, Hearthfire, Dragonborn, and the High Resolution Pack. You'll also want to install Better Dialogue Controls and Better MessageBox Controls - though if you play with a controller then those two are unnecessary. Those are all absolute musts for any PC playthrough, objectively speaking. No one should be without them. Unless you enjoy a fundamentally broken gameplay experience, of course. I strongly endorse the Static Mesh Improvement Mod. It replaces many meshes from the vanilla game - too many to list, frankly - with higher poly versions that look far more natural and realistic. Install it first, and let other mods listed below overwrite it - most of them use SMIM meshes anyway. In the same vein, I'd point you towards Gemling Queen Jewelry, which combines with SMIM to vastly improve Skyrim's default jewelry. Fantastic pair of mods. I also strongly recommend The Choice is Yours, which prevents quests from being added to your journal until you specifically agree to them - no more "join the Stormcloaks" kicking around in your journal for the entire playthrough; and the Enchantment Reload Fix, which addresses an obnoxious bug that the Unofficial Patch doesn't cover due to the fact that it requires SKSE and is thus beyond the scope of their work. The next thing you'll likely want to tackle is the lighting and weather systems. There are four "popular" lighting/weather mods on the Nexus, all of which have their strong points and their weaknesses. The one most would recommend, I think, is Climates of Tamriel. It's quite extensive, and overhauls not just the weather systems but also night brightness, indoor lighting tones, and the audioscape. I personally find the way it approaches darker nights to be rather lackluster in comparison with the rest of the project, almost like the player is just wearing sunglasses - everything is made that much less vibrant at night, including light sources. The second one I'll mention is my personal choice, Realistic Lighting Overhaul. It makes the game much more atmospheric by eliminating generic unsourced/ambient light and making existing light sources much more noticeable and appreciable. Its weathers module is a little basic, and is more focused on making the lighting from vanilla weathers more appropriate than adjusting the weathers themselves. Nights are much more realistically darkened, with light sources maintaining their worth while areas without a light source are much harder to see in. This one can actually be used in tandem with Climates of Tamriel if you want, so long as you forgo its weathers module(s) in favour of CoT's - which many people do in fact choose to do. The third mod is similar to RLO in many ways, but takes a slightly different artistic approach - Enhanced Light and FX, or ELFX. It adds a number of effects beyond simple lighting that RLO doesn't have, like candle smoke. ELFX can also be combined with CoT for some rather incredible visuals. The fourth mod is also the most recent, and that's Pure Weather. I have little experience with this one personally, as it doesn't currently cover DLC locations. But the screenshots look pretty damned great and it's become quite popular rather quickly regardless. Once you have a weather/lighting setup you like you need to tackle water. Because water in vanilla Skyrim looks really bad - Gopher once likened it to saliva in a rather vivid but not inaccurate overview of several water mods in his Mod Sanctuary series. Again there are several popular choices. The first and oldest is WATER. It replaces the water meshes and textures for every type of water with its own unique style, as well as those for wet rocks. And it adds several peripherals as well, such as new water plants in and along lakes and rivers, a new alchemy ingredient (frog spawn), and a few other optional tweaks to water behaviour as well. The second is sort of a spiritual successor to the first, and that's Realistic Water Two. RW2 not only adds adjustments and variation to water meshes and textures, but also makes changes to the sound of water as well. Lakes have a soft and serene wave effect added at the shores, the ocean roars along the northern coast, and waterfalls can be heard from the opposite end of a cell. RW2 is my personal favourite for the sound edits. The third is Pure Waters, from the same author as Pure Weather mentioned above. It's a little less extensive than the other two, but what it does it does beautifully. Waters are clear and pristine, like water in the north should be. Regardless of which of the three you choose, you should use SkyFalls along with it to animate waterfalls at a distance instead of the default solid whitish blue blocks. Now for the game interface and HUD. One of the most common and beloved of such mods is SkyUI, which overhauls the inventory, magic, barter, and map screens to be much more keyboard+mouse friendly. Immersive HUD lets you hide the HUD at the press of a hotkey, as well as adjust their transparency for when they are displayed. Then there's moreHUD, which adds several new HUD elements that contain a whole wealth of information you'd normally have to open the inventory menu for. But you can also hide moreHUD's elements with iHUD if you want. Then there's A Quality World Map, which despite being a very old and no longer updated mod lets you remove cloud cover from the map and add roads to it, which makes navigating Skyrim so much simpler and more immersive. Best of all it works just fine with the search function that SkyUI adds to the map, which makes finding discovered locations a snap. There are so many more I'd like to cover, but it's horrifyingly late and I need to be up in a few hours. I'll likely post again tomorrow evening with the rest of my recommendations, but those are the fundamentals for enhancing the look of the game IMO. The rest will focus on the environment and how it sounds and behaves, how NPCs behave, and lore friendly extensions to the rather limited equipment available in the vanilla game. Also skill and gameplay overhauls, combat enhancements, city and location improvements/additions, playerhomes, followers/companions (there are really only two actually good ones, IMO), faction improvements, new quests... There's just so much to cover. XD Tomorrow!
  9. I feel as if a lot of people underestimate just how badly the Dutch needed to do well against Spain, even if it was the only real victory they achieved. It was a matter of principle, and I never had any doubt that it would be a scoreless draw at the very least. A crushing victory is nice, though. Now if they can manage to channel that level of passion and determination into the rest of the tournament, maybe they'll do better than the Quarter that Van Gaal has said is his highest ambition for this tournament. Glad to hear someone outside my general associates say as much. Even the commentators on CBC were labeling it a valid, albeit controversial penalty. It was a joke, plain and simple. But I don't intend to harp on it, since in the end it doesn't really have much of an impact at this point.
  10. Van Persie's equaliser. Oh man. That was a gorgeous goal. So were three of the other four, sure (one of them being sheer dumb luck more than anything). But that goal will be on the highlight reels for the rest of the tournament, I would say. I'm glad that the match didn't come down to one poor officiating decision with that "penalty" Alonso managed to sell. So far this tournament has had some incredibly questionable officiating, if you ask me. With the state FIFA is in these days, a few people I know are of the opinion that the tournament is rigged for a Brazil/Argentina final, guaranteeing a South American victory.
  11. I'm all in for the Netherlands, as usual. I think it's rather fitting that their first game of the contest is against Spain, who so cheaply robbed them four years ago.
  12. Good. Beyond the Thrawn trilogy there's nothing worthwhile in the post-RotJ EU anyway.
  13. Dead Space is currently free on Origin. Jesus, I never thought I'd appreciate having an Origin account. o_O
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