The Return of Talking Time

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  #31  
Old 09-10-2017, 11:00 AM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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Our next Liberation Rite, and it'll be tough, is against the Essence. Can we pull off a third win?

Character Bio:




Tamitha Theyn
The Wings of Vengeance

There are a lot of antagonistic characters in the game, but most of them are just treated as jokes, especially Manley and Barker. Tamitha is one of the ones I most commonly see as totally hated, which I personally think is unfair to her. Yes, she's a vengeance-driven jerk, but can you honestly blame her? The war with the Commonwealth has been slowly but surely wiping out her people, and war makes monsters of even the best of people. I don't fault her at all for wanting to see it won decisively, especially since her people are looming on extinction, although I do understand why everyone else just sees her as a vengeance-driven jerk. She also hates her sister to pieces, which is problematic as Pamitha absolutely holds herself to blame for her sister's exile and is willing to go to drastic lengths to see her free.

Tamitha leads the Essence, as founded by the Matriarch Triesta Tithis. The principles the Essence were meant to champion are primarily liberty and piety, which Tamitha is doing an excellent job with exactly one of these. She openly scorns Triesta as a traitor to her people, so the piety thing is shot. The Book of Rites also touches on the difficulties the Harps and the people of the Empire had, even before the Commonwealth's establishment, and Triesta wanted people to unite as one and overcome this. Yeah, Tamitha's failing there too.

In the versus mode, Tamitha's only competition is her sister Pamitha, who boasts two extra points of Quickness and Hope over her. As far as Masteries go, Pamitha has Sleight of Wing to swap places with teammates with a salute, and Shrike Dash for faster-moving dashes. Tamitha only has the one, and that's Fell Swoop, which you saw us use to our great advantage in our last rite against the Chastity to barrel in and banish the entire team at once. Pamitha's better if you prefer to maneuver around your enemies, while Tamitha obviously suits barreling in and crushing their defenses all at once.


Streaming today at 7PM Mountain Time. As before, that amounts to 6PM on the West Coast and 9PM on the East.
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  #32  
Old 09-10-2017, 12:55 PM
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Torzelbaum Torzelbaum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Man, Kalir, I think you've lost a good half of the rites since the first liberation. It's getting out of hand!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
Yeah I took some time before work this morning to play a couple of versus AI matches. Played using characters who I felt I was weakest with. If nothing else, I will be far better at putting Shae to good use during the Rites, and I won't be horrid with Ti'zo anymore (but I will still probably not be great).
Good. We need you to be the dunker not the dunkee.
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  #33  
Old 09-10-2017, 05:58 PM
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Streaming now.
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  #34  
Old 09-11-2017, 06:47 AM
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I imagine at some point you're going to go over the mechanics of the Plan's success? I'm curious if you can just liberate four or five Nightwings and fail your way through the rest of the game. Also curious how much it matters whom you liberate (Nightwing or otherwise).
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  #35  
Old 09-11-2017, 08:48 AM
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Eventually I will, but that won't be for a little while. Hell, I may put it off until the end of the campaign, it's kind of huge spoilers.


Time to reunite with a few triumvirates we haven't seen in a while, starting once again with the Accusers. Also: have stream issues.

Character Bio:




Lendel the Liar
The Bitter Rival

In a lot of ways, Lendel is pretty similar to Manley. They are both self-absorbed people, exiled for corruption (in Lendel's case, he was a constable who used planted evidence to get people exiled). However, while Manley is clearly meant to be a love-to-hate sort of character, Lendel is someone who seems far more dangerous, as he considers everything that happens to be linked to him personally. As such, Ti'zo's victorious goal over him at Oralech's Liberation Rite was an insult so profound that he now bears a huge grudge against us, and Ti'zo personally.

The Accusers, as a group, are named for a legion that their founder, the Master-General Gol Golathanian, served with during his time in the Empire of Sahr. They are intended to value things like justice and loyalty, as those who are willing to serve their leaders and country to the end. If you aren't talking about Lendel, the Accusers of today are doing a great job of that, as his commanding (and self-absorbed) personality led him to lead them. But Lendel himself, as expected, falls short of many of these virtues.

Lendel has slightly less Quickness and significantly less Hope compared to Hedwyn, but has access to the Critical Strike mastery, giving him a much more dangerous Power-Cast. As such, he's best suited to players who are better at timing their Aura-Casts than Hedwyn is, even if he's fairly humdrum in basically every other aspect as a result.
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  #36  
Old 09-13-2017, 08:38 AM
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Performance detracting ghosts are legal in the Rites, I guess.

Character Bio:




Sir Deluge
The Craven Commander

I already went over wyrm culture in Sir Gilman's bio, and how he is an exemplary wyrm-knight. Sir Deluge is quite the opposite, and has the bad luck to be a coward in a culture that prizes selfless courage above all else. Having a willingness to stay out of trouble meant he survived far more battles than your average wyrm-knight, which meant he was promoted beyond his ken and forced to lead groups in situations he just flat didn't have the nerves for. He's almost Fire Emblem early stage boss comical in his ways, but his cautionary tale of societal pressure is really tragic, at least to me.

Even the Pyrehearts, as founded by Underking Ores, are an extension of this culture, meant to not fear death and to live life to the fullest with bravery and honor. Sir Deluge is forced into leadership he neither has aptitude nor desire for, and takes it out on his underlings, including Sir Gilman. I'm not saying he's blameless, but I can understand him at least, far moreso than the likes of Lendel or Manley. He was born into a prison of expectations, and that's the entire world he knows.

Statwise, Sir Deluge makes up for lower Quickness and Hope compared to Sir Gilman with significantly higher Presence, which as you might recall means that his Aura-Trail is longer, not wider. He also possesses Greater Cleave and Avenging Aid (and Stunning Claim), meaning he's there to set up huge Aura-Trail traps and then be a coward, ideally stalling and banishing for his team to return faster. Meanwhile, Sir Gilman has Vigorous Slash, Quick Draw, and Valiant Return, pushing him to be far more aggressive and to take on the enemy triumvirate head-on.
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  #37  
Old 09-15-2017, 08:35 AM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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When the going gets tough, the coach delivers that dramatic speech that keeps the team going.

Character Bio:




Volfred Sandalwood
The Plan Maker

From the beginning, Sandalwood is only mentioned in passing, as a loose contact of Hedwyn's and a client of the Lone Minstrel (and we'll come back to that during his bio). You only meet him during the end of the first run at the Liberation Rite, and he pretty much instantly tells you "thank you for your time, you are free to go". In almost any other game, this would be the guy who you'd expect to have an ulterior motive, as surely as the main religious organization of any given JRPG has diabolical leadership.

Volfred Sandalwood is many things, but he is not a dishonest or non-compassionate man at all. He's no idealist like Hedwyn, but he wants the same thing, and that thing is freedom. Not just for himself, but for everyone unjustly imprisoned due to the Rites. He's very pragmatic about it, and is willing to roll with punches that would make anyone else give up. One even wonders if he has more in store should the Plan to topple the Commonwealth's corrupt leadership fail.

So what does this mean for the Nightwings, which he serves as the effective leader of (not us, as most games would have you do)? Well, they were originally created to serve as a common enemy for the other eight triumvirates, with the unfair advantage that they always get a shot at the Liberation Rite. Which, if we treat this as an apocalyptic setting, makes us the zombies: the background fodder that nevertheless is the driving threat for everyone else to unite against or squabble over. Volfred turns that kind of philosophy on its head: if we win enough, then the entire system is broken, and no one else will ever be sent into exile.

Volfred's the only other Sap in versus mode, compared to Manley. Volfred has better Glory, Quickness, and Hope even without his bonus from his Masteries (Steadfast Hope and Guardian Shield), and works as a great generic character for a Sap who still has a chance to Blink in and score, while Manley is a more technical sort who relies on Unstable Sapling to attack his foes, and Numbing Gust to prevent them from just banishing everyone and calling it good. But honestly, given a choice, would you rather play as Volfred or Manley, no matter their stats?


Stream Sunday at 7PM my time, as usual. I may put up a bonus video of some versus mode Rites I did while I was waiting for my stream to even out.

Last edited by Kalir; 09-16-2017 at 05:29 PM.
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  #38  
Old 09-17-2017, 01:12 PM
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Streaming in five hours. Here's a bonus video from the last stream, where I did a few couch versus matches against the AI to kill time and hope that my frames would behave.

Character Bio:




Messenger-Imp
The Tireless Runner

This isn't any specific messenger-imp we're discussing here, there's quite a few of them around. There is a certain subspecies of imp that can actually move from the Downside to the Commonwealth; they are the only creatures naturally capable of doing so. Most of them have the same general desires as their non-amphibious brethren: they want something to do and food to eat. As such, a few of them going to the Commonwealth is strange but not necessarily a concern for the people there. Doesn't hurt that they generally take pains to avoid notice.

They matter for us because they're the only real way to communicate with the agents of Volfred's Plan in the Commonwealth. Volfred's personally trained a team of these messenger-imps to pass correspondence up and down between the two realms. If it wasn't for these little guys, we wouldn't be able to act out the Plan. And it doesn't hurt that we can still get messages from the exiles who have gone free this way, either.

The real reason the messenger-imps deserve their own bio is because they are the only other playable imp in the versus mode. Ti'zo, of course, is the other one, and bears Safe Return, Elusive Nature, and Titan's Rage. He is pretty much what you'd expect from a standard Imp that wants to go into the fight head-on. The messenger-imp trades Quickness for Hope, and has a really impossible set of masteries: Moon Sign, Last Laugh, Wild Heart, and Inner Glory. Their job is less to attack enemies and more to pose a constant threat to the enemy's Pyre, either by running in and dealing a decisive 25 damage, or by dying close enough that their team can use the Moon Sign they leave behind.
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  #39  
Old 09-18-2017, 07:22 AM
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Is it possible to do the versus match before you recruit Shae? If so, what does the game call her at that point?
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  #40  
Old 09-18-2017, 09:10 AM
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Oralech just kinda hanging out and saying hi, no biggie at all.

Character Bio:




Falcon Ron
The Dirty Dealer

Falcon Ron is an oddball native to the Downside, who manages (or is) the Slugmarket. Although he's got kind of a tiresome personality, he will gladly trade in Sol, the currency of the Commonwealth, in exchange for Talismans we can use to get an edge in the Rites. He frequently comes up with new wares to sell at us, although given my playstyle, we don't often have the money to buy them.

The game spends very little time on the nature of Falcon Ron, awarding him all of a single page in the Book of Rites. That one page basically says everything I've said up there. Nobody really knows why they want to trade in Sol, or why they have no interest in the Rites, or anything like that, and Jomuer's best guess is that they are just preoccupied with other things. Which, hey, that's fair. The world goes on around and without you.

The Talismans he sells are instrumental to doing well in the Rites. We've seen a lot of them already, and he adds plenty to his stock as the game goes on, but again, you need Sol to spend, and the most reliable way to do that is with your Vocations, which don't often come up. He also sells a number of other things that come in handy: Stardust to amplify Talismans, Serums to give exiles stat boosts, and even some Scribe Snuff if you want to respec any given exile. The biggest problem is that he's competing with the stuff you get from the Scribe Trials of Sandra, and he usually loses. If you don't yet appreciate the power of Triesta's Plume, you will by the end of this set of clips.


I also popped open two empty save files and checked what the name of the moon-touched girl was there. It read Mae, so I don't know if that's her true name, or if it's just a placeholder. Either way, there's your answer.
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  #41  
Old Yesterday, 08:41 AM
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This is the episode about jerks.

Character Bio:




Archjustice Brighton Androbeles IX
The Voice

We've heard the Voice throughout all of our travels, from the moment when we first read the Book of Rites. We haven't known much about them up until recently, and have only heard them as a distant, haughty, and demeaning presence, who wants us to adhere to the sacred tradition of the Rites above all else. They will commentate every Rite, except the one where we face Oralech because that bends the rules a bit too much, even for him.

The Voice is only one of several, but not many. This is something of a catch with the Rites. By default, Readers can't go free, because they're too busy being the Reader of their triumvirate. However, being a Reader does not innately prevent you from performing in a Rite, as Volfred has plainly demonstrated. So it is possible for a Reader to go free, as Brighton did before. Upon doing so, they have the unique opportunity to become a Voice, which is to say, to continue the line of Androbeles.

In this tale, the Voice, and the line of Androbeles, represents the Commonwealth at its worst, moreso than any other character, even those like Lendel or Manley. The Voice is perfectly happy with the status quo, and would have loved it if the Reader had followed in their footsteps, but Volfred's Plan shut that down as soon as the Nightwings picked us up. Had we been discovered by literally any other triumvirate, even a relatively benign one like the Fate or Tempers, we'd have probably been Archjustice Androbeles X, had we enough Rites to make it.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the Voice is that they can't actually do anything. They can say as much as they want, but that is literally all they can do. The Plan proceeds, both in the Downside and the Commonwealth, and they cannot do anything else to influence it whatsoever. If someone else gets liberated, like Tamitha or Udmildhe, it is because they prevailed over us, not because the Voice foiled us. And when we get to the end of the story, it will be about everyone in the Downside, and not about the Voice.
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