Skyrim

The Impossible Thief

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So a character concept I am utterly in love with, just in general, is that of the “impossible thief.” Basically, a thief that can steal more than just items off a shelf or from a museum.. Like, more. I suppose it’s easier to show via examples, so here’s an excuse for me to post a TOP X THINGS blog post, because let’s be honest I’ve not done that for a while.

Skyrim: You!

You know, every time I start a new character on Skyrim, I think “this time, things will be different! I’ll use swords and shields, or maybe magic!” and then I loot a bow and some arrows, and oops I’ve become a sneaky archer thief yet again.

I mean when they give you arrows in such a manner, it’s like they’re trying to tell you something

So I go around and steal a load of stuff, join the Thieves’ Guild, level up sneak and pickpocketing slowly but surely, and those two skills are where the REAL impossible thievery comes into play. With the right amount of those two skills and the correct perks (Perfect Touch as a minimum, probably 5 ranks of Light Fingers and Stealth too) you can literally steal the clothes off someone’s back and the weapons from their hands from in front of them in broad daylight, and somehow not only do they not notice, they don’t even react! As if they were feeling a draught already so this is nothing out the ordinary.

This, however, is nothing compared to what you can do to a particular type of enemy. Over in The Reach, the city of Markarth has a problem with the Forsworn, rebels who are trying to reclaim the area from Nord and Imperial control. One type of Forsworn enemy you can encounter is a Forsworn Briarheart, powerful high ranking men who usually act as the leaders of the various groups you encounter in The Reach. The story goes, they performed a ritual, offering their human heart to Hargravens, and in exchange receiving power and a new heart, the Briar Heart. Well yes, if you’re sufficiently sneaky and pickpockety, you can creep up behind them, steal the heart from their chest, and watch them drop dead instantly!

Final Fantasy Tactics: The Thief Class

We like short shorts

A staple class in a lot of Final Fantasy games, even those without an explicit job system (example: Rikku in X, Zidane in IX, Vaan in XII), the Final Fantasy thief is one character I always try to include. I mean, free shit, right? Just gotta pry it from their hands!

Thieves in Tactics go a little further though. Not content with stealing weapons, shields, armour and accessories, the Tactics thief can also steal the enemy’s heart (not in the Skyrim Briarheart way), charming them into fighting for you. They also go a bit metaphysical, being able to steal the experience right out of someone’s head! Yes, with Steal EXP they can prevent an enemy levelling up by just filching the experience points from them! They can’t take them below 0 though, and thus cannot level someone down, which is a crying shame. They can, however, steal an enemy’s money without using Steal Gil! One ability gives them gil equal to damage they’ve taken! Literally picking the pockets of someone swinging a sword at them, amazing/.

The thieves from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance can steal whole abilities from an enemy! That black mage got a spell you haven’t? Go right over to them and steal it outta their mind, and become an instant master of magic!

Disgaea: The Thief Class

YOINK

Statistically rather weak, and with rather bad weapon aptitudes (though they eventually get okay ones with Gun and Bow), the thief is best used as, well, a thief! Boasting double the success rate for stealing items compared to other classes in the game, and with the best items coming off of really strong enemies, you’re going to need an even stronger thief to relieve them of those precious things! Much like the previous thieves, they are capable of tearing the clothes off your back and the sword outta your hands, but Disgaea’s thieves also have another trick up their sleeves: they steal STATISTICS.

While it picks a stat at random, Snag Heart actually permanently raises the stat of the thief at the cost of the same amount from your target. It’ll never be enough to cripple an enemy’s statistics (you’re better off stealing their armour and weapons for that, plus have you SEEN the crazy numbers they can reach in that series?!), but the fact remains you’re stealing something highly intangible! In Disgaea 2 they can also inflict status ailments through stealing; Steal Memory causes the Amnesia status, making the target unable to use abilities, whereas Steal Health inflicts the Poison status.

LOOK AT THOSE STATS

Final Fantasy X-2: Thief Class AGAIN

Popping back briefly to Final Fantasy, in the much maligned (but secretly very very good) X-2, thieves had access to Flimflam abilities, and these had a couple of interesting effects!

Girls, how are you not cold?

There’s the typical stealing of money or items, but Borrowed Time literally stole your enemy’s time, inflicting the nasty Stop status! Similarly, using Soul Swipe they could inflict Berserk, making the enemy unable to use anything other than physical attacks (with the trade-off of making those attacks hurt a LOT more), and with Steal Will they could literally steal the enemy’s enthusiasm to fight, making them flee the battle!

I just made them all Dark Knights though. They looked cooler.

so edge

THE ORIGINAL, THE BEST: CARMEN FUCKIN’ SANDIEGO

I mean let’s just recap some (not even all, SOME) of the things this genius has stolen over the years:

  • The shine of the Hope Diamond. Not the diamond itself! The shininess of it!
  • Portuguese. Yes, the language.
  • The alphabet.
  • The Spanish letter ñ.
  • A TV channel.
  • The internet.
  • The Mona Lisa’s smile.
  • All the goulash for some reason.
  • K2. An entire fuckin’ MOUNTAIN.
  • Gandhi’s glasses.
  • A beach.
  • All the salsa. ALL.
  • Saturn’s rings.
  • Montezuma’s headdress.
  • George Washington’s face from every $1 bill that ever existed and, somehow, ever will exist
  • Maths.
  • Dance.
  • The International Date Line, which is imaginary but she stole it anyway.
  • The steps to the tango.

Look, when it comes to impossible thievery, Carmen Sandiego just cannot be beaten.

She’s my fucking HERO.

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Skyrimming

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Now that just sounds DIRTY.

Yesterday, I ended up redownloading Skyrim, then a couple of mods that prevent a small glitch affecting my game. For some reason, if you alt-tab out then go back in, it’d duplicate the crosshair with your mouse pointer, and everything’d be out of sync and just generally annoying. Now? I can alt-tab with gay abandon!

I reinstalled, added those mods, then created a new character, a Khajiit lady named Frisky McBiscuit, because THE LEGEND OF FRISKY MOVES ONWARDS. Frisky McBiscuit has been a name I’ve used in both Skyrim and Oblivion, as well as both recent Fallout games, and Mass Effect (where she sadly had to be Frisky Mc Shepard). Why? I don’t know, but I like to maintain that they’re all the same person, or reincarnations of the same person at least (considering one’s a Khajiit, another is Argonian, and the rest humans).

She’s gonna sneak, fire arrows, steal all your belongings then sell them back to you at a premium. She’s invisible, she’s fuckin’ with your mind, she’s got a silver tongue and a love of gold.

There’s also no pictures of her because I forgot to take screenshots while I was playing OOPS. Maybe tonight.

vanfire

In Other News

New PTR Build! Warlock changes?! NOPE.

Oh sure, there’s some stuff changed, but it’s all tooltip stuff, nothing mechanical.

As for Warlock set bonuses, Demonology’s 2-piece bonus sees a change.

  • Your Soul Fire increases the damage done by your Demons by 5% for 15 sec. This effect can stack up to 5 times.

So basically, thanks to the 25% nerf to EVERYTHING Demonology-related, your pet will probably do most of your damage. Thanks to the set bonus here, it’ll push pet damage out even further, and turn you into your demon’s buffer bitch.

“BUFF ME, STUPID WARLOCK”
“I’m sorry, Arakzekeel!” *casts Soul Fire 5 times*

Now who’s the master?

cataboom2

Achievements?

I HAVE GARONA. YAY. That’s me all caught up, Legendary-wise for now, at least on the Warlock. Next, the Monk, who has 18 runes thanks to the garrison mission, and will apparently get a bonus to rune collection thanks to the fact I have a character who has done the quest already. Huzzah!

Steam Clean

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Valve/Steam

Yesterday saw the announcement that Valve are adding pricing options to mods created by users, with the mod creator setting a price (or the option to leave it free!), and Valve taking a cut of the pie. It’s only on one game so far (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim), but if successful, it may get rolled out across Steam entirely.

This, on the face of it, is a good thing. Modders, who spend so much valuable time crafting mods for games, finally have a means of being able to support themselves through what they do! No longer do they have to get nothing, or get a small donation here and there. Now they can RAKE in the moolah!

Well, not really. The mod creator only takes a 25% piece of the pie. The remaining 75% is split between Valve and Bethesda. 25c from $1, £2.50 from a tenner. It’s really not a lot. The Apple Store, as mentioned by a number of websites, gives content creators at LEAST 70% of money made.

This isn’t the only problem. It may also bring back memories of the much-maligned horse armour DLC from the previous game in the series, Oblivion. Back then, Bethesda charged $2.50 of your real, hard-earned money for armour for a horse that had no practical benefit, and was barely seen anyway. I mean, how often did you ever ride a horse? We just fast travel everywhere!

Expect a LOT of the mods to be stuff in this vein. A crappy re-skin of existing armour in the game, or a weapon. A mod that turns the leather armour from brown to pink? $2 please!

There’s a “debut pack” full of premium items, costing £18.76/$28.68, and from what I can see, of the 17 mods in this pack, 10 of those are weapons and armour. Now, they may be visually different, they may be new models and fancy skins, but will EVERY weapon pack be like that? Will you end up paying money for a weapon pack, and get what amounts to the same sword in 50 different shades of grey?

One of the first paid-for mods has already had to be taken down, as it had ripped animations and possibly other assets from another mod. Is this the future? People selling stuff they’ve ripped off from another user? The guy whose mod was removed actually wanted to contact the original creator about using his work, but Valve itself forbade him, thanks to a non-disclosure agreement about the mere existence of the store. This is someone who is, effectively, well-meaning. A LOT of people won’t be, a lot of people will see nothing in ripping someone else off and trying to make a fast buck from it.

It’s gonna be a lot of work for Valve and/or Bethesda to actually police this thing.

I’m all for content creators having the option to make money off of what they create, whether it’s a whole game like Darkest Dungeon, or mods for existing games. I just fear that this will inspire less scrupulous folk to try and fleece money out of people by selling faulty addons and lifted scripts, terrible reskins and horse armour. I wonder if a 25% slice is even worth it to some people.

Paid for mods: Microtransaction Hell or modders’ Heaven?