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Messages - Arkerless

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Calm down buddy, there's no point in getting angry because someone dares to have a different understanding of a work of literature to your own, and discussions are only fun when the participants can talk about the issues without becoming upset or hostile.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the character as Tolkien wrote him.

Did I say there was?

It's clearly implied in your argument. Supposedly the change in the character was to make him 'believable' and eliminated 'unnecessary confusion and immersion breaking unrealistic weirdness' - that cant make any sense unless you believe Tolkiens Faramir was unbelievable and a source of unnecessary confusion and immersion breaking wierdness.

I told you what one of the reasons of the script writers was, it's reasonable to me.

Yes, that's your opinion, already expressed, which is why it seems strange you then want to back away from the implications. You have every right to your opinion, you know. Even if I think you are completely wrong and missing so many of the points I would never take that away from you, and there is no reason to get angry at me. I am not angry at you.

Slinging insults at people not present and being a condescending prick doesn't win you a discussion, in fact I'm growing quite tired of your repeated spiral of non-arguments.

I havent slung any insults at anyone, my friend. You appear to be insulting me, and even threatening me, however. Might want to take a break. This is a discussion. Getting angry is pointless.

Is he now? Why?
This is a serious question. The films show rather clearly that the story is completely fine without him ever appearing.

As you said, keep on being wrong, friend. ;)

If the film shows anything it would be the direct opposite - but unfortunately even that is a muddled showing because so many other mistakes were made it's hard to disentangle.

That chapter, and that character, represent something utterly essential that would otherwise be left out, as Tolkien himself phrased it. Bombadil is a representative of a real power in Tolkiens universe on a level entirely removed from any other character. It is clear that he is a being of immense power, to whom even an Istar was like a little child, to whom even the one ring itself was just an interesting bauble. This means he was more powerful than Sauron himself, and not just slightly. This guy is on another level entirely, head and shoulders above both the heros and the villains. He has the power to destroy the ring, and to destroy Sauron himself. He could have wiped Mordor in its entirety, from the face of the earth and that is no exageration. He had every motivation, by any normal standard, to do just that. He would have no place in the world after Sauron wins, and Mordor is just as essentially hostile to him as to anyone else.

And yet he does not do anything of the sort. Why? When you figure that out you will understand why I would say it is the most important chapter in the entire book, and why Tolkien himself insisted on including it, insisted that it was, indeed, an important part of the story that would otherwise be left out.

What does he bring that's so essential? He shows up, calms down a tree, gives the hobbits food, ponies, sings silly songs, refuses the Ring (without us ever knowing why he was able to do it, yet another example of downlplaying the Ring's temptation powers), saves them from a zombie and let's them go their merry way.
Do I like Bombadil and the whole part of the books? Yes. Is he in any way essential to the plot, or the core meaning of the books? No.

Given your reading of the chapter, as summarised above, I dont see how you could say you like him. It sounds entirely silly and stupid and pointless. It sounds like something Tolkien would have certainly cut from his draft long before it went to the printers.

However that summary doesnt even resemble the chapter that I have read and reread so many times. Tom is not some silly brain-fart that snuck into an otherwise rather serious tome - it is in fact a very well crafted and quite deliberate bit of writing, in which Tolkien exceeds even his own high standards. Yes, he writes it as a riddle, he doesnt come straight out and spood-feed you the significance of the chapter, he leaves it for you to figure out for yourself, but that hardly detracts from the importance of the chapter - rather it actually highlights it. It makes that chapter stick out and reminds you to come back and read it again and again until you understand.

If I had to choose one single chapter of Tolkiens work to sum it all up, there is no other contender - this is the only one that could possibly do the job.

I don't see this as dumbing down. Trimming of unnecessary confusion and immersion breaking unrealistic weirdness, yes.

I see it as dumbing down, and introducing unnecessary confusion and immersion breaking wierdness myself. A great example of a third-rate technician taking it upon himself to 'improve' the work of a true artist with predictably disastrous results. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the character as Tolkien wrote him.

Good grief, I'm discussing this again. *sigh*

You must be bored?

The underlying logic behind such a statement is that the core story is not marketable to the masses.  If that is not the intended gist of the statement, then it remains that the core story is marketable to the masses, and so extreme changes were unnecessary. 

Exactly correct. Hollywood has never been content to make something like this without messing it up completely, they have to put their mark on it - which means dumbing it down, stripping out meaning, adding in different (and generally much more shallow) meanings, and that's sad but expected.

Not aimed toward you, Talinn, but this discussion does raise a point of curiosity with me. Every time I bring up my dislike of the movies, I mention a recognition for the need to change and/or cut things to fit the change in media, and mention my dislike at the shift in tone that occurred in the films.  Invariably, somebody brings up "well it would have been silly to have Tom Bombadil in the movie!" -- as if they were actually addressing something I've said or written.  Decrying something that was never asserted in the first place seems an odd tactic in discussion. :|

What's wrong with Tom Bombadil anyhow? Why the hate? He is arguably the most important character in the book, and he appears for a reason. The chapter he appears in is not some throw-away fluff added to boost the page-count (which is quite large enough and doesnt need any help) but is actually critical to the story. Rewriting things to adapt going from book to screen is one thing, but simply cutting critical parts of the story out and throwing them away is just indefensible.

As an aside: to the people who are using "insane", "deluded", etc, as ways of dismissing the point of view held by others -- kindly knock it off. Insane and deluded, as labels, depend on a lack of rational thought to bear accuracy in their description. It's also terribly uncivil.  It's entirely possible to disagree with a point without needing to resort to that kind of labeling.

I dont believe it is un-civil at all, simply an accurate report. I didnt say anyone was insane, I said a particular position appears insane to me. I wouldnt get upset about someone telling me that a particular position of mine appeared insane to them - I would simply take that as an accurate report of their reaction, and I intended nothing more by the statement.

It does certainly appear insane to me to say that Jacksons work is in any way a faithful representation of Tolkiens story. It just isnt. You can give all kinds of leeway for translating a story from written form to the screen and it still isnt going to cover many of the changes that were made - the violence done to the characters, to the plot, to the setting are just over the top and for the most part have nothing to do with any genuine adaption of the material - the material here was not adapted, it was rejected and replaced.

Merlkir: You keep saying "you're wrong", but really add nothing past that. "Wrong" indicates there's some objective point to compare to.

I just took it to mean he doesnt agree, is tired of the argument from previous instances, and didnt feel like bothering to make the case he has probably made many times before yet again. Which is fair - there are subjects I feel the same way about.

Also, I'd also love to take part in some defensive sieges, generally how often do those occur? I did read that Cair Andros sees some action, are there others that get attacked usually?

I always see Rohan lose a settlement or two in the north. But it's much easier to get defensive sieges playing evil in the north >:)

Also, are special item rewards given by factions repeatable? Can you get something like the Silmarillion from Denethor twice?

Once you get that item you cannot get it a second time, from anyone, it seems. If they are similar items but have different names, then you can.

The Last Days / Re: Faction Rewards List
« on: December 31, 2011, 12:08:22 am »
Also, don't underestimate the weapons damage type. When I played Rohan that Sword of Eorl swapping chop for piercing damage went right thru most armor in hand to hand combat. Basically turned it into a cheater weapon.

Piercing damage, depending on the module settings, is equivelant to roughly 2x cutting damage against an armoured opponent.

So yeah, it makes a big difference. Unless you are fighting a half-naked enemy, but those dont tend to last long either way.

The Last Days / Re: TLD 3.0 Suggestions
« on: December 30, 2011, 04:08:03 pm »
"6) It's also interchangeable between Gondor and Rohan. If the player is Gondor, then have the scenario  take place after Frodo passes through Henneth Annun, have the participants be Gondor commanders meeting in Minas Tirith or West Osgiliath and the city they attack be Minas Morgul. If the player is Rohan, the scenario can be molded around the Fellowship's movement in the Two Towers timeframe. But including this for Gondor would be heartbreakingly epic. "

While this is actually a good idea, putting in all the time and effort to implement this and then allowing only PCs of two factions to see it would not be. That wouldnt even allow all good humans. Better to allow the PC to get sucked up in it when he is in the appropriate area from any faction.

The Last Days / Re: TLD 3.01 - Bug Reports
« on: December 27, 2011, 05:45:47 pm »
I reloaded and it's still doing it. Need to reload again now.

Well known bug, should be fixed next patch, for now always give two different troop types on that screen or dont do it. If it's only one troop type and you have to get rid of it just talk to him and tell him to go home. 

The Last Days / Re: did anyone defeat Moria completely?
« on: December 27, 2011, 05:41:37 pm »
Playing as a dwarf, Gundabad's outposts are all razed, Rhun just keeps getting beat and their heros are dying. Dol Goldur hasnt collapsed yet but I have taken down half their lords myself. I have a mission to kill Moria war parties but can never find them, they die as soon as they spawn.

The only place it's a fight really is in the south for Rohan and Gondor. They have lost one lord each - because I was in the north at the time - and one Rohan settlement has been razed. I make ranks in the south real easily, the orcs just arent that tough even when they badly outnumber me at this point, with L20ish commander and 70 some developed troops I can slaughter hundreds of them with minimal losses. The Dunlanders are a joke, even Orcs are better. The Haradrim are fun to play with. The Khand are too.

The Last Days / Re: TLD troop tree.
« on: December 26, 2011, 07:02:53 pm »
s/Tree Handen/Polearm *(I think)

Looks good! Thanks for the resource!

Edit: Also, can you add skills? Athletics and powerdraw and riding and so on are every bit as important as gear and weapon profs. Still a great contribution though, thanks again!

The Last Days / Re: TLD troop tree.
« on: December 26, 2011, 06:57:27 pm »
s/Tree Handen/Polearm *(I think)

Looks good! Thanks for the resource!

The Last Days / Re: TLD 3.0 Suggestions
« on: December 22, 2011, 09:10:22 pm »
I remember in the older versions of this mod for version 0.808 there were a bunch of exciting infiltration missions. Whenever a companion was captured you would get the chance to sneak into the enemy capitol. Sometimes you could get a mission form a faction leader to assassinate an important enemy or rescue an NPC. You'd go there at night and fight or sneak your way through specially designed scenes with a hand picked team. I loved it, it gave a real sense of adventure, and doing something very different from the norm established with the typical battlefield scenarios. It added more variety, and it was great!

That does sound great. I never played the .808 version because I didnt have enough hardware at the time for it. I have hit one sneaky type mission in 1.01 that I have not yet been able to complete, however. Something along the same lines to look out for. Only ever seen it as a dwarf but it is probably available for good players in the north generally I would imagine. Something to look forward to at least. More stuff like this could be very cool.

The Last Days / Re: Getting Started - Help?
« on: December 22, 2011, 08:59:59 pm »
Yeah I am not sure of the exact math I just know keeping the last few lines of inventory full of horses keeps your party moving faster.

The really funny thing re-reading what I wrote above, is that I have just started the campaign that in the years I have played M&B I always scorned and never played. A horseless commander.

Well I got sick of trying to prop up Rhun and Gundabad, so I made a dwarf. And it's actually quite fun. No one in my party has a horse. But we still use them for cargo. The camera angle thing is annoying but I got used to that playing Gundabad and it isnt too bad. It's actually a lot of fun so far. All the natural advantages that just sucked all the challenge out of playing an elf and made playing rhun an exercise in hardcore masochism, kind of balances out with not having a horse. At least so far.

And ironically enough, my dwarf has so many rhun horses he actually had to sell some off to make room in inventory currently.

The Hobbit trailer looks truly lovely, I have to admit.

Plus the Hobbit was a childrens book so hopefully they will feel less need to dumb it down.

The Last Days / Re: TLD 3.01 - Bug Reports
« on: December 20, 2011, 10:32:14 pm »
Ever since I figured out how, I have been taking screenshots of bugs I ran into. Time to post them. Even though I did read through this thread and the rest of the board earlier and I try to remember to skip the ones that have been reported before, please bear with me if some of these have already been posted.

The first one is quite common, and I have multiple shots of it in many different locations
Script error on opcode 1601: Invalid party ID: -1: Line no: 4:
At script: s.
At script: s.
At script: s.
Script error on opcode 1695: Invalid party ID: -1: Line no: 1:
At script: s.
At script: s.
At script: s.
At script: s.
At script: s.
At script: s.

This seems to happen on the main map quite often for me, it can get quite spammy in fact (look at 20 and 21.) In 33 it's actually spammed across a city menu, not sure if it was triggered on the main map an instant before or if it actually happened in Dol Guldur.
Script error on opcode 1718: Invalid Agent ID: -1; Line no: 4:
At script: s.
At script: s.
Script error on opcode 1506: Invalid troop ID: 2005328748; Line no: 5:
At script: s.
At script: s.

This was at the start of a battle.

This one is really odd. The base text says "You have come across a battle between Mordor Scouts and 2043 Res. Pts (Mordor). You decide to..." Don't get involved was the only option. The screen was totally spammed out with red script errors over the top of that text, as you can see. The best I recall this was just SW of Khand camp.

This is an interesting little spot, like one near Aldburg I think, but it seems to be a much smaller one that doesnt catch parties nearly so often even though TONS of parties are always passing very near it. Nonetheless, Chief Namans Host was stuck there, and remained stuck there for weeks. I ended that game to try something new so I dont know, but I guess he would have been stuck there till the end?

A little items wierdness that Ron didnt catch for a change of pace. If you look at the character portrait at the bottom middle of the screen, you can see the round cavalry shield and hardened harad shield have sizes that are much smaller than their models. I included 38, showing my buckler that appears to be correct, for comparison of apparent size and reported size.

This is Cair Andros after we (Khand) took it over. The pony rider seems to have missed the memo about leaving his pony outside the castle. The first shot looks really wierd, and that is how I first saw him. The pony is inside out? A little later, after leaving and returning, the pony appeared more normally, but that's still probably not right.

This is a shot from one of the mordor citadels, I forget which one but now but if you dont recognise it I can go back in game and find it again. You go around the citadel itself, there is some fortification behind and to the left of the main citadel with a couple of guards hanging out around it. The square platform is solid but the base of the tower turned out to be very insubstantial - I accidentally rode right through it.

Another bit of item wierdness, if I am not mistaken what I am seeing here is two different items with the same name and model but different base prices. Both are Rhun Medium Battlewear - the one in 48 is unmodified, 1800rp. The one in 47 has the Ragged modifier, yet costs 1900rp.

You sort of have to follow this one like a storyboard to see the problem. In 49, Ulwarth lays out the missions I can give him, and their costs. In 50 I am selecting go to... for 5 influence. In 51 I complete the request by giving him a destination, Rhun Northern Outpost. In 52, look at that message carefully.

"You spent 25 of your influence with Rhun, with -1 remaining."

The Last Days / Re: Getting Started - Help?
« on: December 20, 2011, 11:58:03 am »
I will write a few things I have come up with. Keep in mind I am using RCM so some of this may not apply otherwise.

There are several ways of going about it, and the challenge level varies *drastically* depending on where you start. Playing Rhun or Gundabad is going to be the hardest. Dol Goldur and Moria are very hard as well, but it's easier from there to drift down south a bit and play the southern game. For good characters, Gondor or Rohan are the hardest - not nearly as hard as Gundabad or Rhun but still relatively challenging. At the opposite extreme, as an Elf you will have a MUCH easier start.

No matter where you start, you will be crippled by lack of equipment and will have to grind resource points for awhile to get weapons, armor, and mount. My basic strategy, for any faction, is to start with the barracks training and missions. Barracks training doesnt give much XP but it is great for building proficiency with your weapon. As a rough rule you need 100 in your weapon proficiency before trying to use it against any but the weakest of foes. If you do not recruit any other troops or companions at first and keep a party of 1, even without pathfinding and spotting skills you can usually thread your way through scary enemy parties using short paths, and there are a decent set of missions you can complete like that to build up rank, resources, and xp. Be careful what missions you accept though. Some will require you to defeat enemy parties on your own and they can be impossible at this stage. Delivering letters (as long as they are going to the right area) is always good. And hunting down the criminal is a fun one that doesnt actually require much in combat skills - that guy always has a one-handed weapon with no shield and is just good enough with it to be a decent challenge for a young character. 

Your mount is the most important single item of equipment. Horse or warg, get one as soon as possible. When it goes lame and has to be replaced, dont sell it, just leave it in your inventory to speed your party on the main map. Even after you get looting skill (directly or through a companion) you dont loot much in this game and your starting inventory wont fill up quickly so there is no problem keeping several lame horses just to carry your cargo.

Once you start recruiting troops, get the companions as quickly as possible. Their skills are generally helpful, although if you are playing the dark side your companions will need to be leveled a bit to become effective in most cases. You can experiment with troop balances a bit, all-cavalry forces are quicker on the main map but a mixed force can be most devastating in battle if you use them right. Either way your best tactic is trying to find battles already in progress where your troop can make the difference between victory or defeat and join them. This racks up rank and influence quite quickly.

It's tempting to spend most of your levels on combat skills (and to a degree this is effective - using your troops to distract the enemy while you charge in and out from the back and sides taking down enemies is effective and results in more xp for you,) but there are party skills that are really make and break. Without decent pathfinding and spotting it will be sheer luck to manage to avoid the fights you cant win while finding and joining the ones where you can make a difference. Tracking can be quite useful for this as well.

If you are dark-side then leadership and tactics are very necessary as well. As a rough rule of thumb you will need a 2:1 advantage to even think about winning a battle and in many cases it will be worse. If you are an Elf it's fine to charge into battle somewhat outnumbered though. Elves can also get a companion with pathfinding/spotting/tracking skills very early so there is less need to spend points on that.

If you are evil, you MUST buff yourself as a fighter early, until you are able to take out an elite orc in single combat. Leading orcs there WILL be regular challenges to your authority, which takes the form of a duel, and if you cannot defeat your best orc in single combat on a regular basis you are screwed. But as soon as you are able to do that, you will probably want to worry more about tactics and leadership than your own combat abilities. You have to get a large numerical advantage on the field to stand a chance.

Always ride the best mount you can. Concentrate skills on the weapons you intend to use. Couched lances are somewhat nerfed compared to other mods, but can still be quite effective. Horse choice affects this a lot - a very fast horse is generally the best lancer, getting you in and out of danger more quickly and the higher speed means more damage when you hit - but a light horse is also far more likely to get killed underneath you and leave you on the wrong side of the battle line and in deep trouble. Armoured horses are probably worth it both for the armour and the higher charge values, but they wont get you in and out of danger so quickly and your lance hits will do less damage.

Use the longest lance you can find, preferably one that can be used with a shield. If you are carrying lance and shield you have two slots left - you can take bow and arrow there, you will be great at range but vulnerable if cut down and pressed in close. This is particularly a problem if you are playing dark side because you will have a lot of trouble duelling those orcs.

You can also take a one or two-handed weapon along with a thrown weapon instead - you give up the long range strikes but have a much better ability to defend up close.

If you do without the lance, you can get bow, arrow, shield, and one or two-handed weapon. This is probably the best all-around combo, the bow is great for killing at a distance and then switch to sword and shield for solid close-combat abilities when necessary. This is, like so much else, more effective for light-siders however. If you are on the dark side you will need prodigous capabilities and a significant investment in good weaponry just to be able to scratch enemy armour in many cases. A good long lance and a fast horse is the quickest way to get something that will penetrate their armour in my opinion, but you have to remember to only charge through when they are properly distracted by your own troops, else you will be a pin cushion long before that lance-point hits its target.

Hope this helps!

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