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Q & ABUSE
SWEATER-SET OMNIBUS
Chapter XVII: In Which We Leap
2008.02.29

Lusipurr - 21:10 GMT

No currents this week, so the letter supply is small. Oliver Motok's illness is having a negative effect on the column. I may have to cure him with a procedure of my own devising. It calls for the application of a topical solution followed by blunt force. If nothing else, following his treatment, I can guarantee he will never develop any illnesses ever again.

Send me your letters.

I will now address your tiresome and annoying questions.





The Letters
No Pets For You


Dear Lusipurr,

I haven't gotten around to asking you this, so here goes: what do you think of pets in RPGs? My stand is that there aren't nearly enough well-developed pet characters. FFVI's Interceptor is a personal favourite. I'm also bummed that pets are usually restricted to MMORPGs, where they are usually not characterized at all.

-Virtuoso

Lusipurr

I have never actually thought about it. Rinoa had a pet dog, I recall, which she used in combat. In MMORPGs, as you have duly said, the pets are just an automatic weapon system; a portable platform for assailing one's foes.

Where are all the video game pets? The most developed pets I can think of are the pixls from Super Paper Mario, but I expect that conclusion hinges on what one is willing to call a 'pet'.

Perhaps we must accept that, in video games, people do not take their pets adventuring with them. Of course, adventurers are often called on to find lost pets in exchange for some item or other.

What about you, dear readers? Can you think of games with pets as developed characters? Send me your letters.



Awesome Odyssey


Dear Lusipurr,

With the recent release of Lost Odyssey, there has been lots of debate over traditional, turn-based RPGs vs. newer, more innovative ones. I'm personally really enjoying Lost Odyssey and even though the game is very traditional, it does not feel stale to me. I believe that it improves on many of the failings of normal turn-based combat, plus it adds in the idea of immortal and mortal characters and how they vary. Not to say that the game is perfect, but I enjoy it much more than I have others games such as Blue Dragon. I don't feel that the "see enemies on screen" method of combat is any fresher than random encounters.

Lusipurr

I have to agree about the 'see enemies on the screen' method. To my mind, all it seems to do is encourage people to avoid combat, often leading to them being underleveled when they meet a boss later on. I think a random encounter system is far better, though ideally there would be a single button press for 'All-Attack' which would shorten fights against much weaker foes. Or, better still, as the party level goes up, they can stop encountering foes below a certain threshold of difficulty.


What are your thoughts about the direction that Lost Odyssey takes? Is it too traditional? What changes would you make to improve it? Thanks,

Your Humble Servant,

-Macstorm

Lusipurr

That is a hard question because I am only on the second disc. If I had to change anything, I would change the menu system slightly and would install a feature allowing me to instantly equip my characters from shops (such as in Final Fantasy XII). That is really my only complaint, and it is quite minor.

I am glad to hear you are enjoying Lost Odyssey. This really is the sort of game that comes along but rarely, and I cannot impress enough upon my readers the value of playing it. If you love RPGs, you owe it to yourself to play this game.

Agree? Disagree? Send me your letters.



Column Queries


Hail Lusipurr, Lord of QnA,

Thank you for your responses to my questions last week. It really helped show that QnA is in good hands, despite knowing your hands probably have done things no person should ever do. Tell me, are you as dark as Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men, or are you better than him?

Lusipurr

I had to do some reading up on the movie but I can safely say that I have never personally killed anybody. Whether I am more or less evil than him is, of course, a matter of opinion. Does Anton like rice pudding? Is he fond of a cuppa in the afternoon? Does he enjoy a hot bath? These are the questions that need to be answered before any meaningful conclusion can be approached.


Joking aside, I've got two more questions about column features.

First, could Quickies or Unfit for Print ever return to the column? I know they've been dropped due to decline in letters, but I'm not asking in order to answer my own question. With you in charge, the letters the column get are held to a higher standard, meaning that small quick questions or unbelievably badly written questions are less likely to appear here. However, they were part of the column for a few years cause they were typical letters your column received. So, what are the chances those features could return again?

Lusipurr

I receive so few quickies that I cannot really open it up again. I have received only two since I actually started doing Q&A. If I received more, I would put it back. I have thought about reinstating the 'Unfit for Print' section again, but I always back away from it. Most of the letters I receive are, honestly, printable. Once in a while I will get something that makes me consider opening the 'unfit' section again, but not often.


Second, you said that the quote archives have "not been actively updated in forever, and no longer serves any sort of real purpose." It DID serve a purpose in the early days of the column, when a former QnA host named Googleshang/Jake Alley gave "tildes" to whoever guessed correctly where the quote originated. Eventually, when Matt took over for him, the tildes were part of his SOCK game, but then dropped entirely. Anyway, the quote archives WERE updated up to now, actually, according to this link. So they aren't dead yet...would you still consider putting this as a sidebar feature, or is this more suited for wikipedia?

That's all I got, have a nice day.

-BLG

Lusipurr

Take a look at the dates on the updates. You will see that they were not updated after February 2006 until a year and a half went by. The next single update came in September 2007, and then nothing until 2008. Since the beginning of the year, there have been five updates--I am not entirely sure why, possibly to do with Matt's SOCK contest. At any rate, I think it is pretty much dead, regardless of whether or not there has been some recent, short-term updating. If it continues to be updated, I may well put it back.

Readers are still, of course, encouraged to write in and to tell me the origin of the quote of the week. If they include a question with it, all the better. Maybe I could make a contest out of it. If you send in a question with your quote, and if your question makes the column, I can give you one point. At the end of six months, I will tally it up and the person with the most points will get a free RPG for the console of their choice.

How about that for an incentive? Do you want a free game? Send me your letters.



Closing Thoughts

This week's column is short. I would like to expand it to five letters or more, but I need more letters to do that. Now, there is even a contest cracking along. Everyone likes free games, right? I know I certainly do.

RPGamer's Grand New Feature is finishing up its initial workings. Mycroft, my doughty aid, has proven invaluable in assembling the various parts of the whole. I can now reveal that the new feature will involve the appearance of me in video format for all the world to see. What will I be doing? Where will I be? Will I fall down a lot? These are the sort of questions which you must wait to see answered. Or, you could write me a letter and ask. If I am in the giving mood, I might answer you.

Or, I might not.

Until next week, pip pip!

p.s. Send me your letters.




Lusipurr is expecting your letters.

I do not fall down a lot.

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Rice Pudding



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