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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Walkthrough - Deus Ex Human Revolution Director's Cut - Detroit part 1A

This is a minimal walkthrough for Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Director's Cut), Detriot part 1, from Prologue to the end of the mission at the Milwaukee Junction Sarif Manufacturing Plant.We only go over things you may not have considered; a detailed walkthrough is already available from the Deus Ex Wiki.

Prologue - Welcome to the Revolution
  • You cannot inspect your Combat Rifle because you do not have access to the Inventory menu, but it is fully upgraded, including the Target-Seeking System. Since that makes headshots very easy, you should definitely get through this mission with headshots on all enemies for maximum XP.
  • It is very tricky but you can sneak past everyone without them spotting you. However, the Ghost (500 XP) bonus is not available anyway.
M1 - Back in the Saddle
  • Enter the ground floor woman's washroom to overhear an interesting dialogue. Do this before seeing Pritchard for the first time.
M1 - Securing Sarif's Manufacturing Plant
  • For weapon choice, I recommend the Revolver even though you will likely be using non-lethal Takedowns to handle all enemies. This is because its ammunition has a very high resale value per inventory slot.
  • You can use Takedowns on SWAT. No XP but you can grab their Combat Rifles. Resale value
  • You can stealth this quite easily as the enemies here are scripted like those in Metro. They eventually move into a position where you can do a stealthy melee Takedown and hide the body, thus allowing you to incapacitate everyone for 50 XP each (Man Down 10 XP, Merciful Soul 20 XP, Expedient 20 XP) and still secure the Ghost 500 XP award for not being detected at the end of the Factoring Labs area.
  • If enemies are initially clumped, approach and wait for them to finish talking. They will then disperse to start their patrol routes.
  • Assembly Labs
    • The hostages are in a room with a binary poison gas bomb. For maximum XP, you want to Hack the bomb to get hacking XP. Simply neutralizing the bomb by any other means awards no XP.
    • If you go through either door, the bomb countdown starts. Even with this time pressure it is still possible to successfully hack the bomb, but if you don't want that handicap, find your way to the vent in the room.
    • Alternatively, use the password you can get from one of the enemies.
    • The most expedient way is probably to shoot either or both gas canisters on the bomb.
    • Attacking hostages does not make any of them hostile or react.
  • Meeting Room and first security cameras
    • There are two doors to the corridors surrounding the Meeting Room. The west entrance to the corridors is easier to handle as both the guard and camera are close to a corner from which you can spy on them.
    • For the meeting room, the south door is easier as there are crates behind which you can hide from the camera; and hide while listening to the thugs in the meeting room until it is safe to enter when the guards are facing away from each other.
  • Factoring Labs
    • Not far from the elevator, there is a corridor with a camera, a fragmentation mine on the wall behind it, and a turret further behind that.
    • The normal way to do this is:
      • Find the floor-level vent to get past them.
      • Use the fragmentation grenade on the turret.
      • Go back through the vent and sneak past the camera.
      • Hack the computer to turn off the camera.
      • Sneak at a walking pace to the mine on the wall, disarm it, and take it with you if you like.
    • If you want to keep the one grenade you are given and instead use an Augmentation, you can pile boxes in front of the turret to block its LOS so you can get to the security office without being detected (and losing the Ghost XP bonus). You can also supposedly keep throwing a trash can against the turret until it explodes, but that takes a long time.
M2 - Neutralize the Terrorist Leader
  • After you deal with Zeke Sanders, you can still go back through the map to get your stuff. The enemies will be gone and replaced by SWAT at various locations, which you can takedown (no XP but you can grab a gun).
M3 - Extraction
  • At the end of the Sarif Manufacturing Plant mission, carefully pick what you want to take in terms of resale value per unit of inventory space.
    • Full stacks of ammo typically sell for more than weapons.
    • Don't worry about selling all your weapons as you can use Takedowns in the next mission to overcome enemies or obtain weapons.
    • In the table below, you can see the maximum stack size (first column) and resale value per Inventory Square (second column) for various types of items (third column).
      • For Nuke and Stop! Worm Software, we are assuming max 10 items per stack. Resale value is 25 per unit.
      • Revolver Ammo sells at 63 credits per 5 bullets. Maximum stack is 50 but you won't get that many in this mission.
 50      315.0     Revolver Ammo
 10      250.0     Nuke Virus Software
 10      250.0     Stop! Worm Software
 20      250.0     Tranquilizer Darts
 20      150.0     Sniper Rifle Ammo
 50      125.0     Combat Rifle Ammo
 5      125.0     Cyberboost ProEnergy Bar
 5      125.0     Cyberboost ProEnergy Pack
 1      125.0     Double-Barrel Shotgun
 5      125.0     Painkillers
 20      125.0     Stun Gun Ammo
 1      109.4     Silenced Sniper Rifle
 3      102.0     Concussion Mine
 50      100.0     Machine Pistol Ammo
 2      100.0     Remote Detonated Explosive Device
 20      100.0     Shotgun Ammo
 1      93.8     Sniper Rifle
 1      75.0     Shotgun
 50      65.0     Pistol Ammo
 1      63.0     Combat Rifle
 1      62.5     Tranquilizer Rifle
 1      50.0     Revolver
 1      46.9     Machine Pistol
 1      41.7     Stun Gun
 1      38.0     Whiskey
 1      30.0     Concussion Grenade
 1      30.0     Pistol
 1      25.0     Fragmentation Grenade
 1      18.0     Wine
 1      5.0     Beer

Walkthrough - Deus Ex Human Revolution Director's Cut - General Tips

These are general tips for Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Director's Cut).We only go over things you may not have considered; a detailed walkthrough is already available from the Deus Ex Wiki.
  • Move all boxes in case something is underneath it. You will immediately know as the item will then be outlined for you behind the translucent-while-carried box.
  • After you use a non-lethal Takedown on someone, you can still kill them with a firearm while they are unconscious. The game will register the kill but not give any more XP.
  • You can Takedown civilians and police and other people who are not initially hostile, and then loot them. Typically no XP.
  • For maximum "story", I recommend you take the Social Enhancer early. Typically you'll get extra dialogue when you encounter certain conversations (but not Zeke). Usually you get a shortcut or small reward, but taking the goal of taking this is to expand conversation, unlock what else you can do, and deepen your game experience. It is not necessary and obviously not optimal to take it early.
  • The Deus Ex wiki recommends the Quicksilver Reflex Booster as early as possible to squeeze maximum XP out of taking down enemies with Double Takedowns. However, we suggest you don't make a big deal out of this and pick up the ability later, especially as there are many Augmentations you don't really want or need.
    • Setting up double takedowns just to get DTDs can be tedious. Spend your real time enjoying the game instead.
    • It costs 2 Praxis Points or the equivalent of 10,000 XP. A Double Takedown gives you at most 12.5 XP more per target. Therefore, you will have to arrange 400 Double Takedowns (800 enemies total) to just break even on XP cost. Or you can eat Energy Bars and do two takedowns one after another.
    • This said, there are times when a Double Takedown is useful and not having this ability may cost you XP because you have to do single takedowns or use resources or the Stungun (less XP).
  • Selling Stuff: When you pick up a gun of a type you already have, you get only the ammunition and the gun vanishes. Therefore, once you have access to merchants, sell a gun first before picking up another of the same type. Be careful not to sell any upgraded versions you own.
  • Hack all terminals instead of using the password. Password use gives no storage node rewards and no XP.
  • Watch for shortcuts to hacking a terminal AND getting all rewards. Typically a hack trace is initiated from the red nodes which cannot be accessed. But *sometimes* there is a route to that node, and you CAN capture it. If you do, you immediately succeed and unlock all storage nodes as well. See the videos below for an examples of the same computer being hacked.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Game Review - Divine Divinity, Beyond Divinity, Divinity II

Game Review: Divine Divinity, Beyond Divinity, Divinity II
Score: +7/-3

The Divinity anthology is a fairly old game now, but it actually has surprising play value despite its drawbacks. For sheer gameplay experience, it more than rivals more recent games like Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -- and you will actually see elements of these games in Divinity, only done better. Which is not to say there's outright plagiarism, but just proof the old writers' adage, "all writing is re-writing" -- good ideas and story structures just tend to resurface again and again.
-- Mechanics suck. Strangely, it won't matter too much because you are basically playing for story and gameplay experience. What it does is favour certain character builds and makes playing other character types possibly too hard or annoying to play. If you then increase the difficulty beyond the recommended "Normal", then some builds become impossible.
- No full respec. You can re-do skills, but not stats without third-party software. You can end up with a build that won't be able to finish the game. And each game is so long that it can basically be a huge waste of time to restart.
+ A lot of content. There are a ton of sidequests to do, as well as a wide variety. If you boil down the tasks, they will probably distill into kill-this-for-me or "Fedex" fetch-this-for-me quests. But the dressing around each quest really gives it life.
+ Alternate outcomes. Especially in Divinity II, many sidequests have alternate resolutions. Ultimately it won't affect the main quest so much, but not many games offer this because it is a lot of scripting to handle.
+ Big environments to explore. Not as big as Morrowind or Oblivion, but you also don't have endless tracts of nothing. Each area has something so you don't have to run far to encounter something interesting.
+ Sense of humour.
-0 Samey environments. For older games, this is to be expected, so in consideration that these Divinity games are in fact older, there is no real penalty. But if you insist on top-class graphics and a ton of graphic resources, you won't find it here. That said, Divinity II does have decent artwork and models.
+ Continuity - If you played the previous games, you will see stories and cameos from previous games in subsequent ones, adding to the richness of experience and giving you a reward for having experienced the previous stories. Not as complexly done with the same range of significant alternate outcome as the Mass Effect Trilogy, but nevertheless a nice touch.
++ Fast paced and flowing combat with convenient targeting. One of the best interfaces for real-time combat, especially in Divinity II. Makes it slightly easy with auto-targeting, but it also means your manual dexterity as a *player* does not get in the way of playing the game since it doesn't affect the *character* you control. Comes with combat pause so that you can react more or less as quickly as the computer-controlled enemy. Something that the Elder Scrolls and Fallout games have only feebly resolved.

With respect to Oblivion and Skyrim, if you play Divinity II you will see similarities to both games, just in a more exciting way. Both Divinity II and Oblivion take you to alternate hellish worlds. Skyrim lets you be a dragon descent and ride dragons; Divinity II actually lets you BE A DRAGON.
As an older game, it holds up remarkably well compared with many newer games that are often more style than substance.

We highly recommend buying the older Divinity games on GOG (Good Old Games) because of the more immediate support through GOG: