The Kumquat Alchemist

Eurobricks Citizen
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Everything posted by The Kumquat Alchemist

  1. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    What an interesting development! Looking over all the Toa, I am disappointed that their chests use printing, but that is a small detractor. Gali looks great! She and Pohatu might be my favorite Toa so far. Her mask, though far different from the 2001 Kaukau, feels like it has some personality to it; I can see myself learning to associate the new design with Gali. Tahu is a bit of a disappointment. His build isn't bad, but neither does it look very interesting. Also, the preliminary pictures made his mask look more similar to the 2001 Hau, something the final version doesn't have. Despite this letdown, the new Hau still has personality to it like the Kaukau, and I expect it to grow on me. Kopaka: Great mask, awful (but fixable) legs, mind-scarring printed chest. Certainly a must-buy, though no longer my favorite Toa. Lewa looks the same as he did in the preliminary pictures, as does Pohatu, which is good; I'm especially excited about Pohatu's trans-yellow bones. I don't think they look good on him, but they'll be great for MOCs. LOSS is still a bit derpy looking, but I hold hope for an interesting gear function, now that it's confirmed he has one.
  2. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    When pulled off well, the progression from reluctant or awkward allies to a truly unified team of Heroes was one of my favorite parts of BIONICLE's story, though it did get dull during 2001-2003. However, I quite liked how it was done in 2004, with the doubt and awkwardness of the team being more clearly resolved over time, culminating in them becoming not only a good team, but also fit leaders for the Matoran on the island of Mata-Nui.
  3. The Kumquat Alchemist

    What Video Game(s) are you playing?

    As shown in my signature, Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura. As my first isometric RPG, I'm quite pleased with how the mechanics work; it really is a great game so far. By playing it, I've also come to believe that some of the accused "casualization" of modern RPGs stems from the move to first-person real-time combat, and not from any intentional simplification. I'm not going to be an apologist for the awful stories, easy combat, and dull quests that plague some modern RPGs, but things like quest markers and removal of % to hit mechanics seem justified for first-person games. Quest and location markers I believe are justified because switching from an isometric to first-person view makes it incredibly difficult to judge your surroundings. Where the search for a person at a certain address might be pleasantly time-consuming in an isometric view, going about the same search in first-person would be frustrating and dull without some sort of guidance, consuming more time than I could justify spending for the sake of immersion. The removal of combat %-to-hit is also understandable. Turn-based isometric combat is a numbers game with gambling aspects, whose variables are determined only by the skills of in-game characters, and all a player needs is a small grasp of strategy and math to do well. Contrast this to a first-person RPG's real-time combat, and things like %-based chances to succeed are frustrating to no end. Why should I have to roll for a % to hit, when I just managed to walk up to an enemy and visibly hit him with my sword? In real-time combat, it is far less frustrating to base it all on player skill, instead of including the additional, in-game-character-based variables. It makes me wish Morrowind had been an isometric game, then I could actually enjoy it; unfortunately, I can't stand it for reasons mentioned above.
  4. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    Judging by some of the more off-topic discussion here, would it be worth while for someone to start a BIONICLE general thread? Most of the talk so far has been sparked by the 2015 teasers and rumors, but since BIONICLE is only going to get more attention, I'd think that a general thread might be a good way to keep all story discussion -be it discussion of 1.0 or 2.0 story- in one place. However, I don't want to consider making a general thread if it wouldn't have some benefit. Would anyone here think it worth creating?
  5. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    Huh, then if I can just get some friction on it, my gearbox design will have 1-upped LEGO's. I hope not, I'd rather have an official design for separately swinging arms, complete with friction locks; it would be far more elegant.
  6. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    And yet it somehow does a complete 180-degree turn and makes Krekka's name endearing. "Oh, poor little Krekka tried to be triple-edgy with 3 K's, bless his heart." Also, TwistLaw said "species name" meaning Makuta, Skakdi, etc. However, it fails if you define the "villain races" more broadly, as you then run into things like Vortixx.
  7. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Hero Factory 2014 Discussion

    And here I was trying to avoid spending more money. Now I'll be on the lookout for Drill Machine and Crystal Beast.
  8. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    I'm really liking the MOCr concepts; they remind me of the Dwemer architecture and Animunculi concept art for Morrowind and Skyrim.
  9. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Your favourite Bionicle launcher

    How would I judge this? I don't have much time to post, but I can sort the launchers quickly by appearance, versatility, and function. 1. On the top of my list would be the Zamor Launcher. Though sometimes difficult to integrate into MOCs, it is a beautiful weapon that functions well, allowing me to reliably pelt my cats with a multitude of colored plastic spheres. 2. After that comes the Thornaxx Launcher. Though I've tired of seeing it so much during the last three years, its simple yet effective design is easier to MOC with than the Zamor Launcher, and propels Thornaxxes and Zamors well. 3. The Kanoka Disk launcher is third, shooting its plastic disks surprisingly well. It looks great, but is hard to use as anything other than a hand-held weapon, due to its asymmetrical design and type of firing mechanism. 4. Just one spot away from the top three is the Cordak Blaster, a neat concept that often falls on its face. It's beautiful but very bulky, looking out-of-place even on the sets it originally came with. If you get lucky with your ammo, it'll fire well, but the slightest dent or scratch in a Cordak bullet will turn it into a dud. 5. McToran arms. These things fire well and look great when on a Happy Meal Matoran, but they lack a lot of versatility: their asymmetrical design means they can only fire forward when placed on the right, otherwise, the disk they hold will be upside-down. 6. I wish I could put this higher up the list, but the coolness of Shadow Leech launchers is outweighed by how difficult it is to put them in anything other than a 2008 Makuta torso. Perhaps I haven't tried hard enough. 7. Below their wave-mates at #7 come the Midak Skyblasters! Though there is appeal to a 4-shot clip of Zamor Spheres, that appeal is lost when confronted with its bulky and utilitarian design. It is nice that the ammo can't fall out of the clip as they can in unmodified Zamor Sphere Launchers, but other than that I find the Zamor Launchers far superior. 8. Rhotuka Spinners, oh, Rhotuka Spinners! These things are fun for the first few minutes, but hard to use on MOCs and harder to aim. I also think they were the most absurd and obviously shoehorned-in launcher to be included in BIONICLE's story, but that is a rant for another day. 9. Nynrah Ghost Blasters. Though similar to the Cordak, they boast more versatility thanks to additional connection points, but lack the interesting Gatling-gun function, making them finicky one-shot wet noodle launchers. 10. The infamous Squid Launcher is by far the worst to ever grace the hands of canister figures. This odd, rubbery launcher lacked aesthetic appeal, among other, more important things, such as the ability to launch stuff. A "successful" launch might propel your squid three feet, and a failed squid will limply drop from the launcher's mouth, begging to be put out of its misery. At least the aforementioned ammunition is adorable. Just toss out the launcher and make a family of Squids, you and the ammo will be happier about the decision. Edit: Huh. Putting this together over time instead of all-at-once turned it into something far larger than I ever would have thought.
  10. The Kumquat Alchemist

    What were your First and Last BIONICLE G1 Sets?

    The first was either Toa Gali Mata or a Kohrak Va. Which came first I don't remember, but fond memories of both abound. When the death bell rang, Tahu and Piraka Stars sets were the last BIONICLE sets to be bought brand-new; however, I've recently completed Toa Kopaka Mata, whose last missing piece -a white Kanohi Akaku- arrived a few months ago, along with some other miscellaneous BIONICLE and Throwbots parts. Perhaps that would count as the last set I "bought", though the set has come together rather piecemeal.
  11. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    You bring up a very good point here. Though I gave Robo-Riders as an example of an excuse plot, its presentation was not at all lacking. When younger I used to pore over pictures of Robo-Riders and Throwbots packaging, just because of how bizarre and interesting the settings were. Living deserts? Giant space arenas? A sentient, hostile swamp? Though stories were lacking, I feel like the late 1990's and early 2000's were a high point for the presentations of LEGO themes, not just constraction themes alone.
  12. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    Perhaps it is not a perfect analogy, but if BIONICLE's story had no effect at all on consumers, it would not have been made so complex. That complexity was its downfall in the end, but a healthy level of it can get consumers interested in products that otherwise they might not buy. The target audience does need to have some initial love for buildable action figure toys, but a story like BIONICLE's can encourage purchase of the sets by the target audience far better than an excuse plot, like that of Robo-Riders, to give an example.
  13. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    I find that most of the sets are excellent, and that is my main reason for wanting them. The Protectors are worth getting for parts, and I think Tahu, Kopaka, and Pohatu are solidly-built Toa that I would find worth getting even if they had no characterization at all. However, Lewa, Gali, and Onua do not appeal to me much as sets. Only if I find the Toa appealing in terms of personality will I want to purchase the last three. If a character's appeal is strong enough, any doubts about the quality of their sets are overridden by a desire to see the Toa team completed. I see this as part of why BIONICLE sold so well. They weren't just cool toys, they were cool characters. After all, if sets sold purely on quality of design, would so complex a story as the old BIONICLE's have been needed? LEGO certainly did let Greg overdo that complexity near the end, but a healthy level of it gives another reason for consumers to purchase the sets. Even when the sets hit a bad note, a like of the characters the sets portray can motivate people to buy them. It's part of the reason why I keep my Toa Mata team assembled at all times, because I enjoyed the stories about them, both as separate characters and as a team working together.
  14. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    I'll certainly be getting all the Protectors for parts. Their many small limb elements are invaluable to me, as well as their blasters. For the Toa, it will depend on how well their characters are developed, so if the story turns out to be lackluster I'll probably skip half, only getting Tahu, Pohatu, and Kopaka. LOSS might be worth picking up for parts, but only if those parts are very interesting. Otherwise I'll not get him, unless I can find him at a discount price.
  15. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    I'm not averse to seeing it brought it up again, if the discussion is polite. This thread has slowed down a lot over the last week.
  16. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    Though absurd, it gave closure (If you ignore the abandoned online serials that Greg never should have started in the first place.)
  17. The Kumquat Alchemist

    MOC: Doctor Bradley Watt

    Doctor Bradley Watt Escapes Prison! At 57:45:03 Standard Galatic Week, Dr. Bradley Watt escaped from the high-security Vaalg Penitentiary. After a localized EMP disabled the cameras around his cell in wing 4-B at 57:45:01 SGW, guards were sent to investigate and were sedated by Watt via unknown means. Global sensor scans at the time record that Watt remained in his cell, though further data analysis showed a small Positronic signature making its way into the garbage disposal unit in wing 5-B, after which it disappeared from the sensor readings completely. Investigations of Watt’s cell at 57:45:04 SGW revealed the majority of Watt’s plasteel skinplate, as well as a small EMP bomb built from parts of his own body. Security experts have explained that the Vaalg global sensor array is attuned to each inmate’s unique skinplate electrical resistance. Because of this, Watt was able to fool the sensors through a highly risky self-flaying. Latest reports from the Vaalg Hospital report that all 58 guards who were sedated have returned to consciousness, but have yet to regain complete motor skills. Before his arrest 16 years ago, Dr. Bradley Watt was research director of Hero Factory’s lighly secretive Lab 56. When sentient rights activists managed to uncover documents revealing the host of dangerous experiments performed on Heroes in Lab 56, including direct Positronic processor alteration and reflex-network reformatting, Dr. Watt and all twelve scientists working under him were arrested. Six of the twelve scientists including Watts were given life sentences. “Funny, did you know that the last paragraph doesn’t care to make mee-ention that the only reference to me being director of Lab 56 were in those documents that the ‘sentient ri-rights activists’ uncovered? “Not to say I don’t know a lot about the Lab. That bit on Positronic proce-ceessor alteration? Let’s say I was jolly d-daamn well on the receiving end of that. Just a day before my trial I had half of the real research director’s me-memories shoved into my head, damned bastard; it really diii-iid help convince the judge of my guilt when I haa-hardly knew the difference between my own identity and that from the memories of that f-filth. Still, all’s well that ee-ends well. I’ve had the mites picked from my machinery, and a fiii-iine new layer of plasteel grafted back on by yours truly! But best of all, you are here, and I fii-iiinally get to tell the world about all those fabulous things that are still going on in L-laab 56! “Oh, are you going to look at me li-liike that? Hah, even a journalist from one of the biggest, most i-idiotic conspiracy-mongering publishers is reaching for his blaster, thinking he’ll b-be “the big Hero” for bringing me to justice. Bloody hell, why d-did I bother? Even if you cared to try and publish this chat, none of your readers w-would be able to do anything about this little siii-iituation I’m in. “D-don’t raise that blaster, please! I only need to se-eedate you! Oh, even if you did believe me I’d still have had to do this. Let’s see, Mark 947.3 p-Psuedoorganic Positronic pr-processor? Get comfy, lad, you’ll be in dreamland for a while.” Lovingly based on Professor Membrane and Wat Tambor.
  18. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    Or a Visorak that actually has eight legs. Hmm, I've got the time, I need to go and work on that.
  19. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    I suddenly had an interesting thought; bear with me. In 2001, BIONICLE set the precedent that each price-point group of six figures would have the colors red, blue, green, black, brown (later yellow/metallic), and white. BIONICLE stayed true to that, though in 2004 we saw the more saturated shades become darker, or in brown's case, washed out. Later we saw brown phased out in favor of yellow and metallic hues. Though our parts bins are full of these six colors and variations upon them, we never got the chance to get much of any more interesting colors, because of the status quo. Now, along comes Hero Factory! Though the first year showed no innovation, later we saw introduction of orange, yellow, gunmetal, purple, and transparent elements in far larger quantities than ever seen in BIONICLE. Now that BIONICLE is returning, it looks like we'll be returning to the same six-color system. Quite a bummer, eh? Not quite. The prototype pictures we've seen show a variety of secondary colors ranging from purple, to transparent shades of blue, to yellow and even turquoise. What if with each wave, we see the primary colors stay the same, but with an ever-changing array of secondaries? One wave, all the green figures might have keetongorange as their secondary color, another wave it could be brown, and on another teal. Perhaps the set designers realize that because they're forced to stick with six primary colors, they ought to provide as much variance as possible with the secondaries to keep the color schemes fresh? Well, there's my baseless speculation over with.
  20. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    Perhaps it was only the novelty that made me love it, but I found 2004 a great year once past the Great Disk fetch quests. The dystopian city setting worked well.
  21. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    I made the mistake of reading Brickset comments. Though thankfully not too prevalent, I was quite taken aback by the passive aggressiveness that consistently appears. Those who are actually willing to explain their dislike of BIONICLE usually target its simplistic building system for smaller sets and superficially violence-oriented story, but it hardly seems enough to justify the bashing it receives from other less polite people whose age I would think great enough to act more maturely, if they be old enough to hold a grudge against a line that began in 2001. Could any forum-frequenting LEGO fans from BIONICLE's first years give me an in-depth view of the cause of this?
  22. The Kumquat Alchemist

    BIOctober

    Joined to help support; perhaps the theme could be remakes of early 2000's BIONICLE figures?
  23. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    Well, what interesting happenings! I suppose I ought to weigh in. What struck me first in the simplistic teaser text is that it implies a return to BIONICLE's more mystic roots, which I am glad of. Though I liked it when BIONICLE became progressively more sci-fi from 2004 and onwards, it wouldn't have been as satisfying without the initially mysterious and magical build-up from 2001 to 2003. Even after 2003, Kanohi, Energized Proto, etc. were practically magic, and I liked that, as it helped keep the story anchored in fantasy, no matter how many sci-fi elements were added. That the new BIONICLE might return fully to the fantastic for its first few years is a delight. Sadly, the teaser still leaves it in the air over whether or not it's a reboot. Regarding the mask itself, it surprises me that clips attach it to the head! It reminds me of Slizer visors, of all things. From the looks of it, it ought to be backwards-compatible with the Glatorian and Brain Attack HF heads, but not working with the original Mata and Metru heads is a bummer. Other than that, the mask is beautiful.
  24. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Bionicle 2015 Discussion

    I wish the art-styles used between the first three films and TLR could be switched; set-accurate models would make sense for the mostly-robotic MU inhabitants portrayed in the first three, and the more organic style would have worked better for the peoples of Bara Magna.
  25. The Kumquat Alchemist

    Which is better - BIONICLE 2015 or HERO Factory?

    As CCBS action figures, I prefer the appearance of the prototype Toa and Protectors to anything from HF, but I do feel that HF could have gone to some great places with the minifigures introduced in IFB, and am sad to see it ending so soon. I'd have loved another year or two of HF using the Hero minifigs.