The Enemy Within Descent 2 Mission Release Thread!!!

The place to promote and link to Descent levels - both multiplayer and singleplayer - D1, D2 and D3.

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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:58 am

Let's put it this way, these robots are significantly harder than vanilla standard robots. As a result, most people will be failing their first few times at the set, just like any new Mega Man game that comes out that forces you to die often to get better. So my strong suggestion would be to use a difficulty skill one level less (or more) than what you're used to playing, since these robots are that much more lethal. You can't face up against brand new robots and dive into the set at your typical 'ace' or 'insane' skill that you always use and expect to win. Try it at a lower skill level and learn the ways and weapons and tactics of each new robot and where they are placed. That way, you can later prove who is boss in a higher skill level.
In fact, some new robots may require you to develop a brand new strategy you never used before. You can't just expect us to hand the mission set over to you without a fight now, right?
I've gotten to the point I can beat Ace with minimal difficulty, simply because I a) know all robots and what they can do and b) know the lay of the land and the secrets I need to hit to do better.
Its all about practice. The thief can be killed, level 4 can be beat. Its simply practice. Later when you own this mission set and can beat it with your eyes closed, you'll be glad it was as tough as it was rather than very easy and a letdown. Because then it will feel like an accomplishment.
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Post by Pumo » Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:16 am

Aus-RED-5 wrote:
Ferno wrote:level 4 is simply a test in frustration.
x2.. I gave up on lvl 4.
Really? That's one of the best levels of the set! :(
I've played it (and BTW, i'm goin' to play it again, as i want to re-play the mission from level 1 again) and i liked it a LOT. The difficulty on it is one of the best features of this level :)
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:28 am

trust me, it was harder originally, but we dumbed down a few enemies, one was the Mantid, it originally had faster speed and light-busting energy pulse (similar to diamond claws). But we since slowed it down a bit and took out its energy pulse and for the better in terms of difficulty. There were just too many Mantids going around to have it be any harder.
The other enemy I can think of is the Piper. It originally was a crackshot with perfect aim, enough to tear your ship to shreds with its vulcan cannon. But I dumbed it down so its still deadly, but it has a little bit of a spray to its cannon fire.
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Post by Duper » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:33 pm

one small glitch i found. When the Harpoon shoots a phase energy shot, there is a green splash from the gun instead of something along the lines of gold or yellow like the phase blob.
If this was intentional then never mind. :)
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Post by Pumo » Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:02 pm

Duper wrote:one small glitch i found. When the Harpoon shoots a phase energy shot, there is a green splash from the gun instead of something along the lines of gold or yellow like the phase blob.
If this was intentional then never mind. :)
This is an issue from the original Descent2.ham. You can also notice this when the BPER shots its energy blobs.
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Post by Ferno » Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:52 pm

it's not the difficulty of the robots that is in question, it is the type of robots in the level that is in question.

it's just does not make sense to have fast-moving, fast-firing and high damage inflicting robots two cubes away from the player. that is simply asking for problems.
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Post by DarkHorse » Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:37 pm

I found nothing more difficult than usual on level 3, either on Insane or Rookie.
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Post by Kyouryuu » Sun Sep 28, 2008 1:45 pm

You've not an objective, third party observer.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:05 pm

this is true, but our testers were. Other than the difficulty problems they voiced and we addressed, I didn't really hear much else from them about difficulty.
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Post by Sirius » Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:05 pm

Technically, DH didn't make any of level 3.
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Post by Ferno » Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:06 pm

again: difficulty is not in question. the types of robots used are.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:32 pm

then I'm confused. If the difficulty is fine and its beatable by Ferno, then why are the robots wrong for the level? If the difficulty is fine, wouldn't that mean the robots work for the level then?
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Post by Kyouryuu » Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:07 pm

It's not the overall difficulty in question, it's using the right robot for the right job. You can't just place robots haphazardly into a level and think it's going to be the best possible placement.

An abstract example is the way the M.A.X. robot is used in the Vertigo campaign. Parallax never stuck a M.A.X. in a narrow corridor all alone. It was always in a large room, where you can dodge its attack, and amidst other robots that could best exploit temporary blindness.

It's the drawback to adding the robots after the fact with little to no planning until the structure is completed. It's difficult to create environments the favor the tactical abilities of each robot.
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Post by Kyouryuu » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:18 am

Diedel wrote:I have been reading Ferno's and Kyouryuu's comments on the robot placement in TEW and have to say the following.

On the one hand they say their complaints are not about general difficulty of the levels, on the other hand they are complaining the levels would be too hard, and that would be because the wrong bots had been used for their environments.

Now difficulty is about how hard a level is to beat, right?

The two guys should start to think about what they are writing.

Apart from that, even if Parallax only placed certain robots in certain environments that is no doctrine, and if you want to make a level harder to beat by placing some weird robot in narrow corridors, why not? Unless the level author doesn't provide any means to beat that level (by also offering appropriate weapons), I have no gripes with such level design. Actually the only problem I have with robots being placed in the wrong environment is if the robots are weakened too much by that (like the Mantids in level 9 Razz).

The two guys should get over the fact that the mission showed them their limits, stop whining and start thinking of finding proper tactics to beat the levels in question - or quit playing TEW, if it doesn't suit their playing style of apparently rushing into every location guns blazing, wiping away everything that moves.

As a side note I would like to mention that I do not quite understand the inclusion of one of Kyo's older level designs in TEW. First of all it's not a new level built specifically for TEW (I had played that level's stand alone version already), and secondly it's not exactly an overwhelmingly good level. It has a symmetric, rather boring layout and bland texturing (like many of Kyo's levels I know; he seems to prefer a rather uniform texturing style that I don't find too attractive - matter of taste maybe, but yet ...). You could have asked me to build one level for the set instead - while 5+1 was too much for me, I'd have certainly liked to build a single one (can still do that if you'd want to replace Kyo's level with it).
He makes me laugh. :lol:
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Post by Ferno » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:23 am

Does it make sense to put four fusion minibosses in four corners that are two cubes away from the player?

or a red fatty in an energy center behind a 90 degree bend?

or a red hulk in front of where the player spawns?



when sniping, leaning the corner, stealth, tunnelratting, sneaking up behind or even dogfighting a robot does not work, how is that the player's fault?

if none of the above mentioned tactics do not work against any robots used in a level, it is time to rethink the type of robots used. It turns a level that's supposed to be fun into a slaughterhouse.
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Post by Xamindar » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:27 am

lol, didn't know people bothered reading his crap any more. :lol:
You could have asked me to build one level for the set instead - while 5+1 was too much for me, I'd have certainly liked to build a single one (can still do that if you'd want to replace Kyo's level with it).
Thank goodness you didn't. We would never hear the end of him complaining about not getting the proper recognition.
Why doesn't it work?
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Post by Pumo » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:55 am

OMG! :shock: Again, a sane post about an exciting new mission ended as the never-ending confrontation of the DBB.

This community is sucking a lot more and more everytime.:(

Almost all users are always talking on Ethics & Commetary and when there is a chance to talk about an exciting descent related topic, it always end in conflict.

I'm not saying that Kyo is not right on his points (in fact, i like to read what he's saying, specially on the last post about robot placing, it lets me learn a bit more about level design, and i like some levels from him, specially those from Phobos E.) but what i don't like about this discussion is how instead of talking of how good the mission is ('cause at least IMO is very good, specially with Sirius/Darkhorse levels) everyone is complaining about bad robot placement.

C'mon, this is not a commercial mission, it's just a freebie on the net to enjoy a bit the glory of the great missions of the old D2 days. I question, it's not REALLY exciting to have a 32 levels mission with new story, high-quality level structures and new robots after so many years? it seems not, at least here on the DBB.

I don't see too much excitement about this descent revival mission here, even if this kind of projects are what makes Descent still alive (after those many years since the release). :(

Again as i said, Kyo/Ferno comments are constructive at certain point, but it's not what i expected from a supposed 'Descent' community. As i said before, it seems all ppl here prefer to argue about everything (that's why E&C and PTMC Cafe are the most active forums now, even if they are not Descent related) instead of enjoy the best game of all times: Descent (and yes, also all glorious fanmade missions for it).

This is disappointing. :cry:
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Post by Xamindar » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:05 am

Hey now. It only seems like one or two people are complaining about issues. I guess me included if you count the post about the thief bot (I just gave up on him and left him to die in level 1). I can avoid him just fine, it was actually trying to hit him that frustrated me.

Anyway. I want to say that the Mantids are COOL. They are fast and surprizing and they look so cool charging for my ship. I love them.

Oh, and on the music thing. The second level had a new song so I guess the proper songs for the levels are playing, the first level was just the original d2 first level song. Is that correct?
Why doesn't it work?
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Post by Ferno » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:43 am

We're trying to help you place your robots better. We're trying to point out where behaviors work and don't work. But if you expect to improve, you must listen to constructive criticism aswell. If no one plays your levelset past a certain point, that should tell you something.

I'm sorry you see it as an 'argument'. It is simply not the case.
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Post by Sirius » Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:22 am

Technically you can't blame Pumo for that, although he could probably refer back to this later on for his own missions (and there are a few of them coming!). To get some kind of consistency, we had level designers build level \"shells\", then Wolf went through, worked out where in the set to place each level, and populated them with robots and powerups.

As a result, you're seeing her (admittedly twisted and probably proud of it!) taste in level balancing and the like. It doesn't surprise me that not everyone is a fan; Bahagad Outbreak and Lost Levels were tough as well. Nonetheless, if it's annoying you too much try turning down the difficulty a notch or two and see if you enjoy it any more. If it wrecks the mission for you, well, sorry, but that's life I guess.

I won't go heavily into the Diedel topic, but I will point out that quite a few of us do still listen to him, primarily because he has a wealth of valuable experience that is pretty difficult to come by these days.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:02 am

well these robot placement issues, I do remember seeing other mission sets not created by me who use the same twisted knowledge of robot tactics and using them against the player and no one seemed to complain about these campaigns. So, Diedel is right in a sense, there isn't any sort of 'set' doctrine in placing robots, but I did try my best in being reasonable in placing robots. Trust me, this level set was a lot harder intially. You really can't expect to use your old tactics that worked for years and still expect to survive with these new robots. For example, the Warlord, with his Fusion and Mega Missile armament, he can kill in a single blow. But I hardly use him at first once he's introduced. And when I do, you have a lot of space to manuever to get around him. Its not until the final three levels or so that I put him in tight areas. When you've already had experience with him.
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Post by Ferno » Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:23 am

Sirius: diedel hasn't been around NEARLY as long as kyo, myself, lothar, Kruel and other player authors.

Kyo and I have built levels before, and we've found out what works and what doesn't.
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Post by zico » Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:24 am

Time I have to play this set ...

As the worst player alive - if I can beat it on TRAINEE, it's okay I think. :D
However no matter the critics, I am so proud we finally get some kind of AddOn set besides Vertigo - even for FREE. :)

And as for the critics... I may whine about it as well (I bet I do), but all you creators should know:
It's just not possible to please everyone... that is what I needed to learn as well.
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Post by Sirius » Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:36 am

We may be talking about slightly different things I guess Ferno; none of the above know the game code inside out.
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Post by Ferno » Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:44 pm

game code, no.

level design, yes.

both are different but very important aspects of the game.
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Post by DarkHorse » Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:59 pm

Kyouryuu sure, he does level design for a living so he knows what he's talking about. I've seen some of Kruel's stuff, that was pretty sweet back in the 90s. Don't know the rest of them.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:01 pm

Well, its like any Mega Man game (which btw, I don't see people complaining that Mega Man 9 is cheap and stupid hard like they are with this mission set [which is free to download btw, and don't have to pay 10 bucks for!])
Yes, its a bit more difficult than your standard D2 set. Yes, there may be a few cheap kills here and there, I know where they are, and they are coming to those who are playing. But like any Mega Man game, you'll get caught by those situations, but as soon as you know the lay of the land, it'll cease to be a problem. Trust me, for those who have stuck it through and played it to the end, I've only received positive comments on the set overall.
So the difficulty stays, learn the new techniques, the robots are ready for you. Are you ready for them?
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Post by Duper » Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:03 pm

but.. this isn't Mega man. o_0 ???
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:06 pm

yes, but comparing the difficulty to that level, even though, imo MM9 is far harder than this is.
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Post by Ferno » Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:33 pm

comparing D2 level design to megaman is really a bad analogy. they're not even in the same league.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:03 am

Regardless, this set will not please everyone. If you want to belittle the mission down to nothing for nitpicky faults, go ahead. But that shouldn't stop everyone else from having a good time. A lot of work, effort and sweat went into the set and I'm proud of every contributing member who helped make this mission set a reality. It was basically meant not to impress anyone or win any awards, but rather to say 'thank you' to everyone who continues to keep Descent alive.
You aren't forced to play the set if you prefer not to. But move out of the way for those that do want a good challenge. Because there are plenty of people out there who would prefer it. I'm sorry it didn't hit your particular fancy, but meh, can't please everyone.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:13 am

here is a email I received from a fan who just recently completed the level set and here is what he had to say:
Congrats!!!
This, I know, required a tremendous amount of effort, and tedious hours..but please know that this is by far the best Descent 2 mission set EVER..I have played them all...I still love D2 and have played it form the beginning. I am probably the oldest Descenter around at 65...yes 65 but still a kid at heart!!
I just finished my first run thru of the entire set, and it is truly a work of art...I didn't findany bugs or glitches. Just great fun! This mission brings back the \"excitement\" youget the first time you play the game..
Thank you and your team for doing this for the rest of us...it is truly appreciated.
Just thought I'd post this up for everybody who worked on the set. Thought it should give you a warm fuzzy. :)
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Post by Pumo » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:06 am

Very nice to read. :)
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Post by Alter-Fox » Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:52 pm

Darkflamewolf, you really like to make stories end in tragedy, don't you? (Bahagad Outbreak, and now this :P)
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Post by Gekko71 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:31 am

I played this level set for the first time recently - thought I'd add my 2 cents.

I've never built a level, I've never opened any editing software and probably wouldn't recognise it if I did. So I can contribute nothing towards how levels should be built.

I did however waste much of the 1990s flying through mine after mine in a rather sad devotion to single player descent - so I'll confine my coments to this.

On the very first level of this set I found myself upside down, pinned in a corner in total darkness with my a$$ hanging out being outgunned and outplayed by two lousy robots. I turned the difficulty level down to TRAINEE... similar result, It just happened on level four this time and it took far longer to die.

I'm not the best pilot in the world admittedly but I'm also far from the worst. But these levels drive me out of my skull. I looked and felt like a complete bloody amateur and after 45 minutes I stormed away from the computer, frustrated beyond all rational thought.

....and I couldn't be happier!!!

Descent is the only game that has ever held my attention long term - I have returned to it consistenly. And for months now I have been feeling increasingly ho-hum about my favourite game. NOT any more.

For the first time in - shit - YEARS ...I am fired up about a video game. I felt like a total newbie: outclassed, outplayed, naieve...

(Fess up folks - when was the last time Descent made you feel like that?)

I was disoriented, I was confused, I lost track of where I was and which way was up. I found myself peeking around corners - avoiding the light. I was intimidated. And I died. Over. And. Over. Again.

I don't play descent for the level design. I play it for emotional reward and for the challenge: Hard game to learn - harder game to master.

Ignore the wowsers DarkFlameWolf. To me, this level set is a masterpiece. Well done to all involved.
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Post by Sirius » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:38 am

Were there any dark corners in level 1 that anyone else can remember? I'm curious whether there might be something amiss with your settings - it shouldn't be that bad! :o
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Post by Gekko71 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:42 am

Sirius wrote:Were there any dark corners in level 1 that anyone else can remember? I'm curious whether there might be something amiss with your settings - it shouldn't be that bad! :o
I turned my screen brightness right down - I was trying to recreate the dread ...it worked - I highly recommend it. :lol:

Admittedly, most of my frustration came from hunting the thief bot. ...Which sadistic bastard thought that up??? :lol: :lol:
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Post by Sirius » Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:59 am

Um... going to have to hand that to DFW. :] The speed would have been her call.
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Post by DarkFlameWolf » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:11 pm

all robot behavior was my call really. I wanted to recreate the challenge I found in Descent so long ago before I got good at it and now its no longer a factor for me. I also wanted the robots to be a bit more on the intelligent side, but in contrast to this, I also wanted their aim to be a bit worse to counter their stronger lethality. So there are some advantages you have going for you.
I'm glad you like it so far, it only gets wor....better! Trust me though, the first playthrough on TEW, even I got my ass handed to me. And I made the friggin robot behavior! As I worked through the set, I changed things I thought were unreasonable and it finally ended up to what you are playing now.
When I play TEW now, I no longer have problems with the set. Its all because of previous knowledge, experience and new skill that I picked up while fighting the new bots.
Thanks for your comments and enjoy the rest of the set.
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Post by Gekko71 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:54 pm

Thanks DFW - I intend to have heaps of fun with it.

(BTW, just so you know, I'm Australian & \"Bastard\" is a term of endearment down here believe it or not. :lol: )
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