itsamoose

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Everything posted by itsamoose

  1. Does anyone really understand the energy mechanic and it's upgrades? One of the first things I did was increase the maximum energy to maximum, but it seems like at random intervals my maximum energy is being downgraded to the point where all my upgrades are effectively nill. I've noticed that if I use biocells I can pump the maximu size of the bar back up, but eventually it goes back to the starting amount. I just can't for the life of me understand the design or aesthetic justification for this mechanic, and I'm not entirely sure if it's just a bug that I'm seeing or not. Other than that however, I'm really enjoying this game, but oddly it's making me look forward to another dishonored more than anything.
  2. No Man's Sky

    I think this thing with Murray highlights why so many game companies are tight lipped about their games, especially during development. While I do think Murray bears some of the responsibility for the misunderstanding of the multiplayer, I think his big mistake was trying to answer questions like you would in a development meeting as opposed to a press facing thing. Just like multiplayer games are designed around griefers and implemented around hackers, press releases tend to be geared around raising the ire of that particular subset of video game fandom that is absolutely ravenous. Murray seems to have been stuck between a rock and a hard place, on one side being a small video game developer it would be almost irresponsible to try to diminish the hype about your game, and on the other side wanting people to see his game as a whole rather than it's component parts. One thing I'd like to note is I have seen a number of people suggest things like the game might get synchronous multiplayer in the future, and... well no this is not going to happen. I know nothing about Hello games, or their development process, but to implement that kind of multiplayer would essentially require them to make a whole other game. Not to mention that kind of thing, with the number of players we're talking about, would require hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in server costs and an around the clock network admin team, and those people don't come cheap.
  3. I've been playing with the new expansion out, and even though not all the cards are out the game seems so much faster than before. almost every game I've played in the last couple of weeks has ended before turn 10, and it seems much harder to recover if the game doesn't go your way at the start. I guess it'll still take a few weeks to see how things settle out, but at the moment this new set seems like an extreme swing away from the old gods slower more methodical games.
  4. The Next President

    The ramping up in Syria seems more a response to Russia than a political maneuver for an upcoming election, or at least I would hope that is the case. Obama is a shrewd politician, but I think entangling the US in another foreign conflict for political gain isn't something he would do, but then again I could be wrong. I don't think HIllary gains anything from being seen as more of a hawk, and that kind of thing could just as easily backfire. The battle for Syria at the moment lies with Turkey, after the coup attempt and our refusal to extradite Gulen without concrete evidence Russia is making a string play for closer ties with them for a number of reasons. With Turkey being a NATO member, we basically have to back their play against ISIL, regardless of how brutal it is going to be (just like the situation playing out with Saudi Arabia right now) to rebuff Russia. Putin has figured out that if he puts pressure on NATO in the right way there is a chance the US will become stretched too thin and NATO's other members won't be able or willing to fill in the gaps In other words, international geopolitics is complicated, and the middle east is fucked for the forseeable future regardless of how the US presidential election goes.
  5. No Man's Sky

    I finally had a chance to play NMS and tend to find myself agreeing to some degree with the points made in the Matt Lees video. This might not be necessarily appropriate, but I can't help but see the game's individual technical elements more so than as a game itself, and I think that is a product of the interconnectedness and depth, or lack thereof of the game's systems. I don't mean to be dismissive of the technical achievements of the game here, for a team their size what Hello games did is impressive, but none of the actual underlying tech here is all that groundbreaking. Random generation, specifically random generation of voxel terrain is a pretty well understood concept on computer science, as is swapping models on a rig, economic systems, and so on. While none of the individual pieces are all that technically impressive on their own, the much larger criticism in my mind is how little they plug together Planets have animals, but they don't nest, eat, hunt, defecate, etc. I can discover things like planets and animals, but what about asteroid fields, rock formations, volcanoes, elements, compounds, plants, and so on. When I see an animal on a planet, I can immediately sense that animal exists because of a random roll of elements, not because any thought was given to how an animal might evolve on this particular planet. I am not getting much of any sense that this world is alive, the game's systems are an inch deep and a mile wide, each one not really being as fleshed out as you would expect them to be, and others being weirdly complex. With each new thing I discover, whether it be animals, planets, trading ports, etc, I understand how the game has them on a technical level, but not really why the game has them on a design level. I know it sounds like I'm being quite down on the game, but I am enjoying it quite a bit, and am interested in playing some more. The survival aspects in particular I am really enjoying. also, this gave me a chuckle.
  6. I've had a similar feeling when playing hearthstone recently, and while I don't think the game is unbalanced I find myself winning and losing games based on which player hits a specific condition first. The new cards are quite interesting, and they do create a kind of consistency in matches, but I think the other side of that is a reduction in the variability of counter play. In particular this is baked into the design of the old gods, where the strategy for most of them is to simply play cards more so than focusing on how these cards are played. Personally I think this is a problem hearthstone has always had to some degree, it's more that the addition of high value late game cards like the old gods make the discrepancies in decks multiplicative and highly dependent upon specifically timed plays. I don't think this is a structural problem per se, but most likely dependent upon the designers' favoring of battlecry, deathrattle, and other instant-action mechanics. In my mind I imagine a game where a greater emphasis on "at the start/end of your turn, when you discard a card, when X do Y" style mechanics being a generally smoother and more varied experience. For example, when I'm playing a N'zoth deck the fight tends to hinge on whether or not I have board clear in my hand within the next 2 turns, or a C'thun deck whether or not I have the appropriate single target removal within the next 1. In other cases I've lost games after failing to draw C'thun 12 -15 turns in a row, and on the other side won them for the same reason. To some extent I think this is the game's desire, especially when it comes to these late game bomb style cards, so I'm not certain it's a bad thing. The developers seem keen to attempt to almost re balance the meta with each new expansion, but this tends to reinforce a particular structure in deck creation and play where cards are assessed on their individual value more so than their combinatory value. As much as the game has changed with all the recent expansion packs, I don't think they've been as successful in redefining how the game is played so much as redefining the pace of play.
  7. No Man's Sky

    This in particular I think is the crux of the question. Yes the game has an economy, but you seem to find it upsetting because it is formalized, not because it exists. Communism, mercantilism, trading, and all other systems of organizing wealth don't necessarily eliminate the idea of an economy existing. Second, this criticism is essentially a western critique of a western system, basically the formalization of the economic system in the way it is represented inspires excess. That seems vague so let me elaborate. Take for example the economic system of Native Americans prior to colonization. People still traded, made war on each other, planted crops, and so on, it was the organization of wealth that is the main cultural difference here. It wasn't that white settlers were coming in and taking things that didn't "belong" to them in some sense, it is that they were taking too much, preventing others from using the land they used, and being wasteful such that it had a negative impact on others. Since I haven't played it yet I can't say, but does NMS model scarcity? are you taking things from planets, and thereby depriving the denizens of resources, or are those denizens plugged into that same economic system and, in some respect, benefit from you doing the work of mining the resources? Are you doing the kind of negative things you are familiar with in earth's history in no man's sky, or are you simply seeing your actions through the lens of the dominant economic system of the day? I've heard a number of criticisms around NMS that seem to echo the sentiments you've described here, and these criticisms seem to relate specific in-game actions to their known effects in the real world, but not their effects in the world of no man's sky. It might seem like a weird point here, it's just that the criticisms seem incomplete to me at the moment since the discussion of a much larger piece of the puzzle, namely how the systems in NMS feed back in on themselves is missing.
  8. No Man's Sky

    Just for the sake of argument, let's say the developers are trying to represent reality, and in that case aren't they doing it perfectly? Hasn't this exact situation, that being colonial powers/explorers coming in and taking resources for their own gain, played out time and time again? I think when it comes to questions like this the mechanics can only say so much, player choice in relation to the breadth of those decisions must be considered. I'm sure it's possible to play no mans' sky without taking more than you need, but just because the game provides players the ability to take more than that doesn't necessarily provide the whole picture. I don't think the purpose of games is to provide the answer so much as it is to ask the question. Beyond my pedantry however, isn't any game that relies on resources found in an environment being explored by an outsider, whether it be no mans' sky spelunky, civilization, or Don't starve doing the exact same thing? Don't all these games require players to take things that don't belong to them (at least in as much as things belong to anyone based on their place of birth) and convert them into something personally useful? Games themselves revolve around conflict, and to lesser or greater extends the modelling of that conflict will always take some sort of philosophical stance, which will be open to criticism of some kind. It seems in cases like this the criticism isn't so much a result of the mechanics but the fidelity of the simulation, which is particularly exacerbated in games where violence is not a direct goal.
  9. Movie/TV recommendations

    I just watched Hardcore Henry (the entirely first person movie) and it's basically a 90 minute call of duty level interspersed with far cry style first person cutscenes. As you can imagine it's equal parts absurd and fascinating, but if you decide to watch it make sure to do so on a large screen a good distance away, particularly if first person games give you motion sickness.
  10. The Next President

    This is the part I take issue with, the fact that the two highest profile candidates automatically have some kind of ownership of the votes, and all votes cast are only considered based on what real or imaged effect the vote has on them. If this is a zero sum game, isn't a vote for the first runner up the same as one for a third party candidate? what makes the first runner up somehow different than a third party candidate if we're going to judge votes based on the outcome of a zero sum contest? if I decide to vote for Johnson (effectively a vote for Hillary by this reasoning), and Hillary wins would my vote no longer be a protest vote? If I vote for Stein and Hillary wins, what is my vote then? Would my candidate no longer be a protest candidate? Let's say we had 3 major parties instead of 2, as has happened in a few elections. which one is running the spoiler candidate? which candidate would they be spoiling? The answer to these and all other related questions relies on one thing--which major candidate the person answering is making a case for. This is what I find frustrating about this kind of thinking, in both purpose and method it is an attempt to trivialize any candidate that isn't the preferred of the speaker. A vote for trump is a vote for trump, a vote for Hillary is a vote for Hillary, and a vote for anyone else is exactly and only a vote for them. A candidate being ideologically similar, but coming from a larger party, does not make them somehow a better version of whatever candidate you would prefer. The argument ideologically is unsound, pragmatically unproven, and I personally find it's purpose loathsome. Sorry if I'm coming off overly abrasive here, I don't mean to attack you or anything, it's just that I've heard this argument from both camps, with literally the names switched around and I'm absolutely fed up with it.
  11. The Next President

    I take your point regarding the likelihood of a candidate to win, but this comment is reflective of the idea that votes are only valuable depending on the result of the overall vote. Votes are not transactions, votes are not bets, why should we judge their value on the overall result or their likelihood of success? What you are effectively saying here is either vote for the candidate you think is going to win, or vote in a way that won't significantly affect the election at all. It's almost as though the only useful voting strategy is to treat it like a bet--either put it on a sure thing or a longshot. To say that a vote for stein is a vote for Trump or a vote for Johnson is a vote for Hillary assumes that one of those two are entitled to your vote, and your action is tantamount to theft if you don't give it to them. Not all votes for third party candidates are necessarily votes for their mainstream counterparts. People like to make a big deal about Nader, but remember that Bush won something like 12% of the democratic vote. That would have easily won Gore the election in 2000, not to mention polling shows Nader pulled equally from both sides, and even then in an amount that pales in comparison to the previous percentage. I can see why this argument is compelling, but ultimately it's scapegoating. I see this argument made all the time, and without even considering the ideological argument for casting your vote, under every in depth analysis I've come across the situation described here simple does not pan out. As I see it this is Clinton's campaign to lose. She had more votes in the primaries, against a much tougher opponent, has a larger support base, more money, leads him in the polls and virtually every other advantage. If Trump wins the election it won't be because Jill Stein took votes away from her, it'll be because she messed up royally.
  12. The Next President

    I feel like every discussion I've had this election, with people supporting all sides, has eventually turned into this weird accusatory battle where we end up telling each other that a vote for X is a vote for Y. All my pro trump friends say a vote for Johnson or stein is just as good as a vote for Hillary, and a vote for Trump by my Hillary supporting friends. I can't help but feel like it's little more than an attempt to shame someone into voting your way. and even seems like an argument against the democratic process. I just can't accept this premise that votes are only useful based on the result of the election, I mean if the candidate you voted for didn't win, did your vote not matter? For all of you that voted or caucused for Bernie in the primary, did your votes not matter? Either voting has value in and of itself, or it only has value if it produces a winning candidate. If I decide to vote for Johnson or Stein, that isn't me taking a vote away from Hillary, she isn't entitled to my vote just because she's running against a human dumpster fire. Yes, it is undeniable that the republican and democratic parties have an overwhelming degree of control on US elections, but at a certain point a cause of that has to be this idea that they are the only two parties who can run serious campaigns.
  13. The Next President

    Pretty much this. The way the participants (at least as the author describes them) aren't making a point, or standing for anything but rather reveling in the conflict that surrounds them is what I find so unnerving. She might be painting a less flattering version of events given her worldview, but she quite succinctly describes how society, or at least political thought, is slowly transforming into some high concept dystopian science fiction novel where appearance is all that matters and conflict exists for it's own sake. The value of being politically minded of late seems less concerned with the actual ideological or practical motivations at play and entirely concerned with making sure that someone is fighting over something. I think for many this might seem like making a mountain out of a molehill, but let's not forget that the official nominee of the political party that currently controls the congress of the most influential nation on earth at various points in his campaign called people motherfuckers, accused entire groups of criminality, regularly quotes dictators and white supremacists, praised the internment of Japanese citizens in world war 2, and during a debate made sure everyone knows he is well endowed. It's easy to think this is one political campaign in one election year, but there is a very real possibility that everything we have seen so far will become not just the new normal, but expected and valued. The value in the piece to me is what conversations I've had that follow it. I mean without even speculating on a Trump presidency, how does a republican nominee, presidential or otherwise, follow Donald Trump? Can you even be an influential member of that party without being as extreme as he is?
  14. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    I came across Thank you Scientist recently and have been listening to them non stop ever since. If you like progressive rock, I don't think you can go wrong with these guys.
  15. [Art] Flay Learns to Paint and Draw

    These look fantastic, how long have you been working at this? I can't wait to see what you can accomplish once you start integrating motion. Keep up the great work!
  16. The Next President

    I feel like a lot of Hillary supporters, meaning those who have been with her since the early primary days, are at the moment trying to stave off coming to the realization that she is a political animal first and foremost. She knows there is no major candidate to the left of her now that Bernie is gone, so her days of needing to campaign to the left might be coming to an end, and while I'm no expert on Kaine picking him seems to be Clinton taking aim at all the republicans who can't stomach trump. From hearing a lot of my friends talk I feel like they secretly hoped Clinton would suddenly turn into Warren once the general election got underway. On a somewhat larger note than trump specifically, I read earlier today what is probably the most terrifying thing I have in a while and highly reccomend it to anyone I can. https://medium.com/welcome-to-the-scream-room/im-with-the-banned-8d1b6e0b2932#.kg8x88lrk
  17. Upgrades and Progression

    I'm not sure if this would count as a progression system per se, but I really enjoyed the way that Starcraft 2 (all games) introduced new units. Each time you unlocked a new unit, you would be put into a mission where you could spend maybe 2-3 units just working with that one, and then happen upon a base where you could build more of that unit. Then for the first few minutes after, when the mission started in earnest, you would be put up against units that were directly countered by the newly unlocked unit, and later on a unit that countered it. Granted something like this isn't an easy thing to do, and is a bit hand holdy, but it solved the problem many progression systems face where you don't really understand what it is you'll be unlocking or working with next particularly for people unfamiliar with the language of the game. The mission in Wings of liberty where you are introduced to the siege tank is a pretty good example of this.
  18. HELP: Attempted upgrade of PC gone wrong

    Have you verified the PSU is alright? Also did you try reapplying any thermal paste to the CPU heatsink, and is the heatsink spinning up alright? From my experience failing to POST is usually due to overheating or a loose connection somewhere.
  19. The Next President

    I think as soon as the conventions are over and the Clinton machine turns it's sights on Trump that will be the death knell for his campaign. He retains support with his obviously racist base, but other than that Hillary has strong and growing support in the battleground states, and the polls that put trump ahead tend to be often seem skewed to that result such as being conducted in heavily republican districts or in small areas where trump support is high. Regardless of how likely Trump sounds in these kinds of polls, he or any republican for that matter has a huge uphill battle to contend with when it comes to electoral votes. http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/donald-trump-has-a-20-percent-chance-of-becoming-president/
  20. International Politics

    This article is probably the best overall cliff notes I've seen regarding the Brexit, and while there seems to be debate about the specifics, the broad themes I've come across are Regardless of what happens next, the US has now become the default world market for the next few years More debates regarding the EU will be brought up in EU countries, and regardless of whether or not they make it to a referendum right wing movements are likely to gain steam The UK will see a temporary slowdown or recession that may turn into something more, depending on how it affects the EU and US markets generally People generally seem to be more concerned with how this will affect soccer matches than anything else I don't know enough about the structure of the EU, or Britain's involvement in it to say more, and for the most part everything I've read about it so far is really just speculation largely based on how long it takes for the UK to transition away from the EU and negotiate new trade deals. Personally I'm concerned with how social movements respond to this in the EU, since from a casual observer's perspective it seems like right wing nationalistic movements are becoming more common and influential throughout Europe.
  21. The Next President

    I've read her site a few times and parsed per points, and there is a lot to like in there, with reservations. There are a number of conflicts between those positions and her previous votes in the senate, but rather than enumerate those (I'm tired of the her record is crap vs. rationalizing argument) I think her platform is an expansion of the status quo. I say expansion because in all her implementations it's almost as though she's taken the current structures as necessary or inevitable, and it's tough to say if the tweaks she is suggesting truly represent a difference in kind. If you read the portion on campaign finance reform as an example, her plan isn't to remove the money from politics, it's simply to make it more transparent and metered. The actual implementation of this is infinitely gameable (as in billionaires just have to jump through more hoops but will ultimately retain the same amount of influence) and many of her other policy proposals fall into this same vein. She doesn't want to get rid of mandatory minimum sentences, just cut them in half, which doesn't change the problem that sentencing decisions are taken out of the judges hands, and end up having to hand down sentences they don't like because of the mandatory minimum. She isn't advocating for a remedy that reaches the route problem, for example eliminating prison sentences for simple possession, she's just interested in tweaking the knobs to make these things less prominent or perhaps different in function, but ultimately unchanged in purpose. I may vote for Clinton in the end, although at the moment I'm thinking I'll most likely choose either Gary Johnson (Libertarian candidate) and Jill Stein (Green party candidate). Now I doubt either of those two will be able to take even a state, and will at best be a distant third to Trump or Clinton, but those two candidates more so than the others represent my personal opinions regarding how the country should operate. Then again I live in California, so I won't be that upset when Clinton inevitably wins the state.
  22. The Next President

    Hillary's hawkishness is the part of her that is most worrying to me, more specifically in the type of hawk she is. Yes she has favored military intervention in the past, but the type of intervention she has lobbied and voted for in almost all those cases is in the form of airpower, and I feel like this might be the most important aspect of the presidential office in light of the AUMF. Here we have a candidate who is more than willing to use airstrikes, drones, missiles and the like and will be doing it in an environment where virtually none of those actions are going to be contested or even questioned by a congress of any description. This combined with her past and current tendencies to want to sell munitions to particularly violent regimes like Saudi Arabia, her entire foreign policy seems certain to exacerbate the problems of the past.
  23. The Next President

    Not always, but then again most discussions usually start, end or are prolonged by memes which tend to hash the same points over and over again. The Democratic side, if my facebook feed is to be believed, is far more focused on each candidate's past record. On the rare occasions I've stepped into these debates I'm usually perturbed by how little each camp's supporters know about even their favored candidate's platform let alone their competitors. Usually if John Oliver didn't say it, or it can't be summed up in a few words over an image, it doesn't get discussed. This whole primary process reminds me of one experience that has always stood out to me during my junior year in high school. I was invited to attend Boys State, which is basically a mock government camp where each high school social studies program (basically history) sends 2 students to participate. Everyone gets together at a college campus, the program lasted a week or so. We spent most of our day discussing government and over the course of that week we ran mock elections, the winners of which would go on to Boys Nation as senators representing their state in further mock elections. I remember one guy in particular who went out on the stage walking with a cane, and started talking about his his campaign platform of supply side economics to a roaring cheering crowd. Now here I was in Massachusetts, surrounded by people who made a point of saying how much they hated Bush and all his policies (this was in 2004) cheering like hell for a guy who had basically adopted his platform. How these kids, all ostensibly the highest performing students in their respective schools, were completely oblivious to the facts of the matter, and either unable or unwilling to do even a cursory amount of investigation. Throughout the course of this election the more I see people in my social circles try to brand themselves one way or another, or use any and all means to prove they were right from the start, the more I remember this particular event. I can't help but feel like I'm once again surrounded by dozens of really smart people who aren't really paying attention, and were content to just be involved.
  24. The Next President

    The campaigns have been pretty nasty up to this point, and now that we're officially (maybe?) in the general election I can't help but think it's only going to get worse from here. I mean we're not even at the point where each major party has even named their candidate yet, and the campaigns are already officially over a year old, or 2 years old if you start from Clinton's book tour when 2016 became a regular point of conversation in the news. I think at some point the sheer amount of information just frustrates people, so as much as I hope for less tribalism it seems to be the new norm.
  25. The Next President

    In Bernie's defense, he's been running an insurgent campaign from the start, based on the idea that he is rebelling against establishment candidates. The whole basis of his campaign, and more broadly his career has been staked upon him standing on principle, so I don't see why he would bow out before he absolutely has to. It still remains to be seen if he actually made Clinton move to the left or just campaign that way, and people might get annoyed at the division his campaign describes in the democratic party, but I don't think his remaining in the race until the final bell tolls is necessarily a bad thing. In other news it seems like the media's love affair with Trump might be coming to an end, so that's good.