Hume's Spork

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About Hume's Spork

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  • Birthday 01/07/1987

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  1. Breaking into Non-Fiction

    I would highly recommend The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson that was mentioned earlier. Also, it's a little out of a date and very English in terms of case studies, but Bad Science by Ben Goldacre is a really good read if you want to dwell upon how you think things work versus how things actually work. It is specifically about medicine but more generally about how portrayal of a subject matter often differs from the substance of the subject matter, and this helps you think about how the media or exploitation of human tendencies can cloud an issue that would otherwise be clear.
  2. Share short games you enjoy that require no fee.

    If you haven't:
  3. Recently completed video games

    Couldn't agree more, I loved the sense of discovery in the first game; in fact I purposefully haven't gone back and played ME1 because I don't want to mar my nostalgia, which I think the mechanics downgrade might do. I don't mind it for older RPGs like Baldur's Gate/Torment etc. but something about shooters makes me always want that extra polish.
  4. If anyone wants someone to give them some pointers, I'm happy to look over a replay or perhaps coach a game or two. My dotabuff is, my steam username is Terry Bad and I have been playing DotA for about 10 years now. I still suck but I can offer some good advice to newbies!
  5. Recently completed video games

    Diablo 2 was the first game I really got hooked on, and I have to say that the way you level your character is very flawed from certain perspectives. A lot of optimal builds require you to not invest any points beyond the basic requirements (1 skill in the prerequisites) and then max out later skills. For a player who was 'rushed' through the game in multiplayer this was OK, as after your first (probably horrible) character you could get another to level 70+ within a couple of hours, this time doing it "right". The problem is that not everyone is in this situation, or wants to leave behind their first character, or has the friends to boost them. Additionally, if you *do* go on the internet to find a good character build, it can easily feel like you've robbed yourself of the unique character. There is a list of what gear you want rated by rarity/cost and an exact build for maximum dps/tankiness/mobility/whatever. It's like copying someone's hearthstone deck - you still have to play it right, but if you make some changes it feels much more your own. Another annoying thing is the binary equip requirements on items - you either have enough strength/dexterity to equip it, or you don't. Optimal builds usually leave these stats at a minimum, so if you need 20Str for your gloves which give you +25Str so you can equip your armour, which gives you +30Str so you can equip your weapon and shield, you leave Str at 20. This means any other points are "wasted", but *also* means you need the gloves and armour to use your weapon. You might not have the gloves and armour. What do you do? The positives of this kind of leveling system are that, once you have mastered the basics of the game and have some more items/understanding of the systems, you can go in fresh and with a new idea. Diablo 3 loses what makes this special - "I'm going to make a trapsin/hammerdin/whatever with a focus on particular skill/item/whatever" doesn't exist in Diablo 3 once you have all the characters, as you can just change your gear and skills. You never need more than one Wizard. I guess that's why it's *the* wizard rather than *a* wizard.
  6. Recommend me a cool book!

    A book I absolutely love that I rarely hear mentioned is Silk, by Alessandro Baricco. It's very short and incredibly musical, romantic (lustful at times) and moving. I recommend reading it in one sitting, if you have the time, as the repeated motifs really ring true in a single burst of reading.
  7. Rektreactional

    Good job on the highlights, much appreciated!
  8. Non-video games

    I have been slowly teaching myself cryptic crosswords, which I guess are a sort of game (if you consider puzzles to be games). I don't know how big they are outside of the UK, but I recommend them for a few reasons. Firstly, when you write an answer you are almost always sure of the answer. For example, if the crossword clue is 'Bird (4)', it could be any number of things. If it's something like 'A hundred endless arguments for a bird (4)' you can guess a bunch of birds and then verify your answer. Because a hundred = C, arguments = rows, take the end off = row, CROW. Secondly, a cryptic gets those brain juices going in a really exciting way. It's like getting a particularly tricky puzzle in Braid and just feeling awesome. Thirdly, with a quick crossword I often fill out 30-70% of the clues almost immediately and then struggle very, very slowly through the rest, or get stuck entirely. Cryptic crosswords unfold a lot more, as the more letters you have the more likely you will be to verify your answer compared with a normal crossword: guessing birds with four blank spaces is harder than with _ _ O _, but even with the addition of a letter the quick crossword could be ROOK as well as CROW, or any other bird that fits. Guessing both ROOK and CROW with the cryptic clue would show CROW to be the correct answer, if you looked at the first part of the clue to verify your guess. I highly recommend them if you're interested - my advice would be to start with an easy one to get accustomed to the basic rules. The Cryptic Crossword app by Teazel is relatively easy, free for the first few packs and most of the clues are of the normal format, so you can churn through them and then spend longer on the harder clues, with more letters! Happy to answer questions if anyone wants to know anything. Caveat: I am still not particularly good at them Edit: ambiguity
  9. Recently completed video games

    I recently finished Fallout for the second time. Last time I played this game I was about 11, and I loved all of the systems and possibilities, but I remember enjoying the second game a lot more. The mad guy who modifies your weapons in the basement, the fighting rings, the jokes, the guns. Having played both recently at 27, I think the tone of the first game really stands out, even if it is missing a bit of polish and content. I remember the oppression and desolation of the first game really getting to me as a kid, but now I find it incredible. The other major difference was just how much "better" I am at optimizing systems and understanding RPG mechanics. I built my character very differently, immediately going for lockpick, small guns and speech, with an emphasis on the non-combat skills so that I could access more content and alternative paths. Another example: When I first got to the librarian in the hub, I immediately bought all of the books, read them all, then stole back the guns I had traded for the books. Then I bought all of the books again. I repeated this for 10 or so minutes until all of the skills couldn't increase from books any more (90%?). I did this sort of thing a bit as a kid but now I find myself looking for this edge all the time. I didn't even *need* the edge!
  10. New people: Read this, say hi.

    Hi After an abortive attempt to create an account a few years ago I finally tried again and managed it this time. Turns out I don't know the difference between an email address and a username - I blame the change to using email! I like RPGs, indie games, tabletop games and D&D. I have also been playing DotA since 5.54c on WC3, as have a bunch of my buddies. At 27 it's a good way to stay connected with friends in the way we always have done. By raging at teammates. I'm in deep. Hi!