unimural

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  1. A great episode! I did play and mostly enjoy War of the Chosen, but I'm fairly critical towards it. It is more fun than vanilla, but I really can't see myself playing it again. It's just too much of a mess, with not enough pull without the fascination of the new things. I would love to watch Rob tackle Long War (2)! My own approach to Long War was to bypass a lot of the a lot of the initial confusion by watching beaglerush play. I suspect that instead of going through a few campaigns that would fail in a few hours I watched probably a comparable time of youtubed streams. LW2 especially is fairly complex, and it really would need a good, up to date, thick manual. Unfortunately none exists. But I do think learning Long War, or Long War 2 by bashing your head against the wall that is the difficulty is not a good way to go about it. Because many of the things are so obtuse or clunky, it is very difficult to understand what you're doing wrong.
  2. Stranger Things

    With regards to In general I don't think much of season 2. I did like season 1 a lot, but I think the second season feels very formulaic and soapy. I guess it is intentional, but at the same time I think the season lacks dramatic tension. The feel is far more of action, compared to the horror of the first one. The story feels very fractured, with too many characters doing too many things in too many places. I didn't feel like the 'party' was together in this one, and as such I think a lot of the charm of the first season was lost. All in all I watched it, and I don't dislike it, but I really struggle to care, or respect it.
  3. The threat of Big Dog

    The unwitting tools of armageddon fine folks at DeepMind have made a new version of AlphaGo, AlphaGo Zero that simply by playing the game learned to beat all the previous versions of AlphaGo in just 40 days. For the first time in human history there is something that is better than people (Arguably it is the best in the world.) in a real world application that people didn't teach in any way. https://deepmind.com/blog/alphago-zero-learning-scratch/ https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v550/n7676/full/nature24270.html
  4. The third episode was pretty ok, and while not great I'm more optimistic about this eventually becoming something good. The setup of the ship sounds good for lots of neat episodes. I was really hoping we'd have a more consistent, less all-actions-must-serve-drama Michael Burnham. I suppose I am overly sensitive about portraying logic as either coldness or lack of emotion, but does she have to be written so horribly? She's all over the place. One minute she's supposed to be this Spock-like character: measured, in control and distant. A few minutes later she's supposedly extremely emotional and impulsive. Martin-Green does a good job, I think as both. I just can't buy such a character. What is the character motivation for her saying she just wants to atone by serving her sentence, and then committing crimes, during wartime, on a military science ship: impersonating an officer and breaking into a restricted area? That moment was so baffling, the very definition of illogical behaviour. Plus they didn't do anything with it. They might as well just have shown Stamets or Tilly in there. Perhaps the point is supposed to be that her history of losing her parents and undergoing the Vulcan upbringing damaged her so severely she can't control her impulses under stress, or something. But I think they don't care and just wanted a Vulcan-Kirk. Which does not fill me with confidence with regards to Tilly.
  5. Episode 405: Lords of Waterdeep

    Bravo Master Hermes, bravo! I always moan about the difficulty of organizing a game night, and my lazyness in that regard. Perhaps I should give Lords of Waterdeep-Discord a shot! The balance between having an interesting game to play and having something to help give a little structure for a fun evening with friends varies a lot depending on the friends. However as I've become lazier and older, in practice I've started to favour the more casual experiences. Even though I'd like to think I'd still enjoy Twilight Imperium, I'm not sure I actually would.
  6. Divinity: Original Sin II

    I would love to be playing this one, but there are too many interesting games and too little time. I still haven't finished Pillars of Eternity and haven't even started on the original Original Sin. Of course it would help if I didn't have 300 hours in Crusader Kings 2 and EU IV. But with those games I can return to them after a month, and kind of know what I'm doing, where as with RPGs one tends to forget too much after a break.
  7. When I was a teenager I had devised a thought experiment that bothered me a great deal. You have the power to heal people by physically harming them. Specifically, whatever you damage, will be healed perfectly. So to heal someone of lung cancer you have to physically damage their lungs. However, if anyone ever comes to believe that this is what you do, you loose the power for good. What, if any, would be an ethical way of using this power? With regards to simulations, perfect simulation seem so impossible it's a bit scary. Fundamentally the question seems to be whether a recursive series of perfect simulations will converge or not. I always feel any perfect simulation should resolve any task to it's simplest stable, logical state, without actually iterating on any of the steps. If you have access to a perfect simulation and want to open a pin code lock, you will simple get the correct pin code. There are other stable states, naturally. The simplest of which is probably the one where the simulation will not provide you with any data. Similarly my gut feeling is that time travel can not be a perfect simulation, because the time travel is an anomaly in the simulation. I.e. I feel it isn't possible to travel back in time to the original timeline, but instead time travel always takes you to a new timeline.
  8. XCOM 2

    I haven't played with the Beta Strike, so all of this purely theoretical on my part. I do think it is an interesting option, and if Long War 2 will not be updated for WotC I think I will try a Beta Strike campaign, although I'm a very slow player and Beta Strike will extend the mission play time for me a fair bit. In general, I think it will make the early game a bit more difficult (although accidental pod activations will be less serious, sectoids will be more of a threat), the mid game possibly easier and the late-ish game kind of brutal. It will make melee a lot more situational, but will not really hurt templars, thanks to momentum, I suspect. The low damage on reapers will hurt, but their main advantage is their extreme scouting ability, and they're always quite secondary as damage dealers. Grenadiers will loose a lot of their power, and possibly make support grenadiers a better choice. I'd presume cover in general will matter more. No more ignoring cover and running next to enemies for kills on small pods. You will get a lot more wounds, and that will probably delay ranking up by a few missions, which might be the biggest thing to adapt to. Especially on harder difficulties it may make a big difference. I presume one of the worst things will be reinforcements. With 2x health they can really mess up a mission that has been going will. Also things like chrysalids, berserkers and alien regen in all shapes may be quite terrifying. Repeaters will be quite mandatory for all weapons, I presume. Alien rulers and chosen will be quite tough to deal with. I'd presume repeaters will proc for most of these fights. Mechs will also hurt, as killing them in the first turn is difficult. This will probably make specialists more important. Psi troops will also be a powerful strategy, I'd presume. Anything that helps you control the active aliens. All in all, I suspect there will be some mechanics which will feel quite broken, but the overall difficulty to be somewhere below Long War 2.
  9. XCOM 2

    I admit my perspective may be a bit skewed. Still, 2012 XCOM lineage is a game about pod management. War of the Chosen tries to challenge this a bit with the Chosen, but also gives players a whole bunch of powerful new tools. Especially the templar and the reaper classes are very powerful, right from the start. Early game is pretty much as RNG dependent as ever, and the late game is even more predictable and controllable than before. Grenadiers are as op as ever, but the new additions combined with training center makes all squad compositions more powerful. It makes WotC very forgiving, and any kind of a measured approach is probably survivable. The game even forces you to level up multiple characters with the fatigue -mechanic. I do appreciate the game for it. I mean it is good, I think, that you don't need extensive knowledge of the game mechanics. But I also derive less enjoyment from the tactical battles, since I almost always feel I have multiple options for handling things, and that I often have guaranteed options. The rulers are the most significant challenge thus far (I haven't completed the campaign yet), and even they are quite manageable. Which is not to say that legendary - ironman would be easy. It will still require patience and knowledge of the game mechanics and the scripted stuff.
  10. Early in the season three I had to ask myself: "Why am I watching this? Would I watch this if this was made by anyone else except Lynch." Probably not. But I do think what Lynch does wouldn't work if it was just good storytelling. It's some weird form of worldbuilding by osmosis. A shadow image based on what we don't see. I doesn't always quite work. But I think if season three had been cut down to the central storyline, of Cooper getting lost in Dougie on his way to try and find Laura, it wouldn't have worked the same. I know this sounds very Stockholm syndrome, and perhaps it's just that. Sunk costs. I'm also not suggesting it's an intricately built thing where everything is just so for a specific purpose, effect. I think it's a mess, partly made on impulse. But, I think, ultimately, I'm glad that Lynch, for once, got to do exactly what he wanted to do and I got to see it. If the price of admission is some dissatisfaction and abandoned stories, so be it. EDIT: Also, thank you for a thorough dissection on your reaction. It helped me my to gel mine. Even if mine is a bit of a cop-out :-)
  11. Based on Jake's take on Dougie, I always partially felt that DougieCoop was a reward for Special Agent Dale Cooper. A chance to experience what having a family would be like. DougieCoop being such a MrMagoo, living a charmed life surrounded by gangsters with heart of gold only seemed to emphasize this. It was a respite for Cooper, before he has the move on. That take doesn't really make that much sense, but I am fond of it.
  12. Also, the Fireman/Giant seemed to capture Bad Coop, then intentionally release him into the Twin Peaks Sheriff Station to be defeated by Freddie. So, lore-wise, both of the coordinates Bad Coop got lead into a trap.
  13. Episode 18 was quite draining. I felt really uneasy after it, and wanted to write a wall of text. I forced myself to read through the thread and calmer minds prevail, I think. It's quite hard to know what to think. I'm left with the idea of GoodCoop initially setting out to do what he tried to do at the end of ep 17, and from that perspective the entire season was a diversion. I suppose stopping Laura from being killed undid all of Twin Peaks seasons 1-3. Quite The Return. Perhaps fitting in some ways. I interpreted the scene at the motel as the Diane tulpa/Linda replacing the original Naido/Diane. If she was the original. Also, the motel RichCoop walks out of is different from the one Diane and Coop walk in. The sex scene was weird and uncomfortable, and I had no idea what to think of it, as I thought/kind of still do think that it wasn't Diane. The ending was powerful, but also very much a declaration, a realization. A beginning of sorts. I never expected Laura to become an active character, and it was a lot of fun to see her, in this incarnation. I spent the entire time reading this thread hoping I'd get to do "Guys, it's a bandaid" joke :-)
  14. XCOM 2

    XCom 2 WotC to me, is the anime version of Ufo/Xcom formula. It does work pretty well, but ideally I'd like the opposite direction. I do like the variety in mission objectives and terrain a lot, but miss the puzzle aspect of 2012 Xcom. Xcom 2 already was a bit too often straightforward in having too many overpowered abilities as obvious, guaranteed solutions to tactical dilemmas. WotC takes this to eleven, which makes it more fun, and arguably works better than the vanilla. I feel the game is now balanced towards it being likely to complete the game without thorough prior knowledge. Which is probably a good thing, but not my ideal tactical combat game.
  15. Knock knock is a game that has been in that weird limbo state where I want to go back to it, but I got stuck, yet don't really want spoilers but find it hard to go back to just be stuck. It's a very pretty and quite interesting. I would love to be a person who'd wrestle with it, but I may be too lazy.