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161  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/360/XB1]Respawn's Titanfall on: March 11, 2014, 08:20:49 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on March 11, 2014, 11:36:21 AM

I'm muted at the moment, that's why no mic sounds.  I had to keep turning down the quality despite having plenty of bandwidth.  Does it look ok?


Looked fine to me -- all the text was readable, in-game sound was good, and I had no trouble following the action.

-Autistic Angel
162  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/360/XB1]Respawn's Titanfall on: March 11, 2014, 11:14:49 AM

Quote from: Harkonis on March 11, 2014, 09:18:42 AM

Streaming Titanfall now, no camera yet slywink

www.twitch.tv/harkonis


I'm watching right now.  I just saw the part where you mounted an enemy Titan, shot its core a few times with your shotgun, and hit Level 11.

There's no microphone feed, though.  Is your headset not working properly, or is that something you need the camera for?

EDIT: Yeah!  You got the Stryder! thumbsup

EDIT 2: Oh my god...IHaTeDavis is already Level 20?  Assuming you've both been playing since the game unlocked, how could have have doubled your XP gain in this amount of time?

-Autistic Angel
163  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Xbox One Discussion on: March 10, 2014, 01:27:27 AM

Quote from: Andrew Wonser on March 10, 2014, 01:01:45 AM

I would disagree with the opinion that users wouldn't see any change. Anything that makes it easier on developers means there is the potential that they can focus on other things like a backburned feature or bugs or just getting it out on time.


The gist of TiLT's post, as I understood it, is that DirectX 12 adds programming features to PCs that both consoles already have.  Nothing becomes easier for developers because they have the freedom to bypass the driver layer whether DX12 is present or not.

-Autistic Angel
164  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Xbox One Discussion on: March 10, 2014, 12:04:03 AM

Quote from: YellowKing on March 09, 2014, 10:12:31 PM

I imagine Titanfall will be occupying me for some time, but if Thief or Tomb Raider hit $40 I'll pick up either of those.


If you haven't played it yet, Tomb Raider was excellent.  Cool story, tight shooting mechanics, and some of the most intricately designed environments this side of The Witcher 2.

There's no harm in waiting for a discount if you're having fun with the stuff you're playing now, but I'd be surprised if you ever feel you paid too much for it.

-Autistic Angel
165  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 3/07/14 - Daylight Savings Weekend* on: March 09, 2014, 01:53:40 PM
Played more Halo 4.  I really should write something about how great the gunplay feels and how well designed all the combat scenarios are.  I just played a long segment that showed off the variety of long-range scoped weapons in the game, and I don't think I've ever felt more comfortable maneuvering a sniper rifle with an analog stick.  It's just perfect.

But then that fun game play sequence ended with a big story dump.  Maybe it's my cold medication talking, but the backstory in this game borders on incomprehensible.

Spoiler for Hiden:
According to the last batch of cinematics, the Prometheans are actually humans who arrived in the galaxy thousands of years ago while fleeing the Flood.  They were transformed into digital entities by a device called The Composer on the logic that the Flood only consume organic material, but the process drove them insane and it was discovered they had no way to be restored to organic bodies again.

This information is delivered by the Librarian, a Forerunner who was digitized herself -- not driven insane, apparently -- and who now wants to accelerate Master Chief's biological evolution so that he can stop the Didact.

The Didact is...well, a bad guy, for sure.  He beats up Master Chief.  Beyond that is anyone's guess.  The Librarian credits the Didact for rising up against the conquesting ancient humans, which you would think was a good thing, except then he was locked up in a big metal sphere.  I guess he was trying to use the Composer to digitize all of humanity?  This part gets super opaque, though, as I have no idea who imprisoned him, how they succeeded in the face of his godlike superpowers, or how the humans reverted into cavemen living on a single planet with no technology and no Flood zombies to eat them.


I was pretty confused during parts of Halo, Halo 2, and ODST too.  They all wound up making sense by the end.  The different here is that none of the characters seem to acknowledge that the multifaceted chaos erupting all around them is even slightly surprising, contributing to the feeling that all of these wild revelations make perfect sense to them so far.

Finally, when this game is over, I'm going to do some searching to see if there's a reason Jen Taylor tanked her Cortana performance so hard.  She has the most lines in the game by a factor of four, so it gets super distracting when half of them sound like she didn't even realize the microphone was on.

-Autistic Angel
166  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/360/XB1]Respawn's Titanfall on: March 09, 2014, 12:48:51 PM
I hope people will consider posting their live streaming events in advance.  Or better yet, maintain a set schedule for when they'll be broadcasting Titanfall.

So far, I have an unbroken streak of tuning in just in time to hear, "-antastic time everyone!  Thanks for watching and I'll see you all again next time!"

-Autistic Angel
167  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Re: Xbox One Discussion on: March 08, 2014, 12:39:03 PM

Quote from: Canuck on March 08, 2014, 04:36:45 AM

I wonder what games Republicans play vs Democrats.


I'd be very interested in this too.  It's easy to imagine how descriptive television viewing habits would be -- CBN vs. Logo TV, for example. 

I don't know how you'd discern political ideologies from mainstream gaming habits, though.  Beyond Good & Evil and the original Mass Effect were unapologetic allegories about September 11th, 2001 and the resulting military conflicts, but although they came from opposite ends of the political spectrum, I wouldn't be able to identify any ideological divides among the players who loved them.

-Autistic Angel
168  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Xbox One Discussion on: March 07, 2014, 11:58:55 PM

Quote from: YellowKing on March 07, 2014, 09:41:23 PM

It's not like not having Xbox Live is going to prevent you from being the target of political ads from every other media stream you consume.


I have never encountered a political ad arriving through PSN, Steam, Origin, uPlay, Stardock, or GoG.  Until that changes, deciding not to have XBox Live will at least prevent me from being the target of political ads while I'm gaming.

-Autistic Angel
169  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: So I bought a Wii U on: March 05, 2014, 05:49:38 PM
I don't remember if I ever did the complete write up I was intending, but the Wind Waker HD remake on Wii U is absolutely stellar.  I'd call it a system seller, but that would imply that New Super Mario Brothers U,  Super Mario 3D World, and Pikmin 3 aren't just as great.

Assuming the next Smash Bros. and original Zelda games maintain this same degree of quality, I think this is great time to pick up a Wii U!  Especially for that kind of deal!

-Autistic Angel
170  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 2/28/14 on: March 03, 2014, 03:43:45 PM
Teasing aside, I'm having a pretty good time with Halo 4.  You'd think the much-ballyhooed graphics might have lost their luster now that a new generation of consoles is on the market, but I'm seriously impressed.  If the developer did nothing but bump up the native resolution and put this out on the XB1, you'd swear it was designed as a launch showcase for the new system.

Maybe this is supposed to be an element of her character's "rampantcy," but some of Jen Taylor's voice acting is super weird.  Cortana tells you the enemy has put out a "general order" as though this is some incomprehensible alien concept translated from a foreign tongue.  A lot of it has a done-on-the-first-take vibe, like she was in a big rush to get back to her local theater production of Our Town.

Lots of new weapons to learn, with some legitimately awesome animations to highlight the first time you pick them up.  Some may as well be shooting rose petals based on the damage they dish out, though this may just be a matter of learning which weapon types are best against which enemies.

On the whole, it's more Halo which is what I'm in the mood for at the moment, so I fully expect to finish this in the coming week or so.

-Autistic Angel
171  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 2/28/14 on: March 02, 2014, 01:33:12 PM
Day 1

Wow, straight out the academy and into service!  My new assignment helping the Covenant search for sacred relics on this newly discovered Holy World starts today.  It's almost a shame the humans have absolutely no idea this place exists -- I'll have to practice my Exaggerated Sidestepping and Combat Roll techniques every day so I won't get rusty on this long and uneventful mission!


Day 2

Some of the grunts are whispering that opening the divine vaults on this Holy World will actually unleash some sort of ancient transgalactic evil that will snuff out all life in the universe.  They're such comedic worrywarts -- what are the odds that could possibly be true?


Day 3

Reports are coming in about a lone human in green armor being seen on the perimeter.  Whatever.  There's no way one dude accidentally stumbling upon this highly militarized operation is going to stop the Covenant!  The hierarchy has ordered that we make no changes to our encryption methods at all, but that we unlock a bunch of weapons lockers just in case anyone needs anything.

Security footage shows the green armor guy is also carrying around one of those blue holograms, but this one looks more like a naked lady than ever.  Even through I'm a weird alien religious zealot, I have to agree that this adds a lot to her character and definitely highlights the sophistication of her emotional jour...Oh, hold on.  I hear something down the hall.


Day 3.25

...my only regret...is not...paying more attention...in Emphatic Limb Flailing class....BLERTCH!

-Every Covenant Trooper Ever
172  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Tomb Raider on: March 01, 2014, 03:53:25 PM
There is an explicit warning when Lara crosses a point of no return that there are will be no Fast Travel more camps until the end of the game.  Prior to that, you're free to return to previous areas to collect all the goodies you couldn't reach earlier.

Once the game is done, it also allows you load back in to complete any unfinished business.  I picked up all the relics and journal entries, but tapped out before completing all of the "Find X Number of These Hidden Curiosities" challenges.

-Autistic Angel
173  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 2/28/14 on: March 01, 2014, 01:13:31 PM
Having recently finished Tomb Raider on Gratch's recommendation and the new Devil May Cry based on feedback from the No High Scores crew, I decided to spend some time with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.  I'd tried the PS3 version months ago and couldn't accept the hitchy frame rate, so this time I jumped into the PC version with my trusty 360 controller.

I do not like this game.  Partly, it's because I absolutely cannot get a grip on blocking and dodging.  Maybe it's just me -- my understanding is that most people really loved this game -- but the timing on all the combat moves feels unsteady compared to DmC, Bayonetta, or the Ninja Gaiden games.  The environments, lovely though they are, are all narrowed by invisible walls and rigid camera angles that obscure how one screen connects to the next.  I never feel like I'm exploring a world so much as wandering between non-interactive pictures.

But the worst element has got to be the story.  This dialogue is unreal.  They want to create some kind of emotional resonance for this stoic badass crusader on a quest to reunite with his dead wife so badly, but the script makes George Lucas look like Joss Whedon.  Were Patrick Stewart or Robert Carlisle given *any* context for their lines?  It sounds like they just handed a few pages of disconnected words and asked to read aloud to a group of young children at storytime.

In their Test Chamber for Lords of Shadow 2, the Game Informer editors were still gushing about this first game.  I recognize that it was a big hit for a lot of people, but much like the Fable, Metal Gear Solid and (original) Devil May Cry games, I have to say that this is just not for me.

-Autistic Angel
174  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: March 01, 2014, 03:39:19 AM

Quote from: hepcat on March 01, 2014, 12:19:44 AM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on February 25, 2014, 12:09:02 AM

Homophobic discrimination is just one square on the multi-paneled quilt of discredited economic theories, religious zealotry, Social Darwinism, xenophobia, profiteering, and batshit-crazy secret-Muslimism that makes up the Conservative movement.  It's a big enough tent that every subset deserves recognition for its own brand of asshattery.

Quote from: Autistic Angel
Conservatives across the country launching simultaneous, coordinated crusades against threats that they are manifestly making up?  If that's not a top-to-bottom organized campaign, I don't know what one would possibly look like.

I realize you get worked up and that your opinions are often filtered through hyperbole at that point, so I'll just say, "Ah, okay then" and sign off with a hearty "cheers".


Cool.  Now that we've dispensed with that "Every Single Conservative Wants...." fallacy and established your opinion of me for anyone who cares, let's see if any of that is relevant to the topic at hand.

Republican legislatures in twelve states have been pondering virtually identical pro-discrimination legislation, all in the name of "religious freedom," to combat a problem that doesn't exist, allegedly on behalf of business communities that want nothing to do with such laws.  I call that a pattern.  Specifically: hard-Right Conservatives attempting to inflame their base by stirring up fears about their looming oppression by the homosexual agenda:

Quote from: National Review Online
It is perhaps unfortunate that it has come to this, but organized homosexuality, a phenomenon that is more about progressive pieties than gay rights per se, remains on the permanent offensive in the culture wars. Live-and-let-live is a creed that the gay lobby specifically rejects: The owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado was threatened with a year in jail for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.


(For the record, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado was "threatened" with legally prescribed fines if he continues flouting state law by refusing service to people based on their sexual orientation.  "A year in jail" would be the penalty for refusing to pay the fines; that's how laws work.  The gay couple in question had already been married in Massachusetts and simply wanted a cake for their party back home.)

Now, hepcat, you have the power to prove to everyone that this has nothing to do with political ideology and that I'm hopelessly mired in my own unfounded preconceptions.  There's just two simple steps:

1) Document a similar list of states with Democratically-controlled legislatures that have been pushing for this sort of "religious freedom" law, and

2) Trick me into dismissing or ignoring your evidence, thus proving that I'm unwilling to consider fresh facts.

Let's start with Step 1: finding one single fact to bolster your position.  Name a state where a Democratic majority has pushed to legalize discrimination against gay people.  Something at the federal level would work too.  You know, something like this:

Quote from: The Washington Post
The Republican National Committee passed resolutions Friday reaffirming its commitment to defining marriage as between a man and a woman, and calling on the Supreme Court to "uphold the sanctity of marriage" as it weighs rulings on two landmark cases involving gay marriage.

At the RNC's spring meeting in Los Angeles, committee members adopted a slate of resolutions unanimously and without discussion, a committee spokeswoman said.

One of the resolutions affirms the committee's "support for marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and as the optimum environment in which to raise healthy children for the future of America."

Another involves the Supreme Court, which recently heard arguments in two cases involving gay marriage. One case involves California's same-sex marriage ban, while the other involves the federal Defense Of Marriage Act, which prevents same-sex married couples from receiving certain federal benefits.

"The Republican National Committee implores the U. S. Supreme Court to uphold the sanctity of marriage in its rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act," reads the RNC's resolution.

The moves come four days after social conservatives sent a letter to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, threatening to decamp if the party did not reaffirm its commitment to their issues. It's important to note that resolutions have to be submitted ten days in advance, meaning they have been on tap at the committee even before the letter was sent.


Except with Democrats.

-Autistic Angel
175  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Playstation Plus - Now with lots more free games! on: February 28, 2014, 11:44:20 PM
The first inFamous was pretty rough, with enemies who were notorious for sniping you with their shotguns from two blocks away and a story that didn't get interesting until the final act.  I *really* liked the second one, though: the traversal and combat elements had all been polished up, and the story arc was much more interesting.

Second Son sounds like something of a fresh start thanks to the introduction of an all new protagonist, so I hope it's a good jumping-on point.  I'm really looking forward to it, too!

-Autistic Angel
176  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: February 28, 2014, 10:19:26 PM

Quote from: hepcat on February 28, 2014, 08:52:27 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on February 28, 2014, 07:28:49 PM

This suggests you either believe this is all the product of coincidence, or that you have an alternate explanation in mind that's unrelated to the fact that supporters of these "religious freedom" bills self-identify with the same political ideology.

And this suggests to me that you've forgotten my original assertion.

Again:  It's wrong to say that every single conservative in this country wants these bills to pass.  Just wrong.  


I agree.  Let's make a pact that if we ever encounter anyone who believes every single conservative in this country wants these bills to pass, we'll link them back to some of the things I posted in this thread demonstrating that isn't true.

In fact, let's put together a quick reference guide right now:

Quote from: Autistic Angel on February 25, 2014, 12:09:02 AM

Quote from: brettmcd on February 24, 2014, 02:45:45 AM

Yes AA all conservatives are evil and want laws like this to pass, I guess that is why a similar bill in Kansas was defeated in large part because of two major conservative groups speaking out against it.


The Kansas version of the "Discrimination Against Gays Is The Cornerstone of My Religion!" bill was passed by the state House 72-42.  Of the 72 supporting votes, only 3 were from Democrats.  Then the Senate Republican Majority Leader claimed there weren't enough votes to pass the upper chamber, but rather than subjecting her caucus to the indignity of voting against legalized discrimination, the bill is expected to die in committee.


Killing a bill in committee proves the Republican Senate Leader did not want the bill to pass.


Quote from: Autistic Angel on February 27, 2014, 01:02:00 AM

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed the bill.  thumbsup


Vetoing a bill passed by both legislative chambers is a definitive sign that the Conservative governor did not want the bill to pass.


Quote from: Autistic Angel on February 27, 2014, 10:01:13 PM

On a separate note, I just had a friend ask me if it was true that Arizona Democrats were on-board with this bill and that Both Sides Did It.  He said a bunch of his Facebook friends are advancing the notion that because the bill passed both the state House and Senate, that both political parties were equally at fault.

My answer:

Quote from: USA Today
Q: Who drafted/sponsored the bill?

A: SB 1062's prime sponsor is Republican state Sen. Steve Yarbrough. Republican Sens. Bob Worsley and Nancy Barto are co-sponsors.

It passed the Senate on a party-line vote, 17-13, with Republicans in support. Since then, three GOP senators, including Worsley, have said they regret their votes and have asked Brewer to veto the bill.

The bill passed the House, 33-27, with mostly GOP support. Three Republicans joined with all 24 Democrats to vote against it.


There's information three Republican State House members, plus three Republican Senators who fought to kill the bill.  Granted, we don't know that all of these people identify themselves as Conservatives, but the odds are better than not.

Is there anything else you'd like to say about your original assertion, or should we stop disproving claims that no one has made?

-Autistic Angel
177  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: February 28, 2014, 08:19:51 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 28, 2014, 05:27:50 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on February 28, 2014, 05:16:09 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 28, 2014, 05:03:40 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on February 28, 2014, 04:00:21 PM


There are Christians who think the Arizona legislation was horrible and wrong,

Tilt articulated it very well above, but any derision I have towards Christians is directed only at those who supported this legislation under the guise of "religious freedom". 

I think we're on the same page, then.  The way you worded your response to Arclight made it sound like you were lumping all Christians together because of the acts of this asshole subset, but if that's not the case, then The Weghted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you.

Ah, apologies to Arclight then.  Mrs. Gratch is a devout Christian...dinnertime would be kind of awkward if I felt animosity towards Christians in general.  smile


This falls squarely in the category of anecdotal evidence, but my best friend is a devout Christian.  His father has been a church deacon and his mother has taught catechism classes for as many years as I have been alive.

None of us in our very blue state has ever heard anyone claim that all Christians are tainted by the shrill prejudices of a vocal and very-well-funded minority.  Not in person, not on television, and not in movies -- not even in politics where, no matter how often Conservatives might claim that persecution of homosexuals is authorized by the Bible, those beliefs have no hold over the majority of actual, practicing Christians.  My friend and his family would be among the first to point out that for all the time Jesus Christ spent preaching about the moral imperative to provide direct financial assistance to the poor, He never said one blessed word about hating gay people.

Arclight talks a lot about how devout Christians like him are being demonized simply for being people of faith, mostly because the fantasy of persevering in the face of such baseless hatred would make him a crusading hero.  In reality, however, he's just a run-of-the-milll dude who feels that adopting religion has improved his quality of life, and so long as that makes him a happy and well-adjusted member of society, nobody has any interest in taking that away from him.

-Autistic Angel
178  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: February 28, 2014, 07:28:49 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on February 27, 2014, 10:01:13 PM

Conservatives across the country launching simultaneous, coordinated crusades against threats that they are manifestly making up?  If that's not a top-to-bottom organized campaign, I don't know what one would possibly look like.


Quote from: hepcat on February 28, 2014, 02:27:11 PM

If conservatives were relegated to only a dozen states, I might agree with you.


This suggests you either believe this is all the product of coincidence, or that you have an alternate explanation in mind that's unrelated to the fact that supporters of these "religious freedom" bills self-identify with the same political ideology.

Either way, I'm really looking forward to reading more about your reasoning.


On a separate note, I just had a friend ask me if it was true that Arizona Democrats were on-board with this bill and that Both Sides Did It.  He said a bunch of his Facebook friends are advancing the notion that because the bill passed both the state House and Senate, that both political parties were equally at fault.

My answer:

Quote from: USA Today
Q: Who drafted/sponsored the bill?

A: SB 1062's prime sponsor is Republican state Sen. Steve Yarbrough. Republican Sens. Bob Worsley and Nancy Barto are co-sponsors.

It passed the Senate on a party-line vote, 17-13, with Republicans in support. Since then, three GOP senators, including Worsley, have said they regret their votes and have asked Brewer to veto the bill.

The bill passed the House, 33-27, with mostly GOP support. Three Republicans joined with all 24 Democrats to vote against it.


-Autistic Angel
179  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: February 27, 2014, 10:01:13 PM
If I had known there was some doubt about the fact that this Arizona bill was one instance of a coordinated strategy being implemented across multiple states, I would have brought that up a lot earlier.  This was simply the one closest to passing.

The close timing of these operations are why it's difficult to accept the idea that this is a small handful of rogue legislators trying to force their agenda on an unwilling citizenry.  It's the same with restrictive new voting measures suddenly springing up across the country, primarily in red states with changing demographics, all in the interest of fighting a "voter fraud" problem that demonstrably does not exist.  How many times do we have to see self-identified members of the same movement pursue identical agendas before we're allowed to say voter suppression is the goal, not a side effect?

EDIT: Sorry, I was rushed earlier and feel like that was poorly explained.  The comparison I'm making is:

a) a dozen separate red states suddenly pushing pro-discrimination "religious freedom" bills in the name of protecting small businesses from a problem they evidently do not have, and

b) at least that many red states suddenly pushing restrictive new voting laws, eliminating early voting days, and reducing the number of polling places to fight alleged "voter fraud" that even their own studies show doesn't exist.

Conservatives across the country launching simultaneous, coordinated crusades against threats that they are manifestly making up?  If that's not a top-to-bottom organized campaign, I don't know what one would possibly look like.

-Autistic Angel
180  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: February 27, 2014, 01:02:00 AM
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed the bill.  thumbsup

-Autistic Angel
181  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Bravely Default coming to North America on: February 26, 2014, 02:55:28 PM

Quote from: The Grue on February 26, 2014, 02:35:38 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 26, 2014, 02:45:31 AM

Quote from: Roguetad on February 26, 2014, 01:28:39 AM

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on February 26, 2014, 12:29:39 AM

So... what's the deal with the Nemeses? I've got the full complement of 7 sitting in the village, from level 70 to 99. Do I just leave them alone until the party levels up to something in that range? For grins, I tried to 'Fight' one of them and it was a one-shot party wipe. Youch.
My Norende is filled with them.  The only impact they have is that my villagers appear to be in a constant state of panic running and screaming everywhere.  That's what they get for moving into a village located next to a sink hole to hell.

 icon_lol  I tried fighting one early on and got my ass whooped, haven't bothered with them since.  I think they give a good chunk of XP, but that seems to be the only benefit.

I killed a level 10 one no issues, but tried a level 20 one and couldn't figure out how to damage the thing. 

Wow, you had a Level 10 Nemesis?  I've never seen one in my village below Level 50, and most are 99.

In other news, I'm weirdly enchanted by the Merchant class in this game.  I love the fact that any time you want to grind for money, you can basically transform your party into a company of hard-selling bullies that roam around forcing the indidgenous wildlife to buy your surplus stock at a ridiculous mark-up.  icon_cool

-Autistic Angel
182  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: February 26, 2014, 12:07:22 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 26, 2014, 03:12:40 AM

Quote from: rittchard on February 26, 2014, 02:21:03 AM

Personally I think the most intriguing thing about this bill is how they intend it to be enforced.  Will people be required to have their sexuality listed on their ID cards, or maybe everyone has to have an RFID tag implanted?  Or more intriguing, has Arizona secretly perfected the first working GAYDAR?!?!  

Beep beep beep - GAY!  

I support this bill because I want that technology.  Just imagine the fun you could have with it.


I've been wondering the same thing.


Arizona's SB1062 is an amendment to an existing law (the State Religious Freedom Restoration Act) which immunizes people from discrimination lawsuits so long as their refusal to serve gays, blacks, Hispanics, Jews, women, or whatever is claimed as part of their "religious practices."  Enforcing this law would be very easy: any business owner or civil servant in danger of being sued by a disgruntled consumer would simply say, "RELIGION!" and the lawsuit would be dismissed.

There is no burden of proof on the bigots.  They do not have to prove the victim is gay -- only that they thought he or she might be gay.  Check the law right here, with particular attention to Section 1, Article 9 here:

Quote from: Arizona SB1062
9.  "Unreasonable burden" means that a person is prevented from using the person's property in a manner that the person finds satisfactory to fulfill the person's religious mission.


"Well, Your Honor, all I can say is that paying African Americans 70% of what their white colleagues make is an integral part of my 'religious mission.'"


The interesting part is: sexual orientation is not a protected classification in Arizona, meaning that residents already have the right to discriminate against the LGBT community.  This bill is about reinforcing and expanding that right to encompass other classes that do have legal protection.

-Autistic Angel
183  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: February 26, 2014, 12:45:54 AM
brettmcd is referring to Elaine Huguenin, the owner of Elane Photography, who was sued in 2008 for refusing to take pictures of a lesbian commitment ceremony.  She was ordered to pay a $7,000 fine for violating New Mexico's prohibition on discriminating against people based on their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

I find this case particularly challenging to defend.  The principle is certainly correct: businesses shouldn't be allowed to deny service to people because they're black, or wearing yarmulkes, or holding hands with someone of the same gender.  And if this were a case of a pharmacist refusing to fill a medically prescribed birth control prescription, I'd be here to recommend rescinding the person's license.

The problem with this specific case is that photography is literally an art form, and the idea of legally requiring someone to produce art about a topic or event they hate is a tough sell.  You might be able to coerce someone into showing up and grudgingly snapping a few shots, but even if they're technically competent, it's hard to imagine anyone feeling happy with the results.

This raises the question: isn't cooking also an art form, and should chefs and restauranteurs be allowed to deny service to people based on their base prejudices.  I'd say the difference is that, while a great chef should love their food regardless of who eats it, I think a great photographer has to care about the subjects of their photos to produce good work.  You can't force someone not to be bigoted jerkoff, and when it comes to something as subjective as artistically commemorating a major life event, I think I'd rather know if my prospective photographer was planning to grit her teeth with rage through the whole thing.

Of course, once you carve out an exception for wedding photographers, you're bound to see Walmart QuikSnap operators, dance instructors, piano teachers, and dental hygienists start whining about how their creative muses can't possibly survive exposure to gay people, interracial families, Democrats, or whatever their personal little bugaboos are.  So ultimately, the best plan is still to force them to grow the hell up.

-Autistic Angel
184  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: February 25, 2014, 12:09:02 AM

Quote from: brettmcd on February 24, 2014, 02:45:45 AM

Yes AA all conservatives are evil and want laws like this to pass, I guess that is why a similar bill in Kansas was defeated in large part because of two major conservative groups speaking out against it.


The Kansas version of the "Discrimination Against Gays Is The Cornerstone of My Religion!" bill was passed by the state House 72-42.  Of the 72 supporting votes, only 3 were from Democrats.  Then the Senate Republican Majority Leader claimed there weren't enough votes to pass the upper chamber, but rather than subjecting her caucus to the indignity of voting against legalized discrimination, the bill is expected to die in committee.

So please: let's all give a big round of applause to the Kansas Republican Party for their decision to quietly suffocate the bigotry bill they wrote and voted up themselves, conveniently sparing Republican governor Sam Brownback from having to pick sides on a hot button issue in a tightly contested election year.  They're like real-life superheroes...in a world where "heroism" is defined as abandoning planned crimes halfway through because you're about to get caught.


Quote from: hepcat on February 24, 2014, 04:27:03 PM

I think we need to determine whether we're talking about the GOP or conservatives.  They're not one and the same.


You'll find that I try to be very precise when I'm writing about Republicans, referring the political party, its voters, and the politicians they elect; and Conservatism, the sweeping ideology that unites many Republicans, Libertarians, Tea Partiers, plutocrats, and separatist militias. 

My mother is a registered Republican.  Her views are decidedly "small-c" conservative, as those ideals were defined by leaders like Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan.  By current standards this makes her radical leftist, and she absolutely abhors what the GOP has become in the modern era.


Quote from: hepcat on February 24, 2014, 04:27:03 PM

I guess my point is let's not demonize an entire group based on the actions of a subset of bigoted asshats.


I agree.  Modern American Conservatism is not defined solely by bigotry.  There are a great many Conservatives who don't particularly care whether or not gay people are allowed to get married, but are glad to remain mute because the wedge issue is a great way to pursue their policies of denigrating poor people.  Or weakening environmental protections.  Or quashing voter rights, privatizing Social Security and Medicare, shaking the grip of Sharia Law, spreading democracy by leaping into protracted wars, slashing taxes for rich people, supplanting science classes with religious fairy tales, demanding the government end its secret chemtrails experiments....

Homophobic discrimination is just one square on the multi-paneled quilt of discredited economic theories, religious zealotry, Social Darwinism, xenophobia, profiteering, and batshit-crazy secret-Muslimism that makes up the Conservative movement.  It's a big enough tent that every subset deserves recognition for its own brand of asshattery.

-Autistic Angel
185  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: February 24, 2014, 02:23:32 AM
The Conservative movement in America has fought against every civil rights advancement in the nation's history, and they've cited their religious piety as justification every single time.  Slavery is condoned in the Bible.  Race mixing is immoral; God put them on different continents for a reason.  Allowing women to vote or work outside the home goes against God's will because their gender spoiled the Garden of Eden and was cursed with menstruation as righteous punishment.  Now they're furious about gay marriage because the Bible says like three things about it...and two of them are hotly debated among biblical scholars studying earlier translations of the text.

But the best part comes when they finally lose those fights: they start pretending they'd been the *real* champions of equality all along.  They argue Liberals are the real bigots because Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, Ayn Rand was a woman, and a second unit camera guy who worked on Spike Lee's Jungle Fever once gave $100 to Ronald Reagan.  All the decades of oppressive and vindictive legislation are simply being taken out of context by the teacher's unions.

Nearly everyone on this forum will still be alive when Conservatives try the same thing with gay rights, citing the nominal existence of Log Cabin Republicans as evidence that they were secretly wearing their "Ally" rainbow buttons all along.  I wouldn't be surprised to see that start happening before the end of this decade.  I just hope at least a few people remember that laws like this really are being passed, exclusively by one side of the political spectrum, and there's no mistaking their intent.

-Autistic Angel
186  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [NBC]Heroes Reborn on: February 23, 2014, 12:10:52 PM
Heroes might be the worst managed, worst curated show I've ever seen.  A serialized story with characters that would completely change major personality traits every three episodes, with absolutely no plot explanation for any of it.

I can't imagine what it was like for the actor who played Nathan Petrelli -- he had to ping-pong between playing a power-crazed megalomaniac, a repentant altruist, and a befuddled nihilist so many times, it's amazing the man didn't wind up on anti-psychotics.

And that's not even including the way their superpowers would completely change based on the immediate needs of the plot.  Remember that major plot point from two episodes ago about the shapeshifter who can't morph his clothes so he always has to keep differently sized outfits around?  Bad news: the writers don't, so now his clothes just magically change along with him.  Don't think about it too long though, or you'll miss out on the other nine eight wild inconsistencies from within the last three weeks.

-Autistic Angel
187  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Bravely Default coming to North America on: February 21, 2014, 11:50:29 PM
Somewhere in the world, there have got to be in-the-booth videos of the voice actors' faces as they deliver lines like, "The duchy of Eternia has put forth an agenda of anticrystalism."

Also, "Mrgrgrgr!"

-Autistic Angel
188  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3/Vita]Final Fantasy X HD/FFX-2 HD on: February 21, 2014, 11:42:20 AM
I really hope the Vita version is up to snuff.  Most of the PS2 HD ports have been solid, but the Jak & Daxter Collection is an example of one that reviewed really poorly compared to the PS3 version.

-Autistic Angel
189  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Goodbye Bioshock. Irrational is shutting down?! on: February 20, 2014, 01:32:17 AM

Quote from: th'FOOL on February 19, 2014, 10:38:02 PM

I still don't get all the Bioshock Infinite hate, most of which I've heard from press. It was my GOTY last year and I couldn't stop playing it once I started, and pondered the ending for days after I completed it.


Based on the tone of the internet feedback, a casual reader would absolutely be convinced that Bioshock Infinite was the worst game of 2013, easily surpassing anything like Aliens: Colonial Marines.  I can accept that there are legitimate criticisms that could be leveled at the game, but the sheer volume of concentrated venom people were spitting at BI would lead you to believe it was below The War Z in quality.

I think one element was that a lot of people had gorged themselves on all the pre-release coverage they could get.  When you start a game having seen most of the weapons, powers, locations, and even major plot twists in advance, is it any surprise the final product comes off as disappointing?

Personally, after going out of my way to avoid as much preview info as possible, I entered Bioshock Infinite knowing exactly this much:

Quote from: Me, before playing Bioshock Infinite
1) It's a first-person shooter made by Irrational Games and Ken Levine.  (This was enough to sell me on the game.)

2) It takes place in a sky city named Columbia near the turn of the 20th century.

3) Todd Brakke at No High Scores said there's a girl named Elizabeth who throws things at you, and there are bird monsters named "Skyhooks" that replace Big Daddies as the toughest enemies in the game.



That was literally all the information I had, so all the game play details that other people found "boring" or "predictable" were complete revelations to me.  And I *loved* it!

By the way, the same thing goes for any story-heavy game.  Tomb Raider, Persona 3 & 4, The Walking Dead, Dreamfall -- I can't imagine what these games would be like if I knew every twist and turn before playing them for myself.  I guess that works for some people, or they wouldn't go out hunting for spoilers for games they're already planning to play.

-Autistic Angel
190  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Ted Cruz: The Alienator on: February 18, 2014, 08:35:28 PM

Quote from: Rip on February 18, 2014, 03:20:54 AM

Well the fact is many Republicans have repeatedly pandered to there constituents and said we will fight tooth and nail to force budget cuts by blocking CR/debt ceiling increases and then they don't, by not forcing a 60 vote cloture. So basically they lie and then blame that lie on someone else.


Blocking the CR forces the government to shut down again, causing billions of dollars in damage to the U.S. economy.  Preventing an increase to the debt ceiling means defaulting on the national debt and, as far as anyone can predict, a collapse of the American monetary system.

Why should the Republican party need to be paid off every few months in exchange for not inflicting deliberate damage to the country?

-Autistic Angel
191  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Ted Cruz: The Alienator on: February 18, 2014, 01:20:34 AM

Quote from: Rip on February 18, 2014, 12:01:26 AM

http://therightscoop.com/ted-cruz-explains-on-mark-levin-show-why-he-filibustered-the-debt-ceiling-vote/

Are you suggesting they didn't say this when trying to get the CR rolling?


No matter what Ted Cruz claims he was promised in exchange for not opposing the CR, he emphatically opposed the CR at every turn.  Cruz publicly rallied House members to shutdown the government before it happened; he cheered the shutdown on while it was costing us a billion dollars a day; he voted against the CR when it came up in the Senate; and he immediately gave a press conference to lament the fact that the shutdown hadn't lasted longer.

If I promise to give you a puppy if you stop siphoning my gasoline and respond by punching a hole in my gas tank and draining the contents into a bucket until the police drag you away, I do not owe you a puppy.

-Autistic Angel
192  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Ted Cruz: The Alienator on: February 17, 2014, 11:17:58 PM

Quote from: Rip on February 17, 2014, 09:44:04 PM

On this particular issue I think it is important to note when Cruz was trying to fight the CR he was told by his cohorts to not fight it and they would join him in the fight come debt ceiling time.


When are you talking about?  In October 2013, Ted Cruz conspired with House Republicans to fight the CR to the point that it triggered a shutdown of the federal government.  It cost the economy $24 billion, and when it was finally done, he lamented it hadn't lasted longer and caused even more damage.  Look, it's right here:

Quote from: Politico.com
“In particular, we saw real division among Senate Republicans,” Cruz told reporters on Wednesday. “That was unfortunate. I would point out that had Senate Republicans united and supported House Republicans, the outcome of this I believe would’ve been very, very different.”

Indeed, the senator and potential 2016 presidential contender’s crusade has riven the GOP, helped instigate the first federal government shutdown in 17 years and overshadowed Obamacare’s bumpy rollout that began Oct. 1. The GOP took a hammering in public polls — Gallup said Oct. 9 the Republican Party’s favorability rating collapsed to an all-time low of 28 percent.


And that "debt ceiling fight" you mention above?  That's the part where Republicans were plotting to threaten a default on the nation's debt, annihilating the value of the American dollar in the process, and were going to roll out a list of demands they wanted as ransom.  Again.  Previously, making these threats wound up lowering United States' credit rating for the first time in history.

Tea Partiers claim they hate President Obama because he's a foreign-born anti-American blowhard planning to divide and weaken the country through destructive policies cloaked in the language of patriotism.  How fantastically ironic that they've chosen to rally behind Ted Cruz: a man who's political career has been entirely dedicated to finding ways to harm the economy and then blaming Democrats for failing to stop him.


Quote from: Rip on February 17, 2014, 09:44:04 PM

Perfect example of why our political process is broken with little hopes of real compromises ever getting traction. Everyone pretty much knows that compromise is synonymous with capitulation.


Please define "pretty much everyone."

Quote from: The Washington Post
As lawmakers head into the thick of high-stakes showdowns over the budget, Obamacare, and the nation's borrowing limit, this much is clear: (1) Compromise is not a dirty word in the eyes of the American people, and (2) Democrats have a bigger appetite for leaders to compromise than do Republicans.

That's all according to a new Gallup poll released Monday that shows that, by about a 2-1 margin, Americans say it is more important for political leaders in Washington to compromise to get things done than it is for them to stick to their beliefs, even if little gets accomplished.

A look at the breakdown by political party reveals that Democrats are more enthusiastic about the prospect of compromise compared with Republicans. More than six in 10 Democrats say it is more important to compromise, while just 38 percent of Republicans say the same thing. What's more, nearly as many GOPers (36 percent) say it is more important for leaders to stick to their beliefs.




-Autistic Angel
193  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Ted Cruz: The Alienator on: February 17, 2014, 01:06:07 PM
Just a couple years ago, I used the word "Polack" in conversation.  My friends were taken aback, and I learned for the first time how derogatory the word is.  I'd thought it was simply the Polish version of "American" or "Russian."  Explaining the honest mistake and apologizing seemed to clear things right up.

It's easy to hear a word but miss out on its specific connotations.  I think the key is to acknowledge a faux pas when it occurs and try to learn from the experience.  From everything I've seen, the alternative approach of complaining about Politically Correct censorship and making a big sarcastic show out of "apologizing" to "anyone who might have been offended" rarely works out well.

-Autistic Angel
194  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Bravely Default coming to North America on: February 16, 2014, 09:47:46 PM
I liked the demo because it did such an excellent job of tutorializing the basic game elements.  "This guy has super defenses, so find ways to max out your attack power!"  "That guy has flurry attacks; you'll have to figure out how to survive his onslaught to beat him!"  It's possible the real game implements the same ideas, but I thought it was an excellent way to preview the way jobs, skills, and equipment work together.

The fact that it unlocks a stack of early game gear is a neat bonus.  The Dead Rising 2 demo did the same thing -- I'm a big fan of earning starting perks as opposed to just getting them as a pre-order bonus. nod

-Autistic Angel
195  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Ted Cruz: The Alienator on: February 14, 2014, 10:20:24 PM
Ted Cruz was one of the highest profile supporters of forcing the 2013 government shutdown.  He called for it multiple times in writing, on television, and on the senate floor as far back as July.  Cruz famously lobbied the House of Representatives to pass an appropriations bill that stripped all funding for the ACA, then attempted to rally his colleagues in the Senate to filibuster that very bill.  His rationale was that the Affordable Care Act was too expensive and would hurt the economy by "creating uncertainty" in the free market.

Standard & Poors later estimated the government shutdown cost the economy $24 billion.  Now Ted Cruz claims the government shutdown was caused by the Democrats and he would never have supported such a thing.


Quote from: hepcat on February 14, 2014, 06:50:20 PM

I honestly don't think folks like Cruz are even backing this crap on the basis of a moral stance anymore.  I truly believe it's become purely a political point.  It's a way to display defiance against all things Obama and thus help you to stand out from the crowd for all those nut cases out there who almost believe Obama is the anti christ.


I think you're right.

You'd think these sorts of willfully destructive antics would hurt the Republican party but remember: it's actually pretty likely they're going to win control of the senate this November.

-Autistic Angel
196  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Bravely Default coming to North America on: February 14, 2014, 01:25:04 PM
I double-checked, and I believe I have everyone on that list registered as Friends.  The only requests that haven't been accepted yet are TheGrue and Lorini.

I also finished all the demo upgrades and beat the ???? at the end, so I'm ready to jump into the full game.  Hopefully I'll have a chance to start later today!

-Autistic Angel
197  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Bravely Default coming to North America on: February 12, 2014, 01:21:11 PM

Quote from: The Grue on February 11, 2014, 04:17:04 PM

Alright, folks.  You guys need to update your characters to the servers.  Only person who has done it is Gratch and I abilinked to him for a nice surprise (you've apparently played this game quite a bit).  


Sorry: I've been finishing up the demo.  I think I'm near the end: I've finished building everything in the metatown, and my quest is to "Kill the ???? at the Oasis!"  Once that's done, I'll crack the seal on my Collector's Edition of the full game.

It's a very good demo!  I'm impressed at how well it's done at tutorializing all the basic game systems.  Build up your town for access to better gear; use the better gear to kill the armored monsters; practice using the Default system to survive heavy assaults -- it's all extremely well done.  Not to mention that is has some of the most emphatic and prettiest 3D effects I've seen yet.

I expect to be playing the full game by the weekend, and I'll add EddieA and Bob as 3DS Friends later today! icon_cool

-Autistic Angel
198  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Review] Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII on: February 12, 2014, 01:08:18 PM
I'm honestly kind of fascinated by this whole thing.  Final Fantasy XIII was a sharply divisive game, with a story that required extensive Codex research to understand and game play that famously took 40-hours to get going.  But for whatever reason, this is the Final Fantasy universe that Square Enix decided was worth half a decade revisiting.

This one seems bizarre to the point where even describing the core game concepts make you sound like a crazy person.  Game Informer's Joe Juba supplemented his review with a separate critique of the strategy guide (he practically declares it essential), plus a third article with his own personal tips for success.  One example:

Quote from: Joe Juba
Fail Immediately

Eventually, you want to win. However, when you first start a new game, you should strongly consider losing by running out the timer, then starting up a new game+ right away. It’s easy to do by sleeping your days away at an inn, and has some surprising benefits.


He does explain what those benefits are, but they might be considered spoilers so I'll leave them out.  Still, has there ever been another game where the best opening move was immediate suicide? wasted

-Autistic Angel
199  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Annual Installments discussion on: February 09, 2014, 03:21:54 PM
Of the games that I played last generation, the ones I enjoyed least include
- Dragon Age II,
- Fable 2,
- Spore
- Assassin's Creed III,
- Assassin's Creed: Liberation,
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare,
- Kameo: Elements of Power,
- The Temple of Elemental Evil,
and
- Lego Batman.  

Note that those aren't the worst games ever -- just ones that immediately spring to mind as bad experiences.

Games that I did not play but seemed pretty universally reviled were
- Duke Nukem Forever,
- Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City,
- Ride to Hell: Retribution,
- Aliens: Colonial Marines,
- Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor
- Ashes Cricket 2013,
- Fighter Within,
and
- Amy.

Some of those games may have had truncated developments, but the only one I believe was part of an annualized release cycle is Assassin's Creed III.  Was that game a victim of being shoved out the door too soon by a publisher determined to maintain yearly editions?  I might have thought so, except for the fact that twelve months later, AC IV: Black Flag turned out to be *awesome.*

If there's a case to be made that annual release schedules are producing worse games, all I can say is that it hasn't been affecting my gaming.


I've also heard the idea that annual installments degrade a franchise's ability to innovate and grow.  If that were true, I would have expected Black Flag to share many of the fundamental design flaws as AC3.  I'd argue that we got the exact opposite -- every aspect of Black Flag, from the narrative design to the combat systems to the mission objectives, seems like a direct response to things that fans disliked about the previous entry.  Say what you will about Edward leaving home to become a self-made man; he's a hell of a lot more personable than Connor.

Are annual releases overexposing their brands, to the point where nobody cares what the new features are?  If so, that doesn't seem to be reflected in the sales numbers.  Call of Duty is still the biggest videogame franchise in the world, probably followed by Assassin's Creed, and I suspect Madden is still big business for EA.  Two weeks a year of running, climbing, and stabbing my way through the Animus has been worked out to be a pretty good schedule for me, and when that finally grows stale, I'll be free not to buy it.


Ultimately, annual releases are giving fans fresh content in the worlds they enjoy, without any definable downsides.  Would Bioshock or The Witcher or Zelda be as impactful if studios churned them out every twelve months on the dot?  Well, if people enjoyed them, and they sold enough to be profitable, and studios continued investing those windfalls into cultivating other new IPs, the impact would mean everybody is winning.

-Autistic Angel
200  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Bravely Default coming to North America on: February 09, 2014, 03:00:14 AM
It turns out I'm 4596-9565-6482.

EDIT: I've also added The Grue, rittchard, Gratch, Victoria Raverna, and MonkeyFinger to my 3DS Friends List.

-Autistic Angel
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