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About Fez

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    Like A Thundering Lizard
  • Birthday 11/18/1987

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  1. Fez

    Video Games: A Far Cry From E3

    My understanding is that it's very different in the tabletop game, but I find going all ballistic or LRM leads to the most broken set-ups in the game. Precision strike is stupid powerful, but almost as powerful is Knockdown+called strike mastery. And with LRMs you can make a glass cannon heavy or assault that's way out of range of the enemy that can core any mech basically every turn. PPCs are likewise way overpowered, if you can get enough of them. Take an assault, put 5 or 6 PPCs and nothing else on it except whatever tiny amount of armor will fit. Stay as far away as you can from enemies, and you will core any mech every other turn thanks to the way overheating works. Firing every single PPC won't just overheat the mech, it'll make it shutdown and take a tiny bit structural damage, which causes you to miss a turn (and let enemies called shot you, which is why you need to stay out of range) but you dissipate all heat and the following turn you can just fire all of them again and core out another mech. You do need at least one or two close range mechs to keep enemies engaged and sensor lock as needed. I usually do have a couple med lasers fitted on since the space is there, but their main role is to have SRMs and a AC/10 or AC/20 (if possible). Both are way too heavy, but being able to output that much damage to one spot is invaluable, and with two mechs like that you can knockdown any enemy to get a called shot for your glass cannon if needed. If precision strike is up though, they can each core any light or medium, and sometimes beyond that.
  2. Fez

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    There's two issues at play here. There's lots of studies showing no relationship between violent entertainment and violent actions. And this easily passes the smell test by just looking at the fact that all Western countries have access to same violent entertainment we do but don't have our violence problem. However, I don't know if there's been any studies of a possible relationship between modern entertainment (violent or otherwise) and the general lack of empathy/increase of narcissism in public life. I tend to think there isn't a relationship there either, but I don't know for sure. The thing I always come back to is how fundamentally decent the vast majority of people are at the individual level, including most Trump voters (obviously there are exceptions); including being decent on an individual basis to people different from them. The problem is when it gets above the individual level; both in what happens when they group up together (e.g. at Trump rallies during the campaign) and when they look at groups of people different from them. It's some sort of reverse sublimation, where decent impulses give way to groupthink'd anger and hatred. I don't know if this increased lack of empathy in public life is then somehow connected to the increase in mass shootings, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was.
  3. Fez

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    That's really not the case for the most part though. In many states, the two chambers aren't even coordinated with each other (e.g. see how much the Florida House and Florida Senate, both Republican-controlled, hate each other). In some states, moderate Republicans still control the caucus and their main activity is in-fighting with the far-right. And in a few states, Republicans only nominally control the chamber and it is a coalition of moderate Republicans and the Democrats who are in charge (e.g. Alaska House, sometimes Kansas). The only issues where all Republican state legislatures are basically in lockstep are abortion and guns, and even there not entirely; especially on something as big as a constitutional amendment (find me something about expanding the 2nd amendment that the Texas House and the Virginia Senate would both agree on). And on other issues, the big, fundamental issues (not relatively little things like rolling back some obscure kind of regulation), there really is a lot of disagreement. ALEC certainly exists, and is a serious problem in some states, but it is not an overwhelming evil that secretly coordinates everything.
  4. Fez

    Video Games: A Far Cry From E3

    Battletech has really turned into a grind for me. It's not a bad game, but I do think its a flawed one (lack of mission variety, lack of usefulness of light/mediums later in the game, lack of characters or writing) and a disappointment considering how great the Shadowrun games were. I'm gonna finish it off, I looked it up and I have 3 missions left, but I'll be glad to be done with the game. Meantime, between the talk here and the 60% off sale I picked up HoI4, and oh boy is that a Paradox game. I started a game as New Zealand in 1936 and played for a few hours as a way to get familiar with the systems, and I'm ready for a real game now. I'm curious though how viable the minor countries are? I usually play small potatoes in Paradox games, but with the way the game is setup, I'm wondering if that's possible here. For instance, if I played as Belgium in 1936 is it possible to be in a position to stop the Nazis when the war comes or is getting steamrolled a foregone conclusion?
  5. Fez

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    Considering every Democratic senate nominee won in the states Clinton won and every Republican senate nominee won in the states Trump won, if Clinton had won in 2016 she'd almost certainly have had a Democratic majority to approve her SCOTUS nominee. Of course, if Clinton had won in 2016 but the fundamentals of the election were basically the same, 2018 would've been a bloodbath for Democrats. That slim Democratic senate majority would flip into an almost, or possibly actually, filibuster-proof Republican majority (so many red-state Democratic senators), and Republicans probably would hit the magic number of state legislatures to be able to unilaterally create constitutional amendments (of course, the odds of all the legislatures getting on the same page to actually do so would be pretty slim).
  6. Fez

    Laurel or Yanny?

    Laurel for me. Even at the changed frequencies which are supposedly more likely to make you hear Yanny, I just heard Larry or Lanny. That first 'L' is so incredibly obvious to me that I'm baffled that so many people don't hear it. I was wondering about that too. However, I can still hear that annoying sound even though I'm past 30 (my GF and I went to a website that plays it at different frequencies and she couldn't hear any of them except at the very lowest frequencies while I heard all of them, even the super high one that supposedly only pre-teens can hear). And it seems like more young people, who also hear that noise, are hearing Yanny.
  7. Fez

    NBA playoffs 2018 - Raptors over Cavs in 6

    Also, things can change quickly in the NBA. If Houston can do the cap space jujitsu needed (and the convincing) to get LeBron, that alone puts them in contention to beat the Warriors next year. So could a Lakers team based on LeBron and Kawhi Leonard, with some other pieces. There's other conceivable (though maybe not very likely) super-teams that could also do it next year.
  8. Fez

    Video Games: A Far Cry From E3

    Not sure if I've been blessed by RNG or just been grinding. I'm about 30 hours in (no idea how far, storywise, I just did the back-to-back Artu missions), but everything is pretty easy now that I've got 6 Heavies that are mostly tricked out with + gear. I've got another 3 Mediums ready in the bays, something like 7 pilots that are all 6s and 7s in stats (plus a couple rookies), a mostly fully upgraded ship, $6 million cash, and a ton of lights and mediums in storage if I ever need to sell for a cash infusion. It definitely feels like I've broken past the difficulty curve (although, the story just straight-up rewarded me my first Assault Mech, so maybe I am where I'm supposed to be). It also feels like the game has outstayed its welcome at this point though. Its been fun, and the backstory is great, but neither the writing nor the gameplay has been nearly as interesting as the Shadowrun games.
  9. Making a good Space Opera is expensive, and expensive shows need to justify their costs, but very few shows can get the kind of ratings that would be needed. Its why most shows are doctor/lawyer/police dramas, they are cheap to make (at least until the actor salaries start climbing) and don't need to be rated that highly to succeed. Yet even so there are lots of them that are cancelled every year too; the bar is even higher for a space opera.
  10. Fez

    U.S. Politics: The Flood Shall Wash Away The Cobbs

    The US has the largest, most powerful military in the world, and, for now, the largest economy in the world (at least, when measured by nominal GDP; there are some measures where China is the largest economy). Its not realistic, or in their interest, for any country to ignore us, even if they would like to. They just shouldn't really trust us that much either.
  11. Fez

    U.S. Politics: The Flood Shall Wash Away The Cobbs

    Absolutely. Just saying, I think that's going to be the cost of doing business going forward. Countries can't trust the US on presidential agreements anymore, but they can still trust treaties.
  12. Fez

    U.S. Politics: The Flood Shall Wash Away The Cobbs

    Because neither of these deals were treaties, they were unilateral Presidential declarations. Obama had to do it this way, because the Senate never had 67 votes (the treaty requirement) for either deal, but everyone should've been more upfront about the fact that any future President could break them at any time. Countries should still feel free to negotiate agreements with the US, but they should insist that they'll only agree to treaties; which are not so easily broken. The US does still sign treaties somewhat regularly, just usually on smaller, not that controversial matters.
  13. Fez

    U.S. Politics: The Flood Shall Wash Away The Cobbs

    I think it's extremely unrealistic actually, for a lot of reasons. Putting aside the various norms (because those can get ignored, some more easily than others) and laws (because those aren't always easily enforced), the big one is that Trump has never fully grasped the power of the Presidency. He basically acts as though he's the mayor of a big city (he was even intensely interested in the city of DC's response to the one moderate snowstorm we had last year) who gets to deal with foreign powers. He complains constantly about various pieces of the executive branch (not just the parts of DOJ investigating him), but in a "why won't the people in charge do something?" kind of way, with no seeming understanding that he actually is the one in charge. And he has no apparent grasp of what he could actually get away with hiding just by claiming executive privilege (which would sadly not be breaking any norm). There's been tons of articles about how Trump's political views are stuck in the '80s, but I think his understanding of where he fits in the world is also stuck in the '80s. It wouldn't occur to him to just ignore a court order for instance, because he'd never have been able to do that before. Whereas the various cover-up stuff he's been involved with is just an extension of the way he's always been; even the foreign diplomacy isn't that big a stretch for him, they're all just like the foreign investors he's dealt with most of his life! Trump's lack of knowledge and respect for presidential norms cuts both ways; it's allowed him to be endlessly corrupt and disruptive, but its also made him extremely weak.
  14. Fez

    Video Games: A Far Cry From E3

    Played a game of Frostpunk, a fantastic, city-building survival game. Its tense and exciting and looks and sounds great. The only downside is that if you know what you're doing it's really not that hard to be in a good enough position that you never need to engage with all the dark moral choices that really make the game unique. So, sure, I implemented child labor, the ability to order emergency work shifts, work foremen, guard towers and watchposts, a prison, and a propaganda center, etc. (there's a religious route you can go instead of 'order') But I never implemented brothels or duels, didn't require medical centers to triage the sick, didn't use the dead for any purposes (they had nice funerals in fact), didn't implement prison beatings, didn't require loyalty oaths, and I never even got close enough to "the line" to see what it was, much less cross it. And I always had enough of the various supplies that I never needed to cut off food or heat to anyone, and I accepted all refugee groups that I encountered (though sometimes only the healthy were allowed in). And this was my first game; I'm sure someone who really knows what they're doing could've beaten it without even needing to do the few things that I did have to do.
  15. Fez

    Video Games: A Far Cry From E3

    I actually ended up beating that mission relatively easily with an Orion heavy and three mediums. I stayed behind the cover near where you start the mission (bulwark helps so much here), destroyed the turrets near me on turn 2, and didn't even try to stop the enemy supply trucks. I let the enemy mechs come to me and focus fired them down; and I got a little lucky that at one point three of them were in radius of one ammo crate. Beat the mission with 6 ammo crates remaining, and only one pilot and mech injured. It really helps that the Orion is strong enough to alpha strike pretty much any light or medium mech with a precision hit to CT; especially if one or two of my mediums soften up the target a bit earlier in the turn. Because of that, I killed the light mechs that start near you before they could spot more than a couple turns of damage against me and that forced the rest of the enemy force to get out of position and head towards me. I never even saw the vast majority of the map.