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Everything posted by Fez

  1. At almost every point throughout history (at least western history), there's been a sizable number of people proclaiming it to be the end times. This is nothing new. But it wasn't then and it won't be now. I agree it'll be hard times, regardless of what form exactly it takes. But not the end times; it will not be Orwell's boot stamping on a face forever nor the extinction of the entire species.
  2. Right. But that's business as usual, a constant pendulum swinging between the parties; not a permanent right-wing dictatorship.
  3. Some things I've noticed from my fresh replay of Elden Ring: Incantations are more different from Sorceries than I realized. Some enemies are much easier now, but others (like those damn birds with blade feet) are much harder. Muscle memory lasts longer than I realized. I beat Margit on just my third attempt this time. The game's size continues to astound me. I've discovered yet more places in Stormveil Castle that I'd never been before.
  4. Season 3 of Harley Quinn This is DC's animated adult comedy version of the character. Seasons 1 and 2 are some of the funniest TV I've seen in years (except the pilot episode, which didn't have the tone right yet) and I don't care about DC comics at all.
  5. Picked Neon White; a time attack platformer FPS is the best I can describe it as. The writing is cringe-y, but the gameplay loop is extremely satisfying. It's a series of many extremely short levels (good times are often sub-20 seconds, if not less) with an almost instant restart feature. I also started a replay of Elden Ring. I really didn't think I would so soon, but the lack of new AAA releases is really getting to me. I started a fresh save rather than NG+ so I could go blank slate. I'm going for a faith build this time, not sure yet if I'll mix Dex, Str, or stay pure. Havent had to decide yet, all my early level ups so far have been to get more health, with a bit of FP and stamina as well. I forgot how little you have at the start. I just haven't gotten sucked in to the FF7 remake the way I hoped. I'm not giving up, but it's just not really doing it for me for some reason.
  6. There is a max of 6 paths that could be open to you at Drezen. The other 4 paths don't open up until much, much later in the game. And yeah, when I made a bloodrager that unlimited rage ability was the first mythic I picked up.
  7. SCOTUS judges rarely lie once their on the bench, there's no reason for them too. Thomas and Alito have been very clear for a long time where they stand on everything. Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Gorsuch (and to a lesser extent Roberts) lied during their confirmation hearings, but what's the point of them lying now? Nothing can stop them, short of a total collapse of civil society. So yeah, I believe Kavanaugh when he says he'd vote against a constitutional ban and that abortion is different from other privacy rights. And I also believe Thomas saying he wants to overturn every privacy ruling. Also, the justices are generally all very predictable, outside of extremely technical cases that no one cares about. E.g., the Medicare reimbursement case also announced this morning was a 5-4 with the liberals, Thomas, and Barrett. No one could predict that, but it's such a niche topic (albeit with billions of dollars on the line for hospitals). For the big stuff, they're all clear-cut almost all the time. Gorsuch can occasionally be surprising on Western state issues, though for the most part it's just that he (shockingly) understands and supports Native American rights. He's usually with the other conservatives on any other western issue (e.g. water rights).
  8. Quite a pickle we're in where "total breakdown of current society" is the hopeful outcome.
  9. I'm hardly being naive. Naivety is the learned helplessness that things must continue down their current track because they have up until now. There has never been a shock to the system like this, never before a major right been repealed like this (alcohol prohibition was a very different situation). The 1/6 coup attempt would've been as well if it succeeded, but it didn't so it could be ignored. We are in actual unprecedented times, and any further shocks, like a not-free federal election, will only further stress things. I don't know for sure what happens next. But the idea that all our institutions hold firm, simply co-opted by authoritarians, seems like a very unsure thing to me.
  10. Countries crack up all the time. What I'm suggesting will happen to the US is no different from any number of collapses in history. And leftists shoot back regularly. It hasn't happened in the US so far because life's been pretty good overall. But if you don't think that can change, your blinders are on far too tight. That's certainly possible. But just because they've turned against Biden doesn't mean they'd be pro-Trump (or anyone else) either. Around 30% of enlisted troops are minorities, so they'd presumably not be in favor of a white-christian authoritarian government. And the officer corps itself has been extremely centrist for a long time now. And you seriously underrate how much things are changing. People had been doing fine, but that's changing very quickly. Up until now, most of the terrible stuff was easy to ignore or miss; buried in procedure or regulation or only affecting small numbers of people. This SCOTUS decision is the first massive "in your face" action by the right-wing, that no one can ignore. And if there are more, I think you'll fin that a lot of people will suddenly realize that they aren't doing well anymore.
  11. I'm sure he might order it, but I don't think anything will come from it. The military is not a monolithic entity, and polling suggests Biden actually won the active military vote in 2020. I think they sit tight in "a political dispute", tanks won't be rolling into Sacramento. And any agencies with deadly force that can get rustled up, like the border patrol or federal prison guards or whoever, is not going to want to get into a shootout without the California national guard.
  12. There's not too much to it really. Authoritarian systems only work with at least passive acceptance by a majority of the country. The opposition in the US is too large, well-funded, and connected to the rest of the world to be trampled. The "minority rule" here has only stayed in place because the majority has stayed within the confines of the current system. But things like a stolen 2025 election or a legitimately elected Republican federal government trying to override major, highly visible blue state laws will change that. I think you'll start seeing the states in the West Coast and New England openly ignoring the federal government. And the feds being in no position to enforce compliance. Firstly because too much of the federal bureaucracy will support the defiers, secondly the military itself would be divided (and I think refuse to get involved unless anyone outright declared independence), and thirdly because across the rest of the states total there'd be another 40ish% of the population also totally opposed and there'd be a strong possibility that many states (like Wisconsin) would be totally ungovernable. I don't know that all ends. But I don't think it's a strong central government maintaining power at the end of a gun. I think its a pock-marked map of liberal and conservative enclaves and exclaves pretty much all going their own direction. And a major worldwide concern becomes who exactly has control of the nuclear arsenal.
  13. I suspect the US cracks up and dissolves before it becomes a direct threat to Canada.
  14. Just 2016; no need to go further back than that. 2016 was the endgame. If Clinton had won we'd have a 5-4 liberal court (with Kennedy still on the bench as one of four conservatives, so a 6-3 majority for civil rights) instead it's the 6-3 nightmare we have now. Except that doesn't protect against committing a crime. If you travel across state lines in commission of a crime you can still get charged, and these states are making it a crime. Decent chance this is all moot in 2025 or 2029 though, since there'll presumably be a national abortion ban as soon as Republicans have the trifecta again.
  15. Now there's an apocalyptic ruling. Thomas in his concurrence goes on to say that the Supreme Court should also overturn constitutional rights to same-sex marriage, same-sex relationships, and contraception. To give a sense of where that fucker is at. Kavanaugh in his concurrence says that this is just about abortion and nothing else. And takes pains to say multiple times that the constitution is neutral on the topic; and that he would vote against any case seeking to make abortion unconstitutional as well. Roberts concurred only in judgment, saying that he'd have gotten rid of the viability threshold but otherwise kept Roe in place. Barrett and Gorsuch don't say anything beyond having signed on to Alito's opinion. The liberals of course dissent very strongly.
  16. Now there's a fun question. The extended Fallen London/Sunless Seas/Sunless Skies universe makes a strong case as well. Its characters are certainly weaker and there isn't really a single central narrative, but it's worldbuilding, lore, and quality of writing is incredible. There is a case to be made that its fantasy rather than science fiction, but I think Skies makes clear that it's SF. The Alan Wake/Control universe is another contender. I prefer Mass Effect, but those games have really cool ideas and writing. Characters are again the weakness here. Nier: Automata on its own (I didn't like the original game much) comes close. But in a single game you just don't develop the same close connections you do across the ME trilogy. Likewise, I'd says Xenogears, although that may be my nostalgia talking. Honorable mention to Fallout (primarily 2 and New Vegas) and Bioshock. I do not have time to write out all my Mass Effect thoughts. Suffice to say, 2 was incredible and I don't blame it for making changes from 1's story. The problem arose that 3 didn't follow on from 2 and instead acted more like a direct sequel to 1, thereby making 2 feel redundant. Also, 3 had problems beyond just the very ending. The entire priority earth mission was disappointing, Cerebures' incredible military might came out of nowhere (and it was dumb that they were the bad guys in just about as many missions as the Reapers themselves), a lot of seemingly important choices from 1 and 2 were wiped away, Kai Leng was an awful character, etc. I still adore the game, but it had some real issues.
  17. I'm not saying gun violence isn't real. What I am saying is that as a result of this ruling, New York will have gun restrictions similar to such states as: Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maine.
  18. Keeping the outrage at 100% at all times helps no one. It's just exhausting and leads to apathy. Need to pick your battles. To me, this is just another in a long line of terrible gun rulings that doesn't actually change all much in terms of facts on the ground. I am far more outraged at the continued lack of consequences for the attempted coup leaders. ETA: Or, actually, was that in reference to the Miranda ruling? Same thing though. It sucks, but Miranda still exists; there's just fewer consequences for cops violating it. Previously it was just almost impossible to win a Miranda violation civil case, now you can't even file one.
  19. Exactly. Just remember: All Cops Are Bastards and go from there.
  20. Again bad ruling, but not apocalyptic (yet). Any violation of Miranda is still inadmissible in court. The problem is that since you can no longer sue for violations there's every likelihood that cops will constantly violate Miranda and just hope a court lets something slip in. There's not really a downside for them anymore.
  21. Getcha guns, guns here. Although the ruling isn't quite as apocalyptic as being reported I don't think; not yet anyway. Though it's certainly bad. The Kavanaugh/Roberts concurrence makes clear that states can still have restrictions within gun license applications. This ruling is that if an applicant meets those restrictions the state "shall issue" the license rather than "may issue". As of this morning, 43 states had shall issue laws and 6 had may issue (not sure what 50th state had; possibly no license requirement at all?); those 6 states' laws are now overturned. The big question will be what licensing restrictions are still permissible. And also, since only 2 of the 6 conservatives signed the concurrence that potentially means there's already 4 judges on the court who don't believe there should be any restrictions at all. Certainly Alito thinks there shouldn't if you read his insane concurrence.
  22. The thing about these games is that they require a pretty strong understanding of the pathfinder 1e rule set. It's quite easy to make a broken build by accident that won't do anything. Meanwhile, among the viable builds, some are vastly more powerful than others. If you're the kind of player that likes pouring over the level-up screen to figure out what to do next, it's great. But otherwise it can be quite frustrating. One easy tip, the spell 'grease' trivializes a lot of early fights. I won't defend the town management because I thought it was bad. But one interesting thing about Kingmaker's design is that it's in reverse of what we're trained to expect in RPGs. You're supposed to do the main quests immediately when they pop up (except Act 1, where you do everything then fight the stag king) and then you have an extended downtime to explore, do the town management, complete side quests, etc. Yeah, restartitis in the game is real since there's so many interesting ways too go. I've played 471 hours and only beaten it once. I've made it to Act IV two other times, Act III once, Act II once, and several hours in a bunch of times. I think I'm going to wait for the enhanced edition before playing anymore though. A few builds absolutely rely on mythic abilities to work properly. But the vast majority of abilities are simply quality-of-life improvements; like the extra spell slots or the enduring spells. It's a nice system (and apparently much better designed than what the tabletop module had). One tip on inventory weight (and this is true for both games), have at least one party member with a pet. Pets all have high strength, so they vastly increase party weight capacity. Get one and never worry again. Or be like my last playthrough, have 3 pets and a carrying capacity of over 6 tons.
  23. Yeah, the crusade management never gets much better than "weak" but at least you can't really fail it like the kingdom management in Kingmaker. You're mostly right about how the mythic paths play out. Some of them get a couple unique areas in Act III, and one of them gets a very different Act IV, but it's mostly the same overaching plot for each. It's not until Act V that things start deviating more dramatically. What character build are you going with? The rumor is that a remake of FF9 is next. So, at current pace, it'll be the mid 2030s at earliest before there's anything for FF6.
  24. I do. Although it's a 1070, which does put me right below the recommended specs. I am well above the minimum specs though, so that shouldn't be an issue. ETA: If you check out the steam store forum, lots of people are still having the issue.
  25. I started a replay of Pyre, and wow is that game good. I really liked it when I played it at release too. But that was years ago, and Hades ended up such a big hit that it's easy to forget that Supergiant's earlier games were bangers too. The music especially stands out. I also picked up FF7 Remake while it had its launch sale on steam. I don't recommend it, but for technical reasons. The game has a major stuttering problem that is apparently affecting a lot of players, including me. To the point that it was basically unplayable. Forcing the game to launch using DirectX 11 solves the stuttering for me, but it instead introduces some pretty bad screen tearing. That fortunately isn't constant and thee game is playable now, but these kind of tech problems are inexcusable for a major studio like SE. Setting all that aside, I do like the game. I'm not totally sold on the combat system, but Midgar looks so good! And it turns out I do have major nostalgia for the original game; I've gotten chills seeing its locations in all their glory. I'm also intrigued by the changes made to the story. I'd heard they existed, but avoided the details. And I assumed they were mostly at the end of the game, but they've been popping up right from the get-go.
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