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Posts posted by Fez

  1. 3 hours ago, Jon AS said:

    In Wrath of the Righteous I made it to Drezen and liberated it and appear to be on the path of becoming an Azata, though some paths haven't even been an option so far and I don't think I missed them. I'm really glad I reached a natural stopping point before going on vacation, makes it much more likely that I'll pick it up again once I'm back.

    Oddly possibly the mythic ability I like the most for my main character might be the unlimited rage one. I tend to use rage very sparingly, as with all limited resources I always think "what if I need it in the next fight?". Now my main character will actually get some good use out of his signature class ability.

    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.

  2. 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).

  3. 3 minutes ago, Babblebauble said:

    Fez, I appreciate you man. I do. 

    But even that modest projection of people being able to examine their circumstances and identify accurately some of the causes is just hopelessly naive. As long as there's an other to blame you don't HAVE to look around yourself critically. That's the entire point of the other. And we, my friend, we're the other. If people get guns and march it ain't gonna be against the Rs

    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.

  4. 5 minutes ago, Babblebauble said:

    Mr. Fez, the difference between democrats and Amerifascists is that democrats don't shoot back. If you think the California National Guard would do anything but dissent strongly as the FBI vans park on the governor's lawn you're living in a fantasy.


    ETA: soldiers follow orders. They'll do as they're told by their legitimately elected (he ain't gonna have to cheat this time) chain of command.

    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.


    3 minutes ago, Matrim Fox Cauthon said:

    Yeah, but I suspect that a lot of military opinions also turned sour after the sloppy Afghanistan withdrawal. 

    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.

    1 minute ago, KalVsWade said:

    You seriously overrate how many people care if women's rights are trampled, and you seriously underrate the hatred towards women in the US. 

    And mostly, I think you're ignoring how entirely unwanting most are to challenge anything while things are going well for them - and for the most part US citizens are doing well. 

    It's very easy to become an authoritarian state while offering most people the luxuries that they're accustomed to. That's the real horrible secret - that authoritarian states are largely easy to push in, and very hard to push out, and people just don't care as long as the authoritarian state isn't too horrible or too stupid. 

    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.

  5. 7 minutes ago, Babblebauble said:


    This is a fine dream, but I think you're wrong man. The agencies that have actual power (backed by the end of that gun) will force compliance on the blue states. And nobody is gonna stop them. You don't think that Donald Trump will order -insert agency here- to straight up seize the governor's mansion in California over his new abortion bill? Really Diane? Really Diane? 2025 ain't that far away. 

    And what's Cali gonna do? Read some poems at them?


    We are about to get swept out to sea at the end of this year, and then it's really gonna get nasty because Joe is gonna be the last thing standing in front of a R senate and an R house.

    Abandon hope, it's gonna weigh you down in the tyrannies to come.


    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.

  6. 4 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

    Could you tell me more about this scenario?  We can use PMs if you'd prefer.  Because I do feel like the US going full authoritarian feels almost certain, and I would be interested to hear how you think this alternative breakup scenario would play out. 

    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.

  7. 58 minutes ago, horangi said:

    Well, no- I actually think this is a great example of elections have consequences.  It just expects people to have a longer term vision then what is in front of them today.  In this case the consequences are from the 1988 election, the 2004 election, and the 2016 election. 

    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.

    22 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

    No.  Freedom of travel is supposed to be constitutionally protected.  This, I fear, will be tested.  :(

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 14 hours ago, Werthead said:

    I think the honest question arises - again - if Mass Effect has the finest SF worldbuilding/background lore, characters and story ever made for a video game or series (if we go all-genres, then of course a whole bunch of fantasy games and JRPGs enter the equation that could make very strong arguments).

    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.


    3 hours ago, Werthead said:

    More Mass Effect stuff

    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.

  10. 20 minutes ago, Zorral said:

    This is anything but speculative or abstract for us in this state. People everywhere are targeted, and a lot of it isn't even random -- the Tops supermarket massacre of local African Americans in Buffalo just last month was a prime example.  The guy carefully planned the attack, literally to target African Americans, drove several times from a long ways away where he lived, to reconnoiter, then came with his guns and killed.  These killings are occur even in the subways.  Open carry in bars and entertainment venues will put the kill rate up even higher, from random and from those targeting specifically.

    You should be listening to the DOJ hearing testimonies of today, if you think pretending things aren't awful is useful.

    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.

  11. 1 hour ago, Zorral said:

    Good god you guys!  The water doesn't stop heating unless the heat's closed down.  It just keeps heating to the boil.  

    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.

  12. 17 minutes ago, Martell Spy said:

    Supreme Court strikes down New York gun law along ideological lines
    The 6-3 decision is the latest in a series of moves by the increasingly conservative high court to adopt a muscular interpretation of the right to bear arms.



    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.

  13. 15 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

    With Kingmaker I hit that hard deadline in the first act of the game and while I seemed to be adequately levelled for the fight that would get me past the deadline I just seemed to be too weak to handle the fight. It seems like I would need to start over from scratch, and the game is not quite engaging enough for me at that early level to go through it all again. Plus I don't really know what I need to do improve my party to be able to get past that boss fight. I guess I have just lost my mojo with these types of games. 

    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.


    14 hours ago, IlyaP said:

    This system never felt completely logical to me in Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Or maybe I'm a bit tense (por que no los dos?). I'd defeat the Stag King, start building out a new town, and then...the game would kinda fizzle. And between the design/story lag and the obtuse interface and lack of ease around weight distribution of items between party members, the game constantly felt like work and low-level item management. Also the movement speeds of characters were shockingly slow.

    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.

    9 hours ago, Jon AS said:

    Oh, that actually sounds like there's more than I thought, cool. But let's see if I can make it through once before I start planning another run...

    Went with Bloodrager -> Dragon Disciple for lots of strength, aming for feats like Intimidating Prowess, Cornugon Smash and Dreadful Carnage to demoralise enemies as I beat them over the head with sharp metal implements.

    I always enjoy the simplicity of fighter types, partly because playing a low level caster in a CRPG tends to involve a lot of time simply being a sub-optimal archer because you have nowhere enough spells per day for all the combat encounters and partly because they get to use all those shiny swords and armour. Though with the mythic abilities that grant additional spell slots this is apparently less of a problem in this game.

    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.

  14. 6 hours ago, Jon AS said:

    I decided to get Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. I abandoned my last attempt at Kingmaker at about the 3/4 mark, but enjoyed it well enough to want try this. I'm only early in act 2 but so far I'm finding it more engaging than its predecessor. The only thing I'm not sold on is the crusade army management (well, that and the use of the term "crusade"). If I wanted to play HoMM then that's what I'd be playing, I came here for the insane amount of character options provided (and maybe the story).

    The mythic path concept seems interesting and could in fact add to replayability since it's a bit more complicated than a simple good/evil binary, though I can't imagine the deviations being massive. I figure you'd still be playing through roughly the same areas, but the character motivations and the enemies you're fighting might change.

    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?

    6 hours ago, RumHam said:

    I guess I should get FF7 while it's $50 instead of $70 on steam. I know I'm going to be irrationally annoyed when it ends after Midgar and I can't finish the game. But it seems like it'll be a long wait for the whole trilogy to be done.

    One day they'll do something with FFVI, which is somehow starting to feel like the red-headed step child of the franchise despite being one of the most popular games.

    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.

  15. 7 minutes ago, Werthead said:

    Do you not have an nVidia card? I know nVidia dropped a driver that specifically fixed the problem and I never encountered it. Unless SE managed to balls it up again with the Steam version (which is certainly within their wonky wheelhouse).

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. If it's good I'll watch it, if it's bad I won't. Whether it bears any resemblance to post-asoiaf plans that GRRM has for the characters, assuming that's any, doesn't matter to me. The original series stopped being the books several seasons before it ended as well; but was still good tv until the final season dropped the ball so hard. 

    Hopefully HBO gets some dedicated showrunners who don't want to bail before the series is done.

  18. 15 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

    I enjoyed Disco Elysium because it was very different to my usual video game diet. It had some annoying elements, but most games do. It's a game I will only ever play once, mostly because it's not my usual video game diet, but I would encourage anyone who likes to try different things from time to time to give it a go. The problem with it not being my usual fare is that I don't know if people who are really into this style of game think it's awesome.

    Personally, I loved it. The writing has at such a high tier, and the game did such a good job at making failed rolls also interesting, that it was so easy to just get lost in the story. And the music was incredible. My only complaint was that hunting for money was a bit tedious. But that's such a minor issue compared to everything the game did right. 

    I was bored recently and decided to make a steam collection of my top 10 games of all time that are in my steam library, and Disco Elysium was an easy inclusion.

  19. 40 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

    Definitely wasn't aware of that meta stuff and now that I've read it I think I wish I remained ignorant of it. :P 

    Fair enough. Fortunately it only ever shows up in a handful of the books you can read in game. I think the last time a character actually talked about any of it was Vivec in Morrowind, and even then only obliquely. So you can easily just enjoy the game at the more direct level you had before.

    The only direct plot implication of all this relates to the Altmer and their plans (basically everything would go much worse than they expect if they acheive their goal), which itself is only rarely mentioned in the games.

    At least that was the case at the end of Skyrim. I never played the MMO, so I don't know what's been added there.

  20. 15 minutes ago, Ran said:


    Fascinating, but

      Reveal hidden contents

    I'm guessing that part of the lore post-dates The Matrix, right? Seems too similar to be coincidence, though cool that they apply it to a fantasy setting and do different things with it.




    The Matrix released March 1999, and Morrowind released May 2002. So they were probably working out the lore in the months after seeing the movie.

    Of course, ES: Arena released in 1994 and ES: Daggerfall in 1996. But Arena had almost no lore at all. Daggerfall did have a fair amount, but I've never played it, so it's always been unclear to me what is stuff that fans are retrofitting to the game based on Morrowind and what was actually in the game.

    And there are certainly differences from The Matrix, beyond it being a fantasy setting, so I'll still give some points for originality. 


  21. 12 minutes ago, Ran said:

    I had assumed from the stuff about the alien artifacts and the images suggesting they play a part in the story that this would be the central quest of the game... but do Bethesda games not have central quests?

    I guess I was approaching it like Cyberpunk 2077, because more important than bells and whistles is an actual strong core narrative.

    Bethesda games have central quests, but they are usually pretty short and not that interesting. When the games have interesting quests at all, it's usually in the optional faction quests (e.g. the whole chain of Dark Brotherhood quests in Oblivion). But Bethesda games usually aren't that strong on the writing. The last time I thought they had some legitimately interesting stuff was Morrowind, but even then it was less the quests and more the background lore in some of the conversations and books (at it's core, the Elder Scrolls setting is crazy in a way most players are not aware of or ever engage in; which is a shame).

    Deep Elder Scrolls lore spoilers


    Basically, the foundational layer of the setting is that all of reality is the dream of a primordial god. There's a complex creation mythology filled with gods that is more like classic real world mythology, but all of that is within the dream as well. And there is a mental state that characters can reach, called CHIM, which is where they realize that they are simply figments of a dream. This gives them basically unlimited power to alter "reality" by changing the dream around them. However, they almost never use that power because they stop having goals/ambitions after realizing that nothing is really "real"; in fact often times they simply disappear from reality, retroactively as well. Only two characters in the setting ever didn't, and actually used their power.

    There's even some super meta-y/easter egg layers hidden in the early games suggesting that the dream is actually a video game. So in other words reality is actually the game you are playing, and characters who achieve CHIM realize that they're in a video game. That aspect has I think has entirely been dropped though.

    I'd love if Starfield got trippy like that, and put it at the forefront of the game. But I really doubt they will.

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