Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Fez

  1. 7 minutes ago, DMC said:

    We know what the minority leader, Hakeem Jeffries, said about it this morning:

    As for citing ATRA as a precedent, that's misleading.  Of course most Dems were against extending the Bush tax cuts in perpetuity.  The obvious precedent to cite would by the 2011 Budget Control Act - in there were 95 yeas and nays among House Dems.

    It's not misleading, it was a big bill that Obama negotiated and wanted passed, and House Dems were against it. As for the BCA, 95 still means a majority of them opposed it. Unfortunately, House Report 112-190 which allowed for consideration of the BCA passed the rules committee in an unrecorded vote, so I've no idea if the House Dems in the rules committee voted against bringing it to the floor. But again, didn't matter since they had no power to block it anyway.

  2. 43 minutes ago, Ormond said:

    Is there any indication that because of this the particular Democratic members on this particular committee would retaliate by not voting for this bill? Have they threatened this? Has their past behavior in other situations shown they are likely to do this? If not, then this just seems like an irrational grimdark fantasy fear. 

    In a similar situation, with a Democratic president negotiating with a Republican house we got the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. In that floor vote, only 17 House Democrats voted for the bill, while 171 voted against it. McGovern is the only House Dem on the rules committee now who was in the House in the time and he was in the 171. Democratic votes weren't needed in committee since Republican leadership was still strong enough that they could ensure that only their allies filled the Republican seats on the committee.

    It is different this time, in that Democratic votes will actually be needed, both on the floor and in the committee. But there is precedent for the House Democrats to near fully reject a deal that their president negotiated with House Republicans. We don't know yet how House Dems are going to come down on this bill.

  3. 2 hours ago, DMC said:

    LOL.  I imagine Norman and Roy will vote against it for position taking.  Maybe Massie too.  But that's about it.  If McCarthy didn't think it'd get through the Rules Committee he wouldn't have made the deal.

    Right, and if those 3 voted against and the House Dems on the committee voted against it, that's be a 7-6 vote to block the bill from hitting the floor. House Dems weren't involved in these negotiations and one thing that isn't McCarthy's job is whipping Democratic votes. But if the House Dems feel that the White House has given up too much, things can get complicated fast.

  4. It's a question of whether the bill can even get to the floor though. I believe there are enough HFC members on the rules committee to block it, unless the Dems there vote for it. And if their votes become necessary they may demand negotiations to make the bill more palatable to the House Dems. Which there isn't really time for.

  5. 3 hours ago, Werthead said:

    Bungie is rebooting Marathon?!?!? A deep cut. Also, this looks nothing like OG Marathon and is a PVP lootershooter, but okay. Some of the marketing speak about this is pure horseshit.

    This is a very weird one. It looks nothing like the old game, as you said, and its not like the old game was some huge IP that will help boost sales by getting slapped on something new. Probably no one under age 35 has even heard of it, and even among those old enough it was not an enormous seller. All just feels very odd.

  6. Yesterday I moved everything I had in the stock market to cash in preparation for a debt ceiling-related crash. Fortunately, the tax implications of that will be pretty minor for me. If I'm wrong, I'll sheepishly buy some new index funds in a couple weeks. And if I'm right, at least I'll be able to "buy the dip" while the economic chaos unfolds.

  7. As I said many times last year, Democrats should've at least tried to fix this issue while they had the House. They could've put up a reconciliation bill in the lame duck to just raise/eliminate the debt ceiling and at least force Manchin/Sinema to vote against it on the floor. 

    Instead, they did literally nothing and now here we are. It was literally the most predictable thing imaginable.

  8. 8 hours ago, DMC said:

    I suspect Bronny will only play this coming year at USC then declare for the draft this time next year.

    Is Bronny actually good enough to make an NBA roster without the promise of his dad coming over? (Legit question, I dunno). Because if not, I don't see why he'd be in such a rush to just play in his dad's shadow and then get cut as soon as his dad retires.

    As for the Lakers, its hard to imagine them getting much better than this any time soon. Even if they manage to get another big star, it'll mean trading all their depth away again. And Lebron+AD+3rd guy is not enough to win a title I don't think. I don't think Lebron goes to another team though, hanging out in LA and having easy access to USC's home games is too big an incentive to stay. Which means he's probably not getting another title, unless he's still playing 4+ years from now getting 10ish minutes off the bench while some next generation of LA superstars is leading the team.

  9. 9 minutes ago, Werthead said:

    Rome I had "fantasy Egypt" as a faction and Rome II had "actual Greek-influenced Egypt" as a setting, and both were pretty interesting (the inherent lunacy of the former aside). I'm not sure you can extrapolate either out to be a full game though.

    RPS has some details: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/total-wars-next-stop-is-ancient-egypt-with-total-war-pharaoh

    Basically it's Bronze Age-era Egypt (with 4 factions, unclear on the differences between them yet), alongside the Canaanites (2 factions) and Hittites (2 factions also). And the map will extend up to Anatolia.

    Based on the faction names, and what might make sense in terms of having at least one recognizable name in the marketing, I suspect the game is set right after the death of Ramesses II' successor, Merneptah. And there was in fact a civil war then. So 1203 BC.

  10. 12 hours ago, IlyaP said:


    What? A tedious, hours-long dungeon? Do they not understand that people have lives, and that a dungeon that outstays its welcome becomes *work*? 

    Why, Pathfinder, why?


    12 hours ago, Arakasi said:

    I’m almost at that part of the game so I’m curious how that will be for me. Then again I just did this fight on Laughing Caves (with Vavakia Vanguard and Balor and an asssasin and succubus) and killed them in two turns with my MC so I am guessing it won’t be that hard.

    To be clear, I'm talking about the end of Kingmaker. Owlcat seemed to have learned their lesson for Wrath and the final dungeon there isn't nearly as bad. Wrath's is still tough (turns out giving enemies the 'ascendent element' mythic ability and letting them cast 3 spells per turn can cause them to really carve you up), but isn't a slog. Whereas Kingmaker's is both tough and a slog, and (spoilers)


    most of your party members can unavoidably die if you didn't complete their personal quests properly.


  11. 5 hours ago, Werthead said:

    For Kingmaker the kingdom-building mechanics are very in-depth and huge, but they are a massive distraction from the actual RPG-ing part of the game. I just loaded up an optimal kingdom-building guide and just did what that said and have otherwise ignored it. I feel like there's times when I want to play an RPG and when I want to play a medieval fantasy town-building game, and those don't overlap often. Baldur's Gate II's much more chill stronghold building mechanics are sorely missed about now.

    Yeah, I love the idea of the kingdom-building, but in practice it feels bolted-on and a distraction from the main appeal of the game. Wrath has a similar extra system, but it's at least a lot less time-intensive. And they made elements of it, the council meetings, much more engaging.

    On a separate note, I don't want to spoil anything for you, but I strongly encourage you to make sure all your characters have the 'blind fight' feat by the time you go to the final dungeon, if not sooner. In general, it's a good feat throughout the game (at least on martial characters) due to how many enemies have concealment effects. But the final dungeon (a slog no matter what) has a ton of enemies, literally hours and hours worth, that all have instant-death gaze attacks. Without 'blind fight' it can be literally impossible to beat the dungeon, unless you set the difficulty to the lowest setting to cutback on how much save-scumming is necessary to beat the gaze difficulty checks. It's some of the worst game design I've seen in years. 

  12. 1 hour ago, IlyaP said:

    I wnat to love this game, but I keep hitting the same wall that I hit in the first game: there's a quasi-RTS, town building component to this game, that feels like a kind of narrative interruption, as I'm suddenly derailed from RPG gameplay to....something for which my brain is not remotely wired. And I can't navigate around it. It's rather frustrating. 

    1 hour ago, Arakasi said:

    Well I’m a huge fan of the heroes of might and magic games so I enjoy it. It’s really not that hard and you only have to do it in some of the acts. Town building is only on two of the acts and is pretty easy to skip by that part. I actually like the narrative around the crusade though with the decrees as some good RP comes out of it and you can change the ending quite a bit by choices you make. Also it’s cool how the crusade options reflect the choices you make in your mythic path.

    Anyway I just finished the Wenduag quest line and it was great. She was my romantic interest in the game and they did it really well. A++ for sure. One of the best characters and romances I’ve had in a game. I guess I should try Camellia next but *shudder*. Of course in that fight on turn one my hero did 7500 damage and killed like 12 enemies including the boss.

    I agree with Arakasi. However, if you truly can't stand the crusade stuff you can just set it to 'auto' and ignore it. I believe that prevents you from going down the lich or swarm-that-walks mythic paths (since they require specific crusade projects to be finished), but every other mythic path should be fine.

    Although I'd suggest setting it to "easy", picking up the spellcaster generals, and just blowing through it. There's some fun narrative stuff in the events and rank-up conversations. Plus some pretty good loot.

  13. 1 hour ago, Werthead said:

    Yup, that's why I wanted to play Kingmaker first because I assumed the sequel would invalidate it. Also, Kingmaker is apparently half or less the length of the sequel, and I wanted something more containable first rather than the 100+ hour second game.

    TBH, the length difference of the base games (excluding DLC) isn't that big. Kingmaker is an enormous game too, probably only 10% or so shorter than Wrath.

    But it's worth playing first not only because it's hard to go back, systems-wise. But because its a much more low-stakes, traditional adventure. Whereas Wrath is an epic, fate-of-the-world adventure. Also, as a minor point, there is one character who is in both games, and their story is more satisfying having the context of Kingmaker.

  14. 5 hours ago, Ran said:

    Battle Brothers is on sale on Steam, and considering it. Anyone here play it? A search on the board showed @Corvinus85 got it on a previous sale -- what'd you think? The reviews and articles about it on Rock, Paper, Shotgun made it seem brutally difficult but very flavorful.

    I played it. It's not bad. The problem is the game snowballs hard, in either direction. If you survive the first 20-ish days without major injuries (which requires both a bit of luck and an understanding of the game systems) you become unstoppable pretty quickly. If you don't, it's a long, slow (or fast) spiral into failure. Also, the game doesn't really change over time; there's very few active abilities to learn so to me the combat got stale kinda quick. Also, while the world building is good, there's no plot, so that got old kinda quickly too. I had about 10 fun hours overall out of it and then was done. Some people swear by it though.


    3 hours ago, Werthead said:

    I tried Gloomhaven but found it fiddly beyond belief. After failing to complete the first mission about five times, I bounced off it. Disappointing, and has left more even less enamoured to try out the board game now (fuck, maybe I need to sell that as well as Frosthaven).

    I fired up Pathfinder: Kingmaker and must admit that it's very good. I'm a hardcore fan of Baldur's Gate and its sequel and the other Infinity Engine, but the mid-2010s revival of the genre was mostly a failure: Pillars of Eternity was meh, Torment: Tides of Numenera was boring and Divinity: Original Sini had fantastic gameplay and awful writing and plot (out of that revival, only really Tyranny was a great game). But this has landed a lot better and a lot closer to the actual BG style.

    I find Gloomhaven to be a game that you have to overanalyze every move. Because its extremely easy to fuck up everything. It's not hard exactly, it just requires paying attention to a lot of stuff. It's not my favorite of those legacy-style board games though, I find that the character progression isn't that satisfying.

    But yeah, Owlcat's Pathfinder games are fantastic. They're extremely long though, even if you play real-time instead of turn-based. And they do have some real bullshit difficulty spikes that require simply restarting areas to apply the correct buffs in advance. Wrath of the Righteous has so many QoL improvements (and additional classes) over Kingmaker that it's very hard for me to go back though.

  15. I've got my eye on Dredge, an eldritich horror/fishing sim game. It's out already and has kinda blown up on Steam, at least as far as a single player, linear indie game can (i.e., still has 6k concurrent players right now, 2 weeks after release). But I've spent too much money on various things the past couple months so I just can't justify buying any more games right now. I'll definitely get it at some point though. 

    Some upcoming games I'm looking forward to as well are:

    Roots of Pacha- Seems to be a stone age-themed Stardew Valley clone. It got a spot in an Xbox live stream last year though, so I assume it's not just a cheap asset flip.

    Age of Wonders 4- Latest in the 4x series. RPS had an article on it a few months back that sounds like they've got some kinda unprecedented degrees of freedom when it comes to faction customization.

    Miasma- Latest tactics game from the devs who made Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden. Which wasn't a perfect game, but was fun and I'm curious to see what their latest offering is.

    Mask of the Rose- It's by the devs behind the Fallen London/Sunless Sea/Sunless Skies games. But apparently it's a visual novel/dating sim set in that world. I'm very curious to see what this is.

  16. 53 minutes ago, RumHam said:

    I got distracted by Resident Evil but I'm still playing a bit of this each day. I just wish they'd let you choose your starting people, or had a page where you could turn off some unlocks. I unlocked swords and I regret it, because now 90% of the time my starting melee guy has a sword. I just don't like the moveset as much as the hammer's.

    Yeah, it's a bit of an odd decision choice that. There are those omens that you can choose to make certain weapons show up more frequently, but I haven't tried them yet. And they kinda seem like a waste of an omen slot when there's ones like "make wooden walls have 50% more health".

  17. Just cracked 850 hours on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. Except for maybe WoW back in the day I don't think I've played a game nearly as much as this. I just love the character build variety so much. 

    Also I figured out some of the main reward loops of Destiny 2 so I've been playing that some too.

    And with The Last Spell out of early access I've been making my way through that. It's a turn-based tactics/tower defense rogue-like with some kickass background music.

  18. I never thought anyone left in the Likud parliamentary party would ever stand up to Bibi. But it seems like enough of the local power blocks of the party did turn on the judicial "reform" bill that some of them felt they had to. His coalition is only a 4 seat margin. I don't think he has the votes now to pass the bill. And I don't think the far right pulls out of the coalition if the bill fails. They've never had power before and now they control a bunch of important ministries, which they risk losing if there's a snap election. However, I think Bibi wants the bill passed to protect himself, so he'll keep pushing all on his own. 

    Guess we'll see if there's enough sustained anger to keep the pressure up or if they manage to quietly pass the bill in the summer.

  19. 8 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

    “Usually” this amount of monetary tightening by central banks would be enough to cause a recession, although there is a lag to those effects.  We’ve seen the slowdown already in the most interest rate-sensitive sectors, e.g. housing/construction and speculative start-ups, but it hasn’t percolated yet into the rest of the economy.  

    Housing starts grew by 13.8% in February. Maybe it's a one-month fluke, but it's not what I'd expected to see if interest rates were closing off demand or if a recession was imminent. 

  20. 9 hours ago, ThinkerX said:

    Problem is there appear to be other major industries essential to the economy to which this statement applies in full - like the railway companies who put profit above maintenance and basic safety, resulting in a spate of totally predictable and highly destructive derailments. Likewise, utility companies in Texas and California decided to put profit above weatherization and maintenance, which was a major contributor to power outages and devastating fires. Factor in deliberate stupidity like banning ESG investing and shaky financial institutions, and a major mess is fast approaching. 

    My thinking is that longterm, yes, an enormous mess/collapse is coming, barring some massive systematic changes (ha!). But that particular piper isn't coming calling for another 15-20 years.

    I think the problems SVB faced were relatively isolated, and it was only due to the likelihood of mass irrational panic (which becomes very rational if enough other people are doing it) that there was a chance of a major bank run-related crisis this week. I also think that recession fears are overblown. Certain industry sectors are faring poorly, mostly ones that were reliant on low interest rates. But most metrics are showing a relatively healthy economy, albeit one struggling with inflationary pressures.

    There is a wildcard of what happens if the US breaches the debt ceiling. But, barring that, I'm not too concerned about where things are a year from now. Feel free to gloat come December if I'm wrong.

  21. Everyone ready for this Sunday? At least we'll be getting to the better time again.

    There's another effort in Congress this year to make DST permanent, but there doesn't seem to be as much optimism as last year. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2023/03/09/daylight-saving-time-bill/



    But the prospects for the Sunshine Protection Act remain dim: Neither chamber of Congress has a majority supporting the bill, and there is no clear consensus among voters. Key congressional leaders whose committees would need to review the bill remain publicly undecided. Opponents and sleep medicine experts, meanwhile, warn that when Congress actually succeeded in making daylight saving time permanent in the 1970s, it quickly and ignominiously blew up in their faces, forcing them to end the experiment 10 months later.

    And after senators used a legislative maneuver last year to pass their bill with no debate or committee review — shocking many of their colleagues and the White House — wary congressional staff say they’re on alert to block such an effort this year.

    Meanwhile, a review of daylight saving time policies by the Department of Transportation, which implements federal time zone rules, is not expected to be completed until year’s end; some undecided lawmakers said they planned to wait for that before making a decision on the Sunshine Protection Act.



  • Create New...