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Werthead

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  1. I seem to have unleashed the Pinnacarid apocalypse in Subnautica: Below Zero. Pinnacarids are seal/dolphin-like creatures (but with fluffy wings) who are ordinarily fairly friendly towards your character. I picked up a couple of eggs whilst looking for other stuff without realising they were Pinnacarid eggs and casually left them in the containment unit in my base, which resulted in two Pinnacarids essentially being locked in a breeding chamber (not deliberately). I went off and did a massive chunk of the game on the ice shore, which required building a separate base and doing tons of stuff, so it was weeks of in-game time before I got back to my primary base, which was now jam-packed with lusty and massively inbred Pinnacarids. In a hurry I manually transferred them to the sea outside, forgetting that "breeded" creatures are super-friendly to the max towards the player. The result is my base is now effectively besieged by overly-friendly fluffy dolphin-things and I have to be careful not to massacre a bunch of them by accident just reversing my seatruck into the docking bay. One was so enamoured of me that it clipped through the wall of my base bedroom and promptly died on the floor, and I couldn't get rid of its corpse until it despawned when I left the area.
  2. I think the idea is that Season 2 will end at Falme, but will incorporate other plot elements from later books. It sounds like there will be significantly more Aiel content in Season 2 than in Book 2 and Season 3 will apparently focus primarily on adapting The Shadow Rising (Book 4) and I would not be surprised if they got into Book 5 material.
  3. Turkey has decided to step up its military assistant to Ukraine. As well as more Baryaktars, and more advanced ones (some suggestions they might start field-testing the high-speed stealth version there), they're going to build a factory in Ukraine to build them locally. Turkey has also already delivered 50 BMC Kirpi MRAPS to Ukraine with another 150 due in the next few weeks. These are light infantry fighting vehicles with special mine and IED-resistant armour. They are meant to plug a hole in Ukraine's forces where they don't have enough IFVs to properly help sustain large-scale offensives. I'm guessing Erdogan is getting less and less bothered about pissing Putin off every day. Ukraine also hit the Antonivskyi Bridge whilst it was under repair, blowing up several vehicles which the Russians left burning on the bridge for several hours.
  4. Not entirely sure what you mean here. The game had mild technical problems on PC at launch (and considerably worse on PS4 and XB1) but it certainly didn't have "missing scenes."
  5. io9 have expanded on this as well. https://gizmodo.com/disney-marvel-movies-vfx-industry-nightmare-1849385834 I think for both quality and working rights issues, they Marvel do need to pull back on their insane release schedule and pare it right down. When you have multiple actors on She-Hulk saying the support the vfx team unionising, something has gone wrong somewhere.
  6. To be fair, that at least explains how they hid them on the second floor of that residential building.
  7. I wonder if the game thought Thane had died in the suicide mission?
  8. The storyline of Sandman I think is best summed up in the excellent 1999 book The Sandman Companion: "The Sandman is the story of Dream who, after being imprisoned by mortals for a hundred years, comes to realise the depth of his past mistakes, and how best to rectify them." (not quite verbatim but almost) This isn't an action story about the fate of the entire universe being at stake (The Doll's House vortex is about as close as it ever gets to that), but a story about someone who has made some very serious fuck-ups and how he can fix those problems, and the consequences of doing so. A good early example: Given how they like setting up throughlines, it does make me wonder (spoiler for people who haven't read the comics) It's a movie that was very much ahead of its time. I don't think people were ready for a metafictional commentary on action movies in 1993, with Arnold Schwarzenegger taking the piss out of himself. It's a bit like Mystery Men, which would have probably landed better if it had come out ten years after it did. Last Action Hero does have a few more structural and editing problems (the film was in cinemas like 2 months after it wrapped, so they didn't have time to try out different cuts) but there's a genuinely great film lurking in there somewhere (the bit where Arnie turns to his doppelganger, representing his image, and says "You've caused me a lot of pain" felt a lot more heartfelt than maybe it should have done).
  9. 20 hours into Subnautica: Below Zero and it's very good so far, and certainly worthwhile for anyone who enjoyed Subnautica. Certainly Subnautica is a stronger game in many respects and it's better to play that first, especially as some storylines that Subnautica began Below Zero finishes off. I can see why some people are down on Below Zero though. The map is somewhat smaller and at least a third of the map is taken up by land, whilst in the OG game it's more like 5%, if that. Getting up on land for long haul exploration is also a major pain, because you need to re-fabricate a whole second set of equipment for surviving on land (including cold suits and a land-based vehicle). Building a second base in Subnautica is of course part of the fun, but Below Zero makes it a major ball-ache because you have no Cyclops. In the original game, you could use the Cyclops as a mobile base, pack it full of storage to carry your entire resource stockpile around with you. But the Cyclops isn't in Below Zero and its replacement, the Seatruck, is considerably weaker and can't carry as much stuff around, and isn't suitable for use as a mobile HQ. This means much more toing-and-froing than in the original game, especially if you've relocated your base from the starting location to a more central area (like the Delta Island). Still, once you get that out of the way there's still a lot of greatness, even if it's a safer game (the worst sea predators aren't a patch on the OG Leviathans) and not as deep a game (I mean literally, the OG map went down over 2km in terms of areas you actually needed to visit and as deep as 8km on the map edges, whilst Below Zero barely drops below 1000 metres). The expanded basebuilding is fantastic and the new UI options, like pinning the current resources you are looking for in the UI, is brilliant. These options are all being backdated into Subnautica in a future patch, which should be great as well.
  10. A Ronald D. Moore show that was excellent for two seasons and the start of the third, and then abruptly nosedives in quality over the course of its third season. Say it isn't so! At least if someone plays "All Along the Watchtower" in the season finale, it won't be a big deal.
  11. It's a great game, and if you enjoyed Human Revolution you will absolutely like Mankind Divided. The significance of some events is clearer if you've played the original Deus Ex - Mankind Divided is much more of an actual prequel to the original game, whilst HR only nominally felt it was in the same universe - but it's not required. It's a bigger and longer game than HR but it's storyline isn't quite as world-shaking.
  12. Hither. The impetus for the TV show was apparently the Tolkien Estate and Warner Brothers settling their long-running legal disputes in July 2017. So negotiations began when CT was still head of the Estate. Whether he was somehow overruled by the rest of the Estate and he stepped down, or he'd already decided to step down and basically let the Estate do what they wanted, is purely speculative. The timing is suggestive, though.
  13. The Tolkien Estate started the whole project in the first place, when Christopher was alive and when he was still head of the Estate. The Estate put together a package of rights and put it out to tender with HBO, Netflix and Amazon. HBO and Netflix only bid $100 million, saying they wouldn't bid more because they have their own fantasy franchises already underway (the GoTverse and The Witcher), whilst Amazon bid twice as much, so it went with them.
  14. The Times (may be paywalled). They have reporters in Mykolaiv talking to both the military commanders for the whole theatre and the civilians authorities. "Last month a special operations force filmed themselves walking right into Kherson, storming a building and releasing five Ukrainian prisoners that a group of Russian soldiers had tried to ransom." Not quite as dramatic as the second-hand account I heard earlier, but still impressive. "They have also been eroding Russian anti-aircraft defences. This has allowed the Ukrainian Air Force to fly more sorties over the area, culminating in what observers described as a "massive attack" on enemy positions in the Kherson region. "I think the orcs already lack air defence systems, because they were eaten by the HIMARS," wrote Sergei Naumovich, a Ukrainian military blogger. "This is the first time such a large-scale air assault by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on these positions is taking place."
  15. No, they're all still there in the writers' room. That's a lot of utter bollocks being spread about the show, especially in the last few weeks, which could have been shut down with a brief Google search. Quite strange.
  16. As others have said, the target is five seasons with two graphic novels per season. That will mean some compression - fitting the enormous arc of The Kindly Ones and The Wake into one season is going to be tough - but nothing too outrageous. There's also a lot of stand-alone comics which they can combine into single hours (Episode 6 combines two separate comics, Sound of Her Wings and Men of Good Fortune, so if they took that view across the whole series, they could easily make this a 37-38 episode show, so not even four seasons) or even ignore altogether.
  17. There are reportedly between 9 and 12 new BTGs in Kherson, totalling 25,000 troops (combined with the existing troops). However, they are lacking artillery support, they are located far forwards of their railhead resupply centres (the nearest have all been destroyed), and there is one resupply bridge over the Inhulets still standing. The rest are destroyed or reduced to light traffic only. Several pontoon bridges thrown across the river have also been destroyed. Concentrations of these troops have been targeted and hit repeatedly by drones, HIMARS and regular artillery. Reportedly all AA coverage in the area has been destroyed, allowing the Ukrainian Air Force to mount the first mass-bombardment of Russian positions since the start of the war, which resulted in heavy Russian losses with no Ukrainian Air Force losses and virtually no ground fire. To properly hold Kherson city, the Russians have had to split their forces on both sides of the Inhulets and another force on the far bank of the Dnipro itself to deal with the partisans attacking from the direction of Melitopol, which has reduced their forces available for an assault on Mykolaiv or holding Kherson. In addition, Ukrainian forces are reporting substantial holes in the Russian lines. A regular Ukrainian army detachment was able to cross the Inhulets, slip through the Russian lines, raid a Russian POW facility in Kherson city and liberate several dozen prisoners who had been threatened with execution, and returned safely to Ukrainian positions outside Mykolaiv. In addition these "new" BTGs have been transferred from Donbas and are already exhausted from constant combat operations for the past five months (although some rotation has been taking place, there are significant numbers of Russian units operating in Ukraine continuously since 23 February and have not been able to leave), allowing Ukrainian forces there to reconstitute and in some cases carrying out fresh attacks, particularly towards Izium, and shoring up defensive lines around Kharkiv. The Russians still have a strong defensive position around Kherson city, with three layers of concentric defence (shades of Kursk in WWII), but those defences are useless without resupply and fresh troops to hold them. There are also some rumours that the Mykolaiv-Kherson front might be a massive feint and the Ukrainians might be preferring to attack on the Zaporizhzhia-Melitopol axis, which would force an evacuation from Kherson anyway, or even a possible offensive towards Izium, which would threaten recent Russian gains in Donbas.
  18. Yeah, but they're not integral to the plot. The TV show already blasted past those sections and had zero problems not using the characters and not using Arkham Asylum (and not using John Dee's DC nickname, Dr. Destiny). Gaiman's also been upfront that he used Arkham, Martian Manhunter, Scott, John Constantine and the other brief DC crossovers (like the OG Sandman) to sell more comics and get Sandman more established, and none of them are integral to Sandman's own storyline.
  19. I'd say the main reason to see Russia fragmenting is that Russia is made up of different states already (hence "Russian Federation") consisting usually of a Russian minority and indigenous majority (or vice versa, and those areas will obviously stay Russian) and in some cases those areas are incredibly remote from Moscow (Moscow is further from Vladivostok than New York is from Berlin, for example, and Vladivostok is still 4000km from Russia's far eastern-most point). Many of those areas are part of Russia because of Russia's imperialist expansion from the 17th Century onwards and remain part of Russia solely because of Russia's military power. Many of the provinces have secessionist movements of varying degrees of enthusiasm, and in the absence of a strong central authority would strongly consider seceding. Think of if Madrid or London experienced a major loss of political and military power, Catalonia and Scotland could hold unilateral independence referendums (again, in the former case) and secede. Except these local versions might be thousands of kilometres from the capital and you can't get troops out to them very easily because your airborne transport has been grounded due to a lack of spare parts and by the time you can get out there, they may have signed a plethora of deals with China (which is way closer and far more powerful) that you can't really argue with. I do think that there's a powerful sense of historical inertia in a lot of places though, and it might take a long time for them to realise how weakened Moscow has become and how much more power they have, and by that time the war might be over and Russia has started raising more troops and can now put down a rebellion somewhere else.
  20. The TV show does not share continuity with any other DC TV show, no. But ironically that's because those shows - Constantine (and his subsequent appearances in the Arrowverse shows) and Lucifer most notably - were never very true to their DC comics original versions. I wouldn't want Sandman to share continuity with the CW Arrowverse or the Tom Ellis Lucifer anyway. Sandman was also only very nominally part of the DC Comics Universe in the first place. A few DC characters had one-shot guest roles or cameos (or in the case of Batman and Superman, one-panel cameos) and that was really it.
  21. I've waited more than 25 years to see 24 Hours, The Sound of Her Wings and Men of Good Fortune on the screen, and they nailed every single one of them. We're not getting Three Septembers and a January this season, as I think that'll be the next big test for them.
  22. Young North Korean men are chronically malnourished, to the point that they had to lower the height requirement to enter the NK army because so many were turning up at recruitment stations stooped and unable to engage in relatively moderate physical tasks. The general consensus for years has been that if North Korea ever fought a conventional war against the South (even without the USA), the South would roll right over them. That's why NK has been so desperate to develop nukes and missiles to dissuade conventional warfare. I don't see 100,000 half-starved North Korean soldiers being any help whatsoever in Ukraine.
  23. The people who are most heavily arguing that a breakup of the Russian Federation is possible or likely are Russians and Ukrainians, and to a lesser degree people from the Baltic States. It's somewhat arrogant for anyone from a western country to have a greater grasp of the "Russian mindset" then people who've actually lived with or under it for centuries. It's mostly western commentators, who have so far gotten almost everything wrong about this situation, that have been poo-pooing the idea.
  24. Four episodes in and I think they pretty much nailed it. The changes are mostly logical, although I was worried. Having The Corinthian around as a villain in almost every episode feels like an error like over-exposing Vicious in Cowboy Bebop, but here it works because they organically intertwine the Corinthian with other characters and even helps explain a few incongruities from the original comics (humans trying to imprison the Endless with basic magic must have happened before and they were able to overcome it, but the Corinthian's insider info gives Burgess an edge). It also helps that Boyd Holbrook is cast to perfection as the Corinthian, whilst that other guy as Vicious was horribly miscast. The trip to Hell was the comic come to life, Johanna Constantine works fine as a replacement for Sir Not-Appearing-in-this-Series John (thanks to legal issues with The CW's use of the character), and David Thewliss's calm performance as John Dee is far more terrifying than either the comic book version or the Corinthian. If I did have one complaint it's that Patton Oswalt's voice as Matthew is a bit too distracting, even if you didn't recognise him. It feels like the only bit of high-profile casting that feels incongruous. The next episode (105) is 24/7, which a couple of reviews have already called the best hour of television this year, which seems like high praise, and then 106 is The Sound of Her Wings.
  25. Tolkien had no laws of magic, and would likely recoil in horror from the suggestion (I suspect he and Sanderson would not get on). Magic in Tolkien works pretty much how he intends it to, and sparingly. The magic of Durin's Door remained intact and apparently fully functional for tens of thousands of years. The level of vagueness in Tolkien's magic pretty much allows for anything, as long as it's not too overtly in-your-face and powerful (long before GRRM, Tolkien was the master of "low magic" as a setting).
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