Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Toth

  1. Well... first, what do poems from a thousand years ago have to do with Taiwan? Taiwan is a remnant of the civil war from 80 years ago. A thousand year old poem would predate the Mongol takeover. That's quite a lot of game-changing events in between. And using the stuff you had to memorize in school isn't exactly a good argument against the possibility of "brainwashing". I've been working with GDR history books in my history classes and found it quite interesting how subtle they force you to look at an event through a very narrow lens by omission of some facts, giving you very ideologically charged interpretations and also the usual pointing fingers at the imperialist west being the source of all that ever went wrong. Given the idiological overlap... excuse me that I'm figuring the modern Chinese school system to not be much more liberal than that. I... see that Pelosi's visit was perceived as a slight in mainland China, but you must see that from our view the extremely thin-skinned reaction of your government to outsiders mentioning countries China doesn't want to exist, or events they don't want to remember have happened, or... Winnie the Pooh for some reason... does come across as extremely petty to us Westerners. And controlling. Since it sometimes results in that this government wants to dictate how we should look at history or else they go sulk in a corner. And I see @Padraigs point that the US is seeing China as a rival... yes... but that's the US... And even then, rival shouldn't mean enemy. It's all about what China intends to do with its soft power. Wanting prosperity through cooperation is a good thing, but we don't need another bully on the block who thinks in 19th century influence spheres. We should have grown beyond that. This! This is and the fighting thing also really concerns me! All the snark aside: If you'd live in Taiwan, would you want war? Would you want to be forcibly 'brought back into the fold' under threat of death and destruction? Look at Ukraine. Look at how this country looks now. 30 years ago Ukraine and Russia were under a single flag. Now hundred-thousands are dead because some old geezer wants to reverse time against the wishes of 36 Million people. How many dead do you think would reversing time for 24 Million cost? Is that really worth it if everyone is content with things being as they are now? You see, I'm living in a country that used to be divided just 30 years ago because of people drawing lines on a map after WW2 and managed to go for unification. I do know that strong push towards one people living together in one country being the most natural state of things. Heck, that's been the German yearning since the Napoleonic Wars if you want to get particularly historical. But damn it, not through war and submission of your brothers! Look at what Korea got out of that! Look at Ukraine! Unification only makes sense if the people of both sides see it as a desirable outcome.
  2. I mean... in regards to your first comment here I wondered whether you are just being tongue-in-cheek, but this one leaves me startled. For real, what do you mean? "The west", if anything, is determined to keep things cozy as they are, being trade partners. All this speculation about how a confrontation would play out is a result of Xi's sabre-rattling towards Taiwan. If Xi was stating he prefers the status quo on that front, everything would be peachy.
  3. I'm fairly sure these ARE Studebakers, looking at the pronounced shape of the hood. I guess they could be moved for a parade or something, but given the sightings of the T-54s, I... really wouldn't put it past Russia at this point. Also while searching for proof I found a video by the DPR forces using Katyusha launchers like this last year already.
  4. Just to add to the Meme war: I just found that Youtuber Squire, whom I know mostly for his incredibly British War Thunder skits, has made a skit about the Ukraine war with lots of jokes well known to anyone here about the state of the Russian army:
  5. Mmh... reading the statement put out by the US military, "ramming" is maybe too strong of a word. Sounds more like the jet 'just' got nicked by the drone's propeller. I somehow doubt the plane got more than a nasty cut, but it could just as well have spiraled into a total collision due to the pilot's idiocy.
  6. You know, it's statements like the above that make you look quite... recklessly jingoistic. Let's focus on supporting Ukraine the way we do without anything that would be direct acts of war. Though looking at it, maybe putting some nasty spikes onto the drones may already get the desired results...
  7. Mmh, scrolling through r/CombatFootage, the most recent videos involve Ukrainian armored forces rolling up exposed Russian trenches when all similar videos these months had been Ukrainians defending trenches against Russians afoot, firefights in bombed out Bakhmut or (much more commonly) drones dropping grenades in trenches. That I'm seeing armored vehicles again I take as a sign that things are getting more mobile again.
  8. That was my line of thinking as well. Not quite waiting until Russia has either 'given up' or actually changed the frontlines to dig in, but instead hitting them as they are still in the process of attacking and thus forcing their inexperienced, ill supplied and demoralized conscripts to switch from attack to defense while under fire... which I don't see this Russian army pull off without some more spectacular disasters.
  9. And nearly 160.000 dead... numbers that sound insane, but the way Wagner and the Russian army tore themselves apart in their inane competition of who can drown Bakhmut first in bodies... yeah, it sounds believable if only for how insanely the Russians have been throwing lives away these weeks with absolutely nothing to show Putin for it. Also I'm hearing more and more rumoring from milbloggers that this week might get interesting, what with Ukraine supposedly drawing together troops near the front. Crossing fingers here...
  10. Ah fuck, it got me... Friday two weeks ago I got a cold that struck me down the whole weekend. I wasn't able to work because of my massive headache I got along with it, so I tested myself, it was negative and went to the doctor to take the week off. This Monday I still had a bit of a scratchy throat, but was otherwise fine, so I went to work again. Until I somehow got struck down extremely badly yesterday with another massive headache, running nose and coughing. Then spent the whole night fighting that headache, shiver attacks and sweating like crazy. Since today was a very short day, I thought I could go to school, do my two lessons and go back home into bed... but on my way to school I felt extremely weak and wobbly and had quite some trouble putting one foot after another. It was so bad I had a nagging feeling, so first thing in the staff room, I did a Covid test. Ah, fuck my life: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/1010246763023700129/1083738883692433538/20230310_123721.jpg So now wobbled my way back home and went back to bed. Unfortunately my doctor's already closed, but I guess I can hand in my prescription on Monday. Fuck... Hope it doesn't do shit with my lung.
  11. Something that makes zero headlines here for some reason... though I heard of it yesterday night. Well from what I've gathered the government is trying to push through a law banning all kinds of news outlets and NGOs with more than 20% foreign funding as hostile foreign agents. The president and opposition regard it as awfully similar to a similar law Putin introduced to strangle independent press, with the president already saying she will refuse to sign the law and public protests turning into a storming of the parliament yesterday after said parliament voted in favor of the law. I'm somewhat watching it anxiously. Many of the protestors interviewed seem to think that Moscow has pressured the government to draft that bill in order to drive Georgia away from the EU (you know, like the think preceding the first Ukraine invasion). Of course you'd think Russia is in no position to intervene if this backfires and another apparently more pro-Russian government gets ousted.
  12. Admittedly, as I have that habit with very pen&paper-ish games, I really would have loved continuing my own playthrough years ago, but I never got past Tatooine as I hit a brick wall in combat with the sand people effortlessly stomping me no matter which direction I went... I always wondered whether I screwed up in character creation since it seemed to me like you needed to min-max like crazy to survive.
  13. I must admit, looking at the apathy displayed by Russians about the war, I'm at a point where I'm not betting anymore on any kind of internal disruption anymore. Yes, it would be the one solution I see to the conflict, but that's not within our hands. At the same time, Ukraine may be able to fire back at military bases in Russia, but I don't think Russia would care about that either unless troops start crossing the border and that's the one thing Ukraine can't do unless they want nukes flying. In the end I'm just fearing just another low intensity forever war...
  14. It's a good example of the pure insanity of the first weeks of the war and the pictures that came out of it. I still remember videos of brave Ukrainian civilians confronting Russian soldiers and telling them to turn around, with many of those soldiers looking like wet dogs, awkwardly voicing their own helplessness about the situation, obviously not having expected or being actually told to go to war for real. I remember the reporter trying to interview soldiers at Hostomel airport and half-way through the conversation with an officer realizing that those were Russian paratroopers and not Ukrainian defenders. Over the course of the next days all those paratroopers were slaughtered, having been deployed far too much behind enemy lines while the main thrust was being picked apart by ludicrously small groups of brave defenders with manpads. We have seen videos of confused Russians picking fights with war memorials and loosing. We have seen "the convoy" neatly lined up to be torn apart. I remember having woken up day after day anxiously checking the news first thing in the morning, dreading whether the Russians despite all their stupidity managed to brute force their way into Kyiv and being elated when they were pushed back more and more. I remember the absurdity of being able to and donating money directly to the Ukrainian war effort. I remember Selenskyy, that scrawny comedian turned president, looking more buff in every interview as he managed to hold out and rally his people through this. I remember picking fights in an inter-party chatroom with a Chinese plant spewing all the "We are just dragging out the inevitable and making the Ukrainians suffer by supporting them!!!" nonsense. Should probably go back to look how things have developed... One year of war. One year in which the Russian army got torn to shreds almost more by their own corruption and cruel disregard for lives on either side than by the tenacity of these defenders, but one year that made it clear that they will keep blindly destroying and murdering and raping and dying for as long as they can, just so that an old man on an imperial nostalgia trip doesn't need to admit that he failed. At this point I actually don't know how this will end. I feel that even if Ukraine manages to push every single Russian soldier out of their borders, Russia will just refuse to admit defeat and keep lobbing missiles into their neighbor just so that they can declare the war still ongoing on paper for that Ukraine can't enter NATO. This would be the ending that I dread the most as the terror would just go on and on and on for years if not decades.
  15. I was thinking more along the line of the franchise itself. Heck, I imagine people in-universe certainly used the Animus to spy on their ancestors' sex life, given how it's available commercially in the later games. Mmh... I don't think that's fair. You have to imagine that this is not our future, but an alternative world where society has never moved on from the 50s culturally and aesthetically. That combined with a heavy dosis of Jetsons future. Admittedly, if that's not your cup of tea, that's alright as well. I must admit, when looking at life action adaptations of the setting, I do find it exceptionally silly as well, but oddly when playing the games it didn't really strike me as that tonally out of place. However much Bethesda's take on the setting is "rubble themed amusement park".
  16. Sorry, but this abbreviation makes sound like a porn parody! But interesting to hear about the vampire mechanics. As someone who cures himself instantly of vampirism each time I play a main series game, it... sounds like they didn't want to make it that much of a hassle by having you stay more humanlike without doing anything instead of making it constant busywork biting people. I suppose it's because standard MMO gameplay of whacking things until they are dead isn't really something to be excited about. Particularly playing a Jedi or Sith in TOR felt more like I'm beating people up with a glowstick instead of, you know, cutting them up with a plasma sword. And that got somewhat stale after a while. However I found the character stories engaging enough to finish my Sith Juggernaut and Jedi Sentinel... come to think of it, both being tanky classes may also have something to do with it. I can also say playing a lightsided Sith is the funniest shit ever by virtue of most of the Jedi you are meeting being dirtbags you can tear down and drag to the dark side and with the few who aren't you often have the option to befriend them. The Sith Warrior even gets a Jedi padawan as an apprentice and teaches her in the light side! Next to that the only other MMO I really played for a while is Star Trek Online, which I think has far superior combat by virtue of it being mostly a tactical space combat game that is all about managing your shields the angle you face your enemy with aside from hammering on your special power buttons. Of course the ground combat is then a hilariously simple standard MMO combat that has the potion to become an FPS.
  17. Yeah, that's what I have been doing. I guess I'm just frustrated about my tendency to turn down a possible social interaction. Nah, they are totally nice people. They also from the beginning when I was so frustrated with the game told me I didn't need to force myself, it was my own decision to go on for months on end despite having no fun with it whatsoever. They just couldn't understand why I was putting myself under so much pressure and they found that it's just easier not caring about it that we lost, like, 95% of our matches. Though at the same time they seemed confused when I counted and showed them how badly we fared, because apparently whenever I wasn't playing with them, they did MUCH better. Which in turn just... made me more miserable about being caught so easily by the killers all the time, while they successfully duck away at the beginning. It also wasn't helping when the one who invited me told me to go ask for coaching at a DbD Discord and the people there acted like total dicks both time I asked questions about strategy. Yeah, the beginning is... strange. I was also baffled that you are railroaded into meeting Preston, but the sole reaction of the character to being offered bottlecaps as currency happens in a purely optional side quest at a farm in the south that you'd never conceivably visit before going to Concord. So in the end... it's a fun loot-shooter/dungeon crawler and kept me going on until I cleared the entire map, but it... really shouldn't be played much for the roleplaying aspect. Though it's actually fitting, given how I'm myself now also in an all things Elder Scrolls crawl. Starting with my Skyrim-Rerun I somehow quickly thought it would be fun to see all of Tamriel... kind of increased by me seeing The Elder Scrolls Online on a sale for 3.40€. I at first prevented myself from going for it and instead installed Arena instead. What can I say? I just finished the third Main Quest stage, getting the second piece of Jagar Tharn's staff in the Labyrinthion dungeon in Skyrim. It had its annoyances at the beginning, but I'm level 11 and settled fairly well in my adventuring. At first I was baffled at the dearth of side quest (all of them are randomly generated delivery quests with the exception of the search for what are about to become daedric artifacts, which boils down to clearing two dungeons) and the somewhat awkward combat (in the artifact dungeons enemies have a tendency to randomly spawn into your back as you traverse it). But as a pure dungeon crawler... it IS still surprisingly fun, if a bit repetitive. Combat is also tough as hell, what with the last dungeons in Skyrim having been filled with frost magic using packs of wolves and gigantic golems that can only be hurt by high level weapons. Luckily I'm starting to accumulate a nice array of mithril swords... which I need because the dungeons are so stupidly large, I tend to break at least one in each of them. Unfortunately I then... did get weak and also bought Elder Scrolls Online, even though I was doubtful it wouldn't just be a generic MMO with TES as a setting. And... well, I'm for one positively surprised, that it does share the "get better with stuff as you use it" system of the main series, with myself feeling encouraged to try a variation of weapons for fun. Somehow ended up a Stealth Archer again because it's the best way to not get hit by enemies and avoid armor degradation, given how stingy quest givers are with money (so far), how expensive it is to keep your equipment in shape and how the game at least so far encourages you to take apart acquired loot for smithing XP. Also the game... it... triggered my OCD quite badly by having the tutorial dungeon filled with 26.537 urns with small loot in them... urns that, as I noticed far too late, refill the moment you exit a room and enter it again. Ugh... Well, I guess those 60 lockpicks will come in handy. XD Other than that... I must say, I acknowledge the effort they went with a fully voiced MMO, but unfortunately it fails at being SWTOR with its heavily instanced and scripted cutscenes and myriad of dialogue choices. At its core, TESO is really inheriting the worst aspects of Skyrim in how all your quests boil down to "Hey you, I want you to go interact with three McGuffins hidden around me and then come back to me for a reward." and that ad nauseam. That combined with the result of there being no instances that boss enemies somehow greet you while standing up the knees in dead clones of themselves, left behind from other players who whacked them just before you came in. What seems interesting however is that TESO inherits Skyrims alchemy system and an even more beefed up smithing system (even with different skills for making clothes, furniture, light, medium and heavy armor). The only downside is that your inventory is completely DROWNING in shit, making it my actual main quest at the moment to grind for inventory expansions.
  18. Grrr... god, why am I sucking so badly at this being social thing? I've been hurting quite a bit these days about whether I should drop out of the Dead by Daylight group Discord and cut all contact with them to put my mind at ease about my own childishness. Which... seems to be a thing I always do when my experiments in making social experiments fail. To illustrate: A while ago, when I was still playing with them, they managed to make another member of that forum where we met join. He had already a bit more experience playing DbD and I found it interesting how his observations about our group dynamic matched my own. He expressed utter befuddlement at how everyone dropped everything the moment somebody was hooked and when he somehow managed to convince the others to let him do a rescue, they kept screaming at him to immediately go for the rescue now! now! now! Even though he was waiting for the Killer to go away first, which... should be the obvious thing to do. Of course after I was rescued the killer dropped out of chase to go after me again and he then expressed his bafflement at how quickly I always go down, so he also confirmed that it's seriously not normal how much I suck at this game. From what I gather from their current post-game discussions and trading of memes, he seems increasingly upset at their continued inability to do generators, their only objective, the second someone gets hooked. Almost all recent matches have also been total losses, apparently. In the meantime they also managed to convince another total newbie in the forum to try the game and he... also keeps complaining about having an utterly miserable time in a way very reminiscent to me. So basically at its core the group still has four people who somehow have fun with the game and keep talking about it in the Discord, while I'm at the sidelines very backhandedly trying to talk about different games, which is what fuels my misery. They have fun, I don't. I refuse to play with them anymore because I don't want to get upset again about our horrible teamwork, but at the same time feel awful and selfish for secretly wishing they would give other more cooperative games a try. The thing is, I did play Vermintide with another Discord group two weeks ago and had... a lot of fun, actually. Something I never felt with Dead by Daylight, which was always only anxiety-riddled frustration to me. Unfortunately that core of the game group says Vermintide games are too long (and one argued that I would probably feel terrible there as well if things go wrong, even though again, I... never felt that at ease with DbD despite playing Vermintide with total strangers). But yes, yes, I know. It's selfish of me to want them to try something different when they have fun with what they have, even though I don't have fun with it... so that's why I'm feeling anxious every time I watch them converse, every time I watch the group call go on because they are playing through another evening, while I'm sitting here watching them like a stubborn snotty child refusing to play with the other kids.
  19. Is there no ball pit or something where you can drop off the Russian UN-ambassador while the adults are talking?
  20. Okay, fuck. This morning I got... the most insane proof how I apparently just stopped aging and maturing in any way when I should have and naturally why other people can't see me as an adult either. I went to buy a lighter this morning (to make wax seals for a prop). And had to show my ID. Because lighters get only sold to people of age 12 and above. I... I'm already used to always show my ID when I buy alcoholic pralines for my mother, but... this is new...
  21. I like them as well, but I must admit, I found their D&D campaign to be the most confusing mess of aimless murder hobo players that I had ever seen in a public Youtube campaign. I still remember vividly how they spent pretty much a week of ingame time at the beginning giving up their quest at the slightest hint of inconvenience to go drinking in the pub until the frustrated DM had all their quest-related NPCs screw them over for failing to get anything done in a reasonable amount of time. I give the DM a lot of props for herding these lunatics without loosing 30 years of his life in a session.
  22. When I started my Skyrim Re-run I thought I glitched through the tutorial because I was never asked for my primary skills, class and astrological sign. I'm fairly certain I had the same "Wasn't there supposed to be more to character creation?" reaction in my first playthrough more than a decade ago. Skyrim... does a decent job at being a dungeon crawler, but I always felt it scrapping, eh, I mean "streamlining" so many of Oblivion's mechanics was a shame. Especially after Oblivion streamlined so many of Morrowind. Sure, being able to play every way you want... is eventually what you did in Oblivion as well to max out attribute boni upon level ups. But I miss weapon specialization having an impact (how are swords and axes in the same ridiculously broad "one-handed" category? And where are my spears? Why no unarmored skill for mages?). Similarly I felt robbed of choice when it came to enchanting equipment or creating spells, something the series was always very powerful at. ... and then of course there is the really shallow and unengaging plot. Oblivion wasn't much better, but there you at least had some really memorable side quests and questlines. And the Shivering Isles. And I guess it was kind of cool to bring all of the counts together to send soldiers for Bruma, though the story was still really bad in terms of sounding extremely urgent, but never really being it. Meanwhile in Skyrim you have a main quest that.. seems dreadfully short and barely makes you visit a fraction of the world. A Civil War that is barely present. And faction quests that somehow are just all bad. Especially the Dark Brotherhood being so ridiculously evil and against the Empire that it's utterly ridiculous that an Empire aligned character wouldn't just slaughter them all and completely abort the quest, which... is the only thing you then can do with that. I, now after having finished Fallout 4 in its entirety, feel awfully reminded of the Nuka-World DLC, which... just breaks trying to play it with a Minuteman aligned character. Which is extra baffling because Fallout 4 railroads you into joining the Minutemen the second you leave the Vault. Oblivion just... didn't have that issue because the Dark Brotherhood conflict was entirely internal. And Morrowind didn't have it because the factions fighting each other and becoming mutually exclusive was baked into the quests by rewarding you with opening doors elsewhere when you had to close some at the moment. This was great for roleplaying. In Skyrim it's just "So you either do this series of same-y fetch quests or do not." Don't misunderstand me, I still really like how polished and smooth it is in gameplay, but it's just another large step on Bethesda's ongoing disease of creating dreadfully shallow but fun theme park worlds. And I'm frustrated that it would be very easy to combine the fun gameplay loop with the more complex mechanics and roleplaying that the series used to have (though the latter admittedly only ever in Morrowind).
  23. Lol, look at the videogames thread, I've been playing The Elder Scrolls 1 for several hours this weekend and despite me being annoyed by some features, I still find the history lesson fascinating. I guess it's the same reason why I have that C64 on a shelf and while I haven't actually booted it up in years, I still remember fondly some of the games for it. Well, the age guessing is also one of the things that confuse me. Absolute strangers and students who don't know I'm a teacher still judge me as underage, probably because of my misshapen tiny head. My own students also tend to go for the lowest number they think someone can become a teacher with. I'm starting to finally treat it as a compliment, though also combined with a concern that not looking my age doesn't do me any favors in getting treated like an adult. Well, thanks. I'm trying to see it like that. I know, I know. But that's not exactly the kind of lowest bar I want to compare myself to.^^
  24. Whoa! Stealth Biden sneaking his way to Kyiv! That's going to be interesting...
  25. I guess, I'm still comparably young, but it just hits me I'm getting 30 in a few months. Aside neck pain and having to be more conscious about my weight, I... well, most of the time it still feels like I'm just pretending to be an adult. Everyone just seems to have their shit together so much more, meanwhile I'm almost the same guy with 29 that I was with 19. And now I'm not the youngest teacher at my school anymore, but all the new younger ones also have wife and kids and have seen so much of the world and here I'm still living with my mother constantly worry about how they'd react if they ever found out...
  • Create New...