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Everything posted by Toth

  1. Amusingly, I'm learning it specifically to read, not to talk, so the polar opposite of your reason.^^ But yes, damn, the Kanji stuff is harrowing and it's sapping my motivation fast that it always takes so damn long to look up all the Kanji, identify the words and put them into my vocabulary list...
  2. Ah, I was lucky to get into a Latin course at my university as well! And agree with the sentiment that it's a fantastic way to understand the roots of most modern European languages. Being there I finally understood some of the French grammar... (which... I admit is more telling about how much my school French sucked). During high school I also bought and devoured a textbook about Ancient Egyptian and also found that very fascinating to learn how such an early language was constructed. However beyond the grammar I unfortunately only have scraps of vocabulary because the prices for dictionaries are absolutely insane. So... in practice I can at most read aloud texts, but with no understanding of their meaning. Other than that... well, German is my native language and since I consume my media almost entirely in English, frequent English forums like this one and write stories in English, I'd say my English is rather passable as well. However I have now tried to learn Japanese for five years and it's been quite a struggle, especially thanks to my lack of time to consistently keep at it. This summer break I started reading my first visual novel in Japanese, but most sentences still take me easily 20 minutes to translate by hand.
  3. I also found it somewhat suspect (not in the very least because the Armianian people themselves looking like almost toppling the government several times in the last few years for not being aggressive enough against Azerbaijan), but looking at the history... well, it looks very much like it. Just look at what the Ottomans did to their Armenian minority during WW1, displacing, raping and killing them while accusing them of collusion with Russia (which is very much why Turkish nationalists like Erdogan are celebrating Azerbaijan's rabid hatred of Armenians, as they are intend to finish what they started). And there were numerous cases of suppression and outright pogroms of Armenians before the USSR, during the USSR and of on the onset of Armenian intervention during the dissolution of the USSR. I'd say at the time it was a very justified fear and right now... what do you think will happen once Azerbaijan retakes Nagarno-Karabakh completely? They won't treat the Armenians there as Azeri citizens all of a sudden. They will treat them as foreign occupants and at the very least kick them out of their homes, if not committing a couple of war crimes while doing so. Keep in mind this conflict is highly charged in ethnic and religious differences (what with the Armenians being orthodox Christians, while the Azeris are shi'ite Muslims. The state sponsored hatred on the Azeri side is absolutely mindboggling, like how the government declared this straight-up murderer into a national hero: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Gurgen_Margaryan
  4. That's... not really describing the conflict at all. So, here is the gist of what I had gathered: During the waning days of the Soviet Union there were several pogroms against Armenians in the Azeri Soviet Republic starting in 1988 when Azerbaijan declared its independence, taking the Armenian majority Nagarno-Karabakh region with it. Armenia declared independence soon after and when the people in Nagarno-Karabakh voted to secede from Azerbaijan and join Armenia instead, Azerbaijan reacted with a violent crack-down. Armenia, fearing a genocide of fellow Armenians, intervened militarily and pushed Azerbaijan out, occupying Nagarno-Karabakh in order to protect the people there. So basically the land belongs to Azerbaijan, but the people to Armenia and Azerbaijan REALLY wants to get rid of these people there no matter what, spending the next four years arming up with help of Turkey and came in swinging, but Armenia through sheer luck of political turmoil in Baku, pushed them back and ended up occupying even more territory, as well as threatening Baku itself. In the end, there was a peace brokered by Russia that would bind Armenia to its sphere and gave security guarantees that would allow Armenia to hold onto its occupied regions. So yes, Russia certainly took advantage to bind Armenia to itself, but to Armenia it was mostly about protecting Armenians in Azerbaijan, while for Azerbaijan it was about protecting the integrity of its territory (by making all those pesky secessionist Armenians "go away"). However we saw in the meantime there was quite a reversal in strength. While Armenia was undoubtedly very content with the status quo Azerbaijan just kept arming up and exploit Armenia's vulnerability to drones to keep taking back villages in border skirmishes and more open attacks in the last years, with retaking its territory and getting rid of the Armenians there being its prime national goal. It also needs to be noted that Nagarno-Karabakh is an enclave within Azerbaijan, so Azerbaijan spent most of the intervening years blocking all roads to it for increasingly silly reasons (like state sponsored eco protests locking down just these roads) in an attempt to starve out the Armenians.
  5. To be fair, at the beginning of the war I had seen an interview with the first president of Ukraine and he quite succinctly stated that there was simply no practical way for Ukraine to keep the nukes even if they wanted to. Russia had their codes and Russia was the one with the facilities to maintain them. The treaty was as much about convenience as it was about guarantees.
  6. Wait, where does the First Order gets mentioned in The Mandalorian? Aside one hologram dude in the latest season looking like wearing a predecessor First Order uniform, it's all just Imperial Remnant stuff freely borrowed from the EU. Including the Dark Troopers. The Mandalorian doesn't dare building any bridges to the ST. Heck, even the New Republic being a train wreck isn't exactly new. Reading the New Jedi Order Books and seeing Leia get the boot with wild accusations from power hungry senators of having a human supremacy mindset for daring to take charge in a crisis they don't take seriously is quite harrowing.
  7. It's a feel-good Anime about cute characters in amusing situations, so... I pretty much only view it like that and enjoyed it. Though I haven't gotten around to watch most of the second half... still have to do that one of these days... Amusingly, right now I'm a weird nostalgia spot. I played a couple of Pokémon fangames and ended up wondering how it's going with the Anime. And... was quite surprised to hear that after 26 years they finally retired Ash as a protagonist and are trying to do a completely new serialized Anime with a new set of characters. I watched the first 5 episodes now and... I'm intrigued. It starts out astonishingly strong. Liko is more of a standard shoujo protagonist. Introverted, riddled of self-doubts, but also in her narration amusingly leaning on the fourth wall, lampshading the sillier tropes wondering whether she's become the heroine of some story. And also surprisingly perceptive and pragmatic, immediately getting suspicious of the villain claiming to have a letter from her grandmother, seemingly agreeing to hand him the amulet, but making a run for it the moment she's out of sight, going for the eyes of a Pokémon that outmatches her Sprigatito or even have it directly attack the trainer to force his Pokémon to disengage and protect him. The Anime also tries to walk a tightrope bringing old fans in with a main cast of prominent adult characters. Essentially the plot is that Liko gets a mysterious amulet from her grandmother, a bunch of shady villains show up to take it from her, but she gets whisked away by Professor Friede and the "Rising Volt Tacklers", essentially the Pokémon A-Team with some shades of the Firefly crew, a group of family-friendly mercenaries walking the earth on their air ship and helping people out against pay. They'd been hired by Liko's parents to protect her while she's on the run, at the same time as she's starting out her trainer career with her starter Sprigatito that... is literally just a cat, but green and it's adorable. It also has a number of surprisingly realistic aspects everywhere. I like all the traveling kids being shown having to sign up for online classes. So no illiterate vagrant children roaming the world anymore. And the Rising Volt Tacklers shown having to juggle their budget so that they can keep going. I really enjoyed the first few episodes for how serious it takes itself. However, I'm a bit worried the villains are quickly loosing their initial competency. The fifth episode that I watched yesterday was a bit of a low point for me as the pacing was way off, with pretty much all battles being off-screen and no acknowledgement of downright illogical outcomes that make all the adults look like idiots. Even though... much of it could have been fixed by showing the villains' Pokemon taking hits and struggling against the other adults so that it doesn't come off as a complete ass-pull when Liko somehow outright wins against a fully evolved Golduck off-screen(!) or Roy's unevolved starter he just got getting a seemingly decisive ember in at a freaking Rhydon that just before effortlessly wrecked a Metagross(!), a Chansey and a Rockruff from the adults (and that just stood there, waiting for Roy to spend several minutes motivating his lizard thing to get his mojo). If that Rhydon and that Golduck had visibly taken damage before, it would have made somewhat sense, or if the villains had been befuddled at the kids's antics and commented on it instead of not been shown at all. But like this, it made the villains look incompetent. Which is especially frustrating because their leader was at the same time calling Friede out for being distracted cheering the kids on, which apparently means his Charizard just sat there doing the same in the middle of a battle, taking several unnecessary hits without doing anything about it. Come on, show, decide whether "Talking is a free action" is in place or not! This whole thing was just weird and chaotic, with the 20 minute episode struggling badly to handle four simultaneous battles.
  8. Mmh, yeah, I guess. Though I was still quite busy this weekend with preparations for this week's lessons, so I couldn't just hang out for hours outside waiting for people to show up. Not that I think there are all that many players here in my neighborhood. I have parked a Tangela at a train station gym three days ago and it's still sitting there and the only thing that happened is that someone put a Seedot next to it. Though I did get my first shiny yesterday! A... shadow Aipom from a Rocket Grunt... with terrible IVs to boot. So, absolutely useless. XD At the same time I found it odd how after I evolved one of my Eevees to Umbreon, a whole bunch of wild Umbreons and a single stupidly overleveled Espeon (with CP 1700) popped up. Of course the Espeon escaped. Would have been so nice... And thanks for all the gift boxes! You are really helping me out there.^^ Edit: Okay. Oddly good day today. I tried out using the game on my way to work and caught a CP 2050 Venusaur (with terrible IVs, but still, a freaking Venusaur) as well as a shiny Skitty. Now I just need a Wailord... How did it go for you? Got that Rayquaza?
  9. At this point, I fear their fate will be to get eaten by starved mobiks instead...
  10. Well, I did it. I guess I had more than enough charge because my provider kept making me charge or else they'd cancel my phone card for inactivity and I used it to get some mobile data to try and experience Pokemon Go the way it is supposed to be experienced. And note to myself: Events start at 10, apparently. I thought I take my phone with me for my usual jogging trip, but it was too early and I didn't see anything event related. So far. Yesterday evening was better, with me being able to catch a couple of tiara Pikachus, one Goomy in a raid and... that's about it. Didn't see any shinies either. Also I just now read that you get 30 Pokeballs for using Adventure Incense. Good that the game never tells you that. I... I'm heartbroken, this means I could have gotten that shiny Poochyena easily if I knew that and fired the incense two days ago. -.- I did however get two Beldums that I fed to my Metagross, so that's an advantage. On the downside, I ran into a Team Rocket GRUNT with a Snorlax, a Gardevoir and a Gyarados who utterly wrecked me. I'm still FAR away from trying out anything Raid related.
  11. Damn it, me. I spent the summer break exercising as much as I never did before. Even was able to increase the weight on my dumb bells for the first time in 15 years. I guess haven't been this fit in a long time. Still... sports still trigger my PTSD really, really badly. Today was a "health day" for the teachers at my school just before the new semester starts, where we were supposed to... well, do sports together, getting acquainted with our quite well equipped gym. It started out with me looking like a fool since even though I brought sports clothes, I didn't think to bring a towel or clean sport shoes (which I don't own anyway), so I couldn't even use most of the stuff to begin with. Then I got a headache from the atmosphere in there during the tour and from there on my mood just worsened and worsened and I ended up just sitting in a corner waiting for this whole thing to just end without touching anything while my brain was under constant attack by flashbacks to my own school time and what sport meant there to me. Getting non-stop berated by my father for being a disappointment, bullied relentlessly in the changing room, laughed at and physically attacked during the lessons themselves... I just couldn't stop my brain going "I hate this, I hate this, I hate this" again and again and probably must have looked to my colleagues like a miserable loser as I until now carefully made sure they never saw me being absorbed in negativity like this.
  12. Ah, great. This morning I saw a Shiny Poochyena, but only had two balls with me. It broke out of both of them...
  13. Yeah, the game is a tad more restrictive without the walking around thing. XD So going on raids won't really be a thing for me. Not to mention I just don't have that many Hyper Balls to catch any boss even if I don't get flattened.
  14. My boy Kane literally killed Stalin, so... it could just as well be that timeline...
  15. And another great game I already bought on GOG and never got around to playing. God damn it! XD Thanks! And... me too. XD I mean... I am so sparsely active and so lazy, I just realized my only perfect IV Pokemon is a damn Bidoof... which I now evolved and it immediately became my second best Pokemon.
  16. Still far away from Mega evolution becoming viable.^^ My main concern is still getting Pokémon that could beat the Team Rocket Admins. That Metagross is right now my only heavy lifter. If anyone wants to add me: 5648 1333 2653
  17. I mean... that's the same guy that apparently thought making an armed bum-rush to the capital would lead to the defense minister he has a feud with get replaced... Since it's the only motivation that makes at least a bit of sense for him to just fold and think he could get away with it... Him being absurdly naive/deluded of his own irreplacibility makes as much sense as anything. The last years of international politics have taught me that we are indeed in the dumbest possible timeline and suspecting rational motivations behind utter stupidity only leads to empty conspiracy theories. Life makes more sense, even if it's baffling, if you assume that stupidity is as good a reason as any for stupid things to happen.
  18. Mmh... in some sort of late after effect of my latest Pokémon fangame spree I reinstalled Pokémon Go and took a look at my workplace. Apparently it got three Pokestops and a Gym. Well, that's neat I guess. So for the time being I'm stocked up on balls despite my usual inability to actually walk much as I am too stingy for a mobile internet flat that I wouldn't use much for anything else. Also just had to go out of my way and take over that gym. According to my log actually the very first time I placed a Pokemon in one. But the Pokemon in there were already pretty badly beaten up, so I thought I could try despite my pathetically low levels. I guess it gave me a confidence boost that three years ago when I last checked the game, I somehow managed to get from a story encounter a WP 2464 Metagross. Put that into the gym and am surprised to see that it's still in there. Maybe it will even survive a day. XD Also caught my first Pikachu. ... Yes, I'm really behind. Does anyone here still plays it? I would have posted this in the appropriate thread, but it's already archived because of a year of silence.
  19. That's just one of many. Assuming their civilization evolves THIS rapidly, Voyager could have stuck around for a few more weeks and they probably would have overtaken Federation tech, maybe offering them an upgrade or two to get home faster. But really, it's one of these episodes where the premise is fascinating enough that I can excuse having to shut my brain off. The historian in me just considers the data Voyager collected there to be worth its hard drives in latinum.^^ "Someone to watch over me" is really funny, yes, agreed. The Captain Proton saga... eh, not really my cup of tea. I remember I spent the episode embarrassed for everyone involved for some reason.
  20. Personally I would also add "The Void" and "Blink of an Eye" as episodes with simple premises that still ooze Star Trek core philosophy. "The Void" being about the Voyager being stuck in a miniature universe where everyone stranded there has to fight for dwindling resources, but coming out on top by seeking alliances and building a miniature Federation. "Blink of an Eye" is an episode about the Voyager getting stuck in the gravity well of an inhabited planet where time is rapidly advancing, with especially Chakotay gleefully keeping track about its civilizations' progress, with a side plot showing the cultural impact of "the sky ship" until they eventually sending a space capsule up. All in all, agree with your takes on the show. Voyager was never my favourite either and I would have wished that a scarcity of resources and survival would have gotten more room. They incorporated a rebel crew... that more or less instantly adapts because after all they all had Starfleet background anyway. And Voyager as a deep space exploration vessel was astonishingly well equipped for exactly this kind of ordeal, not to mention that replicator technology made most scarcity plots void. As long as they scooped up enough deuterium for the ship's reactors, there was just no way they'd ever run out of food or replacement parts.
  21. So, finished the last campaign mission of Railway Empire already quite some time ago. It... went really smoothly, even though in the end I didn't care much for the bonus missions involving San Francisco, as the city was in too bad a position. If the developer's idea was to make the last mission far easier by all the other ones by only letting the player prove they understood the mechanics tasked in the previous missions... well done! Well, not entirely well done, because my major gripe is the game not telling you how to do any of these things properly. After the campaign, the game offers various "scenarios" as well as DLC campaigns. I've read the DLC campaigns are far easier than the original scenarios, so I thought I try those and start with the start. The Britain campaign. Actually a pretty fun one. You start with 600.000 pounds (with the costs being exactly as the dollar costs in the main game... and aside new and more plentiful resources, the game plays exactly the same), which is very little given that most mission let you start with 2 Million. Thought I lost too much time at the early stretch where you have to make 8 profitable routes, as I still used signalling stations at first, then realized I don't have the money for that, used small stations with manual tracks instead, intending to replace them once I got more funds, but only at the very end realized I could just borrow the money and be done with it. Damn. Still, the focus on growing cities and getting more and more space to develop from basically nothing into a huge train web covering the entirety of Britain (didn't have funds to buy out the Irish railway company) made it quite motivating and while I do think it doesn't justify its price tag as a separate DLC, it was still fun as part of the complete edition. Now eventually I wonder whether I should try the Germany campaign...
  22. Finished the Civil War mission yesterday... by constantly restarting the last leg of the mission because the tight schedule to get 3000 passengers from Louisville to Atlanta was just absolutely insane, with every little random breakdown making it impossible because even in my best run I only had half a year of time for it. The last four passengers literally arrived three days before the deadline expired. I was following that train yelling "Come on! Come on! Come on!" Seriously, the fact that you have to do the entire thing in less than three years is insane. But otherwise it's a really good concept for a mission. I liked that with every successful task the front lines move further south, you get access to the confederate rail network and the next task is always to get more weapons and more people further down south, trying to depict you aiding the war effort. That makes the whole mission quite fluid. Except of course thanks to the crazy rigid deadlines... (though I have to wonder... are train nuts usually right-wing? I found it a bit suspicious how the cut-scene was blatantly vague about the political background of the war, only going on and on about rising tensions and that there were "various disagreements", culminating in the victory cut-scene going "after the war, the union was stronger than ever". What? How? This combined with the in-game characters' reaction to the war being "Oh no, what a bummer. Let's go profit off of it!". It's like the developers were afraid to ruffle any confederate feathers, despite placing the player in the shoes of some union railway company that got hired by the army) So... now onto the last mission. Which on paper sounds suspiciously easy and I already finished two thirds of them yesterday. It's basically the last leg of the trans-continental railroad. I need to connect all the cities and resources in California and grow Sacramento to 100.000 inhabitants. The only slight obstacle is the very uneven territory, forcing you to very carefully place tracks respecting the slopes. Already did most of the connections and reached 80.000, the main difficulty being so far that RNG HATES everyone and places mostly completely useless factories, causing me to struggle to get the advanced goods for the last leg of growth, so right now my focus is growing every city to the same level and unlock more factory slots. Because right now, San Francisco is useless as it produces the same shit as Sacramento, but because of my mission objective Sacramento gets all the export connections. The AI opponents have it even worse however, with Doc Brown having ONLY meat production in every city and von Pomp having ONLY beer production, causing their growth to be crippled because nobody can export anything. Still have plenty of time for resolving that, so I see not much of an issue there. The only other remaining objective is to send 50 passengers from San Francisco to Promontory Point, Utah. I have a fear that this once again means dragging people there kicking and screaming, abusing the minimum passenger number with a dozen express trains because nobody actually has a reason to travel there.
  23. Just saw pictures of Challengers and Marder IFVs from the front near Robotyne that appeared yesterdays. The comments are crossing fingers that this mean Ukraine is engaging with their breakthrough forces now since both vehicles had been held back until now.
  24. Railway Empire has this weird combination of being addictive, but at the same time super frustrating. I do a mission, fail, have to look up a Youtube video about what I did wrong, then come back and finish the mission. Rinse and repeat for each mission. That's because the mechanics may be simple, but the game does a horrific job explaining them to you. When I look at my previous posts here, I was confused in the first mission how and when trains turn around, then got blindsided how passengers work and now at the fourth mission it's how cities grow and how warehouses work. The first task is to make Louisville grow to 60k inhabitants, but the number stubbornly refused to budge from 56k and so I immediately lost. Despite me having made a vast network connecting all cities and directing coal, iron and wood for industry and meat, beer and textiles for the people's needs into Louisville. I upgraded my weapons factory to level 3 and the needs of the people were seemingly met, but the number still didn't move. I have seen online many complain about this mission, saying that you need to be extremely efficient and fast to account for a delay before the city starts to grow or be extremely lucky and get to hire a Promoter to force the city to grow. And for the efficiency I need to use warehouses, but the "tutorial" that is actually part of this mission just says "Here is a warehouse, use it!". What the hell, game?
  25. Okay... Finished the damned mission. Once you know what you are doing, it's somewhat easy. Did it in just about five years. Which... was a bit more than needed, given how I wasn't fast enough and someone built a stupid cheese factory in Madison instead of the sawmill that I needed. Had to wait for the city to grow a bit more for me to have the space to put the sawmill in. Then I did the most extreme way of solving the mission: I built a dedicated track from Toledo to Omaha that nobody else was allowed to use. Was actually quite a bit more of a hassle than necessary. The Mississippi bridge had only two tracks which were lined up with Rock Island's train station, with that one not having gridirons and me not being allowed to make space because any track was attached to the bridge and the game refusing you to delete any of it. Since my Express trains refused to use the added two platforms because they were insufficiently connected to the bridge, I had to build random gridirons at it in order to segment the tracks and be able to delete parts of them, so that I had enough space to connect the new platforms instead of the old ones. It looked hideous. But ultimately worked. And oddly enough that was enough for my Express trains to reach Omaha quite swiftly, though they barely got more passengers all things considered. I thought I could build a sightseeing building in Omaha to increase passenger attractiveness, but the town refused to grow even though I filled it up with all the goods it needed and connected it with every other station (using separate platforms of course). This now makes me wonder. I have read that you should actually aim at using FOUR tracks to connect cities, using two for freight and two for passengers. But I feel like in the early game you don't really have the funds for that and the output of the cities is low enough that you get only a mixed train out anyway. And in the late game those annoying AI opponents wall you in with random tracks EVERYWHERE that you sometimes can't get around without much of a hassle. Which brings me to my last point: The only (optional) mission objective I failed at was to buy out one opponent. That... seems still quite impossible to me as I need to focus on expanding, while they do the same and their worth increasing exponentially, making saving up money for buyouts seemingly impossible.
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