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A Few More Advance Words On Geneforge 4 in Geneforge Series
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #3
Wow! That sounds really cool! It plays up everything that is good about the Geneforge series!

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
What is happening to me? in Avernum 4
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #0
What is happening to me?

I came to the realization this afternoon that I DID get my money's worth from Avernum 4. No, I still think the game is boring and I doubt I'll ever play it again, but for a mere $25 I now have the clear conscious to bash this game forever on the company’s own board, AND to get self-righteous and indignant. My god! Its like every trip to the Spiderweb boards are now Christmas!

Am I becoming a crotchety old timer now? Do I now have to begin all my posts with some variation of "In my day, we played Alcritas' scenarios using two rusty spoons and some dirt, and we liked it better that way!” ?

Or “Jeff's best work was the scenario design utility he made with silly putty and a crayon in 1st grade. By God the community pushed that putty to its limit!"?

Or will I be one of those only sort-of old timers who says "Yes, the putty was brilliant, but I still prefer the more modern interface of Blades of Lite Brite."?

I'm going to celebrate my newfound old-timer-ness by reinstalling Blades of Exile and actually trying a scenario. Something I have never done before!

All this fun for only $25 dollars! Man do I feel good!

Z

[ Friday, April 28, 2006 15:32: Message edited by: Zorro ]

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
a4 is the best game yet in Avernum 4
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #40
quote:
Originally written by AncalagonTheBlack:

A couple things. First, I often hear people extolling "non-linear storylines" as a good thing. I disagree. Most people agree that A2 and Neth were his best works; these are also his most linear plotlines and the fewest possible endings. A very good story needs plot twists and surprises; these are hard to do if it is non-linear.

Not to quibble too much, but non-linear, as I understand it, means the player is left to decide for herself how to go about achieving the goals of the game. You seem to define it as essentially having no story or overall goal.

The RPGs I like best tend to be non-linear (my definition). Take Baldur's Gate. Yes, there is a big bad guy you need to kill to win the game, but the player spends the bulk the game running around doing more or less what she damn well pleases. A2 is like that after you bring down the barriers. Yes, you have three goals to accomplish, but most of the rest of the game is completely optional. The Geneforge games are also very non-linear.

Linear, as I define it, refers to games that force the player to complete one area or task after another in sequence. Icewind Dale is like that - you exterminate one dungeon after another, with no real option as to what to do next. These games CAN be good, but they really suck if the story isn't engaging or the characters are boring or the dungeon crawling is a chore. Icewind Dale (and, I would argue, A4) suffers from these three defects.

I do agree with you that a good story is hard to tell while giving the player lots of freedom. The best RPGs actually seem to combine both elements. Like the first part of Baldur’s Gate 2, which sets the stage and is able to do so because it is so linear, but then gives the player lots of time to run around exploring on her own before forcing them back into a more linear mode as the climax approaches.

Z

[ Friday, April 28, 2006 09:27: Message edited by: Zorro ]

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
a4 is the best game yet in Avernum 4
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #32
quote:
Originally written by 1 v. One:

quote:
Originally written by Spidweb:

And sometimes the customer is a paranoid schizophrenic who thinks that my game is spying on him. (Yes. It happened.)
Out of curiosity, what game did s/he think was doing the spying? And was it anything particular about the game ("Adze-Haakai is really a spycam!")?

Wow! I missed the significance of that statement!

It should be obvious that it could only be Galactic Core. His implants may have been malfunctioning. Do not worry; needle/ferrets and Ben have been dispatched to deal with this... situation.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
A4 Review. (link) in Avernum 4
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #10
quote:
Originally written by I Would Have Been Your Daddy:

quote:
Originally written by Zorro:

Spiderweb Software, a shareware development house best known for its three franchises of Avernum, Geneforge and Galactic Core,
Stop right there. Do not, my friend, completely ignore the entire Exile series (including Blades), in favor of Galactic Core. Exiles 1-3 are huge, immersive RPGs. Blades of Exile is several hundred huge, immersive RPGs. While I don't agree with the rest of the boards that the mere mention of "Galactic Core" and "good" in the same sentence is a felony, it's really not comparable to Exile. Exile, for one, has a story.

You, dear friend, need to have your implants checked. Or at the very least, read the following to better understand why Galactic Core was flourishing before Jeff was even born.

The Cult Codex

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
a4 is the best game yet in Avernum 4
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #28
quote:
Originally written by Spidweb:

"The customer is always right."

I profoundly disagree with this statement, which is why I always say, "You can't win an argument with a customer," instead.

<..snip...>

Sometimes people don't understand how personally I take their critiques. No matter how many people like Avernum 4, the number of people who didn't like the new direction makes me genuinely unhappy. But what can you do? Looking back, there are some small things I would have changed, but, in Avernum 4, I feel I wrote the game I had to.

Of course, I'd be a lot more angsty about Avernum 4 if I wasn't selling a lot of it. :-)

- Jeff Vogel

Well Jeff, what can I say? I'm a customer who is probably wrong at least 9/10ths of the time. I'm also a customer who has purchased E1-E3, BoE, A1-A4, BoA, G1-3 and Galactic Core, so by most normal definitions, I'm a good customer. I've given you my business, reported bugs and even convinced at least two people I know to purchase your games. So fine, you don't have a sanguine attitude toward those of us unhappy with aspects of A4. We're not criticizing the game because we want you to feel bad. We're criticizing the game because it does not live up to your potential.

You're never going to beat the big development houses on graphics or by creating an action RPG. So why try? Why not stick to those things you do best?

Your talents flourish when you do a game that has a strong, epic story line, usually with some nice moral ambiguity thrown in, and non-linear gameplay. A4, as I've mentioned before on these forums, reminds me of Icewind Dale. The Infinity Engine was best used to tell an epic story (Like Baldur's Gate) with fun combat and action, and not combat after combat after combat along a conveyer belt of increasingly big enemies.

Many around here describe your best games as Exile/Avernum 2 (epic quest - check. Non-linear gameplay - check) or a small rebellion or Nethergate. I personally think Geneforge 1 and 2 are your best works.

I hope Geneforge 4 and Avernum 5 live up to expectations in terms of engaging stories you created. But I'm less optimistic now than I was before A4. And I’m a LOT less optimistic when you come on these boards and tell us that legions of people love your new action RPG and compare those of us who don’t like it to crazy luddites who hate all change and will never be happy anyway.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
A4 Review. (link) in Avernum 4
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #6
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:


Seriously, dude, the whole idea behind "try before you buy" is that if you try it and don't like it, you don't buy. Are you just buying new games out of fear that you'll spend all your disposable income on a drug binge if you don't pre-empt that by wasting all your money on games you don't particularly like?

Are you telling me you're able to control yourself when skribbane is available?

Actually, I found the demo area to be lackluster, but thought it would get better after the shareware barrier. I was wrong.

Also, I've made it a habit of buying Jeff's games because they are silly cheap and some of them are really good. So (to mix my metaphors) I chalk up the lemons as donations to the Vogel foundation and hope for a better harvest next spring.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
A4 Review. (link) in Avernum 4
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #4
I actually find the review to be a little generous. If I were judging this game, I would probably give it a 5 out of 10. There is nothing horrible about the game, but there isn't much that is fun either.

As I've mentioned before, I bought the damn thing. That probably says more about me than about the game.

Anyway, here is the Avernum 4 review I would write:

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Review of Avernum 4.

Spiderweb Software, a shareware development house best known for its three franchises of Avernum, Geneforge and Galactic Core, has released its 5th game in the Avernum series - Avernum 4 (the forth actually being "Blades of Avernum", a scenario editor best known for its difficulty of use, especially when compared to its predecessor, Blades of Exile).

The stories of the Avernum franchise follow the rise of an underground nation of exiles, called the Kingdom of Avernum. The games track the nation's early struggles for survival in a hostile environment, its subsequent war with the surface empire, and finally its return to the surface. In this fifth chapter, the Kingdom of Avernum is once again threatened by enemies, and your group of adventures must find these enemies and kill them.

The first Avernum, released in 1998(?), sported a retro RPG feel and graphics about 5 years out of date. The dated graphics did not detract from its excellent game play and sheer "fun" factor. Unfortunately, the basic game engine and graphics stayed the same in subsequent releases - including the 2003 Blades of Avernum. By that time, the graphics and engine had lost a lot of their retro charm and felt tired and clunky. PC Gamer described Blades as "rehashed" and gave it a mediocre score, something with which I agree,

Avernum 4, on the other hand, boasts an entirely new engine, borrowing extensively from Spiderweb's Geneforge series, with updated graphics, a seamless world (in previous Avernum games, the world was divided into "outdoor" sections and "towns") and many under-the-hood improvements. Are the new improvement enough to revive the stagnant franchise?

Sadly, the answer appears to be "no". While many of the improvements do allow for less tedious game play (such as not having to worry about arrows and a far more friendly "death" system), the story feels hackneyed, the characters are uninspired and the game is unengaging. While Avernum 4 does an admirable job of eliminating common retro RPG annoyances (such as running into walls looking for secret doors), it does not deliver enough action to make up for the loss of puzzles. Basically, we're left with a turn-based Diablo.

In the end, Avernum 4 falls between two RPG molds - its combat is too slow-paced to be an action RPG, and its characters, dialogue and general feel isn't engaging enough to be a story-driven RPG. This results in an experience that is unsatisfying for fans of either genre.

While not totally without merit, Spiderweb Software's latest offering will do little to revive the stagnant Avernum franchise. This is especially sad when you consider the vibrancy of Galactic Core. We expect better.

Z

[ Thursday, April 27, 2006 06:09: Message edited by: Zorro ]

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
How did you discover Avernum? in The Avernum Trilogy
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #66
Why do Spiderweb topics inevitably degenerate into fights over the epistemic status of "Burn in Hell"?

I first learned about Avernum in 2000 I believe. I read a review of Nethergate which sounded interesting, and I went to Spiderweb's website to download the demo. While I was there, I also downloaded the demos for Avernum 1 and Avernum 2.

I tried the Nethergate demo and loved it, so I went back to Spiderweb and registered it. While I was registering it, there was a sale of some kind, so I also bought the Exile trilogy CD and Blades of Exile without having tried them. When they arrived, I loaded the Exile I game and suddenly had the horrid realization that I'd played this game before. And hated it just as much before.

Back in 1994 as a freshman college student with a brand spankin' new Quadra 605, I tried out Exile. And hated it. The interface was crude. The graphics (the old ones) really sucked. The "guess-a-word" chat system annoyed the hell out of me. I didn't even make it as far as asking for supplies from Tor before I quit and threw the offending digital turd down the virtual toilet. Words cannot express how pissed off I was, 6 years later, for having just bought not 1, but 4 games I couldn't stand.

However, Nethergate rocked! I loved it. So much so that I decided to try the Avernum demos I'd downloaded and found they corrected all of the things that annoyed me about the Exile series. I duly bought Avernum 1 and 2.

I actually liked Avernum 1 and 2 about the same amount. I think Avernum 2 starts much better than 1, but Avernum 1 seemed to drag less toward the end.

I bought Avernum 3 but never got into it. I got as far as killing the slime machine and then stopped and have never turned back.

I bought Blades of Avernum and never got into it either. I don't know about the quality of the included scenarios except for VotDT, because that is the only one I ever played (I found it dull). I tried a couple of user-created scenarios, and found them okay, but nothing super interesting.

I bought Avernum 4 and the less said about it, the better... To paraphrase Kel, it ain't no Galactic Core.

Looking back at my experiences with Avernum, maybe I shouldn't buy Avernum 5. But I probably will. Do I ever learn from my mistakes?

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Should I Buy...? in Avernum 4
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #13
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

You heard it here first: A4 is worse than Galactic Core. :P
Kel - you've said a lot of silly things in your time on these boards. Your reputation as a cross between a mental hospital escapee and a rabid wolverine has led me to think that you're best left alone even at Cult ice cream socials. But now you've dared compare Avernum 4 to Galactice Core? Words cannot express a greater insult than "A4 is worse than Galactic Core," except the words "Avernum 4 is better than Galactic Core". Those words stand at a kind of insult nirvana.

Are you not worried about the needle/ferrets? Are you totally unconcerned about the highly probable fact that Richard White is YOUR FATHER? Oddly, he could be your mother as well. And, to risk killing a fluffy kitty, Richard White is TM's Big Daddy.

May Richard White have mercy on our "Lost Souls".

Z

[ Wednesday, April 19, 2006 16:31: Message edited by: Zorro ]

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Should I Buy...? in Avernum 4
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #11
quote:
Originally written by spy-there:

I didn't like the demo and didn't buy it. Jeffs advice was fair and wise ^_^
Unfortunately for me, I DID buy it, and lost interest shortly after the demo area.

Mind you, I'm a paying Spiderweb customer who has purchased Exile, Exile 2, Exile 3, BoE, Nethergate, Avernum 1, Avernum 2, Avernum 3, BoA, Geneforge 1, Geneforge 2, Geneforge 3, Avernum 4 and (I kid you not) Galactic Core. I'm probably pretty damn close to the best customer Spiderweb has.

And I didn't like Avernum 4. It is just dull. I stopped playing after clearing out the second bandit lair and have never even had the slightest urge to play it again.

A couple of weeks ago, I fired it up thinking that maybe this time would be different. It wasn't. It was just as dull and monotonous as ever.

I think my problem with the game is that I look at RPGs as a kind of interactive novel. I'm not interested in collecting all kinds of crap, or challenging myself to beat the toughest encounters with a 1st level singleton. Powergaming does absolutely nothing for me. Avernum 4 seems best suited for the powergaming crowd among Spiderweb's fans. They exist, but I'm not one of them.

Then again, Jeff's games are ridiculously cheap, and so buying them is always a low risk proposition.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Are fantasy RPGs inherently conservative? in General
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #34
quote:
Originally written by Zeviz:

Let me see if I understood people's definitions correctly:

Zorro:
Liberal - reformer fighting established order
Conservative - supporter of established order


Well - I hadn't really intended for a definition of "liberal" to be extrapolated from my definition of "conservative".

I guess I'm more with TM on this issue. I see the Liberal/Conservative axis as a false dichotomy used to distinguish political differences among modern western politicians and the public. In that sense, I prefer the word I used instead of liberal - revolutionary - to describe the stereotypical evil forces in an RPG. They seek not to reform the good kingdom, but overthrow it completely. The rallying cry is "kill the lot of them!"

And this is also at the heart of what bothers me about a number of RPGs, especially those in which the perfect little white and pretty kingdom is being menaced by the dark and ugly evil forces. And, It also seems that in RPGs that do have an evil empire to overthrow, do so on the pretext of reestablishing a bygone era in which the perfect little white and pretty kingdom ruled before being overthrown by ruthless and evil usurpers. That's one of the things that makes Exile/Avernum and Geneforge more attractive to me - they may be stereotypical RPGs in a lot of ways, but they definitely do not buy into the above-described trope.

I used to be a pretty big fan of RPGs, but I'm definitely not such a fan anymore. Part of it is that I'm beginning to think that video games in general are becoming more and more influential as storytelling mediums and sometimes those stories (consciously and unconsciously) are pushing an agenda of which I may not even be aware. For instance, was the game "Civilization" designed by politically conservative or politically liberal people? A lot of the basic in-game responses might change depending on the response to that question. How angry do people get if you raise their taxes? What is the cost-benefit of choosing communism or fascism as your form of government?

The problem is not that games have political content (I think this is, on balance, a very good thing since it introduces a level of conversation into the medium that isn't possible if you restrict yourself to the political content of pong). I'm troubled that I, as a gamer, don't often question the underlying assumptions that drive the games I play.

So I've begun to question, and now I find it difficult to enjoy the typical RPG fare. I find most to be relentlessly juvenile, often genocidal and sometimes racist. I don't mind it when it involves over-the-top silliness in a shoot-em-up game, or even an "actionRPG" like Diablo. But in games that ask me to engage with it on a deeper level, like a typical RPG, all too often reminds me of the famous Pogo cartoon ("We have met the enemy, and it is us."). And I find I can no longer really enjoy the game on a more basic level in the same way I can't enjoy a Tom Clancy novel (despite loving a good spy thriller) because of the political baggage.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Are fantasy RPGs inherently conservative? in General
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #0
I’ve long suspected that fantasy RPGs often present a “conservative” worldview. By “conservative worldview” I don’t mean they’re anti-abortion or pro-Iraq war, I mean they present a picture of their reality in which a structured order to the world presents the “good” and a revolution against this order represents “evil”. It seems most fantasy RPGs are about some ancient hierarchy, which ruled with wisdom and beauty, and is being challenged (or has been successfully overthrown) by evil usurpers. These evil usurpers seem to often be of bastard lineage or made-up lineage. And evil is usually immediately identifiable because it is ugly.

If that is true, then the world is one in which “evil” revolutionaries are ugly and different and often of ambiguous gender, while “good” is beautiful, mostly in an Aryan master-race kind of way with strictly-defined gender and class roles where position in society is set by birthright. White elves are good and dark elves are evil.

A lot of this can probably be traced back to general RPG development laziness and adopting the Tolkien paradigm of a fantasy world – a paradigm which Jeff Vogel obviously does not use. But is there something more? By this I mean are typical RPG players more likely to buy a product that contains this Tolkien paradigm because it seems more “true” to them or reinforces their desired worldview? In other words, do we get a flood of conservative-worldview reinforcing RPGs because most RPG gamers want that and the market gives them what they want?

If this is an accurate description of what is going on (at least on some level) with the RPG market, that may also explain why the average SpiderWebber tends to be more liberal. After all, both Geneforge and Avernum seem to, on some level, consciously express a liberal worldview in that there is inherent dignity owed to all sentient beings, and birthright-derived power structures tend to corrupt, if not outright destroy, humans and freedom.

I don’t have any particular answers to these questions, so I throw them to you for discussion. What do you think?

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
The Ultimate Favourite Game Poll v. 2.00 in General
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #25
quote:
Originally written by Slartucker:

I was going to quote Drakey for agreement, but you know, four times is a bit much.
Yes - believe me, it has been pointed out to me numerous times that holding the heretical positions that I do about BoE is only slightly less loathsome than genocide. The fact that I don't change my opinions is, undoubtedly, a sign of how decrepit a human I am.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
The Ultimate Favourite Game Poll v. 2.00 in General
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #19
Ah - it is good to be back and posting! And what a treat - I'm back for another round of "I'm the only guy in the boards that hated BoE"

In anticipation of the barage of questions/insults - here are my reasons:

(1) I don't like the dialogue system, it is only marginally better than Exile 1's guess-a-word style.

(2) I SHOULDN'T have to use resedit to play a scenario with custom graphics. that is just sloppy.

(3) The character creation systems is too complex for a new player - in Avernum this is handled much better by giving you some simple descriptive types of characters to ease you in.

(4) The inventory system annoys me.

(5) Combat isn't very much fun.

In the end, the Exiles are just too old and clunky. If nostalgia for ultima 4 or 5 is your thing, then more power to you. But the Exiles didn't do anything for me.

"Why?" then you might ask "Why did you register it (along with E1 to E3, which I also think suck)" - Because I bought them all at the same time (the Exile trilogy CD and BoE) without trying the demo. I'd previously played Nethergate and really loved it, so I thought I'd give it a go. Well - that isn't quite true, I tried E1 in 1994 or 1995 when it first came out and had those horrid graphics, but I didn't realize that was what I was getting until after I'd made the purchase.

That said, I don't regret registering those games, since I do believe in rewarding people for their work, and I've easily amoratized the cost of those silly games from all the enjoyment I got from A1, A2, G1, G2, G3 and Galactic Core (Yeah - there - I said it - I liked Galactic Core). E1-E3, BoE, BoA, A3 and A4 were all registered and currently living in a drawer somewhere. They just don't appeal to me. But what the hell, snuff films don't appeal to me either, so to each his or her own.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Politics and Beliefs in General
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #98
quote:
Originally written by Ash Lael:

...

My post was directed at this as much as the evolution stuff. I find it somewhat insulting that Zorro, having read Leviticus for all of ten minutes, considers himself enough of an authority on the Bible to accuse me and all other Christians of selective reading or hypocrisy (since I'm not a selective reader, I guess I must be a hypocrite). If he had read the whole Bible (Acts in particular) and made an effort to understand Christian doctrine, he'd probably see the flaw in his argument.

In the same way, many of the things posted in this thread (such as the Theology and Falsification thing) misrepresent the opposing point of view either intentionally or (much more likely) through ignorance. I at least try to understand a viewpoint properly before attacking it, and would appreciate it if more people would do the same.

Excuse the venting.

No excuse necessary for venting! That's why we're here :)

Let me say that I do not consider myself an authority on Christianity. I have read the Bible and the Qu'ran and the Torah. I also (though this may be a rebuttable presumption) consider myself an intelligent person. My contention is this:

The Bible, the Torah and the Qu'ran are best described as the practical wisdom and mythology of people in their times. They reveal less understanding of the natural world than the writings of Aristotle - who claims no divinity - and they are certainly less detailed in their mythology than that of the Hindis. The Qu'ran goes on at length on the proper treatment of slaves - an odd thing, I think, for a divine being to write rules about. I quoted from Leviticus because I found its fascination with very detailed methods of animal sacrifice, and the uses of animal sacrifice, to to illuminating in a discussion of biology. We also know from historical record that these were not taken as metaphorical sacrifices, but as ACTUAL acts to be done. In other words, I very much doubt that if an early Christian were to meet a modern Christian, even of the most fundamentalists sort, he would even recognize him as a co-religionist.

That said, I honestly don't care if you're a religious person. I DO care when you think that religious commitment entitles you to twist science to accommodate your ideology. Evolution and ID/Creationism and very different - one is built on the painstaking gathering of small bits of knowledge with an impressive body of accomplishments and successful predictions, the other is an assertion of faith, and a disguised assertion of faith that says "well, it LOOKs like it was designed". Yes, and it looks like the Earth stands still and the planets move around it (albeit in weird ways).

And Ash - I truly am sorry to have insulted you. That is not the intention of my remarks. I'm trying to describe my position within a debate which matters a great deal to me. I hope your understand that no offense is meant.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Politics and Beliefs in General
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #93
quote:
Originally written by Ash Lael:

Zorro: Try Occam's Razor on this.

Situation: A great many people, including people who are otherwise quite intelligent and reasonable, believe something that you consider to be ridiculous.

You can conclude:

1. That we are all morons/brainwashed.

or

2. That perhaps you have failed to understand our point of view properly.

Which makes more sense?

But Ash - I think you're making my point. Scientists are mostly empiricists. They look and describe the properties of the world and create a testable hypothesis to prove or disprove the hypothesis. And over the last 150 years, Evolution has grown more robust and strong from such experiments. In addition, we've discovered a huge number of the mechanisms that account for observed evolution, including genetics and random mutation. It is among this group that I have the most respect. Creationists and IDers have generally relied on one or two fringe scientists to state a position that is generated in accordance with church dogma. These people are less credible because:

(a) They don't propose testable hypothesis
(b) They don't make any testable predictions and experiments
(c) The argument shifts as new facts and technologies are discovered
(d) The one constant in their argument is to make the facts of the world accord with a 2000 year old text that a literal reading demonstrates to be absurd in modern understanding.

I do not accuse religious types to be morons or idiots. I accuse them of either, at best, an ignorance of science leading to an unconscious selective understanding of the world, or at worst, willful selective understanding of the world due to ideological commitments.

Mind you, it isn't only religious types that fall prey to this sort of nonsense. Mao wrote that crops should be planted in half the space, thereby doubling the production of food per hectare. This was, of course, foolish and led to destroyed the crops where it was applied. However, so strong was the desire to make Mao "right" reality be damned, that they would do all kinds of silly things. In fact, communism is a lot like a religion, in that it has its concept of heaven "the post-communist state" and has tended to deify its leaders. For as much as I dislike GWB, he isn't running around the country building statues of himself like Lenin or Stalin.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Politics and Beliefs in General
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #82
*sigh*

Most of you are intelligent people, so I'm hoping that you will actually think about the following:

Evolution is THE most comprehensively established scientific theory in modern biology. It draws VERY strong evidence from the the fossil records, genetics, microbiology, zoology, biochemistry and philogeny. It is no exaggeration to say that it is the cornerstone of all modern biology and medicine.

Over time, the evidence of evolution has increased substantially. When Darwin theorized about evolution, he had no idea that 100 years later, Watson and Crick would discover the mechanism via which an organism passes on genetic information to offspring. Nor did he know that cellular biology would result in cloning 150 years later. I feel the Alo twitch when I see people say "its just a theory".

Gravity is also defined as a "theory", and as the Onion once insightfully quipped, it is a "theory" susceptible to a competing "theory" of "intelligent falling".

So all you people professing to be "impressed" with intelligent design, allow me to remind you of Occam's Razor - When you are offered two competing theories, the simpler one is to be preferred. If I look for my keys and don't find them, I can theorize that the Key Fairy stole them, or that I forgot them at the office. Which is more likely to be true?

SImilarly, if I can see a mountain of evidence of evolution due to natural selection, I can say "hey, maybe those species with favorable genetic mutations that allow it to better survive and pass on those traits to its offspring will be more successful in the long run"

Or I can say "Hey, maybe a great man, who lives up in the sky, designed humans. And this great man was in a funny mood, so he gave us a 98 percent match in DNA structure to other primates."

Here is the fundamental problem with ID - it is a bogus theory that tries to rationalize facts that contradict religious text written thousands and years ago. Why is it so difficult to throw out two thousand year old religious text on this issue? Do you practice animal sacrifice as called for in the Bible (Basically chapters 1 to 9 of Leviticus)? Do you eat hot dogs? Do you eat clams, oysters, crabs, lobsters or shrimp? And if having children is so blessed, why does the bible EXPLICITLY say that having a child is dirty, and call on you to sacrifice a pigeon and a lamb when a child is born (Leviticus 12:6)? Do you try to cure leprosy by getting two birds, killing one, dipping the other one in the dead one's blood, sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let it fly away (Leviticus 14:2-52)?

Those who profess deep piety and do not do the above are at best guilty of selective reading of religious texts and at worst hypocrisy in its application. Shoot, I stopped after finding the above weird things in Leviticus in 10 minutes, but I could go on and on.

I'll leave you with the parable from Antony Flew's article "Theology and Falsification":

Once upon a time two explorers came upon a clearing in the jungle. In the clearing were growing many flowers and many weeds. One explorer says, "some gardener must tend this plot." The other disagrees, "There is no gardener." So they pitch their tents and set a watch. No gardener is ever seen. "But perhaps he is an invisible gardener." So they, set up a barbed-wire fence. They electrify it. They patrol with bloodhounds. (For they remember how H.G. Wells's The Invisible Man could be both smelt and touched though he could not he seen.) But no shrieks ever suggest that some intruder has received a shock. No movements of the wire ever betray an invisible climber. The bloodhounds never give cry. Yet still the Believer is not convinced. "But there is a gardener, invisible, intangible, insensible to electric shocks, a gardener who has no scent and makes no sound, a gardener who comes secretly to look after the garden which he loves." At last the Sceptic despairs, "But what remains of your original assertion? Just how does what you call an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive gardener differ from an imaginary gardener or even from no gardener at all?"

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
neat in Richard White Games
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #9
The last thing I ate was a carrot!

This proves my devotion to RW because, as you know, it is Ramadan, and I broke the law by eating during fasting hours.

Z

EDIT: breakin' the law! breakin' the law!

[ Friday, October 07, 2005 19:13: Message edited by: Zorro ]

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Proper behavior for raving cultists in Richard White Games
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #3
quote:
Originally written by 46.46:

's hand and putting a locked topic at the top of the list.

This isn't right, and it shames RW to be served by such as us. In punishment, all of you will explain in detail what would happen if a Vell-os, an ORiS, um, individual, and a disgruntled space marine got into a drunken brawl?

—Alorael, who expects all responses to be thoughtful, well-written, spell checked, and free of spam.

Before we begin to analyze the above situation, we must establish some basic facts.

Basic Fact #1: Vell-Os are humans, presumably of Hindi origin, from another Shareware company's software title. The "human" part and the "other company" part give it two strikes from the very beginning.

Basic Fact #2: ORiS is the acronym for Organically Reliant Species (according to the GC "manual"), and is one of Richard White's originally created species (he is a divine being, you know!). GC is also distributed by SW, so it gets -2 strikes from the start.

Basic Fact #3: Space marines were popularized in the Aliens series of movies, which, as you know, were based on the nightmarish drawings of Geiger. They have since been adopted as the model for nearly every knockoff space-related item produced by the American cinema establishment and later by every space computer game involving a clash among space humans and alien species. The coolness associated with being created by Geiger is -1 strike. The coolness of Alien, Aliens & Alien Resurrection results in -3 strikes. BUT, the lameness of Aliens 3 and Alien versus Predator results in 2 strikes. In addition, the sheer unoriginality of space marines since the Aliens film results in 1 strike against them as well. This means that the space marines' net total strikes is -1.

------

Thus, if they were playing a baseball series, the ORiS would be the vegas-preferred candidate for the above-mentioned bar fight for the above-mentioned reasons. The Richard White transcendental theorem, as defined by Icshi in his seminal work "Richard White as I used to know, and will one day again know (but not in the Biblical sense) him", stipulates that all bar fights involving space-related aspects must conform to the National League rules regarding pinch hitting. Thus, as you can imagine, this magnifies the advantage of the ORiS and Space Marine against the Vell-os, but reduces their advantage versus each other.

In practice, this means that Alo would have precious little time to target them with his rifle. Fortunately, he is a very good shot when shooting from the hip. This is due to his steel hip that was replaced after the Pumpkin Incident.

That is all.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Richard White - Proof of time travel in Richard White Games
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #0
I was really, really bored today, and for some reason (no doubt implant-related) I decided to open the "Read Me" file that comes with Galactic Core. Here is what I found in the version history portion:

History
v1.04 - Released 24 December 2002.
• Multiplayer games no longer require separate registration keys.
v1.03 - Released 25 August 2002.
• Fixed a problem with protecting a ship within an scenario.
• Ship numbers now show the species designation when creating new campaigns.
• Reworded part of the ORiS campaign.
• Fixed a problem with accessing the 8th mission when creating your own scenario.
v1.02 - Released 4 Jan 2002.
• Fixed a problem with the first mission in the ORiS campaign which prevented the user from completing the scenario.
v1.01 - Released 9 Oct 2001.
• Fixed a minor bug which causes clipping problems when run on monitors greater than 1300 resolution.
• Modified the second Terran campaign slightly.
v1.00 - Released 27 Oct 2001.
• Initial Release.

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Yes, my fellow Cultists - The ever-live-ever-dead one actually managed to release the updated version of his masterpiece 18 DAYS BEFORE IT WAS RELEASED!!!!

If this does not constitute definitive proof of RW's time traveling ways then, well, nothing does!

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Screenshot from Galatic Core II in Richard White Games
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #34
quote:
Originally written by WST ben:

But where would you guys be in GC2 without your trusty WST representative? :P
That's because you forgot to turn the box over and see the art on the other side!

Z

IMAGE(http://homepage.mac.com/szorzopulos/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2005-09-26%2007.44.47%20-0700/Image-C96BDD562E9B11DA.jpg)

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Screenshot from Galatic Core II in Richard White Games
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #26
quote:
Originally written by Thralni, emperor of Riverrod:

quote:
Originally written by Zorro:

Actually, Icshi is in the picture, but unfortunately he was wearing his Darth Vader mask to the modeling shoot... AGAIN!! We went ahead with it because chances are that we'd never be able to get Stug and Ash in the same room again. Not after the pumpkin incident.

What is the pumpkin incident?

Let me put it this way - how would you react if you found that your ferret had been ferret-napped and came back like this?

IMAGE(http://store1.yimg.com/I/hobased_1813_20836522)

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Screenshot from Galatic Core II in Richard White Games
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #23
quote:
Originally written by Chakking Around:

Icshi is not shown for a very good reason. You don't get to see him. This is either because you are beneath his notice as he contemplates the Greater but Comparatively Less than Supremely Great Mysteries of White or because he is standing behind you.

—Alorael, who is also not in the picture, either because he a reclusive sniper or because he's hiding behind Aran, take your pick.

Actually, Icshi is in the picture, but unfortunately he was wearing his Darth Vader mask to the modeling shoot... AGAIN!! We went ahead with it because chances are that we'd never be able to get Stug and Ash in the same room again. Not after the pumpkin incident.

And Alo, I'm surprised that you don't recognize yourself fighting yourself in the light saber duel! The round head should have been a dead giveaway! Do you not look in the mirror? The point is that any stick figure with a weapon, is, by definition, Alorael. This is a constant, like the speed of light. If you don't believe me, look it up.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Screenshot from Galatic Core II in Richard White Games
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #4
quote:
Originally written by Thralni, emperor of Riverrod:

Um, Yes! Its... um... interseting...

I think I'll be frank with you. It makes no sense to me. Did you make it? Or was it some thing you found on the internet? I wonder if it contains chickens and an overflow of grapefruits...

This photograph was beamed directly into my head via implants from the headquarters of the Propaganda and Car Pooling Coordination Committee of the Supreme Council for the White Revolution. I was merely the instrument of his Whiteness' revelation.

The fact that it exists constitutes proof that the ever-dead-and-alive-one is indeed working on a sequel to his unequaled (but perhaps soon to be surpassed) masterpiece.

Z

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00

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