Profile for Student of Trinity


Recent posts

Pages

AuthorRecent posts
Taker Quest in Geneforge Series
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #1
This is a tricky one, because you have to go way back to an obscure place that you have forgotten. Way back in Clawbug Canyon, there was a little side canyon with an un-openable door, marked with the Taker symbol ...

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Pat Condell is a hero in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #45
The relationships between politics and spirituality in Christianity and Islam seem to me to be curiously similar and yet opposite.

Christianity's founder was executed by the authorities, which had occupied his nation by force before that. All the Christian scriptures were written by and for members of a small sect anxious to get along, as far as they could, with a larger society that did not share their beliefs. Yet later, and for a good millennium or so, Christianity became an established religion which legitimized governments and was imposed by the state.

Conversely, early Islam had a state of its own from the Hegira on, ruled by its founder. Yet the very attainment of this ideal in Medina has prevented Islam from fully legitimizing any less perfect regime. Moreover, the Medina theocracy was a small city state with a very flat hierarchy, and it has always been problematic to extrapolate its ideal to larger states. As a result Islam has hardly ever in practice held the political power it claims as an ideal, and in a good thousand years of Islamic civilizations, the religion that was theocratic in principle was predominantly tolerant and pragmatic in practice, to a notably higher degree than contemporary Christianity.

Obviously entities as complex as two world religions differ in many other ways, and are not to be equated by a simple swapping of ancient and medieval history. My point is that taking even just this one first step in sophistication, of distinguishing early and developed forms of the religions, makes nonsense of oversimplified caricatures of both.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
G5 wishlist. in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #345
This has been my complaint for a long time, too. G4 does better than some previous games, but it's still weird that nobody bats an eye when this noob nobody kills Monarch single-handed. Sure, they reward you. But they ought to be totally freaking out, and speaking carefully around you ever after.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Internal Server Trouble? in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #25
In that case, I guess I may as well pursue excessive wealth after all.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Internal Server Trouble? in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #23
Perhaps amature:immature :: amoral:immoral.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
F-117 Stealth Fighter enters retirement in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #20
Someone once claimed to me that the sharp angles and flat surfaces of the F-117 were due to limited computing power. Working out a shape that would minimize radar signature was very hard, and the only way the problem could be solved with late '70s computers was to consider something polyhedral. Today, even better stealth shapes can be made, without any sharp corners.

I don't know if that's true, or even makes sense. But the B2 is noticeably less pointy than the F-117.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Studies in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #51
Randomizer, if you're an experimentalist in nonlinear optics with an interest in quantum effects in microcavities, then there are probably quite a few post-doc positions looking for you. It's kind of a post-doc's market in this field right now. And physics post-docs are pretty good, really. No security, since contracts are usually two or three years at most. But the pay is usually decent, and one is usually treated with respect as a junior scientist, rather than as a zombie slave.

You can always go do something else again after.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
F-117 Stealth Fighter enters retirement in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #17
Ah, don't take it to heart. Every topic anyone starts tends to degrade pretty quickly around here.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
F-117 Stealth Fighter enters retirement in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #15
I just think it shows America still has its heart in the right place, that it cares for its elderly warplanes, and lets them retire with dignity to someplace warm and sunny. I picture them happily playing shuffleboard and canasta, and enjoying visits from their little unmanned stealth drone grandchildren. Maybe they'll go on occasional mass outings to Vegas. Next time one of those old casinos gets demolished, look up.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Studies in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #41
Alas, most jobs don't let you indulge in unfettered pedantry. Governor of New York, for instance.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Studies in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #38
What are you planning to do with your physics Ph.D., Randomizer? What areas have you worked in?

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Studies in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #13
Once when I was on a training exercise as a reserve infantry lieutenant in Canada, I was one of the last two people to get lunch. All the good food seemed to be gone by then, but I looked at random in some unlikely container and found something I liked after all. I was pleased enough to slip out of military character and exclaim, 'How serendipitous!'

This startled the notoriously crusty artillery colonel who was the other latecomer. The comparatively scientific artillery in every army likes to look down on the infantry as mindless grunts. This guy was not only an artillery colonel, but a poly sci professor in civilian life as well — fairly prominent as a sovietologist. So with several stacked up levels of pomposity he harumphed, "I didn't think infantry officers could pronounce words of more than one syllable!"

I'm still happy to remember the reflexive inspiration by which I instantly replied, "That's right, sir, but I just break them down and pronounce them one at a time." He never gave me any trouble again.

Oh, yeah: I never rose higher in military rank than part-time lieutenant, but now I'm a physics professor. And we comparatively scientific physicists like to look down on political science types as mindless grunts.

EDIT: Thinking only about that old poly sci colonel, I forgot that ET had identified his studies as political science. But whatever else he is, ET is no mindless grunt. By way of apology I offer him a relevant quotation from another emperor: "Mon métier a moi c'est d'être royalist."

[ Wednesday, March 12, 2008 23:44: Message edited by: Student of Trinity ]

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Avernum 5 - 9.01 (10.0/6.0) in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #30
[SPOILER, I guess, though in a rating thread that ought to go without saying]

Building his nice castle is the other thing, besides getting to its site, that Dorikas was doing with his lead time, instead of laying wall-to-wall traps for the PC. His dying speech implies that reaching that chasm and constructing that fortress were a major reason he decided to flee underground in the first place. (It's not clear whether he actually knew where he was going all along, or just figured that a good fortress site would have to turn up somewhere down there, Avernum being as it is.) Presumably Avernum was also just a good place to hide after striking at the Empress, but Dorikas claims that providing this strong Empire base deep in Avernum was a major goal of his, whether he survived or not.

And in fact it makes sense that Avernum is not just incidental for Dorikas. He spent a lot of time down there in A4, after all. We don't actually know so much about his motivations, but it's not a crazy guess that he was actually interested in usurpation specifically in order to get the Empire underground. He might not just be hiding out temporarily in Avernum, while seeking the throne for the sake of getting first dibs on the canapés at imperial soirées.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Studies in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #5
We're just here to pomp you up.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Avernum 5 - 9.01 (10.0/6.0) in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #26
For better or for worse, Drakemoore's first 8 points are deliberate design choices by Jeff, which happen to conflict with some people's tastes. Current Spiderweb games differ from its first offerings in many ways, and they aren't going to go back. That doesn't mean everyone has to like it, but the only real option now is to try to develop a taste for the new style of game. A lot of people have found they can do this.

Point 9 is more debatable. The Darkside Loyalists certainly aren't lurking under every bed. But should they be? Dorikas is suspected of having infiltrated the Empire military, but he only got to the Northern Frontier a few days ahead of the PC. He hasn't had time to build a thorough web of agents there. And he's had his hands full just moving ahead through extremely hostile terrain.

Avernum 5 is not a matter of venturing into the home ground of a subversive secret society. It's about pursuing powerful renegades as they flee deep into the world's final and most dangerous frontier, far underground. To have a lot more contact or dialog with them than you do in A5 would make a mockery of Dorikas's role as a rebel ringleader, your role as a low-ranking Empire soldier, and Avernum's role as a deadly environment.

Sure, a game with a more intimate adversary, with more interaction and characterization, would also be cool. A5 is just not that game, because to be what it is, it can't be that game. And to me that's okay. There are lots of ways to make a good game, and not every game has to be good in the same ways.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
10,000 BC [Spoilers] in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #6
Thuryl's statement was perfectly correct: it began with 'if'. Trolls are insincere, but try to trick people into taking them seriously. Good trolls are good at getting taken seriously. So an insincere viewpoint that is hard to take seriously means a bad troll. A sincere viewpoint which no-one takes seriously is a case Thuryl did not address.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Xbox Live Arcade? PlayStation Network? DS? in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #5
But I think I remember Jeff posting here, not too long ago, and saying that he was quite interested in making games for such systems, because he could easily reach an enormous market with them. Porting any existing games is another question. But if in the future Jeff made a console game, and it sold really well for him, I bet he'd find it worthwhile to port some old titles.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Avernum 5 - 9.01 (10.0/6.0) in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #12
I don't really believe in such fine-grained scales as this 0.0 to 10.0 scale, where people give scores in 0.1 intervals. Comparing games is inevitably comparing apples with oranges, and you can do that, but only up to a point.

A5 is about as good as it could have been without being quite a different kind of game, and I think it's my favorite Spiderweb game so far. I guess I can imagine a variation of the game that made it more awesome to my particular taste. So I'd give it a 9.5. But with the understanding that for Jeff to make any game that got a 10.0 from me would probably be a bad business decision on his part — I think the things that gave it that extra .5 kick from me would lose him customers that didn't have my obsessions.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Quick Question in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #98
Oh, he did, though he wasn't notably manic. (Well, maybe a bit.) He just didn't want not to be alive.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Quick Question in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #96
I knew a guy once who would announce heartily each morning, "It's a great day to be alive!"

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
G5 wishlist. in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #325
Why is that Guardian beating that battle alpha with a hammer?

He's practicing up to work on battle betas, of course.

He wants to be a better battle beta beater.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Geneforge 5 - March Update in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #16
Ha -- a ton of factions, and being able to start from either side. That ought to let everybody find the ending they like to the series. And it brings the entire ideological cast out onstage for the final big number. Lots of replay value too. I just hope it isn't too much to design five good nonlinear plots, without just reverting to the G2-style passive world.

For the sheer heck of it, I think it should be possible to use a G1-style 'real' geneforge, get über, and toast lots of stuff. Fitting that possibility into a satisfying resolution of the serious Geneforge themes, that might be difficult. 'Power is great because it lets you blast stuff' is hardly a final note that does the series justice. If there were a way to combine 'Cordelia increases everything by 10' with a substantial final verdict on unringing a bell, though ... it would be one heck of a game.

Overhauling buffing sounds like a great idea.

The upgraded creation versions have always been kind of hit and miss. The problem is that each upgraded creation type has many direct competitors, and the game cannot require too extreme an optimization. The 5 tiers and 3 creation types already pack the optimality space tightly enough, that the very slight advantage of another creation balanced somewhere between them isn't worth the player's trouble to consider. So unless an upraded type is actually too good, it can't really be popular just on general bang for buck grounds.

It needs to have some kind of specialized edge, that makes it worth taking for a certain kind of character, or a certain situation. The G4 idea of short-lived high-intensity creations seemed brilliant to me, but I didn't use them as a player. They seemed like a good idea, but not like good creations.

Maybe some specialized resistances and attacks can get spread around. Or maybe the skill levels needed to make higher tier creations can be pumped much higher, so that they become too expensive for Guardians, who end up making uprades of lower tiers instead. Or maybe an upgraded creation that's actually defective from the point of view of a Shaper-type, because it has huge health but does negligible damage, but that can save the bacon of a glass cannon Agent by being a really effective meatshield.

Or there's the exact opposite option, of making the upgrades primarily attractive to Shaper-types with lots of essence and creations of all levels. The upgraded forms could be enhancers of other creations, in various ways. Not much use if you're only bringing a few creations, but really effective to have one or two in a squad of 7.

[ Thursday, March 06, 2008 09:12: Message edited by: Student of Trinity ]

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Is it old? in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #52
Then there was the Magical Algebra Tour, which was going to teach imaginary numbers and N-space in 4th grade, by using LSD.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
E. Gary Gygax passed away in General
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #20
Interesting point: grinding is a purely CRPG phenomenon. No human gamemaster can tolerate running tons of boring fights or quests. When the GM doesn't have better ideas than that, what you get instead of grinding is just that nobody wants to be GM.

Perhaps also interesting: in my years as a DM, I found there was a sort of sweet spot in the degree of planning and preparation I made for a game. A sufficient skeleton of well-considered game ideas meant a story that engaged players' interests. But only if they also felt enough improvisatory slack could they see a chance to really affect how the story went. Then the players would really do creative things as well, instead of just observing. This made the PnP RPG experience.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Where I left Demonslayer? in Avernum 4
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #6
I was wondering why Demonslayer never turned up in A5. I figured somebody must have lost it. So you're the guy! Grrr. Let us all know when you find it again. We'll sleep better.

--------------------
Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00

Pages