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October 22, 2014, 10:15:04 PM
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1  Community / Off-Topic / Re: XCOM (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...) on: Today at 08:31:04 PM
RE: point 1.
I've had a similar thought process on occasion, and my reaction to a few hours of UFO Defense was outraged disbelief.
I was affronted that anyone would think that at the sight of what's otherwise a mediocre rubber-mask-monster would be enough to drive "trained" soldiers into paroxysms of terror so great as to make fatricide the probable outcome.
Or in other words: "are you fucking kidding me?!"

Humans have been murdering themselves and everything else they could with sharp sticks for as long as history existed to be recorded and the idea that anything in the X:UD setting would be so traumatizing by nature is personally outrageous beyond conception.
Really, stop and think about it: if a given grunt, who's never heard Carl Sagan theorize about how any civilization that could travel at the speed of light likely has technology we can't possibly counter, can be convinced that in fact an apparent "alien" is actually some mutant species of hairless ground sloth that some other asshole gave a microwave radiation weapon to (or better yet, just fucking tell him "don't get shot by that gun, whateverthefuckitis, Private") I don't he'll hesitate overmuch to just kill the fucking thing.
Butt tight against shoulder, rear sight, front sight, squeeze trigger -dead fucking X.

This is too much Cthulu culture spunk -ZOMG IT SO DIFFERENT I GO MAAAAAD!!111

Fuck that.

Humans kill whales, and whales are alien looking. We kill cute and fuzzy things like otters. We kill malevolent and hungry things like alligators. We discover we are hosts to billions of strange and unsettling looking bacteria -and then we kill them with soap.
We can internalize the need to destroy anything with enough prompting -with not much at required if we find the thing threatening or appetizing.

Consider Aliens and Angels -could you tell one from another?
Seriously. Take a sec.
I can grant that if you saw an Angel (a modern human one) you might mentally take a step back because of the associated celestial fireworks. Maybe it's got a halo, maybe it has an aura of divine awe, maybe it has wings it doesn't apparently use to fly, maybe everyone you can see around you also hears it's voice in your head without it apparently speaking.

But without any blatantly supernatural effects if you saw one of those rings-within-rings-covered-in-eyes creatures from the Torah you'd probably question your sanity. And if it pulled a flaming sword and started carving through people in a Walmart parking lot you'd probably run for your fucking life.
At that point what it is is entirely entirely unimportant compared to what it's doing, and if there is ever a time I'd want to have a "right to openly bear arms" rally nearby it'd be to have a hundred long guns discharging in that thing's direction.

So apologies for any blasphemy, but to me what's borderline blasphemous is the idea that anything is so just "impossibly weird" that it could forestall a clear need for reactive violence.

No, what aliens I'd truly be concerned with would be ones like Asari or Eldar -things we'd want to bone, or at least sit around and chat with.
Those things could rearrange human life in truly permanent fashions potentially far worse then "mere" threat of death.
2  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Vids (Keep it Clean) on: October 21, 2014, 04:04:48 PM
Drone racing by camera.
IIRC Morg called this one a while ago...
3  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: October 21, 2014, 03:01:10 PM
Is it too much to ask that Michelle Rodriguez plays a kick-ass character who survives the feature?

Ironically there was a time she did; it was Battle: Los Angeles.
I liked it, but IIRC it bombed critically and only really squeaked over it's production budget overall.

I was rooting for her in Avatar; a sequel without her and Sigourney Weaver is a lesser thing.
4  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 21, 2014, 03:54:26 AM
Oh man.
That Civ: BE trailer actually chokes me up. Cry

Ugh. My hopes are high. I really wish it weren't so, but I do hope for great things out of this game.
First thing I've pre-ordered since Dark Souls 2.
5  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 20, 2014, 11:49:31 PM
Hmm, I might actually be in a similar position.
I played quite a few hours, 200+ on one character, of the original Phantasy Star Online and there is a second one.
There has been for a while, but Sega's been recalcitrant to release it to western markets. It was just released to the SE Asian, Chinese, and Indonesian markets so I doubt the translation effort's the problem.
This is cause for much rancor from myself and other fans.
I am playing it on a proxy server using a fan translation patch, but the patch covers only a fraction of the dialogue and most of the menus.
So yeah. Fuck Sega. 'Til they get this done.
6  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 20, 2014, 02:46:21 AM
Time for some brain damage (subtype:fun)! Grin
So every League of Legends character has a /dance animation.
I don't know if any share dances, but there's apparently around 120 LoL characters.
Here's 72 of them.
7  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 19, 2014, 09:20:02 PM
Guess I'm prompted to ask, "hey aren't we over Half Life yet?"
8  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: October 17, 2014, 06:42:06 PM
MovieBob likes Fury. Gonna see if I get the chance.
9  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: October 17, 2014, 05:09:07 PM
That poster is primed for some "sucks" jokes if the movie bombs. Angry
10  Community / Off-Topic / Re: D&D 5e Going Live In July on: October 16, 2014, 06:10:13 PM
Si, si -I get that.
It's the commonplace wisdom about interactive entertainment in general these days. Mainstream videogaming has a very similar philosophy -keep it simple, keep it parse-able, keep the experience streamlined.
And frankly if you can write an RPG "Call of Duty" scale hit hell yes you should. Hipster "artisan crafted" taglines don't move units by themselves any more then critical industry approval awards.

But to extend that metaphor a little further there's a major glut of dead-on-arrival-in-the-discount-bin Modern Warfare-alikes that thought authoring a "go to brown/grey places and shoot brown/grey people" would be a short line to a million-plus sales and discovered quite the contrary.

Competing with the big cats for even a scrap of the kibble is still a gamble, just a gamble in the other direction. CoD has a pedigree, MoW has a bazillion-dollar budget, but who's in third place? In my mind it's Spec Ops: the Line -which has neither, but won attention with some serious thematic testicles.

So anyway I'm plenty interested in upcoming Crafty production like always, but I want to point out that going too far into accessibility risks becoming shallow and forgettable. I know that Crafty's never been about producing crap and that it'd be awesome to win a massive payday so you can finally un-mortage your house and pay down your credit cards and buy back your kids and whatever else is required to make the dream finally come true, but I want to point out that it's very possible to end up failing the other way and end up producing something generic that pleases nobody.

I doubt that's a real risk, I can't even name another Modern RPG, but anyway -whatever, it's all good. Cool
11  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: October 16, 2014, 02:57:13 AM
A so far 2-movie concept in which an otherwise Rockwell-ian near future America has as single day in which all law is suspended.
Ostensibly this is a social pressure release valve, but in practice it's about population control as the poor and desperate cull themselves down.

A good review.

Edit: Krensky pretty much nail the first movie, but apparently the second is at least tolerably better.

Update!
Ahhhh. The Purge 2 is excellent!
Tight, visceral, even a little unpredictable!
I rate it a full Evil.
Catch it when you're in the mood for some real mean.
12  Community / Off-Topic / Re: D&D 5e Going Live In July on: October 14, 2014, 07:42:31 PM
You'd be a man who'd know, but I want to raise a tepid objection in the name of system mastery.
Sure it's complicated, but it's learnable and I think ultimately worthwhile.
The point's not simulation, but emulation. Doesn't have to be just like reality, but a reasonable fake at least.
13  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: October 13, 2014, 09:03:00 PM
One of the things I love is finding artwork for media from its earlier days of development.  It always is interesting to see how a work could have looked like, and how it evolved.  Sometimes the final product is actually an improvement.  Sometimes, though, you wish they had stuck with their original idea.

I don't know about the recent TMNT movie, but I get the feeling some people would have preferred the original.

Reminded me of This Bebop.
Same artist did Rocksteady, but while as excellently executed I don't think it's as thematically coherent.
14  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 12, 2014, 10:29:25 PM
Capcom says not to expect a sequel to a game that sells less then two million copies.
 Shocked
Welcome to the modern triple-A developer's market.
15  Community / Off-Topic / Re: D&D 5e Going Live In July on: October 12, 2014, 10:25:37 PM
Whatever else I didn't about 3 & 1/2 TOG I appreciated that it's penalty systems roughly approximately a plausible version of reality.
If you were blind you were in for a world of shit if you didn't recover fast.
If you were held someone else was going to keep you alive, or you were going to die.
If you were dazzled... well you had a penalty so small and so specific as not to deserve a specific type of condition which was pretty stupid, but you get the idea.
There were bad and worse conditions, and it wasn't hard to understand which was which.

FourEe managed to keep that idea alive enough, but besides the other commentaries a problem is that the dice are elements of the narrative -crits are dramatic when they're consequential; imo no amount of flavor text turns an unimportant basic attack into something so weighty.
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