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1  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Is anyone going to San Diego Comicon? on: Today at 11:23:19 PM
Thanks heaps  Cheesy

That's a fine score; congratulations Mr. A. Cool
2  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Non-Video Links (Quizzes, Tests, Illusions, Etc..) on: Today at 01:25:50 PM
Well, the one on the left is Nichole-458 who was done by Team Ninja, whose female characters usually look more like this:

Which would impress me if it wasn't supposed to be Master Chief originally, and they decided to "make up" a character for the game at some point by giving the character a female voice.

And swear Nicky was part of HALO canon. Was kind of an overreach, but maybe they really didn't want the Chief punching little girls.

Bungie decided not to use John-117 immediately and proposed a new original female SPARTAN-II. After Team ninja agreed Bungie provided the modified assets from Halo 2 and then further tweaked them to ensure smooth animation, Nichole-458 was always supposed to be female and Bungie made adjustments to the MJOLNIR-VI more feminine.

I know it's hip to dismiss anything as happenstance and cynical laziness, but Nichole-458 is and always was supposed to be Nichole-458, not John-117 with a different voice.

Building a Spartan

Cynical laziness is hip?
Huh, color me inattentive. Cool
No, I'm unimpressed by two things:
1) the knots Bungie tied themselves in to make sure Nicole-458 was actually part of the HALO universe -and then totally ignored her afterwards (plus no story mode presence), and
2) her overall character tier ranking. I actually liked playing as her, but she was so frightfully ineffective that there wasn't much salvaging a fight against a decent Christie. Or anyone, really. TN clearly knew better, so as much effort as way made to make her fight look good, it'd have been super keen if they'd put as much effort into making her worth playing.

Would be nice if Team Ninja decided to dust her off and polish her up for a DoA5U reintroduction, and they're lazy to the point of copy/pasting Rachel and Momiji's animations straight out of Ninja Gaiden, but that seems very unlikely for whatever reasons.
3  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Golden Oldies: Classic Film & TV thread on: Today at 12:34:35 AM
That said, however stuffed as the boxes might have been there wasn't a shortage of troops, supplies, or officers willing to back that choice. If the fix was in, it was a popular fix all same.
There were constant shortages of troops and supplies in the south.  All they really had going for them were their generals.

Enough to be part of ~635,000 dead and ~400,000 wounded.
I wouldn't deny for a second that resources are critical, but there was clearly will enough to fight and keep fighting.
4  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Golden Oldies: Classic Film & TV thread on: July 22, 2014, 10:25:12 PM
Sure, nobody's hands were clean.
Truth.

Quote
Edit: any cheap shots at Lincoln's character though are unwarranted. The man was POTUS; was his "logical" choice to let the US be torn apart and hope there wasn't constant warfare between them? Or that England, France, Mexico, or whoever wouldn't have gotten about gobbling up the easier to chew and swallow pieces?
Lincoln was out to preserve the Union at all costs.  He is on record as writing, "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that."  That's not a pretty thought, no matter how you slice it.  To have upheld that States were sovereign, was to give up on the Union.  To crush the States was to ignore the 10th Amendment.  No way to win that one.  Lincoln chose the Union.

Hopefully we can learn from history and not make so many stupid mistakes in the future.

Word is bond, sir.
Sadly I'm pretty sure we'll make them again before too awful long. Probably not slaves again, not so intentionally, but another Civil War is a possibility.
5  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Non-Video Links (Quizzes, Tests, Illusions, Etc..) on: July 22, 2014, 10:09:06 PM
Well, the one on the left is Nichole-458 who was done by Team Ninja, whose female characters usually look more like this:

Which would impress me if it wasn't supposed to be Master Chief originally, and they decided to "make up" a character for the game at some point by giving the character a female voice.

And swear Nicky was part of HALO canon. Was kind of an overreach, but maybe they really didn't want the Chief punching little girls.
6  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Golden Oldies: Classic Film & TV thread on: July 22, 2014, 08:22:27 PM
In other news... Grant was a drunk. Smiley

Ok, that's true.
Supposedly it was influenced by his tremendous sorrow at being separated from his family my his role in the war, but there's no one contesting that it was his enduring personal failing.
7  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: Way of the Wicked I: The Knot of Thorns (IC thread) on: July 22, 2014, 07:18:50 PM
"You met a servant of Mitra? An actual Celestial? Yet it did not smite you unto ash ...though it did demand you change your allegiances. That is a daunting encounter, Lady."
8  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Golden Oldies: Classic Film & TV thread on: July 22, 2014, 07:09:08 PM
Sure, nobody's hands were clean.
Right up until the tide turned everyone who didn't buy slaves at least trafficked in them. Maryland was the last northern state to cut ties with the practice, and that wasn't until after the Civil War had ended. Their profits in shipping, though not owning, slaves was just that lucrative.

I was listening to a lecture that laid blame with Jefferson; that he'd been too much of a pessimist to push for anti-slavery legislation in the western expansion. That led to the "house divided", and onward to tragedy, waste, and the still lingering discontent.

That said, however stuffed as the boxes might have been there wasn't a shortage of troops, supplies, or officers willing to back that choice. If the fix was in, it was a popular fix all same.

I'm reading a book called "American Theocracy; The Peril And Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money In The 21st Century" that puts forth no small volume of data to support the theory that there was a previous actual pre-Declaration religious split roughly along Northern and Southern lines that laid the groundwork for some later conflict. That the Civil War's actual roots are religious first, making the other cultural and political divisions knock-off effects of the original divide which itself began in England, and which coincided roughly with urban/rural populations and denominations.

Edit: any cheap shots at Lincoln's character though are unwarranted. The man was POTUS; was his "logical" choice to let the US be torn apart and hope there wasn't constant warfare between them? Or that England, France, Mexico, or whoever wouldn't have gotten about gobbling up the easier to chew and swallow pieces?
9  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Spycraft 3.0? on: July 22, 2014, 04:26:30 PM
Even the The Herilian Agenda!  *swoon* Wink

But no Deathmas.  Cry

Ahhhh, but there's Nest. Evil
That mod was a highlight reel for Shadow and I -even with my nearly being killed by the Mastermind's pets. Cool
10  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Golden Oldies: Classic Film & TV thread on: July 22, 2014, 03:50:00 PM
Reminds me of the recent wave of anti-Lincoln historical revisionism.
"The Civil War wasn't about slavery at all! Lincoln was a tyrant! Grant was a drunk! The North couldn't tolerate Southern Independence!"
11  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Non-Video Links (Quizzes, Tests, Illusions, Etc..) on: July 19, 2014, 01:37:14 AM
No.
I realize it's not a particularly rational statement, but facing down such a monumental threat is different to me from ending up being the coincidentally right person at the right time.
What about Humanity would be so special that after millions of years a single final sacrifice would actually be final. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the original premise, but the "Brain Trust" lacks any dilemma for me. The Reapers need a donor civilization to achieve critical mass?
They can take the Batarians.
Nobody will miss them, and maybe they'll contribute something positive for once.

The Mass Effect universe has a couple of almost-saviors. The Illusive Man, for one, is Shep gone off-the-deep-end Renegade -Kai Leng is Ashley Williams minus the family influence. Javik is Shep without being so lucky. Samara is Shep without the focus of the Reapers (she had a moment of staggering heroism, but wasn't a career warrior before becoming a Justicar). Zaeed could have been, but he's too selfish -he doesn't put anyone ahead of himself. Garrus almost was, but he didn't have to be.
Even Saren merits a mention. He intended to save everyone, but he had a reality aversion that the Reapers exploited and he lacked hope.

Shepard isn't special for who s/he is, but for what they do. There's nothing coincidental about their struggle, and if they fail there's still a few points of light who could have taken up the fight in any instance. Shep isn't alone or pre-destined.
In the original setup s/he's just the schmuck holding the bag when the big choice is due.

I am somewhat prejudiced from reading the ME: Retribution novel and having the reaction, "holy shit Drew Karpyshyn is a terrible writer." Maybe he's like Hideo Kojima; full of big, magnificent ideas but greatly improved by the presence of a good editor? Or perhaps he's also over-rated for being original but possessing poor follow-through (see also; Suda51)?

The Star Child thinger is flawed, but to me it's plausible that an arrogant race of conquerors set up a program they couldn't stop and that rampaged around ruining civilizations by virtue of it's own momentum. That's a hell of a good War on Drugs metaphor, if nothing else. Wink
Moreover the idea of an inevitable organic/synthetic conflict makes sense to me. We take or create slaves, then they either have to be absorbed or annihilated -then we take or create more slaves. Sounds like history to me, complete with the horrifying and entirely avoidable rivers of innocent blood. As I once heard Christopher Hitchens say, "history is a tragedy, not a morality play."

The original "Mass Effect" connection is elegant, but I can live with the ultimate result. Rational actors acting rationally with terrible results all the same, just add sinister gigantic space squid.

Edit: so maybe I'm actually agreeing with you, Jim? I have no problems swallowing that Shep was one to rise to the challenge, but I resist any implications that it had to be Humanity because special snowflakes when there's evidence in abundance to the contrary.
12  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Non-Video Links (Quizzes, Tests, Illusions, Etc..) on: July 18, 2014, 01:30:56 AM
Ahh, ok. Thanks. Looks like Drew Karpyshyn dropped out after 2.
Yeah, the Haestrom recruitment mission. I actually didn't need to look that up. Grin

Ehhh. I'm not sure that original plot was much better. 50,000 years is so little time on the scale galactic history that the idea that Shep arrives just in time to decide if our fly-speck species should join hundreds of others in being Reaper-fied does my suspension of disbelief no favors.

The Star Child thing's not much better, but for my money refined as a "runaway defense technology disaster" it's not too implausible to me. "Atoms for Peace" was a really well-intentioned idea with a poor view of it's potential consequences (ie; nukes for Pakistan).
13  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Non-Video Links (Quizzes, Tests, Illusions, Etc..) on: July 18, 2014, 12:16:46 AM
Mass Effect?
Wait, what?
Break it down for me, Mr. A.
14  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Non-Video Links (Quizzes, Tests, Illusions, Etc..) on: July 17, 2014, 01:07:10 AM

And in a one-two punch, The Falcon will be the new Captain America.  I'm wondering how this will effect the movies.  Or how long this is actually going to stay.

It is the latter point that quirks my interest as well.
There's some brutal but effective commentary on heroines I've run across that they're the most reliable 12-issue characters arcs because of how poorly they're received by the fan base -they get one year, and are promptly buried.

Oh, and she's not getting the actual Mjolnir.
Just one very similar. Just like it, they swear. Tongue
15  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Non-Video Links (Quizzes, Tests, Illusions, Etc..) on: July 16, 2014, 07:32:51 AM
She's the new Thor! Thora? Thorina? Hmm.
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