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1  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 30, 2014, 09:10:05 PM
Official Call of DutyŽ: Advanced Warfare Live Action Trailer - "Discover Your Power"

At least it isn't the "There's a soldier in all of us" campaign.
2  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Beyond Earth (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...) on: October 30, 2014, 05:37:24 PM
How many of you guys would like to see Civ: BE in LEGO form?

Which would be awesome, though I get the feeling that Mega Bloks would be more likely to pick it up.

...Still kicking myself for missing out on LEGO Alien Conquest.
3  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Beyond Earth (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...) on: October 28, 2014, 02:38:51 PM
A problem with Transcendence is it's Event Horizon nature. Once the Mind Flower goes live and we're all WE what happens next?

The worst part about having a hive mind...
4  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: October 27, 2014, 04:31:07 PM
John Wick was actually really good. Keanu is spry for a 50 yr old.

There are some nice cameos. Mayhem from Allstate (aka Dean Winters) has a substantial enough role. The cast does a good job and the mooks go down. While John Wick is not quite a Triggerman, he is brutally efficient.

I'd highly recommend seeing the film.

Slight complication: movie seems to be on limited release, so I'm gonna have to travel to see it.  Tongue

In other news, looks like Benedict Cumberbatch is going to be the new Dr. Strange.

On the other side of the comic line, Warner Bros is looking for a female director for Wonder Woman.  Man, they're trying every trick they can think of in order to catch up with Marvel, aren't they?
5  Products / Z-Corps / Re: Zombie material to prepare for Z-Corps on: October 26, 2014, 07:45:04 AM
Just so people know, SFDebris (a humorous MST3K-style reviewer of Sci-Fi shows and movies) is doing a week-long look at World War Z.  There will be some spoilers for those who haven't read it yet, so be warned.
6  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 25, 2014, 07:59:57 PM
Rus spoiled it. =P

Sorry, watched a let's play where a guy's like "I don't see why I need to build fences" while his trade convoys are dropping left and right to aliens way outside his normal influence.  He even had a face-palm moment when he realized his mistake.

Also, it's literally a tier one tech, so it falls under the "first 15 minute non-spoiler" rule.

I assume they produce really kick-ass marching music.

Marching music makes sense, though I would remember that artists could mean a number of things.

And maybe video games that get all the kids to sign up as soldiers.

Hey, hey, let's not open that can of worms.  Besides, holosuites is a separate tech.
7  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 25, 2014, 04:43:28 PM
I pretty much got stomped my first game in Civ BE. My home base had ocean to the S, SW and W and there was an alien nest about 7-8 hexes NNE of my starting base. My Explorer found this nest on turn 2 and was promptly ganked by the aliens. I then spent most of the first 100 turns confined to my starting 7 hexes (3 of which was in the water) with aliens swarming over everything around that. I thought about building the sonic fence, but my city's ranged attack was the only thing I had to pick off the aliens. The soldier I built was killed the first turn it was out. To make matters worse, the other factions starting complaining about me killing the aliens!

It wasn't until I read up about it online that I discovered a few of things.
   1) Aliens have a murder range around their nests where they will be aggressive
   2) Otherwise, aliens tend to be neutral and won't attack.
   3) Unless you attack them enough, then they may become aggressive.
   4) And when they become aggressive, they become aggressive to everyone, not just the ones attacking them, which is why the other faction were complaining.

So armed with this knowledge, I'll start a new game soon enough and see if I can successfully get off my starting hex.

Once you build a fence, a quest will pop up after a few turns where you can a.) extend the range of the fence by one, or b.) "Reverse the Polarity" (seriously) to make your trade convoys immune to aliens.  Of all the playthroughs I've seen, I've yet to see one that chooses the fence range extension.
Also, rank 1 of Purity makes your Explorers immune to aliens, and in fact can be used to block aliens from going places.  One guy I watched intentionally used an Explorer to filter the aliens into a killzone for his limited forces.  Another one used his to protect a colony pod to settle near some nests.

However, if you can get an alien nest within your boarders, and just leave it there, you can actually have the aliens become friendly (with blue symbols and everything!) and won't attack you at all!  Harmony could get the most out of this, but it is still technically possible with the other Affinities.
8  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: October 25, 2014, 02:08:23 PM
Been hearing some good reviews of John Wick.  Basically the movie is "Keanu Reeves in Headshot", and includes some of the most entertaining gunsmanship in recent movie history.  Might actually check this one out.  Hopefully I can stand the theater experience long enough to enjoy it.
9  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 24, 2014, 07:24:58 PM
Hoply christ IO played BE vof 12 hours lastnight this omorning.
I doj't even thing is that good -it's a Civ title, for sure  and somehow Id idn't expect that quite as much as I would have liked.
But whathell. glad I don't huse a CRT monitor any more . I might actully be bnldn. xcP

Thought so.

I promised myself I'd finish a little License to Improvise project before I fired up Civ: BE.

I'm installing it now Smiley.

See you next month!
10  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 24, 2014, 05:13:09 PM
So, should I take the silence on the forum as a sign that everyone's playing Civ: BE?  Wink
11  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Greg Weissman's animated Stargate series proposal on: October 24, 2014, 09:45:26 AM
Gargoyles, Young Justice, The Clone Wars, and the entirity of the DCAU for a start argue otherwise.

Oh sure, they can still be good, but it doesn't change the whole "cartoons are for kids" stigma being a hurdle.  Some get around it, some strain against it, others... take the more extreme measure and over-compensate by packing their cartoon with "mature" content, to the point, ironically, of immaturity.
You can sort of see the seams of what I mean in that bible.  For instance, the main character will get his hand on a "big old plasma cannon".  And if I'm willing to guess, it will look nothing like a real gun, it won't actually kill people, and the "real" guns that you would expect won't show up much, if ever.  Admittedly, Gargoyles was one of the better examples of how to handle these rules in a cartoon (Deadly Force and its long-term effects being the quintessential example), so I might also be wrong about that.

I guess what I'm getting at is that if they came out with a cartoon of Stargate, I'd wish they'd take a GI Joe: Resolute approach.  Willing to kill, willing to use blood, willing to use actual guns, but not trying to revel in the bloodshed or its mature content.  Like live action Stargate.
12  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Greg Weissman's animated Stargate series proposal on: October 22, 2014, 06:40:16 PM

The Animated Stargate: The Hunted should make use of what animation does best. We should open up the scope of what we're creating. It's as easy (and cost-effective) to paint a truly otherworldly background, as it is to draw one that looks like it could be found somewhere near Vancouver. So we want weird environments: underground cities, water worlds, cloud deserts or whatever. It's also as easy to design a truly alien alien as it is to draw one whose look could be achieved by a human wearing great make-up. We want inhuman aliens (although not so weird that they're unrelatable to our audience, unless that's the point of a specific story). Similarly, new alien technology should be shocking and stunning

There are some interesting -- and truly terrible -- ideas within, but the entire basis of the series seems to fly directly in the face of how SG-1 -- the version of the franchise upon which the series would have been based -- established the structure of the gate network

The irregularities with SG-1 canon can probably be attributed to the still evolving universe that was the first few seasons of the show.

That said, the major hurdle that I can see for a show like this is the fact that it would be Western Animation.  I'll admit that I haven't been entirely on top of the current available shows, but I can almost guarantee that it'll be one of two types: kid-friendly or excessively "adult".  No middle ground, which I think is where a setting like Stargate is best, around the area that the live-action show was at.
13  Community / Off-Topic / Re: XCOM (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...) on: October 22, 2014, 05:26:40 PM
So I'm going for a walk, and my mind happens to wander towards XCOM.  Yeah, yeah, big surprise, but stay with me.  As I'm walking along, I'm thinking about how EU/EW is different to UFO Defense, a subject which many people have already covered, mainly in the range of "they dumbed it down for stupid console people" to "hey, I don't have to feel like I'm filling out a business spreadsheet with a nuclear sub's controls".  However, as I pondered the game mechanics of both, and how they interacted with each other in their own environments, a pair of very interesting thoughts came to me:

1.) UFO Defense is a Redshirt Simulator.  EU/EW is Third-Person Shooter Commander
There you are, ordering a small horde of "highly" trained, "well" equipped soldiers in partially organized clumps around the map, vainly hoping that you would be able to spot the aliens before they spotted you.  The aliens would then be stumble on to one at a time, at which point the soldiers would wildly fire in the general direction of the target.  If the soldiers' bad aim, the poor sighting of their equipment, and the general ineffectiveness of their bullets don't get in the way, the alien goes down.  If they do, the alien then likely kills a couple of the poor sods just to show how dangerous the threat really is.
Sound familiar?
One of the things that I always found interesting about the original UFO Defense when I first started watching let's plays of it was just how much it felt like you were playing the hapless military force sent to contain the latest alien monster on X-Files, particularly in the beginning sections.  Even when XCOM's equipment starts to improve, it isn't so much in the way that they become ubersoldiers come to save the day, and more elite mook versions that are meant not to fall at the first punch, but are still likely to get wiped out at a moment's notice.  In fact, one could say that they only become truly effective when they "fool the narrative" into thinking that XCOM are good-guy aliens.  "Oh yeah, we're aliens all right.  See?  We got plasma weapons, psionic powers... we even got weird eyes, with one bigger than the other!  Humans couldn't possibly have all that, surely not..."

EU/EW, on the other hand, as Yahtzee points out in his review, is a game dedicated to all those commanding officers in all those modern cover-based third person shooter games, like Gears of War and Rainbow Six/Ghost Recon.  Up to four Co-op players, later with an additional two AI squadmates, move their big burly soldiers, with big burly guns, clad in big burly armor, cover to cover as they tactically position themselves to line up the perfect shot on the vast rogues gallery of Standard Sci-Fi Shooter Enemies.  As they progress, they level up with an RPG light system, and over the course of collecting collectible collectibles unlock even better versions of gear they already have.  The main difference is that you are all of those players at once, with the added benefit of being the one who determines the missions that you actually go on.
And compared to UFO Defense's tech progression, where you go from modern soldier redshirt, to star trek redshirt, to redshirt disguising themselves as aliens, EU/EW's progression goes from Call of Duty soldier, to near-future soldier/space marine light, to full on space marine.

2.)EU/EW Reconstructs UFO Defense's Deconstruction
To quote the TVTropes page:
[XCOM in general is a] Deconstruction of children's cartoon series such as G.I. Joe and Transformers. X-COM is a team of elite soldiers who wear cool-looking armor and have a fancy Cool Ship that they travel the world in to save the world from goofy-looking aliens... and then suffer a relentlessly high fatality rate, crippling technological inferiority, and severe funding troubles. Anyone Can Die, often in rather brutal ways, and 50% or higher casualty rates are common in successful missions, with failures usually resulting in no survivors whatsoever. The cool-looking armor is good for little else besides appearance. The Cool Ship costs ludicrous amount of money to lease and is completely unarmed. The goofy-looking aliens outnumber us over a thousand to one and have technology that outstrips ours to such a degree that X-COM might as well be fighting them with sticks. The Man in Washington will happily cut funding at the drop of a hat, even if there's a UFO landing outside the White House. It is not a very pleasant situation.

A rather accurate assessment, when you think about it.  The thing is, if you look at EU/EW, it is actually a reconstruction of that very thing.
X-COM is a team of elite soldiers who wear cool-looking armor and have a fancy Cool Ship that they travel the world in to save the world from goofy-looking aliens.  However, even though the risk of death is ever present, to the point where you can have 50% casualties or higher, unlike UFO Defense where the only counter is to send as many people as possible to increase the chances of someone surviving, EU/EW's can be countered via smart tactics, proper skill usage, a cool head, and a little bit of luck.  The cool-looking armor is actually useful this time around, and can actively save a soldier's life to the point of preventing downtime via injury.  The Cool Ship still costs money, but you only have to worry about the one, and it is impossible to actually lose it.  You also get to see the Cool Ship in flight, so that's a bonus (Wooooosh! Grin ).  Sure, the aliens outnumber us, with technology that is leaps ahead of ours, but we have the ability to adapt, both in physical growth and in technological know-how, with even our less experienced soldiers and weaker weapons still being useful in a pinch.
And even the man in Washington, the very council of vague shadow baldness, is remarkably understanding of our difficult situation, and is constantly giving us encouragement, even if we are not doing as well as we could be, to the point where they have to be in complete full blown panic to pull out of the project.
It is not a pleasant situation to be sure, but there is much more hope in EU/EW, which is further reinforced when you bring in the Genetically-enhanced supersoldiers and the large robot suit with the rocket fist.  It might be a hard fight, but with courage, smarts, and a little bit of elbow grease, we can, and will, overcome.

Just something to chew on.  I need to take walks more often.
14  Community / Off-Topic / Re: KickStarter thread on: October 22, 2014, 04:46:13 AM
World's first real hoverboard

Yes, it is, in fact, almost 2015.  Now why just need the flying cars.
15  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 22, 2014, 04:40:34 AM
By the way, Metallica will be playing at Blizzcon this year.
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