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Comment: Re:A group of Google investors (Score 1) 8

by _Sharp'r_ (#49835295) Attached to: Investors Ask How Much Google Spends On Lobbying

Yeah, everyone knows Google is a bastion of right-wing lobbying and giving. Why, you can just look at all their strictly traditional holiday search page images and their complete lack of focus on left-wing causes in their news releases, promotional materials and spending.

Good thing we have groups like these "investors" who are concerned not that they're making money, but that Google isn't contributing anything to any group which may in some way not agree with progressives to keep Google "correct" politically.

Comment: Re:My wish list: (Score 1) 137

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49835253) Attached to: Fallout 4 Announced
That's what surprised me so much about Skyrim: Fallout:NV had a fairly well fleshed out location based damage system, with both gameplay strategic implications and the pure gory amusement of taking limbs off.

Then they made a game set in a location where basically everyone carries a giant battleaxe or a huge sword all the time, and the only amputations are relatively rare decapitations that occur if and only if you have the right perk for your weapon type. Why?

Comment: Re:Been in the rumor mill for months (Score 1) 137

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49834905) Attached to: Fallout 4 Announced
No location would be immune from a potential fuckup; but The Institute, from its brief appearance in FO3, would be something I'd love to get to poke around in. Seeing a large, significant; but not Washington city post-nuclear-war, will also be interesting(Boston definitely does enough to earn a nuke in any likely superpower-scale missile exchange; but the distribution would be different from Washington, since federal infrastructure is quite limited and a lot of the defense contractors and such are outside the city, where space is cheaper).

I could also seriously consider delighting in the presence of a group of non-feral-but-deeply-unhinged ghouls who have gone from revolutionary war reenactment into full-scale holding-bunker-hill-with-muskets for reasons they no longer understand. Not a joke that could take too much beating; but if ghoul in a tricorn hat happened to attempt an authentic black powder musket kill on my vault dweller, I'd be delighted.

Comment: Re:Modern Fallouts suck ass (Score 1) 137

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49834845) Attached to: Fallout 4 Announced
There is a legitimate argument to be made that 'Fallout' as in 'Old School Bioware RPG style; but with sardonic humor and the distinctive insanity of '50s civil-defense-and-suburbia taken to their logical extreme' did indeed die. The overhead, party-based, turn-based RPG, it is no more. Even Tactics, however tepidly it was received, was much closer to classic Fallout; and 'Van Beuren' died with Black Isle.

However, I'd agree that, while Bethesda didn't really understand the Fallout spirit(FO3 was a competent RPG and didn't do anything egregious in terms of fucking with canon; but it could have been transplanted into a non-fallout post-apocalypse without much modification), they did a fairly commendable job in reconciling the "the market wants first-person action RPGs" pressure with "Fallout is Not a first-person action RPG". It needed some refinement(the skills list, in particular, was much stronger in NV); but VATS was a surprisingly elegant compromise.

Obsidian understands the hell out of what makes Fallout Fallout, so NV was much more a 'Fallout' game, rather than just a 'post-apocalyptic game with fallout compatible canon', and they tightened up some of the v.1 mistakes from FO3's character and stat design. FO4 is, arguably, where we see if Bethesda has what it takes to establish a worthy 'east coast Fallout' aesthetic and gameworld(which needn't be the same as 'classic'; but can't just be another greyish post-nuclear shooter), or whether they did an adequate job of laying the foundations; but should really leave the game-building to Obsidian.

Comment: Re:Happy Times (Score 1) 137

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49834719) Attached to: Fallout 4 Announced
The one case where 'special charm' started to blur into 'is how much I'm enjoying this a bad sign?' is when Sit and Dream is on the radio and you are ensconced in a concealed, elevated, location with your COS silencer rifle; and you suddenly realize that you are timing your headshots by waiting for either "Sleep, go to sleep" or "just lay down your weary head"(especially for decapitations).

It does add a certain ambiance; and it's not as though Cottonwood Cove isn't full of assholes who have it coming; but 'using soothing lullaby style song as background for covert sniper attack' seems like one of those things that might make me a bad person...

Comment: Re:Saw it coming (Score 1) 137

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49834599) Attached to: Fallout 4 Announced
It's a slightly weird tactic because of how deeply their GOTY editions eventually end up being discounted. I imagine that the cynical appeal of 'charge the fans full price for the game, full price for each DLC' is obvious, and why they do it; but it's a bit surprising that they don't have a stage between 'everything is full price' and 'GOTY is 75% off', where base game is still 100% of release; but 'DLC complete pack' is available to owners of the base game for a substantial discount in order to mop up the residual demand of people enthusiastic enough to buy the base game at full price; but not to go all in and shell out for each DLC at full price.

Instead, they just seem to go directly from 'everything full price' to 'GOTY available, frequently on sale for less than the price of buying 1-2 of the 4 DLCs separately'.

Not that I mind, when I'm in the position to buy that version; but it seems like a slightly curious discontinuity in the price discrimination strategy.

Comment: Re:Great, but not great (Score 1) 58

by PopeRatzo (#49834583) Attached to: Showtime Announces Subscription-Free Streaming Plan

Other than their own shows and some kid stuff, there's not much in the way of good movies available on Netflix anymore.

Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Chan Wook-Park, Jim Jarmusch, Francis Ford Coppola, Richard Linklater and the Coen Brothers are all directors whose catalogs are nearly 100% available on Netflix Streaming. When you look at the back catalog, there's Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, John Ford, Howard Hawkes, King Vidor, etc etc etc.

So when you say, "not much in the way of good movies", I assume you're talking about Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

Comment: Re:4? (Score 1) 137

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49834527) Attached to: Fallout 4 Announced

Aren't party members invincible?

Depends: in NV, 'normal' mode made party members vulnerable to damage; but on 'death' they'd just fall unconscious for a short time(typically until the fight was over, so you couldn't just cynically meat-shield your way through a tough fight, because the enemy would turn and finish you before they woke up again); but they could not be permanently slain. In 'Hardcore', they would die, permanently, if their HP was depleted.

While the latter is more realistic, my experience was that the companion AI and pathfinding weren't really good enough to make permadeath anything but brutally frustrating. Especially in tight spots(like, say, vaults full of feral ghouls) they tended to 'warp' around, making any sort of "now, we are watching each other's backs and focusing fire on targets closing to melee" collaboration nearly impossible; and they also weren't much good at self preservation behavior like 'running away' or 'using antivenom, even though I gave you ten goddamn doses and you know that cazador stings aren't good for you'). In FO1 and 2(and even Tactics) you had something much more along the lines of the top-down and turn based RPG experience, and keeping party members alive was a challenge; but it was at least a challenge you could actually do useful things about, because you were calling the shots. in 3 and NV, 'companions' responded to only a limited set of commands and were pretty loosely controlled.

I'd love to see a take on the 3/NV 'companion' smart enough that permadeath would actually add to the game, not just require a lot of loading-from-save or telling the companion to wait in a safe area while I do all the work; but that will likely require some fairly substantial advances.

Comment: Re:4? (Score 2) 137

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49834385) Attached to: Fallout 4 Announced
I wouldn't let the intro to NV put you off:

Like the intro to Fallout 3, it's intended to show somebody who knows nothing at all about the game enough that they can at least get themselves killed competently, rather than because they can't find the stimpack in their inventory and don't know what VATS is. If memory serves, it's also a fair bit shorter than the Fallout 3 intro(which was well done, and so fine the first time; but having to spend ten minutes being a baby and another 15 dealing with adolescent vault-bullying every time you want to try a new character build gets kind of dull). The character creation stuff in Doc Mitchell's house is obligatory; but you can skip Sunny Smiles' quest entirely(though it's a generous early-game source of caps and 5.56 rounds, so you might not want to).

Once you get past the intro, the game mechanics are largely the same(SPECIAL and VATS); but there is some additional polish to the skills and perks; the gameworld is really markedly different from the Capitol Wasteland; the local factions and characters are mostly well done and don't overlap at all with FO3(the Brotherhood of Steel is technically present in both games; but in very different capacities).

NV isn't a wildly radical re-imagining of what Fallout should look like in 3D or anything; but it's modestly more technically competent and polished than FO3 is(hence the existence of the Tale of Two Wastelands project; and it is very much it's own RPG. FO3 is a much more 'apocalyptic' take, since Washington was an obvious candidate for getting nuked to hell, and there's a lot more crumbling-cityscape and deaths by radiation and supermutant attack; along with the fact that the East Coast Enclave are still a reasonably viable force. NV is very much post apocalyptic; but there's a lot less tightly packed death zone and a lot more wilderness(some of it largely benign, some brutally lethal; seriously, don't fuck with Cazarores, or try to stop a deathclaw with anything less than .308 AP) and political and military struggle between new powers that aren't just scrabbling for canned goods in the smoking rubble and are actually starting to jockey for power in a post apocalyptic rebuilding.

You obviously don't have to trust my advice or anything; but especially if you already own the game(or find it when it goes on sale, which it frequently does), you are really missing out by not giving it a few more minutes to make its case. Let the doc patch you up, don't even talk to Sunny if you don't feel like it. If you really hate the intended early game, you can even go 'in reverse' by heading directly from Goodsprings to Camp McCarran: it takes a touch of practice; but there's a fairly safe path from Yangtze Memorial(veer to your right a bit if you see radscorpions on your left, early game weapons don't do much against their armor) and between Sloan and Black Mountain more or less straight to Repconn HQ. There are deathclaws on your left and supermutants on your right; but even feeble sneak skill should allow you to avoid the attention of the deathclaws without getting too close to the supermutants(always err on the side of too close to the supermutants: a deathclaw can run faster than you can, and is functionally unstoppable at low levels. A supermutant is something you probably can't defeat at low level; but it will usually stand and shoot at you and not pursue particularly aggressively. Unless you get particularly unlucky, or your character build has nearly no HP, you can survive being fired on, for a short time and at a distance, by a supermutant, which gives you time to get away).

Once you make it to Repcon HQ, you can either swing right and head to freeside, or head to Camp McCarran(if you go this way, try to stick reasonably close to the wall, where NCR troopers will provide a mixture of fire support and meat shield against any fiends. You can usually score some energy weapons from the fiends and and some 5.56, a service rifle, and an NCR uniform from at least one luckless NCR trooper; this lets you take the monorail straight to the strip and gives you some stuff to sell).

If I sound biased, that's because I am; but it really is worth a look if you liked FO3.

Comment: Re:Diversity (Score 1) 227

"This is why Google, Facebook, et al all have huge programs supporting STEM for minority elementary, middle and high school students"

That is NOT why they are doing that. They are doing that so they can fabricate some evidence for the idea that there's a shortage of tech workers so they can increase the number of H1Bs, who they can treat as indentured servants and drive down wages.

Comment: Re:Easy one. (Score 1) 423

Why would you go for that when the Toshiba SCS-T160 [amazon.com] is far cheaper and can be installed in a US home [instructables.com] for $30 in parts (excluding the electrical outlet)?

I rarely use the water spray, but the heated seat and no-slam lid are very nice.

Wait, a heated seat? You're supposed to sit on them?

Then how do you wash out your socks and undies?

Neutrinos are into physicists.

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