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Comment: Re:5e: Best D&D, MHO (Score 1) 198

by mcvos (#47755973) Attached to: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

In mechanics terms, that is true, but when talking about characters they were referred to by their former careers: "ex marine", "former scout", "retired navy" and so on. And back then, that's what was most important to us nerds.

Sure, but that still doesn't make it a class. It's background. It is in fact more comparable to D&D5's Backgrounds than Classes, because it gives you history, skills and equipment. In GURPS I can also use a template to create a character and identify my character by that template, but that doesn't make GURPS a class-based system. Both GURPS and Traveller are skill-based systems.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 493

by mcvos (#47746033) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

The problem is what's the point of Java?

If speed is absolutely critical, you're going to go with C/C++/ASM/whatever native-compiled-language works well for your problem.

If speed is not absolutely critical, there's plenty of "scripting" languages that get the job done more easily with less code. And if you're talking about something cloud-based, you can probably handle the lower speed of these options by adding another server node.

Java seems to be in the middle ground where it's more cumbersome than the "scripting" options, yet slower than the "native" options

It's a pretty good middle ground, though. Java is almost as fast as C++ (10% slower back in the days of Java 5, I seem to recall). If you want speed in a managed environment, Java is a pretty good choice.

Comment: Re:that depends (Score 1) 493

by mcvos (#47745963) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

In his opinion, Java the programming language was on its way out whereas Java the runtime environment was here to stay.

Absolutely. Java the language is a chore, leading to very verbose code. The JVM however is one of the best things since sliced bread. A managed environment like that is extremely useful.

If you find that you resemble that description, then check out Clojure which is a version of lisp that compiles to Java byte code running in the JVM. It can, but doesn't have to, be pre-compiled and it is dynamically typed. You can provide type hints but you don't have to. For this reason, Clojure programs are much more dense than Java programs. Less typing in order to get the job done.

Another good option is Groovy, which very easy to get into for Java programmers, since 99% of legal Java syntax is also legal Groovy syntax. But for everything, there's also a better, more readable way to do it. Best interaction with Java of any JVM language. It's basically what Java should have been.

Be careful what you ask for. All that typing means that you can find and fix a lot of bugs in the compile step. With dynamically typed languages, you get to find those bugs at runtime. Maybe that is why other posters here believe that Java is for the B programmers.

No, if you're a competent programmer, you don't rely on the compiler to find all your bugs, because it won't. You rely on unit tests, which means your basic bugs will be found at build time. The percentage of bugs that a statically typed compiler will find for you is small. You still need extra tests to find all your other bugs, and those tests will also find your basic type errors.

Comment: Re:I hope not (Score 2) 493

by mcvos (#47745929) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

I wouldn't state that C# is superior to Java from a language perspective, both are essentially derived from Ada and C with influences from C++.

But C# is far quicker to incorporate modern language features (like closures and other dynamic programming features), while Java is constantly dragging its feet.

I'd never lock myself into a Microsoft ecosystem by specializing in C#, but as a language, it's more up to date than Java. There's a good reason for the proliferation of other JVM languages like Groovy, Scala and Clojure.

Comment: Re:MMO Crap (Score 2) 198

by mcvos (#47726573) Attached to: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

But how do you explain that the fighter can do that only once per day? With magic, the "it's magic" explanation always works. With mundane stuff, sure, you might be too tired to try it every round, but surely after some rest, you're ready again?

And don't fighters get plenty of cool with their special dice that get increasingly better and can be used on an increasing number of abilities?

And one of the big complaints about 4e was that by giving every character exactly the same amount of similar abilities, they all start to feel the same. Have magic and non-magic feel different. Give each class different kinds of cool stuff to do.

Comment: Re:At GenCon... (Score 1) 198

by mcvos (#47720197) Attached to: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

I've been getting into Shadowrun 5th edition lately and liking it more and more.

Shadowrun 5 does a very good job of taking the best parts of previous editions (mainly the smoother system from 4 and the tons of flavour from 3 and earlier).

Man, that sounds very similar to the D&D situation, actually. But Shadowrun doesn't have the crazy jumps in complexity and focus that D&D has had.

Comment: Re:Can a little guy publish successful PNP RPG tod (Score 1) 198

by mcvos (#47720075) Attached to: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

Indie games are big, and publishing something is easier than ever. However, RPGs aren't exactly a lucrative market. Most people do it for the love of the hobby, and unless your name is Monte Cook, it's not going to pay your bills.

Getting paid as a GM is an old idea, but I don't think anyone ever got it working. You'd have to be a legendary GM with everybody raving about how great you are, before you might convince anyone to pay you for playing a game with them.

Comment: Re:Pathfinder? (Score 1) 198

by mcvos (#47719743) Attached to: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

Pathfinder sales recently surpassed D&D sales, though that was also because everybody was waiting for the release of 5th edition.

Paizo (makers of Pathfinder) are doing very well, and many groups play nothing else. I'm currently playing in three different Pathfinder campaigns. But I'm afraid I'm getting a bit tired of it, and I'm looking for something else. I'm currently looking more at Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, Dungeon World, and Shadowrun 5, but D&D5 definitely looks interesting.

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