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Comment It was a fun game... (Score 5, Insightful) 235

The game was actually really fun up to a point. They did a great job with the low level experience. Once the game got to the high end, and especially once keep runs or city seiges were the norm, the game became as much fun as actually pursuing an extended siege on a castle. Not so much RvR as RvDoor. I think most of their gameplay systems were great -- expanding tactics slots, passive vs. active talent points, etc. The problem was with the content, largely devoid of alternatives to RvR at the high end, repetitive PQs and their strange and arcane reward systems which turned into a grind for gear that ended up being just really bad compared to stuff you could get just as easily from other places. In the end, once they started flailing wildly in patch after patch to try and make their content fun, I knew it was probably over.

Comment Re:I Am Damaged Goods from World of Warcraft (Score 1) 401

By the time WoW came out, basically everyone I knew who had played EverQuest were really interested in jumping ship. EverQuest was dated, people were pissed at the direction the game had taken (more hardcore) and basically the game had begun to really strain and break under the weight of all the baggage of a billion expansions. There were whole classes that just didn't have a unique place in the game. Not even marginally unique. There were whole zones, whole continents, almost, that were just deserted. Not because people weren't playing, but because there were a dozen zones for the same level range and the old ones were uniformly worse, not fun, etc. WoW's launch was basically like what Warhammer or Age of Conan was for WoW PvPers, except that the game worked for more than 6 months.

WoW is doing something smart with cataclysm by removing a lot of baggage they've created for themselves and getting the game back to a more simple, core fun experience that has optional depth. This seems to be something they learned well from EverQuest's wanderings in the desert of shitty expansions after Velious. Major change now will piss some people off, but if designed with the right mix of fun, simplicity, and optional depth, it will probably set the stage for further dominance in the genre.

Comment What I heard here was.... (Score 1) 218

Wahhh why can't I copy stuff and put it out on the Internet for free?

You can code up pretty much any copyrighted works you'd like. Once you start becoming a distributor of that software then you run into other companies and their work and they can get pretty upset with you stealing something they've worked to cultivate and promote into a viable source of income. So yes, sure, you can code up space invaders and pacman and whatever when you're learning to code. Don't 1.) Try and distribute it and definitely don't 2.) Fail to acknowledge the sources. Rewriting a clone of something and then distributing it for free isn't "Fair Use", it's just dumb.

Anyway, you're not learning much about writing code from putting your code up on a website anyway, are you? If you want to do that maybe you should just take a few days, add a banana cream pie that lets "Cap-Nam" shoot lasers at the little ghosts or alter the terrain, some other random additions and modifications that change the game from being a "clone" to being a "-like", and there ya go. Learning how to copy things that exist is probably half the goodness of programming. The other half is dreaming up new ideas.

Recap: Code, yes. Distribute, no.

Comment Re:Science moves, belief is static (Score 1) 892

The truth is out there, and once science gets its game together and figures out what that happens to be for some topic, I'm sure people will be happy and be glad for the info.

If everyone including scientists are wrong, then what's the point of everyone keeping up with their wrong answers? Some might take new answers that are supposedly better on a regular basis, but for most people that theoretical science isn't too useful and whether they have a good or bad set of beliefs about it is a lot less important than just about anything else in their lives.

Comment Re:Scientific 'Facts' Change more often than Relig (Score 2, Insightful) 892

A belief is just an assertion that may or may not be backed up by good facts. There's nothing about a belief itself that would inhibit someone from discarding it, or force someone to reject all contradictory conclusions.

Positioning "Science" and "Belief" as opposites is interesting. Science requires you to believe things. For instance, science requires that you believe in the usefulness of science. I think you're just trying to drag "Belief" through the mud by assigning it some sort of evil meaning.

Comment Can I get you some cheese with that whine? (Score 1, Troll) 892

Science doesn't speak with one voice on pretty much anything. Ask a group of paleontologists what happened to the Neanderthals or the Dinosaurs. Then run out, lock the door and come back two days later to let the survivor out.

Even when science does speak with one voice, it takes years for consensus to filter down because people who are not exposed to the debate (non-scientists) will continue to support things which have been proven wrong. Why? Well, because that's what they heard, and your new theory probably doesn't have a laundry list of "Here's how all previous theories were proven wrong" attached to it. You're telling people that the Celtics won the championship when they never found out that the Lakers had been eliminated in the second round. I can still pull up scientific articles that contain conjectures that are known to be wrong - yet they don't have that information about their legacy attached to them, so maybe I just assume that that's the "best" science.

"Science" is also known to be highly influenced by money. Scientists, like artists, need financial backing. The works they produce are sometimes tainted by that. Instead of doing pure, unbiased research, they are simply out with a mission from a master with an axe to grind on some issue.

Long story short: Science is done by people. And you can't trust people.

Comment Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 531

Well I'd like the concept anyway even if it wasn't 2010. However in my experience board games by and large just aren't as fun when you play them digitally. A lot of nuances of the experience are lost including the power to have really the final say over the rules of the game. Not being programmed into a box with one set of rules is a pretty big advantage for people who play board games and might evolve their own non-standard rulesets over time. It's the same reason why playing an online version of a tabletop roleplaying game isn't as fun as playing a tabletop version of a tabletop roleplaying game.

I'm wary of using one product to get all of my digital media (books, games, music, video). I consider this the Wal-Mart of media devices. I am not okay with handing Apple a monopoly on my digital content.

Comment Oh no (Score 1) 364

Oh man, what will Sony do without Open Source? /s Seriously, when they had the time and were throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the PS3 (remember PS2 emulation?), it was feasible. The PS3 slim is "What can we cobble together for cheap that does what most people expect a PS3 to do?", and Linux just happens not to be a big sticking point for 99.99% of console gamers. If enough people cared, I'm sure they'd love to support it and take your money.

Comment Okay (Score 1) 1091

Genetic testing. If Y is found, then male. If hermaphrodism is diagnosed, do a random sample from various parts of the body. If more than 50% return as male, the subject is male. Otherwise, the subject is female. If exactly 50% or within margin of error return male, subject is allowed to declare their own legal sex. These outliers are too rare to disrupt the system and start claiming more than 2 sexes.

Comment Not interesting. (Score 1) 354

When you accept work that requires government clearance, you are subject to a number of rules regarding the export of technology and know-how that is of importance to National Security. You're probably told repeatedly about such things. Sorry, I don't want the Iranians making their own UAVs off our designs. Guy's an idiot for taking sensitive material overseas in his laptop in the first place. Military and Defense technology isn't something we should be "open" about when there's real regimes out there who don't believe in the same freedoms and basic human rights we take for granted. Crap like this is why we the Russians got the bomb, why the North Koreans have the bomb, etc... Why would you be in favor of these places that don't prize freedom or equality getting their hands on this stuff?

Comment Meh (Score 1) 849

Passwords and security experts are the last things making the Internet frustrating and difficult to use for a lot of people. Both are a waste of everyone's valuable time and someone could make a lot of money by finding a reliable way to get rid of them. Having to have 27 different passwords to get to one's email means that people frequently have to ask the support people to reset passwords, unlock accounts, etc. because they can't remember how many X's they added on to the end of their 14 letter password that doesn't contain any dictionary words this month.

Comment Tools are Not A Job Title (Score 1) 586

You should not define your job by the tool you are using to do it. The fact that you use HTML is meaningless; you are a web front end designer who has experience using HTML, and whose job requires him to use HTML.

People who use telescopes are not "telescopists", we call them "astronomers" because of what they are doing with their tool, not the fact that they are using that tool. You are designing the look of web pages, and happen to be using HTML to do it.

Comment Re:"IBM is where good companies go to die" (Score 1) 292

If Sun were a good company, they wouldn't shopping around for buyers and their stock wouldn't have lost 99% of its value in the last decade.

There are good companies and companies that make good things. IBM is a good company -- one that makes money and provides good services. Sun is a company that makes some good products, but if all you have is that, a CEO with a pony tail, and no money in the bank, then are you really a "good" company? If anything, employees at Sun should be pissed that their company failed to do a better job of making money off their great products and services.

I went to Supercomputing '08 in Austin. Sun's booth had a custom motorcycle in coffee brown with the Netbeans logo on it, and a magician doing card tricks. IBM's booth was very boring -- it only had salesmen and spec sheets. That seems to represent a lot of the difference between these two companies.

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Systems programmers are the high priests of a low cult. -- R.S. Barton