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Comment Re:Pay-to-win down-your-throat (Score 3, Interesting) 189

Free-to-play is an awful model, thrust upon gamers because the publishers have decided it must be so

Free-to-play exists because the developers that have nailed it with a good game are making money hand over first, and everyone else wants to do that too.

Nobody really likes free-to-play. I don't know anyone for whom it is their first choice of gaming platform.

Allow me to introduce myself - I'm someone that likes free-to-play!

I've been playing Dota 2 a lot in the last 6-8 months. It is as often frustrating as hell, but it's great fun having a good game with friends.

It is a free-to-play game; they make revenue selling in-game content like clothes and effects for characters. I am totally, completely uninterested in this, but I am by far the unusual one - most of the people I've played have dropped at least the cost of a normal AAA game buying stuff, and I know a few people who have spent over $100 - no doubt there are even more.

There's the occasional in your face thing trying to get you to buy something - usually just an item expiring notice or something - but they are few and far between. I am easily able to ignore it.

I often spend hours a day playing this and cannot believe they're giving something this awesome away for free. Maybe I'll buy something some day - some of the in-game content looks really visually impressive and it gives your character a unique flavour - I can see why people like doing it, although it seems like playing dress up with virtual dolls.

Some games are more obnoxious about it - I play a bit of Tapped Out, the Simpsons game. It is much more in your face trying to get you to buy stuff. I love the game because I love the Simpsons, but it's just idle pleasure for me and I have no plans to drop money in it either.

(plug: I did a review of Dota 2 which outlines the game for noobs. I encourage people to play it because it's F2P done right, it's extremely well engineered and well featured - and it's great fun.)

Comment Re:All minor parties are teaming together (Score 1) 162

Not all countries have hilariously huge beaurcracies of elected officials. In this case the article is about Australia.

Here we vote for senate and the house. The prime minister is chosen by the party which controlls the house. Cabinet positions such as treasurer and AG are chosen by the prime minister and confirmed by the governer general.

Local officials, controllers, and judges are apolitical positions and not voted on.

Propositions and measure are "yes/no", not a ranking of positions.

You can make your own (or print one from a party's website) "how to vote" card before you go to the poll, and then fill in your ballot to match. Or you can decide when you get there.

It takes under 5 minutes to vote for everything in total, not 5 minutes per vote.

Comment Below the line (Score 4, Informative) 162

Anyone who is actually voting for wikileaks will likely be well informed and voting below the line anyways.

For those not familiar with australian voting, we have preferential instant runoff first past the pole voting.

You can either vote "above the line," where you select ONE party, and that party decides how your preferences fall if they don't win a seat, or you can vote "below the line," where you number individual candidates "1, 2, 3.....".

Comment Re:No notice, no reference (Score 1) 892

Here in Australia, I have heard tell that giving people a bad reference is grounds for a defamation lawsuit. As a result many companies (including mine now) refuse to give a bad reference and will instead only confirm the person was employed there and politely decline to answer any further questions.

Positive references are not a problem. So typically, if you ask for a reference and the person only is prepared to confirm they worked there, I think it's safe to assume bad reference.

Comment Re:Allegory (Score 1) 372

How someone could say that with a straight face after 10 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq is beyond me. Instead of being used to export high explosive to the Middle East, maybe some of those delicious tax dollars could have done some good to the actual citizens of the United States?

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