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Comment Re:Same? (Score 1) 237

shi ma? shishi shang shi bu shi zhen de? wo shishi shishi shishi la

While I suppose you COULD learn Chinese only with Pinyin, I can't imagine how painful that would be, and you'd never be able to read anything or be considered remotely literate. Probably why they never changed to pinyin.

Anyway, most of the comments here seem to be related learning to read, which in Chinese is a much easier task than writing. I can read newspapers just fine, but I gave up trying to memorize exactly how to write each character a long time ago, and just use pinyin input on my computer to write when I need to. I feel sorry for students who have to write with their hands, it really is quite difficult and slow for non-native learners. Even my Chinese friends can't remember how to write many of the characters they can easily read, and often if two or more them are in the same room when I ask them how to write a character, they will argue for a few minutes before consulting some reference to figure out exactly what the strokes are. They're also very used to computers doing that work for them.

Comment Why do people care so much about Mars? (Score 1, Interesting) 175

Just because it's one of the few planets in the solar system whose gravity/temperature won't instantly kill you? Am I in the minority here by preferring to spend my entire life on earth than visit a desert with no breathable atmosphere? Why is it so important to send people to a barren rock before we have the technology to make it livable? Wouldn't the vast sum of money required be better spent preserving the rainforests here on earth? Who tagged this article 'getyourasstomars'? Why does going to mars in the near future matter even a tiny bit for our present situation?

Comment Re:Old (Score 5, Insightful) 342

The fact is that most people don't actually want to play a "massively" multiplayer online role-playing game. They (and I) want to play a multi-player online game. I loved playing Unreal and BF1942, but if they somehow made servers that could handle 100,000 people I wouldn't want to play on them. It's just too many people. Blizz and other companies try to find a balance between too many players in one place, and not enough. I think they have succeeded in that I can usually find a group to go wherever, and don't lag out when I zone into the capital cities.

As far as world PVP goes, please, they tried that. It always just devolves into zerging, whoever has the most people always wins. If your server is 75% alliance, world PVP is going to be pretty meaningless/frustrating if you're horde. The only way to make it fun is to try and make sure the same number of people fight each other at the same time, which is what battlegrounds and arenas are for.

Finally your assertion that WoW is a glorified dungeon crawling game strikes me as baseless, given that I spend ~20% of my time going to dungeons and 80% having fun killing people in battgrounds/arenas. WoW to me is like TFT2, but with swords and magic instead of guns.

New WoW Patch Brings Cross-Server Instances 342

ajs writes "World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King expansion was staggered into 4 phases. The fourth and final phase, patch 3.3, was released on Tuesday. This patch is significant in that it will be the first introduction of one of the most anticipated new features in the game since PvP arenas: the cross-realm random dungeon, as well as the release of new end-game dungeons for 5, 10 and 25-player groups. The patch notes have been posted, and so has a trailer. The ultimate fight against the expansion's antagonist, the Lich King a.k.a. Arthas, will be gated as each of the four wings of the final dungeon are opened in turn — a process that may take several months. The next major patch after 3.3 (presumably 4.0) will be the release of Cataclysm, the next expansion."

Comment Re:Only in Shitmerica. (Score 2, Interesting) 232

While I agree with your sentiment, the problem is not exclusive to the USA. Every country seems to have a large number of people who are very impressionable and don't think critically enough. These people don't read enough books/articles to develop a well grounded worldview, and attempts to enlighten them are almost always futile. If half the country thinks it would be a good idea to elect Bush twice, what exactly am I supposed to do about it? If I was Venezuelan, what do you recommend I do to get rid of Chavez, or Castro, or the Chinese Communist Party? Even if most Iranians would rather not be ruled by the Ayatollah, it's not like they have much choice in the matter.

Assholes rule over idiots, it always has been that way and always will be. The only way to make a better society is to educate people to the point where they are capable of telling the difference between assholes, idiots, and smart well intentioned people.

Comment Re:Don't need electronics for that (Score 1) 289

I'm pretty much the same as far as telling direction. The only part of the summary I found amusing was the fact that the lady didn't already know which direction was north in her hometown. Lots of people I know are like that unfortunately. This is a pretty basic skill that I'm pretty sure everyone was adept at >50 years ago; look how far we've come.

Comment Re:No Server Lag? (Score 1) 203

It could just be poor coding. The server doesn't really need to know that your cursor is holding an item but the UI still wants to confirm that you can pick it up. Or maybe the mechanics of the game actually make it important for the server to know what you're picking up. I never played the game, so I don't know.

Comment Customers vs. Devs (Score 1) 203

On the flip-side, it is possible to completely screw yourself over if you pick powers that don't synergize well. If, for example, you are a primarily ranged character (force bolts or something) but you take a melee energy builder attack (the basic attack that powers up your other attacks) you will probably not have much fun because you have to zoom in to build energy, then run away to fight at range. Or, you might make a "glass cannon" build - all offense with no defense. In the first 10 levels or so, you probably won't notice a lack of a passive defensive power, but very quickly after that you'll slam into a brick wall where you are repeatedly killed because mobs scale up under the impression that you will be a bit more well rounded.

I personally would have never played WoW if respecs cost me 1000 gold. You just gave me all the reason I need to never play this game. Most players aren't devs, didn't play in the beta, and really have no idea what skills are useful. How are people supposed to know which powers synergize never having played the game before?

Also, the utility of powers will change as you encounter different challenges or levels. The old version of Spirit Tap was great for my low level Priest, but once I hit the level cap (and even long before that) the skill was almost completely useless, and of course I wanted to respec to Blackout instead.

This system you keep apologizing for seems bent on punishing noobs for making mistakes that they had no way of knowing they were making. Most people don't do 80 hours of research and interviews with top players before attempting to play a video game. Another thing that makes no sense: respecs cost 280 days of play time or free at the next big patch? Yeah, it all makes perfect sense now.

You sound just like the Everquest devs shooting down all the petitions to make the game suck less to play because it didn't fit their pre-conceived notions of how long it was supposed to take to reach level 50.

Comment Re:BBC Documentary (Score 1) 147

I recommend "The Moral Animal" by Robert Wright. The book is mostly about modern evolutionary theory related through Darwin's works and life. I really liked that Galapagos documentary too, I felt like after watching it I never really need to go there myself, which is a good thing for the islands' wildlife.

Comment Re:Plot... I will miss you (Score 4, Interesting) 236

I never understood people who play games for the plot. I play games for entertaining gameplay. To me the very definition of a game is something almost entirely lacking in plot. Chess, checkers, cards games, monopoly, etc all have no plot.

I played WoW for the arenas and always laughed to myself at the nerds who cared about the backstory of Archimonde and blah blah blah. The plot in these games is just a device to move the game forward. A boss that respawns every week and exists in infinitely many instances does not make for an interesting plot. When I want good stories, I read books.

Comment Re:Escort (Score 1) 293

Mommy why can't WE go the concert? I want to go to the concert! Pleeeeeease?

Seriously dude. You got a cruise. STFU. Many people would much rather take a nice boat ride than go to concert of 4 shitty bands they've never heard of. With your attitude it's no mystery as to why they don't want you back.

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