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FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

Vintermann Re:cowardice (539 comments)

So in other words, IT'S A CONSPIRACY!

The person Gamergate started with is an admitted pathological liar.

The rest can be put down to the journalist class' tribalism, and the need to distance oneself from low-status people close to you in social space.

2 days ago
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Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

Vintermann Re:So stream it... (580 comments)

If it was a movie critical of North Korea, that would send a message. But it seems it's just a none-too-deep Hollywood comedy.

What they might do instead, is sponsor a documentary highlighting the dictators' long history of "air nut" behavior and the horrors of their prison state.

2 days ago
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Vintermann Re:Public road is not for joy riding... (658 comments)

The risk associated with driving isn't just for your personally, but also for the life and health of others.

3 days ago
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Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

Vintermann Re:Why does this need a sequel? (298 comments)

In PKDs story, Deckard is human, end of story. A main point of the book is that the androids really are bad: Even though they can be vulnerable and afraid (Pris Stratton) make great art (Luba Luft), or even fall in love with each other (Roy and Irmgard Baty), they ultimately all are true psychopaths, without a hint of compassion or concern for other people except for their own benefit.

In the book, the idea of an android having false memories implanted and believing itself to be human is a ruse: The Rosen Association claims it about Rachael, but actually she knows perfectly well that she's an android. At another point, the androids go to ridiculous lengths to fool Phil Resch, a somewhat cynical bounty hunter, that he is an android. But they fail.

Of course what a Hollywood director does in his film is his own business. But I'd like to see a dramatization that was more faithful, and went into the moral and religious aspects of the story.

about a week ago
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NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Vintermann Re:Don't foget (186 comments)

Well, then that takes away the main reason to play Nethack - modest as it was in the first place.
I held out hope for Nethack for a long time, but it hasn't been developed in over ten years. The indie/roguelike scene has moved on, and improved immensely.

There are better options today, on just about any criteria.

about two weeks ago
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NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Vintermann Re:Don't foget (186 comments)

Oubliette was the inspiration for Liberal Crime Squad, Tarn Adams' (of Dwarf Fortress fame) satirical game about political extremism.

about two weeks ago
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NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Vintermann Re:Don't foget (186 comments)

I never said it was the defining feature. I'd say it is the most important, along with randomization.

Have you noticed there are very few games being made nowadays that are three lives, game over, start from the beginning?

Let's call a game that is real time, has permadeath but not random levels "arcade hard". ("Nintendo hard" is a misnomer, Nintendo had far more non-arcade hard games than the competitors, and were among the first to challenge arcade assumptions of what a game should look like)

I propose that if you hate roguelikes, you probably also hate arcade hard games, and vice versa. I guess you have some people fond of twitch reactions and memorized timings who like hard but don't like randomness - in the speedrun crowd, maybe.

about two weeks ago
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NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Vintermann Re:Don't foget (186 comments)

DCSS is what replaced Nethack for me. DCSS is every inch as hard, but fairer than Nethack: spoilers will do you little good, boring/cheesy tactics (e.g. grinding) won't help, and you won't die from misclick-type errors as often. Best of all, it has variation in the endgame, since you need three runes to win but there are fifteen in existence. Once you're able to win the game at all, you can start pushing your luck in the extended endgame by getting more runes before doing Zot.

I'm a bit skeptical of the changes made in recent years, though. A lot of the coherence of Linley's design has been eroded along with the improvements.

about two weeks ago
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NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Vintermann Re:Don't foget (186 comments)

When I introduced it to my then girlfriend, she eventually ascended three times. I only ever managed two.

about two weeks ago
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NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Vintermann Re:Don't foget (186 comments)

Actually, most people who hate roguelikes will probably hate FTL. The most controversial feature of roguelikes is permadeath, and FTL has it.

about two weeks ago
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NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Vintermann Re:Don't foget (186 comments)

DF is a roguelike too.

Adventure mode fits all the common criteria for being a roguelike:

* Permadeath
* Procedurally generated world/levels
* One character
* strictly turn-based.

Fortress mode fails criterion 3 and 4, and is such in the same pseudo-roguelike genre as Faster Than Light (roughly). Whether you consider that a roguelike, is a a matter of quibbling about definitions.

about two weeks ago
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NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Vintermann Re:One of the few games with incredible imaginatio (186 comments)

but at the heart nethack is a memorization and risk minimization game.

Yep, and this is why it's not a very good design. In a good roguelike, decisions should be situational: there should be different approaches you can take, and risk/reward tradeoffs so that a good played can take chances when behind, and play it safe when ahead. Nethack has very few meaningful strategic decisions. Crawl/DCSS had the right idea when they aggressively stripped "no-brainer" and counterintuitive decisions from the game.

(Among the counterintuitive things in Nethack that I remember: Level scaling, i.e. you don't want to get your level too high too early. All priests, even the priest of Moloch, you can donate to for divine blessing without your god getting pissed at you)

about two weeks ago
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NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Vintermann Re:Don't foget (186 comments)

These days, you can pretty much skip nethack... Rogue and Hack were the originals. Nethack was a modest extension of Hack, which had a brief injection of popular culture tropes before being abandoned by its dev team in about 2003. For the progression of the roguelike genre (conservative or extended) , it hasn't directly mattered in a long time. The only modern game I can think of that draws directly on Nethack lore is Spelunky.

More important roguelikes for today's games: Dwarf Fortress, Linley's Dungeon Crawl/DCSS

about two weeks ago
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NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Vintermann Re:Don't foget (186 comments)

And not much thinking, as your goal isn't to minimax your build.

What roguelikes are you playing? The entire appeal of roguelikes, as I see it (and that includes pseudo-roguelikes which have random worlds and permadeath but aren't turn based) is that you have to actually optimize, actually get better in order to progress: learn which things are good, which ones are situational, which ones are mostly bad. And it's not enough to get the good things, you have to get a picture of the risk/reward ratios too, so that you take less risk when you're on a path to winning, and more when you aren't. Such considerations are largely absent in non-roguelike RPGs.

about two weeks ago
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North Korea Denies Involvement In "Righteous" Sony Hack

Vintermann Re:Poor Sony... (85 comments)

But North Korea has now denied the involvement

Oh, that's OK then.

about two weeks ago
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North Korea Denies Involvement In "Righteous" Sony Hack

Vintermann Re:I'd be curious about the consequences. (85 comments)

Do you really think North Korea could follow up on those death threats by actually attacking those people

Yes. They have shown themselves willing to do stuff like kidnapping film directors because the dictator liked them, kidnapping random japanese people for amazingly little in the way of reasons.

Bluffs are for when you are already desperately losing

Well, North Korea is, in most meaningful senses. But it's not so much bluffing, as it is giving the impression that you're crazy and could do anything. Same strategy some people advocated in the cold war, same strategy many leaders in the violent criminal underworld use. Crazy people are feared, that fear earns respect of a sort.

about two weeks ago
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How Astronomers Will Take the "Image of the Century": a Black Hole

Vintermann Red Dwarf question (129 comments)

Well, the thing about a Black Hole, its main distinguishing feature, is it's black. And the thing about space, your basic space colour is black. So how are you supposed to see them?

about two weeks ago
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Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

Vintermann Re:She's _4_ (584 comments)

Yup. "with NO INTERNET TO TELL ME WHAT I COULDN’T DO".

Well guess what, for most of human history there was no internet telling people what they couldn't do. Auerbach should be more worried that his daughter will find a novel designer identity(*) on Tumblr, than that she likes some aspects of her traditional one.

(*) They're like designer drugs, only that... um. Actually, they're just like designer drugs.

about two weeks ago

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