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Comments

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Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

seebs Re:My assessment (189 comments)

This is basically exactly why I am liking 5e. I liked 3e's rules at first, but they got overwhelming. 5e is a lot more like 1e, only with many fewer complicated and subtly varying tables.

2 days ago
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Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

seebs Re:5e: Best D&D, MHO (189 comments)

Yeah, 4e is an amazing tactical combat game. I quite like it.

2 days ago
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Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

seebs Re:5e: Best D&D, MHO (189 comments)

Doesn't matter how many advantage/disadvantage you have. If you have both, you have neither. If you have only one of those two, then you roll two dice, no matter how many things are giving you advantage or disadvantage.

There are still numeric bonuses, but a lot fewer of them. I think the ones that survive all stack.

But for an example, monks and mage armor. In 3e, the monk got to add their wisdom modifier to AC when unarmored, and mage armor gave a +4 armor bonus, so they stacked. In 5e, mage armor sets your armor class when unarmored to 13+dex, and being a monk sets it to 10+wis+dex, and you can take whichever one you want, but neither is "a bonus" so there's no stacking to resolve.

In general, the net effect is slightly "shallower", but the flip side of that is that you don't have parties where one player has +42 on a check and another player has +3. So you can set DCs that are actually meaningful and interesting.

In epic-level Pathfinder, it takes our party samurai 5 minutes or so to finish a round of full attacks, which can do ~1350 damage. Also lots of die rolls. In 5e, so far as I can tell, nothing takes close to that long.

2 days ago
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Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

seebs 5e: Best D&D, MHO (189 comments)

I have basically liked all the D&Ds, so I'm a little biased. I even liked 4e, although I recognize that it was a very different kind of game in a lot of ways from the others.

But basically, if you liked D&D pre-4e, and hated 4e, 5e may be what you were looking for. It's a much cleaner system than 3e/3.5e/PF; simpler and clearer. It's not as complicated in some ways. It doesn't have nearly as much detail in the rules, it doesn't have as many formal definitions. But it's clearer and easier to read. And before you dismiss "easier to read" as unimportant, consider: I spent about 10 years on an ISO language standards committee. I assure you, I'm not afraid of formal language. But I like 5e's system better.

Most of the bonus stacking rules are gone, replaced by a mechanic called "advantage/disadvantage". If you have advantage or disadvantage on a roll, you roll 2d20 and take the higher or lower respectively. If you have neither or both, you roll normally. Most things that used to be +2-+4 bonuses of various types are now "advantage", and most things that used to be penalties are now "disadvantage". In practice, you get similar results with a lot less addition, and without having to check the bonus types of 8 different modifiers to figure out which ones stack.

Everyone I know who's played it has been really happy with it so far. The system is much less focused on trying to resolve every possible question; instead, the assumption is that the DM is not an idiot and is not playing maliciously. If you tend towards adversarial player/DM relationships, avoid 5e; it's not designed for that, and it would be horrible. But if you are playing with people who are basically clear on the idea that games are meant to be fun, and who can cooperate without epic rules battles, this is probably the best D&D ever.

The anon coward's "MMO Crap" comment is well past "baseless" into "completely incoherent". 4e had a few traits that sort of, if you squinted just right, looked like it was MMO-oriented, but mostly it was more like wargames than like any MMO I've ever seen. 5e is pretty much like a cross between 3e and Rules Cyclopedia D&D, with a much cleaner and simpler rules set, and a lot more interesting flavor to things.

Other things:

Lots of the "missing" complexity is rumored to be in the DMG as optional rules.

Casters as a whole are significantly nerfed compared to 3e, or for that matter compared to any previous edition. (Max-level caster? You get a ninth level spell per day. Use it carefully.)

There's some really crazy Internet drama about some of the consultants, which is best ignored, and has no basis in reality.

2 days ago
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Involuntary Eye Movement May Provide Definitive Diagnosis of ADHD

seebs Re:[citation needed] (199 comments)

There is, but it doesn't change anything, because you're still providing absolutely no evidence to support the claim. And it's still a good example of blaming people being "lazy" for a thing without any evidence. Just-world fallacy; insisting that all the problems are caused by people behaving badly, who therefore somehow deserve it.

3 days ago
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Involuntary Eye Movement May Provide Definitive Diagnosis of ADHD

seebs Re:[citation needed] (199 comments)

Yeah, I know what the allegation is. Where's the evidence? Where's the clinical studies?

People love to assert that someone with a cognitive disability isn't really disabled, just "lazy". But that people enjoy asserting it doesn't make it true.

about a week ago
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Involuntary Eye Movement May Provide Definitive Diagnosis of ADHD

seebs [citation needed] (199 comments)

I'd be interested in the basis for the claim about misdiagnosis being "common". I have known a number of people with ADHD who were misdiagnosed with something else. I don't think I've ever met anyone who got a misdiagnosis of not having ADHD.

The quality of the anti-ADHD-diagnosis rants can be pretty much summed up by the fact that people are claiming that a stimulant drug which makes people twitchy is going to "drug people into zombified submission". It really is that blatantly stupid; there is nothing remotely like "zombified submission" on the table.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

seebs Re: You're doing it wrong. (198 comments)

I am pretty sure that that is exactly the wrong thing, then, because the entire point of "business apps" is that people are supposed to be able to build a stable operation on them. If you are changing things so much that you have to rewrite the documentation entirely, that means you are changing them so much that anyone using the software must completely redo their entire process, retrain anyone using the system, and so on.

That's way too much change. If you are changing things enough that you are rewriting documentation every release, then you are not "evolving".

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

seebs You're doing it wrong. (198 comments)

If you have to rewrite all your documentation, you've done something horribly wrong.

Suggestion: Consider focusing on stability for a while, because stability is a huge win for user experience.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

seebs Wow, this is hard. (430 comments)

So there's this project which anyone can contribute to which doesn't have a thing I want. But unlike many things, this one doesn't require nearly as many specialized skills to produce, so the chances are pretty good I could make it if I cared to spend the time.

WHAT SHOULD I DO!?!?!?? Please help me, Slashdot. I need a way to feel like this is someone else's fault and I can't do anything about it. ... I guess, Slashdot being what it is, I should point out that the above does not actually reflect my feelings on the topic. I actually do contribute documentation updates to projects sometimes.

about two weeks ago
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Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

seebs Oh, come on. (288 comments)

Greenpeace is to the ecology roughly what Autism Speaks is to the autistic community, or what Bennett Haselton is to articles that aren't painfully stupid.

This is not news, and it does not deserve attention or reporting.

about a month ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

seebs Re:Pft (962 comments)

Well, one option would be to actually make friends with enough people that you could collect your own data.

I mean, it's an Internet comment thread. People are just reporting what they've encountered. It's just that I've consistently found that what they report is wildly different.

about a month ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

seebs Re:Pft (962 comments)

I suspect there's not much actual wanting to kill, just wanting to threaten. And why? Because there's a lot of guys who are very threatened by the idea that women could be as good at stuff as they are.

about a month ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

seebs Re:Pft (962 comments)

Oh, he was totally planning to prove a predetermined point. He was going to write about how women were just whining and it wasn't a problem.

about a month ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

seebs Re:The problem is the other way round... (962 comments)

None of this is at all true. Go look at actual research data on things like how much people interrupt and get interrupted, or how likely people are to react to something someone says.

Most women who are in professional environments have had the experience where they propose a course of action, and people ignore them and keep talking, and then some guy proposes the same exact course of action, and everyone agrees with it, and concludes that the guy had the idea. Watch carefully in meetings and you can see it too. It's sort of magical.

about a month ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

seebs Re:Limited perspective (962 comments)

See, you're complaining that they don't know what your experiences are like. But you don't know what theirs are like, and given how you talk about it, you certainly aren't spending time talking to people to learn enough that you could make the comparison.

You know what I rarely come across? Aspiring software engineers, at all, period. I mean, I'm not in college. It doesn't come up.

But given the level of overt hostility women encounter, my first explanation for an apparent shortage of "good female software engineers" would be that the people who would have been good at it left because they wanted to have a job where people didn't habitually harass them.

about a month ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

seebs Re:Just because... (962 comments)

Uh.

Actually, it is pretty much the case that women in general are harassed by men.

I'm 42. I've known dozens of women well enough to talk to them about their experiences. I think maybe one or two of them report that harassment stuff like this is fairly rare for them. The rest regard it as pretty ordinary.

about a month ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

seebs Re:Pft (962 comments)

It's actually really easy to check this out, because you can use whatever name you want on the Internet.

Someone decided to prove that women were just whining, recently.

What happened? He lasted two hours. Then he deleted the account, because he couldn't take it. The women I've talked to report that what he encountered is normal for them.

about a month ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

seebs Re:Pft (962 comments)

They're not even close to the same frequency. I know people of both genders in the game industry. The guys regard death threats as an exceptional event, and might not see one in any given five-year period. The women, if they're at all visible, get them pretty much constantly.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Why OOXML is not a good standard

seebs seebs writes  |  more than 6 years ago

seebs writes "IBM published an article I wrote on OOXML. Lest people buy into Microsoft's claims about IBM's political maneuvering, this was my idea. If you've wanted a more technical explanation of why the standard is unusable, now's your chance to read up on it!"
Link to Original Source
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YouTube hides/deletes Scientology-related videos

seebs seebs writes  |  more than 6 years ago

seebs writes "For a couple of days, videos critical of the Church of Scientology mysteriously had their view counts frozen — this was claimed to be a "technical issue" that would be resolved.

Now, those videos are gone, being deleted almost immediately after showing up, for "terms of service violations" which have never been identified or explained. Most likely, it's the hidden term of service that says "we don't want to be Fair Game, sorry."

Is Google going back on their promise to Not Be Evil?"

Link to Original Source
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Blu-ray users "knew what they were getting int

seebs seebs writes  |  more than 6 years ago

seebs writes "Blu-ray early adopters "knew what they were getting into," say blu-ray developers, announcing that every single blu-ray player ever sold, except for PS3 systems, is obsolete and will be unable to play forthcoming blu-ray discs, and no upgrade path will be available or even technically possible. This announcement was delayed until a couple of major studios shifted their support from HD-DVD (whose players will continue to work as long as discs are made) to blu-ray."
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New Haven: Flour is a felony

seebs seebs writes  |  more than 6 years ago

seebs writes "According to the city of New Haven, Connecticut, the best response to people marking a running trail with flour is felony charges. Apparently, someone decided it was possible that the substance was in some way bad, and that made it a bioterrorism scare. According to email I got from the city, they react "aggressively and without hesitation to any act or behavior that is determined to be dangerous, unusual, or a threat to the public's safety". My advice would be not to go there; if you do something unusual, they could charge you with a breach of the peace."
Link to Original Source
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Silicon Knights engages in Epic lawsuit

seebs seebs writes  |  more than 7 years ago

seebs writes "According to various stories, Silicon Knights is suing Epic, the developers of Unreal Engine, alleging, well, all sorts of bad stuff. Gamasutra covers it too. This is a big deal for a lot of people, as UE3 has been licensed by lots of companies (some sources say 150!) for lots of games, and now there's allegations (which Epic denies) that it doesn't perform well, isn't usable on the PS3, and so on. Gamer drama! Bring popcorn."
Link to Original Source

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