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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Description
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 2678 (Senior)
User ID 13410
 
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News Comments > Dragon Age Inquisition Delayed
23. Re: Dragon Age Inquisition Delayed Jul 23, 2014, 02:40 Scottish Martial Arts
 
LittleMe wrote on Jul 23, 2014, 00:41:
Also it has to be introduced bit by bit, slowly, and those pieces need to seamlessly fit together. Movies and books often do a fantastic job of that. Games that overindulge in voice acted dialog such as DA:O (from what I remember of it), not so much.


Yup. I like dialogue in games and I enjoy interactive dialogue, but Bioware has been pretty bad at it for a pretty long time. The terms poorly-paced, long-winded, and overly-expository all come to mind. Many Bioware dialogues drag on for the better part of ten minutes; in how many well made films are their scenes of purely expository dialogue that goes on for that long? Not many. And that's the other problem: Bioware uses dialogue primarily to recount and explain events that either the player has already experienced, or which occurred in the NPCs past and explains their current daddy issues. Any writer that uses dialogue to explain plot really doesn't know much about dialogue or writing in general. Plot is a sequence of ACTIONS, and the strength of VISUAL media is that you can SHOW actions, rather than having to TELL your audience about them retrospectively through the mouths of your characters. Yet Gaider, Karpyshyn and co. seem perfectly content to interrupt gameplay with lengthy dialogue breaks that mostly consists of the following:

PC: What just happened?
NPC: The long ago prophesied evil has returned and begun to inflict its revenge!
PC: But why would they do such a thing?
NPC: Because they are evil and they have been in hiding for a long time, biding the centuries, waiting for their moment to return!
PC: Well what am I supposed to do about it?prophesized
NPC: You are the prophesied chosen one, and the only way the chosen one can defeat this evil is by collecting four items that will ultimately be proved irrelevant to the task of stopping this ancient evil after a plot twist you'll never see coming at the start of the third act.
PC: Oh okay. Do you have directions on how to get to where these four items are?
NPC: Of course, but first I must know: do you intend to stop the ancient evil so that all may live in peace and harmony, or will you defeat said evil only to coopt its power and use that power to murder puppies?
PC: The blatantly good (evil) option of course!
NPC: *Paragon (Renegade) points unlocked* Wise answer! Oh, and by the way did I mention that I really enjoy gay sex and you are exactly my type?
 
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News Comments > Hearthstone Maintenance Now; Naxxramas Launches Later
6. Re: Hearthstone Maintenance Now; Naxxramas Launches Later Jul 22, 2014, 14:28 Scottish Martial Arts
 
BitWraith wrote on Jul 22, 2014, 13:59:
Linksil wrote on Jul 22, 2014, 12:19:
Sorry, but after years of WoW maintenance and failed launches I've lost way too much faith in blizzard at any announcement. Just release the game when it's done and stop talking about it.

What the hell are you talking about?

I guess weekly scheduled server maintenance that gets extended a couple hours every now and then and slow server performance at peak times during launch week are too much to bear.
 
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News Comments > Morning Consolidation
6. Re: Morning Consolidation Jul 21, 2014, 14:55 Scottish Martial Arts
 
TheEmissary wrote on Jul 21, 2014, 11:31:
I can't help but facepalm after reading about PC gamer's booing the Xbox games at the QuakeCon. For something that should be inclusive to all things ID and Quake they have to go and pull the "master race" or "elitist" BS. I may not agree with MS policies on a great many things but the least you can do is give the speaker your respect and or just quietly ignore them.

Did you listen to the recording? It was just some booing at the mention of Xbox Live. There isn't any real hostility; Pete Hines handled it with humor, a wink, and a nod ("This is just for the kids on the twitch stream who don't know what they're missing on the PC."). In other words, it's like 5 seconds of booing, followed by a quick and effective recovery on Hines part, followed by the rest of the presentation. It would be one thing if Hines was heckled from the stage, but this wasn't that.
 
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
20. Re: Outlook CTRL F Jul 16, 2014, 17:18 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Creston wrote on Jul 16, 2014, 16:37:
Because it's Microsoft, and they're all a bunch of arrogant cockwaffles who think they know everything better.

Isn't Ctrl-F the emacs hotkey for forward? At this point, MS needs to update the hotkey to maintain consistency with every other program in the universe, but I could see how 25 years ago at least someone's muscle memory might incline them to associate Ctrl-F with forward.
 
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News Comments > Saturday Consolidation
33. Re: Saturday Consolidation Jul 13, 2014, 21:37 Scottish Martial Arts
 
harlock wrote on Jul 13, 2014, 20:47:
dragonlance, forgotten realms.. - not "classics" but they had mountains of volumes and were more or less consistently ok

I'm not wanting to rip into your taste or anything, but you're setting a pretty low bar there. Yes, the Forgotten Realms books were of consistent quality, but even calling them "ok" is pushing it pretty far. They weren't unreadable by any stretch, and there are far worse books out there, but I just have a real hard time looking back on when I read the Crystal Shard and Moonshae trilogies as anything but throwaway summer reading for a nerdy middle schooler.
 
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News Comments > Saturday Consolidation
31. Re: Saturday Consolidation Jul 13, 2014, 19:56 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Jul 13, 2014, 19:27:
You don't like it just because they are now going to write more books? A bit hipsterish, if you ask me.

When it comes to genre fiction, the quality of a series is nearly always inversely proportional to the quantity of volumes. More rarely equals better when it comes to the printed word. Perhaps The Expanse, which I know nothing about, is an exception, but it would need to be just that, exceptional, to avoid the fate of similarly bloated, long-running series.

There's a reason why literary classics rarely have sequels.
 
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News Comments > Saturday Consolidation
28. Re: Saturday Consolidation Jul 13, 2014, 10:10 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Dev wrote on Jul 13, 2014, 08:00:
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Jul 12, 2014, 23:15:
Kinda like the 3rd season of Star Trek being moved to 10pm Friday night, and then being cancelled because -- surprise, surprise -- the ratings subsequently dropped.
If you look at the history, there was massive letter writing campaigns that brought it back (as many as 1 million letters). But they finally killed it for good after the 3rd season.

The letter writing campaign was towards the end of the 2nd season, when CBS was making rumblings that it was going to cancel the series at the end of the season. Due to the letter writing campaign, they approved a third season, but, despite promising Roddenberry a better timeslot and larger budget, after only a few episodes into the season, CBS abruptly moved the show into the Friday 10pm timeslot. When ratings dropped -- in 1968, you didn't have the internet, an on screen channel guide, or even TV Guide, to tell you why your show wasn't on at the regular time -- CBS cancelled the series before production of the last few episodes of the season were complete. In other words, it was a classic instance of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
 
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News Comments > Saturday Consolidation
22. Re: Saturday Consolidation Jul 12, 2014, 23:15 Scottish Martial Arts
 
harlock wrote on Jul 12, 2014, 23:11:
speaking of old grudges - who's still bitter about Firefly getting cancelled?

Never was a fan of it, but given how Fox handled the series, I totally see why the fans are bitter. Kinda like the 3rd season of Star Trek being moved to 10pm Friday night, and then being cancelled because -- surprise, surprise -- the ratings subsequently dropped.
 
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News Comments > Saturday Consolidation
20. Re: Saturday Consolidation Jul 12, 2014, 23:11 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Microsoft ruined the awesome thing Bungie showed at E3.

I'm not sure this is true, but Halo definitely changed and I think it's fair to lament that

Well in fairness, if it had not been for Microsoft there probably wouldn't have been a Halo at all. As it was released, Halo was basically half finished, i.e. everything after the infamous Library, which was itself just a gigantic copy-paste job, had you literally playing through previous levels backwards. While the E3 2000 demo showed off what Bungie could do with the game, given enough time and money, they simply ran out of the latter two. When Bungie was acquired by Microsoft, they were pretty much on the ropes financially, and it's doubtful they were particularly close to finishing Halo, as envisioned by the E3 2000 demo, any time soon. From what I've been able to gather over the years, it wasn't that Microsoft gutted that earlier design out of spite or anything, but that Microsoft needed Halo as a launch title for Christmas 2001, and the condition for their riding to Bungie's rescue was that the game be ready by then. Hence, why the game's latter 3 levels are literally earlier levels played in reverse, with reworked encounters, and why, more broadly, the game was a conventional linear shooter with vehicle sections, and VERY good AI for the time, as opposed to the open-world SciFi Arma that the E3 demo showed.

Still even though it likely was a choice between the Halo we got, and no Halo at all, when you factor in how MS handled porting the game, i.e. a bad port job two years after the fact, and the sheer promise of that E3 demo, it's hard not to feel a bit bitter. Plus, slapping a Vista requirement onto the Halo 2 port was just downright evil.
 
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News Comments > Saturday Consolidation
13. Re: Saturday Consolidation Jul 12, 2014, 20:41 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Draugr wrote on Jul 12, 2014, 19:57:
While I don't care myself, I think it's a bit different.

It's not like Bungie demoed all the stuff on the Xbox one and THEN went on to say it's not happening.

I wasn't making a comparison. I was just concurring with Beamer that there is still some lingering bitterness over what happened to Halo following Bungie's acquisition by Microsoft back in 2001. The game that was being demoed back in 2000 was a completely different beast, an absolutely incredible looking beast that would have been way ahead of its time, than what eventually landed on XBOX. As for whatever Bungie is working on now, I wasn't even aware that it was a PS4 exclusive, which should be indicative of how little I care about the consoles.
 
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News Comments > Saturday Consolidation
9. Re: Saturday Consolidation Jul 12, 2014, 18:35 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Beamer wrote on Jul 12, 2014, 18:14:

Dude, people still bitch, on this board, this week, about not having Halo on the PC.

I must admit that I'm still butthurt that the Halo PC/Mac game that was demoed at E3 2000 never came to fruition. The open world, high player count, vehicle based multiplayer sounded incredible. Fucking Microsoft.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
9. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 11, 2014, 11:43 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Jul 11, 2014, 09:57:
"I'm thinking of selling my theremin, I haven't touched it in years"

That one made me laugh.

I didn't get the pavlov reference,the irony bus stop one or Benoit B Mandelbrot though.

Not familiar with Mandelbrot but based upon the joke, I would imagine he was a mathematician who studied infinitely recursively defined objects. Were the middle initial B. to stand for "Benoit B. Mandelbrot" then his name would be an infinite recursion, i.e.:
Benoit (B.) Mandelbrot
Benoit (Benoit (B.) Mandelbrot) Mandelbrot
Benoit (Benoit (Benoit (B.) Mandelbrot) Mandelbrot) Mandelbrot
ad infinitum

The irony/bus stop joke is a play on the term irony itself. Irony is the defeat of your expectations, so if someone is indignant that they were accused of not understanding irony, then you would expect them to know what irony is. Being at a bus stop, however, has nothing to do with understanding irony, so the indignant speaker, whom you expect to understand irony, turns out not to actually understand it, thus defeating your expectations. It's kind of circular, but once you get your head around it, it might produce a grin at least.

Finally, Pavlov is a famous psychologist who studied behavioral conditioning. In most mammals the presence of food produces salivation, so Pavlov constructed an experiment in which every time he would feed his dogs, he would ring a bell. The bell would ring, he'd put down food, and the dogs would salivate and eat their meal. After several weeks of this, he would ring the bell, but not give the dogs their meal. Despite the absence of food, the dogs would still salivate upon hearing the bell because they had been conditioned to associate the ringing of a bell with an imminent meal.

I got everything but the chemistry jokes; I guess it has been nearly a decade since I took my last chem course, and haven't looked at the stuff since.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
34. Re: F-16 Lands Uncomfortably Low.... Jul 8, 2014, 00:18 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Atomic wrote on Jul 7, 2014, 13:04:
Yea, kind of crazy. I don't think it an accident.

And, I'm fairly certain that is an F-18, but still a cool video.

Single-engine, definitely an F-16.

edit: looks like others beat me to it.
 
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News Comments > Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth in October
22. Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth in October Jul 3, 2014, 19:48 Scottish Martial Arts
 
descender wrote on Jul 3, 2014, 19:40:
I don't know why you think the maps are small you realize you can play on bigger ones if you choose...

Relative to the amount of "pieces" on the "board", Civ maps are VERY small. Even a huge map is only 128 x 80 hexes. The standard map (80x52) corresponds to about four map sheets of Classic Battletech, on which you might have... 15 - 20 pieces TOTAL. A Civ V game in comparison will have 10 times that number by game's end, and it will feel crowded for it.
 
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News Comments > Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth in October
21. Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth in October Jul 3, 2014, 19:42 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Yifes wrote on Jul 3, 2014, 19:14:
Hex tiles are great. However, as many people more knowledgable than me have stated, hexes do NOT work in Civ. The problem is with Civ's one unit per hex rule and that Civ's maps are much smaller in comparison than in a wargame; In Civ, an entire city is ONE hex in size, and is the same size as a single unit.

The small size of the maps means that the game design has to compensate by letting the player build fewer units, which has far reaching impact on all other aspects of the game. Additionally, the smaller maps limit maneuverability. A consequence is that the AI is notoriously terrible and highly exploitable ie. incredibly easy to set up chokepoints with a handful of units that the AI simply cannot deal with.

Sure, and I actually agree with your assessment: the switch to hexes in Civ V has largely been unsuccessful, but primarily for reasons which are separate from the hexes themselves, i.e. the small, constrained maps, and the one unit per tile rule.

My issue was with the poster's more general complaint with hexes, which showed abject ignorance of their advantages, and the consensus of turn-based combat designers for the past 50 years. Hexes are only shit if the only hex game you've played is Civ V. /shrug
 
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News Comments > Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth in October
17. Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth in October Jul 3, 2014, 18:53 Scottish Martial Arts
 
JediPunisher wrote on Jul 3, 2014, 17:24:
I've been waiting 15 years for a sequel to my favorite turn-based strategy game of all time, Alpha Centauri. Unfortunately, it looks like I'll be waiting a while longer, because this isn't it. I hate hex grids, which restrict movement to six directions making the game less strategic... in other words, dumbing it down for the Nintendo generation while simplifying the AI programming. Could be worse, I guess... They could've returned to square tiles and limited our movement to four directions, rather than the original eight.

I'm sorry but that's retarded. In the world of tabletop wargames, which in many ways the Civ games are a loose homage to, hexes have been standard for pretty much forever, because they are superior to squares for turn-based combat games. Yes, you lose two possible move directions, and yes, hexes do not align with the cardinal directions, but what you gain is significant. Namely, the center of a hex is equidistant to the center of all adjacent hexes, where as with squares, the centers of diagonally adjacent squares are significantly further than orthogonally adjacent squares, which creates a "bunny hop" like effect: you can go farther moving diagonally than orthogonally, yet pay the same movement cost for both moves. Squares, through a flaw in their design, privilege certain movements over others, which encourages players not to make moves in accordance with the tactical scenario, but in accordance with metagaming the movement rules. Furthermore, only orthogonally adjacent squares share an edge, where as adjacent hexes all share an edge; this is critical in games in which facing, i.e. any turn-based combat game worth its salt, makes a difference to combat results. Hexes therefore facilitate more complex combat rules, where facing, flanks, supporting units, etc. can impact the outcome, in ways that squares can't.

In short, there's a reason why you'll be hard pressed to find a tabletop war game made in the last 50 years which uses squares.
 
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News Comments > Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth in October
10. Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth in October Jul 3, 2014, 16:14 Scottish Martial Arts
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Jul 3, 2014, 15:25:
Slashman wrote on Jul 3, 2014, 15:22:
SpectralMeat wrote on Jul 3, 2014, 15:08:
Slashman wrote on Jul 3, 2014, 15:03:
Did you turn off the advisers and encyclopedia??
I might

So you're a REAL man then! Salute
Well obviously not because I can't seem to get into the game. Maybe it is just not for me, but it does peak my interest so maybe I should try harder

Civ V is pretty user friendly as is. Was there something getting in the way of you understanding the mechanics, or was it simply a case where you understood the game but just didn't enjoy playing it that much?
 
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News Comments > Standalone DCS F-15C
12. Re: Standalone DCS F-15C Jun 30, 2014, 21:36 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Frags4Fun wrote on Jun 30, 2014, 19:57:
For you guys who've played it, do newbies have a ton to learn before we can enjoy the game/sim or can we jump right in in an easy/arcade mode to get our feet wet? Also, do I need a flight stick or can I pull it off with M/KB?

A flight stick is essential to enjoy the sim. You can control the game with mouse and keyboard, but not well or enjoyably.

Although the learning curve is not insurmountable or even at all bad, it does exist and this is not something where you can install, load up a dogfight quick mission and expect to shoot something down or even really know what's going on. Expect about 1-2 hours of watching the training videos and skimming the manual, plus another 1-2 hours of practice before you feel like you've got the hang of things. Note that "getting the hang of things" does not mean that you feel at all assured about your chances in combat, just that you know what's going on, and how to do things; becoming an ace fighter pilot will take quite a bit more work.
 
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News Comments > Standalone DCS F-15C
6. Re: Standalone DCS F-15C Jun 30, 2014, 13:47 Scottish Martial Arts
 
jdreyer wrote on Jun 30, 2014, 13:19:
What are the enemy planes in the vid? Are they just shooting down other F-15s? Or are those Mig 29s or Su-33s? Can't really tell.

I wish that DCS would focus on one time period and complete that before moving on to the next. Things are really all over the place with WW2, Korean, and modern aircraft.

This does look awesome, though. How does Flaming Cliffs 3 differ from their standard sims? The desc only says " The FC3 aircraft provide an easy learning curve for new players and focuses on a broad range of aircraft rather than a detailed single aircraft." What's missing, exactly? Like the 10 minute manual start up sequence or whatever? This is more of a get-in-your-plane-and-start-shooting-stuff kind of sim? Is the flight model still fairly realistic? I'd like something more realistic that HAWX, but maybe I don't need to go through the entire 10m startup sequence.

They looked like Su-27/33s although given their similarity in appearance, they could have been MiG-29s -- both the MiG and Sukhov design bureaus were working from the same body of research data and thus drew very similar design conclusions when designing their respective 4th-gen fighters.

The modern environment of US and Russian hardware is essentially done, at least in terms of AI objects. AFAIK, the only in service US aircraft that isn't in the game is the F-22A. Obviously only a handful of the various objects are player controllable, but in terms of implementing the military hardware as AI objects, the modern air/land environment is complete.

The goal of ED/TFC and their 3rd party partners is to eventually simulate all military hardware, at least at an AI level, from the WWII era to present, with attendant theater terrain maps, and the most popular/interesting/iconic aircraft as player controllable high-fidelity simulations. Obviously that's a nigh impossibly ambitious goal, so now that the modern era is basically done, TFC/ED's focus is on WWII, at least with regard to AI objects and terrain; TFC/ED's F/A-18C module is still in the works, along with the new terrain engine and the Nevada map, of course. Meanwhile, Belsimtek has already gotten their F-86 module to beta release state, hence its launch next month.

As for the difference between a Flaming Cliffs and full-DCS module, the former does not purport to provide an accurate model of the avionics -- which isn't to say the model is unrealistic, merely that it's not a one to one simulation of the real thing -- and has a non-interactive cockpit. The stand alone Flaming Cliffs modules have fully featured flight models that are as realistic as the full-DCS modules. The MiG-29 and Su-27/33, which are not yet available as stand alone modules, do not yet have advanced flight modules, but those will be implemented in the coming months.

Aircraft startup is generally a 5 or 6 keystroke process, but that does not mean controlling the aircraft is as simple as HAWX or something of that nature. To be honest, I actually find the fully simulated aircraft a bit easier to get the hang of because you manipulate the cockpit directly rather than memorizing a set of key/button commands. For example, the A-10C module fully implements the HOTAS functionality for designating a target, selecting a weapon, and delivering the weapon, where as the A-10A (Flaming Cliffs) module requires that you memorize a change weapons button, a designate target button, a weapons delivery mode button, etc. The difference is that the former uses a conceptually consistent model of avionics interaction where as the latter is simply a single key for a single function.

This comment was edited on Jun 30, 2014, 13:54.
 
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News Comments > Standalone DCS F-15C
2. Re: Standalone DCS F-15C Jun 30, 2014, 09:25 Scottish Martial Arts
 
It's not upcoming; the standalone module has been available since the most recent patch, which was released over a month ago. The trailer, however, is new.  
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