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User information for S Westberg

Real Name S Westberg   
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Signed On Feb 15, 2007, 19:09
Total Comments 1902 (Pro)
User ID 34131
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News Comments > Steam and DRM-Free Shadowrun Returns in June
57. Re: Steam and DRM-Free Shadowrun Returns in June Apr 10, 2013, 16:47 Flatline
Harlequin wrote on Apr 10, 2013, 16:38:
Cutter wrote on Apr 10, 2013, 15:38:
Harlequin wrote on Apr 10, 2013, 11:50:
Cutter wrote on Apr 10, 2013, 10:04:
Anyway, even though I'm not happy with the stylized look of the mobs I'm hoping the rest of the gameplay makes up for it.

Could you clarify what you mean by this? You don't like the art direction/mood set by it?

The environmental stuff is fine - could be grittier but we'll see how it comes out at final - but the it's the NPCs I don't care for. The cartoonish look of the orcs with the massive upper bodies and teeny, tiny legs. It just destroys it for me. At least with SRO they went with normal looking NPCs.

hhhmmm I suppose they did go overboard with the metahumans to much. It's like they took the artwork of SR 1,2,3E and decided to exaggerate it for some reason.

They go into this in the previous update.

Basically, it's for instant character recognition. The idea is that the most important, visual "pop" is at the top of the character. As the art dude explains, your character is about 50 pixels tall. There's a fine line between lost in the noise and "oh that dude's a troll".

Hate it if you want, but it makes things easier to look at/gain info from.
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News Comments > Steam and DRM-Free Shadowrun Returns in June
56. Re: Steam and DRM-Free Shadowrun Returns in June Apr 10, 2013, 16:41 Flatline
Creston wrote on Apr 10, 2013, 14:54:
Flatline wrote on Apr 10, 2013, 14:22:
and while lately the setting has taken to suckling at the teat of "magic wins EVERYTHING" game design,

It's kind of always been that way, though. In 2nd edition, the only chance a street sam ever stood against a mage was if he won initiative. A stacked Stunbolt 6 would absolutely obliterate any street sam. Obviously the Drain would probably take out the mage as well, but magic was pretty heavily overpowered, especially if you knew how to mitigate Drain.

God, I loved playing a mage in Shadowrun.


Any Sammy would probably be getting init from the absurd 'ware they're carrying.

The entire metaplot for 4th edition though was "get the magic McGuffin!" The big deal with otaku becoming technomancers is basically ignored, and at one point you have shit like a laser designator spell, where you automagically generate the target code for whatever ordinance is in the air at that very moment to guide it to a target using a very real laser pulse that you create as a mage (violating the Sr rules of magic to hell and back)... Instead of... you know... the 1000 nuyen laser designator.

Oh, also, with 4th ed, it's way, way easier to *not* actually throw that stunball (which you're right is f*cking death), but to summon a force 14 spirit that throws Stunball 14 on your behalf. Oh, and that spirit basically has 14's for it's stats, so even if your sammy gets init, he's still f*cked. Joy!

Where earlier SR games were kind of a joyful mess, I have a particular dark spot in my heart for 4th ed. They did one thing very right (switch to static target numbers) and did everything else entirely wrong. Matrix rules are still a nightmare (the in-text introduction to basic hacking took, I shit you not, over 38 dice pool rolls in real life, for a 5 second hack), vehicle rules are borked to the point where riggers are barely existent, and magic/summoning is way overpowered.

And I won't go into the adventure where you go destroy evil Jew ghosts haunting a concentration camp so you can rescue the mystical knife that was used to experiment on all said Jews during their lifetimes. But that's a real, 4th edition adventure. True story.
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News Comments > Steam and DRM-Free Shadowrun Returns in June
37. Re: Steam and DRM-Free Shadowrun Returns in June Apr 10, 2013, 14:22 Flatline
My pleasure. I was a huge shadowrun geek back in the day. There's been a lot of changes (shamans an mages were generally the same in PnP, they just couldn't learn from each other, and shamans had totems/animal spirits that shaped their personalities, instead of shamans being spirit summoners) but I'm more okay with that than a lot of purists are. For me SR was more about the setting than anything individual mechanic, and while lately the setting has taken to suckling at the teat of "magic wins EVERYTHING" game design, the earlier stuff had a good mix of machine and magic, and that was always what was cool for me. Fireballs and machine guns and stuff like that. Going back to the 2050's setting is kind of awesome.  
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News Comments > Steam and DRM-Free Shadowrun Returns in June
35. Re: Steam and DRM-Free Shadowrun Returns in June Apr 10, 2013, 14:05 Flatline
Jerykk wrote on Apr 10, 2013, 12:45:
How does a combat system even work without hitpoints?

In SR, up to 3rd edition, you had "light, moderate, serious, deadly" levels of damage. And even then, you still had "hit points". I believe 1 point of damage was light, three was moderate, like seven was serious, and 10 was deadly, or something like that. You had a separate track for both physical and stun. So it'd take three light wounds to get you to moderate, two moderates to get you mostly to deadly, etc...

However, the game also uses dice pools. With variable target numbers. Which on a D6 is pretty much utter bullshit. Why? Because it makes calculating the odds of success a pain in the ass, and the odds swing in a very lurching manner. The odds of hitting target number 7 is identical to hitting target number 6 for example (roll a six, it explodes, roll it again, if it's a 6 keep going), since you *have* to add at least 1 to your explosion roll.

When it sort of worked, you'd have weapons with soak difficulties and damage codes, like a pistol being 6M damage. Every two net successes stages the damage up one level. Once you hit deadly, every 2 successes stages the soak difficulty up by one. So two net successes on your attack stages to 6S, 4 net to 6D, 6 net to 7D (which is exactly the same as 6D), and 8 net to 8D. Then you'd take that target number and roll your body and your armor to soak. Every two successes stages the damage down by one. So on 8D, if you roll say six dice, and two of those are sixes, and you roll a 2 and a 3 on your explosion roll, then the D/Deadly damage is staged down to S/Serious.

The idea was that if you were good enough, you could 1-shot people with a .22 pistol all day long. Of course, in the PnP game this worked because you had a combat pool, where you had dice that you could allocate either to dodge or to attack each round, so you had a level of granularity going there.

In the end, variable target numbers blow, especially on a D6. In SR4, they ditched damage codes and went straight to variable hit points, which sucks for other reasons.

According to Jordan, the original combat system was literally pen & paper combat lifted whole, and I can totally see how that would be... an issue.
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News Comments > Morning Consolidation
3. Re: Morning Consolidation Apr 9, 2013, 14:46 Flatline
jdreyer wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 13:17:
Obviously when Sony leaked that the PS4 would have only 4 GB of RAM, the uproar in the Blues forums caused them to change their minds.

Not just Blues, but the community in general gets sick of the anemic memory limitations in consoles. Memory is fugging dirt cheap these days, and you can rest assured that sooner or later devs will use every last bit of resources you put into a console and wish there were more.
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News Comments > Batman: Arkham Origins Revealed
4. Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Revealed Apr 9, 2013, 12:35 Flatline
Darks wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 12:31:
Flatline wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 12:24:
Looks like this is where Batman jumps the shark.

I can't blame Rocksteady though. They made the best Batman game of all time, followed it up by blowing it out of the water, and now they probably want to do something else.

Yes, they made a great game. But why does it always have to be about the Batman? Why canít they move into a new direction with some of the other Super Heroes? The Flash would be one Iíd like to see.

Batman's the easiest to replicate in a video game. He is a ninja, can glide, and has a bunch of single use gadgets he swaps out. Perfect for a video game.

If you can figure out a really engaging, fun mechanic for The Flash that isn't bullet time, then you may be on to something.
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News Comments > SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall
22. Re: SQUARE ENIX on Tomb Raider Shortfall Apr 9, 2013, 12:33 Flatline
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 09:23:
It just occurred to me I have been accepting game sales numbers "as is" without much thought about it.

I agree selling 5 million copies of a game is doing well. But why? Why don't games sell more? I mean when a game sells 5 million copies, what percentage of gamers is that? It has to be small, right? I mean, single digits small. Why aren't there games selling 10s of millions? The "AAA titles" get shipped in 4-6 languages... shouldn't there be more sales?

Well... Each platform has sold about 70 million consoles over it's entire lifetime. PCs are a more nebulous market so I won't deal with those at the moment.

So yeah, 3 million units shipped seems tiny. But that's out of the gate/first month/first sale at 60 bucks a pop. When all is said and done, I wouldn't be surprised if TR pushes closer to 10 million units. It'll take a couple years and several price drops, but in a world of used games, game sales, and the knowledge that prices *will* drop, the number of 60 dollar purchases is limited and really a niche.
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News Comments > Batman: Arkham Origins Revealed
1. Re: Batman: Arkham Origins Revealed Apr 9, 2013, 12:24 Flatline
Looks like this is where Batman jumps the shark.

I can't blame Rocksteady though. They made the best Batman game of all time, followed it up by blowing it out of the water, and now they probably want to do something else.
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News Comments > Op Ed
24. Re: More Big Picture Details Apr 9, 2013, 12:20 Flatline
nin wrote on Apr 9, 2013, 12:18:
(aside from it being an utterly badass moment).

Wish that part had lasted longer...was disappointed it was over so quickly. I even ran upstairs to see if the vending machine would work...

So did I
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News Comments > Op Ed
22. Re: More Big Picture Details Apr 9, 2013, 12:13 Flatline
Okay I'm finally going to post one of my many thoughts on Bioshock Infinite. I'll spoiler the thing because it's so recent.

My idea revolves around two things. First, Elizabeth flat out says her ability to shift worlds is sort of a wish fulfillment. Second, Ken Levine in an interview said that nothing in the game is put in there to be "cute".

So. One of the complaints about the game is how two dimensional the secondary characters turn out, especially the Vox Populi and their leader, and how cartoony the leader turns out to be.

But let's think for a minute. The game starts out in what I'll call the Prime reality, and according to my count, you go through at least three "one way" shifts, so that you're actually on a 4th version, minimum, of "reality" by the time you finish the game. You meet the leader of the Vox Populi on the airship, which has been turned into a hospital, and up to that point, you've not heard anything on the voice logs to suggest that she's as evil as she turns out to be. But when you have Elizabeth around, you bitch and complain and say that Daisy is just like Comstock, and basically paint a bleak picture of her. At first, Elizabeth disagrees, and compares the rising to Les Miserables. And indeed, after the first world shift, it *looks* like Les Mis. Because this world jumping *is* wish fulfillment. It's way too coincidental that you jump from one reality to an alternate, and you just *happen* to land in the world where your goals have already been achieved. That entire section of the game where you are going after weapons for the Vox, all you're actually doing is jumping to a second, then third, then fourth derivative world. I actually said to myself "you know, you're not *actually* achieving anything" after the final jump. I didn't expect Daisy to deliver the airship to me, because I hadn't delivered the weapons to her, I just went to a world where she already *had* them. But that doesn't occur to Booker or Elizabeth.

The world gets progressively bleaker every time you jump, and why? Because you're both subjecting Elizabeth to witness horrors, and you're poisoning her mind. You're evangelizing to her in your own cynical world view, prohphesizing that Daisy will become just another Comstock, and lo, she does.

Not only that, but as Elizabeth comes to rely on you and trust you more and more, your position in the world elevates, until you're literally a martyr when you're done world-hopping. Which is even more ironic because at the other end of the spectrum you're also Commstock, a prophet, evangelist, and wannabe martyr.

And while I'm musing about Bioshock, there's a meta-commentary about games to be made by leaping back to Rapture (aside from it being an utterly badass moment). Elizabeth is kind of Ken's 4th-wall breaking voice here. If it's Bioshock, there's always a tower, there's always a city, there's always a man with a flawed vision. That *is* Bioshock. There's also always tonics and plasmids. Another criticism is that Tonics are never "placed" into the world. They just exist there. And I suspect that's intentional on the designer's part. It's an anachronism, sort of like the music (It may have even bled over from Rapture). But it's also a necessary part of the Bioshock universe because it's elemental to the universe.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2013, 12:20.
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News Comments > America's Army Beta Signups
7. Re: America's Army Beta Signups Apr 8, 2013, 22:51 Flatline
pacbowl wrote on Apr 8, 2013, 21:13:
I was heavily into this game several years ago and had probably logged over a thousand hours on Pimpline and Hospital. They kept tweaking and tweaking the engine until it was nearly impossible to hit anything even when prone. That's when I dropped it.

In a war environment, that's probably pretty realistic. In Afghanistan you're looking at like 250,000 bullets fired per casualty inflicted.
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News Comments > Op Ed
47. Re: Op Ed Apr 7, 2013, 03:01 Flatline
PropheT wrote on Apr 6, 2013, 22:22:
The reason I never get behind any of this, uh, crap is because it's so all-inclusive. Game shows bare breasts? Misogynist. Game has male lead characters, no female lead? Sexist. Rinse, repeat, for absolutely anything writer can find to support that argument.

It's generalist bullshit dismissing the entire medium as anti-female because there are some prominent examples you can pick out in a primarily male-driven hobby. A lot of it is going to be made for men, because the audience is primarily men. That doesn't mean it's anti-woman, or even sexist, any more than movie theaters are anti-male because they have Sex and the City 1 and 2 and Meg Ryan movies and whatever. Some stuff is made for you, some is made for me. Why don't we see more third person shooters made with the sensibilities of girl gamers in mind? Because men playing them make up enough of the market that there's not much of a choice come funding time.

Point is, you can have your cake and eat it too. If there's enough of a demand for the kind of games that we want to classify as girl games, then they'll get made, sell well, and the market for them will increase and flourish. And if they do, fantastic...but that doesn't mean games that aren't like that need to disappear for it to happen.

Sometimes nobody listens because they aren't aware of the objections, but sometimes they just aren't listening because what you're saying is stupid.

Wait, why do we have to have "girl games" and "guy games"? How about games that don't portray women as sexual fetishes, hyperbolic stereotypes, or victims? Surely teaching boys not to treat women as only being worthy of wank fodder can't be seen as a bad thing.

And as far as the industry being "male driven", at one point that was true, but women make up around half of gamers out there. And interestingly enough, they aren't looking to play My Little Pony- really little kids and college frat boys play MLP. The idea that women *need* "girl games" is in and of itself sexist and bigoted. Separate but equal was a shameful argument when it was about race, it's shameful here too.

Here. Come read this blog:

And see what kind of behavior implicit tolerance breeds.
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News Comments > Op Ed
46. Re: Op Ed Apr 7, 2013, 02:52 Flatline
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Apr 7, 2013, 02:46:
Quboid wrote on Apr 6, 2013, 20:29:
It's not the biggest problem in the world, but does that mean we should ignore it? Should we ignore everything except whatever is the biggest problem?

Didn't say that. But it strikes me as a very first world problem compared to what I see on a daily basis. And if I worked with poor people from the third world, rather than foster kids from the San Francisco Bay Area? Well, the cup of rage would runneth over the next time I meet some educated, well-to-do, white or Asian woman who feels a great injustice has been done to her because she is statistically more likely to make marginally less money than her male coworkers.

Is it an injustice? Sure. Should we right injustice where ever possible? Of course. But is it comparable to being 11 years old and having a dad who sells your food stamps so he can buy drugs for himself and his girlfriend? No, absolutely not, and anyone who suggests that it is needs to wake the fuck up.

The inequality and gender bias against women is HARDLY a "first world problem". It manifests in different ways depending on the culture. Here in the US, it manifests in a payroll prejudice, and slut shaming if you're raped (I'll go ahead and point to Stubenville to show you what I mean). In some countries, you're put to death if you're the victim of the rape because you've slut shamed your family so bad by being raped.

It's still the same bigoted point of view that fuels each.

"Try not to be a bigot" isn't exactly something that needs prioritization. It's one of those skills that *should* come around the same time you learn to wipe your ass.
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News Comments > Warframe Registers 1M Players
15. Re: Warframe Registers 1M Players Apr 6, 2013, 20:29 Flatline
Moog wrote on Apr 6, 2013, 06:23
uite enjoy it - fun co-op gameplay - but their micotransaction prices are *way* too high to ever consider dropping any money on it.

Will play my default frame with my default weapons until I get bored with it, then delete the installation. [/quote:

Exactly. Tribes Ascend hit this sweet spot where for like 20 bucks I could unlock most of the base content in the game (the player classes). I could unlock my favorite play style for a few bucks and go from there.

Warframe is kind of fun, but I'm not about to spend 30-50 bucks on a PC class that lets me play the game slightly different. Or 10 dollars on a bow.
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News Comments > Evening Consolidation
2. Re: Evening Consolidation Apr 5, 2013, 22:32 Flatline
I was a pretty loyal xbox fan this past generation, but in between console generations I have zero loyalty. If Microsoft decides to fuck up the new xbox, then I'll be happy to jump ship and look at PS4, which Sony finally seems to be "getting it" after the amazing hubris with the PS3.  
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News Comments > Warframe Registers 1M Players
4. Re: Warframe Registers 1M Players Apr 5, 2013, 22:30 Flatline
PHJF wrote on Apr 5, 2013, 22:18:
Anyone give it a shot?

I did. It was pretty bad.

Eh it's standard 3rd person shooter with severe grind imposed on it.

Which is normally "pretty bad, move on", but the up shot is that it takes like 15 minutes to complete an entire mission. And having the game be that discreet fucking rocks.

Game reminds me mildly of sven co-op though, with lots of rooms that basically have different themes chained together to create a level. You'll see lots of familiar rooms really quickly, and the radar points you int he proper direction relentlessly. Exploring has limited value as there aren't that many pick-ups in each map (but that makes them more worth while oddly enough).

Mods have an interesting fusion/upgrade system that is totally off-balanced by how expensive everything is. Apparently end game isn't much of anything and you're severely overpowered.

I wish it were easier to at least unlock new warframes. They're the real cash money sink (along with weapons, but I can live with that), and to unlock one otherwise you have to grind a blueprint, grind resources, and then grind money to assemble the new warframe, then wait some amount of time. I can't tell you how long because apparently the loot I need to grind to unlock my first warframe is about 2/3 of the way through the game.

I know the basic frame won't keep me interested that long, and I have no intention of spending money on this. It's a fun passtime but that's it.
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News Comments > BlizzCon 2013 Ticket Sales This Month
32. Re: BlizzCon 2013 Ticket Sales This Month Apr 4, 2013, 19:50 Flatline
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 18:52:
Agreed, D3 was much more of a fail than SC2. SC2 was probably what most people wanted, which was really SC1.5 -- and that's what they got. SC2 wasn't terrible, I did buy it. But it just didn't manage to grab me like the original did. Plus, despite playing WoW for 6 years, I find myself in the "I want my single player games to be offline" crowd. It was "okay", a minor stumble. D3 however was a clear fail, even prior to launch. I didn't even consider buying it.

SC2 took 10 years to put out. An *expansion pack* (and please, when 90% of the functions of the game are identical and you get new maps/story mode, that's an expansion) took 3 years to put out. The human story was forgettable- Rebel against Mensk, get some psychic tuner thing, get Kerrigan, roll credits. Oh, and cameo of the chick from StarCraft: Ghost that we'll never, ever get to see, and from Zeratuul.

It just... wasn't A-list level. Which is understandable, because the A-list devs are on Titan supposedly.
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News Comments > Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy Source Code Released
42. Re: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy Source Code Released Apr 4, 2013, 17:58 Flatline
yuastnav wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 10:33:
Xero wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 10:18:
Why hasn't there been a new Jedi SOMETHING game in a while? Outcast and Academy were AWESOME games. Too many good times in multiplayer duel deathmatch. It was awesome fighting or even spectating those matches.

I can agree with the "fighting" part, however watching most of these matches was dreadful because at a higher skill level the fights consisted of the opponents circling each other and going backwards and forwards the whole time. Then they would swing their swords and hope that they managed to land a hit and that would go and on and on and on...

Still, a Jedi Knight 3 would be phenomenal, although it would lose a lot of its charm because it wouldn't use the Quake 3 engine anymore.
I think LucasArts decided that they'd rather release The Force Unleashed, which looked interesting back when I first saw it on Giga Games in... 2004? 2005?
Anyway, the game itself was dreadful, just awful and not fun in any way. There were also too many quick time events.
But that's probably why there will be no new Jedi Knight. It seems that they just abandoned a series in favour of something that is similar but ultimately less interesting.

The Force Unleashed would have been decent if the saber wasn't a fucking whiffle bat after the first couple levels. I mean, it shouldn't take 37 hits to kill a stormtrooper, even if he is a big badass mini-boss. After I realized that the lightsabers were useless, I just dumped all my points into force push and lightning and ran around zapping everyone, and it turned boring.

Whoever thought "let's make a game where you're actually a badass jedi" and then said "I know, let's make your lightsaber fucking useless" needs to be beaten severely.

And yes, the power level is way off from the rest of the films and the characters are boring and uninteresting and you know how the goddamn game is going to end since you *can't* kill the emperor or vader and you can't join them, since this is "canon" prequel shit. But it had promise as a good action fighting game, they just fucked it up.
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News Comments > BlizzCon 2013 Ticket Sales This Month
26. Re: BlizzCon 2013 Ticket Sales This Month Apr 4, 2013, 17:47 Flatline
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 17:43:
The guild dying is a big thing to get past. It is a very social game and I played it mostly with the same people for the last 3 years. Playing again and having to build up a new group is something I don't think I could muster the effort for. Plus, none of my RL friends are playing it any longer.

I look forward to finding out what Titan is. I feel Blizzard is on a bit of a tumble currently with SC2 and D3. So, I'll be cautious whatever Titan is, but I want it to be great.

Titan might be decent, as they've concentrated their A-list talent into it. SC2 and D3 are both B-list teams making A-list games.
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News Comments > LucasArts Closed
16. Re: LucasArts Closed Apr 3, 2013, 15:15 Flatline
jacobvandy wrote on Apr 3, 2013, 15:11:
And nothing of value was lost.

You guys clamor for those IPs, and they're still there. So you can keep right on ahead with that. In fact, as someone already mentioned, this could open up doors like, a new Double Fine-developed Monkey Island, etc.

It's the end of an era. I remember playing Blazeball on my commodore 64, made by Lucasarts.

Yeah, today LA doesn't mean much (the last really good game they came out with was Republic Commando), but for like 25 years it meant something.
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