AdventFalls's forum posts

#1 Posted by AdventFalls (73 posts) -

When you look at what's in it, you realize there's some good stuff.

It's a restrained Michael Bay film, meaning there's fun and dumb action while being restrained from the latent racism, overreliance on CGI, and puerile humor that have turned his more recent works into the drek of moviemaking.

It's produced by Jerry Bruckheimer in his prime, whose specialty was this kind of fun and dumb action movie (National Treasure, Top Gun, the Pirates of the Caribbean).

Your three leads are Nicholas Cage - Nicholas goddamn Cage, Sean Connery still going strong and playing an unnamed copy of James Bond, and Academy Award nominee Ed Harris - a guy whose name you've never heard of but is in like, everything. Those three could carry almost any movie.

The story, while it's not fantastic, has one of the most memorable quotes of Sean Connery's career and has an unnamed credit for Quentin Tarantino.

It is a dumb movie filled with guys who are genuinely talented, have motivations that are at least enough not to make you question them too much, and it has aged far better than many people think.

#2 Posted by AdventFalls (73 posts) -

@project343 said:

@adventfalls said:
  1. whether it's streamed to the system or the game is built in such a way that core assets are DL'd first for quick play ala World of Warcraft
  2. They're going to miss out on some of the key parts of the console because the infrastructure either isn't there in their part of the country
  3. Sony said they're reworked the entire architecture of the system to be more developer friendly and this is why it's no longer possible to run legacy games
  4. People still care about Killzone?
  5. Watch Dogs! It's sad when Watch Dogs is the best game at the conference. This was the best game at E3, too. But this is already confirmed to be a multi-platform game. It's even confirmed for the Wii U! So what is it doing here?
  6. Diablo 3? Diablo 3?! You show up at Sony's big event to talk about a port of a PC game that was already kind of divisive?
  7. So obviously, I wasn't very impressed. While the guys on the stage were certainly passionate, what they were talking about wasn't much to get passionate about.

  1. Both. They stated both. You will be able to demo a game via streaming, and you can do the core asset thing if you purchase the game.
  2. We're continuing to move toward an internet-embracing culture. This machine is likely designed to be relevant 7 years down the line. You can't fault a company for trying to make future-proof technology, especially when the majority of Nintendo's (and likely Microsoft's) featureset revolves around online connectivity as well.
  3. Better new games and more multiplatform releases > ability to play older games
  4. Killzone 2 and 3 are two of the biggest games on the PS3
  5. Exclusivity is a thing of the past. Developers can't afford to remain console-exclusive anymore.
  6. The bigger news is that Blizzard is making their first console game in 13 years, likely due to the financial pressuring of Activision. I imagine that this is not the last of this effort, and we may see Titan release on next-gen consoles.
  7. Name me a better press conference for this past generation. There is none. This machine looks leagues better than anything Nintendo has for us (you know, the bricking, last-gen tech WiiU with only a select few interesting games worth playing). And despite being a big Microsoft fan for the early portions of the Xbox 360's release, I expect Microsoft to fall on its face given their tonal fuck-ups over the past 3-4 years.

>1: Yeah, I admit I was getting a drink during the early part of the conference. So I did miss that crucial detail thanks for filling me in.

>2: Future-proofing is well and good, but I'm still concerned about how quickly adoption is going to happen. I think I remember an article from 2010 saying that the PS3 was the most-connected console to the Internet, but a 2012 article saying that only 45% of this generation was 'constantly connected'. We'll see how it goes.

>3: Point conceded, I edited the original post.

>4: Every time I hear about Killzone being big, I keep remembering how the original Killzone was supposed to be a 'Halo killer' (which wasn't what it was sold as if I remember) and Killzone 2's own issues with being prerendered.

>5: I know we've moved towards a console era where exclusivity is the exception to the rule. But I can't help but think they'd have been better served showing Watch Dogs at E3.

>6: That message got lost in the immediate 'Diablo 3, you're wasting my time' reaction. If they bring something besides Diablo 3, it could be worth it.

>7: In terms of console announcements? No, they're all pretty dry and uninspiring. I'm reserving judgement on the Wii U since it has a couple months to turn things around. But I expect Microsoft's to be even worse than this.

#3 Posted by AdventFalls (73 posts) -

@grantheaslip: I wish I shared your optimism for the streaming, but I think the devil will be in the details. I'm concerned anyone with a bandwidth cap could get bent over a barrel on this. Maybe an increased focus on Internet features gets people to start pressuring companies to increase Internet speeds, but the only company interested in spreading higher speed Internet right now seems to be Google. I could be wrong in 7 years of course.

#4 Edited by AdventFalls (73 posts) -

@truckington: Again, I get that BC is extremely difficult. Especially when the PS3 was built around the Cell which was notoriously hard to build for. Like I said earlier, it's in the best interest of the console's long term health that they redo the architecture (and thus sacrifice BC). But I still think that BC is a good way of having people use your new console in the first few months where there isn't a lot going on, and the streaming method Sony says they'll probably do could have its own set of issues.

But I agree. BC isn't an essential thing. But it's a very nice thing to use your new console for during those first few months when there's no games out.

#5 Posted by AdventFalls (73 posts) -

@grantheaslip: I agree in the long-term it is for the best they swap the architecture, but ditching the BC is a pretty brutal short-term consequence after how they launched the PS2 and the PS3. They'll probably ride that out, but that's something that'll delay my purchase for a while.

I can get the enthusiasm for streaming and the like, but there needs to be a better infrastructure for the Internet to get mass adoption - that's not something Sony has direct control over.

#6 Posted by AdventFalls (73 posts) -

Introduction

This guide is intended to serve as an instructional tool for how to play 'Fate of the World', a PC only game now available on Steam. It isn't inherently a walk-through of every mission, since that's essentially for another guide and there is a random element to each turn.

I picked this game up during the Holiday Sale of 2011, and found a damn hard game. It's almost impossible at first, but with time and patience you can learn how to save or (destroy) the world.

Therefore, this guide will introduce you to some key concepts, the cards available for play, and hints on one of the hardest missions of game.

Key Concepts

To win almost any mission in this game, you need to understand several different elements and how they affect the game.

Human Development Index (HDI)

In most missions, you are tasked with maintaining an average level of HDI save for the early missions that require a standard for every region. While it's not entirely difficult in most missions to keep this at a high level, here are some ways to increase the region's HDI.

  • Increase the region's GDP. There are cards that can switch your region's workers into jobs with more money and a card that n facilitate development.
  • Keep the population of a region in check. This is usually unnecessary, but in India and China it's an option worth looking at.
  • Get people medicine. This is a great idea when your population is under control and the region has a lot of sick people. Alternatively, have the region gain at least a 'Balanced' or 'Communal' Outlook.
  • Educate them. At minimum, you should play the 'Education Enrollment' card until it disappears.

Contentment and Stability

Each of the word regions will become less content to some degree each turn, which in turn will eventually destabilize a region- even if you have no agents in the region. General upkeep / spending money n the form of green and red cards will keep most regions happy, though in Russia, India, the Middle East, and Africa it's already somewhat unstable.

Outlook

Each region begins with its opinion on global warming and the concept of environmentalism. In most missions your regions will start out with a consumerist point of view. While this gives them better economies, it means they will resist your efforts to change their behavior. Playing the 'Eco-Awareness Campaign' card until your regions are 'Balanced' or 'Communal' makes the changes easier to implement without forcing undue pressures on development.

Peak Oil/Gas/Coal

During the first few turns of any mission, you'll receive notices of 'Peak Oi Reached' or something along those lines with another fuel source. This means that the maximum production of that fossil fuel has been reached and production will start winding down. Since allowing this to go unchecked will lead to a global financial collapse, this is a very important thing to fix.

That said, you eventually do have to switch your regions onto renewables sooner or later to avoid perpetual energy shortages.

Global Financial Collapse (GFC)

A global financial collapse saps lot of the money you have available to spend for each turn it's going on. This can make surviving to the endgame more difficult, and you will likely encounter at least one in most missions until you have a finer understanding on how to manage your priorities.

A GFC has two primary causes. The first is an imbalance between the profits of your agriculture/industrial sectors and your commerce sector. Generally I've found that once the ratio goes smaller than 1 (Ag/Ind):2(Com), you start risking the meltdown.

The second is a fuel shortage, as stated under the Peak Oil/Gas/Coal section. While you can stave off this cause with the proper card use, you are going to run out of fossil fuels sooner or later. By that point you should hopefully have gotten yourself either onto a different fossil fuel or onto renewables to help spread the oil around.

General Tips

These are some general tips that you should know and to try to get done as soon as possible. These missions may not fit for every mission ala 'The Flood' but they're good tips to live by.

Projects

Cap and Trade

Don't play Cap and Trade turn 1. Your first few turns give you far too much other stuff to do than worry about cap and trade. This card has its uses, but you shouldn't play it until at least 2040.

  • Industrial Carbon Regs

This card becomes available the turn after you play 'Cap and Trade'. It's intended to reduce emissions sed by your Industrial sector. While the duration is supposedly indefinite, in reality it takes roughly 5 turns/25 years for it to be fully implemented.

This card is fucking awesome and it's cheap, meaning you should play it immediately following Cap and Trade.

Sulphate Aerosols

These will save your life in the early-to-mid game when you're still giving off high emissions and you're climbing towards three degrees. They directly lower the temperature of the world, and have a higher impact the more regions that play them. But they can cause droughts if you play them too long. Generally try to start decreasing your temperature as soon as you can, and let off once the game starts to warn you about droughts caused by inconsistent temperatures.

Play the Tobin Tax

North America, Europe, Russia, Japan, and Oceania can all use the card 'Tobin Tax' on turn 1. This gives you $100 more to work with each turn one of these is active, at the cost of diminishing support. This will eventually get you banned, so you need to time lifting the tax carefully.

Russia's an odd case where on Turn 2, it becomes too unstable to continue the Tobin Tax. Playing 'Security Assistance' is the fastest way to keep it going.

Avoid Forest Collapse

On your very first turn, you must play 'Protect Land, Soil, and Forests' in South Asia and Latin America. In the early game, keeping the forests here are your best ways of reducing emissions since they absorb CO2.

Electric Transport

This card drastically reduces your reliance on oil by switching transportation use to electricity. This is a fantastic card to play in Europe and Japan. But in regions with extremely dirty energy sectors like China, this will increase emissions. As a result, you should try to clean up a region's energy production a bit before playing this card.

GEO HQ

Put the HQ in a region that is stable and you're not doing much else in. Europe and Oceania are good candidates.

Space Program/Lunar Colonization/Helium-3 Mining

This is purely optional, and only for if you're going for Second-Generation Fusion.

Renewables

Until you have some technologies in a region that accelerates its adoption, it is a wasted investment except in two areas.

Green Cards

Storm, Flood and Coast/Drought, Erosion, and Fire Defenses

Invest in these ASAP. They're cheap at $10, and will be good enough for the early game.These help keep people happy when disasters hit- and they WILL hit.

Organic Farming

This reduces the agriculture sector's reliance on fossil fuels, but doesn't completely eliminate them. It's a good choice for Latin America and South Asia

Biochar

This reduces deforestation, CO2, and helps out your agriculture a bit. This isn't a top priority, but if you an get it it's a very nice buffer against emissions.

Artificial Trees

Once you have nano-tech, this card becomes available. Play it. The longer they're in pay the more effective they are.

Blue Cards

Research, Research, Research

You're going to want new technologies as fast as possible. While any region can do scientific research, to do it fast you need a region with a high HDI, good stability, and a place that you're not going to be doing much else in. While North America is the obvious candidate, it's going to be drilling for fuel. Here's my usual set-up for research:

  • Japan: Energy and Robotics
  • Oceania: Biotech
  • South Asia: Information
  • Europe: Materials

Japan, Oceania, and Europe are all easy picks. They're not going to destabilize without you fucking up, and start with naturally high HDI. South Asia is a stranger choice, but it's a great candidate for Information Tech. Alternatively, Europe and North America could pinch hit to South Asia instead.

2nd/3rd Generation Biofuel

These really help reduce biofuels have on a region. 2nd generation eliminates any impact on food supplies, 3rd generation doesn't affect water supplies. This is a good investment combined with Expand Biofuel for Europe/China/South Africa/South Asia.

CCS

This takes a while to implement, but takes a chunk out of energy-related emissions. Pay this in Europe and North America ASAP, and in China when you can.

Supertensile Materials/Advanced Drilling Techniques/Solar Photovoltaic Collectors/Advanced Turbines

All four of these technologies allow renewables a bigger chunk of energy production and help increase the rate of renewable production. Get these when you can.

Super-Smart Grids

This technology accelerates the rate that you can pick up renewablels even faster. BUY THIS.

Quantum Computing/Artificial Intelligence

These two technologies are a godsend. Quantum boosts your GDP, AI grants you Market AI- which can help avert a GFC. They're worth it.

Yellow Cards

Ban Clathrate Exploration

This is a disaster waiting to happen. Clathrates has a decent chance of destabilizing every turn they're mined, resulting in high emissions and jumps in temperature. You don't need to ban this immediately, but around 2050 at earliest or whenever a region does say they discovered the tech you need to ban it.

There is a technology later in the game that allows for 'Advanced Exploration' roughly when you get AI. This makes Clathrates safe to use, but hopefully by that point you're already weaning yourself off of gas.

Avoid Peak Oil/Gas

These are the only two fossil fuels you actively need to worry about. On your second turn, you should be playing 'Expand Natural Gas' and 'Expand Oil' in North America- meaning you need to play 'Regional Energy Office'. Europe, the Middle East, and Russia all can be producers if you need them to be.

Coal-Free Industry/Ban Coal/Ban Unconventional Oi/Ban Shale Gas

This is why you shouldn't be worrying about coal. At a minimum you need to play 'Coal-Free Industry' (a project card, not yellow) in China and India ASAP because they are the biggest users. Africa is another good candidate, but this card needs to be played wherever you can, as early as you can. It can take anywhere from one turn to several depending on the region. You need to play cards that wean off reliance on coal because it is the most polluting fossil fuel you have save for one other, and industry starts beholden to the fuel.

In a best case scenario, you should play 'Ban Coal Production' at any point between 2070 to 2080.This will dramaticaly reduce emissions, and if you've shifted your reliance onto other fuels and renewables you should survive without a GFC.

Unconventional oil and shale gas are pricklier issues. By the time you've actually banned coal, you're already on your

Red Cards

Change Regional Outlooks

Like I said earlier, most regions will start with their Outlooks on 'Materialist' or 'Consumerist'. These are both Consumerist Outlooks, and need to be pulled towards 'Balanced' or 'Communal' to make your efforts to protect the environment more palatable. China is the only exception, as it usually begins play as 'Balanced'.

Education

Again, educating your underdeveloped regions (Africa, India, Middle East) are crucial to making them productive, contribute to the economy, and stabilizing them cheaper than security assistance.

One Child Policy

These will help you out in the long term in China and India. While it's unpopular, it's also going to free up food and jobs that wouldn't be there if left unchecked.

Transportation Efficiency

This helps underdeveloped regions increase their GDP. It's a good investment early on, but not essential.

Black Cards

Don't Bother With Security Assistance

Yes, I did just say to play this card in Russia, but that's only to get the Tobin Tax to keep working. 9 times out of 10, this is not a good card to play. In both regions of Africa, the Middle East, and India, you're better off educating them, changing their outlook, building environmental projects, and giving them medicine- in that order.

The only time you should be playing anything like this card other than early-game Russia is if the 'Declare Martial Law' card is available.By that point a region has fallen into war and you'll have to play this to buy yourself time and make the people less agitated.

Don't Encourage Consumerism

Just don't. It only gives you headaches.

How to Fix: China

China is going to be a tricky beast to work with. It's stable and starts with a Balanced Outlook, but has a mess of problems. It should be your first region to six agents, and they all need to be firing in order to force China into line.

One Child Policy

China's population is going to explode if you don't put this into play.

Renewables

Remember when I said this was a wasted investment? Well, China's too heavily invested in fossil fuels and coal to move on its own. It NEEDS this one.

Coal-Free Industry

This is a major, major way to cut emissions in China and the only way you're going to wean it off.

Electric Cars

After a few turns, play this card. By then you should start having enough renewables for oi dependency to decrease.

Biofuel

This is the other prong in your effort to wean China off of fossil fuels. Get Second Generation when you can.

Oil Fix It: India

Yes, this mission is actually one of the hardest in the game, despite being the second mission available.

India is going to be a pain in your ass in this mission. All of the regions need to have a HDI of 0.7 for you to pass, and India will always be a few points short. Here's my tips to make sure it doesn't- I managed roughly a .76 HDI by doing this.

One Child/Transportation/Eco-Awareness/Education

Four red cards right there. One Child keeps the population in check, eco-awareness will condition the people to accept a lower HDI and help stabilize the area, Education Enrollment and Higher Education will increase the population's access to education (and therefore its HDI), and transportation will increase development and it's GDP.

Let Agriculture Crash

This seems counter intuitive, but hang with me.

You need it at 0.7 by the END of the mission, and it doesn't specify how. By never investing in anything that solves water stress (Water Management/Protect Forests), you'll further decrease the surplus population and increase the money available for everyone else. Yes, it's a Scrooge method, but it *Works*.

Famine Relief Programme

Don't pay this card until the last turn if you can. This gives a couple points of boost to the HDI.

Feedback

Feedback /criticism is greatly appreciated to expand the guide or to make it better.

#7 Posted by AdventFalls (73 posts) -

Mass Effect 3 has come and gone, and while I enjoyed the game up to its conclusion (I finished it before the extended cut) many of the people in my social circle have soured on Bioware at large over how ME3 and retroactively, Mass Effect 2 continued the promise of the original. After lengthy discussions, we came to two conclusions.

First, that the Giant Bomb GOTY for 2010 – Mass Effect 2 – forced the Bioware writers into a corner. Second, that Bioware came achingly close to a plot that could’ve given the franchise more momentum into Mass Effect 3. I could speak volumes for the virtues and sins of ME3, but that’s another post and many have already covered that subject. For now, I plan on focusing on these two assertions.

Up until Mass Effect 2, Bioware made its reputation off of compelling storytelling and fairly memorable characters, and what largely changed from game to game was the balance struck between those two ideas. What the original Mass Effect had in a core storyline that was genuinely thrilling, it lacked in strong characters that made its previous games memorable. The characters of ME1 did not get much characterization, though some of that may be at fault for saving developments for later installments. Indeed, the one party member who was a dynamic character in the original game gets killed off in the ‘default’ character histories for Shepard.

Mass Effect 2 was a hard swerve into creating memorable characters. This isn’t inherently bad, since the focus on characterization gave the community some of the most compelling characters in years. Mordin Solus. The Illusive Man. Legion. The loyalty missions that colored in who your new party was were some of the best missions in the game. Most of the surviving Mass Effect cast finally started to jump off the page too – Garrus and Tali were different people than in the original. Liara showed up as not the same archeologist, and the Shadow Broker DLC sold her as a fleshed out character. And of course, the characterizations paid off during the final mission of the game. The entire game was billed as a lead-in to a suicide mission. Seeing that suicide mission have effects on your party and crew was an emotional wake-up call to how grave the stakes were for the conclusion of the trilogy.

This could have been a lot more...

At the same time, that suicide mission may have been what started to write Bioware into a corner on Mass Effect 3. Bioware was able to write out the surviving Mass Effect 1 cast effectively enough, but for Mass Effect 3 they were faced with writing for dead members of both games. The urge for players to see all of Mass Effect 3 may have led to the Mass Effect 2 cast being relegated to mostly side-missions and not rejoining the party, while only a few Mass Effect 1 characters that might’ve died based on decisions in Mass Effect 2 are allowed to return.

While asking for all of the characters to return would be unrealistic, asking for them to join on a temporary basis in the field would not have been. Bioware wrote in replacement characters for Legion, Tali, and Mordin for key story moments, and even replaced some of the cast for the side missions like Grunt. Why not have Garrus’s father join you in case Garrus snuffed it? There are many ‘why not’ questions related to the Mass Effect 2 cast that boggle the mind, especially since Garrus and Tali – and the Virmire survivor, depending on your play – are allowed back into the Mass Effect 3 cast.

All of this leads into the key problem with Mass Effect 2. None of it feels like it matters. Shepard is brought back from the dead to fight the Collectors, who... are kidnapping colonists on the fringes of the galaxy. It’s said during the Collector Ship mission that they could have enough pods to take Earth, but the game never makes that a driving issue. The disappearance of the colonists doesn’t feel important in the grand scheme of things, and neither do the Collectors themselves because of it. Harbinger never approached the same level of threat of Sovereign.

When Mass Effect 3 rolls, the Collectors are barely mentioned. No one in the galaxy proper knows what you did, and those that do barely talk about it. Not only because no one wanted to pay attention, but because the Collectors themselves never did anything to warrant it.

Assuming control... of the plot.

This is part of why it’s frustrating to see the existence of the Arrival DLC for Mass Effect 2. It’s a clear indication of what could have been. The entire DLC revolves around blowing up a mass effect relay to prevent the Reapers from entering the galaxy and killing everyone early. That makes for a more compelling core narrative than the critical path of its own game.

Because of that, I’m left to wonder just how much better Mass Effect 2 could have been if something like Arrival had been more vital to the story. If the Collectors had been using their abductions as a ruse to get the Reapers into the galaxy early, and the only way to stop it is to blow up that relay and then to take out the Collector Base to stop them from trying again. There’s not even that much that would’ve had to be changed about the actual game. Most of the game could go as scheduled, with Arrival being the mission that Shepard goes on while the Normandy is attacked by the Collectors.

Arrival always felt like a mission that should have been in the core game, or a concept that was more important than its place as DLC warranted. Now I’m left wondering how much things could have really changed if the writing staff had gone in that direction.

#8 Posted by AdventFalls (73 posts) -

They got me interested enough to wonder what they've got for games to back it up with. Because a lot of that functionality seems pretty useful.

#9 Posted by AdventFalls (73 posts) -

Spore.

I bought that game day 1, and was disappointed.

Then I bought the expansion in the hopes it would fix everything.

There's a pattern here. It's that I'm a moron.

#10 Posted by AdventFalls (73 posts) -

Let this happen. LET THIS HAPPEN.